Friday, July 31, 2015

August Car Shows Page Is Up

I apologize that not all the links in it are "live." Having a real fight with my computer today over selecting and linking. Will try to go back and put them in later after a restart, but in the meantime, the list is there.

Don't forget the Granby Show starts today (details under July).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Model T Road Trip of the Century

July 17, 1915: The departure moment from the
Ford Farm. Clara B. Ford, Henry Ford, Horace J.
Caulkins Jr., Thomas C. Whitehead, Edsel B. Ford,
Robert T. Gray and Herbert V. Book.
(Photo courtesy Antique Automobile Club of America
Library/Historic Vehicle Association)
One hundred years ago, Edsel Ford and six of his friends thought it would be fun to drive a 1915 Model T Touring from the Ford farm near Dearborn, Michigan, to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition being held in San Francisco, some 3,500 miles.

This year, the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) is following in his tire tracks. Using one of the souvenir albums Ford put together as a memento of his trip, the HVA and the Antique Automobile Club of America Library (AACAL) have put together a similar itinerary.

HVA President Mark Gessler and HVA Historian 
Casey Maxon stand with 1915 Model T Ford Touring at
Henry Ford Estate.
(Photo courtesy and copyright Historic Vehicle Association)
"The purpose of the trip is to elevate national awareness to the importance of our automotive heritage and how it helped shape American culture," said HVA President, Mark Gessler. "Over the last century the road trip became an expression of American lifestyle and the Ford Model T helped make it possible for most Americans.  With this trip, we hope to celebrate how it all began with developing roadways, the Model T and youthful adventure."

July 19, 1915: Ford Model T Touring, Horace J.
Caulkins Jr. (left) and Thomas C. Whitehead (right).
Edsel's diary note: "became stuck in mud 18 miles east
of St. Louis. Tackle and block failed to move it."
 (Photo courtesy AACA Library/Historic Vehicle Association)
Like Ford and his friends, they left the Henry Ford Estate on July 17, driving a similar 1915 Ford Model T Touring. Also like Ford, they plan on doing 150 to 250 miles a day—not bad in a vehicle with a top speed of 35 mph. Unlike Ford, they’ll be hitting a few museums on the way before winding up in San Francisco on August 18. I’ve pasted their itinerary in below, in case you’re on their route. You can also follow along on

August 1, 1915: Thomas C. Whitehead empties the
Ford Model T. Edsel's diary note: "Took one hour to
go first four miles up long steep hill. Had to remove
all superfluous weight from car such as cushions,
tent, baggage and tools.”
(Photo courtesy AACA Library/Historic Vehicle Association)
If you  were wondering, no, all seven travellers weren’t in the Model T. There were two other cars on the trip, a 1915 Stutz 6-F Touring and a 1915 Cadillac V8.

HVA Road Trip Century Schedule

July 16 - Dearborn, Michigan (preparation day at the historic departure point)
- Henry Ford Estate at Fair Lane
July 17 - Dearborn to Auburn, Indiana (departure)
- The Ford Product Development Truck and Car Show
July 18 - Auburn to Indianapolis
July 19 - Indianapolis to St. Louis
July 20 - St. Louis to Jefferson City, Missouri
July 21 - Jefferson City to Kansas City, Missouri
July 22 - Kansas City to McPherson, Kansas
July 23 - McPherson (rest and repair day at McPherson College)
July 24 - McPherson to Dodge City, Kansas
July 25 - Dodge City to La Junta, Colorado
July 26 - La Junta to Colorado Springs
July 27 - Colorado Springs (day trip to Pikes Peak summit)
July 28 - Colorado Springs to Trinidad, Colorado
July 29 - Trinidad to Las Vegas, New Mexico
July 30 - Las Vegas to Albuquerque
July 31 - Albuquerque (rest and repair with the Tin Lizzie Club)
August 1 - Albuquerque to Chambers, Arizona
August 2 - Chambers to Flagstaff
August 3 - Flagstaff to Grand Canyon National Park
August 4 - Grand Canyon to Kingman, Arizona
August 5 - Kingman to Ludlow, California
August 6 - Ludlow to Los Angeles
August 7 - Los Angeles (rest and repair day)
August 8 - Los Angeles to Pismo Beach, California
August 9 - Pismo Beach to Carmel-by-the-Sea
August 10 - Carmel-by-the-Sea (rest and repair day)
August 11 - Carmel-by-the-Sea welcome event at the Concours-on-Avenue
August 12 to 16 - HVA participation in Monterey Car Week
August 17 - Carmel-by-the-Sea to Palo Alto
August 18 - Palo Alto to San Francisco (arrival)
- Centennial of Panama-Pacific International Exposition


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Found Online: 1955 Mercedes Gullwing and Lego Mercedes Truck

Saw a couple of stories from eMercedesbenz that I wanted to link to. First is THIS one about one of the 1955 300 SL alloy gullwings coming up for auction. Loads of gorgeous photos. The estimate is it will sell for $5,500,000 to $6,500,000. Given it’s one of only 29 produced and has matching numbers, I wouldn’t be surprised.

While the eMercedesbenz article doesn’t actually provide any details of the auction, a quick search on Google turned it up. Looks like it’s being sold by RM Sotheby’s at their Monterey auction on August 13.

Next is THIS article about an upcoming Lego model of the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 tipper. Yup, not a sports car, but a construction vehicle. It will be out next month and apparently has pneumatic components and electronic controls. At 2793 parts, it might take your kids more than 10 minutes to put it together.

You can find it on the Lego site HERE. It’s actually the second in a series. Lego had early produced the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 400 (no longer available) pictured HERE.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Don’t Forget Karz 4 Kidz This Saturday

The sixth anniversary edition of this fundraiser for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation is on this Saturday at the Kirkland Canadian Tire. They’ll be showcasing classic cars, as well as some of the latest and greatest. Food, music and games will also be available. Admission is $15.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Classic Mercedes 450 SLC Rally Car to Participate in Eifel Rally Festival

Here’s a link to an article talking about some of the classic Mercedes-Benz rally cars and their drivers. Seems one of them, and several of the drivers, will be participating in festivities surrounding the 5th ADAC Eifel Rally Festival held in Daun, Germany, along with another 100 plus rally cars covering five decades. They’ve been over some long and very rough roads during their careers.

Monday, July 6, 2015

In Which I Get to Drive a Ferrari

Me and the Ferrari F430
In the lead-up to last Christmas, my husband started dropping hints that I shouldn’t expect as exciting a present as the year before. Given that the previous year’s gift had been the chance to go on the Mercedes-Benz winter driving course I believed him. I shouldn’t have.

Christmas morning found a diecast Ferrari in my stocking, together with a certificate for five laps in a Ferrari F430 at the ICAR Experience in Mirabel. Of course, there was a bit of a wait, since they don’t take the exotics out on the track in the winter, but I eventually booked an appointment for June 24.

I’d figured since it was the middle of the week, even though it was a holiday here in Quebec, they wouldn’t be that busy. Ha! There’s a lot of stuff going on up there. They have a go-kart track and a carting track, in addition to at least one track for cars. We had trouble finding a parking spot. Despite that, the line-up to check in was short, and soon I was waiting to be called for the orientation class prior to track time.

Then it was on to the track itself and another short wait in line. I’d been expecting the car to be red, but I have no complaints about the shiny black one I got to drive. I’d been a bit worried because I’ve never driven a standard, but it was a semi-automatic, so there was no clutch or gears to deal with. With the instructor in the passenger seat directing me, I waited for someone in a Corvette to pass and then entered the track.

It took me a couple of laps to get my bearings, both with the track and with the car, but after that it was grand. While I’m sure I didn’t break any speed records, I wasn’t the slowest one on the track either. The car handled beautifully, with steering, gas and brakes all very responsive. The engine wasn’t as loud as I expected, but it certainly had power. Especially the last time around when I gunned it on the straight stretch.

I really enjoyed the experience (I'm still smiling), and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s ever wanted to drive an exotic, or just see what their own car can do on the track. Have to admit I couldn’t follow the pre-track lecture, which was delivered entirely in French (I do speak some French, but I’m not bilingual), so be warned if you’re not comfortable in French that the Mirabel location might be a problem. All the other staff members I encountered did speak some English, however.

Also, do spend the extra money and go for the five lap package. That gives you time to get comfortable with the car.