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The Road Back to Barrett-Jackson

01/20/2016

Editor's Note: Contributor Ken Visser is an Automotive Photographer and Concours Judge, as well as a Computer Tech at Discovery Communications. He's an enthusiast of generally anything that moves and is excited to share his work with Velocity fans. Reach out to him about his incredible photographs at karmakvisser@yahoo.com. 

I was so lucky back in January to be asked to cover our Velocity Channel's Barrett Jackson 2015 Scottsdale auction.  I spent 5 days/15 hours a day taking photos, doing web based interviews and blogging.  I was in heaven.  As a car guy, it was the greatest show I've ever been to.  Any car nut must make this a bucket list event.  You don't have to bid on anything, just check out the mile long tent filled will cars and vendors and all sorts of great food.  Then you have another 6 huge tents outside, housing hundreds of vehicles.  

I'm highlighting just a few of my favorites below.

35 Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton 028 sm

The 1935 Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton is a mouthful of title but such a special car and a splendid example of American craftsmanship and engineering.  This special motor car had a 420 cubic inch motor which was upgraded to the SuperCharged specification netting 320 horsepower.  The Duezy was part of the Salon collection of special high end automobiles curated by Ed Fallon and and Don Williams of the Blackhawk Collection.

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Officer Launches Himself into Semi to Save Driver

12/19/2015

Figuring out how to stop an out-of-control 18-wheeler is no easy feat. However, that is exactly what had to be done in Nebraska as shown by incredible dash-cam footage of one officer risking his life to bring the semi to a stop. 

On December 2, 911 Dispatchers in Madison County, Nebraska answered a call regarding a big rig driving unsafely on Highway 81. As police approached the vehicle, sirens blaring and lights flashing, the semi neglected to pull over to the side of the road. According to local news sources, one of the dispatched officers pulled alongside the truck and realized the driver was not evading police intentionally. He was unresponsive behind the wheel. 

"Deputy Kruid said he got up beside, just to look at the driver, and see if he could get his attention better, and said he [the truck driver] just had the blank stare on his face. Something wasn't right," Deputy Todd Volk stated in an interview with a KTIV reporter.

Taking into account that the big rig was quickly approaching a more populated section of the highway, Volk took it upon himself to bring the rig to a stop before one of the area's most trafficked intersections.
    
"At that point in time, the truck was traveling about 20 mph, I jumped back in my patrol vehicle, punched it and got up in front and jumped out and jumped up and grabbed the hand railing and the mirror on the side of the truck and hit the brakes," Volk told reporters.

Check out the raw dash cam footage below: 

The police later found out that the driver, who was unaware of his health condition, was having a diabetic episode. 

Please consider taking the Velocity Drive Smart pledge to make roads safer for everyone.

The Velocity Stack: Seven Soon to be Collectables from the 1980s

11/30/2015

Editor's Note: When Velocity's own Sam Wackerle isn't here at work, you can catch him chasing another record, building another project or crawling through the junkyard. Certifiably a car nut, Sam wanted to share his unique vehicular view with a weekly list, The Velocity Stack. 

VW Vanagon Syncro

VW Vanagon Syncro (2778820483)

Introduced in the 1986 model year for the US, the Vanagon Syncro took a few decades to truly start picking up in demand.  With the recent popularity of off the grid living and self-sufficiency, prices of Vanagons with the Syncro 4 wheel drive system have begun to rise dramatically.  With the prices of all generations of VW Vans going up and up, these will continue to follow that trend.

 

Thunderbird Turbo Coupe

Turbocoupe

In 1983, the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe was the top of the line option for the Thunderbird, placed above the venerable 5.0 V8.  The most desirable Turbo Coupe to have is the 1988 model with the 5-speed.  Turbo Coupes with the new for 1987, overdrive automatic trans had horsepower reduced in hopes of transmission longevity.  The 1988 model was also the first year that allowed the full 15psi of boost in all 5 manual gears.

 

Dodge Rampage

Dodge Rampage (14134670959)

37,401 may sound like a lot of “coupe utility” vehicles on the road, but that was the total sold over the entire 3 years it was made.  The Rampage was a front wheel drive, half-ton, sub compact.  It was rated with a load capacity of 1,045 pounds and 29mpg on the highway.  With urban living becoming increasingly popular, small multipurpose vehicles like this will only gain in popularity.

 

1987 BMW L6

BMW 635 CSi-1.jpg

The BMW L6 is an obscure piece of BMW history with sources indicating only 1200 to 1300 were ever sold in the States.  The BMW L6 looks the same on the outside as the 635CSI in the picture, but it’s what’s inside that counts.  Some say the “L” stands for leather, which it had on almost every possible surface.  If you can find a L6 with it’s leather not warped from the sun and sheet metal not rusted out from salt, you’ve got a rare and soon to be valuable gem. 

 

Alfa Romeo Milano Verde

1987 AR Milano QV 3.0, vb

Rear wheel drive, limited slip differential, 3.0l V6, manual transmission and Italian.  Yes the electronics are going to fail and the mere mention of rust while standing next to the car will cause oxidation, but have you ever heard a properly tuned exhaust fitted to an Alfa Romeo V6?  Do your ears a favor and look it up, you’ll soon understand why these are destined to be collectable.

 

Toyota MR2 MK1 Supercharged

Toyota MR2 MK1 from above

Only 10 percent of 1988 and 1989 MR2 MK1s are estimated to be supercharged.  The 1989 model year is slightly more desirable with the addition of a rear anti roll bar, added to handle the increase in power from the boost.  It’s loads of fun and epitomizes 1980s JDM styling; this poor man’s sports car is on the verge of being an introductory collector’s solid investment.

 

1983-1984 VW Rabbit GTI

Gtilrg

There were 30,000 Rabbit GTIs sold in the United States but with their reputation for being a track beast as well as cheap transportation, their numbers were quickly depleted.  The GTI isn’t as fast as modern cars, but it’s a ton more fun when you take it down twisty back roads.  The hot hatch still invokes teenage angst when you get behind the wheel and was certainly deserving of its nomination for Car Of The Century.

Honda Thanks Motorcyclist for Saving Kitten

10/27/2015

Getting off a motorcycle in the middle of a busy intersection is never a smart choice. However, one biker threw caution to the wind to save a little orange kitten, a bold move that was captured by the rider's helmet camera. 

According to the footage, the orange kitten was hiding in the suspension of the maroon-colored sedan that is seen driving perpendicular of the bike, until it plopped onto the concrete. It is quite common, especially has the temperatures begin to dip, for small strays and wild animals to wiggle their way into engine blocks and small spaces under cars to find warmth.

The video has since garnered quite a lot of attention, climbing to over 3 million views in just a few days. Taking notice as well was the mega manufacturer, Honda. Their YouTube account expressed their pride and gratitude for the rider and, of course, remembered to compliment her choice in bike. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.34.16 AM

The kitten, appropriately named Skidmark, has taken a liking to his new home with the biker that saved him. "His name, Skidmark, is a little bit of dark humor, but we thought it was appropriate considering that's exactly what he could've been," she told ABC news

Got a soft spot for things with two wheels? Check out when Wayne found the holy grail of motorcycle collections.

Feeling Nostalgic? Here's a Car for You!

10/16/2015

In February 2014, the BBC sent reporter Charlotte Stacey to Oxfordshire to meet John Bitmead, the mastermind behind the only known road-legal, drivable, life-sized Little Tikes Cosy Coupe constructed from a Daewoo Matiz SE 0.8. Just over a year later, Bitmead is ready to part ways with his oversized toy.

Bitmead told BBC that it took his brother Geoff and him 1,000 hours to build the car, which required the equivalent of $6,200 to complete. The brothers are no strangers to unique rides. Together they own Attitude Autos, a company that operates with "a passion for historic, classic and contemporary vehicle restoration and modification" according to its website.  

Impressed? Well there's good news. You can now buy this car!

The brothers have put the car up for auction on eBay, hoping to find an owner that will continue to use it for charitable causes. They're asking £21,500.00, which equates to around $33,300. The car has 65,000 miles, 5,000 of which have been driven since the car went through its highly documented makeover.

May the highest bidder win! Although,we're almost certain this father-son duo from Texas will probably end up taking it home. They've got a thing for fast cosy coupes.

Don't think it will sell? Well Wayne thinks differently. Cute DOES sell. 


Visit daily for posts about the shows and spirit of Velocity, an upscale male lifestyle network, featuring the best of the automotive, sports, adventure and travel genres.

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