Posts by Justin Hyde
- jhyde1 at Motoramic2 hrs ago
Lee Petty was a delivery truck driver during the Depression in North Carolina, and later claimed that as much as he enjoyed racing around the backwoods on the weekend, he never ran moonshine. (Other drivers suggested otherwise.) It wasn't until after World War II that Petty fell into organized stock-car racing, and he was 35 years old when he ran in NASCAR's first race in Charlotte in 1949. Like most racers, Petty drove his car to the track and had his family — including his sons Maurice and Richard, above — for a pit crew; over 16 years, Petty would win 54 races, including the first Daytona 500, and launch Richard Petty's career as well, although dad never gave an inch to his son on the track. Petty's career tapered off after this wreck in 1961 with Johnny Beauchamp during qualifying for Daytona, which nearly killed him; Richard Petty had crashed in the same spot a day earlier, and both watched the race from the hospital. Petty Enterprises remains NASCAR's all-time winningest team.
- Motoramic22 hrs ago
Therapy can take many forms. Our mental health responds to all kinds of stimulus beyond simply talking to someone else; from creating art to playing chess to watching America's most well-known action movie star/ex-governor pulverize random objects with a tank. That last one may not be medically tested, but it sure does feel good.
As part of a charity fundraiser through celebrity site Omaze, Arnold Schwarzenegger is raffling off the chance to be his co-pilot inside his M47 Patton tank for an afternoon of stuff-crushing. Schwarzenegger's preview of what the winner will enjoy doubles as his best film work in years; something about watching a piano turn to splinters underneath the treads of a 44-ton tank just makes him giddy. Maybe the winner can also snag a ride in Schwarzenegger's custom Unimog.
- jhyde1 at Motoramic1 day ago
After buying the rights to a 1967 novel featuring a cute car that drives itself, Disney executives weren't sure what kind of car to use in the film they were developing. So they parked several models at the gates of Disneyland to see which drew the most reaction from passers-by — and the older Volkswagen Beetle won by a landslide. After a few modifications, including the racing stripe and the number 53, same as Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale, Herbie the Love Bug was born. "The Love Bug," released on this date in 1969, was the highest-grossing movie of the year, and made the Beetle a permanent fixture of American pop culture — although it may be a while before Herbie takes to the screen again after "Herbie Fully Loaded."
Photo:Sam Howzitvia Flickr
- Motoramic1 day ago
This Sunday, Formula One will launch its season in Melbourne, Australia, in a fog of uncertainty. After four years of dominance by Red Bull Infiniti and driver Sebastian Vettel, an off-season overhaul of rules and technical specifications has left the entire field scrambled. The wickedly complicated "power units" — turbo 1.6-liter V-6 engines mated to two hybrid systems and a battery pack — have proven so challenging in limited pre-season tests that a few watchers have questioned whether any car will finish Sunday's race.
No team appears quite as behind as Red Bull, whose leaders have confessed to regretting not starting earlier on this season's car. The team struggled throughout the preseason, finishing a fraction of the laps that chief rivals McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari accomplished.
That said, Red Bull has assembled this stylish explainer of the new car, starring new driver Daniel Riccardo, and it clearly demonstrates the challenges of racing in the modern F1 era. Sunday will show whether Red Bull has solved enough of its problems to get its wings back.
- jhyde1 at Motoramic2 days ago
It was seven years after World War II before Mercedes-Benz returned to motorsports, but when it did, it brought forth one of the world's most iconic sports cars. Using a then-revolutionary tube frame to reduce weight, the 300SL (the SL stood for "sport light") revealed to the press on this date in 1952 had several innovations, including advanced aerodynamics, aluminum bodywork and the first use of direct fuel injection. Because the frame needed the space where doors usually went, Mercedes engineers moved the hinges to the roof, creating what Americans call the "gullwing" and French call "papillon," or butterfly.
While it lacked the power of competitors, the 300 SL was immediately successful, sweeping the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana Mexico. At the urging of its U.S. importer, Mercedes built a customer version of the 300SL in 1954, etching the gullwing into history. In 2012, an all-aluminum 300SL sold for $4.62 million. Here's what the 300dSL sounded like in full wail during its first glorious year:
- Motoramic2 days ago
Oh sure, the Tesla Model S may be the "best car sold in America" per Consumer Reports, and it may be a Wall Street darling and perhaps the only electric vehicles for which demand exceeds supply. But that didn't stop regulators in New Jersey from ordering Tesla to shut down its stores by April 1 because the company doesn't use dealers like every other automaker.
In a hastily called meeting packed with Tesla supporters, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission approved several rule changes that essentially shut down Tesla's two factory-direct stores in the state — not only barring automakers from selling without dealers, but also the mall showrooms that Tesla had used in place of a traditional stand-alone dealership.
- jhyde1 at Motoramic3 days ago
Paul Jaworski was a pioneer of crime. In the early '20s, the Cleveland-raised gangster and his Detroit crew known as the Flathead Gang made a number of daring robberies — none more so than the first heist of an armored car. On this date in 1927, Jaworski and associates planted explosives beneath a road near Bethel Park, Penn. When an armored car carrying cash for a coal company rolled past, the gang triggered the explosives — enough to send the armored truck hurtling through the air and onto its top, and creating a crater large enough to swallow the patrol car close behind. Jaworksi's crew made off with $104,000 from the heist, which surprisingly killed no one — but the gang was soon apprehended, including Jaworski, who was executed in Pennsylvania in 1929 for other murders. After the Flathead Gang heist, armored truck builders soon switched from using wood floors in their vehicles to metal.
- Motoramic4 days ago
The name Audi dates to the birth of the German auto industry; history says it was the son of company founder August Horch who in 1910 came up with translating " horch " — German for "hark!" — into its Latin form, " audi ." After the creation of Auto Union from Audi and three other early German automakers, the name disappeared from use before World War II. It was only in the mid-1960s that Volkswagen, needing a name for some of the models it was selling from the troubled Auto Union it now owned, reached back for Audi. By 1968, Auto Union engineers had developed the company's first modern Audi, the 100, and on this date in 1968 Auto Union merged with NSU, and the new company took the Audi name as well, launching as a separate brand from Volkswagen. Last year, Audi sold 1.58 million vehicles worldwide, and has targeted surpassing BMW as the world's largest seller of luxury vehicles by the end of the decade. Here's what the most advanced Audi today — the R18 e- tron Quattro that won Le Mans last year — sounds like from behind the wheel:
- Motoramic6 days ago
Jimmy Fallon's first weeks as the new host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" has been warmly received. So when Fallon opened his show Wednesday night with a comment about wanting to buy a truck, Detroit's truck marketers fell over themselves like teen-agers hearing Kate Upton wants an invitation to prom.
The first night, Fallon admitted he knew nothing about trucks and wasn't looking for "payola," just that he was thinking of buying a pickup that he could haul his child in. (His appeal for advice to The Roots revealed only a Mini Cooper owner.) That was enough for Detroit to tag Fallon in his medium of choice, Twitter.
Ford struck first, pitching the 2015 F-150 King Ranch, a truck that won't even be built for several months. Chevy also tried its hand: