Saturday, November 28, 2015

a Petty Enterprises "Saturday Night Special" rare factory kit car

Designed to be economical enough for the local racer to afford yet high tech enough for the professional racer to want to drive, this Mopar kit race car was initially available from the legendary NASCAR team Petty Enterprises.

The concept was born out of Mopar’s involvement in NASCAR and really gained legs when the Chrysler Corporation exited the sanctioning body in the early ’70s. One of the key proponents of the program was Larry Rathgeb, who had previously been Chyrsler’s Director of Race Programs. Rathgeb and his engineering team settled on a 1972 Dodge Challenger body to cloak some pretty advanced technology for the time period. The car you see here is thought to be the prototype or one of the prototypes for that program.

During development, the car was tested on dirt by a young and then-struggling North Carolina racer by the name of Dale Earnhardt Sr.

While Petty initially offered the car, as the program moved along you could also purchase the racer from any Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth dealer. Depending upon the size of your bank account, the car could be purchased in any one of four states of completion; a basic chassis, a rolling chassis, a complete car less the sheetmetal, or the complete/turnkey car.

Unfortunately, the program never met the company’s expectations and only about 30 factory complete cars were delivered to buyers.

You might be more familiar with the slightly more successful kit cars Mopar had in 75-77

Found on

who knew Bugatti's had junkyards?

Ed's helping Make A Wish, help a young guy with terminal brain cancer.... maybe you can help Ed, or the kid

Ed Hanson has the very best exhaust shop in San Diego county, ask anyone, they'll agree. He often hosts car shows to raise funds for good charities, annually.

just one example of a flyer I posted to spread the word about one of his car shows

Well, he got involved in something today, that is incredible. A 15yr old with terminal brain cancer has a dream to have a 66 Mustang... and if you can help, that would be way cool.

Brycen was on the way to represent the USA in baseball at the tournament in Japan when the cancer was discovered, in July.  or if you could help with his battle against cancer "go-fund-me"  that too, would be cool is the post where he asks around, but maybe some of you readers aren't on his Facebook page.

His email is if you want to send some support, or you can paypal to him at 

or maybe you just want to take your business to the cool guy that helps out a hell of a lot of other people, and needed to know where to go. Keeping him in business keeps him able to help out in many ways. 

the strange way things sometimes work themselves out

RIP George, you went out in style

when you see it, you'll wonder why anyone goes to Lexus of Orlando

the self-inflicted destruction of General Motors

1974 -75. First, GM creative designs were quickly heading south.
Second, GM executives seemed not to care about major engineering mistakes that would ultimately cost them the loyalty of their large core audience.
Finally, the arrogance of GM's executives was incredible. Anyone who gave them an honest appraisal of their products' shortcomings would have his head handed to him

It started with the 1975 Olds Starfire. The interior was cramped because the car had originally been designed to use Mazda's Wankel rotary engine and the transmission required a large center hump, but at the last minute GM realized that the engine could not be certified to meet 1975 emission standards. So GM quickly decided to use its old Odd-Fire V6, having repurchased the patent rights from Jeep.

In spite of its smaller size, the Starfire drove like a tank and gulped gasoline, and its engine was noisy and rough. Anybody who bought an Olds Starfire, Chevy Monza or Buick Skyhawk would be a motivated buyer for Japan's next offerings.

1975 also marked when GM decided to remove the conventional bucket seats from the unbelievably popular Cutlass Supreme and replace them with Monte Carlo swivel buckets. Salespeople groaned: That design never allowed easy access to the backseat. Plus the seats squeaked, and they started wobbling soon after purchase.

National strikes of tire manufacturers in early 1976 caused car companies to sell cars without including a spare tire— at a time when customers cared about safety. The promise was that once the strike was over, GM would send spare tires to the dealerships to be added to its cars.

But GM simply sent tires—not specifically the same models or tread designs on the customers' vehicles—meaning that virtually everyone got upset about getting a mismatched spare.

In 1977, GM made liars of 1/2 it's sales force when it was caught swapping engines between car divisions. Salespeople had been trained to sell their customers on why a Chevrolet engine was not a Buick engine and so on.

Next came the X-Cars, like the Citation. Suddenly GM was offering a compact front-wheel-drive, V6-powered car that not only had serious braking system issues but actually delivered far less fuel efficiency than the older V8 models GM customers were trading in.

Another serious issue started hitting GM: Its dealers' salespeople were defecting in droves to foreign manufacturers. It was not unheard-of in that period to earn a $1,000 commission selling a Mercedes (DAI) or BMW (BMWG), and many dealers paid a Honda (HMC) salesperson half that much for selling a Prelude or Accord. This was a far cry from what had become a $50 minimum commission at most GM dealerships, made worse by the fact that you had little opportunity to sell your customers a second vehicle.

Friday, November 27, 2015

California's First Police Car,

Image taken mid 1930s. Kings County was the first law enforcement agency to obtain an offical police vehicle, purchasing it in 1902. Shown here is the car participating in a local parade during the 1930s. The vehicle was owned by a local farmer for many years. It was just recently donated to the Kings County Sheriff's Department and is on display at the Kings County Jail.

Found on

might be a Rambler

it's a day late, but I'd have posted yesterday if I'd had it yesterday

1962 Aston Marton DB4 GT Zagato