Someone on our street likes jazz.


Fuelfed car show - 10/27/2019 - Part 2

Here are the rest of the photos from the Fuelfed car show from last Sunday, 10/27/19 in Winnetka, Illinois.

Early in the show, I was framing up a Jaguar, trying to fit the whole car in the frame, when a car rolled through my shot. I immediately shat myself, because it was unmistakably a Lancia Delta Integrale: the legendary rally champion, in Martini livery no less. Lancias are rare in the U.S. They were briefly sold here under the Fiat brand, but you basically never ever see them, no matter how many vintage events you go to.

The Delta Integrale's dash.

The only thing that could me more trouser-moisteningly great than seeing a Delta Integrale in the flesh would be a Lancia Stratos. The Delta was based on the Delta consumer model, but the Stratos was Lancia's purpose-built rally car that looks like a spaceship. It is the coolest looking thing ever created by humans.

It was once the case that headlights were a single, replaceable unit. These were called "sealed beam" headlights, and they were generally round or square. The look of a round light recessed into an elliptical (or nearly so) housing is hard to improve upon. With the development of hallogen, LED or other just-replace-the-bulb modern headlights, the housing itself is intended to be permanent, and is worked into the shape of the grille or whatever. They can be any random, arbitrary shape, and the car manufacturers have taken advantage of this fact by making headlights any crazy, random shape they can think of. This is just one way in which the majority of current cars are overstyled and visually cluttered. By way of example, go look at a 2019 Honda Civic Si, and then look at this Dino. Grace and balance has been abandoned for hyperactive aggression for its own sake. This is awful.

The Ferrari Dino that makes stout-hearted men swoon.

It's hard to stop shooting a Dino. Every angle is basically a work of art.

This photo makes clear the poor quality of the 1985 Tokina lens I was shooting with. The highlight the the lower left explodes into a soft bloom of pale orange light. If your objective is to capture reality as your eye sees it, this is terrible. But, your phone's camera can do that. Every inexpensive kit lens can do that, too. This filthy old Tokina, which, technically speaking, could use a good thirty-year cleaning, adds goldness and pinkness, and exaggerates bright light in a trippy, dreamy way. It's my current favorite.

A De Tomaso Pantera is an Italian chassis with a  Ford V8 in the back.

The engine compartment of a Pantera is pretty weird. Huge V8, with the transmission behind it, but now drive shaft exiting the trans where it normally would. Instead, there are two half shafts going out the sides to drive the wheels. There is a surprising amount of room in the engine bay, because the bulk of the motor is just in front of the wheels. I imagine everything other than the most basic service is an engine-out procedure, which, by the looks of it, would be easier than in your average car.

I hadn't seen those wheels before. On a 911, they look great, properly dished under the huge RSR-style fender flares. The owner and his wife were debating swapping them back to OEM. I did my best to reassure them there were enough bone-stock 911s rolling around already.

The Volvo P1800 is up there with the Ferrari Dino at the top of the this-design-will-always-look-good Olympic podium. They're also mechanically simple and relatively easy to maintain. These can still be found for less than twenty thousand dollars... for now.

I'm not an off-road guy, but I'm pretty sure this is a Land Rover Defender, in its naturaly state of "kinda dirty".

A 1974 Jensen Interceptor. I'm pretty sure this car has a 7.2 liter V8. Even if it's "only" the 5.9 or 6.3 version, they always sound amazing.

You're right, badge. It is.

Add caption

Mercedes 300SL. This one should be one of the later, non-gullwing '57-'63 roadster models. Don't care. Still pretty. Actually, the gullwing versions are said to be too warm inside. The gullwing doors are to blame for that. As with any gullwing door, it's difficult to engineer them with a proper roll-down window mechanism. This little niggle is easily enough addressed by just taking the top off entirely. More affordable, too.

Porsche 356. Visually, this car pretty clearly bridges the gap between the VW Karmann-Ghia and the Porsche 911.

You don't see grille badges much any more, except on vintage cars. That's a shame.

This is the same Lamborghini Countach that I saw two weeks previously at the Then & Now show in Lake Forest. So, only one shot of it here. Unlike at the Lake Forest show, the doors were open, because there was no threat of rain.

Love this color. I don't know the factory paint designation for the color, but it person it was more apple green than lime green. The yellow fog light covers really looked good against it. If I ever were to get a car painted, making a change from a factory color, it'd be something like this.


Fuelfed car show - 10/27/2019 - Part 1

Yesterday (Oct 27, 2019) was the final show of Fuelfed's regular season. As with the Then & Now Lake Forest car show, I was recruited to be one of five drivers, helping a friend drive six of his collection to the show. This time, I got to drive a Morris Minor. Since he prefers convertibles, and for them to be viewed in their natural state with the top down, everyone wisely dressed for the weather. It started at 46 degrees, but eventually warmed up to a terrific 60 degrees. The light was great, the trees were doing their thing, and my 1985 Tokina 28-85 lens with the haze problem once again spent the whole day on the front of my camera. Man, I really love this dirty, slightly broken, not-very-sharp lens. It was worth every penny of the twenty-nine bucks I spent on it.

Part 1 of the photos today. The rest tomorrow. Since this is the internet, I don't need to tell you the rule of pictures, which is click it to big it, baby.

Loads of rain overnight gave it up by 4am, as the weather guy had predicted. Puddles and 46 degrees merited no complaints from anyone.

Thankfully, there was a Dino rolling in. The one-time unwelcome "not a real Ferrari" has finally gotten the respect it deserves. A good design ages well. Everyone who noticed the Dino going by and went "Awwww, the Dino's here!"

Red (orange, actually) car at the the back is a Saab Sonnet. Green one in the middle is a Volvo P1800. The yellow one in the foreground is a Citroen 2CV, or if you want to sound fancy "deux chevaux".

If you can believe it, the 2CV was manufactured from 1948 to 1990. As is
common with French cars, it's quirky, yes, but also terribly clever. You can
do almost anything to the car with only a few hand tools. They were designed
to help motorize those in rural France. So, they were very cheap, very easy
to work on, and had to be able to carry produce to market over roads or across
farm fields.

Long before Volvo decided "Let's make cars that are fuck ugly!", they made the P1800. Originally a coupe, this is a shooting-brake version introduced a little later. They're gorgeous and reliable. A 1966 P1800S holds the world record for longest service life of a car: 1.69 million miles.

Saab has always done their own thing. This is a Saab Sonnett III. Fiberglass body, unique styling,
and nutty colors. This one is orange, but there were other fun colors like avocado green. Why be boring?

A Lancia Fulvia! You don't see these very often. As Mercedes has their AMG, and BMW has ///M, Lancia's performance division was HF. This stood for "High Fidelity", meaning that their cars let the driver feel the road with "perfect fidelity". Their mascot character for the HF cars was a red elephant called "Elefantino", of course. Why an elephant? Lancia was big into rallying, where speed is important, but so is reliability. An elephant may take a while to get running, but can't be stopped until it wants to. ...or so goes the Lancia HF legend.

A dog. Value and collectability varies by whether she is a Very Good Dog and whether or not he has had her shots.

In America, the E-Type Jag was called the "XKE". When it was released in 1961, Enzo Ferrari called it "the most beautiful car ever made".

This Jaguar was sort of a plum purple color, which was a nice change from the typical conservative colors you see them in,

Personal favorite Jag wheels.

A Devon.

Another Volcvo P1800, in coupe configuration.

This is a Delahaye - an American brand famous for it's very swoopy art deco creations of the 1930's. I'm not very familiar, but I think this is a Delahaye 135. Maybe someone will comment and correct me?

Mercedes 300 SL.

A BMW 2002.

A old air-cooled 911 with really interesting Rotiform wheels.