Retro Motors USA Blog
The Perfect Gift for Your Favorite Motor Head!
We recently flexed our marketing muscle on behalf of automotive writer Diego Rosenberg. Long toiling behind the scenes writing copy for enthusiast magazines and websites, he has released his first book.
We give it two thumbs up, and for the first time in our life we regret not having a third thumb. We'd use it here if we had it!
Now Dig This: Diego has agreed to sign a copy for you, or for your "giftee", for FREE if you purchase with the Coupon Code Below.
Selling the American Muscle Car takes you through Detroit's glory days, when to win on Sunday at the local drag strip meant sales on Monday. Learn about the corporate titans that got to green light your favorite ride, and the performance and marketing efforts that the big three put into place, in their frenzied rush to grab your attention... and your dollars.
How rare is rare? Production numbers tell the story. Tons of photos, many in jaw dropping color, take you straight back to the day.
Being the marketing wonks that we are, when we got our copy, we spent a full ten minutes just drinking in the inside front cover placement of the 1969 Mercury "Street Sweeper" double truck ad layout! Looking at the Peter Max-like artwork and reading the compelling reasons to buy my own "sure footed cat" flashed me straight back. And that's before turning page one!
Full Disclosure: Diego is our client, one we solicited after a mutual marketing pal made the introduction. Yet even if we found this book for sale elsewhere, we'd yearn for that third thumb.
Here's the Deal: Visit Diego's site sellingmuscle.net. Choose a signed copy of the book, and then at checkout use the Coupon Code: ThanksDiego! to remove the signature charge from your order!
This is Diego's first book, so who can predict the future value of a first edition volume, signed by the author? Certainly not us, though we can tell you that the info found inside this tome is priceless to motor heads like us!
Order early to avoid disappointment, as quantities are limited and this offer expires at midnight, December 12th, to allow plenty of time for shipping.
Advertising, muscle cars - we even get a smiling Mr. Norm on the cover!
Don't be Distracted by the Political Circus
When folks talk about our government today, most conversations center around the upcoming presidential election. While I do not want to diminish the importance of this dialog (if we can call it that) or the vote you may are preparing to cast, if you are motor-heads like us, listen up - a disaster lurks around the corner and your vote on this is needed NOW.
While the EPA backed down from it's proposed, specific language prohibiting ANY modification to a factory produced vehicle (a change that would have made NASCAR, NHRA and other popular forms of motorsport illegal by definition) we are now back to the nebulous position we were in before. The EPA, a branch of our federal government, wants us to just trust that they won't do anything to hurt our pastimes or the industries that thrive on them.
I don't trust 'em.
Having shown their cards already, we cannot go back to the status quo. We need specific language drafted into law that expressly protects racing. The SEMA Action Committee not only has this for your review, they have made it as easy to alert your senators and representatives as shifting gears with pushbutton automatic in a 1960 Rambler.
Cast your vote - even if you are NOT a racing fan. This is a textbook case of government over-reach - the government regulating as they see fit, not based on the will of the people.
If they are successful in stripping away this liberty, they may come after your clan next. With our vote, We The People get to remind the government that they all work for us. let us learn from history lest we repeat it:
"First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
-- Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
Don't let this happen to you. Vote!
Those were the days... and in 336 places across America, those days still include these days!
Plenty of fond memories from my drive-in days; back in High School it was the Ironwood Drive-In in Michigan, where I often booked passage in the trunk of Mark Wesenberg's '64 Impala.
For us here in south Florida today, the Swap Shop is our local drive-in, opened in 1963 by owner Preston Henn. Think we could get him to schedule a midnight double-feature with American Graffiti & Two-Lane Blacktop?
Check out the full article on Yahoo.com to see where your closest drive in is, and make plans to enjoy these unique bits of Americana before they disappear completely.
Fun on wheels (and where to find it)
Cars. People. Fun. Mix 'em all together and you get people having fun on wheels. Vary the proportions and you create wildly different experiences that have these three things in common. Here are just two of our favorites.
Viewing cars as art
You don't have to know a cubic inch from a cubic zirconia to appreciate the lines, shapes and forms found in classically styled automobiles. Designers in Detroit were heralded as heroes back in their day, and from their fertile minds sprang exciting designs that spoke of speed and prestige and freedom. Every year an inspiring new lineup of vehicles was unveiled, and eager American consumers enjoyed a seemingly limitless smorgasbord of choices.
These designs in turn inspire others to push the limits ever outward. One such chap is Ron Berry from Utah, whose latest, German-inspired creation was showcased by Dennis Gage on his show My Classic Car.
Hopefully seeing this motivates you to seek out car shows in your area. For us in south Florida that will be the fast approaching Fast Expo. Reach out if you're going and would like to meet up. For the rest of y'all, here are some places to find out what's up in your jurisdiction.
While trophies are awarded at car shows, the judging is quite subjective. A different group of judges or attendees could produce different results from the same field of cars.
Our need for speed
By contrast, judging is absolute at the drag strip. All judging is done within the strict confines of a precisely measured 1/8 or 1/4 mile track. Finish first = win. leave too soon = lose.
The sights, sounds and smells of drag racing combine to form an irresistible elixir for some, and for many of those the attraction began at an early age. With such a tenured fan base, there is deep appreciation for the history and tradition of the sport. And so it's somewhat understandable that a pending rule change in the NHRA has more than a few folks vexed.
This year the Pro Stock classes will switch to electronic fuel injection from the traditional carbureted set-up. Gone are the bulging hood scoops, replaced with sleek, flat canvases for sponsor logos. The video below shares some perspective - the last time the Pro Stock rules changed was 1982. Stat Guy Lewis Bloom breaks it down for us, and we get a splendid treat in the vintage NHRA footage featuring color commentary our hero Chris Economaki.
On the upside the rule change should shuffle the deck a bit, as everyone has to start with a brand new tune, so we'll no doubt see some exciting racing in Pro Stock this year. But don't get us started.
We could go on all day and long into the night about how racing at ANY drag strip strip is worthy of ogling, but it's best if you see, hear, smell and feel for yourself.
Apologies to promoters we missed; submit your info and we'll update. All are welcome to request recommendations for their specific area.
They Made It!
Hemmings Motor News posted a splendid article yesterday letting the automotive faithful know the three classics participating in 'The Drive Home' have successfully arrived at their destination. From their home at America's Car Museum in Tacoma Washington, a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad, a 1961 Chrysler 300G and a 1966 Ford Mustang travelled nearly 3,000 miles, arriving in Detroit for their place in the North American International Auto Show.
Fitted with nothing more than Michelin snow tires and wrapped in clear vinyl to protect their finishes, the trio traversed mountains, crossed rivers and generally enjoyed 13 days of automotive bliss, motoring back to the town where they were born. The trip was completed without incident... except for the big smiles and thumbs up from passers by, and the warm conversation at the gas pump and dinners as they continued to head east.
The Hemmings piece does a nice job painting a picture in words of a time gone by, a time when American Made, American Pride and the American Dream were still very much a part of day to day conversation. And admittedly we may be a bit biased about this road trip since two of the three vehicles on the trip share DNA with cars we're bringing to market.
Check out the photos on Hemmings to see the cars at their road grimiest. They plan to remove the dirt (and the snow tires) before the NAIAS begins on January 11th. If you're able to attend, feel free to share your thoughts (and photos0 here.