Posts by Dustin Driver

The Bugatti 100P Lives

Posted in Bugatti, History by Dustin Driver | April 29th, 2013 | Leave a Reply |

Bugatti plane.

The Bugatti 100P is a streamlined organic flying manta ray with counter-rotating propellers and two screaming supercharged straight eights. It’s half flying machine, half H.P. dream. Bugatti only made one and sadly, it never flew the skies in anger. Now, however, a group of intrepid engineers are bringing it back to life in the form of a meticulous, full-size reproduction.

Ettore Bugatti built the 100P to compete in the 1939 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race. This was the hay day of aviation, when winged monsters like the Gee Bee tore the skies asunder in pursuit of ultimate speed. Usually in the presence of an audience. It was by all accounts, incredible.

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Porsche Le Mans 1971

Posted in 24 Hours of LeMons, History, Porsche, Racing, Videos by Dustin Driver | April 28th, 2013 | 1 Response |

1971 Martini Porsche 917

Porsche is getting ready for its return to Le Mans in 2014. And it wants to remind you all that in 1971 it thoroughly and properly kicked ass. The monstrous 240-mile-an-hour 917 took first and second places, setting multiple records along the way. Oh, and 10 of the 13 cars that finished that year were Porsches.

In 1971 Porsche built the first magnesium-framed 917. The delicate birdcage of highly flammable and ultra-lightweight metal weighed just 42 kilograms, or 92 pounds. The frame was swathed in gossamer sheets of flowing fiberglass and perspex and given menacing tail fins. Then Porsche gingerly installed their latest creation: A magnesium and titanium air-cooled flat 12 good for more than 600 horsepower. The results were positively manic. Click through to see a highlight reel from the season, featuring the tarmac-swallowing, fire-breathing, time-warping 917.

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Ultimate Shag Wagon

Posted in GMC, History by Dustin Driver | April 27th, 2013 | Leave a Reply |

77-GMC_9

The Vixen RV and its campy promo video has gone viral. But, really, the Vixen was a miserable lump and an almost complete failure. The GMC motorhome, however, was the ultimate in RV luxury and technology, a shagadelic masterpiece of late ’70s style. It’s one of the most advanced motorhomes ever devised, featuring fully independent suspension, front wheel drive and a great, big torquey V8. Custom murals optional.

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Hellfire: Turbine-Powered Triumph

Posted in Bizarre, Cool Stuff, Custom, Triumph by Dustin Driver | April 26th, 2013 | 4 Responses |

Triumph Spitfire with turbine engine.

The Triumph Spitfire is adorable. It’s perky. It’s sweet. And that’s exactly why it needs a screaming, searing, sky-splitting, pavement-melting turbine engine from a helicopter. The appropriately named StanceWorks forums member godzillus is installing a 320-horsepower Allison T63C18 turbine into a rusty Spitfire as you read this post. Oh, and it’s a senior design project for engineering school. Who said school isn’t any fun?

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Lament for Fisker

Posted in auto industry, Fisker, News by Dustin Driver | April 10th, 2013 | 3 Responses |

Fisker Karma041

It seems Fisker is finally succumbing to the relentless seas of misfortune. It’s been battered by storms, supplier problems and financial troubles. Founder Henrik Fisker has fled. Its workforce has been laid off. Nearly all of them. Things are grim. But should petrol-guzzling, tire-burning, fire-breathing gear heads like you care? Yes. Yes, you should.

You should care about Fisker for one simple reason: It’s disruptive. The automotive industry is big, old and stagnant. It moves at a glacial pace and changes very little. Fisker, and other new car companies, are free to innovate, to explore new technology, and to do crazy things like use a turbocharged Pontiac Solstice engine just to spin a generator.

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The One True Zombie Apocalypse Vehicle. Really.

Posted in Alt Fuels, Biofuel, Pop Culture by Dustin Driver | October 30th, 2012 | 3 Responses |

Ah, zombies. You’ve shambled into our psyches and captured our collective conscience like no other. Is it your chilling resemblance to our mindless consumerist culture? Or is it simply that we all want to brain each other with blunt objects? At any rate, we obviously want you to take over. When you do, we’ll be driving this. It’s the HEMTT A3 Diesel Electric by Oshkosh. It’s an armored, eight-wheel-drive beast that can run on diesel, biodiesel and even veggie oil. And it carries its own power station.  Read More…

Orange: The Best Color Ever

Posted in Design, History, McLaren, News by Dustin Driver | September 27th, 2012 | 2 Responses |

The new McLaren P1 dropped last week and it’s orange. Just like its grandaddy, the achingly awesome F1. Why? Because orange is the best color ever. It’s not garish and angry like red or psychotically cheery like yellow. No, it’s eye-searingly incredible and it tells the universe: I mean business. Read More…

Found: Mazda 1800 Sedan

Posted in Classic, Collector Cars, History, Mazda by Dustin Driver | September 25th, 2012 | 1 Response |

I kinda have a thing for Mazdas. Even the lowliest Mazda dances like a Braavosi sword master . But most Mazdas aren’t what you’d call beautiful. This 1972 Mazda 1800 sedan, however, is simply stunning. And for good reason: It was penned by one of the most legendary automotive designers in history. Here in the US, the 1800 is exceedingly rare. Only 2100 or so were imported. This 1800 is for sale on Craigslist for the low price of $4500.

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Crower Six Stroke

Posted in Car Tech, Emissions, Environment, Gas Prices by Dustin Driver | September 21st, 2012 | 3 Responses |

We’re all familiar with the venerable Otto cycle—intake, compression, expansion, exhaust. But that’s just not enough for veteran race engine builder and performance aftermarket mogul Bruce Cower. He added another two. The Crower Six Stroke promised to boost power and efficiency while eliminating the cooling system altogether years ago. So what happened to the concept engine? 

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De Tomaso Vallelunga

Posted in Celebrity Cars, De Tomaso, History by Dustin Driver | September 20th, 2012 | Leave a Reply |

De Tomaso is known for stuffing huge lumps of American iron into gorgeous Italian bodies. The company’s first car, however, was a bit more modest. The Vallelunga was powered by the venerable 1.5-liter Ford Kent four cylinder and used a VW transaxle. It was the world’s first mid-engine production car. And any respectable gearhead should know all about it.

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