Thu Feb 13 2014 16:31:49 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Veyron owners take note: your vehicle will no longer be the fastest Bugatti in existence. Some 77 years after it was originally conceived, a completed Bugatti 100P airplane will see the light of day at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California as a part of the Art of Bugatti Exhibit. Designed to reach speeds of nearly 500 mph, the beautiful and technologically advanced 100P was a collaboration between Ettore Bugatti and Belgian engineer Louis de Monge. Development of the 100P began in 1937 but World War II and the advancing German army forced Bugatti to put the plane into hiding in 1940.
The public will have the chance to view this Art Deco-style airplane and its technological marvels beginning March 20. The compact and light 100P features mid-mounted twin 450-hp engines powering counter-rotating propellers, allowing speeds only achieved at that time by planes with twice the horsepower. The forward-pitched wings and zero drag cooling system predate many of the most advanced military aircraft of the era. Most interestingly, the plane also features an automatic flap adjustment system utilizing an advanced analog computer, that sets the flaps according to air pressure, throttle, and air speed. It was in the original patent for the 100P, but was never implemented due to the war.
Mullin Automotive Museum
Scott Wilson, John Lawson, and Simon Birney of Le Reve Blue ("the Blue Dream") began construction of the 100P in 2009 based on the patents, aerodynamic designs, and dimensions of the original, which, while it survived the war, was no longer suitable for flight. The completion of the 100P represents a highlight of the storied career of Ettore Bugatti, whose vehicles represented the pinnacle of prewar design and technology. Now, if only we could arrange a comparison test between a Veyron Super Sport and the 100P.
Thu Nov 14 2013 17:36:31 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Gail Wise bought her Mustang on April 15, 1964, for $3,447.50. I had just graduated from Chicago Teachers College and I told a salesman at Johnson Ford on Cicero Avenue that I wanted a convertible. He had none on the floor, but he invited me into the back room, where he had a baby blue convertible under a tarp. And there it was.
I had never heard of the Mustang. It hadn't been launched yet, but they let me drive it out of the showroom that night. Everyone stared at me. I felt like a movie star! Two days later, Lee Iacocca unveiled the Mustang to the rest of the world at the New York World's Fair.
In 1979, the car's battery got stolen and my husband, Tom, put the Mustang in the garage. It stayed there until 2006, when he fully restored it. A year later, Tom was reading a story about a Mustang purchased the day after I bought mine; that owner claimed to be the first buyer. This summer we brought the Mustang to a car show in Dearborn, Mich., where we met some Ford executives. The car was a hit, and that was the beginning of Ford recognizing us as owners of the first Mustang ever sold. [A Ford spokesman says Ms. Wise's paperwork convinced the company hers was the first known retail purchase of a Mustang.]
Fri Oct 25 2013 21:43:56 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
A very sad owner watched as his beloved vintage 911 Porsche went up in flames today in Sydney. The man was stopped in traffic in Pyrmont with a companion when he heard a noise at the rear of the car. A bystander told him to get out as the car was on fire. The fire brigade took ten minutes to arrive during which time crowds already in the area for the Spring Cycle bike event gathered waiting for it to explode.
Fri Oct 25 2013 22:16:57 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
The sprawling ruins of the Packard Plant sold today for more than $6 million to a yet-to-be disclosed buyer, raising some hope that a developer will remove the massive eyesore on Detroit’s east side.
The symbol of Detroit’s industrial decline attracted 110 bids from around the world at the close of the Wayne County tax foreclosure auction.
City and county officials expressed surprise that the 3.5 million square feet of ruins would fetch such a high price, considering that it will cost an estimated $15 million to demolish the plant and more to insure it and pay the property taxes.
The Packard, after all, didn’t sell during the first round of the auction in September, when an investor could have bought it for $1 million.
packard_9757The cash-strapped city of Detroit wants nothing to do with the Packard, which was the largest manufacturing plant in the world when it opened at the turn of the 20th century.
The past owner, Dominic Cristini, told the city to “Kiss my ass” and let the buildings languish, failing to pay the property taxes.
The plant fell victim to the industrial declines of the 1950s, when most of the buildings closed.
More than a half century later, scrappers are tearing apart the building in search of metal. Discarded boats, cars and tires are scattered throughout the plant, and arsonists often set the buildings ablaze.
Over the past two years, police have seen an increase in muggings – some of them brutal – inside the cavernous plant.
David Freiburger claims that this road trip on this episode of Roadkill is the most stupid thing that he and Mike Finnegan have ever done. Freiburger wanted to do a Jeep trip, so Finnegan bought an old Willys flatfender--one that had been turned into a two-wheel-drive rat rod using some very sketchy fabrication. The guys made it semi-safe, then hit the road to drive to the Desert Bar in Parker, Arizona, where they sold the Jeep to a guy for the price of their bar tab. Watch to see the crazy fun in the scariest vehicle ever on Roadkill.
Sat Sep 21 2013 02:12:36 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
It’s my favorite car show in the world… and not just because I’m one of the guys that hosts it. It’s because the Revolution has become a sort of laid back party for a small bunch of guys with some really incredible cars. It’s a real throw back and I’ve loved every single Revo we’ve ever thrown – from California to Texas. So, I was pretty down when it looked like we weren’t going to be able to throw it this year.
But then, things changed…
And here we are… Details are still a bit hazy, but we do know one thing – the 2013 Hot Rod Revolution will be held on November 23 in the small historical town of Gruene, Texas. If you’ve never been there (just south of Austin), it’s one of those little Texas towns that lost its industry and worked hard to become a sort of tourist attraction. What makes Gruene so special is that they’ve done it without losing the soul of old time Texas. It’s just a gorgeous place. And on the 23rd, it’s gonna be an epic place.
Anyway, registration is open. You can do so here:
Keep in mind that this is a traditional pre-48 hot rod show and to register, you have to send a picture of your car first. It’s not an elitist thing… or maybe it is, I dunno… It’s just that as the hosts of this deal we have a pretty specific view of how we want the show field to look.
We are still working on the details, but should have you some nice hotel deals soon as well as information about the bands and schedule of events. Stay tuned.
Sat Sep 21 2013 02:15:17 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Caterham, the British sports car maker famous for lightweight track cars, has just released a new car called the Caterham AeroSeven Concept. This uniquely styled track car is apparently going to become a production sports car that will go on sale in the fall of 2014, according to a statement from Caterham.
The basis for this car is the legendary Caterham Seven, as the AeroSeven Concept uses a modified version of the Seven’s platform as well as the same 237 hp, 2.0-liter Ford four-cylinder engine that’s currently offered in the Caterham Seven 485. The body of the Caterham AeroSeven Concept is made of carbon fiber, making for an extremely light curb weight. Although 237 hp may not sound like a lot, this light weight means the Caterham AeroSeven Concept can go from 0-62 mph in under four seconds.
The styling of the Caterham AeroSeven Concept looks like a modern, futuristic version of the Seven, with the same long hood and low-slung profile but a much sleeker, aerodynamic front end design compared with the blocky Seven. Caterham says the new bodywork improves the drag coefficient significantly. On the inside, there is a new high-resolution center-mounted display that shows all instrumentation in a 3-D rendering. The steering wheel hasbuttons for different modes, including default Race mode in addition to Road mode and specific modes like a speed-limited mode for the pit lane. It even has traction control, a first for any Caterham model.
The production version of the Caterham AeroSeven Concept will be built at the Caterham factory in the U.K., and Caterham says this is the first car in a series of new models from Caterham over the next few years. In a separate release, Caterham detailed its plans for the future which includes expansion thanks to a new partnership with Renault. We’ve previously reported on this joint venture, and one of the upcoming projects is a sports car for the revived Alpine brand that is due in 2016. Caterham co-chairman Tony Fernandes even said a crossover and a city car could be in Caterham’s pipeline to accompany the broader range of sports cars. Fernandes did not make any sales projections, but we’re interested to see how Caterham’s expansion plays out.
In the meantime, check out the gallery below for more images of the Caterham AeroSeven Concept.
U.S. investigating brake problem with some Honda Odysseys.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a potential braking issue with Honda Motor Co's (7267.T) Honda Odyssey minivans that could cause them to brake without the driver touching the brake pedal.
Earlier this week, the vehicle safety arm of the U.S. Department of Transportation said it was opening an investigation of the issue, which could affect nearly 344,000 vans from the 2007 and 2008 model years.
According to a report on the administration's website, the agency has received 22 complaints alleging incidents of unexpected braking, including some complaints in which the car suddenly brakes by itself while the driver is accelerating, causing the car speed to quickly fall by as much as 30 miles per hour.
So far, there have not been any crashes or injuries attributed to the problems, which appear to be related to the car's vehicle stability assist system, a safety feature that automatically applies the brakes on sharp turns or when the car is accelerating on loose or slippery surfaces.
A Honda spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.
In March, Honda recalled nearly 250,000 vehicles globally due to similar braking problems. In the United States, the recalls affected the Acura RL sedan, Acura MDX crossover SUV and the Honda Pilot SUV, but in Japan, the recall included the Legend sedan and three types of minivans, including the Odyssey.
Most of those vehicles were made between 2004 and 2005.
As with the current issues seen in the Odyssey, the issue involved the vehicle stability assist system, which in some cases could malfunction and apply the brake even when the driver was not pressing the brake pedal.
Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Eric Walsh. More at