Miatapalooza Returns

Back in 2013, not long after acquiring my own little red ’95 Miata, I attended and reported on a local Miatapalooza event, held in nearby Lakeland, Florida. Since then, I’ve gotten to meet event organizer Randy George and many of the other friendly Florida-based Mazda Miata enthusiasts, while repairing and tinkering with my own Miata along the way. This past Saturday, Miatapalooza returned to the Tampa Bay area, taking place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida and I was not going to miss it.  … Continue Reading

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2017

2017 Concours Winners

The 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance took place this past weekend. With special guests such as this year’s honoree, Al Unser, Sr., as well as a discussion headed by Adam Carolla featuring Peter Brock, John Morton, Sam Posey, Chip Robinson, and Tommy Kendall, there was no way I was going to miss this. In addition to the great drivers of early Japanese racing, there was a BRE Datsun 510, 240Z, and 2000 Roadster out on the grass. The winningest RX-7, the Malibu Grand Prix, driven by Tommy Kendall was on display as well. And the Prince R380 made its American debut, one of the first purpose-built Japanese race cars.

If you grew up in the heyday of these cars, or like me, have a passion Japanese automotive history, this was the year for you.

… Continue Reading

Rotten Rental Car Review: Ford Mustang V6 Convertible

Knowing that we’d be in Southern California, my wife and I recently sought out the rental options on a Miata for a taste of our familiar lightweight roadster to fling around through the canyons. However, we quickly realized that wasn’t going to work out for our travel plans. With a rental cost that was not much higher than average, the Ford Mustang (V6 with automatic in this case) emerged as a decent compromise between fun, affordability, and “practicality.”

Click past the jump to see how it stacked up.  … Continue Reading

V.I.S.I.T. California Vacation Edition

Recently my wife and I travelled to California for a vacation. On the way from North to South, I captured cars through my lens along the way. Whether they were in traffic, parked on a roof, or in museums, I sought out the interesting, the old, the rare, and the obscure vehicles to share.  … Continue Reading

Lamborghini Cruise-In and Centenario Unveiling at the Petersen Museum

A new evolution of the Lamborghini Aventador was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, named the Centenario, for the 100th anniversary of the birth of company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini. Looking at photos, it was hard to see how this really fit with the time and the legacy of Ferruccio Lamborghini. Besides that, to put it plainly, the design was polarizing. The U.S. unveiling of a replica of that car, however, just happened to line up with a vacation that my wife and I were taking to California. I decided to see it in person, to see what it really looked like. … Continue Reading

Tequila Patrón Ligier Honda Takes Soaking Wet Second Consecutive Win at Sebring 12

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, Pipo Derani sealed up the second consecutive race win for 2016 in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM Honda Ligier JS P2, winning the 64th annual 12 Hours of Sebring. The No. 4 Corvette won in the GTLM class after their sister car, the No. 3 Corvette collided with the No. 911 Porsche 911, taking them both out of contention and ending the race for the No. 911. The new Ferrari F88 GT3 claimed its first victory in the GTD class with the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488.  … Continue Reading

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance: The Living Car Museum of Your Dreams

Despite being threatened by rain this year, the 21st annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance went off without a hitch. Fog and overcast conditions had been recurrent throughout the weekend, so the awards had to be given out earlier than planned. The Amelia is quite a large event with auctions, a Cars & Coffee (we’ll soon have photos from this to show), the Concours d’Elegance, and a host of dinners and seminars. Possibly because the event takes place on an island, classic and exotic cars were around every corner on the green and also on the streets outside the events.

From the new McLaren 675LT and 570 to your left to a tiny Audi relic you’ve never seen or heard of to your right, it was all there including more Pegaso sports cars than you’re likely to see anywhere else in the world, not to mention a Phantom Corsair. Past the jump is a fresh collection of photographs from this past Sunday at the Concours.  … Continue Reading

It’s Not Every Day You See an Icon Driven by a Legend

Valentino Balboni driving a Miura

Over the weekend, I attended the Amelia Island Cars & Coffee and their 21st annual Concours d’Elegance. While there on Saturday, my wife and I were waiting to be shuttled to our parking area, when a Lamborghini Miura drove by a few times. On one pass, I captured some photographs of it approaching on the straight and rounding the corner.

Later that night when looking through the raw files, the driver’s head and face, for some reason, looked very familiar. When I zoomed the image up to full size, I recognized him immediately.

It was the retired legendary Lamborghini chief test driver, Valentino Balboni. Can someone help me get my jaw up off the floor?

(Car) Culture Shock: A First-Timer’s Account of the Daytona 500

Bryce Womeldurf February 26, 2016 Featured, Motorsports

Denny Hamlin winning the Daytona 500

NASCAR is a form of motorsport that often gets a bad rap from some car enthusiasts. It’s easy to dismiss it as a dull overload of a marketing ad blitz, with cars simply running in circles (at Daytona, they refer to it as a tri-oval). I’d never really followed NASCAR closely and hadn’t watched a race on TV since Dale Earnhardt Sr. was alive, but I was curious. Why is it so popular? Perhaps something wasn’t translating well from first hand experience to broadcast. Time to open the mind and step out of my comfort zone, so I decided to venture out for my first NASCAR experience, the 2016 Daytona 500.  … Continue Reading

A Caturday of a Different Kind

Miata catalytic converter waiting for installation

When we last left off with our little red friend, Roadster, the Miata, it had run for two years with a slightly rough idle surge that had suddenly gotten much worse to the point of stalling at the end of September. After weeks of research, I was convinced that I knew why it was stumbling to idle correctly and why power was down so significantly.

The idle was rough and the car felt like it hit a head wind at 4000rpm where it would struggle to reach 5500rpm and would then refuse to go any higher. What seemed like choking, I reasoned, could only be caused by a clogged catalytic converter. There were no apparent vacuum leaks, and the spark plugs and ignition wires were practically new, as was the timing belt, which I had installed only a few months prior.

All of the inexpensive alternative solutions seemed to be ruled out, so it seemed that it could only be the cat. Being a little thin on cash when these symptoms appeared, I examined my options. The search for the right cat had begun.  … Continue Reading