MMR Blog

BMW Dinner with Heroes

Posted on March 27, 2014 Comments (0)

BMW hosted a small party on Friday Night at Amelia to honor David Hobbs. The guests were the press and other race drivers, some of whom actually drove BMWs. David was very successful driving their race cars in the ‘80s and he and his good friend Sam Posey, who have developed their own version of the Punch and Judy Show, supplied the end of evening entertainment. They were very funny. At the end of the evening all the drivers gathered for a very informal photo op and we thought you might enjoy these images.


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on March 14, 2014 Comments (2)

Ferrari 275

As promised, we drove the WASRED 308 from Boston to Amelia Island and back, and shot 1068 images in the process. If you need official results from the Amelia Island Concours or the RM and Gooding Auctions, please look elsewhere as we will not get to them here for several weeks. MMR will bring you stories and images not found elsewhere. This week’s images are entitled “Setting the Field” and were taken as cars were either uncovered from being parked the night before or arriving to be placed. We also do our Picks and Pans about the roads, food and public washrooms en route. Read on McDuff!

Alfa at Amelia


Denise McCluggage

Broken but unbowed

Denise McCluggage, winning race and rally driver, missed Amelia because she recently slipped and fell, broke a bone and is now in rehab. But she still writes better than anybody we know and we will have her scheduled story for you next week. 

However, if you send her a cheery message we will happily forward it to her.


Sebring; great place to visit for 12 hours but I wouldn’t …

Justin Bell

This Saturday is The 12 Hours of Sebring and round #2 of the IMSA Tudor Sports Car Series. Only the first three hours will be live on Fox Sports 1. The remainder will be streamed live at IMSA.com. Young Tommy Kendall, the MMR Community’s youthful hero, has decided to sit this one out. “This track is really bumpy” he was quoted as saying in a recent AARP Harp magazine interview, “and my Depends bunch up in the corners.” He’s our hero. He and his slightly younger but equally irreverent friend, Justin Bell, will be broadcasters. Justin wrote to the MMR Community:

It’s called the IMSA Pre Show with Justin Bell and will air LIVE on IMSA.com on Saturday morning before the main race on Fox Sports 1. It is basically the longest grid walk in history and will see me talking with loads of drivers.

This should be a hoot, so don’t miss it.


A Cadillac! A Cadillac! My Kingdom for a Cadillac! N’est pas?

Sorry Richard, either the price is too high or it isn’t much of a kingdom. Our comments about the Sochi Cadillac ad in last week’s newsletter prompted some of you to suggest we try things that, while possibly entertaining, are simply anatomically impossible. On the other hand, some of you, agreed with us. Don Klein at Car and Driver, had this to say.


F1 2014 Season begins and you may be a winner.

Here we go again! Australia begins this weekend. Check your local listings. Also, please remember last week’s promise. If you were at Amelia and have 5 decent images, send them to us. We will pick a winner and send her or him a signed Denise McCluggage Ferrari Transporter image.

Have a great weekend!

Peter

Setting the field at Amelia

Maserati at Amelia

Mercedes at Amelia


Road to Amelia

Posted on March 13, 2014 Comments (0)

The road to hell may be paved with good intentions but even if the destination is not attractive, at least it is paved. Long time readers remember that every March we drive the WASRED 308 Ferrari from its Boston area home to Amelia Island in Northern Florida, a trip of about 1,200 miles that takes us through eleven states and a short distance in Florida. Most of the drive is on I-95. On the way down I stopped in Philadelphia which, of course, necessitated going thru Pennsylvania. On the way back I used the NJ Turnpike and avoided I-95 in Pennsylvania entirely.

WASRED on her way south

We look for three important things in our trip review: Good roads, good bathrooms and good food. Obviously we didn’t stop in every state to eat and use the facilities but we did use their roads. This is our report of best and worse.

Roads: a caveat here. A Maryland trooper explained that the northern states have had a brutal winter and the freeze-thaw-freeze aspect of it has affected the roads terribly this winter. Having said that, each state appears to have dealt with it differently and this is all we can assess.

WASRED in the rain

Best roads were in Georgia. Three lanes in areas and no potholes.

Worst roads: By a country mile were in Pennsylvania. We did less than one hundred miles in the state but each mile threatened to damage a wheel or the suspension at least once. Rumor has it that some of the holes are deep enough to be designated tourist attractions. NY is second worst but is tops in missing or misleading signage.

Bathrooms: Because of the storm, we flew last year. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the improvement over our last road trip two years ago. None were bad and Maryland House which straddles 95 North and South was the best by far. Maryland, which only has 105 miles of 95, also had excellent roads.

Maryland House

Food: Many states see I-95 as a cash cow for local small town economies and therefore provide few state services. Maryland House is the exception and is the Taj Mahal of I-95. I stopped there both ways. Food, fuel and facilities are superb. The food court is a huge high-ceilinged hall and has tables in three configurations. Many have electrical outlets for re-charging computers and cell phones.

Stopping along the way

The issue with off-highway independents is that there is little fresh food and late at night there is none. I bought a chocolate bar at a gas-station/convenience store in Fayetteville NC. Fifty miles down the road I opened the package and found the chocolate to be frosted over white with age. Carbon dating would have proved it to be from the last century. Bring food and liquids from home.

Next week we will talk about the drive itself.

Peter

How to pack the WASRED


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on February 28, 2014 Comments (0)

This week’s Newsletter is focused on Northern Florida. We will focus first on The Daytona 500 race and on the upcoming Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Our images this week are from past Amelias.

Chevy, Hendricks, and Junior win Daytona

The Daytona 500 is a fascinating race. After running 38 laps, the race was delayed over six hours and, when it resumed, patient fans got their money’s worth. The culmination of a two week self-love fest, to win the 500 requires a good car, a good team, and an experienced driver. No matter how talented or quick, rookies and strangers don’t win the 500 today. Chevrolet provided a good car and the best team developed it and hired top drivers to win. Hendrick Motorsports had three cars in the top five finishers and they worked together. On the final restart, when push came to shove, Chevy driver Jeff Gordon literally pushed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to his second victory at Daytona. Gordon finished third and teammate Jimmie Johnson finished fifth. Note: A month ago the winner of the 2014 24 Hours of Daytona won just over $100K. Junior picked up $1.43M.

DW Does a Nutty

Darrell Waltrip, former NASCAR Champion and now Fox race commentator, had an opportunity to ride in an Australian V8 Series stock car and his reactions were recorded. Check out our homepage video for more.

Collector’s Corner

Last Sunday’s New York Times featured an interview with Sam Mann, a New Jersey collector whose cars have won at Pebble Beach four times and Amelia six. Mann is a successful design engineer with 81 patents to his name. His collection of forty-six vehicles is eclectic, interesting in its scope and reflective of his life experiences. As a young man growing up in Patterson, he learned to work on cars and in his early collecting days he did his own restoration work. In the article he explains how much he enjoyed seeking out, researching their histories, and purchasing cars directly from owners. Today “all is set before you in an auction book and the only remaining challenge is that of being outbid.” He laments the change. And so do we.

Amelia Cometh

We will be driving the WASRED 308 to Amelia again this year, weather permitting, and we will share some tips for fellow Amelia travelers a little further down this letter.

Please share this with a friend.

Have a great weekend,
Peter Bourassa


Amelia Primer:
Win a Denise McCluggage Picture!

Posted on February 27, 2014 Comments (0)

Here are a few bullet points for those among you who will be at Amelia next weekend.

  • Amelia Island is in Northern Florida very near the Georgia border. It can be cool there in March. Bring warm clothing.
  • Please remember that Bike Week begins March 7, just down the road, at Daytona. Bikes and trailers will be all over the highways that weekend.
  • View the Events Schedule here.
  • By now you have purchased your tickets. Don’t forget the seminars. They separate Amelia from every other similar event.
  • Most of the official (read sanctioned) events are either held at or emanate from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Amelia Island.
  • The Gooding & Co. Auction will be held at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
  • Fernandina Beach is the nearest town and it is a nice space with excellent restaurants and bars.
  • Check out the Passport Transport Eight Flags Road Tour to Fernandina Beach’s main street. It is a great opportunity to see and photograph the rare cars on the street.
  • Sunday morning: you cannot get on the field until 9:30AM and the line will start forming way before that. By 10:00AM everyone will be on the field and you will be able to walk right in.
  • The Ritz is great and there are a number of restaurants on the property. There simply aren’t enough on Sunday from 11:30AM to 2:30PM. Carry water and an energy bar with you. Then you can eat at your convenience.
  • If you want to take pictures you will need to be patient. Very patient.
  • Have a great time!
  • Send us your three favorite pictures and we will choose the one we like best and send the winner a signed Denise McCluggage picture of a Ferrari Transport taken in 1958.