HELP! Please join me and have some fun at AMOC Track Day 2019!

I would really like to get all the Aston Martin owners near me to come out to the upcoming AMOC West Track day.   I’ve done this every year I’ve had my Aston and it’s been a little sad when only 10 Astons show up and we have to fill the rest of the event with BMW’s and Porsche’s (fine cars, just not my tribe).  Can you make the pilgrimage for a day of fun?   Please do.

Track day ISN’T racing day.  You may feel trepidation about coming out to the event since you don’t think of yourself as a ‘racer’.  This event isn’t about racing, its about taking your car out on a safe piece of road and being able to feel it accelerate on the straights and hug the corners, all in the safety of a racetrack.   Racing other cars isn’t part of it.

In the past we’ve had all manner of the Gaydon era cars (DB9, Vantage, DBS, Vanquish and 4 doors), plus a smattering of older Vanquish, Vantage and even some DB5’s and DB6’s.   I’d love to see some new DB11 and Vantage (Dare I dream for a Superleggera to appear?)

This is a privately organized event by AMOC title, Aston owner and enthusiast George Wood.  Here is how the event generally works out:

  • We hope to fill the event with 40 Astons
  • The event will be on Sunday January 13th, 2019
  • The event is held at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California.
  • George asks that you sign up in advance so he knows who’s coming and can plan accordingly for food, etc.
  • Those travelling from a distance often choose to stay at one of hotels in nearby Willows, California (about 10 minutes from the track).
    • The Holiday Inn Express is new’ish and reasonably priced.  Check out all your options here.
    • You could stay in Napa Valley or Sacramento the night before and make the drive out early in the morning.  I leave Sacramento about 6am and get to the track right about 7:30am.
  • An informal group dinner is held at the Casa Ramos restaurant in nearby Willows at 7pm for those staying overnight Saturday before the event (click here to learn more about Casa Ramos)
  • Cars start to arrive at the track about 7:00am on Sunday morning.
  • George will meet you in the main building and sign you in
  • A nice buffet breakfast is served starting at 7:45am
  • At about 8:30am a drivers meeting is held to lay out the rules for the day
    • This is a TRACK day, not a RACING day.   No one is allowed to race.
    • Everyone wants to finish the day with undamaged vehicles.  Everyone respects that.
    • The group is split into Novice/Intermediates and Experienced.
      • I usually run in the Novice class – less stress and I don’t fancy myself a racer.  I just want to get out and listen to the roar of the engine on the straights and not worry about tickets for a change.
      • Passing is generally limited to safe and controlled waive byes only in specified areas.   If you are just out for a fun stress free day, this is your group
      • The Experienced group is for the go fast folks that want to push their cars a little harder.
  • Racing helmets are required.  Not to worry, the track rents them for a nominal fee for those that don’t have their own.
  • Experienced drivers are at the event and will gladly take a few laps with you to help you get acquainted with the track.   Very worthwhile if you are a complete novice and a little nervous
  • The groups alternate 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off.
    • You can pull off anytime you want, and go back out anytime you want during your session.
    • 30 minutes may not sound long, but its just right when you are doing it.
    • The 30 minutes in the pit is some of the most fun time to BS with the other owners and ogle all the cars.
  • A lunch is catered at 12 noon and everyone relaxes and refuels.
    • This is a good time for a Group photo session
  • The afternoon is more sessions until we all tire out.  I’m usually mentally done by 4pm and make my rounds to say goodbye and head for home.

You can even bring a friend!   My Sweetie usually comes along and George only asks for a nominal extra fee to cover the meals.  She usually drives a session or two.

Planning on attending?   Check out my article on how to prepare your car for a track day.  It’s easy.  I’ve blogged about my past track day outings with the group and you can see some photos and videos here.

Help me out!  Let’s fill the event completely with Aston Martins.  Download the signup form here and please send it back to George ASAP so he reserves your spot.

Also – Please leave me a comment below if you are thinking of coming, and we can say Hello in person at the event.

EBC Red Stuff Brake Pads SUCK for Street use in an Aston Martin DB9

“Squeeeeeaaaaaallllll”   “Squeeeaaaal”   “Squeal”   You better get used to that noise if you are looking to run a set of EBC Red Stuff brake pads in your DB9.   During my recent full brake service I figured I’d try something new instead of running another set of Porterfield R4-S pads.  I looked around at the various options, and found the EBC Red Stuff pads were a fair bit cheaper, so I bought a set off Amazon.  The savings were notable, about $250 USD for both sets of front and rears vs. $370 buying Porterfield’s.  Big mistake – and one you can now avoid making. Continue reading “EBC Red Stuff Brake Pads SUCK for Street use in an Aston Martin DB9”

Personalized Plate AML 1936

When my plates were up for renewal I succumbed to the urge to get a customized plate.  I know there is a stigma surrounding vanity plates, I generally eschew plates like “MeBallr” and “HotStuff”.  I wanted to go with something related to this blog.  She’s now sporting her new California plate ‘AML 1936’ to go along with her heritage and this blog.  It’s the short form of “Aston Martin Lagonda DB9 car number 1936”, and similar to this blogs name Aston1936.     Continue reading “Personalized Plate AML 1936”

The Paint on Early Aston Martin DB9’s SUCKS!

Click to see close up image and how chipped it is

My DB9 is a daily driver.  I drive about 5K miles per year, local roads only, no gravel roads, city and highway all the time.  I expect to get the odd nick and chip in the paint like any other car.  But, the paint on my 2005 DB9 is absolutely awful.  If you hit a mosquito with it at 5 mph it chips.  I find it frustrating of course.   I had hopes of using touch up paint to correct it, but on closer inspection during her bath today it seems pretty pointless.  Literally hundreds of tiny pin prick sized chips.  Right now she looks great from 6 feet away, but has acne if you are up close (see the photos). Continue reading “The Paint on Early Aston Martin DB9’s SUCKS!”

Affordable Aston Martin OBDII Reader

News Flash!!!  There is finally an affordable OBDII reader that can talk specifically to an Aston Martin.  If you do some of the service work on your Aston an OBDII reader is an essential tool as it can talk to the many computer modules that control the car.   I’ve written several articles already about the topic (you can find them all in this Collection here).  What was bothersome was that none of the aftermarket OBDII readers actual knew all the specific Aston Martin codes.   We could just talk to the Powertrain Control Modules (PCMs) since they were really made by Ford.   We had no access to all the modules on the “Body” port, which included the Airbag, Transmission, Door, Seat, Entertainment, and other control units.

Let me introduce you to the Foxwell NT510.   Foxwell is a Chinese company that makes a number of Automotive Diagnostic Tools.   They have updated this model to now include the codes for the Aston Martin DB9, DBS, Cygnet, Rapide, Vantage and Virage.  The unit has a color display, upgradeable firmware, can comes with a nice storage case.  Let me dive into a few details that matter. Continue reading “Affordable Aston Martin OBDII Reader”

Screwed Again!

Well, actually it was a piece of metal that pierced my right rear tire.

Metal debris puncture

Walked into the garage this morning to see my three week old new Michelin tire flat as a pancake.  ARRGGGHHHH!  My initial thoughts were that the tire had been installed improperly by the dealer.  A quick peak around the tire and I spotted what looked like a nail stuck squarely into the tire in the center of the tread.  Crap.  If you follow this blog you may recall I got screwed in December 2016, almost exactly a year ago. Continue reading “Screwed Again!”

Come join me at the AMOC USA West Track Day 2018

If you are a frequent visitor of this Blog you know that I am a believer in taking our fabulous cars out for a stretch once in a while in the safety of an AMOC sponsored track day.  These are a great event and you are surrounded by other Aston’s with drivers sharing the same anxiety as you “Don’t hit my car”.  We all are out to enjoy our cars, not trash them.

Aston Martin Owners Club AMOC LogoThe AMOC USA West division has just announced its 2018 Track Day to be held again at the tremendous Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California on Sunday January 14th.

I am personally inviting you to join us and make the journey if you can from anywhere in California, Oregon, Nevada or wherever you are.  We only have room for 40 cars, so please sign up ASAP. Continue reading “Come join me at the AMOC USA West Track Day 2018”

Sagging Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9

Difficult to ignore

It all started on hot sunny California summer day when I got into my DB9 after work.  Open the beautiful swan wing door, slide butt into supple sculpted leather seat, and then WTF?!  Why is there fabric on my head?   As you can see in my happy owner photo here my headliner sagged and was draping across my head.  Crap – something else to fix and I am not an upholsterer.

You can’t ignore this problem and it needs immediate attention else it will drive you completely insane as it flaps in the wind with the windows open, or just lays on you and your passengers head when you sit in the car. Continue reading “Sagging Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9”

Dealing with a Cracked Windshield in your Aston Martin DB9

Clack! Awww,  for fucks sake….

That’s exactly what the sounds were inside the cabin when a rock popped up behind a big rig on a local Interstate and bounced off my Aston Martin DB9 windshield.  At first while still driving I didn’t see any chips or cracks, but when I got home to check it out more closely the hit had been near the upper right edge in the black area.  It had already spidered out and a 7 inch split was winding its way out into the passenger area.  About the only good news (being a relative term) was that another inch to the left and it would have chipped/dented the A pillar, a substantially more difficult (and costly) proposition to fix. Continue reading “Dealing with a Cracked Windshield in your Aston Martin DB9”

Happy Birthday! Aston1936.com is 2 years old

Another year has flown by.  This weekend Aston1936 turned officially two years old. The mission has stayed the same since the beginning – share what I learn as I live with my (now 12 year old) DB9 so that other owners can benefit and perhaps take care of their dream cars with just a little less hassle and expense.

Stats

increasing-statsSince last year traffic on the site has nearly tripled.   Two major things happened to contribute to this.   I’ve been fortunate enough now to write for Aston Martin Quarterly Magazine (see the details here), and the “True Costs of a DB9” video I made went sorta viral on YouTube, getting over 100,000 views so far (was probably discovered as a cure for insomnia).   Amazingly 19,000 viewers have read posts 60,000 times.  Currently about 90 people a day view a total of about 250-300 posts.  Viewers are from 132(!) countries all around the world including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and even one viewer from Turks & Caicos.  Just Wow. Continue reading “Happy Birthday! Aston1936.com is 2 years old”