The final show of 2011 (Hickory Motor Speedway) will premier on the "Stock Car and Dirt Track" channel of MotorSportWorld.tv this Saturday on the following schedule: Where: http://www.motorsportworld.tv Date: Saturday, February 4 Air times: 10:00 am Eastern and 8:15 pm Eastern Since the shows began airing last month, more than 4,000 new racing fans have watched Super Cup's television program on MotorSportWorld.tv.
The Packs Racing crew finished stripping the body off of my #21 McGunegill Engines/Boschett Timepieces stock car today. The next step is to strip down the suspension system and rear end, then install the drive train. The new body will be put on in February with a brand new wrap in Boschett colors. Very excited. Will be a beautiful car, unlike any other stock car in America. No kidding. Details forthcoming. :)
Fri, Jan 27, 2012 11:07 pm Kissimmee, FL First of all, it just occurred to me that I've been labeling my blogs as "2011" when this is, in fact, the year 2012. I should really stay up on these things. Secondly, does anyone know how to separate paragraphs when posting on one's wall? It's really annoying when the whole blog runs together and surely makes it difficult for readers. If you have any ideas, message me here. Okay. Onward. Whew! We just finished the 3rd of 4 consecutive days of broadcasting the Mecum Auto Auction (8 hrs per day LIVE). The grind is starting to set in. It's getting harder to focus toward the end of the show, and my knees and lower back are complaining. But, hey... this is still the best job in television and I wouldn't have it any other way. Tomorrow will bring a load of high-dollar cars and our best ratings for the week. Got to shake hands with a bunch of the show's fans, posing for pics and signing photos, programs, etc., over the last few days, too, which is always fun. Meeting fans of the show never gets old. It's not a chore. I actually look forward to it. Rock stars and NFL quarterbacks probably get sick of facing throngs of crowds, but our show is still small enough that I consider our viewers family. If you ever get to a Mecum show and can spare a few moments to say "Hi," please do so. If I'm on the air at the time, please give me a few moments and as soon as we're done shooting I'd love to talk to you. One of the questions that I'm most frequently asked by Mecum fans goes something like this... "You guys sound like you're having so much fun. Is it really as enjoyable as it sounds?" The answer is "Yes." I've been on a lot of TV shows where the crew didn't get along or where egos got in the way of the job. It's common in television. There's really no special joy in doing shows like that. You just show up and try to get through the day just like any other job. But I can honestly say that the Mecum show is just as much fun as it appears. John Kraman, Bill Stephens, Scott Hoke and I all get along very well. At most shows we try to go out to dinner together at least once. And the friendship extends beyond the talent. The staff, sound trailer, camera guys, truck crew and everyone else is really friendly and it makes for a great work environment. Chemistry is really what makes this show work. I've been on TV shows that searched for years and never achieved the natural chemistry that Mecum Auto Auctions have on a daily basis. Our daily routine goes something like this... 3 hours before the show we'll have a production meeting where we plan out the show and the individual stories we'll follow. Immediately after the production meeting we have a catered meal that, with a few notable exceptions, is usually pretty good. Then, if the hotel is nearby, I'll usually go back to my room and rest up for an hour or so. If not, I'll hang out at the venue. We'll have a quick rehearsal of the show's open about thirty minutes before air time. After rehearsal I have about ten minutes to focus my mind and get ready to rock and roll. Then it's showtime. So there's a quick inside look at what goes on behind the scenes with the Velocity channel crew at a Mecum Auction. Tomorrow's the last day in Kissimmee... see you there. Stephen Cox Co-host, Mecum Auto Auctions Velocity channel
Thurs, Jan 26, 2011 11:16 pm Kissimmee, FL We had a pretty full night at the Mecum Auto Auction with 400 cars crossing the block along with bad sausage and ripped jeans. The morning started with our usual production meeting, after which we had a catered breakfast. Our meals are usually pretty decent, but today's chicken sausage was questionable at best. When I asked if he thought any actual chicken was in these sausage links, Bill Stephens responded, "I'm sure that no animals were harmed during the production of this meat." We laughed and ate it anyway. They also served cheese omelets, but neither the eggs nor the cheese were real. They actually tasted pretty good, but I'm a stickler for real cheese made from raw milk and actual eggs. You know... the kind that come in a round, white shell. However, I must confess that their potato patties were righteous. So much for breakfast. We had some killer deals cross the block on today's show. The buy of the night was a 1970 Mustang Mach I 351 that went for $27,500. It was in grabber blue with less than 30,000 miles on the clock, and was truly one of the finest restorations we've seen so far. It had a 4-speed Toploader and a huge Hurst shifter. Someone walked away with a great deal on that Mustang.
We had an interesting conversation on the air yesterday about the potential for 1,000 horsepower cars that get 60 miles per gallon. Does that sound impossible? It's probably not, but then again, we'll never know. In the 1960's the horsepower ratings jumped from an average of less than 250 hp for the average coupe to a high of 450 hp. The horsepower jump was so extreme that manufacturers had to lie about the ratings in order to fend off bureaucratic regulators and insurance companies... the sworn enemies of the automobiles that we love. Thanks to overzealous government regulators, horsepower had crashed to 1940's levels by the mid-70s and would not recover for 20 years. What could auto designers have achieved had they been left alone? Mileage is even worse. As journalist Eric Peters has pointed out, in 1980 you could get a VW Rabbit diesel to produce over 55 mpg on the highway. And that was with 1980's technology and no overdrive. Today, after tidal waves of government regulation, we can barely squeeze 43 mpg out of a puny hybrid whose batteries rely on much of the same technology that dates to the early 20th century. So much for progress. The simple fact is that government interference in the industry has set back automotive progress by at least 30 years. If it weren't for the constantly increasing burden of regulations on car makers, we could very possibly be choosing which 1,000 horsepower car we wanted... the one that gets 57 mpg or the GT version that only gets 48. And America would have more car makers than it has fast food chains. But that's another story. On to auto racing. Got an email from my car owner tonight. We're working on having the car wrapped, and I missed a team meeting in Virginia this week that I have to catch up on. The Super Cup Stock Car Series season starts in Columbus, Ohio on April 28th and I'm looking forward to it. I'll blog on each race throughout the year. My final adventure of the night came when I returned to the dressing room after the show to find a rip in my Old Navy bluejeans. Sigh. Bill was kind enough to drop me off at a Kissimmee Target store at 10 pm, where a limited inventory compelled me to settle for a pair of relaxed fit Wranglers. Have a great night. See you live on Velocity at 2pm eastern on Friday. Stephen Cox Co-host, Mecum Auto Auction Velocity channel
Weds, Jan 25, 2011 10:51pm Kissimmee, FL We just wrapped the first night of the Mecum Auto Auction television show live from Kissimmee, Florida less than two hours ago. It was one of the most amazing auction nights we've ever seen. The block was filled with fantastic collector cars at bargain prices. In my opinion, the buy of the night was a 1988 Corvette that sold for $6,250. We had several other C4 Corvettes that sold in the eight to ten thousand dollar range. I'm a big believer in the C4 Corvette as an investment-grade “driver.” The time to buy a fourth generation Corvette (1984-1996) is right now. The deals that we've seen on these cars for the past two years have been unreal. Nearly all of them sell below $12,000, and many go for less than $9,000. Can you imagine driving away in an early '90s Corvette for six or seven grand? It's happening right now. But it won't be in a few years. Every collectible car has what I call a “value curve.” The car sells new at a high price, then that price steadily falls until it bottoms out. Then the price begins to rise again. The key to collector car investing is to buy at the bottom of this value curve, and that's where C4's are at right now. I am something of a closet economist, and the economy is inextricably linked to the collector car market. People buy collector cars because they don't trust the dollar to outpace inflation. In other words, the value of what your dollar can buy falls faster than interest paid on most bank accounts or “paper” investments. Keep one fact in mind as you watch the collector car market in 2012... this is an election year! No president wants to run for re-election in a lousy economy. So presidents of both parties have historically leaned on the Federal Reserve to print huge gobs of money during election years, which the Fed is tragically quick to do. This has disastrous long-term effects and is a horrible monetary policy. But in the short term a brief benefit is derived from the effects of this miniature hyper-inflation. This short term effect helps mask the real problems plaguing the economy and gives the sitting president a better chance in the upcoming election. Yes, it's a dirty trick that destroys the dollar and inflates your savings into oblivion, but that's what they do and they will continue to do it until we prevent such practices by returning the dollar to a gold standard. So car collectors, be aware that 2012 will likely show a brief – and totally artificial – boon in economic prosperity that was merely created by a printing press. For this reason I continue to believe that collector cars are a great place to hide your money and protect your wealth from a runaway, criminal Federal Reserve system. Collector cars, gold, silver, and any commodity-based investment that is not denominated in the US dollar is a good idea for such times. One quick behind-the-scenes factoid from tonight's show will wrap up this blog... the Kissimmee Mecum show consists of four live 8-hour broadcasts. You can generally add another 4-6 hours of work to that, plus travel time and meals, for pre-production and the completion of an entire show. It's a long, tough haul for the whole crew. Bill, Scott and I were scouting around Silver Spur Arena this afternoon for any rest area we could find that would get us away from the noise level of the stadium and allow us a bit of privacy. We found a locker room for athletic teams but it offered no more comfort than a folding chair. We found two dressing rooms for concert artists, but they were locked. We finally found a kind-hearted arena employee who unlocked the dressing rooms and allowed us to crash there during breaks. Otherwise, we'd have been changing and putting on make-up in the bathroom stall of a public restroom. Moral of the story – if you want to be spoiled like a rock star, become a rock star. You don't get that kind of treatment in TV! But it's still the best job in the business. Can't wait for tomorrow's show. See you then. Stephen Cox Co-host, Mecum Auto Auctions Velocity Channel
After scoring their first victory in the Super Cup Stock Car Series last year, Packs Racing will expand to become a two-car team for the 2012 season. Driver J. J. Pack will be joined by veteran Stephen Cox, who leaves a brief stint with Larry Wilcox Racing to pilot the second full-time Super Cup entry for an emerging Packs team. Cox’s primary sponsors, McGunegill Engine Performance and Boschett Timepieces, will follow him when he takes over his new ride at the April 28th season opener at Columbus Motor Speedway. On paper, the new pairing makes Packs Racing one of the stronger teams in the series. J. J. Pack won the 2011 Webb’s Auto Body 100 on his way to a 7th place points finish. Cox has two road racing titles and 14 career wins on both ovals and road courses. The tandem is expected to vault Packs Racing into immediate contention in the 2012 Super Cup title chase. “All of this came down pretty quickly,” Cox said of the deal that was closed last week. “This is one of the best seats in the series. The team is a consistent front-runner. Packs Racing has a very secure team situation and that's vital. They’re committed to the series, they've got good equipment and they’ve got good people. I'm thankful to have the opportunity.” Cox’s effort to win the Super Cup championship will require some luck and good timing, as he has a pre-existing obligation to Velocity Channel as a host of the Mecum Auto Auction. A conflict between the two could knock him out of championship contention. Neither Super Cup nor the Mecum Auction has yet released their full 2012 schedule. The Super Cup Stock Car Series features 600 horsepower, 3400-lb stock cars competing on short track ovals across the east coast. The April 28th race at Columbus Motor Speedway will help kick off the historic track's 65th season of competition.