Thursday, July 24, 2014

’14 DODGE HEMI-CHALLENGER: REDLINE R/T!

‘Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em,’ blogs intrepid road warrior, Dan Scanlan.
There are many who say that old school rules when it comes to musclecars. Pair a 375-horsepower HEMI V-8 with a six-speed stick in a shape that’s instantly recognizable as a ponycar and you are In like Flint!  And if it generates 410 pound-feet of torque and sits on gorgeous 20-inch black chrome alloy wheels, all the better.

But in a world where sophistication trumps cubic inches, is there still a place for a musclecar that says 1970s like Burt Reynolds and Aramis?

Well, Dodge knows the world is changing, so it has redesigned the Challenger for 2015 with more vintage 1971 design cues. Under the skin comes some stiffening and engineering changes as well as – hold your breath – a 707 horsepower SRT Hellcat. But until the fall, we get the same old Challenger, this one the R/T Redline, and an offer from Dodge – pay and play now and trade to a '15 Challenger for the same payment. Let’s play now, since I don’t have to pay!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MUSTANG RACING LEGENDS: A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM!

The home of some of the world’s finest sports racing cars, Simeone Museum, hosts a very special day to celebrate racing Mustangs.
 Very close to the Philadelphia Airport sits the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, home to a very unique collection of historic racecars. It has been awarded Museum of the Year honors. As an opening to their celebration of 50 Years of the Mustang, the Museum hosted a Mustang Racing Legends event. Just off the event stage was John Atzbach’s GT350R, #5R002, above. One of the first group of GT350s constructed, the car was a barn-find in Mexico, then sat in a Museum before being acquired and restored by Atzbach.

As you entered the Museum, you were greeted by a group of Shelby GT350s each showcasing a different stage of the car’s legacy including 1965-‘66 versions, below, a Hertz Rent-a-Racer and a modern version. Seminars by Chuck Cantwell, Project Engineer at Shelby American for the GT350 and Greg Kolasa, author of The Definitive Shelby Mustang Guide 1965-1970 (http://www.cartechbooks.com/the-definitive-shelby-mustang-guide-1965-70.html) along with Joe Spinelli who shared insights into the Ford’s drag racing efforts during the Musclecar era.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

VIPER VICTORIOUS: STREETS OF TORONTO!

Kuno Wittmer & SRT Motorsports take gold at second SCCA Pirelli World Challenge race at Canada’s Exhibition Place.
The No. 92 Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R, prepared by Riley Technologies, started from the second position on the grid and quickly took the lead when Wittmer passed the race leader on the first lap’s third turn on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn downtown street circuit. Wittmer’s victory in the event marked the first win for the Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R in the World Challenge’s GT class and the Montreal native’s first in the World Challenge since last competing in the series in 2010. The victory was Wittmer’s seventh in the series and his third World Challenge win in a Viper in six seasons (2006-10, 2014) in the series. 

“Winning on home turf is the best feeling on Earth,” said Wittmer. “It really is and this is definitely a step in the right direction building momentum for this entire SRT Motorsports team. In these types of North American championships, there are not a lot of Canadian events. When you do have the chance to race in front of your home crowd, it’s really, really special because I grew up racing in Canada.”



Monday, July 21, 2014

PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s.
Part IV: The Embarrassment
.
“I had a five-liter, naturally-aspirated nothing.” – George Follmer

With what appeared to be a fully developed, dominant racecar, Porsche was ready for their public unveiling. They chose the third race of the season at Watkins Glen as their moment of truth. After all, everything seemed perfect. The teething problems with the L&M Porsche’s turbocharger dump valve at Mosport surely wouldn’t happen again. The loss of the magnesium car didn’t seem to be as bad a setback as expected. The standard 917/10-003 was clearly superior to McLaren’s new M20.

Donohue’s loss was certainly disappointing, but Follmer had shown that he was fast and capable. He’d won Road Atlanta against all odds with zero seat time in the car.

Denny Hulme’s car had been totally destroyed at Road Atlanta and McLaren had been forced to build a new car from scratch in less than nine days. The new car was unproven and untested and the previous version of the same design had already suffered problems with both the crankshaft and ignition system.

The stage was set. The Watkins Glen race presented a golden opportunity that Porsche couldn’t pass up, so they threw everything they had into it. The race was to be one giant party, and its epicenter would be the Glen Motor Inn.

Friday, July 18, 2014

CARLISLE CHRYSLER NATIONALS: MOPAR MADNESS!

Our field agent Mike Matune was on the ground at Carlisle’s annual bash for lovers of everything Dodge & Plymouth.
Carlisle Events once again filled the Fairgrounds with every manner of Chrysler product for the 2014 Carlisle Chrysler Nationals. Here you look over just a portion of the goings on and ask yourself; where else could you see this many immaculately prepared E-Bodies (1970-‘74 Barracudas and Challengers) in one place? As the factory Supercar wars escalated, cars became ever more radical. Chrysler came to the fight with an altered-wheelbase racer and Hilborn-injected 426 Hemi power, moving further from its production car roots. A/FX cars like this gave birth to the Funny Car concept and helped fuel the match racing wars.

Monday, July 7, 2014

2014 PORSCHE PANAMERA S E-HYBRID: WATTS NOT TO LOVE?

Porsche’s new hybrid Panamera can run 20 miles on a single charge - and hit 168 mph flat-out. Road Test Editor Howard Walker reckons it’s an Ohm-run!
Chances are if you can afford the $99,975 asking price for Porsche’s latest eco-offering, the Panamera S E-Hybrid, you won’t be too concerned about saving a few bucks at the gas station. But if you’re keen on doing your bit to help the environment, and you like the thought of piloting a more socially responsible, smoldering-hot sports sedan, this latest Porsche could be for you. And who wouldn’t want to drive a Porsche with Kermit-the-Frog, psychedelic 
lime green brake calipers?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

RODS & ROSES: CARP CARES FOR YOUTH!

17th Annual hot rod & custom show in Carpinteria, CA benefits a great youth support charity. Our Jim Palam captures the highlights.
This year’s show drew approximately 125 classics, hot rods, customs, motorcycles and even vintage tractors! One of the big drawing cards this year was the ’32 DSR Ford roadster, powered by a supercharged Ford Coyote 5.0-liter engine and built by Rob Smith, shown here with his wife, for collector-restorer Richard Varner, founder of Champions Moto. The Coyote Roadster represents a joint venture between Detroit Street Rods and So-Cal Speed Shop.

First shown in the Ford racing display at the 2012 SEMA Show, it won the show’s prestigious Outstanding Achievement in Design award. Rob Smith and his wife flew in from North Carolina to drive the highboy roadster up from the Los Angeles area.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

2014 AUDI RS7: PRACTICAL MAGIC!

Audi’s breathtaking 560-horsepower RS7 delivers true Supercar
performance coupled with daily-driving versatility, writes 

Road Test Editor Howard Walker
Remember the Seventies? Back then; if you were a testosterone-charged teen, chances are your bedroom would have had a poster of a Lamborghini Countach pinned to the wall. Race-me red paint, scissor-style doors raised skywards, more air-gulping intakes than an F-16 fighter.  No doubt it would have been positioned right next to a poster of a red swim-suited Farrah Fawcett, all tumbling blond locks and Chicklets-white smile. Back in 1976 it was an iconic, inseparable combo.
   
Of course, the original Countach was everybody’s dream machine. Crazy, origami-folded-paper styling, screaming 12-cylinder engine and bat-out-of-hell performance. The only problem was one of entry and exit. Getting in and out of a hip-high Countach would be best attempted only after a consultation with your chiropractor. Or with the help of lowering straps! And once ensconced in seats more suited to the torsos of waif-like Italian male models, your spreading derriere would mean you were not extracting yourself any time soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s.
PART III: The Replacement. 
“We drove by the seat of our pants. We had to muscle the car around the track. We did not have cool suits.” – George Follmer

George Follmer arrived in Atlanta early Friday morning in a rented Ford Crown Victoria.

“I didn’t know him from Adam,” said chief mechanic Woody Woodard. “But I’d certainly heard his name. He was a good guy.”

Marilyn Motschenbacher Halder, then married to McLaren driver Lothar Motschenbacher, recalled Follmer’s arrival at the track. “Everybody loved George. He would always wander around the track when he wasn’t working with the guys on the car. He always looked good; he was so nice and always had a smile. He was a jokester. He was fun, but a dedicated driver.”

A lot of people had already heard George Follmer’s name. He had driven from the back of the grid to 15th place at the 1971 Indianapolis 500-mile race and would’ve placed higher had all his pistons functioned properly for the final 50 laps. He had already posted an Indycar victory at Phoenix and had just wrapped up a Trans-Am title days before. His talents would eventually take him to the pinnacle of American road racing and then to Europe in Formula 1.

But on July 7, 1972  Follmer stood along pit lane at Road Atlanta, clueless and hopelessly lost.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

TMG EV P002 ELECTRIC RACECAR: GOODWOOD!

GKN-powered Pikes Peak winner to storm Goodwood hill at Festival Of Speed.
GKN is making its debut in the hill climb at the world-renowned Festival of Speed with a record-breaking electric racecar and a stand that offers an engaging introduction into the challenges of automotive engineering. The TMG EV P002, a 2012 winner in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, features two innovative GKN EVO eDrive axial flux motors, which deliver 885 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels.

Apprentices, graduates and senior excutives from GKN will be on hand at Stand 18 in Goodwood’s Moving Motor Show to talk to people interested in a career in engineering and interactive displays will offer a more hands-on experience for future young engineers.

The GKN EVO eDrive Systems’ eMotor used in the TMG P002 was developed in the UK. It is one of several new types of high performance electric motors with size, weight, performance, and efficiency advantages when compared to traditional electric motors. Its short length and high relative output makes axial flux motors suitable for use in more advanced drivetrain systems, where vehicle designers need the smallest, lightest, and most powerful motors possible.

For more information about GNK Driveline, please visit http://www.gkn.com/driveline/Pages/default.aspx

Sunday, June 22, 2014

ULTRA-LIGHT STREET MACHINE: THE ROCKET!

Chris Craft built this tandem two-seater penned by legendary F1 & McLaren 
designer, Gordon Murray.
The Rocket was designed by Gordon Murray, and built by ex-GP racing driver and The International Guild of Specialist Engineers Honorary Member Chris Craft. A One-liter motorcycle engine powers the ultra-light roadster, with looks reminiscent of a Grand Prix racer from the 1960s. It sports a central seat that doubles, tandem-style, to accommodate a passenger.

"The Rocket is a statement of minimalistic performance and immortal style," says Chris Craft. "If the Hurlingham Club’s Salute to Style hails the best examples of classic lines in automotive design, it deserves a special place
in the display."

Salute to Style, a brand new three-day event that takes place on the magnificent grounds of The Hurlingham Club, is an elegant appointment for the finest classic designs in the automotive, art and luxury goods world.

For more information about the Salute to Style on July 17-19, please visit http://www.hurlinghamclub.org.uk/private-events/salute-to-style/?pbq=salutetostyle/

Saturday, June 21, 2014

ABARTH 695 BIPOSTO: GOODWOOD HILLCLIMB!

 The most Abarth of all Abarths will climb Goodwood’s legendary Hill at the 
Festival of Speed.
After its road début in the Gumball 3000 – the non-competitive rally restricted to just 120 exclusive supercars – “the fastest Abarth ever” is ready to show off all its power in the temple of supercars: the Goodwood Festival of Speed next week. This event attracts more than 150,000 people, including enthusiasts, collectors and experts and racers from all over the world. Now the Abarth 695 biposto is ready for a new challenge: the demanding Goodwood Hillclimb. A spectacular route that, with a climb (between the beginning and the end), puts the technical characteristics of all participating cars to the test.

Friday, June 20, 2014

AUDI TAKES LE MANS: LESSONS LEARNED!

Jim Resnick, embedded with the Audi Sport team for the 24-hour enduro,  
blogs that a harmonic convergence has occurred between 
racing cars and production vehicles.
The Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race is perhaps the ultimate laboratory for automotive innovation. On the venerable Circuit de la Sarthe, carmakers have field-tested – indeed, torture-tested – systems and technologies that will continue to influence production cars for years after the checkered flag has waved.

The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Le Mans organizers understand this is, first and foremost, an epic race of automotive endurance. But they also feel they have a greater purpose to further development of energy-efficient cars. More than a simple test of speed, Le Mans is a contest of going faster and farther on a given allotment of fuel: a meritocracy where cylinder count, engine configuration and fuel choice shouldn’t matter.

For Jim’s complete report, please visit http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20140620-learning-lessons-from-le-mans

Thursday, June 19, 2014

SULLY ANTIQUE CAR SHOW: PARKS & REC!

The 41st Annual Show on Father’s Day transformed the Chantilly, VA historic site into a spectacular showcase of vintage & modern vehicles, blogs Mike Matune.
The George Washington Chapter of the Model A Club of America and the Fairfax County Park Authority have been presenting this show on the grounds of the Sully Historic site in Chantilly, VA for 41 years. Father’s Day 2014 was no exception. The field was crowded with cars and spectators alike. Show features a little of everything, from brass era cars to more modern “Muscle” and everything in between. Scott Leaf’s ‘33 Packard personifies the classic era.

NISSAN CONCEPT 2020: HYBRID GT-R SUPERCAR!

Will the Gran Turismo virtual Supercar become the next-gen GT-R? Our friends at Motoring.com in Australia tell all!

Dubbed the NISSAN CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo, the virtual Supercar celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo video game, which has “brought to life” a number of pre-production prototype vehicles in recent times. It was created in collaboration with Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital, the 2020 Vision GT concept will be available to download and 'drive' via the GT6 driving simulator on PlayStation 3 next month. But it also provides the first visual clues for the next-generation R36 GT-R super-coupe, which could emerge as soon as late 2015 – nine years after the existing R35 model's global release.

For the full story, please visit http://www.motoring.com.au/news/sports/nissan/gt-r/virtual-concept-previews-next-nissan-gt-r-44175



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WORLD’S FASTEST ELECTRIC SPORTSCAR: DETROIT ELECTRIC!

Detroit Electric readies its revolutionary SP:01 lightweight for the real world.
Detroit Electric, the international electric vehicle manufacturer, is finalizing dynamic testing of its SP:01 pure-electric sportscar at a facility in Europe ahead of its introduction in several world markets. The lightweight, two-seat, rear-wheel-drive, open-top sportscar promises to deliver blistering performance and exhilarating dynamics.

This latest version of the SP:01 has seen additional development work carried out by Detroit Electric’s engineers and designers since a pre-production version of the vehicle was revealed to the media at events in Detroit, USA, and Shanghai, China, last year. Further details of the car and Detroit Electric’s production and sales plans will be announced in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned!

For more information, please visit http://www.detroit-electric.com/

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. 
PART II: The Accident. 
“A doctor specializing in football injuries told him, no, his sore left knee was really a knot of shredded ligaments. There was surgery and a six week plaster cast and a career grounded.” – Pete Lyons, Road & Track.

The story had to be cleaned up for the press.

If the truth came out on national television, nobody at Porsche or Penske Racing was going to be happy about it. So in a televised interview after the incident, race driver Mark Donohue told the story of his horrific practice crash at Road Atlanta with carefully chosen words. 
“Going down the back straightaway, the wing, which produced a tremendous amount of downforce at high speeds, came off the back of the car,” Donohue claimed. 

That was an understatement. Yes, the rear wing had come off. But so had the quarter panels, engine cover and the entire rear bodywork of Porsche 917/10, # 011, at roughly 170 mph!

This was not the #003 that Donohue had driven at Mosport. It was not the #005 car that was yet to be built and delivered to Penske later in the summer. Rather, it was a brand new machine that was intended to become the team’s primary car. This new Porsche had an experimental magnesium chassis and weighed 106 pounds less than #003.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

‘14 JAGUAR F-TYPE S: SOUND & THE FURY!

‘Jaguar was once known for brilliant two-seat roadsters like the epic E-Type. They are again thanks to the F-TYPE S, a leaper for all seasons,’ blogs Dan Scanlan.
Called one of the 100 most beautiful cars in the world, the E-Type’s grace was matched by the pace of its 3.8-liter inline six with 265 horsepower. Later it received a V-12. But when the last version of the bullet-shaped roadster once called “the greatest crumpet-catcher known to man” was laid to rest in 1975 that was the last great Jaguar sports cars.

The new F-TYPE comes in supercharged 3-liter V-6 versions with 340 or 380 horsepower, and the 495 horsepower 5-liter supercharged V-8. Ours was the middle model, aimed right at the 350-horsepower Porsche 911 Cabriolet.
 Our 2,700-mile-old roadster emitted a rising snarl as it accelerated toward 60-mph in 4.3 seconds in full Dynamic transmission setting to make shifts more aggressive with higher shift points. Launch control is simplicity – left-foot brake while nailing the throttle, and when the trip computer screen flashes “Dynamic Launch,” releases brakes and go! That gave us a bit of controlled wheelspin at launch to 60 mph in 4 seconds as we paddle-shifted at 6,000 rpm, and 100-mph in 12 seconds. In “Sport,” the throttle is blipped automatically to match engine revs for very rapid downshifts. In a curve, the transmission holds it so we were in the right gear for the exit.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

AULT PARK CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE: 37th ANNUAL!

One of the top Concours in the Midwest is still going strong, showcasing everything from multi-million-dollar exotics to an old school Gasser! 
Mike Matune captures the highlights.
The 37th Ault Park Concours d’Elegance took place in Cincinnati, OH last weekend. Going early to a Concours gives you the opportunity to get some interesting shots, like a Porsche 919 racer being offloaded. The car features a two-liter V4 turbo engine with dual hybrid systems.
 Here’s an incredibly striking ‘34 Packard Twelve LeBaron Boattail Speedster, resplendent in flawless yellow paint. Owned by The Auto Place in Cincinnati, the car was well turned out and presented; making it the perfect Best of Show winner in the Concours d’Elegance.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

VINTAGE RACING AT INDY: BRICKYARD BASH!

Our Mike Matune is trackside at one of the most anticipated events on this year’s 
vintage racing calendar.
The inaugural Brickyard Vintage Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway drew a field of over 700 cars to contest three days of racing around both IMS’s road and oval courses. Rick Mooney’s ‘68 Corvette negotiates Turn 9 with the “Pagoda” in the background. The event was well received by spectators and competitors alike. This year’s race hopefully signals the birth of another major event on the historic racing calendar.

Chris MacAllister’s 289 FIA Cobra is a Shelby team car that appeared at major venues: Targa Florio, Spa and the Nurburgring with Dan Gurney, Jerry Grant and Innes Ireland sharing the driving.  Shelby and his Cobra Team would come close to wrestling the championship away from Ferrari in 1964, but politics entered the fray and the last race of the year was canceled leaving Ferrari’s thin margin in the Championship to stand. It would all come good for the Californians the next year!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

GOODGUYS HOT ROD OF THE YEAR: SUPERCHARGED!

Stunning blown Model A wins Goodguys 2014 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year Award.
 
Tony Lombardi’s supercharged ‘30 Model A Ford from Niles, OH won the Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award last weekend at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The criteria is unique in that it’s the only major Goodguys Top 12 award which requires participants to drive on a 100-mile reliability run as well as blast down a 1/8-mile drag strip.

Lombardi’s A-Bone, built by Hilton’s Hot Rods, was more than up to the task having already been driven from Ohio to Texas earlier this year. Not only did the potent little coupe handle the drive with ease, it blasted down Lucas Oil Raceway @ Indianapolis with an elapsed time of 9.316 seconds – the third quickest ET of the day.

SHORT TRACK EXCUSES: ME, DANICA AND BARNEY OLDFIELD!

‘The true essence of auto racing is making yourself look as good as possible under the circumstances no matter where you finish, even if your last race had all the success of the Titanic but with fewer survivors,” blogs Stephen Cox.
Before you consider that a joke, please reflect briefly on the career of Danica Patrick.

I will begin by pointing out the well documented fact that auto racing's first legendary driver, Barney Oldfield, set a world speed record at the Milwaukee Mile in 1905 and I beat his time by a wide margin at the same track last weekend. Nevertheless, Barney gets all the glory because he did it first, which in my opinion is objectionable because it reduces success to a matter of dates. No matter. I still beat Barney even if he never knew it!

And I managed this spectacular feat despite the fact that the rear deck on my car collapsed during qualifying. The Boschett Timepieces/Impact Racing #22 lost grip badly in time trials and I immediately returned to the pits in search of a marginally plausible justification.

Monday, June 9, 2014

PORSCHE 918: ALONG CAME A SPYDER!

Porsche shakes-up the Supercar world with its missile-fast Hybrid 918 Spyder. Road Test Editor Howard Walker takes it for a spin.
Breathe. Take a gulp. Inhale. But easier said than done when your lungs feel like they’re being whiplashed into the back of your rib cage, your eyeballs are recoiling deep into your skull.
   
Breathe. How can you when your heart’s pounding like a jackhammer, neat adrenaline is coursing through your veins, and your teeth are clenching like you’ve just dropped a 10-pound bowling ball on your big toe? It’s what happens when you dial-up 7,000 rpm on the tach of Porsche’s new $850-grand 918 Spyder Hypercar, then simply step off the brake pedal unleashing the slingshot effect of 887 wild horses on a car that weighs roughly
the same as a Tupperware container!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

PORSCHE RSR GROUP 4: ONE OF 54!

Rare racer will be showcased at the Hurlingham Club’s Salute to Style next month.
History, fashion and racing achievements blend beautifully at Salute to Style at The Hurlingham Club, an elegant celebration of the best classics in life. Famous Porsche 3.0 Carrera RSR with its unusual and distinctive livery occupies a unique position both in Porsche 1970s racing history and the display of classic cars, sports cars and racers at the summer garden party on July 16-19.

Giorgio Schön, son of renowned fashion designer Mila Schön, in partnership with his friend and co-driver Giovanni Borri, bought the brand new Porsche for the 1974 World Manufacturers’ Championship. One of only 54 examples built specifically for Group 4 motorsports during 1974-1975, it was painted in its distinctive blue, light green and white Harper’s Bazaar livery (which had been designed by Mila Schön) the night it arrived from Porsche. It raced the very next day at Monza (practice for the 1000kms), where it achieved fastest time in the GT Class.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

RALLY FOR KIDS: SANTA BARBARA, CA!

Jim Palam covers car guys doing good, rallying for the United Boys & Girls Clubs.
Benefiting the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, this past Saturday’s Rally For Kids was co-chaired by Dianna Starr and Montecito "Cars & Coffee" founder, Monte Wilson. Monte's wicked red Ferrari Challenge Stradale was the event’s lead car. 
There were some 35  cars competing, including Michael Hammer's Lincoln, the 2005 La Carrera Panamericana class winner. A growling white Studebaker was also a Panamericana competitor.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN- AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s.  
Part 1, The Beginning.
“I loved those days. I loved those times. I loved the people. It wasn’t like now where everybody goes and hides in their motor homes. Everyone was there for each other.” – Marilyn Motschenbacher Halder

Mosport International Raceway had an innocent charm that’s long been missing from today’s clinical, overly sanitized racecourses. The grass was too high. There were no sand traps.
The white line edging the course in Turn 5b (now called “Moss Corner”) was worn and
covered with gravel. The thin layer of sand covering the front straight raised a fresh
dust cloud every time a racecar roared past.

It was Sunday afternoon, June 11, 1972. John “Woody” Woodard took a dirty red shop rag from his hip pocket and wiped the oil off his hands. Woody was chief mechanic on Penske Racing’s Can Am road racing team and he couldn’t afford to have dirty hands. The team’s shirts were bright red and would show even the slightest stain. Worse yet, the massive letters on their uniforms identifying them as Penske’s “L&M Porsche – Audi” team were pure white. So were their wide leather belts.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

‘14 LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR LP 700: BADASS SUPERCAR!

Dan Scanlan checks out Lambo’s 700-horsepower raging bull…and he wants one!
It was this simple. I was pointed to a Rosso Lamborghini Aventador LP 700 and asked, 
“Would you like a drive?”

The coastal Florida roads outside the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance were thick with traffic, and worse, Highway Patrol and local deputies. They were hungry, looking for fools dumb enough to nail a 700-horsepower Lamborghini on their home turf after a day of snacking on new Porsches, AMG Mercedes-Benzes, Jaguar F-Types and a McLaren or two. Bring it on!

As has been tradition, this Lamborghini is named after a bull, a courageous beast that entered the Saragossa Arena in Spain in October 1993 and earned the “Trofeo de la Peña La Madroñera” for its courage. The occupant cell, including tub and roof, is a woven composite component that weighs just 325.18 pounds. Science aside, the LP700-4 (longitudinal position engine/700-horsepower/four-wheel-drive) is one badass-looking car, sleek and brutal. It’s 15.6-feet-long, a very low 3.6 feet high, and, at 7.4-feet, very wide!

Friday, May 23, 2014

JEFFERSON 500 HISTORICS: SUMMIT POINT!

Celebrating its 45th year, Summit Point hosts more than 200 cars at its Spring Spectacular. Mike Matune was trackside.


After a somewhat soggy start on Thursday that saw rain pummel the track, the weekend stayed dry with blue skies. Here Ralph Manaker’s Chevron B-16, left, climbs the hill towards Turn 10 about to sweep under the vehicle bridge. For more than 20 years, the Jefferson 500 has occupied a place on Summit’s Spring Vintage Racing Calendar, evolving this year to incorporate over 200 cars in eight groups under the Vintage Racers Group (VRG)’s sanction. John Morton served as this year’s Grand Marshall and was busy all weekend judging the car show, speaking at Saturday’s dinner, magnanimously welcoming all and signing his latest book Inside Shelby American, http://www.motorbooks.com/books/Inside-Shelby-American/9780760343944


In 1970 at Le Mans, Porsche painted one 917 LH purple with green and white swirls. The car became known as “Le Psychedelic” or the “Hippy Car.” Olga Reindlova’s ‘69 Porsche 911 pays tribute with a similar paint scheme. Her car bears the styling cues of Porsches of that era with a rear duck tail spoiler and five spoke Fuch wheels.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

STATE STREET NATIONALS: SANTA BARBARA, CA!

Kicked off by a cruise & BBQ the day before, the State Street Nationals this past weekend lived up to it’s name: Santa Barbara’s Premier Car Show.
Held in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street this past Sunday, the State Street Nationals showcased some 350 cars spanning 11 picturesque blocks. Packed with great cars, enthusiasts and happy tourists from all parts of the country, the show was a rousing success. The theme this year was “BIG” right down to the flick playing in the Arlington Theater: GODZILLA! Stunning '50 Chevy Crew Truck, above, gets its monster grip from its NAPCO Four-Wheel-Drive.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TURBOCHARGED TOYOTA GT86: POCKET ROCKET!

Sources claim turbocharged variations of the Toyota GT86 are on the horizon, 
along with a convertible.
The GT86, also known as the Scion FR-S & Subaru BRZ, is a consistently popular model for Toyota. Could Toyota be ready to roll out a wave of updated models? A recently published report from the Australian publication, Motoring, indicates that Toyota is planning to update 
the GT86 coupe with several new variations. These include a turbocharged model as well as a convertible and all-wheel-drive sedan version. Sources in Japan claim that we could see the convertible version of the GT86 as early as October this year, as it has been part of 
Toyota's official plans for quite some time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

PORSCHE 917 & BRIAN REDMAN: GOODWOOD!

Two of sportscar racing’s most legendary names - Porsche 917 and Brian Redman - will be reunited at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 26-29.
Brian Redman, 77, is world-renowned as the king of Formula 5000, having taken a record 16 wins in the North American series and three straight titles from 1974-1976 - fitting in perfectly with the Festival of Speed theme: Addicted to Winning. He is also one of the most successful drivers in sportscar history, having won the Spa 1000km four times, the Daytona 24 Hours on three occasions, and the Sebring 12 Hours, Nurburgring, Monza and Osterreichring 1000km races twice each!

The ex-works 917 PA that Redman will drive at Goodwood has had a colorful history. Grand Prix winner Jo Siffert raced it as a works car in the 1969 Can-Am season, taking a best finish of third at Bridgehampton, and finishing fourth in the championship. Milt Minter and Sam Posey also raced the car.

Monday, May 19, 2014

ROLLS-ROYCE AEROBOAT: MERLIN V-12!

Salute to Style hosts a futuristic 1,100 horsepower day-boat powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 engine.
The Aeroboat showcases a blend of high technology, British engineering and a glorious heritage; can be viewed at Salute to Style’s celebration of speed on water, air and road. A unique mixture of historic British engineering and cutting-edge design is to be displayed at The Hurlingham Club on July 16-19. Noted yacht design studio Claydon Reeves is showing their newly produced model of the Aeroboat alongside the Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine destined to power the craft.

A stylish and entirely British project, every single one of the 12 Aeroboat super-yachts destined for production will be powered by a reconditioned, fuel-injected Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12
engine, below, with documented provenance. Engines will be de-tuned to 1,100 horsepower
for a potential speed of 75-95 knots.

INDYCAR: THE SERIES THAT SOLD ITS SOUL!

Stephen Cox is awaiting the day when Indycar dumps its failed experiment with spec cars. Then we won’t need gimmicks any more.
I grew up in Indianapolis and I live for the Indy 500. I’ve worked on the TV crew during the month of May. I’ve watched Indycar my whole life. But I have no idea how the pole position
will be determined today.

The problem is not that the process is too complicated. I’m watching it on TV right now. The real problem is that I don’t care anymore. I don’t care anymore because the purity of the sport has been sacrificed on the altar of Disney-style entertainment.

Everything feels plastic. Phony turbocharger settings are used to pump up speeds and make TV headlines. They added a Lights race, a Grand Prix, and a new qualifying format. They added Sammy Hagar, Kid Rock and Poison. Still, they have empty grandstands.

Friday, May 16, 2014

FERRARI CELEBRATES MILLE MIGLIA: 65 PRANCING HORSES!

A tribute to ‘the world’s most beautiful road race.’
The streets of Desenzano provided the venue for the start of both the Mille Miglia and Ferrari’s tribute to “the world’s most beautiful road race,” as Enzo Ferrari liked to call it. A total of 20 historic Ferraris lined out for the former with 45 contemporary Ferraris fielded for the latter. Two rare LaFerraris competing also attracted the many enthusiasts gathering for the historic event.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

JAGUAR LIGHTWEIGHT E-TYPE: DIET DELIGHT!

Jaguar is building six brand new 1963 Lightweight E-Types – the missing six Lightweights that were never built from the intended original 18-car series.
The new Lightweights are the missing six vehicles from Jaguar’s Lightweight E-Type project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 ‘Special GT E-Type Cars.’

Only 12 of the aluminum-bodied Lightweight E-Types were eventually built, the last in 1964; the remaining six designated chassis numbers having remained dormant, until now. The new cars will be hand-built in-house by Jaguar’s finest craftsmen. Each car will be constructed to the exact specifications of the original 12 racecars – including the 3.8-litre straight-six engine.