Close

Smaller Lawns Lead to Mower Turnover

Smaller Lawns Lead to Mower Turnover

The 2015 national census keyed many of us in to several events affecting the quality of life of Americans. The most startling is outlined in a recent article from The Atlantic entitled The Shrinking of the American Lawn. This article reviews the census and compares the average home and property size in 2015 to those from 1978. What they've found is almost shocking when all elements are considered. The American home is growing but the American lawn is shrinking. In 1978 the average home measured in at about 1,650 square feet and sat on a lot measuring 0.22 acres. By 2015 both of these numbers have changed, and in the "wrong" direction. A new home built in 2015 averaged 2,500 square feet and was placed in a neighborhood with lots measuring 0.19 acres. While these numbers may not seem dramatically different, the problem is obvious when compared side to side in this graphic. This substantial reduction is resulting in a decrease in sales of riding lawnmowers and an increase in push o...

July 13, 2016


Race Fans Fulfill Childhood Dreams with Mario Andretti

Race Fans Fulfill Childhood Dreams with Mario Andretti

Imagine racing around the track in an Indy car at 200mph. The wind drowning out everything but the 600+ horsepower, V-6 turbocharged motor and the sound of rubber on pavement. You can almost feel the G forces pushing you into your seat as you go into each turn. Well a few weeks ago 33 very fortunate men and women got to make their dreams a reality as racing legend Mario Andretti took them for a 3 minute thrill ride around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Each participant paid $3,300 for the 180-second ride and each said it was worth every penny. But don't take it from us, here are quotes from the fans: Gary Berg from Baltimore, MD said, “From a race fan point of view, it’s the epitome of anything I could ever do. You’re at the Holy Grail of racing grounds, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and you’re riding with an icon, someone who has represented the sport like no one ever will again. The fastest I had gone prior to this was 130 mph in a dragster, sprinting down the quar...

July 13, 2016


BMW Celebrates Centennial by Unveiling Futuristic Mini Cooper

BMW Celebrates Centennial by Unveiling Futuristic Mini Cooper

In early June the auto world had a bit of fun during an unveiling event in London where the Mini Vision Next 100 was shown to an eager audience. The BMW design was centered on a vision of the future, set 100 years from now. With the advent and recent surge of autonomous driving technology, chances are very high that people will not have the need to drive their own vehicles at the start of the next century. For decades, Mini Coopers were based on the concept that driving is fun and should be enjoyed. With this in mind, the Mini Vision Next 100 is intended to be a fully customizable, shareable vehicle. While many new cars today feature custom settings for the gauges, seats, and mirrors, this concept Mini takes the idea to the next level. The exterior skin is designed to display any color or pattern desired by the driver. Other features inside the vehicle will also change based on pre-programmed settings. Mini takes this idea of a "sharable custom car" even further by allowing the ...

July 12, 2016


New Russian ATV Puts All Others To Shame

New Russian ATV Puts All Others To Shame

When you love motorsports and cars enough to keep up with the E3 blog, chances are you played with toy trucks and cars as a kid. Many of our favorite Hot Wheels and Tonka Trucks came in larger-than-life proportions not seen in the real world. Well get ready to awaken the excited 9 year old inside of you with the Sherp ATV. This monstrous piece of off-road technology comes from designer Aleksey Garagashyan and has hit the ATV world by storm. This mini monster-truck's most prominent feature is its set of 4 gigantic self-inflating tires which perform in EVERY terrain including deep open water. Sand, snow, swamp, ice, mud, you name it and the Sherp dominates it no problem. This behemoth can climb obstacles up to 28 inches tall and can turn within its own wheelbase with a unique skid steering system. Finally "all terrain" means ALL terrain! For the "low" starting price of $65,000 this vehicle can be yours and will feature a 1.5-liter, 44-horsepower 4 cylinder diesel engine and a five...

July 12, 2016


26,000 Vehicle Recall – Fiat Chrysler Jeep SUVs and Vans

26,000 Vehicle Recall – Fiat Chrysler Jeep SUVs and Vans

Following the very public news of a recall possibly being responsible for the death of actor Anton Yelchin, automotive manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles faces another large, and potentially hazardous, recall effecting over 26,000 of its most popular vehicles. The transmission pumps installed in model-year 2015-2016 Dodge Journey SUVs, Grand Caravan minivans, and Chrysler Town & Country minivans have been found to be faulty. This recall also impacts 2016 Ram ProMaster vans. The pumps do not meet required specifications which can lead to the loss of propulsion, significantly increasing the likelihood of a crash. If you own one of these vehicles, contact your local dealer immediately to schedule a repair. The dealership will replace the transmission pump free of charge. You can find your local dealership by following this link. Stockholders are obviously concerned over the recent “spree” of recalls plaguing the company. Fiat Chrysler Auto stock (NYSE: FCAU) ended 2015 at ...

July 11, 2016


Fight Breaks Out at Gateway Motorsports NASCAR Truck Race

Fight Breaks Out at Gateway Motorsports NASCAR Truck Race

NASCAR fans were in for a surprise at Gateway Motorsports Park as a full-on fist-fight turned wrestling match broke out between 2 drivers, Jon Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher. The fight broke out shortly after the second of two crashes between the drivers, which took both trucks out of the race. It is unclear who was “at fault” for the crash but both drivers blamed it on the other. After safely stopped, Townley and Gallagher exited their trucks and began a heated discussion. A few words were exchanged followed by blows and grappling. Officials broke up the scuffle once they reached the infield grass. In an official statement, NASCAR Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said that repercussions were likely following the incident. "We've certainly talked to both drivers post-race and got their side of things, so to speak, but we'll have our discussions coming back from the West Coast usually late Tuesday, early Wednesday. We'll kind of have an ...

July 11, 2016


Monster Trucks Movie Set for 2017 Release

Monster Trucks Movie Set for 2017 Release

Monster truck fans, get ready! The big, crazy, gas-guzzling, dirt-slinging, show-stealing performance rides you love are set to hit the big screen in January 2017 in a comedy/action/animation film titled, appropriately, Monster Truck. Thus far, not much is known about the film except for its IMDB.com-listed cast and synopsis: “Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend.” The cast includes Till, known for his role as Havoc in the X-Men film franchise; Amy Ryan, who you’ll remember as Holly Flax in the NBC comedy, The Office; up-and-comer Jane Levy; and big screen veterans Rob Lowe and Danny Glover. The movie is being filmed in Ca...

July 1, 2016


Rollaway Defect Blamed for Star Trek Actor’s Accidental Death

Rollaway Defect Blamed for Star Trek Actor’s Accidental Death

Earlier this month, the film industry and fans worldwide were dealt a shocking blow when popular young actor Anton Yelchin was found unresponsive in the driveway of his Studio City, CA home. In the early morning of June 19, friends of the 27-year-old veteran actor best known for his role in 2009’s Star Trek (a role he’ll reprise posthumously in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, slated for release July 22) found Yelchin pinned between his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar. A medical examiner with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office declared Yelchin dead later that day, identifying the cause of death as blunt traumatic asphyxia.  Now, the investigation into Yelchin’s untimely demise has led to a proposed class-action lawsuit against manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, alleging an “unreasonable delay” in addressing a defective gearshift issue that can cause vehicles to roll unexpectedly. That very issue ultimately is to blame for Yelchin’s death, invest...

July 1, 2016


First Ever Shelby Cobra to Hit the Auction Block

First Ever Shelby Cobra to Hit the Auction Block

The annual RM Sotheby’s auction at Monterey Car Week this year already has its star feature lined up – a tiny blue roadster built by Texas chicken farmer-turned-racecar driver and iconic automotive designer Carroll Shelby. Per his posthumous wishes, Shelby’s first automotive creation, the original Shelby Cobra CSX2000, will go up for auction, alongside a number of other historically significant Shelby Cobras during the Monterey auctions slated for August 19 and 20. Shelby created this historic ride in 1962, essentially shoehorning a 260-cubic-inch Ford VA between the wheel wells of a British-made AC Ace. Instantly, a legend was born. The car remained with Shelby throughout his life and, over time, he used for development and testing, occasionally loaned it to media, and often used it as a promotional tool, painting it different colors to convince the public that production was well underway. Today, the CSX2000 is completely unrestored with the paint job showing obvious si...

July 1, 2016


Leno Gets Lucky in Heart-Stopping Car Crash

Leno Gets Lucky in Heart-Stopping Car Crash

Since leaving his Tonight Show desk, former late night talk show host Jay Leno has enjoyed a new career in automotive-centric television, hosting his popular CNBC show, Jay Leno’s Garage. But filming of a recent episode went a bit awry, as evidenced by video footage of a heart-stopping rollover car crash. The video is entertaining only because we know that everyone emerged fully intact with no injuries save for a few bruises and perhaps a shaken-up ego or two. In the video, Leno is taking a ride with 80-year-old veteran stunt driver Bob Riggle at California’s Irwindale Speedway. Their aim for the episode was to get the 2,500-horsepower vehicle up on hits back two wheels – a trick Riggle is known for having perfected over his decades of experience. "This has been on my bucket list since I was a kid, ever since it stood up in 1965. The Hemi Under Glass has been the king of the wheelstanders at dragstrips all across the country," Leno said. "And now nearly 50 years later, he...

July 1, 2016


Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 Concept Shocks

Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 Concept Shocks

Making its world debut earlier this month in London, the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 concept certainly turned heads, offering a glimpse into just how today’s designers believe the iconic luxury ride’s street versions may look a century from now. The somewhat other-worldly-looking car’s official title is 103EX and its design is a striking departure for the brand. Measuring nearly 20 feet long and five feet tall, this fully autonomous coupe is something of a super yacht on wheels. It sports a glass canopy that retracts when the coach doors swing open, and a “Crystal Water” lower surface exterior material designed to make the car look as if it were floating. Should the car ever make it to the production line, it will be powered by a zero-emissions powertrain placed on an advanced suspension, though a company spokesperson declined to elaborate on just what form the engine will take. Rightly so, perhaps. After all, who knows how engines will change over the next century. De...

July 1, 2016


Strategic Vision's 2016 Total Quality Impact Awards Winners Released

Strategic Vision's 2016 Total Quality Impact Awards Winners Released

Each year, San Diego-based Strategic Vision, a research-based consultancy that helps companies understand human behavior and decision-making patterns, releases its list of the top vehicles in multiple segments. This year, the firm collected thousands of consumer surveys, analyzed their data, crunched the numbers and boiled it all down to a total of 31 cars, trucks, and utility vehicles, as well as four manufacturers leading their respective packs in 2016. Factors considered include both quantitative and qualitative issues; tangible features like seat comfort, the effectiveness of side-view mirrors, and cornering abilities; intangibles such how easy a vehicle's technology is to work with and the image that a vehicle conveys; and emotional aspects that focus on the feelings evoked by owning and driving a particular ride. And the winners are (drumroll, please) … Total Quality Impact Car Winners Best Model: Tesla Model S Micro Car Segment: Fiat 500 Hatchback Small Car Segmen...

July 1, 2016


Michelin, XBOX to Host Global 24 Hours Forza Motorsports Challenge

Michelin, XBOX to Host Global 24 Hours Forza Motorsports Challenge

Hey gamers – Start your virtual engines! Tire maker Michelin and Xbox are gearing up for a day-long gaming event that will land one lucky winner a trip to the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.   The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will host the 24 Hours Challenge online, with competitors from around the globe playing the new Forza Motorsport 6. The competition will coincide with the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans in France on June 18-19. "Michelin wanted to connect racing fans around the world to the 24 Hours of Le Mans," said Oscar Pereda, director of ultra-high performance at Michelin North America. "We hope this contest will help bring the excitement from France right into their living rooms." "It is fitting to celebrate Ford's return to Le Mans with some exciting ways for fans to get involved online, and in person with Forza Motorsport 6," added Turn 10 Studios Creative Director Dan Greenawalt. "The Ford GT was on the cover of our game for this reason and we're ha...

June 13, 2016


Formula 1 Headed Back to Las Vegas?

Formula 1 Headed Back to Las Vegas?

Las Vegas hasn’t seen a grand prix since 1982, when drivers hit the gas in the parking lot of the Caesar’s Palace casino. But the iconic race may be headed back to Sin City as early as 2018. Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone confirmed he is in talks with potential promoters for a Vegas street race. And, according to a BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) report, a Beijing-based conglomerate has said it will help bankroll the event. "They are very close to Las Vegas and have got businesses in media, sport, technology and entertainment, so they are a massive conglomerate,” said P2M Motorsports founder and CEO Farid Shidfar, who is developing the event, said of the as-yet-unnamed Chinese firm. "They came to us out of the blue late last year, because of the initiatives they are involved with in the state of Nevada, and we have been in due diligence since then. The benefits they will derive are very strategic so that's why they are very excited about it." For his part, Eccles...

June 13, 2016


Season 2 of Jay Leno’s Garage Starts This Week

Season 2 of Jay Leno’s Garage Starts This Week

In its first season, it became the the most watched original series in CNBC history. And we here at E3 Spark Plugs don’t doubt it. Jay Leno’s Garage is a popular spot on the TV dial for auto enthusiasts and its second 12-episode season starts this week. Formerly a web series for NBC.com, the show since has morphed first into a special that aired on CNBC in August 2014 and now a weekly prime time network series.   The show features Leno doing reviews on all sorts of rides from restored classics to ultra-modern super cars. Home base for the Emmy Award-winning show is Leno’s Big Dog Garage in Burbank, CA. The next 12-episode run debuts on Wednesday with a look at actor Nick Cannon’s Ferrari California. Other celebrity guests on the roster this season include actor-turned-racecar-driver Patrick Dempsey, comedians Tim Allen and Dan Aykroyd and musician Brad Paisley. Be sure to tune in Wednesday. In the meantime, check out this video feature on the three-wheeled Shotwell, b...

June 13, 2016


Canadian Mounties Bring Out the Big Guns – or Cameras, Rather – To Bust Texting Drivers

Canadian Mounties Bring Out the Big Guns – or Cameras, Rather – To Bust Texting Drivers

Each year in the United States, some 3,100 people die and another 424,000 are injured in car crashes blamed at least in part on distracted drivers. And all too often, that distraction involves someone texting while behind the wheel. Law enforcement and safety officials in countries around the globe all are looking for ways to curb this roadway scourge, and Canada just may have a solid solution. In British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, known informally as the Mounties, are rocking the roadways with a new traffic surveillance system that uses powerful spotting scopes mated to high-definition digital SLR cameras. These cameras have a resolution of 24.4 megapixels and are equipped with a fast 50mm lens. When attached to the spotting scope, these badass rigs can see objects upwards of a mile away. That means Mounties can spot dastardly distracted drivers long before those drivers see them.  "It's not always safe or it doesn't always make sense to stand where drivers c...

June 13, 2016


Fast and Furious Fans Get a Theatrical Throwback

Fast and Furious Fans Get a Theatrical Throwback

A decade and a half after Dom, Brian, Letty and the rest of the crew debuted in theaters and set up shop in the collective consciousness of fast car enthusiasts and film fans worldwide, the movie that started it all is getting a big screen throwback and we here at E3 Spark Plugs can't wait! Universal Pictures announced it will celebrate the now iconic film with a 15th anniversary, limited theatrical release of The Fast and the Furious starting June 22.  “Fifteen years ago my life changed forever. Dom was born,” lead actor Vin Diesel, who plays street racing, carjacking anti-hero Dom Toretto in the series, recently told Entertainment Weekly. “Little did I know back then what that really meant. The brotherhood formed with Brian, the love personified in Letty and the sense of family initiated by Mia… It is surreal that this film has held up all the years and led to so much more. Proud of our Fast saga family. From studio to crew, thank you all.” Since its June 22, 200...

June 13, 2016


Ford Recalls 271,000 F-150 Pickup Trucks Over Potential Brake Fluid Leak

Ford Recalls 271,000 F-150 Pickup Trucks Over Potential Brake Fluid Leak

Drive a Ford F-150? Here’s a heads up. The company just recalled upward of 271,000 2013 and 2014 model pickups over a defect that can cause the brake fluid to leak from the master cylinder into the brake booster. Thus far, the issue has caused nine non-injury crashes and one non-crash injury, the company says. The recall affects certain 2013-2014 Ford F-150 vehicles powered with 3.5-liter GTDI engines built at the Dearborn Truck Plant, Aug. 1, 2013 - Aug. 22, 2014; and the Kansas City Assembly Plant, Aug. 1, 2013 - Aug. 31, 2014. Think your ride might be included in the recall? Find out with a visit to the company’s Field Service Action and Recall page. Enter your VIN and if you get a hit, take it seriously. Your friendly neighborhood Ford dealer will replace your bum brake master cylinder for free, and might even throw in a new brake booster if needed. While you’re at it, give your ride a power and fuel efficiency boost with a new set of E3 truck spark plugs.

June 4, 2016


Rock Gives Instagram Followers First Look at his Fast 8 Persona

Rock Gives Instagram Followers First Look at his Fast 8 Persona

Instagram followers of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just got an unexpected surprise – a first look at his darker, grittier, angrier persona for the upcoming Fast 8, the latest installment in the wildly successful Fast and Furious film franchise. Remember that in Furious 7, Johnson’s character, Diplomatic Security Service Agent Luke Hobbs, was severely injured in a bomb blast. In terms of character development, that’s gotta leave a physical, emotional and mental mark on a guy. In fact, there are rumors that the strength of the Hobbs character may lead to a spin-off film. Along with a first-look photo of Hobbs as he appears in Fast 8, Johnson writes: When you strip a man of all he has. All that's important to him. You force him to return to his roots.. and sometimes that's a very dangerous and twisted place. If I was going to return for another FAST & FURIOUS I wanted to come in and disrupt the franchise in a cool way that got fans fired up and their blood pumping to see ...

May 31, 2016


“Logan Lucky” Makes NASCAR Track the Setting of a Comedic Heist

“Logan Lucky” Makes NASCAR Track the Setting of a Comedic Heist

If you’re a racing fan with an affinity for comedy films, this one’s for you. E3 Spark Plugs just learned of the upcoming Logan Lucky, a comedic heist film directed by Academy Award-winning Steven Soderbergh and featuring an all-star cast. Starring Magic Mike’s Channing Tatum, Bond film alum Daniel Craig and the gorgeous Riley Keough, Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Logan Lucky reportedly will be something of a Days of Thunder-meets-Ocean’s Eleven story. The plot revolves around a heist at Charlotte Manor Speedway in North Carolina during a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Initially called Hillbilly Heist, the film went into production during the recent Coca-Cola 600 and is slated for theatrical release in the fall of 2017. "We are excited to work with Steven, Channing and all of Logan Lucky's incredible cast and producers," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "It's a big-hearted, fun story that showcases NASCAR and Ch...

May 31, 2016


Find Yor Part