Wednesday, November 29, 2023

AmeriCARna Car Show!

1956 Jaguar XK140

Up in Davidson NC they have an annual car show with the catchy title of AmeriCARna Live Car Show. Hey, it's got CAR right in it! I'm a fan of cars and car shows, so I looked into this event before heading north, and saw that it is held on the campus of Trane Technologies. Yep, the Trane people that make home air conditioners. I've always liked their catchy slogan, "Nothing Runs Like a Trane." This is an ENORMOUS car show, so I'm just going to scratch the surface of cool cars that were there. 

Ford station wagon, rear seats face each other. DON'T MAKE ME TURN THIS CAR AROUND!

Spread over multiple parking lots around multiple buildings at Trane, there were cars, trucks, SUVs, new and old, rat rods, food trucks, live music, and just a great event with nice weather. Davidson is not too far north of Charlotte NC, so if you're looking for a great event on Thanksgiving weekend, plan for 2024.There were so many cars and trucks that mostly I just enjoyed being there, took a few photos, and didn't get a ton of info on what you see here. 



1974 Ford Bronco, even more of a classic since Ford brought back the Bronco recently.

If you didn't like the orange Bronco, how about yellow?

A big variety of cars on display. You've gotta love the pink Barracuda!

Cadillac Coupe deVille

1967 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon. The name comes from the raised roof in the back, with extra windows up high, like a double decker train. It even has sun visors for the 2nd row passengers!

Oldsmobile. HUGE!

Early 30s Buick. Very nice!

Hot rod

1973 Opel GT. There was also a silver Opel GT on display. 

Just over 103,000 sold in the US from 1968-1973. The headlights pop up with a manual lever next to the shifter. Opel GT trivia: the 2007-2010 Saturn Sky/Pontiac Solstice was badged as an Opel GT. It was built in Delaware for export to Europe only. 

More hot rods

Something for everyone!

Pickup trucks and yellow taxi

59? Corvette

Didn't like the earlier orange and yellow Broncos? How about black!

Cobra replica

1939 Ford Deluxe Woody Wagon
This thing was incredible!

DeTomaso Pantera. You probably know this was from Italy, with a big Ford motor in the rear, and they were sold at Lincoln dealerships!

Ferrari 458 and 488

VW Thing

More scenery 

Just part of the VW family!

1960 Ferrari 250 Competition SWB (Short Wheel Base)

1960 Ferrari. The Internet tells me that the average price of these is $7M. I'll let you know when I win the lottery. 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Charlotte Auto Show: Volume 2

OK, I showed you the fancy Ferrari, Aston Martin, and stuff like that in Part I, so let's look at some normal everyday cars from the Charlotte Auto Show. 

Ford Mustang. OK, it's the Dark Horse Mustang. Starts at $63,000, and for that price you get 500 Horsepower. Wow!

Dark Horse Mustang, cool logo. 

Just your run of the mill Chevrolet Camaro. Well, if it's a NASCAR race car that looks like a Camaro!

Roll cage and etc, plus the cool Plexi-glass wing on the back for more downforce. 

Now what in the Wide Wide World of Sports is this?

Some more Chevy goodness, a Corvette. 

From this bit of information, I learned that there are 5 versions of the Hyundai Santa Fe, starting at $26,650, and up to starting at over $41,000. 

Not every Santa Cruz has such a cute model, but we spotted Julie Nixon in this one!

Santa Cruz. Not a big truck, but they still look pretty cool. I'm sticking with my hybrid Ford Maverick too. 
Sorry I'm not an expert on these, so it's a 4 door Land Rover of some kind. My guess is that the ladder unlocks and folds down when you need to climb up and store something on the roof racks. Or escape a lion while on safari. 

And a 2-door version Land Rover. Pretty much looks like the Ford Bronco to me, but I'm sure it's great. 

Jaguar F-Type. I believe this is the last year for this model. They make a great gift this holiday season, and I wear a size V-8. Jaguar and Land Rover are the same company, so I'll say that their SUV business is doing better than the car business. Jaguar also makes SUVs now. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Formula 1 in Las Vegas: You Had One Job!

Miami F1 2023 race, and it's NOT the middle of the night!

Formula 1 raced in Las Vegas in the early 1980s for two races that are mostly remembered for being a really bad idea! This is because the "track" was set up in the Caesar's Palace parking lot. Not a great spot for a race. Fast forward to this past weekend of 2023, and F1 returned to Vegas, but this time with a huge amount of promotion, investment, and a really cool race right on the city streets! They even raced down the famous Strip, at night, under tons of neon lights. The race was actually pretty good, there were multiple lead changes, but a few issues came up before the actual race. 

One thing they did differently here is hold the race at 10PM local time on Saturday. This is very unusual, since F1 is almost always a Sunday event, making for a three day schedule of practice, qualifying, and racing, from Friday thru Sunday. My only guess is that they really wanted to race at night under the lights of the strip, so they moved it to late Saturday. Oh, and that probably was also influenced by being a time for the British fans to tune in early Sunday morning. Not so good here on the eastern part of the US, but oh well. With a sport that races around the world, there's always races going on in the middle of the night for your local time. I just never thought it would be from a race in the USA!

So, "you had one job" relates to having a good, safe, racecourse. At the first practice late Thursday, this did not happen. After only about 9 minutes of an hour-long practice, Carlos Sainz' Ferrari was damaged and stopped on track due to hitting a drain cover or manhole or something. Things like this happen maybe every 10 years or so in F1, but in this case, it was NOT a great way for Las Vegas and F1 to impress the fans around the planet. 

Once they realized they had an issue, they made the right call in the name of safety and cancelled the rest of that session, so that they could inspect the rest of the track for similar issues. OK, maybe not the end of the world, and surely things got on track after that, right? RIGHT? HELLO? 

With the loss of practice session #1, there were several hours to go before #2 was to start. Well, they were still checking things out, and that session was delayed also. Delayed, as in, it became the latest F1 event EVER. This is just what I've read, since I was in bed sleeping at 5AM my time, but apparently, they finally practiced at 4-5:30AM Vegas time.  

I can hear you saying "Wow, that's really terrible!" But wait...there's more!

In the middle of the delayed practice #2 session, the decision was made to clear all the fans from the grandstand, I guess so that they could finish the session and then get the local roads open as scheduled! I just can't imagine having gone through a super short practice 1, sitting in the stands, getting delayed for practice 2, it's now the middle of the night, and then being told to leave before the event is over! The event that I paid some big bucks to attend. Believe it or not, that's what happened. 

Now, to their credit, either F1 or the race organizer is offering all the fans at practice #2 a gift voucher good for $200 at the F1 store, so that's at least something. Maybe those fans can find a cool shirt that says, "I Lived Through F1 Vegas Baby!"

Happy ending: The race on Sunday was exciting, with multiple lead changes, and some good passing into turn 1. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story

F1 at Miami 2023

Bottom Line Up Front: There is a new 4-part show on Hulu titled "Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story." If you are a fan of F1, well, what are you waiting for, go out and watch it!

Here's more info:  BRAWN ON HULU

If you don't have Hulu, we've got you covered! Just go to or their app and sign up for the free trial! As long as you cancel before your free trial is up, you won't owe anything, so do like I did! 

Some of the highlights of this show are of course the battle for the F1 championship during the 2009 season, as well as all the behind-the-scenes intrigue. Without giving it all away, it gets into the two Brawn drivers fighting for the title amongst themselves, the origin of the Brawn team which only existed in 2009, further drama during the season where all the F1 teams banded together and cam THIS CLOSE to leaving F1 and starting their own race series in 2010, and that's just the highlights!

Another interesting aspect of this show is that it's brought to us by Keanu Reeves, a Formula 1 fan, and he does a good job of telling the story through a lot of interviews with the key players. From the team owner, the drivers, the Brawn engineers, other team owners, other drivers, and the two head guys of F1 at the time Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley. Almost all these interviews are new for this show, with Keanu Reeves doing the interviewing. 

Even if you're a big F1 fan you'll probably learn something you didn't know. If you aren't a big F1 fan, maybe you won't like it, but then again you might appreciate the drama of the season, the business, the driving, and hearing differing viewpoints from not only the Brawn team members, but also hearing from Ferrari, Red Bull, and others. It's not fake made-for-TV baloney drama, it's just a story of what really happened. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Motori Italiani

Here's my favorite on the day, Julie looking at a 1967 Lamborghini Miura. 
My new nickname for Julie is based on an Alfa Romeo model we saw at this show, the "Giulia Super!"

When I lived in SC from 2009-2014, I remember going to some great Italian car shows up in Charlotte NC, and as luck would have it, they still take place! As a fan of Italian cars, and a previous owner of a FIAT, it's always nice to go see some nice Italians, like at the annual Motori Italiani car show. 

This year's show was held close to home, and right here in Rock Hill SC, on the beautiful campus of Winthrop University. Let's take a look at some of the highlights! 

1995 Lamborghini Diablo VT
The "VT" part isn't Vermont, it tells you that this car has all-wheel drive, or Viscous Traction

Not 1, not 2, but 3 Ferrari 308GT4. 
OK, really, they are badged as Dino, but Ferrari didn't want people mad that he'd built an 8 cylinder instead of his usual 12-cylinder motor, so they didn't carry the Ferrari badge at first. 

Named for Enzo Ferrari's son, Dino.

This FIAT X/19 was in the FIAT section, but as a later model, it was built by and imported as a Bertone. 

A very nice Bertone badge. You might see some different Bertone badges on this page too!

1974 Alfa Romeo GTV

1973 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super

Ferrari Testarossa, with the epic intakes in the door to feed air to the engine. 

12-cylinder mid-engine Ferrari Testarossa.

Ferrari 365GTB/4 "Daytona"

1980 Ferrari 512 BB

Not all Ferraris are red, imagine that!
1983 308 GTS Quattrovalvole, and a 1967 GTC

Ferrari 348, side strikes similar to the Testarossa.

I looked all over and didn't see Bond, James Bond.

The previous 348 was upgraded to a larger engine, this is the 355. The big air intake on the lower doors is one way to tell. 

The EASY way to tell what model this is, just read the 355 on the back end! This one is a little bit special though, since the badge says F1 Spider. Spider means it's convertible, but the F1 part on a 355 is the first time they put the paddle shifters developed in Formula 1 on a road car. 

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Gullwing doors on a Lambo? No way!

SPOILER ALERT! Courtesy of the Lambo Diablo VT.

Diablo on the left, Miura on the right! Wow!

This next car is definitely something you don't see every day! Instead of a plain old Ferrari 328, this is a 328 Turbo, and Ferrari only made 308 of them as GTB (hard top) models, and 828 GTS (convertible) versions. The sign also states that this is the only GTB in this color!

Ferrari GTB Turbo, you can see the NACA intake duct in front of the rear wheel. 
From what I've read, the smaller engine turbo cars like this still performed almost as fast as the non-turbos with larger engines.

I'd never seen this badging before.

1989 GTB Turbo

1969 Iso Grifo!  These were built from 1965-1974, using American V8 engines. From what I read, this probably has a Chevy small block, good for about 300HP. 

Great front badges for Iso and Grifo.

Designed by Bertone.

As a 1969, this would be a first series version of the Iso Grifo, and one of only 330 that were built over several years. 

Iso Grifo badge on the trunk.