Driving the 2015 Ford Mustang, the pony car learning all-new tricks
When releasing a new version of an iconic muscle car, appeasing the masses is all but impossible. Some will believe that the ‘60s and early ‘70s were the only muscle cars worth bothering with, and that today’s versions need more swagger. The other side of the fence calls modern muscle cars too uncouth and cumbersome. They’d rather a car with more refinment and sports car-like cornering dynamics.
September 18: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo was introduced on this date in 1970
It’s one of the great cosmic jokes in car culture that the name of a ritzy seaside principality in France is synonymous with the heyday of NASCAR. The Monte Carlo wasn’t supposed to be a racecar; it was meant more as a luxury coupe, with faux woodgrain dash and vinyl roof. Chevy even killed the […]
How doing the right thing cost Sir Stirling Moss his greatest victory
Today marks the 85th birthday of Sir Stirling Moss, the British driver generally considered one of the greatest racers of any era. Moss not only survived the open-car era of post-World War II that claimed the lives of so many others, he thrived in competition with other greats like Juan Manuel Fangio. And unlike modern drivers, Moss raced and won in a panoply of cars and series, from sprints and hill climbs to Formula 1 and Italy’s grueling Mille Miglia, a race so dangerous it’s no longer run.
Bikinis, fire tunnels and massive trophy-truck jumps: “Recoil 2” has everything
From the same Ken Block-related creative team that sent him hooning around a San Francisco streetcar comes “Recoil 2,” a stunt video featuring off-road champion racer B.J. Baldwin, his 850-hp Chevy trophy truck, several bikini models and what seems to be most of the streets in Ensenada, Mexico.
September 17: The first coast-to-coast trip in an Olds ends on this date in 1903
The summer of 1903 sparked three separate attempts to cross the United States by car — all starting in San Francisco. The first two used expensive touring cars, but the third venture by Lester Whitman and Eugene Hammond drove the far less powerful, and far less costly, Olds Runabout, sponsored by Ransom Olds. The trip […]
How the nation’s auto safety regulators fell asleep at the wheel
Three months ago, General Motors released a scathing internal report about its failures to spot a potentially lethal defect in millions of its vehicles, blaming a culture of denial, inertia and incompetence. Today, a U.S. House committee released its scathing report on the failures of the nation’s auto safety agency to spot potentially lethal defects in millions of vehicles — also blaming a culture of denial, inertia and incompetence. Whether the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be willing to confront its failures in the Chevy Cobalt igniton defects linked to more than 13 deaths will be the focus of a Senate hearing today. But NHTSA’s own defects in turning consumer complaints into recalls of dangerous vehicles have been known and discussed for more than a decade, without much sign of repair.
September 16: William Durant founded General Motors on this date in 1908
William Crapo Durant had built a successful carriage business from nothing; the Durant-Dort factories of Flint, Mich., offered a range of models from cheap to luxurious, and built their own parts at a string of plants to control supply and quality. So when the demand for automobiles blossomed at the turn of the 20th century, […]
Fastest woman on a motorcycle hits 241 mph with electricity instead of gas
When the first self-powered vehicles appeared on roads in the late 19th century, they were as likely to use electricity for power as they were gas, steam or any other fuel. The lack of progress in batteries, and the steady march of fossil-fuel burning engines, knocked them off of the streets for about 100 years. But if you need more proof that the era of electrics may rise again, look to how the fastest woman on a motorcycle shattered records at Bonneville with a battery-powered bike.