Archive for the ‘Driver Focus’ Category

Honoring the Helmet

February 10, 2017


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

Peter D. – The Consummate Fuelfed Member

January 5, 2017



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.





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.







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.




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.








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).






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.






Big Thanks to Martin!

December 25, 2016



We want to give a BIG shout out and thank you to Martin Meissner for all the hard work he’s doing down in Fort Lauderdale running our Coffee & Classics FTL. Martin could not be a better Fuelfed brand ambassador with his extreme passion for classic European cars and his jovial & welcoming persona.

We had to dig up the 2011 video of Martin and his rare 2000tii to prove they both haven’t aged a bit.

If you are near FTL on the last Sunday of the month, make your way over to Las Olas Blvd. & A1A by 8:00am and buy the guy in above 2011 C&C clip a cup of coffee.


Fuelfed Member Interview at Coffee & Classics Back in July 2011

January 24, 2016


It’s hard to believe we’re in our sixth season of Coffee & Classics. As such, we thought it interesting how dynamic the event was back then and how it’s grown into the premier venue it is today. Yet the Fuelfed purpose has always remained true to it’s serious enthusiast core.

Here’s Alan’s interview from July 2011 Coffee & Classics in Winnetka. No GoPro, no iPhone video, just old school digital video done well by ShiftFocus in Chicago.
With a little help from Tim, Alan brought both his blue Shelby Cobra and cream E-Type that sweltering Sunday morning. We wanted to capture Alan and one of the many stunning classics he surprises us with each month on video. He was as gracious as ever, and gave us a little insight into his vast vehicle ownership..


Our Own Bill Hall in the Drive Home Rally

January 4, 2016



While Fuelfed has always focused on classic European motoring, we also focus on members who have unique opportunities. In this case, our own Bill Hall from Milwaukee. Most Fuelfed members know Bill for his generous hospitality and lawn parties at his house on Lake St. up in Elkhart during most historic racing events. He’s also co-hosted the 2013 Fuelfed Fall Classic with his Kettle Call TSD Rally.




Though Bill prefers to drive Italian steeds, he has the fortunate opportunity to drive a 1957 Nomad from Tacoma, WA to Detroit, MI in The Drive Home Rally benefitting Hagerty Education Program. As painful as it sounds, the cars will be driven from December 27 through January 8, 2016, yes right through the rust belt. Cudos to Bill and his two other cohorts for taking the challenge of drum brakes and bias ply tires on live axles while navigating black ice.




Want to see these three classics in person and cheer Bill on? Bill and buddies will be making a pit stop this Wednesday morning January 6, from 9:00-10:00 at the Shell station in Schaumberg. The Shell is located at 517 Mall Dr. Schaumberg.



The Final Drive 2015

December 6, 2015



Well the end of the driving season has commensed and all good Fuelfed enthusiasts have put their classics to sleep for the winter. This now gives us much needed time to reflect. So now lets start with the last work backwards from TFD15.2.





While we’d like to talk about interesting tid-bits on this driver boot camp weekend, it’s best to leave what happened on TFD15.2 back in the coolies between Stages 3 & 4 to protect the guilty. So let’s stick with a light overview.








We always seem to be blessed with incredible weather for this event and 2015 was no different. Fuelfed members from as far as Denver, Indianapolis & Minneapolis made the trek in Friday in order to drive on Saturday. There’s a reason why there’s a waiting list and it isn’t for the beer.











Unfortunately we lost a Group Leader at the last minute, forcing us into 3 Run Groups (RGs) rather than 4. We have to commend Neal A., Nick M., & Andy D., for rising to the occasion and doing another great job of shuffling vastly different cars and their equally varied drivers.






The end of Stage 1 always brings a lot of driver chatter and needed RG adjustments. By Stage 4, RGs have found their synergy with adrenaline high and right feet heavy as everyone tries to beat the sun down to the banks of the Mississippi.



This year, Stage 4 was redirected midway due to random construction. RG2 lost a car due to oiling failure. As TFD rule goes: bring your AAA card and lots of cash. Yes the hot little 2002 was pushed into a corn field and then recovered the following morning by it’s owner and three very generous friends from Chicago.


October 23, 2015

Ed_Hughes BMW_Motorcycle


After college, I got into vintage BMW motorcycles. My father took great interest in my new passion. Always wanting the best, he of course trumped my R60/2 with a R69s. It was during this time in our lives that I got to know my father for the truly great man he was. We learned to ride together. We learned to work on the bikes together. But more importantly, we became great friends. Our favorite rides together, were late night rides up Sheridan Rd. We’d ride in tandam at the same speed to get the bikes rpms in sync and the glorious sound would make us laugh. The rides would culminate on a park bench over looking Lake Michigan in Lake Bluff. He’d bring the flask of bourbon and I’d bring the cigars. We’d sit there talking about life until the wee morning hours. I truly felt connected to my father during these rides.

It’s hard to believe I lost my father three years ago tonight. It feels like he’s been gone 20.


Abbey & Lou @ Pebble Beach

August 24, 2015



Of all the Fuelfed members at Pebble Beach this past weekend, none is more deserving of showing than our own Abbey & Lou Natenshon. Those who have been with the club for a while or have been to Coffee & Classics Winnetka have surely met Lou or at least seen either his boat tail Invicta, yellow Iso Griffo or red Devin. Abbey & Lou have given to the Chicagoland classic scene for decades. Whether it was the Auto Historica, Millers at the Mile or their private house parties, they have always kept the standard high and their passion constant. We’ve even had the privilege of drifting around the MKE Mile in Lou’s 1933 Flathead Ford Indy car at the hands of Rex.




So this year Abbey & Lou brought their 1937 Peugeot 402 Cabby out west for the festivities. Now Lou isn’t one to fuss over minute concours details, as he’d prefer to drive rather than polish, so we’re sure it was a painful preparation. Regardless, they made the scene in grand style and made us all proud.

Looking forward to seeing what Lou’s drives this Sunday morning to Winnetka.



We Lose One of Our Own

June 19, 2015


We sadly lost Tom Caulfield of Janesville, WI earlier this week. Tom was a founding father of the Ferrari Club of America and the New Glarus Hill climb.


Tom had a penchant for Italian exotics and enjoyed restoring them almost as much as he did driving them. If it had a Colombo 12 in it, Tom was the master.


We met Tom and his son Kevin later in his career as the two were driving and sharing their Pebble winning 1951 212 Berlinetta Touring with the rest of us. Many a historic race weekend at Elkart was spent sitting and chatting with Tom at Burdies Nest on Lake St. as the throngs of unknowing spectators streamed past. Tom and Kevin had a tight bond that we here at Fuelfed can relate to first hand.

Our warmest condolences go out to Kevin and the rest of the Caulfield family.

Fuelfed Member in the Wall Street Journal

April 12, 2015



You’ve seen Tim driving one of his many British and German classics at Coffee & Classics and Spontaneous Combustions. Our FFG100 member was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal last month. This time Tim discusses his FFotW two year project.