Category archives: Other Features

Variety of rallies and tours open to vintage vehicles and enthusiasts

The Britain-based Endurance Rally Association has set a calendar for the next four years that includes six new events and will offer events on six continents. The group plans 16 endurance rallies through 2021, it announced.

“The ERA continues to go from strength to strength, and the next four years will see us doing what we do best – organizing global events that offer great driving, fantastic company, and brilliant adventure,” rally director Fred Gallagher said in the organization’s news release.

The 2018-2021 calendar begins with The Road to Saigon, which the ERA terms a “follow up” to the Road to Mandalay event staged in February, 2017.

The 10th Flying Scotsman is scheduled for April, 2018, with the third Trans-America Challenge takes owners of vintage vehicles across the United States in May.

Two events are scheduled for September 2018 — the fourth Alpine Trial and the new Himalayan Challenge, an event ERA says is for “experienced rally crews.”

Endurance Rally Association sets calendar for the next four years
Endurance Rally Association sets calendar for the next four years

The Flying Scotsman event opens the ERA’s 2019 calendar that includes the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, “the world’s toughest event for vintage and classic cars,” scheduled for June, 1919. The new Adriatic Adventure is scheduled for September, 1919 “exploring the mountains of the inland Balkans and the brilliance of the Adriatic coastline.”

Another new event, the 24-day Rally New Zealand, is planned for February 2020. Then comes another Flying Scotsman before the Sahara Challenge, a 12-day event from Malaga to Marrakech in late spring.

A new South American event from Lima to Cape Horn will be called ‘The Rally to the End of the World’ and ends the 2020 schedule.

The 2021 calendar starts with the inaugural 21-day Pearl of India in February. Another Flying Scotsman follows, and then the second Baltic Classic is scheduled for that June.

Another new event launches in October 2021 — the ABC Rally in Australia. The route travels from Adelaide to Canberra and Surfers Paradise, then on to Brisbane and Cairns.

“With so many of the winners of the Peking to Paris coming from Australia, it seemed only fitting to take the extensive experience of the ERA into their own backyard,” said Gallagher.

The ERA still has two more events on its 2017 calendar — the Blue Train Challenge, starting September 18 in France, and the Classic Safari in Africa, starting October 9.

For details, visit the association’s website.

Rally Nippon visits historic Japanese cultural sites

Rally Nippon, a vintage-vehicle tour of Japan, celebrates its 10th anniversary in October with a four-day drive that organizers promise will meander from Kyoto to Tokyo while taking in historic and cultural sites.

Eighty vehicles already have filled the registration list for an event sponsored by Peninsula hotels, which also sponsors The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering during Monterey Car Week. The Peninsula Tokyo hotel is the final stop on the 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) tour.

Rally Nippon is a four-day tour of history and culture — and cars

“In addition to enjoying stunning landscapes and the camaraderie stemming from a shared passion for the ultimate in automotive design and engineering, participants will enjoy distinctive regional cuisines and sip local sakes, fine wines and spirits,” the organizers promise. “Stays in fine hotels and traditional inns add extra allure to this magical Japanese journey.”

By the way, the Peninsula hotels are more than an event sponsor. The Peninsula Hong Kong not only has a fleet of 14 extended-wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantoms, but among them is a 1934 Phantom II Sedanca de Ville town car. It also supports The Quail Rally, a three-day charity drive that concludes at the Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley.

AACA Museum group to visit Italy

From November 3-12, AACA Museum Tours plans a car-oriented trip to Italy that includes visits to private collections, including Nicola Bulgari’s and Corrado Lopresto’s, as well as the Ducati Museum, the Panini/Maserati Museum, a visit to the Lamborghini factory and museum, the Ferrari Museum, the National Car Museum in Turin, where the group also will tour a FIAT factory. In addition to travel by coach, there will be a drive in antique cars along the Via Cassia from Sarteano to Pienza. For information, visit the tour website.

Vintage riders head to Hungary in 2018

The international federation for vintage vehicles, FIVA, plans a “world motorcycle run” in 2018 in Hungary, home of the Pannonia, Csepel, Meray and other historic brands. The dates are June 21-24 for an event that begins and ends near Budapest.

The tour will include museums and private collections, with daily rides of 75-100 miles. A highlight will be a cruise along the 5-kilometer Gyoin Beton road, where several motorcycle speed records were set in 1934.

For information and registration details, visit the FIVA website.

Closer to home

Spots on the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association’s annual Hall of Fame road tour are sold out, though there is a waiting list. The tour runs September 22-28 and travels from North Carolina to the Lone Star Nationals in Fort Worth, Texas, with stops at the Country Music Hall of Fame, New Orleans, San Antonio and at various automotive shops and car museums along the way.

'Drive Toward a Cure' heads to Atlanta Concours d'Elegance
‘Drive Toward a Cure’ heads to Atlanta Concours d’Elegance

The inaugural Drive Toward a Cure’s “Great Southern Adventure” runs September 27-30, starting in Asheville, North Carolina, challenging the Tail of the Dragon and ending at the Atlanta Concours at Chateau Elan. The event raises money to fight Parkinson’s Disease. For details, visit the event website.

Classic Morgan sports cars converge for weekend of motoring tradition

Morgan are well-known as the most-traditional of traditional British sports cars, still built by hand in the original Malvern factory using time-honored techniques, and still keeping with the pre-war roadster style while other British marques such as MG and Jaguar moved on to more-modern designs.

Three-wheeled Morgans parades from the Malvern factory
Three-wheeled Morgans parades from the Malvern factory

The Morgan Motor Company hosted more than 1,500 Morgans recently in its Run for the Hills reunion celebrating the company’s 108-year history, which includes the iconic three-wheelers that harken to the beginning, and which are being produced by Morgan once again.

The Run, held at the Malvern Three Counties Fairground just a few miles from the Pickersleigh Road factory, was organized by the Morgan company along with the Morgan Sports Car Club.

The three-wheeler parade was led by patriotic flag waver
The three-wheeler parade was led by patriotic flag waver

As well as scores of three-wheelers, Morgan owners brought along their Plus 4s, Plus 8s, Aeros and other sports car models, new and old, for display and driving tours.

A highlight of the weekend was a drive from the factory to the fairground by more than 50 0f the sporty three-wheelers, and witnessed by about 5,000 spectators. The oldest models were built in 1909 by H.F.S. Morgan, while the newest model had rolled off the assembly line that week.

Morgans enter the fairgrounds
Morgans enter the fairgrounds

The parade was led by the new all-electric EV3, driven by Morris managing director, Steve Morris.

“We are continually blown away by the unrivaled passion that our owners and enthusiasts have for the marque,” Morris said in a news release.


Bookshelf: Capturing the photos that capture our lives and our cars

Autophoto is not a book to be taken lightly. And it’s not just the fact that the book spans 494 pages, and each of them is slightly larger than 8×10, so you’re carrying around the equivalent of a ream of copier paper bound between hard covers.

Most of those pages are given over to a series of photographs that follow the theme of the book’s subtitle — Cars & Photography, 1900 to Now.

In fact, the book actually is the catalog for the Autophoto exhibition running from April 20 to September 24 at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris. After paging through the book, absorbing some of the poignancy of the photographs, and reading through the various pages of text, I can only imagine the impact of actually attending that show, and let’s hope it becomes a traveling exhibition that at some point visits North America.

In their introduction, curators Xavier Barral and Philippe Seclier write of the parallel development — and impact on society — of the automobile and the camera, one allowing us to travel, the other capturing and sharing images, our memories gathered along the way.

But now, they note, a new era dawns, an era in which the car not only drives itself, but is equipped with its own cameras.

“But before this new transformation allows us to finally let go of the steering wheel, let us pause,” they suggest, we should pause to take a look at where we’ve been, how far we’ve come. They do that though the presentation of a variety of photographic series that, “show us how the automobile has, over the last century and through the eye of the camera, altered the landscape and, with its recurrent themes, forever changed our society and our way of seeing things.”

There are more words to be read in the book, including a note about movie car chases, about the first use of a “getaway” car by criminals, about the impact of the new Leica camera in 1925 — Henry Ford put the world on wheels, the Leica put practical photography in anyone’s hands — about how Jacques Henri Lartigue’s 1912 photograph of a race car in motion was actually a photographic accident now cherished for capturing speed, about how a windshield can be a frame for photography, and much more.

But the heart of the book is its display of photographs, images that show us — us and our cars and how they interact.

For example, over three pages there are 27 images by Sylvie Meunier and Patrick Tourneboeuf under the theme of American Dream, images that show people standing beside — or in the case of two children, on the hood of — their cars in the 1950s.

And it’s not just Americans we see striking strike such poses in the pages that follow.

There are images of roads; an amazing series by Ed Ruscha on parking lots; a stunningly composed series of America by Car by Lee Friedlander; another by Oscar Fernando Gomez, who frames his photos through the right-front window; a multi-page series in which 10 photographers create Nationale Zero, the so-called Transeuropean highway; a gorgeously photographed series, Auto Reverse, in which Kay Michalak and Sven Volker showcase the underside of vehicles; Edward Burtynsky’s amazing photos of piles of used tires; Alejandro Cartegna’s photos from a highway overpass of what passes beneath; and those are just those that most struck me on my first pass through the book.

But it won’t be my final examination of this amazing work of art and words. This is a coffee-table book that won’t just collect dust.



Autophoto: Cars & Photography, 1900 to Now
Edited by Xavier Barral and Philippe Seclier
By Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, 2017
ISBN: 9782869251311
Hardcover, 494 pages
$65 from

Family’s pet pony turned into pony car collection

Gilbert Speed decided to exchange the family pet for a 1965 Mustang | Ford Photos
Gilbert Speed decided to exchange the family pet for a 1965 Mustang | Ford Photos

Daniel Speed remembers the moment his dad, the late Gilbert Speed, traded the family’s real-life pony for a 1965 Ford Mustang: “One Saturday, Dad said, ‘If you guys won’t ride him, I know what I’ll do with him,’ then he came back with that car.” Continue reading

Rewind: Volkswagen Bug

(Editor’s note: Vintage television commercials can be as classic as the cars they promoted back in the day. This is one in an ongoing series of such vintage car commercials we’ve found on YouTube.)

Airing sometime in the ‘60s or perhaps even into the ‘70s, Volkswagen’s debut a commercial for the Bug proclaiming that car was so airtight you couldn’t close the door, but rather had to push it shut.

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Rewind: 1960 Ford Falcon

(Editor’s note: Vintage television commercials can be as classic as the cars they promoted back in the day. This is one in an ongoing series of such vintage car commercials we’ve found on YouTube.)

‘Is this a commercial?” Linus, a character from the Peanuts comic strip, asks in a two-minute animated TV commercial voiced by Paul Frees, also featuring Charlie Brown and Lucy, who learn about Americas best-selling compact car, the 1960 Ford Falcon.

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Dream of a lifetime fulfilled: A visit to Jay Leno’s garage

The garage has both a new Shelby GT350 Mustang and a classic version | Nicole James photos
The garage has both vintage and new Shelby GT350 Mustangs | Nicole James photos

For as long as I can remember, I have said, “I want a car collection like Jay Leno’s.” This response typically came after listing dozens of cars I’d declared as my all-time, must-have favorites that really, one could only dream of owning.

Well, unless you were Jay Leno. Continue reading

Rewind: It’s Cheap and Ugly, the 1968 Subaru 360

(Editor’s note: Vintage television commercials can be as classic as the cars they promoted back in the day. This is one in an ongoing series of such vintage car commercials we’ve found on YouTube.)

In 1968, Subaru of America was formed and with it came the little Subaru 360. Of course, because it was “cheap and ugly,” the “little Subaru” was featured in a series of ads highlighting its features — 66 miles per gallon, port of entry cost of $1,297, easy to fix and maintain, and the little Subaru can go everywhere a big car can and places it can’t.

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Rewind: 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner

(Editor’s note: Vintage television commercials can be as classic as the cars they promoted back in the day. This is one in an ongoing series of such vintage car commercials we’ve found on YouTube.)

The Plymouth Roadrunner was adorned with logos and badges featuring the Roadrunner cartoon character, and in 1969 Plymouth aired a commercial depicting the iconic character and Wiley Coyote endless efforts to catch the bird.

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Rewind: 1978 Toyota Corolla

(Editor’s note: Vintage television commercials can be as classic as the cars they promoted back in the day. This is one in an ongoing series of such vintage car commercials we’ve found on YouTube.)

In an effort to give people their “money’s worth,” Toyota launched a series of commercials promoting the 1978 Toyota Corolla. The ad encourages consumers to “buy it” if they find a better built, lower cost car than a Toyota.

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