A couple weeks ago we went down to sunny Stuart, FL to attend Detail Fest put on by our friends at Autogeek.net and held at their headquarters. This was the 7th year for the event and there was definitely a lot going on. I think this video montage will give you a feel for what I’m talking about.
In addition to a car show with a couple hundred cars in attendance, Autogeek had many of their suppliers on hand and they were all doing product demos. Mike Phillips, Autogeek’s surface enhancement guru, was holding mini hands-on workshops and Autogeek founder, Bob McKee, was giving tours of the facility. They have about 35,000 square feet of warehouse space, and it is packed to the roof with more detailing products than I’ve ever seen in one place.
I was there as a guest and wasn’t shooting, so I actually got to just enjoy the show as an attendee for a change. As you might expect, every car there was detailed to the max; a few of which had actually been done by Mike Phillips himself. Some of my favs were a very rare ’55 BMW 507 roadster, one of the new Audi R8 mid-engine screamers, and a really nice factory triple-yellow ’67 Olds 442 convertible. A couple of my TV compatriots, Matt & Bruno from Truck Universe were also there.
Last week the lovely and talented Sheila (my VP of Sales at MCC) was on her way to work when she spotted a gorgeous classic car at the McDonalds near our offices. She couldn’t resist checking it out so she hit the brakes and careened into the parking lot. She jumped out to snap a pic with her phone and learned that the car was in the process of changing owners.
Being a gregarious individual, she introduced herself and learned that it was actually a replica of a ’34 Mercedes 500K. The car was originally owned by someone here in Evansville, but it was headed to France.
A Frenchman currently living in Chicago was the liaison for a friend of his that had flown over from France to purchase the car. They drove down from Chicago to do the deal, and then were going to drive it back to Chicago and prepare it for shipping to New York and then on to France.
Jean-Baptiste, the chap from Chicago, was familiar with the show so Sheila invited them over to the office so I could see the car. When they showed up we decided to break out the video camera and shoot some footage.
This is Moto Guzzi’s 90th year (at least for another couple weeks), and it was nearly a year ago that my good friend Melissa MacCaull, Senior Marketing Manager at Piaggio, asked me to write a blog in celebration of this milestone. As some may know though, my home burned to the ground on Dec 23, 2010, and recovering from that has dominated most of my attention in 2011. However, having finally moved into our new house on Thanksgiving Day, I can turn my focus to some of the many things I have let slide thru the course of this year. A side benefit of this delay is that I also added another Moto Guzzi to my collection, so I have even more to blog about!
In truth, I have historically been a BMW guy. They’re somewhat out of the ordinary, incredibly reliable and have a long, rich history. I really didn’t know that much about Moto Guzzi until I had the opportunity to visit the factory and museum in Mandello del Lario to shoot a segment for the TV show Corbin’s Ride On in 2006.
I was blown away! The place was absolutely dripping with history, being the site of Moto Guzzi production since their beginning in 1921; two years earlier than BMW! The museum was really impressive too, chronicling a long history of innovation and craftsmanship.
I became hooked on Guzzis tho when I went from the factory down to Catania, Sicily where there was a Breva 1100 waiting for me. There was also a Nevada 750 for my son, Sam, and a Griso for my friend and motorcycle photojournalist, Neale Bayly. We rode Sicily for four days and shot an episode of Trippin’ on Two Wheels. During this time I really grew to love the sound and feel of these bikes; and this from a Beemer guy!
There are actually a lot of similarities between Beemers and Guzzis, but while BMW’s claim to fame is rooted in German left-brained precision, Guzzis really seem to have a soul and the V-twin engine is akin to a beating heart. I knew I had to have one, and I started my search as soon as I got back to the States.