Saturday, March 31, 2012

LIVE: Mecum Auction, Kansas City (Part 2)

I never thought I'd see the day when a Corvette represented one of the best values in the entire automotive world, yet here it is.

Corvettes are ordinarily considered exclusive, high-end automobiles reserved for the affluent. But I'm going to tell you about a window of opportunity that is open right now that will allow you to scoop up one of the most prestigious marques in the history of the automobile at a bargain-basement price.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

LIVE: Mecum Auto Auction, Kansas City

Everyman's hotrod... the Plymouth Duster
Just finished the first of three days broadcasting the Mecum Auto Auction live from Kansas City. We had a few Mopars on the block tonight that reminded me of a conversation I had recently. 

I was talking to a well-known car collector in the Chicago area and he was explaining the reasons he had switched from collecting Mopar products to General Motors products. He said that the GM vehicles drove better, felt more solid and were better quality cars while the Mopars "drove like a tin can." 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Indycar: St. Petersburg Review

Random thoughts while wondering how Lotus engineers are sleeping tonight...

  1. Fan sentiment for the late Dan Wheldon runs deep. Real deep. 
  2. Sorry, but the rear wheel pods must go. Remember those go-karts they had at amusement parks when you were a kid... the ones with the steel, wraparound skirts to prevent them from flipping? That's what the DW12 looks like. Insert childhood bumper car flashback here. 
  3. A shocking lack of crashes at St. Pete. It's almost like E. J. Viso and Marco Andretti weren't even there. 
  4. Almost as shocking as ABC not carrying 20 minutes of Danica Patrick coverage. Even though she wasn't in the race. But that never stopped them before. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Motoring: The Case for Radar Detectors

I'm a firm believer that every motorist should have a radar detector and know how to use it effectively. Every now and then I am asked, “Why should it be legal to own a radar detector, when its only purpose is to help you break the law?”  

In reality, assisting someone with a regulatory violation is not the "only" purpose for a radar detector… in fact, that’s not even one of its purposes. A radar detector will help you clear the roadway for an approaching ambulance, observe the Safety Alert system (or several other systems like it), gain advance warning of a construction zone, or reroute around a traffic accident. 

The simple fact is that driving without a radar detector is considerably less safe than driving with one. Radar detector owners are aware of ambulances, emergencies, construction and accidents long before anyone else. 

But ultimately these are just side issues; the radar detector’s greatest service is the exercise of a fundamental right.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Racing News: Last Chance to Save a Racing Icon

You can feel the passion in Ralph Sheheen's voice even over the telephone. One of the principals behind the newly-invigorated National Speed Sport News, Sheheen's excitement is shared by thousands of race fans who grew up reading NSSN as their sole source of auto racing news.

"This was a big loss to me that - as a fan of the sport - just couldn't be replaced," Sheheen said of the recent demise of National Speed Sport News. "About a year ago, (former NSSN editor) Corrine Economacki came to me and said, 'If you wanna do something with it (to revive the publication), you can.'"

So Sheheen and his partners jumped in head first. Just when auto racing fans thought that the "motorsports bible" was gone forever, it came roaring back to life in a new, monthly format.

Listening to Sheheen talk, it was clear that his ownership group is taking a risk. He didn't have to say it... you could read between every word. Still, they're not being timid in their approach. This is a brand new, top-notch publication that pays homage to its roots while updating the way we receive automotive news in a welcome way.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Indycar: The Pivotal Season

We're two weeks away from what appears to be a critical juncture in the history of Indycar. When the series opens in St. Petersburg in two weeks, here are the important questions to keep in mind:
  1. Those ridiculous rear wheel pods... once they see the cars are on the racetrack, will fans still hate them? I think the pods will be short-lived. They serve no real purpose on road and street courses, which makes up two-thirds of the Indycar schedule. They are largely a reactionary, Johnny-come-lately public relations response to Dan Wheldon's death. Fans despise them for good reason. They're ugly. They ruin the concept of open wheel racing. They'll disappear on road and street courses within a year and no one will miss them.