SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2008 dallyhcrald.com AutoSunda SECTION 9 Car Club Calendar Upcoming events Chteagoland Auto Racing Memorabilia and Collectibles Show: The Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet will again be the site of the Chicagoland Auto Racing Memorabilia and Collectibles Show on Sunday, March 16. The 17th annual event will be held in the garage area of the local superspeedway. The show runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults with children, 12 and under, admitted free. For more information, call (219) 838-0737 or (219) 923-1475. Car Show/Swap Meet, 25th Annual NIR-WPC: Sunday, April 13, rain or shine. All makes 1988 or older welcome at Larry Roesch Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, 200-260W. Grand Ave. in Elmhurst (just west of York Road). For more information, (630) 721-0662. 26th Annual All Ford Show: The Wisc6nsin Early Mustangers 26th Annual All Ford Show takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, at Ewald's Venus Ford, 2727 E. Layton Avenue, Cudahy, Wis. (one-half mile east of the airport). Registration fee: $10 day of show, $8 before May 1. Dash Plaques to all show vehicles. 1st and 2nd place trophies awarded in 26 classes. Refreshments and entertainment. For information, call Tom Miller (414) 764-6726. www.wemustangers.com • To add a listing to the calendar, e-mail times, dates and locations to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the News ro football Is fan 2009 Toyota Venza: Think of the five-passenger Venza as a wagon offshoot of the Camry, since both share the same platform and powertrains. Available in both front- and all-wheel-drive versions, the vehicle's squared-off design looks better in the flesh, as well as offering greater practicality, than its sedan counterpart. A new 2.7-liter four-cylinder is standard with a 268-horsepower V6 available. Look for the Venza to arrive this fall. Hs History • In 1913, the British Brooke automobile company built a special model for a Calcutta, India, customer featuring a large swan-shaped appendage in front of the radiator. The swan's eyes lit up at night and the engine's exhaust was vented through its beak. • The 1912 Reeves Octo-Auto came with eight wheels positioned in-line, with all used to steer the car. • Early Morgans are referred to as having JAP engines, which is the abbreviated name of its designer, Mr. J A Prestwick. — Wheelbase Communications BY MAURICE BOB PHOTOS YVES PAUL Wheelbase Communications It is within the confines of suburban Sugarland that the pro football player, Ahman Green, has settled with his family after signing a multi-million dollar contract with the Houston Texans. His latest toy, a 2007 Shelby Cobra Mustang GT 500, also takes up residence here in a garage already teeming with other rides. "I've always been a big fan of cars," says Green, who rushed for more yards, and gained more total yards from scrimmage, than any other running back in the National Football League between the 2000 and 2004 seasons. "Now that I can afford to toy around with cars and get the ones that I've always wanted, it's even better. "This car (Mustang) will be my everyday driver," says the Omaha, Neb., native who helped the Corn- huskers win two national titles. And while his new Shelby Mustang is nothing to sneeze at, it is former race driver (and Texan) Carroll Shelby's earlier work that collectors covet. To that end, Green owns a version of the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 that got its star- car turn in the high-octane movie "Gone in 60 Seconds." In the film, the heavily reworked Mustang was nicknamed "Eleanor," and Green's car remains true to the theme. "I've always liked Mustangs, so when I found the Shelby GT500, Green's 1967 Mustang resembles the car in the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds" and, for better or worse, is a real show stopper. I had to have it. Of course, when I got it, I had the Batman pedals and symbols put in because I'm obsessed with Batman, and I put in the air ride (suspension), rims, and (stereo speakers). But basically, I left it alone as far as customization." Problem is, whenever Green rides out in his beloved Mustang, onlookers can't seem to stay focused on driving. "The summer that I bought it, I took it for a spin with my kids and fiancee and there was this high school kid who was driving by, saw the car and immediately made a U-turn and started following me, nearly riding my bumper. Finally, he pulled up next to me and said it was a great car and I'm like, Thank you, but back up'. Every time I drive that car, people nearly get in accidents from trying to look at it." The Mustangs run in contrast to his sleek, blacked-out 2006 BMW 7-Series with 22-inch rims. Additionally, Green has a black 2006 Range Rover Supercharged sitting on 24-inch rims. "The BMW and the Range are two of my favorites. I probably drive those two the most right now." But Green's interests in automobiles goes beyond merely driving them. "I started R Series Innovations in 2003 with my business partner ... in Omaha. "We wanted to create a way that people can get the aftermarket look right from the dealership. You can get the latest in custom interior, audio/visual and rim and tire upgrades. Now you can pick the vehicle's features you want and have them factored into your car payment." Green's business card of sorts is the one-of-a-kind "alumni car," which allows owners to customize their car with their college's colors. Most notable is Green's own 2006 Dodge Charger in Cornhusker red and white with his autograph emblazoned on the hood and his collegiate stats imprinted on the floor mats, engine covers and child booster seat. The idea behind the alumni edition is for other athletes to follow suit by paying homage to their school. To that end, R Series Innovations completed a University of Texas edition with Rose Bowl stats and championship trophy in the trunk. Their hope was to market the vehicle to some prominent Longhorns. "We did the UT edition hoping to get it to a guy like Matthew McConaughey, who is a huge UT fan," says Green. With a new team, new home, new rides and a burgeoning customization business, Green seems poised to continue his successful life. "For me, this is definitely a big change," he says. "The majority of my career was in Green Bay, and I did a lot for them and the organization and the state and the city. Personally, it was a tough decision (to sign with the Texans), but from being in this profession and being a fan of it, I know that changes happen. For the most part, what I've learned growing up as a kid: most change is good. The changes in my life that I have experienced moving back from California and Los Angeles and being a Cornhusker and making that decision and leaving college early to get drafted mid end up in Seattle to Green Bay all of this has been a blessing," An easier way to do a dirty job Parts Department Aftermarket Action The Oil Extractor eliminates the messy process of rolling around on the ground to change your own oil by allowing you to remove the old stuff through the dipstick tube. According to the company, all you have to do is pump the Extractor's canister a few times to create a vacuum and the oil will automatically begin to flow. The system will hold up to seven quarts and will automatically shut off when full. Then, it's a matter of changing the filter and adding new oil and you're back on the roaa with less fuss and muss... and a cleaner garage floor. The manufacturer claims that Mercedes-Benz dealers now use a similar process when changing oil. Each unit comes with two different tube sizes, allowing you to easily change the oil in your motorcycle, lawn mower and other internal combustion products. The product is priced at $64.95 (plus shipping) and is available through United Airlines' sky- mall.com. You can also call (800)7596255 to place your order. Cap the problem It is not news that having the proper tire pressure is important for safety reasons, maximum control and steering response, maximized tread life and fuel economy. Standard recommendation is to buy a tire gauge and use it regularly because tires naturally leak air (about one pound per square inch per month according to tire experts such as Pirelli and Bridgestone). To help you out with the chore, there are a number of valve-stem caps that show you when the pressure is low. The Air Alert Valve Cap from Automotive Upgrade Technologies based in Fallbrook, Calif., actually flashes when the pressure drOjQS by four p.sl, a situation that needs your immediate attention. Obviously, they can't alert you to dropping pressure as you drive and they're not a substitute for a tire-monitoring system, but they will keep you hi the loop in the event you happen to be a little loose with the maintenance. How? They'll flash for up to three weeks or until you add more air. The list price is about $25. Visit www.automotive- upgrade.com or call (760)208-1810. Feel free to vent Take a look at many of the new vehicles being built today and you'll find small chrome accents, portholes and even functional vents in some cases located on the front fenders. You can add your own without any drilling or cutting, thanks to Mode Auto Accents based in Arlington Heights. The company offers about two dozen different styles of the faux fender vents that, according to Mode, are flexible enough to follow the fender contours of most vehicles. They're available in a clirome-type finish starting at about $50 to do the left and right side of your ride. If you're not into chrome, you can pick from a list of 40 colors. Mode Auto Accents points out that the color is not just on the surface, but all the way llirough the product. Application is as simple as peel and stick with minimal surface preparation/cleaning. To view the styles, price list and to see the installation video, visit www.modeauto.com or call (847) 797-7854.
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