Archive for the ‘Vintage Motor Culture’ Category

Fuelfed Fall Classic 2018 is Now!

October 12, 2018

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Our 6th annual trademark Fuelfed Fall Classic Rally weekend is now! Drivers and their dates are prepared for a colorful weekend of classic autumnal touring along some of the best routes the midwest as to offer. And then there’s the exclusive cuisine and cocktails that make this event classic Fuelfed!

Classic Motoring Redefined®, not just a motto, it’s who we are.

 

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Fuelfed Coffee & Classics Thiensville This Sunday Morning

September 19, 2018

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Counting down the days until we continue our Fuelfed Coffee & Classics extension to Thiensville, WI. We chose Thiensville for its rich history with European cars. Local racing historian and author Bob Birmingham gave us a little insight to what really happened in the day. How? He was there.

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Young Dick Vogel started racing in 1954 just as Road America was in its gestation. He soon opened a small foreign car dealership called Milrace Motors on Cedarburg Rd. (Highway 57) just north of old Green Bay Rd. That operation was in a small wood frame building not much larger than a two-car garage. In 1959 he purchased a building right on the river where we had our Coffee & Classics Thiensville in July.  He handled Triumph, Berkeley, Borgward and Moretti autos. He then expanded to Morgan, Bentley and Jaguar.

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For the release of the new Jaguar E-Type, Milrace had a big gala for area high-rollers. The young Augie Pabst, Bob Birmingham, and a few salesmen from the Pabst Motors in Milwaukee drove a bunch of new Mercedes Benz up and parked along Green Bay Rd. so those attending the gala would have to walk past them.

Ultimately, Augie co-drove a Morgan with Dick in Production Class in the early years of Road America. They were good friends, but business competitors.

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Milrace Motors became a destination stop for those heading north from Milwaukee and Chicago for the races in Elkhart Lake. The likes of Fred Wacker II, Sterling Moss, Phil Hill and other racing legends all visited Milrace every time they were in the area.

Milrace Motors moved on by the early 1970s as Dick and his wife Judy opened Kathy’s house (akin to Ronald McDonald House) to honor the daughter they lost to cancer.

Milrace Motors played a strong role in Midwest racing and we honor the parallels it has to the pure Fuelfed Spirit.

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On September 23rd, from 9:00am to 11:00am we are gathering on the very street, in front of the very same Milrace building to honor those who believe that racing improves the breed. Green Bay Rd. and Elm in Thiensville will once again feel the glory of classic European vehicles.

Shully’s Catering (next to the old Milrace building) and Fiddleheads Coffee (across the footbridge) will both have coffee and pastries available for us.

Chicago Fuelfed members will gather at the Lake Forest Oasis on I94 and will leave at 7:15am sharp to caravan north to Thiensville. After the event, several of us will be getting brunch and driving a Fuelfed Kettle Tour south to Illinois afterwards.

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Coffee & Classics Barrington This Sunday 7.15.18

July 13, 2018

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This Sunday morning July 15th, we continue our very successful Coffee & Classics series in Barrington. Each event draws an incredible new crop of classic European cars vastly different than what we see in Winnetka or Hinsdale or anywhere else for that matter.

 

9:00am to 11:00am, July 15, 2018
The Foundry of Barrington, IL
710 West Northwest Highway (Route 14)

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Ambrosia will be serving up coffee, pastries and brunch options.

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Guiding Pinciples

1. Coffee & Classics is a private club event for current Fuelfed club members. However, if you have a classic European car manufactured prior to 1990, you can make a donation of $10 at the main gate to show your car. We encourage you to join Fuelfed and your $10 will be credited to your membership dues.

2. Please arrive at 9:00am, not 8:30am.

3. Those posting pictures online, we ask that give the courtesy to let others know you were at Fuelfed Coffee & Classics. And yes. Fuelfed has an official Instagram account #fuelfedcarclub.

4. Finally, we do not allow any soliciting, nor marketing of your car or services at any Fuelfed events.

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View Parking Map.

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Display Cards

We ask drivers to download windshield display cards and fill out their car’s vitals. This will allow the rest of us to appreciate the classic even if the driver isn’t nearby to chat. Click on image below to enlarge and fill in your data, then print it out.

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We want to thank our quality partners in alpha order:

Autosprint
Barrington Capital Partners
BTR-Chicago
Catalyst Communications
Continental AutoSports
The Finish line, Inc.
Imports Unlimited
Northshore Sportscars
Perfect Power
The Last Detail

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 Coffee & Classics Winnetka Featuring Vincent Motorcycles

June 22, 2018

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Looking forward to the historic Vincents this Sunday the 24th in beautiful east downtown Winnetka.

We will allow a small selection of vintage European motorcycles (pre-1980) to display next to the Vincents. Motorcycle admittance will be for those with RetroMoto day passes and at the discretion of the directors at the main gate.

A limited number of paid Fuelfed Modern European members will be admitted as space allows by showing your 2018 membership card.

Numbered Donation passes may be purchased for $10 at the entry point on Lincoln by non-members driving European Classics ONLY. The $10 will be credited to membership dues if you join the club within 7 days of attending the event.
SORRY ALL OTHER NON-MEMBER CARS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO DISPLAY.

Parking starts at 9:00am.

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Display Card

We ask drivers to download windshield display cards and fill out their car’s vitals. This will allow the rest of us to appreciate the classic even if the driver isn’t near by to chat. Click on Editable pdf below to enlarge and fill in your data, then print it out. Or click on Regular jpg to print out and hand write in.

Editable pdf.

Finally, Fuelfed Coffee & Classics® is a private club event for our members and those interested in joining. The public is welcome spectate. However, those caught soliciting our members for services, products or activities outside Fuelfed authorization will be escorted out.

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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.

The Fuelfed OPEN This Sunday Morning

June 7, 2018

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Straight off the MotorGearo and into the Fuelfed OPEN this Sunday. The OPEN is for all current Fuelfed members and their American or European classic, modern sports or super cars. In other words, a big family reunion of sorts.

In 2018, there will be a suggested $10 donation for non-members displaying. This $10 will credited to your membership if you join the club.

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018

LOCATION:  FOREST & NORTHGATE IN DOWNTOWN LAKE FOREST
9:00AM -11:00AM

Public Courtesy:  This is a club event, and the public is welcome to spectate. However, soliciting services, products or activities without Fuelfed’s prior consent is strictly prohibited, and those doing so will be escorted out. To those taking pictures and sharing online, we ask you to state that your images were taken at the Fuelfed OPEN.

The 2018 MotorGearo Starts Tomorrow…

May 30, 2018

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Thirty classics and a savory crew of characters converge in remote Wisconsin for a weekend of serious driving and hearty camaraderie in what is establishing itself as one of the premier vintage rallies in the US.

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The Fuelfed MotorGearo Rally is One Week Out

May 22, 2018

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Our third annual Fuelfed MotorGearo 250 vintage rally is now full and drivers are making final preparations to their classics. We’re excited to have another great curated line-up of cars running this year. For 2018 we have several rally veterans driving from as far a Colorado.

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This year we’re seeing an uptick in British metal and downturn in German cars applying. The Italian mix has been consistent since the event inception. But everyone is well covered by the great job Hagerty does as one of our Vehicle Support Team.

We can smell the flourocarbons, cigars and cow pies already!

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Fuelfed Coffee & Classics® Barrington This Sunday Morning

May 4, 2018

This Sunday morning May 6, we continue our very successful Coffee & Classics series in Barrington for 2018. Each event draws an incredible new crop of classic European cars vastly different than what we see in Winnetka or Hinsdale or anywhere else for that matter.

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9:00am to 11:00am, May 6, 2018
The Foundry of Barrington, IL
710 West Northwest Highway (Route 14)

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Ambrosia will be serving up coffee, pastries and brunch options.

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First a little Spring garage cleaning.

1. Coffee & Classics is a private club event for current Fuelfed club members. However, if you have a classic European car manufactured prior to 1990, you can make a donation of $10 at the main gate to show your car. We encourage you to join Fuelfed and your $10 will be credited to your membership dues.

2. Please arrive at 9:00am, not 8:30am.

3. Those posting pictures online, we ask that give the courtesy to let others know you were at Fuelfed Coffee & Classics. And yes. Fuelfed has an official Instagram account #fuelfedcarclub.

4. Finally, we do not allow any soliciting, nor marketing of your car or services at any Fuelfed events.

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View Parking Map.

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Display Cards

We ask drivers to download windshield display cards and fill out their car’s vitals. This will allow the rest of us to appreciate the classic even if the driver isn’t nearby to chat. Click on image below to enlarge and fill in your data, then print it out.

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We want to thank our quality partners in alpha order:

Autosprint
Barrington Capital Partners
BTR-Chicago
Catalyst Communications
Continental AutoSports
The Finish line, Inc.
Imports Unlimited
Northshore Sportscars
Perfect Power
The Last Detail