Birthday Kid coming up? Fireball’s got the answer with this BIG BOOK OF WACKY STATES!

Chock full of every state as Hot Rods, Airplanes and wild vehicles, your child or grandchild will learn the coolest things about the U.S. of A from THE BIG BOOK OF WACKY STATES! From FLAGS to CAPITOLS to ANIMALS! A fun travel book, too! SNAG ONE ON AMAZON HERE!

What’s it like to drive a 550HP FERRARI SCUDERIA?

OK, wait — I need to pinch myself again to confirm I actually did this. 

So, this week’s Ride of the Week goes to my good friend Kenny Lombino and his liquid black ‘09 Ferrari Scuderia. 

Why? Well, I’m so glad you asked.

Being president of the Ferrari Club of America, Southwest Region, Kenny gets to spend most of his days around cool cars — the very definition of an exotic car lifestyle. And also being the senior vice president/wealth manager at Merrill Lynch in Beverly Hills, he hangs with some serious cheese. So when Kenny called me up and said, “Hey, we need to go for a spin,” I was like, “In Like Flynn.”

One of only 499 made for the world, Kenny’s race-prepped Ferrari 16M Scuderia is an Italian woman with a mind of her own. And if you’re lucky, she’ll take you for a ride of a lifetime. And that’s exactly what we did through Malibu on this day. Meeting at Bluffs Park, right off the bat I knew that Kenny was my kind of guy. Super passionate about cars, lifestyle and giving, we hit it off like two Ferraris in a pod. Stories, driving experiences, places, we covered the gambit over our 20-minute spin. Kenny mention that he had a few other cars, like a 1965 Jaguar E-Type Roadster, a ‘67 Jaguar E-Type Coupe race car, a ‘15 Porsche GTS coupe, ‘15 Jeep Rubicon and a 1997 Harley Road King. That last one is technically known as a “motorcycle,” but who’s paying attention?

Between the shimmies, slips and sliders of our drive, Kenny started filling me in. 

“This baby has 550 HP, one of 499 made, light weight, convertible and no mods,” he said. “Just black on black with tons of carbon. I bought it in 2011 with 600 miles on it. Bought it from Ferrari of Beverly Hills because it’s rare, exclusive, state of the art at the time, maximum performance, looks fantastic and is basically a street-legal race car.”

Kenny pops this puppy for Ferrari events, long tours including a 5,000-mile trip on back roads up to Canada, through the Canadian Rockies, back down into the U.S. and across the West back to LA and Malibu. 

“In less that four years, I have put 25K miles on her,” he said. “Her name is Valentina, by the way.” 

This gave me an instant reference point. Valentina loves to sing, but Kenny went on. 

“I use her most times only twice a month for Ferrari events but also I take her to the track once or twice a year,” he said.

But this past June, leading 17 Ferraris on Route 66 in Arizona on his way to the Grand Canyon, Kenny took me on a visual journey. 

“Driving at a nice clip, all of a sudden a loud bang sounding like a gunshot hit the drivers’ door window and smashed it into a million pieces,” Kenny said. “Luckily the window tint kept the glass in tact. My girlfriend thought we were shot at and I found myself looking to see if in fact that was true. Thank God, it wasn’t. So I pulled over, stopped, and the window fell out to the ground having caused $7,500 worth of damage.

“The next three days in 100-degree heat, we drove with no window and all the A/C vents pointed at my girlfriend. No explanation as to why it happened, but the drama crowd liked saying I was shot at. My mechanic thinks it was pressure as I passed another car going in the opposite direction. I like to think it was just an accident as the other car threw up a rock. There was no sign of any kind of impact rock or otherwise. Just another story in the book.”

But Malibu is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Kenny said. 

“There is nothing like driving down the coast with the top down in the Ferrari,” he said. “So many incredible vistas, along with the opportunity at any point to turn up into the canyon roads. It makes one feel alive, makes one grateful, and its one of the main reasons I moved to Southern California from the East Coast. I always post pictures to make my East Coast friends jealous, especially in winter.”

I’m grateful to Kenny for so many reasons, but his infectious passion left me heightened in my search for more automotive experiences. I write this from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas and am about to venture into a Car Wonderland with many Kennys afoot. But my drive with Mr. Lombino left me with a joy I won’t soon forget. And thanks to Valentina, I left the radio off the whole way to Vegas just to hear my own car sing.

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LONG LOST 1938 LINCOLN ZEPHYR FOUND! – FMV572

LONG LOST 1938 LINCOLN ZEPHYR FOUND! – FMV572 Fireball heads to the home of Greg Gill who has discovered a long, lost (custom build for the Ford Family) 1938 LINCOLN ZEPHYR once owned by Edsel Ford. Then, nonsensical fun in the 2017 TOYOTA MIRAI Hydrogen Car in Malibu.

About the LINCOLN ZEPHYR from Wiki… The Lincoln-Zephyr was the lower-priced line of mid-size Lincoln luxury cars from 1936 until 1940. The Lincoln-Zephyr and Mercury, introduced in 1939, bridged the wide gap between Ford’s V-8 De Luxe line and the exclusive Lincoln K-series cars. This served a purpose similar to Cadillac’s smaller LaSalle “companion car”, the Chrysler Airstream, and Packard’s entry level Packard One-Twenty.

The car was conceived by Edsel Ford[3] and designed by Eugene Turenne Gregorie. The Zephyr’s V-12 engine was unique in its class, with the LaSalle having a V8 and the Chrysler and Packard straight 8s.

Introduced on November 2, 1935,[3] as a 1936 model, the Lincoln-Zephyr was extremely modern with a low raked windscreen, integrated fenders, and streamlined aerodynamic design, which influenced the name “zephyr”, derived from the Greek word zephyrus, or the god of the west wind. It was one of the first successful streamlined cars after the Chrysler Airflow’s market resistance. In fact, the Lincoln-Zephyr actually had a lower coefficient of drag than the Airflow, due in part to the prow-like front grille on the Zephyr. The Lincoln-Zephyr succeeded in reigniting sales at Lincoln dealerships in the late 1930s, and from 1941 model year, all Lincolns were Zephyr-based[4] and the Lincoln-Zephyr marque was phased out. Annual production for any year model was not large, but accounted for a large portion of the Lincoln brand’s sales. In its first year, 15,000 were sold, accounting for 80% of Lincoln’s total sales.

Production of all American cars halted in 1942 as the country entered World War II, with Lincoln producing the last Lincoln Zephyr on February 10.[5] After the war, most makers restarted production of their prewar lines, and Lincoln was no exception. The Zephyr name, however, was no longer used after 1942, with the cars simply called Lincolns.

The idea of a smaller and more modern luxury car to fill the gap in Lincoln’s traditional lineup was revisited in the 1950 Lincoln Lido (The Lido was the same size as other two-door Lincolns, though[6]), 1977 Lincoln Versailles, 1982 Continental, and 2000 Lincoln LS. The Zephyr name was resurrected in 2006 for the car’s spiritual successor, the Zephyr, which was quickly renamed the MKZ for 2007.

What’s it like to drive a 380HP FERRARI 355GTS?

In the movie world, Stunt people are considered “the extreme;” willing to risk life and limb just to get the shot. Fortunately, stuntwoman Diane Peterson has not only made a career in doing the best stunts for film and TV without breaking every bone, she has managed to collect an award-winning Ferrari that’s as immaculate.

Not only is Diana a thrill seeker, having done stunts for “Titanic,” “Batman Forever” and “Last Action Hero,” but as a Malibu realtor and chairwoman on the board of the Ferrari Club of America Southwest Chapter and as the national membership chairwoman for the Ferrari Club of America she spends her time crusining PCH in beautiful machinery selling beautiful houses. Case in point, her 1998 Ferrari 355GTS. As a 6-speed V8 with 380-horsepower, this elegant red slip-streamer was one of Ferrari’s most successful designs and Diane’s full joy. 

Diane is the original owner of this car and ordered it from the dealer when she was living in Dallas working on “Walker Texas Ranger.” The car arrived on the day before Thanksgiving in 1997. 

“I love Ferraris and always wanted one, especially the 355,” Diane said. “The design is so beautiful. It’s fast and I really like to shift gears.”

She shows her Ferrari on many occasions and recently won the Platinum Award at the Concorso Ferrari in Pasadena this past May. She also tracks and rallies the car. The 355 is a five-time Platinum winner at the Annual International Ferrari Club of America Meet and a five-time Coppa Bella Machina winner. That means “beautiful machine,” and every single item has to work on your car as it did when it came from the factory. That’s a lot to ask for.

“As an added bonus, if anybody buys a house from me, they get a ride in my Ferrari,” Diane said. 

Deal. Although I must have been lucky the other day when I shot the car. She immediately asked my if I had to be anywhere soon and I said, “Heck no.” So she floored it and we shot up PCH to Point Dume like only a Ferrari could.

Best story? Diane once did a car chase in Hawaii for “Magnum P.I.” where a woman steals his car. Lucky for her, she was the woman. She spent 10 days driving a Ferrari and lounging on the sands, not in a cell. Bummer.

Claim to fame? Diane got five speeding tickets in three days competing in Gumball Rally. Come on, only five? Seems like this car would get a ticket parked in the Ralph’s parking lot. 

But as a lover of Malibu, Diane is very passionate. 

“Malibu is a slice of heaven for me. I love the beach, the sound of the waves and the small town, cozy vibe. I truly feel blessed to live in paradise and have a cool Ferrari to cruise around in.” Living the dream, as her website says — www.livingthedreammalibu.com.

And Diane’s favorite movie car chase? “Against All Odds.” Ferrari vs. Porsche on Sunset Blvd. is one of her favorites. Mostly because the Ferrari wins, duh.

Congratulations, Diane! You’re Malibu’s Ride of the Week! 

Keep living the dream, baby.

What’s it like to drive a full-custom 1970 MEYERS MANX STREET BUGGY?

What’s it like to drive a full-custom 1970 MEYERS MANX STREET BUGGY?

Living in Malibu, you get to know a wide diversity of people. All unique industries where folks are having fun and being intrinsically creative, and sometimes they live virtually right next to you.

Back in the day, I went to school at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, which has a car design school where many went on to car companies to create amazing machines that we all get to enjoy and drive. Today’s Ride of the Week features one of those guys who has gone on to success. His name’s Derek Jenkins, and he’s right down the street.

Derek is currently director of design for Lucid Motorcars. He’s responsible for some great cars coming out of that company including the all new Lucid Air. But there’s another side to Derek when he’s not being an automotive designer dude.

What’s in Derek’s garage is what he calls his buggy. It’s a fully custom 1970 Meyers Manx Street Buggy that’s beyond most versions. Where you may see them from time to time in Lime Rainbow Metal Flake paint, Derek’s version is what a pro car designer would do.

It’s got a 1800cc Air-Cooled VW motor with 130HP at only 1350 pounds. At that ratio, this lil’ beast can haul through the best of Malibu curves. But the coolest part is the extreme air conditioning system. As in, it’s like driving wind. ‘Bu Powered.

“The project is about 10 years old now,” said Derek. “But it’s been on the road for 5 years. I always loved air cooled VWs. My dad got me started and I have had several over the years. I wanted to create an eclectic mix of nostalgia and California custom perfectly suited for PCH.” 

That’s a severe understatement. 

The cool grey paint scheme with added spices of red makes this thing roll with attitude. It’s all business but doesn’t take itself seriously. In a way, that’s Derek. Under his quiet and poised demeanor is a guy that values the passions of Malibu. If you meet him on the street, he’s got a very humble nature, but look out when he’s behind the wheel of his fun machine.

And although he mainly uses the Buggy for trips to the market and hitting the canyon roads, so do others in their Ferraris and Lambos in this town. This lil’ beast exemplifies solid fun and driving adventure. There’s no hiding in this car. It’s a confidence builder and smile maker. 

“To me, it represents all that’s great about living in California,” Derek said. “It appeals to all types of people.” 

Seriously, who would it not appeal to?

And Derek’s favorite movie car? The Lotus Esprit from “The Spy Who Loved Me.” That clarifies a lot, as anyone in love with a submarine car is very clear on the potentials of driving adventure.

I find people fascinating. What drives them to be successful in many areas including their desire for freedom. But we’re all different in how we get there. The ones that say less and do more are certain of one thing. Passion for cars isn’t in what we talk about as much as what we do. Effects from thinking about things in a certain way. An inspiring notion to teach us all the meaning of true living.

A serious thought wrapped in a funny little car. Don’t be so serious. Life is meant to get a little buggy, and that’s why Derek Jenkins and his zoom machine are this week’s Vlogrocket.