Sixty years ago a legend was born in secrecy. The first Jaguar XKE prototype, a roadster, was assigned an official chassis number: 850001. In March, an incredible field of XKEs will be showcased at one of America’s premier Concours.
On March 11, 2018 the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will celebrate and honor the British icon that changed the world of sports cars forever: JAGUAR XKE: HOT CATS AT AMELIA ISLAND! A full class of Jaguar XKEs will take to “The Amelia’s” field nearly six decades after the XKE’s glamorous public debut by Jaguar founder and Chairman Sir William Lyons at the Hotel du Parc des Eaux-Vives on Lake Geneva. The XKE is a pure blood descendant of Jaguar’s three-time Le Mans winner, the legendary D-Type. The potent D-Type’s design DNA flows through the svelte contours of the XKE courtesy of Malcolm Sayer, the aerodynamicist who also drew the sublime shapes of the Le Mans-winning C and D-Types. Even today, the E-Type’s silhouette, born in the 180 mph cauldron of Le Mans during the Fifties, looks fresh and modern.
“The XKE isn’t simply one of the greatest car designs of the 20th century, it’s one of the greatest designs of all time,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “The XKE is so beautiful and perfectly proportioned that Jaguar’s American ad agency simply put pictures of a red coupe and roadster on a white background in their magazine ads with the tag line ‘This is the new Jaguar XK-E!’. The shape sold the car. No gimmicks, no slogans, just that perfect XKE shape.”
For more information about the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance scheduled for March 9-11, 2018, please visit https://www.ameliaconcours.org/
Spring Classic hosts vintage Nitro-fueled drag cars and legendary racers from the 1960s to 1990s.
The distinct cackle of Nitro Revival will be coming to the Monterey Peninsula during the second annual Spring Classic on May 18-20. The gathering of vintage and restored Nitro-fueled drag cars and legendary drag racing personalities will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the iconic facility’s vintage racing event. Feature activity will occur on Saturday, May 19. Nitro Revival: Drag Cars At Laguna Seca celebrates motorsports eras from the Sixties to the Nineties.
Nitro Revival brings the sights and sounds of the early days of front-engine Top Fuel dragsters and other organized hot rod racing back to life with a large lineup of fully restored machines. It serves as a reunion for racers from that era and gives fans the experience of a drag racing museum come to life. Fuelers will do push starts with period-correct push start vehicles and burnouts. There will also be a large turnout of classic street rods and hot rods. The Saturday event will close with a “Line of Fire” that will have the cackling sounds of vintage drag cars echoing through the rolling hills of the scenic Monterey Peninsula.
“Nitro Revival is a unique car show with unique vehicles that celebrate drag racing,” said Steve Gibbs, Nitro Revival producer. “Laguna Seca is an iconic place with a facility that can accommodate the growth of Nitro Revival, and we are able to add a historical drag race element to their event. There is a lot of drag racing history on the Central Coast and Bay Area. Monterey also has a lot to offer as a destination.”
Nitro Revival will enhance the paddock experience of the three-day vintage race held May 18-20. The 11 run groups of approximately 200 historically-correct sports and racecars that will run on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course during the Spring Classic range from 1966-‘74 Can-Am to 1974-‘94 Stock Cars to Historic Motorcycle exhibitions.
For more information about Nitro Revival and other events at Laguna Seca, please visithttp://www.mazdaraceway.com/
Stephen Cox blogs about auto racing’s long-standing tradition of grid girls being the next casualty in the war for political correctness.
It was early 2015 when the World Endurance Championships (WEC) got rid of them, and Formula 1 may be next. Director Ross Brawn of Liberty Media, the new controlling group of Formula 1, recently said that the tradition of grid girls is being reconsidered. For the uninitiated, “grid girls” are the pretty women who stand beside the racecars prior to many events to hold grid markers and sponsor signs, and, well… look pretty.
Traditionally, grid girls have dressed to look attractive and feminine. That’s all well and good. Recent years have seen (some of) them dressing more and more scantily. In my opinion that’s not so good. But if I don’t like it, I’m still free to stay home. And that’s good.
This is precisely why I don’t attend boxing matches and MMA fights, by the way. The ring girls aren’t just dressed attractively. Some of them are downright indecent. So I stay home, shut up and mind my own business. The girls can keep their jobs, the fight promoters can put on the show they like and everyone is happy.
What, precisely, is being accomplished if Formula 1 decides to defend women around the world by firing hundreds of women around the world? The girls that needed these jobs will no longer have them. The girls who aspire to be models, spokeswomen, media personalities or actresses will have one less avenue available to enter their chosen field. The grid girls are not being well served by getting fired. The only people satisfied by their unemployment are people who demand that their agenda be dismissed no matter what the cost may be to anyone else.
Have you see auto-racing enthusiasts protesting and rioting against grid girls at the last race you attended? Me neither. Motorsports series are not firing grid girls in response to an overwhelming mandate from fans.
They’re doing this to please people who have little or no interest in motor racing, who may never attend an auto race, and who, in some cases, oppose the very existence of the sport. By definition, these are not people who are willing to live and let live. If they were, they would refuse to have grid girls at their book burnings and witch hunts, but leave you free to have them at your auto races.
Racing officials need to understand one point very clearly – these people will not become fans once you fire the grid girls. Auto racing is a loud, dangerous, fatality causing, fossil fuel burning; cut throat competition that does not award trophies for participation. These people hate you. They are not suddenly going to embrace you as a forward thinking intellectual simply because you caved in to their demands and kicked a few recently unemployed women to the curb.
If this artificially manufactured non-issue needs to be revisited at all, it should be revisited solely on the basis of what the teams, their fans and the grid girls want rather than on political pressure to conform to the demands of outside groups who don’t care one whit about the sport. Make your own decision and listen to your own fans and we’ll be happy no matter what the outcome may be.
If I don’t like it, I’m free to stay home.
Stephen Cox is Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions Driver, Super Cup Stock Car Series & EGT Championship, and Co-Host, Mecum Auctions on NBCSN. Sponsored by http://www.mcgunegillengines.com/
It’s been a half-century since Pininfarina created the timeless shape of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4. On March 11, 2018 that happy anniversary will be celebrated at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance with a special class of the rare and significant Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”.
It was revenge, not Ferrari that gave the 365 GTB/4 its popular nickname. The name of America’s first superspeedway clung to the big Italian GT after Ferrari prototypes avenged themselves on American soil following their stinging defeat at Le Mans in 1966. Three victorious Ferrari P4 and P3 prototypes executed a perfectly choreographed photo finish winning the 1967 Rolex 24 at Daytona, below. It mocked Ford’s botched photo finish at Le Mans the previous June. There was little subtlety in it and everyone got the point. And the name Daytona stuck to the 365 GTB/4 almost at once.
So the mighty 365 GTB/4 became known as “Daytona” even though Ferrari never made it official. Some historians claim that the project was labeled “Daytona” internally during its gestation following the 1967 Daytona 24 Hour sweep. Then the internal nickname “Daytona” leaked. Ferrari himself was said to have squelched the use of the name when it became public.
Today the Daytona has a special place in Ferrari’s lustrous history. Automotive tastes and the traditional designs that had served Ferrari so well for two decades were under assault in the late sixties. So Ferrari made one last thunderous declaration regarding the creation of the thoroughbred grand touring car. They labeling it in traditional Ferrari fashion: 365 ccs per cylinder, Grand Tourismo Berlinetta, four overhead camshafts; 365 GTB/4.
Nearly 1,400 Daytonas were built in coupe and convertible configurations. It outgunned its pricier and rarer 3-liter predecessors with a muscular 4-cam 4.4-liter V-12 fed by six enormous 40-mm Weber carburetors. This exotic recipe makes 380 horsepower and propels the big two-seater to nearly 180 mph. A sobering number for a 3,600-pound GT. Engine powers Daytona #65, top.
Despite its weight the Daytona made a fine race car. Ferrari created 15 special competition 365 GTB/4s from 1971 through 1973. They scored class victories at Daytona, Watkins Glen and Le Mans and won the 1972 Tour de France outright. Second overall (with class victories) at the 1973 and 1979 Rolex 24 at Daytona, appropriately, are the Daytona’s North American racing high water marks.
“The Daytona has traditional Ferrari provenance, presence and poise.” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “The Daytona is the last of the true ‘Enzo’ Ferraris created before the Fiat influence arrived in Maranello in 1969. The howl of that big V-12 should be part of Il Canto degli Italiani, the Italian national anthem. The big Daytona is a car, a name and a legacy worth celebrating in grand style.”
Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. The 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 9-11, 2018. For more information, please visithttps://www.ameliaconcours.org/
America’s sports car morphs into a contender for international Supercar honors.
In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, today, Chevrolet introduced the ‘19 Corvette ZR1, a supercar that boosts Corvette’s performance heritage with the highest power, greatest track performance and most advanced technology in its production history.
“I’ve never driven a Corvette like this before, and nobody else has either, because there’s never been one like this before,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Its unprecedented performance puts all other global supercars on notice that the ZR1 is back.”
The Corvette ZR1’s exclusive LT5 supercharged engine, rated at an SAE-certified 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, is establishing a new performance benchmark. Further, the ZR1 elevates Corvette’s track capability with two wind-tunnel-honed aerodynamics packages, including an available High Wing that provides an estimated 950 pounds of downforce.
The ZR1’s LT5 6.2L V-8 advances Corvette’s supercharging legacy, which began with the 2009 sixth-generation ZR1 and continued with the 2015 seventh-generation Z06. The LT5 delivers the highest output ever for a Chevrolet production vehicle, thanks in part to a new, more-efficient intercooled supercharger system that offers 52 percent more displacement than the Z06’s LT4 supercharger. GM’s first dual-fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection, helps the LT5 achieve its record output. Seven-speed manual and eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmissions are available with the LT5. It’s the first time an automatic transmission has been offered in a ZR1.
The ‘19 Corvette ZR1’s aggressive appearance is driven by function, contributing to its distinction as the fastest production Corvette to date. An all-new front fascia is designed to channel air for propulsion-system and drivetrain cooling, with four new radiators bringing the heat-exchanger total to 13. A special carbon-fiber “halo” hood is open in the middle to clear the LT5’s supercharger/intercooler assembly. Additional features, including aero packages with stanchion-mounted wings, help push the ZR1 harder onto the track for more confident handling and faster lap times. Top speed of the ZR1 is over 210 mph.
“As the highest-performing Corvette ever, the ZR1’s design supports its capability in every way,” said Kirk Bennion, Exterior Design manager. “The new wings, for example, help generate more downforce without adding drag, enhancing road holding and top speed.”
The ZR1 will offer two aero packages: a standard rear Low Wing, which delivers the highest top speed and helps generate up to 70 percent more downforce than the Z06’s base aero package. There’s also an available two-way-adjustable High Wing that offers maximum downforce on the track for the quickest lap times – about 60 percent more downforce than the Z06 with the available Z07 Performance Package. All models also feature a Chevrolet-first, downforce-enhancing front underwing.
The adjustable High Wing is part of the new ZTK Performance Package, which also includes a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning for greater cornering grip. Both of the ZR1’s wings are tied into the chassis, like the Corvette Racing C7.R racecar, for strength and stability. The Corvette ZR1 introduced today also debuted a dynamic, available Sebring Orange Design Package. Centered on its Sebring Orange Tintcoat exterior color, the package also includes orange brake calipers, orange rocker and splitter accent stripes, orange seat belts, orange interior stitching and unique, bronze aluminum interior trim.
The new design package complements the Corvette ZR1’s tradition of offering maximum performance with refinement and design distinction. The driver-focused, well-appointed cockpit includes standard leather-trimmed seats, with sueded microfiber inserts offered. Heated and vented Napa leather-trimmed seating is also available, as well as a carbon fiber-rimmed steering wheel, competition sport seats, Performance Data Recorder, Bose premium audio system and more. The ‘19 Corvette ZR1 goes on sale next spring, poised to take on the world’s best.
Check out this ZR1 video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4TTZE1EQ10