Gaming Gets Real with GT Academy

GT Academy can take you from the virtual world onto the real-world racing tracks. Ever spent hours in front of the video game screen wishing you could physically jump into that fictional scene and make it your new reality? Actually, it’s possible – and not just within the confines of a Hollywood film, E3 Spark Plugs says. Back in 2008, the makers of Gran Turismo decided to take the best from their top-rated video game’s virtual world and give them a real-world experience like no other. Game director Kazunori Yamauchi has long talked up his notion of bridging the gap between racing simulations and real motorsport. So, his company, Polyphony Digital, teamed up with Sony and Nissan to create GT Academy – a serious racing gamer’s dream come true. GT Academy...

February 9, 2015
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Best State for Teen Drivers? Believe It or Not, New York

Turns out the safest teen drivers are in New York. We’ve got tips to help keep your teen drivers safe wherever you live. The traffic accident rates for 16- to 19-year old drivers are higher than those for any other age group. And we’re not just talking fender-benders. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide, and the vast majority of them are preventable. Results of studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pinpoint immaturity and inexperience as the primary factors contributing to deadly crashes with young drivers. Other, and often related factors can include poor hazard detection, poor risk perception, speeding, driving with a carload of friends, night time driving and texting while driving. But it...

February 9, 2015
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Holy Street-Legal Batmobile!

Australia’s Zac Mihajlovic uses his street-legal Batmobile replica to help terminally ill children. Oh yes – You read that headline correctly. There’s actually a street-legal Batmobile in existence. It only took two years, about a million dollars and one seriously psyched superfan to achieve. And like the real Batmobile, it’s often zooming down the road to help those in need. E3 Spark Plugs introduces you to Zac Mihajlovic, the Australian guy with the car that’s no doubt got his buddies in full-on envy mode. His newly registered ride is a near-exact replica of the Batmobile featured in the 1989 Batman movie, which started Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader aka Bruce Wayne, Kim Basinger as his beautiful romantic lead, and Jack Nicholson as his nemesis,...

February 9, 2015
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Famed Ron Pratte Classic Car Collection to be Auctioned Off

One of just nine known remaining GM Futurliner buses is among the amazing rides in the Ron Pratte collection to be auctioned off in January. Heads up, classic car buffs. E3 Sparks Plugs just got word of a great opportunity to drive home an amazing, possibly historic ride. One of the most famous among classic car collectors is auctioning off his entire collection. If you follow the auctions on TV and online, you’ve no doubt seen him – Ron Pratte, they guy who once dropped major cash on 52 vehicles at a single auction in Scottsdale. Pratte built his fortune, currently estimated at upwards of $350 million, as the founder and former CEO of the Phoenix, AZ-based Pratte Development Company, Inc., one of the nation’s largest wood framing and concrete foundation companies....

February 9, 2015
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Where to Donate Your Used Car? E3 Spark Plugs Offers a Few Ideas

Nonprofit homes for troubled youth use donated cars to teach young residents auto mechanic skills. Got a ride sitting in your driveway or yard that not likely to see the open road with you in behind the wheel again? Rather than let it rust and rot, why not donate it to a nonprofit organization that could use it for a positive cause? Not only will you get that feel-good vibe from doing something helpful, but you may just get a little cash for it come tax time, too. The US government allows vehicle owners to benefit from donating used rides in one of two ways, depending upon how the receiving charity will use the donation. If a charity will actually use the vehicle itself, you may be allowed to deduct its value up to a state or federally predetermined amount when filing you’re...

February 9, 2015
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Parents Magazine, Edmunds.com Declare Best Family Rides of 2014

The 2014 Honda Odyssey is the best family minivan, say researchers with Parents Magazine and Edmunds.com. Here at E3 Spark Plugs, we’re all about family. And, of course, great rides. So, we were curious to see just which cars, SUVs and minivans made the recently released list of the best family rides as declared by Parents Magazine and Edumunds.com, an online resource for all-things-automotive. Rides were chose based on a litany of factors including safety, fuel economy, leg room and cargo space, value for the money, and style. After all, your grocery getter need not be an ugly one. Researchers also kept in mind car buyers with large broods, limited budgets and eco-friendly mindsets. “We do this to save parents time during the car-shopping process and make it easier for...

February 9, 2015
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That Whole GM Debacle Just Got Worse

The death toll resulting from faulty GM ignition switches may be far higher than previously thought. Since February, the automotive world has been focused on what just may prove one of the biggest automotive recalls in history. And it just got worse for beleaguered car maker General Motors. In February, GM recalled 780,000 vehicles, after reports that 22 automobile crashes resulting in six deaths may have been caused by a faulty ignition switch. Turns out defective switches were shifting unexpectedly, shutting down the vehicles’ engines and seizing the power steering, power brakes and airbag deployment mechanisms – though GM officials pointed to vehicle owners and drivers using heavy key chains and driving on rough terrain. A few weeks later, when reports surfaced that up...

February 9, 2015
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Three Tips for Getting the Most from Donating Your Used Vehicle

Donating your used vehicle to a charity is a noble gesture that could benefit you as well. Considering donating your used vehicle? It’s a noble gesture. And it’s one that could benefit both you and the charity you choose – but only if you do it the right way. E3 Spark Plugs offers a few tips: Do your homework: Before signing over your vehicle, make sure you do your research. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous folks out there who will set up and/or market bogus nonprofit organizations, keeping donations for themselves. Make sure that the charity you choose is, indeed, a genuine charitable organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, in good standing and with a 501c3 designation, which will allow you to receive a tax benefit for your donation. A few...

February 9, 2015
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Motorcycle Safety Tips for New and BAMBI Riders

Motorcycles are enjoying a boom time. If you’re a new or returning biker, make sure you’re ready. Since the economy tanked and gas prices began to run amok a few years ago, motorcycle sales have enjoyed a boom time. After all, fuel costs and insurance typically are lower than they are for your gas-guzzling full size truck or SUV. And then there’s Sons of Anarchy – the crazy successful FX network show that some pop culture pundits say has lent the motorcycle industry a bit of a popularity boost. As a result, America’s roadways today are filled with relatively inexperienced, but nonetheless licensed motorcycle drivers. If you’re among them, welcome to the club. Motorcycle enthusiasts are a bit of a brotherhood, whether you’re a newbie or a...

February 9, 2015
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Honda Accord, Civic Top LoJack’s List of Most Stolen Cars

The Honda Accord tops LoJack’s list of the nation’s most stolen cars – again. There’s nothing like that rock-in-the-bottom-of-your-stomach feeling when you’re standing in the middle of the mall parking lot and NOT finding your car. Unfortunately for those whose beloved rides are Honda Accords and Honda Civics, that feeling is an all-too-common one, according to LoJack Corp., a top provider of tracking and recovery systems. Turns out that Honda’s Accord and Civic models are enduring favorites among both law-abiding citizens and lowdown thieves alike. They’ve been upper-level regulars on most-stolen lists released by companies and agencies like LoJack and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) multiple times over the past several...

February 9, 2015
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