Fifth Gear

Why 38?

07/17/2015

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. 

Flip flops, I hate flip flops.  Now let me tell you why.  The other day I'm stopped at a light by the Damascus High School minding my own business.  I just happen to glance at my rear view mirror and I get a glimpse of headlights.  

Lady behind me was wearing flip flops.  They get tangled up in the pedals and she hits the gas.  No braking involved, so she hits me square on the bumper, which translates the energy through me into the trailer hitch attached to the Explorer in front of me.  

Needless to say, my car takes the double whammy and off to the Damascus Motors autobody for repair we go. With that, I get a rental-- a Dodge Charger.  I look like a cop in this thing!  After driving it for a few days, I took notice that the volume highest setting is 38.  

Thirty-eight?  What corporate group think study group came up with that number?  

Car 38 sm lr

So 38. Not 11 for you Spinal Tap folks.  Or 42 for you Hitch Hikers Guide the To The Universe fans. But 38.  I would have loved to listen to that bureaucratic debate.  "Well our survey shows that our male demographic is looking for something more impressive.  I say 57."  "Well Biff, too much in my mind.  I think a gentler scale 0 to 10."  "William the third, the boys at Ford have higher numbers on their cars.  We're talking 0 to 77."  "We must not lose the MVN (Maximum Volume Number) race.  Let's have another 3 studies"

Let's see what the MVN is in your car.  Looking forward to documenting what other manufacturers are doing out there.Now for your further entertainment, since we are looking at radios, let's look at what holds them, the dashboard.  Here are a couple I picked from my archives.

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McLaren Prototype Release Party

07/06/2015

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 had the good fortune of being on the receiving end of an invitation to go check out the pre-release party for the brand new McLaren 570-S.  The star-studded event was held at the Longview Gallery on 9th St. NW in Washington DC.

And of course, what do you think the first thing we see in front of the gallery?

McClaren15 prototype 092 lr sm

The first of five McLaren 650S models that were on site!  This British supercar delivers 671 hp to the rear wheels.  Starting around $270,000 for the coupe and $283,000 for the convertible, this speedster will dominate a highly competitive market with a finite number of potential consumers.  

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Car Show at Junkyard Empire

07/02/2015

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. 

Andy Cohen of Junkyard Empire hosted his 3rd Annual Rally in the Alley.  The show was held the Damascus Motors headquarters.  Rhona Leffler - co/owner and VP of DMC along with their team put on a great day of cars, kids, hero dogs and activities for all!  Andy, Rhona and Mark "The Pope" Hipsley brought in nearly 200 registered cars, of all sorts and sizes. 

Andy15 dmc front lot 406 lr smHere we see the consignment showroom to the left featuring some top notch restored and modified American Iron.  Out front we see a razor sharp Lamborghini Murcielago along with some very nice Vettes and other Chevies. 

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Rolling out to Barrett Jackson

12/24/2014

Recently recieved a fun invite, to photograph, blog and interview at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale.  This is the world's pre-eminent automotive auction.  I remember being spellbound at a friend's house in the 90's, watching cool cars cruise up the carpet with a definitive value now attached to them.  

To celebrate the event thought we'd look at some of the interesting objects on the list and maybe a few followup photos from other events.

The first one that caught my eye was this wild custom 1937 Cord Westchester Custom

1937 CORD WESTCHESTER CUSTOM 2 DOOR HARDTOP 02 sm

(photo courtesy Barrett-Jackson)

I've always loved the lines on the Cords.  I never thought about hot rodding such a vehicle and there are a host of folks that would question the exercise.  

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The polar vortex is over and the Amelia Island Concours is coming!

02/23/2014

Here on the upper East Coast we are rather sick of that whole winter thing.  Polar Vortex and ice and snow and sleet and school closings are hopefully on the wain.  Its time to look forward to sunny skies and beautiful cars for the automotive enthusiasts among us.

So that brings us to the 2014 edition of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.  This concours is held on the luscious grounds of the Ritz Carlton.  300 of the world's finest automobiles, motorcycles and race cars will grace the greens of the impecable golf course, a virtual feast for the eyes.

Every year Bill Warner and his vast crew of volunteers and veterans have chosen some of the most incredible pieces of transportation.  You'll find everything from $50 million dollar Ferraris to incredible Duesenburgs and grand classics to cars that you never knew existed.

Some of the featured classes and cars from this year are: General Lyon's Duesenberg which is a 1930 Model J Speedster featuring a dissapearing  convetible top.  Ralph Marano is a highly regarded Packard collector and he is bringing all ten of his Packard concept cars from the 50's. You'll be able to see the re-debut of the Chrylser La Contesse Concept car.  The Stirling Moss 450S Le Mans Coupe will be one of the featured cars helping to celebrate  the Maserati centenary.  A set of BMW "Batmobiles" will be on the greens, representing the German's 180mph winged monsters from the 70's.  The BMW's represent one of the unique features of the Amelia Island Concours, that is Bill Warner's love of race cars.

So as a teaser, let's take a look at some previous entrants to the Amelia Island Concours.

Grey wolf javalin lr kcv

Here we see old meets new.  The "Grey Wolf" meets the Sunoco Javalin race car from the Trans Am series.

  Ai08 d2 tflyer 0909 lr kcv

2008 saw the greatest gathering of Thomas Flyers that anyone in the last 50 years could remember.  Above we see the actual Thomas Flyer that won in the famous 1908 New York to Paris race. 

The National Automobile Museum in Reno Nevada, loaned the world famous Thomas Flyer for the 100th anniversary of its epic 22,000 mile race.  George Schuster, the only member of the US team to drive the entire route, assisted Bill Harrah restore the car to its original trim as it entered Paris 26 days in front of the next competitor.

Aic13 Lamboghini Muira  012

The Lamborghini Muira Roadster in a rare appearance at the Amelia Island Concours last year.  Photo courtesy of Brett Lemoine.

This is the only Roadster created and built by the factory, making it very special indeed.  It was named the ZN75.

Malcolm 240 experimental kcv

Here is Malcolm Pray and his beloved 1939 Delahaye Type 135 M next to the predecessor to the Ferrari GTO.  Its the 1962 Ferrari 250 Experimental chassis 2643GT.

Unfortunately we lost Malcolm Pray in 2013.  He was a main stay at so many concours events.  He will be missed.  This years judges sheets (which I designed) are a tribute to his many contributions to the field.

  Moal carini lr kcv

 You just never know what is going to come around the corner.  Here we see Wayne Carini from Velocity's Chasing Classic Cars driving one of the Moal Couchbuilders Torpedo.

A great place to hang out is right in front of the Ritz, especially during Saturday.  All sorts of cars are loading up and tooling around.  Then you walk in and see the RM Auction as well as some of the great seminars and take advantage of the exotic test drives.

Yes, the Amelia Island Concours should be on every car lovers bucket list.  Come for the weather and stay for the cars!


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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