Archive | car history

The 1990s BMW Touring Car Team That Got Busted Smuggling Cocaine

Vic Lee Motorsport was the most infamous teams in the British Touring Car Championship in the early 1990s. But Vic Lee himself had a little problem: sharing room with the race cars in his team’s haulers was a whole lot of cocaine. What’s poetic is what tipped off the authorities: the team’s oddly international testing…Read […]

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Your Crappy, Weird ’70s Electric Car Of The Day: The Electraction Rickshaw

I think one of the most under-appreciated eras of automotive manufacture has to be the electric car market from the 1960s to the 1980s. I love this era because it was one of rampant ingenuity and creativity, dominated by small, independent manufacturers, and all they had in common was that every single car they made…Read […]

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How A Box Of Magic Crystals Brought Down Australia’s Most Famous Race Car Driver

Being unfamiliar with Peter Brock is pretty much unthinkable to Australian auto racing fans, but for much of the rest of the world, that’s the sorry state we live in. This is a shame, not just because Peter Brock was a truly gifted driver and ran a great factory-approved tuning companies, but because the story […]

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Your Stupid Argument About What Is A GT Car Has Been Going On For Half A Century

There’s little more that the automotive internet loves arguing about than pointless definitions, but what I didn’t realize is that enthusiasts have been debating what a ‘GT car’ is for the past 55 years. No, not the race cars, or the trim badges that get stuck on cars that sometimes don’t deserve them, but a […]

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A Mercedes Founder And Car Industry Godfather Once Got Into A Police Chase In A Powerboat

It’s easy to think of the earliest figures in the automotive industry as nothing more but characterless stern faces from black and white photographs. But that doesn’t square with Wilhelm Maybach taunting cops and getting into a police chase with one of the very first vehicles powered by a modern gas engine.Read more… Continue Reading […]

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GM’s 1930s Rear-Engine Experimental Cars Had The Weirdest And Stinkiest Engines Ever

If I had to pick one time in history to be an automotive engineer, I’d have to pick the mid-to-late 1930s. Well, as a Jew, there’d be some pretty serious trade-offs about that era, of course, but as someone who loves rear-engine designs, it was the Golden Age. While most of the rear-engine pioneers we […]

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The Skyline That Lied: When Nissan Built A Race Car It Probably Wished You’d Forget

In early 1980s, Nissan was on a mission. It was fighting Toyota for supremacy in the Japanese market, trying to prove itself with high-tech road cars and flame-spitting race cars to draw people into the showroom. And it was making a case for itself, but it had a problem.Read more… Continue Reading at http://jalopnik.com

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The Mightiest Four-Cylinder Toyota Ever Made

In the 1980s, Toyota began its most audacious push into the high-end side of the car world, racing V8 prototypes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and designing V8 Lexus sedans to take over America. But while that was happening, the company was also working on a little four-cylinder that would become arguably its […]

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There Was Once A Time When Consumers Fought To Make Their Cars Less Safe

Safety is a big deal for car buyers and owners today. Most people check a car’s safety ratings and crash-test scores before buying, and if someone sees you drive without buckling a seatbelt, they’ll look at you like you just chugged an anthrax smoothie. But this wasn’t always the case. Once, a long time ago, […]

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How The First Toyota Dealer In Florida Was Born Of Desperation And Fought Stereotypes To Survive

One of Robert Zinn’s earliest memories is of riding around in the back with his two older brothers in a boxy economy car his father was trying to sell. The big sign mounted on the roof read “30 MPG,” but it was 1965 and gas was cheap, so nobody gave a damn. It was a […]

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This Is The Strangest Origin Story Of Any Carmaker

Car companies often have interesting origin stories. Sometimes they evolved from making non-car things to cars, sometimes it was about cars from the start, and sometimes they don’t even want to talk that much about how they started because maybe Nazis were involved. But there’s only one example I can think of where a…Read more… […]

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This Three-Wheeled Log Cabin Of A Car Was Supposed To Be Everywhere

The Martin Stationette was pitched as the American economy car of the future. It was supposed to make our lives better, our roads clearer, but only one prototype was ever built. That’s probably for the best. On this week’s episode of Jason Drives (I am writing the post for it because Jason is off doing stupid […]

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This Obscure Nissan Engine Is Where Modern Japanese Performance Cars Began

Back in the 1970s, Nissan was sort of stuck in a rut. The gas crises had ballooned the profits and export sales of the Japanese auto industry as a whole, but Nissan had lost its edge against Toyota and even the young upstart Honda. Particularly bad was Nissan’s company’s prestige model, the Skyline, which had […]

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