Top News & Notes for Racing Game Enthusiasts from E3EXPO 2015

The OTHER E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, just wrapped its 2015 event and we here at E3 Spark Plugs have a few notable items to share. Among all the great gaming reveals at E3EXPO 2015 were a few that appeal to the speed lovers and gearheads. First there's the Trackmania debut. The arcade-esque game has finally jettisoned the PC for the gaming console, bringing with it "all manner of crazy courses and time trial-mastering gameplay." It's as-yet unclear whether the console version will allow for nearly the amount of customizability that has hooked players of the PC version, from music collections to car feature selections. But there's ridiculousness aplenty, still. Another we love is SMS Racing. This one is not only challenging, but serves to drive home an...

June 29, 2015
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Toyota Aims to Produce New Hydrogen Fuel - And That's No Bull

Talk about recycling - Toyota is working on a new car engine that's powered by recycling the ultimate of waste products - cow manure. Yep, you read that right. Toyota engineer Scot Blanchet is hard at work exploiting the stuff of the greenest pastures to harvest the universe's most abundant element. The plan is to extract hydrogen out of massive piles of manure using large "digesters" (We can't make this stuff up). Essentially, these digesters are lagoons where the manure is broken down by bacteria releasing methane gas. That methane then is collected and hydrogen is extracted in a steam methane reformer, a device that uses steam and heat to covert the methane into a form of gas that will power a vehicle. Advocates of hydrogen fuel argue that hydrogen fuel cells are quick to refuel...

June 29, 2015
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Samsung Debuts See-Thru Safety Semi Trucks

  It's happened to us all - Stuck behind a slow-going 18-wheeler and itching for the chance to switch lanes, speed up and swoop in front. But on a two-lane road with no room for correction should an oncoming car approach unexpectedly, it's a bit of a gamble. That's why the tech brainiacs at Samsung have developed the "Safety Truck" complete with a "see-thru" rear door. And we here at E3 Spark Plugs are duly impressed. Okay, so it's not truly transparent. But it sure looks that way from the windshield of the ride directly behind it. The truck is equipped with a camera on the front that displays its footage on four large panels at the rear of the truck. This allows drivers following to clearly see the road ahead, including all on-coming traffic. "So far Samsung has been able to...

June 29, 2015
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20 Worst States for Car Crashes

Unless you're at the controls of your gaming system playing Grand Theft Auto, getting into a car crash is never fun. But those living in certain states have it worse than others, according to a recent study by Wallet Hub, an online resource for financial and consumer information. Researchers looked at multiple factors including varying state requirements for minimum personal injury protection, uninsured/underinsured driver and liability insurance coverage, which protects you in the event of a car crash caused by some other knucklehead. Nationwide, upward of 12.6 percent of drivers lack auto insurance, according to statistics from the Insurance Research Council. That figure represents about one in eight drivers speeding up and down America's roadways every day. State considered...

June 19, 2015
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Classic Cars All New Again

Some of the most coveted classic cars are limited in number and hard to come by. But new legislation soon may change that - Sort of. State Representatives Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Gene Green (D-TX) recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would clear the way for low-volume carmakers to produce modernized replicas of certain classic rides for sale nationwide. Supported by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 (HR 2675) would allow carmakers to build up to 500 classic car replicas a year, subject to federal regulatory oversight by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and the US Environmental Protection Agency. The new rides would have to meet current model year emissions standards, often via...

June 19, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: Muscle Car City

Summer's here and school is out. If you're looking for fun outing options with the kids and you just so happen to be a classic car enthusiast, E3 Spark Plugs has the perfect solution. Pack up, fill the tank and head to Punta Gorda, Florida for a visit to Rick Treworgy's Muscle Car City. The attraction features a 99,000-square-foot museum chock full of more than 200 vintage muscle cars spanning from the 1950s through the early 1970s, including at least one Corvette of each year from 1954 through 1975 and several of each series up through 2006. There's also a Hot Rod & Speed Shop with an exhaustive assortment of restoration, rebuild and improvement parts from more than 450 manufacturers. And once your ride is sufficiently souped up, make plans to participate in one of Muscle...

June 19, 2015
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That Moment When the Rock Sideswipes Your Ride in the Parking Lot …

Any other day of the year, one would be decidedly peeved to learn that their vehicle had been sideswiped in the parking lot. But when it happened to Audie Bridges of Wakefield, MA, he had a different reaction: "Wow, this is gonna be an awesome story!" Why? Because the knucklehead that rammed Bridges' truck and took out his driver's side rearview mirror turned out to be none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, pro-wrestler-turned-superstar actor famous in part for the Furious 7 film franchise and currently starring in San Andreas. Johnson posted a photo of the encounter on his Instagram profile with the following account. Here's a fun story to start your week off... I'm driving to set in my pick up truck - music blasting - I'm singing away like I'm having a one man party in my...

June 18, 2015
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America's Next Supercar: The 2016 Rezvani Beast

Last year, a relatively unknown automaker made a bold claim. Irvine, CA-based Ferris Rezvani of Rezvani Motors announced that his company would create America's next supercar. Well, let the scoffers eat their words. We here at E3 Spark Plugs are duly impressed not only with the new Rezvani Beast itself, but the fact that, as supercars go, it's relatively affordable. Based on the company's lightweight, track-focused Ariel Atom, the Beast boasts some impressive features, including: A 500-hp Honda Racing K24 DOHC 2.4L Rotrex™ Supercharged and Intercooled engine 6-speed close ratio manual transmission Carbon steel chassis Carbon fiber body Alcon 4 piston competition breaks and Alcon race brake pads Independent forged aluminum suspension with anti-roll bars in the front...

June 18, 2015
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Monster Truck Gets a Bath - Scares the Daylights Out of Locals

The calls came pouring in and within seconds, a cavalry of ambulances, emergency responders and law enforcement officers were dispatched to the scene. No one was quite sure what to expect, but the deafening noise and the billows of smoke and dust that could be seen for miles rising over the tree line suggested a possible plane crash. Um - Not quite. As it turns out, the source of the seemingly scary sight proved a bit of a shockwave - literally. Rather than crash carnage, would-be rescuers found Neal Darnell hosing down his jet-powered monster semi-truck dubbed "Shockwave." Apparently, Darnell, known in air and automotive entertainment circles as the driver/pilot of the world's fastest jet-powered truck, forgot to advise his new neighbors of his enviable job and all the weird perks...

June 16, 2015
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This Month in Automotive History - Alice Huyler Ramsey Becomes First Woman to Drive Cross-Country

Right about this time 106 years ago, 22-year-old Alice Ramsey was setting off on what began as a publicity stunt for carmaker Maxwell-Briscoe, but would become a historic feat for women. After 59 days and 3,800 miles, the Hackensack, NJ housewife and mom would wrap a journey from Hell's Gate in Manhattan, NY to San Francisco, CA in a four-cylinder, 30-horsepower 1909 Maxwell DA, a touring car with two bench seats and a removable pantasote roof. Greeted by the paparazzi of the day, she and her traveling companions would become the first women ever to drive across the United States. At the time, a woman behind the wheel was an infrequent sight, and frowned upon by many of the upper crust of society. But Ramsey and her wily companions - two older sisters-in-law and a 16-year-old female...

June 16, 2015
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