2013 Konect Aviation Car Trophy Winner

2013 proved to be another good year for the Ezra Koch Car Show here in McMinnville, Oregon and Konect Aviation was honored to have the privilege of awarding a trophy again this year to the hottest car! There were many amazing cars and after narrowing down the competition to less than 10 cars out of nearly 100 I really started to feel the pressure.

Honestly, I knew the car I would choose when it drove through the entry gate but was determined to give all the rest a fair shake.

Even after taking a closer look, this car screamed quality, original American craftsmanship and high performance.  Add on top of that my personal nostalgia for the Dodge Challenger, we’ve got another no-brainer for 2013.

Meet Steve and Sharon, proud owners of a 1970 Dodge Challenger! In 2013 one might argue the car is in better condition than when Steve bought it in 1972 for $2100.00. He has kept the car true to the MOPAR design with only upgrades originally offered as options and the restoration of worn parts and interior. Since he is a mechanic, he has done most of the work himself but did get it professionally painted in 1992.

The 1970 debut model of the Dodge Challenger was arguably the best in terms of options. According the article “Dodge Challenger: History of the Dodge Pony Car” (Tyll, 2008), there were 9 power-train options available in 1970 a number which was drastically reduced the 4 subsequent years the Challenger was produced due to increasingly more strict EPA and Safety standards.

“So what’s under the hood?” you might ask. This car has the 340 cubic inch V-8 to which Steve added the Six-Pack option later on which has three Holley carburetors with a total of 1350 cfm. What makes this one special is that it has the A66 Performance Package with the following features:

  • raised hood with call-out emblems
  • 150 mph speed-o-meter
  • Rally dash with needle gauges
  • front sway bars
  • 15 inch Rally wheels
  • heavy duty 11 inch front and rear drum breaks
  • 3-speed console shift 727 transmission
  • full-harness seat belts

There is a lot more to this car, but I tell you what makes it really special is that Steve and Sharon have kept this American Classic as a family car in such great condition and are now sharing it with their 7 grandchildren who will likely get to appreciate it when they are old enough to know what it is.

Thank you Steve for sharing your awesome car!!!

To learn more about the Dodge Challenger visit this article.

Dragging the Gut in McMinnville Oregon

One day early in June, Ingo and I went to Noah’s wine bar off 3rd street to talk about wine and helicopters when we happened to meet Ruben Contreras and learned about the Dragging the Gut Festival.  My first response was “dragging the gut?! What kind of name is that?” but Ruben’s enthusiasm was contagious and it didn’t take long for intrigue to take hold.

Having a muscle car buff for a father, I started to think of the possibilities and how cool it would be to drag the gut ourselves.  Of course, helicopters is a tough business so we would have to get pretty creative to find a car cool enough to cruise in.  Then it occurred to me, what if we could create a Konect Aviation award for the hottest car?

Well the rest is history, and August 25th I got the afternoon off of staffing wine country tours to go to the Ezra Koch Car Show, find the hottest car, and award it Konect Aviation’s trophy.  Even though I worried that I didn’t have what it takes to give a car award, I trusted my upbringing and worked my way through the amazing selection of nearly 100 car entries.

It was an amazing collection of cars, making it the best car show I have been too.  Fortune would have it, though, there was one car that was the perfect Konect Aviation award.  I couldn’t have imagined I would stumble on this car making the decision so easy and I almost couldn’t believe my eyes.  Low and behold, a 1968 Shelby Mustang GT 500 Eleanor with Carroll Shelby’s signature on the dash.

What makes the 1968 Shelby GT500 the perfect car for the Konect Aviation trophy?  Well, not only is the designer Carroll Shelby known for racing and designing high performance cars, he is also known for his aviation experience as a flight instructor and test pilot during WWII.  You can find a bit more about him and his cars at the following web pages

Shelby American Collection

EAA Article

Carroll Shelby’s Life

Thanks Chad and Lisa for showing off your awesome car!

The 2011 Original Sandfest

After weeks of preparation Pilot and crew have packed the final items and supplies for an afternoon departure to the Sandfest in North Bend, Oregon, a small Oregon Coastal town with a population of approximately 10000.  Ingo, Alan, and DJ will be flying another event at Stoller in the afternoon before they head to North Bend, so Jesse and I are left to load up the dog, Snoopy, and make the 4 hour drive.

Due to Ingo’s tech savvy nature, we are deftly guided by a talking GPS system and we make the trip without mishap.  Although we had hoped to beat him there and have the ‘camp’ set up before his arrival with the helicopter, we find that we narrowly beat them there with only enough time to find wind indicator supplies (balloons & and an American Flag) in town.

It turns out the helicopters arrival was much anticipated, once Ingo and crew touched ground they hardly had the rotors stopped when someone was asking for a ride.  Virgil and Shannon were hooked after one ride and went up two more times over the course of the weekend.  Virgil even hooked us up with rides in their ATV around the dunes.  It was great!

After we got them in the air it was time to set up camp.  We needed to stay near the helicopter at night so we pitched our tents around the perimeter of the landing area which was a couple hundred feet down the hill from the Sandfest.  We were fairly well protected from wind but the gusts were so bad Friday that we had to fix the tent poles several times.  The wind ended up shutting us down Friday, but fortunately mellowed out the rest of the weekend.

At nights we parked the car right next to the helicopter so that people would see there was something in the middle of the lot.  The black helicopter blends in a little too well when there isn’t much light in the area and we wanted to be sure, in case someone rode their ATV’s through the lot, they would notice.  In the end, I think it was Snoopy that kept them at bay 🙂

All in all a good weekend.  It was windier than we would have liked, but that’s the Oregon Coast for you.  We flew, met some great people, DJ and Jesse attended their first bon fire at the Sandfest camp, and we all had some fun; it doesn’t get much better than that.