History

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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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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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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Retro Innovator: Pontiac Tempest

Posted in History, Pontiac by Dustin Driver | July 1st, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The Pontiac Tempest is known for its tumultuous 400-cubic-inch V8, for spewing clouds of atomized rubber and partially combusted gasoline, for altering weather patterns and generally being a kick-ass muscle car. But it started life as a funky little economy car created by the legendary John DeLorean. Read More…

Big Booty: 10 Wide Body Bad Boys

Posted in Best of, Cool Stuff, Featured, General, History, News, Pop Culture, Top of the Heap, trends by MrAngry | May 18th, 2011 | 7 Responses |

RTR-X Mustang

1968-1972 marked some of the coolest years for auto racing in the United States. You see that was when Trans Am racing was in full swing with pony cars from every American manufacturer battling it out on raceways throughout the country. Names like Donohue, Penske, Elford, and Jones were in the spotlight with Camaros, Mustangs, Cudas and Javelins running fender to fender. Back then race teams would open up wheel housings and flare fenders so as to fit some big rubber to their cars for better performance. The cars looked great, had a nice squat stance and in the end, turned out to be icons of American racing. Nowadays pro-touring hobbyists are harnessing the spirit of Trans Am racing by modifying classic and modern cars alike with some cool wide body stances from the racers of yesteryear. They look great, perform even better and at the end of the day, remind us of one of the greatest times in American road racing history.
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Audi Makes Me Wish I Was 4’6″

Posted in Audi, EcoLust, European Rides, History by Dustin Driver | January 28th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Kid’s these days, I tell ya. This is the Auto Union E-Tron Concept racer by Audi. It was made for kids. Really rich kids. Read More…

Automotive Dinosaurs: Five Nearly Extinct Rides

Posted in Cool Stuff, Featured, History by Kurt Ernst | January 24th, 2011 | 1 Response |
1938 VW Beetle

A 1938 VW Beetle. Image: Volkswagen Group

Before they were hunted to near extinction, herds of buffalo once roamed the Great Plains. Dodos were plentiful on the island of Mauritius, until an expanding human population (and their domesticated animals) proved who was higher up on the food chain. The passenger pigeon used to fly with up to two billion of it’s closest friends, in flocks that stretched to a mile wide and 300 miles long. Dinosaurs once roamed the planet, too, and we all know how it turned out for them. Read More…