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.
A few months ago, the lovely and talented Sheila, our VP of Sales, brought to my attention an event in Indy called, Slamology, based on something she’d seen in SEMA News. My first reaction was, “Have you lost your mind?”, but then I got to thinking. I always profess that this is an extremely broad hobby and everybody gets to play. The event was basically in our backyard, and it was a category we hadn’t really covered in any great depth before. Maybe it was time I put my money where my mouth is.
We drove up to Indy the night before thru some pretty heavy thunderstorms, but it had cleared off by the time we got there and we got to witness one of the hallmarks of this culture; draggin’. That’s not drag racing. It’s draggin’, as in dropping the vehicle’s body on the ground and draggin’ it down the street. Those sparks you see are created by metal-on-pavement, and it’s quite a crowd pleaser.
Altho the weekend weather forecast had been pretty favorable, when I pulled back the curtain in my hotel room at about 6:30 Saturday morning, I was greeted by thick gray clouds and steady rainfall that looked like it had been going on for some time. Never a good sign.
Slamology is in its 8th year, and it’s held at the Marion County fairgrounds. Normally this would be a good thing, but I had visions of these low-down machines trying to negotiate a muddy show field or worse yet, nothing at the show field!