The Weekly Driver Podcast: encore bests during COVID-19

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Like many small businesses, The Weekly Driver Podcast remains on hiatus this week during the coronavirus crisis. Bruce Aldrich and I miss our weekly chats with auto industry experts and enthusiasts. It’s an analyst on one episode, a car collector on the next, and it’s all great fun.

How about a 30-minute interview with a guy who turned an old firetruck into a mobile pub?

How about a half-hour show with a guy from Sacramento who’s as passionate about his vintage Studebaker as any new car owner is about their flashy red, over-the-top, technology overloaded SUV?

The Weekly Driver Podcast visits with The Rally Cycling Team supports its men's and women's team with 2019 Acura RDX sport utility vehicles.
As a passenger in a 2019 Acura RDX, the Weekly Driver Podcast visits with the Rally Cycling Team in Oxnard, California, on the opening day of its men’s and women’s team camps. Image courtesy of Sam Wiebe/2020.

Or what’s up with all those cars in bike races? We take a several-hour drive on the opening day of training camp with the Rally Cycling Team in one of the squad’s Acura RDX team cars.

The Weekly Driver Podcast: 2 years and counting

Bruce and I are more than 125 episodes into our interviews. But the car industry has been affected severely during the coronavirus pandemic, via illness, job losses, production stops, the gig economy, the stock market and an overall decline of industry morale.

The Weekly Driver Podcast: Dean Seavers of Sacramento owns a 1961 Studebaker Mark VIII.
The Weekly Driver Podcast: Dean Seavers of Sacramento owns a 1961 Studebaker Mark VIII. Image Courtesy of Dean Seavers.

We’ll be back next week. In the meantime: here’s a synopsis of this week’s encore presentation of past episodes.

Early this year, I visited with the Rally Cycling Team in Oxnard, California, on the opening day of training camp for the men’s and women’s teams. The squad has a long business relationship with Acura.

I spent the day interviewing management and riders. Mostly, I spent several hours as the passenger in a 2019 Acura RDX driven by Andrew Bajadali.

The former pro is one of the squad’s directors. We talked cycling, how team cars work in the peloton and the status of the sport as the new (now-delayed) season was about to begin. It was refreshing to be so comfortable with a stranger who had common interests, and it was a great way to get to know cycling again. He’s our guest on Episode #119.

The Weekly Driver Podcast: Kevin Mullan, owner of a vintag firetruck converted into a mobile pub.
The Weekly Driver Podcast: Kevin Mullan, owner of a mobile pub converted from an old firetruck converted into a mobile pub. Image courtesy of Kevin Mullan/2018.

Take a walk in any direction in our neighborhood in East Sacramento and within a few blocks, a vintage car or truck will be parked in a driveway. There’s always a story attached. Not too long ago, I noticed a 1961 Studebaker a few times, including in the parking lot of the neighborhood market.

Dean Seavers, who owns the Lark VIII station wagon, is a renaissance man. He likes old stuff and he appreciates craftsmanship from yesterday. Seavers’ interests are represented ideally by his Studebaker. He’s our guest on Episode #102.

Kevin Mullan of Toledo, Ohio, owns a 1987 E-One first pumper. It’s a fascinating vintage firetruck. And he’s made it further intriguing by converting it to a mobile pub.

When Mullan had a walk-in cooler with 10 beer taps installed, and he named the business-on-wheels Ladder 419 beer truck. The name is a nod to the city’s area code.

The beer truck debuted in 2019 in Blissfield, Michigan. There’s room for onboard C02 and a capacity for 15 kegs. Beer seems like the best choice. But the taps can also be used for wine, soft drinks or coffee. He’s our guest on Episode #92.

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Please send comments and suggestions for new episodes to James Raia via email: [email protected]

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