TAC 123 : Cruisin’ for a cure with some wild wheels

(09-27-2018) – the 19th edition of the “Cruisin’ for a Cure” car show had some 3,500 classic cars, car celebrities and….not one but TWO ways men could be tested for Prostate Cancer.   Bob Beck (Great American Auto Scene-GAAS) and I talked with car designer/customizer John D’Agostino of Celebrity Kustoms who brought several cars, including a 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix (first year of the GP) which was customized back in ….1962.

And stored for most of the following 50+ years, and a cool lead sled Mercury that brings back styling cues of the late Batmobile customizer George Barris.

Also, Rick Abate of Arlen Ness Motorcycles about the 1.4 million dollars worth of custom bikes they brought to the “Hangar” at the OC Fairgrounds

Shown is “Smooth-Ness” (above) and “the 57 bike” below

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TAC 122 – Tracy Turnblad’s first car & checking out “Collectible Automobile”

(09-14-2018) – Opportunity and chance can be wonderful things.   While attending the recent “Hollywood Show” near the LA Airport catching up with several celebrities with car stories to tell, I passed the star of “Hairspray” the movie, Nikki Blonsky!   Since my daughter saw the movie, like 200 times, and I was a big fan of the soundtrack, especially the way it was done in the movie…so crisp, so much energy and frankly I was spraining my toe with all the tapping to the beat I was doing in the car and elsewhere, I had to tell her it was my daughter’s favorite movie.   She was very gracious and asked what I was interviewing people for.   I mentioned the podcast and how I was looking for car stories.    She said “well, I like classic cars!”    So I looked at her skeptically, and thought….okay, let’s find out!    That began an interview which you can listen to below.   Not only did we get the latest on her first car, or SUV….but what cars she bought with her “Hairspray” money and her scenes in the movie in the trunk of a ‘60 Chevy and on top of a garbage truck in her opening number!

Also on TAC 122 I talk with the editor of Collectible Automobile magazine, John Biel, who explains how he went from not having a high school car to helping produce a magazine that allows all of us to dream about what our high school cars looked like.    We also check out the gas mileage numbers of 1973, the year of the first oil embargo, and talk about how cool the magazine is and the weird pre-photos of what the ‘62 Plymouth almost looked like!

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TAC 121 – Mama Partridge gets happy & Monster Garage tales

(08-31-2018) – When people talk about iconic “TV cars” you always hear of the Batmobile from the campy ABC TV series “Batman” with the late Adam West and Burt Ward, or the “Dukes of Hazard” ‘69 General Lee Charger, the Pontiac Firebird from “Knight Rider”…..or the “Green Hornet’s ‘65 Black Beauty Imperial.    Also worthy of inclusion, a that multi-colored School Bus turned family cruiser from “the Partridge Family”.   It was a typical school kids starting singing to help their single Mom pay the bills story.    Veteran actress and singer Shirley Jones played “Shirley Partridge” while her real life son, the late David Cassidy, played her son, and her kids included Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Jeremy Gelbwaks/Brian Forster and the late Suzanne Crough…..

(Yours truly and Shirley Jones at a “Hollywood Show” autograph gathering near LAX in 2018)

Shirley joined me in my “Talking About Cars #121” podcast and laughed her way through some revealing talks about getting her first car later in life, some cool stories about the PF Bus, and did she have some input into it as well as what car she’s now driving that she just loves!

BTW….if you had your druthers….would you have wanted Florence Henderson of the Brady Bunch, Shirley Jones of the Partridge Family or another TV Mom as your own mom?

(Bob Beck of “GAAS, the Great American Auto Scene, joins me to talk with actor and host Brett Wagner)

Brett Wagner is a “Brett” of all trades!   He’s voiced, and hosted shows like “Monster Garage” and “Pass Time”, he acted as a biker, mutant, zombie, and white supremacist in all sorts of TV shows and movies from “the Sons of Anarchy” to the new “Happytime Murders”.    Brett has some fun stories about his parents getting him a 69 Camaro for his birthday, and him “denting” it the first day, you will want to make sense of the why!   Also some cool behind the scenes stuff from those shows and more!   Don’t forget to subscribe (at radio.com or on iTunes, share this post on social media, Like it, comment and if you are on iTunes, rate us 5 stars!!!  Thanks!

TAC 120 – blowing up a co-star, and fun with Canadian rust buckets”

(08-17-2018) – Knight Rider had it’s KITT, Batman had his Batmobile, and Magnum PI had their Ferrari.      Some of TV’s most popular shows had cars that were co-stars and were as popular as the actors and actresses who shared the screen with them.    For the 1968-1973 ABC show “The Mod Squad”, there was Pete, Link (Clarence Williams III) and  Julie (Peggy Lipton)….and a 1950 Mercury Woody Wagon!

It was about a logical of a “police vehicle” as the Ford Torino was on Starsky and Hutch, but people loved it.    Until they didn’t.    On TAC #120, I talked with Michael Cole (he played Pete) author of the new biography “I was the White Guy” about what led to the Woody Wagon being replaced by a Dodge Challenger convertible, and how many tries it took to …..blow it up.   He also detailed the conversation he had with producer Aaron Spelling that actually clinched the role for him.

Then, I talk to Scott Newstead of youtube’s “Cold War Motors” channel.

He leads a group of Canadian car enthusiasts and his dogs who find rusty cars on farmland that have seen decades of snow and weather, then try to get them running again on a $ 0 budget.    If you are a fan of Canadian cars who look like the ones here in the states, but are a bit different (Plymouth cars with Dodge and Desoto front clips on them) you will get a kick out of this show.    They’ve tried to get running everything from 50s Studebakers, to Kaiser’s, and many American brands with six cylinder engines.    It’s a fun interview, listen and check his channel out!

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TAC 119 – the Indycar champ & the PMOY’s pink AMX tale

(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!

TAC 118 – having trouble with commitment… to cars

(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.



TAC 117 – The Pink Playmate of the Year Car & the Canadian Custom Car Artist!!

(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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TAC 116 – Checking with the “Vin Scully” of drag racing!

(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!

TAC 115 – in search of….BARN FINDS!

(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.

TAC 114 – “Horny” Mike and his “Woodie”

(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!!