(and about time, too!)

Okay, some folks finally figured out that the guy behind the wheel with the goggles on below is (drum roll, please): Carroll Shelby. I think...

So here's how it happened. Way back many, many months ago, I was researching something-or-other for a story or a column (don't ask me what it was supposed to be about, because I can't remember) and I went through one of those deals where you turn over a [cyber] rock and find something interesting underneath. Along with a link that takes you to yet another [cyber] rock and there's something fascinating under that one. Plus a link to yet another [cyber] rock and...but you get the idea, don't you? The problem, however (at least if you're actually attempting to accomplish anything besides knowing a bunch of stuff that nobody really cares about...and this is a congenital problem with all historical research) is that there are an infinite number of rocks. And at some point you've got to get on with that story you're trying to tell and forget about that tantalizing next rock in the series...
The above is made more complicated by the fact that, even if you have an incredible memory with everything neatly filed away in file drawers, cases and cabinets, as you get older, some laughing little geriatric gremlin comes along and takes all the labels off. Or, worse yet, mixes them up. The end result is that, although you still HAVE all those memories, access--particularly prompt, reliable access--becomes a bit of a problem.
So what happened here is that, under about the fifth or eighth or twenty-seventh [cyber] rock in some particular series, I found the photo above. With caption. And I swear by Almighty God and my bottle of Tums 1000s that the caption identified the gent on the right (with the goggles on) as a very early Carroll Shelby and furthermore identified the car as some kind of racing special I never heard of (don't believe it's an Allard...just look at the frame tubes, the trailing link to the rear suspension and what just may be a flathead Ford under the hood) and also identified the venue, which I seem to recall was in Texas or Oklahoma or someplace. But I could be mixed-up about that, since I can't even remember my last haircut (although there's a lot of that going around these days...)
Bottom line is that, with the hint to check out the guy with the goggles and the previous hint that it had something to do with Texas, the (I think) correct answers started coming in. And the very first one came from my artist friend Roger Warrick, who is justly famous for his THE LAST OPEN BAR (see pic below) series of "famous racers in famous bars" paintings. We sell them on the website, BTW.

And, if you want a really SPECIAL Fathers' Day Gift, scroll down a bit and discover that Roger can paint YOU (or someone you want to thoroughly glorify and amaze) INTO THE PAINTING!!! WOW!
While you're shopping, you might also want to look at all of our exceptional THE LAST OPEN ROAD clothing items, decals, license plate frames, and of course the books themselves. And the new audiobook, of course.
I'm assuming that some of you out there actually enjoy reading my drivel (thankyou!thankyou!thankyou!) or, conversely, are extremely hard up for free entertainment these days (did your cable get cancelled? How could that EVER be less important than food or toilet paper?). So here's the deal. Pete Vack runs a site and an very lovely, interesting & informative e-newsletter under the VELOCE TODAY name, and it's aimed mostly at folks of taste, style and class who just flat LOVE classic Italian automobiles. Especially fast and beautiful ones. And I'm talking your true road and racing icons here, not your straked-intake, flared-out, scooped and winged, hyped-up modern hypercars that are only really good for:
a) getting that parking spot right in the middle of the goddam valet stand in front of the trendy new restaurant that everyone who can't really afford it is just dying to get into
b) attracting luscious, bosomy, lithe and limber young women who will see you in court somewhere down the road
c) getting you lots and lots of speeding tickets
d) impressing people you don't really want to meet anyway
Yeah, Pete Vack's pretty much a purist when it comes to marvelous, excellent and evocative cars (mostly Italian, but not all) and in spite of his high-line approach, content and production values, he's seen fit to use some of my stuff from time to time to, shall we say, balance things out from a class and breeding point of view.
Anyhow, my first effort appeared last week (stories of my early days of driving death-trap TR3s and selling Alfa Romeos in downtown Chicago) and if you'd like a peek:
Comments so far have been mostly positive, so I'm hopeful he'll have me do more. We'll see.
And, yes, I'm working hard and getting a lot done on the new book. Really I am. Honest...


and about effing time!

What car?
Who was driving?

Catch the latest poop & pictures, the Jay Leno interview, Last Open Road swag & highly inappropriate attire from Finzio's Store and the lurid & occasionally embarrassing "ride with Burt" in-car racing videos on the hopefully now fully operational website at: