Now, if I had been able to secure steady employment, I would have been really lucky.
But, alas, I digress.
I can hear you Counters out there in cyberland asking yourselves, "What has happened to this olelongrooffan for him to consider himself lucky?"
Well in addition to living in close geographic proximity to one of my four favorite brothers, thejeepjunkie, sharing in his and his family and friends exploits, and having some fantastic auto related experiences, several old long lost friends got in touch.
If you have been Counting Along With This olelongrooffan, you will remember when Jason stopped by last winter , when I headed down to FantasyLand for Christmas, and the time I met all those cops on the way back from Slocala.
Well Friday a week ago, I received a call from my buddy Justin. The story of how we met is contained in the first few paragraphs of this post.
Anyway, as seems to be so prevalent they days, Big J lost his job several weeks ago and is in the job search process. He is fortunate though as he has a specialized degree and can relocate to nearly anywhere.
He called and asked if he could stop by the Taj Mahal on his way from Pennsylvania to FantasyLand this past week?
"Of course Little Buddy, stop on by."
"See you Wednesday, longroof."
His plan was to leave PA on Sunday, spend the night in Virginia and then stop in Asheville, North Carolina and spend a couple days with a friend.
Well, those of you in Central and Eastern North America know this happened earlier this week.
Big J called me early on Monday morning inquiring if he could come in on Monday instead of Wednesday.
Sure Little Buddy, why?
Well he caught me up to date on the weather forecast and mentioned it was 29 degrees up there and he was freezing his *ss off and thinking about this olelongrooffan down in the Birthplace of Speed where it was a Sunny Chamber of Commerce kind of day and figured he would skiddaddle on down.
Come On Brother.
And He Did.
Arriving around 7 that evening.
We spent the evening reminiscing about old times and relating experiences we have had this past year and in general having a good time while consuming some hurricane supplies.
As Big J was wired from his 12 hour road trip that Monday, he was up quite late and managed to sleep in the guest suite of the Taj Mahal until around noon on Tuesday. After a hearty 7 course breakfast, 3 slices of sausage, 2 eggs and 2 pieces of toast=7 course breakfast.
Hey, it's my world and they know me here.
Anyway, we jumped in his sweet BMW suv, it's an all wheel drive 5 speed! and I proceeded to show him around my home town.
First, we cruised down A1A in anticipation of a beach drive but it was high tide and no vehicles are allowed. Maybe later.
We then head down to Main Street which during Bikeweek and Biktoberfest is closed to anything with more than 3 wheels. I pointed out my favorite parts store, home of my parts friends. We then cruised over to the Mainland and I showed him Historic Beach Street and we tooted the horn as we passed thejeepjunkie's shop.
I thought then we would head over to Carswell Street as it has a bunch of car related businesses and I always see something cool over on that street.
Not only that, but the Spirit of Daytona race team's shop is over there. One time the Kid and this olelongrooffan were out and about and passed by that shop, the doors and gates were wide open and he and I got a tour of the place! I thought that would be a blast for Big J.
However, when we passed that shop, it was buttoned up tighter than Barbara Bush's blouse. It seemed odd as the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is just over a month away and I figured there would be some serious wrenching going on there.
Oh well, let's just head over to the home of Motorsports Marketing. When we walked in their showroom lobby, we were asked by one of the dudes there if he could help us? I mentioned I had a buddy in from out of town and was showing the cooler parts of the area.
"Feel free to brouse around."
And We Did.
Their lobby was occupied by an original Mini Cooper, the late model Mini race car I had seen behind the fence last year, that old Model A rumbleseat, a Triumph TR3 race car and this Triumph GT6.
Big J was duly impressed. And that made me happy.
We then moved on, looking at a couple vintage car sales locations, even coming across that Imperial I blogged about here. As a sign of the inflation surrounding the Turkey Rod Run, it was then listed at $5,800. Two weeks later it was $5,400. Still, a sweet old orphan car.
That evening, we grabbed some seafood and just lounged around the Taj Mahal.
Wednesday morning at about 9am, my cheap cell phone rings. It was thejeepjunkie.
"Hey longroof, whatcha doing?"
"Sleeping you Dumb*ss!"
"Well, I can hear the Rolex series practicing out at the track."
I quickly jumped out of bed with a "Thanks jeepjunkie!" and climbed in my huge shower. I got out, rousted Big J awake and mentioned we are going racing!
It perked him up also!
We left for the Daytona International Speedway a short time later.
We had to ride the trolley in, much as the youngsters, NotSoLilJim, LilMom, Sweet Sophie and this olelongrooffan had to do here.
So there we are sitting in that trolley
waiting to go through that big drainage pipe known as the Turn 1 tunnel. Incidentally, that tunnel is as old as this olelongrooffan!!
So, we got off that tram filled with about 30 redneck NASCAR fans and 4 dudes interested in Rolex racing.
Yeah, me, Big J and two other dudes. We hotfooted it from Victory Lane over through The Fan Zone and into the garage area.
When we arrived, I realized this was not this event but a limited number of Daytona Prototype and GT teams getting in some early practice.
Still cool though.
I started looking around and parked behind the Brumos Porsche's transporters, I saw a Porsche Panamera, Porsche's first production 4 door automobile.
I think it is a good decision for both Porsche and VW. Now if VW can stop marketing rebadged Chrysler minivans and rethink their vehicle naming process, all will be well in their world.
I turned around and got some shots of the garage area.
I love the above image. Spare nose and tail on a mobile gurney, just in case the Brumos team punts one into the infield. Check out the cooling hoses on that front end to the right.
Got a couple shots of some tires for the #59 Porsche Fab Car.
We then headed over to the garage side of this area and I spotted the new nose available for the Daytona Prototype this year. This is off the #77
while this is last year's model off the#60 DP.
Working on the 60 car.
And more Pirellis.
When Big J and this olelongrooffan were walking along beside the garages, we came upon the Spirit of Daytona Racing's garage.
Now I know why yesterday their garage over on Carswell was so buttoned up!
And the nose and tail of the 09 car above are constructed of carbon fiber.
And those guys rolled their DP right in front of Big J and this olelongrooffan!
We continued to stroll down the garage area and spotted this Porsche, as it was meant to be, with two doors
as well as this Mazda across the way by the transporters.
And another Porsche
Then we spotted this BMW 845. Sporting paint so fresh you could smell it.
And that is Boris Said at the front of this tuned 845.
Just down the way, we saw a new Camaro set up for Rolex Racing, GT class.
And at the end of the garage area, these tire dudes were hard at work.
Then Big J and this olelongrooffan decided to head over to the bleachers by the Horseshoe and check out the track action.
The Speedway infield sure looks alot different than it did during the Rod Run Weekend!
A couple cars out on the track....
Oh, and as Big J pointed out, "By The Numbers".
So we had a great day out there at the Speedway but as Big J was headed over to BBB's hometown, we decided to head back to the Taj Mahal so he could take off and beat the rush hour traffic on I-4 through downtown MickeyMouseLand on his way.
But not before we headed down on my, now free access, beach for a short virgin drive for Big J and his AWD 5 speed suv...
And that, Counters, is how, in Daytona Beach, Florida, on the 9th day of December, we