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23 07, 2019

Plan for the worst, hope for the best – my trip to the 2019 WeatherTech International Challenge

By |2019-07-23T16:28:15-05:00July 23rd, 2019|Driving Experience, Events|0 Comments

Racing is one hell of a drug. When driver and car are running flawlessly the emotional high is amazing. On the other hand, when everything is going wrong the low is absolutely miserable. Anyone who’s been involved in the sport for a reasonable amount of time can certainly attest. Personally, having campaigned a car or two for the better part of twenty years I’ve experienced all the emotions. And if I’m being honest, as of late there’s been more mechanical misery. Perhaps that’s why I approached the 2019 WeatherTech International Challenge at Road America assuming all would go wrong. Or maybe because that’s exactly what happened the year prior. Regardless, if I learned anything during the weekend, it’s that you should expect the unexpected, and that sometimes the unexpected it sheer joy. If you’ve never been to the WeatherTech International Challenge (WIC), or The Hawk as many refer to it, what are you waiting for? It one of the largest assemblies of vintage race cars and enthusiasts in the country hosted at what I consider the greatest race track in the great in North America, Road America. Attending the event has become a family tradition for me, dating back to when I was a young 10-year old and leading up to now attending with my kids. The event truly offers fun for the whole family, particularly if the family has a bit of motor oil running through their veins. So, needless to say as the 2019 WIC rolled around, I [...]

7 05, 2019

Getting back up to speed at Road America

By |2019-05-07T12:50:40-05:00May 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|1 Comment

They say practice makes perfect, but when you’re out of practice having spent an entire winter out of the car, it takes a bit longer to get up to speed. That’s how I felt going into the World Racing League CanAm Endurance Cup this past weekend at Road America. For those unfamiliar with World Racing League, it’s an amateur endurance racing series that pits man and machine against some of the greatest race tracks in the US. Our weekend comprised of 16 hours of racing covering 1,279 miles, split between two eight-hour races. Needless to say it provided ample seat time to knock the rust off from our driver quartet. Some say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. I beg to differ. There's no happier feeling than rolling through the Road America tunnel. Our team, the E30 Bombers, has been around for the better part of a decade. While our car has evolved quite a bit in that time, much like the others in the series, our driver lineup has remained relatively consistent. Combined we’ve logged hundreds of hours in the car, which I’d liken to your favorite living room recliner. Sure, it’s been around for many years and shows some cosmetic wear, but it still functions beautifully and keeps you comfy for hours on end. The ease, comfort and reliability of our little BMW-that-could is such that racing it for 2 or 3 hours on end is a relative breeze. That is as long as the [...]

27 12, 2018

What’s Going On – Week of 12/24/18

By |2019-02-26T09:33:24-05:00December 27th, 2018|Events, What's Going On?|0 Comments

Crankshaft's Last Stand - Friday, December 28th Based on our unofficial tally roughly 67% of our motor-minded friends seem to enjoy the music of Crankshaft, and given his last show is slated for tomorrow we thought 2/3 of you would like to know. If you like rock, roots and deep blues on a Friday night head on over to the Hook and Ladder Theater to check it out. Drone Racing Flight School at the Works Museum - Saturday, December 29th Catch a live drone race every hour on the hour between the hours of 11am, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm. After you catch a race try your hand at racing a drone yourself with a lesson from one of the pros onhand. Learn to drone in a nice, controlled environment to learn to drone, opposed to Ben to took a crash course (literally) when he tried to fly one in his office.   RS Motors "JUST Drive" Winter Autocross - Saturday, December 29th The only thing we like better than drifting on a freshly snow covered road is doing so in a controlled environment. You know, one where there aren't curbs hidden below the fresh snow. Bonus points when there's an autocross course built around the fresh snow. The RS Motors "JUST Drive" Winter Autocross provides this exact venue. Check it out.   ProKart Indoors Year-End Mini-Enduro - Monday, December 31st To celebrate an awesome 2018 ProKart Indoors in Maple Grove is hosting a year-end mini-enduro. What better way for a [...]

5 11, 2018

Road Trip Role Reversal with a 1980’s Porsche 911

By |2018-11-05T10:04:39-05:00November 5th, 2018|Driving Experience, Test Drives, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Imagine yourself crammed into the backseat of a 1980’s era Porsche 911 exploring the Midwest on family road trips for hours on end. Sounds comfy, right? Well, that’s how I spent many a summer when I was growing up. Mom and Dad would enjoy the relatively expansive front seats while my awkward teenage body was crammed like a sardine in the back seat. For hundreds and hundreds of miles. First world problem, right? Truth be told a Porsche 911 wasn’t the best road trip vehicle for a backseat passenger approaching his late-teens, but the reality is those road trips were a lot of fun. And thank god I was an only child because the way my mom packed there wasn’t room for anyone else but my pudgy self and her abundance of extra baggage in the back seat. Strangely, while I’ve had a lot of (back) seat time in Porsche 911s, I’ve never really spent any significant time behind the wheel. That is until we acquired the MHCC Porsche 911. The car is one of our most popular rentals and whenever it’s not booked I look for any excuse I can find to drive it. The perfect opportunity arose two weekends ago. […]

1 09, 2018

The Last Thing You Need is Another Project: Part 3

By |2018-08-31T13:47:02-05:00September 1st, 2018|Projects, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Looking back, I should've titled this series of blog posts the neverending story. There are some projects that you can quickly check off your list, but this is not one of them. Like the Energizer Bunny, this project seems to keep going. And going. And going. That said, my camper project has reached the point where it's useable and that's good enough for me. If you missed the first parts of my camper build story you can find part 1 here and part 2 here. What follows is my recap of the beginning of the end. When we last left off I had fitted the roof mechanism, including frame, hydraulic struts and roof skin. Next on my list was adding the pop-up fabric. Originally I had ambition to sew up the pop-up so it included screened windows and a precision fit. In the interest of time, and hopes of ever finishing the project, I opted for a single piece of waterproof ripstop nylon for version 1. A quick shout out ot Ripstop By The Roll from whom I ordered the fabric. They offer a variety of ripstop material that I never knew existed. I went with 2.2 oz HEX70 XL ripstop, for those keeping track, in fashionable charcoal gray. Application was relatively easy via a combination of high-bond adhesive with an overlayment of screw-fastened trim around the edges. With the exterior weatherproof I focused my efforts on the inside. I knew I wanted an internal cabinet  to house a basic [...]

25 07, 2018

Tales from the Track – Too much wrenching, not enough racing

By |2018-07-25T14:54:03-05:00July 25th, 2018|Driving Experience, Events|0 Comments

The International Challenge at Road America (aka the Hawk, the KIC and the July vintage races at Road America) will always be one of, if not my favorite weekends of the year. I started attending yearly with my family in the early nineties and stepped up as a competitor in my 914-6 in the late-nineties keeping the family tradition alive. Of the 16+ times I've raced at the event I can count the number of times I've had significant mechanical issues on three fingers. This past weekend I added a fourth finger into the mix. Humor me for a few minutes as I set the stage. Snugly loaded into the truck, we hit the road for out six hour drive to Road America Wednesday morning I hit the road with my family pointed towards Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, home of Road America, AKA the best place on earth (at least as far as any car guy/gal is concerned). Five of us packed into my pickup with trailer hitched behind us hauling everything including the kitchen sink. Above and beyond the race cars and associated parts we had more food than an all you can eat buffet, bicycles, scooters, life jackets, party rafts (you read that right) and much more. We left on time, made good time and we arrived at the track arguably the earliest we ever have on the Wednesday prior to the big racing weekend. We got our paddock space all setup, and with our work complete at [...]

15 05, 2018

If a tree falls on track does anyone hear it?

By |2018-05-15T21:49:38-05:00May 15th, 2018|Driving Experience, Events|0 Comments

Life moves pretty slowly after returning to normal life following a race weekend. That’s a known fact when you’re involved in some manner of motorsports. I was reminded of that last week. Two weekends ago I kicked off the racing season by heading to Road America for the World Racing League CanAm Endurance Cup. The racing activity comprised of an eight-hour race on Saturday and another eight-hour race on Sunday. That’s 16 hours of wheel to wheel racing on what I consider the best race track in America. In other words, it was heaven. A racer’s dream. To top it off the weather was absolutely perfect and the car ran great. That said, the weekend wasn’t without a few hiccups. We kicked off the weekend running through tech For the race my team of amateur endurance racing veterans brought out our trusty orange steed, a 1989 BMW 325i. It’s hard to believe, but the event marked our 9th year running the car we’ve affectionately named the E30 bomber. The bomber has evolved dramatically since its inaugural event at Brainerd many years ago and has morphed into a super reliable and reasonably quick little race car. This event again proved that meticulous maintenance during the off-season makes the racing a lot more fun (because the car runs as expected) during the racing season. Sometimes, however, human error can screw it all up temporarily. Our Motley Crew of petrolheads. From right we have our crew chief Josh, Ben, Erik, [...]

24 04, 2018

A British infused adventure on road, on track and offroad in Portugal

By |2018-04-24T19:35:44-05:00April 24th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Looking back, I've never spent much time behind the wheel of Jaguar or Land Rover vehicles, nor have I kept up to speed on the brand heritage or current models. This changed when we learned that Morrie’s was adding a Jaguar and Land Rover store in Richfield. Soon thereafter I found myself on the hunt for a Jaguar E-type and successfully found one in our 1966 XKE. A mild case of Rover fever also set in and I also found myself spending more time in the MHCC Defender 90. Hell, I even came to enjoy the 2001 MHCC Range Rover, despite it being a bit too new to be classic cool and ten years too old to be everyday driver friendly. Little did I know my introduction to these brands was not complete. That all changed last week when I attended a JLR Global Dealer Expo. Just as Minnesota was getting dumped on with 15 plus inches of snow I jetted out of town and headed to Portugal. What followed was three and a half days learning all about the heritage of each respective brand, getting to know the respective vehicle lineups for Jaguar and Land Rover, spending time behind the wheel on and off-road in each and learning a lot about the future of both brands. In one word you could say it was electrifying --- due in part to a big push towards electric vehicles including the all new Jaguar I-Pace, one of the stars of the show. [...]

11 04, 2018

You Should Watch This Right Now: Hitting The Apex

By |2018-04-11T09:04:05-05:00April 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Admitteldy, I'm a huge motorsports fan. I host a live screening of most every Formula 1 race live at the Morrie's Heritage Car Connection "Dojo." I try to catch every IMSA Weathertech race live or shortly thereafter. I spend a handful of weekends on track behind the wheel scratching my motorsports itch. Still I somehow managed to completely overlook MotoGP. Until last weekend I had no idea what I was missing. On Saturday I ran across the MotoGP documentary, Hitting The Apex, on AmazonPrime. I figured I'd give it a try and boy am I glad I did. Minutes into the film I was exposed to the insanity of MotoGP. The bikes are crazy fast. The riders are in some cases plain crazy. They're like modern day gladiators wrestling their motorcycles and each other on track. The racing action is epic. It makes the top-level auto racing series I follow look like motorsports pre-school. Needless to say I'm hooked. After watching this documentary I have one problem. I don't know how I'm going to catchup on all the MotoGP action I've missed my entire life. I started by downloading the MotoGP app and catching up on the 2018 season. I may host a live race screening or two at the Dojo. Stay tuned...

12 03, 2018

The last thing you need is another project: Part 2

By |2018-03-12T23:22:28-05:00March 12th, 2018|Projects|0 Comments

The title of this blog post is The last thing you need is another project: Part 2, however in retrospect it should probably be titled What the heck was I thinking. If you missed my introduction in part 1, I'll quickly bring you up to speed. I thought it would be fun to build a truck camper for my Ford F150. Why build one you ask? Well, stinky old pickup campers are a dime a dozen on Craigslist, but a nice one you'd actually want to use can cost north of $10k. With hundreds of things I could better spend thousands of dollars on I decided to build my own. "I like building things and surely it shouldn't take too long to build," I told myself. I WAS WRONG. In late-November when I started on this project things seemed to move along quickly. The frame came together in a few nights and I thought the end was in sight. Looking back, it was a lot like building a new house, not that I've ever done that. The general structure comes to together quickly, however the insulation, siding, interior work and other elements pile on the time. And that doesn't event include the custom fab work associated with building your own camper from your own design. From scratch. Without any prior experience. You live and learn, I suppose.   A successful test fit. It wouldn't be long unti I could no longer simply lift the frame in the truck by hand. [...]

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