What Might Have Been – Ford’s Experimental “Wrist-Twist???

In 1964, Ford tested an experimental “Wrist-Twist” steering system that just might have replaced the steering wheel. E3 Spark Plugs loves finding vintage car tidbits, and this one is a doozy. In 1965, Ford tested a concept car that just might have fundamentally changed driving forever.  Designed by a former missile engineer, the experimental Mercury Park Lane replaced the boring ol’ steering wheel with two five-inch metallic rings mounted on a two-pronged stick. Dubbed the Wrist-Twist Steering Control, the system promised improved steering, better visibility and comfort features like armrests for each of the rings, making sitting in the driver’s seat feel a lot more like sitting in “your favorite easy chair.” In a promotional video promoting...

February 4, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Digs Florida, Georgia Fan-Mobiles Showing up for “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party???

Here in Northeast Florida where E3 Spark Plugs is headquartered, blood runs red and black, orange and blue. Locals are gearing up for the annual Florida-Georgia game this weekend. Ok, formally, it’s the 2012 Georgia vs. Florida Football Classic this year. The name flip-flops according to which team won the last game. It’s a pigskin rivalry that’s continued for over a century and one of the few that has its own Wikipedia page. The game between the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs has been played nearly every year since 1915, though the rivalry can be traced back to 1904 between UGA and one of UF’s predecessor institutions. And since 1933, it’s been held in Jacksonville every year but two, making it one of the few...

February 4, 2015
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Look for E3 Spark Plugs at 2012 SEMA Show

Have you bought your tickets yet? Better hurry! Ticket sales for the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas Oct. 30-Nov. 2 are going gangbusters and E3 Spark Plugs will be there. The trade association formally known as the Specialty Equipment Market Association is made up of dozens of automotive manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, restorers, street-rod builders, re-stylers, clubs, teams, etc. And its annual show is the one that those in the specialty and vintage automotive industries look forward to. Last year, more than 60,000 domestic and international buyers attended the show, perusing displays featuring upwards of 1,500 newly introduced parts, tools and components and taking in educational seminars and product demonstrations. This year, E3 Spark Plugs will be among...

February 4, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Recommends New Exhibit, “Wrecks! Dramatic Crashes of NASCAR???

What remains of Michael McDowell’s dramatic 2008 crash is on display at the new “Wrecks! Dramatic Crashes of NASCAR” exhibit. Perhaps even more memorable than the amazing NASCAR wins are the fiery crashes that cause a driver’s teammates and fans to gasp like they’ve taken a collective punch to the gut. If you’re an avid stockcar racing follower, surely a wreck or two has just come to mind. Wonder whatever happened to the wreckage of a few of those cars? Well, you can find out with a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum. Opened on October 12 and running through mid-February, the new Wrecks! Dramatic Crashes of NASCAR exhibit features what’s left of the vehicles involved in some of the most spectacular crashes in the history of stock-car...

February 4, 2015
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Smart Dummies Make Driving Safer

Crash test dummies are getting smarter and increasingly high-tech. In geek-speak, they’re called anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs). We here at E3 Spark Plugs call them by their more common name – crash test dummies. Only trouble is, they’re not dummies at all. In fact, today’s ATDs are smarter and more lifelike than ever. On August 31, 1869, Ireland’s Mary Ward gained the unfortunate distinction of becoming the world’s first recorded victim of a motor vehicle accident when she fell beneath the wheels of an experimental steam car built by her cousins. Three decades later, Henry Bliss would step off a New York trolley and get fatally hit by a passing electric-powered taxi cab, becoming the first recorded U.S. victim of a car accident. Since then,...

February 4, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Digs Fred Stoke’s 10,000-Strong Vintage Oil Can Collection

Fred Stoke’s 10,000-strong oil can collection is the world’s largest. A while back, we brought you the story of Joe Cook and his amazing vintage spark plug collection. Now, meet Fred Stoke, whose automotive curiosity is all about the oil can. Stoke’s Santa Rosa, California ranch is where vintage car buffs wish they could retire. It’s a detailed recreation of a small American town complete with a bell steeple church, fire barn, restored 1920s service station and a faux general store that serve as a charming backdrop for the many antique and vintage car shows held there throughout the year. But the top attraction just might be his massive vintage oil can collection housed in the general store. At 10,000-strong, it’s quite possibly the largest one-quart oil...

February 4, 2015
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Meet Team E3 Racing Winner Jeff Byer

Team E3 Racing winner Jeff Byer worked three jobs to buy his first race car at ate 17. When Jeff Byer saw his first stockcar race at eight years old, he knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. And while he did lots of practice hot laps around the tracks at Jacksonville, Florida’s 103rd Street Sports Complex in a go-kart his father bought him, it would be nearly a decade before he raced his first event. “It wasn’t until I was 17 and after saving enough money by working three jobs that I was able to buy a stock car and the necessary equipment to start racing,” he explains, noting his family’s financial strains and his concern about getting a late start. “Growing up I was a Jeff Gordon fan because he started out as the underdog. It took him...

February 4, 2015
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Volkswagen Reveals New Beetle Convertible – What do You Think, E3 Spark Plugs Fans?

Introducing the new VW Beetle Convertible. Love it? Or would you sooner drive a a classic Bug? The 2013 Beetle Convertible will make its American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show late next month. But the company just gave us all a sneak peek with photos released today. The new Beetle Convertible is the third generation of the VW ragtop, following the type 15 from 1949 and the 2003 model. This go-round, designers opted for a sportier silhouette with a flatter roofline and a more upright windshield. The ragtop roof stows fully in just 10 seconds and lays completely flat, making for clear rear visibility. And the car has an automatic rollover support system with two computer-actuated bars behind the rear seat that pop up in just four milliseconds in the event of a collision. Under the...

February 4, 2015
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Biker Travels (Almost) 525 Miles with No Hands

Phil “No-Hands Man” Comar set out to ride 525 miles on his Harley Davidson motorcycle – never touching the handlebar, and all for a good cause. “Look, Mom – No hands!” Remember saying that to your momentarily nerve-wracked mother while zooming down the driveway on your 10-speed or dirt bike with your hands in the air? We here at E3 Spark Plugs sure do. And we’ve got the skinned-knee scars to prove it. But Phil Comar just one-upped our boneheaded bicycle moves in a big way. Adrian, Michigan resident Phil Comar set out this past Saturday to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle 525 miles from the south side of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, to Covington, Kentucky – without ever touching the handlebars. The goal was to not only set a new...

February 4, 2015
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E3 Spark Plugs Team Losi Racing Nitro 4WD Truck Giveaway Winner Announced

MSgt. Scott Frink, USAF and his beautiful family are the proud winners of E3 Spark Plugs’ Team Losi Racing Nitro 4WD Truck Giveaway! Drum roll please… And the WINNER of our Team Losi Racing Nitro 4WD Truck Giveaway is MSgt. Scott Frink, USAF, and his family! “I’m in a state of shock,” wrote MSgt Frank when we broke the news of his win. “This is GREAT! You just made my weekend, my month and possibly my year!” The Frinks have two children, including an 11-year-old son who is quite the RC enthusiast. Family, frequent moves and the stresses of military life mean limitations on potentially dangerous activities and pricey toys, as MSgt Frink noted in his official entry: “My wife made me promise when we first got married that I could not get...

February 4, 2015
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