Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Vettel or Ricciardo to NMS in 2023?

 Sebastian Vettel on the left, NMS Chief of Public Relations Brian Nixon on the right


We're here at the NMS World Wide HQ to look into reports that multiple Formula 1 drivers are leaving the big money jet-set crowd in F1 to race for NMS in 2023. It is public knowledge that 4 time World Champion Sebastian Vettel has announced his retirement from F1 at the end of the current season, and just today we learned that Daniel Ricciardo will not be driving with McLaren next season also. Let's cut to the live Q&A with NMS Chief of Public Relations Brian Nixon: 

Q: What can you tell us about the availability of Vettel and Ricciardo for NMS next season?

BN: I have been authorized to make the following statement, which I think speaks for itself. "NMS confirms that multiple world champion, and current Aston Martin F1 driver Sebastian Vettel might be one of our drivers for next year." In addition, I can now confirm, following the announcement from both McLaren F1 and their driver Daniel Ricciarodo the following. "NMS confirms that multiple race winning driver, Australian Daniel Ricciardo might also be one of our drivers next year."

Q: OK, well, no offense, but what do you mean by "might" be one of your drivers?

BN: Like I said, I think the statement speaks for itself. 

Q: OK, but again, what do you mean? Can you confirm that Vettel or Ricciardo WILL drive for NMS next season?

BN:  Maybe. 

Q: Do you mean "Maybe they will drive for you" or do you mean "Maybe you can confirm this?"

BN: Yes. 

Q: What? Really? Can you just answer the question?

BN: Which question do you want me to answer? You've asked several already. 

Q: OK, answer this one: Will Vettel drive for your team next year? That should be a simple yes or no answer!

BN: All of the above. 

Q: Could you expand on that?

BN: By "All of the above" I mean that either he will or he won't drive for NMS next year. 

Q: I don't follow. 

BN: Back to my original statement, he "might" drive for us, means that there are 2 possibilities, either 1: he WILL drive, or 2: he WON'T. I think that's pretty clear. 

Q: Clear as mud. 

BN: You're welcome. 

Q: Do you have anything to add to this total lack of information?

BN: Thanks for asking. Yes, I would like to point out that these veteran F1 drivers are used to driving at the highest level, competing around the world, travelling for months on end, training non-stop to maintain peak physical and mental performance, and you know what? After years of doing that, we think that slowing down, getting in a slower car, and just having fun at autocross, track days, Lemons races, or a couple of time trials, all in one of our NMS vehicles like the 99 Miata, is just the break from the routine that these guys are looking for. They're probably tired of always going first class, making big bucks, and being catered to, so we think they'll enjoy the NMS approach of low budget and tons of fun driving that we specialize in!

Q: Any final thoughts?

BN: Sure, stay tuned for more developments, because Elon Musk "might" buy our team too!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Two Day Autocross Preview

All Signs Point to More Autocross!

This coming weekend is the two day Porsche autocross event and it's looking to be a great weekend. While drivers are still signing up, so far there are about 59 competitors registered, with only two of us in my class. For what it's worth, here is a look at the variety of different models and years (all P-cars that is) planning to attend. 


The cars are broken down into 4 major classes, S for Showroom Stock (standard as delivered), P for Production (some modifications allowed), I for Improved (3 classes based on engine size,) and M for Modified (even more upgrades, same 3 classes as I based on engine size.) Within the S-M  classes, there are 9 classes that try to even the playing field regarding performance and horsepower.  

All KINDS of cars!

A quick look at the list shows cars ranging in age from 1970-2022, and models from the 914, 924, 944, 968, and plenty of 911s and Boxsters and Caymans. We'll be competing rain or shine, with a 100% chance of having a great time!


2018 Porsche Panamara S01
2018 Porsche Macan GTS S01
2018 Porsche Macan GTS  S01
1984 Porsche 944 S01
2004 Porsche Boxster S  S03
2007 Porsche Boxster  S03
1999 Porsche Boxster S04
1995 Porsche 968 S04
2003 Porsche 911 C4s S04
2001 Porsche Boxster S05
2009 Porsche Cayman  S05
2008 Porsche Cayman s S06
2006 Porsche Cayman S  S06
2013 Porsche Boxster S S06
2013 Porsche Boxster S06
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS S08
2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS S08
2022 Porsche 911 Carrera S S08
2020 Porsche GT4 S09
2022 Porsche GT4 S09
2015 Porsche 911 GT3  S09
2020 Porsche 718 Spyder S09
2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 S09

1976 Porsche 914 P01
2012 Porsche Cayman R  P01
2005 Porsche Boxster P01
1972 Porsche 911 P01
1988 Porsche 924S P02
1985 Porsche  944  P02
1985 Porsche 944 P02
1983 Porsche 944 P02
1995 Porsche 968 P04
1997 Porsche Boxster P04
1990 Porsche 944S2  P04
1999 Porsche Boxster P04
1998 Porsche Boxster P04
2019 Porsche Boxster GTS  P05
2021 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 P05
2003 Porsche Boxster S P05
2007 Porsche Boxster  P05
2011 Porsche Cayman P05
2006 Porsche Cayman S  P06
2008 Porsche Cayman S P06
2014 Porsche Cayman S P06
2014 Porsche Cayman S P06
2014 Porsche Cayman S P06
2014 Porsche Cayman S P06
2016 Porsche GT4 P09
1986 Porsche 944 M01
1973 Porsche 914 M01
1986 Porsche 944 M01
1970 Porsche 914 M01
1978 Porsche 911 M03
2010 Porsche Boxster S I03
2010 Porsche Boxster S I03
2001 Porsche 996 Turbo I03
2007 Porsche Cayman S I03


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Epic Cars and Coffee Part II

In Part I we looked at one of the garages at the Malcolm Pray Achievement Center, so let's step over to garage number two!

I liked these vents in the hood of this car. Plus you can see the windshield wipers meet in the middle, and are mounted on their outside. 1957 Cadillac El Dorado Brougham.

This Studebaker was designed by Raymond Loewy. If you don't recognize the name, he designed a TON of items and logos, from trains to cars, logos for Shell, Lucky Strike, and a LOT more. Our tour guide gave us a great background on Mr. Loewy. You should look him up.

More Studebaker design, the swoop in the door.

Studebaker wheel cover, unique.

Another awesome car, the Morgan roadster. Here you can see the large fold-down wind screen, AND the two smaller rounded windscreens!

The Studebaker has a V8

This Ford also has a V8

Another detail I liked on the Ford was the curving driver side mirror arm. There's something you don't see every day!

Ford with a rumble seat in the back

Morgan interior

Packard interior

1958 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, that was a great year!

1957 may not have been the era of aerodynamic design, but the chrome, grill, fins, and etc. definitely sticks in your memory.

1946 Chrysler Town and Country. No, they don't make 'em like that anymore!

Did I mention the fins?

1940 Lincoln Continental convertible

1964 Lincoln Continental, complete with the reverse opening rear "suicide" door.

Kaiser Darrin. One of less than 500 built, this model was the 2nd fiberglass body car in the USA, after the Corvette. The two doors slide forward into the body to open.

ASC McLaren. No connection to the McLaren of Formula 1 fame, these were modified Ford Mustangs.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Epic Cars and Coffee!

Main building, includes this 60s MG in a living room setting!
On Saturday August 13, Julie and I headed north out of New York City and visited a Cars and Coffee event with a twist. No, it wasn't the Twist by Chubby Checker, and it wasn't a Cinnamon Twist donut. This cars and coffee twist was because we went to the Malcolm Pray Achievement Center in Bedford NY, which is a charity organization that uses automobiles, and the example of Mr. Pray to encourage young people. The car collection is just a starting point for the Achievement Center staff to inspire visitors and talk about working towards your goals. In this regard, our visit was unlike any other auto collection or museum that I've seen, because the focus was NOT on horsepower, aerodynamics, or the rarity of any particular car. The cars are just the conversation starter!

Apparently Mr. Pray saw a 1939 Delahaye at the NY World's Fair when he was about 10 years old, and was fascinated by automobiles from that day forwards. Eventually, he became a car salesman, then a dealership owner, and eventually the owner of several dealerships. And yes, he eventually bought and restored his own Delahaye!
As a Cars and Coffee event, I'll go ahead and say that "Yes, they had coffee!" In the interests of full disclosure, they also had bagels, tea, and other goodies too! Now about the "Car" part of the event, well, let's just take a look at some of the cars that Mr. Pray collected.  You can also go to their website for more information on Mr. Pray and learn his story.  

Our host Marikay gave a great tour, and this event was put together by Porsche Club members Stewart and Sue Teichman. 

On to the first of 2 garages, mostly MGs in this row.

WWII era Jeep

1970s VW SP2, built in Brazil

Porsche 911

Metz, built in Massachusetts

1968 VW Dune Buggy

1959 Corvette, Mustang

I may not have this exactly right, early 1950s Sunbeam Talbot Drophead Coupe

1974 VW Karmen Ghia


Porsche 356

Austin Healey foreground, Jaguar background


OK, that's the first garage of cars! Next time we'll visit garage #2!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Before and After: The Headlight Edition

BEFORE: Driver headlight, 12 years old


Plastic headlights tend to have a few problems as they age; don't we all? This weekend I broke out my headlight fixer-upper-polisher kit and went to work on the 2011 Toyota Camry headlights. Not wanting to read all the directions, or maybe I should say not wanting to FOLLOW all the directions, I skipped two of the three sanding type discs, and just used one with some water, then went to the spongy ball on the electric drill and got the following results. 

                                    AFTER: with blue tape to keep the polish off the paint.

The process isn't hard and doesn't take a ton of time. It cleaned up the plastic lenses nicely, but to be honest I never noticed if the headlights weren't as bright, or projecting as much as they did when they were new. Maybe there's some myth-busters or YouTube video stars out there that address this topic, so feel free to check that out on your own. I'll settle for having nicer looking headlights. That's pretty much all there is to improving your headlights, another world's-easiest-car-repair. But wait, there's more! 

I got my awesome headlight polishing/restoring kit as a gift, and it's great, but what other options are there for fixing junky looking headlights? I wonder how much it would cost to just buy a  new headlight assembly? Good thing we have the Internet, because here's what I found out from 3 sources:

SOURCE ONE: Your local Auto Parts Store

I only looked up prices at one store, and maybe some other stores have cheaper prices, but for this category, I found  headlight assemblies starting at $256. That's 256 dollars each, so for both headlight assemblies it would cost you over 500 bucks. Notice I said it would cost "you" because I'm not paying that much! We love to support our local auto parts store, but in this case, Hmm, could there be a cheaper source?

SOURCE TWO: Online Auto Parts Store: Rock Auto

Harnessing the power of the Internet (using this power for good and not evil) I found headlight assemblies (same Toyota Camry) for as little as $90 each, so 180 dollars for the pair. That's much cheaper than the auto parts store down the street, even with any extra shipping. For just about anything you need, NMS loves Rock Auto.

SOURCE THREE: USED Auto Parts: Pull-A-Part

By "used" auto parts, here I mean specifically Pull-A-Part, which is one of several businesses that has car lots filled with crashed cars. Visit one near you, and you can pay a small fee, walk in with your toolbox, and then liberate the parts you need from a donor car. OK, you have to do a little work to get the part, but it might save you some big bucks. The generic Pull-A-Part price for the same Camry headlight assembly is $37 with an environmental fee included, so  maybe add a couple bucks for walking into the yard, and let's call it $80 for the pair. Of course these are used parts, and you'll have to research the donor year and/or part number to make sure it fits your vehicle, but odds are a car like the Camry will use the same parts over multiple years, and since they're a top selling model you'll always find Camry parts in the "used" category. 

SOURCE FOUR: Dealership   

OK, I didn't look up this price, and odds are that your local Toyota dealer could get any part too. They generally will have the highest prices, since like all businesses they need to make money, and I want everyone in the auto industry to make money and pay their bills, but I have to look out for my budget too.