Talking TV & Movie cars with the “Man from AMT”

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Talk about a guy who knows his way around customizing a car!!   This week on “Talking About Cars” 54, we get to hear from a guy who is more than just a customizer!   He races cars (over 100 miles an hour…in his mid-80s….that’s his age…not his speed), he has great stories about his involvement with the celebrity cars behind “Get Smart”, “Back to the Future”, “Blade Runner” and the “Man from “U.N.C.L.E.” and his near involvement with what we know as TV’s Batmobile which was produced under the watchful eye of the late, great George Barris!  …and he designs cars that are creative and amazing!

Gene Winfield has done it all, including the ridiculous, thats an actual car above….the “AnyCar 1″…made for a bank commercial.    Can you see how many different cars are in that??   (actually, he made an AnyCar 2…but that’s another story)   His book came out last year…and last year (on the urging on my college radio pal, Chuck Schwynoch of Maximum Motorsports in San Luis Obispo, CA) we went to Gene’s autograph session at Aerobooks in Burbank, CA ….not only bought the book (yes…I actually BOUGHT the book), Gene gave a GREAT interview!!   Hope you agree.    Click “Listen” above and check out Gene’s great stories, which also include his days working for the AMT people (remember those models you built as a kid?)  and much, much more!!

 

Calling all car people…..

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At the risk of sounding like a really old episode of “Highway Patrol” or “Adam-12″…..BE ON THE LOOKOUT….for a red 1967 Chevelle SS formerly owned by Erica Enders-Stevens’ dad!!!    In our new Talking About Cars #53, the two time NHRA Pro-Stock defending champion talks about looking for the car she and her dad used to work on but had to sell (this car pictured is NOT the actual car, but to simply illustrate in a general way what she’s looking for).     She wants to find it…fix it…and give it back to her dad.     How cool is that?   Also in this week’s TAC 53, Erica hears what race legend Shirley Muldowney REALLY thinks of her, and we hear about her first car (or in her case, a truck) and looking at her bid for a 3rd straight PRO STOCK title!!    ALSO, we hear from our pal Chris Jacobs from Velocity and that new show on TLC “Long Lost Family”….as we talk about “Bandit” Trans-Ams!    Yep, Talking About Cars is back!!!   TELL YOUR FRIENDS and listen here or on I-Tunes!!!   (and please rate us and comment on I-Tunes as well!!   Thanks!!!

“Phoning a friend”

Dave Hall owns “RESTORE A Muscle Car” in Lincoln, Nebraska.    He helped restore that ’77 Bandit Trans Am that sold for a half million dollars at the 2016 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale this past January.     While there, Dave joined me IN the car and we talked Bandit trivia and….we found out his wife, Michelle knew more than he did as Dave got to….”Phone a friend”!!     WATCH and tell your car pals!!     @GenerationAutoTV    Talking About Cars podcasts return soon!!

 

TAC 24’s Alfonso Ribeiro wins final LBGP Pro/Celebrity Race 2016

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Alfonso Ribeiro (who you can hear on our Talking About Cars podcast #24), did it again!!    he won the 40th and final Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, California.    For Ribeiro, it was his 4th win, after taking the checkered flags in 1994, 1995 and 2015.   He finished just under 5 seconds ahead of Pro driver Max Papis.

Over the years, the Pro/Celebrity races have helped Toyota donate more than $2.3 million to “Racing For Kids”.

The final race included a couple of twists; Eighteen previous winners were in the race and when Jimmy Vasser and Al Unser Jr finished 1-2 in qualifying, they found out that meant they’d start the race in the LAST two spots, meaning they’d have to run through the entire field over just 10 laps to win.     Surprise!!!

Among the Finishers :

  1. ALFONSO RIBEIRO                                         31:24.954
  2. MAX PAPAS                                                    –     4.87 sec
  3. ROD MILLEN (Pro winner in 1995)               –     9.78 sec
  4. ADAM CAROLLA                                          –   11.91 sec
  5. MIKE SKINNER                                             –   12.14 sec
  6. KEN GUSHL                                                   –   12.64 sec
  7. FRANKIE MUNIZ                                          –   12.88 sec
  8. JIMMY VASSAR                                            –    13.77 sec
  9. RICKY SCHROEDER                                    –    14.23 sec
  10. AL UNSER JR                                                 –    19.42 sec
  11. RUTLEDGE WOOD                                       –    22.42 sec
  12. DAVE PASANT                                               –    23.89 sec
  13. WILLIAM FICHTNER                                   –    24.43 sec
  14. DARA TORRES                                              –    29.22 sec
  15. DOUG FREGIN                                              –    36.03 sec
  16. BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN                              –  1:09.50 sec
  17. SEAN PATRICK FLANNERY                       –    DNF*
  18. BRETT DAVERN                                           –    DNF
  19. BOB CARTER                                                –    DNF
  20. EDDIE LAWSON                                           –    DNF
  • – Did not finish    NOTE, above picture was taken in 2015.

Getting ready for the Big Comeback!!

Going on 10 weeks since my little “health issue” interrupted things, the good news is…..I’m supposed to be returning with NEW PODCASTS here on Talking About Cars by the end of the month….LIKELY SOONER!!

In the meantime, some new things to look out for!   On our Social Media tab (above) we are adding to TAC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram……TAC on YOUTUBE!!!    Basically, our friends and partners at Generation Auto TV has uploaded many of our interviews from our collaboration at Scottsdale this past January, and that they all there for you to check out!    Barrett Jackson and ESPN commentator Rick DeBruhl joined me in the promo ’77 Bandit TransAm joining previous talks with Chris Jacobs (Congrats on his new show “Long Lost Family” on TLC with pal from my days at Fox-11, Lisa Joyner….check it out…it’s a great show!)….and Richard Rawlings from Fast and Loud!!     (Both interviews are linked below as well)

Check out some other interviews with officials with Ford Motor company as we talk about their new Ford Raptor truck, and Ford Focus RS!!    These are interviews that are exclusive to this YouTube account!

BONUS TRIVIA : Rick and I were alums at the campus radio station at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, KCPR.    but that’s for another podcast, another time!!

 

 

 

Hangin’ with the Bandit

it’s been nearly 40 years since Burt Reynolds got behind the wheel of that 1977 Pontiac Firebird and began the legend of “Smokey and the Bandit”. When he showed up at Scottsdale in January to help a “promo” version of the original car sell for a half million dollars at Barrett-Jackson, the place went predictably crazy. While the timing didn’t work out for me to interview Burt, my Generation Auto TV producer Julian White DID catch up to him, check out his interview from GATV’s you tube account!!

 

Friends, rehabbing, and reaching out!

While i’m in rally mode from my recent medical maladies, the car world moves on.    What’s really helped me is hearing from family, friends, co-workers and you the fans of Talking About Cars!!   It really helps to hear from you here, on my TAC Facebook, twitter and instagram pages!      My best way of dealing with the negatives is keeping your sense of humor and having fun along the way.   Last month in Scottsdale, one of our pals, Chris Jacobs of Velocity joined me in the Bandit Trans Am at Barrett-Jackson for what will eventually be TAC 53, but until that is uploaded the end of next month, check us out in a TAC-Generation Auto TV you tube collaboration!     Now, this irresistible tease…..  we sing in the car!!    wait, what?

Until we return with BRAND NEW Podcasts next month, tell your fell classic car friends about our Talking About Cars podcasts!!!   and listen on ITunes and right here!   Just click LISTEN!!

 

 

Reality Bites!

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A not so funny thing happened after my fun trip to Scottsdale, AZ, at Barrett-Jackson.

Back home, I thought I had pulled a chest muscle the night before the Super Bowl because I had tried a different angle on doing my daily morning regimen of push-ups.   I felt soreness…and for some reason, my bi-cep on my left side was also sore.   Heart issue?   We’ve all heard the stories….”shooting pain down your left side” etc.    So I went on line to look  up the symptoms.    I had none of them.   Just this goofy soreness in my chest and bicep.   Put ice on it.   Felt better…went to sleep.

(an aside :  My wife often states if it wasn’t for wives in our lives, us guys would all be dead!  We don’t seem to take stuff like this seriously, or are too clueless (or MACHO) to see what’s ahead!    All of our friends agree with her….including most of the men!)

The next morning the pain returned.  I took a couple of ibuprofen, but instead of getting better, it got worse.    Soon, that mild soreness became radiating pain, followed by sweats and then light headedness.   My wife called 9-1-1, and I had a new story to talk about….an AMBULANCE story.    Turned out, I had a heart attack.    My “Widowmaker” artery….100% blocked.    As luck would have it, my cardiologist was already at the hospital at 730am….on Super Bowl Sunday, because….he decided to do his rounds early because….he was going to a Super Bowl party later on.     He saw me get brought in on a gurney….took a look at my EKG’s….and immediately sent me to the cath-lab.   One stent later, and i’m on my way to a FULL RECOVERY.

TWO reasons for blogging this on “Talking About Cars”.

1) AN EXCUSE.   Obviously, new Talking About Cars podcasts will be delayed a few weeks.    I’m hoping to get new ones up on ITunes and Soundcloud at the end of March.     and

2) A WARNING.     I had NO advance medical signs this could happen.    My cholesterol levels were all within limits.  I ate healthy.   Didn’t see this coming at all.    The warning, if you are of a certain age….get your stress test!   Start eating healthy.    NEVER overlook your heart health.    I’m alive today because LA Fire Department Paramedics and the Cardiac Specialists at West Hills Hospital did that thing they do….and saved me!!    Our obsession with classic cars is fun!!    Don’t let yours come to a premature end.

in the meantime, while we wait for Talking About Cars 54!!    check out my Talking About Cars interview….with Richard Rawlings on Generation Auto TV’s youtube.com account!!

Scoring at Barrett-Jackson!

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So far it’s been a great time at Barrett-Jackson on Talking About Cars first shared experience with Generation Auto TV!    So far the interviews have come Fast and Furious!!    Richard Rawlings of Gas Monkey Garage joined me IN the Bandit Trans-Am…where our interview was interrupted with a cellphone call!   Turned out breaking news of sorts!!   He also took the “Bandit Trivia Challenge” and then surprised me with a trivia question of his own!!     We’ve also talked on camera with Velocity’s Chris Jacobs and Rick DeBruhl and off camera, audio only with Mike Joy and Steve Magnante!

IMG_4183Also on hand, a pair of Burt Reynolds (the Bandit) and Jackie Gleason (Sheriff Buford T Justice) look alikes to give the visiting crowd a thrill while checking out the Bandit Trans-Am.   Here is the Sheriff (wink, wink) about to get me for doing 105 in a 35, or something like that!   Wait, are those cuffs in his back pocket??    Where’s Cledus when you need him??    For more from Barrett-Jackson, check out Talking About Cars on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

(South)east bound and down

smokeyan iconic screen grab from the 1977 movie, “Smokey and the Bandit”.    Burt Reynolds and Sally Field making us car people all dream of what would happen if we took our best girl into the center median of a highway at 100 miles an hour…evading police cars and somehow being the hero because we managed to get a truckload full of Coors beer to Florida.   (Remember, this was 1977….Coors wasn’t anywhere East of the Rockies back then!).   Also…trust me…trying that with your best girl….NEVER works out.     Tried doing a power slide on Valley Circle Blvd. back in my high school days to follow a girlfriend going the other way….tried to impress her.   It did not.   (guess she was just the wrong girl)!

I’m going to be in Scottsdale later this week to get my fill of the biggest car auction events anywhere!    Barrett-Jackson, Russo & Steele, Gooding, and R/M auctions bring out the coolest cars, celebrities and the deep pocketed buyers who spend on the “hot wheels” on the block like we used to spend on Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars when we were kids (and for some of us…older).

B-J has found one of the original Pontiac Firebird TransAms associated with the movie, it’s been restored and will be auctioned on Saturday!    I say “associated” because i’m told, while this car WAS one of the 5 cars Pontiac provided for the movie, it was NOT one of the 4 cars actually IN the movie.    This was a promo car Universal used to showcase the movie.    (For the story on the car, check out TALKING ABOUT CARS 50, click on my Listen page!!  it’s after the Ray Evernham interview….which by the way was really fun!)

I’m teaming up with Julian White at Generation Auto TV for an interesting concept.    Interviewing car celebrities…sitting IN the actual TransAm up for auction.   Think James Cordon of the Late, Late show’s “Car Karaoke” except no singing…and we’re actually not driving in the car at the time. (altho’ the concept would be pretty cool).    Sounds like a good time, and i’m eager to try something “completely different”.     The interviews would eventually pop up on TALKING ABOUT CARS and on Generation Auto TV’s you tube page, so you could actually SEE a TAC interview in progress!!

The actual “guest” list for our “interview in a car” idea is still shaping up, but keep tabs on us, as we have some fun…TALKING ABOUT CARS!

If you go to Scottsdale, and see us…say hi!!