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!
A couple weeks ago we shot an event called, Back to the Beach, in Kenner, LA (which is basically New Orleans) on the shores of Lake Pontchatrain. It’s a weekend-long music festival culminating in a car show on Sunday; all to raise money for the restoration and preservation of the lake. It sounded like a good event, a worthy cause, and an excellent excuse to go down and tank up on some of that great Gulf Coast food, as can be seen in the pic of me going one-on-one with a killer soft shell crab Po’ Boy. Tasty!
We went down a day early so we could also take in a few of the sights in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter.
The temperature was 102 degrees that day, and I found myself strangely drawn to the signs heralding “Huge Ass Beers”. I can also say with certitude that was not false advertising!
We were looking at the potential of another 100+ degree day on Sunday, which can make shooting pretty brutal, but fortunately a light rain blew thru, dropping the temperature into the low 90’s. Not exactly chilly, but certainly more bearable.
Last week we shot the last episode for the 2011 season (finally!), and it’s going to be a good one. We were in New Hope, PA at Jim Grundy’s place. Of course Jim is the Grundy of Grundy Worldwide Collector Car Insurance, but he is also a serious car guy. Jim’s into all sorts of cars, but he has a soft spot in his heart for brass era vehicles, and he let me pick a couple of my favs from his collection to focus on.
Not surprisingly, I went for a couple roadsters; a 1912 National Indy race car and a 1914 Mercer. I guess technically the National wasn’t even considered a roadster. Purpose-built racers were referred to as “speed cars”. This car was part of a five-car team fielded by National in the 1912 Indianapolis 500, and one of those cars actually won the race that year. Unfortunately, this particular car rolled, killing the driver. Still, that didn’t stop me from getting on it when we were out driving. It also seemed appropriate that the road leading out of Jim’s place was gravel. I felt like I had been transported back to the early part of the 20th century… and I was already sporting the perfect mustache!
Last weekend we shot the first event for the 2012 TV season in Oroville, CA. It was appropriately named the Gold Rush Car Show since Oroville was a center of gold prospecting activities in northern California during the rush in the mid 1800’s. The town only has a population of about 14,000 but the show drew an impressive 900+ cars.
One of the stars of the show was Tim Kerrigan’s ’62 Impala SS 409; beautifully resto-modded and sporting a two-tone red & faint yellow paint scheme. Tim is the President of Red Line Oil and the particular red he used is a DuPont color called Redline Red. Go figure. The paint theme was carried thru in the interior with the gauge faces being the same faint yellow used on the exterior.
Another fav of mine was a ’54 Chevy custom. I thought the car was pretty slick, but I especially got a kick out of its owner. He was a real character who did a Rodney Dangerfield that was second only to Dangerfield himself. The car had a Shock Top draft pull for a gearshift knob, and he claimed that he had to drain an entire keg at a local watering hole to get it. I got together with him there after the show to help in case he might need another one.