• RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BEST!

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BEST

    The Matunes – Maureen & Mike – were on the field of 100 antiques, classics and sports cars to bring us highlights of one of the country’s top Concours.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTRADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTThe Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance limits itself to 100 motorcars each year while recognizing automotive legends. This year four were honored including Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg. Exemplifying those once mighty marques were Dave Markel’s ‘31 Cord L-29 Cabriolet and Sue & Mark Lankford’s ‘37 Cord 812SC Phaeton.

    Team Penske’s ‘73 Porsche 911 RSR was a major attraction. These cars were featured in the first IROC Championship, taken by Mark Donohue. This very car would carry him to a Riverside win. Standing next to the car speaking to a television journalist is Mark’s son David. He is a racer of note in his own right, having both a North American Touring Car Championship and a class win at Le Mans to his credit.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTThe Race Cars of Roger Penske were featured at this year’s event. Among them was this ‘66 Chevrolet Corvette L88 coupe owned by Kevin Mackay. It’s too bad this car can’t talk. It could tell stories about a cold drive back from the Corvette plant in St. Louis to the Penske shop and then to Corvette legend Dick Guldstrand. Or about completing the Daytona 24 and taking a class win with flashlights taped to the hood replacing crash-damaged headlights!

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTPurists were appalled a few years back when perennial sportscar manufacturer Porsche, added SUVs and a sedan to its lineup. They may have been ignoring a little history, as Porsche once made tractors in addition to their more sporty offerings. Production was started before WWII and continued afterwards by manufacturers who leased the rights to the design. Radnor Hunt had a special class this year for vintage tractors and Daniel Magness brought his Porsche along.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTFrom another time, comes the Delage sales slogan, the “Car with a Reputation”. The origins of that were supposedly in the saying that a Delage was the car you gave to your mistress. The lines of this ‘34 D8S Cabriolet with body by Fernandez & Daren certainly convey a sultry theme. Today it holds a place in the JWR Museum collection. Its past accolades include class awards on two occasions at Pebble Beach.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTFiat has unleashed a modern version of the legendary 124 Spyder Abarth and this is the car which inspired it – Gildo Torchia’s rare ‘73 Fiat 124 CSA Abarth. Conceived and built as a Homologation Special to qualify for Group 4 rally competition, it features an IRS, fiberglass hood and decklid and aluminum doors. Those wheels are real magnesium as opposed to aluminum. Under its hood is a slightly hotter version of Fiat’s DOHC Four.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTSuzanne and John Campion traveled from Jacksonville, FL to show their ‘83 Lancia-Abarth 037 rally car. It has scored multiple wins and podiums in its life. Found in Prague, it is now safely ensconced in the Campion’s extensive collection of pro rally cars. Their trip to Radnor Hunt was rewarded with the Best of Show Sport trophy.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTDiane & Don Meluzio showed their ‘61 Fiat Abarth Bialbero 1000 GT Coupe with body by Carrozzeria Abarth & Beccarris as part of a special Fiat Abarth class. After a successful racing career in Europe this car was sold to Team Roosevelt in the U.S. and continued its winning ways at Nassau and Sebring. As with most Abarths, the engine is diminutive but powerful, drawing 95 horsepower from 948 ccs. The Meluzios are to be congratulated for organizing the outstanding Abarth class.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTIt’s hard to find a bad angle on David Markel’s ‘32 Auburn 12-160A Speedster. From this view, your eye is drawn to the boat-tail styling, wide-whites, wire wheels and flawless paint. The Speedster houses a 160 horsepower, 391 cubic-inch, Twelve and a two-speed rear axle. Top speed is in the range of 110 mph.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTHelen & Richard Harding wait patiently for their turn at the awards podium in their ‘28 Auburn 8-988 Speedster. Their stunning Navajo Red and Black car garnered the Best in Show award at the 21st Radnor Hunt Concours. The Auburn marque dates back to the turn of the 20th Century, later becoming part of Auburn – Cord – Duesenberg.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTChrysler was known for a little craziness during the Ponycar-Musclecar era as shown by Kim Barnes ‘69 Plymouth Barracuda “Mod Top” coupe. One’s eye is immediately drawn to the flower power vinyl roof until you notice the interior is upholstered in a similar pattern. Obviously, this was not for the shy or retiring, as borne out by the fact that only about 900 of these were made in 1969.

    Thanks to Mike Whelan for his help with credentials. And to Founder & Chairman Mike Tillson, his staff, sponsors, presenters, judges, participants and volunteers for another great Concours.

    Words & Photos by Maureen K. Matune & M. M. “Mike” Matune, Jr.

    For more information about the event and its venue, please visit https://radnorconcours.org/

    http://www.radnorhunt.org/    http://www.thorncroft.org/

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  • Evolution of Hybrid Cars

    Rising in popularity in recent years, you could easily mistake hybrid cars as one the latest trend of mod cons to hit our roads! With cars such as Toyota Prius taking place in popular culture, it may surprise you to learn how long inventors have been exploring the idea of Hybrid cars. We are looking at the evolution of hybrid vehicles, in partnership with Go Green Leasing.

     1830s- Robert Anderson builds the first electric car

    The first ever electric vehicle was built and introduced between 1832-1839. Unlike other vehicles at the time Andersons invention did not run on literal horse power. Instead this four-wheeled electric carriage connected a motor to non-rechargeable power cells.

    1901- Ferdinand Porsche builds the first ever hybrid car

    The German automotive innovator creates the worlds first hybrid car in 1901. Named after the inventor, the Lorde-Porches Mixet hybrid combined an internal combustion engine with electric motors located in the wheel hubs.

    1913- The takeover of gasoline cars

    Gasoline- self-starter cars take over and dominate the automobile industry, while sales of electric and steam-powered cars drop in this period. This drop subsequently leads to a decline in hybrid innovation for 50 years.

    1969- The plug-in car arrives

    The late 60’s seen General Motors reveal several hybrids cars. The first vehicle revealed was the GM’s commuter XP512h which uses a gasoline/electric drivetrain. The company then went to rework the design and introduced the XP- 883 in 1969 with a two-cylinder engine and a plug that fit into a standard wall socket. The electric powered up to 16km after which gas engine would take over.

    1990- NiMH batteries charge up the market

    In 1967 the development of nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries began. The cells of hundreds of high-powered charge-discharge cycles. Thanks to the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) investing $90 million into the battery, the technology was later improved in the 80’s and was featured in electric and hybrid cars in the 90s.

    Modern day

    Not so long ago, hybrids were the reserve of environmentally conscious school run mums, people living or working under the London congestion charge, and taxi drivers looking to save a bit of money on fuel.

    However, with an ever-growing number of hybrids on the market, they are increasingly becoming a mainstream alternative to conventional petrol and diesel models. Hybrid is ditching the practical image and is slowly becoming the new cool kid on the block, with manufacturers such Mercedes, Mitsubishi and BMW releasing ground breaking models, the evolution of hybrid vehicles is set to keep breaking boundaries.

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  • ‘17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPE!

    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPE

    ‘It’s a usable point-and-shoot coupe, quite willing to play hard, and then settle down for a drive to dinner,’ blogs Dan Scanlan.

    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPEI say AMG, and you say Mercedes-Benz’s hot rod, usually with a big V-8 hand-made by someone in Affalterbach, then signed on an alloy plaque on top. But just as the tuner started by Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erghard Melcher has been fully folded into Mercedes-Benz, so have some changes come to what’s now called Mercedes-AMG.

    So while this all-wheel-drive C43 AMG has received the golden touch from the folks who tune special Benzes, it is a different breed of Mercedes musclecar. This C-Class’ 3-liter/362 horsepower V-6, its twin turbochargers visible under air intakes in the tightly packed engine bay, wasn’t built in AMG’s operation in Affalterbach. It was just designed there. So, no engine builder’s plate, but it does get a new AMG-enhanced nine-speed automatic transmission with “Manual” mode so you can paddle-shift. With peak torque of 384 pound-feet in the “Sport+” drivetrain setting, it leaps to 60-mph in 4.5 seconds and 100 mph in 11.5 with super-quick up-shifts and no wheel spin. The G-meter on the expansive gauge display claimed .7 Gs acceleration at full launch. Tap the exhaust valve button and there’s an exotic snarling scream, each up-shift punctuated by a rifle shot-like bark from quad pipes. Backing off adds crackling, popping overrun.
    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPESet drivetrain in “Eco,” activating engine shut-off at stoplights, and the C43 AMG delivers 20 mpg on premium. It decouples the transmission from engine when you slow down. Or enjoy “Comfort,” which dials back the throttle response and steering feel for daily commuting, but still delivers precise, buffered shifts and strong mid-range torque for passing – 0 to 60-mph in 5 seconds, and 100 mph in 12.2.

    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPEUnder its steel unibody with aluminum hood, trunk lid and front fenders, there’s an independent multi-link suspension with coil springs, tubular torsion bars and double-tube shock absorbers with adaptive variable damping. “Comfort” setting left us with a nice ride that absorbed everything, a touch of float over repetitive bumps. It was all too buffered, from steering to throttle response, for me.

    “Sport” gave a slightly firmer edge that smoothed out repetitive bumps, further buffering on full compression. The firmer suspension and all-wheel-drive with a rear biased torque distribution of 31 percent front/69 percent rear meant the C43 just hugged curves and went around them in a neutral fashion, turn after turn. Sport+ offered much quicker and tighter bump control, not too nice on rougher road or streets with raised crosswalks, but great for nicely paved sweepers. Its quicker and more aggressive shift pattern meant razor-sharp downshifts for powering out of curves, and tighter steering to help.
    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPEThere’s an “Individual” mode, so you can set steering and drivetrain – I picked powertrain in “Sport+” and suspension in “Sport,” tapping open the sport exhaust valve. The C43 AMG stitched turn to turn, the shifts putting the rpm where needed to pull out of a curve. Tap the paddle and downshifts were executed concisely with a throttle blip. Bumps didn’t bother as we swept through turns, very flat.

    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPEThere was no drama on our skidpad, only a touch of understeer. We regularly pulled .93 Gs in turns. With cross-drilled and vented 14.2-inch front discs, and 12.6-inch rear solid discs, we had great pedal feel and initial bite on our 3,000-mile-old test coupe. Plus solid stopping power with no nosedive and no fade after some very high-speed stops, pulling 1.1 Gs at full pedal push.

    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPEThe C43 has a more prominent and upright grille with big Benz star and upswept LED headlights. Concentric chrome-plated pins flank the grill’s center star; side brake ducts flanking a low center air intake. The 10-spoke light-alloy wheels in gloss black with brushed alloy finish show off big disc brakes with silver AMG-badged front calipers. Lower profile P225/40R 19-inch Continental tires up front are matched with staggered wider P255/35Rs in back, giving the coupe a well-planted look. Our test car’s “Night Package” adds a gloss black lower diffuser with twin ebony-finished tailpipes, as well as gloss black front splitter.

    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPE17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPEInside are highly sculpted bucket seats with leather-like MB-Tex and suede-like microfiber inserts, accented in red stitching. With 10-way power adjustment, they were very grippy in turns, with great support. Black leather and suede accent the flat-bottomed AMG multifunction sport steering wheel, also with red stitching. The fat-rimmed steering wheel has long, easy to reach alloy shift paddles behind it. There’s a 180-mph speedometer and 8,000-rpm tach with 6,500-rpm redline. They flank a 4.5-inch display for stereo, navigation, and an AMG menu item – digital speedometer, gear, G-force, lap-timer, turbo boost and engine gauges. A head-up display shows tach, speed and gear position.

    17 MERCEDES-BENZ C43 AMG: POINT & SHOOT COUPEA base C300 Coupe starts at $42,650, while our C43 AMG coupe started at $55,500 with lots of standards including the high-performance summer tires. But options like the COMAND navigation system, red paint, ash wood interior trim, AMG exhaust and split-spoke alloy wheels brought it to $66,945. You can still get an AMG coupe with more muscle – the C63 AMG with twin-turbo V-8 and 469 horsepower and easily-smoked tires. Or go for AMG-lite C43 and get a very comfortable and usable point-and-shoot coupe, quite willing to play hard, and then settle down for a drive to dinner.

    For the complete AMG story and models available, please visit https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/amg

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  • New Weise Renegade and Highway Motorcycle Gloves

    Whether you ride a sports bike or a cruiser, the new Weise Renegade and Highway motorcycle gloves have you covered. And the good news is that both choices are pretty cost-effective summer riding kit.

    Weise Renegade Gloves:

    The Weise Renegade motorcycle gloves are for the knee-down one-piece leather brigade. Which means they go heavy on the armour and protection. So the Renegades get full-grain leather selected from the strongest part of the hide. And feature a twin overlay on the palm, integrated TPU reinforcement armour on the knuckles and finders, plus padded panels on each cuff.

    Weise Renegade Motorcycle Gloves Black White
    The Weise Renegade motorcycle gloves

    Inside there is a lightweight polyester lining, which helps to keep your paws cooler, along with a perforated wrist section. Stretch panels on the fingers and above the knuckles help to keep you nice and flexible, and there are silicon prints on the palm to aid your grip. Lastly the wrist and cuff are eslasticated and fastaned with Velcro.

    The Weise Renegade motorcycle gloves are available in sizes XS-3XL in Black or Black/White and cost £89.99.

    Weise Highway Gloves:

    Also new for 2017 are the Weise Highway motorcycle gloves. These are designed for cruiser and classic owners who want the retro look with 100% goatskin. On the plams are Chamude overalys to give extra grip on top of the soft, flexible goatskin. And the short cuff is designed to fit neatly under your classic riding jacket, which means you’ll look cool as well as helping to keep air flowing around your wrist and up your sleeves.

    Weise Highway Motorcycle Gloves Brown
    The Weise Highway motorcycle gloves in the brown colourscheme

    There’s an adjsutable popper strap on the cuffs to keep the Highway gloves nice and secure on your hands. And putting them on and off is helped by the rubber grip tab with the subtle Weise logo.

    Weise Highway Motorcycle Gloves Tan
    The Weise Highway motorcycle gloves in the tan colourscheme

    The Weise Highway motorcycle gloves are available in sizes XS-4XL and you can choose them in either Brown or Tan. They cost £45.99.

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  • CTEK: SMART CHARGER FOR SUPERCARS!

    CTEK’s latest high-tech MXS 5.0 Smart Charger ushers in a new generation of fully automatic, microprocessor controlled, multi-functional chargers ideal for high-performance and exotic vehicles.

    Today’s luxury and high-performance vehicles, including Supercars and Hypercars – place incredible loads on conventional 12-volt batteries and charging systems.

    Less-than-fully-charged batteries can negatively affect complex electronics, including computer systems that control powertrain, suspension, and entertainment and body function management. Start-Stop technology is another drain on charging systems. To alleviate some of these problems, some manufacturers have provided dual battery systems, one dedicated for starting; the other for maintenance while the car is parked.

    “The battery in today’s automobile is under enormous stress and the alternator is not capable of fully recharging the battery. As a result, many batteries never achieve their full service life,” said Bobbie DuMelle, executive vice-president, CTEK North America. “The use of a CTEK charger/maintainer, like our new MXS 5.0 with its proprietary eight-step battery care program, can help double or even triple average battery life.”

    For a variety of reasons, including packaging, weight distribution and shielding from engine heat, batteries are being located in difficult to service locations. The battery in my Ford GT is buried under a panel in the front ‘trunk” and the one in my Jaguar XKR is mounted behind the back seat, accessible only via a removable panel at the rear of the trunk. Servicing or replacing a battery is an awkward, time-consuming task, and costly if done at a Jaguar dealership!

    While the primary problem with a car’s battery is loss of adequate power to start the engine, there are other issues. Running modern HP cars with batteries not fully charged can often translate into the loss of some personal settings for everything from seat position and entertainment to critical engine and suspension tuning. In the case of the 2005-2006 Ford GT, some owners have attributed instrument failures to low-output batteries. It’s not unusual to see threads on Ford GT and Jaguar owner forums related to battery performance, impact on vehicle electronics, and the necessity of using a maintenance charger on cars that are not driven daily.

    Since both my Ford GT and Jaguar XKR are not daily drivers and spend a lot of downtime when I’m traveling, I chose the latest CTEK MXS 5.0 charger/maintainer with a proprietary eight-step charging program. It is the first of a new generation of smart chargers, able to sense battery condition throughout the charging cycle and avoid overcharging that can damage cells and shorten battery life. It automatically adjusts the charging rate depending on ambient temperature to ensure ideal charging in extreme cold or hot weather conditions. Since I live in Florida and extreme heat negatively affects a battery as much as extreme cold, the choice was simple!

    Award-winning hot rod and Corvette Resto-Mod builder Mike Griffin, top, right, Sarasota, FL, installed the 5.0’s Comfort Connect Eyelet wiring to the remote Positive terminal and a Ground, located behind an easily accessible and vented panel in my Jaguar XKR’s trunk, below. Mike utilizes charger/maintainers on his vintage Corvettes with modern LS powertrains as well as his Porsche 911 GTS.

    The Ford GT has a cigarette lighter receptacle, above, that’s “hot” when parked;no special wiring was necessary.

    CTEK chargers are packaged with Comfort Connect Eyelet wiring as well as Alligator clamps to cover most vehicle hookups. A Comfort Connect Cig Plug, above, is available for use on cars with cigarette lighter receptacles that are “hot” when the engine is turned off. Additionally, CTEK supports its sophisticated chargers with a system of accessories, all geared to keeping batteries up to optimum performance. There’s a Comfort Indicator Panel that displays battery strength via Red, Yellow and Green lights, allowing you to constantly monitor battery condition and then charge when necessary.

    The most unique support accessory is the new CTX BATTERY SENSE, allowing remote tracking of a vehicle’s battery on an Android OS or iPhone iOS smartphone. You can monitor up to three months of stored battery data on your smartphone and you will be notified when the battery’s state of charge falls to a critical level. CTEK BATTERY SENSE syncs battery stats via Bluetooth; free downloads for iPhones are available from the AppStore, https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ctek-battery-sense/id977976405?mt=8

    For Android phones, free downloads are available from GooglePlay, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ctek.sba&hl=en

    CTEK manufactures the most sophisticated and comprehensive line of battery chargers for on and off-road wheeled and tracked vehicles, including motorcycles and boats. Models range from 0.8-amp, 6-volt to 25-amp 12/16-volt applications. Designed, engineered, developed and manufactured in Sweden since 1997, sleek CTEK chargers boast unique four-to-eight patented microprocessor-controlled charging programs that consistently monitor battery condition and respond. They automatically regulate charge voltage to protect complex vehicle electronics.

    Most dealers of luxury and high-performance vehicles, including Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and others, offer customers private label, “brand-logo” chargers that are manufactured by CTEK.

    For more information about CTEK’s complete line of on and off-road battery chargers and accessories, please visit http://smartercharger.com/

    Check out this video about CTEK chargers and applications, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHSI_qHOI4U

    Shop for a CTEK battery charger and accessories at, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006G14FK8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_4bpzzb43XSDNP

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