More Cars, More Pages, More Videos, and More Fun

More Cars, More Pages, More Videos, and More Fun

More Cars, More Pages, More Videos, and More Fun

 

Sport and Specialty website

As “the web guy,” part of the fun is seeing the progress of the cars in the shop, even when I’m not there. While it’s great making pictures at the shop – and hanging out with the guys – to see updated images of projects is truly fascinating. What was a stripped-down empty shell of a car suddenly shows up in stunning pictures and videos of finished work.

So much has happened over the last few years in which I’ve been managing the website that it’s time again to change up how we present the finished projects.

You can still see some hand-picked favorites in the Concours Showcase, and you can follow along the progress of the cars In The Shop, but the On The Road category just got too hard to keep up with in the old format.

So now, you can scroll through the dozens of cars that have passed through the doors at Sport and Specialty as thumbnail images, then click on that car to get its “story” of how it made it back to the road.

At the top of the page, you can now trim down that list to view by car marque. Have a soft spot for Jaguars? Alfa’s? Healey’s? it’s there for you. For real fun, click on the “Other” category. Sometimes things just don’t fit in a category.

Another addition to the homepage is our new YouTube channel. You may have seen John’s two recent videos by The Envision Media team – if you haven’t, read up on John’s blog. Those videos, and more, will live on the YouTube channel. As they say, stay tuned.

Keep your eyes on the site, Facebook, Instagram, and now YouTube to follow along with the fun!

Enjoy.

Bill Oakes
Web Guy


Read More of My Blog Posts


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


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
No One Races Alone

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 asked, how about multiple corner workers on a station? How about safety and rescue, bridge personnel, T&S, stewards, and race control? Not to mention, tech, registration, presentations, etc.

The response I got had something to do with one man against the machine, and that single competitors are safe within their cars, etc.

At that point I realized this person must be new to this whole amateur racing thing and decided I would bail out before my head exploded. I exited the conversation, but of course I couldn’t stop thinking about the notion that how you could possibly hold a race weekend in a socially distanced environment?

So much of a race weekend has little to do with driving, that I opine occasionally that, “I went to a party and a race broke out!” I believe most of us feel this way.

For background, I’ve held a comp license for well over twenty years, as well as a steward’s license and worked virtually all race weekend specialties at one time or another. It’s rewarding to me paying back through volunteering and enjoy that side of the racing community as do others. Typically, I run in Vintage Historic events, but also run in current era groups.

What I actually like best is that I have a group of paddock mates for most weekends, usually crewless, and looking after our own cars. We typically come alone, but our group is usually together.

In essence, the hardest thing I tried to imagine was a weekend with my friends and fellow racers, having to socially distance. On many race days we’re only out on track 15to 20% of the time at best. The rest of the time we’re prepping or visiting. I would go so far as to say that for many of us a race weekend is the pinnacle of our summer social activities.

Without the people, this wouldn’t be the same. Congratulating the winners and friends who had a great race is part of the enjoyment. Thanking and seeing your worker friends at the end of the day is a given. So much of a race weekend has little to do with driving, that I opine occasionally that, “I went to a party and a race broke out!” I believe most of us feel this way.

This isn’t a political statement. In fact, I’m on a race committee organizing for an early July event we hope will come together. I certainly believe we can balance our need to feel the thrill of driving and racing, visiting with our good friends, and provide for a safe environment for the participants and workers.

Things will need to be fluid this year for sure. I certainly hope that we can keep the sport we love to share, safe to race, but also allow us to share our humanity. After all of this quarantine time, we’re going to need some quality-time with our racing friends. Stay safe!!


Read More of My Blog Posts


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
Cars and Stars, The Amelia Island Experience

Cars and Stars, The Amelia Island Experience

Cars and Stars, The Amelia Island Experience

Sport and Specialty - John Saccameno blog

Not many automotive events short of a Formula One race can boast of participants and attendees the likes of this years honoree, Roger Penske.

I’m still recovering from the automotive love fest and spectacle that is the Amelia Concours d’Elegance 2020. It’s been held rain or shine for 25 years now. Amazing!

Estimates for the first event in 1995 was 2,000 people, I read they expected 20,000 for this year. It sure looked as if they met their expectations. The Chairman and founder of the event, Bill Warner, has developed a vision and flavor for this event that is unique amongst similar shows around the world. Long-time major sponsors, Mercedes Benz, and the Ritz Carlton, add a certain panache to the event where all proceeds are donated to charity.

This isn’t a show only about the eras of styles and technology, Bill also makes sure he honors and salutes the people who have helped steer the industry and sport we true believers study and follow. Industry leaders, team owners, and championship drivers all participate in the weekend events. Not only are the cars up close and personal, but also many of our admired visionaries, corporate mavericks, and the brave drivers that made so many of these cars legendary on the road and track.

Not many automotive events, short of a Formula One race, can boast of participants and attendees the likes of this years honoree, Roger Penske. Others included, in no particular order; Derek Bell, Justin Bell, Johnny Rutherford, Lyn St James, George Follmer, Jochen Mass, Jackie Ickx, David Hobbs, Bobby Rahal, Bobby Unser, Hurley Haywood, Brian Redmond, Peter Cunningham, and Scott Pruitt. These are just the people I remember seeing. You never know who you may be sitting next to at lunch or while having a beer.

So happy 25th birthday to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance! Thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors that come out to support us faithful who relish the automobile, and the many people who make it so exciting. Cheers, and thank you, Bill and Jane Warner!


Read More of My Blog Posts


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
Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Sport and Specialty Blog

“Again, when a car needs work, it needs work. It’s how the news is delivered that has a big impact. In person is best, with the broken bone exposed, so to speak.”

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 car review and scope of work. The other, on the other hand, it was his first walk-around his new beauty without its clothes on.

As fair as we try to be, when a car needs work, it needs work. For those who have been through this before I try to simply point out what we found, and what out remedy will be, regardless of how extreme.

They usually get it and we move on and call them if there’s anything really bad. The experienced car geek is usually happy you were smart and diligent enough to find the issues and flaws before they either became cosmetically worse, or simply dangerous.

For the poor soul who bought a car without exercising due diligence, it becomes a bit more delicate. If it’s their first time, most had no idea that older cars had so many crappy parts. Welcome to the fifty-year-old mechanicals club, my friend.

Again, when a car needs work, it needs work. It’s how the news is delivered that has a big impact. In person is best, with the broken bone exposed, so to speak. We typically ask the customer out to the shop to review the work with us before dismantling anything. A solemn bedside manner and a bit of suicide prevention can help prevent a disaster.

Typically, both types of customers come out of the experience happy, but it sure helps to get their buy in up front. Everyone wants a nice car, right?


Read More of My Blog Posts


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


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


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


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
Updates, New Crew Members, Jaguars, Alfas, and Healey Eye Candy

Updates, New Crew Members, Jaguars, Alfas, and Healey Eye Candy

Updates, New Crew Members, Jaguars, Alfas, and Healey Eye Candy

As official Content Strategist (Internet Guy) and photographer for Sport and Specialty, I get the pleasure of spending time at the shop to catch up on the newest work and meet the newest crew members. This last trip was preceding VSCDA’s Blackhawk Classic so the energy was even higher than usual.

Many, many updates to come about the work going on “In The Shop” but for now, meet the new crew member Jon Edwards and a his story. Anyone who has visited has probably also met Cameron Schmidt in the shop, but now he’s officially elevated to apprentice status so now you’ll see him getting his hands into the rudimentary details of the work around the shop. 

Oh, and about that eye candy…


Read More of My Blog Posts


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
A Winning Blackhawk Vintage Classic with VSCDA

A Winning Blackhawk Vintage Classic with VSCDA

A Winning Blackhawk Vintage Classic with VSCDA

Last weekend was the annual Father’s Day VSCDA Blackhawk Vintage Classic. After a Spring of rain, cold, and snow, it was a real pleasure to get out with a minimum of precipitation and a maximum of track time.

Ron Soave and Jeff Poracik did an exemplary job as race chairs planning a real racer’s event. There was three days of solid in-car time along with tons of socializing with our fellow Midwest car brothers and sisters. Bill Oakes and I shared a fun paddock and had a blast. See you next year, and looking forward to the October VSCDA Blackhawk event.


Read More of My Blog Posts


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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