Sunday, August 17, 2014

One GREAT Drive Today!!

Just had one of the best drives of my life.! Just drove down Hwy 1 from Monterey to SLO. Beautiful scenery, a great driving road, and no traffic!! ( I left at 6:45am to avoid the traffic) An amazing drivers car too. I made the trip in record time.. I don't want to brag but before I left Monterey I had two cups of coffee and I made it to S.L.O. Without stopping to pee..... At my age that is FAST!!!  I only had to pass 5 cars the whole trip. Most I came up on so fast all I had to do was blink my lights and they pulled right over. I did come up behind a new Shelby GT500 who thought he would give me a run so he sped up. I was right on his tail.... I kicked it down two gear so the Turbos spooled up and as soon as there was a short straight I floored it and blew by him so fast I think I scared him... with in a few seconds he was gone from my rear view mirror.. Love driving this car... makes me feel like a much better driver than I am...  Jason

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Monterey Car Week, Saturday

Dear Family & Friends,

Today was one long day!! From 7am to 10pm non stop... Sometimes this business is actually work..
Bright and early I was off to the track and worked our vendor booth until 3pm... The crowds were decent and we talked to lots of new and old customers.. The day was certainly good for business. Saw a  lot of old friends too. The hard part was I HATE being at a race track and not actually racing... That was hard to take..
After the track I went back to the hotel and cleaned up for an informal Jaguar party downtown. This has been a regular event for the last ten years or so. Again met lots of our old customers and had a couple of drinks.
From there I had a quick dinner and went to the RM Auction... IT is amazing the values of collector cars these days... I can remember when if a car reached a bid of $100,000 that was shocking.. Tonight bids of $1,000,000 or more were absolutely common!!
From there I had arranged to meet a knew customer from Alberta, Canada. He and his family were down for this event and he wanted to discuss having XKs Unlimited restore his E Type roadster.. He was very pleasant and after an hour and a half to answer questions it looks like we have another job coming in..
It is very satisfying that after almost 42 years in this business we have such a good world wide reputation... The personal satisfaction and pride in what we do has always been more important to me than the money. I always figured if I did the best I could and treated people right the financial rewards would follow and it seems to have worked out.
This weekend good top quality E Type roadsters were all selling around  $350,000 range, so that strong value certainly helps business.....
It has been a rewarding week, fun at times, but also a lot of down time and even though I know my wife is having a wonderful time in Hawaii this week it would have sure been more fun to have her here. Well more fun for me.....
Sunday there are still lots of activities, more racing. Pebble Beach Show, etc but I have had enough so in the morning I am going to get up at the crack of dawn and head down Hwy 1 before the traffic comes out and really enjoy my new toy, the Turbo Porsche!! Hwy 1 from Carmel to San Luis Obispo is still one of the best drivers roads in the world. Last summer riding 7 weeks around Europe we rode some great roads, but none any better than Hwy 1.
Signing off!

The fabulous XKs Unlimited display booth Got lots of compliments how nice it looked. All thanks to our dedicated and talented marketing director, Dave Light...

You never know what you are going to see on the streets of Monterey during Car Week. This hand built monster was very impressive. I am not sure the photo does justice to the size but this beast was at least as long as three normal cars!

It is early evening the excitement of the RM Auction was really heating up. The bidding was on a loud speaker and when you hear bids of 1,2 3,4+ million dollars like it was chump change you have to wonder who are these people and do any of them want to marry one of my daughters????

Saw this very unusual motorcycle parked on the street. There was no brand and I could not tell for sure but it looked like an electric bike.... pretty cool looking..

Evening in downtown Monterey..

A beautiful Rolls Royce convertible I wanted to get for my wife Bonnie but after bidding hit $$$$ they would not take my check.... :(

Amazing cars everywhere and this was just one of many auctions going on all over town..

A beautiful Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale. I remember in college working in a local SLO sports car shop and we had one of these come in. The man was traveling through town and blew a head gasket. It was my first time removing a head from a Alfa, I think I was 20? I thought the car was great back then and probably could have bought the car from the owner for $500, if I had it... :(

Here was a little bargain my brother-in-law should have picked up, sold for ONLY $24,000,000, such a deal.....

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cars, cars, and more cars... can there be to much of a good thing??

Dear Family & Friends,

Another hard day of "work"....
First off in the morning I went to a large Porsche car show.. I have never seen so many Porsches in one place. I was entered in the display class only so I was not worried about getting there to early. Besides who goes to a show at 7am?? So I went out for some breakfast and coffee and while I am looking at Facebook on my Ipad I started seeing photos and videos already posted from the show showing the hundreds of cars that were already there!! these Porsche owners are fanatics!!
The show as interesting because it showed one of the very early model Porsches, a very humble sports car to the latest 918 model, at 750+hp and $1,200,000++!! The 918 is an amazing display of technology. If you ever have to get to town at 200+ mph this is the car to do it..
I visited with several friends from the SLO area and we had lunch. 
After lunch I drove out on the 17 mile drive to the Inn at Spanish Bay. A very swank hotel right on the water. They were having a sale called Auto Retro. It was a very high end collection of automotive memorabilia, vintage clothing, and art work. I got to talking to a vendor in rare Ferrari literature and told him about the time when I was 19 I wrote Ferrari a letter asking for a summer job.... Of course I did not get hired but I got a very nice personal letter on Ferrari company stationary signed by Mr. Ferrari himself.. I have saved it all these years and have it framed in my office.. The vendor offered me $1000 for the letter right on the spot!! So obviously it must be worth far more....
From there I went downtown and walked around looking at the RM Auction and Russo and Steel Auctions. After a while it was just to much.. I did hear a few of the "rare and expensive" cars start up and they sure didn't sound like they were running on all cylinders. Seemed like a place to dump a second tier car...
While watching one of the auction cars I sat down for coffee.  A couple asked if they could join me since there was a lack a chairs. I welcomed them since I could use the company. We started talking and noticed the gentleman had an English accent. After a few minutes we figured out we shared a common friend in England and I had even been to his Ferrari restoration shop many years ago. What a small world.
After a full day of cars and chat I went out for a quiet dinner alone and a tall glass of wine... Tonight I am going to sleep well which is good because tomorrow is a LONG day. I am working our display booth at the track.... 

Porsche, Porsche, Porsche, as far as the eye can see.. The owners are definitely enthusiasts!

A friend of mine's GT2.. Immaculate car and beautiful too!

Care for a 356?

This is what is called a GRUPPE R car. These are 1973 and earlier Porsche 911s that the owners modify how ever they like to make them look better or perform better. The Hot Rodding of the Porsche world. I think these are great cars to build and I am building one too. I get bored restoring a car stock. Using some creativity and building what you like is the real fun of the car hobby.. These Gruppe R cars are extremely popular right now. They were all over Monterey this week.

You know you are in Carmel when a hot dog cost $15!!!

Did you know that yellow Porsches are 3% faster on the top speed due to the color having  lower drag in the air??

If you want the fastest car on the road this week, this is the car for you; The Porsche 918 well north of $1,000,000 but don't let the price scare you. Just tell the salesman how much a month you can afford.......

The amount of effort to restore this car was approaching absolute zero....

This car belongs to a friend of mine. Probably the rarest car here today. A Romesh... A German hand built car using Porsche parts.. They only built 12...

From this humble little sports car built in the early 1950s the Porsche family has built a premier automotive brand... Very impressive..

Next stop, Auto Retro... at the Inn at Spanish Bay..

I couldn't afford to park here let alone stay in one of their rooms.... :(

What every lobby needs, a 250 SWB Ferrari.. How many millions for this car?? If you have to ask you can't afford. I am not sure of the exact value but I am sure it is in 10s of millions of dollars..

Just what I would like.... A personalized oil painting of you with your race car.

Hand made custom leather purses.. Wanted to get Bonnie one but for what they cost I was afraid I would get one she did not like and it would just sit in the closet.....

Beautiful pewter air planes..

This Porsche seat costs more than a Porsche did just a few years ago...

One of my all time favorite Ferraris, a 275 GTB4. I knew couldn't ever afford to own one but I learned today I cannot even afford the model of one!!

Ferrari owners have been called the "Gold Chain" crowd for all their gold Ferrari jewelry... This is where to buy it..

                         Every lobby should have a couple of Bugattis on display.........

                       Off to the Auctions!

To me this is one of the best parts of Monterey Car Week. When you can see a rare classic Porsche and an MG TC parked on the street, actually in use!

This was a beautiful Aston Martin going off the auction but when it drove by it sounded like it was running on 4 cylinders....
it has 6..

The Story of my V12 XK120 FHC,,,, start to finish~

This was by far the hardest project I have ever done from the frame up! I started with a rusty bare body. It was completely rebuilt with ext...