Author Archives: John Gunnell

Dave Saunders also enjoys taking photos at a drag strip in England.

English artist-photographer sees art in speed

  British artist Dave Saunders and his wife Carole have made three trips to Bonneville. A wood stove designer by trade, Saunders does a small number of original acrylic oil on canvas paintings of cars each year. Carole bought Dave a book of Bonneville photos by Peter Vincent and he began photographing cars. During...

Jesse ponders what to do with the original 245-cid Big Six engine.

Studebaker Drivers Club has two new members

  My son Jesse and I recently became members of the Studebaker Drivers Club or SDC. The reason is we are getting back to working on the 1949 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe that Jesse bought back in June. It should make a great project for the cold nights of a Wisconsin winter. The Studebaker...

The ’56 Corvette SR2 was one of the rare experimental cars at MCACN.

Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals features cool cars

  The Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals (www.mcacn.com) in Rosemont, Ill., on Nov. 22-23, features many special Corvettes and muscle cars. The show is held at the Donald E. Stephens convention center, close to O’Hare Airport. Each year the attractions the show lines up are impressive. Car personalities who attended MCACN include Linda Vaughn,...

THIS ’55 Packard Clipper sedan on a trailer at the Jefferson, Wisconsin Flea Market might look like a great restoration project, but do your homework before you jump into buying any old car.

Making This (Barn Find) Into That (Show Car)

  The ’55 Packard Clipper four-door sat on a trailer in the Car Corral at the Fall Jefferson Flea Market in Jefferson, Wis. To a person unfamiliar with old cars, it probably looked like the biggest bargain in the world. After all, it was a P-A-C-K-A-R-D and it was all there. How could you...

This ’54 Chevy One-Fifty two-door sedan had a rebuilt six-cylinder motor and a $6,400 asking price. Do you think it was a realistic price?

False Impressions

  With classic car auctions on TV and headline prices like $38 million for a Ferrari, you would think that every old car is worth its weight in gold these days. In fact, some people selling vintage iron are setting their asking prices pretty high because they heard about the crazy prices people paid...

Bring your vintage racing car to Iola!

Race Cars and Pace Cars

My friend Ralph Kramer, who was Chevrolet’s Director of Public Relations for many, many years, grew up as an Indiana farm boy. In 1955, when he was about 12 years old, he and his friends decided to spend the Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. They traveled to the “Brickyard” —...

On Sept, 7, 2014, Milwaukee Midget Racing established a new Bonneville course record of 122.539 mph for the I/GT class. This was the oldest standing record in the GT category—it stood unbeaten for over 22 years.

2014 Bonneville Racing Season Report

The 2014 Bonneville Racing Season was intended to be a celebration of 100 years of Speed on the Salt. It seems that the 2014 weather did not cooperate with all of the planned events. Both events organized by the Southern California Timing Assoc. (SCTA) and Bonneville Nationals, Inc. (BNI) were cancelled due to rain...

Members of the All American Oakland club (jumbodog54@sbcglobal.net) toured the Larry Smith car collection in Wichita, Kansas last summer.

Hobbyists Helping Hobbyists

  Most old car clubs are suffering these days. Some say it’s due to the “graying” of the hobby and young people not liking cars. I don’t know if that’s 100 percent true, but I do know that people in general aren’t “joiners” anymore. Whether it’s a snowmobile event I help out with or...

Last winter the red Firebird became the “Silver Streak” with a new paint job.

This Bird Has Flown

The Firebird you see in these pictures has flown to a speed of 193 mph over the salt flats at Bonneville, Utah. That was back in 2011, when the car was painted red and we took it to Bonneville Speedway with a student team from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis. Things have...

This vendor at the 2014 Iola Old Car Show (www.iolaoldcarshow.org) got lots of laughs with his googly eyed Chevy truck.

Vendor Laffs

When we first got involved in the old-car hobby in 1972, we tried being a flea market vendor. It was a lot of work to load and unload the merchandise we were trying to sell. For the most part, sitting in a field or parking lot hoping for a sale was boring. To top...