Van Party of Two


It may be America's birthday today, but check out this hysterical birthday video that's gone viral. In less than a week it boasts 450,000 views.

The video has gained worldwide traction prompting the creator, Chris Daines, to change his name on YouTube from Bludgeoned Guitarist to The Double D's (the other party-goer is Daines's brother Paul).

The Cambridge, UK resident posted a short statement on his page about his recent fame: "I made an innocent video for me and my brother's own enjoyment, not realising that it would go viral and reach out to millions across the world I've been blown away". According to Daines's Facebook page, the brother duo has signed a licensing contract with Defy Media, who will feature the video on television advertisements. Perhaps someone should throw the brothers a party...

Have you ever hosted a celebratory bash for your set of wheels? Tell us your story and maybe you can go viral too!

Racing Porsches


Racing Porsches

by Ken Visser

With Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans series about to start, I thought we would take a look at some special Porsches. As we will see, racing improves the breed.  (Continued below)

Ai07 mm porsche 55 0007 lr kcv
I photographed this 1953 Porsche 550 Coupe at the Amelia Island Concours in 2007.

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The Grand Ascent Hillclimb 2012


On Tuesday 12/11, you'll get to see a classic episode of Chasing Classic Cars where Wayne Carini goes through his plan to market and then sell th Porsche Special Hill Climb Car. He takes it to the Hershey Hill Climb race to put it through its paces and has a darn good time doing it. But that doesn't stop him from taking it to auction.

THough the Hill Climb took place back in June, we were lucky enough to have Kenneth Visser - automobile fan, blogger and photographer extraordinaire on site and reporting back on the action. Take a walk down memory lane below, and don't forget to tune in to Chasing Classic Cars starting on Tuesday 12/11 starting at 9p.

Another fine tradition has been reignited with the second running of the The Grand Ascent Hillclimb held on the grounds of the Hershey Hotel.  This is a VSCCA sanctioned hill climb exhibition and features a wide variety historic racing cars thundering up a five turn three quarters of a mile long course.  A unique opportunity to see, hear and smell vintage race cars slamming gears.  This event was reignited with the start of the Elegance At Hershey.  We'll talk more about the Concours later.  Let's take a look at some of the neat machinery that was attacking the hill.

Wayne Carini was selected as the Honary Grand Marshall of the Grand Ascent.  He brought his smile and his driving skills to the hill.

Eac12 hc Porsche special 031 lr

Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars took the Bill Rutan VW* special with a 356 four cam motor up the hill.  Wayne spoke about the rides up later "I had a blast"  And his sub 57 second times were reflective of his blistering pace. 


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The Corvettes of Amelia Island Concours 2012


One can find it challenging to define an automotive “golden age”.  For someone growing up in before WWII, it might have been the roaring twenties and the rise of custom bodied cars.  That sun settled with the depression and the start of WWII.  After which gave rise to the nimble sports car which in turn gave birth to the “golden age” of the American muscle car. 

In the fifties, the big 3 were focused on profit and marketing strategies.  Big was in as suburbia ventured out on the exponentially increasing highway system.  Even as the bean counters sought sturdy profits in comfortable sedans, there was an undercurrent coming from the youngsters. 

GM introduced the Corvette in 1953 to focus on the youth market.  It may not have been obnoxiously powered, but the Corvette used fiberglass to lighten the load of the 150 hp Blue Flame 235 cubic inch straight 6.

Beyond the gaze of management, there were guys tinkering with bold ideas and even bigger horsepower.  Zora Arkus-Duntov led a team of engineers to create the ultra light 1957 XP-64 SS concept.  The 1850 pound Corvette was powered by a 307 horsepower, fuel injected V-8.  Using the Mercedes 300SL as a template, the featherweight Magnesium bodied Corvette was created with the 24 hours of LeMans in mind.

Aic12 57 Corvette SS XP-64 07 lr
The XP-64’s first test was to be the 12 hours of Sebring.  Juan Manuel Fangio, the winner of the 57 Sebring, came on board to test the XP-64.  In his virgin runs the Corvette was 4 seconds faster then the competition.  But the program fell victim to the American auto making industry uniting to ban the factory racecars.  Can't you just see Racer X running down the road in this ride?

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Amelia Island Concours, the Shelbys


By Ken Visser

Shelby, a name that invokes an image, a brand, a legend.  Throw Cobra in the mix and you have fear and speed all mixed into one muscular four wheeled beast.

My infatuation with the Shelby Cobra dates back the mid 70’s, when I caught my first glimpse of a blue 427 Cobra rumbling down Reading Blvd.  It took me nearly 2 years of furious pedaling to finally figure out where the Shelby lived.  As a gangly 14 year old, I went up the door and introduced myself.  I showed the owner my Shelby binder of magazine articles and ads.   Then asked if I could have a photoshoot of his Cobra.  Rick said yes under one condition, that I not tell anyone about where the car lived. Even better, he gave me a ride.  I can remember every second of that short blast.  “I’m going to accelerate now, don’t let you head snap back and hit the back of the cockpit.”  Seriously...

Kvisser cobra 01 lr

I was the VP of the Wyomissing AV club.  That gave me access to the school's 35mm camera.  Sio with the borrowed camera I had my first automotive photoshoot.   I found these Kodak slides some years ago.  A bit cruddy but still scanable.  Even at 14, I found that low angle appealing.


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