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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Must See Movie Car Chases #4

In my last post, I shared with you the measures Alex Roy undertook in order to prepare for a record lap around Manhattan Island. His efforts include a practice lap with a target time of under 30 minutes.

Today, you will understand just how difficult Alex's lap really was.

In Die Hard: With A Vengeance, a German terrorist named Simon, who happens to love a good game of "Simon Says," sends Lt. John McClane and good Samaritan Zeus on a wild goose chase beginning from a payphone at the corner of 72nd & Broadway and ending at a payphone next to the Wall Street Station newspaper kiosk within 30 minutes or else the passengers in the 3 train "vaporizes." Gotta love Hollywood!

This is not your average car chase. This is a race against time!

What is a City but the People?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Amongst the Clouds

The Mt. Washington Auto Road is one of the scariest, most treacherous places to hold a picnic, nevermind a hill climb.  With rain, fog, and wind ever present throughout the weekend, disaster for not just the seventy competitors but the entire event would seem to be an inevitable result.  However, the combination of hardy locals, drivers trained for adverse conditions, and a well organized event crew resulted in an exciting and spirited atmosphere better than any weather that was thrown at the 2011 Climb to the Clouds.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Climb to the Clouds

Just when I think I've covered the oldest active racing event, I get to write about another one! Two weeks ago, I was happy to share with you guys the evolution of the Isle of Man TT. I remember making a point that the TT was first held in 1907, predating the Indy 500 which just celebrated it's 100th birthday last month. Well this week, the famous Pikes Peak Hillclimb is back for its 95th anniversary.

Friday, June 24, 2011

If Bmw Is Going to Lose Their Soul...

A couple years ago, BMW dropped the tagline "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and it appears the company took that to heart with its current and forthcoming lineup.  For a company that has always prided itself on selling exceptionally composed driving dynamics in their cars, a portfolio aimed at maximizing profits seems to be the new goal.  By sacrificing its hallowed M badge along with trying to fill every niche just to match their Stuttgart rivals, BMW is losing their faithful following by losing themselves.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ebay Finds: Maserati Indy

In the 70s, Maserati really was a company with a full line-up.  By full line-up, I mean they had a supercar, a budget supercar, a GT, and a sedan.  You could have your Italian sex appeal any way you wanted.  While the Bora, Ghibli, lowly Merak, and Quattroporte are all recognized by the everyday enthusiast, it took me a wiki search to appreciate this Ebay find.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

This video has been a favorite of mine for a long time now. Saving this in advance, I wanted to share with you all this Father's Day one of the happiest and proudest dads you'll ever see.

Finally, here are some old photos of my dad and his wagon. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Must See Movie Car Chases #3

I'm back!! Thank you to all of our followers for your patience in recent times during our lull in posts.

That being said, please enjoy the 3rd installment of Must See Movie Car Chases! Today, we are taking a look at the Tumbler chase scene from Batman Begins.

Being a Batman nerd, at first I wasn't too thrilled with this vehicle. Then I started to read into the specs and what this thing is actually capable of. Here's a few stats for you to take in:
  • Weight: about 5,000 lbs
  • Powered by a Chevy 350
  • 0-60 in 5 seconds
  • Rear tires are 37 inches in diameter mudders
  • You want one? It cost about $250,000 to build
  • The end jump through the waterfall was done with the actual car
So sit back and enjoy this chase, my particular moment occurs right around 2:59-3:03 moment.

See you again real soon!

[edit: the uploader disabled embedding, click the link instead]

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Sweet Sickness

Les Belles Voitures

Dominating endurance racing for a decade, Audi is here to stay. When asked whether Audi has considered participating in Formula 1, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich counters that very little trickles from F1 into production cars anymore.

"Audi has always been engaged in motorsport that’s relevant to our customers such as rallying and touring cars, which brought quattro, FSI and TFSI to our road cars."

The dynamism of LeMans is second to none. Race cars of varying regulatory parameters, shapes and abilities, albeit all purpose built, race across Circuit de la Sarthe together.

Moreover, while F1's open wheel format displays a relatively linear progression in race car technology, the LeMans' prototype class possess a distinctive character from era to era.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Midsummer Night's Grab Bag

I try to upload my pictures from my cameraphone onto the FPH facebook fanpage as often as I can but I always knew that they could stand to have a bigger stage.

Featured on our main blog for the first time, enjoy a selection of my spontaneous captures!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"The Icon is Love"

What a weekend! After watching one of the closest Le Mans 24 finishes in recent memory as well as one of the unlikeliest finishes from the Montreal Grand Prix, maybe it's for the best that I stay in and unwind for the night.

And nothing says Sunday evening better than:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Freak of the Week: Buzz-by

June 10, 2011 marks the end of the Isle of Man TT event and also marks the centenary of its mountain course. First held in 1907, this incredible venue is even older than the Indianapolis 500, of which only celebrated its 100th anniversary last month.

More than an event with an illustrious past, the Isle of Man TT is also an event that warmly embraces the future. In FotW #21, we take a look at the third annual Isle of Man TT Zero, the clean emission electric motorcycle race.

Arguably the most stand out team in the electric class is Portland based, two-time TT Zero winner, MotoCzysz. This year, MotoCzysz fielded their unique Segway-Czysz motorcycle to win their event and to set a new electric lap record of 99.513 average mph, thanks to their newly developed 3-phase AC motor capable of producing an equivalent of over 200hp.

Moreover, the fairings on this year's motorcycle completely shroud its innards. Last year, the 2010 MotoCzysz E1PC's fairings were conveniently stuck in customs, allowing fans to get a closer look of the Czysz's brilliantly engineered battery array design.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to dig up any substantial specs on the 2011 model but I imagine it's essentially an enhanced and refined version of their 2010 bike. Undoubtedly, the battery array is the E1PC's party piece. The 2010 E1PC possessed a 10 individual lithium polymer cell array, each cell weighing 19.5 Lbs.

Rather than have wires connect batteries to the bike, MotoCzysz created these docks that lock the batteries into receivers integrated onto the bike’s frame, conducting the batteries and supporting the batteries’ weight at the same time. This allows for lighter weight, stronger rigidity, durability, and quicker servicing.

The TT Zero is a fantastic event that deserves it's place in the Isle of Man program as we benefit from innovations emerging from MotoCzysz's and their competing teams. Both batteries and electric motors will get lighter and lighter as well as better packaged within a chassis. Whether you are an advocate of alternative energy or not, the question is no longer "if", only "when".

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Le Mans

This upcoming weekend will be chock full of racing.  MotoGP visits the renovated Silverstone circuit.  Formula 1 is in Canada.  There's probably a NASCAR race somewhere.  But to top all of those is the endurance race by which all endurance races are measured against, Le 24 Heure Du Mans or the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

To get everyone up to pace, here's a very concise yet still entertaining documentary.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What Can Brown Do For You

The United Parcel Service, or UPS, recently released video of a new big brown truck in its prototype testing phase.  At first glance, the truck in the video looks like any other UPS delivery truck.  However, the defining characteristic isn't in the aesthetics but in the material makeup.  The new truck is about 1,000 lbs lighter than the aluminum bodied truck due to its extensive use of ABS plastic.  By shedding that weight, The Big Brown Machine can use a smaller motor and be a whopping 40% more efficient.  This got us thinking about past environmental initiatives enacted by UPS.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

When Motor Racing Was Dangerous And Sex Was Safe.

Spectators of racing often look to the past and say,"those were the golden years."  This is said for many reason including the quality of racing, lack of electronic wizardry, and the diverse personalities of the drivers.  However, many drivers have paid the ultimate price over the years and it's too easily forgotten how their sacrifices have led to the relatively safe racing that we watch today.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Main Title

Thanks to Bullitt, both Steve McQueen and the Mustang Fastback had become larger than life. Because of the immensity of the two icons, sometimes car fans forget something very important. Read this slowly and deliberately: Bullitt is only a movie.

With that in mind, and appreciating Bullitt as such, I wanted to share something with you guys this weekend. Not only did Bullitt win the Academy Award for Best Film Editing, but it was also nominated for Best Sound.

I must confess, I wasn't taken by the Lalo Schiffrin's score at first but now I can't imagine any other tune that could compliment Lt. Frank Bullitt so perfectly.

Friday, June 3, 2011

2 Legit

Aside from the tornadoes hitting western Massachusetts, there has been some lovely riding weather lately.  In addition to the splendid temperatures, a friend of mine is in the market for a new motorcycle and he's very much into bobbers.  Add in the Danny Choy factor of sharing a love for cafe racers and we have a perfect storm brewing.  Thankfully we found this video and it supplies a much needed old school motorcycle fix while keeping us out of debt.

Big thanks to Oscar of the Squadra Sutge motorcycle group in Spain for these beautiful shots!

A KIND OF PASSION, a tribute to classic motorcycles and the people who love them from Squadra Sutge on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Freak of the Week: Frenchie Fiat

Alain Bublex, anybody? Alain Bublex? No?

According to fr.wikipedia, l’encyclopédie libre, Alain Bublex graduated from the Graduate School of Industrial Design in Paris to later join Renault's design team. Unfortunately, his career did not continue for very long as Bublex says, "I wanted to make cars, they wanted to make a profit."