Queen Elizabeth Busts a Move Behind the Wheel

As E3 Spark Plugs reported a few months back when she took Formula One champ Lewis Hamilton to task for his lack of proper lunch table manners, England's Queen Elizabeth is a bit of a badass - Legit. She proved it all over again recently when she told her chauffer to park his non-royal rump in the passenger's seat and took command of the steering wheel herself on a Sunday morning jaunt to church. Oh, but the world was in for another surprise. Royal watchers with ready cameras snapped a series of pics of the soon-to-be nonagenarian Queen as she went all hell-on-wheels in her sleek Jaguar X-type, scaring the daylights out of a young couple walking with their two young children in Windsor Great Park. Apparently, they were blocking her path and she simply was not having it....

August 8, 2015
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Six Retro-Tastic Automotive Features Car Buyers Still Want

Classic cars are classic for a reason - and not just for their age. They're also classic for favored features that have long since disappeared from auto manufacturing, and a few of those features still are being requested by new car buyers. Here are a few noted by Swaplease.com, and a few we here at E3 Spark Plugs added to the list ourselves: Cassette players: As early as the 1950s, car owners wanted more variety in their traveling music choices than the radio dial offered. Enter Chrysler's Highway Hi-Fi, which played 7-inch discs in 16 2/3 rpm format exclusively from Columbia Records. But even that proved too limiting for consumers, particularly considering the $200 cost (over $1,700 in today's dollars). Since, we've seen multiple technologies come and go, including the...

August 8, 2015
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DIY Car Washing - Six Reasons You're Doing it WRONG

If your ride is covered with enough mud, dust and pollen to render it unrecognizable, it's time to sling some suds. But if you're like most American car owners, there's a little something you should know. Chances are if you're going the DIY route to get your car looking like the showroom sparkler it was when you bought it, you're doing it wrong. E3 Spark Plugs offers a few common car washing missteps and tips to fix them: You're washing your car with the same stuff that cleans your dishes. WRONG! Dishwashing detergent is simply too harsh and can damage your ride's paint job. Use a cleaner formulated specifically for washing vehicles instead. You use a plain ol' sponge or washcloth to wash and dry your car. WRONG! Sponges won't sufficiently grip dirt and grime, and both sponges...

August 8, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: "Cop Car"

They're calling it a "wild blend of innocence and Coen Brothers violence" - and with good reason. Imagine a film in the ilk of 1986's Stand by Me-meets-Joel and Ethan Coen's murderous debut, Blood Simple and you've got sense of Director Jon Watts' Cop Car. The film stars Kevin Bacon as both the cop and the bad guy. When two 10-year-old boys find Sheriff Kretzer's car seemingly abandoned in a field, they take it for a joyride. And that's when the cat-and-mouse game turns deadly. "Edge-of-seat drama," says one reviewer. "The adults are suitably weird/deranged, but the two young stars completely steal the show. Their performances felt totally honest... I would recommend this film even if you think you can't stand child actors. Or Kevin Bacon. Or cop films. Or car chases. Not for the...

July 31, 2015
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Maserati Levante to Glam Up the SUV Market

In 2011, all the talk from the moment of its unveiling at the Frankfurt Auto Show was of Maserati's Kubang concept (pictured). Almost immediately, rumors that a production version would hit the market within a decade began to circulate. Turns out those rumors were true. Reportedly set for debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show in January, the Levante will mark Maserati's entry into the luxury crossover/SUV market. It's named for the Via Emilia Levante in Bologna, the street where legend has it that the Maserati brothers, about a century ago, dreamed up the company that bears their name to this day. And you can bet that it'll be a head turner no matter which street it rolls down. Word has it that the 2016 model will feature Maserati's 3.0L V6 engine, with a 560hp V8 planned for the...

July 31, 2015
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Will.i.am, Three Lexus NX CUVs and a Serious Laser Setup Make Beautiful Music

One might say that the revving of a well-tuned ride's engine is music only to the ear of a bona fide gearhead. Not so, says hip hop and pop artist will.i.am. To prove it, he hooked up with Lexus and Marshmallow Laser Feast, makers of musical laser forests, light painting and quadcopters. In a single night, organizers built and executed what boils down to a musical racetrack using some350 motion- and auto-sensitive lasers and lights, three Lexus NX CUVs and three drivers with some serious precision skills. The lasers were laid out down a runway and set to go off as the vehicleshttp://e3sparkplugs.com/automotive-sparkplugs sped past. Each ride had to be precise in not only placement but speed to get it right. Why? Because all those lasers and lights were set up to play will.i.am's...

July 31, 2015
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Vintage Porsche 911 Falls Victim to Fashion

Is nothing sacred anymore? Apparently, in fashion and advertising, anyway, the answer is a resounding "no!" Case in point - the utter destruction of a perfectly good vintage Porsche 911 that any of us here at E3 Spark Plugs would rather have parked in our garage than witness such a senseless (though bizarrely riveting) act of automotive travesty. The purveyors of this particular injustice are the advertising shmucks behind the Rag & Bone fashion label that's sold in more than 700 stores worldwide. The label's newest commercial begins in the odd, heavily black fashion that a lot of haute couture do. In this case, black smoke billows up through a hole in a harshly lit white room where a woman magically changes outfits a few times. Next, a gorgeous black vintage Porsche shows up...

July 31, 2015
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Heads Up, Bikers - Proposed NHTSA Rule Aiming for Your Novelty Helmets

So there's good news and bad news. The good news is that between 1994 and 2012, the total number of motor vehicle fatalities decreased by 15 percent. The bad news is that during that same timeframe, the number of motorcycle fatalities in particular doubled. In fact, statistics show that a motorcyclist is 30 times more likely to die in a crash than an automobile passenger, with traumatic head injuries being the top cause of death. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), much of the blame lies in substandard motorcycle helmets that are marketed as road-safe, but actually little more than decorations.NHTSA officials recently proposed a new rule that calls for a boost in safety standards and labeling requirements for motorcycle helmets....

July 31, 2015
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Zombie 222 Electric Mustang the First of a Series of Muscle Car EV Conversions

At first glance it's a stunningly pristine 1968 Mustang - black with neon green racing strips and chrome trim. But take a look under the hood and it's immediately clear that this is not your classic restoration. Rather, it's the first of a series of muscle car-to-electric vehicle conversions planned by Texas-based Blood Shed Motors. "Something about old school American muscle just really gets my blood pumping," said host Johnathan Buckley in a recent episode of Autoblog's Translogic video series featuring the Zombie 222. "But when you take two electric motors, in this case, producing 1,800 pounds of torque with 800 horsepower and you've got something really, really special." Special, indeed. This classic Pony car's innards have been completely transformed from a 289-cubic-inch...

July 27, 2015
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The Albanian Tartan Prancer Just Might Be the Coolest Non-Existent Ride Ever

"Crafty like lynx. Fast like Eagle. Tough like bear." That's the tagline used to drive sales of the all-new 2015 Albanian Tartan Prancer, the crazy cool ride that's the Eastern European mid-range. You know you already want one. Sorry 'bout your luck - this one's only available if you happen to exist within the fictional realm of the upcoming Vacation movie. That's right - the Griswolds are on the road again in the new film set for release July 29. This time, it's a grown up Rusty at the wheel with his own brood and a mission to treat them to the same fun-filled, family bonding, Walley World road trip experience that dear old Dad provided in 1983's comedy classic National Lampoon's Vacation. But Rusty (played by Ed Helms), wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and their two sons have...

July 17, 2015
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