Saturday, February 2, 2008

Star Car Central at Monster Jam 1-12-08

January 12th was the first outing with Nate Truman's "Star Car" car club (, and it was a blast! It was an interesting cultural experience to stage in a Hooters parking lot and then spend all afternoon in the VIP section of a monster truck races, but everybody there really dug all of the cars! Charger Steve in San Diego (, a one-man star car collection on his own, set up this event and the Monster Jam management liked us so much we were back 2 weeks later!

Here we are lining up under the big "A" before entering the pits:

All set up and in place, we had 13 movie cars without any doubles (I could have easily made it 15 by adding some other Herbies). Beat that, Barris. Apart from the 18 Herbies at the Herbie: Fully Loaded premiere, I've never seen such a large group of movie cars.

First in line (or last in line) was Nate Truman's 66' batmobile. Nate just took this fibreglass monster cross-country for the "Cannonball Run" without any windows, windshield wipers, A/C, or a functioning radiator!

Next up was Paul Nigh and Houston Courtney's amazing Back to the Future replica and all-around light show built by Dan Botkin at the Delorean Motor Center ( Paul has a site at . Every crevice in this car has a neon tube or a flashing light, it's quite a signt after dark!

Lou Ciccari's Starsky + Hutch torino replica was detailed to a concours finish, and since Lou's in a wheelchair it's set up with an impressive linkage for all-hand controls.

Chuck Schauwecker brought this incredible work of art called "Rod Riguez", which hasn't been in a film yet but has enough hot rod best-in-show trophies to put any of our cars to shame. Fun playing "spot-the-part" on this car, my favorites were the spiderweb fender supports made from chromed rebar.

Oscar Verdugo brought a Magnum PI Ferrari, an actual Ferrari as opposed to the rebodied Fieros used on the show.

My buddy Jerry Cason's Herbie replica was in this group too. This car and the BTTF one were the stars of the show! Poor Jerry was pulling raucous kids off of his car about once every 5 minutes all afternoon!

The bikers and VW guys all dug Horace, and the drive to Anaheim went just fine (at night was a little hairy though, the 6V lights are DIM!)

Charger Steve brought this beat-up MG used in the film "Norbit". I was surprised how many kids loved this movie and remembered the car, must be something about Eddie Murphy in a fat suit!

Indie director Paul Miller brought an evil-looking Mad Max Interceptor replica. Tons of fun, the "blower" can be turned on + off via a switch, a trick which the Australian crew had to resort to switching camera angles to accomplish in the film. Paul knows a thing or two about shooting car chases and car films, as you can see from his reel at .

Another one of Steve's, the original truck from the opening chase of the recent "Dukes of Hazzard" remake which also serves as Steve's tow vehicle! Love the bullet holes and production damage on this car.

Steve also brought his replica of the Rosco PD car from the "Dukes" TV series.

Bob Hartwig from Cinema Vehicle services (the guy who originally brokered my Horace car and its twin to private owners) brought this original General Lee from the Dukes TV series, which is the nicest looking original movie car I've ever seen! Bob looked like he had a blast powersliding this thing around the monster truck track when we were allowed to take a lap around.

All of the drivers except for Jerry. Left to right, Nate (Bat), Chuck (Hot Rod), Lou and his wife (Starsky), Paul (BTTF), Oscar (Magnum PI), half of Charger Steve (everything else), Bob (General Lee), yours truly, and Paul (Mad Max).

Before the show started Nate took a chance to mug up some shots with the Batman monster truck, who looked as star-struck with the 66 bat as Nate was with the monster truck! (Nate's wearing a cop costume because he noticed that it keeps people from climbing all over the batmobile at shows!)

Holy Convenient Plot Device, Batman! The dash of this thing is an Art Deco masterpiece.

All of the blinking lights on the BTTF car are hypnotic, you can't stop grinning.

Not Mel Gibson, but I loved the look of this monster too and couldn't stay away.

Crowds arrive!

The cars were mobbed! That huge mass of people on the other side of Horace are people lining up to take pictures of Jerry's Herbie!

Preparing for our "victory lap" during the pre show...

Around the track!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A New Marshmallow! DKP Cruise 12-2-07

I'm really behind on posting photo evidence of all of these car shows, but I've been busy on YET ANOTHER volkswagen, the original Horace the HATE Bug (or, "Evil Herbie"), one of 2 villain cars from the 1997 TV remake of "The Love Bug".

At this point, I spent all of my time + money saved up to complete Herbie's restoration on the evil stepsister, so it was quite an accomplishment to get both of them running on December 2nd for Der Kline Panzer's annual toy drive and cruise:

Good and evil, together in the parking lot. The Passenger side mirror was a "stay up all night at the machine shop the two days before the show" special, as the car has quite a blind spot and wouldn't be able to avoid danger if I didn't clip something on the hood.

Of course, I was subdued and not at all excited about the new toy car.

Every Herbie nerd's dream... to have to choose between good and evil. By the way, the DKP chose "good" as can be seen by who they decided to feature on the cover of their website .

I'll have some pictures up from the movie car extravaganza from January's "Monster Jam" car show put on by the new car club I've joined ( soon!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

United Auto Thanksgiving Cruise

More from the Marshmallow:
This was my first actual VW show, so somehow I managed to fit my "Herbie: Fully Loaded" ejector seat (the rig which launches Justin Long into the windshield during the first test drive, in a shot used in all of the trailers etc.) in the rear of my car behind the roll bar, and the NASCAR wheel under the hood, making for a neat little display in front of the car:

People were stopping all day , taking pictures and asking me to slide the thing back and forth to show the source of Justin Long's pain. Lots of fun. Jason's Herbie was in attendance as well:

Both Jason and I won honors in the "most unique" category. Of course, my ribbon was 2nd place, and his was 3rd, so there was a bit of bragging:

There were a few other wierdly engineered vehicles at the show, including a 1957 oval window with a Mazda rotary engine grafted in the back:

The other one (which won 1st place for "Best Modified car") was this fire breathing monster, a 2.25 liter VW engine. The fuel path was a bit convoluted - a monster Edelbrock Muscle Car carburator equipped with NOS into a Garrett turbocharger:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Angeles Crest Cruise - Wrap Up

The cameras were put away and we spent the rest of the (now cool) afternoon cruising down the mountain:

A quick fill up a Jay's Shell again and we all went our separate ways.

But, not after our Federico Fellini in-residence (my father, driving the truck full of precious goods in case of VW break downs) paused to compare some pictures:

Stop #20 - Rocky Road in HGTMC

At the end of the road (literally - the Angeles Crest is closed here to everybody except bicycles and snakes because of rock slide damage) you find a turn off for Highway 39 (aka Beach Boulevard), which as well as being my current address in Huntington Beach was also used in Monte Carlo for all that yodeling:

It is also closed for everybody except bicycles and snakes, so the closest we could get to the filming location was this gate by the side of the road:

Stop #19 - Upside Down Tunnel from HGTMC

Plenty of matte work here to paint the coast of Monte Carlo on a hillside in La Canada Flintridge:

You can see that Disney blacked out the center section of the tunnel + added a little ramp on the left side for the bit where Herbie drives off the side of the tunnel: