Conversations With People We Value #552024-06-20T19:37:51+00:00

Cars We Love & Who We Are

More than the polished parts and hard to find pieces, the special interest vehicles people collect embody the character of each owner. “Cars We Love & Who We Are” profiles individual special interest vehicles and the proud owner committed to its preservation.

Conversations with People We Value

Talking with skilled professionals who support our passion for collectible automobiles.

Roads We Remember

Some roads discovered far from home reward us with a once in a lifetime driving experience. Others are old friends revisited to elevate our spirits and celebrate the joy of life behind the wheel.

Conversations With People We Value #53

I am part of a trio of experienced car enthusiasts that host an adult school class called “Collectible Automobiles as a Passion.” Now, in its twenty-first 9-week semester, it has created an ongoing and expanding community of car enthusiasts for more than a decade. Much like a pebble tossed in a pond, I have found its impact ripples far beyond its own existence.

It has attracted an extraordinary and thoughtful group of men and women of all stripes united in their shared fervor as automobile enthusiasts. Over the life of the class and for the broad spectrum of its many and varied participants one concern has risen above all others. This year the expression of that concern by the class has reached a crescendo that has given birth to a call for action. The concern? As the current population of automobile enthusiasts approach a time when they will begin to age out, to whom will they hand the reins? Who will continue the preservation and promotion of the art, culture, history and joy of the classic automobile? The obvious answer lies with the coming generations. At the heart of the expressed concern resides the fear that today’s youth have not been exposed to the experiences and attributes of classic automobile enthusiasm that fired our generation’s passion. Our class in some small way wanted to do something to address this disconnect. I have an idea for my class to consider. The idea is the:

“Collectible Car Fair for Kids and Teens.”

Collectible Car Fair for Kids & Teens

 

December 12th of 2009 saw the museum celebrating the once fabulously famous cowboy, Roy Rogers, close its doors for the last time. The museum shuttered for lack of enough fans to support it. So it was the end of the trail for “Happy Trails to you.” At a Christie’s auction Nellybelle, Roy’s 1946 Willys Jeep sold for $116,500. Trigger, Roy’s stuffed Golden Palomino stallion, went for $266,500. What could all this possibly have to do with today’s comfortable world of car enthusiasts’ multi-billion dollar passionate pursuit? The answer, plenty.

It serves as a cautionary tale deeply unsettling for those thoughtful enthusiasts peering across a radicalized cultural landscape populated with a seething hatred for fossil fuels, a governmental love affair with electric cars, futurists cheerleading neutered, self-driving transportation, school systems […]

By |March 28th, 2024|6 Comments

Conversations With People We Value #52

I view him as the poster child representing engineers who do not accept good enough as, well, good enough. I first met Dominick Carluccio a few years back in his capacity as a young engineer assigned to me as my technical liaison for a client. His role called for assisting my creative services agency in developing promotional and educational materials for a company specializing in cutting edge inhalation and particle exposure systems.

His clearly insatiable appetite to achieve mastery of what he already understood well impressed me. To his credit, he did so with a genial, unflappable confidence.

I recently learned that Dom had started his own company, Wurst Käse Engineering. You have got to love the name. I do. For his first product he directed his laser focus on what he considered to be the significant shortcomings of methanol injection systems available in the market.

Meet Dom and his kick-ass methanol injection system.

A sharp engineer’s insights inspires a quantum leap in methanol injection

Kelly and Dominick

Dom’s 2011 2-liter, 4-cylinder Volkswagen GTI came stock with 200 horsepower. Under his stewardship it presently pumps out a shade under 400 horsepower. It will easily plant your eyeballs against the back of your skull. Dom, however, has yet to be satisfied. Nonchalantly, he projects quiet confidence in his ability to extract even more power from his willing German 2-liter 4-banger. Methanol injection placed high on his list of intended upgrades.

An especially attractive upgrade for turbocharged And supercharged engines, methanol injection delivers a finely atomized mist of a water/methanol mixture to an engine’s cylinder fuel charge. The cooling effects of the mixture, lowers the temperature inside the combustion chamber. This reduces the likeliness of detonation (knocking) that can reduce performance, fuel economy and, worse, severely damage a high performance engine. As well, methanol provides the added bonus of increasing a fuel’s octane rating. This pays off with increased horsepower with proper tuning.

Wurst Käse  Water/Methanol Tank

Unfortunately, Dom experienced great dismay upon surveying the quality of the methanol injection systems available in the marketplace. Upon expressing his disappointment to his, then, girlfriend Kelly Moran, her response makes clear why they are about to, now, become man and wife. Kelly says, “’He’s the kind of person that’s always looking to change the world with his inventions and […]

By |March 14th, 2024|Comments Off on Conversations With People We Value #52

Cars We Love & Who We Are #50

In “Betraying the Brand or Smart Business? Part I” Drivin’ News sought to explore the impact of BMW’s new oversized grill and new design badge on the BMW brand. In examining the nature of branding, Part I looked back at how Mercedes-Benz in the 1990s had responded to market forces for which its engineering focus had been deemed untenable. How they dealt with it required many broken eggs to create the new Mercedes-Benz brand omelet of the late 1990s. The resulting outcome, though painful, did seek to morph the brand into representing a more consumer oriented maker of luxury automobiles while preserving its iconic 3-pointed star.

Part II visits Volvo and its branding challenges in the years just before and after being purchased by Ford in 1999.

Betraying the Brand or Smart Business? Part II

 

The experience of another great brand, Volvo, with its iconic Iron Mark logo offers important lessons in the value of fidelity to brand values.

When I came on board with Volvo Cars of North America in 1980, the previous decade of the 1970s had seen Volvo featuring taglines like “The car for people who think,” and in 1978 “A car you can believe in.” Reflecting the somewhat cerebral nature of its taglines’ appeal, Volvo courted a niche to which it played well. Its accessory catalog could easily have included Volvo branded leather elbow patches and pipe cleaners.

1979 Volvo “Love Letters” ad

With the 1980s, it seemed the world discovered the safe, durable, reliable, rugged, environmentally conscious and comfortable Swede. While always a small player in a much larger automobile universe, Volvo always punched above its weight. It enjoyed extraordinary brand recognition, far beyond what its modest sales volume would normally merit.

To think of any other car brand proudly displaying an “I Love my car” bumper sticker would have been unthinkable. I love my Lincoln? I love my BMW? I love my anything? It did not work. But “I love my Volvo,” absolutely. Owners loved their Volvos. So much so that they would pen love letters to Volvo headquarters especially ones featuring a common theme. Safety! Unsolicited, Volvo owners would send photos of terrible accidents they had experienced accompanied by letters thanking Volvo for the safe cars they built while proclaiming, “Volvo Saved My Life.” A steady stream of such […]

By |February 29th, 2024|6 Comments
Drivin' News Quiz
Here’s this week’s question:
What modern day car brand started as the Swallow Sidecar Company?
 

Answer to last week’s question:
A rumble seat is a folding seat in a pre-war car located where the trunk is normally found.

About the blogger

Burton Hall has written for an automotive client list that includes Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Maserati, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Peugeot and Volvo. He has also written for The Washington Post, AutoWeek, Corvette Monthly, Jaguar Magazine, BMW Magazine, Hemmings.com, Hagerty Magazine and numerous auto restoration buff books.

He is a member of the Society of Automotive Historians and the Historic Vehicle Association.

As a classic car hobbyist, He owns a 1961 Corvette that he bought in 1967, a 1953 Jaguar XK120MC Drophead Coupe that he restored after finding it in a barn in 1980, an original 1953 Golden Anniversary Ford F100 pickup that he purchased from the original owner and a 1951 MG TD that presently serves as a planter and centerpiece in his garden. All are great drivers, except the MG which has a few bugs.

RECENT POSTS

06/06/24 – When Car Rustlers Stalk eBay, What Does eBay Do?

05/18/24 – Loving but Leaving the Blue Ridge

03/28/24 – Collectible Car Fair for Kids and Teens

03/14/24 – A Sharp Engineer’s Insights Inspires a Quantum Leap in Methanol Injection

02/29/24 – Betraying the Brand or Smart Business? Part II

02/15/24 – Betraying the Brand or Smart Business? Part I

02/01/24 – The Black Adder VI, An Outrageous Hot Rod Bentley

01/18/24 – Defining Collectible Car

11/23/23Amish Buggies, Where Worlds Collide but No One Crashes

11/09/23 – An Old Car Guy Goes Face-to-Face With Facebook Marketplace

10/26/23 – What’s a Burton

10/12/23 – Carvana Confusion – Dude Where’s My Car?

09/28/23 – Mobility Matters – Navigating life in a wheelchair

09/14/23 – MG Shatters Records on Hitler’s Salt Flats in the Shadow of WWII

08/17/23 – In search of the 7th Royale (Part 8)

08/03/23 – In search of the 7th Royale (Part 7)

07/20/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 6)

07/06/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 5)

06/22/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 4)

06/08/23 – In search of the 7th Royale (Part 3)

05/25/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 2)

05/11/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 1)

04/27/23 – Charlie Ross, Gooding’s Master of the Auction Rostrum

04/13/23 – Trapped by a Forest of Trucks

04/03/23 – Hundred-year old Bulldog, Beloved but Doomed?

03/16/23 – Read the car, not the book and other words of wisdom that pave a path to Pebble Beach

03/02/23 – Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda with one of America’s most important cars

02/16/23 – A Silver Ghost story. Real or Fake. You decide.

02/03/23 – Fanfare for an uncommon man. A decorated soldier passes at 98.

01/19/23 – Dr. Fred Simeone’s Mona Lisa car legacy.  Part 2.  Fascinating backstories of cars he preserved.

01/05/23 – Dr. Fred Simeone’s love, vision and priceless racing legacy   Part 1

12/08/22 – Driving to history, Visiting America’s oldest tavern and the man who saved it

11/24/22 – How to manage down a classic car collection

11/10/22 – Saving the farm, Barry Wood’s beach club in the Blue Ridge

10/27/22 – When the collection outlives the collector, a daughter’s  point of view

09/29/22 – Benny Bryant’s 50-years of building Blue Ridge beauties

09/15/22 – Visiting a community built for car enthusiasts

09/01/22 – Reaching the heights of her dreams on the wings of a deHavilland Beaver

08/18/22 – 35 Below, 16 Dogs, 13 Days. Angie tackles Alaska’s Iditarod.

08/04/22 – Let’s create a Concours d’Elegance. OK…How?

07/07/22 – Applying Miles Collier’s archetype versus portrait conventions in assessing the restoration of my 1961 Corvette

06/23/22 – Does original matter anymore?

06/09/22 – Judged the 32 most historically significant cars in America. Do you agree?

05/26/22 – Hagerty automotive heritage dream conference. Gone for good?

05/12/22 – A Devin’s 47-year journey from scrap heap to Pebble Beach

04/28/22 – Hot Road Missionary and his monster machines

04/14/22 – The monster truck that nearly crushed Volvo

03/31/22 – Drank with Arlo. Dated Alice. Tuned Evel’s motorcycle. They call him Pinto.

03/17/22 – Mr. Thomas’s forest of old Porsches, VW buses and more

03/03/22 – Taking the Skyline Drive to explore the dusty attic of Virginia car culture

02/17/22 – Return of the Zipper King

02/03/22 – Karaoke, Elon Musk’s new weapon to fight driving doldrums

01/20/22 – When blue highways turn white

01/06/22 – Blue highways, back roads – If not now when?

12/09/21 – Hot rod love, family style

11/25/21 – Cars & Caffe’s Tony Boniello is always looking to brew up something new

11/11/21 – Randy the Rodfather and his Green “T” hot rod

10/28/21 – Provenance – Uncovering your car’s backstory

10/14/21 – Comparing classic car sales platforms

09/30/21 – Evolution of the new car brochure (Part II)

09/16/21 – A hot rod life defined by abundance not lack

09/02/21 – The man they trust to rebuild history

08/19/21 – Bring what you love

08/05/21 – Exploring our power within

07/15/21 – Evolution of the new car brochure (Part 1)

07/01/21 – The sputtering Mosquito and the Virgin Loretto

06/17/21 – Raymond Loewy’s 1970s Soviet world car adventure

06/03/21 – 90 GTOs, 30 Corvettes and counting

05/20/21 – An inspired venture to preserve American craftsmanship and vintage Airstream trailers

05/06/20 – When the find is the barn

04/22/21 – Man Cave Garage Sale unmasks Covid boredom

04/08/21 – The odd couple in Vinny Plotino’s garage

03/25/21 – Lemans 1978 – A young man’s memories

03/11/21 – A Sherman tank’s incredible journey from Nyack, NY to the final episode of M.A.S.H.

02/25/21 – Jaguar Archive – Preserving the soul of the brand

02/18/21 – Carried away by Bring a Trailer

02/11/21 – Hollywood dentist Dr. George Schweiger’s fantastic stable of future classic car rentals

01/28/21 – And then, Nuccio Bertone signaled for his personal Miura

01/21/21 – Behind the wheel of a time machine

01/14/21 – Wurst Kase Motorsports

01/07/21 – Singing the CarGurus no title blues

12/24/20 – Rebuild it and they will come – The life of Carburetor Steve

12/10/20 – A Volvo Christmas Classic – “It’s a Vunderful Life”

12/03/20 – Carnucopia II – Classic Car Food Drive

11/26/20 – Vintage Cord binds father and son

11/19/20 – NY Route 9D – A sure cure for Covid boredom

11/12/20 – Confessions of a demolition derby survivor

11/05/20 – Sons of Danger – Mad Men on wheels

10/29/20 – VW Bug restoration is no joke. Ask Jerry Seinfeld

10/22/20 – Guatemala and back in a Karmann Ghia

10/08/20 – A classic Corvette and a soldier’s old letters connect to a kid brother’s memories

10/01/20 – American Pickers meets Hunger Games on a country road

09/24/20 – Crash course for an underage driver

09/17/20 – Playboy Bunnies in the rearview mirror

09/10/20 – The journey is the reward

09/03/20 – More than the next chapter, it’s the next book – Life 2.0

08/27/20 – Old School Larry

08/20/20 – In celebration of a life off the leash

08/13/20 – Asleep at the wheel – Rest Stop Recovery

08/06/20 – Rt. 17A – A sweet ride to Sugarloaf

07/30/20 – What’s a”Vineyard truck?”

07/16/20 – The woman picks up where the girl left off

07/09/20 – When time and other things stand still

07/02/20 – Drive-In movies, Back to the future

06/25/20 – Mystery of the vanishing Indian Motorcycle sign

06/18/20 – Dagavar’s Jaguar, the truth at last

06/11/20 – TAKE-OUT, Lifeline to the future

06/04/20 – Henry Hudson Drive

05/28/20 – CARnucopia Food Drive Results

05/21/20 – CARnucopia

05/14/20 – Collectible Car Culture in a Pandemic

05/07/20 – Austin Healey? Nope, It’s Austin’s Crosley!

04/30/20 – Storm King Highway

04/23/20 – Children We Love

04/16/20 – Mustang Madness Revisited