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Jaguar Turns Eye to History with Collection Purchase, Continuation of 50-Year-Old Series

Jaguar Turns Eye to History with Collection Purchase, Continuation of 50-Year-Old Series

Jaguar will build the remaining six of a planned 18-car production run abandoned 50 years ago. If you’re a fan of classic cars made across the Pond, sorry ’bout your luck. Jaguar just dropped a cool $170 million, beating you to the punch on the world’s largest collection of British classic cars. Consider us here at E3 Spark Plugs envious. Included in the epic score were 130 of the company’s own cars, including a including a XK, SS, C, D and E-types, XJ as well as a few rare Land Rovers. The Jaguar division that bought the collection handles the company’s heritage museum and special projects and plans to use the cars to promote the brand and preserve its history. Speaking of preserving Jaguar history, the company is plugging away at the recently announced 2014 Jaguar E-type lightweight – a half century after its original deadline. In February 1963, Jaguar began work on a small run of the re-crafted car, which featured aluminum bodywork, a 3.8-liter straight-six eng...

February 9, 2015


Hot Wheels Rolls Out Real-Life 526-HP Darth Vader Corvette

Hot Wheels Rolls Out Real-Life 526-HP Darth Vader Corvette

Hot Wheels unveiled its Darth Vader car at the San Diego Comic-Con. There is a great disturbance in the force. And by “great,” we mean seriously geek-tastic. Hot Wheels recently rolled out a little something that will make car buffs and sci-fi fans alike positively giddy – real-life 526 Darth Vader Corvette. Welcome to the dark side, E3 Spark Plugs fans. Hot Wheels unveiled this badass ride in a scene that (almost) rivals the one between the fallen Jedi and the eventual Grand Master of the New Jedi Order. You know the one… “Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father. Luke: He told me enough! He told me YOU killed him. Vader: No, I am your father. Luke: NOOOOOOOOOOO!” Ok, so perhaps it’s not quite as dramatic as that arguably most iconic scene in all of sci-fi film history, but impressive nonetheless. It happened at the recent Comic-Con International in San Diego and it proved quite the media and fan attraction. Bearing a striking resemblance ...

February 9, 2015


Gamer, “Ghost” Compete in a Poignant Race

Gamer, “Ghost” Compete in a Poignant Race

A shared love of cars and all-things-automotive has a way of bringing people together. Many a father-son duo has bonded via hours of leaning under the hood of a classic ride in need of fixing up. And these days, that common interest also can be shared via an automotive video game. Such was the case for YouTube user 00WARTHERAPY00, a 16-year-old boy who lost his father a decade ago. The two had spent hours playing Rally Sports Challenge together before tragedy struck. For years afterward, the boy simply couldn’t play the games he had enjoyed with his dad, unable to bear the pain of loss. But recently, he decided to dust off the vintage console. And the result is the stuff of a Hallmark Movie. Check out 00WARTHERAPY00′s story in his own words, just as it was posted on YouTube: “Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together – until he died, when i...

February 9, 2015


BMW Set to Restore Elvis Presley’s 1957 507 Roadster

BMW Set to Restore Elvis Presley’s 1957 507 Roadster

BMW plans to restore the 1957 507 Roadster once owned by Elvis Presley. Nearly four decades after his death, the iconic entertainer known as the King of Rock & Roll remains one of the most lucrative names worldwide. In fact, it’s estimated that Elvis Presley Enterprises, the corporate entity that guards the Presley estate, continues to rake in an estimated $700 million per year. So, it was no surprise when BMW jumped at the chance to recover the 1957 BMW 507 Roadster that the King once drove. Now, they’ve got plan to return the beat-up ride to its former Elvis-worthy glory. In 1957, Presley’s Let me Be your Teddy Bear topped charts and the King of Rock & Roll was making women worldwide swoon. Meanwhile, BMW was having a tough time selling its newest ride, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany. So, the company recruited Auto Union driver Hans Stuck to race the 507 Roadster and to help market it to potential buyers in celebrity circles and high political places. ...

February 9, 2015


Teen Ready to Drive? Get Ready to Pay

Teen Ready to Drive? Get Ready to Pay

Joke’s on you, Mom and Dad. Your teen driver will boost your auto insurance premium rates by an average 80 percent. So you’re the parent of a teenager who’s itching to get behind the wheel of the family car. As nerve-wracking as the thought might be, truth be told, you’re ready for a break from all that chauffeuring back and forth to the practices, the games, the recitals, etc. Oh, but there’s a catch. Enjoy the freedom, but get ready to pay for it. E3 Spark Plugs recently spotted a new study commissioned by insuranceQuotes.com shows that once your teen starts driving and gets added to your existing automobile insurance policy, you’re looking at a boost in your insurance premium rates of upwards of 80 percent – more if your kid’s a boy. Here’s the lowdown: The average married couple’s insurance rates go up 79 percent when a teen driver is added to the policy. That’s a 5-notch drop from last year’s 84 percent jump, but it’s still no picnic; Your te...

February 9, 2015


Deja Vroom – Three Times You’ve Seen that Hollywood Ride At Least Twice

Deja Vroom – Three Times You’ve Seen that Hollywood Ride At Least Twice

This Reactor Mach II appeared in three popular 1960s TV shows. Ever find yourself experiencing a moment of automotive deja vu while enjoying a movie? There’s good reason. Producing a blockbuster Hollywood film or hit television show ain’t cheap. So when producers find something – anything – that works, whether it’s props, costumes or sets, it gets recycled. And as we here at E3 Spark Plugs have noticed on more than one occasion, those recycled on-set items often include classic movie rides. Here are three vehicles that have made repeat on-screen appearances in Hollywood productions: 1973 Gran Torino in The Big Lebowski, X-Files and Blue Streak: If you’re a fan of Coen Brothers’ films and a car buff as well, no doubt you noticed the yellow 1973 Gran Torino that made its Hollywood debut in the 1998 classic The Big Lebowski, in which a regular guy who shares a last name with an elderly millionaire seeks to get compensated for his peed-on rug in a crazed comedy in...

February 9, 2015


One-off 1966 Ferrari 330 GT Navarro Special Hits the Auction Block

One-off 1966 Ferrari 330 GT Navarro Special Hits the Auction Block

This famed one-off 1966 Ferrari 330 GT Navarro Special is up for bid in California next month. Ferrari fans, mark your calendars. E3 Spark Plugs has learned of an amazing opportunity at next month’s Gooding & Co’s Pebble Beach Auctions. With the right bid, you can drive home in the famed one-off 1966 Ferrari 330 GTO Navarro Special built by late Italian race car driver and builder Piero Drogo. Also known as the Navarro Special N.A.R.T, this gold-toned ride was commissioned by and named for Italian nightclub owner Norbert Navarro. Apparently wanting a something a bit more brazen than his stock 330 GT, Navarro sketched the forward-looking design and enlisted Drogo’s shop, Carrozzeria Sports Cars, to bring his illustration to life. At the time, the shop that eventually would gain fame with the iconic Breadvan race cars, was just one of a multitude of racing and auto body shops that offered custom rides for high-dollar clients and gladly took on the task, custom fabricating ...

February 9, 2015


E3 Spark Plug’s Best Driving Roads: The Tail of the Dragon

E3 Spark Plug’s Best Driving Roads: The Tail of the Dragon

Looking for an epic roadtrip destination? We dare you to tangle with the Tail of the Dragon. If your summertime travel plans include hitting the open road for an epic journey, we’ve got a great one for you. Head toward the Tennessee-North Carolina border and look for signs to US Route 129. There, you’ll find an amazing 11-mile stretch of highway dubbed the Tail of the Dragon – a top contender for one of E3 Spark Plugs‘s picks for America’s best driving roads. The word “curvaceous” brings to mind a lovely feminine figure. Well, this figurative dragon is no lady. But she offers up a gorgeous view and a ride you’ll never forget. She runs along miles of forestland shadowed by the Great Smoky Mountains. And she’s known worldwide for her stunning curves – all 318 of them. The Tail of the Dragon is located in an area called Deals Gap in Blount County, Tennessee, also the name of a small unincorporated motorcycle resort and community tucked away in a gap in Swain ...

February 9, 2015


New Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Scores Serious Bragging Rights

New Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Scores Serious Bragging Rights

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat recently scored serious bragging rights as the fastest muscle car on the drag strip. Dictionaries define “hellcat” as, “a bad-tempered, spiteful, woman; shrew; a woman with magic powers derived from evil sources.” But Dodge’s definition reads a bit differently as the fastest muscle car ever to hit the drag strip. And company officials now have the proof to back up those bragging rights. In a Friday test run, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, outfitted with a screaming 707 horsepower 6.2-liter Hemi engine boasting 650 lb.-ft. of torque, earned a National Hot Rod Association-certified quarter-mile elapsed time of 11.2 seconds at 125 miles per hour – and that was with its stock Pirelli P275/40ZR20 P Zero tires. When the pit crew switched out those stock Pirellis with a set of drag radials, the Hellcat practically set the strip on fire, burning up the track with a 10.8-second time at 126 mph. Hell hath no fury, indeed. The la...

February 9, 2015


Kids & Pets in Hot Cars – Why?

Kids & Pets in Hot Cars – Why?

More than 40 children died of heatstroke after being left alone in hot cars in 2013. And now for a blog topic we never thought would be necessary – Tips for NOT forgetting your child or pet in the car during searing-hot summer weather. The entire nation is watching the legal case develop against the parents of the Georgia toddler who died when left in his father’s SUV and it seems few believe the story that Justin Ross Harris forgot to drop off little Cooper at his daycare before heading to work. Whether they’re telling the truth is debatable, particularly in the Harris case, parents and guardians of children left in hot cars say they simply forgot their children in more than half of reported cases. Thus far in 2014, 17 children have died of heatstroke suffered after being left in hot cars – and we’re only half way through the year. Last year 44 US children died this way. Here’s why, according to research collected in the 606 cases of children left alone in vehicle...

February 9, 2015


Ford Issues Six – Count’ em SIX – Recalls

Ford Issues Six – Count’ em SIX – Recalls

The 2014 Ford Fiesta has been recalled over a fire hazard. It’s a rough week for Ford owners. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. this week issued six separate recalls affecting upward of 100,600 vehicles sold throughout North America. Luckily, no injuries, accidents or fires related to the recall-prompting defects have been reported, but you just can’t be too careful. So, E3 Spark Plugs wants to make sure you know whether the Ford you’re driving might be affected. Here’s a rundown of the six recalls: 92,022 2013-2014 Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS and Police Interceptor sedans; 2013-2014 Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT crossovers; 2012-2014 Edge crossovers and 2014 Lincoln MKX crossovers: Ford officials warn that the right-hand halfshaft isn’t properly seated and may disengage over time, and that these rides are at risk of rolling unexpectedly if they’re parked without the parking brake on. 5,264 2011-2014 F59 commercial stripped chassis: Corrosion in the electrical j...

February 9, 2015


Texas Couple in a 1969 Ford Mustang Win 2014 Great Race

Texas Couple in a 1969 Ford Mustang Win 2014 Great Race

Barry and Irene Jason won the 2014 Great Race in their prized 1969 Ford Mustang. Driving their prized candy apple red 1969 Ford Mustang some 2,100 miles from Ogunquit, Maine to The Villages, Florida, Barry and Irene Jason of Keller, Texas have pulled off a three-peat, winning the 2014 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty for the third consecutive year. The couple’s nine-day trek took them through 10 states and scored them a $50,000 check for the overall win. Founded by fellow classic car buffs Tom McRae and Norman Miller in 1983, The Great Race was inspired in part by the 1965 Jack Lemmon -Tony Curtis – Natalie Wood movie that bears the same name. Boasting a $12 million budget that made it the most expensive comedy film ever made at the time, the film follows a zany cast of competitors in a Victorian-era race from New York to Paris (westward across America, the Bering Straight and Russia) designed to promote automotive sales. Much of the slapstick style is a...

February 9, 2015


Corvette Museum Decides It Just Might Keep Sinkhole

Corvette Museum Decides It Just Might Keep Sinkhole

Officials at the National Corvette Museum tentatively plan to keep intact a portion of the massive sinkhole that swallowed eight historic ‘Vettes back in February. Back in February, we brought you news that made every diehard Chevrolet Corvette aficionado nationwide cringe – News that a massive sinkhole had formed in, of all places, the floor of the Skydome showroom at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Now, E3 Spark Plugs has learned that the gaping hole that swallowed eight historic rides may itself become part of the museum’s permanent collection. When the museum’s motion sensors went haywire at precisely 5:44 on the morning of Feb. 12, the Bowling Green Fire Department quickly responded, only to find a gaping hole measuring an estimated 40 feet across and up to 30 feet deep. At the bottom lay a mass of metal carnage that proved unnerving for any classic American car buff – the twisted remains of eight historic ‘Vettes including: A...

February 9, 2015


World-Record Jump Attempt Goes Spectacularly Wrong

World-Record Jump Attempt Goes Spectacularly Wrong

There’s a reason Guerlain Chicherit looks a bit panicked in this pic. Last year, E3 Spark Plugs brought you the story of French athlete-turned-stunt driver Guerlain Chicherit’s history-making unassisted back flip in a modified Mini Countryman, performed flawlessly in the Tignes mountains region of France. The four-time free skiing world champion gunned it up a static ramp and launched into a full 360-degree roll before landing on a bank of snow and eliciting global applause. Recently, Chicherit was at it again, this time aiming to break the Guinness World Record for the longest ramp car jump ever. While most stunt driving fans sincerely want to see such attempts end in crowd-thrilling success, there’s always a certain contingent that secretly (or not so secretly) roots for a spectacular fail. Well, it was the latter that went home happy this time. Chicherit’s goal was to beat fellow rally and stunt driver and Top Gear TV host Tanner Foust’s record by hitting a 360-f...

February 9, 2015


20 Best Bets for Hitting 200,000 Miles in One Ride

20 Best Bets for Hitting 200,000 Miles in One Ride

The Ford F-250 Super Duty tops the list of the longest-lasting rides on the road. It’s a question that automotive salesmen hear dozens of times a day – especially as the economy continues take its sweet time recovering: “How long will it last?” E3 Spark Plugs set out to answer that question and, as luck would have it, found a recently released report by iSeeCars, an online car search engine. Researchers reviewed some 30 million used cars for sale, looking to find out which ones had been on the road the longest. Here’s what they found: Ford F-250 Super Duty – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles: 4.2 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles: 3.6 Chevrolet Suburban – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles: 3.6 Toyota 4Runner – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles: 3.5 Ford Expedition – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles: 3 GMC Sierra 2500HD – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles: 2.7 Chevrolet Tahoe – Percentage of ...

February 9, 2015


That Time When Some Small-Town Guy Rebuilt Johnny Cash’s Coupe Sedan DeVille…

That Time When Some Small-Town Guy Rebuilt Johnny Cash’s Coupe Sedan DeVille…

Bill Patch’s “One Piece at a Time” car in the Historic Auto Attractions Museum. Back in 1976, country music fans were jamming to Johnny Cash’s One Piece at a Time, novelty ditty about a guy who, in 1949 goes heads to Detroit to work at General Motors. Happy to have steady work, but bummed that he’d likely never be able to afford one of those shiny new rides he watched roll off the assembly line day after day, he quickly devised a plan. Via his lunch box and a coworker’s motorhome, he began swiping parts, one piece at a time, and taking them home to his garage. Twenty-four years later, he’s got a head-turning new ride. The singer’s wife loves it. The folks at the county courthouse, however – Not so much. “‘Cause to type it up it took the whole staff – And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds,” the song goes. Bill Patch and Johnny Cash hang out on the hood of the car inspired by Cash’s popular 1976 song. The song’s promoters c...

February 9, 2015


Volvo Trucks Campaign Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme wins Grand Prix

Volvo Trucks Campaign Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme wins Grand Prix

Jean-Claude Van Damme does an epic split – suspended between two Volvo trucks – and makes advertising gold. When auto enthusiasts hear the term “Grand Prix,” they undoubtedly think of racing, or perhaps of hotshot actor James Garner and the gorgeous Eva Marie Saint in the 1966 film of the same name. But there’s a Grand Prix of another sort, and action flick hero Jean-Claude Van Damme just helped Volvo land one of them. And we here at E3 Spark Plugs are duly impressed. Turns out the Grand Prix (French for “grand prize”) also is an award handed out at the annual Cannes Lions event in Cannes, France. “Cannes Lions is the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications,” the event’s website says. “Benchmarking innovation in anything from mobile and billboards to design and branded content, it’s the home of the great ideas changing the ways brands interact with their customers.” This year, Volvo took scored two Grand Prix in the competition...

February 9, 2015


Four Things That Will Leave You Stuck in the Driveway

Four Things That Will Leave You Stuck in the Driveway

Car won’t start? The reason might be an easy fix. You jump in the shower, scarf down an energy bar, grab your stuff and slip into your car, psyched for a busy day at work when – Oh, no! You turn the key and nothing happens. Looks like you’ve got an unexpected day off work. Why? E3 Spark Plugs has a few ideas. Here are the top 5 reasons you’re your car wont’ start: Bad battery: This one’s probably the most common culprit of them all. A quality battery typically will last about three years before it needs replacing. To make sure you get the most of yours, keep your battery posts clean by periodically scrubbing them with a wire brush. Apply a little petroleum jelly to the posts to keep them lubricated. And make sure the camps and connections remain secure. Bad fuel: Mucked up fuel can cause your engine to go into a coughing spaz, particularly if your ride has been sitting in the garage for a while. If you hear engine pings or knocks, it could be a sign that the fu...

February 9, 2015


Gaming Gets Real with GT Academy

Gaming Gets Real with GT Academy

GT Academy can take you from the virtual world onto the real-world racing tracks. Ever spent hours in front of the video game screen wishing you could physically jump into that fictional scene and make it your new reality? Actually, it’s possible – and not just within the confines of a Hollywood film, E3 Spark Plugs says. Back in 2008, the makers of Gran Turismo decided to take the best from their top-rated video game’s virtual world and give them a real-world experience like no other. Game director Kazunori Yamauchi has long talked up his notion of bridging the gap between racing simulations and real motorsport. So, his company, Polyphony Digital, teamed up with Sony and Nissan to create GT Academy – a serious racing gamer’s dream come true. GT Academy is a game within game that “takes people who are good at video games and, in a matter of months, turns them into professional drivers,” the Gran Turismo website says. It starts with a scheduled series of time tr...

February 9, 2015


Best State for Teen Drivers? Believe It or Not, New York

Best State for Teen Drivers? Believe It or Not, New York

Turns out the safest teen drivers are in New York. We’ve got tips to help keep your teen drivers safe wherever you live. The traffic accident rates for 16- to 19-year old drivers are higher than those for any other age group. And we’re not just talking fender-benders. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide, and the vast majority of them are preventable. Results of studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pinpoint immaturity and inexperience as the primary factors contributing to deadly crashes with young drivers. Other, and often related factors can include poor hazard detection, poor risk perception, speeding, driving with a carload of friends, night time driving and texting while driving. But it appears that some states do a far better job than do others at keeping their teen drivers safe. Wallethub, a social media site dedicated to helping members make better financial decisions, recently published re...

February 9, 2015


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