Fuelfed’s Shop Visit on a Fine Summer Day

Fuelfed’s Shop Visit on a Fine Summer Day

Well, if variety is the spice of life, Saturday’s Fuelfed stop at Sport and Specialty for lunch was a real home run. Brian and Lorraine Hughes asked if I would entertain having their tour stop in for lunch on Saturday. I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

As a new sponsor, this was a perfect opportunity to show their community how great our shop is, as well as get to fill our lot with a huge variety of European sports cars. From Aston Martins to TRWs and Bentleys, not to mention the many Porsches models from a variety of years.

The S & S crew all showed up to answer questions and help entertain the visitors. Plus, we were able to source a bunch of picnic tables, and everyone had room to enjoy the great weather and cool cars. Bill Oakes had his camera in hand and took all of these great photos.

I think we all needed this short getaway and glad that we were able to partner with Fuelfed and their great membership! See you all soon!


Read More of My Blog Posts


The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

Regular followers know that the white-over-blue 1967 Austin Healey BJ8 that shows up on social media is one of my favorite cars. I purchased the car from my customer and friend Tony Grau and his family as an uncompleted project. We had previously assembled and painted...

read more
Your Virtual Tour Guide

Your Virtual Tour Guide

For some reason, I just love giving tours of Sport and Specialty. I gave many plant and home office tours during my years in corporate sales, but touring plants, warehouses and administrative offices just wasn’t as much fun as showing people how you blow up cars and...

read more
It Drives Like an Alfa

It Drives Like an Alfa

I met my racing and paddock partner John Wheeler almost twenty years ago when I first started Vintage Historic racing. I was trying to figure this whole thing out and he was my coach and mentor. The most important thing he ever told me when I bemoaned my slow times...

read more
No One Races Alone

No One Races Alone

A few weeks ago I got involved in an online conversation where someone claimed that the only reason we can’t go racing is that organizers would demand a driver’s meeting, and if we could just do the meeting on our phones we’d be just fine to go racing again. I quickly...

read more
Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Over the past week I had two customer visits from two different types of customers. It got me thinking about the differences between the two, both really nice guys who want work done on their cars. The main difference is that for one, it wasn’t his first rodeo with a...

read more
The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

Regular followers know that the white-over-blue 1967 Austin Healey BJ8 that shows up on social media is one of my favorite cars. I purchased the car from my customer and friend Tony Grau and his family as an uncompleted project.

We had previously assembled and painted the crusty body and made it straight and pretty, but the remainder of the car was unassembled. My goal was to have a largely original car with a few modifications to make it a bit more road friendly in today’s environment. I wanted a gold quality build with my own choices.

I also wanted a little stiffer chassis with minimal scuttle shake. The car already had an upgraded Kilmartin chassis, so I simply decided to use the Panasport style wheels with a slightly tuned rear suspension. The new springs can be a little hard and create a taller ride-height than I like, so we removed a leaf and I was very happy with the results.

I chose the addition of the blue coves (not actual Lobella blue) because I only saw black and red as alternatives. I simply went through my stash of paint chips until I found one I liked. It also matched the leather interior and cloth top colors I wanted to use. I think I got the colors right.

I wanted a reasonably stock drivetrain, so I built a stock BJ8 spec engine because they run well when set up properly, but I had never tried a five speed conversion. My trans and OD were in pretty rough condition and would have needed a ton of work so we rebuilt a used Toyota trans which looked really good, at a fraction of the cost. On top of it, I really like the gear ratios better.

So take a look at the video and keep following our progress. Look for me at the next car show, come over and say hi. Thanks!!


Read More of My Blog Posts


The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

Regular followers know that the white-over-blue 1967 Austin Healey BJ8 that shows up on social media is one of my favorite cars. I purchased the car from my customer and friend Tony Grau and his family as an uncompleted project. We had previously assembled and painted...

read more
Your Virtual Tour Guide

Your Virtual Tour Guide

For some reason, I just love giving tours of Sport and Specialty. I gave many plant and home office tours during my years in corporate sales, but touring plants, warehouses and administrative offices just wasn’t as much fun as showing people how you blow up cars and...

read more
It Drives Like an Alfa

It Drives Like an Alfa

I met my racing and paddock partner John Wheeler almost twenty years ago when I first started Vintage Historic racing. I was trying to figure this whole thing out and he was my coach and mentor. The most important thing he ever told me when I bemoaned my slow times...

read more
No One Races Alone

No One Races Alone

A few weeks ago I got involved in an online conversation where someone claimed that the only reason we can’t go racing is that organizers would demand a driver’s meeting, and if we could just do the meeting on our phones we’d be just fine to go racing again. I quickly...

read more
Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Over the past week I had two customer visits from two different types of customers. It got me thinking about the differences between the two, both really nice guys who want work done on their cars. The main difference is that for one, it wasn’t his first rodeo with a...

read more
Your Virtual Tour Guide

Your Virtual Tour Guide

Your Virtual Tour Guide

For some reason, I just love giving tours of Sport and Specialty. I gave many plant and home office tours during my years in corporate sales, but touring plants, warehouses and administrative offices just wasn’t as much fun as showing people how you blow up cars and put them back together.

I also love hosting out annual Open House and car show. The guys even like doing it. They get to show off their work to friends and customers, and let their families see what they do all week. We often tend to work in a vacuum up here, and few things can make your efforts worthwhile than watching and hearing people admire and praise your work.

Unfortunately, we had to put the brakes on our 2020 Open House this year as state and local regs strictly limit the number of attendees, and social distancing, etc. make it almost impossible to enforce. Plus, if someone were to become ill at our event I would feel awful.

While postponed, my annual tour is now available in virtual form. It’s an impromptu tour that we started last year. A more formal scripted one is being developed, but this one is still kind of fun. Take a look and feel free to reach out with any questions!

Next year I’ll give the tours in person and make sure we have plenty of Portillo’s Italian beef and sausage available. Thanks for watching!


Read More of My Blog Posts


The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

Regular followers know that the white-over-blue 1967 Austin Healey BJ8 that shows up on social media is one of my favorite cars. I purchased the car from my customer and friend Tony Grau and his family as an uncompleted project. We had previously assembled and painted...

read more
Your Virtual Tour Guide

Your Virtual Tour Guide

For some reason, I just love giving tours of Sport and Specialty. I gave many plant and home office tours during my years in corporate sales, but touring plants, warehouses and administrative offices just wasn’t as much fun as showing people how you blow up cars and...

read more
It Drives Like an Alfa

It Drives Like an Alfa

I met my racing and paddock partner John Wheeler almost twenty years ago when I first started Vintage Historic racing. I was trying to figure this whole thing out and he was my coach and mentor. The most important thing he ever told me when I bemoaned my slow times...

read more
No One Races Alone

No One Races Alone

A few weeks ago I got involved in an online conversation where someone claimed that the only reason we can’t go racing is that organizers would demand a driver’s meeting, and if we could just do the meeting on our phones we’d be just fine to go racing again. I quickly...

read more
Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Over the past week I had two customer visits from two different types of customers. It got me thinking about the differences between the two, both really nice guys who want work done on their cars. The main difference is that for one, it wasn’t his first rodeo with a...

read more
It Drives Like an Alfa

It Drives Like an Alfa

It Drives Like an Alfa

Sport and Specialty - Blackhawk Classic 2020

John Wheeler in his #25 Alfa GTV.

I met my racing and paddock partner John Wheeler almost twenty years ago when I first started Vintage Historic racing. I was trying to figure this whole thing out and he was my coach and mentor. The most important thing he ever told me when I bemoaned my slow times was, “Don’t change the car, your next four seconds will come from between your ears”.

He was right of course, but then again, he was driving his beautiful #25 Alfa GTV, and I was racing my red Bugeye Sprite. Cute as hell, but certainly not a sexy Italian. My times got much better, but I still loved the looks and performance of his blue GTV. About ten years ago, envy got the best of me when a fellow racer was selling his GTV. Somewhat the worse for wear, but hey, it was a 1969 GTV with bad yellow paint. I was smitten.

I learned to drive all over again. Alfas are a little different. You need to steer them with the throttle. If the car understeers, don’t slow down, speed up! Turn in a little earlier and harder and get on the gas earlier. She’ll go down to the apex and pop up at track out. It’s an amazing feeling. I’m sure that’s not a particular Alfa trait, but it sure feels good in one. Enjoy the video.

(All video and photos by https://www.nvsndmedia.com/)


Read More of My Blog Posts


The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

Regular followers know that the white-over-blue 1967 Austin Healey BJ8 that shows up on social media is one of my favorite cars. I purchased the car from my customer and friend Tony Grau and his family as an uncompleted project. We had previously assembled and painted...

read more
Your Virtual Tour Guide

Your Virtual Tour Guide

For some reason, I just love giving tours of Sport and Specialty. I gave many plant and home office tours during my years in corporate sales, but touring plants, warehouses and administrative offices just wasn’t as much fun as showing people how you blow up cars and...

read more
It Drives Like an Alfa

It Drives Like an Alfa

I met my racing and paddock partner John Wheeler almost twenty years ago when I first started Vintage Historic racing. I was trying to figure this whole thing out and he was my coach and mentor. The most important thing he ever told me when I bemoaned my slow times...

read more
No One Races Alone

No One Races Alone

A few weeks ago I got involved in an online conversation where someone claimed that the only reason we can’t go racing is that organizers would demand a driver’s meeting, and if we could just do the meeting on our phones we’d be just fine to go racing again. I quickly...

read more
Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Over the past week I had two customer visits from two different types of customers. It got me thinking about the differences between the two, both really nice guys who want work done on their cars. The main difference is that for one, it wasn’t his first rodeo with a...

read more
We’re Racing Again! The 2020 VSCDA Blackhawk Classic

We’re Racing Again! The 2020 VSCDA Blackhawk Classic

We’re Racing Again! The 2020 VSCDA Blackhawk Classic

Last week, Cyndi Paceley of Vintage Motorsport magazine reached out to me for my impressions about upcoming the VSCDA Blackhawk Challenge. She was interested (after the racing concluded) to see how I felt the event went overall, and also specifically how the current Covid-related issues affected the event.

Her story will appear in the upcoming issue, I’m looking forward to reading the full story. Below is what I sent her regarding my impressions. (spoiler alert – we had a great time)

 

Sport and Specialty Alfa Romeo GTV

All photos courtesy Bill Nesius Photography

Hi Cindi,

It looked to me that all of the participants of VSCDAs Blackhawk Classic came away with a happy racing experience, and positive thoughts for this long race weekend. The strict Illinois quarantine rules dictated a laundry list of dos and don’t that in the end were all pretty easily tolerated and well managed.

Registrar Stacey Donato and Race Chair Ron Soave worked closely with track management to ensure that all of the various guidelines were interpreted properly and enforced reasonably. Race registration, communications, and payments were done on-line and flowed smoothly, Masks were to be worn in any buildings, social distancing was expected in paddock areas, and temps were religiously taken prior to entering the track area. No spectators (except for restricted crew) were allowed which in the end had little effect on the racing, just the general attendance. Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs managed the staffing and few, if any, issues were reported. Meals were served at the concession stand, and the attendee dinners were a take away boxed affair, which were great. I think common sense prevailed and virtually no policing was needed, as expectations seemed to be met by the participants. Good email and social media communications were helpful, as was the digitally sent driver’s meeting.

My 1969 Alfa Romeo GTV ran well most of the weekend and kept ahead of the other Alfa competitors until I succumbed to bad CV joint late Saturday during the heat race. The car count was off as expected, but we all had someone to race with and there were plenty of enthusiastic drivers to share stories with afterwards.

With many questions as to what a COVID 19 event may feel like, it seemed as if the track management, the sanctioning body and the participants all pull together to meet the state and local regulations, and follow the common sense recommendations, we just may be able to pull off a safe and fun vintage racing season here in the Midwest.


Read More of My Blog Posts


The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

The Restorer’s Healey – John’s 1967 BJ8

Regular followers know that the white-over-blue 1967 Austin Healey BJ8 that shows up on social media is one of my favorite cars. I purchased the car from my customer and friend Tony Grau and his family as an uncompleted project. We had previously assembled and painted...

read more
Your Virtual Tour Guide

Your Virtual Tour Guide

For some reason, I just love giving tours of Sport and Specialty. I gave many plant and home office tours during my years in corporate sales, but touring plants, warehouses and administrative offices just wasn’t as much fun as showing people how you blow up cars and...

read more
It Drives Like an Alfa

It Drives Like an Alfa

I met my racing and paddock partner John Wheeler almost twenty years ago when I first started Vintage Historic racing. I was trying to figure this whole thing out and he was my coach and mentor. The most important thing he ever told me when I bemoaned my slow times...

read more
No One Races Alone

No One Races Alone

A few weeks ago I got involved in an online conversation where someone claimed that the only reason we can’t go racing is that organizers would demand a driver’s meeting, and if we could just do the meeting on our phones we’d be just fine to go racing again. I quickly...

read more
Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Over the past week I had two customer visits from two different types of customers. It got me thinking about the differences between the two, both really nice guys who want work done on their cars. The main difference is that for one, it wasn’t his first rodeo with a...

read more

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