Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ice Cream Automobiles - Remembering "Pop"


This week we lost “Pop” but rather than be saddened I feel joy in remembering his life of almost 82 years and our "ice cream automobiles"!

My dad lost his rather short battle with a very aggressive brain tumor November 19th. While his passing happened in the most peaceful non-suffering way, which is a blessing, it stirred up a lot of memories as I looked for comfort in the last weeks and again as I reviewed his obituary. I’m inspired by my husband Guy, but my dad helped make the work I do with classic cars and muscle cars possible.

"Pop" as a boy next to the family car
I’m convinced that my memory of “how one chooses a great car” was quite different than that of most kids. For as long as I can remember, I recall my dad (referred to as “Pop” ever since my oldest daughter renamed him when she learned to talk) saying that the car had to: 1) know it’s way to the ice cream shop, 2) have head room, and 3) be big enough for all of us on the long car trips our family often took.

As a matter-of-fact, when I was a little girl, I actually believed that our car “knew the way to the Dairy Queen all by itself!” That’s what our dad said every time we were on our way to get a big cone, shake, or a hot fudge sundae. He would even raise his hands in the “look no hands” style, secretly steering with his knee, exclaiming, “Look, it’s taking us for ice cream!” much to the excitement of us all! Sometimes he’d pretend to “fight” with the car to try to keep it from taking us there, with us squealing and begging him to let it drive there. On long road trips, our cars all magically found old ice cream stands in the middle of nowhere so it was easy to believe that he was telling the truth!

Looking back over all the cars we had owned, they were always ranked as to how well they transported us to the local ice cream shop, Dairy Queen, or any (and all) ice cream stands along the road.  Top dog was “The Flying Rabbit”, a 1960's big white Olds 98 that was one of his two favorite cars. Second was “Molly”, the trusty and reliable white 1955 Chevy station wagon that transported all us kids throughout our early years. 

The car with the most notorious history (and almost equally adept at getting us to an ice cream store even though we were teenagers by then) was the green 1972 Lincoln Continental that was stolen and used in a Kenmore Square bank robbery in 1975! (Yeah, I know, not much of a collector car, but he did love the room in that one.) Never could get the red dye out of the rear seat so he reluctantly sold the car because you couldn’t drive in it without your eyes tearing, even after many attempts at professional cleaning. I don’t know what they used in the red dye in those days, but it was certainly potent!

My idea of an ideal car has always varied from my dads. He was one who loved the cars that I didn’t, but that didn’t stop us from talking about them and having fun debates. He was a fan of the Fords and the square-bodied cars of the early 1960’s – ones I enjoyed calling “ugly” just to get him riled up. Being 6’5” tall, he valued cars that had a bit of head room and a large roomy interior, so he was a happy camper during the 1950’s when headroom was never an issue, and through the 1960’s and 1970’s when big cars were easy to find and just kept getting bigger and bigger. 

I, however, had a taste for something quite different. Being 10-11 years old at the time, I remember being fascinated with the 1968 and 1969 cars. Didn’t really matter what they were – Mopar, Chevy, Pontiac and yeah, sometimes the Ford Mustang – there was just something about the sexy lines of the cars that made me love them. My favorites at the time were the Firebird and the Corvette Stingray. I couldn’t put one above the other though – I loved them both even though I was far too young for driving.

My dad, at the time, talked of putting together a Cobra kit car. He had bought every book and read every car magazine on the subject, and he felt it would be a fun thing to do because you were doing all the work yourself. There is truth in the saying that it’s one thing to drive it, another to drive something you’ve built yourself.

My dad was an inspiration to me. At times when I did not conform to the “girlie” things that most little girls did, he encouraged me and liked my enthusiasm. When I was about 4-5 years old I insisted that the only thing in the world I wanted for Christmas was a set of pearl handled guns (with holster of course) so I could be a cowboy, or the time when I was about 8 and wanted to build a go-cart, which he happily helped me plan out using old parts from all sorts of odds and ends I thought would do the job. These helped set the stage for feeling comfortable doing the unconventional. While I’ve always done the “girlie” things like being a part-time modeling instructor at just 16, I’ve always preferred simple, creative things that are much more satisfying - photography, horses, gardening...and now old cars.

Pop also opened my eyes to Guy, who was a friend I felt an unusual kinship to. We shared so many things in common and could have placed ourselves in each other’s home as a kid and thought we were still in our own. While I had always liked driving cars, Guy opened my eyes to the enjoyment of them. Working on them with him taught me how satisfying it was to “wrench”. Watching and feeling the passion he felt about the old cars was like flipping a light switch – I had a sudden understanding of what men see in their cars, (you know the things we women giggle or roll our eyes over) and I must admit, I’m hooked!

My ’73 Corvette Stingray is a testament to this, and to my constant love for my two favorite cars. I am finally knee deep in my own ambitious restoration that I am completing myself  - with guidance and welding from Guy when I need it, along with some enthusiastic help from our daughter who restored her own 1985 Jeep CJ7 - complete with it's bubble-gum pink engine!

Pop has supported our work with classic cars and muscle cars, and was always thoroughly impressed with Guy’s immense knowledge of them. Pop had a lot of knowledge he had obtained from reading just about everything, but not so much hands-on experience. His experience went about as far as planning the build that never materialized due to work, kids, bills, etc. – you know, the kind of things everyone who has ever owned a classic car or muscle car has had to deal with at some point!  Some decide to stick it out and stubbornly hold onto their dream, others let the dream slide by, and some get a start with something only to let it go at the wife’s urging or insistence (more on that in another article)! But Pop always loved hearing about the projects we had both in our shop and those of our own.

I’ll dearly miss our “Pop” – my dad – but he will continue to inspire us in the work we do at Motorheads Performance.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Is Illegal Street Racing Worth the Risk or the Penalty?


Guy and I both love drag racing, and get out to the San Antonio Raceway, Royal Purple Raceway and the Houston Motor Sports Park as often as possible. As much as street racing can be downright enticing, it is often considered far better to get your grudge on at the drag strip where it can be done safely and legally!

After reading the article below, it certainly gets you to wonder, "Is it really worth the decision to race someone in a grudge match on the street?" Here's the consequences you could face if caught street racing in Texas:

Drivers - Class B Misdemeanor: $2000 fine, 180 days in jail or both, automatic suspension of license for up to one year (and 10 hours community service before reinstated)

Repeat Offenders - up to 2nd Degree Felony - Up to $10,000 fine, jail time 2-20 years, suspension of license. If two convictions, next offense could be life! Caught street racing while drunk is even more severe with first offense upgraded to 2nd degree felony regardless of blood alcohol level if open containers are found in the vehicle.

Other Cautions - Passengers can receive punishments just as severe. Spectators (anyone caught watching) can be fined up to $500 and have their vehicles towed. If anyone is accidentally killed, they can face manslaughter and/or felony charges.

So, Motorheads Performance asks you: Is it worth it? Cast your vote...

___ yes, I'd still chance it
___ no, I wouldn't risk it

See Story & Video

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 11th Just Named "Collector Car Appreciation Day"


SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, has gone to bat for all the classic car enthusiasts who love their collector cars a special appreciation day. Now anyone who loves classic cars, vintage trucks, antique automobiles or muscle cars can commemorate in an annual event to celebrate the restoration of historic and classic cars and trucks.

Photo Credit: Super Chevy Show by AAlgar
Steve McDonald, SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs stated, "We thank the U.S. Senate for its continued recognition of the collector car hobby as a valued American Tradition and pastime. With Australia and Canada joining the celebration, Collector Car Appreciation Day has now become an international recognition of the collector car industry and the millions of hobbyists it supports. A number of states and local governments have adopted similar commemorative declarations as well."

Two SEMA councils, the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), worked with lawmakers in designing a resolution designating July 11th as "Collector Car Appreciation Day". The U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 493 (S. Res. 493) June 30, 2014, acknowledging the importance of collector cars in America. The Resolution was sponsored by Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, a non-partisan member organization.

Rick Love, Chairman of HRIA said, "Businesses and car clubs across the country will be hosting car shows and cruises. More events are being held to commemorate this special day each year." Motorheads Performance, a repair and restoration shop serving San Antonio and South Central Texas, encourages enthusiasts to take part in 2014 celebrations by attending events in their area.

Guy Algar, owner of Motorheads Performance, states, "In the past, we have hosted a fun car show designed specifically for classic car and muscle car enthusiasts, and have recently heard from many of our customers that they would like to participate in one if we put one together again. We'd like to hear whether you would like to celebrate Collector Car Appreciation Day with us next year." Please contact Motorheads Performance if you would like to bring a car, help organize the event, or just attend.

SEMA - Event List for Collector Car Appreciation Day
Motorheads Performance - Contact about organizing a Classic Car Show Saturday, July 11, 2015

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $31.3 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,537 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 909-610-2030 or visit or

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Forever Stamps Pay Tribute To The Hot Rods We Love


Hot rod enthusiasts have something to celebrate! The U.S. Postal Service has just unveiled a new series of stamps called "Hot Rods Forever Stamps", with two stamps depicting hot rods that are instantly recognizable to all. Often referred to as the "Deuce", the stamps showcase the classic hot rod with a black 1932 Ford Roadster with orange flames as well as a red 1932 Ford.

According to a USPS press release, the stamps are available in booklets containing 20 stamps that can be used at anytime, even if postal rates increase in the future. The NSRA (National Street Rod Association) was on hand at a dedication ceremony to launch the newly released stamps. With the Street Rod Nationals in York, Pennsylvania as the location for the big reveal, it showed that some thought went into the creation and launch of the new stamp.

Whether you are into restoring, collecting, cruising, racing or just enjoy looking at them at a show or on the street, you'll probably agree that the tribute is long overdue.

Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, released a statement which said, "These hot rod stamps mark the beginning of America's fascination with customizing fast cars. And they're just as popular today as they were decades ago." I'd say that hot rods are probably even more popular today than decades ago. The resurgence of interest that was sparked a decade ago has grown faster and stronger than anyone would have imagined, and even through the economic slowdown, most enthusiasts have not given up on their dreams of owning and enjoying these great cars and trucks.

Motorheads Performance doesn't need any urging to begin using the stamps. We love the fact that hot rods have received some great attention that brings awareness and interest to a new generation of people who can get involved in classic cars, muscle cars, vintage trucks and other vehicles from our past that we continue to cherish and enjoy. We encourage all our followers to stock up!

What do you think of the new stamps?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bizarre Seizure of Fully Restored Classic Car is Saddening


There is a story I read that I just had to comment on because it's something any classic car owner or potential classic car buyer would be and SHOULD BE frightened of.

It's not so difficult to imagine yourself in these shoes:

You read an ad in Craigslist (or eBay, your local newspaper, or through a friend-of-a-friend) and see the car you've been dreaming of. You purchase the car, spend time and lots of money restoring it.....only to find that it had been a stolen vehicle. The car is seized by the State!

A frightening story to be sure. But, what if you had been given a legitimate title for the car from your State? Anyone would feel reassured enough to sink a bu__load of money into a restoration, right? The story is so bizarre I wouldn't think of paraphrasing it. You just have to read it yourself.

Motorheads Performance suggests you do your homework on any classic car or muscle car you may think of purchasing. There are many things to look for. Yes, the paint and body is important, as is the engine and drivetrain components. But just how many people think of looking at the VIN plates and checking out the title?

This may just leave you wondering whether that "great deal" you saw for a song is really worth it. No title?... Forget it!!!

What would you do if this were you?

RESOURCE: - Dad Loses Classic Car After State Mistake

Friday, February 14, 2014

UPDATE: National Corvette Museum Sinkhole Buries 8 Rare Corvettes - Museum Accepting Donations


News broke Wednesday about the 8 valuable Corvettes that were swallowed up and buried when a giant sinkhole opened up right in the middle of the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky. News was swift, and many enthusiasts were in sorrow to think that these legendary cars were lost forever. But are they?

Photo Credit: National Corvette Museum
General Motors announced yesterday that it will make efforts to restore all eight collector Corvettes. This won't be an easy task, since most are buried in the rubble at the bottom of a gigantic sinkhole that is 40 feet wide and estimated to be between 25 and 30 feet deep!

Structural engineers have reportedly been brought in to assess the site for safety and whether the vehicles can be retrieved from the Sky Dome. If any of the vehicles can be retrieved from the cavern that was created, they will be sent to the Mechanical Assembly facility at GM Design for restoration.

As reported in a General Motors press release, "The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development. "There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens." At least two of the cars have been valued at $1 Million apiece. Values of the other six vehicles have not yet been released.

Since the National Corvette Museum is privately owned and relies on fund raising and private contributions, they're going to need help restoring the facility and the attempts to retrieve the damaged cars. Most contributions come from private individuals and Corvette enthusiasts. The Museum is currently accepting donations on its website to assist in raising funds. Donations are tax-deductible.

As previously reported, the cars missing are:

  • 1962 Corvette
  • 1984 PPG Pace Car
  • 1992 1 Millionth Corvette
  • 1993 ZR-1 Spyder
  • 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette
  • 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
  • 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette
  • 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil"

Thursday, February 13, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Huge Sinkhole Swallows Rare Collector Corvettes at National Corvette Museum


A 40 foot wide, 20 foot deep sinkhole suddently opened up and swallowed eight extremely valuable Corvettes in the Sky Dome at the Bowling Green, Kentucky National Corvette Museum at 5:30 am Wednesday, causing shock and potentially millions in damages. The Sky Dome is home to more than 70 valuable Corvettes.

Photos: When the ground gives way
Giant Sinkhole at the
National Corvette Museum
The story broke from a variety of news sources who reported that the Corvette museum's motion detectors alerted security that something was wrong in the facility. What employees found was nothing short of shocking, as they discovered the enormous cavern created by the sinkhole, with what initially appeared to be one or two Corvettes in the rubble. But, what was later revealed added more distress as a remote controlled drone armed with robotic camera showed that at least eight valuable collectable Corvettes were amid the ruins. One additional Corvette is pearched perilously on a riser above the sinkhole.

The enormous sinkhole came at a bad time for the National Corvette Museum, as it is poised for over 5,000 pre-registered people to attend its 20th anniversary in August. The milestone event will also mark the opening of a 184 acre Motorsport Park with grand opening events. No doubt celebrations will go on as scheduled, but plans for the park opening will likely be subject to site testings to determine if this acreage might contain potential for sinkholes as well.

Museum spokeswoman, Katie Frassinelli, reported, "When you go in there, its unreal. The hole is so big, it makes the Corvettes look like little Matchbox cars." Geologists and engineers who have examined the site have determined that the structure is sound, but that there is "a cave" underneath the Sky Dome. Its interesting to note that the Mammoth Cave National Park is only a short distance from the National Corvette Museum. I'm sure that geologists will look to see if there is any connection, or if more underground caverns may exist on the site.

As is typical with museum displays, many of the vehicles are not owned by the museum. Some are donated by collectors and enthusiasts, others are lent to the museum for display. Two of the Corvettes lost in the collapse are reported to be owned by General Motors, with the remaining six donated from individuals.

Thankfully, there were no classic Corvettes lost, but among the losses are irreplaceable cars. The missing include:

  • 1962 Corvette
  • 1984 PPG Pace Car
  • 1992 1 Millionth Corvette
  • 1993 ZR-1 Spyder
  • 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette
  • 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
  • 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette
  • 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil"

Watch the amazing video caught by on-site surveillance:

Have you ever owned a Corvette? Share your story and make a comment in tribute.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Will Classic Cars Disappear From Cuba Following New Rule Change?


News from The Guardian reports that Cuba's council of ministers has changed strict rules that controlled what Cubans were able to do with classic cars made before 1959. This marks the first time since Fidel Castro took power that Cuban citizens have had much choice in what they drive and own. Some say the move threatens the very existence of classic cars in Cuba.

Photo Credit: The Guardian
The old law, in place since 1959, meant most car imports were banned. Those who wanted to buy a car in Cuba had to get permission to do so first. It also meant that the vintage American cars they had once been able to freely purchase became icons to the world and the envy of many collectors.

Cuba is well known for roadways full of beautiful old cars and trucks. Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs, Fords and others. Many of these vehicles have been sought after by collectors worldwide. With regulations on imports relaxing, this is all set to change, and it has many enthusiasts and collectors worried.

Over the last fifty years of U.S. sanctions, both fuel and parts for cars have been difficult to purchase in Cuba. However, current president Raul Castro recently changed the restrictions Fidel Castro put into place in 1959, opening the car market to all Cuban citizens for the first time in 55 years.

So why are so many people worried? With the new car market opening up with little regulation and potentially long wait lists, there is concern over what will become of the classics. Will they be made available for export, or will they be tossed aside and left to rust?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Muscle Car Movement Far From Dead - Mecum Auction Fetches $300,000 for Hemi Under Glass


Just as Mopar celebrates 50 years of the 426 Hemi engine, and the great Plymouth Barracuda of the mid to late 1960's, I've heard grumbles of concern that the recent muscle car comeback may be waning. Could the movement be backtracking once again?

It certainly would not seem to be the case after reviewing the results of this weekends Mecum Auction where Barracudas reined supreme!  One of the cars drawing great interest was one I wrote about in a November article where Guy Algar of Motorheads Performance was surprised when Mopar's four car collection known as the "Hemi Under Glass" funny cars failed to meet reserve.

The seller, collector Bill Sefton, was determined to sell the wheelstanding Mopars he had acquired after restoration at the right price. Following the prior failure to meet reserve on all four cars as a bundle, Saturday's sale of the "crown jewel" of the four cars, a 1967 Barracuda, sold for $300,000 on it's own. This, many industry followers believe, will pave the road for good auction prices on the remaining three cars which will be sold individually as well.

The Mecum Auction this past weekend was considered successful, and another Mopar making into the top 10 included a 1971 Plymouth Hemi "Cuda" which sold for a whopping $560,000 ...UNRESTORED! Granted, it had a numbers-matching drivetrain, and the mileage was an almost unbelievable 33,000 miles, but for an unrestored car to grab such a great selling price at auction would seem to indicate that muscle car buyers are still willing to shell out top dollars for the right car.

Hemmings - Original Hemi Under Glass Plymouth Barracuda sells for $300,000
Classic Car News - Recent Classic Car Auction Yields Disappointing Results - Is it a sign of trouble?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tim Allen Shares A Ride In His 1968 COPO Camaro with Jay Leno

by Andrea L. Algar

Any serious motorheads knows that both Jay Leno and comedian Tim Allen are both classic car enthusiasts. Did I really say "enthusiasts"? Many might call them "classic car nuts", but they certainly qualify for the "real car guys" category.

Just have to share a video that just appeared on YouTube that shows the two taking a cruise in Allen's 1968 Camaro - a 427 COPO Camaro to be exact! What a nice ride. One of my favorites.

It's always nice to appreciate a classic car that is enjoyed being driven. Too many just don't take the time to get out on the road to truly enjoy their classic car or muscle car for what it was made for...being on the road. Nothing wrong with an occasional trailer ride to a show, but even a show car deserves to get on the road to breathe a little!

Hope you enjoy the video.  More than one person has commented on Allen's expression when doing the burnout....what do you think?  Scared or just hamming it up? 


Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920's through 1970's. Her husband Guy L. Algar is a Mechanical Engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion with other enthusiasts from around the country.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

IRS Scrutiny Of Non-Profits Penalizes Classic Car Enthusiasts

You don't really expect that the scandals that have plagued the Obama administration will hit close to home. But that's exactly what has happened to the Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA).

In May of 2011, the HCCA received word that the IRS would be revoking the HCAA's 501(c)(3) non-profit status and would now consider it a for-profit organization. The non-profit club, which was founded in 1937, had spent much of it's time as a social club for vintage car enthusiasts. It had 501(c)(7) status for many years, until it switched to a 501(c)(3) in 2007. What this did for the organization was to enable donations to the club to become tax deductible. Club organizers hoped that this would lead to larger donations, helping the organization reach out to more enthusiasts around the country.

What they didn't realize was that it would lead to a two year battle with the Internal Revenue Service, who objected to the organizations change in non-profit designation. While they still are a non-profit, what was in question was how the IRS would view the $26,000 in donations. Under the newer non-profit filing, these donations would be non-taxable. The IRS apparently does not want to view them as such, and the HCCA has withdrawn their request to change to the 501(c)(3), and stay a 501(c)(7) non-profit.

According to an article in Hemmings News, "Richard Cutler, who served as president of the HCCA in 2011 and has since sparred with the IRS on the club's behalf, wrote on the club's website that he and other club officials decided that the club wouldn't just roll over and die. They responded to the revocation with a formal appeal and in the meantime came up with a fallback plan that included the formation earlier this year of two spinoff organizations: the Horseless Carriage Education Institution, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated exclusively to educating the public about horseless carriages and early automotive history, and the Horseless Carriage Club of America, a 501(c)(7) non-profit that would assume the club's ongoing social activities - its tours, meets, and conventions."

Cutler wrote on their website, "It has been suggested by some that we continue to fight the ruling. All evidence indicates that this will only result in more expense with no change in status. It is time to get this behind us and move on."

Guy Algar states, "It is unfortunate that a club designed to be a source of community to vintage car owners and enthusiasts, offering a variety of events, tours, and educational materials would need to spend two valuable years fighting a costly battle because it wanted to improve the services it could offer." This is not a political organization that has come under scrutiny. Do you think the HCCA should be allowed to make changes that better reflect it's mission?

HCCA - Horseless Carriage Club of America
Hemmings - Horseless Carriage Club Shifts Away From Non-Profit Status To Satisfy IRS

Andrea L. Algar is co-owner of a classic car performance and restoration design shop in Leesville, Texas. Motorheads Performance specializes in repairs, maintenance, performance upgrades and restorative work on cars and trucks from the 1920's through 1970's. Her husband, Guy L. Algar, is a mechanical engineer with over 25 years experience. He holds 5 ASE Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been working on old cars and trucks for over 37 years. Together they share their passion for old cars and trucks with other enthusiasts from around the country.