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How a Shyster Mechanic Can Sell Your Car – Spark Plugs and All – Right Out from Under You

How a Shyster Mechanic Can Sell Your Car – Spark Plugs and All – Right Out from Under You

Shady mechanics are using fraudulent liens to sell unwitting customers’ cars. There’s a new racket in operation among some less-than-ethical auto mechanics, and it could cost you your ride, right down to the spark plugs. A recent report on Sacramento, CA’s CBS13 exposed the increasingly common, highly illegal practice of mechanics faking liens or actually filing bogus liens against customers’ vehicles and selling them right out from under them. The story featured Daniel James, who says Sacramento’s MK Auto held his 1986 Ford Mustang for three years, calling every few months to explain that they were struggling to find a new engine for the classic car. Finally fed up, James with the ridiculous delay, James demanded his car back. That’s when a mechanic told him that the company had filed a lien on the car three months before and sold it. “He told me, ‘Hey, the car’s gone, you’re not gonna get it back,’” James told reporters. Unfortunately, his story is ...

February 6, 2015


Vintage Dennis Hopper, Steve McQueen Motorcycles Among Celeb Rides Up for Auction

Vintage Dennis Hopper, Steve McQueen Motorcycles Among Celeb Rides Up for Auction

Steve McQueen’s 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross, identical to the one on which he famously rode shirtless on the cover of Sports Illustrated, is up for auction. Still feeling the rush of the Independence Day celebration? Nothing says “freedom” like hitting the open road on a vintage bike. And if you’ve got a little extra change (okay, a lot), you can take your next road trip on a motorcycle once owned by iconic actors Dennis Hopper or Steve McQueen. Mecum Auctions’ Celebrity Items Auction, set for July 26-27 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, features an array of vintage motor cycles, cars and trucks – and one giant goat head on wheels – owned by famous celebs or used in feature films and classic TV shows. Among the items expected to draw the highest bids are Hopper’s 1968 Husqvarna 250T Commando; McQueen’s 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross, which he raced regularly; and the “King of Cool’s” 1931 Harley Davidson VL 74. No other Hollywood figure has ever been more c...

February 6, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Digs These Patriotic Rides

E3 Spark Plugs Digs These Patriotic Rides

Many American auto owners show their patriotic pride with amazing paint jobs. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of a sweet ride.” Well, something like that, anyway. This week, E3 Spark Plugs joins the rest of the nation in celebrating 237 years of independence. “Believe me, dear Sir – there is not in the British Empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do,” said revolutionary badass Thomas Jefferson in a November 1775 sendoff to the British Crown. “But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.” Eight months later, the new nation’s leaders would ratify the Declaration of Independence, giving the British Empire the official boot. Today, America’s gear heads are as patriotic as they come. And many show it on their beautifully adorned cars, trucks and motorcycles. Check out our gallery of 10 gr...

February 6, 2015


Miles & Miles of Music: E3 Spark Plugs Wants to Know Your Favorite Car Song

Miles & Miles of Music: E3 Spark Plugs Wants to Know Your Favorite Car Song

Johnny Cash’s 1976 hit, “One Piece At a Time” is a favorite car song. Summertime means road trip time. Just the thought of hitting the highways and byways, your favorite tunes blaring from the radio, is enough to get your blood pumping. And we know you’ve got a few favorites that you love to sing along with. E3 Spark Plugs offers a few of our all-time favorite car songs to help pass away the hours behind the wheel: Cars by Gary Numan, 1979 Lowrider by War, 1975 One Piece at a Time by Johnny Cash, 1976 Drive” (Who’s Gonna Drive You Home?) by The Cars, 1984: Little Red Corvette by Prince, 1983 Drive my Car by the Beatles, 1965 Car Wash by Rose Royce, 1976 Kickstart my Heart by Mötley Crüe, 1989 Little Deuce Coupe by the Beach Boys, 1963 Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett, 1965 Little GTO by Ronny and the Daytonas, 1964 I Can’t Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar, 1984 On the Road Again by Willie Nelson, 1980 I’m in Love with my Car by Queen, 1975 Hot Rod Linc...

February 6, 2015


Original – and Rarely Seen – Ford Mustang Prototype Could Influence the Next Generation of Ponies

Original – and Rarely Seen – Ford Mustang Prototype Could Influence the Next Generation of Ponies

The original Mustang 1 concept car is making waves again. The first production Ford Mustang hit the streets in 1964. But a full two years earlier, a prototype that never made it to the factory line made an appearance at the 1962 Grand Prix, where test driver and contemporary Formula One race driver Dan Gurney lapped the track in a demonstration with lap times just slightly off the pace of the F1 race cars. Half a century later, Ford officials are taking another look at the Mustang I concept and asking muscle car fans which design elements they’d like to see in the next generation of ponies. The Mustang I’s look was radically different from the first production model of the car that originally was named for World War II P51 Mustang fighter jet and proved Ford’s most successful launch since the Model A in 1903. It sported a boxy, wedge-like body with rear-wheel drive powered by a 4-cylinder engine situated behind the driver. The steering wheel and pedal placement was adjus...

February 6, 2015


Car Chick’s Challenge – Auto Mechanics Often Overcharge Women, Report Shows

Car Chick’s Challenge – Auto Mechanics Often Overcharge Women, Report Shows

Mechanic Audra Fordin calls bluff on her male counterparts in an undercover TV segment that shows shady treatment of women in mechanics shops. Women – What could they possibly know about cars? While the question makes us here at E3 Spark Plugs cringe, it’s one that guy-centric auto shops everywhere ask every day. And the answer often is an infuriating one. Producers with ABC’s new investigative consumer journalism show, The Lookout, focused their hidden cameras on reportedly shady mechanics in New York and New Jersey. If you’re a female car owner who may or may not know a spark plug from a shock absorber, what they uncovered is really gonna rev you up. The Lookout‘s Undercover Mechanics segment features real-life mechanic Audra Fordin, who just happens to be a beautiful brunette. Show producers purchase two nearly identical 2011 Ford Escapes and assemble two teams – one all male, the other all female. They install brand new air filters in both vehicles and outfit t...

February 6, 2015


3D Modeling Software Could be Spark Plug for Getting High-Dollar Concept Cars into Production

3D Modeling Software Could be Spark Plug for Getting High-Dollar Concept Cars into Production

Ferrari’s tribute to late designer Sergio Pininfarina is headed to (very) limited production thanks to 3D aerospace technology. At first, we weren’t sure if it was coming or going. But the radically-designed Pininfarina Sergio introduced at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este definitely got our attention here at E3 Spark Plugs. Now, the one-time one-off concept car may be headed for production, albeit a very limited production. Word has it that a grand total of five Sergios may soon be available, each fetching a $2 million asking price. Created in tribute to the late Sergio Pininfarina, the legendary automotive designer who passed away last year, the Sergio is a super-sleek red and black speedster with completely custom body work, no windshield, an interior based on the sumptuous Ferrari 458 Italia, and a 4.5-liter V8 engine that makes the car capable of hitting 62mph in just 3.4 seconds. Such high-dollar concept cars typically remain just that – concepts – becau...

February 6, 2015


British PSA Aims to Curb Drunk Driving via a Pub Loo and a “Holy Crap!” Factor

British PSA Aims to Curb Drunk Driving via a Pub Loo and a “Holy Crap!” Factor

This guy just got schooled on drunk driving risks in a very visual way. There’s something to be said for the effective use of abject terror in getting across a public service message, as illustrated by a recent PSA produced using footage from a hidden camera in a British pub loo (that’s “restroom” across the Pond). We here at E3 Spark Plugs got quite the jolt when we first saw the video, and apparently so did a million others. The 52-second video which quickly went viral shows unsuspecting pub patrons, who presumably have already enjoyed a cocktail or two, wandering into a bar bathroom. While looking into the mirror, they’re suddenly face-to-face, literally, with the bloodied noggin of a woman smashing through the glass. While producers won’t say, we’re pretty sure the unnerved guys appearing in the PSA were actually paid performers rather than random pub patrons. And, of course, the bloodied head belongs to an unfortunate mannequin. But the scene is clearly des...

February 6, 2015


Harleys Line Up by the Thousands for Pope Francis’ Blessing of the Bikes

Harleys Line Up by the Thousands for Pope Francis’ Blessing of the Bikes

Biker culture hit the Vatican City this past weekend as Pope Francis held a Blessing of the Bikes in St. Peter’s Square. He didn’t pop a wheelie when he rolled up to the Vatican in his popemobile, but Pope Francis definitely showed his cool side, greeting tens of thousands of Harley-Davidson owners at Sunday’s Blessing of the Bikes. In celebration of the iconic motorcycle maker’s 110th anniversary, leather-clad bikers lined the streets of Vatican City alongside habit-clad nuns.  Revved-up engines thundered throughout the Latin recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in a quintessential biker’s benediction as Pope Francis drove up the main boulevard to St. Peter’s Square, blessing bikes and bikers from his open-top jeep. The four-day celebration attracted HOGs from around the world to Rome – upwards of half a million, by some estimates. The fete included a special Mass and a parade past the Colosseum and other ancient landmarks. “Papa Francisco” flags fluttered fr...

February 6, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Mourns the Loss of NASCAR Veteran Jason Leffler

E3 Spark Plugs Mourns the Loss of NASCAR Veteran Jason Leffler

NASCAR racer Jason Leffler leaves behind a five-year-old son. The NASCAR community was dealt a heartbreaking blow last night when driver Jason Leffler was killed in a crash during a 410 sprint car race at New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway. Running second with just a few laps left, Leffler crashed into a wall, flipped several times and fell unconscious. He was quickly airlifted by helicopter to Chester, Pennsylvania’s Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just after 9 p.m. Eastern time. A subsequent autopsy report listed the cause of Leffler’s death as blunt force trauma to the neck. Leffler began racing at age 12 and started his professional  career in the mid 1990s, racing midget cars in the USAC series. He quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the tracks, winning three consecutive midget championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999. He also was the 1998 Silver Crown series champion and winner of the Hut Hundred and Belleville Natio...

February 6, 2015


Ford Wants Your Teen to Text While Driving – But Only on their Innovative Training Course

Ford Wants Your Teen to Text While Driving – But Only on their Innovative Training Course

Ford’s Driving Skills for Life program shows teens just how dangerous common behind-the-wheels distractions can be. Your kids call it “summer vacation,” but rescue workers call it the “100 Deadliest Days.” Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for teenagers in the United States, and invariably, teen-involved auto accidents spike during the three months that school is out for the summer each year. E3 Spark Plugs urges parents of teens to consider these facts and stats: Car accident deaths double during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day over the rest of the year combined; Teens are responsible for nearly 50 percent more drunk driving accidents during the summer months than during the rest of the year; Teen drivers average 44 percent more hours behind the wheel during the June, July and August break than during the nine months that school is in session – 23.6 hours compared to 16.4; 23 percent of teen divers are likely to drive with three or mor...

February 5, 2015


E3 Reveals More on Upcoming Need for Speed Game, Film

E3 Reveals More on Upcoming Need for Speed Game, Film

Actor Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad” fame stars in the upcoming “Need for Speed” film based on the enduringly popular video game series. E3 – No, not E3 the spark plug maker, E3 the Electronic Entertainment Expo – revealed a few tantalizing tidbits of new information about the upcoming Need for Speed: Rivals video game and the feature film starring Breaking Bad alum Aaron Paul. Newly wed to a beautiful blonde and looking entirely unlike his famous meth-pushing character, Paul made a celebrity appearance at the E3 Conference on Monday and filled in an eager audience with some crowd-pleasing details. First up – the November 19 release of Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed: Rivals for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, Playstation 3 and PC. Gamers will get to choose whether to be a cop or run from them. Paul also announced more information on the Need for Speed film set for release next March. As we reported last year, Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks partnered with EA...

February 5, 2015


Got a Ticket to Ride? You Could Go Home in John Lennon’s First Car

Got a Ticket to Ride? You Could Go Home in John Lennon’s First Car

John Lennon’s 1965 Ferrari 330GT is headed for auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The day a young John Lennon passed his driving test, the famed Beatles frontman had his pick of high-priced rides from luxury automotive dealerships vying for his attention. Aston Martins, Jaguars and Maseratis were offered hand over fist, parked in literally in his front yard. But the one that caught his eye was a beautiful blue 1965 Ferrari 330GT. Half a century later, and 33 years after his murder by a gun-wielding fan, Lennon’s car is headed for the auction block, where it’s expected to fetch upwards of $340,000. Valued at around $10,000 at the time Lennon acquired it, the car is inextricably linked to the Fab Five’s No. 1 hit, Ticket to Ride, which the group had recorded just weeks before. Lennon drove it until October 1967, racking up 20,000 miles. One of just 500 built, the Ferrari will be up for bids July 12 at the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chic...

February 5, 2015


Meet Team E3 Racing Tier 1 Winner Cheyanne Phillips

Meet Team E3 Racing Tier 1 Winner Cheyanne Phillips

Cheyanne Phillips (9, left) ready to greet fans with her racing brother Shane and mechanic dad Tom. She’s quite the little spark plug, herself. Nine-year-old Cheyanne Phillips is already several years into a go-kart racing career and currently is in second points in her series, behind only her younger brother Shane. But she’s as compassionate as she is competitive. That’s why she’s the latest Team E3 Racing Tier 1 winner. Racing runs in the Phillips family’s blood. Phillips’ grandfather built engines for Winston Cup racecars and her father (a friend of E3 Spark Plugs-sponsored racer Kevin Probst) ice raced three-wheelers and raced off-road buggies. It didn’t take long for Phillips and her little brother to follow suit. She began racing snowmobiles on snow at age four, then hit the grass-drag tracks at age seven. She soon took to the go-kart tracks as well and has since proven a small but formidable competitor. Today, the fifth grader pilots Junior 1 Champ go-Kar...

February 5, 2015


Rare Dymaxion Car Blueprints Up for Grabs

Rare Dymaxion Car Blueprints Up for Grabs

Buckminster Fuller’s 1933 Dymaxion just might have changed the automotive world had tragedy not struck – twice. It might have forever changed the way the world thought of transportation and altered the course of the automotive industry, were it not for a buzz-killing fatal crash at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and a fire that destroyed two of three completed prototypes. And we here at E3 Spark Plugs rather wish things had gone differently for Buckminster Fuller and his gleaming, three-wheeled road zeppelin. Alas, just one Dymaxion car prototype survives locked away at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. But all that could change if the right bidder prevails. On June 6, a set of 18 blueprints believed to be the only Dymaxion-related items not currently stored in a museum or filed away in a university archive will be on the block at the Wright Auctions Important Design Sale in Chicago. The ultra cool Dymaxion concept car traveled on three wheels, had room for...

February 5, 2015


Team E3 Racing Winner Shea Holbrook Launches SteelOvaryNation.com

Team E3 Racing Winner Shea Holbrook Launches SteelOvaryNation.com

Team E3 Racing winner Shea Holbrook recently launched SteelOvaryNation.com. Who says professional racing isn’t a girl’s club? Team E3 Racing winner Shea Holbrook is a standout among a burgeoning number of female drivers, engineers, mechanics and motorsport execs. And there are more racing fans and auto enthusiasts of the fairer sex today than ever before. Yet, there are precious few resources for gearhead gals to hang out and share their love for all things automotive. To that end, Holbrook recently launched SteelOvaryNation.com, a new website with an accompanying #SteelOvaryNation hashtag campaign. The brand represents female drivers, engineers, mechanics, broadcasters, bloggers, fans and car and motorsport gurus and features articles, photos and merchandise. Says Kerryann De La Cruz, a drag racer with a goal to build a legendary Nissan Skyline BNR32 GT-R: “It takes balls to live a world with so much life and passion, bursting at the seams with every emotion at full thr...

February 5, 2015


Kanaan Finally Plants his “Big Nose” on the Indy 500 Trophy

Kanaan Finally Plants his “Big Nose” on the Indy 500 Trophy

On his 12th try, the popular hard-luck racer Tony Kanaan finally took the Indy 500 checkered flag. Do you remember the 18 years that All My Children star Susan Lucci was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy, but left the theatre like a jilted bride every single time before finally snagging the trophy, launching the show’s happiest/sappiest acceptance speech and getting the rowdiest audience atta girl ever on her 19th nod? Okay, maybe not you, but perhaps your wife or mother does. Anyway, we’re betting that Tony Kanaan was sweating a little of that same lady-in-waiting feeling while at the starting line of this weekend’s Indianapolis 500 for his 11th time. Little did he know, his wait was over. After more than a decade of gunning for the Indy 500 finish line, Kanaan finally crossed it first, serving up a dramatic performance and officially ditching his dubious title of the “best current driver never to win an Indy 500.” And what a win it was! Sunday’s rac...

February 5, 2015


Gumball 3000 Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Gumball 3000 Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Pro Wrestler John Cena’s flame-throwing, no-doors InCENArator built for the Gumball 3000. It’s been called the world’s biggest, craziest moving car show.  Though constantly conjuring memories of the 1982 Burt Reynolds comedy The Cannonball Run, the Gumball 3000 is a decidedly more posh, yet perhaps equally wacky event – an annual favorite of E3 Spark Plugs. And this year, it’s celebrating its 15th year. The 8-day competition across Europe revved up Saturday with launch party in Copenhagen, Denmark and will take competitors across the continent with stops in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Austria, Italy and Monaco. Members of the 115 driving teams are quite the motley crew, consisting of film, music and sports celebrities, multi-millionaire Internet gurus, a Latvian soap opera star, a 3000-bout undefeated masked Mexican wrestler and two guys recently disqualified from NASA’s space program. Participating celebs include Pimp My Ride star...

February 5, 2015


NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day – Who Do You Think will Make the Cut?

NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day – Who Do You Think will Make the Cut?

The 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees will be announced Wednesday evening, May 22. On Wednesday, May 22, the 54 members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Nominating Committee and Voting Panel will gather at North Carolina’s Charlotte Convention Center to whittle down the class of 25 nominees to five worthy inductees, including one nominated by fan vote. Come 6pm ET, the rest of the world will know who they’ve picked. Of course a driver or two will make the list. More than half of the 20 current members were nominated based upon their behind-the-wheel talent. But like any well-oiled machine, it takes many different parts, people and functions to run a professional sport that challenges its participants, makes celebrities of its stars, entertains its fans and inspires the next generation of racing professionals. The list of 2014 nominees includes 14 drivers, three team owners, two legendary engine builders, three track owner/operators and three from the executive ranks. Who d...

February 5, 2015


“Fast & Furious 6″ Slams into Theatres This Week

“Fast & Furious 6″ Slams into Theatres This Week

“Fast & Furious 6″ hits theater screens nationwide this Friday. One of the most successful movie franchises in history revs up again, slamming into theatres across America this Friday. The creative spark plugs fueling the Fast & Furious 6 have delivered another fast-paced, fiery, fun film that includes a few surprises. In the latest Fast & Furious sequel our hero team has left their former lives in the dust, having toppled the operation of a Brazilian drug lord and taking $100 million of his money with them. But all that cash and the new lives they’ve built can’t replace the families and lives they’ve left behind. So when Special Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) turns up looking a lot like his G.I. Joe character and asking for help in taking down an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers wreaking global havoc across 12 countries, Dom (Vin Diesel) can’t help but be pulled back into his old profession for one last gig – especially when he learns the crimina...

February 5, 2015


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