Oh those professional athletes — so overpaid, so prone to flashy spending sprees, so obsessed with wealth. Take Alfred Morris for example, recently signed by the Washington Redskins.
Would you believe he was driving around in a Bentley in college? Well, he called it “Bentley” anyway.
In fact, Morris’s ride was something way less conspicuous than a high-end, hand-built luxury car. It was a 1991 Mazda 626 sedan (the old boxy kind), which he reportedly paid $2 for. As you might expect for a two-dollar car, it wasn’t exactly in the best shape.
So, kick it to the curb once the signing bonus hit? Drop that 14-inch steelie-clad hooptie for some blinged-out Range Rover? Actually, no. In a heart warming tale of a man having unreasonable attachment to an inanimate object, Morris refused to part with the old machine. Mazda got wind of this devotion, and has just recently restored the car to near-concours spec.
Not-to-spec, the quilted seats and on-board audio, but the 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine now beats with new vigour, and Bentley’s paint shines again as if factory fresh. More than 275 work-hours went into the restoration. Yes, it’s a PR stunt but it’s still a great story.
Kubica rallies on WRC2 circuit
Polish Formula One driver Robert Kubica still has a following among the F1 faithful; you can still see red and white flags bearing his name waving proudly at the races. But he’s not there.
He’s gone rallying. After suffering a horrific crash in 2011 that saw his WRC car speared by a piece of loose guardrail, Kubica’s arm was very badly injured, meaning a promising start in F1 was cut short.
For most people, this might be the end of racing and time to take up something a little safer. Like juggling flaming chainsaws. Not so for Mr. Kubica, who has been claiming victory after victory in the WRC2 championship. Running the same treacherous, gravelly and tree-lined tracks that the full strength rally racers run, WRC2 has slightly less powerful cars, but pretty much all the same risks and challenges.
Born to race, Kubica has been handling his machine, a Citroën DS3, so well that’s he’s leading the standings with just a few races to go. With the challenging Wales Rally now in the program, beckoning with its murky forest roads, Kubica has yet a new challenge to step up to.
Drayson claims fastest EV
Based on a LeMans prototype chassis, the Drayson Racing electric car can now officially claim the laurels as the fastest electric car in the world. Stymied during speed record attempts at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the team turned to a shortish landing strip — just three kilometres long — in the U.K.
First crack, they managed a speed of 333 kilometres per hour over one kilometre of track from a flying start. That’s fast.
Next, the bright green EV launched from a dead stop and clocked in a quarter mile time of 9.7 seconds, approximately as quick as a modern Formula One car. Of course, with just three kilometres of runway to play with, the ability to get the 1,000 kilogram car stopped in time is also something of a challenge.
Aside from its electric powertrain, the Drayson car also uses a unique wireless recharging system and is a continuing development testbed for the company. Unofficial GPS results showed an even faster maximum speed of 352 km/h, so there’s more work to be done.
Camaro laps Nürburgring in 7:37
Musclecars: big, dumb, loud, fast in a straight line, don’t stop, don’t turn.
So goes the stereotype, but here’s a piece of news from the world’s favourite German proving grounds. The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, a track-special resurrection of that iconic badge, just lapped the treacherous corners of the Nürburgring faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera S. Before you get too embarrassed for Porsche, let’s just tick off the other big ticket machinery that this mulletized special just put the boots too. There’s the Lexus LFA, the Lamborghini Murcielago, the mighty Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and the SLS AMG.
Powered by a 7.0-litre small-block Chevy (basically a Corvette motor), the Z/28 has plenty of stick to hit high speed on the straights, but its performance is also down to GM’s aerodynamic improvements, weight savings (nearly 140 kg were removed versus the supercharged ZL1 variant), and massive brakes.
Tesla Model S catches fire
Last week, a Tesla Model S caught fire outside of Seattle and, to paraphrase Heath Ledger’s Joker, everybody lost their minds. Tesla stock took a hit, the story was posted all over social media, frowny faced news anchors looked suitably concerned, and everyone clucked their tongues disapprovingly.
There was no fault —the car hit a large piece of metal debris. The car informed the unnamed driver of the problem and told him to pull over. The fire never entered the passenger cabin. No one was injured. Basically, the Tesla performed well after a potentially disastrous collision, and the only real issue highlighted was that the fire department was not necessarily well equipped to deal with putting out an electrical car fire. Hint: maybe don’t use so much water. However, the fire was eventually extinguished — hopefully the furor over this one-off dies down soon, too.
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