Archive for the ‘Fuelfed Event Photo Galleries’ Category

The Undeniable Lightness of Driving

June 27, 2018

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A Fuelfed MotorGearo First-Timer Reflects on the Drive

By Joe Rosenthal

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We’re excited to have member Joe Rosenthal share his perspective on what it’s like to drive in the Fuelfed MotorGearo Vintage Rally for the first time.

 

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Back when I was in high school and felt like getting away from it all, I used to hop in my beloved ’84 Scirocco (metallic bronze, sunroof, tinted glass) and just drive. Sometimes it was plowing through snowdrifts in blizzard conditions to watch the tufts of powder explode around me in whorls of snow. At others it was flying up the dirt roads that traversed Cheyenne Mountain at the time, gravel chattering on the undercarriage in the turns. I would always go alone, and the experience was wonderful.

Flash forward 30 years and everything has changed. I’m married with two kids who have more energy than a Pikes Peak Hill Climber. I have responsibilities. Bills to pay. A mortgage. All the stuff your parents warned you about. But perhaps more astonishingly, the world around me has changed even more. Constantly buzzing and dinging cell phones. Thousands of hours of Peak TV on our smart televisions. Endless drop-down menus at our fingertips. Constant but fleeting contact with every single person we’ve ever known. It’s liberating, but also confining. Which brings me to the MotorGearo 250.

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When I signed up for the rally I was intrigued by a few things. One was the camaraderie of Fuelfed friends new and old. I knew the impeccable planning of Fuelfed would ensure an inspired and seamless weekend. I had heard about the Driftless area and was excited to see it up close. And I was curious if my 1976 TR6, which had not been on a drive longer than an hour and a half since I’d purchased it three years ago, would actually make it 500-plus miles in two days. Finally, I was not-so-secretly hoping that the Motorgearo would provide the same kind of diversion my favorite drives did back in the days when John Hughes dominated the mall theaters and my biggest worries didn’t even come close to rating on the Richter scale of adulthood.

I was planning to drive alone. And that fact itself was interesting. When I mentioned it to my friends many of them did a double take. They raised their eyebrows: “Alone?” As if to say, “Why would you ever want to do that?” But I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Those high school drives were about becoming one with road and banishing the complexity of thought. And that wasn’t going to happen with a passenger. It’s not that I don’t appreciate driving with others – there’s a place for it and it can be a blast. But this was something different.

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In New Glarus we broke into our driving groups. I’d be running in Group Four, a friendly bunch of drivers who’d be piloting a ’72 Mercedes 280sel 4.5, ’58 Lancia Aurelia, ’67 Volvo 1800, ’77 TVR, ’79 Fiat 124 and an Intermeccanica 356. A veritable rolling sculpture garden. The TR6 hesitated a little and then sparked to life with a low rumble and some smoke for punctuation. We’d been warned a few times that our cell phones would not work where we were going. I rifled off a couple last text messages and stowed the phone in a side pocket. It would only be off for a few hours, but the thought of replacing it’s pestering vibrations with the constant rumble of the straight six seemed a great bargain.

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I have to admit, for the first segment (there were four a day, of about an hour to and hour-and-a-half each) I was enjoying myself, but I was still tethered to reality. It was similar to that feeling of the first day of vacation, where your mind is still occupied with lingering thoughts of work and deadlines and next steps and action items. But with each curve of the road, that feeling was more and more distant. The thought crossed my mind that while our thumb scrolls have gotten faster, our power of focus had been slowly eroded like aging British steel. And this kind of driving requires nothing if not focus.

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By the time we’d stopped for our BBQ lunch I was fully in the zone. There is a rhythm to the road and the sequence of turns and inclines that is almost musical. It may just have been my imagination but it seemed like the car ran better the higher I revved and the more pushed it. I started to shift less, allowing the car a higher range of revs. Earlier in the day I’d been toggling between third and fourth, but by the end I was committed to third, letting the engine spin and growl through valleys and sweeping turns. I kept waiting for the protestation of a sputter or miss from the engine, but it never arrived. As the hours went by I trusted the car more, and found myself thinking less. By the time we were charging through the woods on the final stretch to Prairie du Chien any thought of the mundanity of work or potential breakdown had long since passed.

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It would be hyperbolic to say I’d become one with the car, but there’s no doubt the relationship had changed. It seemed like time was flying by as fast as the scenery, but at the same time it was becoming easier to perceive the beautiful view all around me. I suppose that as trust in the vehicle increased and mental analysis began to fade, there was more room for perception in the moment. The landscape was stunning. The prettiest I have seen in the Midwest. It was emerald green and hilly like Ireland, but dotted with quintessentially American-looking barns and tractors. Cows grazed on steep inclines dramatized by jutting rock formations. At times the hillsides looked like oil paintings, so perfect were the lines and gradations of color. People were few and far between. Aside from a few Amish families farming and the random resident mowing an improbably massive lawn on a riding tractor, the land-to-human ratio was squarely on the side of the land. It was the kind of scenery that makes you wonder if all the progress we’ve attained has actually been a matter of regress. Cities are exciting and suburbs are quiet and lovely in contrast, but the countryside has an eternal and calming presence. Some may argue it’s the sort of thing best experienced on a hike or wilderness walk, but it has its own perfect impact when seen from a car window with the top down as it unfurls in Technicolor parallax.

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Rounding the final turn of Day One on the stretch to the hotel, the Aurelia in front of me had a minor breakdown. I think it was a Weber getting finicky. But in true Fuelfed fashion, we quickly surrounded the car and pushed it to a safe spot. Of course, a specialist was on hand within moments, the carb disassembled, and the ride preserved. That’s the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from Fuelfed. It was also the sort of inevitable occurrence that breaks a reverie. The drive can’t go on forever. And the fact that we’re challenging fifty-year-old parts to keep on spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute is part of what makes it special. It’s all highly improbable.

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The farm fields and undulating shallow canyons had finally given way to a little bit of traffic and commercial activity. The engine revs dropped and you could see the Fuelfed flags up ahead. My first thought was “Shoot! Let’s keep going all night.” But in actuality I was tired and running on adrenaline. Plus my headlights are poor and there was a Supper Club with Wisconsin-sized Manhattans just around the corner. My second thought was, “ How was that an entire day?” Although I was hot and my arms were tired and I was smelling of exhaust and suntan lotion, I was deeply refreshed. Tired but renewed. And it was the third thought that really struck me: “My cell phone has been dead for hours!” And I didn’t miss it a bit.

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We pulled into spots in the hotel parking lot and finally let the engines rest. The sunlight was falling in an intense afternoon angle in a way that portended rain. We shared congratulations, swapped stories from the road, and struggled to raise our non-compliant convertible tops to protect against the oncoming showers. It was the perfect way to end, fueled by the excitement that we were only halfway to the finish. And that although we were just halfway there, we’d already had the full measure of experience.

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Next Week: The MotorGearo 250 Day Two

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Joe Rosenthal, Fuelfed member 414, is a Creative Technology Director at the ad agency Ogilvy. To prove he has no badge loyalty whatsoever, he’s been the proud owner (in order) of a Sears minibike, 1973 Kawasaki KE100 Enduro, 1964 Alfa Guilia Spider, 1984 Scirocco, 1959 Chevy Apache, two Saab 9-3’s, a Passat, a Tiguan, a 1976 Triumph TR6, and a Hyundai 3-Row Santa Fe.

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Fuelfed OPEN…Rain, But Not Rained Out

June 11, 2018

Despite the constant rain, Fuelfed members still made their way to Lake Forest for the OPEN.

Lou brought his Miller Indy car and Michael, his McClaren powered Sting Ray.

That in a nutshell is what makes the OPEN great…seriously rare member cars you won’t see anywhere else.

But what makes Fuelfed events special has always been the camaraderie. Some members hung under the tent and chatted over provided coffee (thanks Joe J.) and most others walked around in the rain happy to endure some wet shoes in exchange for in the metal conservation.

The OPEN is where our members can bring what ever interesting car they want to drive so it’s always an interesting mix.

2018 Fuelfed Cocktails & Classics Recap

May 7, 2018

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The 2018 Fuelfed Cocktails and Classics brought a record number of members out for an evening of good cheer and camaraderie. C&C is our traditional start to the new driving season. This year we had hoped for an early spring snow to show off what Continental had in store for party goers. 

Before that, we want to thank our member volunteers for helping set-up, check-in, serve-up, tear-down and clean up. For without them, non of our events would be possible.

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We arranged the Hayes collection in the Ravenswood Event Center so that classics where interspersed in the space and positioned the dining tables and chairs among them. We had Marco from La Macchina Cafe serving his addictive lasagna (seriously), salads and cannoli and Will from Fuelfed’s neighbor Spiteful Brewing and volunteers serving Spiteful’s IPA and Pigeon Porter. Volunteers also teamed next to Will to serve wine from The Bottle Shop in Wilmette.

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Half way through the party, the alley doors opened and in roared the new Ferrari GTC4 Lusso in what was to be a demonstration of the new 4WD Panamera eater. But, Mother Nature spared us more salt and extra clean up. Special thanks to Avlet for setting up audio system and mic allowing Continental AutoSports’ Dave and Scott to make the Ferrari introduction to party goers. They happily let the curious explore Ferrari’s finer points. 

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This year we added Timothy Owens Photography to make sure the event was properly captured by a discerning eye.

Finally, Fuelfed always gives back and this year for our Cocktails & Classics charity we give $700.00 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

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Fuelfed events are far more than just a party with classic collections, They are experiences that more and more couples are enjoying…as it should be.

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2018 Fuelfed Swap Meet Recap

February 13, 2018

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So we started 2018 with our 5th annual Fuelfed Classic Swap Meet at The Last Detail’s fantastic facility in North Chicago, IL. The Swap Meet continues to evolve and change each year and it’s interesting to see what are the hot old items annually. This year we had a record 28 vendors and several hundred attendees. Most of these were current Fuelfed members.

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Of course we couldn’t pull off the Swap Meet, nor other events without the help of our great volunteers. These members got there at 7:30am to run the entry point and help mask off the vendors slots as well as help clean up afterwards. Big thanks to Tom & Brian from The Last Detail who have been supporters of Fuelfed since our first Coffee & Classics in Winnetka way back in 2010. At 11:00am Tom gave an informative overview on the history, evolution and future direction of TLD.

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Interesting to hear how our car community works off each others strengths. How TLD prefers to work with Fuelfed supporters like Hagerty when it comes to insurance work, and how Perfect Power is their go to for 911 engine builds and visa versa. While we’re patting backs, one of our silent supporters has been Peet’s Coffee in Winnetka, who have been providing coffee to all our Swap Meets and to our gate workers at C&C Winnetka since they opened in 2016.

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So what was selling this year? Vintage air-cooled 911, Alfa & BMW parts were the big movers. Model cars, tools, good old magazines and books always move, as did vintage posters and petroliana. Big scores were E-type wires, 914 four Fuchs, and a SSI exhaust system for a 930 turbo. Even older MotorGearo swag was moving.

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Most importantly, and the main reason so many Fuelfed members look forward to the Swap Meet, is the camaraderie. As member Dennis Raucci stated in his thank you email: “being with a great group people in engaging conversations at well executed events are the hallmark of Fuelfed.We couldn’t agree more. And as quick as the crowds came in, they were gone to enjoy the rest of their Saturday.

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The Fuelfed Parts & Memorabilia Swap Meet This Saturday 2.3.18

February 2, 2018

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We’re excited to see what’s for sale this Saturday (2.3.18) morning. Always an interesting mix of petroliana, vintage parts and rare literature. But most definitely a full dose of enthusiast camaraderie.

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Doors open at 10:00am to the public with a special presentation by Tom owner of  The Last Detail at 11:00am.

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

Please click parking map for designated spaces.

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Admission: 2017 & 2018 Fuelfed members $3 (bring your card), non-members $5. Cash or check at the door please.

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Fuelfed Coffee & Classics FTL

December 16, 2017

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While us rust-belters brace for the coming polar vortex we call the second season, our Fuelfed brothers to the south in Fort Lauderdale have been busy driving their classics. The array of European classics has being expanding as our man Martin holds court each month at Coffee & Classics® FTL.

Martin explains below.

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If you weren’t around for the November Coffee & Classics Fort Lauderdale, well, you missed a pretty amazing event! There was a little bit of everything, German, Italian, Swedish and English. We’re still hoping for something French to grace us one of these days. (insert French car reliability joke here)

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The iron butt award definitely goes to Chicago Fuelfed member Joe R. who towed his fantastic little Messerschmitt convertible all the way from Sarasota to be with us. It was also great to have first timers Steve S. and his monster 300 SEL 6.3, and Richard P. join us with his gorgeous 300 SL Roadster. A big thanks for Jon Van Woerden for taking all the pictures.  I’m sure many of you will want to peruse them. Thanks again to all of you who’ve been with us from early on or who have joined us over the last three years. This event is what it is because of all of you and your great cars.
More pics at http://www.jonvanwoerden.com/

Cheers Martin!

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The Fuelfed W317 Recap

October 5, 2017

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Let’s say it with a short video. The music adds a better visual experience.

Fuelfed W3 Tour September 23

September 7, 2017

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Our Popular W3 Tour, or short for Wood, Water & Wheels take place on Saturday, September 23rd.

This private Fuelfed member only driving event is a well honed day tour through SE Wisconsin’s of rustic roads with lunch in Lake Geneva. The tour culminates with Fuelfed reserved waterfront parking at the famous Abbey Resort for the annual Geneva Lakes Antique and Classic Boat Show. Here you’ll see the best of Chris-Craft, Century & Garwood with a spectacular boat parade around Lake Geneva.

If you work it right, you may catch a water filled ride.

Pics below are from W3 2016

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Fuelfed Coffee & Classics Barrington Recap

May 24, 2017

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For last Sunday’s Fuelfed Coffee & Classics Barrington we started with questionable weather, but she held back to allow drivers to feel confident to bring their precious iron.

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And out they came. Dennis debuted his new FrankenRacer based on a TR3. Robert’s Countach made it. We’re honored that Bob’s stunning silver 250 Berlinetta has become a Barrington staple. Detomaso Magusto… we’ll take two please. The other crowd pleasers were the fleet of Polish Fiat racers and military service truck. Mike’s Doretti and Bob’s unrestored black Ferrari 250GT PF never let down.

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We want to thank Epicure and Ambrosia for serving up the coffee, pastries and brunch.

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A Great OPEN to the Fuelfed Driving Season

April 13, 2017

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The weather started 2017 as great as it finished the 2016 drive season . The Fuelfed OPEN was a fantastic season kick-off with well over 250 cars packed into downtown Lake Forest.

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Again, the stunning variety of classic cars was unparalleled. From a Renault Alpine rally car to Joe Bortz Parisienne to a 1929 Indy Miller to a Porsche Ruf 935, the 250 California and 365 GT 2+2 seemed overed shadowed by the little Abarth and the impossibly rare Kaiser Darrin.

Fuelfed is honored to continually have the top collectors & enthusiasts with in our ranks who want to drive and share their classics.

Scroll through a few of the examples below and we think you’ll understand our club pride.

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