Posts from ‘Motorsports’

Sep
21
Corvette Acronyms

The Corvette did very well in SCCA endurance racing in 1985, a fact that was shared in the car’s 1986 ad campaign.

Maybe it was just the prevailing atmosphere of the Eighties, but when the Chevrolet Corvette was redesigned for 1984, it was no longer a muscle-bound sports car. Instead, it was marketed as a high-tech marvel.

Apr
18
1910 Buick 60 Special “Bug” Racecar

1910 Buick 60 Special “Bug” Racecar

by Jack Stewart

Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2016 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.

Don’t cross Buick. The manufacturer was eager to win some races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27, 1910, but its Model 30 racecars were disqualified the morning of the race. Buick management was mad and resolved to get even. In a time before “the Brickyard” had settled on a yearly 500-mile race, Buick planned to come back for the track’s next meet on July 1 with revolutionary cars to extract its revenge.

Jul
25
Teen Performance Driving School, Teen Defensive-Driving School

The author’s daughter queued up for an emergency-lane-change exercise at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL.

Like most parents, my wife and I are always looking for ways to give our daughter a leg up in life. We closely monitor and support her scholastic, athletic, and volunteer endeavors, we’re openly concerned about her general health and welfare, and we make a point of finding time to chat with the kid about life in general. My daughter would tell you that we’re pests, but she knows our hearts are in the right place.

Apr
26
2018 Dodge Demon

2018 Dodge Challenger Demon

Dodge unveiled the 2018 Challenger Demon earlier this month via an hour-long, live-streamed press event that put P.T. Barnum and company to shame. Rock-concert pyrotechnics, Metallica’s “Fuel” (an oft-used, hard-rocking tune that might as well be the official theme song for automotive ass-kicking), a full dragstrip-style burnout and launch on the stage, and Vin Diesel were but a few elements of the over-the-top ceremony. The Demon’s final unveiling was the culmination of a full three months of hype. The first of 13 official Dodge teaser videos was posted in mid-January, and there were also plenty of clues trickling out in social media about the Demon’s co-starring role in The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment in the cash-cow Fast and Furious movie franchise.

Apr
11
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

New York Auto Show After a months-long social-media campaign of teaser videos and cryptic clues, Dodge finally pulled the wraps all the way off its new king-of-the-hill muscle car at a special event in conjunction with the 2017 New York Auto show. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a factory hot-rodded muscle car that is more relentlessly focused on straight-line, drag-race-style acceleration than any regular production vehicle in history.

Jun
13
Chevy IndyCar, Engines Power Today's Indy Cars

Note the slanted engine cover on Chevy’s IndyCar …

Honda IndyCar, Engines Power Today's Indy Cars

… While Honda’s has a more horizontal cover.

Last month’s Indianapolis 500 marked the 100th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” which originated at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911. (The math doesn’t work out for the intervening year span because the race wasn’t run during World War I and World War II.)

While the early races featured many cars that were essentially stripped-down production models – with wildly different specifications – it quickly became a contest between specially built racing machines. And in recent years, those machines have been primarily differentiated by what engine was powering them.

Jun
07
R-Tuned Sienna Minivan

The green flag drops on Toyota’s “R-Tuned” Sienna minivan at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois.

Two Toyota minivans. A 3500-mile whirlwind racing tour across 12 states that includes road-course racing, autocrossing, drag racing, and skidpad competition. Hard to imagine that these, uh, twain should ever meet, but this year they did. Toyota recently fielded a pair of Sienna minivans—a mostly stock “SE+ Concept” and a more seriously race-modified “R-Tuned” van—in the 2016 One Lap of America competition.

Feb
22
Mazda Ice Academy

Running a slalom course … in the snow … in a Miata … with the top down was just one of the enlightening experiences of the first Mazda Ice Academy.

“We encourage you to go over the limit.”

That opening (and potentially career-ending) comment was delivered by Mazda product specialist Ramana Lagemann, and–trust me–it was a phrase none of the assembled auto journalists had ever before heard at a press preview. In fact, most manufacturers spend a great deal of (entirely justified) time imploring us NOT to go over the limit, as things quickly get expensive when we do. Just ask any prematurely grey PR rep.

Sep
14
2016 Ford Shelby GT350

Particularly from the windshield forward, the new Ford Shelby GT350 is far removed from its Mustang origins. Not only is the front-end sheetmetal actually aluminum, but styling is revised and the engine is modified to produce substantially more power than the one used in the Mustang GT. Shown is the race-focused GT350R version, which can be identified by its red (rather than grey) grille badge and taller rear spoiler. This is one serious track car that still manages to be street legal.

Scion iM

Most people will likely look at the Ford Shelby GT350 and think “Mustang,” but those in the know will recognize it as something far more special than that.

Feb
13
GT-R LM NISMO

GT-R LM NISMO

In addition to revealing the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan also displayed its innovative GT-R LM NISMO race car. Nissan is shaking things up in the legendary LeMans series—and it’s doing so in the fastest of the series’ four classes.

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