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2015 Fuelfed Cocktails & Classics: March 4th

February 24, 2015

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Our fourth annual winter Fuelfed Cocktails & Classics, will be held Wednesday March 4, 2015 from 6:30 to 9:00pm.

This is your chance to surround yourself with a great collection and great conversation all in a great space. Long time Fuelfed driver and collector Joe H. has graciously offered to host our winter gathering again at the Ravenswood Event Center.

A portion of event proceeds will be donated to the Midwest Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA), the country’s “largest grassroots organization dedicated to fighting Parkinson’s.”

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Whether you’re a driver, collector or just a big car fan, you’ll not want to miss this special event.

The restored billboard factory space doubles as an unique event space and an impressive car gallery. A car gallery, that we must say, rivals Fuelfed Coffee & Classics with its varied portfolio of historic European classics.

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As always, we thank our local sponsors of this event. Please support them with your business this year:

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Ravenswood Event Center is offering us their exquisite space.

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Hofherr Meat Co. is setting the new standard for independent butcher shops. Third generation butcher Sean Hofherr & his crew will be serving their delicious approach to light fare.

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Forbidden Root, Chicago’s first botanic brewery, is providing delicious craft beer for the evening. Members of the Forbidden Root team will be at the event to discuss their beer and guide you in your beer selection. Forbidden Root is crafted for today’s sophisticated thrill-seeking palates.

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Temperance Beer Co. and Lake Bluff Brewery are both offering a variety beers for us to sample. We look forward to some tasty micro-craft beers from these North Shore favorites.

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The Bottle Shop in Wilmette is our boutique wine sponsor for the evening.

 

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Eli’s Cheesecake our local pastry legend will be offering their famous cheesecake and other delights.

Tickets to the event will be $30 each and will be sold online until 9:00 p.m., March 1, or until the event is filled.

Fuelfed Cocktails & Classics®
Date:
 Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Time: 6:30 to 9:00pm
Location: Ravenswood Event Center | 4025 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago | events@ravenswoodeventcenter.com
Easy street parking in front of the building.

Please purchase your ticket(s) in advance online at Eventbrite and bring it with you to the event. Ticket sales will close at 9:00p.m., March 1st, or sooner if the event is filled. Please go to: The safe Eventbrite link.

If you are more comfortable sending a check than using an online source, mail us a check.

Make check payable to:
Fuelfed, Inc.
5225 North Ravenswood
Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60640

Attendance is limited to 200 Fuelfed members. There will be no refunds.

January Fuelfed Coffee & Classics® FTL

February 23, 2015

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While the Northeast prepared for the onslaught of “Snowpocalypse” it was another sunny Sunday here in Fort Lauderdale. Sunny as it was, it was still considered extreme weather for the locals, as it was in the low 50s. Good thing The Floridian restaurant had plenty of coffee ready to go! I’m pretty sure that the warmth of the bed, a small race taking place up the road in Daytona, and some other competing events over the weekend likely drew people away from this month’s event. That said, we still had six cars with their owners and friends who braved the elements to come out.

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Two surprise guests from The Windy City joined us for this month’s event. Bob Burns, who has attended C&C Winnetka with his son, and active Fuelfed member Tyler, brought his friend Gary and Gary’s beautiful Gallardo.

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Fellow Chicagoan Murray Bruskin, also a C&C Winnetka participant,  arrived in a gorgeous TR6 that he had driven down from Chicago for his winter stay in the area. Murray mentioned that the car is from the estate of Joe Honor, who had also been involved in the Fuelfed community. Great to see this car pass from one enthusiast to another. It was a pleasure to have the visitors from up north join our burgeoning event. I hope that we’ll see more of them and others from the Midwest in the coming months.

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With the exception of two cars, once again it was a whole new group of attendees. As much as I’d like to see a larger group, the fact that the event draws new cars every time says to me that word is getting out. The famous saying is that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I guess by event count, we’re only three days in, so as the year moves forward I’m sure good things will come. As always, everyone who comes enjoys the event and assures me that they’re coming back and bringing friends.

I will look forward to seeing all of them and their friends in February!

Cheers,

Martin

Fuelfed Coffee & Classics FTL This Sunday Morning

February 18, 2015

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This Sunday, February 22nd will be Fort Lauderdale’s fourth monthly Fuelfed Coffee & Classics FTL. Yes, the our brothers down south will again gather at The Floridian Diner bright and early starting at 7:30am. Word is that some of our Chicago drivers vacationing in Miami will be stopping by to add to the camaraderie. Check out the scene at Las Olas & SE 15th.

Our Perspective on the 2015 Chicago Auto Show

February 16, 2015

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First and foremost, Fuelfed is not about what new gadgets and nanny tech is debuting at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Nor are we about the same old regurgitation of manufacturer stats that every other site will duplicate and spit-out. No sir, we go days ahead of the public to see what direction the future of our passion will be taken and who is leading the way in terms of aesthetics and does it connect with a true driver by just sitting there.

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The very first thing we notice is the lack of people. It’s well known in the industry that the Detroit show is for car people and Chicago for the mindless masses. Regardless, we were one of only three cars parked in our usually packed parking area under the old McCormick Place. Young Tyler kept thinking we were setting him up for a prank. We were thinking WTF? Did something change? Are we on the wrong level? Nope. Guess nobody likes to drive anymore.

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Media credentials in hand, we head to the debut of the new Ford GT. You’d think it would be jammed. Not so. Forget the big stats (you should already know that), does the new GT speak too us? Yes! Especially, the flying buttresses via the Enzo. A little heavy on the curves and sharp edges in the back end, but works in a Kim Kardashian kinda way.

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Ford seemed more interested in talking about their new Police SUVs and their canine actor got more camera coverage than the trucks.

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Over to Porsche.

Porsche, Porsche, Porsche, you need to have more than the clueless and uninspired models maning your display. The brunette is muttering to the detail guy that she likes that the fact most “all Porsches will come with automatics”. Great, because she can’t drive stick anyway. With that stab in the heart, every car on display does in fact have PDK.

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So the 911 GTS (in black on black) with PDK gets to 60 half a second faster than a three pedal option (if it was offered). But that’s not the point. A true drivers car is about connectivity with the machine and the tactile satisfaction that comes with it. Having a direct link and command of the gears is what makes driving entertaining. Of all the manufacturers, Porsche still trades on these traits, and in our opinion, will die (in our hearts) with out them. The 911, the best new grand touring coupe.

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The 918 Spyder, better looking than the Kardashian Ford GT, but the Panamera nose seems to miss the mark. The green-go powertrain gets stunning performance numbers to match it’s painful price.

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Over to BMW.

Oh yes, everyone wants to see the i8 and everyone is jockeying around to get a chance to sit in it. It still seems a concept car and just doesn’t hit the heart strings. Over to the silver M3 (four door) and the M4 (2 door coupe). Yeah, that doesn’t sound right.

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But our display hostess Julia with her cute Russian accent does her best to explain the naming logic. Shahin then gets caught in her story about the struggles in Ukraine and her friends torments on Facebook. I decide the M3 (again, 4 door) is better looking than the M4 (2 door) and pull Shahin over to show him why the shorter and sharper rear wheel arch just makes it work. He agrees. The turbo power still seems like a horsepower cop-out in an M car. Thank God they still come in stick!

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Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, VW, yeah they’re there.

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Over to Mercedes.

Hmmm… that S Class coupe keeps calling. Can’t sit in it, as it’s up on the podium, but damn it looks good. So does the S Class AMG 65. At $240k, it better. Young Tyler has found us and joins Shahin for a nap in the back seat lounge of the AMG.

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The incredible little styling details and stunning Burmeister speaker grills offset the plastic (I believe) dash inlays and unengaging electronic display. Stonking performance numbers make the Kardashian Ford GT seem gentile.

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The AMG GTS of course has a crowd of two journalists around it. Like the S-coupe, it too, is on a podium. The nose has the sharp new look of Mercedes, but the 3/4 view of the rear is a direct copy of a 996 911. Now I can’t ever look at it the same way and move on to expresso cart for a shot.

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Expressos go well with Alfas.

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Yeah, Alfa is back! Hey look! They have a cool display with vintage clay models, steering wheels & grills and such. One even states it’s a 1951 Duetto grill. Wait, didn’t the Duetto debut in 1966? Kurt goes to verify this statement with the two Butzi Porsche look-a-likes sitting in red Barcelona chairs behind the small glass wall. They are too busy sitting to engage with such trivial conversation.

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Ok, we’ll just admire the stunningly gorgeous million dollar red 33 Stradle and it’s mono-posto racing cousins. Wait it isn’t that the C4 coupe and spider? Sorta thought they were chunky Celicas at first. Can’t cross the glass wall to get a better look, so we left with a sense that Alfa doesn’t really want to be here…and that’s a big shame for everyone.

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Not many concept cars less Toyota, who also had a nod to their 1960’s past on hand. Most manufacturers were bragging about their likes on Facebook how they were listening those “friends” comments to make better “youth-oriented” products. We’re looking forward to seeing how many “friends” Paypal them an actual down payment.

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As usual, three hours shot by and we barely got to do the deep drive into any particular mark.

Best display: Alfa Romeo

Best new design direction: Mercedes

Best display hostesses: Maserati

Best driver focus: BMW

Best surprise: Jaguar offering a 6 speed manual on the XK.

Biggest let down: Focus on manufacturer apps and social media and not the cars.

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Overall.

An over-abundance of self-proclaimed car-journalists taking selfies and selfie videos. Best summed up by the skinny-jeaned, bearded expert stating his position that his GranTurismo set-up of the Ferrari FF was better for driving than what Ferrari actually had on the real car.

Detroit here we come for real conversation in 2016.

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Fuelfed at Retromobile in Paris

February 9, 2015

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Some of us are lucky enough to travel to Paris, while others even more so with a visit to Retromobile. One from Chicago and the other from Omaha. Each went for different reasons. Both were blown away by the array of stunning vintage European mechanical art. Chris G. sent us a couple of shots from his phone while wandering the exhibits.

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The Fuelfed Swap Meet Proves a Great Success

February 6, 2015

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Our first annual Fuelfed Classic European Parts & Memorabilia Swap Meet was a great success considering we were shooting for a modest twenty vendors. 27 vendors signed in the end. The numbers do not convey the large array of great items for sale. The strength of Fuelfed as always been the diversity and passion of our members.

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Some of the top collectors are proud Fuelfed members and it showed with unobtainable Ferrari signage and factory Porsche work wear.

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We had a 32″ Spirit of Ecstasy solid bronze statute (Rolls Royce mascot) from a 1940’s London dealer display. Vintage toys, signage, Recaros, BBS rims, vintage sales literature. Even Michael Jordons’ BMW 850csi take-offs and a Moto Guzzi Eldorado.

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Our hosts The Last Detail were not to be out-done by the Spirit of Ecstasy and had some great projects on display for attendees to observe up close and personal. Two Aston DB5s, a Morgan, 911RS and E-type just to name a few.

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Peets coffee and pastry was on hand as well as some innovative young groms selling two cupcakes or fruit and joke for a dollar.

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The attendance was 90% Fuelfed members and everyone was excited to see some familiar faces and catch up from November.

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Probably the best compliment of the event was a senior Bentley Drivers Club director who stated: “How do you people do it? Your Coffee & Classics in Winnetka is the best event anywhere and this swap meet thing will no doubt be just as popular.” Simple really. We just do what we love, the way we want to do it.

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sNOw Fun

February 4, 2015

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While the thought of driving our classics is the farthest thing from our minds as 21 inches of rests upon our asphalt playground. There is always that one guy who has to buck the norm. Or is it that he knows something we don’t.

If you live along Chicago’s North Shore, you just may see a classic black 911 3.2 drifting sideways across Humboldt & Prospect late one snowy night.

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Classic Bronco Barn Find Triple Header

February 1, 2015

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It’s late on Saturday night and I get a call from member Cam Adams. Ok, now what classic Porsche did he unearth now? Not quite. The call was to inquire if I would be interested in tagging along as he attempts to pull off a triple header in Silver Lake, WI. Cam and I share a passion for air-cooled 911s that goes way back to when you could get a 1973 911S for $6500. Remember those prices? Thought not. Anyway, this was not about a Porsche find, but something just as iconic. First up was a 1974 uncut Ford Bronco (yes, uncut). Second was a 1960 Airstream camper to give the Bronco some company. Third was still a rumor. A rumor of a rust-free 1960 Ford Falcon coupe sleeping in the pole barn behind the Bronco.

I’m in.

Now this wasn’t some staged fancy Wayne Carini crap. This was going to be pure Chicago style.

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First, we meet at the Brat Stop at 9:30am and head together to Silver Lake. Gotta like the Brat Stop. It’s a very tired supper club with its original 1964 styling with 1994 styled Cheeseheads all wearing Packer jerseys. A quick wake-up beer and we’re off heading west on highway 50.

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Henry, Cam & Mike are in the Silverado with a trailer. I follow in Monty. We pull three blocks into the residential area of west Silver Lake and there they are, sitting all forlorn in the snow. Cam wastes no time and gets the owner out to show the Bronco and Airstream.

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Henry & Mike start adding a fresh battery & fuel (a cheap over the border $1.99 per gallon!) to the Bronco, and before I come get some interior shots they had it idling. Cam does a walk around the Airstream and then inquires about this mystery Falcon.

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The owner opens the pole barn door and there it was, in its original factory-green patina and South Dakota 1988 plates with gas cans, chainsaws, milk crates and outboard motors guarding it. Cam clears a path along the side and jumps in. There’s no interior, just a spare steering column and milk crate to sit on. It’ll fire, but not run. Gotta push it out. Crap!

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Now we have move everything out of the way. Hmmm… Cam is now missing as is the owner. Five minutes later, out come Mrs. Owner & Mr. Owner all smiles with Cam following behind. No, that’s not the triple header, that Cam intended. “Time to move the Airstream boys,” he blurts. “We got us a Falcon to take home.”

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Within seconds, the Bronco (still idling) is backed to the Airstream and they’re hitched. First gear with the three on the tree and the Airsteam gladly follows the Bronco out onto the street.

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Now it’s time to see if our luck holds with the Falcon starting after 10 years of dirty sleep.

Starter fluid squirt, pop-pop-pop. Squirt squirt, pop pop. Squirt, varoooooom, pop. Nothing doing. Time to just get the old Falcon on the trailer. Everyone pushes, pulls, swears, slips and groans, but the old girl sees the light of day.

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No way this is going to get up on the trailer with us pushing on ice. Fine; let’s try fresh gas and a six pack of New Glarus Moon Man. Well, it’s 11:00am and it’s Wisconsin for Buckys’ sake.

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Yeah, that’s not working. Let’s just drag it up on the trailer with a tow strap. Old Monty is called to duty. Two minutes later the Falcon is up  and getting ratcheted down. Done!

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Quick goodbyes and we’re off. Bronco seems to like its new job of hauling its little silver buddy around through the twisties. Henry, Mike & I follow protectively like young fathers watching their son ride a two-wheeler for the first time.

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We make it to highway 50 and Cam wants to get fresh fuel and check some things under the hood. I’m impressed the Ford hasn’t burned its brakes and transmission yet. Oh wait, it won’t go into second and there were no brakes to start with. What would Mr. Carini do? Oh, he’d be in the limo half way to O’Hare by now, leaving the real work to his crew of 25 to tough it out.

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The snowmobilers didn’t blink an eye at the two American relics collecting salt fueling next to them.

Back on highway 50 Cam slows it down as the Bronco and Airstream start fighting for tram lining rights over the truck-made ruts.

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Twenty minutes of tedious navigating at 60mph and everyone makes it to the Brat Stop for brunch. Everything still intact, including the snow clinging to the roofs of the orange & silver tandom.

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Now I’ve pulled a lot of cars out of some scary places in my car hunting adventures, but I’ve always brought tools, motoring provisions and my platinum AAA card. You know, just in case.

Not Cam or Henry. They just seem to know that things will just work out. It’s refreshing to see car guys who believe in their seasoned skills and guts and not rely on their iPhone and Google safety nannies.  Now that’s the Fuelfed Spirit!

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Fuelfed Swap Meet Has Hit Vendor Capacity!

January 30, 2015

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It’s been a busy 24 hours. We sold out all the vendor slots with more trying to get in by the hour.
Our first Fuelfed Classic Parts & Memorabilia Swap Meet should be very very entertaining. One of the leaders of Team Bentley race team currently campaigning the Continental GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge will be there socializing to add to the mix as well.

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Fuelfed Classic European Parts & Memorabilia Swap Meet This Saturday

January 30, 2015

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Fuelfed, Inc. together with The Last Detail will be hosting our new event: the Classic European Parts & Memorabilia Swap Meet this Saturday.

From vintage motoring accessories, Recaros & Prototipos to vintage Road & Tracks, oil signage & tools, our Fuelfed community is vast and eclectic and what better way to find cool stuff than from those who appreciate what you do.

If that Delehaye sales brochure isn’t found, you’ll still be able to enjoy the Midwest top classic European camaraderie.

The swap meet will be held indoors at The Last Detail’s North Chicago location. You’ll be able to see some of the classic restorations they have in progress as well as finished concours vehicles on display.

We will also have a table for 2015 Fuelfed membership info/renewal.

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Admission
Members $3 (bring your card), non-members $5. Cash or check at the door please.

Time
10:00am to 2:00pm: Swap Meet Open to public.

Location
The Last Detail
2900 North US Route 41
North Chicago, Illinois 60064
847.689.8822


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