Author Archive | PonoBill

AA Pretty Peyote

Peyote came back from Horizon Racing looking like it just rolled out of Bill Ames’ garage in 1959. We decided since Peyote was approaching it’s 50th birthday that it should be restored to look as close to what it did in 1959 as we could manage. Tony did a magnificent job and I couldn’t be […]

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AA Vinnie Comes Home

November 2008 My Vincent has been away a long time. The bottom end bearings were toast and I didn’t feel competent to replace them. Crankshaft work is notoriously tricky on a Vincent, as is nearly everything. Remarkably complex motor. So I brought it to a guy who does a lot of motorcycle restorations. He hung […]

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AA Tony’s Nose

After I dropped Peyote off the stands and discovered a bevy of new problems the air kind of came out of my sails. Tony Garmey and Horizon Racing to the rescue. I asked Tony if he’d be willing to “finish up” Peyote, which has to be the worst thing you can ever ask a talented […]

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AA Recap to mid-2008

9 July 2008 There has been a lot going on, and I haven’t posted here for a dogs age. I’m going to start again since I’m doing stuff to both Peyote and Peyote’s little brother–the Ambro 001 that I’m calling Mescal. For those of you saying <em>Huh?</em>  I should explain that Bill Ames, the guy […]

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Back To The Future

14 December 2007 I’m making pretty good progress on Peyote. Okay, it’s more like three steps forward, two back, but it’s coming together. I made a set of decisions that were kind of painful. Mainly, that I would try to use as much of the damaged body as possible since the frame couldn’t be saved. […]

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AA New Bones

27 November 2007 I’ve been super busy, I thought this time before the holidays would be nice and lazy, instead, I’m working my tail off. I don’t know if I’m going to have Peyote back together before we leave for Maui. I’ve got the new frame done. Now I need to paint it and start […]

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AA Watkins Glen Epilogue

Thanks for all the supportive emails and comments, and the offers of rides at both Road America and Sovren’s Fall Finale. I’m not taking anyone up on that kind offer. I’m not comfortable racing other people’s cars, but most of all, now that I’m on the way, I’m pretty excited about being home. Four months […]

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AA Punted at Watkins Glen

“Nooo, you idiot” I groaned as the Corvette bashed into Peyote’s left rear corner, pivoting the car sideways onto its massive bumper. I slid along sideways at sixty MPH and I stared up the hood five inches from my elbow. The big car was pushing me towards the tire wall. I had just enough time […]

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AA 30 Babcocks

9 Sept 2007 Well, not all Babcocks, but thirty relatives showed up at Limerock to watch Peyote and I do our thing. I’m originally from Boston, and the only black sheep to actually leave the east coast permanently. So my brothers, sisters, and Mom planned to come to see me race, and it blossomed into […]

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AA The Good, The Bad, And the Awful

29 August 2007 So we left the Chicago Four Seasons on Monday, headed for Limerock Raceway in Connecticut. Last time I saw Limerock I was about fifteen and it was a dust bowl as I recall. Pretty spiffy looking now. The roads leading south out of Chicago are not exactly scenic, we drove to Indiana […]

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AA What I’ve Learned So Far

29 August 2007 So it’s 3:54 AM and I’m compelled to write. I woke up at two with all this stuff in my head. The only way I’ll get some sleep is to reel it out of my mind and onto “paper”. Driving around the country endlessly is a serious education. Most of what I’ve […]

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AA Grattan and Grandkids

27 August 2007 This is out of sequence, I wrote it last week but didn’t post it. We had an interesting race weekend at Grattan. The track is fun, bumpy and swoopy with lots of elevation changes and some interesting corners. The weather looked threatening, and ultimately cut my participation short, but we had a […]

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AA Surfing Chicago

24 August 2007 I’m in Chicago for a few days, waiting for Diane to return from a “girl trip” to Colorado. I’m holed up at the Four Seasons which is a short distance from the beach on Lake Michigan. So I planned to do a lot of paddling. Turns out that you can’t launch a […]

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AA Amazing Car

12 August 2007 I really have my doubts about writing this–I’m feeling a bit superstitious about how good this trip has been going. But I’ll knock on wood and toss some Heineken over my shoulder. Okay, that didn’t work very well. What an amazing car Peyote has been. I can’t think of another car that […]

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AA I’m in Hell

Well, not really, but I’m not used to being so constrained. You pretty much need to watch kids all the time or they’ll disappear and go play with an electrical distribution panel or find a circular saw somewhere. I don’t remember my Mom worrying this much about us–she’d shove us out the door about age […]

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AA Faster Grandpa, Faster

Okay, time for a beer. Maybe two. I love these kids, but… We were a little lazy this morning, got up around nine and went to the Breakfast Buffet. Diane and I aren’t getting our fifteen bucks worth. Fruit and a bowl of oatmeal is probably not part of the model. But it’s easy, close, […]

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AA Looking For Adventure In Whatever Comes Our Way

Get your motor running, head out on the highway… So we’re in Mackinac Island, pronounced Mackinaw, as is the nearby Mackinaw City and the nearby Mackinac Bridge. Huh? Hey, it’s a genuine regional idiosyncrasy, one of those oddities like Regular Coffee in Boston (coffee with cream and sugar) that the endless boring strip malls and […]

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AA Yoopers

We’re headed north through Michigan farmland to spend a few days on Mackinac Island with two of our grandsons, James and Shea. James’ full name is Christian James Patterson but when he was four he decided his name would be James. Not Jim or Jimmy: James. If you called him Christian he’d say very politely […]

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AA Bunch of Old Liars

7 August 2007 I had a great experience before I picked up Diane at the Minneapolis airport–I went to a meeting of the Old Liars Club, a bunch of racers that have been getting together in Mendota Minnesota for lunch once a week–for the last 46 years! Diane was scheduled to fly in about two […]

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AA Racing at Brainerd

6 August 2007 Peyote has a lot of history around here. Many of the people that stopped by said something like “I never expected to see that car again–I remember Peyote from when I was a kid”. far fewer people asking what it was–many of them knew a lot more about the history of Peyote […]

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