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Weekend Edition: 2014 Turkey Rod Run Road Trip: And Out Of Naples

IMG_2644 So one of the perks of my new gig, one that was unknown to this olelongrooffan, is that after six months employment, I was awarded two weeks paid vacation. The caveat is that those days of vacation needed to be used by the end of the calendar year. As I run the customer service division of my company for the new home communities we have in the southwest part of the Sunshine State and the snow birds having been fleeing the northern part of this great country in droves to my part of this world, my skinny white butt has been spread pretty thin. However, last week during my performance evaluation (four exceptional and four outstanding, thank you very much) I was chatting it up with the British monarchy I work for (Charles, Diana and Henry) about my workload for Thanksgiving week and they all agreed that my taking off for this coming week would be a great idea and to have fun. Well as I had planning on spending Thanksgiving weekend at the Turkey Rod Run at the Daytona International Speedway, this olelongrooffan thought I would road trip it up there trying to avoid Eisenhower’s Interstate System. If my fellow Hoons are so inclined, click on through to ride along with me and see some of the sights I saw on Saturday. … Continue Reading

The Street Rod Show: An Image Dump

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Now my fellow Hoons know this olelongrooffan tends to run on with my posts and get all wordy. That ain’t the case this time. I am getting ready to head out on a road trip all around the Sunshine State culminating at the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona Beach next weekend. I just checked my email and it was determined a post was needed for this time slot. Well, this one was in draft form since April and this olelongrooffan determined it was good to go. So click through as see the rest of the stuff I saw while walking around with TheKenMan and Goldie that spring day.

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A Day With TheKenMan: The Roosevelt Edition

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So this olelongrooffan was out at the AACA Naples/Marco Chapter’s show a whiles back and came across some pretty sweet old rides that I didn’t even know about. This was one of them. It is a Roosevelt, as in Teddy Roosevelt, Automobile. Any of my fellow Hoons seen one of these previously?

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Hooniverse Road Trip: Kinsley, Kansas – “Midway USA”

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In 1939, there were two concurrent World’s Fairs being held in the United States: the New York World’s Fair, and the Golden Gate International Exposition a continent away in San Francisco. That April, the cover of an issue of The Saturday Evening Post depicted two cars, each emblazoned with “World’s Fair or Bust,” passing each other in opposite directions under a fictional signpost marking the mid-point between the two cities. As it turns out, that imaginary signpost would have been located on U.S. Highway 50 just outside Kinsley, Kansas. The county seat of Edwards County has been promoting itself as “Midway, USA” ever since, but without managing to attract much national attention.

Fast forward three-quarters of a century. My close friend Rusty — an old co-worker and riding buddy of mine who relocated to Colorado years ago — suggested we get together for a motorcycle ride; the only problem is that he lives 620 miles west of me. I suggested that my wife and I should meet him halfway. A quick check of Google Maps indicated that the halfway point between his house in Pueblo and mine in Kansas City was within three miles of…Kinsley, Kansas. Even living less than 4-1/2 hours away, I had never heard of Kinsley. But once I learned of its long reputation as THE half-way point, kismet demanded we meet there. Not long after, under a cloudy June sky, we did.

What we found there was a quirky, threadworn small town whose acme had long passed without ever quite realizing its potential. But thanks to my equally quirky and optimistic traveling companions and the town’s genuinely sincere citizens, plus the great excuse for plenty of miles on sparsely populated rural roads, it was definitely worth the trip.

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The Surprising State Ride of Czech President Václav Havel.

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Striving for social status in life can bring many rewards. My 33 years on the planet have seen me ascend to ownership of a 1997 Rover 825si (which I try not to mention too often in case I’m seen as arrogant or aloof). Jeff Glucker, my elder (and better) has a Bugatti EB110 and a fleet of GM EV-1s scattered around the world (and you thought they’d been destroyed….).

But what happens when you suddenly find yourself elected president of a former Communist-controlled land? Czechoslovakia at the end of the ’80s was a country rich with engineering talent, so creating a car fit for a President wouldn’t be a significant challenge. So, after his election after the Velvet Revolution of late 1989, what did Václav Havel drive?

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Track Day in Beaterland – Sierra CVH at Ahvenisto

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What do I love most about taking a humble daily driver on a track? Well, there’s just something about it that feels deliciously wrong. Tracks are for track weapons in the purest sense, for purpose-built, caged cars that are driven by people who actually know what they’re doing for most of the time, people who are able to shave seconds off lap times instead of just doing a different series of mistakes on each lap. Instead of a bread and butter conveyance, you get into a machine that’s been painstakingly built into a faster, safer, and yet more disposable vehicle, something that can be driven hard, something that still declares “This isn’t even my final form!” A car that’s been built into a track day car or a racer doesn’t have a way back. This is its life now, roll cage and all.

But for a modest outlay, and as long as you’ve brought your helmet and as long as you’re aware of how your car is doing mechanically, you can enter a track with your grocery-getter and have a brilliant time – in case the premises offer the possibility of tourist drives or booking the place for your usual gang of idiots that form your car camaraderie. Like us, the Finnish part of FinalGear, the guys who sauna the night before and watch Regular Car Reviews and Birgirpall until everyone’s so tired from laughing they don’t know if the helmet fits on the next morning. But as the leaves are falling and the forested track of Ahvenisto looks amazingly beautiful, despite being treacherous under the motivational autumn photo guise, it’s time to wrap up the driving season on the track asphalt with a group of good friends. And now it was the 1990 Ford Sierra‘s turn to earn a couple stickers.

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World Of Top Gear:- The Best World…..in the World?

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What exactly might one expect to see or experience in the World Of Top Gear? Well, it should be staged on a huge budget and ought to involve dizzying numbers of exotic cars and recreations of lavish overseas locations. Explosions should be massive and frequent and perilous situations should present themselves regularly. A sense of fun should pervade, and every visitor should be granted the opportunity to participate in peculiar, arcane challenges. Perhaps animatronic effigies of Hammond, May and Clarkson could patrol, issuing choice soundbites possibly ending with “Power!”. As long as humour, horseplay and horsepower are all represented, the possibilities are endless.

Actually, in a manner entirely fitting with the ever-so-slightly shambolic nature of things that happen on the 8PM Sunday stalwart, World Of Top Gear is basically a big shed with a load of old cars in it. But hey, we all enjoyed this stuff on the small screen, so why not take a gawp at them in the flesh? Take the jump for a tour of the embodiment of “ambitious but rubbish”. How hard can it be?

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Truck Thursday: The Naples/Marco AACA Show Edition

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So there this olelongrooffan and TheKenMan were at our third car show of that eventful 8 hour stretch one day last winter. We had already seen some pretty cool ass street rods out at the Seminole Indian Casino in Immokalee (sorry dead batteries and no place close by to get some more AA’s), spent a little time learning some more history about Ford’s Mustang at its birthday party and here at this exquisite show presented by the Naples/Marco Island branch of the Antique Automobile Club of America at the Naples Depot. Now this olelongrooffan must admit I was mistaken when I previously mentioned that no trains had run there since the early 80’s. They still run a kiddie scale train, much like the one TheGentleManFarmer had when I was a teenager, running around the perimeter of the grounds of this now train museum. But enough about that, we are here to chat it up about some trucks. For mere beauty, this 1934 Ford truck was the coolest one we saw there. Click on through to see more of it.

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Weekend at Beaulieu Finale; The Motherlode

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My coverage of the Beaulieu Autojumble left me with so many millions of hastily shit shot images that filleting them into sensible portions for visual consumption has been a major, and long winded undertaking.

Well, this is it. The end, finally. Click over the jump for a final outsplurge featuring some of the notables that I’m simply never going to get around to writing about, or that are of such extreme minority interest that it wouldn’t be worth it anyway.

Spoiler: There’s a Rover 825 Coupé in there, you lucky, lucky people

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Weekend At Beaulieu: You Name It, We Got It.

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“How much for the one, badly corroded and horrifically, brutally deformed Lotus Eclat alloy?”
“That’s £110, mate”
“Hmm, that’s a bit rich, considering the condition. I was thinking more like £60”
“You’re having a laugh, mate. I can’t let that go for less than a ton”
“Look I’ll take it now for £70”

….and so it goes on for the next ten minutes. This conversation was occurring literally everywhere you walked. It’s an inevitable phenomenon at this kind of an event; the prices marked on items is arbitrary at best and haggling is the norm. But before the skilful negotiation can break out, you have to have the kind of stuff laid out on your stall that everybody wants. And to be completely honest, walking past hundreds of identical stalls covered in rusty obsolete parts I had a hard time telling the trash from the treasure.

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