Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from Men's Journal, Panther Racing, and Petrolicious.
Blending the Old and the New in a Vintage Benz — Men's Journal
From a time when Mercs were tanks.
If you worship the timeless elegance and over-engineered stolidity of the vehicles that Mercedes-Benz produced in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, then JG Francis's Mercedes Motoring workshop is your heaven. Located on an industrial stretch in Glendale, California, the shop – filled with natural light from the dozen skylights piercing the boat-trussed wooden ceiling – is lined with meticulously reconditioned cars, packed together like avocado green, tobacco brown, and harvest gold sardines.
IndyCar team Panther Racing has been sponsored by the National Guard for years. PR man Mike Kitchel penned this wonderful tribute.
I've been around for more than 30 Veterans Days, and probably let most of them pass without much notice. I'm sure somewhere in the back of my head I understood what Veterans Day was all about, but I never gave it the respect it has earned. This week I started thinking how much my perspective has changed – having spent a better part of the last five years working on an IndyCar dressed in camouflage, and interacting daily with people wearing the uniform that symbolizes the importance of what today really means.
In Defense Of The Garage Queen — Petrolicious
We tend to poo poo cars that don't get driven. But maybe, just maybe, we're in the wrong.
If there is one perpetual whipping boy in the automotive world, it is the "garage queen." These are the vehicles that are restored to conditions better than was even possible when they were first built, and then locked away inside climate controlled garages, brought into the light of day perhaps once or twice a year. They are never, ever driven but instead are trailered about the country in the quest for a piece of blue ribbon. They can range from $10,000 Datsuns to stratospheric $30 million Ferraris and Bugattis. You'll find no love lost for these white-glove-coddled machines amongst us enthusiasts – but what if that is all wrong?