Future Cool

I rarely watch racing from start to finish but Jean was out of town. settled in to watch F1 racing delayed and NASCAR live each featuring a couple of hometown kids. I remember Alexander Rossi in the shop with his Dad when they owned “BP landscapes”. Good family, nice kid, RA scholarship winner. There he is with a shot to become the first American to finish in the top 10 in F1 since some guy named Andretti. A thousand miles to the East of Austin, my Ex Neighbor is racing at Talladega, albeit from the back of the pack. I watched Matt Dibenedetto spend HOURS in the family’s back five acres racing his go kart round and round Two good kids doing well. Awesome!

If you’re not watching “Jay Leno’s Garage” these days you’re really missing a good show. Motorcycles, new muscle, old roads, rare foreign, awesome collections, Classics and great stories. Google it to get the right times. I think it’s on CNBC. You will not be disappointed. What’s your TV “car show” favorite? The shows I DON”T like are the ones that exist to pimp products. “Um, Bob looks like you got a dirty fuel filter. As long as we’ve got the hood up let’s drop in a brand new LSX 454R Courtesy of JEGS….” Yeah right!

Discoveries “Mexicanicos” new season starts the 9th so let’s see if we made the cut. It was about 6:15pm and the recent “Big A” cruise in/Toy Drive fund raiser was winding down. I was making the rounds saying hi/bye to folks when a lowered black Miata, a Blue Honda Civic and four 20 year olds made their appearance.

I stopped, watched and started laughing to myself as both cars pulled past a parking spot then backed in. Backed in! Backing in was the cool thing to do in the day. If you noticed, half the Hot Rods parked at “Big A” were backed in just like in old times. Wait till they get clued into “Stopping Short”. (Think Seinfeld) I guess that presumes they aren’t already.

Don’t know the genesis of backing in but I suppose 

1. To look cool, of course, but, 

2. In case you had to make a fast get away. You know, the girl friend wanted to go to that other drive in….wink wink.

I know the owner of the Miata. He’s a kid very proud of his work and the car. Works at a tire store and attends Sierra College. Tom was the owner of the Honda and works at a local detail shop. They settled in to “Big A” by lowering the cars with their air system….that system took quite a bit of engineering on their part. Afterwards, Christie (Barden) and I asked them to take us through the vehicles. The thought, the workmanship, the planning, the pride they showed was amazing.

That car gene we keep looking for to keep the hobby and this Club alive was right there. Someone had passed “cool” to these kids. Who passed your cool Gene? It was Uncle Carlos in my case (check out the picture above) or in Tom’s, his Grandfather. His G Pa owned a Yellow “T” bucket and did car upholstery out of Nevada City for many years. Tom was proud of his Grandpa. What’s important is the gene gets passed.

They all said, “How often do you guys do this?!!” The answer should be…not often enough, because? Well, Cool is as Cool does.

Ten of us made the run up to Thunder Hill for a day of classic car racing. When was the last time you saw a 1958 Jaguar convertible and a Porsche Speedster race an MGA or Mini Cooper? Cue Jan & Dean and “Dead Man’s Curve”…Thunder Hill has got its’ Ying and Yangs. The track is owned by SCCA and it’s built for the racers not the spectators…but it affords you the ability to talk with every driver and crew and, like a car show, they love to show-and-tell theircars.

Don and Shirley Racine of “Mini Mania” fed us lunch and were great hosts. Don had just blown the head gasket on his Daughter’s Mini during practice, so we got to “Help” tear the engine down to replace the head gasket. My foot made a great wheel chalk for instance.

Anyway, we all had a great time and we may be going back soon to watch a certain attorney (Steve B.) race a Chenille SS…Cool is as cool does.

– Story and Photo by Mike H.

2015, Blast From The Past – Revisited Stories From Newsletters Past