Like most American kids that grew up in the 80's I watched the Indy 500 every year and became interested in motorsports thanks to that race, but I didn't really get hooked until I started watching Formula 1 racing in the late 90's. My favorite era were those years with the great Mika Hakkinen/Michael Schumacher battles. (I was a Mika Hakkinen fan) So my fondness for Formula 1 waned once Mika retired and Schumacher started winning everything, even at the expense of his teammate Rubens Barrichello. My interest in F1 has only been lukewarm since.

Then I turned to Champ Car racing here in the US for my motorsports fix. However that was quickly extinguished once Champ Car and Indy Car merged and we were stuck with Tony George and his many foibles. (It was entertaining to watch the Hulman/George drama I'll admit.) My interest has been less than lukewarm with Indy Car lately, even without Tony George at the helm.

Over time however, the excitement I once had for motorsports has slowly gone. Maybe it has to do with my age, I don't know. But I think I will pour my efforts into my Trooper and my interests in the outdoors to add excitement to my life.

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it. I will still post racing news when I find something interesting or noteworthy.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017

Camel Trophy Events and Destinations

Vehicle used
Winning Country
Trans-Amazonican Highway, Brazil
Jeep CJ-6s
Germany (the only country to compete)
Sumatra, Indonesia
2-door Land Rover
Range Rovers
Germany (the only country to compete)
Papua New Guinea
2-door Land Rover
Range Rovers
Series III 88"
Land Rover 110
Land Rover 90
Land Rover 90
Range Rover
Turbo Diesel
Land Rover 110
The Amazon
Land Rover 110
Siberia (USSR)
Discovery 3 door
200 Tdi
Discovery 200 Tdi
Discovery 200 Tdi
Discovery 200 Tdi
Argentina, Paraguay, Chile
Discovery 200 Tdi
Mundo Maya
Discovery 300 Tdi
Czech Republic
Discovery 300 Tdi
Discovery 300 Tdi
Tierra del Fuego
Water based event
South Africa


Camel Trophy History 1980 - 2000


Camel Trophy. At one time considered the last "great adventure" was an annual vehicle based 4x4 competitino undertaken annually from 1981, and by boat in 2000. Its purpose was to voyage into harsh lands and put man and machine to the test. The first Camel Trophy, held in 1981, was a trip on the TransAmazonian highway under taken by a group of Germans in Jeep CJ6s. Despite not finishing the trek, it captured the imagination of adventurers across the world. The following year, and every year after until 1998 they used Land Rovers to complete their journeys.
Nearly every year, the organizers of Camel Trophy sought to challenge the competitors with a new and different destination, often times being the first ever vehicle traverse of a given route. However frequently it was not enough to just do the expedition, the masachistic minds behind Camel Trophy decided to do many of the routes durning the regions monsoon or rainy season. Take for example the 1985 event in Borneo when participants frequently were only able to travel a distance of 5 km a day despite being behind the wheel all day long and long into the night.
Throughout the duration of Camel Trophy, the full range of Solihull's finest vechilces were challenged, starting with the Range Rover in 1982, to the Series IIIs, 90s and 110s and the Discovery in the early 1990s.The final competition vehicle was the Freelander which participated in Land Rover's swan song event in 1998, Tierra del Fuego.
By the last years of the event, the focus had drifted away from the vehicles and towards "adventure sports" and special tasks such as kayaking, canoeing and mountain biking. Partially for this reason, Land Rover and Worldwide Brands (the owners of Camel Trophy) decided to part ways after the 1998 event, Tierra del Fuego.
However, the true spirit of Camel Trophy is kept alive by Land Rover enthusiasts everywhere. Limited edition coffee table books celebrating the event frequently sell for hunrdeds of dollars, if you can find them. The Camel Trophy Owners Club, a group dedicated to the ownership of ex-Camel Trophy vehicles also keeps the event alive with their documentation and celebration of the great adventure. Their vehicles range from Defenders to Freelanders, from well used competition vehicles to well-cared for marshall vehicles.
For a more in depth look at the vehicles and equipment which participated in the Camel Trophy, please see Alex's excellent website and it's companion website

Camel Trophy Kalimantan 1996, Defender 110

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Land Rover series III

A nice shade of green

Old Land Rover

Very interesting shade of green. I like that Africa logo on the door too.

71 Range Rover off-roading in Morocco

Interesting red color.

91 Trooper with a pop-up tent on the roof

Friday, December 22, 2017

91 Trooper

Notice the scorpion and N-1575 painted on the back.

Something military perhaps?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Nissan full-length commercial "Pathfinder On Safari"

So back in the mid-90's this Nissan Pathfinder full-length commercial was available for free on a VHS tape.

I sent away for it, if I remember correctly I sent in some type of post card order form that I probably got out of a magazine, and it came to me in the mail.

And even though these actors are "on safari" no more than I am right now sitting at this computer, I thought it was such a cool commercial and I used to throw it in my VCR and watch it all the time.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

89 Trooper

These Trooper photos might be a regular thing on the blog here for quite some time now.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Another Trooper

1999 Isuzu Trooper

I bought a 1999 Isuzu Trooper yesterday. I took a chance on it because it has only 119k miles.

It has a little bit of body damage but nothing major. I'm hoping to get it to look as good as this on someday.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

1999 Chevrolet Suburban LS

Mileage: 178,815

Smithfield, UT | Posted August 7, 2017


My wife loved mini-vans, and I hated em. We drove the same mini-van for over ten years, and she refused to give it up, giving excuses like "It's so practical", "It fits all the kids", "It has a DVD player" and all the other excuses given by members of the mini-van cult. At one point it was even suggested that I sell my truck and purchase a second mini-van. Lord Almighty help me, because I actually considered it. The mind-control was beginning to influence me as well.

 Finally after years of suffering at the hands of Chrysler, my salvation arrived. The snow in Cache valley had become too much for my wife's beloved mini-van, and she finally relented. The mini-van was sold, and the suburban purchased. Within the first week, I knew my life would be forever changed. My wife had transformed. Instead of fearing snow she relished in it, going out of her way to find roads that had not been plowed to blaze her own trail. Instead of trips to the quilted bear we were planning real adventures, with real bears. The wilderness was open to us, and our children soon forgot about the DVD player and their TinkerBell DVD's. Instead their tiny minds were stimulated by waves of water and mud thrown up the sides of our MAV (Mormon Assault Vehicle) as mom had found a new route to dance class that didn't involve traffic. Suddenly a Zombie apocalypse was survivable.

 My wife had a new found pride in vehicle maintenance. My wife's vehicle was.... clean. In the mini-van I had no idea what color the original upholstery was or what the floor looked like sans Cheerios, goldfish and crayons. The suburban was constantly being cleaned.

 My wife had become transformed. No longer were we slaves to oppressive power of the mini-van, but we had found freedom in four-wheel-drive and a V8 engine.

 The euphoria of suburbanism spread and our neighbors, close family and even people we didn't like began to convert to the Utopia that is 4-wheel drive. Soon however, my wife decided that her love of Suburbans had reached another echelon of affection that could not be fulfilled by our 1999 Beast. She wanted an upgrade, and soon had located yet another suburban, a newer suburban, a more powerful suburban. And so the story continues. As we forge across even more terrain and our adventures are told and retold over campfires for generations, we reluctantly have chosen to part with the Suburban that changed all our lives.. for the better. Fare thee well old friend, and may you bless yet another family, and help them see the err of their ways. Show a mother the joy of destroying a snow drift, the children to realize there are windows in cars, and help a father gain back his manhood,

First test for IndyCar's 2018-spec car

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Neon Rider on his 10th birthday

Photo taken June 4th, 2009

Friday, July 28, 2017

Neon Rider

Summer of 2012, 345,000 miles and still kind of sexy.

November 22nd, 2012

November 10th, 2010

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I had called this the "Christmas miracle of 2012"

photo taken December 24th, 2012

Gas got out of the "3's" for awhile that winter.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

68 Malibu

I miss my '68 Malibu.

When I see these car auctions on tv I wonder how much we could have sold it for. It was such a great car, mint condition.....before the accidents.

Ugh, if I could turn back time.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The ugly gas prices of 2008

This picture was taken sometime in June of 2008 when gas prices were at $3.49 a gallon. I pulled up to the pump and before I started to put in my gas I noticed what the previous customer had paid. Wow.

This photo was taken at a gas station in Lehi on July 7th, 2008. Yikes!

Thank goodness for the Neon, this amazing little machine has 260,000 miles on it and is still getting 40 mpg. Thanks to the Neon (and Aimee and I being able to carpool to work) we were able to weather the gas price storm.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Force India F1 team reveals new pink livery for 2017 season

(by Jonathan Noble 3-14-17)

The switch to the pink, magenta and silver livery has come in the wake of the team signing a new sponsorship deal with water technology specialists BWT.

As well as the pink colours on the car, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon's helmets will also switch paint schemes too.

Force India team boss Vijay Mallya said: "The arrival of BWT in Formula 1 is huge news and represents one of the most significant partnerships in our ten-year history.

"It's a sign of how far we have come as a team with our strong results and completes a solid commercial performance over the winter.

"For 2017 our cars will sport a vibrant new colour scheme with a smart matte finish.

"Changing the colour of our cars is an indication of the strength of this new partnership and a real statement of intent from BWT as they begin their relationship with the sport of F1."



My take

I kind of like it. There is too much black, silver, and red in F1, a new color on track will be nice to look at.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Nearly 10 years after series merger, Coyne is last Champ Car team left

(by Tony DiZinno 2-15-17)

Verizon IndyCar Series fans of a certain age might remember the term “transition teams,” which was used in 2008 when Champ Car and IndyCar announced a merger that brought an end to a divisive and nasty, 12-year split that hurt North American open-wheel racing.

Champ Car teams partnered with IndyCar teams for technical support to ease in the transition process, before striking out on their own as the 2008 season progressed.

Not all of the teams from Champ Car made it over. Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, KV Racing Technology, HVM Racing, Dale Coyne Racing and Conquest Racing all acquired the base Dallara chassis with Honda engines, with Pacific Coast Motorsports joining from Long Beach.

Rocketsports Racing, Walker Racing and Forsythe/Pettit Racing raced only at the Champ Car finale at Long Beach and were not seen under IndyCar team auspices again, although Derrick Walker had stints with Vision Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing and INDYCAR itself in the coming years.

Anyway, those five teams provided nine cars, with two cars each for all teams except HVM, which only ran one. Once Pacific Coast joined, that made it six teams and 10 cars.

But one-by-one, as part of a larger loss of teams over this 10-year period, the teams have faded.

PCM was the first to go. Mario Dominguez’s last-ditch shot to make the Indianapolis 500 ended in the Turn 1 wall, and killed the team’s financial hopes for the year. Although Tyler Tadevic’s team made it the rest of the year, PCM’s time as an IndyCar entrant was done at the end of 2008. Tadevic remains active in racing via his TruSpeed Autosport team, which has had success in sports car racing.

Mike Lanigan shifted his minor ownership stake to what was Rahal Letterman Racing at the end of 2010 and the team is now Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

The Newman/Haas name carried on for one more year into 2011 and Oriol Servia performed one of the best overachieving years in recent history when he finished fourth in the series, and James Hinchcliffe won rookie-of-the-year honors from a deep rookie class that also included JR Hildebrand, Charlie Kimball, Ana Beatriz, Sebastian Saavedra and James Jakes. With a lack of sponsorship and with new cars on the horizon for 2012, Newman/Haas folded over the winter, bringing to an end a near-30-year run of success.

Conquest, Eric Bachelart’s team, also failed to answer the 2012 bell despite a couple rumored drivers being linked to seats. Beatriz worked with Bachelart in an extra Andretti Autosport entry at selected 2012 races but the Conquest name was no more.

HVM, Keith Wiggins’ outfit, made it to 2012 but endured a nightmare season saddled with the uncompetitive Lotus engine. Simona de Silvestro did her best to press on and keep a brave face but it was for naught. She left for KV a year later and Wiggins’ time as a team owner ended, although like Bachelart, he was briefly involved with Andretti in one of its entries. Carlos Munoz’s car was entered under the Andretti-HVM banner a couple years ago.

This then brings us to KV, which went through various name changes over its history. Long story short, KV rose from PacWest’s ashes in 2003 and had numerous other co-owners beyond primary co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser. The team’s best success came in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 when Tony Kanaan scored his elusive first win there in the car co-owned by Kalkhoven, Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan.

But that win proved a false dawn longer-termand outside of a handful of wins the last few years, there’s not been a consistent championship challenge. KV’s equipment has moved elsewhere – expected to be utilized by Juncos Racing ahead of its possible step up to the Verizon IndyCar Series after plying its trade on the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires (more via on that) – and KV has now joined the list of teams that have left the grid.

“(With) that team that we won the biggest race of our lives together, and that’s the team that we struggled together, and I remember how we struggled to get where we got. And honestly, we only made it this far because of that win,” Kanaan told assembled reporters during the Phoenix test this weekend.

So, this brings us to Dale Coyne Racing. We’ve written quite a bit about how much of a survivor Coyne is, with a tenure in the sport third only to A.J. Foyt and Roger Penske – that’s pretty illustrious company.

And with Coyne’s business savvy outside the track, but now a rare offseason of harmony where his program’s been set for months – not days – before the season opener at St. Petersburg, hopes are high the proverbial minnows will make inroads into the higher end of the top-10 on a more regular basis in 2017 with drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones, the latter of whom had a busy test.

It’s not a surprise that Coyne’s still here, nearly 10 years on from that merger. But as other teams from both the transition and IndyCar have dropped out, and the lack of new blood has entered, it’s left IndyCar requiring more from its existing owners to fill in the car count gaps.

Lest it seem that it’s just the Champ Car teams that have dropped out, the teams from the Indy Racing League arena haven’t all endured either. Since the 2008 regular season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, teams that were active then that aren’t now, full-time, are these: Panther Racing, Vision Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Roth Racing, Sarah Fisher Racing and Dragon Racing (then Luczo Dragon Racing).

Anyway, that 28-car field featured cars from 16 teams (Penske 2, Ganassi 2, Andretti 4, Foyt 2, Rahal 1, KV 2, Newman/Haas 2, Coyne 2, Conquest 2, HVM 1, Panther 1, Vision 2, DRR 2, Roth 1, Fisher 1, Dragon 1).

Nearly 10 years later, the expected season opener at St. Petersburg will feature 21 cars from eight teams, with three of those teams holding 12 of the 21 cars (Penske, Ganassi and Andretti all 4, Foyt 2, Coyne 2, Carpenter 2, SPM 2, Rahal 1).

So over 10 years, Penske and Ganassi have added cars, Foyt’s added a second full-time car, Carpenter was born from Vision’s ashes and absorbed what was Fisher’s team, Bryan Herta joined with his own team and then joined Andretti Autosport, and SPM came from FAZZT (Alex Tagliani’s team), which came from Roth. Rahal also spent three years part-time only in IndyCar after a sponsor loss and came back full-time in 2012. So the new teams have more or less been present in other guises first.

To be fair, the economic recession of 2008 was a big part of hurting car counts for 2009, and IndyCar opened the 2009 season with just 22 cars at St. Petersburg. In subsequent years, the season opener has featured 24, 25, 26, 25, 22, 24 and 22 cars.

Fortunately, IndyCar enters 2017 with a lack of serious concerns over management, scheduling or the lineup.

But it could do with its next transition – to finding a way to attract new full-time teams to bolster the existing eight teams that are left.

Friday, February 10, 2017

End of the road for Ecclestone as Liberty complete F1 takeover

( 1-24-17)

Bernie Ecclestone's four-decade reign as the ruler of Formula One is over after American company Liberty Media completed its £6 billion purchase of the sport.

Chase Carey, who was already installed as the sport's chairman, replaces Ecclestone as chief executive officer.

Ecclestone, 86, has been handed the role of chairman emeritus, and will be available as a source to the new board, but he will no longer be involved in the day-to-day running of Formula One for the first time since the 1970s. .

"I'm proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula One, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with," Ecclestone said.

"I'm very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport."

Earlier in quotes carried by German publication Auto, Motor and Sport, Ecclestone appeared to suggest he had been forced out by the new owners.

He said: "I was deposed today. This is official, I do not run the company any more. My position has been taken by Chase Carey.

"My new position is one of those American terms -- it's something like an honorary president. I have this title now, even though I don't know what it means."

He added: "My days in the office will be getting quieter now. Maybe I will attend a grand prix sometime in the future. I still have many friends in Formula One and I still have enough money to afford to attend a race."

Ecclestone, who turns 87 in October, has ruled Formula One for 40 years. But American company Liberty has now put their own team in place after clearing the final hurdle of their purchase.

American Carey, the 21st Century Fox vice chairman, was installed as the new Formula One chairman when Liberty agreed to take control from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners last September.

Speaking to the Press Association last week, Ecclestone said of his future: "We will have to see how we set the company up.

"It is not a case of my terms, it is a case of let's have a look and see which way they would like to go.

"It is something that would have happened anyway. We need to put something together if I am not here because I have become deceased or something and it is about time we did that.

"We were in the middle [of that] and when we knew these people were probably going to buy we backed off and thought 'let's wait because they own the company and it is up to them to decide who or what they want'."

When Liberty bought an 18.7 percent stake from CVC in September, Ecclestone said the prospective new owners wanted him to stay on as chief executive for three years.

"That is what they asked for," Ecclestone added. "In fact we are going to try to put together people that can look after all the things I have been trying to find people to do, which is the sponsorship and things like that.

"As I said, let's see how we are going to operate."

Liberty, run by 75-year-old American John Malone -- given the nickname Darth Vadar for his hard-line approach -- is keen to expand Formula One in the United States, improve the sport's reach on social media, while safeguarding the future of its traditional venues.

Liberty's portfolio includes Virgin Media and baseball's Atlanta Braves. It also holds a large share of the Discovery Communications group.

On Wednesday last week, a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, which includes FIA president Jean Todt and Ecclestone, agreed to Liberty's purchase of Formula One, 24 hours after the company's shareholders gave the green light to press on with the deal.

"They [the FIA] didn't have any choice," Ecclestone added. "They had no way they could not approve, unless the people that were going to come in were bandits.

"The only reason we had the meeting is because we wanted changes to the FOM [Formula One Management] contract -- little changes -- and they were all approved. No dramas.

"I think that [the deal] should happen within the next three or four weeks."

Asked if he expected Liberty to be the sport's new owners in time for the start of the season in Melbourne on March 26, Ecclestone added: "Yes. Absolutely. One hundred percent."


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Selling The Drama

I wanted to save this song in case this YouTube video,

ever gets deleted I will still have the music.

(That happened to me once already with a ChampCar video. Bastards.)