Thursday, May 31, 2007

Information Wanted... Do you remember this car?

1965 Suisse Racer Makes American Track Debut... The 1965 Suisse European Racer (Stk #196Y) was a crowd favorite at the recent MAMA (Midwest Automotive Media Assoc.) Spring 2007 Rally held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wi. The event showcased new model vehicles for the media complete with test drives around the famed Road America Course. The Suisse Racer drew immediate attention from the media as it rumbled through the crowd. The 396 ci engine cranked out at its full 425 hp while ProTeam salesman/buyer Mike Chilcote drew a crowd each time the Corvette was fired-up. The Suisse Racer felt at home on the four mile road course. The performance was flawless and an unforgettable experience for the ten journalists strapped into the passenger seat for their ride in the historic racer. We looked at the day on the Road America Course as an opportunity to take the newly acquired 1965 Suisse Racer back to the track. From all accounts, the word from the track with regards to this historic Corvette, was awesome!!! Click here to see:

Suisse Export, VIN 194375S115982 - - Information Wanted... Do you remember this car? Did you own this car? How long did you own it? Who did you buy it from? Who did you sell it to? Did you race it? How long did you race it? What races did you win or place well? Who did the race modifications? What sanctioning entities governed the racing events? F.I.A., I.A.F., A.S.N.? What publications or library might we check? Do you have any original spares? Still searching for the original transmission and rear end? Still searching for the original GM dealer delivery documents, ie: shipping documents (import documents), dealer invoice, warranty book/protecto-plate, window sticker, build sheet, homologation sheet for F.I.A., racing photos, grid sheets, and racing newsletters. Names Associated With This Car : General Motors Suisse S.A. Bienne, GM Auto Koch Luzern, Switzerland, Mr. Guido Wermelinger, Didier Burgisser, Burgol Automobile S.A. Geneva, Rolf & Petra Gersch, Curtis T. Schulz, Indiana USA, and T. Michaelis/ProTeam Corvette, Napoleon, Ohio USA

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Classic cars are here to pay

Camaro’s value laps Dow
By Jerry Kronenberg
Monday, May 14, 2007 - Updated: 10:08 AM EST

Tom duPont thinks classic cars make better investments than stocks, because even if you lose your shirt, at least you’ll enjoy driving one around.
“You can make money with either the right car or the right stock, but cars are more fun on weekends,” said duPont, whose magazine The duPont Registry recently found that classic cars sometimes outperform stocks.
For example, the Florida-based publication reported that a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 RS with Corvette brakes cost $3,184 when first sold - but fetches more than $200,000 today.
That’s a 7,193 percent return - about seven times the 1,077 percent Dow Jones industrial average’s gains for the same period. The same $3,184 invested in the Dow would have only grown to $37,480.

Other classic cars that crush the Dow include the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Supersnake and 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 435HP, both of which have gained more than 6,000 percent.
DuPont said classic-car values are soaring because “the collector-automobile market is on fire right now.”
He said well-heeled male baby boomers are driving prices higher, nostalgically snapping up cars from their younger days.
“There are an awful lot of guys between 50 and 70 whose kids are grown up, who have enough savings in the bank and who say, ‘Boy, I’d love to get an old Ferrari or Lamborghini or Pontiac GTO,’ ” said duPont, himself 58.
But while savvy car buying can yield big profits, duPont said there’s “nobody in the business that I know of who invests in collectible automobiles solely to make money. Everyone has a genuine passion for cars.”
He added that even experienced collectors have tough times predicting which vehicles will gain the most going forward.
“It’s not easy to make money in collectible cars,” duPont said. “But in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s not easy to make money in the stock market, either.”
Still, the publisher said cars whose prices soar typically have some or all of four key characteristics:
Ragtops. “If the top goes down, the price goes up,” duPont said.
Celebrity owners. Any car owned by a famous person appreciates more than a typical model does.
Rarity. Limited-edition cars or vehicles with rare options do better than those that are mass-produced models.
Good condition. Well-maintained cars with low mileage usually perform the best.
Recent models duPont thinks have bright futures include the 2007 Ford Shelby Mustang GTH350 and 2004 Ford GT40. Unfortunately, both cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But duPont said even something like a $15,000 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air can return a nice profit if a collector updates the finish and hangs on to the vehicle awhile.
DuPont added that “unless you absolutely destroy a car, you’ll always get something for it. Unlike companies, cars can’t go bankrupt.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The crusher is coming to Christy's auto salvage in Leavenworth, Kansas

I just found out this afternoon that an old junk yard in Leavenworth, KS is preparing to crush their entire inventory. The yard opened in the 50's and the are being forced out by the City. The Owner, Randy, would like to sell complete cars and in some cases parts, to anyone rather than crushing them. The crusher was supposed to arrive already but has been delayed at least a week due to the recent rains/floods.

Please do not reply to this message as I am telling you everything I know in this email. The yard is open evenings until dark and Saturday and Sunday. This will probably only last until May 21st or so. Most cars are $200 to $300...or less. One particularly nice and complete 54 Chrysler 2dr with the hemi is $500 or so. Most of these cars are rough and I would estimate that 33% are restorable or rod-able. The rest would be considered incomplete parts cars. Many are rusty, many have some rare equipment intact. Some glass is good, some stainless is good, most pot metal is not usable. Most of the sheet metal is bad at the ground level if you know what I mean.

You can go to Craig's list for more info and a few phots that do not do the yard justice.
Kansas City search: Leavenworth for
Old Salvage yard closing in Leavenworth KS (Pictures)

The following list is partial and represents my best recollection:

10 or 11 - 50s and 60s panel trucks and sedan delivery's
Busses, lots of busses
Busses full of doors and hoods,
Chrysler airflow (37?)
Airflow tanker truck, poor condition, most of cab gone, tanker is there,
Old auto transport trailers, 3 or 4
Old moving van trailer +/- 30' long
Pickup beds full of hub caps and wheel covers
30, 40, and 50s sedans and coupes, Chevys, Packards, Plymouths, fords, Olds, Buicks, etc etc
Caddy hearses and a few limos in the late 40s and 50s
3 each 38 or 39 Packards
1940 Chrysler
1948 Windsor 4dr
1968 barracuda
1955 (or 54) Ford 2 door wagon complete
Several 54-55 Fords
Several edsels including a few wagons
1949? dodge truck panel
3 each 1959-60 imperials
A few nashs, frasier, fiats,
Lots of corvairs
several cab over trucks
one old steam shovel
2 or 3 late 60's mustangs
Rear ends, engines, trannys, wheels, etc

I am guessing 200+ cars and 50+ trucks from the 30's thru the 60's

The yard is about one mile West of Leavenworth Kansas on Highway 92/Spruce street. Drive West out of Leavenworth on 92 until the road curves South, you are there.

Christys Auto Salvage 16595 Springdale Rd Leavenworth, KS 66048-7603 (913) 682-2121

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

$250 Finder's Fee

1959 LaFrance Pumper Fire Truck, 10 cylinder Continental Gas engine, 2 speed electric rear differential. Red & White with White interior, absolutely beautiful, the entire vehicle is in excellent condition. Dual redundant ignition & starting system. all valves and pumps are in working order, pumps 1000 gallons per minute, Federal Siren and separate electrical siren and horn, Teak Fire Poles, ladders as pictured, this is the same model featured in Mission Impossible 1. A steal at $18,500 OBO, for more information call 918/258-2806 or OK See more pictures at

We are offering a finder's fee of $250 to anyone submitting a lead that results in a sale of this vehicle

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Holy Cow Batman, George Barris is a fraud?

Star cars set off alarms
LA Times
Bob Pool

Universal's cease and desist order against George Barris highlights the problem of accurate credit for famous movie vehicles.By Bob PoolTimes Staff WriterMay 4, 2007If he could go back to the future, maybe famed movie car icon George Barris wouldn't have had that gadget-filled DeLorean parked in front of his North Hollywood customizing shop during his big ceremony.The "Back to the Future" DeLorean sat near the Batmobile, the Monkeemobile, the General Lee from the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show, K.I.T.T. from the "Knight Rider" series and other automobiles symbolizing Barris' car-customizing skills on March 23 as city officials commemorated his six-decade Hollywood career.Barris and City Councilman Tom LaBonge unveiled a street sign designating Riverside Drive and Riverton Avenue as "George Barris Place" while hundreds of fans clustered around the glitzy cars applauded and cheered.There was no cheering from nearby Universal Studios, however. Or from some of Hollywood's other movie car customizers.Studio officials responded with a cease and desist order demanding that Barris never again make "misrepresentations regarding any involvement with the 'Back to the Future' films." They called upon Barris to remove images of the flying DeLorean from his company's website and restrict his display of replicas of the gull-winged car used by Michael J. Fox to time travel in the popular 1985 movie and its sequels.Others, meanwhile, complained that film cars such as the K.I.T.T., the General Lee and the Monkeemobile were not originally designed and built by Barris, either.The dust-up illustrates the confusion that often exists among car buffs over "picture cars," which can come in different versions. "Hero cars" are the nicest and actors are photographed in those; "stunt cars" are less perfect and are used for chases and crashes; "promotional cars" are displayed for publicity and do not actually appear on film; and "replica cars" are privately built copies of the real thing.That explains why there are multiple Batmobiles — countless fiberglass knockoffs owned by "Batman" movie fans as well as the original Barris-built version. And why more than 300 General Lees were said to have been jumped, crunched and crashed in the filming of the "Dukes" series — while hundreds of more orange-painted 1969 Dodge Chargers were customized by fans. A replica of the "Back to the Future" DeLorean is what attracted the attention of Universal Studios during Barris' street-naming ceremony."George Barris had absolutely nothing to do with the design or construction of the DeLorean time travel vehicle," said Bob Gale, who was a writer and producer on the film. "The DeLorean was designed on paper by Ron Cobb and Andrew Probert, and it was built under the supervision of special effects supervisor Kevin Pike and construction coordinator Michael Scheffe."Barris acknowledged that the DeLorean displayed at the ceremony was never used in any of the "Back to the Future" films. It is a replica car that was brought to the event by its owner.According to Barris, an animated gallery of movie cars displayed on his website included the DeLorean because he once customized one for a Universal-licensed collector who wanted to display it. He said Universal also asked him to "clean up" a DeLorean stunt car that had been built on a Volkswagen chassis so it could be used for promotional work."I didn't work on the show and I've never said I did," said Barris, who is in his mid-80s.Barris was responsible for creating the 1966 Batmobile, which he famously constructed from a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. But he played only a supporting role on the General Lee, the Ecto-1 and other movie cars, according to entertainment industry experts.Credits for "Dukes of Hazzard" list Ken Fritz, Tom Sarmento, Rich Sephton, A.J. Thrasher, Andre Veluzat and Renaud Veluzat as car builders. Barris is credited for "car modifications." For the 1982 "Knight Rider" movie and its 84-episode TV series, Scheffe designed and built the computer-crammed K.I.T.T. car used by David Hasselhoff. Barris was hired to build an upgraded version of the car for the show's third season with concept sketches from Scheffe.But Barris "kind of makes it sound like he came up with the original concept," said movie car fan Nate Truman, a TV graphics operator who lives in Gardena and owns a replica Batmobile."Ghostbusters" credits do not list a designer for Ecto-1, the 1959 Cadillac ambulance that carried the ghost-busting team and its gear. But actor-writer Dan Aykroyd is usually given the nod for suggesting an Ectomobile in early versions of the script.Barris, however, converted another Cadillac vehicle into a replica Ecto-1 that was displayed in an Illinois car museum. He shows the Ecto-1 on his website. "All we did was the promotional car, for publicity for the film," he said.Cahuenga Boulevard cinema car customizer Dean Jeffries is credited with building the Monkeemobile for the 1960s sitcom "The Monkees." He built two of them — one for use in the show and one for display at car shows and other promotions — from a pair of 1966 Pontiac GTO convertibles.Barris said he now owns the Monkeemobile show car. He displays it at his Riverside Drive shop."Dean Jeffries designed it and Dick Dean built it. We finished it and we bought it" and now includes it in his own collection of star cars, Barris said. "I always credit Dean Jeffries for doing it." Jeffries said he has grown weary of Barris taking improper credit for work — including the painting of the words "Little Bastard" on the Porsche that actor James Dean was driving when he was fatally injured in a 1955 crash.But the credit line is sometimes confusing.Barris often autographs movie cars in his own collection that were actually designed and customized by others. That's how car collector Christopher Ingrassia of East Dundee, Ill., came to own a car from the film "Taxi" that bears Barris' signature on its hood when, in fact, it was built by film-car customizer Eddie Paul."It leads somebody to believe that he did the original car, and he didn't do it," said Ingrassia, who plans to buff off Barris' name. "I don't want to diminish George. I just want the record straight."Paul, an El Segundo customizer who created cars for "Grease," said he now photographically documents all of the vehicles he makes for movies."The car guys want to get the story out while George Barris is still alive and can be confronted," Paul said. "I don't personally dislike him. But he's messing up the industry by misrepresenting history."K.I.T.T. creator Scheffe, a Mar Vista resident who now is an art director for Sony Pictures Imageworks, agreed."George is an institution. He's done amazing things. I don't want to step on anyone's toes. But it's good for the people who did the work to get credit for it."For his part, Barris said his references in interviews to "our cars" and "my stunt crew" reflect his allegiance to the Hollywood car community as a whole. Over the course of a lengthy TV series' production, picture car construction can be "a group effort," he said.He signs other craftsmen's cars "if they're in my Barris Star Cars Collection. It doesn't mean I built it," he said."I promote and encourage the car industry. That's what I've always done.