Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PONTIAC TRANS-AM: LAST SURVIVING PROTOTYPE!

The only surviving Firebird Trans-Am prototype is alive and well thanks to a dedicated musclecar enthusiast, blogs Stephen Cox.
In the autumn of 1968, Pontiac Motor Division General Manager, John DeLorean, recruited California customizer Gene Winfield to create the “ultimate Firebird”. Winfield was flown to Pontiac Engineering in Michigan, then given a pair of brand new ‘69 Pontiac Firebirds and a free hand to re-design them as he saw fit. When Winfield's highly anticipated cars emerged from his secret, double-bay workshop at Pontiac, America's legendary Trans-Am was born.

One of those prototypes has been lost. The other – the sole remaining original Trans-Am – has been found. Its re-discovery is a remarkable story.

After serving as Winfield's test platform, the car reverted back to Pontiac where it was used as a media test car. The prototype was featured in magazines including Car Life, Hot Rod, Car Craft and Motor Trend. Unable to sell it through normal channels due to its heavy modifications, Pontiac chose to send the prototype to racer Jerry Titus. His new team, TG Racing, was converting to Pontiac products for the upcoming season.

Monday, November 17, 2014

2015 SHELBY GT350 MUSTANG: LEGEND RETURNS!

All new GT350 Mustang comes standard with 500-plus horsepower V8, the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever.
The original Shelby GT350 introduced in 1965 established Mustang’s performance credentials on the street and road racing circuits worldwide. It builds on Carroll Shelby’s original idea – transforming a great every-day car into a dominant road racer – by taking advantage of a dramatically improved sixth-generation Mustang to create a truly special high-performance car.

Ford engineers took an innovative approach with the GT350. Rather than develop individual systems to perform well independently, every component and shape is optimized to work in concert; balance is the key.

“When we started working on this car, we wanted to build the best possible Mustang for the places we most love to drive – challenging back roads with a variety of corners and elevation changes – and the track on weekends,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Every change we made to this car was driven by the functional requirements of a powerful, responsive powerplant – nimble, precise handling and massive stopping power.”
Early in development of the GT350, it was decided a high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 engine would best suit a track-focused Mustang.

“The final product is essentially an all-new powerplant unique to GT350 – and one that takes true advantage of the new chassis dynamics of the Mustang platform,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Global Performance Vehicles.

Friday, November 14, 2014

2015 CADILLAC ATS-V.R: TWIN-TURBO TERROR!

V-Series ATS coupe meets FIA GT3 specs and hits the track next year.
Cadillac’s new ATS-V.R is the racing extension of the upcoming 2016 ATS-V Coupe, which channels more than a decade of V-Series engineering experience into the brand’s first compact performance model. The ATS-V Coupe debuts next week, along with the ATS-V sedan, at the Los Angeles Auto Show and arrives track-capable from the factory next spring.

The new, up-to-600-horsepower ATS-V.R meets international FIA GT3 specifications, a highly coveted pedigree that allows it to potentially run in more than 30 different GT series around the world. Other marques in this ultra-competitive racing class include Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche.

”The V-Series is the highest expression of Cadillac’s rising product substance,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president. “Elevating and expanding the V-Series is the next logical step in Cadillac’s growth, including this new race car developed in GT3-specification, enabling us to pursue racing on a more global scale.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2014 ART CENTER CONCOURS: SPOTLIGHT ON ENTERTAINMENT!

Wallace Wyss blogs about the annual design college car show, this year showcasing the entertainment business.
The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena is the place where a great percentage of the world's car designers are trained. Its hilltop location is a fitting place to have a car show, but I think it is a stretch to call it a "concours" because there are so many owner-modified cars on display. For example, nobody cares if it is a 100% stock Iso Grifo because many of these young designers have never seen or heard of an Iso Grifo. Especially those who are from Asia, possibly one-third of the student body.

Organizers change the mix at the show to suit the theme and this year the theme was show biz. The focus was on cars used in movies or those inspiring cartoon movies, including at least four Batman cars, the Bumblebee Camaro from Transformers: Age of Extinction, top, and full-size Hot Wheels Darth Vader and Deora II vehicles. Restored vintage GM show-tour display truck, right, was a big hit.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

HONDA'S AMAZING CB350: THE COLLECTION I SHOULDN'T HAVE!

Stephen Cox blogs about collecting stuff and his passion for Honda’s CB350.
I collect old Fords. I also collect racecars, knives, aviation books and those old plastic NFL helmets that you could buy in vending machines for a quarter in the 1970s. You know, the ones with the team stickers that always peeled off. I also collect Evel Knievel videos, ELO record albums and concert ticket stubs. I have other collections that I cannot recollect. Maybe I just collect collections?

The last thing I need is a collection of motorcycles. But after my experience with a Honda CB350 Super Sport, I think I could use a few more bikes!

A smattering of motorcycles has blessed my life from time to time, but none has captivated me like the little Honda 350. The fact that it became one of history's best selling motorcycles demonstrates that I am not alone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SHELBYS & FORDS: SAAC NE REGIONAL MEET!

Mike & Maureen Matune bring us highlights of the Northeast Region Shelby Club annual celebration and road tour.
After my article “Mustang A Born Winner” appeared in Vintage Racecar, October, Dan Reiter of the Lehigh Valley Region of SAAC (Shelby American Automobile Club) invited Maureen and I to the NE Regional Meet in Gettysburg, PA, where I spoke on early Mustang racing. The event was three days of all things Shelby and Ford. Here Bonnie and Glenn Hill prepare to leave on Saturday’s Tour across south-central Pennsylvania.

Shot of Shelbys and Fords, left, as far as the eye can see gets the juices flowing. Mid-October brought blazing color all along the tour route that stretched about 70 miles over some of those tight, twisty back roads that we all “need” for a Fall driving experience.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

’14 INFINITI Q50S: MEGA-TECH SUPER SEDAN!

‘It's sexy, roomy, comfortable, capable and with possibly too much tech,’ blogs intrepid tester, Dan Scanlan.
Infiniti, born of Nissan 24 years ago, made a decision in 2014 to change model designations and name Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel the brand’s Director of Performance. Infiniti had always produced performance-oriented luxury cars; now they would get a more dramatic evolution of their designs along with tweaked engines, suspension and body kits. The result was the fifth generation of the compact G sedan, now called the Q50. And for us, it was the Q50S, with body and suspension mods on top of some serious high-tech driving aids.

There’s a familiar heartbeat under that long Infiniti Q50S hood – a 3.7-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC 24-valve V-6 with 328 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Our 10,000-mile-old Q50S was rear-wheel-drive (all-wheel-drive available), routed through a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and long leather-accented steering column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters.

Monday, October 6, 2014

ST. MICHAELS CONCOURS: ELEGANCE ON CHESAPEAKE BAY!

Mike Matune captures rare pre-war classics, wood-bodied cars & boats and significant sports cars at the Eighth Annual Concours.
For the eighth year, George Walish, Chairman & Founder, welcomed all to the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina for the St Michaels Concours d’Elegance. Nestled on the Eastern Shore in Cambridge Maryland, the show occupied a manicured fairway, top, at the River Marsh Golf Club. The Concours benefits the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. 

Early automotive history is littered with long gone distinctive automobile manufacturers. Among them was the Spanish/French nameplate of Hispano-Suiza. The North Collection reminded us of the marque’s contributions with their ‘27 H6B Wood-Bodied Skiff, above. It represents a high point of styling, engineering and performance.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

HEACOCK CLASSIC GOLD CUP: VIR!

SVRA wraps up with 2014 vintage racing schedule with its premier event at Virginia International Raceway. Mike Matune brings us  highlights.
As Summer fades and the racing season begins to wind down, SVRA draws us to Southern Virginia and Virginia International Raceway (VIR) for the annual Heacock Gold Cup. Here Mike Fisher, top, sweeps under the vehicle bridge in his ex-Derek Bell Speedvision Cup Audi S4. 
Peter Dunn exits Turn 11 in his Morgan, above, chasing the other Group 3 runners down the back straight. This gives you a better feel for VIR with its meticulously manicured building and grounds. The 3.27-mile circuit never stops moving whether it’s up and down or side to side, mixing high and low speed sections. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MONTECITO MOTOR CLASSIC: CONCOURS FOR A CAUSE!

Our intrepid California ‘shooter’ Jim Palam brings us highlights of the Third Annual show that benefits the Santa Barbara Police Activities League.
Bill Ceno's wicked ‘03 Ferrari Enzo has a young show-goer almost falling off his Gulf racing livery Nikes! John Yzurdiaga's customized, seldom-seen ‘41 Graham “Hollywood Supercharged” is menacing in Montecito.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

THE 100 MOTORCARS OF RADNOR HUNT: CONCOURS!

One of the highest-quality and most eclectic shows in the country celebrates its 18th year. Mike & Maureen Matune bring us highlights.
This year’s Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance, benefitting the Thorncroft Equestrian Center, featured a field of select Concours grade automobiles along with motorcycles and featured groups. Best in Show honors went to Margie & Bill Cassini’s ’33 Chrysler CL Imperial five-passenger Phaeton, top. Originally purchased by LeBaron designer Ralph Roberts for his wife, it features fender skirts, disc wheels, lowered headlights and rear mounted twin spares.

No show of Ford racing is complete without examples of Flathead power. Henry’s V-8 would go on to power everything including Salt Flats competitors, drag racers, sports cars and boulevard cruisers of every description. Representing those times is Larry Shinoda’s “Chopsticks Special,” above. Shinoda spent time in a Japanese Internment Camp in California before going on to become a noted designer at GM (Corvette Sting Ray) and Ford (Mustang Boss 302 graphics). Today the car resides in Beth & Ross Myers’ 3 Dog Garage collection.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

JESSE ALEXANDER: CAR GUY OF THE YEAR!

The Car Guy Chronicles celebrates legendary photographer Jesse Alexander, named ‘Car Guy of the Year.’
International motorsports photographer and celebrated car culture veteran Jesse Alexander has been named the 2014 “Car Guy of the Year” by a select group of automotive professionals, motorsports and collector-car enthusiasts. The announcement was made as part of Alexander’s overall recognition as this year’s honoree during the annual Montecito Motor Classic Gala and charity dinner held at the Montecito Country Club.

“Photographer Jesse Alexander’s talents and remarkable career as an artist have been unsurpassed for more than half a century,” said Roy Miller, collector-car and restoration expert as well as co-founder of the Car Guy of the Year award, along with Steve Ford.

Miller noted that the plaque presented to Alexander highlights the pinnacle criteria that prior recipients have been celebrated for exhibiting:  genuine passion for cars; respect and admiration from peers; active participation in the car enthusiast arena; noteworthy contribution to the automotive community and proven knowledge of both the auto industry and car culture with an equal level of understanding about the technical aspects of automobiles.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

FORMULA E: THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW!

‘I’ll certainly be cheering for the series to succeed long term, but there are a few points to bear in mind along the way,' blogs Stephen Cox.
The new Formula E racing series for electric cars has done a lot of things right, as was evident by their first race in Beijing last weekend. The series already draws more entries than Formula One will have in 2015, and they've attracted known drivers including Nick Heidfeld, Takuma Sato, Jarno Trulli, Katherine Legge and others.

First of all, Formula E is not a great advancement in technology. On the contrary, current battery technology stinks. The lithium-ion batteries used in most automobiles today are heavy, bulky and short-lived. Even the Williams Advanced Engineering batteries used by Formula E machines suffer a drastic power loss after only 15 minutes of driving. They are so slow to re-charge that drivers must actually switch to another car during pit stops rather than attempt to service the batteries in the car they're already driving.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DRAGON’S FYRE: JET-POWERED DRAGSTER!

Exhibition drag racers partner with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF): Go fast & do good.
Few exhibitions create more buzz and excitement than 40-foot flames erupting from the rear of a jet powered dragster truck. The driving force behind the jet-powered NHRA/IHRA exhibition drag racing vehicle “Dragon’s Fyre” is Dave Modder. As owner/driver and volunteer firefighter for the Town of Randall, WI Fire Dept., this partnership has a high emotional connection.

Friday, September 12, 2014

PENSKE’S CAN-AM PORSCHE 917: THE FINAL CHAPTER!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. Part VII: The Legacy.
“In two of the races – Atlanta and Elkhart Lake – the car lapped the entire field. That’s doing something. This was an unbelievable car.” – Chief mechanic John “Woody” Woodard.

Porsche enjoyed a dominance in 1972 that McLaren could only dream of. McLaren’s five-year stranglehold had been crushed, and Porsche had earned their first Can-Am Challenge Cup.

But many years passed before the participants discovered the full impact of their efforts. The L&M Porsche has become one of the most recognizable racecars in history. Aurora AFX produced an HO scale slot car version of the L&M Porsche at the height of the hobby’s popularity. Tens of thousands of kids got to drive the L&M Porsche on miniature road courses worldwide. Even more than 40 years after the team’s finest hour, Ratcliffe models still offer a 1/87th scale resin cast model kit of the L&M Porsche. Lunch boxes, T-shirts and posters featured the L&M Porsche. It appeared in books and magazines and influenced pop culture as much as any racecar since the Marmon Wasp.

Everyone who saw the car in person remembered its thunderous roar. Photographer Pete Lyons, who covered the Can-Am series in 1972, said, “You had the sensation that something momentous had just gone by. You could feel the blast coming out of the exhaust; ground trembling under your feet.”

The power and beauty of the Can-Am series faded from the racing scene within a few short years. Many believe it never truly returned in the proliferation of road racing series that have come and gone since, and perhaps never will.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

’14 AUDI Q7 QUATTRO: BEAUTIFUL BEAST!

Audi’s do-everything, go-everywhere high-performance people mover.
With the low-speed grunt of a big-block muscle car and the fuel-sipping consumption of an eco-friendly four-cylinder ride, the ‘14 Audi Q7 quattro Tiptronic offers the best of both worlds. On a recent trip from Detroit to Watkins Glen, NY, we had the pleasure to climb behind the wheel of this very luxurious yet sporty seven passenger SUV. We saw for ourselves that a brawny powertrain wrapped around beautiful bodywork can peacefully coexist. So, with our camera gear packed, we headed down the highway and up through the Allegheny Mountains to Watkins Glen International Raceway. 

Our destination was the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship for the annual “Six Hours of the Glen.” One of the top endurance races on the circuit; both prototype and production-based sports cars compete for bragging rights. This grueling race tests man and machine, and with a multitude of classes running on the track at the same time, the action is pretty intense. Here, the drivers put on a great show for the fans with their passing maneuvers. It’s also interesting to see the team strategies being played out while some very fast machinery is pushed to its limits on the winding curves and straightaways of this famous racetrack. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

THE ART OF BUGATTI: ART DECO AT ITS FINEST!

Jim Palam brings us highlights of the Mullin Museum’s incredible Bugatti show in Oxnard, CA, open until March 31, 2015 and not to be missed.
According to many in the automotive world the ‘37 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic  is one of the greatest cars of all time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

MERCEDES-AMG-GT: A RACE CAR FOR THE STREET!

Mercedes-AMG GT boasts racetrack performance combined with superb everyday practicality. Is this the ultimate GT?
The first Mercedes was a racing car and its most recent successor carries this heritage forward. With the new GT, the Mercedes-AMG sports car brand is moving into a new sports car segment. The GT is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG. It’s a front mid-engine design with a rear transaxle and use of lightweight intelligent aluminum construction, forming the basis for a highly dynamic driving experience.

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 VI: The Title.
“The talk around the pit area was that no one could touch them. They knew that it was the beginning of the end of Can-Am. The L&M Porsche was making history.” – Marilyn Motschenbacher Halder.

No other track on the Cam-Am schedule offered sweet corn and bratwurst like the little food stand at Elkhart Lake. Everyone on the  circuit looked forward to it. The stand remains there today, just behind the main bleachers near the Start/Finish line. 

Wisconsin sweet corn was roasted on an open grill and sold hot on a stick. The brats weren’t wrapped in a traditional bun; instead, they were served with mustard and sauerkraut on a homemade roll. The scent wafted through the stands and into the newly paved pit area that allowed Can-Am crews to work in something other than grass and mud for the first time.

The next stop on the series schedule was August 27, 1972 at Road America. The entire Penske team anxiously awaited the race knowing that the four-mile track’s enormous straightaways were perfectly suited to the L&M Porsche’s twin turbochargers.

This car was among the most powerful racecars in the history of the sport. Bruce Canepa, whose restoration facility prepared the L&M Porsche for Rennsport IV in 2011, said that Porsche consistently underrated the horsepower of its cars in the 1970s.

‘14 PORSCHE CAYENNE TURBO S: SCALDING HOT!

‘Let’s get trucking,” blogs Dan Scanlan after spending some seat time in Porsche’s hottest SUV.
When Porsche entered the luxury sports utility vehicle market in 2002 with the Porsche Cayenne, Porschefiles were horrified that Stuttgart was selling a truck! Well, when a truck has a twin-turbo 550 horsepower V-8 plus sports sedan handling, and 18,507 of the company’s total 42,323 sales in 2013 were Cayennes, the market has spoken. Some say the success of the Cayenne and the four-door Panamera sports sedan (5,421 sold in 2013) translates into profits that can be used to make cars like the 911 Turbo and radical 918 Spyder exotic. Sounds like a good business case to me!     

The Cayenne is available with a 300 horsepower V-6 and 380-horsepower hybrid, and three 4.8-liter V-8s - 400-horsepower, a 500-horsepopwer twin-turbo and the twin-turbo 550-horsepower V-8 with max torque of 553 pound-feet in our tester.

Friday, September 5, 2014

RODS & CUSTOMS IN CLIFTON: LIONS ROAR!

The Clifton Lions Club presents its 15th annual Labor Day Car Show in Clifton, VA. Mike Matune brings us highlights.
Benefiting local charities, the show has become a staple on the Washington, D.C. area car calendar. Here the Fairfax County Police Color guard presents the colors at mid-day. From the buildings in the background, you get an idea of the show’s setting in historic Clifton, about 25 miles West of Washington. In addition to cars, the show featured live music and a Chili Challenge for cuisine aficionados.

Phil Murray’s ’39 Ford, top, powered by a “built” Flathead is a dynamite example of an old-school hot rod. Coupe retains its original lines, trim and feel. It’s a flashback to hot rodding’s golden era.

Not sure if this is a finished “Rat Rod” or a work in progress, but either way this ‘60 Cadillac, below, is incredibly detailed. Powered by a supercharged and turbocharged diesel and fitted with an elaborate air ride suspension, its bodywork includes a louvered windshield visor, folding sunroof, suicide rear doors and extra, but well integrated, fins. Greg Bastion of Dirty Hands Choppers owns it. http://www.dirtyhandschoppers.com/index2.html

Monday, September 1, 2014

STAMPEDE AT AMELIA ISLAND: COWBOY CARS!

‘Cars of the Cowboys’ Class coming to the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
On March 15, 2015, the 20th annual Amelia Island Concours will display the eclectic and eccentric cars - customized and modified - to promote America's movie and TV cowboys. In true "Amelia" tradition, this unique display on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton will put fun ahead of fad and fashion as the first gathering of cowboy vehicles at a major international Concours.

Featured will be rare vehicles like Leo Carillo's (Pancho, from The Cisco Kid TV series) ‘48 Chrysler Town and Country Steer Car, and cowboy movie star Tom Mix's, a ‘38 Supercharged Cord convertible. Roy Rogers' Pontiac by Nudie Cohn will take center stage alongside Dale Robertson's 1958 Tales of Wells Fargo Limited convertible built by Buick.

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 V: The Turning Point.
“Mark [Donohue] and the other people behind the Porsche are not lighthearted types. They take the whole thing very seriously.” – Pete Lyons, Road & Track. 

Thankfully, Penske Racing had only two weeks to stew in their misery.

The next race was scheduled at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The teams generally arrived in the middle of the week. If no track time was available on Thursday, drivers and crew members would hang out, spend the evening at a local restaurant, or have a barbecue at the hotel.

The weather was perfect. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were blessed with bright sunshine and a breeze that made it feel cooler than August.

Although Mark Donohue was still unable to drive, he was able to make his first appearance at a race since his terrible crash at Road Atlanta. He showed up in Lexington, Ohio wearing bright red pants, a lightly striped white shirt and a monstrous cast on his left leg. He hobbled around on crutches all weekend but remained in good spirits, talking with competitors and looking up fellow Can-Am driver Lothar Motschenbacher in his hotel room.

“I have a picture of him sitting in our motel room at Mid-Ohio,” Marilyn Motschenbacher Halder remembered. “He had a cast on his leg. He was sitting there with his leg up on the bed, Lothar and he were talking, cracking jokes, bench racing and having some fun. He would just hang out with us. He was a fun, pleasant kid. We saw the kid in him a lot.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

10th ANNUAL WHEELS ‘N’ WINDMILLS: SOLVANG, CA!

Balmy weather, blue skies and lots of shiny (and rusty) vehicles lined the streets of the picture-perfect Danish town. Packed with happy tourists and locals, the show supports local and National charities. In 2013, the Show donated $30,000 to health-related charities. Jim Palam brings us highlights of this year’s event.

Rick Kistler is a Car Guy and large-scale metal artist from Gaviota, CA. He created this "Throw Away The Blueprints" chopped '29 Ford Sedan.
 You want thick, wavy and rusty frame rails and skyscraper headers? Kistler delivers!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPORTS REUNION: LAGUNA SECA!

‘When it comes to experiencing vintage racing greatness, the Reunion has few equals,’ blogs Mike Matune.
Mid-August brings us what is lovingly referred to as Monterey Hell Week and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca. The Reunion is what vintage racing aspires to be, a collection of truly important cars and drivers competing head to head. Eddie Lawson, top, climbs the Rahal Straight towards the “Corkscrew” in Racing Commonwealth’s Osella PA 3/5. 

I have been attending the vintage races at Laguna Seca off and on since 1990. In that time, two things have become Monterey traditions for me. One is the damp, cool early morning fog; the second is Ed Archer’s ‘15 Ford Roadster, OLD NO. 4, above, contesting the Pre-War
racing group. The period uniformed Archer with his distinctive handle bar mustache
drives his car to and from the event.

Friday, August 15, 2014

LOMPOC POLICE REVVED-UP: CAR SHOW & BENEFIT!

Lompoc’s 11th annual fundraiser at Ryon Park for Special Olympics draws cool cars & big crowds. Jim Palm was on the ground to capture some highlights.
Study in Color & Power: Blown '32 Ford snugged and secured on a customized '51 Chevy 5700 "COE" hauler. The owner of this rig has a sense of humor. When you peek over the big shiny grille you see a three-horsepower scooter motor!

’15 JAGUAR F-TYPE: PROJECT 7!

Named in honor of Jaguar’s seven wins at Le Mans, Project 7 is a road-legal two-seater inspired by the Jaguar D-Type.
After its global debut at Goodwood, Project 7 is making its first U.S. reveal in Monterey this week. Created by the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team, F-TYPE 
Project 7 is a limited production vehicle powered by a 575-horsepower 5.0-liter 
supercharged V8. It’s capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and boasts 
an electronically limited 186 mph top speed.

The F-TYPE Project 7 will be available in two standard colors – Glacier White and Ultra Blue. British Racing Green, Ultimate Black and Caldera Red will also be available as optional upgrades. Pricing starts at $165,000 with customer deliveries starting in Spring 2015.


For more information on F-TYPE Jaguars, please visit: www.JaguarUSA.com/FTYPEProject7

http://www.jaguarusa.com/all-models/f-type/f-type-models/f-type-coupe.html

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

‘15 DODGE CHARGER SRT HELLCAT: QUICKEST, FASTEST & MOST POWERFUL SEDAN!


Latest Hellcat from SRT is a four-door road rocket capable of preying on exotic sports cars and Supercars.
With 707 horsepower, an NHRA-certified quarter-mile et of 11.0 seconds on street tires and a top speed of 204 mph, the world’s only four-door muscle car is the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan ever. Supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat HEMI produces 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful V-8 Chrysler has ever produced.

Unrivaled four-door Charger Hellcat performance can rocket from 0-100-0 mph in under 13 seconds and has an over-200 mph top end. Dodge and SRT designers re-sculpted and refined nearly every body panel with functional performance cues, including heat extractors in the hood, unique front and rear fascias and dramatic LED lighting in
both front and rear.

The Hellcat Charger’s unique HD three-mode TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission is capable of delivering fuel-efficient street driving and maximum performance track driving with rev-matching 160 millisecond shifts.

Monday, August 11, 2014

TONY STEWART-KEVIN WARD TRAGEDY: THREE LESSONS!

Sage advice from racer-writer-TV commentator, Stephen Cox.
Most of the racing world now knows that sprint car driver Kevin Ward, Jr. was killed after being hit by Tony Stewart's car during a race this past weekend at New York's Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Volumes will be written about this incident for months to come, but a few lessons are already evident.

1. Never get out of your racecar after a crash. Unless the car is on fire, sit still and wait. Once the driver exits the cockpit, he leaves nearly everything that keeps him safe. No more roll cage. No more neck restraint. No five-point harness, no fire extinguishing system, no nothing. The driver is completely vulnerable. 

Ward got out of his racecar wearing a black fire suit and a black helmet in a dark corner of the racetrack. Behind him stood his black #13 racecar, which provided no visual contrast whatsoever. The dirt-racing surface was dark brown. Much of the wall behind Ward was either painted black or darkly stained from rubber and dirt. He was virtually invisible to everyone on the track. 

What is truly stunning is not that Stewart tragically hit Ward, but that the car just in front of Stewart was able to miss him (Chuck Hebing, #45). Even if Stewart had avoided Ward, the young man would likely have been hit by one of the other cars that were just yards behind. You simply cannot walk onto a racetrack at night in the middle of an event while wearing black from head to toe and expect any measure of safety. 


Monday, July 28, 2014

BRIAN JOHNSON ROCKS MINI-COOPER: CROFT CIRCUIT!

AC/DC front man Brian Johnson returns to track that got him hooked on motor racing. This time he’ll be a competitor.
As if there were not already enough compelling reasons to visit Croft Circuit’s Nostalgia Weekend (August 2-3) with its irresistible blend of fast cars, wheel-to-wheel racing and vintage music and dress, a special guest is now set to rev anticipation into overdrive.

The man famous for such rock anthems as Highway to Hell, Back in Black, Hells Bells and You Shook Me All Night Long will take to the Croft circuit in the Historic Touring Cars class next week. He’ll be driving a ‘64 Mini Cooper that he purchased last year after driving it in his television series CARS THAT ROCK WITH BRIAN JOHNSON.

A serious car guy whose first experience of high-octane action came at Croft when he went to watch an MG race at the North Yorkshire venue in the mid-1960s, the Sarasota, FL-based Englishman – originally from Tyne and Wear – has been competing in historic events in the United States and Europe for the past couple of decades.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

PITTSBURGH VINTAGE GRAND PRIX: RAIN & SHINE!

Mike Matune was trackside for this year’s race on the streets of Schenley Park.
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP) in Schenley Park is the culmination of a week-long celebration of the Automobile each July. Held on park roads, the whole venue is reminiscent of the early days of road racing in America. The Greater Pittsburgh Automobile dealers presented this year’s race with the Mini as featured marque. As in years past, it benefited the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School. Dennis Racine’s Cooper, right, in all-Mini race, epitomizes the car’s competition lineage.

The circuit twists and turns, rises and falls through 20 turns, over about two and a third miles. Further complications come from the surrounding trees, poles, hydrants, curbs and what not. Like any other surface street, it is crowned for run-off and contains numerous slick-when-wet painted lines. Nothing epitomizes the PVGP more than a tree, a hay bale, curbs, surface streets and a classic Jaguar vintage racer, hard at it, top.

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
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“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.