Friday, July 31, 2015

MEADOW BROOK 2015: ST. JOHN’S CONCOURS OF AMERICA!

The Meadow Brook folks in Motown have the formula for success on the show field. Kat Kurkov takes us up front and personal.
If you take rare automobiles, add thousands of hours of restoration, then add preshow activities combined with perfect weather in an idyllic setting, the result can only be the 2015 Concours d'Elegance of America held in Plymouth, Michigan.

Still referred to as “the new Meadow Brook” where it was held for 32 years, this concours has a history of getting things “just right”. There was a well–rounded mix of automobiles spanning the dawn of automobile history to some of the supercars of today.

Kevien Adell, left, from Bloomfield Hills, MI brought just a few of the 60 cars in his collection. He has been able to drive his ‘70 Plymouth Superbird, below, after having it undergo a yearlong restoration with “Mopar Kevin”. Although not a daily driver, this car is still driven on the streets. He was joined by his Dad, Donald Haranczak, and his ‘71 Plymouth Road Runner. Adell rounds out his collection with an original Batmobile, a Trans-Am from Smokey and the Bandit and the infamous Ferrari from Ferris Buller’s Day Off.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

CALLAWAY CORVETTE: PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON!

Z06-based Corvette upgrade boasts 32% larger supercharger, triple intercoolers, and consistent power - lap after lap.
Callaway Cars today announced power numbers and performance for its flagship model. Equipped with Callaway’s GenThree Supercharger, the Corvette Z06 now produces 757 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 777 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. The 0 to 60 mph sprint is now achieved in 2.8 seconds, and a quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds at 131 mph.

To reach that power (which is up from 650 horsepower / 650 pound-feet) the supercharger itself needed to be bigger since the output of a positive displacement supercharger is proportionate to its size. The Callaway GenThree supercharger (patent pending) is 32% larger in displacement (2300cc vs 1740cc).

Monday, July 27, 2015

FORD GT: MOST SIGNIFICANT CONCEPT VEHICLE!

Production version of GT will appear next year, as will race version to celebrate 50th anniversary of legendary Ford GT40 1-2-3 win at Le Mans in 1966.
The all-new Ford GT – a technology showcase for top EcoBoost® performance, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fiber construction – today nabbed the prestigious North American award for 2015 Production Preview Concept of the Year, as well as top honors as Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2015.
 


The awards recognize vehicles most likely to shape the future of the auto industry. More than two dozen jurors participated in a selection process that involved a total of 30 vehicles, each introduced to North America during this season’s auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and New York. This is the 20th time Ford is a category finalist, and the fifth time the company has taken home the category title.



For more information on the new Ford GT, please visit https://social.ford.com/content/fordsocial/en/articles/autoshow/all-new-ford-gt-sets-new-standard-for-ford-innovation.html?searchid=260551114|16660224154|64179360537&ef_id=-hBQJYpfWHgAAFqz:20150727193218:s

For more details about the award, check out  https://automediaregistry.org/presskit/#NACVOTY


Saturday, July 25, 2015

SCHENLEY PARK: PITTSBURGH VINTAGE GRAND PRIX!

Mike Matune joins in the ten-day celebration of ‘everything automotive’ at the PVGP and brings us highlights.
Over its 33-year history, the PVGP has raised over $4,000,000 for charities, including the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School. Returning as presenting sponsor this year was the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers. But as striking a venue as Schenley Park is, the quality and variety of the vintage racers competing really shines through. Bill Stelcher in his ‘29 Ford Model A Speedster and Alan Patterson in his ‘58 Elva MK III, above, taking the green flag along the start-finish straight. The top of Patterson’s helmet looks lower than the cowl on Stelcher’s racer! Here we have George Vapaa and his '59 Lotus Seven, right.

Modern race tracks may have lost some of their visual impact, but that is not true of Pittsburgh where cars compete on streets surrounded by the grandeur of Schenley Park. The inside of Turn 19 is marked by an imposing stone wall; the outside by a hay bale barrier, trees and an embankment. All of these are likely on Perry Genova’s mind as he maneuvers his BMW 2002, below, around the circuit.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

HOT RODS & CUSTOMS: HOT TIME IN OLD TOWN!

The Bent Axels Car Club shut down Old Town Orcutt, CA, drawing car guys, vacationers and BBQ lovers. Jim Palam, our man on the Left Coast, loves nothing 
more than great BBQ and cars.
The 35th Annual Bent Axles Car Club Show drew crowds hungry for Santa Maria style Tri-Tip BBQ and pre-1972 hot rods, customs and vintage vehicles. This popular, easy-pace show started Friday July 17th with a Strawberry Social and buttoned-up on Sunday the 19th with a Poker Run and Picnic. Proceeds and donations are directed to supporting our military and their families. Old Town Orcutt provided the perfect setting for displaying these boldly painted American classics. Jeff Tann's Candy Purple '36 Ford Cab, above, is ready to whisk you away to a  time when individuality and craftsmanship mattered.

Monday, July 20, 2015

KARTING: HOW TO SAVE AUTO RACING!

Every motorsports enthusiast is painfully aware that racing, in general, is experiencing tough times. Fewer fans are in the stands, and those fans are aging. The question is, what to do about it? 
Everyone has an opinion but the basics are pretty straightforward. People who don't care much about automobiles will care even less about watching them compete. Public interest in the automobile is waning, and the reasons are spelled out in my previous article on the topic.

Perhaps the most immediate and pragmatic idea for reviving American motorsports comes from AutoRacing1 journalist Mark Cipolloni who shared his amazing concept with me on the phone a few weeks ago:

“The problem is that we've lost the youth of this country. Racing is not in the high schools. The kids are not introduced to it. They can't experience it by competing at the high school and college level.”

Sunday, July 19, 2015

’15 M-B S65 AMG: KING OF THE ROAD!

Dan Scanlan finds the S65 AMG to be an amazing car – half ultimate flagship and the other half muscle car king. And both halves behave beautifully.
Doing a smoky burnout in a luxury flagship that can cocoon its passengers in massaging heated or cooled seats with a sound system that rivals most homes, seemed sacrilegious. Yet a tap of the right alloy pedal and our ‘15 S65 AMG spun its rear rubber and did a classic muscle car doughnut, then launched to 60-mph only 7/10ths-of-a-second slower than a Corvette Z06!

So what do we make of this flagship, with more power than even the uber-luxurious M-B S600 Maybach? To find out, we fire up the twin-turbo V-12, burn some asphalt, then pull over and sip sodas from the champagne cooler as we watch a DVD from the reclining back seat with foot rest and a cooling breeze on our S.

Friday, July 17, 2015

2016 AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS: PEGASO CELEBRATION!

The 21st annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will feature and celebrate the rare and exotic Spanish Pegaso.
Pegaso is Spanish for Pegasus, the winged divine stallion usually depicted as pure white on the Pegaso insignia. Pegasus' mythological role was to deliver thunderbolts to Zeus. Appropriate, because that was the thunderous effect the stunning Pegaso Thrill coupe had on the 1953 Turin Auto Show when the Spanish Touring-bodied grand touring coupe made its public debut.

"That such an elegant advanced design could come from a marketing plan promoting plebian commercial vehicles is a testament to the genius, vision and skill of engineer Wifredo Ricart," said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.

Ricart was the suave, articulate (he spoke five languages) and urbane creator of the Pegaso automobile. From his arrival at Alfa Romeo in 1936, Ricart was Enzo Ferrari's nemesis, finally displacing him and creating a fleet of advanced and remarkably complex Grand Prix and competition sports and touring cars. World War II halted Ricart's leading edge designs for Alfa Romeo and saw him return to his native Spain.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

BUDDY BAKER: THE MEASURE OF A MAN!

NASCAR great Buddy baker has been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and signs off his SiriusXM NASCAR radio show for the last time.
I don't know Buddy Baker. I met him only once.

We were introduced about ten years ago at Lingner Group Television Productions in downtown Indianapolis where I was filming an episode of Autoweek on Speedvision. Baker, a huge man who towered six inches over me, was there working on a NASCAR program. He graciously shook my hand and took the time to speak to me. He wasn't in a hurry. 


Baker explained his role in the NASCAR program he was hosting. He asked about my work with Autoweek and listened carefully to my response. A few minutes later we shook hands again and went to work on our separate jobs.

Monday, July 13, 2015

HYDROGEN FUEL CELL ELECTRIC: MIRAI MAGIC!

It’s almost here and, on July 20th, California customers will be able to 
request their own Mirai. 


The Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle uses no gasoline and emits nothing but water vapor. It’s the only zero emission electric vehicle on the market that tops the 300-mile range milestone (an EPA estimated driving range rating of 312 miles, to be exact) and offers an EPA estimated 67 mpge city/highway/combined.



In just one week, on July 20, California trailblazers can request their very own Mirai by visiting http://www.toyota.com/mirai/  Eligible customers will ultimately choose one of the eight authorized California dealers for Mirai delivery. After placing a request, potential Mirai drivers will be contacted directly by a Toyota representative to explore the possibility of Mirai ownership.



And ownership does have its privileges. The Mirai comprehensive, ownership experience offers a range of world-class services, including three years’ worth of complimentary fuel, three years of 24/7 customer call support, 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on key fuel cell vehicle components and much more.



Let the countdown to the future begin!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CELEBRATE: MONTEREY CLASSIC CAR WEEK!

Historic racecars rev it up from track to city streets to kick off the 
annual Monterey Madness.
 The heart of historic downtown Monterey, CA will be transformed into an outdoor motorsports museum when historic racecars line Alvarado Street between 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday, August 7. That’s when Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca kicks off the annual Monterey Classic Car Week.
 


The racecar show lines the street, allowing visitors to freely walk among the racecars, take pictures beside them and ask questions of their owners. This event marks the start of an exhilarating week on the central coast and allows visitors to gain an up-close look at the weekend’s biggest automotive stars. In addition to its motorsports attractions, the racecar show will also feature raffle prizes, music and driver interviews.
 


TRAINING WHEELS: FORMULA ONE, INDYCAR & WRC!

Almost half of drivers on the current F1 grid have been coached in 
standard Vauxhall road cars.
Rob Wilson is possibly one of the most important players in Formula One racing that you’ve never heard of. Based at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in South Leicestershire, UK, Rob is instrumental in carving split seconds from the lap times of at least 12 drivers on the current grid. His key training weapon is a standard Vauxhall Astra!

As improbable as it seems, Rob’s Astra Sports Tourer – along with a GTC and Insignia Sports Tourer – are perfect for his training sessions, which also benefit drivers from Indycar, DTM and even WRC.

“The Vauxhalls will do everything that an F1 car does dynamically, just at a far lower speed,” said Rob, right. “This allows me to explain the physics behind what the car is doing out on the track in real time, which I’d never manage in a performance car. The other advantage is that the driver’s engineer can ride along too, and this is crucial since a change in driving technique could result in a different setup for the race car.’

Friday, July 3, 2015

’17 AUDI: IS THERE AN RS4 AVANT IN YOUR FUTURE?

Our friends at TopSpeed turn rumors into renderings, showcasing what a ’17 Audi RS4 Avant might look and perform like.
Since Audi has revealed the next-gen Audi A4 sedan and Avant, will there be high-performance RS versions coming soon? The previous RS4 line did not include a sedan, the RS option was available on station wagon models. They were not exported to the U.S. making the ’13 Audi Allroad the only A4 badged model in the US. market.

There is little doubt that Audi will produce a new RS4 Avant, but timing, powertrain details, performance and pricing have been closely guarded secrets.  For RS4 Avant projections, please visit http://www.topspeed.com/cars/audi/2017-audi-rs4-avant-ar170225.html

Thursday, July 2, 2015

POWER & PETALS: RODS & ROSES AUTO SHOW!

Jim Palam captures some of the highlights of the annual Carpinteria hot rod, 
classic and muscle car show.
"Car and Flower Guys" came together again on historic Linden Avenue in seaside Carpinteria, CA last weekend to showcase captivating examples of American engineering and California agriculture. Proceeds from this popular show benefit local non-profits such as Future Farmers of America and Carpinteria Education Foundation. The weather was perfect – as were these “cream of the crop” examples of automotive design and custom fabrication. The sexy and sleek Chris Ito designed Double Dozen '33 Ford roadster, above, was hand-fabricated by Steve's Auto Restorations. There's a supercharged Mustang Cobra 4.6-liter V8 under its hood.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WRL: BEST PART OF AMATEUR ROAD RACING!

I don't do much amateur road racing these days. But I really should. The ending alone makes it worthwhile and no matter how many times you see it, 
it never gets old, blogs Stephen Cox. 
The World Racing League held its 16-hour amateur endurance race recently at Texas World Speedway and league president Joey Todd was kind enough to hook me up with an amazing team called Rocksteady Racing.  Not only did a thrilling turn of events take us to the podium with only 40 minutes remaining, but I got to experience one of the finest moments in sports.

Endurance racing is a grind. It takes weeks to prepare the car for a 16-hour event. The team then travels to the venue sets up shop, unloads the trucks, and checks into a hotel. Friday is a practice day. You're hustling from 6 am until 10 pm. Sometimes later. Then comes two days of hard racing, with the crew working on the car day and night. The attrition rate is brutal.

Monday, June 29, 2015

LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR SUPERVELOCE: LET THE SUN SHINE IN!

With the Goodwood Festival of Speed as a backdrop, Automobili Lamborghini has announced a roadster version of its Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce.
The Aventador Superveloce coupé version made its UK debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, on display and running 'up the hill', with Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann in attendance.



Speaking at Goodwood, Stephan Winkelmann, left, confirmed production of the Superveloce Roadster. "The Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce is the most pure, sports-oriented and emotional incarnation of a Lamborghini, and all 600 units have been sold, with first deliveries starting now. We will also produce a roadster version, limited to 500 units, which our dealers worldwide are now taking orders for."



The Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce was shown at Geneva motor show earlier this year. The Superveloce accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of more than 217 mph. Compared to the Aventador LP 700-4 the power output of the Superveloce has been increased by 50 horsepower and the weight reduced by approximately 110 pounds.

For more information about the latest from Lamborghini, please visit http://www.lamborghini.com/

Thursday, June 25, 2015

PIKES PEAK: PACE CAR TO THE CLOUDS!

Acura’s next-gen NSX Twin-Turbo Hybrid Supercar paces the field for the 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
All new Acura NSX supercar will serve as the official pace car in the 93rd running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 28. With a custom racing-inspired livery, the twin-turbo NSX will lead 140 entrants to the top of the 14,110-foot mountain.

“The Acura NSX is the ultimate performance vehicle, and a novel way to promote its capabilities is the iconic race up Pikes Peak,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of the Acura Division. “As the pace car, the beast that is NSX has yet to be fully let out of its cage, but fans and drivers will get a first glimpse of the unique character, performance and handling it will deliver in this one-of-a-kind racing environment.”

SULLY HISTORIC SITE: 42nd ANNUAL CAR SHOW!

Justin Sprinkle captures highlights of one of the most eclectic antique car shows 
on the calendar.
The previous night’s storm didn’t seem to keep the cars and showgoers away from the 42nd Annual Sully Antique Car Show, presented by The George Washington Chapter of the Model A Club of America and the Fairfax County Park Authority. Held on the grounds of the Sully Historic Site in Chantilly, VA, the main house, outbuildings and rolling hills provide an amazing backdrop to roughly a century of automotive design and technology.

Mercury Woody, top, provides a cool foreground for a great car show. You would have never guessed that 12 hours earlier there were torrential downpours and hail in the area! I caught Kelly Buckland just as she was leaving in her Viking Blue ‘71 Olds 442, above. You’ve gotta love it! Even though the horsepower dropped to around 340 from the previous model’s 365, this Olds 442 was still more than enough to get your blood pumping!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SHELBY GT350R-C: GT350R MUSTANG REDUX!

There’s no mistaking the wicked sound or aggressive looks of the all-new Shelby 
GT350R-C that Ford announced today would see its first official track time at 
Watkins Glen this weekend.
Ford Shelby GT350R-C, the competition version of the reincarnated icon, will compete in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, a showdown of the most popular – and accessible – performance cars from around the world. The GT350R production car was unveiled in January. Since its introduction, enthusiasts have eagerly awaited the debut of a racing version.

AULT PARK: 38TH ANNUAL CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE!

Our Mike Matune discovered the Ault Park Concours in Cincinnati, OH only a few years ago and has been looking forward to covering it ever since.
Tom Shaughnessy brought the famous “Caballo II” from California to grace the field at Ault Park. This car, top, is another piece of real Americana, having been hot rodder Ak Miller’s effort to take on the world’s best. Starting with a Frank Kurtis frame, it has a Jack Sutton crafted aluminum body. Under hood you find a Hilborn fuel-injected early Chrysler Hemi. In period, it showed up everywhere from the Mille Miglia to Bonneville and Riverside Raceway.

Each year the show presents a different, interesting, high caliber group of cars with an array of featured marques and themes. Among this year’s, was a celebration of the VW Beetle, above, a car that still evokes strong emotion and devotion long after its roughly 65 year production run of over 20 million examples had ended. You could trace the evolution of the iconic shape as time shaped detail, but not the basic concept. The show benefits Juvenile Arthritis.

’16 CAMARO RAGTOP: LET THE SUN SHINE IN!

Chevy’s all-new ‘16 Camaro convertible features the segment’s most advanced top plus 455 horsepower in SS trim.
“The 2016 Camaro coupe will set the benchmark for the segment in terms of technology, performance and design,” said Todd Christensen, Camaro marketing manager. “Adding the most sophisticated top in the segment brings another level of refinement – and driving enjoyment – to the Camaro convertible.

 It is the only convertible in the segment to offer all of the following: Fully automatic operation with latches that automatically release and secure the top. Capability of opening or closing at speeds up to 30 mph. Remote opening with the key fob. A hard tonneau cover that deploys automatically, providing a more refined, finished appearance when the top is stowed.

Monday, June 22, 2015

‘15 NISSAN GT-R: GODZILLA IS IN THE HOUSE!

Godzilla is far happier being driven like a sports car - use it like it’s meant to be and the music sounds solid gold, blogs intrepid tester, Dan Scanlan.
Godzilla is a noisy beast. The run-flat tires rumble, the turbos and wastegates whistle and chirp, and the all-wheel-drive gearing on our 15,000-mile-old test car grumbles as the car rolls off. There’s wind noise. Bose Active Noise Cancelation was added, plus more sound deadening. The result is a car that works OK for daily commuting, still noisy but comfortable for two and excels as a road rocket!

The 3.8-liter, 545-horsepower (up from 480 horsepower in 2009) V-6, below, is torque rated at 463 pound-feet. It has plasma-sprayed bores, a symmetrical independent intake and exhaust manifold system with twin IHI turbochargers, an oil-cooling system and wet and dry sump oiling. It’s got a carbon fiber-reinforced engine bay stiffener, and an alloy plate that says Izumi Shioya built the engine. There’s a paddle-shift sequential six-speed dual-clutch automatic with separate wet clutches for odd (1, 3, 5) and even (2, 4, 6) gears - the next one is always ready to very quickly slot in. A carbon fiber drive shaft takes power to a rear transaxle biased toward rear drive.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

INDY: BRICKYARD VINTAGE RACING INVITATIONAL!

SVRA enjoyed a second year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with its Vintage Racing Invitational. Mike Matune was trackside for the Chronicles.
Clark Howey’s ‘66 Corvette won its class at Daytona. After more than 20 years and numerous owners, it is once again owned and raced by Howey. So much more than just racing, the event encompasses a car auction, car show, Jaguar exhibit and autocross and an enactment of the very first event at the Speedway - 1909 hot air balloon race. To us, the signature event is the Indianapolis 500 Legends Celebrity Pro-Am that matches 33 former Indy 500 starters with vintage drivers in stunning examples of American Muscle. ’65 Mustang, right, of Davey Hamilton & Frank Marcum awaits the race on the pre-grid. Hamilton is an eleven-time 500 starter with three Top 10 finishes to his credit. 

Pro Bob Lazier and Amateur Jim Caudle in Caudle’s ‘68 Corvette, below, took home the victory and bragging rights. They bested all comers and survived an active race; our congratulations on their well-earned victory.

Friday, June 19, 2015

JD CLASSICS: EX-FANGIO C-TYPE WINS AT LE MANS LEGEND!

Originally raced by Juan Manuel Fangio and brought to the U.S. by Sarasota Café Racer Bill Tracy in the 1970s, C-Type wins its class in the Legend marking its 
22nd award in 25 races.
The unstoppable ex-Fangio C-Type took home a class win at the Le Mans Legend this year, followed by the team’s Jaguar T33 in second place. Taking its 22nd award in 25 races, the team’s C-Type is unrivalled in historic racing events today. Currently owned and raced by JD Classics, the bronze C-Type Jaguar had originally been raced in South America by Fangio. Bill Tracy, left,  was an airlines Captain in the early-1970s when he discovered the C-Type on a trip to Argentina. It was not running and in need of a full restoration. In 1976, Tracy and his wife, Jackie, drove their restored C-Type around Laguna Seca and reunited Fangio with his Jaguar racecar. That year Jaguar was the featured marque at the racetrack.

Le Mans Legend organizers this year broadened the event’s eligibility criteria, allowing Ford GT40s and Cobras to compete. Nevertheless, JD Classics’ entries each put in impressive qualifying performances, with the Costin-Lister, driven by Chris Ward sitting 8th in a field of 62.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

HONDA LMP2: RACE TO THE CLOUDS!

Honda’s Le Mans Prototype coupe will contest Pikes Peak in the Unlimited Class.
Honda Performance Development has upped the ante this year at Pikes Peak by entering one its newest sports cars in the race up the 14,110-foot mountain. The new Honda-powered HPD ARX-04b LMP2 coupe that competed in this year’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona has been entered in the 2015 Pikes Peak event, and will be driven by Verizon IndyCar Series race winner and former Formula 1 driver Justin Wilson.

It will be the first full-carbon monocoque vehicle ever sanctioned for PPIHC entry and will be fitted with a 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbocharged engine. The ARX-04b will compete in the Unlimited Class, which features highly modified cars that can navigate the 156 turns of the 12.42-mile course in under 10 minutes.

“This is an exploratory effort, to learn as much as we can in advance of a possible future assault on the outright record: 8:13.878, set by Sebastien Loeb in 2013.  We want to see how well our ARX-04b chassis adapts to the rigors of the Climb, and the high-altitude demands placed on our production-based V6 engine,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development.
“We’re looking forward to this. We hope to have a lot of fun, and we’re certainly not holding back with Justin Wilson behind the wheel. We think the fans will enjoy the show, as well.”

Thursday, June 11, 2015

SHELL ECO-MARATHON: STUDENTS CONTEST LE MANS!

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Shell Eco-marathon Europe, which started in France in 1985.
Students who engineer and drive cars that could complete the Le Mans 24 hours on just over a litre of fuel were on track at the world’s most famous motor race on Wednesday, 10 June.
Staking a claim to be the most energy-efficient vehicles ever to roll a wheel on the hallowed Le Mans tarmac, the Shell Eco-marathon vehicles built by teams of French students have achieved up to 3,771 km per litre.

The global competition challenges students to design, build and drive the most efficient vehicles, pushing the boundaries of energy efficiency and mobility on the road. The Shell Eco-marathon teams’ visit underlined the Le Mans 24 Hours’ status as one of racing’s leading blends of efficiency and speed.

Vincent Beaumesnil, Sporting Director of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, said: “It is important to everyone at the ACO that the 24 Heures du Mans is an inspiration to the designers of our future technologies. As such we are delighted to welcome the Shell Eco-marathon competitors to Le Mans, in partnership with Shell, to highlight the possibilities for efficient energy consumption that are being developed in our race and theirs.” Le Mans competitors Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost from Rebellion Racing checked out the cars and met the student engineers and drivers from teams Microjoule La Joliverie, CityJoule and Estaca.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

QUICK VIC: VIC ELFORD CELEBRATES 80th BIRTHDAY!

Iconic racer was one of the fastest drivers in the highly competitive Sixties and Seventies racing scene.
Vic Elford’s lap records include Targa Florio, Nurburgring, Daytona, Sebring, Norisring, Monza, Road Atlanta, Laguna Seca, Riverside and Le Mans. He was the first driver to lap Le Mans at over a 150 mph average in the Porsche long-tail 917 in 1970.
Known as “Quick Vic” to friends and competitors, Elford is one of the few drivers to excel in sports cars, rally cars, and Formula 1 at a championship level.

His 1968 season began by winning the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally in a Porsche 911, followed by an overall win the next weekend in Daytona at the Rolex 24 Hour race – Porsche’s first 24-Hour race victory. He finished second at the 12 Hours of Sebring a month later, then in May scored an epic victory at the Targa Florio, considered the greatest win in Targa history. Two weeks later Vic won the Nürburgring 1000 Kilometers. Then in his first F1 race in July, Vic took an out-classed Cooper to a stunning fourth-place finish in the soaking-wet French Grand Prix.

AHPSOC: CONSUMMATE CAR GUY HONORED!

Automotive History Preservation Society honors CarGuyChronicles editor, author & communicator, Martyn L. Schorr.
The Automotive History Preservation Society (AHPSOC) has awarded Martyn L. Schorr an Honorary Membership in the Society. “He has spent a lifetime creating written materials that are now an important part of the historical chronicle of the performance car industry and hobby. That includes magazine articles and books in addition to sales and marketing materials, advertising and catalogs for Baldwin-Motion and Motion Performance.”

"This selection is based Marty Schorr’s demonstrated dedication to the Society's mission and an insightful concern for the preservation of our automotive heritage," said Bob Gerometta, right, photo above, Operations Director, Automotive History Preservation Society.

Schorr has been the editor of nearly a dozen automotive magazines since 1960, including Hi-Performance CARS, Custom Rodder, Speed and Supercar and was the Founding Editor of High-Performance PONTIAC and the top Corvette enthusiast publication, VETTE. He also published the Quicksilver Communications’ library of brand-specific Marque Series enthusiast books in the early-1980s.

Monday, June 1, 2015

WHERE HAVE ALL THE RACETRACKS GONE?

Drag strips as well as entry-level stock, modifieds and sprint car tracks have become endangered species.
CARS-magazine sponsored record-holding Baldwin-Motion 427 Camaro and Pacers Auto blown-fuel roadster at Island Dragway, Great Meadows, NJ in mid-1960s. Photos: Martyn L. Schorr.

Fifty years after the heyday of drag racing, local tracks to national circuits have been feeling pressures of changing times, an aging fan base, and competition for entertainment dollars. “People have so many other things that they can do other than going out to the weekly short tracks,” says Ernie Saxton, 72, a New Jersey racing announcer of over 45 years. “Unfortunately, I don’t think we, the people like myself who are involved in the industry, have done a good job in selling the good points of weekly short track racing.”

For the complete story, please visit http://carshowsafari.com/news/2015/05/22/for-the-mom-and-pop-racetracks-the-checkered-flag-looms-too-close-for-comfort/

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

JEFFERSON 500: VINTAGE RACERS INVADE SUMMIT POINT!

The Vintage Racers Group (VRG) takes over Summit Point Raceway with their latest rendition of the Jefferson 500. Our Mike Matune was trackside.
Racers and spectators were treated to five days of driver schools, practice, qualifying and, of course, racing.  Here the Cunningham Cup cars, top, are caught coming under the bridge with Hobart Buppert’s Chevy-powered Lola and Michael Zappa’s Ford-powered Superformance GT40 racer at the head of the grid. Behind them comes a field chock full of all manner of noise, horsepower and speed. Herb Wetanson’s Aston Martin DB4, above, has been re-bodied with a shell paying homage to the great Zagato-bodied racers of the 1960s. The body is presented in raw, polished aluminum to show off its lines and workmanship required to create it.

DIRT VERSUS PAVEMENT: RACINGIN.COM'S SCOTT KOSAK!

Paved ovals have been placed on a financial red alert. Times are tough for America's asphalt bullrings even while dirt tracks seem to be thriving, primarily due to the popularity of sprint car racing. Stephen Cox talks with Scott Kosak.
I was recently talking with the owner of a well-known asphalt late-model Touring Series who made a remarkable observation. Here is a guy who has been in auto racing his entire life, and when offered an opportunity to operate a racetrack he responded, “You've got to be insane to own a racetrack right now. This is the worst time in the world to own or operate a track. I don't know how these guys stay in business.”

Those are heavy words from a man who is in a position to know. Not only are paved tracks closing left and right, but many of the telecasts that once promoted asphalt bullrings are defunct. The major network telecasts featuring the old American Speed Association are long gone as are the former Hooters Pro Cup programs on SPEED. Even the recent regional telecasts from the ARCA Truck Series, Mid-American Stock Car Series and the Super Cup Stock Car Series are off the air now.

Monday, May 25, 2015

MUSCLE AND BEAUTY: 2015 STATE STREET NATIONALS!

Musclecars, hot rods, classics and sports cars are proudly displayed in 
Santa Barbara, California’s Riviera.
Organizers are calling the 2015 State Street Nationals Car Show a rousing success. Thousands of visitors enjoyed more than 300 vintage, exotic and collectible cars that lined 11 blocks of downtown Santa Barbara last weekend. The Page Youth Center and The Goleta Lions Club are two of the charities benefiting from the show's proceeds. Our Jim Palam reports.

Ain't she pretty? This ‘30 Ford Model A, top, has almost as much charm as the Rocket Fizz girl who happily posed for the many photographers in attendance. Jeff Olson's Pretty in Mint  '67 Corvette Sting Ray, above, with Day Two mags is a prime example of what many believe to be “America's Favorite Sports Car.”

Friday, May 22, 2015

WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN!

The feature film documentary about Paul Newman’s racing career is finally available on Video On Demand.
Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman has received fantastic reviews from the media and fans alike.  The documentary chronicles the 35-year racing career of Paul Newman and features interviews with Robert Redford, Robert Wagner, Patrick Dempsey, Jay Leno, Mario Andretti, and many more.  Produced and directed by Adam Carolla.  Produced and co-directed by Nate Adams; Executive producer, Matt D’Andria.

For more information, please visit http://www.newmanracingfilm.com/