The Dynasphere

Two prototypes were initially built: a smaller electrical model, and one with a gasoline motor that attained either 2.5 or 6  horse power depending on the source consulted, using a two-cylinder air-cooled Douglas engine with a three speed gear box, also providing reverse. The Dynasphere model reached top speeds of 25–30 miles per hour (40–48 km/h). The gasoline-powered prototype was 10-foot (3.0 m) high and built of iron latticework that weighed 1,000 pounds (450 kg). The next generation version had ten outer hoops, covered with a leather lining, shaped to present a small profile to the ground.

The driver's seat and the motor were part of one unit, mounted with wheels upon the interior rails of the outer hoop. The singular driving seat and motor unit, when powered forward, would thus try to "climb" up the spherical rails, which would cause the lattice cage to roll forward. Steering of the prototype was crude, requiring the driver to lean in the direction sought to travel, though Purves envisioned future models equipped with gears that would shift the inner housing without leaning, thus tipping the Dynasphere in the direction of travel. The later ten-hoop model had a steering wheel engaging such tipping gears, and was captured in a 1932 Pathé newsreel, in which the vehicle's advantages are first described and then demonstrated at the Brooklands motor racing circuit. A novelty model was later constructed by Purves that could seat eight passengers, the "Dynasphere 8", made specifically for beach use.

Purves was optimistic about his invention's prospects. As reported in a 1932 Popular Science magazine article, after a filmed test drive in 1932 on a beach in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, he stated that the Dynasphere "reduced locomotion to the simplest possible form, with consequent economy of power", and that it was "the high-speed vehicle of the future". An article in the February 1935 issue of Meccano Magazine noted that though the Dynasphere was only at an experimental stage, "it possesses so many advantages that we may eventually see gigantic wheels similar to that shown on our cover running along our highways in as large numbers as motor cars do to-day." According to the 2007 book Crazy Cars, one reason the Dynasphere did not succeed was that "while the [vehicle] could move along just fine, it was almost impossible to steer or brake." Another aspect of the vehicle that received criticism was the phenomenon of "gerbiling"—the tendency when accelerating or braking the vehicle for the independent housing holding the driver within the monowheel to spin within the moving structure.

On the Road Again

By Mike Satterfield

If you are wondering why we are not posting a whole lot of content... its because we are on the road. Roman is in Japan and I am volunteering in Nicaragua.

I have been working with NGO's in Nicaragua since I was 17 years old, this is my 15th trip to Nicaragua and this year we will be expanding a rural school that is serving one of the country's poorest communities. We will both be taking lots of pictures and we will post when we can.  You can follow me on Instagram @TheGentlemanRacer

Follow Roman's Trip to Japan via his Instagram @Surly1911 

Artist Feature: Lauren Over

I recently commissioned a painting by the amazingly talented artist Lauren Over and I picked it up this week. I could not be happier with the way it turned out, Miss Over own interpretation on motorsports legends like Steve McQueen and the Porsche 917 are fresh and exciting. For now it is in my office, but it is going to be featured in The Gentleman Racer garage once renovations are done.

Check out my short Vlog below that includes chatting with Lauren about the piece (Sorry about the GoPro Audio)

60 Second Touge: 2015 Ecoboost Mustang

In this short video, I get to take the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost and put it through it's paces. With 310hp the car really gets up and goes and the paddle shifters are surprisingly responsive. Check out my short review video of the car HERE.

Bodie Stroud's X-100

I don't run a lot of press releases in their entirety but Bodie Stroud's new X-100 pickup is a rolling work of art. His builds the last few years have produced some of the most impressive cars to come out of any custom shop. I don't like to call them "restomods" or "hot rods" because to me Bodie's cars and trucks are so unique in their execution that they really are in their own category. While other builders might build more exotic looking cars, the timeless styling and real world functionality is what really impresses me, Bodie doesn't build trailer queens and that you have to respect.

Check out the full press release and spec sheet below. 

THE BSI 1956 X-100:

New pickup from Bodie Stroud Industries melds the iconic style of the 1956 F-100 with a cutting-edge chassis and drivetrain to create a hand-built, all-new truck with the performance and reliability of a modern sports car.

Sun Valley, Calif. (March, 2015) – In an era when anyone can walk into a dealership with good credit and a yearning to go fast and drive out in a 500+ horsepower sports car, owning and driving something truly unique has become a challenge. With that in mind, the craftsmen at Los Angeles-based Bodie Stroud Industries (BSI) have come up with something truly special – a brand new line of hand-built, turn-key pickups with the looks and sheet metal of an American icon, subtly massaged and fitted to a modern chassis and powered by the latest engine, transmission and electronics from Detroit. The result is the world’s first all-new, turn-key 1956 Pickup: the BSI X-100.
“When most people think about classic trucks, what comes to mind is usually the 1956 F-100, it’s one of the most timeless designs of all time,” says BSI founder Bodie Stroud. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if someone put that truck back into production, preserving the truck’s basic look, but with modern suspension, a brand new Ford Racing motor and transmission, and the interior and gauges from a late-model F-150. Then we decided to just go ahead and build the X-100 as a limited run production vehicle.”

Stroud is well-acquainted with the classic lines of the Ford F-100, having built several award-winning custom trucks in the past, as well as a series of show-stopping extreme customs that fused modern tech and classic lines, like the “Real Thing” Mustang powered by SOHC 427 from a Mario Andretti race car and the “Scarliner” 1960 Ford Starliner powered by a real Ford GT engine.
BSI craftsmen begin each build with a rust-free F-100 body, which is then customized by chopping the hood and extending the body meet the running boards. A larger rear window vastly improves sight lines and further distinguishes the X-100 from a standard truck. Other exterior cues include rounded-off door corners and a one-piece tubbed bed with a hidden gas filler neck. The rollpan cleanly houses ’48 Chevy taillights, and after all the custom work the entire vehicle is massaged using time-honored sheet metal methods to make it perfectly straight and smooth, before flawless paint is laid down in the BSI booth.

The ’56 X-100 cab sits atop a custom BSI chassis that features a high-strength boxed frame, tied to a custom center section with an integrated driveshaft hoop. The front suspension is fully independent and uses BSI-designed control arms with patented EZ-Aline adjusters. This configuration allows control-arm length to be adjusted to easily set caster and camber. This unique setup not only improves vehicle handling and driver control, but also accommodates large modern wheel and tire sizes. The rear suspension uses a BSI-designed four-link setup with a Currie Enterprises nine-inch axle. Vehicle dynamics controlled by adjustable coilover shocks; a programmable airbag system is an available upgrade for owners who want to adjust ride height on the fly. Attention to detail includes cleanly routing plumbing, wiring, and an all-stainless BSI by MagnaFlow exhaust system through the frame rails.

To power the X-100, customers can choose from either a naturally aspirated 5.0L DOHC Ford Racing Coyote crate engine, which produces 412 horsepower, or they can opt for a 630 horsepower supercharged Ford Racing Aluminator 5.0L Coyote. The F-100’s powerplant is mated to a smooth and durable Ford 4R70W automatic overdrive transmission. Steering is modernized with power rack-and-pinion tied to an adjustable Flaming River column and a Flaming River steering wheel. Modern high-performance rubber is mounted to a set of custom-cut billet wheels measuring 19x8.5 front and 20x15 rear. Stopping power comes from 13-inch rotors clamped by six-piston calipers on all four corners.

The X-100 interior is again a fusion of classic style and modern convenience. The dash retains a factory look, but is custom-fabricated by BSI to accept Ford King Ranch gauges. Rather than traditional bench seating, the truck has modern fully adjustable high-back buckets for driver and passenger and is divided by a custom center console featuring a modern F-150 shifter. Vintage Air climate control keeps the cabin a comfortable temperature, whether driving in the hellish heat of Las Vegas or the frosty temperatures of the Midwest. If the vehicle ever needs service, the stock modern Ford OBDII port is located under the dash, and the entire driveline can be serviced at any local dealer, anywhere in the world.

For those who view classic trucks as the embodiment of American rugged individualism, but need something with the power, handling and convenience of a modern sports car, the BSI X-100 offers the best of both worlds, all at a reasonable price because of the program’s small-volume manufacturing process. From the moment an order comes in, to the moment the vehicle rolls out the door, everything is hand-made and hand-assembled by expert fabricators and craftsmen. The BSI X-100 is the culmination of Bodie Stroud’s decades of customizing experience and work for many celebrity clients. Passion and precision combine to make it the ultimate pickup.
For more information on Bodie Stroud Industries, visit

Vehicle: Prototype Turnkey 1956 Ford F-100 truck

Engine: 5.0 Coyote Aluminator
Forced Induction: Ford Racing Supercharger
Engine Extras: Custom Air Intake by BSI
Rear End Manufacturer: Currie
Rear End Type: 9 in. Ford
Drive Shaft: Inland Empire 3” Aluminum Polished

Type: Rack and Pinion
Manufacturer: Flaming River
Steering Column: Flaming River
Power Steering Fluid: Royal Purple

Seats: 2006 Mustang GT Custom Wrapped
Gauges: King Ranch F150 2008
A/C System: Vintage Air

Stereo System
Head Unit: Alpine
Speakers: Rockford Fosgate
Amplifier: Rockford Fosgate

Wheels and Tires
Wheel Manufacturer/Model: Boze/Fatal
Front Wheel Size: 18x7
Rear Wheel Size: 20x15
Tire Manufacturer/Model: Mickey Thompson/Sportsman S/R
Front Tire Size: 26x8.00R18LT
Rear Tire Size: 31x18.00R20LT

Paint Manufacturer: PPG
Paint Color: Custom Paint Match Candy Red
Fuel Type: 91 Octane
Fuel Pump: Aeromotive A1000
Fuel Tank/Cell: Custom Stainless Fuel Cell
Fuel Management: Ford Racing Computer
Front Manufacturer: Wilwood
Front Caliper Specs: 6 Piston
Rear Manufacturer: Wilwood
Rear Caliper Specs: 6 Piston

Battery Location: Passenger Side Under Cab
Battery Manufacturer: Odyssey

Header Manufacturer: Ford Racing
Header Details: Stock
Exhaust Manufacturer: Magnaflow 3” Stainless

Radiator: Aluminum 4 core
Fans: Two Electric 12” Fans

Chassis: Stock Custom Modified by BSI with Boxed Rails, Custom Center Section, Custom EZAline
IFS and Fourlink, Custom Hidden Raceway for Electrical, Fuel, Brakes and Air Ride.

Front Suspension Manufacturer: BSI
Front Suspension Type: IFS
Rear Suspension Manufacturer: BSI
Rear Suspension Type: Four Bar
Shock Manufacturer: RideTech
Sway Bars: Speedway
Product Sponsors
Bodie Stroud Industries turnkey 1956 Ford F-100 truck program specs
*Investments begin at $180,000
All builds include:
Custom BSI suspension with EZ-Aline Adjusters
Curtis Speed custom wheels with steering wheel option
Ford 4R70W automatic transmission with tow/haul mode
BSI dress up kit for the front end
Custom made BSI hose clamps and fittings for your plumbing
MagnaFlow exhaust package
Stainless steel fuel tank
Wilwood brakes
Color availability: “Brandy Wine” Red, Jet Black, and Midnight Blue
**Custom colors available upon request
Choice of upholstery – Leather or vinyl
Classic Option
Ford Racing Coyote 5.0 4V Crate Engine 412hp
Elegance Option
Supercharged 5.0L Coyote Crate Engine 630hp RideTech air suspension

Company selling new 20 year old restomods

So I have to admit that I jumped at the click bate of  "New 1964 1/2 Ford Mustangs revved up and ready for sale" (even though the picture is clearly a 1966) that had been popping up in my social media stream all morning. As someone who has spent over a decade working in the Mustang restoration industry, I've got a few things to say about the "World`s First Original Mustang Replica."

First off, Revology, is not doing anything new, I don't say this just to be pissy, I say this to inform people who don't have a ton of experience in the Mustang world. It's not a bad thing, but lets not pretend like swapping a 1990's spec 5.0 is groundbreaking. Power windows that use stock switches... ok, also off the shelf parts from 20 years ago, 5 speed manual transmission, another trend from the 80's. According to their video the team has put in "thousands of hours" of development... but after reading the specs...I am just not seeing it.

In my opinion you would be better off buying a replica of a car that you can't get like a GT40 or a Daytona Coupe. Just check your local craigslist, out of the over 1.2 million 64.5-66 Mustang's built you can still find a few and these are quite a bit less. Also for those who are new to the car world, just because the shell is an officially licensed product by Ford, does not mean that this car is backed by Ford.

The Revology cars start with a fresh shell from Taiwan by Dynacorn and then they orders tons of parts from the pages of just about any Mustang Catalog and BAM you have a 1995 Mustang Monthly cover car, all for just $122,000.

Now it has to be said, if you thought that a new BMW depreciates fast go ahead and try to sell one of these in a few years. The problem is that anyone can order a body for around $15,000 and build a similar car so the exclusivity of these cars is kind of hard to promote, and since it is a replica.. it will never have the value of a real car.

World`s First Original Mustang Replica from Revology Cars, Inc. on Vimeo.

Now, I am not against builders building new version of old cars, in fact I love it. However, if it was me plucking down $122,000 I would expect some amazing tech, like a 2015 5.0 V8 with a 6 speed, auto, independent rear suspension, or I would want a car that was nuts and bolts new to 1964 1/2 spec to deliver that true 60's experience of buying a brand new Mustang. But this car makes no sense to me as an enthusiast's driver's car the spec sheet is not all that impressive, as a collector... you might as well just send me the $122, would be a better investment. Couple that to the fact that you can buy a nicely restored 65 Mustang Convertible for between $25-55K all day long, this car is a head scratcher.

With just 265 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to either a 5-speed manual, or 4-speed automatic transmission it is really like time traveling to the time when 89 Mustang GT's were being salvaged for parts, if this car is a replica of anything, it's of a 1990's Mustang restomod.  According to their PR "Revology has low volume manufacturer status, and sells its cars with new VINs and titles" but I am not sure how that would translate to many states like my own, the Peoples Republic of California, which has strict laws regarding replica and speciality construction cars. Their own website says that "the process for titling and registration of a new replica automobile varies by state" so its not clear if you get a pink slip when you pick the car up or not... I am guessing you'll get a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin and then deal with your own local DMV on your own.

Check out the Fox New PR Story HERE

Check out the Revology Site HERE

Local Hero

I generally don't like car shows, most of them are populated by old men who spend all day sitting in a lawn chair next to their red 1957 Chevy,a car that only drives to and from Bob's Big Boy once a month. If they are really into it they'll have one of those creepy crying toddler dolls leaning up against the car, or a collection of themed toys (i.e. a yellow car generally is covered with Tweety Bird toys). They give their non-race car names like "Street Thunder" or "The Billy Goat" and generally have some kind of long, pedantic story about the reason they chose that name, they all start with "Well back in 1974," it will no doubt include a story about his first wife, his first car, or "the war" (you are suppose to interpret which war by guessing his age range).

These things creep me out
So when (the car show with the longest name in history) the "Lucas Oil presents the 2nd Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals - A national celebration of horsepower and torque" car show came to town, I was reluctant to check it out, but since it was close and my dad wanted to go, I grabbed my camera and headed over.

Classic Camaro taking part in the "Cruise Route"
It was pretty much your standard classic car show, vendors with booths selling the latest in billet aluminum window switches and unlicensed tee shirts. A designated "cruising route" was set up so old guys could drive around in circles pretending to be Harrison Ford and Ron Howard. Old Rockabillies co-mingle with the modern cosplay versions of themselves who are hoping to discover some long lost secret of the pompadour; all the while Wolfman Jack broadcasts from beyond the grave. I overheard some well meaning idiot trying to impress his date with his car knowledge, (she did not look impressed) telling her all about the "1967 Split Window Corvette" that "they only built a few hundred of."

Did I forget to mention that I don't care for car shows?

The most entertaining section by far was the autocross event. Guys in their Foose style roadsters, who undoubtedly have been touting the amazing performance of their hot rods for years, quickly discovered that their 1930's crap-boxes with bondo coated frames and air-ride suspension don't like to turn, or stop, or do anything except cruise for validation in the form of gentle nods from men with mullets... as they slowly roll by. These pretty boys were turning in autocross times in the mid-high 50s and providing great entertainment as they flopped back and forth maxing out their suspension and taking out cones.

Most muscle cars and late models were in the high 40's, with a late model Corvette setting the pace at a 44.5 seconds. He might have done better if his satin jacket was not causing him to slide all over the seat and his gold chains weren't getting caught up in his chest hair. But Corvette drivers have to keep to the uniform. It seemed the pro-touring cars and former SEMA cars could not even get close to the C5's time. But then Garrett Flores, an unlikely hero, pulls up to the start gate in a bone stock 1974 Dodge Coronet four door and does a 44.8. (These are the times while we were watching, the director of course can do it in 38 seconds in his new Camaro)

The chuckles from the crowd as the tired looking full size sedan lumbered around the track faded as people start realizing just how much faster he is going than many of the "Pro-Touring" muscle cars.

I had a chance to talk to Garrett after his last round and he is a true car guy. He just loves driving and this was the car that he could afford and that was available. He loves his car and said it is 100% stock, just as he found it, with the exception of replacing the transmission and doing some maintenance. While he did not beat the C5's time, I just wonder how fast he would be with some suspension and some proper tires. Seeing him drive his car and talking to him afterwards made the entire show worth attending.

Amid all of the chrome polishers with their 800HP cars that never leave the trailer and the gassers that have never see a drag strip, Garrett is showcasing the true roots of this hobby. He has a love and passion that you can't buy at Barrett-Jackson and the hobby needs a lot more young guys (and girls) like him if we hope to keep these cars on the road.

Check out the video below of his 44.8 second runs in the Coronet and more pictures of him in action.

Stock Dodge 318

More oil dumped on GMR?

According to video posted on a popular Facbook EVO fan page it looks like someone has dumped oil on purpose up on GMR this is the third time in the last few months. The last incident was just past Monday (March 9th) when a motorcyclist spotted a suspicious red SUV and over eight oil slicks appeared. The oil spots were so bad that the CHP closed the road so that Cal-Trans could clean up the oil. Read that story HERE.

Some time last night (Friday the 13th) or early Saturday morning large patches of oil, many across both lanes from dirt to dirt appeared. According to video posted to the SoCal EVO Parts for Sale/Trade/WTB by Victor Ais, there are at least 12 spots on Glendora Mountain Road with oil slicks.

"I didn't start to notice them until I felt the evo slide out of nowhere.... be careful" posted Ais.

As of this morning (March 14th) the road is still listed as open, you can check the roads status Here. I am going to go and check the road myself.

Story developing

If you have any information on who might be sabotaging the road for all who use it, please contact the California High Patrol.

Drive: 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

This week I have been driving the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Convertible. I have to admit I was not expecting much from the car since I had already once owned a 2.3 liter turbocharged Ford Mustang... and it was terrible. It was 2003 and I was working at a local Mustang parts place when I stumbled upon a 1984 Ford Mustang GT Turbo, not an SVO, same motor but non-intercooled. I restored the cars interior, buffed the paint out, added a Saleen rollbar and a Rapido Front Mount Intercooler that was originally intended for the XR4ti.

The car was so clean it was even featured by Ford on their centennial celebration website. But no matter what I did the car could not keep up with SR20 powered Nissan 240's that were becoming the car of choice for hoonigan youths, so I traded it for a MGB-GT... I know what you are thinking, but that is a much longer story (I had several other cars at the time).

Just after high school I had also had the 1990's version of this car...Mustang Convertible 2.3 automatic, a car so slow that on steep mountain passes I would have to pull over so the VW buses could pass me. So the bar for a four cylinder Mustang is pretty low.

My old 1984 Ford Mustang 2.3 Turbo
Despite my past experiences, I was excited to get behind the wheel of the 2015 since I saw the live unveil in Hollywood. The styling is a homerun, as much as I liked the retro-vibes of the last body style, it was time to make a Mustang for the next generation. I had some photo shoots to do anyways so I took the car all over Southern California.

So after over 400 miles behind the wheel of the EcoBoost Mustang, I have to say I am impressed, its actually fast, smooth, and fun to drive. This car was a fully loaded automatic and as much as I love all the gadgets like air conditioned seats, back up camera, flappy paddle gearbox, there are a few things I would not order on mine. I really would like to get behind the wheel of a manual gearbox coupe to see how the EcoBoost really handles the canyon roads. The base model is a good value as well at under $28,000 with the optional Recaro Sports Seats and Aluminum Pedals, its the best deal on a sporty coupe in town. The Premium Convertible we tested comes in at around $38,000

One thing that struck me as odd about the premium package is that the car has already been to Pep Boy's accessory department. From teal blue glowing Mustang door scuff guards, to the super annoying projected pony logo puddle lamps, everything you would expect to buy at your local autoparts store comes standard on the premium package. I suppose the pony puddle lamp is there to appeal to those last-time-buyers but it is not something I would want on my car.

On the road the car is amazing and well composed, I took it up to one of my favorite canyons, put it in track mode and manual shift (via flappy paddles) and have to say that the only thing that needs some tweaking is a slightly lower ride height and some stickier tires. The car has no problem being fun and easy to drive fast. The cars electronics keep you from downshifting incorrectly but in manual track mode the car feels, sounds, and acts like the Mustang we have been waiting for.

Check out the video below where I talk about the car and take it for a quick drive.

Judge Says Murder Charges Might Not Stick

Henry Michael Gevorgyan and Izzy Valenzuela have both pled not guilty to charges of murder. Both men have been charged with two counts of murder and one count of engaging in a motor vehicle speed contest. According to reports from the courtroom the judge said that the evidence might not back up the murder charges since the district attorney admitted that neither man was behind the wheel of the Mustang on the night of February 28th. 

The driver of the Mustang is still a mystery to the public. It is obvious that both Gevorgyan and Valenzuela should know who the driver of the Mustang was since it seems to have been a well organized event and Gevorgyan, the owner of the Mustang, was acting at the flag man for the race. Friends and family that came to court also refused to comment on who the mystery driver, that fled the scene after killing the two spectators and injuring a thrid, might be. 

Prosecutors say that the race winner stood to take home $6,000 and that over $1,000 in bets were placed by spectators over the outcome between the Mustang GT and Nissan GTR that ended tragically. Both men are still each being held on two million dollars bail as the DA wants to make an example of them, police and the LA city council are also seeking to expand their ability to seize cars that are alleged to have been used in street racing.  

Photo: Screen Grab from CBS 2 News

Baume & Mercier Capeland / Shelby

Swiss watch brand Baume & Mercier has teamed with Shelby to honor the 50th anniversary of Shelby American's first FIA Sports Car World Championship at Rheims, France. The first for an American car company.

Baume & Mercier have released these Capeland Shelby® Cobra limited edition watches, part of the Capeland collection.  The timepieces will be available at select authorized Baume & Mercier retailers stores.

“Carroll Shelby Company and Baume & Mercier share many of the same core values,” said Neil Cummings, CEO of Carroll Shelby Licensing and co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International. “Both companies entered the crucible of competition early in their histories, winning prestigious victories. Those achievements were due to a commitment to building innovative products with timeless design and then honing them through relentless testing. Our common pursuit of perfection is reflected in the quality and craftsmanship of everything we create. The combination of these two icons should result in an amazing unveil.”

“We are very proud to partner with Shelby to celebrate this special moment in the legendary automobile manufacturer’s history. Our agreement is nurtured by similar values. The elegance of lines, attention to high-quality and legacy of expertise are some of the common characteristics between our creations, our philosophy and values,” said Alain Zimmermann CEO of Baume & Mercier.

The Stainless Steel version features a blue alligator strap is lined on the inside in bold racing red.
The automatic watch will retail for $4,450.

The 18-karat 5N rose gold flyback chronograph version – fitted with a Swiss-made self-winding Dubois-Depraz movement and transparent sapphire caseback is engraved with a personal signature of Carroll Shelby. Just 98 will be made.
This version retails for $19,950.

Source: Baume & Mercier

Street Racing Ladies Charged in San Jose Crack Down

Fresh on the heels of the arrest of two street racers in Los Angeles where two spectators were killed and a third injured, San Jose Police have begun their own "Crack Down" on illegal racing. Sunday nights along Holger Way in North San Jose has long been known for illegal street racing. On March 7th officers responded to a call of drag racing, this time on a Saturday night, and for some reason they were surprised to find the alleged racers were both women.

The female car enthusiasts were identified by San Jose Police as 23-year-old Elizabeth "Liz" Galatolo of San Mateo and 22-year-old Laura Hart of Pinole. Galatolo piloting a Corvette Z06 was arrested the following day at her home, after fleeing the scene. She is being charged with reckless driving, participating in an unlawful speed contest and evading an officer. Laura Hart stopped for police and was cited for reckless driving, participating in an unlawful speed contest and her Pontiac G8 was impounded.

Video of the race was posted on YouTube by a group called Bay Area Racing, is being used to make the case against the two drivers.

San Jose Police vowed to crack down on street racing after the death of 24-year-old Kiran Pabla of San Jose. Miss Pabla, a pedestrian who was jogging on Yerba Buena Road in East San Jose, was pinned against a tree after one of the two vehicles lost control causing both to end up on the sidewalk. The incident was described by authorities as a speed contest between two cars and witnesses stated that they felt the vehicles were racing.

Read More on NBC Bay Area

Crazy Car Business Stories

Having been in the automotive industry for quite some time I thought I would take the time to write down some of the best stories that have actually happened while on the front lines of retail automotive sales.

Mustang Fakeleen:

At the dealership I worked for the owner really wanted to be a Saleen dealer, however, just down the road another local Ford dealer was the regional authorized Saleen dealer and we were out of luck. He then had the plan of creating his own aftermarket car department like Galpin, so he must have watched some episodes of Pimp my Ride for research. Having researched the aftermarket completely via MTV he hired a white guy, with a Spanish name who thought he was a rapper to run aftermarket department. I mean all the elements where their dawg.  The owner of the dealership asked him to put together a package that would rival the Saleen.

Now this guy had a history of building devastatingly bad vehicles and had worked at one of the worst companies in the aftermarket. You know the one that built products like “simulated carbon fiber spoiler” and “racing style seats” all made in overseas very poorly. So he tells the owner that he can build a complete Saleen clone “down to the decals dawg” and gets the owner to give him not one, but two brand new Mustang GT’s to do a complete “Saleen Conversion” on. I having worked in the Mustang aftermarket pointed out that they need to put a disclaimer on the car that it is not a real Saleen….but in their wisdom, they decided that that would take away from the car and they would just call it a “Saleen Equipped Mustang”.

So a customer comes in and see the “Saleen” black convertible, supercharged, complete Saleen package, (no seats, or interior modifications) and writes a check of $65,000 for his new “Saleen”. I see that one of the other salesmen is selling the car and the whole time I was trying to get anyone a manager, finance guy, even salesman, to have the guy sign a waiver stating that it is a Saleen Clone. They refuse saying “it will take away from his buying experience.” 16 months pass, and the guy that bought the Fakeleen comes storming into the dealership looking for blood. It seems he decided to trade the “Saleen” in at the BMW dealer across the street for a new M model, only to be told that his $65K+ Saleen is really a $28,000 Mustang GT with some parts on it, and it has a trade in value of about $19K, not the $45K of a true Saleen. Needless to say some lawyers got involved and the dealer wrote a big check for the full amount of the car. The buyer got to drive a supercharged Saleen equipped Mustang for a year for free. The car was later resold as a used car with the correct tags pointing out that it was not a real Saleen.

New Baby:

It was about 3 months into my sales career at a Ford dealer that I had a young couple pull up in a one year old Ford Expedition. They had a newborn baby, and walked right into the showroom floor. I did the normal “welcome to XYZ motors, I can help you” blah blah blah. They informed me that due to their newborn baby, they were looking for a Ford Excursion SUV the largest SUV sold in the US at the time. So I asked if they had other kids…NO, perhaps a large trailer or boat to tow…NO. They needed more room for the babies stuff. By the looks of the tactical assault stroller they had for this 18” tall human I could see why. I go out to do an appraisal on the Expedition that is like new, leather, fully loaded, they has a massive baby seat, a large duffle bag, and about 1.5 million toys stuffed into this car.
Thinking back on my own childhood, I recall my parents had a VW beetle, a S10 extra cab, and a old station wagon kind of like the Family Truckster from National Lampoons. They almost always had two door cars, and for a time they had a mini-van. I had two sisters so there were three of us, and we somehow fit into a 5 passenger car. My stroller folded up like an umbrella, and did not have heated hand grips or an I-pod holder. We all managed to survive… This young couple ended up buying the Excursion it cost them about $10,000 in loss on their Expedition, but at least they had enough room for baby.

Your tax dollars at work:

I was working as the Internet Sales Manager for the dealer group that included Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, and Kia when a phone call came in from a local state assemblywoman’s office. The staffer was frantic and looking for a Lincoln Towncar Signature L. These had been discontinued from regular production at the time but had been available for special fleet orders, but production was done so they were few and far between. The staffer told me that he needed two Black on Black Towncars. One for the local office and one for the Sacramento office. I put him on hold and did a search find that there were none within 500 miles and with Southern California being the hub of the automotive industry and the largest market if we did not have it, no one did.

So I Google the assemblywoman’s name and find countless bills, speeches, and articles on her green legislation, hybrid car bills, and other general tree huggery. I pick the phone back up and tell the staffer “good news I have the cars you are looking for in stock. Black on Black Ford Escape Hybrids”…. Complete silence on the other end. “Well seeing as the assemblywoman is so concerned about the environment that she keeps passing laws regulating the cars we should drive and the types of cars we should have in California, I thought she would like a car that gets double the gas mileage of a Towncar, and costs about $15,000 less” the staffer flies off the handle. “She cannot be seen in something like that she needs a prestigious car for entertaining dignitaries… if you are not willing to help us we will go to someone that will” At that point I was just laughing a the idea of a state assembly member “entertaining dignitaries”. They wanted to spend almost $100,000 for two Towncars so some hack can be driven around in by a staffer like she was the president….they did find them from a dealer in Nevada that orders them for the casinos…your tax dollars at work.

The Millionaire:

“Hello sir welcome to XYZ dealer, how can I help you” I ask to the poorly dressed, dirty, and disheveled man standing in front of a new GT500. “I want to drive it” he said. “Well sir I am sorry but no one test drives the GT500, not even me” I replied. “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM…I OWN A VIPER, LAMBORGHINI, CORVETTE, FERRARI, AND ABOUT 20 OTHER CARS, I AM A MAJOR PLAYER IN THE SUPERCAR MARKET” he yelled.

 “Well that’s all well and good sir, but the store policy is that no one drives the car until they are approved to purchase it, if you would like to fill out a credit application, I can see what I can do” I said as he cut me off. “I AM A F&%@ MILLIONAIRE; I WRITE CHECKS FOR MORE THEN YOUR ENTIRE YEARS PAY, I DON’T FILL OUT ANY F@&#ING PAPERWORK, WHERE THE F#&@ IS YOUR MANAGER.” He is turning red at this point, and about 2 inches from my face. I step back and open the door and tell him to please come in.

“Brian this gentleman would like to speak to the manger about driving the GT500” I say to the general manager who happens to be at the front of the sales tower. “Tell him no” the manger replied, but before I could say another word he explodes. “F@#& THE TEST DRIVE, I AM PAST THAT, I WILL BUY THAT CAR FOR FULL PRICE IF YOU WILL FIRE THIS SALESMAN (me) RIGHT NOW IN FRONT OF ME, THIS LITTLE PRICK TRIED TO TELL ME THAT I NEEDED TO QUALIFY FOR THE CAR BEFORE I COULD DRIVE IT, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM”. He is freaking out so the manager invites him into an office to try and claim the man down and keep the noise off the showroom floor. A few minutes later the man come flying out of the office red in the face and he yells as he leaves. “F@#& THIS DEALER, THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE WITH MONEY, AND I’LL BE BACK MOTHER F@&$KERS”

The manager comes out and just says “that guy was nuts”, we watch through the large windows to see what super car he jumps into in the parking lot. There were some major cars out there, a M6, AMG Mercedes, Ford GT in for service…. Nope he walks over to an early 1980’s Toyota pickup truck with a mismatched bed, and a bondo filled door, and burns out of the parking lot. That was amazing, but it happens that he kept his promise and the next day showed up with a sandwich board sign and one of his supercars…a gold metallic flake painted 1980 Corvette. He spent the day marched back and forth yelling and ranting about our dealer wearing his sign that had a long rambling message on it that could not be read at a distance. The police helped him leave.


We had a used BMW that was put out on the lot, a large woman in stretch pants, walks up and says I want to buy that BMW in the front, can you pull it up. I was up so it was my turn to help the tire kicker. I pull the car up and she says “I will take it for that price right there” pointing to the windshield stickers that reads $2599, the rest of the stickers, the window sticker, and the tag in the window all say $25999. I started to explain that it looks like someone has pulled a decal off and that it happens from time to time with the cars on the front line.

“Nope, not gonna work, I know my rights, that is false advertising and I am going to call the ACLU” she said. I asked her why she would call the ACLU to which she replied “they give people free lawyers for when people like you try to screw them over”. I started to laugh because it was just so crazy and she got even more pissed off. I go to move the car and have the decal fixed, when she yells to her “partner” an older man with a cane, who was wearing some very nice sweat pants that said MICKEY on the butt, to block the car, while she took photos with her camera phone. “This is for the ACLU, the shit is gonna hit the fan once this gets out” she yells at me. I pull the car away as the old man was a little slow to react and have the decal fixed.

Upon returning to the front of the dealer, I find she is now inside and yelling at the sales manager, who invites her to leave. She says she is going to wait for the ACLU to call back and then we will see what’s what. She helps herself to some free coffee and sits down in front of the TV in our service lounge. Turns out she was waiting on a car in service and was not happy that the bill was so high and that the car was out of warranty because she had never changed the oil.

Toilets are for customers:

So we are all standing around at the front of the dealership killing time on a Tuesday morning. When a really large man walks up and he looks like he is on a mission. “Can I help you sir” one of the salesmen asks. “I NEED TO SEE A MANAGER RIGHT NOW” he replies. The deskman turns around and says “What can I do for you sir?”  He looks like he is shaken like he is angry and about to cry at the same time. “I WAS JUST IN YOUR RESTROOM, AND I SAW ONE OF YOUR SALESMEN. THAT GUY (he points to Steve) USING THE HANDICAPPED RESTROOM STALL” he says.

The manager looks completely confused and replies, “Sorry about that sir, I’ll let the guys know to try and not use that stall, I am sorry if you could not access it.”  This seemed to anger the man even more… “I AM NOT HANDICAPPED, I JUST AM SICK OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU (pointing to Steve again) TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE HANDICAPPED” he said pointing at Steve with intensity. The man lowered his finger and walked away never to be seen again.

The Angry Husband:

I was walking towards the service department with one of the other sales guys when a man walks into the guest lounge. Now this guy was fairly overweight in a really bad fitting purplish colored suit. He looked kind of like he should be lecturing kids on living in an old van down by the river. He is looking all around, spinning on his heel at kind of a frantic pace; he spots me and points towards me. “You’re the guy… YOU’RE THE GUY” he says. I kind of shocked say “Who are you looking for?” he replies “You you’re the guy I saw climbing over the back fence at my house… you’re the guy that HAS BEEN SLEEPING WITH MY WIFE” he is now shouting. I am in complete shock now, never seen this guy, only sleeping with my wife, and no idea who he thinks I am. “Your name is Dave right, I saw the text messages” he says. I say… “Look man my name is Mike and I am not sleeping with anybody’s wife”. The guy’s whole mood changes… “Oh well I am sorry… I am looking for a Dave if you could point me in his direction” he said like he was asking where the drinking fountain was. Now Dave was in the back at his desk but we decided to send him across the street to a rival dealer where we told him Dave was now working.

Kia Nut I:

It was a nice normal slow weekday morning when a customer came from service and wanted to talk to a sales manager. The man was not happy that his nearly 100,000 mile Kia Spectra’s transmission was not working in the way he thought it should. The fact of the matter is that Kia had already backed up the warranty and put a brand new transmission in his car under the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Now the issue he wanted fixed was that if he runs out to the car early in the morning, and starts it, put the automatic transmission into 1st gear (not drive), the transmission tries to shift to 2nd gear when he is flooring it beyond the speed 1st gear is designed to operate at. But if he lets the car warm up for about five minutes it works fine... yeah kind of a odd problem to have.

I know it is hard to believe that 10 year old Kia with 100,000 miles on it is not as fresh and perfect as it was on day one. But the manager tries to work it out, and finds that Kia motor company has replaced the transmission, and they are not going to be replacing any of the non internal lubricated parts as per the 100,000 mile warranty. So he calls for weeks demanding that he be able to drive his car in 1st gear, as fast as he can without it trying to shift into 2nd. The service staff points out that there is very little chance that he would ever need to do so, and that if he lets the car warm up he can do it all day long.

This serves only to enrage him, and being a fireman he has more free time then most unemployed people. So he launches two websites against the dealership and one aimed at Kia. He then starts writing a blog, he even starts an online radio show to talk about how the dealer is treating him a “paying customer” like crap. The "Paying Customer" line was a joke because he never had purchase a car, serviced a car, or done any business with the dealer before the warranty claim that Kia honored. He demanded that the dealer fix his car or give him a new one, because his 100,000 mile Kia was “like new” other than the 1st gear shifting  issue.

He is getting nowhere fast with our dealership, so he ramps up the efforts, getting on local radio and TV shows and getting consumer advocates to do stories on the dealer. When they interviewed one of our dealership service guys  live on the radio they pointed out that if he let his 10 year old car warm up it worked fine, and that the dealer had offer to install the part that was not covered under warranty for the cost of parts since they had the whole transmission out when they did the warranty repair. The host was shocked because the crazy guy never pointed that little fact out to him.

So to justify his claim he said on the radio “what if I was in the mountains in the snow, and there was an emergency, and I needed to be in 1st gear, and I could not wait five minutes for the car to warm up, my life and my family's life would be in danger because of Kia and this dealership” the radio host then realized he was also dealing with a crazy man.

 He railed on for about 18 months posting you-tube videos, showing him driving in 1st gear, and blog posts, until he went to purchase a car at a Carmax, who he was so happy with and said they had a service department that knew what they were doing… the thing he did not know is that Carmax would drive all its like brand vehicles over to the same dealer he hated for all major service. In the end he ended up fading away.

Kia Nut II:

The first Kia nut never purchased a car from us, but this Kia Nut did and she wanted a Kia Optima. This 40 year old wonder was having her mommy and daddy buy it for her. Why you ask??? It’s because, she was still going to college and had been for the last twenty years. She was just about to get her BA and then go onto Law School. This special breed of stupid was trying to show how much she learned in school by getting the best deal on the car she could.

So after some back and forth we sold the car at invoice minus rebates because it was last year’s model and we wanted it off the lot. She then declared that wanted to see “the real invoice” because “you guys have fake invoices you print out, I learned that in my pre-law class”. The real odd part was she was living on campus at 40….you know that is a creepy dorm! So after five and half hours of back and forth they sign their paperwork at invoice. This is where the real nightmare begins.

First they want me to go over every nut and bolt, they even ask me to climb in the trunk to make sure that the emergency trunk release works. I declined and they all started yelling about what if someone kidnaps their baby girl and she can’t get out because it is a faulty trunk release. Then they demand that I get CD’s and test the CD player, but I need to test it with at least five different CD’s so they know that it really works. Because dealers have a special CD that works but normal CD’s won't, that way we can charge them for repairing the CD player later.

Then they demand that I check all the fluids and tire pressure in front of them. “We bought a car once and the dealer filled the oil with water so we would have to come back a few weeks later and have the engine worked on”….the mom said. Then after all they wanted me to drive around the block once more so they could check for any problems. Everything was a problem, “do you hear that?” she asked… “No that would be the normal sound that the tires make” I replied. “That old game huh, you are going to tell me it’s normal” she replied. So they drove the car back to service and the service manager who had just pulled the plastic off the car a few hours before looked at the crazy family and told them all was all normal.

So the next day I get a call, she is on the side of the freeway, and she is crying. “I have a check engine light, you sold me a lemon, you F@$%ing sold me a lemon”. I ask what she has done and she said she had just gotten gas. I told her to check the gas cap, to see if it was loose because that would trigger a warning light. As it turns out the brain trust had not tightened the gas cap all the way; it was loose and had triggered the check engine light as I told her it could. “I am not driving it you need to send a tow truck” she sobs. I tell her she can call the roadside assistance and they will take her to the nearest dealer, but the car is fine to drive.

So three hours later she calls me back and is all pissed because the tow truck had taken three-plus hours and did not take her to our dealership which was over five hours away. The truck driver towed it to the nearest dealer, who reset the check engine light, and told her all was well. My phone rings again five minutes later, it is her dad, “You owe my daughter an apology for costing her an A in her class because she was late” he says. I point out that she could have driven the car as it was just the gas cap. He cuts me off “that’s what you guys want you want us to drive the car, so that when the engine explodes you can get thousands in warranty work, we are not that dumb. “ I am thinking to myself that "yes...yes you are that dumb."

Another couple of days go by and the car shows up on a flat bed with the keys in it. I call her to see what is going on, she informs me that they don’t want that car, and have purchased a new one, and to just rip up the contract. The car has over 1700 miles on it and scratches all down the side. I point out to miss pre-law that it will be a repo on her record as the financing has already been funded, her down payment check cashed and there is nothing wrong with the car. Her dad who was on speaker phone says “she is going to be a judge one day, so you just watch yourself mister, you speak to her with respect when you discuss the law”….. I suggested she actually go to law school before advising people on legal matters. Turns out dad ended up coming to pick up the car about a month later, I guess the bank said you can take the car or a take a repo on your credit.

The really funny part was she found the first crazy Kia guys blog and posted on there about how she had wished she had found it sooner…..this is why I am out of the retail automotive business.

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson suspended again

The ninnies a BBC have suspended Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson  yet again “following a fracas” with a producer according to The Guardian. He has been involved in a number of incidents over the years for not keeping to the politically correct of the BBC.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “Following a fracas with a BBC producer, Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended pending an investigation. No one else has been suspended. Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday. The BBC will be making no further comment at this time.”

Read more at The Guardian.

GMR: Touge Sabotage

For the second time in the last month someone has purposefully dumped gallons of oil on several corners of Glendora Mountain Road. GMR is a popular destination for Southern California car enthusiasts, motorcyclists and bicyclists. It also happens to be the local road I drive. The most recent incident happened Sunday, March 8th and this time their might be a lead on who is endangering the lives of anyone who uses GMR. 

Motorcyclist Nick Seth-Smith noticed on Sunday a suspicious Red Chevrolet Suburban, thankfully he had his GoPro running and captured the SUV parked at one of the spots where oil appeared. According to Nick, the oil spills, which were so fresh you could smell the oil. All appeared after the SUV had been past and no other cars were spotted in the area around that time, between 1:00-1:30 PM.

As a result of this CHP and the forest service have closed the road to clean up the spills to prevent accidents and environmental damage. The previous spill is reported to have caused at least two minor accidents. Some in the automotive community have suggested that bicyclists are behind the sabotage, yet no evidence of that has surfaced. 

If you have any information please contact the California Highway Patrol.

According to the LA County Road Closure Site GMR is still closed check status here 

Read more from Nick and watch the video here