Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

History for Sale at Continental Autosports in Hinsdale This Saturday

March 22, 2017

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This Saturday from 9:00 to 3:00 is the 39th Ferrari Literature, Art & Model Expo, at our friends Continental Auto Sports, Hinsdale, IL. The definitive Italian automobile memorabilia expo in the midwest set amongst modern and vintage vehicles. As a Fuelfed member, you’ll recognize some familiar faces.

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10 Fuelfed Member Cars at Amelia Island

March 10, 2017

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For those members of Fuelfed that have frequented our exclusive events, you will recognize these incredible cars. The RM auction at Amelia Island this weekend will see ten Fuelfed member classics cross the block. While we’re sad to see them leave the club, but grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with each of them (even driving one at 10/10ths around Gingerman) and appreciate how they’ve been part of the fabric that has made Fuelfed so very special.

We won’t go into detail about each car, we’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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1. 1961 Ferrari 250SWB Berlinetta

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2. 1955 Alfa Romeo SS Coupe Zagato

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3. 1954 Mercedes Benz Gullwing

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4. 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Coupe by Frua

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5. 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider

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6. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB

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7. 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS

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8. 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Flat floor, Welded Louvers

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9. 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0

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10. 2005 Porsche Carrera GT

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Honoring the Helmet

February 10, 2017

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Recent owner of Noble Automotive Ltd. and FFG100 founder Peter D., pauses at turn one, Sears Point Raceway.

Has the Classic Car Market Shifted?

January 20, 2017

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With all eyes on Scottsdale & Phoenix for the winter auctions, investors are watching for the market trends to base their next move. With Hagerty & Sports Car Market going by what sells and for how much to base their predictions.

Fuelfed has different vantage point. You see, Fuelfed has several of the countries’ top collectors with in our ranks. Collectors who have won Pebble & Amelia several times (and yes some of these are at Coffee & Classics). Collectors that have not just a few 7 digit cars, but 10x that.

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Every December when the driving season has calmed, we do a light survey with these collectors and their plans for the forthcoming auction series. Interestingly, most Fuelfed collectors opt for Amelia Island and not Arizona to do their trading. You can probably guess why.

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Anyway, this year there was a big uptick in cars going to Amelia. Not just a few 1960s Ferraris, but over 60 high ticket vintage Europeans being sold off with in the club. Are these collectors feeling the classic car run-up has peaked? Time to move in another direction? From what we’re hearing in Arizona…

We’re not predicting, we’re just reporting what we see from our garage stool.

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Old Stuff

January 9, 2017

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We recently took a short tour through an old collectors shop that had millions of little “stuffs” everywhere. So much so, that it would take days to absorb it all. As we walked past a grey vault, out jumped a little familiar friend.

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Peter D. – The Consummate Fuelfed Member

January 5, 2017

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We first formally met Peter and his wife at Fuelfed Cocktails & Classics in early 2012. As the season progressed he quickly volunteered to work the gates at Coffee & Classics in Winnetka and always showed up at Spontaneous Combustions in a different historic classic. Little did we know the depth of his car affliction.

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As Fuelfed grew, so did our friendship with Peter. His passion for 1980’s rally and super cars was unparalleled. He offered test drives of some of the greatest cars ever conceived. F40 full throttle through the Ravines…check. 288GTO at redline on the Edens…check. Lancia S4 tearing up Sheridan Rd…check. His gracious and selfless offerings were just the tip of what was to come.

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The Fuelfed Steering Committee was formed in the summer of 2013, and Peter was eager to be part of the board. His vast and well-honed global business leadership gave vital insight & sharp input into formalizing our vibrant club for the discerning collector, and for the young enthusiast. Meetings were long and agenda-filled, yet Peter always kept discussions on point. Eventually, Steering Committee meetings were held in his private shop to ensure the smell of gasoline & rubber was always present and that the club’s focus remained on camaraderie & driving. Inevitably meetings turned to car stories and wine would continue to flow.

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Peter was not only a larger than life collector, but he was also a private and strong family man. Peter always put family first, as we all should. And, in turn, that combination often meant some sort of classic European car was part of a family adventure regardless the country he and his family were in.

Peter was very excited to be part of Fuelfed as he found kindred spirits in many fellow members, yours truly in particular. He loved working on his cars and found great therapy in fixing, improving, and detailing his cars. Many a weekend or evening he spent wrenching in his shop.

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He LOVED Coffee & Classics in Winnetka and volunteering at the main gate. He was a fixture there and selfless, seldom missing a month.

The man knew cars – no BS story got past him…period. Peter had a wry sense of humor which he shared with many regulars passing through the gate on his watch. He enjoyed the detailed car conversations that occur at every C&C, and would gladly spend time sharing his knowledge with others. He often spent time at the end each Coffee & Classics letting young enthusiasts explore his Ferraris, BMW M1, Lancia Stratos or whatever he drove that month. Several were fortunate enough to get a short ride (with parental consent).

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It is with heavy heart that we have lost a great personal friend and immensely influential Fuelfed founder in December of 2016. Peter D. will forever be greatly missed and he had made countless contributions worldwide seen and unseen. Fuelfed will dedicate an annual event in his honor.

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Happy Holidays

December 24, 2016

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He who has not Spirit in his heart will never find it under a tree.

 

The Enthusiasts Shop

December 14, 2016

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Friend and Fuelfed member Hugh R. has been the curator of Barrington’s classic car enthusiast’s boutique The Finish Line for years. This holiday season Hugh has opened a seasonal shop in downtown Barrington at 222A S. Cook. Yep, right near the BMW motorcycle shop. We thought we’d pay a visit to The Finish Line to see if it was all we’ve heard it was.

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The quint downtown area of Barrington was alive with Christmas activities as we made our way to the boutique. As we walked in, Hugh was there to greet us and shed the unique history for every item in his shop.

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From vintage driving caps to Cuban Gran Prix posters signed by Fangio, from C-Type gear shift knobs to an F1 nose cone, The Finish Line has quite the spread of automobilia and clothing sure to make the quality short list of any Fuelfed enthusiast. All items are authentic and hand picked by Hugh to present the highest quality, so don’t expect to find a $5 fake Ferrari hat from China. Fuelfed always supports our local merchants and we highly recommend that you drop that mouse and use your right foot to get to Barrington, it’s well worth the drive and make sure to bring your beautiful co-pilot.

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FFG100 Early Morning Drive

October 24, 2016

What a fabulous morning to gather some Fuelfed founders for a quick coffee run up the northshore. It was nice to see the gang together and fun to see Scanton St. in LB filled to the brim with classics.

 

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Three Roads to Vintage Motorcycling

September 28, 2016

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By John L. Stein

These are prolific times for classic bikes. The recent Quail Motorcycle Gathering showcased 115 years of motorcycling, from a 1902 California motor bicycle to a 2016 Yamaha FZ07 street tracker, and the record crowd proved that collector bikes of all stripes are growing in popularity – from vintage motocrossers to streetbikes, racers and customs, and from Japanese to European to American – and everything in between. Moreover, entries included dusty survivors, well-preserved originals, letter-perfect restorations, and a slew of custom and modified bikes. Which brings up an actual important question: What’s the best kind of old bike to get, anyway? Here’s one vintage-bike addict’s assessment of whether to go original, restored or modified.

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Ride Original
Barn finds are cool, but you can’t do much with them without disturbing their “rust equity.” A good alternative to the period accuracy of a barn find is a well-preserved and usable original. The pros are that your riding experience will be just like 1955 or 1965 or 1975, but the disadvantage is that after so many years, even highly original bikes can need significant refurbishment. And to preserve the originality here, you’ll need costly NOS (new old stock) parts. Reproduction parts are a viable alternative, but with every re-pop part used, the originality drops. In my opinion the best path is patience until you find a low-mileage (under 10,000 miles) original that’s been cared for responsibly. Two quick picks: The elegant Honda CB500/CB550 Four and the simpler Yamaha R5/RD350 two-stroke twin, both of which are totally useful, plentiful and reasonably priced.

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Go Full Resto
Besides the word “original,” probably no term in the vintage hobby is sketchier than “restored.” The reason is interpretation. Does “restored” mean the tank and side covers were hung from an apricot tree and painted rattle-can red, with new tires and a seat cover finishing the job? Or does it mean a Pebble Beach-quality restoration performed by an acknowledged marque expert? As such, buying a restored bike – or else taking on a restoration yourself – merits great care. I like author Stephen Covey’s phrase, “Begin with the end in mind” here. Define your desired end result, including the quality, how much you want to spend, and what you’ll do with the finished machine. These factors should then guide your project. One bit of advice: Apply your standard evenly throughout the project. Perfect paint and tired aluminum or plating don’t mix well.

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Creatively Customize
Accelerating in popularity among Millennials, building a café racer, bobber, chopper or some other creation from a donor vintage bike is parallel, I suppose, to getting inked. (Said the guy with no ink.) Dismissed by some of the old guard, customs are nevertheless a viable alternative portal into the classic-bike space, and they offer unparalleled freedom of expression. First, you can start with an incomplete rescue bike or even a pile of parts at low cost. Second, you don’t need to locate and pay for the Exact Correct Parts. So that Ducati 350 Scrambler donor bike lacks a front end? One from a Suzuki GT380 will work great! And third, you get to build your bike your way, to your standards. The only downsides to customizing are sacrificing an original bike (that’s between you and your conscience), encountering build challenges beyond your scope (actually great learning moments!), and that sometime down the road, a buyer won’t see the same value in it that you do.

At the end of the day, vintage bikes are just like art. Some folks worship the French masters, some dig Etch-a-Sketch drawings and some like flinging tomato juice onto canvas with a side-valve Harley snorting nitro and wearing a paddle tire wrapped in chains. There’s no right, and no wrong here, so do what you love. Just do it with clarity of purpose. Amen.

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