Where’s My Sunscreen? The La Jolla Motoring Classic and Other Adventures
I’m just back from a weekend in La Jolla, where I was the emcee of the 7th Annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic. The weather was fantastic, and the setting, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, couldn’t have been better.
On the Saturday tour, Wendie and I got to drive Paul Emple’s 1930 Isotta Fraschini Type 8A Flying Star. Powered by a 400 cubic inch V8, it’s a beast of a car. (Who needs first gear?)
Wendie went to the event with me, and SCM contributor and etceterini specialist Donald Osborne, along with Frank Garofolo, helped take care of the booth. Wendie brought Patricia Hai from her company, Enthusiast Media Group and had some nifty metallic-red SCM water bottles as subscriber giveaways.
Escaping from what must be the wettest winter on record, Wendie and I are headed to the 7th Annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic this weekend. At the concours on Sunday, I will be the Master of Ceremonies and the Guest of Honor – I was honored when good friend, Alan Taylor, of Alan Taylor Restorations, asked Wendie and me to participate.
Saturday morning, there will be a tour of classic cars, and we’ll be driving a 1930 Isotta-Fraschini Type 8 “Flying Star,” which I’m sure will be slightly different than the 1974 MGB that I picked up from the shop this morning. But more about that below.
From broken axles to sheared rear ends to rebuilding vintage Becker radios, it’s been a busy week in the SCM stable.
We took our 1973 Land Rover SIII 88 to Tillamook State Forest, and headed into the snow from Roger’s Camp. This was my first run since I installed an ARB compressed air rear locker, and I had been warned to be gentle. Well, a few miles up the trail I momentarily forgot the advice of my mentors, and managed to shear off the ends of both rear axles while trying to rock myself out of a deep snow hole. Our leader, Doug Shipman of Ship’s Mechanicals, got me turned around, and once on level ground he pulled out the rear axles, dropped the rear driveshaft and I drove home with power to just the front wheels. I view it as a very expensive driving school; hardened axles on the way.
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After two weeks on the road, I’m headed home.
First stop last week was Auctions America by RM in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where we shot 3 episodes of What’s My Car Worth. A new feature this year has me actually road-testing the cars that are going to cross the block; cars I got to drive included the barn-find 289 Cobra that sold for $467,500, a 1969 Land Rover SIIA 109 and more. There was an Alfa GT Jr. that I felt the red mist for, but luckily it sold when I was busy doing something else.
SCM sponsored the first annual Round Fender Volvo Wine Tour in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. There were nine cars in all, including a P1800ES with a nitrous tank! Wineries visited included Methven (where we scored some 2005 Reserve Pinot Noir), Domaine Serene and Adelsheim. There was only one mechanical casualty, when the right-hand-drive 123 GT failed to proceed up a hill to do fuel starvation problems. We pointed the car downhill and everything was fine.
Are we going to see you at Portland’s All British Field Meet this coming Saturday and Sunday? Land Rover is the featured marque, Alex and I are taking out our 88, and our Lotus Elise. Saturday is the show, Sunday the swap meet. We’ll be working the Land Rover Club booth from 12-1 on Saturday. See you there!