Three Show-Stopping Concept Cars at Tokyo Motor Show

The Tokyo Motor Show 2015 is officially underway and as always, it's a virtual wonderland of impractical, implausible, likely impossible yet absolutely desirable. Produced by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, the 44th annual event is known for its unveiling of futuristic concept vehicles and this year's theme, "Your heart will race," is proving appropriate. Some 160 exhibitors from 11 countries are participating this year, bringing with them 76 world premieres and 68 Japan premieres all bound to wow some 900,000 visitors. But the show stoppers always are the crazy creative concept rides, most of which will never make the mass production line. Here are three of our favorites from this year's show. Nissan 2020 Vision Gran Turismo: The idea was borne of collaboration...

October 29, 2015
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Tesla Autopilot Nabbed for Speeding During Test Drive

So who's responsible for paying a traffic citation in a self-driving car? Well, you could blame it on the car itself, especially when it fails to adjust its speed when the limits change. But if you're stopped by a Florida Highway Patrolman in bumper-to-bumper I-95 traffic on your way to Miami, that excuse likely isn't going to wash. It's just one of the lessons learned by a Dragtimes.com personality during the recent test drive of the new Tesla Autopilot. He was filming a 16-minute demo of the Tesla Autopilot Model S Version 7 and headed southbound on I-95 in Florida when an FHP officer pulled him over and gave him a warning for going 75mph in a 60mph zone. Turns out there's a bit of a speed glitch in the car, which otherwise performed beautifully, whether speeding down the open road...

October 24, 2015
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Man Gets Stolen '68 Camaro Back After Three Decades

Back in 1981, Ohio's Ron Reolfi was a cash-strapped college student who plunked down a hard-earned $600 for a used Chevy Camaro. He and his father would spend the next year tinkering with the now-classic car, including replacing some 90 percent of the chrome. When their work was done, Reolfi got to enjoy his gleaming new ride for all of a few weeks before it got lifted from the parking lot of the grocery store where he worked. Reolfi reported the theft and searched the streets of Canton, Ohio for a few months before finally giving up, resigning himself to the fact that he'd likely never see his ride again. So, you can imagine his surprise when he got a call last October from a detective in Jackson Township asking about a '68 Camaro. "I told him it was stolen and he says they found the...

October 24, 2015
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The Rock Tackles a Ford-Tough New Role

The last time we saw Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in an auto garage, it was as Luke Hobbs, a Diplomatic Security Service agent, in the crazy successful Fast & Furious film franchise. Now, he's landed another tough-guy role as the leader of an elite team dubbed the "Specialists" - Ford service specialists, that is. Johnson recently signed on as the star of a series of commercials encouraging Ford owners to have their rides serviced at Ford dealerships rather than any run-of-the-mill auto shop. "I couldn't be more excited to be in partnership with Ford as their spokesman for service," Johnson said. "My relationship with Ford began when I was 15 and bought a classic '77 blue Thunderbird as my first car – and I've been a Ford man ever since. Representing their service...

October 24, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: "Steve McQueen - The Man & Le Mans"

Iconic actor Steve McQueen is as well known for his love for all things automotive as he is for his on-screen career. Before his death in 1980, the King of Cool amassed one of the most famous car collections in the world. But he wasn't just a collector. McQueen also was a bona fide racer who could hold his own with the best on the tracks. Now, a new documentary, highly recommended by E3 Spark Plugs, offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of McQueen's life and work during the making of his 1971 classic, Le Mans. Helmed by directors Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans is made primarily from outtakes and never before seen footage captured during the making of the original cult-classic film. Le Mans starred McQueen as Michael Delaney, an American...

October 24, 2015
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Original Back to the Future DeLorean is Back

    If you're an '80s film buff of any degree, or if you've been on social media for all of 30 seconds today, you know that today is the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown blasted through time and into a cheesy but fun Hollywood version of 2015 in 1989's Back to the Future II. Just as the film predicted hoverboards, flying cars and self-tying shoes have become near realities. But who could have imagined that the iconic film would be the subject of presidential candidates all over something called "Twitter" three decades later? The film franchise definitely has stood the test of time with a whole generation of fans. And to our utter delight here at E3 Spark Plugs, a few of the most die-hard among those fans have spent the past four years working with Universal, producer Bob...

October 21, 2015
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Recalled Window Switch Defect Could Set Your Toyota Ablaze

If you drive a Toyota, take note. E3 Spark Plugs just learned that Toyota has issued a recall of a whopping 6.5 million vehicles worldwide, including some 2.7 million here in North America. Officials say that faulty driver's side window switches can catch fire. The culprit is improperly or insufficiently applied grease on electrical contact modules. If moisture or debris finds its way into these modules, they can short circuit, causing the switch assembly to overheat and melt. A melting switch can produce smoke and that can cause a fire. Thus far, the issue has caused at least one burn injury here in the US and 11 fire-damaged vehicle doors, according to Toyota reports. Models affected in the recall include: 2007 and 2009 Camry and Camry Hybrid 2009-2011 Corolla 2008-2011...

October 21, 2015
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Four Pricey Floyd Mayweather Rides Go Up In Flames

Famed fighter Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is as well known for his automotive bling as he is for his championship titles, as E3 Spark Plugs noted a few months ago. According to one of his few dealers of choice, Josh "Chop" Towbin, who owns Towbin Motorcars in Las Vegas, Mayweather has purchased well more than 100 ultrahigh-end rides from the dealership, including nearly 20 Rolls Royces. But just like the Regular Joe, the guy has a bad day now and then. One of those bad days happened earlier this week when a trailer transporting Mayweather’s Bentley, two Rolls Royce Whips and a highly customized Jeep caught fire, burning all four rides to a (very expensive) crisp. The trailer had left Miami and was headed to Vegas when trouble started just outside of Phoenix, Arizona around 1:30 am on...

October 9, 2015
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Mystery of James Dean’s Long-Missing Porsche Spyder Solved?

It’s one of the most enduringly fascinating classic car mysteries –and it may soon be solved. On Sept. 30, 1955, iconic actor James Dean and a friend were speeding along Route 466 in Cholame, in his sleek, silver 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder when it slammed head-on into a 1950 Ford Tudor coupe driven by 23-year-old college student Donald Turnipseed. The sheer velocity of the impact flipped Dean’s car into the air. It landed back on its wheels in a gully, pinning Dean inside with a broken neck. The young star died during transport to the hospital. Dean’s Porsche, dubbed “Little Bastard,” had been customized by George Barris, famed designer of the Batmobile and the Munster Koach, and by master pinstriper and customizer Dean Jeffries who had a shop...

October 9, 2015
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Distinguished Gentlemen Don their Most Dapper Duds and Ride for a Cause

"I say, good sir - Nice motor bike!" Such might be the best way to best way to compliment a fellow rider if you attended one of the multiple Distinguished Gentlemen’s rides, wherein upward of 30,000 gentlemen and ladies in 400 cities worldwide “don their cravats, press their tweed and sit astride their classic-styled motorcycles to raise funds for prostate cancer research and awareness.” Founded in Sydney, Australia in 2012 and inspired by a photo of Mad Men character Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm), the event is projected to raise $3 million this year. Here in the United States alone, nearly 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year. The disease is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, claiming the lives of 27,540 American men...

October 9, 2015
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