This 1925 Rolls-Royce round door was discovered rusting in a New Jersey junkyard. Several owners and a massive overhaul later, it's considered among the world's elite collector cars.
Pebble Beach may be the most famous among collector car shows. But it can’t touch the Concorso d’Eleganza in terms of exclusivity. Just 60 of the world’s rarest and most impressive antique cars were invited to this year’s event, held at the ritzy Villa d’Este hotel on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como. And while each of these cars would fetch a massive sum, a few are back-from-the-brink stories that rival any great barn find.
Take the 1925 Rolls-Royce Round Door coupe for instance. Back in 1950-something, this mind-boggling beauty was rusting away in a New Jersey junkyard. A businessman who lured by the glimmer of a short-term buck slapped a coast of gold paint on it and charged passersby a dollar to see it. Fortunately, the car later ended up in the hands of renowned collector Bob Petersen and underwent a massive rebuilding that returned it to its original glory.
Such stories are swapped each year at the Concorso, which rejects roughly two-thirds of the cars entered and deliberately keeps the field of showcased cars small.
Other than the Rolls, a few of E3 Spark Plugs‘ favorites at this year’s event were the 1937 Tatra 87, 1956 Jaguar Type D, 1975 Lamborghini LP 400 Countach, and a 1941 Chrysler Town & Country sporting a toy car replica in the back.
Team E3 Racing winner Robert Emery enters the Lucas Oil Pro Buggy Unlimited class for the 2012 racing season.
Robert Emery started his competitive go-kart racing career at 15 and is entering his fifth full year in the buggy classes. This year, he’s stepping up to the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Buggy Unlimited class with a brand new race car. And, as a new member of Team E3 Racing, he’ll be sporting a new E3 Spark Plugs decal.
Team E3 Racing winner Robert Emery races for Dan's Performance Parts in Southern California.
Emery started off strong with three second-place, two third-place and three fourth-place finishes in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Those on-track performances were enough to earn Emery a second overall standing in the M4SX Single Buggy points championship both years.
This year, it’s a whole new game as Emery enters the Pro Buggy Unlimited class. But he’s prepared with brand new race car built from the ground up by Dan’s Performance Parts Racing. The #52 single-seat chassis weighs in at 1,380 pounds and sport a 103-inch wheel base.
We here at E3 Spark Plugs believe Emery’s got a fantastic career ahead of him. And besides – the E3 logo will look great on that signature green racing machine. Congratulations, Robert!
This 1958 Impala impressed at the 2011 Hot Rod Power Tour. the 2012 cruise revs up this weekend near Detroit.
Hot Rod magazine’s 18th Annual Hot Rod Power Tour revs up this weekend for a seven-day, seven-city cruise from Detroit, Michigan to Austin, Texas. Touted as the “ultimate gearhead road trip,” the tour is a rolling tribute to the performance car. You’ll see muscle cars from every decade since the 1930s, shined and souped up.
Each stop of the tour features the Lucas Oil / E3 Spark Plugs Dyno, open to all registered participants. Live music, games and giveaways, automotive celebrity interviews, after parties and even a few appearances by the beautiful Miss Magnaflow and Miss Hot Rod round out each stop.
Check the list for the Hot Rod Power Tour stop nearest you, or pack your own ride and join us for the long haul.
June 2, GM Proving Grounds, Milford, MI (near Detroit)
June 3, Downtown, Muskegon, MI
June 4, Assembly Hall, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
June 5, Gateway Motorsports Park, Madison, IL
June 6, Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, OK
June 7, Kicker Corporate Complex, Stillwater, OK
June 8, QuikTrip Park, Arlington, TX
Got a sweet ride you want to show off. Enter onsite for $90, whether you show at one stop, a few stops, or go for long-hauler status and make every stop of the tour. Want to see the show as a spectator? A one-day registration is $30. Opt for a $90 multi-day pass and you’ll score a goody bag and chances for giveaways. And be sure to post your Hot Rod Power Tour pics on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page.
Shawn Lawless' Rocket is the first EV to breat 200mph in a quarter mile.
It’s long been said that electric vehicles just can’t match the speed of gasoline-fueled rides. But longtime motorcycle racer and builder Shawn Lawless just put that notion to rest. Earlier this month, his Rocket EV bike hit 201 miles per hour in 6.94 seconds in an exhibition sprint at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Originally built in 2010 with help from the famous Orange County Choppers in a two-episode television special, the Rocket made history as the first EV to break the quarter mile in less than seven seconds. The driver was Larry “Spiderman” McBride, a 30-year veteran in racing supercharged, nitro-burning motorcycles (His moniker comes by way of an announcer’s comment at the 1980 NHRA U.S. National about McBride’s style of crawling around on his motorcycle to keep it in the groove).
The Rocket boasts a 150-pound, 1.2 k Wh battery and runs on a 13-inch DC motor with a custom Zilla controller. Lawless and his crew, which includes McBride and his brother Steve McBride of Cycle Specialties, have been tinkering with the bike since its 2010 debut. But a recent engine overhaul made way for the record-breaking feat.
Team E3 Racing winner Shane Corson's motto: "Go big or go home."
Shane Corson of Big Air Racing has a well-known and perfectly suited motto: “Go big or go home.” We here at E3 Spark Plugs believe Corson has big potential in the racing world. That’s why he’s a Tier 1 winner in the inaugural Team E3 Racing competition.
Corson revved up his racing career early, winning his first competition at the local MX track in his hometown Blackwood, N.J. at age nine. He went on to win the 90cc 4 stroke class each of his first three racing seasons, also winning open mini two of those three years and finishing second in the other.
In his fourth year on the track, Corson moved up to a Honda 300ex, running with the AMA’s D6 (American Motorcyclist Association District Six). He finished in the top three in both 300cc classes in the first year, then finished fourth running in the 450cc open C class each of his last two years on a 300. It was during this time that Corson and his team discovered the power of E3′s unique DiamondFire technology.
“We started using E3 spark plugs when I moved to the 300 and have used nothing else since,” Corson says.
Last year marked Corson’s first racing season on a 450. He finished second in college boy and fifth in open C competitions, but maintains he would have taken the top podium spot in both had it not been for “a ton of mechanical problems.”
During the 2011 season, he also ran two national races, finishing seventh among a field of 24 racers from across the country in each of two classes. It’s a major coup when you consider that Corson, age 16 at the time, was the youngest rider by at least four years in both races, beating out nearly 20 older and more experienced riders.
As for 2012: “This season I will once again be riding in the college boy class and open B and may dabble in a few Pro Am races,” Corson says. And he’ll do it while proudly displaying the E3 Spark Plugs logo. Follow Corson’s racing career progress via our blog and social media sites, including the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page.
Congratulations and welcome to Team E3 Racing, Shane!
E3 Spark Plugs wants to know: Might you be interested in vintage-inspired super sports car capable of hitting 0-60 in 3.1 seconds and scoring 78 miles per gallon? Got $845,000 to drop? Well then, you’re in luck. Porsche recently hit the streets with the initial prototypes of the 918 Spyder, dubbed the “super sports car of the future.”
The Spyder will definitely make your pulse race. Porsche press officials say its gas-electric drivetrain can indeed take you from zero to 60 in 3.1 seconds and tops out at a dizzying 199 miles per hour on gas, 94 mph on electricity. Those figures help bolster the claim that the new Spyder can log up around 78 miles per hour on the EU cycle.
“What we are doing with the 918 Spyder is redefining driving fun, efficiency and performance,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development of Porsche AG.
To that end, the Spyder 918 features three separate power sources: a 500 horsepower 4.0-liter V8 engine and two independent electric motors – one on the front axle and one in the drive line, acting on the rear wheels. It’s designed as a plug-in hybrid and features a full carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque with unit carrier, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system.
Visually, the Spyder 918 prototypes pay homage to the vintage 917 racers with a black-and-white livery scheme. Production is slated mid 2013 and you should be able to pick up yours before year’s end.
The annual weekend of wackiness that is the Houston Art Car Parade just wrapped its 25th anniversary. As always, the entries didn’t disappoint. E3 Spark Plugs congratulates all the winners of the world’s biggest art car event.
Debuting in 1988, the Houston Art Car Parade originally featured 40 vehicles seen by an estimated 2,000 people. The relatively small event proved a big hit and by the next year, parade entries doubled and crowds swelled to tens of thousands. In 1989, the event got a major public relations boost from art car maker Harrod Blank, who eventually would write two books and produce two films on art cars. Soon, caravans of art cars were traveling from clear across the country, thousands of miles just to appear in the parade.
That momentum has continued over the years. The three-day 2012 event featured more than 250 vehicles and other entries, including unicycles, lawnmowers and go-carts. Participants hail from throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico and are not just recognized artists, but students, organizations and fun-loving Jane and John Does. Upwards of 250,000 spectators turn out each year to watch the parade.
Similarly inspired events include the Tulsa ArtCar Weekend going through Sunday, and the Minnesota ArtCar + ArtBike Parade slated for Saturday, July 21.
E3 Spark Plugs shares a few of its favorite 2012 Houston Art Car Parade entries below. Which was your favorite? If you attended the parade, share your pics on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page. And be sure to catch a screening of Art Car: The Movie, a documentary that follows Rebecca Bass and her high school class as they prepare an entry for the 2010 Houston Art Car Parade.
Big Noise from Biloxi - 2012 Houston Art Car Parade
The Big Banana - 2012 Houston Art Car Parade
Earth, Wind and Fire... and Water - 2012 Houston Art Car Parade
Team E3 Racing Tier 1 winner Dan Bunting has finished in the top 10 of the APR series each of the past four years.
Dan Bunting’s competitive boat racing debut was not exactly all he had hoped for. In his very first race, the UIM World Championships in Marietta, Ohio, he barrel-rolled his boat on the eight qualifying lap. The experience might have been enough to send someone of lesser resolve paddling back to shore for a new landlubber’s hobby. But as a career police officer, Bunting had what it took to tough it out and try again. That’s why he’s a new member of Team E3 Racing.
Bunting quickly got his pride and his boat back into shape and headed back into the water in time for the next race. Long story short, he ended his rookie season in 10th place on the America Powerboat Racing (APR) SuperLeague Circuit and not only landed a Rookie of the Year title, but helped his team score the prestigious Betty May Best Dressed Team Award to boot. Today, he’s a team owner and Formula 3 Points champion.
Bunting pilots a Tunnel Boat in the APR Series Tour and has finished in the top 10 in series points each of the past four years. His team, Tunnel Vision Racing, is co-sponsored by Monster Energy, JEGS and the Hard Rock Café. Earlier this year, he decided to put all he’s learned about performance boats and equipment to profitable use and launch ExtremePowerboatRacing.com, an online store offering safety and performance parts for boat racing.
Team E3 Racing's Dan Bunting also is a career police officer.
Meanwhile, Bunting continues his law enforcement career. A police officer since 1993, he has served as a deputy sheriff in Ohio and Colorado and has held the ranks of patrolman, lieutenant and chief of police. So, the number and name of his previous boat, “Five-O” makes sense.
We here at E3 Spark Plugs congratulate Bunting on his continued success in boat racing and his new business endeavor. If you’re thinking about competing on the water, make sure you stock your boat with a set of high-performance racing spark plugs.
Carroll Shelby, iconic car builder and racecar driver passed away May 10 at a Dallas hospital.
E3 Spark Plugs, along with the rest of the automotive world, is mourning the loss of Carroll Shelby, iconic car builder and champion auto racer. Representatives with his company, Carroll Shelby International, say the 89-year-old passed away last Thursday, May 10 at a Dallas hospital.
Best known for building the much celebrated Shelby Cobra sports car, Shelby began his professional life as a chicken farmer. When his ranching stint failed, Shelby went on to careers in champion race car driving, racing team ownership, automobile manufacturing, automotive consulting, operating African safari tours, developing a line of chilis and philanthropy.
Shelby first came to international fame in 1959, when he and teammate Ray Salvadori won France’s grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race despite heart valve leakage problems he had suffered since age seven. It’s said that he won the race with nitroglycerin pills under his tongue. He had begun racing after a stint in the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor before hitting the tracks with the Cad-Allard, Aston Martin and Maserati teams.
Having participated in eight Formula One World Championships and racked up dozens of race wins and two Sports Illustrated’s Driver of the Year nods throughout the 1950s, Shelby retired his suit and helmet shortly after his Le Mans victory. But racing proved just the start of his automotive career.
In the 1960s, Shelby turned his attention to building high-powered muscle cars – and the automotive world has been the better for it since. Hand-picked by Ford Motor Co. head Lee Iacocca, Shelby set out to unhand the Corvette as the top choice among young male drivers. Shelby’s early builds eventually became the Shelby Cobra and the Mustang Shelby GT500 – two of the most enduringly popular rides in America.
The Cobra in particular has long been a favorite. It debuted at the 1962 New York Auto Show as the fastest production model ever made at the time. It used Ford engines and a British sport car chassis and inspired the Rip Chords’ Top 5 Billboard pop chart tune, Hey, Little Cobra.
Shelby’s cause of death has not been disclosed, but it’s widely known that his heart valve leakage problems dogged him for decades. He reportedly spent much of his childhood in bed until doctors declared he had “outgrown” the issue at age 14. He also was one of the nation’s longest living heart transplant recipients, having received a heart in 1990 from an aneurysm victim, as well as a kidney in 1996 from his son, Michael. Shelby considered that heart transplant a second chance for a long life and soon committed to giving back via the Carroll Shelby Foundation, which helps kids battling life-threatening illnesses, supports organizations that provide medical assistance, funds scholarships in automotive education and supports educational programs in automotive and related fields.
“I never thought about dying,” he once told reporters. “The day you were born, it was already written down the day you’re gonna check out. Now, I’m not gonna throw myself under a truck, but I’m not gonna worry about when I die. I’m ready to move on when that day comes.”
We here at E3 Spark Plugs send our condolences to the Shelby family and thank Carroll Shelby for his enduring contributions to the automotive world.
Check out photos of the late Carroll Shelby and a tribute video by YouTube user domesticmango.
Carroll Shelby is best known for building the iconic Shelby Cobra and Mustang Shelby GT500 muscle cars.
Carroll Shelby, iconic car builder and racecar driver passed away May 10 at a Dallas hospital.
Carroll Shelby accepts the winner's trophy at Riverside International Raceway after winning the 200-mile International Grand Prix in 1960.
Carroll Shelby with friend and fellow car and racing enthusiast actor Steve McQueen. Actor Steve McQueen, left, and racer Carroll Shelby stand by McQueen's Ford-Cobra roadster, June 28, 1963, in Los Angeles.
The late Carroll Shelby with a concept Cobra.
The late Carroll Shelby leans on the hood of a Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 show car. CARROLL SHELBY with the Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 show car.
Regarded as one of the most successful short tack racers this decade, Andrew “Bubba” Pollard recently was named to Team E3 Racing. A third-generation racer, Pollard literally grew up trackside. His grandfather, Sonny Pollard, built and managed Senoia Speedway, a 3/8-mile dirt oval track today is known as the fastest 3/8 asphalt oval in Georgia. That’s where he, his son and grandson spent their waking hours.
Bubba Pollard’s first racing wins came via local bicycle races he won as a child, piloting a two-wheeled racing bike he built himself. As the year passed, he firmly established himself as a top Legends Cars and Late Models competitor. Between 1999 and 2001, he landed more than 50 Legend Car wins at Senoia Speedway, Watermelon Capital Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2002, he got behind the wheel of a Pro Late Model and took it to victory lane six times, claiming the Senoia Speedway’s championship in his first year.
Next up, it was the Super Late Models division in the Southern All Stars Series with multiple wins in 2003 and 2004. By 2005, Pollard caught the attention of legendary NASCAR team owner Jack Roush and was cast in Roush Racing’s Discovery Channel reality series “Driver X,” which featured Pollard competing against 25 of the nation’s best drivers for a shot at one of the “Big Three” series.
Pollard since has continued to rack up win after win racing Pro and Super Late Models. Last year, he won a total of 19 races plus the Sunoco Gulf Championship, Miller Lite Series, Viper Series and CRA South titles. He broke a 31-year-old track record at the 44th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Florida, nabbed the inaugural Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Driver of the Year award and was voted the Speed51.com Driver of the year by fans nationwide.
We’re thrilled to welcome Pollard to Team E3 Racing. Check our blog for updates on Pollard’s career. And be sure to stock your own ride with a set of E3 car spark plugs, whether you’re gunning for that checkered flag or just trying to get to work on time.