2010 Year In Review Post (aka Why Has This Blog Been Damn Near Silent?!)

If there are any subscribers left on this site, I sincerely apologize! To summarize this year in a few words is to say I was far too busy. I burned out completely at least 3 times and the last thing on my mind was blogging. Routine 60 hour work weeks have been rewarding but truly challenging.

That said, there was waaay to many cool happenings this year that normally would’ve been documented in these pages and I’m going to try and catch up with a few pictures and brief summaries. These are mostly amazing trips I was able to make happen, some updates on the family, and a few of the ones that got away this year.

Note: This post is grossly unfinished and I’ll be updating it over the next 6-8 weeks, and hopefully adding some event coverage posts before the new season.

Stay tuned as 2011 is going to be action packed and I’m very excited to start getting back into a regular rhythm on this site. Sorry this is a post in progress, but have a Happy New Year!

dc

Family

We are very proud of our Goddaughter, especially when she invents new cute things to do like this! As Mom becomes more comfortable with seeing her angel on the web, we'll try to post more.
Me and Shana at the Corvallis Knights game sponsored by Calapooia Brewing this past August. It was a perfect evening for baseball, and even though the Knights lost this particular night, we had a really great time with Pooia brew crew -- as we always do!
An image of Shana and Sam on a trip to the beach on a stormy day. Sam loves the beach and we decided to take her by herself for a special trip.
A picture of the little stud, Winston, on a walk in the woods. He's a great addition to our family and is always amusing us with his latest alpha antics!
Another one of the cutest dog ever.
And our little black cat, Abbey. Not a fan of pictures, or so she pretends.

Miller WSBK

By far my best image of the year. This is Max Biaggi taking first place for the first time in a long time since his dominance in 250GP racing on Memorial Day. Pictured here about to enter the final corner at the U.S. leg of the World SuperBike Tour at Miller Motorsports Park with a tribute to the American soldiers in the background. Many thanks to Jay Bernard and Veloce Racing Aprilia Team for making our participation possible.

Sonoma Historics Birthday Trip

Shana took me to Sonoma for the Historics at Sears Point this year. Here's a picture of us outside Mario Andretti's winery. Surprisingly not a single car on display. Good wine though and a lovely tasting area.
My favorite image taken from this event: Rothmans Porsche 956


Working with Sports Car Shop

I got some brief seat time in this gorgeous Ferrari Testarossa that is available at Sports Car Shop in Eugene, Oregon. I am their webmaster and get to take pictures of their inventory. Yes, this is one of the best jobs (if you can call it that) that I've ever had!
Earlier in the year I had the pleasure of trotting out this stallion for some pictures. I have to say, this was a far better car than I could've expected. For $140k, Ford hit this one out of the park. I know that's a lot of cash, but compared to it's rivals, it's a true bargain.

The Ones That Got Away (or were considered)

This is a bike I should've just acted on immediately. A 748S, less than 13k miles, and $6000. It was gone in less than 5 days and I've been kicking myself ever since. And in a terrible twist of fate, it's for sale again but this time I'm not in a place to purchase it. Yes, I try to talk myself into it daily...

{I’ve got at least another dozen images and stories to add. I’ll try to bump this post every time I do because there are lots more people to thank for an awesome year!}

dc

Shopping for a Virago and Stopping by the Portland Historic Races

This blog post could also be titled, “How to Get an Awesome Sunburn on a Perfect Sunday in July”… Who would’ve guessed that not wearing suntan lotion on a partly-cloudy July afternoon and being in the direct sun for about 5 hours (at least) would do any more than add a little color. You’d think I was 14 or something.

Part 1

I started the day by driving the S2000 up to Portland (top up actually) to meet friends who were shopping for their first motorcycle. I was coming up to help out with the test ride and once over for overall condition. Twist my arm right?

{Mark 10:00am: Dropped the top after a quick stop for a bottle of water.}

Danno wanted a beginner bike that was somewhere between a standard and a cruiser. We went to look at a 92 Honda Nighthawk 750 and an 82 Yamaha Virago 750. To be honest, the Nighthawk looked pretty promising in the ad and I was secretly pulling for this one over the Virago — mostly because it’s newer, I know a guy who’s put a ton of miles on one, and it’s more familiar in terms of the riding position I’m used to.

Unfortunately as is the case with many Craigslist sourced leads, those re-sized (and generally crappier) photo’s they host for you make it difficult to tell just how nice the bike really is. In short, the Nighthawk was generally not well cared for. Maintained just enough that all systems worked ok, but in general needed a thorough service front-to-back to be right. At $2000 it didn’t feel right to me. One sentence review of riding experience: Even though it’s power is pretty good for it’s age, the bike didn’t feel well balanced and in fact felt pretty heavy and a bit awkward during transitions.

So we decided to consider this bike as a ‘maybe’ and decided to break for a quick breakfast since it was still only mid-morning at this point. A quick stop by was needed at Fat City Cafe in Multnomah Village, where we were quickly served a great breakfast. Now we were ready to check out the next potential ride.

Next up was the Virago which was actually in Vancouver across the river. We met a nice retired man who had probably 6 Japanese bikes of this vintage in his garage, all in mostly good condition. Initial impressions were really good as the bike had obviously received some recent care with good tires, new starter, and very clean overall. Compared to the Nighthawk that had a brutally filthy chain, peeling paint, and a leaky caliper, this bike was ready for sale: clean, similar miles at under 15K, and was priced at only $1200. Granted it’s ten years older and power was no comparison to the Nighthawk, it was really easy to ride. It can’t weigh much and dipped into corners with ease. The riding position was somewhat new to me and I actually put my feet on the rear pegs the first time I sat on it. But after riding it for 15 minutes, I see the appeal. It’s totally relaxing and I’ll be damned if those vents on the front of your jacket don’t work 100% better when air is actually hitting them head on instead of getting the leftovers just above the tank!

My advice was to sleep on it and offer $1000 the next day. Danno replied, “I’ve got a thousand on me right now…” and then walked back to the front door and made a deal. We’re going back next week to get it. Congratulations guys, it’s a great first bike!

Part 2

Then I continued top-down in the Honda to the racetrack for the Portland Historic Races around 1pm. This is a great event in our own backyard, and Bob and Joe from Sports Car Shop were racing as well. I was looking forward to putting the 70-200 F4 L into the field again and the weather was perfect.

Sports Car Shop got a great spot for their team and was in the parking lot just behind the clock tower. Plus their close friend decided to add to the general Feng Shui of their pad with his recently acquired Ferrari F430! Beautiful car!

I then puttered around the paddock and club parking areas while grabbing a quick bite to eat before Joe and Bob went out in back-to-back sessions between 3 and 4pm. Once they were out, I grabbed my favorite spot at the track even though the light was facing me. Nonetheless, it was worth the full frontal sun assault considering some of the resulting pictures:

Leaving PIR with the top up, I washed up in the bathroom before hitting the road and when I saw myself in the mirror, my cheeks were definitely a little pink, but not bad. But now that I’ve cooked dinner (on the BBQ outside, doh!) and sat down to edit photos and blog about the day, I’ve gone from pink to full on red — all over. Like an idiot I failed to remember, like I do every year after the first good drive with the top down, that when the top is down = you’re outside and getting burned. Maybe I’ll remember next year…

dc

Partial Gallery of 2010 Portland Historic Races Sunday Afternoon

Photographing a 2006 Ford GT for Sports Car Shop in Eugene

I’m a pretty lucky guy to have landed the webmaster gig for Sports Car Shop in Eugene. Not only do I get exposed to all kinds of great sports cars, I get to photograph most of them as well. My photos aren’t pro yet, but good enough to represent the inventory. We take the pictures at Skinner’s Butte Park, which is right downtown and only a few blocks from their showroom. And most times that means I get to take them for a short drive too. Last Friday, that was this amazing 2006 Ford GT:

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

2006 Ford GT For Sale in Eugene, Oregon

Never in my entire life has the Ferris Bueller line been more applicable, “If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?” Well I won’t add any more drama; I did take it back right away. My Powerball ticket hadn’t hit the previous Wednesday for $212mil, so I tip-toed downtown to the park and back… and loved every minute of it. But the drive back to the shop was a real challenge as there’s an on-ramp to the Beltline just a block further…

Even in my short and pedestrian paced time in the car, it’s very clear this car was built with a lot of care and thoughtful engineering. Not only is it capable of hanging with the best that Europe can offer, it’s also totally easy to drive around in. As low as it is, the front clearance is actually quite good. The clutch that has to manage 550hp is easy to engage and is very light in fact. And the gearing is perfect for that big lump. I think first gear actually goes all the way to 60mph, but with all the torque available so early, you can just lump her along in second and still have plenty of power to make her jump with a squeeze of the accelerator.

Almost more impressive than the engineering and ease of use, is the cars wonderful body. It’s low and very wide. And inside, it’s the business: you sit down deep in the car and the cockpit is all about driving quickly. Sitting in a slung back position, you turn to the right and see the glass back window is right behind you. And right behind that is the supercharger pulley spinning behind your head. Awesome!

Then there’s the sound. Crank it up and make sure to have big speakers attached for the best sound!

My previous benchmark for best performance had been to the Lotus Elise, which Clayton drove back from So Cal when he could’ve just used auto transport. This was a truly wonderful car to drive and a perfectly balanced platform. But this Ford GT takes it to a whole new level in terms of refinement, driveability, and raw performance. I mean with 550hp under foot, you can turn any situation into a tire smoking felony in mere seconds.

Thank you to Bob at Sports Car Shop for the opportunity to sample such a fantastic vehicle!

dc

New MotoringBlogs Website: New Old Car of the Day

I’ve started a new website with a VWVortex member, Mr. Variety, who has a knack for finding extremely low mile classic cars on eBay. Introducing NewOldCaroftheDay.com:

NewOldCaroftheDay.com

Today’s find, an amazing 736 mile 1973 Porsche 911 — for an eye watering $185k!

New Old Car of the Day:  1973 Porsche 911

This will be a really fun blog to follow and I hope you’ll join us.

dc

My Buddies From RoadtoChumpCar.com are Headed to Willow Springs Tomorrow

Gabe and Leo are packing as we speak to head down to Willow Springs for the next ChumpCar World Series event. The name for the series may not be terribly flattering, but the guys take the racing seriously and the budget minded series makes the reality of racing, well, real! Gabe and Leo are building their own car for competition over at The Road To Chumpcar, but in the meantime, they are helping out with the Toyota MR2 team of Free Range Racing. Here are some pics from the last event that Leo drove for them at Infineon:

Chumpcar Free Range Racing MR2

Free Range Racing at Infineon co-driven by TheRoadToChumpCar.com

I’ll be following them on Twitter this weekend and wish them both the best. Good luck guys!

dc

Joe’s De Tomaso Pantera to be Auctioned Tomorrow at Barrett-Jackson

1974 De Tomaso Pantera L For Sale at Barrett Jackson

If you’re watching the live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction tomorrow, make sure to keep an eye out for Joe’s 1974 Pantera L, lot #944. It’s scheduled early-mid afternoon.

Good luck Joe!

Update 1.22.10 – The Pantera is the current Haggerty Fantasy bid car!

dc

Good Looking Datsun 1200 Race Car For Sale on the Cheap

Paul and I are going to prep the Rabbit for sale soon. It’s been a fantastic introduction to track days, auto-x, and hillclimbs, but it’s time to move on to new endeavors.

That said, if I was going to be looking to get back in, I’d be looking for a used race car that was already built. And this little Datsun 1200 looks like a perfect way to get to the next level: amateur road racing. Making the step from track days to actual road racing is an expensive proposition, especially if the car you plan to campaign isn’t prepped already. Think cage, fuel cell, fire suppression… not to mention the gear! Might as well start with a budget car that’s ready to go considering. Hell, the DCOE’s and Minilites have to be worth half of the asking!

If you’re curious about budget racing, check out a new site I’ve set up for some friends that are going ChumpCar Racing: RoadToChumpCar.com Sounds like Leo and Gabe are guest driving a car late in January at Willow Springs. I’m really excited for them and looking forward to following their progress. Good luck guys!

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On The Job: 1974 De Tomaso Pantera Lusso

pantera-wet-leaves

I’m going to start a new series of blog posts featuring the wonderful cars I’m privileged to work with. Tonight the 1974 De Tomaso Pantera Lusso!

This car has been refurbished by Joseph Potter Restorations and is now available at Sports Car Shop in Eugene, Oregon. I was fortunate to be asked to take photographs of this car and rushed to find a break in the Pacific Northwest rain. Interested parties are advised to bid for this car Friday afternoon at the Barrett-Jackson auction this January, Lot #944.

In my brief time behind the wheel of this car, I can honestly report that this car is fantastic! Joe and his team have done a great job making this car one of the best of it’s peers. The motor has gobs of torque and a long first gear that actually make in town driving a pretty easy affair. Tickling the gas in 2nd gear shoots the car forward with authority.

The high points of this short experience would be best summarized as follows:

  • Light, unassisted steering. Being mid-engined, there is very little weight over the front end. The steering is a real delight with so much feedback being communicated to the driver.
  • The exhaust note is pure sex. No shit. I’ll make sure to get some video the next time I’m nearby.
  • That long first gear really makes this 70’s supercar pretty easy to handle in town.
  • Those beautiful Chromodoara rims are really at home on this car. They really give this car fantastic presence.
  • And finally, Joe has secured a great spot in the Barrett-Jackson auction this January. I’m so excited to have even the smallest of connection to this great car in such a prestigeous auction!

Many thanks to Joe and Bob for the opportunity to get up close and personal with such a great example!

dc