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Ken Block’s Latest Gymkhana Video Production Tears Through Los Angeles

Ken Block’s Latest Gymkhana Video Production Tears Through Los Angeles

Rally racer Ken Block does donuts around LA’s landmark Randy’s Donuts structure in Los Angeles for his latest Gymkhana video series installment. Described as the “largest viral-video space in the automotive space,” rally race driver Ken Block’s Gymkhana series has released its latest – Gymkhana 7: Wild in the Streets of Los Angeles. Block made a fortune co-founding (in 1994), running and ultimately selling his shares of DC Shoes, the crazy successful sports footwear and apparel company. He’s since turned his business focus to his Hoonigan Industries, an apparel brand for auto enthusiasts where he’s co-owner and Head Hoonigan In Charge. He began his national rally racing career in 2005, landing the Rally America’s Rookie of the Year title. Along the way, he’s become widely recognized as a major force in sports marketing, landing awards and scoring spots on multiple elite lists including Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Ad Age’s Marketing 50 and Fas...

February 10, 2015


What to do When You’re Stranded on a Snowy Highway

What to do When You’re Stranded on a Snowy Highway

Such is the scene in much of New York, where the governor has declared a state of emergency in 10 snow-hit counties. All the talk this week is about the nasty weather hitting much of the nation. At the time of this writing, the hardest-hit area is Buffalo, NY, currently buried under some 60 inches snow. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for 10 of the states’ western counties most impacted by the snow – a move prompted in part by reports of five deaths, including that of a 46-year-old man found dead in his snow-buried car and another killed in a car accident. That declaration means that some 1,000 transportation personnel operating 526 snow plows, 74 large loaders and 21 snow blowers, as well as 150 National Guardsmen are on their way. That’s good news for the hundreds of people who have been stranded in their vehicles on New York’s roadways. Among them – 24 members of the Niagara University Women’s Basketball team stuck on a bus on I-90 f...

February 10, 2015


Male Midlife Crisis, “Bedroom Wall Syndrome” Driving ’80s Classic Car Boom

Male Midlife Crisis, “Bedroom Wall Syndrome” Driving ’80s Classic Car Boom

Cars made in the 1980s are hitting classic status – and they’re in big demand right now, thanks what some are calling the “Bedroom Wall Syndrome.” Lately, there’s been a surge in interest in classic cars from the 1980s. Yes – that’s right. The Classic Car Club of America defines classic cars as those between 30 and 49 years old. So your beloved 1984 ride is now a bona fide classic. And it’s in hot demand, thanks your midlife crisis and a little known condition known as Bedroom Wall Syndrome. BWS refers to that longing in men who came of age during the ’80s to regain a bit of their youth by plunking down a few hard-earned paychecks for a 24″x36″ semigloss poster-worthy blast from the past. Says a recent article in the Financial Times: “The 1980s, often recalled as fashion’s ugliest decade, is back in favour when it comes to sports cars. Collectables such as the Ferrari 308, driven by Tom Selleck in the Magnum PI television crime drama, are rapidly ri...

February 10, 2015


Nissan Debuts Short Film Featuring Two Veterans in a Modified Titan on an Alaskan Adventure

Nissan Debuts Short Film Featuring Two Veterans in a Modified Titan on an Alaskan Adventure

This heavily modified Nissan Titan truck is featured in a new documentary short film honoring America’s military veterans. Nissan’s American division is honoring the nation’s military veterans with the release of a short film produced in cooperation with the Wounded Warrior Project. If you’ve ever dreamed of venturing out into the Alaskan wilderness, this one’s a must-see. Project Titan features US Army veterans David Guzan and Kevin McMahon, two Wounded Warrior Project Alumni taking a modified Nissan Titan on the guy trip of a lifetime into the some of the most beautiful and dangerous territory in the world. Guzman and “I couldn’t dream up this adventure,” McMahon says early in the film, while the two are flying into Alaska in an helicopter to pick up the Titan truck. “It’s just absolutely over the top.” The two spent two weeks traversing the frozen landscape, fishing, camping, driving through areas with no road in sight, assisting a photographer on a ...

February 10, 2015


Nissan Debuts Short Film Featuring Two Veterans in a Modified Titan on an Alaskan Adventure

Nissan Debuts Short Film Featuring Two Veterans in a Modified Titan on an Alaskan Adventure

This heavily modified Nissan Titan truck is featured in a new documentary short film honoring America’s military veterans. Nissan’s American division is honoring the nation’s military veterans with the release of a short film produced in cooperation with the Wounded Warrior Project. If you’ve ever dreamed of venturing out into the Alaskan wilderness, this one’s a must-see. Project Titan features US Army veterans David Guzan and Kevin McMahon, two Wounded Warrior Project Alumni taking a modified Nissan Titan on the guy trip of a lifetime into the some of the most beautiful and dangerous territory in the world. Guzman and “I couldn’t dream up this adventure,” McMahon says early in the film, while the two are flying into Alaska in an helicopter to pick up the Titan truck. “It’s just absolutely over the top.” The two spent two weeks traversing the frozen landscape, fishing, camping, driving through areas with no road in sight, assisting a photographer on a ...

February 10, 2015


Volkswagen Golf GTI Named 2015 Yahoo Autos Car of the Year

Volkswagen Golf GTI Named 2015 Yahoo Autos Car of the Year

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI is the new Yahoo Autos Car of the Year. Each year, the automotive journalism team at Yahoo publishes its choices for an array of cars considered best in class, with one winning the overall Car of the Year. This go-round, that top distinction goes to the 2015 Golf GTI. Following the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray last year and Tesla Model S in 2013, this year’s winner had big some big shoes to fill. Over the past months judges narrowed the field to 17 vehicles, then ran them through a battery of tests that involved hundreds of miles of driving loops and hours upon hours on Yahoo’s autocross course. “We set loose at speed, opened and closed everything with a hinge and debated questions from the nature of transportation in the 21st century to seat-fabric stitching to whether 707 hp was too much or just enough,” the judges wrote. The array of vehicles vying for top recognition in various categories and overall included the Dodge Challenger Hellc...

February 10, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Recommends – “On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter”

E3 Spark Plugs Recommends – “On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter”

If you were a movie-going motorcycle enthusiast back in the early 1970s, you might well remember On Any Sunday, the documentary starring the “King of Cool” Steve McQueen. Hitting theatres in 1971, the film featured a varied cast of stars of motorcycling, following them as they passionately devoted their lives to racing – often risking everything for it. Director Bruce Brown, at the time already famous for his iconic 1966 surfing documentary, The Endless Summer, scored an Oscar nomination for the film. Fast-forward more than four decades and Brown’s son, Dana Brown, is revisiting his father’s famous film with On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter, set for nationwide theatrical release on Friday. The film gives viewers a heartwarming glimpse into the lives of today’s motorcycling celebrities as they follow their passions from the hometown track to exotic off-road locales around the world and share stories about the unique bonds they have with their parents and children throug...

February 10, 2015


Furious 7 Trailer Released – And it’s a Thing of Badass Beauty

Furious 7 Trailer Released – And it’s a Thing of Badass Beauty

Late actor Paul Walker’s final film, Furious 7, is set for release April 2015. Producers of Furious 7, the latest in the wildly successful film franchise, have released the trailer to the final film starring late actor, philanthropist and racing enthusiast Paul Walker. And we here at E3 Spark Plugs think it’s nothing short of amazing, beginning with a fleet of muscle cars parachuting from a cargo plane, an explosive gun battle and Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, airborne at the edge of a cliff. This latest installment, set for release next spring, centers on character Ian Shaw’s (Jason Statham) bloodlust for revenge against Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew for the death of his brother, Owen, a former British Special Forces soldier-turned-mercenary killed by Toretto at the end of Fast and Furious 6. We first see Ian Shaw in the post-credits scene of the most recent film, when the car he’s driving slams into that of Han, a former Toretto crew member who ...

February 10, 2015


Pedestrian Accidents Spike on Halloween

Pedestrian Accidents Spike on Halloween

Children are more likely to be injured in a car / pedestrian accident on Halloween than any other day of the year. If you’re a parent, no doubt your kids are driving you batty, giddily preparing for tomorrow night’s trick-or-treating. Outside of Christmas and birthdays, it’s probably the best day of the year for a child. Unfortunately, it’s also day kids are most likely to be seriously injured or even killed in a car vs. pedestrian accident, according to a recent study. Many of us here at E3 Spark Plugs have children in our lives who we love, too. So, we want to make sure you know the risks. Among the study’s findings: An average 5.5 children nationwide are killed in pedestrian vs. car accidents each year on Halloween. That’s more than double the average 2.6 fatalities on other days of the year. Nearly a fourth of these Halloween evening accidents happen between 6 pm and 7 pm, known as the “Deadliest Hour” by emergency room workers. Over 60 percent of them ...

February 10, 2015


Was James Dean “Little Bastard” Porsche Spyder Cursed?

Was James Dean “Little Bastard” Porsche Spyder Cursed?

Actor James Dean driving his 1955 Porsche Spyder dubbed “Little Bastard.” Dean was killed in a crash just nine days after buying the car, which since has disappeared. Halloween is high time stories of hauntings. But it’s not just creepy old houses and psych wards that are thought to be inhabited by those lingering behind. Vehicles also can be haunted – and not just in the movies, believers say. Among the real-life rides thought to be haunted or cursed was the sleek, silver 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder that drove iconic actor James Dean to his untimely death. The car was 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 next to Barris’. It was Jeffries who added the car’s 130 racing number on the hood, doors and engine cover, and the now infamous “Little Bastard” badge. Dean hit Hollywood in 1951, landing a series of bit TV roles before shooting to stardom with his...

February 10, 2015


Ferrari is Building a New Supercar – Too Bad You Won’t Get One

Ferrari is Building a New Supercar – Too Bad You Won’t Get One

The super exclusive Pininfarina Ferrari Sergio will go to an elite circle of just six high-dollar clients. As if Ferrari owners weren’t already a relatively exclusive bunch, one group just got a bit more so. The iconic Italian carmaker is gearing up for production of the new Ferrari Sergio and plans to produce a grand total of six of them. Yep. Six, count ‘em, SIX. And even if you could afford to pony up the cash for one of your own, it ain’t happening unless you’re already on the invitation-only list. Unveiled as a concept car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the Ferrari Sergio was drawn up in collaboration with the Pininfarina design firm. At the time, it was unclear whether the car would go into production. But as E3 Spark Plugs reported back in June 2013, cutting-edge 3D modeling software developed by French aerospace tech experts and used to design the car was helped to significantly reduce time and cost for highly specialized projects. Created in tribute to the la...

February 10, 2015


Famed Peter Max VH1 Corvettes Finally See the Light of Day

Famed Peter Max VH1 Corvettes Finally See the Light of Day

The famed VH1 / Peter Max Corvette collection, hidden away for 25 years, is back on the road and soon, back on the market. It was a classic Corvette buff’s dream – the 1990 VH1 contest awarding one lucky winner the unimaginable prize of 36 Chevrolet Corvettes – one from each manufacture year from 1953 through 1989. It was a marketing ploy to help boost the music television network’s dwindling ratings, particularly among its Baby Boomer target market. And though most of the cars, purchased for a grand total of $610,000, were considered “driver” quality, the promotion was deemed a success. Dennis Amodeo, A Long Island carpenter with a hot wife and a new baby, won the contest with a single $2.00 phone call to the 1-900 contest hotline and went home happy. Unfortunately, that was the last that most of America would see of the collection. The next morning Amodeo received a phone call from famed artist Peter Max, who had spotted the collection at an auto show earlier tha...

February 9, 2015


Humid Climates Making Recalled Air Bags Dangerous

Humid Climates Making Recalled Air Bags Dangerous

According to the NHTSA, 7.8 million vehicles have faulty air bags being recalled by multiple auto makers. If you happen to live and drive in an area with a hot, humid climate, take note. Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and General Motors all are recalling vehicles with air bags manufactured by Japanese parts maker Takata. Some 7.9 million vehicles are affected and thus far, the faulty air bags are known to have been involved in seven incidents, including one that killed an Orlando woman earlier this month. Recalled air bags that deploy in a crash can actually explode, sending shrapnel flying throughout a vehicle’s cabin and causing stab-like wounds in a victim’s face, neck and chest. Evidently, something about hot, humid climates makes the airbags more prone to problems, so auto makers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are targeting registered vehicle owners living in areas like Florida (where E3 Spark Plugs is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach), Te...

February 9, 2015


Peter Fonda Smells a Big, Stinking Rat in $1.3 Million Easy Rider Bike Sale

Peter Fonda Smells a Big, Stinking Rat in $1.3 Million Easy Rider Bike Sale

Peter Fonda’s Captain America Harley-Davidson recently fetched a record-breaking $1.35 million at auction. But was the bike legit? Actor and motorcycle enthusiast Peter Fonda has never been one to hold back. Now, he’s unloading on the Los Angeles-based auction house Profiles in History, over the recent sale of the Captain America Harley-Davidson motorcycle featured in the 1969 film Easy Rider – a longtime cinematic favorite of ours here at E3 Spark Plugs. The $1.3 million selling price for the bike purportedly ridden by Fonda in the film is the highest auction price ever realized for a motorcycle to date. But the counterculture icon says something just ain’t right. “There’s a big rat stinking someplace in this,” Fonda says. Unconvinced of the chopper’s authenticity, Fonda had unsuccessfully tried to stop the auction. The American flag-emblazoned panhead was sold by LA Realtor and movie memorabilia collector Michael Eisenberg, who purchased it earlier this year...

February 9, 2015


Racing Phenom-Turned-Drug Trafficker Randy Lanier Scores Early Prison Release

Racing Phenom-Turned-Drug Trafficker Randy Lanier Scores Early Prison Release

Former pro race car driver Randy Lanier. seen here at the 1986 Indianapolis 500 where he was named Rookie of the Year, recently was released from a Florida prison despite a life sentence. If you’ve been a racing fan for the past few decades, you likely remember Randy Lanier, the up-and-coming pro racecar driver whose career came to a spectacular screeching halt when he was jailed for life for drug trafficking. But that life sentence just got overturned and no one is sure why. In the 1980s, young Lanier was building a name for himself in professional racing circles, winning the IMSA GTP title and landing an Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year designation. For a while, it looked as if the Davie, Florida-raised boy who married his high school sweetheart was bound for success both on and off the track. But when he formed his Blue Thunder Racing team in 1984 and began beating his far more heavily sponsored opponents left and right, some wondered just how he was funding his career...

February 9, 2015


2014 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame to Induct Next Class Friday

2014 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame to Induct Next Class Friday

Famed motorcycle designer Willie G. Davidson will be honored as the 2014 AMA Hall of Fame Legend this Friday. This Friday, seven inductees will officially join the ranks of motorcycling‘s greatest advocates and champions when they’re honored by the American Motorcyclist Association at the Orlando Convention Center. Hollywood actor and longtime motorcyclist Perry King will serve as the master of ceremonies for the event, part of the annual AMA National Convention. This year’s honorees are: Motocross pioneer Pierre Karsmakers Racer and motorcycling advocate Tom White Museum and racetrack founder George Barber Off-road racing champion Scott Summers National motocross champion Mike LaRocco Tuner and race team manager Rob Muzzy Engine builder and entrepreneur Byron Hines But the top honor of the evening goes to existing Hall of Famer Willie G. Davidson, chosen as the 2014 Hall of Fame Legend. Son of former Harley-Davidson president William H. Davidson and grandson...

February 9, 2015


Teacher Spends Half a Century Building A-to-Z Classic Car Collection

Teacher Spends Half a Century Building A-to-Z Classic Car Collection

John Moir’s 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster by Fleetwood goes up for auction this week. By the time one hits high school, one had better have a firm handle on the alphabet. Perhaps it was in that spirit that longtime New Hampshire high school teacher John Moir assembled his impressively abecedarian classic car collection. It all started decades ago with Moir’s very first car purchase. It was a 1950 AC 2-Litre Sports Tourer by Buckland, which today is valued at upward of $200,000. Over the years, Moir sought out and purchased more select classic cars with names that began with letter of the alphabet. Wrapping his collection is a 1910 Zebra Type A Runabout, valued at around $30,000. Moir stored his storied collection in what anyone south of the Mason-Dixon would call a car barn. But in true New Englander style, Moir dubbed it the Ca’a Bahn. Word spread and though the Ca’a Bahn wasn’t an official museum, it did attract the occasional curious and resourceful visitor. “It...

February 9, 2015


What to Do If You’re the Victim of a Staged Car Crash Scam

What to Do If You’re the Victim of a Staged Car Crash Scam

If you’re in a car crash and the other driver shows zero signs of pain until the moment police show up, you might have a scammer on your hands. Make sure you know all the red flags. Each year, the insurance industry takes a $30 billion hit from fraud. And staged car accidents is one of the fastest growing types of insurance fraud, research shows. E3 Spark Plugs wants to make sure you know how to fight back if you believe you’ve been the victim of a staged crash scam. At the accident site, the first thing you want to do is grab the trusty notepad and pen that you keep in your glove compartment and write down the license plate number of the other car. Count the number of passengers in the other involved vehicle and write down their names, phone numbers and driver’s license numbers. Of course, you’re likely to get grief about this if the other car is indeed full of scammers all in on the sham, so make sure you get a copy of the onsite incident report, plus the full police...

February 9, 2015


Top Four Staged Car Crash Scams

Top Four Staged Car Crash Scams

Does something about that car crash seem not quite legit? Know the top four staged car crash scams. Getting in to an accident that wonks up your prized ride is bad enough. But finding out that the car crash was staged no doubt will leave you fuming. And the only thing that might make you even more incensed is realizing that bit of info too late – after the scammers have walked away with a fat check courtesy of your insurer. Orchestrated by surprisingly sophisticated criminal networks, staged car crashes are on the rise nationwide, bilking auto insurance companies out of billions of dollars and jacking up insurance premium rates for all of us. Prosecutors recently busted a New York crime ring that nearly succeeded in scoring $400 million in bogus insurance claims. California’s Insurance Commissioner is urging drivers to be on the lookout after the state’s Department of Insurance received more than 7,700 suspicious insurance claims in Los Angeles County alone last year. An...

February 9, 2015


Speeding Ticket Debacle Shuts Down Tiny Florida Town’s Police Department

Speeding Ticket Debacle Shuts Down Tiny Florida Town’s Police Department

The tiny Florida town of Waldo recently saw its police department disbanded over allegations of speeding ticket quotas. Here in Northeast Florida where E3 Spark Plugs is based, there’s a tiny town a few counties over called Waldo. And when we say tiny, we mean seriously tiny. The town’s total landmass measures just 2.17 square miles and its population is a not-so-whopping 1,015 according to the latest census. Despite its diminutive size, this crazy little town has managed a national reputation as a notorious speed trap. And now, it’s made national news for its dubious practices. If you’ve ever visited the area and asked for directions or recommendations, you’ve likely heard it – “Don’t speed through Waldo.” And if you didn’t take that sage advice, you likely regretted it as soon as those blue lights lit up your ride’s rear window. Yes – speeding tickets for going 32 in a 30 were daily occurrences. So infamous is Waldo for its ticket-happy traffic cops t...

February 9, 2015


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