I will leave the current version up for a little while until the new version is ready… I expect it will be completed sometime in the early part of 2020.
Though I no longer own an MX-5, the Miata community is still an important aspect of my life and I love sharing stories of owners I met on my travels. The new site will focus much on those kinds of interactions and I can’t wait to include my adventures from a recent trip to Munich, Germany and Cape Town, South Africa.
I’ve also bought a Jeep Wrangler so a good chunk of the new site will focus on that vehicle and the new adventures that come with it’s ownership.
I do want to focus more on general travel and my foodie experiences. Something I touched on in this site but typically as part of other stuff like my Marshaling adventures and Miata Road Trips.
The new site will separate some hobbies. For example my Marshaling Log Book gets it’s own web site, and it is ready to view now right here:
Similarly the Hot Wheels hobby has it’s own site, I call it the Spotter Guide inspired by the famous Andy Blackmore, the creator of many Sports Car spotter guides I love to collect at various IMSA events:
Been a while since I’ve gone to a local Cars & Coffee event, and while there was one happening much closer to home I decided to drive an hour to check out the one in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Compared to last year’s event it seemed smaller both in attendance of people as well as cars on display. But those that were there were excellent quality automobikes. Lots of Italian and German classics and modern wheels. Have a look at some of my favorites:
Some cool things that stood out to me. Watkins Glen International had a pop up recruiting marshals. And someone actually came up to me inviting me to volunteer there… Cool!
Last years 3 or 4 Pagani’s were not there but the TWR Jaguar street car looked fantastic. I really liked the yellow Unimog too. And the three baby seats in the middle of a Citroen station wagon looked pretty cool. Lots of Dino’s… lots of Alfa Giulia’s. Plenty of Porsches and BMWs.
After the event my buddy Bill and I decided to do a scenic drive to Bear Mountain crossing the Hudson from East to West which was surprisingly underwhelming. The Westchester side of New York is far less exciting to drive than Rockland and Orange side especially zig zagging along Seven Lakes Drive.
I try not to stray from my core Hot Wheels and Matchbox collecting hobby, and that is to focus on collecting realistic race cars… keeping them sealed in their original packaging, because often the card art is much better than the deco on each car. But I stumbled upon a mystery models set at Walmart today that fits all the criteria of my collection minus the card art because the cars are sealed in plastic baggies that also contain a sticker of the car, much like the blue card for the individual cars.
There is a lot to like in this set of Mystery cars, even when the car I wanted most was most elusive… I still have not found it (the Mystery: Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo)
But I stocked up on the rest and thanks to the good folks at HWCollectorsNews.com I can even share what each car looks like without taking mine out of the package. I even brought home one of the boxes from Walmart specifically to keep all my mystery stuff separate from the rest I put up on a wall…
The cars I was most interested in that I got:
Dodge Viper SRT-10
Ford GT LM
BMW M3 GT2
Ford Fiesta Rallycross
I’ll be on the lookout to find that Huracan GT3 that fits my collection best!
I started my Hot Wheels collection to basically keep the nostalgia of having once participated as a Motorsport marshal going… until I could return again to my racing hobby. Soon I will return, but the little die cast cars have been so much fun I cannot believe I didn’t start this sooner… Meanwhile I always wanted to link the photos of the cars in my collection to the real race cars I came across during my travels.
This week I took on a project that totally kicked my ass, mentally and physically. My friend Bill started experiencing a grinding sound and wheel vibration on the right side of the car after having new wheels installed. Since he gave me his old used tires I went on a test drive with him after COSTCO did his tire install and quickly diagnosed it as a broken wheel bearing. Fast forward to Saturday Bill and I attempted to do the replacement of his 111k mile MX5 hubs to new Timken RX8 hubs from Rock Auto.
Bills hubs however took much longer and a ton more effort because of rust and the hubs were seized to the base they bolt in to. So over the course of the next four days I kept on spraying the hubs with PB Blaster repeatedly, used up a big bottle of that, not to mention a couple of more CRC degreaser I borrowed from my dad, and pounded the shit out of them using a rented slide hammer from Auto Zone.
On Monday the left side gave way. But the right side, the actual broken bearing would not budge for two more days. Bill researched a few suggestions on the forums. I tried them all and they all failed:
Using a stubby screwdriver to pound from the inside the wheelwell around the plastic ABS cover. Nope!
Pounding the plastic ABS cover, breaking it and hitting the bearing directly. Nope!
Going to Home Depot to buy longer bolts and banging them from the inside to push the hub out. Nope! The bolts sheared immediately and went right thru the hole like thru butter… Argh!
What finally worked was banging from the inside behid the wheel studs to push the thing ever so slightly. I used a chizel on one side because the metal brake duct was very much in the way. Plus more banging with the slide hammer of course. Eventually that worked millimeter by millimeter. A few times I hammered the hub back in place from the front just to move it back and forth, and after a total of maybe 12 or 14 hours of banging over 4 days it worked. Reassembly was very quick maybe half an hour. But after all that banging every bone in my body, every muscle, every cell hurt!
The more cars and bikes I add to my collection the more I want to get to complete my newly created Hot Wheels Motorsport “Spotter Guide” to illustrate the available options out there in the 1/64 scale diecast world.
In addition to my core collectables I’ve stocked up on cool cars I offer to trade to others for what I like… and the question always comes up: “what are you looking for?”
This list is what I’m looking for:
Check out Hot Wheels Collector News for a complete list of this 2010-2013 bike model: Click here!
While I have a few Ducati 1199’s already there are a few more 2014+ models I’d like: Click here!
The 2013-2014 release of the Lotus Evora GT4 would be nice to acquire: Click here!
While it was made from 2002 onwards I’m especially interested in the 2010 version of the Saleen S7 Race Car with a big wing and air scoop added. Click here!
Though I doubt I’ll ever get my hands on any of these realistic looking 1999 production F1 cars, I would really love to get at least the above Ferrari and BMW versions in their true liveries. Click here!
Speaking of must-have Formula 1 models, the 2010 Tyrrell six-wheeler is at the top of my list. Click here!
This short tail version of the 917 beauty of which I already have a few long tail version is a must for me, and I think I’ll get one fairly reasonably priced as it was a recent release. Click here!
This limited edition, fancilly boxed 911 will be impossible to get cheaply. Click here!
However this mainline from 2010 should be doable: click-here!
This would be awesome to have, Ferrari Challenge F360 from 1999 production run, click here!
The 2009 run of the next Ferrari Challenge F430 is a must too, Click Here!
After participating in Red Bull Rallycross I got a really soft spot for the Ford Fiesta, would love to add a few more of these colorful gems to my collection. Click here!
One of the more illusive race cars I have been having trouble getting cheaply on eBay is the series of Ford Falcon V8 Supercars. I definitely want these in my collection. Click here!
Since there are no Kroger stores in my area getting the Ford GT exclusive was impossible, hoping to find one on eBay cheaply. Clickhere.
There are of course a number of GT3 car variations I would love to add to the many existing cars on my wall. Especially slightly older stufffrom before the time I begun my collection.
Huge thanks to HWCollectorsNews.com folks forcataloging this hobby so well for newbies to have such an amazing resource to go by. My collection keeps growing so this page and my general wish list is constantly updated. Stay tuned!
The more time I spend away from participating in Motorsport the more nostalgic my Hot Wheels hobby makes me feel. So I had an idea to catalog my collection into a Motorsport spotter guide much like those famous Andy Blackmore sportscar guides I would often share before every endurance race I went to marshal. This is going to be my attempt to create something similar. For not just sports car racing but also open wheelers, moto racing, rally and historics.
Its been a while since I chose a flight to book specifucally based on the airliner that flies that route. For my upcomming trip to Europe I will be going slightly out of my way (and way out of my way on the return) just to fly Boeing’s Dreamliner across the Atlantic.
It won’t be my first time flying this bird. I was booked on it twice already. First time using United Airline miles to fly partner ANA to Tokyo, but that flight suffered equipment change and I got to ride an old 777 instead. And a Scoot Air short hop between Bangkok and Singapore which was so late at night and so short I don’t remember much from that experience. Much like my previous experiences hunting after booking Airbus A380 international flights I’m very much looking forward to a longer Dreamliner experience. On my way to Paris I will have to take a positioning flight to Chicago. And returning from Munich I will overshoot home by flying to Dallas and then take an Airbus A321 flight home.
Between France and Germany I plan to rely on European fast train options, but IF stars align I would snag a cheap short flight in a heartbeat.
Wish I didn’t let my Air France miles expire I had almost 10k sitting dormant at one point, but disapointingly I discovered that the only way to keep them was by flying, partner earnings (like dining and shopping) did not help.
I will share more info on my plans for this Euro Trip later. It has been an exciting experience already just trying to secure the reward booking from AA. I was just over 1k miles short for redemption, it took me more than ten trips to various local restaurants for lunch to prop up my points balance via AAdvantage Dining… so glad those kind of options are out there.
more to come soon….
PS. I will be so pissed if my flight experiences equipment change again or if Dreamliners get grounded again for some reason this September.
Update 1: May 13 American emailed me a flight change notice changing my domestic outbound flight from 1:30pm departure giving me a comfortable 4 hour connection time at Chicago O’hare to a 4:30pm departure giving me a sweaty 48 minute connection time which would most certainly mean I would have to run across the airport just to make my flight. Quick call to AA and I was back on a different 1:30pm departure… looks like AA changed flight #’s on the route and adjusted flight times slightly, which triggered the goof!
Mission accomplished once again. The Hot Wheels Premium Car Culture line keeps getting better and better. That’s those tiny 1/64 scale wide cards with fancy artwork cars featuring rubber wheels and metal base for $5.49 apiece instead of standard mainline cars that sell for $0.94 at Walmart or a bit more everywhere else. Well 2019 is getting pretty awesome so far with incredibly detailed modern GT3 machinery… exactly what got me into collecting Hot Wheels a year ago.
Sadly I’m not the only one hunting for these awesome things in Northern NJ and it took me many fruitless trips to the local stores where all I accomplished was burning a lot of gas. Today my luck changed around. While going to get my taxes done I finally stumbled upon an Easter display at Target that had all the cars I really wanted in my collection. Woo Hoo!!!
Well there you have it folks… super happy with my growing collection and looking forward to future fantastic releases.
Few reasons… started running out of wall space because I bought too many. My collection is straying a bit from my initial goal to collect only modern GT3 machines. Was a bit curious to see if anyone would buy them… come across someone crazier than me willing to pay more for a toy than the stores sell them for, etc.
It was an interesting experience. I listed my small 3 car Forza Motorsport series collection for $11 bux each giving myself a little wiggle room for the inevitable negotiation. Within an hour I had 3 offers for the BMW 2002… one guy offered to take the lot if I give him a deal, so I took a dollar off selling 3 for $30.
As much as I liked the card art in these they just didn’t fit with the rest of my Car Culture Real Riderz collection.
I’m thinking of selling a few more. The profit on each model won’t make anyone rich but it will offset the fuel I burned going to the store and coming back empty handed because they never seem to have Hot Wheels on the pegs anymore. Than again it’s probably because of people buying them cheap and reselling for more money like I just did. Welcome to capitalism.
The other thing I did was found someone to trade my spares for something I like. And while initially it seemed like a great idea the shipping cost killed the deal for me.
I’ll write more about this once I receive the package. But for now I’m on the hunt for more stuff I like to have on my wall, which currently features a lot of placeholders I’m looking to get rid of.
Motorsport Marshal, Miata Driver, Hot Wheels Collector