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1927 Fort Track T Roadster Named America’s Most Beautiful Roadster

1927 Fort Track T Roadster Named America’s Most Beautiful Roadster

Collector John Mumford’s 1927 Fort Track T Roadster was recently named America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. Touted as the world’s longest running indoor car show, the Grand National Roadster Show held its 64th anniversary event this weekend in Pomona, California. And as always, officials named one show-stopper America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. This year, the clear winner was a 1927 Fort Track T roadster, a gorgeous ride that combines Model T parts with Model A bodywork. But the win was a good 30 years in the making. The car began as a rebuild project of various car owners in the 1980s, NHRA Top Fuel champion Kelly Brown among them. Brown and other subsequent owners never quite finished the project and eventually, the car found its way to hot rod collector John Mumford, who gave it to noted car builder Roy Brizio. Mumford knew just what to add to the mix of parts that had made their way to his garage – his traditional Ford flathead V-8 topped with an Ardun overhead va...

February 5, 2015


Banned NASCAR Driver Shane Hmiel Battle Addiction, Mounts Comeback

Banned NASCAR Driver Shane Hmiel Battle Addiction, Mounts Comeback

Formerly banned NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel returns to the tracks this weekend in Accessible Racing’s Race to the Rock. Photo courtesy of “Shane Hmiel Road to Recovery.” An admitted former drug addict once banned for life by NASCAR in 2006 says he’s driven out his demons and wants back on the track. Shane Hmiel was Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series in 2001 and seemed on pace for a very successful racing career. But numerous failed drug tests and one memorable obscene gesture to Busch Series competitor Dale Jarrett made him pro racing’s undisputed bad boy. In October 2010, the controversial Hmiel was paralyzed in a near fatal crash during a USAC Silver Crown qualifying race at the Terre Haute Action Track in Indiana. Hmiel’s car hit the retaining wall and its roll cage collapsed, leaving the then 30-year-old in critical condition with head, neck and back injuries. Doctors put him into a medically induced coma to minimize brain swelling and gave hi...

February 4, 2015


Stolen “Time Capsule” Corvette Sells for 1989 Sticker Price – Original Down to the Spark Plugs

Stolen “Time Capsule” Corvette Sells for 1989 Sticker Price – Original Down to the Spark Plugs

1989 Corvette convertible with just 67 miles – a deal of a lifetime thanks to one unnerved Irish car thief. Talk about your great garage finds. E3 Spark Plugs would love to come across one of these – a mint condition 1989 Corvette – so mint, in fact that it’s still got the first price tag in the window. And it recently sold a Chevy aficionado with a time capsule dream for the original sticker price. Mike Robertson, a Newport Beach, Calif. advertising executive had long dreamed of buying a brand new car, then promptly storing it away with plans to take it out 20 years later and drive it like it around like it had just come off the lot. “Like time capsuling a car for myself,” Robertson recently told reporters. “It was just a fantasy.” But every now and then, fantasies are realized. And Robertson’s chance came with a December 21 article in The L.A. Times. The article told of an Irish immigrant who got mixed up with some ne’er-do-wells stateside and talked in...

February 4, 2015


Holy Spark Plugs! Original Batmobile Sold for $4.2 Million

Holy Spark Plugs! Original Batmobile Sold for $4.2 Million

The original Batmobile, used in the 1960s “Batman” TV show, sold at auction for $4.2 million. Were you the lucky bidder? E3 Spark Plugs has just learned that the original Batmobile has a new owner. Other than the bandied-about phrase “some rich guy from Phoenix,” there’s no official word on just who dropped the $4.2 million final purchase price last weekend at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 19-foot-long black, bubble-topped car was used in the 1960s Batman TV show and boasted all sorts of futuristic features including lasers, a batphone, the official Bat Ray projector and the ability to lay down smoke screens and oil slicks. The car’s base is a 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept that seller George Barris bought from Ford for a grand total of one dollar. Holy ROI! Barris kept the car in his garage for a few years, until late 1965 when he got a frantic call from 20th Century Fox Television and William Dozier’s Greenway Productions. They needed a ...

February 4, 2015


Still Time to Register for the 2013 Team E3 Racing Sponsorship Contest

Still Time to Register for the 2013 Team E3 Racing Sponsorship Contest

Hey racers and racing crew! There’s still time to register for the 2013 class of Team E3 Racing Sponsorship Contest winners. E3 Spark Plugs is looking for up-and-coming racing competitors and pit crew members who want to rev up their careers. And as long as it has an engine, it doesn’t matter what you race. Our inaugural class of Team E3 Racing members head for the finish line piloting everything from high-dollar speed boats to riding lawn mowers. Crew competitors have been racing team owners, pit crew managers and mechanics. We want to hear from career hopefuls who understand not just the track side, but the business and promotions side of professional racing, too. If you’re chosen as a Team E3 Racing winner, you’ll get a publicity boost via the E3 Spark Plugs website blog and Facebook fan page. Plus, we’ll send you $500 in cash, 16 E3 Spark Plugs, and official E3 apparel and decals for you, your team and your ride. But time is running out. To enter, make sure you’...

February 4, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Salutes Late Centenarian who Donated Rolls-Royce Driven for 78 Years

E3 Spark Plugs Salutes Late Centenarian who Donated Rolls-Royce Driven for 78 Years

= The late Allen Swift with the 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly P1 Roadster now on permanent display at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. In 2005, one Allen Swift passed away at the impressive age of 102. But the centenarian left behind something that will keep his memory alive for generations, particularly in his hometown Springfield, Mass. And we here are E3 Spark Plugs are grateful. Not long before his death, Swift was officially recognized as the oldest living person to have owned a car from new. That car was a 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly P1 Roadster given to him by his father to celebrate his graduation. The green-over-green soft-top convertible was young Swift’s pride and joy, and remained so throughout his lifetime. But it didn’t stay locked away in a garage like many classic cars. Instead, Swift drove his head-turning roadster regularly, all the while maintaining it meticulously. His fastidious efforts included a complete body-off restoration and e...

February 4, 2015


New Corvette Stingray Stuns, Disappoints at North American International Auto Show, E3 Spark Plugs Reports

New Corvette Stingray Stuns, Disappoints at North American International Auto Show, E3 Spark Plugs Reports

The new Corvette C7 Sting Ray debuted at the 2013 North American International Auto Show to mixed reviews. The North American International Auto Show‘s public show is still days away underway and already making headlines, particularly with Chevrolet’s unveiling of the 2014 Corvette – something we here at E3 Spark Plugs have been anxiously awaiting. The debut marks a new era for the Corvette C7 with the model’s first design overhaul in almost a decade. But not everyone is impressed. The big reveal happened at Sunday night’s Press Preview at Detroit’s Russell Industrial Center, a factory-turned-nightclub for the evening. Before pulling back the curtain, company execs announced that the new C7 would carry the Stingray name, a nod to the iconic ride’s early 1960s heritage. It boasts a 450 horsepower engine and 450 pound-feet of torque, and is 90 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the C6, thanks to carbon fiber used on even the base trim level. Designers went all ou...

February 4, 2015


You’ve Never Seen Dashcam Video Like This, E3 Spark Plugs Fans

You’ve Never Seen Dashcam Video Like This, E3 Spark Plugs Fans

This view from the hood of Fire Chief John Kenlon’s car just may be from the earliest dashcam footage ever. Dashboard cameras installed in law enforcement and rescue vehicles have become a common feature, helpful in documenting what goes on during police stops and emergency calls. But they’re not as new as you might think, E3 Spark Plugs fans. A researcher’s recent dig through the archives of the Fire Department of New York unearthed a real historical gem – footage of a borough department responding to a fire way back in 1926. Two silent videos (sound on film was possible as early as 1923 and used in film shorts, but too pricey to be commercially viable for another decade or so) give viewers a first-hand look at life in the streets during the Roaring ’20s. And it was pretty chaotic. Traffic rules of some sort were in place in the U.S. as early as 1903 and the first modern traffic light was installed at a Cleveland street corner in 1914 (the first traffic light ever ...

February 4, 2015


Jeff Gordon Stars on CBS’ “I Get That A Lot”

Jeff Gordon Stars on CBS’ “I Get That A Lot”

Racer Jeff Gordon appears on CBS’ “I Get That A Lot,” hawking motor oil at an Auto Zone store. Hey racing fans, tune into CBS’ reality spoof show, I Get That A Lot tonight to see NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon thoroughly confuse customers at an Auto Zone store. The four-time Sprint Cup champion does an admirable job of hawking Quaker State Motor Oil to would-be buyers. In one teaser clip, two friends laugh hysterically while an apparently oblivious customer argues against Gordon’s professional recommendation. “He doesn’t even know who it is,” one says, pointing at ads just inches away featuring Gordon’s image and name. The hour-long network special features highly recognizable celebrities working ordinary jobs. Hidden cameras capture the surprised looks of unsuspecting customers trying to figure out if their service is coming from iconic pop culture figures or spitting-image doppelgangers. The program has featured supermodel Heidi Klum slumming it at a pizza par...

February 4, 2015


Mini-Driving French Stuntman Attempts First Ever Back Flip in a Car

Mini-Driving French Stuntman Attempts First Ever Back Flip in a Car

French stuntman Guerlain Chicherit may have become the first to successfully land a 360-degree back flip in a car. They’ve become a dime-a-dozen on motorcycles and in monster trucks. But as of yet, no one on record has successfully landed an unassisted, mid-air back flip in a car – at least not on purpose. E3 Spark Plugs just learned that French stuntman Guerlain Chicherit may have changed history, if a recently released video tease is to be believed. And he’s got plans to repeat his much speculated feat next month. On his Facebook page, Chicherit, best known as a four-time free skiing world champion and the 2009 Rally Raid World champ, claims to have completed a 360-degree back flip in a highly modified Mini Countryman on New Year’s Day. “It was 18 months of work, lots of crashes and doubts, but at the end we’ve accomplished it,” Chicherit wrote in a January 1 status update. His Facebook page also features a masterfully shot video teaser that shows Chicherit d...

February 4, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Wants to Make Sure Your New Year Celebration is a Safe One

E3 Spark Plugs Wants to Make Sure Your New Year Celebration is a Safe One

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are among the deadliest on the roadways. After a tumultuous 2012, it’s probably safe to say that everyone in America is looking forward to a fresh start in 2013. Just make sure your New Year’s Eve celebration doesn’t land you or someone you meet on an emergency room gurney or in a jail cell. We here at E3 Spark Plugs want to make sure you’re aware of stats that show you’re more likely to be involved in a drunk driving accident during the November to January holiday season than any other time of year. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that New Year’s Day is the deadliest day of the year for speeding-related fatal crashes, followed by Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other studies show that New Year’s Eve statistically has one of the highest rates of drunk driving fatalities, second only to Thanksgiving Day. NHTSA researchers say 54 percent of all New Year...

February 4, 2015


Three Classic Cars that Won’t Suck Your Wallet Dry

Three Classic Cars that Won’t Suck Your Wallet Dry

A mint-condition beauty like this one will set you back a pretty penny. But as a fixer-upper, the Ford Torino is among the most affordable classic cars. Got a little Christmas jingle left in your pockets? If you’re an auto enthusiast resolving to make your first classic car purchase in 2013, E3 Spark Plugs has a few suggestions that won’t break the bank. Here are our top three picks among the most affordable classic cars. Triumph Spitfire Named for the British World War II fighter plane, the Triumph Spitfire is as iconic as it gets for small, two-seater, convertible British sports cars. The most desirable is the Mark I, the car’s first generation produced from 1962-1964. But far more accessible is the Mark IV, made from 1970 to 1974. You should be able to pick one up for between $2,500 and $4000, though in better condition, they may run upwards of $6,000 Volvo PV544 Designed after the 1942 U.S. Army Staff Car, the Volvo PV544 debuted in 1958 and remained in production...

February 4, 2015


Toyota Land Cruiser Makes History with 27-year, 170-country, 138-Spark Plug Journey

Toyota Land Cruiser Makes History with 27-year, 170-country, 138-Spark Plug Journey

Emil and Liliana Schmid and their world record-breaking 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60. Remember that Forrest Gump scene sequence wherein Gump decided to take a quick run. He set out from his fictional hometown of Greenbow, Alabama and just kept on running – all the way to the Santa Monica Yacht Harbor in California. And then, he ran back. He crossed the country five times and racked up 15,248 miles before telling millions of moviegoers quite anti-climactically, “I’m pretty tired. Think I’ll go home now.” Swiss couple Emil and Liliana Schmid and their 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 can relate. They set out for a one-year getaway from their jobs as a software developer and secretary. And just kept going. Now 28 years-strong, their jaunt has officially been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest travel journey, the most miles and the most countries visited in a single car. The Schmids have logged more than 413,650 miles in their trusty Land Cru...

February 4, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Digs these Dramatic Garage Doors

E3 Spark Plugs Digs these Dramatic Garage Doors

Garage door murals by Style Your Garage are convincing enough to fool Wile E. Coyote – and maybe even your neighbors. Want to protect your garage-kept loot, or just make your neighbors do a double-take? E3 Spark Plugs found a way to add some serious drama to your boring ol’ garage door. Head over to Style Your Garage’s website and take your pick of dozens of ultra-realistic billboard murals perfectly sized for garage doors. Created by Created by artist Thomas Sassenbach, the doors are an example of the trompe l’oeil (“deceive the eye”) art technique, which uses realistic 2D images to create a 3D optical illusion effect. Garage murals can make it appear that your garage is hiding any of a whole, crazy range of items from classic cars to space ships to airplanes, to wild animals to beachfront property or Medieval castles – even in the middle of the ‘burbs. A few feature expansive roadway views a la an episode of a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. Does your garage sport ...

February 4, 2015


Pro Race Car Driver vs. Self-Driving Car – Who Wins, E3 Spark Plugs Fans?

Pro Race Car Driver vs. Self-Driving Car – Who Wins, E3 Spark Plugs Fans?

Self-driving automobiles like CARS’ “Shelley” could hit America’s streets within five years, industry insiders say. While they’re years away from commercial availability, and perhaps decades away from mainstream acceptance, self-driving cars are now street-legal in Florida, Nevada and California. And car manufacturers such as Lexus, Mercedes Benz, and Volvo are introducing self-driving features such as self-parking, radar enabled adaptive cruise control, and automatic collision avoidance on new models. Industry insiders say fully autonomous vehicles may be commercially available in as little as five years. The thought of sharing the road with dozens of driverless vehicles is enough to completely unnerve some. But others are looking forward to making like New York subway riders, checking their email messages, reading their gossip magazines or taking a nap while leaving the driving to someone, or something, else. But while self-driving cars can get from point A to poin...

February 4, 2015


Best Vehicles for Surviving Mayan / Zombie Apocalypse

Best Vehicles for Surviving Mayan / Zombie Apocalypse

Preparing for the Mayan apocalypse? You’re gonna want one of these. If you’re anxiously awaiting a coming apocalypse, whether of the Mayan or zombie sort, E3 Spark Plugs has good news for you. Out of the sincerest concern for you and your family’s post-apocalyptic welfare, we’ve put together a list of the five best rides for surviving the demise of the world as we know it. They’ll cost you, but hey – it’s only money and you likely won’t need much, what with that comet hurtling toward Earth and that massive solar storm expected to jack the global power grid. Conquest Knight XV: This $629,000 fully armored, bio-fuel powered SUV boasts bulletproof glass, run-flat tires, reinforced door hinges and a pretty luxe interior. The company is making only 100 of them, so you might be up for a fight.  Terra Wind: Got a big family? Load ‘em up in this amphibious RV that can travel 80 mph by land and seven knots on the water. Built by Cool Amphibious Manufacturers Inter...

February 4, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Recommends – Great Holiday Gifts for the Car Lover

E3 Spark Plugs Recommends – Great Holiday Gifts for the Car Lover

Hey, car nuts – What are you hoping for this Christmas? Christmas is just a week away. Got the car lover you lover covered? E3 Spark Plugs offers a few great gift ideas for the auto enthusiast. A copy of Paul Ingrassia’s Engines of Change, a hard-cover history of the automobile’s profound effects on and reflections of America “from the assembly lines of Henry Ford to the open roads of Route 66, from the lore of Jack Kerouac to the sex appeal of the Hot Rod.” A power boost via the PowerLine PowerCup 200/400 watt mobile inverter with USB power port. It’s great for recharging your Kindle, cell phone and laptop batteries while on the go. And it sports a delicious coffee cup look. A care package. The AAA 70 Piece Explorer Road Assistance Kit is the perfect gift for the young or roadside disaster-prone driver you love. The double-sided carrying bag comes complete with an AAA emergency care guide, heavy duty booster cable, hand-charted dual LED flashlight, a pair of d...

February 4, 2015


Original Batmobile Up for Grabs – Spark Plugs, Bat Ray Projector and All

Original Batmobile Up for Grabs – Spark Plugs, Bat Ray Projector and All

Holy celebrity car auctions, Batman – The original Batmobile is up for grabs! Pow! Bam! Zoom! If you’re a longtime car enthusiast and comic fan, a piece of your childhood is headed for the auction block. E3 Spark Plugswants to know if you’ll be among the high-dollar bidders for the original Batmobile, up for grabs at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 19. This ain’t no replica wannabe. It’s the real deal – the one and only original constructed by celebrity customizer George Barris for the live action TV series, Batman, which began airing in 1966. The car also appeared in the movie adaptation starring Adam West and Burt Ward – the original Dynamic Duo. The Batmobile might just prove the biggest ROI ever for a car collector. The base is actually a 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept that Barris bought from Ford for a grand total of one dollar. Originally sporting a pearlescent frost blue and white paint finish, the car was hand-built in 1954 by ...

February 4, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Digs Hyde Park on Hudson – and Fab FDR Cars

E3 Spark Plugs Digs Hyde Park on Hudson – and Fab FDR Cars

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his Plymouth PA Phaeton. “The President. The First Lady. The King. The Queen. The Mother. The Mistress…One weekend would unite two great nations…After cocktails of course.” That’s the tagline for the ever so slightly tawdry biopic that chronicles President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s not-so-secret romantic dalliance with sixth cousin Margaret “Daisy” Stuckley, focusing on the historic 1939 weekend visit by the King and Queen of the United Kingdom – the first ever British royal visit to the U.S. Based on accounts penned in Stuckley’s personal diary, discovered after her death, Hyde Park on Hudson stars Bill Murray as FDR and Laura Linney as Stuckley. Samuel West as King George VI stresses about impending war while Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth clutches her pears over the thought of eating – gasp! – hotdogs at the history-making countryside picnic in upstate New York. But for us here at E3 Spark Plugs, the real s...

February 4, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Digs the New Jaguar F-Type

E3 Spark Plugs Digs the New Jaguar F-Type

New Jaguar F-Type makes its US debut at the LA Auto Show. One of the biggest stories coming out of the Los Angeles Auto Show this week is the U.S. debut of the Jaguar F-Type two-seater sports coupe and convertible. This supercharged head-turner was unveiled in Paris, but seen for the first time Stateside in LA this week. But we got a surprise that those blokes across the pond didn’t – a first look at the sub-XK performance machine’s new “Black” design pack. This styling package’s bold signature is a gloss black finish on the grill surround and side vents, a flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, gloss black interior touches, and instrument panel rings. It’s available with the F-Type’s Ultimate Black, Polaris White, Italian Racing Red, Rhodium Silver, Grey and Firesand body colors on the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 model and 5.0-liter supercharged V8 version. “Good automotive design should be about creating excitement,” says Jaguar design chief Ian Callum. Well...

February 4, 2015


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