Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bobby Unser Quotes Provide Inspiration

Fans of the Indy 500 all know the powerhouse racing families that thrilled fans of the Brickyard. Over the past half century the Unsers have been among the most recognized names in racing.

A Cars and Parts article about Robby Unser today reminded us that the Unser story is still a work in progress. The last page has yet to be written as another generation of Unsers makes a name for itself. 9X Pike's Peak Hill Climb champion Robby is son of 13X Pike's Peak champion Bobby, a 3X Indy 500 winner.

Bobby Unser has been a long-time friend of the AMSOIL family from the company's earliest years. It seems like a good day for sharing several inspirational quotes from Robby's father.

"Success is where preparation and opportunity meet."

"Yellow usually means it's not that serious."

"Nobody remembers who finished second but the guy who finished second."

"I feel honesty always works."

Here's a brief video spot in which Bobby explains one of his secrets of success.

And then here's one more quote worth sharing from the senior Unser: "Desire! That's the one secret of every man's career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire."

It's easy to see why AMSOIL founder A.J. Amatuzio and Bobby Unser hit it off. They were both driven by passion. What driving you?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Where to Find AMSOIL Locally

The Original, 1972
There was a time when people weren't sure what synthetic oil really was. AMSOIL, the company that brought this new technology to the passenger car market in 1972, didn't have the deep pockets of the major oil companies, and this new kind of oil was something of a mystery to car owners, and seemed expensive. Conventional oil had become a commodity and was used as a loss leader by the nation's auto parts outlets. One thing for certain, once you "got it" you didn't go back.

Twenty years later, things began to change. Due in part to pressures to improve fuel economy, and in part due to the increased performance demands of internal combustion engines, most of the major oil companies followed the AMSOIL lead and began to add synthetic oil to their product lineups. What they didn't have, however, was the two decades experience in formulating premium synthetic lubricants for any and every kind of engine application, and the lessons learned from billions of miles service by real life customers.

In the beginning people asked what it was. Today, people understand the value of AMSOIL synthetic oils and and fluids, and the question now asked is, "Where can I find it?"

AMSOIL is available at our online store at amsoil.com, but you can also use our Online Locator to find an AMSOIL Dealer or retail outlet in your own home town.

For a great video about our roots and our history, visit amsoil.com/about and see what we're really all about.

Friday, September 26, 2014

AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge Update: Two Weeks Away from Crowning New Power Kings

For those who have been following, the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge (EMC) is a premiere event that pits some of the nations best engine builders in a head-to-head dyno competition unlike any other.

A news story today talks about the roots of the EMC. The Engine Masters Challenge was the brainchild of Scott Parkhurst and the Popular Hot Rodding magazine staff way back in the year 2000. The idea was simple: they shoot out three different engines on the same dyno under the same conditions and with a clear set of rules used to establish a single winner.  

5X winner Jon Kaase making adjustments.
Earlier this year Popular Hot Rodding magazine was folded into the powerful Hot Rod magazine, a change that will only help give the competition an even higher profile. There are other changes for 2014, as editor Steve Dulcich explains. “The competition will be scored in a new way, taking an aggregate score based on average horsepower and torque over the entire scored operating rpm range and then adding in the peak power and torque per cubic inch in determining the final score. The effect of this change in the scoring system is to place a higher weight on peak horsepower and torque numbers. This will reduce the influence on the score of engine performance at very low rpm.” 

One thing that will remain a constant is the excitement generated beginning the morning of October 6 when the first engines are brought into their respective dyno cells. One Friday October 10, two weeks from today and at approximately this very hour, the 2014 AMSOIL Engine Masters champion team will be announced.

Read Thursday's Hot Rod news for more details.

Special thanks to everyone at the University of Northwest Ohio (UNOH) for providing such great facilities and hospitality. We look foward to seeing you soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Help Us Find the Stolen Vintage Motorcycles

A couple weeks back we did a blog story here about the coast-to-coast motorcycle adventure called The Cannonball Run, a long-distance marathon on vintage motorcycles. American Iron editor Buzz Kanter and three team mates were making the run again this year, and AMSOIL was helping keep their bikes lubed for the duration.

Yesterday news came out that the motorcycles of four other riders were stolen, a heartbreaking way to be taken out of an event like this which ought to be a joyous, even if grueling, group experience.

We're posting the story here in the hopes that if you know people who know people we want to help get the word out to you. The four vintage Harley-Davidsons were stolen from the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington. There's a $20,000 reward being offered by Team Carson Classic Motors.

The news broke here at the Cycle World website where you can read full details on the types of motorcycles that were taken and what you can do to help apprehend the criminals.

Johnny Cash's Rolls-Royce for Sale

We're all familiar with his deep baritone voice. "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash." So began his live concerts for a time, identifying with down-and-outers, performing in prisons, and representing the heart of Americana. He was The Man in Black, and his iconic career crossed multiple genres of music from rock and roll, rockabilly and blues to folk, and gospel.

This week a Rolls-Royce once gifted to this star musician was in the news, going up for sale at auction, with no reserve. The Rolls was given to Cash by ABC back when he had his television variety show. It was used to ferry him around for more than a decade before being sold to a private owner in the 1980s.

The history of Rolls-Royce is a long one, nearly as old as the auto industry itself. From the getgo it was a premium car that turned heads and emptied bank accounts. There were only 100 Rolls-Royces a year being sold in the United States when adman David Ogilvy was hired to expand the company's reach into the U.S. market. Ogilvy agreed to do what he could with the $50,000 they paid and he produced a single, well-placed ad that tripled the company's sales. The ad headline proclaimed, "A 60 miles per hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock." In the following year 300 new cars were shipped to America. You can see that ad and read the rest of the ad copy here.

Charles Rolls was the first undergraduate at Cambridge to own a car, and needless to say he had a passion. When he met Sir Henry Royce the two hit it off. Royce's attention to detail and pursuit of perfection were just the kinds of qualities Rolls valued and the two set about building the best cars in the world.

Today the company continues to maintain the same high standards that put them in the history books. The manufacturer still pursues the same attention to detail. They are also aiming to expand their market by appealing to a new generation of young style-driven owners. Car & Driver magazine, in an article featuring 25 cars worth waiting for shines a spotlight on the new 2-door version of the Rolls-Royce Ghost called the Wraith. If you're a billionaire the $300,000 price tag is probably chump change.

The photos here are of a striking Rolls-Royce courtesy Can Stock.
(c) Can Stock Photo

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sled Rehab Provides a Thrill for Three at Haydays

An exciting new look for first place winner Traci Leonard's Arctic Cat M6.
It may not feel like winter at this moment, but the official kick-off for snowmobile enthusiasts already took place several weeks ago in North Branch, Minnesota. Hay Days, an annual event sponsored by the Sno Barons Snowmobile Club, is an annual acknowledgement that summer's days are numbered, for better or for worse. For winter sports enthusiasts like skiers and snowmobilers, it's for better.

One of the events in this year's Hay Days carnival was the AMSOIL Sled Rehab competition. By means of social media AMSOIL offered snowmobile owners a chance to take their old sleds and have them refurbished for the 21st century. If you had a sled, 1996 or newer -- mechanically sound and in good running condition -- that could use a makeover, you were invited to upload a photo of your sled and tell your story. Three sleds were ultimately chosen for makeovers which would then take place at Hay Days.

The snowmobile makeovers included a custom sled wrap from Action Graphics plus C&A Pro Skis, hand guards, clutch kits and premium AMSOIL products for snowmobiles. It was a pretty sweet deal and the winners appreciated the attention they garnered for their machines. Other sponsors included ISOC, Scheuring Speed Sports, Sled Head 24/7, Straightline Performance and Woody's.

Thomas TeBeest's '08 MXZ TNT 500ss
Josh Bretzman: '06 Sno Pro 440 

First place winner Traci Leonard moved to Michigan's Upper Peninsula a year ago primarily for her love of snowmobiling. She's always loved to ride, but even moreso now that her 2005 Arctic Cat M6 has been rehabbed. When she learned that she was winner of the AMSOIL Sled Rehab she said,
"OMG I am so excited!! This has seriously been like the best week of my life."

You can see the end result at the top of this page, and what she used to ride below.

Before photo of Traci's basic black Cat. It's now a whole new machine.
Meantime, we're just about two months away from the Duluth Nationals snocross races that initiates a new snowmobile racing season. We'll see you on the mountain.

Friday, September 19, 2014

SEMA Feature of the Week: Holden Tribute G8

Up next in the SEMA vehicle blog series is this sweet Pontiac G8/GT, a unique ride that likely won’t be found anywhere else on the SEMA show floor. Owner Mike Passarge purchased this Australian-built Pontiac and transformed it into a bona-fide race vehicle in tribute to the V8 Supercar Series. His vision was the right one and his hard work paid off; soon after he landed a partnership with Holden Racing, and his G8 is the only non-racing vehicle in the country to fly their team graphics.

In addition to being invited to SEMA as a booth vehicle for Spec-D Tuning, Passarge will be on hand at SEMA Ignited to showcase his ride after the party. SEMA Ignited is a brand new after-show that brings out exquisite SEMA booth vehicles for public viewing consumption. This event allows the public and media to witness the industry’s latest and greatest parts in action after spending the week behind closed doors. We caught up with Passarge to get a little background info on his G8 and how he came to bring inspiration from down under to the US.

What drew you to the Pontiac G8 GT model? Is this your first project vehicle?

The Pontiac G8 was just an awesome set up at the best price. With it coming from Australia, I knew the look and performance would be great. I have been on the car scene since I was 16 and have fixed up many cars.

Tell us how your vision came to be. What is it about this car that makes it ‘you’?

After I bought the car and found out they raced them in the V8 Supercar Series, it became my new vision for my car. I like to put my own little flare on all my builds. I tried to make it look like a true V8 Supercar, but put my own style on it since the parts for this car are not available in the states. Many of my parts had to come from Australian companies.

Tell us about your partnership with Holden. How did you become the first non-race vehicle to receive their support?

To make my car look the part I came into contact with a great person from the Holden Racing Team. In explaining my vision to him of this tribute build, he knew I was serious about this and would give the upmost respect to the image of the Holden name. They offered me the actual race graphics off the team cars. I am the only one in the US with this awesome privilege and I am a Holden Race fan for life!

Is this your first time attending SEMA?

This will be the third time this car has been to SEMA. I am blessed that every time I change the car up to make it look different, someone wants it for SEMA. This will be my final build on this car and it will stay a tribute car to Holden Racing.

Why did you choose AMSOIL? Any favorite product?

I chose AMSOIL because of the quality of product and their reputation. They seem to take care of us non-professionals. There is no favorite product from AMSOIL. Every product available for my car, it’s in there. I take pride in my ride just as AMSOIL takes pride in their product, and that's why we make such a good match.

Has the car received any media coverage or car show awards recently? Any memorable moments on the car show scene?

Holden Media will be doing a build story after SEMA on the G8. I hope to get into a few magazines after this build, which will most likely be overseas. I love going to car shows with the G8. I have removed all badges and it has changed so much in appearance that most people don’t even know what it is. Only the true Pontiac and Aussie race fans know what the build is about. I think my car is one of those “Love it or Hate it” cars.

We love it. Do you have a favorite quote or motto that describes you?

My quote I often use is "To each their own". I never dog someone’s ride…everyone’s vision is different, and that’s what makes the car scene so great.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week: Keep On Truckin'

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 14-20, is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. There are more than 3.2 million professional men and women who not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, they also keep our highways safe.

Here's an interesting infographic with a variety of interesting facts about American truckers. Some of the things you might learn that you didn't know include the number of commercial trucks in the U.S., the average age of today's truckers, how many miles per year the average trucker drives, the five top movies for truck lovers, and comparisons between cars and trucks in terms of engine size, horsepower and miles driven. And much more!

In short, there's probably a lot you don't know about the trucking industry.

Americans are more dependent on the trucking industry than most Americans are aware of. This article is very instructive in with regards to what would happen if all trucking were to cease today. Not only are our food and medical supplies dependent on trucking, our stores would eventually be out of stock and our gas stations out of fuel. Eventually, in much of the country our clean water supplies would be threatened and life as we know it will no longer be taken for granted.

The power to deliver all these goods comes from engines and drivetrains which require lubrication to operate properly. Just as we take all this shipping activity for granted, a lot of people (including truckers) take their lubricants for granted and do not realize that a premium synthetic oil can actually make a difference in fuel economy and bottom line savings. In one diesel fleet fuel economy study, AMSOIL synthetic drivetrain lubricants were shown to increase fuel economy in short-to-medium haul trucking applications by 6.54 percent.  Another EPA Federal Test Procedure demonstrated how switching to AMSOIL Premium API CJ-4 5W-40 Synthetic Diesel Oil generated fuel economy improvements of 1.25 to 3.10% compared to conventional 15W-40 diesel oil.

The trucking industry accounts for 12.8% of all fuel purchased in the United States. Could this be reduced a little if we switched all these fleets to AMSOIL?

For what it's worth... we're grateful for our nation's truckers, male and female, young and old. Keep on truckin'.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hellcat Aerodynamics Might Just Take Your Breath Away

“If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.” ― Mario Andretti

Assuming you feel a need for speed, it may be of interest to you that Dodge has stepped up its game with the 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat. Not to be outdone by Ford's recent crop of Mustangs and Chevy's Corvette Stingray Supercar, the Hellcat boasts some serious power, reminding us of those muscle car rivalries of days gone by.

You can't really say, "Cars are fun again," because they've always been fun, but the Hellcat is certainly turning heads and making an impression.

CBS news anchor Dan Rather once quipped, "Americans will put up with anything as long as it doesn't block traffic." And you can be sure this feisty beast is not going to be blocking traffic.

Last week, StreetLegaltv.com posted a story by editor Michael Harding on how the Hellcat's aerodymics enable the car to surpass 200 miles per hour. That's breathtakingly fast, and there aren't a lot of places you can play at that speed. But it's nice to know if you need a little extra thrust, you've got it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why is there a time limit – in addition to a mileage limit – on motor oil?

Most vehicles carry a motor oil service-life recommendation that includes a duration of time in addition to a mileage distance. For example, your vehicle might call for an oil change every 5,000 miles or six months. It’s obvious that thousands of miles of driving will take its toll on engine oil, but less obvious is the role time plays in breaking down motor oil.

Even when you’re not driving, chemical changes take place within motor oil that lead to degradation and the need for an oil change. Oxidation is a prime culprit. The interaction between oxygen molecules and motor oil molecules naturally leads to chemical breakdown. Just as oxygen causes a cut apple to brown or exposed metal to rust, it breaks down base oils and reduces motor oil’s effectiveness. Although synthetic base-oil molecules are naturally much more resistant to oxidation than conventional base-oil molecules, they eventually succumb to oxidation’s attack. Oxidation can lead to increased oil viscosity, which negatively affects energy efficiency. It also causes the formation of harmful deposits and sludge.

Your vehicles are also subjected to temperature swings, even when not in use. Temperature swings cause condensation to form inside the engine, leading to water contamination. Not driving for extended periods – or taking short trips that don’t allow the engine to fully warm up – allows water to remain in the oil rather than evaporating and exiting through the tailpipe. Water contributes to engine corrosion.

When you do drive, contaminants form as natural byproducts of combustion. Acids lead to sludge formation and corrosion, and those acids and other contaminants continue to affect chemical changes in the oil, even while not driving.

Even though all motor oils have to eventually be changed regardless of mileage, high-quality synthetic oils – like AMSOIL synthetic motor oils – allow you to go longer between oil changes for maximum convenience and cost savings. Premium synthetic motor oils also offer increased resistance to oxidation for excellent engine protection, making them the right choice even if you don’t practice extended drain intervals. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are formulated with advanced chemicals that resist breakdown, disperse contaminants and clean internal parts to continue delivering outstanding performance and protection long after conventional oils have to be changed. Check out all AMSOIL synthetic motor oils for passenger cars/light trucks.

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil
XL Synthetic Motor Oil
OE Synthetic Motor Oil
European Car Synthetic Motor Oil

Photo credits: (c) Can Stock Photo

Monday, September 15, 2014

How Fast Does A Model T Go?

Henry Ford famously quipped that people could buy a Model T Ford in any color they wanted as long as it was black. My, how the world has changed. Black is still an option, but so is copper, silver, white, grey, orange, yellow, green, cobalt blue and aquamarine.

There are car collectors who still love their Model Ts though. One of our local car clubs here in Superior, WI did 120 miles of cruising this weekend, and a good time was had by all.

Not only have the colors of cars changed dramatically over the years, the speed at which they travel has likewise changed. It takes a lot less time to drive from New York to Boston than it did 100 years ago.

Not everyone has the same need for speed, but it's comforting to know you've got it when you need it. Here's a trivia factoid you may find interesting: When railroads began to carry passengers, there were great debates about their safety because some scientists proposed that if a train went faster than 25 miles per hour it would suck the air out of everyone's lungs and they would die.

In the event that you really were interested in knowing how fast the old Model T Fords went, you can Google it and it might lead you to a forum where Model T owners are discussing this very thing.

If you're wondering which motor oil to use for your Model T, you'll find the answer to that question somewhere else. In the event that you have a vehicle of more recent vintage, the best place to find the correct viscosity is the lookup guide on our home page of AMSOIL.com. Check it out.

Friday, September 12, 2014

SEMA Feature of the Week: David Gutierrez DARK300

David Gutierrez’s 2007 Chrysler 300, dubbed DARK300, is unlike any other on the scene. Appearances at big-name car shows have earned awards at every 2014 show he’s attended, including the Los Angeles DUB Show where competition is always fierce. This is due in large part to the uniqueness of the long wheel base body, which added 6 inches and over 10 cubic feet of interior room. The modifications list is extensive, evidence to the fact that Gutierrez left no stone unturned when seeking the very best for his vision. His efforts paid off; he’s landed photo shoots for advertisements, a feature spot on Chrysler’s Facebook page and gained over 3,000 likes on Instagram in less than two hours. To top it all off, DARK300 will be seen in an upcoming feature film later this year.

Gutierrez is now preparing DARK300 for the SEMA Show as a feature vehicle for XIX Wheels, and approached AMSOIL to ensure his engine performs as well as the rest of his ride looks. We caught up with Gutierrez to get an idea of where it all began, and what it’s like to own a ride that’s about to make its Hollywood debut.

 Is this your first project/show vehicle?

This is. I’ve owned plenty of cars before this one and have always done little upgrades or modifications to make it ‘mine’, but I had my children early in life and always had other financial responsibilities to take care of first. Now that my kids are older I have more time and money to really build a car to my liking.

What drew you to the Chrysler 300 model?

When Chrysler first presented the 300 to the public I was immediately drawn to the look of the car. It seems to me to have the perfect balance of luxury and with a look of meanness to it. It is a very comfortable car to drive, whether it’s just down the street or road trip to Las Vegas!

Yours is a rare long wheel base 300. How did your partnership with Chrysler & Accubuilt come to be?

Not very many people know that this was actually an option that Chrysler offered for the 2007 and 2008 300’s. Chrysler wanted to get their foot in the door in the livery service market. To do this they needed to compete with Lincoln Town Cars and the BMW 7 series. The long wheel base gives a total of 46.2 inches of rear seat leg room, 10.2 cubic feet of additional interior space, wider rear door openings for easy entrance & exit and many other added optional features that the regular 300 doesn’t offer.

What is it about this vehicle that makes it ‘you’?

There are so many things that I've done to the car to add my own personal touch. One of the biggest I would say is my ‘Day of the Dead’ girl logo. It has been custom etched into the front emblem, the trunk wing, the door sills and many other locations on the car. It follows the ‘dark' theme that the car has, not necessarily evil but certainly leaning toward the ominous.

Is this your first time attending the SEMA show?

It is and I am very excited to be able to attend! It is a great feeling to know that others feel that something you have done is worth showing at such an important show such as SEMA.

2014 has been a good year for taking home car show awards and trophies. How many are you up to, and which one means the most to you?

At a quick glance I have been awarded over 20 trophies, plaques or certificates. One of the ones that stand out to me was from this year’s Extreme Autofest in Anaheim. The competition was very steep that day, there were many very nice looking cars and for them to award me a trophy that day was an amazing experience.

Can you tell us about the DARK300’s film debut?

My DARK300 will be in the Magnet Films release of the ABC’s of Death 2 on October 31st. It is a small part, but again for the director to personally ask for my car to be in the film is such a great feeling.

If you could select any car in the world to customize and modify to your specs, what would it be and why?

Hmmm, there are so many choices!! I think a 1931 Ford Model A would be something that I would like to work on. I would make it a Rat Rod but with my own personal touches.

Why did you choose AMSOIL? Any favorite AMSOIL product?

My whole family has been using AMSOIL products in all of our cars for as long as I can remember. I’ve never heard any complaints from them about any AMSOIL products. AMSOIL’s 100% synthetic oil has always worked great!

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that describes you?

I’d rather be looked at as the guy who’d try anything, rather than the guy who did nothing.

AMSOIL under the hood:
10W-30 Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil
Absolute Efficiency oil filter
Signature Series Multi-Vehicle ATF
Severe Gear 75W-90 Gear Lube
Anti-freeze & Engine Coolant
Dominator Coolant Boost
Synthetic Brake Fluid

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bringing It All Back Home: AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour Visits Youngstown

It was a pair of all-Ohio days for the AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour. When they rolled out of Cincinnati Monday morning they headed to the opposite corner of Ohio for a destination Tour Director Jerry Dixey calls one of his favorite places in the United States: his own back yard. Yes, Mary Ann and Jerry decided that being this close to home they ought to give The Dynamat Tour a very special memory, a Dixey Picnic.

With Jerry on the road the heavy lifting was left for Mary Ann who recruited her friend Dawn Damron. It was a beautiful drive that included a little excursion through Amish country. When they arrived at suppertime, even Jerry’s mother Barbara Dixey and brother Jack joined in the festivities which included a great meal of sloppy joes, vegetarian chili and tasty desserts. Jerry gave everyone a tour of his garages, toy boxes and house. The road warriors had a chance to see that Jerry not only enjoys talking about cars, he’s also a collector, albeit on a slightly smaller scale than some of the incredible collections he’s had the privilege of sharing over the years in other places and spaces.

A lot of folks don’t realize that before the Road Tour carved a chunk out of his life Jerry’s time was primary spent running a business called Classic Automobilia, a company that he and Mary Ann started in 1989. While the showroom is still filled with nostalgia and automobilia. Jerry even showed the Road Tourians his soap box derby collection and the many pedal cars he’s acquired over the years. Everyone enjoyed the diner-themed showroom.

Next stop: Snyder’s Antique Auto in nearby New Springfield, Ohio. Snyder’s has been in business for over 50 years. The company was started by Don Snyder Sr. who along with Jerry’s father John Dixey and a few others started the Model T Ford Club of Mahoning County. Jerry’s passion for cars is in the his blood as he grew up going to antique auto shows in his Great Grandfather’s 1926 Model T Ford station wagon that his father restored in the early 1960’s, a vehicle he still owns. Don Synder III, who now runs the company, gave everyone a tour of their facility where they supply Model T and Model A parts to folks around the world. After this they visited the car collection of Don Snyder Jr., an amazing collection of almost 100 vehicles. Don is a fan of the early lightweight factory race cars of the 60’s. They were able to see the very first Ford Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt #100 which was the last one made.

Other stops Tuesday include #1 Performance Center in Columbiana, Ohio and the collection of Norm and Cynthia Anderson in Canfield, Ohio. Tuesday’s various stops in the Youngstown area culminated in the weekly Tuesday night cruise at the Austintown Senior Center. The Mahoning Valley Old Car Club coordinates the cruise each week with Jerry’s good friends Dick and Laurie Nard handling the DJ duties. As with everywhere else they go, the Road Tour vehicles turn heads and the Road Tourian enjoy seeing the local cars. They were even ask to parade in front of the DJ stand as a group on our way out of the cruise, a great way to wrap up this special time in Jerry Dixey’s home town, Youngstown, Ohio.

Till next! Join the Road Tour and see where the cars really are.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Coast-to-Coast with AMSOIL: Team American Iron on the Cannonball Run

Kanter takes a time out to have a new regulator installed.
American Iron magazine editor Buzz Kanter is currently on the road with his 1936 Harley VLH and three lifelong friends in an attempt to conquer the 4,000-mile cross-country trek known as the Cannonball Run. The Cannonball Run is not a speed race, but rather a test of endurance that takes riders from coast to coast over the course of two weeks. The catch? This event is only open to bikes manufactured 1936 and earlier. Yes, every bike in the race is at LEAST 78 years old and running on the original motor. Many updates have been added for safety’s sake, but the core of each bike has been restored to its former glory days. At least that’s the objective. We received an update from Kanter and though it’s just a few days in, it’s been quite a ride so far.

Coined Team American Iron, Kanter and crew are still in the running and aiming to finish despite severe weather setbacks and stops to fix mechanical and parts failures. Kanter reports sightings of many other riders dealing with similar issues roadside along the way, as can be expected when these antique machines are on the road. However, participants of the Cannonball Run anticipate and prepare for this and most are back up and running in no time. One member of Kanter’s team, Pat Simmons of Doobie Brothers fame, found an innovative way of getting back on the road after his oil drain plug had fallen out. He pulled over, found a suitable stick and got to whittling it down to size so it could plug the drain and get him to a place where it could be fixed properly. These are the things one must do to stay in the Cannonball running, and these riders have certainly shown they are up to the task. All Team American Iron members have faced issues that took them off the road. From broken coils and chains to replacing batteries, these guys haven’t let any of it stop them from getting back in the saddle.

Some of the other vintage Harley's making the run.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that AMSOIL is installed in the bikes of Team American Iron. These old motors need an oil capable of taking them from Daytona, Beach, Fla. to Tacoma, Wash. without failure. AMSOIL is definitely up to the challenge, giving them peace of mind to Ride Hard and Run Cool. While parts may break and cost them some time, the hearts of their machines will keep on ticking.

Check back soon for another update after the Cannonball Run and see how the rest of the journey pans out and learn Team American Iron’s final rank.

Listen to Buzz talk about his Vintage 1936 Harley.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We Love Our Trucks

Pickup then...
In 1996 American Heritage magazine devoted its November issue to celebrating 100 years of the automobile. It was a dandy collectible with features stories about the longest race, the ten greatest technical breakthroughs in automobile history, the designer of the American Dream and other stories. One of these was William Jeanes's feature on pickup trucks titled "High, Wide and Handsome."

The piece begins by noting, "The best-selling American car isn't a car at all. It's a pickup truck." He then goes on to provide a brief history of how pickup trucks came to have such an appeal. In the piece Jeanes notes that pickup trucks may at one time have been all about utility, but over time design and style came to have more influence so that by the late nineties only 14% of all pickup-truck owners listed "use in line of business" as their main purpose in owning such a vehicle.

...and now.
Nearly two decades later and we still have a love affair with pickup trucks. Last week AOL Autos published an online slide show of the top fifteen selling cars in America and three were once again not cars. In fact, three of the top five were not cars. They were pickup trucks., number one being the Ford F-Series with sales of 68,109 in August.

Whether you're hauling hay, or towing a boat to the lake, pickups are practical. And in rural regions with deep snow, you'll get out of a drift more easily than with a low-slung sports car.

If you love your truck, make sure you take care of her. With AMSOIL.

Photo credits: (c) Can Stock Photo

Friday, September 5, 2014

Photos and More Photos from AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour "Shades of the Past"

Just thought it might be fun to share what you've been missing. This week the Road Tourians past through Bowling Green and saw the now famous sinkhole that appeared in the Corvette museum showroom there. It is now a bit of arcane wonderment. Here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's All About Power: 2014 AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge Just Around The Corner

The AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge is an engine builders dyno competition that was spawned by Popular Hot Rodding magazine and resulted in the creation of Engine Masters Magazine, a quarterly publication that covers all the action and insights from this event. The competition takes place at the dyno facilities of the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH), which hosts the event. In addition to the magazine staff, UNOH gives 40 students a chance to rub shoulders with some of the best performance engine builders in the country. The students, two teams of twenty serving morning and afternoon shifts, help with dyno setups and engine teardowns under the able guidance of their instructors. AMSOIL is title sponsor and exclusive oil.

This year's AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge presented by HOT ROD magazine is just a month away. One thing a competition like this does is provide builders an opportunity to showcase their skills, especially with regard to innovation. Because of it's connections to the media, and entire industry can zoom in and "watch over our shoulders" so to speak.

If you're not familiar with the ins and outs of a dyno challenge with many of the continents leading builders, then tune in here and listen to Master of Ceremonies Clarence Barnes preview last year's event.

In about thirty days we'll be on location in Lima, Ohio for the 2014 AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shades of the Past: AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour Update

The AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour is now in the midst of its sixth tour leg of the season, coming close to wrapping up another successful run. The Shades of the Past Tour is currently en route from Indiana to Tennessee in a whirlwind tour that affords members VIP treatment, access to some of the nation’s historic automotive museums, car shows and even some auction action along the way.

The tour kicked off Labor Day weekend in Fort Wayne, Ind. Tour Director Jerry Dixey is at the helm in the ’59 Impala Road Tour car, followed by 25 registered street rods and their owners ready to hit the pavement. The group headed to Auburn, Ind. for a stop at the National Automotive and Truck Museum and the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum. Auburn was also hosting the homecoming of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg vehicles and owners, which coincided perfectly with the arrival of the AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour. Dixey and crew enjoyed warm welcomes and nostalgic throwbacks from their time in Auburn. Before they left town, the Tour stopped at the Auctions America grounds, a sprawling space designed especially for the homecoming event. A car show and auction awaited them, and a couple members even placed bids and added to their collections. Jerry Dixey himself ended up with a 1948 Pontiac Steelcraft pedal car.

From there it was on the Indianapolis for the 60th annual NHRA US Nationals event. The AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour vehicles were placed just past the walk-in gates, turning heads and drawing the attention of all who entered. Road Tour participants were granted pit access at the racetrack and were able to spend time with the teams and crew members that make the whole event possible. After spending time at the track and rubbing elbows with key players in the circuit, the Road Tour headed off towards the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Reunion in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Only two more road trips remain on the 2014 AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour. There’s still a lot to see and time to join either one, or even just come out and witness the cavalcade yourself at any of the stops. Find full information on the Road Tour and remaining stops here.