This link is currently down
thanks to the legal types at NBC,
who apparently think we're
trying to get away with something.
We're trying to figure out what?

Okay, I've been good. Honest I have. Busy, too. I've been chained here to my computer, flogging away like mad on the new "Steamroller II" book (see below, although you can tell it's an older picture on account of the lack of gray and the hair on top) and I'm making great progress. Really I am.

But that also means I've skipped all the fun (not to mention potential ride mooches in magnificent race cars I could never dream of affording...see pix below from years past) at Brian Redman's always great Targa 66 deal in West Palm Beach, Fla. back in February:

By the way, if you'd like to see a short video clip of me flogging the living shi...I mean, "experiencingand evaluating" this wonderful, race-winning (1967 12 Hours of Reims), 427 cubic-inch, 200+mph Ford MK. IIB from the fabulous Revs Institute Collier Collection in Naples, Florida, CLICK HERE

I also grudgingly took a pass on the Sebring 12 Hour in March (even though we coulda probably sold enough books there to more than pay for the trip to Florida in the middle of a truly cold, miserable & snow-encrusted Chicago winter) and I likewise missed out on my very favorite Concours d'Elegance ["car show" for youse who don't parlez-vous le Francais] of the year at Amelia Island.

That was a tough one, since Amelia always draws wonderful cars, enthusiastic crowds and lots of famous & fantastic motorsports/gearhead personalities. CLICK HERE to see pix etc. from this year's show. Plus we've been sponsoring a "Buddy Palumbo Award" down there for quite some time, which is given to someone who restored the car themselves (and I'm talking with their own two scarred, scraped, burned, blistered, bruised & disfigured hands here) and moreover drove the damn thing to the show.

I like to think it's a pretty cool concept.

Or, in plainer language: screw all those pampered, over-polished, way-too-perfect trailer queens....

Great motor cars wuz meant to be DRIVEN!

My accomplished friend Ted Wenz (better known as one of the top racing engine builders in the on the name to visit his SAVANNAH RACE  ENGINEERING

website) is also quite the talented and whimsical, weld-it-together-out-of-busted/blowed-up engine parts metal sculptor. He did our very first "Buddy Palumbo Award" back in 2007 (see below)

and this year he was kind and/or stupid enough to do it again. He came up with something truly wonderful (as always...see work-in-progress pic below, better pix coming).

And then, in my absence, my friend/event chairman Bill Warner's skilled, knowledgeable, well-qualified and hard-to-bribe judges made a great selection to receive it. They picked the Lane Motor Museum's recently completed replica of the ingenious, iconic, outrageous, intriguing, infamous and also somewhat nutty Buckminster Fuller "Dymaxion" of 1933.

Now old Bucky Fuller was either an inspired, visionary, way-ahead-of-his-time, neo-futurist architect-cum-engineer-cum-inventor-cum-author-cum-systems theorist-cum-renaissance man or a loony, loopy, loose-cannon, tossed-out-of-Harvard-for-partying-with-a-blessed-vaudeville-troupe wack-job (depending on who is doing the describing). Bucky believed to the core of his very being in an evolved, enlightened, reason-driven and technologically-enhanced future that, well, might remind you just a wee bit too much of an H.G. Wells science-fiction novel.

Everybody knows Buckminster Fuller promoted and popularized the golf-ball shaped geodesic dome [see Epcot Center] as his lasting contribution to modern residential architecture (although you rarely see them represented these days on those home-makeover shows wife Carol enjoys so much) but he had some equally far-out notions about what we should be driving. Which he brought to life as the Dymaxion (see below, getting our award at Amelia)

Now the forward-thinking, aerodynamic Dymaxion made the offerings of the rest of the automotive world look positively midieval back in 1933. According to Bucky Fuller and his shadow-pack of acolytes, it could carry up to 11 human beings, cruise comfortably at a mile a minute and turn and park in heavy city traffic in little more than the length of its own wheelbase. And there were even plans for adding removable, inflatable wings so it could also fly....

I am not making any of this up.

Unfortunately, there were a few little technical details that would have raised eyebrows at any race shop or street-corner gas station on the planet. Starting with the startlingly unusual (!!!), 3-wheeler/front-wheel-drive chassis layout, which featured an ordinary Ford third member solid axle in front (just like what you might find underneath the BACK end a 1933 Ford sedan), a Ford Flathead V8 kind of sitting in the middle driving those front wheels and a single, tiller-style wheel in the back to steer the damn thing. Oh, the Dymaxion could turn on a dime and give you eight cents change, but the handling and road-holding were, umm, shall we say, "unconventional?" Sort of partway between a flat-front skiff with an over-sized outboard motor on the back and one of those carpet-covered-platform-and-brass-rails, bang-it-off-the-walls "caster carts" they give you to take your effing luggage to your room at a Holiday Inn.

Suffice to say that the very first Dymaxion (three were ultimately built) was involved in a very serious accident--with fatalities--early on in its career. But even so, its forward-thinking design attracted the interest of all sorts of trendy, upper-crust, high-society, intellectual/influential wealthy-dilettante types. Including bucks-up playwright Clare Boothe Luce (her husband published Time, Life and Fortune magazines) and socialite Dorothy Hale (who jumped to her death four years later off a Manhattan skyscraper after failing to make it as an actress). Those two adventurous ladies took an extended (and accident-free) trip around Connecticut in a Dymaxion in 1934 with Bucky Fuller's associate and project development engineer Isamu Noguchi doing the driving.

In any case, I don't think Karl Benz, Vittorio Jano, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, Hans Ledwinka, Wilfredo Ricart, Colin Chapman, Smokey Yunick, Quin Epperly, Bob McKee, Bill Sadler, Bob Riley, John Barnard, Adrian Newey or even old Max Balchowsky (bonus trivia points if you know all fourteen of those guys without resorting to a google search) would have though very much of the Dymaxion's chassis dynamics. Nonetheless, it's kind of a monument to old-fashioned American ingenuity and a certain type of strange, science-fictiony theoretical conjuring. And I'm thrilled that my good friends at The Lane Museum decided to build a replica of it and put it on display where we can all see it, and even more thrilled that it won the "Buddy Palumbo" award at Amelia this year. And extra kudos to museum founder and sparkplug Jeff Lane, who [it says here] drove the damn thing down from Nashville himself.

And what a scary ride that must have been!

By the way, if you're ever passing by or through Nashville, I heartily recommend visiting the LANE MOTOR MUSEUM (click on the name to visit the website) as it is a fantastic collection of the fascinating, interesting, compelling and--most of all--odd and unusual artifacts and/or aberrations of automotive history.

You will not be disappointed!!!!

Other Stuff
The new book continues to take shape (I think you'll like it) and we're still pretty much on track to launch it (God willin' an' if the crik don't rise) at this years THE HAWK Vintage Race Meeting Extravaganza at Road America July 17-19. I hope.
And that reminds me: we're still busily running up the old phone bill looking for sponsors and advertisers. It works like this:

ADVERTISERS: Hey, if you'd like to reach out to a focused, educated, knowledgeable, mostly well-to-do (read: cash-in-hand) petrol-head audience (plus a couple high school English classes, a bunch of library collections and a few book clubs that took some bad advice somewhere along the line) with an ad that will last damn near forever and get picked up and passed around to friends long after those monthly magazines are tied up in bundles and tossed in the trash bin, 
Ad rates are competitive (slightly less, even) than similar-audience monthly magazines and, unlike those monthly magazines, they'll last until the middle of a nuclear winter or till the blessed sun fizzles down to a cinder. Call (708) 383-7203 during regular office hours (I might actually be there) or e-mail me at for more details than you probably want to know.

INDIVIDUAL SPONSORS: Okay, it's two-hunnert-and-fifty bucks American. And all you get for that is your name (or the name of a special friend, spouse, loved one, racing buddy, crew chief, client, customer, deserving deceased individual or favorite bail bondsman) listed until the end of time (or, as above, until the sun fizzles out) on the sponsor page in the book. Plus one of the nifty, exclusive, leather-bound, coffee-table-quality sponsor/advertiser special editions, a regular "beater" copy to actually read and a classy "200mph STEAMROLLER Sponsor/Sucker" embroidered polo shirt that you will be proud to own but embarrassed to wear.
We've made it real easy, too. Just CLICK HERE and you're in!

CAR CLUBS (or any other kind of clubs...we're not fussy) & non-profits: You can do a business card-sized full-color ad for your group for $300, and you can also get fancy discounts on bigger ads if you really want to show off.

PEOPLE WITH COOL, ODD OR INTERESTING CARS: Want a picture of your favorite race car, collectible car or ratty old rust-bucket in the book (lasts forever, remember)? See deal above.

Again, the number to call is (708) 383-7203 (M-F 9-5 CDT unless I'm out screwing around someplace) or, better yet, shoot me an e-mail at
Besides working on the new book, I have managed to sneak out for a couple nifty local events, including a tour of a very surprising private collection here in Chicago (I could tell you where it is, but then I'd have to kill you) with a lot of very cool & significant cars tucked away in a really nondescript location not far from Chicago's loop. Including a rare & flamboyant Woodill Wildfire parked between a Kurtis (later to become the Muntz Jet) and a Kaiser Darrin. Many other wonderful cars, too. Great stuff.

Carol and I also attended the VSC Pot-Luck Luncheon/Garage-Crap Auction hosted by my longtime friend and onetime track nemesis John Welch at David Cooper's fascinating, amazing and always immaculate COOPER TECHNICA  restoration shop in Chicago (click to see the website). The food was varied (!!!), excellent and provided in prodigious quantity (more "!!!"), the company was wonderful, there were some fabulous classic cars (see Bugatti, MG TC and Citroen "Charleston" Deux-Chevaux below) and restoration projects on display.

My friend Bob Joynt served as master-of-ceremonies/stand-up comic/auctioneer (see below) for the most incredible collection of ancient, interesting & mostly useless car-guy crap you ever saw in your life.

The prices were reasonable, too.
And with good reason....

But my favorite thing on hand was David Cooper's old, strange and wonderful French (David's a sick Francophile) metal-rolling contraption (see below).

Called a "Three Olives" machine (for obvious reasons) and imported at great cost since it weighs about as much as a Sherman tank, it dates back to the early days of the twentieth century and can do incredible things when it comes to forming svelte, swoopy hood and fender shapes out of flat sheet metal. Wow.



Last time I showed you a picture of my own ugly mug in a car several of you recognized. But none of you pedantic smart-asses from the other side of the pond got it (trumpet fanfare, please) while we got many correct answers from one of your other one-time colonies just north of us.

And that figures, since the track is Mosport (a place that I dearly love, even if it tends to shrink your balls up to the size of raisins) which sits a little ways northeast of Toronto. And the car I'm in is the semi-famous (at least in Canada) V.A.Y. Special, which was built to run in something very intriguing & unique called "Canada Class" racing.
Launched in 1955, Canada Class was aimed at north-of-the-border racers with little money, great ingenuity and long, long winters to putter around in the garage. It was an entire class of low-buck, back-alley specials, and the rules were that you had to take the basic components from a popular, readily available economy sedan that sold new for less than $2000. Although most of the parts actually came from junkyards. It was a great class, real "budget racing" and the V.A.Y. (which was originally based on Morris Minor components--including flathead motor and torsion-bar front suspension--although now it runs a Sprite 4-banger) won the class championship more than once. It's a swell car to drive, too.
The gent in the red hat (which, by the way, has "VAY" embroidered right across the front of it, you dummies!) is Mike Rosen, who owned the car at the time and regularly drove the living snot out of it (he made it go really fast whenever he got behind the wheel). Mike also served as one of the top guys in the Canadian VARAC vintage racing club (click to visit their know the drill) up in Canada. They're great people to race with (and host weekends at both Mosport and Mount Tremblant, which are truly magnificent racetracks) and I recommend their events highly.

The gentleman on the red scooter is the late, great Dick Baker, who was an amazingly successful Canadian businessman, entrepreneur, transportation mogul and industrialist, and also as rabid, aggressive, enthusiastic and involved a motorsports addict as you could ever hope to meet. He also had a habit of breeding topnotch racing talent, as all three of his sons were exceptional drivers, totally fair, always fun and genuinely sportsmanlike. Not to mention fast as stink. I got to drive with their team a couple times (that's me in the Baker Racing Lotus 18 below, having one hell of a race with my friend Phil Lamont's similar car at Savannah) and they remain among my most cherished racing memories.


OK, all you bright boys (and girls): what the hell is this thing?


OK, I'm gonna be right here finishing the book like I promised most of the time, but I will be sneaking away to cover the HSR Mitty Challenge at Road Atlanta April 24-26, (click for more info) where I'll also be hawking & signing books (and hustling a few sponsorships, I hope) with my friends Frank and Amy at their always-well-stocked-with-gearhead-books-and-goodies PEOPLE KARS booth up on the vendor row on the hill over the pro paddock. I'll be there during lunchtime all three days and quiet time on Sunday, and also every now and then throughout the weekend. Drop by and say "Hi."
And buy some stuff, too....

Also hope to be getting a little driving in at the helm of my longtime friend and serial ride-mooch victim "Super Dave" Bondon's just-finished Royale RP 42 (it's the white #72 in the pic below) which I am greatly looking forward to.

Super Dave has turned me loose in his cars several times (he's a slow learner) and I've enjoyed every one because they're inevitably well-turned-out and beautifully prepared. See semi-famous pic of me below in the super-fast, Twincam-powered Morgan his daughter Stacey now drives...and drives well!!!

If you'd like to see me taking a couple hot laps at Road Atlanta in the Morgan and embarrassing a few Porsches, please CLICK HERE!

Oh, and please remember to wear one of these whenever you have clothing on:

That's all for now....

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: