Sometimes world events just overtake you. And, sadly, it's more often when you're overcome with outrage and indignation than when you get a rush of warm feelings for your fellow man (or woman) and their efforts & accomplishments. But here it is again, playing out in our heads and hearts as it blares at us out of our TV screens. Not sure I have anything useful to say or add, but making a condemnation of Putin's actions in Ukraine more visible, painful and unavoidable to the Russian public would be at the top of my list. And I think the best small-but-effective way to do that is via a cultural, sports, hobby and artistic embargo/quarantine on everything Russian. Just like the invasion, it is unfair and does indeed impact and affect innocents...but the message here needs to be clear, decisive and unavoidable.

You can take my soapbox now, sonny.
I've got nothing more to say.

Meanwhile, back in the small world of my own life, books and meaningless Car Fun, we've been feeling the slow, silent sense of the world (and the sport) re-awakening, and it's pretty exciting and involving stuff.
Been shipping a lot of orders lately and also getting all the myriad details in place for the new distribution deal we signed with the SPU (Small Press United) division of IPG (Independent Publishers Group), which will hopefully GREATLY enhance our presence and visibility in the mainstream book store/web retailer market while not usurping or interfering with our existing home website and niche motorsports marketing efforts. It's a hell of an opportunity, but there's a lot of techie/detail stuff involved that I'm not very good at.
My brain's on the other side of my head.
Ask anyone...
So the planned schedule has been moved back a bit while I struggle to get my shit together, and the Big Push with press releases, publicity etc. will commence in May with the idea of making the greater world aware of my books/e-books/audio book/associated merchandise in plenty of time for Fathers' Day buying and giving. In that regard, PUH-LEEZE display those THE LAST OPEN ROAD decals anywhere people might see them. In fact, please send pix of them on unusual cars or in unusual places. But if you get arrested for trying to put one on the butt cheek or joystick of Michelangelo's David in the Galleria dell'Academia, don't expect us to bail you out of jail in Florence. Or anywhere else, for that matter.
Sadly giving The Amelia Island Concours a pass this year, as there are no planned/authorized book signings and the New Regime has eliminated some awards--our Buddy Palumbo Award among them--in order to shorten and streamline the prize-giving ceremony. Which is understandable, as it did tend to run a bit looooooooooong. That said, I think the concept was a good one: a special prize for someone or some ones (a husband and wife would be ideal) who did the bulk of the restoration & show prep work themselves and moreover USE the damn car from time to time to go places and stretch its legs.
So I am hereby offering/allowing/encouraging ANY concours or car show to add a "Buddy Palumbo Award" to an entry that meets the same criteria. We may even help.
Emphasis on "may"...
Speaking of Amelia (and Sebring), looks like we'll be missing our longstanding buddy/friend/bad-behavior enabler Ed Kovalchick, as he's currently in the shop for a ring-and-valve job. Look forward to seeing & schmoozing with him again on the other side of the downtime. Get better, Ed!


Looks like fellow author/more-famous-by-far friend David Hobbs and I will once again be book-signing buddies/sparring partners at the Sebring Hall of Fame "Gallery of Legends" car display during IMSA's MOBIL 1 12 HOURS of SEBRING March 16-19. His autobiography "HOBBO" is almost as entertaining as the guy himself. Almost. You NEED a signed copy (as you do of all my books). We'll also likely be joined by fellow-scribe Sean Cridland, who did an outstanding job on his bio of Hurley Haywood, and his voluminous, 3-volume history of Brumos Porsche has earned great reviews and widespread acclaim. But you'd best have him ship it or bring a wheelbarrow to carry the damn thing back to your car or motor home.

Big difference this year is that the whole "Gallery of Legends" affair has been moved to the ballroom of the Seven Sebring Raceway Hotel (useta be "Chateau Elan") overlooking the Sebring Hairpin. Not entirely sure of the exact hours yet, but we'll be there for sure.
Watch this space for further details...

Speaking of Sebring, congratulations all 'round for the recent purchase of the HSR vintage-race sanctioning body by IMSA (itself an orbiting satellite of the NASCAR conglomerate). You have to love it when good things happen to good people, and, IMHO, you couldn't find two nicer (or straighter, sharper or harder working) guys than my friends John Doonan of IMSA and the HSR's David Hinton (who will stay on to oversee things in the HSR universe). Think it's great that IMSA wants to (very rightly) pay homage to its history, and what better way than with a bunch of loud and wonderful old analog racing cars running around out there to tickle memories and imaginations.
All the very best to everyone involved!

Carol & I attended the Chicago Region SCCA "Holiday Awards Banquet" last weekend, and it was held at a wonderful venue, The Klairmont Kollections (click for info) on Chicago's NW side, and I want to recommend it to you. What a fabulous place. Larry Klairmont made more than a few fortunes during his lifetime (he passed away last July) in the dry cleaning and real estate businesses, and he flat LOVED wonderful, beautiful, curious, odd and/or interesting automobiles. So he bought a whole bunch of them. And they're now on display--hundreds of them--in an amazing museum-event venue-eclectic motoring venue/cultural sideshow at 3117 N. Knox in Chicago. It's open Thursdays through Sundays and it's REALLY worth a visit (see pix below), as some really neat and evocative cars are mixed up with all sorts of machinery, motor scooters, mannequins & memorabilia (the Titanic room/Batman's Batcar/Count Dracula/strange Kustom Kars/movie cars, etc.) and who wouldn't want an entire, 2nd floor display room full of microcars. I mean, who DOESN'T need a whole freaking phalanx of Austin Bantams? Or a Gogomobile? Or a King Midget? And that's besides all the Rollses, Cadillacs, Packards, Hispano Suizas etc. on the ground floor. Budget at least a couple hours. You'll need it.

Well, we've sold a whole bunch of these new T-shirt things above (thankyouthankyouthanksyou), but the question looms: "why so many 2XLs and 3XLs and hardly any Mediums and no Smalls at all?" Does this say something about our friends, fans and followers? Well, does it?

In an effort to avoid the above (and in the wake of The Pandemic, our Health Club of several decades closing and my ill-timed/ill-considered knee bashing last July), Carol and I have re-joined the local park district and are doing exercise/yoga classes again. Which is a wonderful addition/augmentation to our regular long walks (weather permitting...we DO live in the mizzable midwest) and the exercise equipment we use regularly but without great joy down in the dungeon.
I mean basement...

Am working this very afternoon on getting the Kindle version of the latest book (STEAMROLLER III) up on Amazon. Ran into some unprecedented problems in linking the Table of Contents to the individual chapters (THAT never happened before!) but we're hopefully rounding the final turn. Also working on a downloadable version of the audio book, but it's still a ways away. As ever, watch this space.

Last, I'm noodling around the edges of the new book (which, I promise, will be the last in the series) and we've already scored & taken $$$ from a couple eager sponsors before we even solicited anybody. But some folks just need to be in on the ground floor, don't they. And thanks to them!

It's what sets you apart from average folks!
A few of you (particularly, but not entirely, from the UK) recognized the device below as one of Derek Buckler's "Buckler" racing cars (more proof, as if any were needed, that--as Buddy Palumbo noted--anyone with a pile of scrap metal, a welder and a few junkyard car parts can set himself up in the sports car manufacturing business in England). All y'gotta do is hang out a shingle...
One responder even claimed that the car shown below was the "Buckler-Climax Le Mans car," but I'm not sure a Buckler ever ran at Le Mans. In fact, I'm pretty sure not. Then again, as sure as there's wax in a gentleman's mustache, there's probably a Buckler Car Club still showing a pulse somewhere in the U.K., and I'll likely be getting mail from their outraged club secretary.
I won't even open it...
Life's too short.


A thoroughly amazing number of folks recognized the ersatz Jaguar Mk. II sports sedan above as a thoroughly Japanese Mitsuoka Viewt. Introduced in 1993 and built on the rather uninspiring underpinnings of a Nissan March/Micra "econobox," it's an answer to the question that nobody with any taste or respect for history (or copyright laws) ever asked. Believe it or not, they sold something like a thousand dozen of the damn things. Along with a Rolls-Royce sorta lookalike (at least if you'd had about ten double scotches) called the Galue. And the "galue" that holds the whole thing together are folks who are more interested in the STYLE of something rather than the specifications, sensations or satisfactions it may offer.
For those whose curiosity is piqued, Mitsuoka also made a flounder-like "sports supercar" sort of thing called the "orochi" (see pic below) which both looks and sounds like something you'd find on your plate at a sushi restaurant:


OK, racing history buffs, answer me this: Where? When? What Car (too easy!)? Who is 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: