As Cameron’s post earlier today indicated, at a press conference in France, Bill Ford, Mark Fields, Raj Nair and Chip Ganassi announced that Ford will be returning to LeMans to compete in next year’s 24 hour race with a red, white, and blue liveried racing version of the new Ford GT. It will be campaigned by Ganassi’s team.
Recently TTAC ran a post of mine about Nair’s hints that Ford would race again at Circuit de la Sarthe, including his reference to “kicking Ferrari’s ass” in 1966. Twelve-steppers might say that Ferrari is living in Ford’s brain rent-free because beating the folks from Modena still seems to be on the minds of the folks in Dearborn. (Read More…)
When I noticed Michael Beschloss did a piece on the failure of the Edsel, I thought it was pretty cool that a historian of his reputation would write about cars. Beschloss is better known for writing about U.S. presidents than automobiles.
In today’s crowdsourced and Instagrammed era, companies are always looking to create some buzz, so Elio Motors can be excused for publicizing the fact it’s starting to build its fifth prototype of its proposed super-economical enclosed tandem reverse trike. Actually, it’s a fairly significant step as what they are calling P5 will be the first Elio vehicle powered by Elio’s own IAV designed 0.9L three-cylinder engine, driving the front wheels via the Aisin supplied manual transmission to be fitted to production cars. In line with building buzz by parceling out information, Paul Elio told TTAC the P5 will also have revised front end styling that will be revealed later this week.
Though our friends at Jalopnik say that the P5 Elio has been already built, that’s not the case. (Read More…)
You may have seen the news that the developer who hopes to renovate the decrepit Packard plant site on Detroit’s east side has covered the factory’s signature bridge over East Grand Blvd in a scrim that reproduces the look of the bridge during the plant’s heyday in the 1930s. I’m sure that you’ve seen dozens of photos of one of Detroit’s more notorious landmarks, but have you ever wondered just why a car factory had a bridge?
That bridge was actually part of Packard’s assembly line.
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After a weekend of rain for this year’s running of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, critics questioned IndyCar and the CDBIGP honcho Roger Penske’s decision to schedule the race event in late May, making it the first race in the schedule after the series’ marquee event, the Indy 500. While in most recent years the racing at Belle Isle has experienced picture postcard worthy sunny skies, holding a race on an island during late spring in the Great Lakes region will always carry some risk of rain. Penske should know that. It was bad weather experienced by another racing promoter that resulted in Penske acquiring what would become one of the more successful business enterprises of his exceptionally successful career. (Read More…)
There’s not a doubt in my mind that if Grosse Pointe, Michigan, which abuts the city limits of Detroit, put up toll booths on Jefferson Ave. charging drivers money to enter the city, there’d be accusations of discriminating against the less affluent, mostly black residents of the city of Detroit. New York City, though, gets away with charging exorbitant tolls to enter Manhattan and some of the boroughs. If you are driving a privately owned automobile or truck, or if you’re a passenger on a privately owned bus or taxicab, you will be paying or subsidizing a toll if you want to enter the ‘center of the universe’.
Of course, government owned transportation services are exempt from such tolls, but if you’re going travel into the city on your own schedule, you will have to pay for what, I guess, is a privilege. (Read More…)
After some success in connection with the Pebble Beach car festivities, the producers of the Auto Moto Film Festival decided to bring the show to Detroit’s Fillmore auditorium for the weekend of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. I hope to have something about the festival and the outstanding movies and personalities therein up on TTAC sometime later, but there was actually some automotive news generated at the event.
Ford Motor Company’s head of product development coyly avoided denying company plans to campaign the new Ford GT at the 24 hour LeMans race next year. The designer of the previous Ford GT, an homage to the LeMans conquering Ford GT40, also acknowledged he’s been working on a successor to another iconic 1960s sports car. (Read More…)
Riley B. King, a blues musician who starred in a commercial launching the 2015 Toyota Corolla last year, passed away at the age of 89 last week in Las Vegas.
Wouldn’t it be terrible if that’s the way car enthusiasts looked at the world, solely through headlight shaped lenses, with things outside the automotive sphere only mattering when they interact somehow with cars?
It’s not often a car company, or any group of people for the matter, will admit mistakes – particularly billion dollar mistakes. That’s why the launch of the all-new Tata GenX Nano is refreshing. Based on former CEO Ratan Tata’s dream of moving Indians who transport their entire families on scooters and motorcycles into safer – albeit, basic – four wheeled automobiles, the very fact the original 2009 Nano was the least expensive car on sale anywhere in the world proved to be an albatross around the Nano’s tiny neck. Even Indians aspiring to the middle class of a developing country, it turns out, aspire to be seen in something other than the cheapest car in the world. They’d rather buy a used Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, the hatchback that more or less defines India’s entry level car segment. In recognition of that reality, the new GenX Nano will now be positioned as an entry level hatchback to more directly compete with the Alto 800, Hyundai Eon and the newly announced Renault Kwid. (Read More…)
In our post about McLaren having no interest in producing a sports car for the masses, I mentioned I didn’t ask Wayne Bruce, McLaren’s communications director, if the company was considering producing an SUV like many of the other expensive marques. Well, Mr. Bruce read the post and contacted me, saying that he wished I had indeed asked him that question because the answer goes to the heart of what the McLaren brand means to the company and to its customers. Other car companies might be well served to emulate the clarity with which McLaren understands their own brand. (Read More…)