Two weeks ago we had a horrific accident here in Buffalo. It was the end result of a street race that saw a 47 year old man trapped in the wreckage of his car and burned alive.
The ’91 GSXR 1100 was a feral beast. It had been tame once, well “mostly tame” anyhow, but the bike’s previous owner had stripped away the thin veneer that civilization had imposed upon it and restored it to its primeval form. It hadn’t taken much, really. Larger carburetors, performance cams and a full race exhaust had transformed the bike from a wickedly fast street machine into a full-race bike that, despite the license plates, had no business being on the street. Still, it had a sort of lethal charm that attracted men like me: confident, experienced, prideful. It was a battle of wills I would not lose. I was determined to master the bike and, like a living thing, the bike was determined to kill me. (Read More…)
When this website reported on the death of Michael Hastings, your humble author’s comments regarding the odd nature of the crash wound up everywhere from the front page of the Fox News website to the Facebook pages of various relatives who didn’t notice that I was the author.
There’s now surveillance footage of the crash, which frankly looks more like the Castle Bravo test than a regular car crash. And at least one source has “calculated” an awfully low and suspicious-sounding speed of impact from that footage.
These days, with the nanny-state enforcers of IngSoc and Agenda 21 mandating 3,000 pounds of safety gear on each new motor vehicle, it’s refreshing to hear that folks in the very early days of motoring got some good yuks out of the idea of impalement on the tiller of a curved-dash Olds. We’ve dug up this 1904 Cal Stewart recording of “Uncle Josh In An Automobile” to demonstrate. (Read More…)
A few miles East of Ellensburg, WA, on the long winding descent into the Columbia river gorge, the little car, too small to run smoothly in both sets of the deep ruts that the semi trucks had worn into the pavement of Interstate 90, rolled from groove it had been following on the left side of the lane and dropped abruptly into the groove on the right. The lateral movement of the car within the lane was not great, maybe a foot or two, and I accounted for the motion with a simple counter of the steering wheel as I speed steadily along through the dark winter night.
Remember Nikki Catsouras? Possibly not. The young lady borrowed her father’s 911 Cabriolet, made a mistake at speeds reported to be in excess of 100 miles per hour, and was killed in a remarkably bloody and graphic fashion by the blunt end of a tollbooth.
Remember Chris Brown? The singer and occasional girlfriend-beater mildly crinkled the nose of his 911 Turbo S Cabriolet while ostensibly avoiding a squad of photographers.
Ever think those two incidents might be related?
After reading Jack’s “mean-spiritedly annotated” interpretation of Motor Trend’s Scott Evans’ rollover of a Cadillac ATS at a press event and then Scott’s safe-n-sane account of his unfortunate off-road adventure, I remembered 24 Hours of LeMons head honcho Jay Lamm mentioning that he’d rolled a Range Rover in spectacular fashion during his car-journo days. With all this talk about upside-down press cars lately, I decided to interview Mr. Lamm about his wreck and the effects it had on his subsequent career. (Read More…)
“Light and shade” the man said, that man being the man, Jimmy Page. From a race that barely qualifies as a race, we go to racing at its two-fisted best… or worst.
The video above, taken from the Traqmate and rollcage camera of SCCA racer Kent Carter, will reward your attention. It demonstrates a lot of what is wonderful about small-bore amateur racing in just two minutes. There’s a bunch of actual on-the-limit driving, in cars for which the drivers are personally responsible. There’s passing, re-passing, skill, and anger. Finally, there’s a bleak reminder that you can get hurt doing this stuff.
Click the jump for comments from the driver.
As reported on KVAL:
A state trooper rolled his car multiple times while chasing two reckless motorcyclists, one of whom returned to taunt the injured trooper, officials said… As the trooper tried to close in on the fastest biker, he told Pratt (the spokesperson for the Washington State Patrol) that two other bikers cut him off. “Had he not slowed down and slammed on the brakes, he would have hit them,” Pratt said. “At his speed that made him lose control.” The trooper’s vehicle rolled several times, finally landing in a ditch alongside the ramp.
Clearly, it’s time for these “trained police drivers” to quit driving wayyyyy over their personal limits on public roads. To save lives, I am personally willing to fly to Washington State and teach their patrolmen how to avoid the deadly combination of inept braking and inept cornering. (Read More…)