- Justin Hyde at Motoramic13 hrs ago
Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Earlier this month, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including fascinating, rare and often weird car footage that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.
Just like today, Pathé's cameras couldn't stay away from odd vehicles — whether home-built electric runabouts good for avoiding World War II gas rations or Italian flying cars — and because it often shot film only, it would spice up the product with jazz music and the bounciest British narration this side of "Thomas the Tank Engine." Besides, what's so scary about a glass cube that can go 50 mph?
(Also: Does he mean what I think he means when he says it's "useless for courting?")
- Alex Lloyd at Motoramic14 hrs ago
During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.
Nissan revealed today that it's testing a super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint, impervious to water and oils. The technology, sold by UltraTech under the name of Ultra-Ever Dry, is in prototype form as applied by the carmaker's European engineers on a Nissan Note. In many ways, it works like Rain X (where the solution's polymers react with pores in the windshield glass to create a barrier that repels precipitation). Ultra-Ever dry creates a layer of air between the paint and environment; when mud, dirt or oils touch the surface, it rolls off leaving a clean, streak-free appearance.
- GE Anderson at Motoramic18 hrs ago
On this date in 1908, Jacob M. Murdock packed his family into a 1908 Packard Thirty touring car and left Los Angeles for New York. Keep in mind this was before interstate highways (or paved roads, or gas stations for that matter). On May 26, Murdock and Co. arrived, setting a transcontinental record for the longest continuous run of a single car and driver -- just over 32 days in all, although they did rest for five Sundays during the expedition, which included a mechanic and occasionally Murdock's mother-in-law. The fascinating tale of their journey, which Packard published as a book titled "A Family Tour from Ocean to Ocean," ends with this passage:
- Alex Lloyd at Motoramic1 day ago
If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa, sent to us by Quentin D. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one. If you have a shot to share, please add it to the Motoramic group on Flickr, or send us a message via Twitter, Facebook and
- Lawrence Ulrich at Motoramic1 day ago
Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.
The ST Octane Academy is up and revving at Miller Motorsports Park near Park City, Utah, the $85 million, 511-acre playground created by the late Larry Miller, the owner of the Utah Jazz, auto dealership mogul and vintage car collector.
Opened in 2006, Miller Motorsports has been ground zero for Ford driver training, including extreme off-roading in Ford’s near-insane Raptor pickup. Miller’s Boss Track Attack program also highlights the famous loyalty of Mustang fans: 22 percent of people who bought a Boss 302 Mustang, or more than 1,500 students, have made the pilgrimage to Utah to put the Boss through its paces.
- Justin Hyde at Motoramic1 day ago
Ask me or any auto expert what's the fastest car you can buy for any given amount, and we could easily cough up several options. Same for most luxurious, or off-roadable, or any other measurement. Yet there's one variation that's far harder to answer: What's the greenest, most environmentally friendly car you can buy today?
It's not easy knowing what's green in the auto industry. Last year's "Green Car of the Year" as chosen by the Green Car Journal — the Honda Accord hybrid and plug-in — doesn't even appear on the "Greenest Cars of 2014" list as chosen by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; only three of ACEEE's picks carry over to Kelly Blue Book's own eco-friendly list. Much of that's due to automakers trying to optimize their vehicles to solve different pollution problems; high-efficiency diesels may score badly on smog ratings, while flex-fuel vehicles that reduce oil dependence by burning ethanol or natural gas get lower MPGs.
- Alex Lloyd at Motoramic1 day ago
The TT – Audi's diminutive sports car. Since production began in 1998, the two-door coupe has aged with the pugnacity of a grizzled New Yorker, but kept its small proportions. And why would it change, as the arrival of the '09 TT RS proved, adding some grit makes for a rather captivating dish. And so you'll excuse me for being puzzled by the Audi TT Offroad concept. The "off-road" part, specifically.
The TT, a singular model in the truest sense of the word (if you can count both coupe and roadster as one), verges on plurality. The TT will, it seems, spawn offspring – ones that are bigger, fatter and run off electricity.
The TT Offroad combines two electric power units with a 292-hp turbocharged four-cylinder combustion engine. A separating clutch links the lump to a 40kW electric motor, with a dual clutch transmission routing power to the front wheels. The second electric motor, sat on the rear axle independent of the other two, adds a further 199 lb.-ft. of torque to the tally. All told, the TT Offroad delivers 479 lb.-ft., along with a horsepower rating of 408.
- GE Anderson at Motoramic1 day ago
One hundred and three years ago today -- April 23, 1911 -- Bob Burman set the world speed record of 225.65 kmh (140.21 mph) in Daytona Beach, Fla. behind the wheel of the Blitzen Benz. The 200-hp car was twice as fast as aircraft of its time, and Burman's record would stand for eight years. The above photo comes from the Library of Congress' Flickr photostream. Check out the video below of the guys from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center starting the car's engine at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance:
- Justin Hyde at Motoramic2 days ago
The Lotus Europa was one of the stranger sports cars of the '70s, but still managed to corner like a sheepdog thanks to its low weight and fiberglass body. This example caught by Dave Lindsay is fairly typical of the nicer early '70s Type 62 Europas Lotus exported to the United States; by today's standards they're odd, underpowered and unreliable — which means they have a fervent fan base. If you have a shot to share, please add it to the Motoramic group on Flickr, or send us a message via Twitter, Facebook and
- Neal Pollack at Motoramic2 days ago
In MotoGP, a most strange sport, compact, highly fit men, most of them Spanish, Italian, Japanese, or Australian, maneuver 350-lb., multimillion-dollar motorcycles around Formula 1 tracks at 210 mph while wearing computerized suits that inflate when they fall off at speed. It feels as though you’re watching Tron live, and the crashes are just as spectacular. Driving these things requires a lot of nerve, as well as generous levels of Euro-style machismo. The riders of MotoGP can’t walk down the street in Barcelona or Milan without being followed by screaming fans. They’re like some sort of unholy marriage between Daft Punk and Apollo astronauts. In the United States, they’re just guys walking down the street.