Author Archive

Fuelfed Cocktails & Classics Makes a Great Return

March 11, 2022

Cocktails & Classics returns after a two year hiatus. Close to 170 members made it out for the traditional Fuelfed drive season start up gathering for some drinks, food and camaraderie. So good to catch up with some we haven’t seen in two years.

Fuelfed Member Featured in the Wall Street Journal

January 11, 2022

Below is a repost from that WSJ Article.

Those who participate in Fuelfed driving events will know John. Those at our famous Coffee and Classics throughout Chicagoland will recognize his green TVR. John was interviewed last fall by A.J. Blaine for the Wall Street Journal and he couldn’t be a better poster boy for TVR. What we can say is John LOVES to drive, and drive fast.

His Vintage British ‘Rocket Ship’ Is a Rare Find in the U.S.

By A.J. Baime

Photographs by Kevin Serna for The Wall Street Journal

John Shank of La Grange, Ill., 62, owner of the candy company The Chocolatier Inc., on his 1978 TVR 3000S, as told to A.J. Baime.

In the mid-1980s, I went to work in England, and while there I saw this brand of car I did not recognize. I remember asking people what it was. “That’s a TVR,” they’d say. To which I answered, “A TV—what?” I liked these cars so much that I did some reading.

TVR was founded in England in the late 1940s by a guy named Trevor Wilkinson. [Wilkinson originally named the company after himself—Trevcars Motors, which evolved into TVR.] The company had financial problems for years, but was known for building sports and racing cars in such small numbers that few ever left England. When I first saw TVRs in the 1980s, I had designs on buying one, particularly one of the so-called M series of cars of the 1970s. But I ended up getting married and moving back to the States, at which point I forgot all about the whole thing.

The company behind TVRs was founded in England in the late 1940s, and it still makes cars today.
TVR made 258 3000S cars over two years in the late 1970s.

In 2014, I was looking at a Hemmings magazine and saw an ad for a 1978 TVR 3000S. This was one of the M series cars that I had loved so much when I’d lived in England decades earlier. TVR had made this particular model for just two years, in 1978 and 1979—a total of 258. This was TVR’s first production convertible. According to the information I have (details can be difficult to nail down), the company built 67 cars with the steering wheel on the left-hand side and, of those, only 49 were cleared for the U.S. market. The ad in Hemmings was for one of those cars. I thought: What are the chances of that?

Ultimately, this 1978 TVR came up for auction, starting at $32,500. I put in a lowball bid for $6,000 less, figuring they would ignore me. The next thing I knew, I got a message: The car is yours! My wife is English, but still, she was upset when I told her. But when she saw the car, she warmed up to it.

It was not until I had the car in my possession that I learned more of its story. A previous owner in the U.S. had shipped the 3.0-liter Ford V-6 engine in the 1990s to a race shop in Oxford, England, where it was rebuilt to, basically, one step below a full racing engine. This previous owner had other high-performance modifications done, and the car came with all the receipts. He’d spent a fortune on it, and upped the horsepower considerably to about 220.

TVR made perhaps several dozen of these cars with the steering wheel on the left-hand side.
TVR used a Ford V-6 in this model. A previous owner of Mr. Shank’s car had its engine tuned for higher performance at a shop in Britain.

For years I’d driven old Volvos. These were pretty cars and well-engineered. But when I jumped in the TVR, it felt like a rocket ship. You step on the pedal and the thing flies. It drinks a lot of gas, but it handles like a race car.

I’ve since joined a car club called Fuelfed, which I think of as the premier sports-car club. When we have car shows, 150 or 200 cars show up—Alfa Romeos, Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis. I show up with my car and, let me tell you, if there’s one other TVR there, it’s like finding two needles in the same haystack.

People ask me all the time: What kind of car is that? It’s the same question I asked the first time I saw a TVR, back in the ’80s. Every time I have the conversation, I feel like I’ve created a new TVR fan, just like me.

John (above) on the Fuelfed MotorGearo Rally in 2021

2021 Fuelfed Drive Season Slight Recap

January 1, 2022

The Fuelfed 2021 Drive season proudly saw the club grow again as well as felt the passing of a founder.

We totaled almost sixty events as we added our Coffee Corsa Rally series, continued the Coveste Charity drives, moved the Swap Meet outdoors and popped in countless GoGo-Joes.

We finally returned to the birth place of our trademarked Coffee & Classics after a two year pause due to construction and…well you know.

We also noted the shift in what classic European cars are trending off and those coming into vogue. Most importantly we have kept true to our focus on membership camaraderie.

Vote For Your 2021 Giving Parade Favorite

December 30, 2021


Our annual Fuelfed Giving Parade took place on December 13, 2021. The premise was to give some joy to those in care facilities by having a parade of holiday decorated cars pass by their windows. We visited six different locations ranging from memory and elder care to assisted living and hospice. Some emotions bubbled up as the residents cheers and waved as we drove through.

The Fuelfed Giving Parade raised $1120 in donations. THANK YOU for your generosity!

As is Fuelfed Giving Parade tradition, we ask you to please vote for your favorite car in the parade by viewing the photos below and typing the image number into “Comments” using the Comment icon at the bottom right of the enlarged picture. CLICK on an image to enlarge and scroll through all the images. THE LAST DAY TO VOTE IS FRIDAY, 12/31/2021. The winning car owner will pick the charity that receives the $1120, and the results will be posted.

Thank you to all those who went through the effort to decorate their cars and drive the parade. Your efforts helped brighten the morning for some less fortunate than ourselves.

Merry Christmas to All…

December 25, 2021

…and to all a good drive!

Two More Days…

December 10, 2021

Two more days until the #fuelfedgivingparade and we couldn’t be more grateful for our members generosity and support. The care facilities on the tour are excited to have us come through on Sunday.
Again, you don’t have to be a Fuelfed member to join the parade, but you do have to decorate your vehicle.

Fuelfed Thanksgiving Morning Spontaneous Coffee

November 25, 2021

Chilly but fun time this morning for the annual Fuelfed Thanksgiving Morning Spontaneous Coffee. Charlie drove down from Racine to debut his new to him 1963 Beetle. In typical gracious style, Charlie also brought historic Brendtsen’s Kringle.

The Fuelfed Giving Parade

November 20, 2021

Sunday, December 12 we drive our popular Fuelfed Giving Parade as we give hope and cheer to those in assisted living facilities along the North Shore.
As in years past, all are welcome to drive and donate. The only requirements are that your vehicle be decorated in festive cheer and that you pre-register. Link to register.

All cars in the Fuelfed Giving Parade will be photographed and posted to the Fuelfed website. The winning cars as voted by the public, will choose the charity of their choice.
Those pre-registered will receive Parade details.

The Heist

November 9, 2021

If you didn’t see this live, you guess where is goes pretty quickly.

Final Coffee Corsa Rally

November 4, 2021

Our final Coffee Corsa Rally takes place this Saturday. We have 3 member slots available.

The 2021 Rally series winners will be awarded at the coffee destination.