TAC 149 – Railroad “Wheelies” & jet dragsters

Randy, Hot Rod Bob & KC Jones

(06-23-2019) – With a name like “KC Jones”, Kenneth Charles Jones has a thing with incorporating railroad themes with his dragsters. While mc’ing this 2019 LAPD, LAFD “Saving Lives” car show in Woodland Hills, CA. “Hot Rod” Bob Beck and I saw the eye-popping wheels brought by Jones, a Van Nuys native who grew up in the 60s era.

Jones races in the NHRA’s exhibition class, featuring a car that looks like a locomotive, does wheelies down the raceway, and “jet cars” that look like train engines. Kind of a cross between Tom Cruise in Top Gun meets Doc Brown in Back to the Future 3.

There is also a Peterbilt powered by a jet engine as well. Check out the podcast!

TAC 148 : Serving up some “Hemi Under Glass” with a side of San Gabriel memories

Mike Mantel’s 1968 “Hemi Under Glass”

(06-15-2019) – It was one of the most iconic “Wheel Standers” out there when it made it’s debut in late 1964-early ‘65. The first Plymouth Barracuda’s with the enormous picture window in the back seemed perfect for a drag racer in the mind of the late George Hurst. Wheelies were King and putting a Hemi that everyone could see while it races down the quarter mile on two wheels was a mind blower! There were several versions as years went by….’65, ‘66, ‘67 and of course the ‘68 which is what Mike Mantel drives and owns along with the original “Little Red Wagon” Dodge A100….AND, Mantel has plans for an updated version of the “HUG” using the recent Dodge Challenger body (considering the “Cuda” died after the 1974 models.)

The latest “Hemi Under Glass” concept.

While at the recent “Nitro Revival” at Irwindale Speedway with occasional TAC co-host “Hot Rod” Bob Beck (Great American Auto Scene/GAAS), I caught up with Mike and original “HUG” driver “Wild Bill” Shrewsberry who gave me some background on their automotive journeys and why “Wild Bill” came out to California originally to run Pontiacs then got a call from George Hurst himself. Mike also talks about that segment on CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage” where Jay had a harrowing ride in the ‘69 “HUG” that looked a bit more scary than it actually appeared on TV.

Then we listen in with Steve Gibbs as he honors some classic names from the short history of the “San Gabriel Raceway” from the 50’s and 60’s, including “TV Tommy” Ivo, the former child star and race car fanatic.

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TAC 147 : Looking behind the Hollywood car curtain!

(06-08-2019) – LA’s “Petersen Auto Museum” has a new exhibit entitled “Hollywood Dream Machines”. It includes cars from “Back to the Future”, the VW “Herbie” movies, Blade Runner 2047, Terminator, iRobot, “Mad Max” and more! Worth a look if you are in the LA area, and worth a listen is TAC 147 as the above Hollywood Art Directors, car designers, and auto suppliers for the movie industry sat down for a media day panel discussion with Movie Critic Scott Mantz about how certain cars came to be (the KITT Firebird, the Back to the Future DeLorean), how some cars worked while others didn’t for their brands, and the future of some movie franchises when it comes to adding vehicles.

It was a fun soirée behind the curtain of the movie industry and great for you trivia buffs who might have never known how close Doc Brown came to being a time traveler in a Frigidaire as opposed to a DeLorean.

Will Smith’s futurized Audi from “iRobot”

It’s pretty incredible to see the exhibit cars upclose as well….there’s even a “Terminator” exoskeleton there…..a bit creepy if you ask me.

That’s me looking back….altho’ it looks like i’m wearing all white lenses on my eyes.

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TAC 146 – Winning the “Challenger” at the Challenge; collecting police vehicles.

(06-01-2019) – How often do the worlds of classic cars and….pro golf cross paths? Rarely. So when Diamond Bar (Ca.) High alum Kevin Na won the “Schwab Challenge” by 4 strokes not only did he get prize money and a trophy, but….a 1973 Dodge “Challenger”, rebuilt by none other than Steve Strope of Simi Valley’s Pure Vision. the “1973” was because that’s when Schwab began his business. But Na didn’t keep the car, nope, he gave it…to his CADDY! How cool is that?

Back at KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles, podcast host (and KNX sports guy) Randy Kerdoon thought, it would be cool to have that caddy (Kenny Harms) on the Talking About Cars podcast. Then he realized….and why NOT? Thanks to the staff at the PGA, and Randy’s use of social media, contact was made and Kenny gave his story!

Ron Hurwitz and Derek Scouler are big fans of police vehicles. For years Ron has had a 1969 Dodge Polara CHP cruiser, and has been an advocate for the department. Derek owns a ‘69 Polara, in all black, that looks like a CHP undercover vehicle. They join Randy to explain how you can be a Police car collector while doing it the right way so your car can avoid the crusher! That, and why Derek like’s Kojak’s Buick!!!

TAC 145 – When your “classic” is a hearse or ambulance & another all female build!

Top : 1939 LeSalle hearse. Bottom : Randy, Donna Culwell, her 70 Cadillac ambulance, Bob

(05-25-2019) – What makes car collecting a hobby is about what you love. If Camaros and Mustangs are your thing, GREAT! But there are some of us out there, who love the orphans, the unusual, the odd. Dieter Obeji and Donna Culwell are great examples. TAC hosts Randy Kerdoon and Bob Beck found them at a recent “All GM” show in Woodland Hills, California. Dieter owns a battalion of ambulance and hearses, including this 1939 LaSalle that looks like a church from the inside, and out!

Such attention to detail, and to think he found it in a warehouse in Compton where it sat…..for decades. It appears to be from Utah, but more about that in the podcast.

Donna Culwell found her 1970 Cadillac in the back of a used car lot in New York State. Why an ambulance? She explains in the podcast, (and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with watching too much “Emergency” or “Mother, Jugs & Speed” growing up. )

Part of the “all female” ‘55 GMC rebuild team at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, CA.

Bogi’s idea of rebuilding a classic car/truck with an all female team, is spreading. Women in Southern California are giving it a try on a worn 1955 GMC pickup at the Automobile Driving Museum. Like the team that built Bogi’s Chevy “Montage” many of these woman have no experience in car repair. They like the bonding, and the shared team goals. They come from all walks of life, one is a Hollywood make up artist, another being the wife of an auto podcast announcer (Peggy Beck is top right in the white shirt). Listen to their stories as well on TAC 145. (We caught up with them at the Classic Auto Show at the OC Fairgrounds this past March).

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TAC 144 – the disappearing Playboy PMOY car, “Challenger Tag” & the “London Taxi wedding mobile”

Playboy Playmate of the Year 1979 in a Michelson Light commercial.

(05-20-2019) – Another in our run of “Playmate of the Year car stories!” So far i’ve talked with 1968’s Victoria Vetri (Angela Dorian) about her ‘68 AMX (and the guy who now owns it and restored it to it’s pink luster, Mark Melvin) and 2013’s Raquel Pomplun about her ‘13 Jaguar F Type, and thanks to 1979 PMOY Monique St. Pierre, we get the story of her 1980 Porsche 928 and when it disappeared from her driveway! (No, it wasn’t stolen)

Not Monique’s 928, but a reasonable facsimile

I caught up with Monique and October 2003 playmate of the month Audra Lynn at a private bash in Holmby Hills. It was a Party for those who used to work at the Playboy Mansion before the new owners took over once Hugh Hefner passed away last September at the age of 91.

Oct. 2003 Playmate of the Month, Audra Lynn

Ms. Lynn actually came up to me, noticing my “Mopars at the Mansion” black t-shirt I bought….yes, bought back in 2008 when “Mopar Collector Guide’s” Robert Wolf talked folks at the Mansion to let a bunch of cool Mopars park on the lawn at Holmby Hills. Audra began to tell me of her and boyfriend’s Dodge Challengers (she has a Hellcat, and he has a Demon), and how they chase each other around south Florida. Turns out they have THREE, one all wheel drive model they leave in Iowa for the winter!

Actual London Taxi visiting Malibu!

I caught up with John DeRoy at Fireball Tims “Wheels and Waves” in Malibu! John has not one but TWO London Taxi’s (yes from London)! It began as a hobby, but now he rents them out for weddings, which, means we get WEDDING Car Stories!! No extra charge. To listen, CLICK BELOW and please share/retweet, rate us on iTunes and give us a review!!

“Talking About Cars” on “Cars Yeah”

(05-17-2019) – Hanging out with cool car people and fellow podcasters and TV Show hosts, on TAC often get us invites to return the favor and join them on their shows! But honestly, that official invitation seldom arrives. One of the few exceptions are “Cars Yeah” TV and podcast host Mark Greene! Soon after he returned home to the state of Washington, Mark called both myself and my occasional co-host Bob Beck, of GAAS, and had us both on separate shows! (Listen by clicking the links below)

Now Normally having a dynamic duo like us on their show would be the same as a long running TV show “jumping the shark”, but in reality we were both honored to be a part Mark’s cool show! Thanks Mark!!

TAC 143 – From podcasting to TV Host & how Toilet Paper rolls fit in all of this!

(05-12-2019) – Mark Greene doesn’t look like your typical TV Host. He doesn’t have the rugged good looks of Chris Jacobs or the facial hair and bravado of Richard Rawlings, but he does have the knowledge, drive and love of his subject matter! The up and coming star of MAV-TV’s “Cars Yeah!” show (check your local listings) still hosts his 5 days a week podcast of the same name, while producing his own foray into the visual medium. His goal of “Inspiring Automotive Enthusiasts” is demonstrated with his legions of guests, mostly people you have not heard of, but are well intrenched in the collector car community!

Mark Greene of Cars Yeah!

It’s an unexpected dream come true for a guy who grew up surfing in Southern California during the birth of the car craze, became an executive for a car care company, only to wake up one day laid off and wondering how he would keep busy. As he explains in the podcast, his son gave him good advice, and the CY podcast was born. Mark must have really wanted to keep busy with his podcast going 5 days a week and eventually getting Mark to produce his own TV show (now on MAV-TV).

(EDITORS NOTE : You’d better believe Bob and Randy asked him a lot of questions about how he managed to get THAT done! They are now both Mark Greene disciples!)

We caught up with Mark at the Classic Auto show at the Orange County Fairgrounds where Mark was hosting their “Celebrity Stage” (Our own Randy Kerdoon hosted the CS in 2018!)

Check out Mark’s wisdom and fun stories about the podcast business, old age and toilet paper rolls by clicking below! Please take a moment to LISTEN, SUBSCRIBE (so you can be alerted when a new podcast is uploaded….it’s free), SHARE/RETWEET, RATE US (on iTunes) and GIVE US A REVIEW! We love to get your feedback!!

TAC 142 – Mustangs, Hot Wheels & the future of Auto Mechanics

(05-04-2019) – MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!!! If you are a car guy or gal, there’s a good chance that happened because of your growing up with “Hot Wheels” or “Matchbox” cars. Bob Rosas was one of the first designers at Mattel & Hot Wheels in the late 1960s, and had a hand in some of the first models ever released. He also kept a few oddly painted ones, never realizing what collectors would pay for those same toys decades later. In fact he describes how selling one ended up paying for a new roof for his home! We talked to Bob at the Southern California Classic Auto Show in our “Talking About Cars-GAAS” booth. Rosas was joined by Bill Montgomery of “Prime Motivation”.

Bill and our TAC pal, Rodney Allen Rippy (remember the Jumbo Jack kid from the 60s-70s “Jack in the Box” ads?) have been working to make people realize what budget cuts to schools have done to extra curricular activities, like shutting down Music programs, and….yes….AUTO SHOP! That’s right, schools have been erasing Auto Shop classes, which means, no kids wrenching on cars, and those kids NOT becoming future mechanics. Let’s face it, not every kid has the stuff to end up a Rhodes Scholar in college. Some are better off doing car mechanics or something similar. Bill brought with him, Tanya Inglis of Victorville, CA’s “Inglis Classics” and Kelly Faley of Fiat-Chrysler to talk about real options teens have for learning about how a car works when Auto Shops are not available at their schools

top : Ford’s Jim Owens with Randy at Barrett Jackson in 2016, bottom L-R, Bob Rosas (Hot Wheels), Kelly Faley (FCA), Tanya Inglis (Inglis Classics) and Bill Montgomery (Prime Motivation)

If you are a Ford person, you know this year is the 55th anniversary of the Mustang which came out in 1964. So many versions of that model are out now, it’s nice to see them catering to some of their fans that aren’t wealthy enough to buy their bombastic horsepower models! Jim Owens talks about the new 4 cylinder turbo model that’s coming out, which takes us all back Mustang SVO and Thunderbird Turbo Coupe powerplants from the 80s! Jim is always fun to talk to and for good measure we got in a few moments to talk about TAC 139 guest Allen Grant! As always, please SUBSCRIBE (it’s free), SHARE THIS PAGE WITH YOUR CAR MINDED FRIENDS, RATE US A 5 ON ITUNES, AND LEAVE A COMMENT, AND LIKE US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! (FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM) because “EVERYBODY HAS A CAR STORY!”

TAC 141 : Here’s Ozzie, Here’s Harriet & Paintin’ Graveyard Cars,

The cast of Motor Trend TV’s “Graveyard Cars”

(04-27-2019) – If you are a Mopar fan, you will like Talking About Cars 141! “Hot Rod” Bob Beck and I caught hosted the guy on the left of the pic above, painter extrodinare Will Scott and his lady Heather Jones in the “Talking About Cars/Great American Auto Scene” booth at “the Classic Auto Show 3” at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA. Both were a lot of fun to talk to and get the inside story behind show host Mark Worman, and his Oregon facility that has an envious number of popular Mopar junkers in their back yard to fix up for future episodes! Then we found out, those wrecks, aren’t “junkers” at all.

“Hot Rod” Bob Beck, Heather Jones, Will Scott, Randy Kerdoon

We set up the interview by actually running into the dynamic duo (not literally) as they were looking at cars at the show and….ASKING them. We find out Will has some cars other than Mopars he’d like a chance to fix up, Heather too has some car stories to tell!

Ozzie & Harriet ran for 15 seasons on ABC TV from 1952 to 1966

And in our “Talking About Cars” NEWS segment, we explore a car that showed up for sale at a car show in Arizona. The actual 1956 Pontiac Chieftain wagon that was bought new by former Bandleader Ozzie Nelson and his wife Harriet!

The Nelson’s 1956 Pontiac (photo courtesy of John L. Broughton)

Finding this story was a bit of a surprise. I am a member of the “1957 Pontiac” group on Facebook and member John L. Broughton was at this show and posted some pics

He’s asking $45,000 (photo courtesy of John L. Broughton)

Ron and Judy Johnson are former Orange County, CA residents who are into classic cars and stumbled across Ozzie’s former ride while looking for a classic station wagon and doing some trading of classics to get there. As we all did, Ron told me he watched the show as a kid, and that brought out floods of memories of Ricky Nelson, older bro David and Don Defore as their neighbor “Thorney”.

O & H reruns have long departed from TV sadly, but did you know there are many episodes of the show on youtube? Complete with commercials from that era? Anita Bryant selling Coca-Cola? The Nelson’s kitchen cookin’ with “natural gas”? Another thing, O&H must have had a deal with Chrysler because the Nelson’s cars during that time were all Desotos, Dodges, Plymouths and Chryslers….altho in the background a Cadillac or Ford would be seen driving by or used as part of the plot. Ricky’s first car was a 48 Ford “junker” he bought from a pal. Haven’t found the 56 Pontiac in an episode yet tho’. Sadly the stars of the Nelsons have all passed on. Ozzie in 1975, Harriet in 1994, David in 2011 and Rick in a plane crash in 1985. Still, Listen as we join America’s favorite family’s…CAR story. Of course, if you are interested in the car, call Ron and Judy!

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