Saturday, May 31, 2008

Not Everyone Completes La Carrera Panamericana





Bill France and Curtis Turner hitching a ride after they crashed.







During the 1950 inaugural running of La Carrera Panamericana, then called the Mexican Road Race, NASCAR president Bill France and Curtis Turner entered a Nash Ambassador to race across the rough Mexican terrain. Back then the race was run from north to south starting in Juarez, Chihuahua, and ending in El Ocotal on the Guatemalan border. Bill France who had teamed up with Curtis Turner crashed and never finished the race. It just goes to prove, La Carrera shows no favoritism regardless of who you are and if you are going to get in respect it must be earned.

The crazy things we save

For as long as I can remember I have considered myself very fortunate to have been blessed to have been involved with great cars. There just isn't enough time to write about all the amazing cars, the stories, the adventures and opportunities they have afforded me not to mention the fact they are what put a roof over my head and beans on the table. But as interesting as the cars have been and indeed many of them have been the stars in my life, it's the owners and drivers of many of these machines that have made my life rewarding and Heaven knows there have been a lot.

Since 1968, one such person I have had the pleasure of being able to call my close friend is Carroll Shelby who was a driver, designer/builder, team manager, lover of fast cars and obviously a living legend way ahead of his time. Like I previously mentioned there have been cars and there have been drivers who I have known some of which stand out more than others when it comes to great memories. One such memory started back in July of 1990 while I was in Hollywood and found myself enjoying the company of a family man, his mother and father as well as his car all of whom were an amazing story unto themselves. This man was none other than Carroll Shelby's heart doctor that operated on him at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In a post I made back in January I talked about the time the good doctor took me to visit Carroll in his hospital room where Carroll autographed a bumper sticker for me. Last night while digging through some files I just happen to stumble over that very bumper sticker still un-used.





Who would ever have thought that something as ordinary as a bumper sticker would have a story to tell? Respectfully I suppose that in some way Carroll has always been alive and well and living under the hood of my car and others and I suppose he will for eternity.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why Race?

A friend asked me why men race.... Isn't it obvious?

SOLD! Extrodinary Spec Miata - $12k

EDIT: Jon's car has been sold. Congratulations are in order to the guy who bought it.

Co-Piloto Jon Emerson is selling his Spec Miata and if you are looking for a very competitive ride this is it. This car was meticulously prepared and has the best of the best which helps it corner like a slot car. LOTS of fun and speed. Combine that with some expert driving instruction from Will Faules and you have the entire package.




Don't miss this once in a rare while opportunity to own a true gem of a race car. This is one of the cleanest Spec Miatas you'll ever find. Built over the course of a year by Impact Engineering, the quality of this car is beyond compare. Based on a straight 1991 chassis, this 1.6 Miata has a cage that's a work of art, and includes full drivers-side NASCAR bars. The suspension is fully updated including recent updates to the 99 strut tops. The car is fully wired for your radio including a custom steering-wheel mounted PTT. Full Chasecam system can be negotiated for inclusion in purchase. The car has 2 weekends of track time on it from new and has been stored inside.

The car includes:


Legal 1.6 motor, tuned by Mazda master Mike Haag (built Rampelberg's 2008 Runoff's winning motor)
Brand new straight shot intake
2 weekend old Mazda comp Limited Slip differential
Mazda comp exhaust
Suspension updated to '99 bump stops for improved ride height
2 sets of straight wheels (1 set of Kosei K1's and a brand new, un-raced set of Konig Rewinds (as shown in the pic))
Impact Engineering Cage with Driver side NASCAR door
Kirkey seat with 2 custom mounting points for different sized drivers
$1200 paintjob inside and out (pure white inside)
Completely wired for radios
2008 NASA annual with Log Book
Very solid well built, unmolested, unwrecked car
Will help setup and coach driver with purchase of car

Monday, May 26, 2008

Get'em While There Hot

If you are looking for a La Carrera Panamericana race car boy are you in luck. There just happen TWO Corvettes for sale both of which have been put to the grueling test of the La Carrera Panamericana.

Now this first one is what we might call a "lightweight" model and it will require a little fixing up as it was put through a little more grueling testing than the other one. One thing I can guarantee is that nothing on it can catch on fire. On the other hand I am sure the owner will be willing to come down on his price. In the first photo you can see the car doing a burnout.








The next car was driven by Bill Shanahan and co-piloto Smith Murray. Bill is a non-executive director of MSD Ignition and was formerly chief operating officer and then president of The Colgate-Palmolive Company. Needless to say this car was built with all the right stuff. Bill and Smith were both hard charging competitors and lots of fun to race against. On the final day Bill told me he was going to sell his Corvette and build a Monte Carlo Falcon. Being a Ford buy myself I must say I think his taste has improved. For more information on Bill's Vette which has a starting bid of $150,000.00 on EBAY CLICK HERE. Also included are two new front fenders.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mexico Racing Videos



Take a ride inside a 1951Chrysler New Yorker.




Watch closely in this one for Jon and Gary.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

What if?





















Gary's 97 GTS Coupe


There are some days when I am driving around wondering what it would be like to run La Carrera Panamericana in my daily driver and leave the race car at home? Wonder how the Subaru guys would look in the rear view mirror? Then again there are those sneaky topes. Would be interesting.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Things Kevin & Mark said while doing 190MPH thru Mexico City

Kevin said, "Holly crap, I still have another gear!"

Mark said, "I was just wondering.... did anyone see what in the hell Mexico City looked like? I seemed to have missed it."

I was just kidding. What was really said was this.... "Hey Mark, it says here in the route book that there is a new Hooter's opening in down town Mexico City. If we hurry we can catch the grand opening."

Kevin asked if anyone had any video of him driving thru downtown Mexico City....... All I can say is, "DON'T BLINK."


If you think this is good just wait until the new HD DVD comes out. A special thanks to Steffan Shultz for his amazing ability to capture such a thing of beauty at that speed.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Here's some of what we missed


Finish line at the 1954 La Carrera Panamericana.


For those of us who have raced La Carrera Panamericana one of the things we hate most is not being able to take time to smell the roses so to speak. I'm talking about hauling ass all the way from one end up thru the backbone of Mexico all the way to the other and never really being able to remember what anything looked like. After all, if you take your eyes off the road for even a few brief seconds at the speeds we were traveling to enjoy some scenic site you may not live to tell about it. In all honesty I saw more of Mexico on blogs, websites, newspaper and other people's video quips than I did during the entire Jon and I raced there.

But now thanks to "BEAR'S MEXICO PAGE" all that has changed. I was amazed how many places I recognized on Bear's site and it truly took me back. Some of these places are intimately special and remembering passing thru them on transit stages was a once in a lifetime experience for all of us. It's impossible to explain the rush while people wave, children smile, senoritas blush, donkeys run for cover and the police are having a blast taking part. At least now I can sit back with a cold one, look at these photos and reminice all I want as so many of these photos look exactly like the very highways we raced on. Carretera means highway.

CARRETERAS 135 AND 190 FROM OAXACA

CARRETERA 51

OAXACA CITY

Friday, May 16, 2008

Two Wiiild And Craaaazy Guys


Kevin and Mark before Mark grew a beard. (Honest it's them.)

Ever notice how some people leave a more lasting impression on people than others? Having met Kevin Jones and co-piloto, better known as "partner in crime" Mark Williams we found them to be the kinds of guys we are proud to call our friends. Hey, I don't know what in the hell to say about them owning a pink iPod but some question are better left unasked. Besides, what goes on in Mexico stays in Mexico or so I'm told.

Check out the video Kevin and Mark shot as they traveled thru parts of Mexico on their way to race the Chihuahua Express. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. After leaving Chihuahua every Chihuahua in the city of Chihuahua had been "sand proofed" at the request of the Subaru team. Some say they saw Mark and Kevin holding down the dog in the photo while saying, "It's the least we can do for the people of Chihuahua. Besides, what else can we do since there are no pigeons here?"

Research Proves Speeding Can Be Safe

Once in a while I am asked if I feel comfortable while speeding on the highways of Mexico. After giving this some thought Jon and I set out on doing some tongue in cheek research.

For years we have all heard reasons why we should slow down; Things like it saves gas, it's safer, less wear and tear on the car as well as the highways and many more reasons. But recent;y while doing some research of our own we learned that there are always exceptions to the rule. During our research we learned the depending on the circumstances that speeding can in fact save lives. Watch our recorded research that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that speeding was a good thing in this case.




video

Thursday, May 15, 2008

CHUCK DAIGH MEMORIAL La Carrera Member

Some of you might remember a recent post I made paying respect to Chuck Daigh who had competed in La Carrera Panamericana back in the 50's. Here is a well written obit about Chuck and many of his accomplishments.



CHUCK DAIGH, THE UNSUNG HERO
By Art Evans

Carroll Shelby once remarked, “There are only two people I can think of who could sit
down, take a welding torch, build their own chassis, go out to test it and then win races with it.

They are Jack Brabham and Chuck Daigh. I put Chuck in the same category as Jack.”
Except for the war years, Chuck Daigh has been associated in one way or another with
internal combustion engines. At age 15, while still in high school, he ran a Union Oil gas station in Long Beach where he grew up. In his eighth decade he was busy at work preparing a car for a record run at Bonneville. Between those times, he had a legendary career both behind the wheel and wielding a wrench. Bruce Kessler told me recently that he thinks Chuck was the most under appreciated racing driver of his time. According to his Sebring teammate, Dan Gurney, “Chuck was not only an excellent engineer, but he could also drive the wheels off a car.” Dan went on to
say, “When I got into racing, I soon found out who the real heavyweights were. In those days,Chuck was like a god to us.”

Daigh’s parents moved to Long Beach in 1923 where Chuck was born on November 29th
of that year. His father owned and operated a garage where, according to older brother Harold, they grew up. Both were typical hot rodders. They made a car with a Model A chassis and an Alfa Romeo body. Chuck graduated from Compton High School in 1941.

Along came the war and Chuck joined up and served with the famed 82nd Airborne
Division for the duration. In the spring of 1943, the division parachuted into Sicily and later dropped near Salerno, Italy, and took Naples in October. The next month, they left for England to prepare for D Day, when they jumped into Normandy. After the Battle of the Bulge, they took Luxemburg where Chuck was shot and mustered out in 1945.

Returning to Long Beach, Chuck and Harold built a track roadster and raced it at Carroll Speedway in Gardena. Chuck was out practicing when J.C. Agajanian came over and asked Harold who was driving. Harold replied, “Oh, that’s Chuck; he’s just fooling around.” “I don’t know about that,” J.C. said, “but he just broke the track record!”

In 1952, Benson Ford hired Chuck, Clay Smith and Bill Stroppe to build Lincolns for the Mexican Road Race. Chuck went along as a riding mechanic and navigator. His first sports car race was at Moffett Field in 1953 piloting Marion Lowe’s Frazer Nash. Then he came in fourth overall in the main event at the October Terminal Island race behind the wheel of the ex-Dan Parkinson (Phil Hill’s brother-in-law) Jaguar Special. His first sports car victory was at Willow Springs in May 1954 driving his Kurtis with a Lincoln engine. Next, he started driving the
Troutman-Barnes Special for Dick and Tom. After winning the fall 1955 Santa Barbara, he campaigned the car for another year winning more than his share of races and always was a front-runner.

In 1957, Lance Reventlow asked Troutman and Barnes to build an all-American sports
car. The partners wanted to involve Chuck, so he went to work at Warren Olson’s shop where the car was to be constructed. Warren said of Chuck, “He was one of my two most valuable employees; the other being Phil Remington. Chuck would try anything. If something didn’t work, it didn’t bother him. He would just try something else or do it a different way.” Chuck was responsible for the Scarab engine, suspension and brakes. The first Scarab—the Mark I—won its second race at Santa Barbara with Lance at the wheel.

The first big-time professional road race in Southern California was the U.S. Grand Prix for Sports Cars sponsored by the Los Angeles Times in October 1958. Lance had named Chuck his number one driver and entered two Mark IIs. Chuck won against very serious competition, making a name for the marque. That year, in a Scarab, Daigh won the opener at Meadowdale. At Montgomery he defeated the Cunningham Lister team led by Walt Hansgen, and won at Laguna Seca and Nassau.

After the Scarab days, Chuck raced at Sebring three times, winning one with Dan Gurney in a Ferrari Testa Rossa. He also race in Europe including Silverstone and Le Mans, usually in a Maserati. During Carroll Shelby’s GT-40 effort at Le Mans, Daigh was in charge of carburetion. Even so, the Ford mechanics thought they knew better. Bruce McLaren went out to practice and complained, so, unknown to the factory people, Chuck fixed the problem. Bruce credited both his Le Mans wins in part to Chuck.

Daigh didn’t confine himself to four wheels. He had a very successful career with an
offshore racer called the Thunderball. Chuck not only built the engine, but was also the pilot. In later years, he left Long Beach and moved to Costa Mesa where he set up shop. A few years ago, I visited Chuck in Costa Mesa. There sat his Bonneville streamliner, up on blocks. It was gorgeous; a work of art! It seemed to me it would be as at home in the Petersen Museum as on the Salt Flats.

After a brief illness, on Tuesday morning, April 29, 2008, Chuck Daigh passed on. He
was 84 years old. He was not only a great driver and designer/mechanic, but also a wonderful person. I’ll miss him. I understand a Scarab reunion is planned for the July 17-20 Kohler International Challenge with Brian Redman at Road America. Augie Pabst told me that a remembrance of Chuck Daigh will be included in the celebration.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We Live Vicariously Thru Them


Since Jon and I will not be attending this years La Carrera Panamericana it does not mean that we are not dreaming about it. At times family and business must come first but in either event there will be a tomorrow. In the mean time we live vicariously through other's stories all of which are exciting and filled with anticipation.

Today while I was talking with none other than Hershel McGriff we both agreed that having been involved in La Carrera Panamericana there will never be an end to the dream of returning again someday. The cars, the cheering and waving spectators, the danger, excitement, the ups, the downs and more. Yes, it is in fact a disease and I am happy to report there in no cure in sight. The only way we will ever be satisfied is to return and do it all over again. There is a remote possibility that Hershel and I might fly down to take part in CONCURSO MOTOR SPORTS SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE to be held in October 2008 in the beautiful Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende, the site of the first Concurso de Motor Sports Panamericana. The event will be a weekend of classic cars, vintage motorcycles, and motor sports entertainment. The Concurso will raise funds for groups providing assistance to the children of San Miguel de Allende and the area. Last year this is the village where we spent two days and nights with the Coyote Convoy and it is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world.















Gerie Bledsoe and his kids

Speaking of living vicariously... Last weekend at Ron Lee's fiesta I met a couple of guys who are getting prepared to compete in this year's La Carrera Panamericana. One of them was John McKain (Don't even ask) and his buddy Brent who will be filling part of the service team. John and his father, Jeff McKain, will be sharing the chores in one of my all-time favorite cars, a 65 GT350. I wonder why I like their choice so much? Hmmm. (Big Tool Man grunt!)

Having spoke to John and Jeff I couldn't help but feel a familiar bond as I hear their excitement of sharing this adventure as a father & son team. How cool is that. John has a fair amount of seat time and he wrote, "I've raced the car since the mid 90's in Tacoma then thru calif , Az and all up and down the east coast until Road Atlanta last year when a suspension failure put old 77 in the wall. We rebuilt it and decided that after a couple more races in 2007, we would retire her and make the Carerra the car's swan song, and then park it." For too many reasons to list Team California's Best would like to wish them well as they prepare for an adventure that us veterans know is to be life changing. I hope we will be able to keep up to speed with reports from them not only to wish them well but so we too can live through them vicariously.


John and Jeff's GT350



John and Jeff's GT350 at Daytona

Carrera Fiesta, Monterey Historics, Saturday, August 16, RSVP




Hola, Carreraistas!

We are planning a Carrera Fiesta and Corral at the Monterey Historics on Saturday, August 16, 3:00-6:30 PM. We need a preliminary count of people who plan to attend. Please let me know if you can make it.

We need sixty attendees to be able to reserve a private patio and corral in the parking lot for our Carrera cars and other exotic automobiles. Everyone, including friends and relatives, is invited.

The gathering will be at Tarpy's Roadhouse, which is virtually next door to Laguna Seca. Tarpy's is four miles east of Carmel and Monterey on Highway 68, left side, bottom of the hill, one mile past the airport. It's a beautiful place, a local landmark.



Because this is a no-host function, tickets will be sold before the event to defray the cost of drinks and snacks. At this point, we simply want to gauge the level of interest. We also need to know if you want to display your Carrera or vintage racecar, since space in the corral is limited to 15 autos.

We had 45 people at our Southern California fiesta last Saturday night in South Pasadena. And a good time was had by all. Being able to talk Pan Am, while admiring Ron Lee's car collection, was very special. The president of La Carrera, Eduardo de Leon and his family, was also present. Some of those So-Cal folks will also want to mingle with other Carrera racers attending the Historics.

Please respond if you plan to attend. Final details, including ticket information, will be distributed in early June. Thanks to Bill Hemmer for arranging the location.

Muchisimos gracias,

Gerie Bledsoe
North American Coordinator
La Carrera Panamericana


Tarpy's wine celler. The question is, how many of these can us Carreraistas polish off?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

La Carrera Humor


Since Doug Mockett is busy with his team at the Monaco Historics I thought now would be a good time to poke some fun at his expense. Besides it does look like Doug behind the wheel don't it? (All in fun Doug.)


So much for humor. Now let's get on to more serious matters. Team California's Best would like to congratulate our good friend and fellow competitor, Doug Mockett on his very impressive historical victory last week in Monaco. Victory could not have gone to a finer gentleman. Doug's driver Paul Edwards became the first Team USA Scholarship winner to win a Formula 1 race at Monaco on Sunday. OK, it wasn’t a round of the World Championship, but it was still an impressive performance from the 30-year-old Edwards, who now lives in Ft. Collins, Colo.


Paul Edwards drove a 1975 Penske PC3 to victory on the streets of Monaco.

Edwards qualified Team USA Scholarship prime supporter Doug Mockett’s pristine 1975 Penske PC3 on the pole for last weekend’s Monaco GP Historique Group G event, featuring F1 cars from 1975-'78, and romped away to an accomplished victory on the famed street circuit.

“My main aspiration in motorsport was always to make it to F1 but came up a bit short until Doug Mockett invited me to drive his Penske PC3 in 2006 where we had a last lap incident with Martin Stretton which took us out of the race while going for the lead,” recounts Edwards. “It has been a long two years waiting to get another unforgettable opportunity – the chance of a lifetime #2 – for a shot at victory in Monaco. It was a perfect week both on and off the track – an experience that most of us can only dream about.

“The car ran flawlessly, thanks to the world-class preparation by Phil Reilly’s team, and we led practice, took the pole,and topped it off with a win in a Formula 1 car at Monaco. To stand on the top step of the podium with Prince Albert shaking my hand and handing the trophy to me was just unbelievable! I am so honored to be apart of this event and to have shared this moment with everyone involved and my long time supporter and friend Doug Mockett.”

Edwards won both the 1998 Formula Opel Winter Series and the following season’s Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series carrying the colors of the Team USA Scholarship.


Edwards accepts his winner's laurels from Monaco's Prince Albert.






He now returns to his “day job,” driving a Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and will be back in action this coming weekend, defending his GT class points lead at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The Team USA Scholarship was founded in 1990. Previous winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Memo Gidley, Jerry Nadeau, Buddy Rice and A.J. Allmendinger.

Team USA Scholarship winners currently lead three prestigious title chases in North America, with Edwards holding the Rolex GT points lead, J.R. Hildebrand (2005) leading the way in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship and Joel Miller (2007) out in front in the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear.

(Credit SPEEDtv.com)

Some Interesting La Carrera History



Since there has been so much interest in Ron Lee's 55 Kurtis GT coupe and people asking for some history on the car I thought it would make fro some great reading. The history on this beautiful car is as rich as it gets with regards to who owned it, what it was intended for and how it came to be.

Of course, the car got it's roots from the legendary race car builder, Frank Kurtis who had first-place finishes at Indy from 1950-1955. Better yet Kurtis cars finished one two three in 1951 and took the top 11 spots in 1952 and top 13 in 1953. Kurtis tried to build street machines but didn't do too well. From 1948 to 1949 he built 22 sports cars. Frank tried selling the 500KK, 500S and 500M series which were based on the successful Indy 500 Roadster chassis he designed. It is believed that something like 18 of 500M roadsters were built with about six known to be on the road today. He built fewer than 30 of the 500S cycle-fendered roadsters, like those that Bill Stroppe raced.

World famous auto customizer George Barris got his hands on one of cars from Frank Kurtis himself to see what he could do with it after it had been raced for a while. Since it was a little worse for wear Barris drove the car over to the world renown Mickey Thompson to work it over and whip it back into road worthy shape. While it was at Mickey's shop without asking permission Mickey and his crew made their own mold of the car. Later Mickey made not one but two castings of the car which they planned to race in the 1955 La Carrera Panamericana. Just about the time Mickey got the two cars built there was an announcement made that the La Carrera Panamericana would not be run in 1955 as a result of so many deaths not only in La Carrera Panamericana but in another crash that is know today as the single worst crash in the history of auto racing in which a Mercedes killed 82 people and 76 were maimed for life.

It was made worse by the fact that the car/engine/wheels was built of magnesium and the fire could not be put out with water. Not only did Mercedes withdraw from the race but they discontinued all racing for a bunch of years before returning. 27 people had died during the first five years of the La Carrera Panamericana, giving it one of the highest mortality rates per race in the history of motorsport.

It's interesting to learn how many things were effected by these two racing events.

Ron Lee's Curtis was restored in the early 90's and raced in La Carrera Panamericana in 1991. It currently has a Lincoln V8.



In my oppinion there is nothing more beautiful than a beautiful car with fresh dirt and grime on it having just come home from a race. (Well, mabey second.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mexican Rally Video

Here is a great compilation from the recent Chihuahua Express where teams and drivers go not only to have some fun amongst friends but also to test their equipment, cars and skill while tuning up for the La Carrera Panamericana.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

La Carrera Fiesta a Huge Success



Ron and his wife and Cosmo the family guard dog.


After a relaxing six hour drive with Michael Emery of Lucha Libre Racing and Gerie Bledso we arrived on time at Ron Lee's home in Pasadena. The weather was perfect, the food great, everyone had a great time and the cars were fantastic... what else could anyone ask for? Our gracious host was Ron Lee and his beautiful wife who made sure everyone had a great time. The only problem I had with the whole affair was I could not get everyone to turn their back when I was trying to stuff one of Ron's cars in my duffel bag.

For many of us it was a great time just being able to reacquaint ourselves with friends that we had met at the 2007 La Carrera Panamericana while others who have been friends for years shared experiences with us about past La Carrera Panamericanas.



Eduardo Leon and Gary with Ron's 55 Kurtis GT coupe which was originally built to run La Carrera Panamericana. Notice Leon's grand daughter in the driver's seat. Leon and Ron were heard arguing if she was going to be Piloto or Co-piloto.

Another special treat was getting to spend one on one time with Eduardo Leon, the president of La Carrera Panamericana as well as his beautiful wife and their two daughters. There was lots of talk about past and future La Carrera adventures but it was also a time to meet families and others with interest in La Carrera as well and of course there was lots of beautiful cars to admire.

During the evening Gerie Bledso took time to thank Ron and his wife for having us all over and assured Ron that none of us has spilt guacamole on any of his cars however an apology was in order for the drool left on many of them. And drool we did. Ron has a unique car collection, one that any automotive enthusiast would be proud to have. On a personal note one thing I enjoyed about Ron is that his cars are not trailer queens stored in some place that prevents them for being enjoyed. No sir, Ron's cars are used for what they were intended to be used for... Rode hard and put away wet. It's apparent these cars get lots of love and attention but it's also great to know they are not driven at parade lap speed. From what I saw I don't think the word "Parade" is in Ron's vocabulary.

I hope you will enjoy the photos of just a few of Ron's cars and I would like to take the time to personally thank Ron and his wife for a wonderful evening had by all.



Gerie Bledso with Ruth and Chris "Coop" Cooper.




Gary and Bret Haller




Colin Herrick, Gary Faules and Kevin Jones recent Chihuahua Champion.




Father & Son team Colin and Eric Herrick ham it up with Gary




Sam Burg asking Gary why he's wearing sunglasses at 8PM.



President Eduardo Leon and grand daughter Stephanie admiring Paul Chenard's latest work. He truly loved it.



This is the car Ron Lee is presently building to race in this year's La Carrera Panamericana. (No joke)













OK, so since there are three photos of this car by now you probably have figured out which car I was trying to steal.











As I posted these photos I realized none of them can do justice to their beauty, their lines, workmanship by craftsmen not to mention you should have heard them when they were started up. I still have goose bumps. Gerie Blesdo is planing some more La Carrera Fiestas possibly one at Laguna Seca during the Monterey Historics. If you can find time to get to one of these family get-together's it will be a day you won't soon forget. There were many others I had the opportunity of meeting and I look forward to seeing each of you again. A few others in attendance were Eddie Marrazito, Marshall Chabot, Dara Herrick, Jack Heydorff, Monica Leon-Grossmann, Andrea Leon-Grossmann, Dyana Marlett, Tom Hollfelder, John McKain, Jane Park, and please accept my apologies for those I did not mention since I am great when it comes to remembering cars and beautiful women but terrible names.