View Full Version : Velocity Launch Car Show - Discovery Headquarters Silver Spring

10-13-2011, 10:28 AM
Some of you may know, I work for Discovery Communications, aka The Discovery Channel. We just launched our automotive channel, Velocity, on October 4th. I photographed the launch party up in NY where we had some of our talent, Ryan from West Coast Customs, Wayne Carini and Dana Mecum to name a few. It was a cool vibe held at a fun space on West 36th St called Skylight West. They had a Tesla, a Murcielago and an Italia plus some very cool motorcycles including Billy Joel's Vincent Shadow. But as I told Wayne, just wait till you see what I have at headquarters tomorrow. Wayne was on his way to Hershey and couldn't make it but...

Ever since I first heard about Discovery doing a car channel 4 years ago, I immediately came up with a plan to have a physical car show at headquarters to herald the event. 4 weeks before the launch date of October 4th, 2011, I was given the green light to put it together. I didn't have much time to pull together what I thought should be a signature event.

I couldn't have asked for a better day weather wise and car guys wise. Its really a tribute to the quality of the car guys across all genres that my show was quite successful. This was not a judged show, more, it was a showcase for the passion, creativity and ingenuity of the DC Metropolitan car community. I wanted to show the staff of Velocity the resources that we have available in this area.

And if you came, you were guaranteed to see several cars you had never seen before. I had originally told the Velocity and Events team we were looking at around 20 cars. I had one of the Montgomery cops we had on scene come up to me "you know, even though I graduated from the Montgomery County Public School system, this is more then 20 cars..." I had a bit of mission creep.

From a Pebble Beach award winning 37 Talbot Logo to the world's fastest street car - a 2400 hp 63 Vette. From a one of four in the world 54 Maserati AG6 to a tube chassied mid engine 48 pickup truck. I really wanted to cover as many genres of vehicles possible and I think we achieved that goal.

What was also fantastic was the teamwork and camaraderie of our hobby. I had guys jump in to get the hold harmless agreements signed (legal dept and insurance guys mandated I do that). I had help with parking the cars. My good friend Dave ran my shuttle service to the trailer parking 2 miles off site. The Discovery Global Events staff were on the sidelines wondering if there was anything for them to do. It all went very smoothly.

From the Velocity standpoint, this was a great event as well. It captured the imagination of the entire building, raising the stature of the new channel. Its one thing to see a bunch of posters heralding the creation of a new network. Its a totally different scenario to see, touch, smell and hear a 72 El Camino with a blower on top and 4 inch straight pipes spilling out the back! I walked the SVP of our international division all around so he and his staff could get a taste of the craftsmanship that was on display. And then our talent, Ryan, from West Coast Customs came out and got to ride on a 41 Willys mini cart. That put a big smile on his face. I know he left understanding that we have some skills on the East Coast.

So my thanks and gratitude goes out to all my car friends that came by to make this a very successful event. I hope that I get a chance to do this again.

10-13-2011, 10:35 AM
One of the craziest cars was a GT48. When I asked the owner, a 6ft7 large person, why he build this thing, "Because I wanted a sports car that I fit in. He designed a beautiful tube chassis, installed a 351 bored out to 427 coupled to a zp 5 speed tranny along with the requisite bundle of snakes. With the mid engine setup, this car is setup to go. He then installed a 1948 pickup truck on top. You see this thing on the road, you think, that's a nice pickup truck. You have no idea what is lurking underneath.

10-13-2011, 11:07 AM
I've had the pleasure of seeing this car 3 times in the past few months. First was at the Radnor Concours d'Elegance where it took best in show. The second time was at St Michaels. After completing my judging assignments I asked David if he would consider bringing a car to my Velocity show. He asked which one and I pointed at the Talbot. When he said yes, I was astounded. This is a one of ten in the world and probably valued around 4 million.

10-13-2011, 11:20 AM
A week before my event, the gentleman with the Talbot called. At first I was thinking "Nuts" But then he said, I have to swing by the garage to pick up the Talbot, I have room for 2, do you want me to bring a second car?" so I asked what was available. He started working down the list: 66 GT 40, California Spider, NART spider, Cobra Daytona Coupe, Tour d'France, 750 Mondial..." Then I asked about the 54 Maserati AG6. "Yeah, I could bring that...."

Awesome! For some reason, this is one of my favorite cars. Its one of four, just rare as all get out. When that trailer pulled up and he unloaded those 2 cars, I was just besides myself. I would have liked to have parked the cars in the sun but I wanted to protect them. They went next to our entrance with stanchions and a rented cop right next to them.

10-13-2011, 01:34 PM
get me a job! lol.

very nice!

10-13-2011, 05:37 PM
This is an excellent collection of cars, and some fine pictures. Thank you for sharing.
Is Velocity available on Direct TV

10-13-2011, 07:35 PM
Thanks, I was really trying to hit as many genres of vehicles as possible.

Here are the channel listings. If you had Discovery HD, that channel flipped to Velocity on Tuesday.

DirecTV (US) Channel 281
(Latin America) Channels 773 and 1005
Dish Network (US) Channels 186, 364, 9421
Dish Network Mexico Channel 950
C-Band AMC-11 Channel 617 (4DTV Digital)
Available on many cable systems Check local listings for channels.
Verizon FiOS Channel 631
AT&T Uverse Channel 1102

10-13-2011, 07:40 PM
I had a 95 r33 Skyline invited. This car was imported as a kit with no drivetrain. It was then reassembled in PA into a serious car. The 61 Gulietta is just a lovely little car. My friend Chuck brought a 100pt 65 275 long nosed torque tubed 5x2 carbed Ferrari. The series 1 Jag was wonderful as well as my friend's beautiful Dino convertible.

10-13-2011, 07:48 PM
For the classics my friend drove his 38 Packard a good 40 miles to join us. Ian brought out his 29 4.5 liter Bentley. My 80 year old friend brought out his 05 Ford GT, Cory brought out a brand new GTR and my good friend brought out his fire breathing Superformance 427.

10-13-2011, 07:52 PM
My hot rod friends brought out some excellent iron. The first car here is a very special story. Dale Dietrich was a local hot rodder that came down with a nasty cancer. He wasn't able to complete his dream car, a 32. So Rob Sunde organized a bunch of fellow hot rodders to really do the car. Dale never saw the finished product but he got to see the color and the start of the interior. The car was finished after Dale's funeral and given to his wife, Nancy. She brought the car to the show and has become a real hot rod gal.

10-14-2011, 07:33 PM
There's a fellow in Maryland that has built what is the fastest street car in the world. Its a 63 Vette with a twin turbo charged small block. It is quite the technological tour de force with cup holders.

This was the first call I made when I got the go ahead to put the show together. Rod and Tina almost immediately agreed to commit to coming. He's run this in a competition where you have to drive 30 miles then line up on the track with pump gas and street legal tires and hit it. He ran a 6.75 at 210.