Oh Brother…

You’ve probably seen the Toyota TV commercial and possibly the billboard: Camrys racing at Monaco.

Every review/road test I’ve ever read about the Camry – any generation Camry – has used words like “solid,” “reliable,” “comfortable,” etc.  I have never seen the word “fun” or “sporting.”  The same pretty much goes for every vehicle in the current Toyota lineup…adding plastic body pieces and an “S” doesn’t make the Corolla a sport compact.

Toyota does make great cars.  But two guys racing Camrys at one of the world’s greatest Formula 1 circuits? Good grief…

Preparing to RTB

Jaguar JX 160709

As in, “Return to Base.” One full day left in Lake Charles, LA, and then home…and I regret to say, after nearly 10 days in Houston and Lake Charles, I’ve yet to see any LBC let alone a Triumph.  Oh, I’ve seen plenty of Range and Land Rovers and Jaguars (such as the XJ in the photo), but no Triumphs, MGs, etc.  Ah well…maybe I’ll get lucky on the drive home.

BTW, I forgot to mention: Houston has one of the great Triumph clubs (actually, they’re all great, eh?), the Texas Triumph Register.  Call up their web page some time at http://www.texastriumphregister.org/.  And if you’re a member of The Vintage Triumph Register, watch for issue No. 157 of TVT; it includes a story from TTR concerning an incredible, two-week, multi-thousand mile road trip made by several of the members in their Triumphs.

A Bit of History

160706 NAS Hitchcock-03  Mecom Lola T70

Mecom Lola T70 photo: CarGuyChronicles

What you see in the photo is located on the west side of Hitchcock, Texas, south of I-45 and TX 6 and adjacent to the former NAS Hitchcock, a lighter-than-air ASW installation dating to World War II (ZP-23 assigned).

Postwar, Texas oil man/industrialist John Mecom acquired the base and used the facilities for the refurbishing of armored vehicles for the US Army.   His son, John Mecom, Jr., later built the race track seen in the photo for testing of his sports and race cars.

Mecom Racing had a great deal of success during the early 1960s; his drivers included Roger Penske, Pedro Rodriguez, Hap Sharp, Jackie Stewart, George Folmer and Graham Hill.  Hill won the 1966 Indy 500 in the Mecom Lola-Ford; that same year, Follmer and Parnelli Jones ran the CanAm series in the Mecom Lola-Chevrolet T70.

Mecom shut down the team after 1966 in order to concentrate on a new “hobby:” the New Orleans Saints.  According to the signage at the track, Racing Adventures now operates the track.  A friend of mine who made the drive down to Hitchcock with me plans to call Racing Adventures and see about getting the facility opened up for a Volvo club track day.  I’d love to take the HSD out on the track for a few laps…

Happy 4th of July!

Firetruck-04 160705 Pontiac Bonneville 1964 Bellaire, TX 160704

There is nothing like spending a hot, humid 4th of July participating in yer classic small town America (well, medium-sized town…large suburb?) parade.  I joined in with the local squadron of the Sea Scouts, great fun!

Haven’t spotted any LBCs yet although the local new Mini club (the Houston Mini Monitoring Society) turned out several vehicles for the Bellaire Parade.

Rough Sunday

160626 BSCC-01 Fox MK

Slow Roller Racing Team member Lee Fox, fired up and ready to go…


Was planning on posting this last weekend after the second BSCC autocross of the season, but evil gremlins (minions?) attacked my machine and I lost the original post, ah well…

Overall, great autocross in dry, most clear and quite warm weather (lots of cases of sunburn this day) and the boys from BSCC really did up a challenging course, a slight mod of the course they ran on Saturday for the annual gathering of the Midwest Subaru clubs (“Scubapalooza”).  In fact, the course was so challenging, I DNF’d on FOUR of my six runs…got through the first part of the course and the first loop okay, but when it was time to locate the initial gate for the second loop, mass confusion, gnashing of teeth, wailing in the cockpit and I darned near bit through my cigar.  Frustrating, to put it mildly and from looking at the results (posted by Racer Steve last night), I wasn’t the only one who had problems.

Still enjoyed the day, which – with the HSD down for starter/flywheel/clutch replacement – marked my first ever autocross in a vehicle with an automatic transmission and second attempt with a front-wheel-drive vehicle (my first attempt was back in late ’77 at Bronson Field outside of Pensacola, with my ’78 VW Scirocco. Only trophy I’ve ever won…).

The next autocross is on Saturday 30 July, we’ll all turn out and try it again!

WB I-64

160701 WB Trailer BLV

From looking at the amount of space left on this trailer, I’d guess the owner has a couple of good years of travel left before he runs out of room for more bumper stickers.

BTW, I’m out on patrol again for LBCs, this time well to the south of St Louis.

If I turn any up I’ll post ’em,