This past weekend we shot the first two episodes for the 2011 season in Moab, UT and Grand Junction, CO. As always, it was an interesting experience.

After three planes, five hours of cumulative layovers, and a two and a half hour drive, Ben (the producer, and now shooter too!) and I arrived in Moab about 1:00 am last Friday. We weren’t shooting till Saturday, but I knew this was going to be a brutal trip so I built in a day to recover.

I had never been to this part of Utah, and we had come in under the cover of darkness so I really didn’t have a feel for what the area looked like. When I got up Friday morning tho, I was blown away by the strange and striking landscape. With all the red rock and bizarre topography, it could have been Mars (except for all the healthy looking people on mountain bikes, that is).

We had Friday to kill so we headed to Canyonlands National Park about 30 miles southwest of Moab. This is Utah’s largest national park and it probably covers close to 300 square miles. There is no way to see it in one day (or even one week) so we decided to just hit one of the more accessible areas known as Island in the Sky.

It was pretty chilly, windy, and overcast but the views were spectacular. We drove the 20 miles of paved road in this area, stopping frequently to hike to particularly scenic vistas and shoot some photos.

Island in the Sky

If I look cold in this picture that’s because I was!

Fortunately, the weather straightened out, and we had a perfect day for the car show on Saturday. The show is called April Action, and it was in its 18th year. It’s held in the city park right in the center of town, and they managed to pack over 600 cars into a fairly cozy grassy area surrounded by red cliffs.

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April 29, 2010 | CATEGORY: Events,Production,Television Show

On Thursday I leave for Moab, UT for the first shoot of the 2010 production season and from that point on, I’m pretty much traveling every week till about mid November. However, this past weekend wasn’t booked with MCC activities and I wanted to make the most of it so I invited my brother, Guy, to come down from Indy and go motorcycling with me. After all, I had spent all that time getting my Triumph Trophy running again, I figured I should get some benefit out of it.

Guy only lives three hours from me but we rarely see each other. It seems our schedules never coincide and we both have a lot going on. Life tends to be that way. However, this was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so we decided to just pick a weekend, commit to it, and do this thing; rain or shine. That was the only way it was ever going to happen.

Dennis Gage & Guy

I’ve got two big, fairly modern touring bikes in my collection; the ’98 Trophy and a ’93 BMW R1100RS, and it looked like we were going to get lucky with the weather because the forecast was for a cool (highs in the 60’s) but clear weekend. So Guy drove down to E’ville Saturday morning and we suited up and were on the road about noon.

98 Trophy & 93 BMW R1100RS

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April 19, 2010 | CATEGORY: Events,Production,Television Show,Travel

Sure, you know me as the lovable handlebar mustachioed host of My Classic Car; the guy that gets to travel all over the country and drive everybody’s cars. But you may not know that I was also co-owner of the show’s production company, Bradley David Productions, Inc. Besides my show, BDP also produced Popular Hot Rodding Television, Corbin’s Ride On, Texas Hardtails, and Tripppin’ on Two Wheels. We even tried our hand at indy films with Novem.

In January tho, I bought out my business partner, so I am now the sole owner of Bradley David Productions and My Classic Car, LLC. This wasn’t a particularly easy decision to make, but it was the right one for all concerned. It does however quash any thoughts that I might have been entertaining of retirement in the foreseeable future. I guess the good news is that it looks like there’ll definitely be a few more seasons of the show (SPEED willing, that is). And I’m certain that Delta Airlines is also happy about that.

As long as we are changing things, we also invested in a new High Def video camera this week. It’s the new Sony PMW-350K and it’s a pretty cool unit that records to solid state medium rather than tape. We also outfitted it with a killer Fujinon lens.

camera

And let me just say, it’s amazing how much these frickin’ things cost! For reference, there are several cars that I have always wanted, but considered them to be out of price range, that are a lot cheaper than this set up!

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April 6, 2010 | CATEGORY: Events,Production,Television Show

Man, does time fly! Our shoot in Calgary turned out to be really interesting. We visited Fred Phillips’ extensive and eclectic collection, but we picked out a couple little Italian jobs as our focus; a ’53 Abarth and a ’55 Siata. These were both cars that I had never seen and in one case, never even heard of. I always like those kinds of experiences.

alberta-hawaii-british-columbia-michigan-03

The Abarth was a tiny two-seat sports/race car powered by an 1100 cc Fiat engine. That may not seem like much of a power plant, but considering the car wasn’t much bigger than a go-cart, it did just fine. Probably the most interesting thing about this car is that is was an asymmetric body design which did give it a distinctive and somewhat odd look.

The Siata looked a little like an early AC Cobra, but predated that car by almost a decade. It was very Italian and very beautiful. This baby was powered by a very unique 2-liter, 70 degree Fiat V8. This is a very rare engine and you don’t want to have to find parts for it!

Fred was a great guy, his cars were beautiful, and he let me drive the heck out of both of them. What more could you ask for?

We were only back from Calgary for a couple days before we were off to the Big Island of Hawaii for Cruisin’ Paradise. Bob McClurg, my good friend, automotive journalist, and now resident of Hilo, Hawaii turned me onto this event, and I’m really glad he did! It only takes place every three years, and this was the third one. (You do the math.) It’s a 10-day happening with runs and activities all over the island, culminating in a big car show in Hilo on the 4th of July.

It was unbelievable, and I clearly made a big mistake by not going over for the whole thing. I did my typical swoop-in/swoop-out thing and only came in for the last three days, with one of those largely being a jet lag recovery day. What was I thinking?!?

At any rate, I did manage to spend one day cruisin’ with Herb Leite, the host club prez, in his ’30 Ford coupe as we led a group to the stunning Waipio Valley and the memorial park at Laupahoehoe which was the site of the devastating 1946 tsunami. We also stopped by a really cool 50’s themed café in the middle of nowhere for lunch. Believe me, I didn’t see that one comin’. Bottom line tho, there are few places on earth more beautiful than Hawaii and what a way to see it!

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August 13, 2009 | CATEGORY: Events,Television Show,Travel
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