Thursday, December 31, 2009

David Henry Foulkes Review of 2009 LCP

The 2009 adventure of the #21 Studebaker of Leo Noetzel and David Henry Foulkes.

Panamericana 2009

It is all over now.

Bua, bua, bua, sniff, sniff, it was all hugs and kisses, Nuevo Laredo again, the emotions, mariachis are playing good bye songs, Eduardo Leon was very happy (pockets full of money), Matts and Eva were completely crazy, Stig after three tequilas was saying in a perfect sweedish accent throw me one more, it was the end of the XXII panamericana, it all started nine days earlier in Huatulco, Oaxaca, a paradise, with all the temptations, all that was missing was an Eva for this Adam, another time will be.

Day 0, the race had not even started and there had already been three hard crashes, doctors were too busy with some poor girls they had found “drowning” at the beach, during the classification, the Lucky tako oldsmobile got unlucky and rolled over, that night, the fraternity gave Leo Noetzel (pilot from car 21, the blue sanborns Studebaker), a trophy for his first 20 years racing the panamericana, the children`s orchestra from Huatulco was playing music for us.

Friday morning, the heat was coming up, crew members started dehidrating, some even fainted, others threw up, the least got dizzy, temperature out at the shadow was 32 degrees Celsius, we were driving like mad to get out of that inferno, we got to Oaxaca where Murray`s children were greeting us (fourteen years thirteen children, that is a great record), they were all asking him for money (and he did not want to give them).

Saturday early morning, we ran away from Murray´s children heading towards Tehuacan, the party great as usual, Stuart and Linda were dancing on top of the trailer with the edacarnes, at the rithm of mambos, then headed towards the great Tenochtitlan, the weather had changed, we now had fog and rain, cars were spinning with so much water on the road, no terrible accidents fortunately, and we arrived there, police were ready to escort us through the city, but they did not know the way to Santa Fé, after four hours going up and down the city, police escort hired a taxi to lead us to the meta, a place full of elegant restaurants where the valet parking were eager to “park” our cars, that night, Andrew had too much to drink and started looking for a fight, he chose bad and asked Leo to fight him, Leo just blew him out in a snap, poor Andrew all full of blood, fortunately doctors were there and helped him right away.

Sunday morning, due to rain, Mexico City´s track was cancelled, so we went straight to Cuautitlan, where breakfast was served, we had delicious pancita, menudo and tacos de nana buche y cachete, with our stomach full, we left towards Queretaro, a sunny day, but not to hot, Damiron in “el buick” felt as a child with a new toy, he passed the police car at a speed of no less than 160 miles per hour, later we knew breakfast had not made his stomach very well and he was in a great hurry to get to the “servicio”, phew, he made it right on time, a great day, now the track at Querétaro, Stig, Lars and Pimentel were heading the race, Doug had had problems with a cliff and Gabriel Perez had had bad luck with a hill (neither case were navigators mistakes (they are both members of our union and we have to take care of them), it was the nervousness of the drivers who wanted to get there on first place.

That night the violins made dinner delightful (and as I had already had lunch at the hotel, I was able to really enjoy the evening (food was scarce, drinks finished before the pilots arrived, so there was no more than music).

We left towards San Luis Potosi, we had very very beautiful views on the way, he were above the clouds in some hills, and made the special stages in dry roads (last year we had rain in them and were very sliperry, not this time), the service at Jalpan, no children there to greet us, what a relief (this is the second year we go there, maybe there will be babies next year), then San Luis, police closed the main road so we could come into town very fast, that noght enchiladas potosinas, mmm delicious, very small, very tasty, not hot, mmmm I eat a dozen, Emilio Azcarraga won third place in his class but declined the trophy in favor of his friend Jassan and navigator Mmmmmartina Franzzz, mmmm, nice gesture (declined the trophy but kept the timing).

Going out of San Luis was a real mess, slow cars were blocking the exit, transit section was 17 minutes and we left 8 minutes late, we were going on the wrong side of the street to try and make it on time to the z control, we arrived a big black pick up was now blocking our way, the control saw us desperate and moved towards us (thanks a lot), we made it one minute and a half late, but not our fault, I wrote it on the back of the time card, I wont accept any penalty for this, (believe it or not, they agreed with me and scolded the pick up fellows (even though it was from televisa), well done) now passing through Guadalajara escorted by police officers, and heading towards Tequila.

Great place, nice old town, it did smell to tequila, we visited the museum at Casa Cuervo, we went through the distillery and had the best lunch in the whole race, there was enough for everybody and even more, Jesus must have been there for when we arrived I saw only eight pieces of bread and one bottle of tequila, but we were all able to eat and drink, sodas, wine, and of course all the tequila you wanted (and for free), thank you casa cuervo.

Eight o´clock at night, problems started, it was raining, our car has no wipers, we had had to much tequila, and needed gas, Carlos Castillo (studebaker 51 from Aguascalientes) offered to guide us to Guadalajara we had to get some gas and our friend Adolfo from Chiapas asked us for a lift (his car had broken down and got there with a service crew who had already left, we were his last chance to go back to Guadalajara) got our gas and left, two miles away Leo asked me and Adolfo?, we had left him at the gas station, and had to go back to fetch him, there he was leaning against a gas pump, he never got notice we had left without him, jajaja, then back to Guadalajara, how did we get there?? Who knows but we managed to make it to the hotel, let us ask that next time we go there, either they hire someone to drive our cars back and us take a bus or stay in tequila, drinking, until is time to start the new day.

Next morning, glorieta de la Minerva, traffic was a jam, one of the bussiest hours in Guadalajara and there we were getting Reddy to start, to the right and into central lanes, out 460 meters ahead, everybody is going straight Leo says, lets us follow them, I replied the road book says out, no, everybody is going straight, you are wrong he says and as he was driving, guess what we did, of course we went straight ahead, all of a sudden, they started making a u turn in the middle of the freeway, just imagine, as sheep, we did what the rest were doing, but then, I took control again and told Leo do not follow them, they are lost (so we were) let´s go out here and a green Lincoln decided to follow us, some minutes later, we were on the road, late but on the correct road, we managed our control on time phew¡ and headed towards Zacatecas, at the service, we received bad news, Castillo´s gear box broke down, what a terrible notice (it gave us the chance to make it to first in our class, oh what bad luck¡) they gave us croissants and pan de muertos (they were vey good) and some hot punch, great idea, for the wind was a bit cold, Andrew was still sore and sad, I do not know how he managed but was able to put a rattle snake on Leo´s seat, it took us more than 40 minutes to take it out of the car, just in time to go down the stages to Zacatecas, beware of gravel¡ we did well, there was a 4 left, one of televisas porsches did not make it and crashed, some others fairly made it, now la bufa and arriving at this beautiful town, later the callejoneada and dinner at the old plaza de toros there are so many “gorrones”, I forgot and did not have dinner earlier, prize giving, who won first in turismo production? Do you know?, who might have been? We will have to check, for I do not remember.

Last day, la bufa again and then 230 kilometers straight to Concepcion del Oro it is almost over, just make it do not risk the car, there is nothing we can win, just go ahead, a boring day but a happy ending.

That night as usual, the fraternidad gave trophies to the best looking cars, unfortunately budget cutting due to the worlds financial crisis (our counselors had adviced us to invest all of the fraternity money in Stanford financial), so we only were able to produce five trophies and, funny no one from the fraternidad got a trophy.

After ten day of caressing our loved ones, we had to go back to reality, so we all went back home to our families, hope to see you next year.

World Premiere of "Rebirth of a Legend"

Please join us for the World Premiere of "Rebirth of a Legend - The Story of La Carrera Panamericana"

This event is one night only and seating is limited. Meet the cast and crew and see "Lucky" the 1965 Mustang Shelby that participated in this historic road rally through the heart of central Mexico.

Also playing are Tracker and Lorelei, two short films by Strange Media.

DATE: January 16th
TIME: 5:00pm (Doors) 5:30pm (Curtain)
Cost - $7
LOCATION: Campbell Theater 636 Ward Street Martinez, CA

Monday, December 21, 2009

Take Ride On La Carrera Panamericana

Here is a fresh new video sure to get your juices flowing. Ride along with piloto Bob Summerour and co-piloto Bud Feldkamp as they take on La Carrera Panamericana in the #363 Mustang.

And here is a nice slide show presentation from the year before.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some Jobs Better Than Others

Having loved all things automotive since I was a boy I simply can not think of a better job than the one this guy has. I wonder if he is one of Santa's Elves.

For a closer look click on the photo

Feliz Navidad!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Great Opportunity

Sol Shine Alternatives said...


This is Mike DeVine from the SolShine Team. I wanted to write to you on behalf of Kip. He's frantically trying to find sponsorship for the VW TDI cup this year and I want to help him chase the dream! His website is Please send it to anyone you know who'd be willing to pick up a young racer with a fire in his pants and a passion for bio-fuels like no other! Only good things can come of Kip being a part of this! I appreciate your time and hope all is well.



A Good Opportunity For Someone

If you know anyone who is looking to get involved in a serious run for La Carrera Panamericana here is a great place to start. The following post is a message I recieved from Lars Stugemo. This would make one hell of a Christmas present under the tree.

Studebaker -53, #114, 2nd overall La Carrera Panamericana 2009

This car is seriously fast, as proven by results 2009 where it finished 2nd overall after 1984 WRC Champion Stig Blomqvist and Ana Goni. The car had several stage wins with quickest times, including winning last day overall on same time as Doug Mockett and Angelica Fuentes.

The car has been campaigned since 2006 in La Carrera and Chihuahua Express, always upgraded to latest specs and maintained by Mats Hammarlund in Mexico, regardless of costs.

- Minimum weight
- Engine by Efraim Vega, new for LaC 2009, 500+ bhp
- Proflex dampers, sorted by Gordon from Proflex and with the assistance of Stig Blomqvist
- Wilwood brakes
- G-force gearbox
- Special fuel cell
- One set of spare Öhlin dampers
- One spare gearbox
- Several rear ends 3.0, 3.25, 3.50
- Coralba rally computer
- Peltor Intercom
- Spare wheels

Car is available for Chihuahua Express 2010, and a service and maintenance package may be agreed separately with Mats Hammarlund Racing, one of the most successful teams in La Carrera for the last years. 2009 four of Mats Hammarlund cars finished top-6.

This is an easy and quick way to get into the magic of racing La Carrera Panamericana in a really competitive and battle tested package. The Studebaker is ideal whether you are trying to win the La Carrera 2010 – or if you just want to cruise to a top-10 position having fun and going really quickly straight line.

Price: 120 000 USD

More information: or

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Othans Black Buick Returns In 2009

La Buffa 2009

Everything was going perfect until the last corner when the clutch blew.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hayden Groendyke loto of the #208 Hudson

Here is more from Hayden Groendyke's blog about the adventure of the #208 Hudson. This a MUST SEE.


Monday, December 07, 2009

What Was Huatulco Like You Ask?


Well I'm glad you asked. Come with me and let's take a look through the lens of Hayden Groendyke who was co-piloto of the #208 Hudson which ran Original Panamericana and see what his perspective of pre-race 2009 La Carrera Panamericana was like. Hopefully he will share some more of his simply breath-taking photogorphy in the near future.


Page Of 2009 LCP Vettes


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Another LCP Blog To Enjoy

Thomas Ledergerber from Germany was nice enough to send me information on his web site and blog regarding his and co-piloto Alexandra Treptow's involvment in the 2009 LCP in the #382 Mercedes.

You can check out his web site by CLICKING HERE. The website is in English but hope your German is good for the blog.

Or you can go to his LCP blog with lots of great photos by CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Guess What Kind Of Car Won The East African Safari Classic

That's right... A MUSTANG. Read it and weep you Dodge and Chevy guys!

Ian Duncan and Amaar Slatch have won the South African Safari Classic in a Ford Mustang. A Ford has won the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally 2009 for the second time in succession.

And if you don't think this wasn't an exciting race then listen to this. There was very nearly a dramatic turn of events this afternoon as the rally cars headed south. Ian Duncan had the distributor drive shear on his Ford Mustang and the car coasted to a halt. But his luck was in as this all happened on the transport section between Email and Ndi and he was able to remove the old broken drive and fit a new one. Thus he was able to continue and take fastest time on the last competitive section thus bringing his lead over Björn Waldegård in the Porsche up to eight minutes, thirty-two seconds.

CLICK HERE for entire wrap up.

I wonder why this seems all so familiar looking. It could be because I was raised in a cattle ranch or it could be because I have raced in La Carrera Panamericana.

While the engine compartment looks a little rough and not up to my specs it got the job done. Incidentally, it was originally owned by Gurbux Nagi who was for many years a senior technical scrutineer in Kenyan motor sport events and set up specifically for this race.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Team California's Best and our families would like to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and a special thanks to our men and women who fight and defend this country we love. Don't forget to tell your friends and family how much you love them.

Another Mustang Domination

When you consider my love of racing then combine that with my life long infatuation of anything to do with Africa it's easy to understand why get excited this time each year when they are holding the 2009 East African Safari Classic Rally.. But if that isnt exciting enough this years race adds to the fire because of the type of car that's leading the race at this time.

Check out Ian Duncan's 1967 Mustang catching some air and travering a river.

Friday, November 20, 2009

2009 LCP By Hauke Fischer

Anyone that enjoys Mexico will enjoy Hauke Fischer's site for more than just LCP but it has lots to enjoy. CLICK HERE

For some great shots from 2009 LCP CLICK HERE

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Karl Scheible Shows Us How To Drive A 4-Cylinder Volo

And how NOT to drive a falcon.

I Can See Clearly Now

Growing up in the country in Oregon was very memorable. When I was a teenager I was really feeling good about things when I finished building my 1937 Ford pickup hot rod and got it running like a top. After taking it for a trial run I drove up to the house where I saw my mother standing so over the loud exhaust I yelled at her to climb in and go for a ride. She really didn't want to go but finally she gave in. As she was getting in she was laughing as she looked my pickup up and down. A little insulted that my own Mother would laugh at my truck knowing I had worked so hard on it I asked, "What's so funny?" She said the reason she was laughing so hard was because she couldn't even remember the last time she had stepped on a running board.

This all took place on a day when it had been raining a little and my vacuum wiper motor was broken and would only work in one direction so I had temporarily run a piece of string around through the passenger's side window and back across to the driver side. This way when it rained I could pull the string one way and the wiper would return the other way so I could see clearly which suited me just fine for the trial run. When she got into the truck she asked what the string was for so I told her I would show he later and took off for town to show off my truck. As soon as we got to town and drove around for a bit it began to rain really hard. That's when I began telling Mom about the string and how to pull it to make the wiper work so I could see to drive. No sooner than I handed her the string and a split second before I could tell her to be gentle while she began cracking up, she gave it a big yank. By now she was laughing so hard at my custom wiper set that she tugged a little too hard causing the entire wiper blade and arm assembly to go flying off and landed on the side of the road. It was just my luck that Sydney, the local cop saw the whole thing and pulled me over and wrote me up for no wipers.

My Mom was not very comforting as she sat there laughing uncontrollably the entire time Sydney was writing the ticket until even he couldn't hold back the chuckling.
Finally the two of them found a way to restrain themselves long enough that Sydney the cop offered to give mom a ride home and recommended that I go to the local wrecking yard to find a new wiper motor.

If the day wasn't already black enough while I was walking around the wrecking yard looking for a wiper motor it began to pour like cats and dogs adding even more insult to injury. By the time I got home and walked into the kitchen where mom was enjoying a warm cup of coffee there I stood soaking wet, standing there with a ticket in one hand and a receipt for a fifteen dollar wiper motor in the other. As if my mother hadn't already been helpful enough she told me that while riding along with Sydney she had mentioned to him that she thought my exhaust was too loud and Syndey told her he would discuss it with the next time he saw me driving around. All I could think to say was, "Thanks a lot Mom. You're a big help. If you ever need a ride to town call Sydney."

It's a story I remember well and one mother and I have laughed at many times over the years. In retrospect my mother helped me many times to see the road clearly and helped show me the way including those times when I was blind or simply being an adolescent that needed guidance. On Sunday evening November 15th 2009 my mother closed her eyes for the last time and now God shows her the way. I am blessed to have had such a loving mother that taught me how to see so many things and how to love and cherish all that I have seen. She shared my passion for racing and life and family and for that I am also a blessed man.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Everybody's doin it... Even Joe Ramirez

I am reminded of an old song...

La Buffa Country Western Style

I froze my ass climbing up that hill
But I'd do it all over again all for the thrill.
It's called La Buffa and it's way up high
The place Poncho Via fought so as not to die.

Men drive their cars in La Carrera Panamericana
But if they miss the road they know their a gonna.

We swerve to the left
We swerve to the right
Eat in a bullring and
Stay in Zacatecas for the night.

Tonight we drink tequila to stay warm
and dance and walk with a donkey
I've been away from home to long
I swear that donkey winked at me.

It's the last night before the end of the race
Tomorrow will be one hell of a pace.

We all pray that we make it
For minana we will drive like hell
As soon as we finish
One hell of a ride over the top of that hill.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can You Guess Where This Is?

Any veteran of LCP might be able to make a pretty good guess as to where this circa 1890's photo was taken. But I am willing to bet they would be wrong. If you guessed it was taken along the main street in Morelia where many of us sat and enjoyed a few cold ones and a bit of lunch next to where we parked after racing through Mil Cumbres you guessed wrong.

It was however taken in another familier spot where many LCP teams have raced to. It is Aguascalientes, Mexico, circa 1890s.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Cool Would This Be?

One of my favorite blogs is the quality blog of HEMMINGS.COM and the other day they featured a very rare find of a 1929 Studebaker RV. But this isn't just any body's RV. This one belonged to Harvey Firestone.

Considering the populatity of so many Studebakers throughout La Carreara Panamricana's history I couldnt help but imagine how cool it would be to see a team like Mats Hammarlund Racing using this as their team support vehicle. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

Here is what my buddy Daniel Strohl had to say about this amazing and unique ride;

It’s long been known that Harvey Firestone, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were camping enthusiasts, motoring out into the wilderness for a good ol’ time (and, likely, leaving the wives at home). But did they build RVs to serve that purpose?

Allegedly, Firestone did, and one of them recently turned up in South Carolina on a 1929 Studebaker chassis, and mottsrods shared some pics of the behemoth with us. The only real clues as to its origin – beside the apocryphal Firestone story – are the “Dulce Domum – San Marino” painted on its flanks and the Advance Auto Body Works plate screwed to the body. Dulce Domum, mottsrods informs us, is Latin for “Sweetly at Home.” Advance Auto Body Works, meanwhile, was around at the time building commercial bodies on the corner of North Mission Road and East Macy Street and is best known for building W. Everett Miller’s Arrowhead.

Mats Hammarlund New Video

Thanks for sending this Mats! Very cool and well deserved.

Not So Common LCP Photos

Monday, November 09, 2009

Rodolfo Gonzalez's Photos

I sure would like to know how in the hell Karl missed that barbed-wire fence!

If Olympic officials were judgeing this one I'm sure Karl would get a 9 for distance, a 9 for execusion and a perfect 10 for missing the pole.