[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_bottom=”20″][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text el_class=”milepost-dateline”]MilePost – The Journal of the Motor Press Guild / Vol. 25, No. 6, June 2015[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”16506″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Droptops & Dirt 2015

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May 27, 2015 —  Back for its 2nd year as Droptops & Dirt, MPG’s spring driving event at Calamigos Ranch featured over 30 vehicles (including ATVs from Honda and Polaris) and record attendance.

dnd-convertiblesProving to be just as popular as last year, the convertible line-up enabled members to test drive some of the hottest droptops out on twisty canyon roads. Journalists had ample seat time available with nine impressive offerings: BMW 228i Convertible, BMW M4 Convertible, BMW X6M, Corvette Convertible Z51 8-Speed, Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio, Ford Mustang GT Convertible, Jaguar F-TYPE S Convertible, Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet and the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI. MPG member Andrew Chen recently published his face-off at the event between the Corvette Stingray Convertible vs. the Mustang GT Convertible here.

dnd-2Of course, the trails at Calamigos Ranch are the perfect place to test the chops of off-road vehicles. Land Rover returned with a Discovery Sport and two drive instructors to lead members through the challenging courses, and Scott Brown from FCA was also on hand to take members out and test the capabilities of the all-new Jeep Renegade. Members had the opportunity to test 17 off-road vehicles on the trails this year: Chevrolet Colorado Z71 4WD, Chevrolet Silverado Z71 LTZ 4WD , Ford F150, GMC Canyon SLE 4WD, GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 4WD, Honda Pilot 4WD, Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, Kia Sorento SXL, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Lexus GX, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT, Nissan Frontier Pro-4X, Ram 1500 4×4 EcoDiesel, Subaru Outback 3.6R, Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and Volkswagen Touareg TDI Executive.

The trails were not only reserved for trucks and SUVs — ATVs also made it back the ranch this year. Polaris offered an ACE, Ranger, RZR and Sportsman for members to test on the trails with and Honda brought a Pioneer 700-4 and Foreman Rubicon Automatic DCT with IRS.

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Additionally, any MPG members braving a rough ride in a Jeep Wrangler (shown at left) with Andrew Comrie-Picard were automatically entered into a contest to win a set a of tires from our sponsor, BFGoodrich. Congratulations to MPG member, Richard James, who is the lucky winner!
MPG would like to extend our thanks to our sponsors, BFGoodrich Tires and Katzkin Leather; to our participating automakers, too numerous to list; to Land Rover for sending us Lea and JP; to Scott Brown and Jeep for supplying the unstoppable Wrangler support vehicle; to Mother’s, who was gracious enough to provide each attendee with their own auto detailing kit; to our volunteers Greg Whale, Christian Wardlaw, Myles Regan, Doug Stokes, Michael DeLano and his crew; to our event organizer and chairman, Aaron Gold; and to all the MPG members and guests who made this a memorable event.
View more photos, courtesy of Regan Digital Images.
Read tweets with #MPGDnD, See photos with #MPGDnD[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]

UPCOMING EVENTS

We’re currently finalizing our summer calendar, but please save the date for the following events you won’t want to miss:

 

Mecum AuctionsJuly MPG Luncheon with Mecum Auctions at The Proud Bird
Tuesday, July 14th, 11:30am – 1:30pm
MPG Members $25 / Guests $30
Mecum Auctions’ John Kraman and guests will discuss the collector car market, valuations, auctions, provenance, trends and tips for new collectors. Special guest star car: Steve McQueen’s 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera, live and in person on the eve of its auction in Monterey!

irwindale-speedwayMotor Press Guild NASCAR Night at Irwindale Speedway
Saturday, August 1, 4:00pm – 10:00pm
All MPG Members Free (up to 4 guests $5 each)
Member’s Car Show / Corral (limited to 100 entries)

 

autodesigno-XploreAutoDesignO XPLORE West Coast Design
Tuesday, September 1, 3:30pm-7:30pm
Newport Sea Base – 1931 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach CA 92663

Featuring one-on-one moderated conversations and insightful discussions with design icons. More detailed information coming soon.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Membership Benefits

Media-Guide-cover2015The 2015-2016 Media Guide is in the final stages and soon will be on its way to you.  New member cards also will be sent out to you.  Should you need verification of your status as an MPG-approved journalist, publicist, affiliate or analyst prior to receiving your new card, please contact MPG Business Operations Manager Pete Evanow at pete.evanow@motorpressguild.org and he will send you an accreditation letter on MPG letterhead.

TheParkingSpotLogoAnother benefit that members may not know they have is The Parking Spot discount.  The Parking Spot is an excellent covered facility with two locations near LAX; one on Century Blvd., and one on Sepulveda.

With The Spot Club Executive Cards, MPG members will receive the following:

  • Earn points for free parking
  • By linking the card to a personal or company credit card, this will make things much easier and faster when entering and leaving The Parking Spot properties
  • 20% discount off of all published rates

Please visit this link to sign up for your Spot Club Executive Card.


Find & Post Car Meets on the Where’s the Meet App

Steven Jaffe, MPG member and entrepreneur out of New Jersey, has recently launched an iPhone app (Android coming soon) that allows anyone to find, post, and share car meets (available in the App Store for free). Where’s the Meet helps automotive journalists discover car meets around the country and allows users to track the meets they’re attending as “going,” so they’ll never miss a meet or forget when or where it was taking place.

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Built with photographers in mind, Where’s the Meet allows users to post their amazing photos to the photostream and tag a meet to the image; the photo will instantly be added to that meet’s photo gallery for other users to browse and share.

The app not only lets you search for meets at your current location (or anywhere else in North America), it also also lets you filter for specific categories or by date. Plus, by simply sharing a meet, Where’s the Meet helps you promote an upcoming event and draw other attendees.

Most importantly, the app enables automotive journalists to host their own meets, which can be tailored to a specific make/model to get feedback from local owners, or organized to generate content for a story – the possibilities are endless.

If you’d like to talk to Steven about the app or learn about marketing opportunities, contact him directly at info@wheresthemeet.net. He is interested in helping MPG members take advantage of the app as much as possible at no cost.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

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The Motor Press Guild lost a revered longtime member when Denise McCluggage passed away on May 6 at the age of 88. I won’t repeat the details of her biography here, as I only have space for a minor accounting of her accomplishments. I can only say that Denise was one of the most down-to-earth, friendly and generous legends I’ve ever encountered in person, in or out of the automotive industry. The first time I ever drove with her, I had no idea who she was. We were paired up at a vehicle launch, and proceeded to have a fantastic, wide-ranging conversation about cars, photography, writing and life. I looked up her bio after our ride, and was astonished to discover what a pioneer I had just spent the day with. We rode together a few more times over the years, always picking up the conversation right where we left off. She was sharp and smart, and a great driver right up to the end. I know that many other journalists had the privilege of getting to know Denise, and that we’re all feeling the loss. My heart goes out to all of her family, friends and colleagues. We lost one of the good ones. Denise’s website and her “McBlog” can still be found at www.denisemccluggage.com.

Details are still firming up for a memorial service for Denise McCluggage here in Southern California. We’ll keep you informed as details emerge, and make sure that all Motor Press Guild members are notified of the time, date and location of the service.

As you’ve seen in our event recap, Droptops and Dirt was a big success out at Calamigos Ranch in Calabassas on May 26. Our annual off-road and convertibles event was the biggest yet, with record attendance and OEM participation. Several new sponsors joined in, including major sponsor B.F. Goodrich. Polaris returned for the second year with side-by-sides and ATVs, joined by Honda with some of their off-road offerings. A post-event party at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake capped off a fine day of driving and being scared on the trails by BFG pro driver Andrew Comrie-Picard, better known as “ACP.” Congratulations to MPG Board of Directors member and event chairman Aaron Gold for pulling this one off, and thanks to MPG Vice President Michael Harley for standing in for me and taking charge. We’re already planning next year’s event and thinking about ways to make it even better.

I’d like to give an early reminder to all members about the Dean Batchelor Awards. Nominations won’t be open until early fall, but it’s never too early to take note of examples of excellence in automotive journalism. Works that were first published or released between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015 are eligible for awards this year. Search your memory banks, and be sure to watch for the opening of nominations so that no great works slip though our grasp. You can email me at Jason@MotorPressGuild.org if you want to discuss a potential entry or the DBA process in general.

It’ll officially be summer in a few weeks, prime driving and riding season. Stay safe, and I’ll see you out on the road.

Best,
— Jason Fogelson
President, Motor Press Guild[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]

MEMBER CHRONICLES

Remembering Bill Huth: 1924-2015
— by Doug Stokes

bill-huth-at-willow-springs-pit-laneBill Huth at Willow Springs, photo via MotorTrend

It was said that Bill Huth had won Willow Springs, the high desert race track complex that he so dearly loved and worked on tirelessly for more than 50 years, in a poker game…

A number of years ago I asked Bill Huth about that transaction while sitting in his office at the track. He put his big cowboy boots (the ones with the outline of Willow sculptured into the side of each one) up on a pulled-out desk drawer, and, in that totally authentic low and slow western drawl, he cracked a wry smile and simply said, “Well, Doug, that’s not exactly true.”

He really did buy the run-down, dilapidated, smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-nowhere race track for a song, and really from a guy who he had played cards with. But even though he’d gambled professionally at one time in his unbelievably diverse life, sorry — he did not win the place playing poker. I told him to never deny that story ever again.

Contrary to the movies, Bill Huth was a legend and a real man who worked an almost forgotten race track in the middle (really off to one side) of the Mojave Desert into a place where millions of miles of racing, testing, training, and filming was done. Huth persevered and preserved the place when Riverside was in its heyday and attracting all the attention and huge crowds, and he was still there 33 years later when that great track was tractored-out.

When Riverside opened in 1957, Willow suffered. It was not the bright new star that Riverside was, and was almost forgotten by the racing clubs in favor of the shiny new track that was “closer” to LA  than WSIR. In 1988, when Riverside was closed, Willow was still there; Bill Huth and his family firmly at the helm, race-ready.

Willow was the birthplace track for so many racing machines from the LeGrand formula cars to the first Cobras — everyone/everything (from Formula 1 cars to NASCAR stockers, to sports cars, to a 24-hour record run on a go-kart) ran there, everyone who was anybody (and many like me who were not) tested there.

Over the years, Huth constantly upgraded his self-proclaimed “Fastest Road in the West” adding buildings, paving huge swaths for parking, adjusting and sculpting the earth around the track for better spectator viewing and increased driver safety, and building a whole set of additional mini-road courses and an oval short track to accommodate a diverse catalog of racing machines. He was never satisfied with the status quo.

The man turned down multi-millions from offshore interests who wanted to buy his racetrack and turn it into some sort of sports/club/ranch or another. The number of greenies was astronomical (even when brought up today) his reaction was something like, “ What (the hell) would I do with all that money.”  (His private reaction to me was somewhat different.)

His legacy is the fact that he requested — and got — historic status for the grounds, assuring its future, and the millions of remembrances of the place that are an indelible part of the memory of everyone who ever turned a lap there.  Willow Springs, if one spent any time there at all, put strange music in everyone’s ears … the high desert was a place where all sorts of raw-boned wonderment was part of the everyday adventure.

I even remember the only track project that Bill Huth ever failed at — planting a small stand of willow trees on the inside of turn one. To the best of my knowledge there was no working “spring” on the racetrack acreage, but Huth wanted some willow trees on the property. The trees didn’t last the summer.  But the track did … and is still steadfastly providing testing, tuning, racing, driver training, and filming opportunities year around, all thanks to the laconic, laid-back cowboy who (and I swear this is true) won Willow Springs in a poker game some 50 years ago.

Our thoughts go out to his family and all of his friends and associates; Bill Huth simply was Willow Springs for many of us.

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NEW MEMBERS

Journalist

  • Jeff Herndon — FOX Chicago
  • Patrick Morgan — Automundo.TV, PetroleYum
  • Cain Smead — Hi-Torque Publications

Public Relations

  • JP Canton — Mclaren Technology Group

Affliliate

  • Veronica Cardenas — TrueCar, Inc.
  • Amelia Dalgaard — motorheadmama.com
  • Gina DePinto — Westbound Communications Inc.
  • Steven Jaffe — wheresthemeet.net

ALL MEMBERS: Note that you alone are responsible for managing your profile and contact info in MPG’s database. Log-in to your account at www.motorpressguild.org: Find the “Profile” tab and then click on “Edit.” Make sure to click the “Save” button (bottom left) when you’re done. This is the data published in MPG’s annual Media Guide/Membership Roster and you are the only one that checks its accuracy.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]

CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR MilePost

Any member is welcome to submit items to this monthly newsletter that are of specific interest to fellow members:

  • Member Chronicle stories
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Job Openings

Acceptance and revision are at the discretion of the Editor. MilePost does not publish general industry PR or paid ads. Member Chronicle stories can be adventures you’ve had, special talents you possess, what you drive, your first car, a car you crashed, one you lived in, epic (or not so epic) drives, etc. In other words, think freely and keep things in good taste. Shoot for 400-800 words and include some images if you have them.

Deadline is seven days before the end of the month. Send both words and pictures (small JPEGs, please) to: milepost@motorpressguild.org

NOTE: Members who wish to publicize non-MPG events or announcements may do so themselves on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/motorpressguild. And be sure to “like” our page while you’re there.

Motor Press Guild, P.O. Box 4215, Redondo Beach CA 90277 • 323-374-3674[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1431038828070{padding-left: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”milepost-sidebar” css=”.vc_custom_1434772724956{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;}”]MilePost is the monthly online newsletter of the Motor Press Guild

CONTENTS

Droptops & Dirt 2015
Upcoming MPG Events
President’s Message
— Jason Fogelson
New Members
Member Chronicles
Contribute to MilePost

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jason Fogelson, President
Michael Harley, Vice President
Darryll Harrison, Treasurer
Chris Woodyard, Secretary
Shad Balch
Russell Datz
Aaron Gold
Joni Gray
Deb Pollack
Brandy Schaffels
Doug Stokes

MPG STAFF

MPG Business Operations Manager
Pete Evanow

MPG Web/Communications Manager
Carrie Kim

Media Guide Manager
Pete Evanow

ABOUT MPG

The Motor Press Guild is the largest automotive media association in North America. This exclusive, non-profit organization is dedicated to upholding the highest ideals in automotive journalism and promoting education and information exchange within the motoring press. Members include print journalists, photographers, broadcasters and new media professionals, as well as public-relations representatives, consumer groups, and governmental bodies tied to the automotive industry. Student memberships are available as well.For more information, please visit www.motorpressguild.org.

Motor Press Guild
P.O. Box 4883
Orange, CA 92863[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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