Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BARN FIND: SHELBY GROUP 2 SCCA MUSTANG!

Stephen Cox blogs about the sixteenth ’66 Mustang A/Sedan racer built by Shelby, 
but never raced.
Originally painted in Ford's familiar Wimbledon White, the car was loaded with go-fast equipment during a lengthy process when it was converted from assembly line stock into a professional racing machine. Like the fifteen cars that preceded it, a K-Code 289/271 small-block powered this Shelby Mustang. In reality, it probably had far more power than that since Shelby's small block Fords routinely registered well beyond 400 horsepower on the dyno.

The car would leap out of corners under acceleration. The Borg-Warner close-ratio four-speed transmission was linked to a 3.89 rear with Detroit Locker differential. The suspension was state of the art for 1966, including lowered front A-arms, front sway bar, with Pitman and idler arms borrowed directly from Shelby's ultra successful GT350R racecars. The factory black interior was mostly stripped, replaced by a racing seat with three-inch safety belts, an 8,000-rpm tachometer and a four-point roll cage.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

OPEN HOUSE: TREASURED MOTORCAR SERVICES LTD!

Mike & Maureen Matune take us on a tour of a shop that does it all.
This Rat-Rod checked all the boxes with Ford “Y-Block” power with three deuces, “Z’d” frame and a well thought out combination of seemingly unrelated parts with the right fit & finishes. Rod has a removable roof panel and side windows held in by Dzus fasteners.

Amelia Island friends Barb & Allison Griffiths invited us to attend the Spring Open House at their shop, Treasured Motorcar Services LTD (TMS) in Reisterstown, MD. ‘55 Porsche, right, was originally named “Continental.” Use of the name put Porsche in conflict with Ford Motor Company (Lincoln) and they eventually changed it to “356.”

Here is a portion of what TMS has under roof, below. Showcased during the Open House were several of their current projects along with customer and local enthusiasts’ cars. Work on display consisted of everything from full-on restorations to updates and routine services.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

’15 SHELBY MUSTANG: ‘R’ IS FOR RACING!

Ford pays tribute to Carroll Shelby’s original GT350 Mustang and builds 37 track-ready competition GT350R models.
The original ’65 Shelby GT350 and GT350R, above, established Mustang’s performance cred on racetracks around the world. The all-new Shelby GT350, featuring the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever, re-establishes Mustang as a world-class sports car. Only 100 Shelby GT350s will feature a 2015 model year designation before production switches over to 2016. Of these, 50 will be equipped with the Technology Package and 50 equipped with the Track Package.

“Fans of the Shelby brand are among the most passionate in the automotive industry,” said Henry Ford III, Ford Performance marketing manager. “To honor the passion of our fans for Shelby GT350’s 50th anniversary, a limited run of GT350 models will be built in 2015; these cars will be highly coveted by both Mustang and Shelby enthusiasts alike.”

Sunday, April 26, 2015

CADILLAC SAL: WELCOME TO FLEETWOOD, FL!

It doesn’t have a zip code and it’s not on the map, but Fleetwood is home to Sal Santoro’s colorful Mirage Garage Cadillac collection. 
‘59 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe is totally original, including paint, chrome and interior. This was Sal’s first collector vehicle, purchased in 1991 in New Jersey with 51,000 miles from its original owner. It’s a “base” model with crank windows, AM radio, and power brakes and steering, and no AC. It has just two options: Two-tone paint and fog lights.

Friday, April 24, 2015

MARK IV: THE BIG-BLOCK THAT ROARED!

A guide to the engine that made Chevrolet The Number One Team.
Between 1965 and 1976, Chevrolet’s iconic big-block distinguished itself in all forms of racing, and on the street in Corvettes, Camaros, Chevelles, Novas and full-size Chevys. Big-blocks started out with cast-iron blocks and heads, progressed to cast-iron block with aluminum heads (L-88) and peaked with aluminum block and heads (ZL-1).

L-88 aluminum-head 427 engine, top, in '68 Baldwin-Motion Camaro. Joel Rosen, left, tunes L-88 in Motion-built KO-MOTION '67 Corvette while owner, the late "Astoria Chas" Snyder, looks on. Sting Ray set AHRA National Record.

TRACK ATTACK: ’16 CORVETTE Z06 C7.R!

Latest special edition Corvette is a road-going, track-capable homage to the Corvette Racing C7.R racecars.
Only 500 examples of the C7.R Edition, in Corvette Racing’s signature yellow livery – or black – with coordinated exterior and interior accents, will be built when they go on sale later this year. All will include the Z07 Performance Package with carbon ceramic brakes, as well as a specially serialized vehicle identification number.

The Z07 Performance Package includes Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced un-sprung weight. The Z07 package also includes adjustable front and rear aero components for unprecedented aerodynamic downforce and Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2
tires for enhanced grip.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BMW: SPEEDFEST AT THE MITTY!

Legendary BMW racer Boris Said will be honored as Grand Marshal at the Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta this weekend.
BMW USA Classic will be well represented at this weekend’s Classic Motorsports Mitty Speedfest, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA, April 24-26, 2015. Charismatic BMW racer and retailer, Boris Said, will be honored as this year’s Grand Marshal for the vintage races featuring over 300 cars. Said was an integral part of the BMW Team PTG years, co-driving to many victories including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Petit Le Mans. Said is the only American to have won overall at the famous Nürburgring 24 hour race, co-driving a BMW Motorsport M3 GTR in 2005.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

POMONA FAIRPLEX: ULTIMATE SWAP MEET & CAR SHOW!

There's something for everyone - rods, customs, sports cars, racecars, trucks - at the premier swap meet and show in Southern California
If you're a car guy and live in Southern California, you've probably dragged your body out of bed at 5 AM on a Sunday morning, grabbed a wad of cash and your Radio Flyer wagon, and headed over to the Fairplex in Pomona. That’s the home of the biggest and best event of its kind.

Well that's what Car Guy Chronicle's Jim Palam did this past Sunday – leaving his wagon home and bringing his trusty camera to score some digital eye candy for CGC fans and followers.

SHORT TRACK: WILL AMERICAN OVAL RACING IMPLODE?

Stephen Cox blogs about the survival of the Super Cup Stock Car Series.
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that a short track series is advertising free admission at their upcoming season opener. The bad news is, of course, that a short track series is advertising free admission at their upcoming season opener.

By all means, please go to the Super Cup Stock Car Series race at CNB Bank Raceway on May 2nd in Clearfield, PA. It will be a truly great short track event and it won't cost you a dime. They'll even let you bring in your own food and drinks. It is a racing enthusiast's dream
in every possible sense.

But the bigger picture is more serious. Why are Super Cup and CNB Raceway inclined to do this? Because oval tracks big and small are closing at a record pace all across America. Virginia's Old Dominion Speedway, a short track landmark since 1948, recently closed. This time next year, the once mighty Texas World Speedway will be a housing development. California's Irwindale Speedway is slated to become a shopping mall. Texas Thunder Speedway, Green Valley Speedway and Baer Field Speedway are among many other recent casualties. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

VIR: 13th ANNUAL WILD HARE RUN!

Mike Matune, our man in the field, blogs about another great vintage racing event 
in Southern Virginia.
VRG and VDCA combined for an early season event at Virginia International Raceway. Despite early threats of intense weather, the event ran under clear skies. The organizers somehow managed to hold the rain off until evening and the racing was over, neat trick! Here the Group 3 field, top, moves out of “Oak Tree” and stretches all the way down the back straight. Noted author Tom Cotter (Holman Moody, The Cobra in the Barn and 50 Shades Of Rust) and friend of CGC editor, turned up at VIR with a Corvette. Normally associated with the Blue Oval and Shelby Cobras, Tom’s Sting Ray sports SAAC stickers front and rear. His Corvette has been a racecar for almost its entire life. Tom, above, signals his intentions to pit on Turn 17.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GO FAST, DO GOOD: ’15 COPO CAMARO #1!

The first ’15 COPO Camaro will go to the highest bidder at Barrett-Jackson 
Palm Beach auction; all proceeds will go to the Achilles Freedom 
Team of Wounded Veterans.
Chevrolet is selling the first ‘15 COPO Camaro racecar, Vin # 2015COPO001, on Saturday, April 18, to raise money for Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, a non-profit organization that helps disabled athletes, including veterans, gain access to races, equipment, and training dedicated to improve their physical abilities.

“This sale gives the highest bidder the opportunity to buy the first of only 69 factory-assembled ‘15 COPO Camaro racecars, the final year of the fifth-generation Camaro,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Chevrolet is excited to offer this milestone Camaro to help a very worthy organization.”

Monday, April 13, 2015

‘15 RC-F COUPE: MUSCLE CAR WITH A LEXUS HEART!

The aero-inspired RC-F wears Lexus’ angriest face yet and has the horsepower to back it up, blogs Dan Scanlan.
The “F” stands for Fuji Speedway, where Lexus conducts high-speed testing and development. And with 467 horsepower available, some straight roads became speedways when we let the RC-F howl. 


We thought the IS-F was the king of the Fs with its 5-liter V-8’s 416 horsepower, a bellowing basso exhaust note over 3,500-rpm, then 60-mph in 4.8 seconds and 100-mph in 10.8 seconds. Then we checked out the RC-F’s 467 horsepower engine with its bright blue intakes and bracing struts, backed by a close-ratio eight-speed transmission. It just isn’t a lightly reworked IS-F. There are new cylinder heads, higher compression and lighter internal parts, titanium valves, forged connecting rods, an air-cooled oil cooler, new or redesigned cylinder heads and cam covers and more. 


Saturday, April 11, 2015

E. J. VISO: NEW LIFE IN STADIUM TRUCKS!

Ex-Indycar racer keeps on truckin’, blogs Stephen Cox.
A few years ago the late Mike Stephens, then owner of the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Oklahoma, helped me find a ride in an open-cockpit Toyota World Sports Racer. I had no experience in the type and missed the podium in consecutive races. A month later I switched to a sports car team and won the next event. After the race, Mike cruised by in his golf cart and shouted at me.

“Hey, Stephen! Now I know what's been wrong with you lately.”

“Oh, what's that?”

“You just needed a car with a roof on it.”

Yup, I was lousy in the Toyota. Something just didn't fit. Mike was an old hand, and he knew that sometimes a driver just doesn't match up with a certain type of car. Likewise, Ernesto Jose Viso just didn't seem to get along in Indycars. From 2008 through 2013 the Venezuela-born driver struggled with three major open-wheel teams, yet posted only a single podium
finish in a six-year career.

Friday, April 10, 2015

ROCKET MAN: HENRIK FISKER’S MUSTANG ROCKET!

Dan Scanlan test-drives the 725-horspower boosted, bad and mega-priced Mustang from Galpin Ford.
Henrik Fisker, right, couldn’t leave it alone.

As Ford was teasing the sixth-generation Mustang, Fisker was thinking of how to give it more “pure emotion,” he said. The result is the Galpin Fisker Rocket - Galpin Auto Sports, Henrik Fisker and an apt name for a 725-horsepower Ponycar. They unveiled it at the Los Angeles Auto Show: a low-volume carbon fiber-bodied super-Mustang. Then I became one of the first to drive production model No. 1 at its premiere at the 20th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Fisker designed the BMW Z8, coachbuilt Tramonto and Latigo CS (a rebodied Mercedes-Benz SL and BMW 6-Series), Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, luxury plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma and Aston Martin Thunderbolt, also revealed at Amelia.
Galpin Auto Sports is part of a 69-year-old automotive empire in California that includes multiple dealerships as well a Van Nuys-based customizing and personalizing service. Galpin’s President Beau Boeckmann said the Mustang has been his favorite car for most of his life. He said he thinks Ford’s design team “nailed it” with the 2015 model, but he wanted to do
something really special with it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

YORK-US30 REUNION: MUSCLECAR MADNESS!

Legends of the quarter-mile celebrate one of the most exciting periods in drag racing history. Thomas Wolfe got it wrong when he wrote, 
‘You Can’t Go Home Again.’

The original Golden Commandos "Goldfish" Barracuda, owned by Bruce Lindstrom, Sarasota, Florida will be one of many featured cars at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the First Super/Stock Nationals held at York US30 Dragway on August 7, 1965. It will be presented at the York Expo Center, York Fairgrounds during the 14th Annual Musclecar Madness at the York Reunion on July 10-11, 2015. 



That event turned out to be the largest one-day drag racing event ever presented and ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The event is known to this very day as the "Woodstock of Drag Racing". Nick Smith of Stuart, Florida, owner of the world famous Strickler Dodge will also be displaying a ‘64 Ford Galaxie lightweight 427 at the show as well.



The York event has had a history of having the largest attendance of legends of the drag racing sport at one event at one time. This year's event will be no exception with "Ohio George" Montgomery, Al Joniec, Jon Lundberg, "Miss Hurst" Linda Vaughn, Wally Bell, Bruce Larson, Jim Wemett, Jack Redd, George Snizek, Bob Harrop, Bobby Warren, Jim Walther, Jere Stahl, Arlen Fadely, Larry Lombardo, Tom Sneden, Ed Hedrick, Tommy Kling, George Cureton, George Weiler, George Nye, and the list goes on.

Monday, April 6, 2015

VERN TARDEL: HOT ROD PICTURE PUZZLE!

If you love ‘old school’ hot rods, you gotta have this 300-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Traditional hot rod builder Vern Tardel takes you inside his shop with this extraordinary new 16x20-inch jigsaw picture puzzle. The subject is a 1932 roadster he built. Always the guy to share his fascination with hot rods, Vern's new puzzle will challenge anyone with its vibrant colors and amazing detail seen in this high-resolution HDR photo created by Richard Small.

Packaged in a super-structured box, typical of Vern's attention to detail, it will keep puzzle fans and hot rodders happily engaged for hours. The finished result is suitable for framing. Priced at $20, the puzzle is available at select hot rod shops and online at http://www.verntardel.com/



 

                                                               

Sunday, April 5, 2015

NEW YORK AUTO SHOW: HERITAGE & HORSEPOWER!

This year’s New York International Auto Show, April 3-12, 2015, has more new model introductions plus vintage and modern racecars than ever before. Here are some of my favorite rides
McLaren 570S

Monday, March 30, 2015

RANGE ROVER SVAUTOBIOGRAPHY: AN SUV FOR THE ONE-PERCENT!

Starting at $199,495, the 2016 SVAutobiography takes luxury and refinement 
to new heights.

Speaking ahead of the model’s world premier at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern stated, “With the SVAutobiography we have taken the opportunity to optimize the luxury execution and precision of the Range Rover while delivering beautiful detailing that considerably enhances the customer’s experience of our flagship vehicle.”

Exclusively crafted at the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) Technical Center in the UK, SVAutobiography features unique exterior design enhancements, an exclusive premium leather interior with unique trim finishes and a supercharged 550-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 engine. As a result, it is the most luxurious and powerful series-production Range Rover in the model’s successful 45-year history.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

’15 NISSAN 370Z: BUTTON-DOWN SPORTS CAR!

Dan Scanlan road tests the 370Z NISMO and delivers the good news…and bad!
It was a good news/bad news kind of test. First, I got a ‘15 Nissan 370Z NISMO Coupe the same day that they released info on the new NISMO Roadster Concept before its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The radical roadster is no surprise since the current iteration of the iconic Z dates back to 2009, and the test coupe looked and drove like the roadster will if it’s made.

The bad news? Yutaka “Mr. K” Katayama, once head of Nissan U.S.A. and the “Father of the Z” since he pushed for the first 240Z to come stateside in 1970, died as I was testing its great-grandson six times over. The best way to cheer and tear is drive a sports car,so I did.

GMC MOTORHOME: HOME IS WHERE YOU PARK IT!

Jim Koscs has been digging into the history of the unique 1973-‘78 GMC Motorhome. Thousands are still on the road, taking their owners on adventures in 
far-flung corners of the globe.
More than four decades after its introduction, the GMC Motorhome boasts a cult-like global following with devoted owners in far-flung corners of the planet. Such single-marque devotion, commonplace for classic cars, is something of an oddity for RVs. Owners call themselves “GMCers” and take their classic machines on the road for weeks or months at a time.

General Motors broke new ground when it launched its sensational Motorhome for 1973. Its engineering and construction were innovative for an industry that typically built wood-framed boxes for commercial-truck chassis. The design was no less revolutionary and introduced aerodynamics to a vehicle class where most vehicles were shaped like barns.

For Jim’s full story, please visit http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20150127-forty-years-on-gmc-motorhome-remains-on-the-move


Sunday, March 22, 2015

2015 AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE

The Amelia Island Concours was graced with sunny skies, warm temperatures and the most eclectic assortment of important cars – from hot rods to classics.
Who would have thought that original gathering of 160 cars just 20 years ago would double in size to include a show field chock full of rare, fun, interesting and significant cars? Our congratulations to event founder and chairman Bill Warner, his staff, volunteers, supporters, judges and entrants who helped turn a dream into a reality. The East vs. West battle as it applies to the classic hot rod will always be the subject of spirited debate. Our friends at 3Dog Garage entered cars on both sides, including the ’32 Ford, above, originally constructed by Ray De Fillipi. It appeared on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet with sons David & Ricky. When they wanted to buy the car, their father famously quipped, “No 1932 Ford is worth $3,000”.

Monday, January 26, 2015

MERCEDES-AMG GT S: IN-HOUSE ROCKET!

S is for screaming: O to 60 mph in under-four-seconds and all the luxury of a Mercedes-Benz.
The second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG, the GT has everything you would expect from an authentic Mercedes-AMG - from the characteristic styling and thoroughbred motorsport technology to the optimum weight distribution.

Starting at an MSRP of $129,900 plus $925 destination/delivery charge, the AMG GT S features a long list of standard features. Included are  Nappa Leather, Keyless-GO, COMAND, Collision Prevention Assist P, Parktronic, eight Airbags, 19-inch front / 20-inch rear wheels, AMG Adaptive Suspension, LED Headlamps, Power heated/memory AMG Performance Seats, Rearview Camera, Red Brake Calipers, AMG three-Stage ESP, and Burmester Surround Sound.

Monday, January 12, 2015

‘15 DODGE CHARGER HEMI R/T: FAMILY MUSCLECAR!

 Dan Scanlan checks out Dodge’s alternative to four-door boredom.
This is not the Hellcat, with its supercharged 707-horsepower/6.2-liter HEMI V-8. But if you can’t have the uber-Dodge Charger, then our ‘15 R/T with a 370-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 is pretty nice until the extra 337 horses come along. So, does the R/T offer enough fun?

The most iconic original Chargers came to market from 1966-1970. The last one was a front-wheel-drive compact hatchback before it died in 1987. Then came the sixth-gen Charger of 2006, the basis for this four-door. Chrysler re-engineered the rear-wheel-drive platform in 2011 with a door scallop that echoed the 1968-’70 models. And for 2015, the Charger got a new hood, fenders, front and rear lights and fascias, even front doors.


GMC MOTORHOME: ONE FOR THE ROAD!

Jim Koscs has been digging into the history of the unique 1973-‘78 GMC MotorHome. Among those still on the road are some customized for Coca-Cola.
When car enthusiasts think of General Motors circa early 1970s, they likely first recall a fading muscle car presence. The Pontiac Trans-Am SD-455 was certainly a bright spot for 1973, but that same year, GM offered an even more remarkable showcase of its engineering prowess and creativity: the GMC MotorHome.

A revelation in the RV industry, where most vehicles were essentially wood-framed boxes on commercial truck chassis, the GMC was lower, sleeker and easier to drive. It used the Oldsmobile Toronado’s front-drive powertrain along with a novel four-wheel rear air suspension system and a body of aluminum and sheet molded compound (SMC).

Saturday, December 13, 2014

LE MANS LEGEND: HISTORIC RACING AT ITS BEST!

Iconic vintage racers ‘open’ for the world’s most famous 24-hour enduro.
On Saturday 13th June 2015, a sensational grid of 61 historic Le Mans cars will race on the full Le Mans circuit just a few hours before the start of the modern 24 event.

The age range for cars taking part in the Le Mans Legend race has been extended for 2015, allowing an even wider selection of racecars to compete in the historic motorsport spectacle that is one of the highlights of the world-famous event.

In a change to recent years, cars will be accepted from 1949 right up to, and including, 1968. This will bring such iconic cars as the Ford GT40, Porsche 908 and 910 and the Alfa Romeo T33/2 into the mix. That’s in addition to the plethora of sports and GT cars from the 1950s and 1960s that so famously ran at Le Mans.

The Le Mans Legend, organized by Motor Racing Legends, is the annual support race at the Le Mans 24 Hours – and a jewel in the crown of historic motorsport. Each year, the organizers select an era of Le Mans history and invite genuine racecars and their sister cars from that period to take part in the hugely competitive historic race on. Its run on the full 8.5-mile Le Mans circuit, on the Saturday morning of the Le Mans weekend.

Monday, November 24, 2014

’69 DODGE CHARGER: AMAZING 162.8-MPH NUREMBERG DAYTONA!

Stephen Cox blogs about the first American car, a winged Charger Daytona, in Germany's prestigious Autobahn 250 club.
It was the mid-1970s. NASCAR's aerodynamic Supercars were a thing of the past. The great American muscle car had succumbed to a slow death, strangled by government regulations and absurd speed limits. The U.S. auto industry fell into its own Dark Age and would not emerge for another 20 years.

But in Nuremberg, Germany, a small band of merry rebels picked up where America left off. They called themselves “The Autobahn 250” and they celebrated speed over a 28-mile stretch of their country's famed Autobahn.

Membership into the club was restricted to drivers who could average 250 kph or 155 mph over the prescribed 28-mile course. “They would go out on the Autobahn, measure off the proper distance, and they would have flags to show when you were coming up to the starting point to make sure they were up to speed,” said Dick Fleener, who now owns the first American car to achieve membership in The Autobahn 250.

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.