Tag Archives: racing

Slow Motion

Has it really been four + years, since The Rover has traveled Outside? I received that reminder earlier in the week, which did catch me by surprise, I have to admit. Seems like just yesterday. Time does have the habit of sneaking up on you, doesn’t it?


The Rover traveling down Route 66

I clearly remember this section of Route 66. I was traveling along, the only vehicle on the highway, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a silver Porsche blew past me. I saw brake lights, and the Porsche hovered in the opposing lane, off The Rover’s left, front fender. The passenger window was lowered, and a camera, with an extraordinarily large lens, appeared from the passenger window pointed directly at The Rover & I. One click later, I received a “thumbs up” sign, the camera retreated back into the car, and the silver Porsche disappeared down the brick-colored highway in a flash.

“Drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested.”
— Hunter S. Thompson — at Kickin’ it on 66.


Ohsweken Speedway

Six Nations Territory, Ontario

The Curator, Brazil Lucas and I ventured into the Six Nation Territory in Ontario to watch some racing at Ohsweken Speedway.

It happened to be the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals weekend, which was no doubt purely coincidental.

The track was pretty dry and slick by the end of the night, but we saw some good racing.


Gary Cooper’s Duesenberg SSJ


1935 Duesenberg Special Speedster Model J; Photo credit: Gooding & Co.

The ’35 Duesenberg SSJ was the fastest pre-WWII production road car, with speeds reaching 140mph in 1935. It is powered by a supercharged 420 cubic inch DOHC eight cylinder, which produced 400 HP.


The Duesenberg Straight Eight; Photo credit Gooding & Co.

This incredible vehicle went up for auction this past weekend during the famed Monterey Car Week. Gary Cooper once owned this SSJ; it was one of several Duesenbergs the actor owned during his lifetime. The Duesenberg was eventually bought by road racer , car manufacturer and America’s Cup winner, Briggs Cunningham. The Cunningham collection was bought by Miles Collier. It is Collier and the REVS Institute that is auctioning the car.


The Duesenberg SSJ at REVS Institute; Photo credit: Circle-to-Circle

I had the opportunity to see this famed Duesenberg at the REVS Institute, when the Frozen Foursome visited Tampa in April of 2016. It really is a remarkable machine. Absolutely stunning, with beautiful lines. Even today, it must be something very special to drive.


The Duesenberg’s cockpit at the REVS Institute; Photo credit: CtoC

The Duesenberg SSJ was sold at the Pebble Beach Auction for $22 million. At that price, the Duesenberg becomes the most expensive American made car ever sold at auction. It also became the most expensive pre-WWII model ever sold.

There were only two Duesenberg SSJ’s ever built. The second car was owned by actor Clark Gable.

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1962 Ferrari 250 GTO; Photo credit: Sotheby’s

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was also up for auction at Pebble Beach. Ferrari made thirty-six 250 GTO’s. The Ferrari sold for a staggering $48.4 million. At that price, the 250 GTO becomes the most expensive car ever sold at auction.


America on Wheels Museum

Allentown, PA

We were in town for hockey, but that never stopped us from checking out a new museum. “America on Wheels” is not a huge collection, but the $10 admission is well worth it, and the museum is a good way to kill a couple of hours before puck drop.

There are several exhibits, including “Guy’s Garage” above. A cool example of a late 1930’s to early 1940’s mechanic’s shop.

The view looking down from up in the grandstands.

Camping season is almost upon us.

This 1958 Hillegass V8 Chevrolet sprint car was an early, if not the first, Chevrolet to run against the Offys in Pennsylvania. The #22 ran at Williams Grove in 1958.

1929 Willys-Knight, Model 66B. Powered by a 255 cu in straight six, coupled to a three speed manual transmission.

A few of the paintings at “America on Wheels”


Watkins Glen

No racing yet, but we stopped for a quick research visit at Watkins Glen International research facility. When the races first started at the Glen, the cars sped over the villages roads. I loved the program cover from 1949.


2018 Iditarod

The Last Great Race started this past weekend, and leaders arrived in the village of Takotna (Mile 329) on Tuesday night. Many mushers, including Mitch Seavey, who was leading at the time, stopped here for their mandatory 24 hour rest.
Norwegian, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, gambled and flew through Ophir (Mile 352) at 4:52am on Wednesday. Ulsom is expected to take his 24 hour layover further on down the historic trail in Iditarod.

Trail temperature was at 32 degrees on Wednesday, which will slow down travel. Depending on what happens with the weather, Ulsom’s gamble may or may not pay off. It should be noted that the 31 year old musher from Norway has never finished outside of the Top 10, and his best finish was last year when he came in fourth.
The next check point for Ulsom is the trail’s namesake: the abandoned mining town of Iditarod. The first musher to enter Iditarod, the halfway point in the southern route, gets $3000 worth of gold nuggets. Ulsom, is still running a full team of 16 dogs.


A musher comes into the Nikolai checkpoint. Photo credit: Loren Holmes/ADN


The King of Gold King


Don Robertson

From all accounts, Don Robertson was the heart and soul of the Gold King Mine in Jerome, AZ. Robertson, along with his wife Terry, spent 30 years building the mine to the collection that exists today.

One of the highlights of the collection, is the 1928 Studebaker Indy race car, built by Robertson himself. Don raced the car in vintage races around the west.

My Kiwi friend visited the Gold King Mine a few years ago, and Don started up the old Studebaker for him.

“He was a big-hearted soul with a side of orneriness,” said Jerome Police Chief Alan Muma. “He had this Indian motorcycle with a really loud motor. To stay out of trouble, he’d ask me, ‘Get your sound meter out and check me’ and as long as he kept his hand off the throttle, he would stay out of trouble.”

Don Robertson passed away in October of 2016. He was 73.