Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Tomaso Files: Places that Start with the letter A and Points in-between...

The affable 'Aussie Ryan Briscoe. (Image source:
Otay, as typical, time has screamed by for your humble No Fenders scribe, as the first quarter of the year (or is it half gone now?) has blown past with the first two trips of the year seeming a zillion miles ago. Having been home for just a month before scurying off to Austin, Texas for my second MotoGP race outing - which I attempted previewing in;

And in a nice change of pace, albeit I'm feeling a bit Information overloaded, as I've just finished my Umpteenth' CD " Audiobook" of the year; CRIKEYS! While awaiting the Black Wind book which I'd started in Kona - but only got halfway finished before leaving, it'd take another two months for it to arrive at my local library.

And thus, preparing for my jaunt to Arizona, I picked up a further four Audiobook's including The Thief by Clive Cussler, as I'm enjoying these fictional Isaac Bell stories - which I decided to listen to before going to "Snottsdale;" (Scottsdale) Hooah!

The book centers around a thwarted kidnapping upon the RMS Mauritania, the lesser known companion of the il-fated Lusitania - of which I believe were in competition with two other ill-fated ships; the Titanic and Britannic, two-thirds of rival cruise ship company White Star lines seeking to capture the Atlantic ocean passenger trade. As this talk about ships makes me think of a one certain John Jacob Astor who perished at sea in 1914, but that's another story awaiting launch.

And as usual, there's brief mention of classic automobiles in the book of which I've noted below.

The Thief
  • Thomas Flyer K670
  • Packard Grey Wolf Racer
  • J198 Torpedo Duesenberg

And speaking 'O cars; while Arizona's Holiday seems to be vanishing from my rear view mirror, nevertheless I had a very good time there which was capped by two most Excellante' Car outings, the first being my memorable visit to The Valley of the Sun's McLaren dealership!

A few Dazes later I enticed Artiste Dave - the creator of the No Fenders Bitchin' logo into taking Mwah to the Penske Racing Museum, which I hadn't been to in a few years.

All of the "Usual Suspects," nee the majority of "The Captain's" (Roger Penske) Indy 500 winners were on hand along with a few other noted vehicles which I hadn't seen before.

Penske Racing Museum
  • Gil de Ferran's 100th CART victory winning chassis - replete in iconic Marlboro livery
  • 'Bradley K's Dodge Charger Sprint Cup Championship winner
  • Daytona 500 trophy - with Rocket on top? (For Ryan "the Rocketman" Newman)
  • Texas Boot trophies
  • Motegi trophy

Porsche RS Spyder. (Image source:
While the usual sprinkling of Ilmor/Chevy 'lumps were on display stands, along with the Mercedes Benz  "Stock Block" motor, various Pacecar's, Mark Donohue's Porsche IROC car, Roger  Penske's winning Catalina "Bomber," Penske F1 car, multiple scale  wind tunnel models, etc. As even the outside Land Rover test track was in  brief action, which I've never seen in use before...

As here's another long ago story I scribbled 'bout my debutant visit to that 'Uber fine Penske Racing Museo;

Which although I'm a total sucker for all of the iconic Indy Cars on display, like Artiste Dave, I tend to gravitate towards the beautiful Porsche RS Spyder instead - which I find utterly mesmerizing! Whilst I suppose my favourite will always be the iconic Sunoco Donohue McLaren IndyCar, even if it is a replica - according to Donald Davidson... Which leads me towards getting mildly excited over it almost being Talk of Gasoline Alley time!

Having finally gotten the Black Wind Audiobook from my local library, I immediately dove-in, as the story centers around two fictional WWII attacks upon U.S. mainland by a pair of Japanese I-400 series Submarines, although the I-403 & I-411 were never built, nonetheless it's ironic that the latter two of three I-400 series Subs built were constructed at Sasebo - which I've visited three times, traveling to Suzuka from this farthest southern island twice: 2003-04. Having also taken my lone Heli' (helicopter) flight over the Sasebo naval base...

But the even funnier part was upon getting past Disc-6, where I'd left off before, I suddenly sat bold upright as the Bad Guys were nefariously reconfiguring a supposed fibre optic cable laying ship that had been leased by NTT, formally known as Nippon Telegraph & Telephone; Hmm? Isn't Ryan Briscoe being sponsored by some outfit called NTT Data? Which I've just discovered is a subsidiary of the very same NTT mentioned in the book; aye Karumba! As what a funny way to learn a sponsor's identity, eh?

Although it seems a bit odd that a Japanese consortium would be sponsoring a team running its Hometown Honda's rival engine? Although perhaps this was a  way to ensure its ability to not being locked out of appearing at the Indy 500 with future blocking of IT companies trying to make deals in the Verizon IndyCar Series? As  Briscoe is one of the Dudes I'm hoping wins the IndyCar title this year...

The venerable Marmon Wasp on center stage at the IMS Hall of Fame museum in 2011. (DOB images)
And Karmically, once again, having continued on with my "Audiobooks," prior to going to Austin, I listened to Clive Cussler's The Wrecker, which just so happens to begin and end with the "Hero" Isaac Bell and his wife in the couple's 1912 Marmon model 32 Speedster! Which naturally Y'all will recall was the winning manufacturer of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 - with Ray Haroon at the wheel of his revolutionary Marmon Wasp.

Since  after all, while the hit Johnny Cash "I've been Everywhere Man!" song dances in my head, (having just returned from Austin) it's just about time for the most important month of the year, as in the Month of May, albeit its not really a month's celebration anymore, more like the 12 Days 'O May instead, as presumably, we'll have finally accumulated 33-cars to take the green flag in this coming month's 98th running at Mother Speedway...

(Marmon Wasp photo Courtesy of No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer ‘CARPETS)