Iconic Hess Toy Trucks Celebrate 50 Years

Hess is celebrating 50 years of its iconic toy trucks with a new 3-piece set and a commemorative book. It’s been a favorite Christmas gift for kids for decades. Now, New York-based Hess Corp. is celebrating 50 years of its iconic toy truck collection with a trio of cool mini rides – a heavy-duty flatbed truck that does double duty as a transporter and a launch pad for its companion space cruiser and scout. Founded in 1919, Hess introduced its toy trucks, helicopters, police cars, airplanes, space shuttles and rescue vehicles in 1964, making it one of the longest running toy brands on the US market. A new model is released each year and sold online and at Hess gas stations nationwide. Older models in good shape are considered collectibles and can sell for hundreds of...

February 10, 2015
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Top Collection of American Muscle Carts to Hit Auction Block

25 gems from the Wellborn Muscle Car Museum will go up for auction in Florida in January. Brothers Tim and Paul Wellborn have never been much for foreign rides. Oh, no. It’s the muscle cars made right here in the USA that they love the most. For Tim Wellborn, it all started the day his dad rolled up in a 1971 Dodge Hemi Charger. “I’d sit in that thing and dream as a little kid,” he told reporters recently. “I turned 16 and wouldn’t you know, the keys just disappeared to that car. That’s probably why I’m still alive. No 16-year-old kid should have the keys to a Hemi. But ever since then I’ve been a muscle car guy.” In the decades since Dad’s epic roll up the driveway, the Wellborn brothers have amassed one of the...

February 10, 2015
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New York International Motorcycle Show Rumbles into the Big Apple Next Week

The last major bike event of the year, the New York International Motorcycle Show, rumbles into the Jacob Javitz Center Dec. 12-14, offering a first look at hundreds of the newest street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, side-by-sides and ATVs. But if you can’t make it, no worries. The 2015 season of motorcycle shows and rallies begins next month. E3 Spark Plugs brings you our list of our favorite events for 2015. Easy Riders Bike Show Tour in Long Beach, California, January 10 Easy Riders Bike Show Tour in Sacramento, California, January 17-18 Easy Riders Bike Show tour in Charlotte, North Carolina, January 24 Colorado Motorcycle Expo in Denver, January 31-February 1 Timonium Motorcycle Show in Timonium, Maryland, February 6 Easy Riders Bike Show Tour in Nashville,...

February 10, 2015
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“Transparent??? Car Promises Greater Safety

New optical technology can help make a vehicle virtually transparent, potentially reducing the risk of accidents. Statistics show that nearly 840,000 car accidents are caused by drivers failing to see other vehicles or pedestrians in their blind spots. Now, Japanese researchers have developed a system that affords drivers a 360-degree view of the world around them, virtually eliminating dangerous blind spots. But if you’ve got visions of a road-worthy version of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, you’re a little off base. A project of the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University, the “transparent” Toyota Prius isn’t a see-thru ride, but instead employs a projection system that makes the car’s backseat and side panels appear completely...

February 10, 2015
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Five Car Models Bowing Out with Final Editions in 2015

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS is on its coming to an end, and the amazing final edition already is sold out. They say nothing lasts forever. Such is the case for five different car models set to get the final edition sendoff in 2015. If you’re one of those who loves the get-’em-before-they’re-gone challenge, here are the five rides you need to look out for over the next year: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution: This high performance sports car originally intended only for the Japanese market will drive off into the sunset after a special action model offering in 2015. The decision comes after a slow year of selling only about 200 a month nationwide, officials say. Volkswagen Eos: This slope-backed steel droptop is heavy on great design , but also a bit too heavy on price for...

February 10, 2015
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Why Black Friday is a Great Time to Buy a New Car

Black Friday is a great car shopping day, too. When the turkey’s gobbled up, the football game is over and you’ve got your nap out, it might be time to think about a new ride. While guerrilla shoppers nationwide are duking it out in the electronics shops and toy aisles, more levelheaded buyers are negotiating deals on the car lots. Turns out, Black Friday just might be the best day of the year to purchase a new vehicle. Based on a combination of sales data for the last 10 years and current market conditions, researchers estimate that dealers across the country will offer discounts of more than 20 percent this Friday. There are several reasons for the steep price drops. First, Black Friday falls very near the end of the month, when dealers are on a major push to meet their...

February 10, 2015
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Three of the Coolest Concepts Seen at the LA Auto Show

The Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo Concept debuted at the 2014 LA Auto Show. The Los Angeles Auto Show always serves up a heaping helping of spectacular sights. But it’s the concept cars that really turn heads. Here are our top picks for the coolest concepts unveiled this week: Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo: Created in honor of the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo racing video game franchise, this is one of the wildest concepts ever to sport the Chevy bowtie. The best news: This is one concept you can drive. Well, sort of. Though you’ll never park one of these in your drive way, you can rev it up in the upcoming Gran Turismo 6 via an online update. Call the 2X Vision in the game, this ride will boast a laser-based propulsion system and an...

February 10, 2015
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Dozens of World Debuts at the LA Auto Show

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 making its world debut at the LA Auto Show. The year 2014 may be winding down here in the real world. But in the futuristic halls of the 106th annual Los Angeles Auto Show, it’s already 2016. Founded in 1907, the LA Auto Show is the first major North American auto show of the season each year. As such, it’s a top choice for many automakers to debut their new wares. This year, more than 60 new rides will make their North American debuts, and of them, more than half will be global premieres – a record year for the show. Here’s a list of the new cars unveiled for the first time anywhere in the world in the exhibit halls of the LA Convention Center. Acura ILX Audi Prologue Audi R8 Competition Bentley Grand Convertible BMW X5M BMW...

February 10, 2015
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Ken Block’s Latest Gymkhana Video Production Tears Through Los Angeles

Rally racer Ken Block does donuts around LA’s landmark Randy’s Donuts structure in Los Angeles for his latest Gymkhana video series installment. Described as the “largest viral-video space in the automotive space,” rally race driver Ken Block’s Gymkhana series has released its latest – Gymkhana 7: Wild in the Streets of Los Angeles. Block made a fortune co-founding (in 1994), running and ultimately selling his shares of DC Shoes, the crazy successful sports footwear and apparel company. He’s since turned his business focus to his Hoonigan Industries, an apparel brand for auto enthusiasts where he’s co-owner and Head Hoonigan In Charge. He began his national rally racing career in 2005, landing the Rally America’s Rookie of the...

February 10, 2015
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What to do When You’re Stranded on a Snowy Highway

Such is the scene in much of New York, where the governor has declared a state of emergency in 10 snow-hit counties. All the talk this week is about the nasty weather hitting much of the nation. At the time of this writing, the hardest-hit area is Buffalo, NY, currently buried under some 60 inches snow. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for 10 of the states’ western counties most impacted by the snow – a move prompted in part by reports of five deaths, including that of a 46-year-old man found dead in his snow-buried car and another killed in a car accident. That declaration means that some 1,000 transportation personnel operating 526 snow plows, 74 large loaders and 21 snow blowers, as well as 150 National Guardsmen are on their...

February 10, 2015
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