It looks like Auto Expo 2010 in Hawkesbury, Ontario will be the only Canadian location in the upcoming season. I always try to do a couple Canadian-based episodes per season since the show has such a strong and loyal north-of-the-border following, but it just didn’t work out that way this year.

My Classic Car - Oh Canada

No worries tho, this little town on the Ontario/Quebec border about halfway between Ottawa and Montreal puts on a heck of a show and packed about 700 cars into just about every nook and cranny the town had. It’ll make an episode that all Canadians can be proud of!

My Classic Car - Oh Canada

The day was a bit chilly, but we were certainly given a warm reception. And they fixed us up with a couple of the coolest golf carts I’ve ever seen to get around in.

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September 24, 2010 | CATEGORY: Events,Production,Television Show,Travel

The Yellowstone Rod Run, which takes place in West Yellowstone, Montana, has been going on for 40 years. Now, 40 years is a long time for any show, let alone one that is as remotely located as this one. But without fail, year after year since 1970, folks have been making the pilgrimage to this little town located at the west gate of America’s oldest National Park.

I personally love Yellowstone and have been there at least ten times which is pretty good for a boy from the Midwest. So when this show finally lined up with an opening in my production schedule, I pounced on it!

We flew into Bozeman, MT which is a beautiful and surprisingly trendy town that’s also home to Montana State University, and then drove the 90 miles south to West Yellowstone paralleling the Gallatin River which must be loaded with trout because it was certainly loaded with fly fisherman (and women).

The car show was on a Saturday, but we came in early enough to take part in some of the pre-show festivities which included a cruise into the park to Old Faithful Lodge on Friday morning and run up to 320 Guest Ranch for a cookout that evening. The sight of over 100 rods, customs, and classics rollin’ thru the West Gate of Yellowstone National Park was something I think I’ll always remember.

Old Faithful of Rod Runs - My Classic Car

The weather on Thursday had been rainy, but Friday and Saturday were picture perfect. Saturday’s show was held in West Yellowstone’s City Park and somehow they managed to shoehorn in over 500 cars and a few thousand people.

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September 8, 2010 | CATEGORY: General

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a marque-specific show (e.g. all Ford, all Chrysler); let alone a model-specific one like all Camaro or all T-bird. And although I’ve touched on Japanese cars a few times throughout the years, I’ve never done an all Japanese show. So when I was contacted by the Z-Con folks to cover the 23rd annual Datsun/Nissan Z-car convention at Nissan’s North American headquarters in Franklin, TN my first reaction was, “There’s an annual gathering of Z-cars that’s been going on for 23 years?!?”

My second thought/concern tho was whether there’d be enough diversity in the cars to make an interesting episode especially since they all share such similar lines. I decided to give it a go anyway and was pleasantly surprised that there was plenty to pick from.

My Classic Car - Catchin' Z's

The Datsun 240Z came to the US in 1970, and it was the beginning of putting Japanese performance on the map. They were slick, sleek, affordable, and lots of fun to drive. For most folks, this was the first Japanese sports car they’d ever seen. If you lived on the west coast, you may have been familiar with their predecessors the Datsun 1600 and 2000 roadsters, but not many of these made it very far east. The 240Z however was marketed coast-to-coast.

The Nissan headquarters made a great backdrop for the show and since Franklin is just outside Nashville, the club had also engaged one of the many great local bands to provide the music for the day rather than going the typical DJ route. The band was The Dirty Curties, an all-female group which struck me as appropriate since the Z-cars and the roadsters before them went by the model name, Fairlady, in Japan. The band was great and Datsun was wise to rename the cars for the US market.

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August 27, 2010 | CATEGORY: Events,Production,Television Show

I recently had a chance to shoot a couple really cool muscle Mercs and didn’t even have to leave my home base of Evansville, IN to do it. I had met their owner about five years ago at a small local cruise-in. I don’t actually get to go to those very often since I’m usually on the road, and when I am home I’m too busy trying to catch up on things before I leave again. But this particular one was a fund raiser, I happened to be in town, and a friend of mine had really put the arm on me to attend.

I recall driving my ’56 Lincoln and was just hanging out and chatting with people when this black ’64 Merc Park Lane Marauder pulled in. I think I stopped whatever conversation I was in mid-sentence and made a beeline to that car. I don’t actually recall ever seeing one before, and I just thought it looked incredibly sharp.

My Classic Car - Merc

It was completely stock; jet black hardtop with a white interior and a factory 4-speed. Being a Park Lane, it was Mercs highest trim level so it was pretty decked out. 1964 was also Merc’s 25th year of existence so it had a few additional 25th Anniversary touches too.

There were very few 4-speed Marauders produced and most of them came with 427’s, but this one had an ultra-rare 390 Super Marauder engine with special large-valve heads and unique cast exhaust manifolds. There were probably fewer than five cars like this one made.

The owner, Tom Lantz, had found the car in Montana and although it needed paint and interior, it was a solid car. He took care of the cosmetics but hadn’t touched the engine which was still running strong at about 78k miles.

I fell in love with the car and enjoyed talking to Tom. I could tell he was a pretty serious performance Ford guy, and his attendance at this cruise-in had definitely made my day.

I pretty much lost track of Tom and that car till I got an email from him earlier this year alerting me to the fact that he had just completed another monster Merc that he thought I might get a kick out of. He was right.

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August 12, 2010 | CATEGORY: Production,Television Show
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