Hawaii Motorbeat Monthly
Posted: Friday, December
(11:00 PM HST)
Racin' to the end
The 2010 racing season has wrapped up,
with great finishes for the NHRA and NASCAR. From my occasional
peeks at their events it looked like Indycar was having a better
year as well, but those delicate little open wheelers just don’t get
me as excited like big, thumpin' American V-8s....
(6:00 AM HST)
There is no doubt that hot rodding
began with Fords. Henry himself loved souping up his 4-bangers; and
he spent a fortune getting the famous flathead V-8 to work so every
man could have more power than he needed in his 30’s sedan, roadster
Posted: Sunday, October
(11:30 PM HST)
There once was a newspaper called Drag News...
It was 1966. I was working as a parts
guy at Don Hartunian's Hollywood Ford, just down the street from
Petersen Publishing company’s grand offices. I had visions of
cartooning for Hot Rod, their premier publication, but they already
had the wildly popular Pete Millar...
September 9, 2010
(12:30 AM HST)
Yet another great thing about living
on the Big Island is that we still pretty much have kama'aina
family-owned car and motorcycle dealerships..
Posted: Sunday, August 8, 2010
(8:00 AM HST)
Cruisin' for kau kau in '62
1962 was a great year for cruisin' to
Drive-Inn restaurants. There were quite a few in Honolulu that had
car hops - the gals who brought your tray full of burgers 'n' shakes
to your car. But most wore sensible shoes - not roller skates...
Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010
An older guy named Justin Putnam who
lived a couple houses away from us in the late 50's built a classic
Merc in the shed under his house that was proof to me that you
didn't need to be in California to create real rods and customs...
Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 (12:30
Tales of a teenage pump jockey
My only gas station job was at
Kowalski’s Gulf station on the truck-jammed Route 20 that led into
Worcester ~ in 1960 the crumbling industrial garden spot of central
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 (12:30
Sons of the Gray Ghost
We're all used to seeing, sometimes
too late, our unmarked Hawai'i police cars. They range from SUV's to
stealthy Mustangs and Chargers, and without their blue light on top
you really don't have a clue...
Posted: Sunday, April 11, 2010 (6:00
Don't be April fooled
Being a car guy carries some
responsibilities. Beyond your own vehicular passions, it seems that
your neighbors and 'ohana all feel you must know everything about
Posted: Monday, March
1, 2010 (11:00 PM HST)
From flagmen to the 50th Winternationals
As I watched the 50th anniversary NHRA
Winternationals open the 2010 drag racing season on ESPN2 over the
Valentine’s Day weekend, my mind wandered back to the first
organized races I went to as a teen...
Posted: Monday, February
1, 2010 (4:00 PM HST)
Hookin’ you up for the new year
Yep, I've re-shuffled the website
links along the left side of the homepage, added a few new ones and
dropped some that weren’t getting much attention. Now we lead off
with our sponsor's link (Ron's) and offer up the two most popular
sites - NHRA and NASCAR right up top. The fun 'publications' and
local racing organizations' links are next, followed by some clubs
and other odd sites...
January 3, 2010 (10:00 PM HST)
New racing season comin’
Hang on motorsports fans, less than a
month to go until NASCAR and the NHRA roll back out onto speedways
and dragstrips from Daytona to Pomona. By early February our TV
screens will start supplying us national drag racing and stockcar
racing for the 2010 season. On February 14th...
December 2, 2009 (10:50 PM HST)
Motorsports non-news coverage
The local racing season is pau, as are
the national battles in NASCAR and the NHRA. But you sure wouldn't
know it from the coverage by our Hawai'i television and print media.
In fact, if you counted on local coverage, you wouldn't even know
that millions of people attended the major stockcar and drag racing....
Posted: Sunday, November
1, 2009 (11:00 PM HST)
My fascination with hot rods and
custom cars goes waaaay back to the fifties when I was an
impressionable teenage pup. As I recalled in my column last
November, I was sitting in the back of Mrs. Castendyke’s math class
doodling cars in my workbook when....
Posted: Thursday, October
1, 2009 (6:00 AM HST)
Clash for Clunkers
The gub'ment's "Cash for Clunkers"
program may be over, but there's still some fun, if not profit, to
be had if you've got a hulking V8 that may be past its glory days on
the road. Roll it out to the Hilo Motor Speedway and enter it in the
Rear-Wheel Bomber class!...
Posted: Sunday, September
6, 2009 (12:35 PM HST)
Celebrating Year One
Yes, it's been a year since we began
this Hawai'i Motorbeat web site. Since we began last September, the
site has grown from a single page to a multi-page monthly covering a
lot of action on all the Islands. Let's take a look back at the last
Posted: Saturday, August
1, 2009 (11:59 PM HST)
Is nostalgia getting old?
No, I don’t think so. Maybe the
younger generation of drag racers with their rice rockets may think
it’s just a bunch of old futs trying to re-live their fading past,
but the current passion for photos and stories about hot rodding’s
beginnings is more than that ~ it’s the history of America’s racing
Wednesday, July 1, 2009 (6:00 AM HST)
America’s automotive cup is half full...
Well, maybe 1/10th full, but I’m an
eternal optimist. The current state of affairs in the US auto
industry really does suck; but, from this mess, it can only get
better. Case in point: Roger Penske. It was recently announced the
business and racing “Captain” has bought GM’s youngest brand -
Monday, June 1, 2009 (9:00 PM HST)
Time to Cruise Paradise Again
Every three years the Hawai'i Classic
Cruisers car club from Hilo puts together the biggest hot rod event
in the Islands for local and visiting mainland rodders. It's called
Cruise Paradise and it's over a week of rockin' & rollin' activities
that cover the entire Big Island....
Friday, May 1, 2009 (12:10 AM HST)
Kona Motorsport Park - 2009?
The Kona Motorsport Park project began
in earnest back in 1994 with Mayor Steven Yamashiro's administration
on the Big Island. We got lots of "Gee, sounds interesting... you
need to talk to so-and-so" shuffling, but did get a recommendation
that we consider the 2,000 acre parcel of State...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 (12:10 AM HST)
Racing is dead?
Last year, after hearing my testimony
before the Department of Land & Natural Resources about the family
recreational values of the proposed Kona Motorsport Park, a
taut-lipped woman approached me and admonished, "Just give it up.
With the price of gas and utter useless of racing... it's all but
Sunday, March 1, 2009 (12:01 AM HST)
Back in the 70's I thought it would be
way neat to build a wagon version of a '65 Mustang. Wandering
through Google I see that I wasn't the only one with that great
idea. The concept of big horsepower, great handling and sleeper of a
body style is still a total hoot.