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
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
Stardom Isn’t Easy – My Time in Front of the Camera

Stardom Isn’t Easy – My Time in Front of the Camera

Stardom Isn’t Easy – My Time in Front of the Camera

The Envision Media team of Emily Turner and Graham Wendel with me at Arizona Auction Week.

For some time now, many of our customers and shop fans have commented that we should have a cable show. I even replied to a request from a casting agent, as I thought hey, this could be fun. Obviously, that never happened and most people I’ve talked to said it’s probably for the best as the business disruption would may prove formidable.

Fast forward to late last year. I was asked to provide content and backdrop for a cable pilot about vintage racing and thought it might be fun. As it turned out I really like the fledgling media production team that came out and started some conversations about promoting Sport and Specialty though some video and photographic media in 2020.

Envision Media Inc. (NVSND Media) is the team of Emily Turner and Graham Wendel. I’ve been working with them for the past five months, including some time at Arizona Auction Week. They’ve produced some really nice stuff to include a very cool video of the 1937 Indy Car Tribute we built over the past few years.

One of the other pieces we discussed was some quick promotional pieces, as well as a shop tour for our website to give a flavor of the type of work we do, and the guys we have doing it. The only problem we ran into is that I just don’t feel very spokesman like. I only felt worse when I saw the footage they captured and wondered if maybe a professional voice over would be a better idea.

In my opinion, I have a face for radio, and my voice sounds even worse. I’ve been told this is typical for many people and was encouraged to suck it up and post it. As many of my friends know, I’m seldom at a loss for words. I have a whole new respect for those who can present in front of a camera. Hint: if you want me to shut up, simply point a camera at me.

So, here is our first piece, with the shop tour still in production. Take a look. We will also be adding some fun content throughout the year on our website and You Tube Channel highlighting some of our customers, cars and the events we’ll attend. The event stuff will come in due time as the restrictions are lifted, so please stay tuned!

Give a click and I look forward to seeing everyone sooner than later!!


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
High Quality Work Won’t Go Out of Style

High Quality Work Won’t Go Out of Style

High Quality Work Won’t Go Out of Style

Sport and Specialty - Tom YangI had the opportunity to spend time with my friend Tom Yang over the past few days. Tom is a considerably experienced Ferrari specialist and restorer who shares a common passion for doing things right. Tom has a great website you should check out.

We’ve shared ideas, issues, and cures with problem cars in the past, but finally got to spend some quality windshield time talking about the business side of the car hobby. Much of Tom’s thoughts centered around the Ferrari side of the market, while I tend to come from the more pedestrian European production cars, Healeys, Alfas, and Jaguars.

I came away still convinced that while vehicle values will always swing higher and lower, the demand for people and businesses to maintain them will most likely not wane. Mostly because many of the people currently able to perform work on these gems will be aging out of the business. My crew at Sport and Specialty is young by industry standards these days, averaging in the late 40s which is a planned blessing. We spend a fair amount of time cross training and coaching on both technical acumen and quality outcomes overall.

Our discussions focused more about how to produce higher quality work than how to do more work of just any quality. It was both interesting and fun to share time with someone as committed to providing high quality work and not bowing to lowering his standards. It made me feel better, plus it was fun to show off the shop. See you at Amelia Island!


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 2019 Drive Out and Pop Up Car Show

The 2019 Drive Out and Pop Up Car Show

The 2019 Drive Out and Pop Up Car Show

Our second annual Summer “Drive Out” was great fun, looks like we’re on to something here. Great weather, great friends, and some pretty great cars made a fun day at the shop. I need to thank the Sport and Specialty crew, Ken, Ryan, Kathy, Bill, Max, Jon, and Cameron, along with our great customers and friends for making today so much fun.

As always, make sure to keep checking our Facebook and Instagram pages for more pictures – so many people taking so many pictures!


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 Sport and Specialty Drive Out & Pop Up Car Show

The Sport and Specialty Drive Out & Pop Up Car Show

 

Reserve Saturday August 10 for the second annual Sport and Specialty Drive Out and Pop Up Car Show. Bring any marque, model, or year of car, but get there. Daily drivers welcome! A Portillo’s catered lunch will be available, along with the usual subs and things. Bring a friend, take a drive, and see what we’re working on and finishing up. We expect many of the usual suspects with their really cool cars to be there so come out and let’s catch up!!

Punch in our address to your favorite mapping app and be here between 11-4 on Saturday, August 10. We are:
9169 Forest Preserve Road
Durand, IL 61024

Shop Phone: (815) 629-2717

 

 

Meanwhile, enjoy some of the pictures from last year’s open house.

 


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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