World-Record Jump Attempt Goes Spectacularly Wrong

There’s a reason Guerlain Chicherit looks a bit panicked in this pic. Last year, E3 Spark Plugs brought you the story of French athlete-turned-stunt driver Guerlain Chicherit’s history-making unassisted back flip in a modified Mini Countryman, performed flawlessly in the Tignes mountains region of France. The four-time free skiing world champion gunned it up a static ramp and launched into a full 360-degree roll before landing on a bank of snow and eliciting global applause. Recently, Chicherit was at it again, this time aiming to break the Guinness World Record for the longest ramp car jump ever. While most stunt driving fans sincerely want to see such attempts end in crowd-thrilling success, there’s always a certain contingent that secretly (or not so secretly)...

February 9, 2015
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20 Best Bets for Hitting 200,000 Miles in One Ride

The Ford F-250 Super Duty tops the list of the longest-lasting rides on the road. It’s a question that automotive salesmen hear dozens of times a day – especially as the economy continues take its sweet time recovering: “How long will it last?” E3 Spark Plugs set out to answer that question and, as luck would have it, found a recently released report by iSeeCars, an online car search engine. Researchers reviewed some 30 million used cars for sale, looking to find out which ones had been on the road the longest. Here’s what they found: Ford F-250 Super Duty – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles: 4.2 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles: 3.6 Chevrolet Suburban – Percentage of cars over 200,000 miles:...

February 9, 2015
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That Time When Some Small-Town Guy Rebuilt Johnny Cash’s Coupe Sedan DeVille…

Bill Patch’s “One Piece at a Time” car in the Historic Auto Attractions Museum. Back in 1976, country music fans were jamming to Johnny Cash’s One Piece at a Time, novelty ditty about a guy who, in 1949 goes heads to Detroit to work at General Motors. Happy to have steady work, but bummed that he’d likely never be able to afford one of those shiny new rides he watched roll off the assembly line day after day, he quickly devised a plan. Via his lunch box and a coworker’s motorhome, he began swiping parts, one piece at a time, and taking them home to his garage. Twenty-four years later, he’s got a head-turning new ride. The singer’s wife loves it. The folks at the county courthouse, however – Not so much. “‘Cause to type...

February 9, 2015
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Volvo Trucks Campaign Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme wins Grand Prix

Jean-Claude Van Damme does an epic split – suspended between two Volvo trucks – and makes advertising gold. When auto enthusiasts hear the term “Grand Prix,” they undoubtedly think of racing, or perhaps of hotshot actor James Garner and the gorgeous Eva Marie Saint in the 1966 film of the same name. But there’s a Grand Prix of another sort, and action flick hero Jean-Claude Van Damme just helped Volvo land one of them. And we here at E3 Spark Plugs are duly impressed. Turns out the Grand Prix (French for “grand prize”) also is an award handed out at the annual Cannes Lions event in Cannes, France. “Cannes Lions is the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications,” the event’s website says....

February 9, 2015
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Four Things That Will Leave You Stuck in the Driveway

Car won’t start? The reason might be an easy fix. You jump in the shower, scarf down an energy bar, grab your stuff and slip into your car, psyched for a busy day at work when – Oh, no! You turn the key and nothing happens. Looks like you’ve got an unexpected day off work. Why? E3 Spark Plugs has a few ideas. Here are the top 5 reasons you’re your car wont’ start: Bad battery: This one’s probably the most common culprit of them all. A quality battery typically will last about three years before it needs replacing. To make sure you get the most of yours, keep your battery posts clean by periodically scrubbing them with a wire brush. Apply a little petroleum jelly to the posts to keep them lubricated. And make sure the camps and connections remain...

February 9, 2015
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Gaming Gets Real with GT Academy

GT Academy can take you from the virtual world onto the real-world racing tracks. Ever spent hours in front of the video game screen wishing you could physically jump into that fictional scene and make it your new reality? Actually, it’s possible – and not just within the confines of a Hollywood film, E3 Spark Plugs says. Back in 2008, the makers of Gran Turismo decided to take the best from their top-rated video game’s virtual world and give them a real-world experience like no other. Game director Kazunori Yamauchi has long talked up his notion of bridging the gap between racing simulations and real motorsport. So, his company, Polyphony Digital, teamed up with Sony and Nissan to create GT Academy – a serious racing gamer’s dream come true. GT Academy...

February 9, 2015
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Best State for Teen Drivers? Believe It or Not, New York

Turns out the safest teen drivers are in New York. We’ve got tips to help keep your teen drivers safe wherever you live. The traffic accident rates for 16- to 19-year old drivers are higher than those for any other age group. And we’re not just talking fender-benders. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide, and the vast majority of them are preventable. Results of studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pinpoint immaturity and inexperience as the primary factors contributing to deadly crashes with young drivers. Other, and often related factors can include poor hazard detection, poor risk perception, speeding, driving with a carload of friends, night time driving and texting while driving. But it...

February 9, 2015
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Holy Street-Legal Batmobile!

Australia’s Zac Mihajlovic uses his street-legal Batmobile replica to help terminally ill children. Oh yes – You read that headline correctly. There’s actually a street-legal Batmobile in existence. It only took two years, about a million dollars and one seriously psyched superfan to achieve. And like the real Batmobile, it’s often zooming down the road to help those in need. E3 Spark Plugs introduces you to Zac Mihajlovic, the Australian guy with the car that’s no doubt got his buddies in full-on envy mode. His newly registered ride is a near-exact replica of the Batmobile featured in the 1989 Batman movie, which started Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader aka Bruce Wayne, Kim Basinger as his beautiful romantic lead, and Jack Nicholson as his nemesis,...

February 9, 2015
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Famed Ron Pratte Classic Car Collection to be Auctioned Off

One of just nine known remaining GM Futurliner buses is among the amazing rides in the Ron Pratte collection to be auctioned off in January. Heads up, classic car buffs. E3 Sparks Plugs just got word of a great opportunity to drive home an amazing, possibly historic ride. One of the most famous among classic car collectors is auctioning off his entire collection. If you follow the auctions on TV and online, you’ve no doubt seen him – Ron Pratte, they guy who once dropped major cash on 52 vehicles at a single auction in Scottsdale. Pratte built his fortune, currently estimated at upwards of $350 million, as the founder and former CEO of the Phoenix, AZ-based Pratte Development Company, Inc., one of the nation’s largest wood framing and concrete foundation companies....

February 9, 2015
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Where to Donate Your Used Car? E3 Spark Plugs Offers a Few Ideas

Nonprofit homes for troubled youth use donated cars to teach young residents auto mechanic skills. Got a ride sitting in your driveway or yard that not likely to see the open road with you in behind the wheel again? Rather than let it rust and rot, why not donate it to a nonprofit organization that could use it for a positive cause? Not only will you get that feel-good vibe from doing something helpful, but you may just get a little cash for it come tax time, too. The US government allows vehicle owners to benefit from donating used rides in one of two ways, depending upon how the receiving charity will use the donation. If a charity will actually use the vehicle itself, you may be allowed to deduct its value up to a state or federally predetermined amount when filing you’re...

February 9, 2015
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