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

Project Miata: New Year, New Garage, New Challenges and Opportunities

Miata in the new garage

Do you ever miss an old friend who you haven’t spoken to in a long time? That’s how I’ve felt about my Miata for the past two months. Every time I drive that car, my hands have a wonderful chat with the steering wheel and shifter. I can’t help but smile as pedal meets floor. For weeks, we had a blast together flying across the Howard Frankland Bridge to St Petersburg, Florida, for Monday night classes; but then one night, my old friend developed a cough.  … Continue Reading

Florida Bug Jam 2015: Bug Wars

Blue Volkswagen bug

Many of you can probably remember when Volkswagen was known more for making small, cheap, ubiquitous cars with character, known as the Beetle, than they were for a diesel emissions controversy. Last Saturday, I was able to travel back to those good old days at the Florida Bug Jam, a family-friendly judged classic Volkswagen car show with a poker run and some dirt track hooning. I don’t think I spotted a single water-cooled VW while I was there, besides the one that I arrived in.  … Continue Reading

Craigslist: 1961 Rat Rod Death Trap

1961 Chevrolet Corvair

When I heard that an acquaintance of mine was considering getting rid of his Corvair, as much as I hope he ends up keeping it, I couldn’t help but share this sweet and well priced Chevy Corvair. It’s a funny and well written ad, so there’s not much for me to add here. The seller starts off with “This car is pretty sweet. It’s got no A/C, wipers run on fast only, and the doors don’t lock. It’s a bit rusty like the Sahara is a bit hot. But it turns heads and drops panties.” It only gets better from there. … Continue Reading

Taking a Look Back: First Show of the Year

Despite how eventful this year has been, some of the photos I’ve taken have not progressed to being sorted and edited until very recently. One of these events, which I attended back in January, was a local car show called the 2015 Series Open Car & Truck Show at “The Shops at Wiregrass,” a small outdoor mall in the tiny nearby town of Wesley Chapel, Florida. Despite this being the first I’d heard of this car show series, there was a pretty nice showing of cars with a good variety, which I’ve collected to share with you after the jump.  … Continue Reading

Project Car SOTU: Roadster, The ’95 Mazda Miata

Hard to believe that it’s already been almost 3 months since the last update on Roadster. As much as I’d like to say that a lot of progress has been made in autocross preparations since then, it really hasn’t. Life has just gotten in the way lately, as it does at times. That’s not to say that all of the news with this project is necessarily bad though, not at all. It’s a project that progresses in short bursts rather than constant progress. … Continue Reading

Weekend Edition: The Art Car Museum of Houston

Splinter and Rosebud art cars

Often when I take a trip, I’ll have a look around to see what local car culture is available to see and experience. Such was the case last week, when I landed in Houston, Texas, for my sister’s wedding in Austin. Something very different from the cars I’d normally be checking out was available in the form of The Art Car Museum. In a way it’s almost strange that I haven’t looked more into art cars before this, because it bridges two of my biggest interests, art and cars, but I just hadn’t found the opportunity in Florida. Interestingly enough on a personal note, it was a trip back to Houston, where I was born, that brings us this unusual mixture of cultures. … Continue Reading

Weekend Edition: V.I.S.I.T. – Sebring Edition

MG TD parked on the grass

Often when you attend a major race, such as the 12 Hours of Sebring, there is just as much to see off the track as there is on it. There were rare models cruising the grounds and parking areas of Sebring, devoted entirely to notable makes and models, such as Porsche, Corvette, Audi, and BMW. Each of them had their outstanding examples.

As a follow up to last week’s 12 Hours of Sebring post, I bring you a second piece, this time with the vehicles I saw in traffic as well as what was parked and on display. … Continue Reading