(08-03-2018) – Sometimes podcast guests happen when you least expect it. That said, talking with Indycar driver Josef Newgarden was fun. He’s a well spoken guy who has a knack for finishing big at Indycar races, and in 2017 won the Driver’s Championshp! This guy knows how to drive! He was even nominated this year for an ESPY! Just look at the leaderboard now, where, as of this writing, is currently 3rd in the standings, falling from second only because Alexander Rossi (a previous TAC guest) won in Ohio and Josef finished 4th. Rossi moved past him into second. Josef has some great car stories and tells us about his big break…and why the only way you get a big name racing team (like Penske) to notice you, is beat their drivers on the track!
Then, there’s Victoria Vetri aka Angela Dorian. She was an actress at a young age in Hollywood when she opted for the Playboy route. In 1968 she was named “Playmate of the Year!” As the winner, she received (like several PMOYs before and after), a pink car. Her’s was the first year AMX by American Motors. She kept the car for OVER 40 years (no playmate has ever done that!). Victoria was a bit of a hot rodder, and spent the last 9 years of her life in prison. (But not for speeding, you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out why). Before I interviewed current co-owner of the AMX, Mark Melvin for TAC 117 back in March at Chrysler Performance West’s annual “Spring Fling” in Van Nuys, Victoria was let out of Prison. I had always wanted to talk to her to get her side of the AMX equation, and didn’t think I’d find her, until….I saw she was set to appear at David Ekouby’s “Hollywood autograph Show” in LA. She agreed to a sit down (we talked in a closet next to her perch autographing plenty of 8×10’s (I’ve never been in a closet with a PMOY before). Victoria was fun, frank, and grateful she is in a good place in her life after years of not being somewhere else.
After the interview, I made a quick call to Mark, and he brought the AMX to the autograph show the next day. As you can tell, Victoria loved being behind the wheel of her former PMOY car! Listen to the podcast by clicking below, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE, COMMENT and SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR CAR and PLAYMATE minded friends!
(07-19-2018) – You’ve seen him all over TV, from Jay Leno’s Garage (where he’s always trying to race Jay in some form of vehicle), on Californacation (shockingly called “Alonzo”), Fresh off the Boat, Dr. Ken, and when he’s not in Scary Movie 4….he’s doing his stand up comedy act, and talking about his uncle on the radio who is suffering a stroke but can’t seem figure out what he’s going through.
Alonzo is a HUGE fan of motorcycles but is enough of a car fan that we talked nearly an hour before we agreed he should come back to have an all motorcycle TAC…..(maybe we need to change it to TAM…..Talking About Motorcycles….in the future, so stay tuned for that!) Alonzo talks about his car history, what 460 Air Conditioning means, about growing up in a GM family, which car is the most claustrophobic for a tall guy (over 6-1), the new movie he’s working on and why it would be good if Jerry Seinfeld happened to listen to this podcast.
(07-06-2018) – Like most men, Mark Melvin grew up with an awareness of Playboy Magazine. But unlike most men, Mark and and a pal now have a memory of the magazine (and it’s centerfolds) that no one has. An actual “Playmate of the Year” car! Mark is a big AMC guy. Loves Ramblers, Ambassadors and more importantly the first series Javelin/AMX from 1968-70.
In 1964, Ford Motor Company was looking for publicity for their new car they were debuting as a 1964 1/2…..they called it the “Mustang.” What better way to get publicity for it than put it in a magazine that had the eyes of men thanks to their buxom and scantily clad models in their pages? Not sure if it was Playboy’s idea or Ford’s…..but a legend was born. The Playmate of the Year pink car! 1964 with PMOY Donna Michelle was paired with the Mustang, in 1965 it was Jo Collins and a pink Sunbeam Tiger (like the one “Maxwell Smart” drove in the classic “Get Smart” TV show), in 1966 Allison Parks was given a new Dodge Charger, in 1967 Lisa Baker drove a newly redesigned 67 Barracuda and in 1968 “Angela Dorian” received a new ‘68 AMX.
Mark tells Randy about how he found the car, and what it took to restore it. Turns out “Angela” (not her real name), held onto the car for a long time….and it looked like it. Sadly, her life took an odd turn…..which resulted in a stay in prison. But more about that in the podcast.
BTW, the pink playmate cars continued through 1975 when Marilyn Lange received a Porsche 911S (and sadly had to deal with crazy stalkers, so Playboy ended the “pink” car program). EXTRA NOTE : you had to feel bad for the late Claudia Jennings who in 1970 was given a pink….Mercury Capri. Not exactly the same as the Shelby GT 350 PMOY Connie Kreski received in 1969 or the Pantera that Liv Lindeland was given in 1972, but I digress.
Then we come to Cecile Bukmeier who made a name for herself in her native Canada as a painter of custom cars. Cars, that most of the time, she never saw finished until she painted Johnny Martinez’ “Wicked” 1929 Ford Pickup. It’s a masterpiece of deep color and subtle dark hues. Cecile saw the truck for the first time at this year’s Classic Auto Show at the LA Convention Center. We brought both Cecile and Johnny (whose car story can be heard on Talking About Cars 70 on our “Classic” site on Soundcloud & iTunes) with our pal Bob Beck of GAAS Great American Auto Scene to hear about Wicked and Cecile learning her craft!
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(06-22-2018) – for 44 years Dave McClelland held the mic during NHRA broadcasts that dated back to the days of Shirley Muldowney, the Snake and the Mongoose, Don Garlits, Dick Landy and the drag racing legends! He’s seen it all, while maintaining his own car collection! Listen as Dave gives us some great stories, a run down on his own cars, including one rather rare Buick, and his thoughts on the recent passing of Tom McEwen, does he deserve to be installed into the Hall of Fame?
Also on the show, our pal Bob Beck from the Great American Auto Scene (GAAS), joins Dave and I from the NHRA Reunion at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Bob gives us an update on the Museum after a sinkhole buried several of their display cars some years ago, and their visit to the local minor league baseball team, named after….what else….cars!
(06-08-2018) – It’s the dream of many a classic car guy (or gal), taking a hike somewhere, seeing a barn out in the middle of nowhere….look inside a window and see….the classic car of your dreams! Whether it’s a 57 DeSoto or a Lancia or a Hudson Hornet, there are still cars buried under all sorts of stuff, in garages, backyards…and yes, even barns all over the U.S.! Michael Alan Ross makes sure we see many of them in the Tom Cotter “Barn Find” coffee tables books. Ross is a well known automotive photographer, and explains how he went from rock band and commercial jingles vocalist to Cotter’s right hand man and shutterbug as they commence on a Wayne Carini-esque trek through America’s backroads and diners in search of that next….”Barn Find”
My occasional co-host, Bob Beck from the “Great American Auto Scene” (GAAS) joined us at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California for some fun banter, as we work out the kinks on a new audio board and talk with Michael.
(05-25-2018) – From the “Celebrity Stage” at the Classic Auto Show in LA, our Randy Kerdoon had a chance to talk with “Horny” Mike and Kevin Mack from History Channel’s “Counting Cars!” Both have some cool wheels in their garages. From a 1955 school bus sporting…what else…HORNS, to Kevin’s 69 Cadillac, both have the off-beat chemistry that ads to Danny “the Count” Koker’s custom shop in Las Vegas. Randy, Kevin and the “Hornmeister” talk about how they joined the garage (and the show), the hierarchy of the Challenger world, Mike’s table making abilities, the real reason Mike bought a Woodie and we take questions from the audience! Remember, LISTEN, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE/RETWEET, COMMENT AND if you listen on iTunes….RATE US 5 STARS!! Thanks!!
(05-10-2018) – Our TAC pal, Dave Kindig from “Bitchen Rides” on Velocity joining me on the “Celebrity Stage” at this years Classic Auto Show in LA! We talked about what it was like fixing up your father-in-law’s car (no pressure there, right?), when was a Continental NOT a Lincoln….(it happened two years….listen below to find out when) and DAVE SINGS!!! (Won’t tell you what song it was….other than, I joined him and it was ….what you thought it would be!). We also took questions from fans in the audience!
One side note, after posting the podcast on our Talking About Cars with Randy Kerdoon Facebook page….I tried to promote it, only to discover, that according to Facebook….the word “Bitchen”….is basically a cuss word. Not only was the promotion denied, but when I appealed it on the basis of it being a legitimate term, and title of an actual Velocity/Discovery TV show….IT WAS DENIED AGAIN! Whoa. Things you learn when you least expected it! Listen to our “non-promotable” podcast below!
(4-27-18) – We’ve all asked that question. “What’s my classic car worth?” Now a new show on Discovery Channel will ask that question in a new weekly show, “Sticker Shock”. The premise is simple, people bring their classics to a warehouse, where a car experts look it over, research some information, and then tell the owner, what they think it’s worth. Think “Antiques Roadshow” on wheels.
Todd Wertman and Nick Smith know their cars (and motorcycles) and know this show has been very educational. On “TAC 112” with Randy Kerdoon and guest co-host Bob Beck (Great American Auto Scene/GAAS), they talk about their own car history, car stories, and some of the wheels they saw during taping of the reality show that was taped in an LA warehouse that was torn down soon after shooting ended. (Makes you wonder if there is a season two, what they’ll do for a new set.). Todd talks about working for actor Nic Cage and why Cage LOVES him as a provider of classic cars, and Nick talks about the bike he’ll never sell.
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(04-12-2018) – Two forms of racing that couldn’t be farther apart in acceptance. Both can happen on city streets, both can be attended by many people, but only one….is legal. This week on Talking About Cars podcast #111, I talk IndyCar with Northern California native Alexander Rossi, who won the Indy 500 the first time he drove in it, and is ready for his 3rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Going into Long Beach, Alexander stands 2nd in the driver’s standings, and hopes to do better than his previous finishes in Long Beach (19th last year and 20th in 2016). Also on the show this week! Our pal Doug Stokes who is wrapping up a long run with Irwindale Speedway!
You talkin’ about me? Nope, we’re talkin’ about You!! Doug is a former SCCA racer himself, he’s seen or promoted just about every kind of racing there is. Like many of us he’s been alarmed by what he sees on the street where car enthusiasts take part in “sideshows”, closing down parts of roads, even freeways to smoke the rubber off their tires while doing burnouts, “donuts” and more, before their “fun” is broken up by police. Usually there are arrests, tickets and cars being impounded. Doug fills us in on the new “B.O.X.” At Irwindale, that allows for that kind of activity….and it’s all legal!!
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(03-30-2018) – For a car guy, this is living the dream! Not only “hanging” with incredibly cool cars, but cool car people!! If you’ve seen the Velocity TV show “All Girls Garage”, you recognize the two women with me in the above picture, Bogi Lateiner and Rachel DeBarros. Bogi was one of the original “AGG” mechanics (alongside Cristy Lee and Jessi Combs) who showed they knew their stuff when it came to working on cars, altho’ …it’s okay to admit you originally tuned for the “eye candy.” When Jessi exited the show, Rachel came on board after her youtube series “Gearhead Diva” caught the network’s attention with her hands-on work with cars and entertaining presentation.
Bogi’s fantastic 57 Chevy “Montage” pickup was at the recent Classic Auto Show in Los Angeles, complete with a BMW motor under the hood (listen to the podcast below to get the story behind that). The truck was more than just a build for Bogi, she brought along some 89 women who at one time or another worked on the car to make it “show ready”. Bogi and Rachel were fun and told stories about how someone could begin on a trek to a “normal” career, before veering into another that would always keep their hands dirty, but their minds at peace.
Also on this week’s podcast….
Our pal, Jeff Gilbert from WWJ Radio in Detroit! His “Tales from the Auto Beat” podcast makes for an interesting listen on radio.com, and he reports on car industry for CBS Radio. Jeff gives us the latest from the New York Auto Show!!
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