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James Bond Submarine Car About to Become the Real Deal, Says Elon Musk

James Bond Submarine Car About to Become the Real Deal, Says Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to turn the iconic James Bond submarine car prop into a real, working deal. So it seems Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was a bit miffed when he learned that Agent 007 James Bond’s iconic submarine car, for which he recently plunked down a cool $920,167 at a London auction, didn’t really work underwater at all. Turns out it was just a cool, but non-functional prop that had the entire movie watching world fooled. “I was disappointed to learn that it can’t actually transform,” Musk said in a Tesla release. Well, what did you expect for such a paltry sum? Seriously, though. Musk has a plan for the custom white Lotus Esprit built specifically for the 1977 film, The Spy Who Loved Me by Florida’s Perry Oceanographic -and, of course, the expendable cash to make it happen. “What I’m going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real.” You read that right – Musk is working a plan to turn this ult...

February 9, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Digs Video that Captures Pure Joy of Dogs in Cars

E3 Spark Plugs Digs Video that Captures Pure Joy of Dogs in Cars

Does your dog love to ride shotgun? There are a few things to look for in choosing a pet-friendly car. If you’re a dog lover with a vehicle of any sort, you know that pooches love to take rides, preferably shotgun with the windows down. So, we here at E3 Spark Plugs bet you’ll appreciate this beautifully produced video by director Keith Hopkin. With a camera mounted on the hood of an SUV, just outside the passenger window, Hopkin produced this slow-motion video that perfectly captures the pure elation of a dog going for a cruise with his/her human. We dare you to try to watch without cracking a smile. Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for a dog-friendly ride, here are a few features to look for: A backdoor or hatch that opens up so your pet can easily jump into and out of the vehicle; Backseats that fold flat or are removable so Fido and Fluffy will have plenty of room, especially if they’ll be taking the trip in a crate; Waterproof seat covers because accidents ...

February 9, 2015


Year-Long Waiting List to Drive the New Corvette Stingray Z51

Year-Long Waiting List to Drive the New Corvette Stingray Z51

Buyers of the new 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 may have to wait upwards of a year for delivery. Picturing yourself behind the wheel of the super-sleek new Corvette Stingray Z51? Well, hold that thought. Even if you’ve got your checkbook out and are ready to plunk down that first payment, you’re likely gonna have to wait a while, E3 Spark Plugs has learned. After an already intense period of anticipation that seemed to last FOREVAH, those who have ordered new Stingrays with the enviable Z51 package must now wait even longer – About a year, to be exact. Turns out the Z51 hype has proven effective, as a full 75 percent of all new Corvette orders being placed include the package. To be fair, that kind of ordering frenzy should have been expected, considering reviews like automotive journalist Don Sherman’s from the July issue of Car and Driver, which started this way: “That whiff of smoked Michelin you smell and the bawl of tortured rear tires you hear confirm that we’...

February 9, 2015


LA Auto Show Tickets on Sale Now – E3 Spark Plugs is Stoked for More than 50 Auto Debuts

LA Auto Show Tickets on Sale Now – E3 Spark Plugs is Stoked for More than 50 Auto Debuts

The new BMW i8 debuts at the LA Auto Show next month. It’s the first major car show of each season and one of the top annual events for car buffs nationwide and around the world. And with good reason – This year, 56 automobiles will make their U.S. debuts, including 22 making their world debuts at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles. That’s more than double the number of world premieres at the show over last year. Among the sleek new rides that the world will see for the first time at the LA auto show are four Mercedes-Benzes, three Porches and more from BMW, Chevrolet, Jaguar, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota in the luxury, performance, green, tech and concept categories. Here are a few of our favorites: BMW i8: The German automaker’s flagship i8 electric vehicle is a hybrid that reportedly can blast from zero to 60 in a mere 4.4 seconds while generating up to 365 horsepower on 420 lb-ft of torque. It peaks a 94 mpg, respectable for an electric vehicle, and you won’t have t...

February 9, 2015


Controlling Your Car with Gestures? Google Files Patent to Make it Possible

Controlling Your Car with Gestures? Google Files Patent to Make it Possible

An image from Google’s patent filing for gesture-based automotive controls. Image courtesy of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It’s the stuff of sci-fi movies and one greatly exaggerated forensics show. And now, it may be headed to your car’s dashboard. Every time you watch an episode of Fox’ Bones and see Angela (Michaela Conlin) swish her hot little hands around in the air, doing her craniofacial reconstruction thing on her giant 3D “Angelatron” hologram machine, you know you secretly wish you could have one in your living room/man cave/ garage. Well, that particular fantasy may just be a little closer than you think. Not only is the Angelatron based on existing technology (including one similar massive machine used to forecast hurricanes) but Google is aiming to bring gesture-controlled features right to your car’s dashboard. The search engine giant recently filed for a patent on gesture-based car controls that soon may allow you to down your wi...

February 9, 2015


Money Can’t Buy you Love – But it Can Buy You Ringo’s Starr’s 1964 Facel Vega, Spark Plugs and All

Money Can’t Buy you Love – But it Can Buy You Ringo’s Starr’s 1964 Facel Vega, Spark Plugs and All

Ringo Starr’s 1964 Facel Vega Facel II is expected to fetch upwards of $500,000 at auction in London. Still reeling from missing your chance to drive home John Lennon’s blue 1965 Ferrari 330GT when it was auctioned off back in July? Well, don’t fret. All you need is love. And one more chance at a sleek, vintage Beatles ride. Lucky you! If you’ve got an extra half-million or so to throw down, pack up and get ready to ship out to New Bond Street, London, where Bonhams will place bandmate Ringo Starr’s 1964 Facel Vega Facel II on the block on Sunday, December 1. The former Beatles drummer bought the sleek red ride straight from the stand at Earls Court Motor Show in 1964 and drove it for four years. Built by the short-lived French firm Facel, the Vega debuted priced in Rolls-Royce territory and was not only luxurious – it was crazy fast, with standard models boasting 6.3-liter Chrysler Typhoon V8 engines that turned out up to 390 horsepower and topped out at 150 miles...

February 9, 2015


October Marks 100th Anniversary of the Day that Changed Automotive History

October Marks 100th Anniversary of the Day that Changed Automotive History

The modern day assembly line was launched 100 years ago this month. A century ago this month, something happened in the halls of Henry Ford’s Detroit factory that would forever change the course of automotive history. On October 7, 1913, engineers constructed a crude rope-and-winch system to pull a Model T past 140 workers in the sprawling new “Crystal Palace” facility. And thus, the modern assembly line – and a radical transformation of both the manufacturing industry and society in general – was launched. Prior to that day, it took factory workers more than 12 hours to assemble a Model T. With the advent of the assembly line, that timeframe was chiseled down to a mere 93 minutes. Soon, other industries would catch on, and assembly lines would be created for countless other products. The result: Higher productivity, which led to more profit, allowing for higher wages, affording workers more money to buy more products and services. See what we’re getting at? Ford...

February 9, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Digs the New “Need for Speed” Trailer

E3 Spark Plugs Digs the New “Need for Speed” Trailer

Based on the popular video game series, the new “Need for Speed” film stars Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper. It’s not set for release until next summer, but we here at E3 Spark Plugs are already itching to see the new Need for Speed feature film starring everyone’s favorite (fictitious) meth pusher, Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame. We’re expecting big things from the young actor and two-time Primetime Emmy Award winner as he enters his post-Jesse Pinkman era (by the way, this dude’s been acting for a lot longer than anyone realizes – 1998, yo). But we’re really anxious to see him in action behind the wheel of some seriously fast rides (including a Ford Mustang powered by a supercharged 900HP V8 with a custom body based on the Shelby GT500) in this film adaptation of the enduringly popular game series. Directed by Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) and co-starring the likes of Dominic Cooper, Michael Keaton and rapper Chillie Mo, Need for Speed follows Paul’s character,...

February 9, 2015


Sting Ray with Elite Pedigree Could Break L88 Record – E3 Spark Plugs is Watching

Sting Ray with Elite Pedigree Could Break L88 Record – E3 Spark Plugs is Watching

Harley Ear’s custom 1968 Corvette Sting Ray is expected to fetch a record sum at Mecum Auctions’ Chicago event. October 10-12 should prove to be an interesting weekend in the world of rare car collectors. Despite many of us feeling the pressure of the current economic climate, cars with elite pedigrees and history are selling at auction at record breaking numbers. Eyes and ears will be watching and listening as Mecum Auctions’ event at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois near Chicago has the potential to break them all with the sale of Harley Earl’s custom custom 1968 Corvette Sting Ray taking center stage. Among many custom features, the one-of-a-kind Sting Ray showcases side exhausts and a second instrument panel, details the former head of Design at GM surely admired. An innovator of modern transportation, Earl was building custom body automobiles for Hollywood stars like Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Tom Mix by the time he dropped out of Sta...

February 6, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: Rally Racing is “Easier Said than Done,” New Documentary Shows

E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: Rally Racing is “Easier Said than Done,” New Documentary Shows

Rally racing is expensive, dirty and, as this still shot from a new documentary shows, rough. Rally racing fans know that it’s a far different game than any other motorsport. Now, a new documentary shows just crazy things can get on the public-private-road tracks that temporarily become rallying tracks. We here at E3 Spark Plugs can’t wait! Rallying is extremely difficult,” say producers on the website for the feature-length film, Easier Said than Done. “It’s expensive, dirty, rough and one of the last pure motorsports in the world.” Aptly titled, Easier Said than Done follows an international cast of characters including drivers, co-drivers and mechanics across eight countries in 18 months to capture the best stories from what is arguably the world’s most intense motorsport. The film includes multiple stories, but focuses primarily on three-time US champion Chris Duplessis while he attempts to reach the sport’s top level – the World Rally Championship. Othe...

February 6, 2015


Black Air: The Buick Grand National Documentary

Black Air: The Buick Grand National Documentary

“There’s something inside the car trying to get out. It’s trapped in the wrong body.” That line from a new documentary pretty much sums up the consensus on the black sheep of the Buick family. Described as a “strange and curious misfit,” the Buick Grand National was a boxy, brutish car with a mediocre chassis and an undersized engine that somehow became the quickest production car in America in its final year of production, hitting 60mph in just 4.7 seconds. That’s a straight line acceleration that no other car in the 1980s could match – Not Corvette. Not Lamborghini. Not Ferrari. After road testing of the Grand National, which was built from 1982 through 1987, Car and Driver Technical Editor Csaba Csere recalls thinking, ” there’s no way this can go that fast.” Oh, but it did – in test after test after test on streets nationwide. “How to reconcile these opposites” filmmaker Andrew Filippone Jr. asks. “This car that straddled worlds, where did it c...

February 6, 2015


Rear Light Issue Forces Recall of More than 134,000 BMW 5-Series Cars

Rear Light Issue Forces Recall of More than 134,000 BMW 5-Series Cars

BMW dealers will repair faulty rear lights in recalled 5-Series cars. If you drive a BMW 5-Series car, listen up. E3 Spark Plugs just learned that BMW is recalling more than 134,000 of the cars, citing an issue that causes the rear lights to fail. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, increased electrical resistance can damage connections to the lights. That could cause loss of tail, brake turn-signal or backup lights, which significantly boosts the risks of a crash. Thus far, BMW says that it has no reports of any accidents or injuries caused by the problem. Affected cars will give drivers visual and audible warnings if the problem occurs, and unaffected rear lights will display to warn drivers behind the cars, BMW said in documents filed with NHTSA. The recall affects 528i, 535i, 550i and M5 cars from the 2008 through 2010 model years, manufactured from March 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2009. If your car is among those recalled, you’ll get n...

February 6, 2015


Automotive World Loses a Pioneer – Eiji Toyoda Dead at 100

Automotive World Loses a Pioneer – Eiji Toyoda Dead at 100

Eiji Toyoda, pictured in 1967, passed away September 17 at age 100. E3 Spark Plugs joins the rest of the automotive world in bidding goodbye to Eiji Toyoda, who passed away yesterday at age 100. Toyoda, a cousin of Toyota’s founder Kiichiro Toyoda, served the company’s longest tenure as president – 25 years from 1967 until his retirement in 1982. He then served another 10 years as chairman of the Toyota Motor Corporation following the unification of the manufacturing and sales divisions. Toyoda is credited with spearheading the development of the Prius, expanding production overseas for the first time, launching the Lexus brand and turning Toyota from a minor industry player into one of the world’s largest automakers. Born in 1913, Toyoda grew up inside his father’s textile mill and studied machines and business early on. In 1936, he graduated from the University of Tokyo with a degree in mechanical engineering and joined Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd., working fo...

February 6, 2015


Men vs. Women – When it Comes to Road Rage Bird Flipping, the Ladies Lead, Survey Shows

Men vs. Women – When it Comes to Road Rage Bird Flipping, the Ladies Lead, Survey Shows

Mom is more likely to cuss with the kids in the backseat, while Dad lets his potty mouth fly in front of the in-laws, according to a new survey. Well, in this story, perhaps “lady” is the wrong word. A study commissioned by Insurance.com reveals some very unladylike behavior behind the wheel. In fact, compared to men, women do far more than their fair share of tailgating, brake checking and cussing in front of the kiddos on the way to soccer practice and dance recitals. And while she’s going off all sailor-like, there’s a surprisingly high chance she shot somebody on the road a proper bird. That said, men are no pillars of polite driving either. Turns out he’s more likely to spew obscenities with the in-laws in the back seat, and twice as likely to flash the high-beams at other drivers just for the mean-spirited heck of it. So, who’s the guiltiest party in the survey of 1,000 men and women drivers (500 men and 500 women with children age 12 and under living at hom...

February 6, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: Jalopnik Film Festival, Hosting Public Premiere of “Rush”

E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: Jalopnik Film Festival, Hosting Public Premiere of “Rush”

The inaugural Jalopnik Film Festival features the public premiere of Ron Howard’s “Rush.” Gearheads are headed to New York City this month for the inaugural Jalopnik Film Festival, presented by Gran Turismo 6 Sept. 18-19. It’s a chance to see Ron Howard’s new Formula One epic Rush before it hits theatres nationwide Sept. 27, and to try your hand at the upcoming Gran Turismo 6, slated for release December 6. The festival revs up Wednesday, September 18 with an opening panel and party held at the swanky Classic Car Club Manhattan. You’ll rub elbows with film execs and celebs, and bigwigs in the automotive and racing industry including top drivers. In fact, you may have to elbow a few of them out of the way for a turn at one of the GT6 simulators. Thursday brings more GT6 simulators, plus a day of films at the BAM Rose Cinemas in Brooklyn. Among the lineup: Rush: Ron Howard’s new film chronicling the merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt ...

February 6, 2015


Famed TV Pitchman Revolutionized Automotive Advertising – Industry Mourns his Passing

Famed TV Pitchman Revolutionized Automotive Advertising – Industry Mourns his Passing

Famed auto dealer and TV pitchman Cal Worthington passed away Sunday at age 92. “Go see Cal – Go see Cal – Go see Cal!” E3 Spark Plugs joins the automotive and advertising industries in mourning the death of famed TV pitchman Calvin Coolidge “Cal” Worthington, who passed away yesterday at his Orland, California Ranch at age 92. From the 1960s through the 1990s, Worthington was known to millions as the goofy, friendly car dealer who would literally “eat bugs” or “stand upon my head ’til my ears are turning red” to sell you a car. Worthington’s long-running pitch shtick began as a parody of a competitor’s commercials featuring his dog, a German Shepherd named Storm. Worthington recognized the appeal to viewers and, as any sales rival worth his salt would do, set about one-upping his competition. For years afterward, Worthington ran commercials featuring his own dog, Spot. Only Worthington’s Spot was never a dog. Instead, Spot was a lion one day, a mon...

February 6, 2015


’67 Corvette Sets Auction Record

’67 Corvette Sets Auction Record

1967 Corvette makes history as the most expensive ever sold at auction. Everyone knows they do things big in Texas. And this weekend, the third annual Mecum auction in Dallas did things up really big for the seller and the oh-so-lucky buyer of a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible. With the final hammer price of $3.2 million a sleek red racer became the most expensive Corvette ever sold at an auction. Of the auction’s 1,400 cars up for bid, collector Buddy Herrin’s ’67 ‘Vette was the 4-day show’s undisputable star. It was one of just 20 built that year with a 430-hp L88 427 V-8 mated to a four-speed manual. First owned by Jim Elmer, It won the 1967 NHRA A/Sports Nationals at Indianapolis and campaigned throughout the Pacific Northwest running 11.12 seconds at 127.45 MPH with only 7 inch slicks and headers. Later, it was sold to driver Rob Robinson who raced the car for the rest of its career, consistently placing among the Top 4 or 5 in the national points standi...

February 6, 2015


Snake & Mongoose Film Hits Select Theatres

Snake & Mongoose Film Hits Select Theatres

New film “Snake & Mongoose” tells the story of two drag racing rivals and friends who put their sport on the map and gave rise to major pro motorsports sponsorships. It’s a good month for film-loving racing fans. Director Ron Howard’s Rush, a biopic about the merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda, hits theaters nationwide September 27th. But the story of another historic racing rivalry-turned-enduring friendship already is being told on the big screen in select cities in the new film, Snake & Mongoose. During the 1960s, drivers Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen put drag racing on the pro motorsports map with their dynamic clashes and a little bit of marketing magic. On-track, they were the fiercest competitors in the then-struggling minor sport. But off-track, the two Southern Californians were the closes of friends. By 1970, the two had created a solid following. But a genius marketing move gave the...

February 6, 2015


Hey Parents – Here’s a Novel Way to Get Through to your Teens about Driving While InTEXTicated

Hey Parents – Here’s a Novel Way to Get Through to your Teens about Driving While InTEXTicated

SMS Racing, a free downloadable video game, can help get the point across to your teen about texting while driving. Teens text – a lot! In fact, statistics show that 87 percent of American teens age 14-17 own a cell phone. Sixty-eight percent of them send at least 21 texts per day and 18 percent send more than 200 in a day’s time. Unfortunately, an awful lot of that teen texting gets done behind the wheel. In 2011, at least 23 percent – 1.3 million – car crashes involved cell phones. Texting takes away a minimum of five seconds of your time while you’re texting and driving. While that figure may sound miniscule to your kids, consider that if he’s driving 55 miles per hour, he’ll travel the length of a football field in that measly five seconds – and it only takes an average seven seconds for a car crash to happen. There ain’t much a kid can do in that spare two seconds. Despite those scary figures… 34 percent of teens admit to having texted while drivin...

February 6, 2015


The Ender’s Game Audi Redefines Future Sedans

The Ender’s Game Audi Redefines Future Sedans

Audi Shuttle Fleet Quattro created for the new “Ender’s Game” film. The trailer for the new Ender’s Game movie is out. And if you’re a car buff, there’s no doubt what caught your eye – that sleek, sexy virtual car they’re calling the Fleet Shuttle Quattro. Ender’s Game is a science fiction futuristic movie with a storyline based on author Orson Scott Card’s mid-1990s worldwide bestseller. In the film, Earth has been battling an alien race it discovered when finally being able to send astronauts into interstellar space. Two waves of invasions have severely threatened human survival, so the planet now trains children in a Spartan-type battle school in space to fend off the next invasion expected. While the storyline has a number of twists, the movie also introduces a very unique concept that is actually real and factual – that badass super-future car dubbed the Audi Fleet Shuttle Quattro. The futuristic Quattro is a sleek design unseen before and one of A...

February 6, 2015


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