All posts by Route 66 Pub Co

Timing is everything

Probably I won’t be the only one to post …

But how often can you post something at

9:10 on 11-12-13 ?

56 Desoto steering wheel
clock in steering wheel

This 56 Desoto actually had the clock in the steering wheel .Must have been hell to read if the steering wheel went out of alignment.  And imagine the difficulty in fixing that car clock when and if it went bad.

clock in wheel
Clock in Steering wheel



NHRA Breakfast at SEMA Show

One of the hidden “gems” of the SEMA – Specialty Equipment Market Association – week-long festivities this week is the NHRA – National Hot Rod Association – Breakfast.  Each year NHRA gathers a group of racing celebrities to come together, share some stories, crack some jokes and give the drag racing fans some inside looks at the world of drag racing.

The Voice of NHRA

This year’s breakfast was entitled “The Voce of NHRA” and featured past announcers Dave McClelland, Bob Frey and Alan Reinhardt with current ESPN/NHRA announcer Dave Rieff being the emcee.  The first two former announcers were introduced with video montages of their career.  When Reinhardt came out, they did not have a video of his past works, mainly because he is still announcing at various tracks.  Later Alan quipped, “My videos won’t start in black and white.”

Dave McClelland responded that the younger they are, the balder they are.  The announcers also shared some jokes about buying a parrot.  You had to be there!

They NHRA also had a poignant remembrance of Steve Evans, another past announcer, and gave an award to his son, Cameron Evans who runs Red Line Oil.

Dave McClelland

McClelland told the story how he started his career, when a track announcer “froze” in front of the crowd.  When Dave offered to take over, the track owner said, Why not?  You couldn’t do any worse.”

When McClelland was commenting on his career which spanned from 1961-2003 with NHRA and even earlier with other tracks, Alan Reinhardt commented “My parents hadn’t even yet met in 1959.”  And Dave quipped back, “And in a perfect world, they never would have!”

McClelland talked about his career actually racing and commented that he “kept his car looking old, just like the driver.”

Dave Rieff when first assigned as a rookie to interview John Force was worried.  He was told; don’t worry about it, “John will interview himself.”

John Force

John Force, the 16 time Funny Car champ, also came out and he was in rare form.  When he complained about not getting respect, Bob Frey pointed out the overhead sign only listed the three announcers as being present.

NHRA Preview Sign

Force told the story of how he got stopped in New Mexico and his 18 wheel race hauler was sporting a boat trailer plate.  Alan Reinhardt had to help loan him a truck to continue his travels back home to California, and while the truck was parked in a California lot it was vandalized with all the windows broken out.  To which John Force had calmly explained, “Don’t worry, we can fix this!”

Words can’t convey the warmth and true friendships the announcers shared for each other.  The crowd was in stitches and laughing throughout the event.  Later McClelland commented that it was the most fun he had in ages.  And I agree.

64 Ford Roadster F100 from WyoTech at SEMA Show

Driver’s side view

Congratulations to the trade school WyoTech that brought out a 1964 Ford F100 that was given a roadster treatment by a band of their students over an eight month period.  Because half of the school day is spend in classes, away from the machines, that really equates to a four-month frame on build.

Student workmanship

The students chopped off the top, making it a roadster.  One student made the renderings for the “pickup” and all the students worked on various parts of the car from the body work, to even the final trim and upholstery.

It was on display by WyoTech at the SEMA show being held in Las Vegas this week, from November 5-8, 2013.  Nice job by the students and good to see the future of rodding is in good hands.  And nice job by the faculty staff doing the training, and inspecting.

The truck received continuous stares, admiring glances and positive comments.

Dare to be Different at SEMA and the Hot Vehicles Winners

This year’s SEMA Awards for the top trending vehicle models in four categories were announced on Tuesday November 5, 2013 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The Ford Mustang was named Hottest Car, the Scion FR-S took the Hottest Sport Compact honors, the Ford F-Series won Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler received the Hottest 4×4-SUV award.

I was pulling for the Chevy Silverado and the Corvette Stingray, so I guess I struck out; there but no complaints with the Scion FR-S and Jeep Wrangler winning.

Dare to be Different

One of the fun parts of SEMA, is the over the top, just because I can, attitude of many of the cars.  Enough said

Enjoy the Views

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Chevy Cranks Up for SEMA

At the world’s largest convention of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories, the SEMA Show –Specialty Equipment Market Association – one of the highlights is the Chevrolet display; and the chance for a sneak preview at the Media Party held on Monday night before SEMA opens.

Besides catching up with various executives and seeing some great cars, Chevrolet brings in a few celebrities to spice up the night.  Fortunately these celebrities have straight connections to the cars featured at this press event.

This year NASCAR racers Ricky Carmichael (and AMA racer and X Games champ) and Jeff Gordon were there to delight the crowds. Some of the featured cars were:

Ricky Carmichael’s Chevy All-Activity Sonic concept

The All-Activity Sonic concept was introduced by Carmichael and had a cold air induction, a lowered suspension and enhanced braking.Spark EV Tech Performance concept

Sonic Chevy
Ricky Carmichael’s Sonic

Chevy Spark EV Tech Performance concept

Chevy “powered up” this all-electric tire smoking mini-car, the Spark, with an instant on 400 lb-ft of torque – more than the classic 1969 Camaro SS muscle car with a 350 V-8 – for exhilarating acceleration. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.5 seconds.

Electric car
Amped up Chevy Spark

2014 Chevy COPO

It seems that Chevrolet always has a new version of the legendary COPO drag cars for SEMA, and they didn’t disappoint this year with a light blue version.  Very well designed and ready for the drag strip as is.  This year will feature new front and rear fascia and be limited to the fabled 69 cars.

Light Blue drag car
2014 COPO Camaro

Gran Turismo C7 Corvette Stingray

A flat blue Corvette that will be featured in the latest version of Playstation’s Gran Turismo was promoted.  All week at the Chevy display show goers will be able to play an advanced version of the game.

blue Corvette
Corvette Stingray from Gran Turismo

Restored 1978 pick up

This truck was a restored beauty and featured a new crate engine package from Chevy.  The E ROD 5.3 L package is a plug and play emissions compliant powertrain.

Black truck
Restored Chevy Pickup with E ROD power

Jeff Gordon’s SS

His SS came with a red satin (flat) finish was an awesome car with subtle power touches.  A LS3 engine and a 6 speed automatic transmission were the power plant for the SS.

Red SS
Red Satin SS from Jeff Gordon

2014 Camaro Z28

The road worthy Z/28 in all black was released at this event.  Featuring Brembo brakes, less weight and a LS7 engine helps make this track car a worthy competitor and lives up to its namesake.

Black camaro
Black Z/28

Transformers 4

Three cars from the 2014 Transformer movie were on hand to be admired; a new Bumble Bee Camaro, a Sonic and bright Green Corvette Stingray


Green Corvette
Green Transformer Staingray
Yellow Camaro
Transformer 4 Bumble Bee Camaro
white Sonic
Chevy Sonic from Transformer 4

Good times, good cars, good people.  SEMA cranks up in full power mode in a few hour son Tuesday November 5th.  More details at Chevy Performance.



Predictions for SEMA Show 2013

SEMA Signage

SEMA – the Specialty Equipment Market Association – show starts officially on Tuesday November 5, 2013 in Las Vegas.  Car Nirvana is spread over 2 million square feet of interior space and even more cars are positioned outside.  I figured if Hot Rod Magazine can prediction what the SEMA 2013 will highlight, I can predict too.

Predictions for SEMA

I’ll be more modest and only give you five trends to be spotted at SEMA this year.

Prediction #1

Car of the Year – Has to be the Corvette Stingray.  This is the after-market convention after all and there has been no more pent-up demand, than seeing the Corvette C7 hit the streets.

prediction corvette is SEMA's car of the year
Corvette Stingray

Prediction #2

Flat is back.  We’ve seen variations of flat paint jobs in the past, and that trend is going to explode.  Both from the mainstream manufacturers but also the specialty shops.  And contrary to some opinions, it takes as much prep work on a car body to spray it flat as it does for the shiny clear coats.

Prediction #3

Step up the transmissions.  Used to be standard to row through four speeds, but not that Detroit is issuing out sheet metal with 7 speed transmissions to help up the EPA gas mileage, so will the aftermarket.

Silver truck
Sweet Trucker

Prediction #4

Truck of the year?  Got to be the Chevrolet Silverado.  Demand is back up for trucks, that’s where the money is and that’s where General Motors has hit a home run.  It might be apolitical to have two winners from the same manufacturer, but the Silverado deserves it!

Prediction #5

Retro is back with a passion.  Clothing, accessories, and cars will all be showing an old fashioned look.  Woodies, rat rods, salt wagons will all be highly visible.???????????????????????????????

Stayed tuned and we’ll see how many of these predictions you might agree with after Friday and the show wraps up.



Gasser 57 Galpin Ford Period Authentic Look

58 Ford Gasser
Front End View of 58 Ford Gasser

Gasser’s are easily spotted from a mile away.  The body’s are lifted up with a straight axle highly visible in the front.  In the early 60’s that is what everybody brought to the local drag strips.  Back then you didn’t care about pro-touring handling, you just wanted something to go lickity split for a quarter of a mile.

Hot Rod Magazine

The latest issue of Hot Rod magazine (December, 2013) has an article on a 58 Ford Gasser that the folks at Galpin Ford did for a sales manager, Steve Carpenter.  The article is a nice write-up on a nice car.

Galpin Gasser

The 331 cubic inch Ford engine produces 500 horsepower and matches up to a Borg Warner 4 speed, using a Hurst 4 speed.    A Currie 9 inch rear end with a 4.11 posi helps hold everything together.   Lots of chrome, which probably wasn’t in use as much back at the old airstrip dragways, is evident.  That’s a nice gold pearl paint job with real gold and silver leaf lettering.


We first saw it at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in January 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona and thought we could share some extra views of this gasser for our readers.

Galpin Ford has a solid reputation for doing cars right, and just previewed a supercar at Pebble Beach.  Here’s hoping that both cars will be at their booth in Las Vegas next month at the SEMA Show.

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Nissan Rogue unveiled with candid pictures

One of the advantages of being in Arizona for car guys is the chance to see new, unreleased “mules” on the road.  Arizona is home to most of the car manufacturers for proving grounds.  But these cars don’t just stay inside the fenced grounds, as these spy shots of the Nissan Rogue show.  “Mules” are test cars used by the makers to test things out in real road conditions.

They wander around the Arizona geography and get a chance to try out these prototypes on twisty roads, interstate highways and with elevations changing from sea level to high mountains.  Of course the area is known for the opportunity to test in high heat conditions, but the cars get a chance to experience all of what Arizona climates offer.  They often are loaded up with plenty of telemetries recording all sorts of feedback from a myriad of sensors.

Of course the manufacturers aren’t keen on the public recognizing these cars.  Besides sporting manufacturer plates these cars often have geometric black and white wraps to help disguise the final shape and design of the cars.  But plenty of photographers go out on the hunt to track down a shot of these beauties.

2014 Nissan Rogue

Recently two Nissan Rogues, which will have a new release in 2014 were seen out and about on the Arizona highways.

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It’s rare to see these cars stationary, but the drivers have to take a break on occasion!

Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette Sold Again

The Mecum Auction concluded their Chicago area auction last week, with the big seller being a 1963 Corvette originally gifted by General Motors to their famed car stylist Harley Earl.

Harley Earl

Portrait of Harley Earl
Harley J. Earl

Harley J. Earl spent thirty years with General Motors and retired as the Vice President of Design.  He left a lasting mark during this iconic era, including working on the special Motorama era cars, concept cars, stylish sports coupes (hardtops) and two toned paint jobs with outrageous fins.  His 1938 Buick Y Job is actually considered the first “concept” car produced from Detroit.

1938 Buick concept car
1938 Buick Y-Job concept car

A little known fact is that the Daytona 500 NASCAR trophy is named the Harley J. Earl Trophy; showing the impact this designer had in automotive circles.

1963 Corvette

While titled as a 1963, it has several touches from the 1965, like 4 wheel disc brakes,  and many one-off designs including a set of custom gauges in the passenger pod.  The exhaust pipes coming out the side cove is also a unique touch.  It has a 327 power plant and the requisite four speed. It generally is suspected to be a mule (or test car) and hence even rarer and more valuable.  The car was originally destined for the Chicago Car Show. but then re-deployed as well deserved thanks to an automotive icon.Harley Earl Interior

Past Sales

This Corvette doesn’t seem to stay in one collection for long.  Mecum sold it in 2010 for $925,000, and previously  in 2009 for $985,000 and it was also sold by Barrett-Jackson in 1999 for $145,000 (all prices are listed without buyer’s premium).

Mecum Auction results for Chicago

During the three days of car selling frenzy, covered by Velocity TV, 965 cars were offered up for sale with 615 hammered sold (that is nearly a 65% selling rate) with over $18 million in sales.  Like most auctions many cars are offered on “reserve” meaning if the bid doesn’t reach a certain set amount, the car is not sold.

So what do you think?  Did the buyer get a deal?


Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions and Barrett-Jackson Auction

Harley J. Earl photos © General Motors

Flipping Lambrecht’s Classic Chevrolets

At last count four cars from the Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction held last week, have surfaced on the Internet for resale.  You had to figure some local shops would take advantage of their location and opportunity to flip a car.  Of course all these cars are now prominently featuring their connection to the Lambrecht Chevrolet dealership, and sold through VanDerBrink Auctions.

Chevy’s Now for Sale

One seller found out that his 1969 Kingswood Station Wagon had too much rust in the frame to be unsalvageable.  I’m guessing if the car had flat tires and laid down on the dirt, rust would be inevitable.  Now is the time to see if someone needs just the parts and cut your losses.

1969 Chevy Station Wagon
1969 Chevy Kingswood Station Wagon went for $900

A 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air is being offered with a $25,000 asking price.  Good profit if it sells, since it was bought at auction for $18,000.  It’s a cute car but when the seller/dealer advertises it as a 150/210 AND a Bel Air Hardtop I guess you’d have to do some more research.

59 Chevrolet 2 door post
1959 Chevrolet sold for $18,000

A 1957 Chevy suffers the same identity problem, advertised as a 150/210 and Bel Air.  So unless Johnny Cash had a hand in it, I’m guessing it is only one of those three models – and based on the VIN I’d wager it is the 210 sedan version with four doors, which is two doors too many for my taste.

Post 4 door 57 Chevy
4 door 1957 Chevrolet sold for $7,000

Olds too!

And not just Chevy’s are being flipped.  One seller is offering a 1964 Oldsmobile Jet Star 88 two door hardtop for sale.  This seller cleared off some if the dirt and dust, but you can’t deny it is rough.

Black 1964 Olds 88
1964 Olds Jet Star 88 hammered sold for $5,300

Lots of people have looked at these cars and the prices paid and scratched their head.  The mileage is relatively low for fifty + year old cars, but they are in rough shape; even the “flippers” haven’t generally tried to start or verify the running condition.  In this shape, you can try to get them in running condition and then enjoy the look and notoriety.  But if you were planning on a full out restoration you better open that checkbook wide and start adding some zero’s, because lots of parts are missing and torn up.

Flipping Cars

I have mixed feeling on flippers.  They serve a purpose and I’m all for making a buck.  For someone who didn’t want to bid on line and couldn’t make it out to Pierce, Nebraska, they can still buy a rusty Chevy.  I just think that these flippers needlessly raised the prices up and now need even more of a price increase in order to make a profit.

What do you think, are flipper’s a miracle or menace?


Photos courtesy of VanDerBrink Auctions