All posts by Larry Nutson

Larry Nutson is an auto industry veteran, a mechanical engineer by education and an automobile enthusiast at heart. His diverse automotive career includes a youthful stint in semi-pro drag racing, twenty-five years working for Volkswagen of America, three years of Chevrolet strategy planning at Campbell-Ewald Advertising, and a position as founding member of the Detroit-based Individual Communicators Network (ICN). He is a past chairperson of the SAE International Public Affairs Committee, has provided public relations services for SAE Congress and Formula SAE and was a consultant and sponsorship representative for the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit. Larry is the Chicago Bureau Chief for The Auto Channel and resides in Chicago.

Nutson’s nuggets at Mecum MidAmerica motorcycle auction

Mecum's MidAmerica motorcycle auction begins Friday just outside Chicago | Larry Nutson photos
Mecum’s MidAmerica motorcycle auction begins Friday just outside Chicago | Larry Nutson photos

About 350 vintage and antique motorcycles line the floor of the Schaumburg Convention Center just northwest of Chicago for this late spring chance for many to get a new old ride for the summer. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Rise & Drive in Chicago

Rise & Drive gathers monthly at a Chicago collector car  hub
Rise & Drive gathers monthly at a Chicago collector car hub

Rise & Drive is Chicago’s twist on the cars-and-coffee cruise-ins taking place across the country.

Now in its third year, Rise & Drive has a new gathering place, the Collectors’ Car Garage. The free event is open to a variety of cars — vintage classics, sports cars, muscle cars, exotics and microcars, with a few hot rods and customs among the nearly 100 cars that attended the most recent monthly gathering. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Chrysler 300 Club Spring Show

Chrysler 300 Letter Cars gather at the Gilmore Car Museum | Larry Nutson photos
Chrysler 300 Letter Cars gather at the Gilmore Car Museum | Larry Nutson photos

Appropriately titled “TorqueFlites and Tulips,” the Chrysler 300 Club International held its recent Spring 2016 meet in Holland, Michigan. Club members and Chrysler 300 letter-car owners along with spouses, significant others and guests toured the countryside of western Michigan and staged a show on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Pontiac-Oakland Museum

1971 Pontiac Ventura with 421cid dual-quad intake at the Pontiac-Oakland Museum | Larry Nutson photos
1961 Pontiac Ventura with 421cid dual-quad intake at the Pontiac-Oakland Museum | Larry Nutson photos

It all starts with the horse and buggy. In 1893, Edward Murphy founded the Pontiac Buggy Company in Pontiac, Michigan. Murphy then started the Oakland Motor Car Company in 1907, Oakland being the name of the county in which Pontiac was situated. Not long thereafter, Oakland was purchased by and eventually absorbed into General Motors. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals 2015

Just a few of the 500 cars on display at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals | Larry Nutson photos
Just a few of the 500 cars on display at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals | Larry Nutson photos

Mother Nature cast a kind eye, of sorts, on this year’s Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show. On this pre-Thanksgiving weekend situated just north of downtown Chicago, an early winter storm was bearing down on the load-in day for the expected more than 500 show cars. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Milwaukee Masterpiece

Award winners roll toward their introductions at the Milwaukee Masterpiece| Larry Nutson photos
Award winners roll toward their introductions at the Milwaukee Masterpiece| Larry Nutson photos

Early morning light rain didn’t discourage exhibitors or spectators at the 11th edition of The Milwaukee Masterpiece. A light breeze cleared the skies quickly at the picturesque lakefront location.

The Milwaukee Masterpiece takes place on the shores of Lake Michigan at Veteran’s Park, a spectacular venue situated between the Milwaukee Yacht Club and the stunningly modern Milwaukee Art Museum with its kinetic “wings.”

More than 200 unique cars, trucks and motorcycles were arrayed on the show field. Complementing the rolling sculpture for the first time were “Beautiful Boats,” an array of classic wooden boats from mid-20th century. Continue reading

Eye Candy: 17th annual Mid American Motor Works VW Funfest

Mike Yager bills himself as the chief cheerleader at Mid America Motor Works, which is located on a 200 acre campus in Effingham, a city in southern Illinois. One of the annual events hosted by Yager and his family is the VW Funfest, a gathering and celebration for air-cooled Volkswagens billed in its 17th edition as “Cars and Stars” and featuring the legendary Bruce Meyers, creator of the Meyers Manx. Also shown was a 30-minute sneak peak of the new documentary The Bug Movie. Continue reading

Eye Candy: 2015 Hot Rod Power Tour

The Hot Rod Power Tour is billed as the world’s largest road trip. The 2015 Power Tour has been off and running, hitting seven cities in seven days chasing the Mississippi River south from Wisconsin to Louisiana. The 21st running of the Power Tour features thousands of cars from all over America and beyond. This year that tour, with sponsorship from Chevrolet Performance and Continental Tire, ran June 6-13, starting in Madison, Wisconsin, and ending in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals

Photos by Larry Nutson

With no snow on the ground to deter travel on this pre-Thanksgiving Chicagoland weekend, young and old alike got to see hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cars that delighted all and brought a smile to many a face at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals.

As the show’s title suggests, there are muscle cars both vintage and new, Corvettes, drag race tribute cars, nostalgia drag race cars, a midway of vendors for car enthusiasts and hobbyists, as well as an assortment of vehicles for sale.

A 1971 426 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible that sold for a record $3.5 million earlier this fall greeted show visitors at the entrance.

VIP celebrity guests included the likes of Jim Wangers, the Godfather of the GTO; Ohio George Montgomery, the famed gasser and pro-stock drag racer; members of the Plymouth Golden Commandos drag race team from the mid-1960s, and Corvette road racer Tony DeLorenzo, who was recently inducted into the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame.

Dennis Pittsenbarger, star of the Discovery Channel television show Highway to Sell, emceed weekend premier unveilings of recently completed restorations such as the Clark Rand 1964 Hemi-powered Cheetah.

A field of Cobra Jet Fords, L89 Chevys and Hemi Mopars brought oldsters back to their younger years and educated youngsters about the history of performance cars in the U.S. auto industry.

Did you know that the drag racing term “funny car” had its beginnings in 1965 with the Mopar altered wheelbase race cars?

For those looking for a winter project, a display of dusty and dirty “barn finds” offered various muscle cars and ex-race cars, each one waiting for a hobbyist. Free seminars offered information and education for the muscle car enthusiast.

Preliminary estimates had it that about 20,000 folks would visit the show and from about 30 different states.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of many, many of these iconic and unique contributions to the American automotive scene. The sixth annual Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals featured nearly 600 mint condition muscle cars from the ‘60s and ‘70s, first generation Corvettes up to today’s Stingray and a collection of local hobbyists cars and trucks.

 

Eye Candy: Mecum’s 2014 Chicago auction

Yes, it’s an auction for buyers and sellers. However, it’s also a wonderful car show.

Mecum Auctions’ 2014 Chicago classic and collector car auction returned to the suburban Schaumburg Convention Center with an exceptional lineup of nearly 1,000 collector cars headlined by a healthy variety of American muscle, Corvettes and more. Continue reading