This may appear to be some sort of museum, but really this is just an assortment of machines that appeal to me for their design and are fun to drive or ride.
If it isn’t fun, I won’t own it!
Like most of us, there are certain machines that we lust after, many times influenced by the dreams of our younger days or the vehicle used by the main character in certain movies or TV shows.
Bullitt. LeMans. Rockford Files. Magnum P.I. French Connection. American Graffiti. Mad Max.
My Dad, Joe Buzzetta, was a Porsche team driver from 1966-1970.
Of course, I grew up with everything Porsche. In 1980, he started vintage racing with his restored Carrera 6, and for the next 25 years, I went to the races with him often. Race cars, and the iconic drivers of that era, left a huge impression on me.
Meanwhile in 1975, he bought me my first motorcycle for my 11th birthday, a Kawasaki 90 dirt bike. This began my lifelong obsession with two wheels. Back then, all I knew was that it was fast and a lot more fun than my Schwinn. But, I also met a couple of other kids in the neighborhood who had motorcycles, and I quickly realized that riding was very much a social activity. Much more enjoyable with others than by yourself.
By 1980, I was 16. Took my driving test, passed and got my license. In those days there were no junior licenses. I was stuck driving the family car, but still happy to have wheels, and the freedom that comes with it (as long as my Mom or Dad didn’t need the car)! That got old quick, because I’d clean the car to get ready for a drive or to pick up my girlfriend, and Mom would use the car right after to pick my sister up from her horse riding lesson. The car would come back with mud on the tires, and I’d have to start over!
In 1981, with my Dad giving me a partial loan to bolster my savings, I bought my first car, a 1977 Datsun 280Z. I had to sell my beloved Kawasaki, but I’d outgrown it and couldn’t afford to keep it. Although the Z was just 4 years old, it already had rust on the body seams, which was normal for cars of this era, and Datsuns were notorious for rust. Nonetheless, I loved this car, and it started a passion I’ve had for the automobile my whole life.
I stayed away from motorcycles until 1988, when two of my friends stopped by my workplace on their brand new Yamahas. They suggested I get a bike so we could ride together. I had only ridden some small street bikes up until now, and they were on Superbikes. I very smartly bought a 1086 Yamaha Maxim X, which is a standard style bike, but it had a 5 valve DOHC engine, chain drive, and front disc brakes. A great “first” street bike, as it was comfortable to ride and fast in the sense that it wasn’t slow, but hardly a superbike.
After that, it was a Suzuki Katana, Kawasaki ZX-11, and all of the bikes featured on this website.
In 2009, I built a Ducati 749 for track use. I took the 3 day Penguin race school, and began to attend some motorcycle track days. I liked it, but it turned me into a street rider going way too fast for his own good, willing to take risks that I really wasn’t willing to pay for. So I sold the bike, and stopped riding at the track. Luckily I never had a crash.
Meanwhile, I’ve been a Ducati freak since buying my first one, a 1993 900SS. From there it was a slew of 851s and 888s. Just the most rewarding analog machines to ride, in my opinion. As are the early generation GSXRs, and Ninjas. At the time, they gave people access to performance that was previously unheard of and unavailable to the general public.
And besides the fun factor of riding them, comes the added bonus of meeting some really fantastic, like-minded people along the way. My closest friends today, are all those I’ve met through the wonderful hobby of motorcycling!
As that early Honda ad proclaimed, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.“
My love affair with cars started at a very young age. As I mentioned, there was my Dad’s influence , which was unavoidable considering his stature as a professional racing driver and later as a car dealer with brands such as Datsun, BMW, Porsche, AMC/ Jeep ,Mercedes, and later Subaru and Toyota.
But like most kids, it was Matchbox and Hotwheels, building plastic model car kits of my dream cars. Ford GT-40, Porsche 911 through 917, Ferrari 312PB, Daytona and 512, Shelby Cobra, Corvette 427, Can Am racers, Mustangs and Camaros. You name it, I probably liked it.
So, when a car nut grows up, what do they do? Try to own those dreams of our youth of course!
And that is what drives my little car collection. You may scratch your head thinking, “What’s with the 2WD Toyota pick up truck doing parked next to the GT-40? “
Just waiting for its turn to take a drive…
Every car offers a different experience during the drive, and that’s the whole point. The feel of that Toyota, with its softly sprung leaf springs and 14-inch tires, is that of early truck designs. They were just reliable little trucks that went to work for their owners. I drove many different 1980’s era pick up trucks, when I was an Auto parts delivery driver in my 20’s, and I just love how these small scale trucks just scoot around efficiently. The new stuff is better by every measure but lacks the same endearing character for me.
My other cars all represent driving pleasure for me, depending what kind of mood I’m in. All old cars have things you have to put up with.
Climbing into and out of a GT-40 is work. You drive one when a ride is planned. A drive that can stretch the car’s legs a bit. Not much fun driving around town or in traffic. These cars were meant to win LeMans, and excel on roads with long sweeping turns, with plenty of room in front of you.
A Shelby Cobra has an enormous engine in a tiny car. The driver’s feet are right next to the exhaust headers. Needless to say, not the best car on a hot summer day!
But in 55-70 degrees, it’s perfect. The ultimate muscle car , even though it was designed as such. With its ridiculously high power to weight ratio, it’s not a ride most people ever forget.
Early Porsche 911s are perhaps the most loved sports car in the world, and for good reason. They are one of the most useable and rewarding classic cars you’ll ever drive. And they can be built into whatever performance level you desire, especially with current engine building technology.
Any car has its virtues and detractors. But as I said, for me it all adds up to loving the design, and it has to stir something in me when driving it. Doesn’t mean it has to be the fastest or best handling. Just has to be what I always hoped it would be, when I was driving the equipment Hot Wheels model across my bedroom floor!
Hope you enjoy looking around!
Any questions, comments or just to chat , you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best,