NASCAR? Yes Please!

I have a confession to make.  Although I’m into classic cars, I love me some modern machinery.  Especially NASCAR.  People that don’t follow stock car racing just don’t get it…

“All they do is turn left,” they say.  Uh, yeah, at speeds in excess of 200 mph!  The crazy thing is that you can feel the horsepower in your chest when you are watching a live race.  Which, brings me to my March 2017 plans.

I just booked my trip to Sin City complete with a sick Las Vegas limo reservation.  March 10-12, 2017 is NASCAR weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Motorsports Complex and I’m stoked to have tickets in hand for the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race and Stratosphere Pole Day.  You can bet on me spending some time at the Neon Garage enjoying some live music.  I can’t wait to hang out with my favorite drivers and teams while they prepare the cars for race day.  I think the coolest thing about the weekend is the fact that the event is held in a place that is so focused on fun.  People go to Las Vegas to have a fun time and that makes the overall experience so much more worthwhile.

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What many people do not know is that NASCAR is second to the National Football League among professional sports franchises in regards to television viewers and fans in the United States.  Another fun fact, NASCAR was founded in 1948 and currently sanctions more than 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 39 of the 50 US states in addition to Canada.  Races are broadcast on television in more than 150 countries.

Enough facts about stock car racing.  Did I mention that I’m going to be in Las Vegas?  It’s like an adult Disney World.  There’s so much to do and see when you’re there.  I’m trying to decide just how much extra time I’d like to spend there.  The problem that I find myself in is that I’m often walking a fine line between not enough and too much time spent there.  There is such a thing as too much time in Vegas.  I have no idea how people can live there year-round.  Pretty sure I couldn’t survive calling Vegas home for longer than 6 months.

On another note, I’m kind of a reality TV junkie.  Well, some reality TV anyway.  On of my current favorite series is Counting Cars.  Danny Koker’s team does some seriously sick restorations and customizations.  I was checking out his website and I saw that you can take tours of the shop and have the opportunity to watch the airing of the show at Danny’s Vamp’d Rock Bar and Grill with celebrities and cast members.  Transportation is courtesy of one of the Count’s custom rides.  Sign. Me. Up.  Maybe someday I’ll have the geniuses at Count’s Kustoms work on one of my rides.  I guess a guy can dream, right?

RoadRunner

Save These Dates: January 27-29, 2017

If you are a classic car enthusiast (why are you even here if you aren’t?) you’ll want to ask for January 27-29 off work.  Don’t say I didn’t give you ample notice, ‘cuz even if you’re a retail pharmacist, you should have plenty of time to turn in that PTO request.  Trust me, you won’t want to miss the 2017 Classic Auto Show in Los Angeles, CA.

The Classic Auto Show is a brand new three-day showcase of all things automotive.  Go and take part in the celebration of cars that graced our highways of yesteryear, for its these cars that paved the way for the modern cars we see on the road today.

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The very best of the classic and vintage motoring scene will be on hand, including stars from Velocity’s biggest car shows, the best car clubs from across the US, and a massive range of brands encompassing all your favorite American cars along with the best of the best from the rest of the world.

Grab your cameras and smartphones and expect to see the rare and unusual alongside the pristine and project cars.  You’ll most certainly see those that were loved and even some that were hated, the car that your parents took you on your first road trip in, the one that you learned to drive in, and maybe even the car you took to your first drive in movie.

Stroll along the Grand Boulevard lined with a unique automotive historic timeline and relive automotive design and history, enjoy a mixture of entertainment and expert advice in the Celebrity Theater, and explore the exhibit hall filled with car dealers, parts and service providers, and everything you need to keep your classic car running.

Celebrities scheduled to be on hand include Chip Foose, Chris Jacobs, Mike Phillips, and Mike Brewer.  Grab autographs, pick their brains for ideas, and swap stories if you’re lucky enough.  This is your chance to bump elbows with some of the most influential car minds of our time.

Have a project car that you’re short just a few parts on?  The on-site auto swap meet might just be the place to pick up that rare rumble trunk for your 30’s Packard.  You’ll never know unless you are there in person.

Think of the smile on your face when you see a classic car driving along the highway. Now multiply that feeling by 1,000. That’s what The Classic Auto Show will be like.

Thanks to the dedication and commitment of the Classic Car Clubs around the country you’re more likely to see timeless classics still cruising down the road. Come see member and cars from some of the most active and influential classic car clubs in America.

Classic Car Clubs are the heart and soul of the classic automotive community and they play a vital role in preserving both historic and classic cars for the next generation. The Classic Auto Show celebrates the important work that the Classic Car Clubs do by providing a showcase for them and the cars they are passionate about.

Joining a Classic Car Club is a great way to meet like-minded car enthusiasts. Clubs always have a wealth of expertise and the experience of their members could fill volumes of books when it comes to advice on maintenance and renovation. The Classic Auto Show will likely be an ideal place to learn about the various Classic Car Clubs on the scene and what they offer.

SHOW LOCATION:

Los Angeles Convention Center; South Hall
1201 S Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

SHOW DATES:

Friday, January 27, 2017, 10AM-7PM
Saturday, January 28, 2017 9AM-7PM
Sunday, January 29, 2017 9AM-5PM

PRICING:

Adult: $25 pre-sale, $30 on site

Child (12-under): $10 pre-sale, $12 on site

4 New Cars Made To Look Old

One design trend that you have most certainly noticed over the last several years has been the efforts made by modern day designers to make current sports cars look vintage.  I truly feel that there are two opinions on the direction of current car design.  You either love it, or you hate it.  No middle ground on this one.

I find myself agreeing with the former.  I’m a muscle car lover at heart.  Taking current technology and packaging it in a design influenced by the cars of the 60s and 70s has revitalized the stagnant buying trends in the auto industry.  I feel that many have been settling for a car that visually does next to nothing to inspire.  Now, these modern day muscle cars bring back youth and exuberance to many who purchase them.  Today’s design give auto enthusiasts something to talk about and bring forth memories of youth.

By incorporating modern automotive tech into muscle car design of the 60s and 70s, these modern cars have become an easy entry point for those not looking to maintain a 30-40 year old car, while retaining much of the charisma that a classic car exudes.  On the plus side, the performance gains are easily apparent, and make these modern cars an absolute thrill to drive.

While many purists will argue with me on this point, you can’t argue about how the current car offerings are causing people to engage in conversations about cars again.  Car clubs are seeing the old muscle cars next to modern muscle and the owners of each are able to communicate on a similar level.

In my opinion, anything that gets people talking about cars is a good thing, especially when the conversation includes classic muscle.

So, here are my top 4 modern cars that pay homage the best…

Dodge Charger

1999 Dodge Charger concept is amazing
1999 Dodge Charger concept is amazing

1999 saw the first Dodge Charger concept in the flesh.  It was a beautiful example of 1960s muscle blended into modern design.  Looking at the car you could barely discern that it was actually a 4 door car.  Functional side scoops were present (thanks to the Viper for inspiration) and functional air exhausters were sculpted into the rear fascia.  Unfortunately for me, the concept car was never placed into production and the model that eventually made it to market was a far cry from the amazing concept car.  I truly believe that Dodge dropped the ball on this one.  Since being released to the general public in 2005, the Charger has stayed relevant by offering massive performance, but has done little to improve the overall look.

Dodge Challenger

A beautiful beast, the 707hp 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
A beautiful beast, the 707hp 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

The car that kept closest to its original design is most certainly the Dodge Challenger.  Dodge saw the success of Ford with their Mustang and Chevrolet with their Camaro and decided to jump back into the conversation by going to the well and bringing their Challenger into the 21st century.  Today’s Challenger is almost visually indistinguishable from the Challenger of old, even down to the massive muscular rear fender flares which nearly eliminate the entire rear window.  The top end offering, the SRT Hellcat possess a pavement melting stock 707hp from the factory and is appropriately named.  It is nearly impossible to wipe the smile off your face while driving this beast.

Chevrolet Camaro

The 50th anniversary edition Camaro.
The 50th anniversary edition Camaro.

A relatively late arrival to the retro revival, the Camaro went back to its angular, muscular look in 2010.  After Ford saw great success bringing back the Mustang, Camaro decided to capitalize on the design movement and scoop up enthusiasts of Chevy.  The sixth generation Camaro is the lightest, leanest and meanest yet and die hard Camaro fans are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 50th anniversary editions scheduled to roll out shortly.

Ford Mustang

A sick pic of a 2017 Ford Mustang GT500.
A sick pic of a 2017 Ford Mustang GT500.

2005 was when Ford decided to change up the design of the ‘stang and go retro.  Fans of the Mustang have always held a special place in their hearts for early models and bringing the the design elements of the old classics into the future instantly created an emotional connection.  Nearly every element from the outside to the interior was designed in the spirit of the car that started it all.  It was a definitive throwback car.  One that started the rivalry with the Camaro all over again.  It’s often been said that “history repeats itself,” and that statement most certainly holds true between the two perennial automotive manufacturers.

I look forward to seeing where the major auto manufacturers take these existing models and whether they decide to return to the design well and bring back additional models in the future.  I would love to see the Barracuda, Road Runner, or Chevelle updated and tearing down the road sometime soon.

Check Out MyClassicCarTV Now If You Haven’t Already

I think we have all been there.  Maybe you’re bored or have a case of insomnia. You turn to YouTube to remedy this conundrum.  Searching around for a while and you stumble on some interesting videos to pass the time.

Well, just the other night I was so charged up from a day of work that my mind was racing.  Instead of turning to modern pharmaceuticals like so many others readily do, I grabbed the ‘ol pocket computer (ahem, iPhone) and opened up my YouTube app.  I jabbed at the screen and managed to punch in “Classic Car Videos” and came upon a channel that I had not visited in a while.

MyClassicCarTV used to be a regular friend for me, but has recently taken more of a back seat to life.  As the kiddos get older it has become increasingly difficult to find time for myself.  All you parents out there are familiar with just how crazy life becomes when you add kids to the equation, especially when they get a little older and start getting involved in activities.  Add in a toddler who loves to climb and I feel that most of my “free time” is spent shuttling kids around and cleaning up after the messes they make after they destroy the house.

Anyway, check out the video below from My Classic Car Season 20, Episode 2. Ron Berry created a couple custom cars that are so sick.  They are like real life Hotwheels.  You can’t help but smile and just enjoy his custom one-off creations.  I’m probably even a little jealous that I don’t have them in my garage.  I wish that I only had half the creative vision that Ron has.

I honestly believe that one day I will be able to dedicate more time into classic car restoration projects.  It’s my hope to have my son help me once he gets older.  At this point I’m just a little way off from this being a reality because at the time of this post, he’s only 20 months old.  However, I know that deep down all fathers look forward to spending quality time with their sons and teaching them valuable lessons along the way.  I’m not saying that I don’t do that now, but I’m extremely excited for the time that we will have together once he’s older.  I absolutely love being their and making memories with my children.

I guess I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but the purpose of this post was really just to show off a couple custom cars and to give you a little peak into my mind.  Not like I’m all that interesting, but I’m sure many out there will be able to identify with where I’m coming from on this one.

So, feel free to hit me up with comments on this post.  Want to see more posts like this?  Or, should I keep my random ramblings to myself?  Drop me a line at admin@oldcarsinc.com.  I may just respond.  I may not.  I guess it depends on if I like what you have to say.  J/k!

My Top 4

Well I thought it’d be fun to start things off by letting you in on some of my favorite cars of all time (it’s pretty amazing just how many of the best cars ever produced seem to have come out of the between 1960 and 1970, don’t you think?) and I thought it might be fun to start the list with a focus on muscle cars (surprise, surprise). So I think I’ll just go run through my picks here and give a little bit of a context for each one, and that ought to give you a pretty good sense of where I’m coming from, I think. Here we go.

  1. 1964 Pontiac GTO

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The GTO first was available as an option on the Pontiac Tempest, you could get it with the two-door coupe, hardtop and convertible body styles. 389 cubic inch V8 with a rating at 325 horsepower. The engine had chromed valve covers, a Carter four-barrel carb and seven blade clutch fan.

2. 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1

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Buick came onto the muscle car market as a beast of luxury, with the insanely powerful GSX breaking from the standard Buick look by adding the rear spoiler and body striping. The Gran Sport had a 455-cubic-inch V-8 by 1970 and produced 510 pounds-foot of torque. And I always thought this was the type of car that knew how to meet your gaze and keep it…

3. 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 426 Hemi

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I was 18 when Vanishing Point came out, so (like a lot of other people in the same boat) I didn’t really stand a chance against the Dodge Challenger. There aren’t that many cars I can think of that are as iconic as the Dodge Challenger R/T. The 2-door was available in convertible and hard-top models with the option for leather seats (and smaller rear window). It had a Plymouth Barracuda platform with a wheelbase that was 2 inches longer. V8 426 hemi producing 425 horsepower. And aside from all that, well, just look at her.

4. 1964 Plymouth Belvedere 426 Hemi

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The first off the Chrysler line to feature the 425 engine, and anybody that’s seen one of these bad boys tear up the drag strip has a pretty good idea of what the engine can do when combine4d with the absurd lightweight body. This was a beast of an engine to be on the street, putting out 518 horsepower and 540 lb-ft torque. A total monster.

Well, anyway this list is bound to expand indefinitely as time goes on, so don’t hesitate to send me a list of your favorite muscle cars, and I’ll be happy to add them to the list (I personally think there’s no excuse needed to spend some time admiring a classic muscle car). Anyway, that about wraps it up for my ramblings today. I’m thinking it looks like a good afternoon for a long drive…

A Shout Out To My Web Stalkers!

Welcome to hackandthe57s.com, your friendly neighborhood resource for (you guessed it) old cars. Or at least that’s the plan. I haven’t done too much writing. At least not since grade school, but luckily all that training on cursive hand writing sure is going to come in handy now. Wait…

Well, anyway in my defense I don’t think you can really blame a sixteen year-old boy for having trouble concentrating on a dusty old grammar lesson when all he can think about is the ’65 Ford Thunderbird sitting out in the parking lot just waiting for him, calling to him…(how I got my hands on a thunderbird in high school is a story for another day altogether). I’ve got a big interest in cars, and I thought it’d be neat to gather my thoughts in one location and hey, maybe even somebody else will find it useful too, what do I know.

Why hackandthe57s.com? Well, Hack is my nickname that I earned from hacking apart old cars in order to restore them to their former glory and 57 is from the ketchup Heinz 57, my favorite! Just kidding, the ’57 Chevy is probably the most recognized classic car of all time and I thought, why not throw that in the domain?

So expect to see some reviews, and I’ll spend some time talking about whatever shows I’m able to make it too, and don’t be surprised to encounter the tangent every so often where you’ll hear about the happenings in the life of my beagles, Cooper and Daisy (all my best memories from my childhood include my first beagle, Bailey) and the occasional long-winded rant about the last thing that’s really got me fuming. All in good fun though.

cooper