3,516 Lightly Optioned Cars Burn in Florida

A weekend blaze cut short the lifespans of more than 3,500 vehicles packed tightly into a single massive overflow lot near Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida.

While the cause of the vehicular firestorm has not yet been determined, the resulting carnage is something to see. Despite dozens of water drops by local sheriff’s office helicopters, the overflow lot, ringed with acres of dry grass, proved the perfect econobox tinderbox.

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Trackday Diaries: Pull up to the Bumper, Baby

“Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” Thus spake Auric Goldfinger — and I’m starting to think he had a point.

About this time last year, my 2014 Accord Coupe was smacked on the rump by a cheerful part-time weed dealer in a battered Mazda2. It could have been a lot more hassle than it was. The kid was willing to wait for the cops, his insurance company was slow to act but friendly enough once they got started, and the insurance-selected body shop actually did a half-decent job of installing and painting a new bumper.

I should note that part of the reason everything went so well was my determination to not get agitated about the incident and its repercussions. As long-time TTAC readers know, I’m very fond of my Accord, but it’s fundamentally a cheap little car built right here in Ohio by a bunch of teenagers.

Had it been my 911 or my old Audi S5 in that little fender-bender, I would have raised all sorts of hell and insisted on using my own body shop and having a third-party inspection and so on. Or at least that’s what I did every time one of my “nice” cars was damaged by someone else. Hell, when my 1990 VW Fox was dented on a downtown street some time in 1994 I contrived to have the repair done by the only Lamborghini and Ferrari certified shop in Ohio. It was too nice. The paint on the repair was deeper and glossier than the Brazilian factory spray.

If last year’s Accord injury was happenstance, then what happened to me yesterday was coincidence. Once again my car’s been damaged by an utter idiot — but as you’ll see, this time there’s nothing I can do but grin and bear it.

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Awkward: Range Rover Evoque and Landwind X7 Collide

Over the years, various Chinese automakers have been inspired by produced blatant copies of various mainstream automobiles.

The Landwind X7 appears to be a direct replica of the Range Rover Evoque. So much so, that Jaguar Land Rover recently sued Jiangling Motor, the largest shareholder of Landwind, for copyright infringement and unfair competition. Shockingly, that case is currently in a little bit of a limbo in the Chinese court system.

The worlds of Land Rover and Landwind literally collided today when a Landwind X7 and Range Rover Evoque got into a minor fender-bender. The accident happened in Chongqing, a small city in southwest China with a population roughly twice that of Los Angeles.

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Grim Start to the Memorial Day Weekend

They say that any accident that results in zero injuries is a good one, but Detroit-area residents trying to beat Memorial Day Weekend traffic on Friday probably didn’t feel that relief.

Huge backups were reported west of the city after Interstate 96 was shut down for a heartbreaking reason. It was enough to make normally stoic fire officials pause as they considered what had been lost.

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Car Comes to Screeching Halt on Landmark Newfoundland Cliff (Video)

I dunno, I think I’d get a bigger truck. #nltraffic #yyt @VOCMNEWS pic.twitter.com/sW6Axoq9jl

— Earl Noble (@Noble41) April 3, 2016

Newfoundland: it’s where to visit when you want to meet locals who seemingly speak unintelligible English. It’s also a place where you can park a car halfway down the side of a landmark cliff.

One woman was sent to hospital in serious condition in the yet-unexplained incident that’s left a car dangling half way down the face of Signal Hill and tow-truck operators are currently trying to recover the mangled wreckage.

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Was This Vehicular Assault Malicious, Negligent, Or Both? (Video)

It’s every biker’s nightmare: an anonymous Honda runs you off the road then departs the scene at high speed. But was it malice aforethought, or simply a very painful lesson about what happens when you linger in a car’s blind spot?

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Australian Supercar Racer Courtney Injured in Freak Accident, Championship Chase Probably Over

V8 Supercar racer James Courtney was injured when an Australian Navy helicopter fly-over dislodged debris near pitlane, which struck and injured the racer, media in Australia is reporting.

Courtney was transported to a local hospital with relatively minor injuries, but is expected to remain there for several days, effectively ending his race weekend. Courtney is currently fifth in the championship standings with five races to follow this weekend’s Sydney Motorsports Park SuperSprint. Courtney’s missed weekend effectively ends his championship run.

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Ownership Update: The End of a Porsche

Much has changed since I last had the opportunity to humblebrag on TTAC. My good friend Derek has monetized the skills he developed and honed here into an actual, real-life job in the automotive industry, and I’ve gone from owning two Porsche 911s to owning zero cars — at least temporarily.

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Piston Slap: The Fuel Harbinger of Fusion Steering Fail?

TTAC commentator Bobby Flashpants writes:

Howdy Sajeev,

I have an unique issue with my 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. I’ve posted about it at fordfusionforum.com, and no one so far has heard of anyone with the same issue. Here’s the link for the post, and the text is reproduced (and edited to remove site-specific context) below:

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Pride Before the Fall

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.

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Threat Level 11: How Do We Mitigate The Danger?

Image Courtesy of: Crushable.com

My dad freaked out. We weren’t going that fast when the old dump truck struggled out onto the road some distance ahead of us and it was a simple matter to just let off the gas and coast for a bit while the old truck worked its way up through the gears to the posted 35mph limit. The road in front of the construction site was a mess of mud and gravel and although I am sure my father didn’t appreciate the muddy spray on the otherwise clean flanks of his Delta 88, he seemed rather unbothered about the whole event – at least until we finally closed the distance and drew up behind the big truck. It was then he read the scene in front of him and jumped hard on the brakes. As the old truck rumbled away he turned to me and asked “Did you see that?”

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A Deer In The Headlights: Update

Last week I wrote an article called A Deer In The Headlights about my parents hitting a deer a few days prior. In the story, I talked about the impact and reported that the RAV4 they were driving caught fire as they were being pulled out. Fortunately the good men and women of the Monroe, WA Fire Department arrived on the scene and, in short order, got things under control before the entire car melted down.

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Different Reactions To Getting Rear-Ended

Yesterday I was out for a walk when I saw an accident happen. It wasn’t a bad one, the driver of a small delivery truck came off the clutch and his rig hopped forward and smacked the back of the small SUV stopped at the light ahead of him. The light changed and the two trucks involved pulled across the intersection and the drivers got out. The driver of the SUV was a well to do looking woman in a business suit and when saw the damage to the back of her car, smashed rear bumper and piece missing from the plastic bumper cover – there may have been other things, but I really wasn’t that close – she absolutely flipped out in the middle of the street. It go so intense that I am sure the sound of her shrill shrieking is still suspended in space somewhere over the city even now.

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Deadly Threat: A Deer In The Headlights

The deer emerged from the forest and leapt into the roadway in a sudden swift movement. The sights and sounds of the busy two lane highway assailed the animal’s senses and drove it towards panic. In the opposite lane a car flashed by at close to 60 mph and the noise of its passing echoed off of the thick brush behind the animal. With threats from ahead and behind, the animal pivoted and fled up the roadway, running headlong into the white RAV4 which, despite the driver’s best efforts, was still traveling somewhere north of 50 mph when it struck the animal.

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Piston Slap: Reading the Light Bulb Filaments

TTAC commentator Celebrity208 writes:

Sajeev:
I’d always thought that police crash investigators would check the tail light bulbs of a car that was rear ended to determine if its lights were on at the time of the crash. I thought it had something to do with the way the filament was broken/burnt/etc. So my question is two-fold, am I crazy and do they do this, and if so how might LED tail lights remove this piece of forensic evidence regarding correctly operating brake lights at the time of an accident (presuming the fault was contested)?

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  • Gray Juneteenth - 72 responses. Unusual Isuzu pickup - 18 responses. Happy Juneteenth.
  • Doc423 Said some automakers were slow to adopt the technology of Smartphone Mirroring, too bad they aren't slower adopting the EV technology, rather than cramming it down our throats.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys i was only here for torchinsky
  • Tane94 Workhorse probably will be added to the heap of failed EV companies.
  • Freddie Instead of taking the day off, how about an article on the connection between Black Americans and the auto industry and car culture? Having done zero research, two topics pop into my head: Chrysler designer/executive Ralph Gilles, and the famous (infamous?) "Green Book".