• MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND!

    MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND!

    Mike Cook had spent a lifetime immersed in the British automotive industry as a PR and advertising executive, in the hobby as a racer, and later in his retirement as an archivist for Jaguar Land Rover. He passed away this week.

    MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND!MIKE COOK: LOSS OF A LEGEND!When I was a magazine editor in the 1960s and 1970s, I often interfaced with Mike Cook and regularly saw him at International Motor Press Association (IMPA) lunches and events. While my passion was Corvettes and high-performance American cars with big V8 engines, Mike had become the champion of British sports cars. On the surface it was “apples & oranges.” But we often spent time simply sharing car guy experiences.

    In his retirement years he was responsible for archiving vintage Jaguar and Land Rover advertising, racing news and press materials. He became the go-to guy for journalists, collectors and enthusiasts researching the history of these storied brands. Without Mike and his endless enthusiasm for these vehicles and British car history, Jaguar Land Rover North America would not have the ability to serve the needs of the media as well as the hobby.

    My son, Stuart Schorr, Vice-President Communications, Jaguar Land Rover North America, wrote the following tribute:

    On Tuesday, November 27, Jaguar Land Rover lost a dear friend and passionate lifelong advocate, Michael Cook, to pneumonia at the age of 85. Mike had a storied career in advertising and public relations for a murderer’s row of British brands: Rover, Land Rover, Austin, MG, Jaguar and his beloved Triumph. He retired from Jaguar as Director of U.S. Public Relations in 1991.

     Up until this very week, Mike had been a constant, determined and cheerful fixture at the Jaguar Land Rover North American headquarters, running our JLR U.S. historical archives department, which he created with Karen Miller in the 1980s. For many of those years, Mike ran the Archives department like a carmakers’ skunk works operation: he was going to keep it going whether anyone officially knew about it or not. Mike personally kept the Rover and Land Rover (and Triumph) archival material at his home before anyone in the company ever thought it might be something we needed. Is there a stronger word than dedicated?

     A visit to the Archives or an email exchange with Mike quickly revealed the impressive depth of Mike’s knowledge and affection he had for these unique cars, and the people that made, marketed, raced and owned them. It was always a pleasure for Mike to assist someone, and a greater pleasure to be helped by him.

     In addition to his second career as Jaguar (and eventually Land Rover) archivist, Mike was prominent in the Jaguar and Triumph Club worlds, and a prolific author and editor of historical publications. Did I mention he was a racer himself and publicist for numerous Jaguar and Triumph racing teams? Talk about being a “car guy”!

     It’s one of those career clichés we often hear: Do something you love. Mike Cook loved working with our company and British automobiles so much that he dedicated his entire career to it. We are all honored to have worked with him, we thank him again, and we will miss him dearly.

     Mike passed away peacefully, in the company of his family, with his favorite Miles Davis playing in the background.

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  • SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!

    SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!

    Recommended reading from Keith Cornett, CorvetteBlogger and founder of VetteFinders. Not only a ‘pretty face’, CORVETTE SPECIAL EDITIONS is an invaluable resource for information about iconic and collectible performance models.

    SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!At first glance, Keith Cornett’s new book is a little misleading. The title does not reveal the wealth of photography and information that goes well beyond Special Editions. To many, Special Editions often refers to Indy Pace Car replicas, commemorative models celebrating racing victories, anniversaries, performance achievements, regional editions, or a particular individual who has devoted a great deal of his life to elevating the status of the Corvette. It is all that, but so much more.

    CORVETTE SPECIAL EDITIONS is way beyond the 43 official Chevrolet limited production, special edition Corvettes starting with the 1978 Silver Anniversary and Indy 500 Pace Car replica and ending with the 2018 Carbon 65 I found the most interesting sections of this book are devoted to the history of the Corvette and iconic road and track performance models that are coveted by serious collectors.

    SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!Even the first Corvette in 1953 must be considered a “special edition” since only 300 were built! Coverage of low-volume, track-oriented Corvettes started when Zora Arkus-Duntov convinced the powers at Chevrolet of the value of being involved in sports car racing. Nothing showcases Duntov’s position more than the first fuel-injected, four-speed, 283/283 ’57 Corvette with RPO 579D “Airbox” option. Just 43 were built and they led the charge to the Corvette earning America’s Sports Car cred! Great coverage on a black Airbox car, above, with coke-bottle hubcaps tells the unique option’s story.

    SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!After Keith runs out of actual factory production Special Editions, like the Grand Sport, Z06 Sting Ray, 1967-1969 aluminum-head big-block L88s, above, the yellow all-aluminum big-block ZL1, above, and Zora’s hardcore ZR1small-block and ZR2 big-block Stingrays, he focuses on low-volume, very-special-edition “tuner” Corvettes that go one step beyond what the factory could do. Corvette-based, tuner cars and their builders make up one of the most interesting chapters, Chapter 6, DEALERS, TUNERS, AND THIRD-PARTY SPECIAL EDITIONS.

    SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!Many, like the Baldwin-Motion Phase III, Maco Shark, Manta Ray, Can-Am Spyder and the ultimate Phase III GT Corvette, above & right, were created by Joel Rosen between 1968 and 1974, were built to order. Horsepower started around 500 and, like Alice’s Restaurant, “you could get anything you want!”

    In addition to Joel Rosen’s Baldwin-Motion, there’s coverage on John and Burt Greenwood’s extensive lineup, Reeves Callaway who is still producing tuner Corvettes, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, American Custom Industries’ Duntov Turbo, Dick Guldstrand GS80/GS90, Avelate Corvette, Larry Shinoda/Rick Mears Special Edition, Pratt & Miller C6RS and others. This chapter is a treasure trove of seriously high-performance, some over-the-top, fantasy rides.

    SPECIAL EDITIONS: CORVETTES THAT MATTER!2018 Carbon 65

    Well-written and beautifully illustrated, CORVETTE SPECIAL EDITIONS presents the cars as a group instead of chronologically. It’s organized into six categories: Anniversary Editions, Indy 500 Pace Cars, Commemoratives and Tributes, Special Editions, Historic Corvettes, and Third-Party Special Editions. This 192-page coffee table book is available at https://www.amazon.com/Corvette-Special-Editions-Pace-Callaways/dp/1613253931/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1537450923&sr=8-1&keywords=Corvette+special+editions&linkCode=sl1&tag=corvettespeci-20&linkId=a53cda67c42cfbbc1a9c4e2349fde608

    If you are interested in a signed copy, please visit https://www.corvettespecialeditions.com/

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  • PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!

    PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!

    These lightweight multi-carb, four-cam and even Hemi engines were being developed for future production engine research and, in some cases racing projects.

    PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!Between 1969 and 1970, Oldsmobile Engineering was responsible for creating powerful ultra-efficient 350 to 455 cubic-inch V-8 engines rated up to 700 horsepower! Some were naturally aspirated and fitted with single Quadrajet four-barrel or Weber carburetors; others were fuel-injected and turbocharged. Most had aluminum blocks and heads. It was hard to imagine that these engines were anything other than veiled attempts at building pure racing engines, but they actually were. Oldsmobile engineering used these engines as prototypes for developing lighter, more fuel-efficient and “cleaner” production engines.

     Olds engineers were responsible for the radical OW-43, above, a racing-only, four-cam 455 tested with four Weber carburetors and fuel injection with three-inch ram stacks. The OW-43 was developed at the same time Chevrolet Engineering was working on the ZL1 for Corvette and Camaro applications and Can-Am racing. The OW-43 was tested in a Can-Am racecar, but never used in competition.

    Based on the same bore-stroke configuration of a production 455, the OW-43 had heads and block with steel cylinder liners cast from Reynolds 356-T-6 heat-treated aluminum. With a redline of just under 8,500 rpm, it produced 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with Webers and 700 horsepower at 6,800 rpm with Lucas direct-port fuel-injection. The DOHC prototype had Forged-True 12.20-to-1 pistons, Carillo billet steel rods and a forged steel crank. It weighed 50 pounds less than a production cast-iron 455.

    The mildest of the group was an all-aluminum 350 small-block, displacing 389 cubic inches and utilizing dual-throat Weber 48IDA carburetors, above, right. The alloy 389-inch engine ended up in a Cutlass that was driven to the C/Production record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1968. A friend and editor at Hot Rod, Lee Kelley, drove a factory-supplied Cutlass 169.133 mph to set the record. Apparently during impound, SCTA officials never detected that the engine was an all-aluminum prototype.The engine in Lee Kelley’s record-setter was a one-off, rated at close to 500 horsepower and built in Lansing by Dave Maurer, a special projects engineer. At Bonneville, the Cutlass was crewed by Maurer along with racing legends, Ak Miller, Jack Lufkin and Ed Iskenderian.

    PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!One of the most interesting engines was the 455-inch W-43 Hemi. There were cast-iron and aluminum iterations with four-valve, Hemi-chamber heads. The W-43 engine was designed to be easily converted to chain or gear-driven overhead camshafts. Fitted with a single Quadrajet, it produced in excess of 500 horsepower at 6,500 rpm. The aluminum version weighed 75 pounds less than the then current production 455 engine. This engine found its way into Mule cars tested at the Milford Proving Ground.

    PROTOTYPE ENGINES: OLDSMOBILE ‘ROCKET’ SCIENCE!Oldsmobile engines displacing 389 to 455 cubic inches had powered Can-Am Series cars, like Bob McKee-built Cro-Sal racers in 1967. The highest output Can-Am Olds was an all-aluminum, single-cam 455 with injection and twin turbochargers. It generated 659 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 554 pound-feet of torque at 6,200 rpm.

    Oldsmobile Rocket Science

    This story is from DAY ONE, An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir, covering domestic 1962-1974 high-performance vehicles, https://www.amazon.com/Day-One-Automotive-Journalists-Muscle-Car/dp/0760352364/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493561421&sr=1-1&keywords=Day+One+by+Martyn+L.+Schorr

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  • MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!

    The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering is not your average 16-year-old. Yes, the swagger is there but it’s less arrogant, more confident. And if she exhibits any aggressive behavior it’s in the way she is determined to please all within her intoxicating embrace, blogs photojournalist Jim Palam.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!So how did I get so lucky to gather here in the manicured splendor of the Quail Lodge & Golf Course in Carmel, floating among the magnificent motorcars, bounteous buffets and beautiful people? Ah yes, I am here to shoot the pictures and tell the stories of the event, now in its 16th year, that many consider the Crown Jewel of all Monterey Car Week events.

    So grab a glass of champagne and come-along with me for Part II of my three-part Monterey Car Week report – a peek into the pomp, polish and pleasure that is The Quail. The Rolex Circle of Champions – Best of Show 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200C, above, was the first car I photographed, not because I’m a predictor of outcomes, but because it truly has magnetic appeal – and it was parked close to the entry point of the show!

    You know you’re about to experience something special when it’s not even 8 AM and they’re handing out champagne under the towering entrance gate to The Gathering.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!A feature of the show-winning Lancia that first caught my eye was the chrome bumpers where rear lights would normally be. With seating and controls far forward one appears to be piloting the Lancia rather than driving it.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!“Everything Else Just Became Transportation.” The folks behind the Genesis Essentia Concept Car know how to write a good tagline – and how to dazzle the Quail crowd with a big-screen video backdrop that looped stunning high-definition black & white graphics and cityscapes behind their sleek and sinister showstopper.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this icy-blue Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic Coupe – other than it’s more Pacific on display at The Quail – and a galactic gem wherever it dazzles!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Porsche hopes to flip the Sizzle-Switch again in 2020 with it’s all-electric Mission E Taycan, which sat book-ended with ‘48 Porsche No. 1 Type 356 on the heavenly white 70 Years of Porsche stage.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Jose Fernandez of Mexico City had a dream – to build a traditional, handcrafted, coach-built ‘Speciale’ as an homage to the Michelloti-designed, Vignale-bodied racing Ferraris of the early-1950s. With deep pockets, determination and the skills of The Creative Workshop, his Custom Coachworks 1966 Ferrari 330 GT Speciale was unveiled at The Quail. Simply WOW!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!The heart of Mr. Fernandez’s dream car – a matching numbers, modified Ferrari 330 Columbo 60-degree V12, 3,967cc, SOHC, 24 valve motor. It’s a treat for the ears and eyes.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Ever been too early for something – like the unveiling of the custom-built Hennessey 7.6 Liter Twin-Turbo V8 engine capable of achieving more than 1,600 horsepower at 7,200 rpm? Me neither, until The Quail. I did get to photograph the awesome Supercar she’ll be powering though. I’m good with that.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!You’re looking at Zora’s #58053, the first L88 Corvette prototype development car and Ken Kayser, the insider, one of its owners, and author who has written the definitive story (http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053) of this legendary build. It’s believed to be the first St. Louis assembled Corvette with the big-block Mark IV 427 RPO-L72 engine.

     http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053 This impressive lineup of legendary Lancias sat ready to rally in front of the winner’s ramp at The Quail. The successful Martini Racing sponsorship with the works Lancia team lasted for over a decade, starting in 1982.

     http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053 Chasing Classic Car’s Wayne Carini describes the size a wad of car restoration cash needs to be to bring a classic to The Quail in show-winning condition!

     http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053 The gent representing the Jim Glickenhaus SCG 003S Supercar was somewhat tight-lipped about details. There’s nothing sleepy about this Sleepy Hollow, NY- based, 800-Horsepower, 2,700-pound Stradale.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!This ‘78 Dome ‘Zero’ was one of the road-going Supercars developed in Japan by racing aficionado Minoru Hayashi. Dome prototypes were intended to offer an alternative to exotic European Supercars.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!When Curtiss Motorcycles CEO Matt Chambers unveiled the unpainted, all electric Zeus motorcycle at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering back in May he was wearing a suit, albeit without a tie. Just three months later he has added color and performance enhancements to the Zeus and ditched the suit. I like your style, Matt!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Even though there were only 435 Kaiser Darrins produced, many of you car guys are familiar with its quirky exterior design and sliding channel doors. So I thought you might enjoy this look at this ’54 K-D’s soothing Seafoam interior. Designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin, power came from 161-inch Six.

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!The Senna is the most track-focused McLaren ever built, delivering a power-to-weight ratio of 668 PS-per-tonne (659 bhp). Impressive – but not to the two ‘Twenty-Somethings’ standing next to it at The Quail. “Yeah, it’s fast but this one is just boring looking.” Apparently, the monotone color scheme left them wanting!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!How to standout in a field of Porsches: Go small. This stunning ½-scale, gas-powered 356 ‘Speedster’ is a highly-detailed, fully-functional driver!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Croatian EV manufacturer Rimac Automobili brought its beautiful blue California Edition C–Two to The Quail. With a sticker price of over $2 million this hyper-EV delivers 1,888 horsepower, goes from 0 to 60 in 1.85 seconds and has an advertised top speed of 258 mph!

    MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2018: THE QUAIL!Well guys, I was hoping to finish this report with a cool shot of this wicked ’65 GT350 Mustang. But darn it, this visitor from Belarus walked into the picture. I’m sorry. Stay tuned for the final installment of my Monterey Car  Week coverage – coming soon!

    Words & Photos: Jim Palam, https://www.jimpalam.com/

    For more information about The Quail Motorsports Gathering and details about next year’s event, please visit https://whatsupmonterey.com/events/monterey-car-week/the-quail-a-motorsports-gathering/457

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  • GARAGE STYLE: IN THE GARAGE W/ JIM PALAM!

    GARAGE STYLE: IN THE GARAGE W/ JIM PALAM!

    Our man on the Left Coast spends some time in front of the camera in his garage while Cindy Meitle profiles him for Garage Style magazine.

    GARAGE STYLE: IN THE GARAGE W/ JIM PALAM!GARAGE STYLE: IN THE GARAGE W/ JIM PALAM!I first met Jim Palam more than a half-century ago when he was a kid on the pit crew of the legendary “Astoria Chas” Snyder’s ‘67 Corvette powered by an L88 engine, below. The car was KO-MOTION, it was built at Motion Performance, Baldwin, NY, raced by Chas, and I was Editor of Hi-Performance CARS magazine. CARS was one of the Corvette’s sponsors. Chas became a friend.

    Everything changed in 1968 when 19-year-old Charlie Snyder lost his life in Vietnam, while serving with the First Cavalry. KO-MOTION went on to win the AHRA A/Corvette World Record at 129 mph in 11.04 seconds. The record was set in Chas’ name by his old team, supported by Motion Performance and still sponsored by CARS.

    In 2008 Jim and I met at 303 Gallery in New York City for the opening on my daughter Collier Schorr’s show, THERE I WAS, about Charlie’s short life and his iconic KO-MOTION. It was also the subject of a book – THERE I WAS – written by Collier. It was great seeing Jim again, surrounded by my daughter’s artwork and memorabilia from Charlie’s family and from Glen Spielberg, owner of the legendary KO-MOTION.

    THERE I WASKO-MOTION & crew at New York National in 1967. Jim Palam is wearing the Navy Blue shirt.

    GARAGE STYLE: IN THE GARAGE W/ JIM PALAM!For the last few years Jim, owner and Creative Director, Jim Palam & Partners in Solvang, CA, has been a valued contributor to CarGuyChronicles. He’s also responsible for the blog’s home page design. Congrats, my friend!

    For more information about Jim Palam & Partners, please visit https://www.jimpalam.com/

    Check out Garage Style magazine, https://www.garagestylemagazine.com/

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