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/
Some of the best ideas tend to be simple ones. And for versatility and avoiding the need to unbolt guards, these new adjustable Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards could well make the cut. With the frame fitted, you can choose to slip an insert in for additional warmth and protection, and also slide a shield up and down for more coverage. So you don’t have to take them on or off, and then discover the bolts went missing in the garage in the Summer. Or they’ve seized up on your bike.
The Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards consist of a wide aluminium Safety Frame which allows the air to pass through it. But still means your hands, brake and clutch levers are protected from knocks, scrapes and falls. Which is useful. And it fits to the handlebars and bar ends with lightweight forced aluminium mounts shaped to avoid messing with any cables. And they look alright for everyday riding, too.
But what happens if the weather gets cooler?
Then you just snap in the Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards Insert, obviously. So that will provide some extra wind and weather protection for your hands. And also more defense against stones and other debris hitting your paws. So if you’re riding off-road behind someone, it’ll mean less chance of getting a pebble propelled by a rear tyre into your digits. If you’ve had it happen, you know how much it hurts.
But what if it gets even colder? Or the bike in front is sending up a rooster tail of gravel and debris?
For the coldest conditions, there’s the Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards Adjustable Shield. Like the insert, it’s made from a resilient plastic polymer, and it’s quick to attach or remove. And once fitted, you can raise it up to 142mm to stop anything hitting your hands, and keep more of the chill away.
At the moment, the new adjustable Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards are available for:
BMW R 1200 GS/A LC
BMW F 800
BMW F 700
BMW F 650 GS
BMW R 1200 R LC
BMW R 1200 GS/A (2005-2012)
BMW R 1200 GSA (2013)
BMW R 1150 GS
BMW S 1000 XR
KTM 990 Adventure
KTM 1090 Adventure
KTM 1190 Adventure
KTM 1290 Adventure
Honda Africa Twin
More bikes are being added to the list in 2018, and the Machineart ADVance Guard Handguards cost £189, which included a model-specific fitting kit and instructions.
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/
For some young people, learning to drive is less about the practicalities of being free to use the roads as it is a matter of style and status. All they dream about is passing their test so they can jump straight out of their instructor’s oh-so-boring sensible saloon and behind the wheel of some souped-up, fully modded monstrosity they are convinced will impress their friends… not to mention members of the opposite sex.
We spoke toKeen Drivers who are driving instructors in Billericay and they recounted endless tales from their charges about how they will be cruising these roads in a supercar this time next year. We feel it is part of our job to educate new driver about some of the realities of car ownership to them. Gently, of course.
There are two main things a new driver should consider when purchasing a first car – insurance and road handling. A surprising number of new drivers do not realise just how expensive their insurance premiums will be when they first pass their test, especially if they are aged under 24. They also don’t realise that for cars over a certain specification or value, they will probably not find cover full stop.
Road handling is equally important because new drivers are inexperienced both at controlling a car and navigating busy roads. It boils down to a matter of safety – a car with a big, powerful engine which is light on the accelerator takes experience to handle safely in traffic. On the flipside, an old banger on its last legs can be just as dangerous if something goes wrong while it is being driven.
The only way is hatchback
It might not be very cool, but the best advice for any new driver is to opt for a first car that is practical, reliable and affordable. Unless you are lucky enough to be able to afford it, there is little point in aiming for something with a 2.5 litre turbo engine or larger, because the insurance premium will be eye-watering. Similarly, you want a car you can trust, that will get you through those important first couple of years without endless breakdowns or costly service charges to contend with.
A hatchback is simply a car that has a full width boot which opens upwards towards the sky and pivots at or near the roof.
This provides a huge opening to the boot. Most also have back seats that fold down. That combined with the large boot opening make these very practical cars for travelling with cargo, suitcases, fridges or even small sofas!
Look up any lists of best car models for new drivers you care to find, and the type which dominates almost unanimously is the hatchback. Owning a hatchback as a first car has practically become a rite of passage for millions of new drivers. Affordable to buy and cheap to run, one of the big advantages of a hatchback is that the small engine size keeps insurance costs down. Small engine size might not appeal to a generation brought up on Need for Speed-type video games, but in reality this is another bonus for new drivers, as it makes hatchbacks extremely easy to handle on the roads.
Another advantage over finely tuned cars is that hatchbacks tend to be anything but temperamental. They are built to provide solid service, and many manufacturers offer impressive warranty lengths of several years to back up their reliability.
Finally, there is one more benefit of a small car new drivers should not turn their noses up at. When it comes to parallel parking in a tight space, it will never be easier than in a hatchback.
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/