Two of the classic car community’s favorite people are making news of late:
• Edd China, that gentle giant, star mechanic of the popular Wheeler Dealers television show and inventor of some of the strangest things to be driven on public roads, has written an autobiography, Grease Junkie, A Book of Moving Parts, which debuts May 18 at the 25th Beaulieu Spring Autojumble at Britain’s National Motor Museum. By the way, if you don’t get a signed copy at the event, Amazon says you’ll have to wait for the book’s official August 1 on-sale date to get a copy.
• Meanwhile, Max Girado, the Australian native and multi-lingual former auctioneer for RM Sotheby’s, has opened a second collector car dealership, this one in Brusaporto, Italy. After a decade with the auction company, including a role as head of RM European operations, Girado left in 2016 to open his own classic car sales operation, Girado & Co., in England.
“Since opening our London showroom, we have established a significant customer base within the Italian market,” Girado & Co. said. “Alongside our sales, we have been very involved in managing important restorations for our international clients… this new expansion will allow us to provide the personal, tailored service you have come to expect from Girado & Co.”
Daniele Turisi, who has 30 years of collector car and restoration experience, will lead Girado’s new showroom near Milan.
NASCAR bets on sports gambling’s growing popularity
Since the Supreme Court ruling a year ago opened sports betting to any state willing to take such a bet, pretty much all the major sports leagues have put down wagers on what they see as a sure-thing jackpot. The latest if NASCAR, which has announced a multi-year “betting data partnership” with Genius Sports, which proclaims itself “the global leader in sports data solutions.”
The partners say their agreement is “the first step toward creating an advanced live betting product.”
NASCAR made its announcement on May 3, the day before a horse’s misstep in the Kentucky Derby caused a huge controversy that cost a lot of bettors a lot of money. Wonder how things will work out in NASCAR where trading paint (well, rubbing car wrappers) is SOP?
Hold onto your tickets, NASCAR bettors, the post-race inquiries might take a while.
Vintage vehicles on the Mackinac Bridge
The Mackinac Bridge stretches across five miles of Great Lakes waterway to connect Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Technically now part of Interstate 75, one of its lanes each year is reserved for special vehicle events.
You’ve already missed the “Jeep the Mac” crossing on April 26, when something like 800 Jeeps of various vintage crossed the Straits of Mackinac. However, the MLive Michigan news website reminds us there’s more to come: the Mustang Stampede on July 20, the Mini (Coopers) on the Mac on August 3, the Corvette Crossroads on August 24, and the Antique Tractor Crossing on September 6.
But MLive forgot one of the best of the bridge’s crossing, the annual Parade of Lights with one on September 16 when dozens of light-decorated semi tractors and trailers cross the bridge at dusk.
A Saab story
At least some in the collector car community were saddened by the news a few years ago that Saab had succumbed, well, actually was being closed down. But now comes word that a former Saab assembly plant in Trollhattan, Sweden, will be used by Munich-based Sono M0tors to produce the Sion, a solar-electric vehicle.
Sono Motors says it expects to build as many as 43,000 of its “Driven by the Sun” vehicles in the early 2020s.
$995 a month for your own fleet of Audis
If you live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Audi has an offer for you. For $995 a month, you can participate in the Audi Core Collection, a monthly subscription program, that gives you access to Audi A4 and S3 sedans, the Q5 sport utility and the Audi TT coupe. As a bonus, you also get two free rental days at 26 major U.S. airport and city locations as you travel.
You can swap vehicles twice a month and Audi says insurance, maintenance and taxes are included, and there are no mileage restrictions.
Titanic cargo included a car
Remember that steamy scene in the movie Titanic involving Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and a car? Well, hagerty.com reminds us that there was, indeed, one car — and only one car — on the fateful ship when it sank back in 1912. The car was a 1912 Renault Type CB Coupe de Ville owned by 36-year-old William Carter of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Carter was heir to an iron and coal fortune and purchased the car while traveling in Europe with his wife and their children, maid, manservant and chauffeur. They were supposed to return to the U.S. on the Olympic, the Titanic’s sister ship, but decided to extend their travels by a week.
The Carters were among those who got into lifeboats, but their manservant and chauffeur were not so fortunate.
No, not that Jim Bowie
Speaking of ill-fated events, Remember the Alamo? Among those perishing in that battle was Jim Bowie, famed for his use of the “Bowie knife.”
Fast forward nearly 200 years and another Jim Bowie is in the news. This one is Jim Bowie, former Indy car racing team and series executive who has joined Allen Berg Racing Schools to help devise business strategy and vision for the operation.
Racing/high-performance driving schools have been in the news lately, with Skip Barber and Bob Bondurant companies going through reorganization and now with Bowie joining the Berg school, which is based at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Hagerty recently announced an affiliation with the Barber schools and also announced the purchase of MotorsportReg.com, an online company that handles registration and payment processes for a variety of motorsports activities and car clubs.
A palette of Porsches
Porsche has a program that allows you to purchase your car in any color you want. Have a favorite color of fingernail polish? Porsche promises to match it. But now you don’t have to buy a Porsche car to enjoy one in your favorite color. All you have to do is to buy the coloring book.
Coloring books for adults have become big sellers for publishers, and now there’s one for car guys and gals. Newbury Press of San Francisco has published the Porsche Coloring Books. There are hard- and softcover versions of each of the first two volumes.
For more information, visit the Newbury website.