Saturday, December 29, 2012

Plan Your Historic Portland Car Dealer Tour with Our Map

Packard Building located at 2320 NW Westover Rd, Portland, OR 97210
MotoArigato has created an interactive map that features several of the city's original automobile dealerships. Newly added locations include the Packard Building, Packard-Portland, Inc., Don Rasmussen Mercedes-Benz, Marks Motors Studebaker, Jim Fisher Volvo, Ron Tonkin Ferrari and Month Shelton Jaguar. The map will grow as we add more locations to check back often.

Click here to see map: Portland Historic Auto Dealers Tour

Don Rasmussen Co. in a period photo

A doggie day care now occupies the former Don Rasmussen building.

Please read each description as it will indicate if the business is still in operation as a dealership or if it has long since closed it's doors. You should be able to zoom in on the map, find directions from your home to the various locations pictured and all the other stuff maps do well these days. Also, as a disclaimer, please note that we cannot be responsible for your route or accuracy of the map so please do not cover your windshield with a tarp and blindly follow the map to your destination.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Will the Next Lamborghini be Designed by an Iranian College Student?

"Lamborghini Concept 2010" Photo courtesy and © Sajjad Soleymani
 Sajjad Soleymani builds cars, awesome cars... like the one pictured above. He's a designer not in steel or carbon fiber, but in vectors and digital layers. The car up top isn't real, it just computer graphics, but it could be right?

"Lamborghini Concept 2010 rear"  Photo courtesy and © Sajjad Soleymani
Sajjad says that when he was just three or four years old he began designing things, "but not with drawing, by making! Making things by rubbish all around our house, in streets, anywhere."  He started out of necessity remarking that his family had few toys for him to play with so he had to build toys from scrap materials including says Sajjad, "cars, bikes and even robots!" He learned that drawing his designs on paper takes less time than making them in three dimensions and decided college offered the promise that he could turn his gift for creative play into a lifelong career. The 19-tear old left home from Iran's second largest city, Mashhad, to seek his fortune and glory at the University of Tehran, College of Fine Arts.

While in college he made yet more revelations about himself,  understanding for the first time how wildly different his work was from that of his peers. "From there I learned my forms are not like any others, my friends call my forms Sajjadism. You can see them on my cars, planes, cutlery sets, even perfume bottles." He's not being immodest, It's true, at such a young age he has established his own identifiable design language, something many designers take a lifetime to gain.

"Volvo SS800 Concept"  Photo courtesy and © Sajjad Soleymani
I don't know about you, but I would slide naked down a firehouse pole wrapped with 40 grit sandpaper if it meant I got to see his cyborg zombie Volvo semi trailers on the highways of America. Hang a goblin head on the front and you're ready for a Maximum Overdrive remake.

In our exchange, Sajaad's enthusiasm came through clearly. He has a true passion for not only the art of the aesthetic but also a genuine love of cars. We hope there will be many more articles about Sajjad's work in the years to come. You can keep up with his designs on his page here: Coroflot Sajjad Soleymani

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pope Ghost Rides a New Whip

The new Holy Roller, Pope Benedict XVI's newest ML-based armored "Popemobile".

Pope Benedict XOXOEpisodeVTheEmpireStrikesBack XVI just received his brand spankin' new Benzo in the form of the familiar Popemobile. Recent Popes (Popi?) have traditionally made public appearances from within the armored confines of either a Mercedes-Benz ML or G-class specially outfitted for the purpose of securely displaying the guy with the big hat to his humbled masses, and also the occasional guy who tries to murder him.

Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche tossing his Holiness the keys. "First gear sticks a little until she's warmed up."

The new vehicle relies heavily on the tried and true formula of an all white body and interior with vast expanses of bullet-resistant glass (transparent armor in industry lingo) and a specially prepared seat that can raise the Pope higher up to become more visible. Considering that the current Holy See is 85-years old we can also imagine there are special controls to alert the driver that "it's too cold back here" or "you're driving way too fast!" in the spirit of a frisky Mrs. Daisy from the popular film.

If his own closest advisers are to be believed, this new vehicle arrived just in the nick of time.

J-Paul the Deuce rolling in his Ferrari Mondial. Oh how we pine for simpler days!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Porsche Demostrates How They Create Vintage Style Crests

Porsche released a short (1:16 minutes) but very interesting documentary revealing the production method from beginning to end for the marques fabled crest. According to the video info, Porsche used three slightly different variations of the crest from 1952-1998, and the version depicted here would be suitable for 356 and early 911 cars (can we presume 912 also?).

After first creating the die, involving engraving and hammering familiar details into the steel blank that is then hardened, the next stage is to use a hydraulic press to stamp a brass plate into the die resulting in the transfer of the negative image to the now-curved shield. Attachment posts are soldered onto the back by hand, then a worked in-fills some negative space with what is most likely enamel or a glass paste cloisonne type material, that is then baked into a tough and long lasting image, finally ready for placement on the newly refinished hood of a freshly restored vehicle.

Porsche explains the meaning of the crest's design; "At the center of the golden shield, the horse of the official coat of arms of Stuttgart is depicted along with the name of the city. The composition is surrounded by the red and black state colors and the stylized antlers from the crest of W├╝rttemberg-Hohenzollern. The all-encompassing Porsche logo acts as a protective "roof" over all the design elements.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Thousand Words: The SLS AMG Black Series

We present for your pleasure all ten high-res images from this morning's press release from Mercedes-Benz showing off their newest iteration of the SLS AMG Gullwing, the Black Series. Enjoy, but please wipe off your keyboard when you're finished.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

190 Global Charging Station Experts Can't be Wrong

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) announced this week a standard connector plug they anticipate becoming the default design for home and on-the-road charging stations for electric vehicles. The J1772 (man I really miss the J1771) is the face of the future, if you, like us, believe the future holds masses of near-silent, pollution-less, and powerful electric cars buzzing about our roadways.

The SAE panel of experts was drawn up from "190 global experts from the automotive, charging equipment, utilities industries and national laboratories." Sounds good enough to me. The new charger will incorporate both AC and DC capabilities, and more dramatically, will reduce charging times from the current "enough to make you not buy an electric car" to a reasonable 20-minutes. Heck, that's about how long it takes to get noticed by a Home Depot employee.

I am already imagining the thousands of kids who will be scolded by their parents for pretending the pistol grip apparatus is Han Solo's blaster to the mailman's Greedo.

The next-generation model pictured below should speed charging times up to an impressive 4-seconds.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Director Guillermo del Toro Builds Himself Replica of "The Car"

Photo courtesy Guillermo del Toro
Director Guillermo del Toro is not only a maker and admirer of great films (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Cronos) but he's a true car guy too. Proof you ask? Consider that he drives around Los Angeles behind the wheel of a fully-functioning replica of the demonic title character from the 1977 camp/horror flick The Car starring James Brolin. The director's brother built the menacing coupe to exacting detail, surely causing some road hardened LA-ites to reconsider their next act of road rage against the tinted, chopped and chromed bad boy. The only authenticity fault we could find is the taillights, they should be horizontal and sandwiched between the rear bumper bars, not vertical like the more contemporary Cadillac-based units del Toro's brother chose, tho they fit the design well and probably make the car safer as a daily driver by making the car more visible from behind. We all know that anyone unlucky enough to encounter The Car will be running ahead of it for their lives and will likely never see the back end anyway.

Photo courtesy Guillermo del Toro
The film used four vehicles altogether, three of those were based on a 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III chassis. Two of the Lincoln-based cars were built as stunt vehicles meaning they only need to run and look good from the outside, and a third "hero car" was built for close up shots where more detail was required. The fourth car was built on a late 70's T-bird chassis and was fired out of a cannon for use in a scene where the car jumps a canyon during the finale'. The three stunt cars were all destroyed during the course of filming and the fourth car is said to reside in a private collection in Europe after being sold at a public auction in 1983. All the vehicles were built by George Barris and the hero car is said to have cost nearly $85,000 to create.

Photo courtesy Universal Pictures
It seems del Toro doesn't have the exclusive on Hell-bent automotive replicas, check out the version these folks are building for George Barris himself for use as a company display piece.
"The Car" build photos

Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox
Finally, let's not forget the more recent appearance of The Car in an episode of the animated series Futurama titled The Honking that featured a cartoon look-alike that came into being when Bender the robot transformed into a "were-car" that wreaked (errr wrecked?) havoc on the people of the future.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finally! A Cheaper and Easier Way to Replicate Chrome

Jay Leno's Garage features both traditional methods of restoring our beloved vehicles as well as cutting-edge technology to assist when the going gets especially tough of costly, in fact it was on Jay's internet show for Big Dog Garage that I first found out about 3D printing new car parts a few years ago. Jay recently featured an innovative German who came up with a novel method to realistically coat metal parts to make them appear like chrome. No, this isn't the rattle can junk we always believe we can "will it" to look like chrome tho it never does, but rather the system borrows from mirror resurfacing technology to apply a thin coat of true metal material onto the surface in a process that looks almost magical to observe.

You will see in the above video that there is no need to worry about runs or drips, the stuff essentially lays itself on in the right way, dummy-proof. You do need to apply a clear coat to protect the finish, it would then be cared for just like any other painted surface would be making it less ideal for contact parts like bumpers, but for trim and interior bits it really looks to be an innovation on the rise.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mercedes-Benz CLA Spy Photos Reveal Undisguised Finished Car

Mercedes-Benz engineers were busy testing the new CLA (previously, Concept Style Coupe) in Iceland recently and failed to notice their every move being documented by one lucky amateur spy photographer. That's good news for Benz fanatics who have been anxiously awaiting the new, smaller architecture road cars from their favored marque since it means we get to see the road-going version of the car previewed at the Beijing Auto Show. The expected dominance of the A-class variants is vital to the future financial success of Mercedes-Benz, with it's competitors moving downmarket in an effort to tap fuel efficient and city-compatible vehicles that a more austere future requires. Mercedes intends to show that "small car" no longer needs to equal "entry level" with beautifully designed interiors, elegant body lines and lots of features to choose from for the ultimate customization experience the company is becoming known for. Expect Designo variants and possibly even a Black Series in years to come.

Full original article (translated to English) with more photos can be seen on der Spiegel here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All British Field Meet This Weekend, Aug 31-Sep. 3.

Photo copyright
The popular All British Field Meet returns for it's 36th edition at Portland International Raceway and promises to be bigger and better as has become customary for this well-attended event. Last year saw hundreds of British cars, trucks, motorcycles, competition cars and off-roaders displayed among the shade trees while yet others braved the specter of track competition in all manner of roadsters, saloon cars and kitted-up "specials."

While we could not locate ticket info on the official ABFM website, as memory serves, prices are pretty reasonable considering to the excellent bang-for-your-buck you get from a full weekend packed of some of the finest engine notes and body lines ever to grace the world's roadways. View the full Friday-Monday schedule here, noting that the bulk of events take place on Saturday & Sunday.

See our coverage of last year's event with lots of photos here:
All British Field Meet Makes Us Want to do Something Dirty with an E-Type

The Austin-Healey Club of Oregon is one of the sponsors of the event, visit their site to join, or simply find out more about these wonderful cars.

Friday, August 17, 2012

PDX Adult Soap Box Derby is Saturday

Drunken legions of dare-doers have been rampaging down the slopes of our beloved metro-volcano, Mt. Tabor, since 1997 and the next installment of this mad mad mad mad race so happens to be tomorrow, Saturday August 18th, from 10am-4pm.

In case you've never attended, check out our coverage of last year's event for a rundown of what to expect. The first thing to remember however, is you never know what to expect when you're at a derby where teams are given creative license to reinvent the wheel in any manner, often consisting of pop culture icons, video game characters, and whatever happens to be in the news at the moment. Maybe we will get a Romney/Obama themed showdown or a Pussy Riot runabout this year!

The event is free to spectators and spreads out among much of Mt. Tabors green space as the cars start at the northern end of the park and follow the downhill ribbon of asphalt that rings the middle reservoir (#6) just east of SE 60th street. Neighborhood parking is ideal as you can get to any section of the track with ease once inside the park. There is an afterparty and other coordinated events, check the official site for full details. PDX Adult Soapbox Derby

Thursday, August 16, 2012

G-Wagen Gobbles Up Half a Million Miles Since 1989

Gunther Holtorf's Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen set out in 1989 with his wife on what was intended to be an 18-month expedition of Africa. Today, after traveling the equivalent of 20-times around the globe, Holtorf is as inspired and enthusiastic as ever to continue his epic journey even after suffering the recent passing of his wife and companion.

Photographer David Lemke describes Holtorf with notable admiration, proclaiming "this man has to be one of history's greatest individual travelers." Half a million miles without a support crew, ready spares, or the benefit of sponsorship dollars to support his effort, surely confirms Holtorf's place among histories greatest automotive achievers.

Check out Lemke's short but enlightening video interview featuring dozens of Holtorf's dramatic images accumulated over years of traveling planet Earth's backroads and hinterlandsGunter Holtorf's 23-year Road Trip

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Forest Grove Follow-up

The 2012 Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance has come and gone, and what a ride it was! From an early morning drizzle that perhaps gave some fears of a repeat of last year's wet weather, yet quickly dissipated into a cool and comfortable "day in the park" for attendees, we could not have envisioned better weather or turnout.

Viewing a field rich with the iconic silver stars of Mercedes-Benz coupes, cabriolets and roadsters, paired like fine cheeses and wine with other storied marques, we were happy to see familiar faces while making some new friends as well. Parceled among several classes were an impressive turnout from The Gullwing Group, including the #21 LeMans winning 300SL owned by Bruce McCaw, and a litany of W111 and W112 coupes that are sister cars to our beloved Ivory Zeppelin project car, to more modern iterations such as the SLS by AMG, the show field was a Benz addicts dream come true. 

Some of our friends from MBI Motors were casually walking the field, no doubt enjoying seeing these cars with their hoods down for a change, as did Roy Spencer from who drove up a lovely white W111 coupe fitted with a novel (relatively)modern manual floor shifter which Roy stated as being "a real pleasure to drive" up from his Burlingame, California base of operations. Annegret Reichmann and Uli Kammholz of Classic Cars & Racing shared information and resources for their perfectly restored and quite lovely dark blue 300se, tho they also had a '55 Studebaker President State Coupe and a '57 Nash Rambler at the event. Coincidentally, both the white and blue Benz coupes are for sale so please inquire here and I will be happy to put you in direct contact with either party.

Presenters for the day included Keith Martin of Sports Car Market Magazine as well as his longtime cohort and co-host, Donald Osborne of Automotive Valuation Services who impressed the crowd with his capable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  The pair's banter with award winners kept the pace of the show lively and entertaining.

The Rotary Club worked to make sure there were plenty of staff on hand for all purposes, available medical personnel, good food, clean and plentiful bathroom facilities, and anything else you could hope for a well-run show that ran as smoothly as Ron Rezek's elegant 1937 Lagonda Rapide that was on display (and coincidentally won it's class).

Besides the Lagonda, we enjoyed a modest and unrestored 1932 "barn find" Packard that had just the right mixture of being well-loved and well-used that appeals to us so much.  We probably wouldn't kick any of the plentiful 190sl's or 300sl's out of bed either.

Selfishly, we managed to pick up some needed parts to cure a bit of road rash our project car suffered recently, but thankfully the damage was confined to trim pieces and we look forward to getting her back on the road in short order, hopefully while the Portland summer still has some sunshine left in her.

Good fun, good people, and great cars. What more can you ask for on a Sunday afternoon?

Click "Read More" below to see 37 more Concours photos!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance is This Sunday July 15th

The 1952 LeMans winning Mercedes-Benz 300SL is the featured vehicle this year.
This Sunday's Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance, sponsored by the Rotary Club, is counted among our favorite Oregon rites of summer and one of the most enjoyable family-friendly events on the West Coast. Enlivening the picturesque campus of Pacific University, gear heads and their families happily make a day of the annual event ambling amongst evergreens studded with shimmering examples of automotive treasure. Significant others who may tire of the seemingly endless parade of hand-formed sheet metal can occupy themselves among the grounds by enjoying conversation over well-crafted meals and drinks, or wander the nearby streets of friendly Forest Grove exploring it's antique stores, charming shops and historic neighborhoods.

Car clubs use this as an opportunity to meet old friends, make new ones and encourage membership. The lawn is filled with tasteful vendor kiosks offering wares such as fine automobile art, photography and event memorabilia.

The used car corral offers everyone the opportunity to bring home a dream ride of their very own, even if it may not be that Bugatti or Aston Martin they ogled on the show field.

Event spokesman, Jim Crisp, notes there is little concern about weather for the upcoming Concours, "Although there was considerable rainfall at last year's event, people who attended still enjoyed the 260 cars that showed up in spite of the rain."  Crisp explains that rain is quite rare at the event due to some clever planning on the part of the early event organizers, "Forty years ago, the third Sunday on July was selected by the Concours committee because records showed that, historically, it is the driest day of the year in our area. It turned out to be a good choice because during the last forty years, last year was the first and only year that we closed the show early because of rain. So, based of that historical data, I am going to forecast that we are going to have good weather the day of our show for the next forty years."

For specific details on this year's event, be sure to check out our previous article with all the what-when & where of it all: Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance to Celebrate Mercedes-Benz

With over 300 individual vehicles on display, in 50+ classes, there's sure to be something parked on the lawn this Sunday that sparks your plug.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Portland Historic Races Happening Now Through Sunday

The Historic Races at Portland International Raceway is an annual gathering of car crazy Oregonians and their collective passion for all things old, fast and loud. Starting today, Friday July 6, and continuing for three days until Sunday's closing events, the Historics offer a slice of west coast road course revelry close to home. MGB is honored this time for their 50-year history. Besides hours upon hours of exciting, tire screeching displays of skill and mayhem, there will also be a collector car corral in the infield and a parade of assembled vehicles on the open tarmac in full view of the appreciative public.

Tickets are available at the gate, prices vary with the day, or buy combined tickets for the full weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Morgan Heir Drives a $40,000 Tricycle Across the Country

Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN.  Photo: Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan is the head of Morgan Motor Company and grandson of H.F.S. Morgan who founded the storied marque 102-years ago. As part of the 2012 Gumball 3000 cross country race, he decided to travel with a lovely female companion the entire breadth of the country in a newly reissued $40,000 version of the 1911 Morgan 3-wheeler.

The story is one that will no doubt inspire you to perhaps venture beyond your road trip comfort zone this summer after you see the routes the duo traveled through America's biggest cities and across her more modest rural towns. From potentially life-threatening close calls in the middle of Death Valley to riotous parties in "dreadful nightclubs," it's a heck of a read. If he could pull off some of these adventures in what's essentially a tricycle with oversized motorbike tires, we're pretty confident you can make some memories of your own in that Subaru wagon out in the driveway.

Read the full story here: 3,500 miles in a Morgan 3 Wheeler

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1927 "Lost Mercedes" Owned by One Family Since New to be Auctioned

Bonhams auction house does not deal in the mundane nor the ordinary when it comes to the provenance of automobiles chosen for their auctions. Nothing less than a single-family owned 1927 Mercedes Type S would do, in fact, for their upcoming September 15th auction at the Goodwood Revival.

The lightweight, fabric "sports tourer" bodywork was formed and fitted by coachbuilders Cadogan Motors of London on the as-supplied Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 chassis with it's accompanying supercharger, or Kompressor as the motoring world so lovingly refers. The car was registered in 1928 after the modifications were complete, finding it's way into a family who's appreciation for such a fine motorcar would span decades. The car hasn't been on the road since the 1950's.

The car comes in wholly original and unrestored condition from it's stealthy "Battleship Grey" exterior down to it's well worn blue leather interior, and is estimated to bring in $2.3 million, tho that is simply a pre-sale estimate likely put in place to increase interest and give even the monied few the hopeful impression that they could, if the stars align, walk away with this beauty. The harsh reality may be even more costly to their portfolios when you consider that the last "S" series car offered at the Goodwood Revival in 2004, a 1929 Mercedes-Benz 710 SSK 27/180/250 Sports Two Seater, hammered at an astounding $6.5 million.


Monday, June 18, 2012

All Ages Love Kidd's Toy Museum

Tucked away in an unassuming, modest little building with no windows on SE Grand Street is one of those Portland gems that even most lifetime residents are unaware. The appropriately named Kidd's Toy Museum is the lifelong dream of Frank Kidd who's grand collection of literally thousands of antique toys lines the wall-to-wall display cases spread amongst several rooms. The collection primarily spans the late 1800's to the mid-20th century, but there is a smattering of more recent finds, evidence that the collector still finds some time to make new acquisitions.

Upon entering the Willy Wonka-like tribute to childhood, you will see various scales of antique diecast, tin, and pressed steel toy vehicles & airplanes, pedal cars, models, displays, advertising pieces, cast iron banks, retro-futuristic spacecraft from before the age of moon landings, along side less expected items like a vintage padlock collection, Christmas ornaments and cotton-bodied miniature zeppelins. Some pieces evoke simpler times while others remind us of a cringe-worthy era when Black Americana pieces were a typical source of humor.

One sour note in the history of the museum occurred in early 2010, when two men allegedly stole over $350,000 worth of overflow materials that were being stored in a separate location, tho the primary collection remains intact. The men were only charged for theft of three valuable carousel horses that later turned up at a resell shop, being the only items that could be directly tied to them, and were forced to repay only their value, approximately $10,000.

Kidd's Toy Museum has casual hours so call ahead to verify before making the trip down, and for God's sake, only knock once when you arrive if the doors are locked. We were scolded for knocking twice by the docent on duty who explained to us that it takes her some time to get to the door, tho she was very friendly and accommodating for the remainder of our visit. Sure it's a bit quirky and musty inside, but so is Portland.

Click "Read more" to see the full photo set!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance to Celebrate Mercedes-Benz

Photo Courtesy: Bruce McCaw/Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance

Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance to Celebrate Mercedes-Benz

Car enthusiasts from the Pacific Northwest and beyond are invited to celebrate Mercedes-Benz on July 15. The 40th annual Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance will honor Mercedes-Benz as the featured marque with a special display showcasing 60 years of the Mercedes SL.  From the iconic 1952 300SL ‘Gullwing’ coupe that won at Le Mans, to the all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550, this event brings to life the shining stars of automotive history.

The Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance features more than 300 vintage, sports and collector cars presented on the campus of Pacific University, just west of Portland, Oregon.  Classic automobiles compete for awards in over 50 judged classes.  Keith Martin and Donald Osborne from Sports Car Market magazine emcee the awards ceremony, telling the stories behind each car.  What makes this Concours special is the gorgeous tree-shaded setting and the relaxed nature of the event. Great food and live music make it a perfect day out for the whole family. 

Photo Courtesy: Bruce McCaw/Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance
The 1952 300SL coupe entered by Bruce and Jolene McCaw is the honored centerpiece.  Taking first place at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1952, it became the genesis of Mercedes-Benz sporting style and design that continues to this day.  Clubs such as the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and the Gullwing Group will participate.  Mercedes-Benz Club of America National Concours Chairman Pete Lesler is Senior Judge.

On Saturday July 14, a Vineyard and Lake Tour will wind through the picturesque Tualatin Valley to a local winery for lunch, then on to Henry Hagg Lake for excursions in vintage wooden boats.  On Saturday night, entrants and guests are invited to the Evening of Elegance Dinner. 

Registration for entrants is open at the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance web site.  The entry deadline is June 30.  Judged classes for Mercedes-Benz include pre-War automobiles to 1945, early post-war to 1960, post-war from 1961 to 1971, and Mercedes-Benz SLs.  Advance-sale tickets can be purchased at the Forest Grove Concours web site, or at the gate on the day of the event.

The Concours is produced by the Rotary Club of Forest Grove, with all proceeds benefiting Forest Grove Rotary Foundation college scholarships, youth sports, scouting programs and various service projects.  The Concours d'Elegance has raised almost one million dollars for the community, including scholarships and financial aid to over 700 Washington County students to Pacific and other colleges.

To learn more about the 2012 show, see photos of the 2011 winners and learn about the rich history of this unique event, please visit

More information is also available through email at or by calling the Concours hotline, 503-357-2300 or, toll free, 1-888-359-2530.

(Disclosure: MotoArigato are invited guests of the Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance as part of our press coverage of the event.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rose City Round-Up Hot Rod & Custom Show This Weekend!

Image credit:

The 2012 Rose City Round-up Traditional Hotrod and custom show is this Friday and Saturday (June 15 & 16) at the Jubitz Center in Portland, OR. Check out their official website for more info for what promises to be a fun show with lots of live music! The event is free for spectators who bring two cans of non-perishable foods as the selected charity this year is the Oregon Food Bank.

Rose City Round Up Official Site

Rose City Round Up on Facebook

Monday, May 28, 2012

Classic Mercedes-Benz Crash Tests May Break Your Glasses

This compilation of classic Mercedes-Benz crash tests is pretty interesting, but also shows us that some folks in the company during the 1950's and 60's were as fearless as they come. Take, for example, the two gentlemen who are testing airbags at the 0:35 mark who suffer nothing more than askewed glasses followed by a subdued moment of quiet reflection. We also really like the rocket propelled test car that gets fired into the side of a bus... possibly just for the hell of it.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bored at Work, Have 3-Minutes?

If you have nothing better to do, this short compilation of stunts, dare devils and crashes from the 1940's is interesting break in the monotony and also illustrates two things:
  1. Vehicle safety standards have improved greatly over the last several decades.
  2. When you're on the hood of a moving vehicle and your crotch is on fire, the sensible thing to do is jump off.

Friday, May 25, 2012

And the Award for the World's Smallest Firetruck Goes To...

The fire department in Nobleton, Ontario, Canada seems to have quite the sense of humor after creating this rascal of a firetruck. What appears to be the world's smallest firefighting vehicle is actually, as explained in the comments by the fireman who was driving, "an old people mover golf cart converted to a fire truck. It is used for parades to drive Sparky around and to drive little kids around making them feel like they are in a real truck."  He puts us all at ease by reassuring, "It is NOT a brush fire truck and will never be used to fight an actual fire."

Apparently it is popular with the neighborhood kids, and the fire crew decided to take it out on this particular expedition after a group of parents walking by the station noticed the odd little vehicle and requested they bring it out to show their kids playing just down the street.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

RicedExotics is Like Staring at a Car Wreck


You know the feeling you get driving past an accident scene, you don't want to be morbid but you just have to look? Don't feel bad, it's human nature and we all do it, so go ahead and treat your dark side by visiting one of the most entertaining sites we've seen in a while,

You can treat yourself to everything from Burberry plaid wrapped Maserati Quattroportes to Swarovski bedazzled Benzes to failed custom jobs abandoned halfway through, such as the XJ6 pickup truck featured on their front page. The site sometimes makes errors about what was actually original equipment on some supercars, but that speaks more to the designers of the motoring exercises in excess than anything else. You can select from the list of exotics on the left side and indulge, but be warned, you may want to keep a waste can next to your computer just as you would if suffering through the stomach flu.
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