One of the joys of attending the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturerâ€™s Association) show is seeing the vendors.Â Nothing beats a chance to see in-person new products and hear from the company representatives directly what is â€œnew and improvedâ€.Â Thatâ€™s why we prowl not only the million square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the SEMA show but attend the simultaneous and just as huge AAPEX (Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo) show at the Sands Convention Center and thatâ€™s where we found this great detailing brush.
This ATLASTA SoftTip detailing brush at first blush, might seem too bulky or stiff for fine detail work on a car, but nothing could be farther from the truth.Â This brush feels like a natural extension of your hand and the TRIALOY filament bristles are like silk.
This â€œMade in the USAâ€ brush comes from a great pedigree of brushes, as it is part of the Paint Brush Corporation.Â Donâ€™t recognize that name?Â Not surprising, but if you ever have held a parts cleaning brush over a vat of carbon cleaning chemicals, odds are that brush was made by the Parts Brush Division of the Paint Brush Corporation.Â And the owner of this company wanted a quality detailing brush.Â So he used his years of expertise and product knowledge to design the ATLASTA SoftTip brush.
Brush in action
This brush is hands down the best detailing brush we have ever used and trust us weâ€™ve used tons of brushes over the years.Â The ergonomic detailing brush measures just under ten inches and weighs a lightweight 4.3 ounces.Â We havenâ€™t found a spot on any of our cars that this brush canâ€™t reach and it removes any debris or dust without any risk of scratches or swirls.Â For more details on this detailing brush,Â click here.
Their motto sums it up -Â â€œonly one gradeâ€¦ the very best.â€
If you are an avid drag race fan or into the historical vintage racing stuff, you’ll enjoy watching the upcoming movie, Snake and Mongoo$e. It will be coming to theaters in limited release after the NHRA’s US Nationals being held this Labor Day Weekend. In a clever marketing ploy, it is first being released in markets where the NHRA hosts drag racing. It even had some special preview showings during Hot August Nights and the Woodward Cruise, according to screenwriter and co-producer Alan Paradise. We had first covered this movie this month.
Drag Racing with Mattel’s Hot Wheel Sponsorship
Some of you may recall when Don “the Snake” Prudhome and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen barnstormed the country with their drag racing grudge matches. Their profiles blossomed when Mattel’s Hot Wheels sponsored the racers, crafting a set of drag racing themed models. This is generally regarded as the first non-automotive related sponsorship of an automobile racing event. Guess you can trace the naming of stadiums, sponsorship of pro team press conferences and ads at courtside of basketball games, all to Mattel and this duo.
The movie offers a trip back to 1970 when these two raced their cars; Prudhome drove a yellow Plymouth ‘Cuda while McEwen piloted the red Dodge Duster. They used color matching car haulers that kept the cars exposed and visible as they crisscrossed the highways. Now these restored race cars are again barnstorming the country to promote the movie before they are scheduled to be sold in January, 2014 at the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Alan Paradise – Screen writer of Snake and Mongoo$e
We had the chance for an interview with the screenwriter Alan Paradise recently, who offered some behind the scenes insights to this movie. Turns out that Paradise is a prolific writer and has authored a variety of car themed books and worked on numerous car magazines over the years. You’ve probably read his words while working for Buckaroo Publications, Truckin’ and Sport Compact Car. As a filmmaker, he developed over 100 video profiles of NASCAR racers and tracks.
The inspiration for the movie
Paradise was first approached by Mattel in 2005 seeking his help in producing a documentary on the then 35th anniversary of the drag racing partnership. The documentary “Once Upon A Wheel” was the result and was used initially for Mattel functions and eventually Tom McEwen acquired the rights to the film and even still sells it today.
While collaborating on the documentary, McEwen suggested that Paradise could make the story of Snake and Mongoose into a book. That started Paradise off on a trek involving hundreds of hours of research and interviews with some of drag racing’s legends including John Force, Tommy Ivo and Roland DeLong.
The more Paradise worked on the project, the more he was convinced that the story needed to be told on the big screen as a movie; and encouraged by his wife, that was the route he pursued. He linked up with Stephen Nemeth of Rhino Films and he started working on a script. It took Paradise seven months to write his first draft and then another 3 months for a re-write, plus another 2 months on final tweaks and changes.
Paradise submitted his script to the Hollywood powers late on a Friday, thinking that he could relax over the weekend before hearing back from the producers at the earliest on Monday. Instead on Sunday, he was in deep discussions with the movie folks who had loved the script and read it right away.
As they sought out financial backing for the film, some distributors were concerned that the story would not have much attraction in the foreign markets. This seems ironic since drag racing is truly an international sport with strong interest across the globe. So the movie folks opted to go the independent route.
During the movie making process, the producers had access to some archival footage from NHRA and were even offered scenes from private collectors. Several vintage racers can also be seen in the movie including the Greer Black Prudhome dragster. The movie was able to use numerous scenes after colorizing and cleaning up these films. So when you see races, you know they are the real deal.
Drag racing scenes
And for the real deal during the race scenes, obviously the movie actors couldn’t be behind the wheel. Taking the place of Richard Blake who portrayed Tom McEwen was Trevor Larkin, the son of famed drag racer Tommy Larkin. And guess who drove for Don Prudhome’s character?Â Yep, Don Prudhome piloted the drag car himself instead of actor Jesse Williams.
The actual filming of this epic took seven weeks and then came months of post-production work. A short snippet was shown at the 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas and it looked terrific. Can’t wait to finally see the full length feature. Once you see it, leave us a note.
On Friday August 16, 2013 Stanley Torgerson the head of International Classic Auctions (ICA) was sentenced in Maricopa County (AZ) Superior Court to 3.25 years in prison.Â Torgerson previously pled guilty to three counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices and theft.Â He also will serve seven years of probation and will be required to pay restitution of up to $1.5 million in restitution to his victims.
Torgerson was originally indicted on 101 counts of fraud, theft and illegal control of an enterprise.Â ICA started in 1989 with Torgerson and was known in Arizona for hosting two classic car auctions in Gilbert, Arizona at his headquarters.Â The firm held auctions on Thanksgiving and St. Patrickâ€™s weekends.
Where did the ICA money go?
So what happened?Â His car sellers complained that the proceeds from their cars werenâ€™t delivered to them.Â Typically auction houses have the owners sign the titles and then transfer the title to the final buyer after the money is paid.Â Generally the auction houses take their cut of commissions and fees and then pass on the proceeds to the seller.Â Most contracts (written by the auction houses) give the firms up to 21 days to make the final transfer of funds.
When ICA started to have problems they stopped having their Arizona auctions.Â Silver Auctions stepped in and had a Spring Auction in Fort McDowell, AZ this year.
So the auction house, without any escrows in place, has large sums of monies in their hands and some lag time before they need to dispose of it.Â And when the economy started to tank, some buyers were slow in making good on their winning bids.Â In fact some slippery souls have been known to flip the car to a third buyer before they were required to even pay the first original seller.
So for those thinking of using an auction house to sell your classic car, remember what happened to ICA.Â Read your contract, understand your terms and make sure your auctioneer is reputable.Â Ironically ICAâ€™s website is still up and running today!
Decisions abound on this weekend.Â In Michigan you can choose from two unique car events – Woodward Dream Cruise and the Back to the Bricks car show; while in California you have an abundance of car shows and auctions concluding with the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise resurrects a moving car cruise along 16 miles of Woodward Avenue.Â a million folks line the highway as FOURTY thousand of American muscle cars go out for the a cruise through eight communities.Â Surrounding towns have held impromptu shows in the days leading up to this Saturday.Â Detroit manufacturers bring out concept cars, historical cars and lots of steel eye candy.Â And if you are not up for exhaust fumes and a few tires chirping and burningÂ you can truck over to Flint, Michigan.
Back to the Bricks
Back to the Bricks takes over the streets of Downtown Flint and allows for a car show of classic American iron.Â And inside the Bricks show is a sub set of cars, the Corvette Reunion.Â With upwards of 700 Corvettes there alone, there is plenty for all to see.Â Plus in the days leading up to Saturday there were a variety of car related shows and cruises.
Pebble Beach and Monterrey, California
On the left coast along Monterrey, California classic cars of all calibers are out in force, cruising and selling.Â Five separate auction houses hold unique auctions this week.Â The familiar names of Mecum and Russo Steele are joined by Bonhams , RM and Gooding to offer twelve days of classic car auctions.Â This are too offers a variety of downtown car shows and cruises plus the Rolex Monterrey Motorsports Reunion of historical race cars and the famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.Â The price for admission to the Pebble beach show?Â A hefty $250 in advance, yes that is per person!Â I think I’ll watch in on the web instead.
This is clearly a weekend I wish I could be in two (or more) places at once.
Barrett-Jackson had total sales of over $14 million during their first event at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center from August 8-10, 2013. This, combined with 40,000 attendees, proves that Craig Jackson made a great choice being at Reno during Hot August Nights.
Gas Monkey Garage’s custom 2013 Chevrolet Camaro COPO 2 Door Coupe sold for $137,500 and probably will show up on a future episode of their show on the Discovery Channel. You may recall one of their builds was sold at Barrett-Jackson in January, 2013 at Scottsdale, Arizona.
The top 5 sales at the auction were the scheduled last manufactured 2014 Shelby GT500 Convertible for $500,000. This was a charity sale where Barrett-Jackson waives their fees and the charity, Brain Injury Association of America took in the proceeds. Continuing the top five sales were a sweet 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible selling for $192,000, a 1950 Jaguar XK 120 2 Door Roadster went for $178,200, another Shelby, this one a 1968 Shelby GT500 E Continuation Fastback, hammered sold for $165,000 and a classic 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible came in at $148,500. Remember, all prices listed here include buyer’s commissions.
The winner of the Barrett-Jackson Cup award went to a 1969 Ford Torino owned by famed collector George Poteet and built by the talented Illinois wrench Troy Trepanier of Rad Rides by Troy. I’ve been a huge fan of Troy’s builds ever since I saw his Sick Fish at SEMA in 2005. Last year at SEMA there was a Bonneville Salt Flat 34 roadster on display at a vendor booth that was drop dead picture perfect. Here is Hemming’s take on the winner.
This auction also marked the last coverage from SPEED as the Fox Network transitions to Fox Sports 1.Â But Canadian viewers will still have the SPEED channel available under that name.
Barrett-Jackson also partnered with the upcoming movie, Snake & Mongoo$e (that we previously spotlighted) to showcase the legendary Cuda and Duster 1970 Funny Cars raced by famed NHRA racers Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen along with their color matching car carriers. The cars are now slated to journey to the Woodward cruise in Michigan and eventually will be sold at the January 2014 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Next up will be Barrett-Jackson’s 6th Annual Las Vegas auction on September 26-28,2013. It will be covered on three networks that weekend including Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and the National Geographic channels.
“Snake and Mongoo$e” a nostalgic drag racing film will open Friday, September 6th in just 25 cities, just after the close of the National Hot Rod Associationâ€™s (NHRA) U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.
The limited 25-city release coincides with where NHRA races yearly.Â before that date you might find the movie at special preview night in conjunction with some local charities.
â€œSnake & Mongoo$eâ€ tells the story of the groundbreaking accomplishments of drivers Don â€œthe Snake” Prudhomme and Tom â€œthe Mongooseâ€ McEwen in the world of drag racing as well as how the two different figures revolutionized entertainment sports marketing when they attracted Mattelâ€™s Hot Wheels Division to sponsor them.
The film stars Jesse Williams, from Greyâ€™s Anatomy, as â€œthe Snakeâ€ and Richard Blake as â€œthe Mongoose.â€
At last year’s SEMA show, NHRA spotlighted this movie and had Prudhomme and McEwen spin a few tales and show off their restored cars, a 1970 ‘Hemi and a Duster.
Tri-five Chevy parts dealer, Dunchuk, got in the act by having Tom McEwen’s 57 Chevy at their booth as well.
Prudhomme and McEwen raced each other for over 30 years.Â So they had plenty of stories to share with the audience.
The film also has some historic, archival footage included to give it a period vibe.Â Don Prudhomme continued as a car owner for many years after he stopped racing, and has been able to keep and restore many of his classic rods.Â many of these cars were used as background for the movie to help add a touch of authenticity.
This past week Kia Motors America revealed at San Diegoâ€™s Comic Con the last of eight Justice League-themed vehicles â€“ a Â Kia Sorento. The Sorento’s design was created by legendary comic book artist and DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee, who finalized the customization of the car before a live audience.Â The colorful airbrush artwork and interior customization was done by West Coast Customs. Â Â All eight Justice League inspired Kia vehicles were on display throughout Comic-Con at the Interactive Zone at Petco Park.Â Each of the first seven custom cars featured one of the heroes – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg while the final car showed all of the Justice League characters.
Four of the Kiaâ€™s were originally displayed at the 2012 SEMA â€“Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association show in Las Vegas and can be seen here
This last Sorento is being auctioned off now on eBay to benefit DC Entertainmentâ€™s charity, the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign.