Friday, May 2, 2014

Local paper features my kart team, expectations completely unobtainable

Myself and fellow Detroit ex-pats Brian Rutkowski, Dushyant Wadivkar, and Fabian Hartwich will represent the Motor City at the 6 Hours of Sonneberg kart race this Sunday. The town near Thüringen closes the streets and throngs of spectators show up for the spectacle.

A team of foreigners is apparently newsworthy for the local paper which is cool. However the attention is entirely undeserved. We've all turned fast laps in cars but none of us are serious kart racers. If you'd like to follow team Detroit Motorcity, there's a live timing link on the race website at

The Lemans style start is 2pm European time Sunday.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Veteran Gearhead, Rookie Blogger

20 years ago, I looked a lot like the guy driving this '64 Spyder convertible.  Actually, 20 years ago I *was* the guy driving this '64 Spyder convertible.  That's my "never shoulda sold it" car, but I was young and dumb, with visions of wheel-to-wheel competition in my head, so the Spyder had to go.
I sold it to fund the build of a '69 500 into an SCCA Improved Touring road racer, but the 500 was a survivor, way too nice for ITA, so it became a very clean and lightly modified street car.   Problem was, it never satisfied me as a street car the way the Spyder did.  So I sold the 500 and bought a '65 Monza coupe that became my first Grassroots Motorsports Magazine $20xx Challenge car, back in 2002.  Soon after the '02 Challenge, my automotive ADHD kicked in, and I sold the '65 to make room for a '66 Monza convertible with a Crown Manufacturing mid-engine small block Chevy V8 conversion.   Lather, rinse, repeat, for 15 cars over the last 12 years.

Hi, my name is PC, and I've got a problem.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Beat on die Strasse: Beater Golf MkII

I don't mean to generalize, but as a whole Germans don't really get beaters. Bi-annual vehicle inspections and accepted norms of vehicular upkeep are effective at sending eye sores to the scrap heap or Eastern Europe. Despite the TÜV, this Mark II Golf proves at least one German knows the importance of petina.

Don't Be Gentle, it’s a Renault Megane Rental

One perk of my day job is travelling to warm test tracks during the colder months of the year. A trip to a semi-exotic location driving a late model rental car is my best opportunity to sample Beaters-to-be before the original owners drive them into a lake. At the rental desk, I express no vehicular preference. My fate lies in the hands of a friendly middle-aged Spanish woman holding a square piece of plastic that apparently unlocks and starts an almost new Renault Megane (apparently pronounce MAY-ghan) hatch back. My first time behind the wheel of a French car is about to begin.