Looks like "The Season" is finally upon us again after two-plus years of wearing masks most of the time & hiding under our beds from the dreaded COVID monster. And remember, folks, (lest we forget): just like at the end of your favorite Seething, Slithery Scary Creatures Plus Copious Quantities of Cavernous & Curvaceous Cleavage 1980s horror movies, the Awful Thing sprawled out on the floor in a pool of gore with (take your pick:) a stake through its heart, a railroad spike through its brain or a pitchfork in either its gut or its backside is definitely NOT full dead, and will startle and shudder itself awake once more, accompanied by horrific sound effects, and scare you so much you almost forget to stare, slack-jawed, at all that cleavage.
But the point is we need to stay vigilant about COVID even as we begin to, once again, return to life as we once knew it and ease on down the road. Or racetrack...
'Nuff said.
Which brings me to:

APRIL 28-MAY 1: I will once again be hawking/signing books (hopefully somewhere up on the infield Vendor Midway?) as well as covering the event for VINTAGE MOTORSPORT magazine and maybe, just maybe, co-driving in an Enduro or two at the HSR's SttVRS (Seminal to the Vintage Racing Season) Walter Mitty Challenge at Road Atlanta. Love the event, the environs, the participants and the racetrack, and I can't resist reminding all the people I'm endlessly trying to impress that I wrote what I believe was America's FIRST EVER VINTAGE RACING FEATURE STORY about an event OTHER than the MONTEREY HISTORICS. Happened at the selfsame Walter Mitty Challenge back around 1983 or 4. It was printed/presented over several highly absorbent pages in the old, tabloid-edition version of AutoWeek (motto: "all the motoring news fit to wrap fish or line the bottom of a bird cage") and I even got paid for my efforts. Although I later got fired by then-Publisher Leon Mandel (it's hard to get fired as a freelancer, but it CAN be done!) following a wee disagreement. Then again, Brock Yates once assured me that getting fired by Leon was a major Rite of Passage in the motoring-scribe trade, and that I should consider it a badge of honor. To which I curled an upper lip menacingly and replied: "BATCHES??? I DON' GOTTA SHOW YOU NO STEENKIN' BATCHES!!!"
But I digress...
The Mitty is a swell & awesome event on both sides of the fences and (weather co-operating, of course) a splendid and oft-spectacular kickoff to your vintage racing season. Hope to see y'awl there.
I've gotten into some pretty cool cars at The Mitty. Including this utterly stupefying CanAm missile (add 950-some horsepower to roughly 1200 pounds, light fuse and hang on!):

This is of course the selfsame Shadow DN4 that won the last REAL (read: "unlimited") CanAm championship in 1974. Same year wife Carol and I were married...make of it what you will.
A memorable drive & year for sure!
More my speed are these More Manageable Mitty Motorcars that I've managed to mooch rides in over lo, these many Mitty years:

BTW, I don't own ANY of the cars shown above. Which amounts to a stunning testament vis-a-vis the generosity, largess, camaraderie, sportsmanship and sheer gullibility of an awful lot of folks who own & campaign vintage racing cars. There's more, too (only I got tired of thumbing through old pictures, as you do), including some actual race wins and podiums. Honest. But my very favorite Atlanta race was a soaking wet Enduro in the car pictured below. You'll know why when you look at the result sheet (please note Brumos' Bob Snodgrass and Hurley Haywood in the "914/6 from Hell" Porsche--and a lot of other cars--behind us)...

MAY 19-22: Hope to be flogging something Loud & Interesting around Road America at the SVRA Vintage/Trans-Am weekend, and will of course be flogging books/audiobooks in the most excellent ROAD AMERICA GIFT SHOP. Hobbs may well join me there, too. Also:

RED ALERT!!!! Remember about two years ago (pre-COVID, but I lose track) when I threatened (but failed to follow what else is new?) to auction off the original THE LAST OPEN ROAD SHOP display I built that is based on an actual, brand-new Craftsman roller cabinent lower and a large & expensive bunch of random stuff (shelving, shingles, 2x4s, lights, planks, angle iron, extension cords, you name it) I paid way too much for at Home Depot and Menards.
I assembled this homage to human engineering & design excellence with my own somewhat dubious brain and my pair of Far-Less-Than-Craftsmanlike hands and, due to our ever-expanding product line and ever-increasing number of book titles, we have sadly outgrown the damn thing.
So I'm looking for a chump (pardon me, make that "discerning prospect") who can visualize what a fine book or liquor cabinet, trophy case or (use your imagination here) to complete a truly stunning & unique, auto-themed Wreck Room, Garage Mahal, Man Cave, Car Museum or whatever.
The plan this time is to put it on Ebay come May 15 (most likely under "Car Parts" or "Collectibles" or "WWII Fighter Aircraft" or ???) with no reserve and see what it will fetch. But I would like to see it go to a good home, and am therefore open to prior offers (no, really!) and, if the right bid and warm body come along, I'll just sell the damn thing outright. It's currently located in the Road America Paddock Shop. Shoot me an email if you're interested. It looks like this:
MAY 29: Shamelessly Hawking Books at Fuelfed's excellent Cars & Coffee morning car show in my original hometown of Winnetka, IL, followed by watching the one and only Indianapolis 500 with some friends. Hopefully in a properly rowdy and well-lubricated establishment with cheap, excellent food and no rap music on the jukebox. Possible alternative plan is for Carol & I to skip the car crap and do the wonderful, charity Bike The Drive again along Chicago's beautiful lakefront. We'll see.

Yep, Carol & me are once again headed to La-La Land, where we will see our kids again (Jeez, it's been two years!!!) and stay with them until they don't want me back for another two years. I'll be doing a book signing at Autobooks/Aerobooks in Burbank (a worthy destination ANY time) on Saturday morning, June 11th. So listen up all you West Coast Types who don't yet own a copy of the NEW, Steamroller III book or the amazing and highly entertaining audio book version of The Last Open Road!)
Monday, June 13: I'm filling in as a guest instructor (blind leading the blind, etc.) at the Alfa Romeo Owners Club National Convention track day at Willow Springs Raceway, followed by the same group's Group Tour of the Petersen Museum on Tuesday, the 14th. And then the raison d'ete of the entire trip comes into focus as, come the end of the week, we head on down to Coronado Island off San Diego for...
June 17-19: The bare truth is that the Alfa Romeo Owners Club host region (Southern Cal, natch) failed miserably as far as getting a real headliner for their annual convention (read: "Leno couldn't make it"). They subsequently discovered that I was thoroughly, even embarrassingly available and that I'd moreover work cheap. The net result is that (insert trumpet fanfare here, typesetter) I am their official banquet speaker on Saturday night and will do my level best to:
1) Stay sober
2) Keep it lively & entertaining
3) Failing 1 & 2 above, keep it mercifully SHORT
4) Plug the living bejeezes out of my books, which we will most certainly & naturally have on sale before, afterward and anyplace else on the program where we can find a table and a couple chairs...
We're also planning to have a Buddy Palumbo Award at their Saturday Concours, which will go to a car (an Alfa, natch) that was restored, repaired, resurrected or kept in semi-operational order by its owner(s), and is moreover used on at least a semi-regular basis to carve up canyon roads, cruise beautiful boulevards, stir through the gears, nip through the pylons and make sweet twincam music...

I'll be doing much the same (but with a fake British Accent and much deeper twincam music) at the sure-to-be-lovely Jaguar Club gathering in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, July 22-24 (one week after the incomparable WIC Vintage Racing Extravaganza at Road America). But let's cross that Lloyd Bridges when we get to it...

Robin once again had his hair-trigger synapses ready and was first to properly recognize the shot above as from the 1957 National Havana Race in Cuba, This was a curtain-raiser race for local talent only, and the Mercedes 300SL above was driven by Modesto Bolanos, who came 2nd to another 300SL driven by Santiago Gonzalez. We received a truly amazing number of right answers, some from folks who were actually there in person when the race took place!

OK, car-keen cinema buffs: please identify:
1) In what movie did a barrel-rolling C1 Corvette roadster turn into a Henry J two-door coupe in mid-roll?
2) What movie opened with a drunk-driving Robert Stack being terrifically irresponsible at the wheel of a bright yellow & fast-moving Allard J2X?
3) Did "BS" Levy REALLY stunt drive one of the cop cars in The Blues Brothers movie?
4) In what movie did "Norman Bates" drive a Triumph TR3A (so there, Bob Allen!) with wire wheels?
5) In what movie did the same actor commit suicide by driving an Aston Martin off a cliff?
6) What famous music-movie star raced an Elva Mk. VI? OK, smartypants, what number did it wear?
7) Who won the very last Australian Grand Prix?
8) What make and model car did James Dean drive over that cliff in Rebel Without a Cause?
9) What kind of car did Terry Thomas drive in School for Scoundrels? What was it really?
10) What was the first-ever James Bond sports car?


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: