TAC 173 – Barn Find trekking across the USA, Part 1.

Top Left : A 57 Olds “Barn Find, Top Ridge 1 of 18 cars owned by our guest, Bottom, “Hot Rod” Bob Beck, Tom Cotter, Randy Kerdoon

(12-07-2019) – Part of having my two classic cars insured by Hagerty Insurance is getting their weekly updates of stories and nice “car content”. Twice a month, I get directed to watch a cool show called “Barn Find Hunter” on YouTube. Think “Chasing Classic Cars” but just to take pictures and ask about the car’s history, not buy them. The host is the affable Tom Cotter, who tools around most of the time in a 1939 Ford Woody Wagon. Cotter told “Hot Rod” Bob and I at our spot in the Mooneyes booth at SEMA last month that the wagon usually is the difference in whether he gets to look at cars or not. Unlike some shows, where producers call in advance and set up meetings, Tom likes to just show up in some small town, and ask car people he sees about where the cool Barn Finds could be. Through a network of these “one thing leads to another” conversations, comes some great car finds. Sure, the cars aren’t running most of the time….but the stories they are part of are worth the time!

Photo courtesy of Tom Cotter

Cotter notes he personally has 18 cars, which he attempts to list for us, including the Morris Minor in the graphic at the top and the car shown above. Cotter hasn’t quite hit all 50 states yet…..but plans to sometime….where oh where will he go next? Check out “Barn Find Hunter” on YouTube, and please listen to Part 1 of our interview with Tom by clicking the link below. Part 2 comes up along with a holiday gift idea with our TAC pal “Fireball” Tim this Thursday, December 12th!

Next to my favorite on line shows, “Ant Anstead – Master Mechanic”, Scott Newstead’s “Cold War Motors”, and Steve Magnante’s Junkyard Gold….”Barn Find Hunter” is a must see!

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TAC 172 : Going into the wayback machine to visit Richard Carpenter

Host Randy Kerdoon & Richard Carpenter (The Carpenters)

(12-01-2019) – Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving break! For this week’s episode we dusted off a 2015 interview I did with music icon and real “car guy” Richard Carpenter, who with his late sister Karen wow’d the music world with their tunes! Richard is quite the car guy, and while he favors Mopars, he has his share of other brands like a mid sixties front wheel drive Cadillac’s Eldorado to a Mark II Continental. I caught up with Richard at his warehouse in the Conejo Valley outside of Los Angeles. He loves to talk cars! While I posted several pics from his collection on my Talking About Cars facebook page, I’ll post two here.

A 1956 Chrysler 300B

Note the picture above and the dark 1965 Plymouth Belvedere convertible behind it. That car was actually bought by Richard’s father, and stayed in the family. The car was actually one of two Carpenter owned cars that appeared on Carpenters album covers.

1957 Chrysler Imperial converible

Once again it’s not about the car you see, but what’s behind it. That got red car in the windshield, is the other car that appeared in a Carpenter’s album cover. A Ferrari that Richard was less than thrilled about the shot used for that cover. He explains why in the podcast. It reminds me that I need to return to see his collection and find out if there’s anything new there today! Stay tuned!

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TAC 171 – Down goes Jacobs, Down goes Jacobs! With Chris, AJ & Garlits!

Top Left : Hot Rod Bob with “Big Daddy” Don Garlits; Top Right : Adrienne “AJ” Janic; Bottom, Bob, Randy Kerdoon & Chris Jacobs.

(11-23-2019) – Dateline the SEMA SHOW in Las Vegas! Hard to believe that the first original classic car “makeover” show, “Overhaulin” appeared 15 years ago in 2004. It featured car designer Chip Foose, prankster and car guy Chris Jacobs and the daughter of a race car driver, Courtney Hansen. Adrienne Janic, the late Jessi Combs (still not used to writing that) and Ariana Celeste would later follow. The Show took a break in 2008….resumed in 2012, and once and for all ended in 2015. Or did it? It’s back for a 3rd incantation on Motor Trend with Foose, Jacobs and “AJ” (who happens to be the wife of producer Bud Brutsman.). There will be some differences with this new “Overhaulin’ which Chris and AJ tell Randy and Bob in this new podcast. It also includes a first for the show, the first time Jacobs gets punched while pranking the owner of the car they will be Overhaulin’. WAS CHRIS KO’d? More importantly….DID HE STAY IN CHARACTER??

BEHIND THE SCENES : Chris and A.J. have been friends of TAC for some time. We caught up with Chris at the Motor Trend/Discovery booth, located near area at SEMA where vehicles are often flying over dirt mounds or shredding tires to show their handling around curves. Not conducive to audio interviews (remember during TAC #100 when our interview with Mike and Ant from Wheeler Dealers were done with the sounds of tire pieces pelting the walls of the tent where the interviews took place). So…Chris led us into a small booth on the Motor Trend complex, surprising some camera, audio and director guys who were setting up a promo shoot. So, we actually had an audience…of 3. Hmmm, wonder if the cameras were on? A.J. stopped by the Mooneyes booth (where we called home at SEMA) where not only did she give a great interview….but was kind enough to autograph us a couple of her new car calendars! “Classy enough to show your wives and girlfriends” she told us. She was right! Thanks A.J.!

Also at SEMA, “Hot Rod” Bob caught up with NHRA legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. (Ever notice anyone connected to drag racing has a “nickname” attached to their name?). The interview was fun, and with Garlits holding nothing back, educational and amusing! The 87 year old also talks about his current EV dragster project!

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TAC 170 – Where’s Edd? With us, on his casual lofa, talking about his book, ice cream, parliment and more!

(11-17-2019) – What could be better than talking with the lanky and affable former Wheeler Dealer Edd China? Hanging with Edd on his “casual lofa” motorized sofa and yes, it does have front and back lights, turn signals (in the flower pots), a speedometer in the clock, hand controls for gas (a “Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup handle), brakes (a can of beer) and steering (a pizza container with an actual faux pizza inside).

Randy and his wife Marta had a chance to take a ride with Edd (it’s all over our social media). We’re told the “lofa” can get up to 80 miles an hour, but we’re not so sure we want to be a passenger at that speed unless we are covered by layers of bubble wrap!

The Lofa “Pizza Wheel“

Where’s Edd now on your TV? Edd has some answers, plus we talk about his great book “Grease Junkie”, his electric ice cream truck, his car rebuild show on you tube, and fans ask Edd questions! Check out the podcast below, LISTEN, LIKE, SHARE, FOLLOW US, and SUBSCRIBE! (it’s free)

TAC 169 – Strope Part 2 : the show, the 2020 PGA car & Steve the musician!

Above, a Strope early 70s road runner; below, Randy, Steve, “Hot Rod” Bob

(11-09-2019) – If you liked Part 1, Part 2 with Steve Strope from his “Pure Vision” workshop includes talk about his TV show “Hand Built Hot Rods”, the ‘73 Challenger won by So Cal’s Kevin Na at the Challenge PGA event at the Colonial Golf Course in Texas, what car he has in store for the same event in 2020, and how Steve is a musician, and plays in a group!

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TAC 168 – A man with “Pure Vision” & what Kevin Hart’s ‘Cuda crash could mean for car builders!

Above : PGA golfer Kevin Na and his caddy Kenny Harms getting the keys to a 73 Challenger. Below : Randy, Steve Strope, Hot Rod Bob

(11/09/2019) – The man behind some cool classic car builds at his “Pure Vision” shop in Simi Valley, California sat down with hosts Randy Kerdoon and “Hot Rod” Bob Beck for some opinionated conversation in TAC 168. (And 169). Steve Strope had a 6 episode run on then Velocity TV (now Motor Trend) in a show called “Hand Built Hot Rods”. He’s always been outspoken, so we managed to ask a question about the recent accident involving actor/comedian Kevin Hart’s custom 70s Plymouth ‘Cuda with a Dodge Demon 800+ horsepower engine under the hood, on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas.

As the media reported, Hart was the passenger in the car one night with a friend behind the wheel, and the friends fiancée sitting basically on the hump in the back (there was no back seat, similar to an AMX set up)….when they turned onto Mulholland….went a short distance and drove off the road into a ravine causing serious injuries to Hart and the driver. Will there be lawsuits against the Cuda builder and will it result in air bags in all future builds and more??

You are going to want to hear Steve’s response that THAT…..In Part 1 of our 2 part interview!

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TAC 167 – A wheeler dealer on “nappies”, kettle corn, and his new show about building a 1 seater from scratch!

“Hot Rod” Bob Beck, Henric Nieminen, Ant Anstead, Randy Kerdoon & Chris Hill

(10-29-2019) – Talking with Ant Anstead of Wheeler Dealers is always fun! He’s always well spoken, funny, knows how to wrench on cars, (despite as he puts it, “no formal training) and is a bit “Type A”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, after all it takes “drive” to get to where he is in the automotive world.

After recent remodeling of their Huntington Beach workshop made their “green room” disappear, we bolted into the office of producers Chris Hill and Henric Nieminen where they were (unknowingly) about to participate in our talk with Ant! What followed was a fun back and forth about his new son “Hudson” (with wife Christina Anstead of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop”), diaper genies, why can’t movie theaters offer “kettle corn”, just how many times he washes his hands a day, and….oh, yeah….his new show “Ant Anstead – Master Mechanic” on the Motor Trend app!

Ant did take Bob and I to task (tongue in cheek) for not watching the show in advance of the interview, but usually someone sends us a sneak preview of the show. Eventually, after listening to Ant….guilt crept in and the realization of how affordable the app is, and it was pretty much a “must do” for car guys, we sprung for it.

REVIEW : that Ant Anstead-Master Mechanic is a great show. It also reminds me a lot of his wife’s solo show, “Christina on the Coast” in style with a faster pace than WD, fun snippets and something that Christina doesn’t do….address the audience (or the 4th wall). You leave every episode feeling like you and Ant are buddies and he’s letting you follow him around as he’s putting his Alfa shaped Formula one classic roadster together. It’s worth a look, and….if you get the Motor Trend app, then you can watch pretty much anything that’s ever aired on the former Velocity Channel and More! My favorite, is catching the Steve Magnante’s “RoadKill Junkyard Gold”, and one day, I’ll try watching 15 years of the original Top Gear!

Click below to listen to our fun talk with Ant, Chris, Henric, Bob and myself….and note Ant says one day we can do a podcast IN his classic 56 Porsche! He said it, it’s in there….

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TAC 166 – “Growing up in Disneyland” and a Mustang story from Thorny’s kid!

Top Left, Disneyland Autopia cars, Top Right, cast of TV show “Hazel” including Don DeFore & Shirley Booth, Bottom left, Don & Shirley, bottom right, host Randy Kerdoon and Ron DeFore

(10-29-2019) – What’s it like growing up the son of a big time TV and movie actor? Ron DeFore explains how he found out his dad, Don DeFore, co-star of 1950s and 60’s classic’s ”the adventures of Ozzie and Harriet“ and “Hazel” was a bit of a celebrity! Ron’s story of how his dad used to get 1 year leases on cars for a mere 1 dollar bill, is evidence of what can happen to a TV Star, plus Ron has other great car stories AND Disneyland stories.

Courtesy : Disneyland

Don DeFore was more than just an actor, he was a shrewd businessman too. He’s the first actor to ever have a restaurant in his name at a Disneyland restaurant. Ron has great stories and there was a lot of laughs with him, Randy and Hot Rod Bob Beck!

Listen by clicking the player below. Please LISTEN, SHARE, LIKE and SUBSCRIBE on social media!!

TAC 165 – doing an 007 with a DB 11 & meeting the “MotorHead Mama”

(10-12-2019) – Every year, Southern California’s “Motor Press Guild” holds a “Test Drive O’Rama” where Manfacturers bring vehicles and “automotive journalists” drive them in….MPG’s Drive Day! My automotive line up began with a prototype LEXUS RX. F series SUV

It’s a well handling vehicle with great cornering and very comfortable inside. (Listen to my “open mic” with a Lexus rep)….then I climbed into the cab of a Ram “Rebel” Diesel!

Which performed like you’d expect, except it’s a diesel, and didn’t smell like one. Very capable wheels that always make you think you’ve had a testosterone injection afterwards. Then….from a reall big truck to a not so big 4 door

The Fiat 500 L….”L” for longer than usual…..as you see I sort of took it…Four Wheelin’….then I got big again with …the Hyundai Palisade

With a remarkable “blind spot” camera that shows up when you turn on your turn signals…and it shows up on your instrument cluster….

And then I wrapped it up with a lottery earned Aston Martin DB 11 Voltage!! (Insert James Bond movie song here). Then I compared notes with Corvette Story’s Paul Pollock and the “MotorHead Mama” Amelia Dalgaard!

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TAC 164 – a Z sport..wagon? & a talk with the “Miata Man!”

(10-12-2019) – My stepson Stan has been a proud owner of a 1991 Mazda Miata over a year now, he’s replaced the engine with a newer, low mileage model, reupholstered the interior, and put in a roll bar with determination you normally see on TVs Wheeler Dealers. So Marta and I decided to trek down to the recent “Japanese Classic Car Show” in Long Beach, CA to check out not only the usual Bugs, Beamers and Celicas (oh my)….but the more unusual models imported like Skylines, and yes even the Nissan “Gloria”. (Think Asian Pontiac)

I love oddball, unusual cars you never see, and now that 25 years have flown by, those cars are now eligible to import to the US. This is the 58 Rambler-ish looking 62-65 Nissan Cedric

Or a later Cedric/Gloria with “Mustang” looking taillights.

I caught up with the owner of a Datsun Z…”Sportwagon”, a car that was actually a model envisioned by the Z original designer along with a Z “Targa” and a Z that could actually fit four passengers as well as the two seater Z fans know and love. Jay Ataka worked with the original Z designer and made his own “Sportwagon”. Also the guru behind the Mazda Miata, Tom Matano, talks about how the vehicle came about, and the deal Mazda cut him when he wanted a Miata of his own. (You are not going to believe it!). Plus, what if you wanted your own Skyline, Gloria, or other car from Japan….or one from Austrailia or wherever. Sean Morris of Top Rank Importers on the how to’s of reaching out and getting a car anywhere in the world!

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