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Carroll Shelby

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  • On 14, May 2012

“It’s darn near impossible to overemphasize the impact that Carroll Shelby has had on the automotive world as we know it today. Born in 1923, Shelby took part in his very first race, a quarter-mile drag, in 1952. Later that year, he’d go on to win his first road race in an MG-TC. By 1956, Shelby had garnered enough race wins to earn the title “Driver of the Year” from Sports Illustrated. He would win that award again in 1957.

Carroll Shelby was nothing if not a keen businessman. In early 1957, Shelby opened his first car dealership in Dallas, Texas. Bolstered by his success behind the wheel – Carroll won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, driving an Aston Martin – Shelby went on to build the iconic Cobra using a chassis built by AC Cars in England and powered by a Ford V8 engine. Officially homologated in 1962, the Cobra Roadster won its first race in January of 1963.

Driven by legendary drivers like Phil Hill, A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney, the Shelby Cobra and its aerodynamic Daytona Coupe sibling won the Sports Car Club of America’s A-production title and the United States Road Racing Championship in ’63. The following year brought with it the big-block 427 Cobra, and the machine went on to deal serious blows to Ferrari, the dominant sports car manufacturer of the time.

Shelby began his long-running relationship with the Ford factory in 1965, as the Shelby GT350 hit both the street and the race track. That year, Shelby secured the FIA World Championship of GT cars. In 1966, a Shelby-backed Ford team finished in first, second and third place at Le Mans; this was the first time an American team claimed victory in the historic race, but it would not be the last – Shelby’s team would go on to win Le Mans again in 1967. The Ford GT40 ended up in first place four straight years from 1966-1969.

The Shelby GT350 claimed the Trans Am racing title in 1967, and in that year, the very last 427 Shelby Cobra was built. In 1970, Ford ended its partnership with Shelby, and the man would remain mostly quiet in the automotive industry until the 1980s, when Lee Iacocca approached Carroll about building high-performance versions of Dodge products. The Omni and Charger would Go Like Hell for several years, embarrassing V8-powered Mustangs and Camaros along the way.

Carroll Shelby received a heart transplant in 1990 and would go on to reintroduce Cobra 427 S/C continuation cars and 4000-series cars throughout the 1990s. Shelby was also involved heavily with both the Dodge Viper and Ford GT programs. No wonder why Carroll Shelby was inducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

Today, the name Shelby may be most often tied to the latest and greatest GT500 models from Ford, but it’s clear that the man has impacted the performance world for decades. While he may no longer be alive, there can be little doubt that Carroll Shelby’s influence will be felt by enthusiasts for as long as cars move us from one place to another.”

Source: Autoblog

Seinfeld Returning to TV

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  • On 14, May 2012

“Jerry Seinfeld may be planning to stage a return to television. The comic and car fanatic has been dropping hints about a new project tentatively called “Comics and Cars.” Details are iffy at the moment, though the premise seems to circle around Seinfeld and his wealthy friends hanging out and talking about various vehicles.

Names like Alec Baldwin, Ricky Gervais and Larry David have all surfaced as potential candidates, though it’s unclear if Seinfeld will rely on a regular panel of hosts or a slurry of rotating guests. Seinfeld has tried his hand at reality television in the past, though without much success.

The comic’s last project, The Marriage Ref, bumbled along for two seasons on NBC before being canceled. There’s no doubt that Seinfeld is both funny and a genuine car guy, but if shows like Top Gear USA and The Car Show have proven anything, it’s that it takes more than those two elements to succeed.”

Source: Autoblog

Carroll Shelby Passes at 89

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  • On 14, May 2012

“Carroll Shelby has passed away at the age of 89. The legendary tuner and proprietor of the famous marque that bears his name had been in the hospital for several weeks, suffering from pneumonia. Shelby addressed his fans fourteen days before his death, saying that he was resting comfortably and being taken care of by his children.

Anyone familiar in the least with automotive history is well aware of Shelby’s vast vehicular exploits, so we’ll just touch on them here. Carroll was a successful race car driver in the 1950s before creating his own racing team to take on the likes of Ferrari, using Ford-powered sportscar called the Cobra. Suffice it to say, Shelby and his Cobra were extremely successful. Later, Shelby’s name would become synonymous with the fastest and most powerful Ford Mustang models ever created.

Shelby is survived by his three children Patrick, Michael and Sharon, his sister Anne Shelby Ellison of Fort Worth and his wife Cleo.”

Source: Autoblog

New Nissan Engine Plant

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  • On 14, May 2012

“Nissan breaks ground today on an expansion to its Decherd, Tennessee engine plant and will start churning out powerplants for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz models in about four years.

The plant already builds four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines for several Nissan models as well as the Infiniti JX SUV. In 2011, the Tennessee plant built 580,000 engines. The expansion will boost production capacity by as much as 250,000 units per year.

Nissan’s partnership with Mercedes-Benz, announced in January, has the facility supplying engines to Mercedes’ only North American plant in Alabama. The four-cylinder will be installed in the German company’s C-Class sedans.

“This is the newest milestone in our pragmatic collaboration and our most significant project outside of Europe so far,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in a January press release. “Localized capacity reduces exposure to foreign exchange rates while rapidly enabling a good business development in North America – a win-win for the Alliance and Daimler.”

The next Infiniti G will feature Mercedes-Benz sourced engines, so it looks like Nissan aims to return the favour.”

Source: Autoblog

Former Stig

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  • On 14, May 2012

“Ben Collins is staying busy. The former Stig has once again returned to stunt driving, this time for the upcoming James Bond film Skyfall. According to The Mirror, Collins has been spotted filming in Istanbul, where he took the wheel to ram a Land Rover into an Audi during a crash scene.

The stunt vehicle used a special cage on the roof, where the stunt driver can manipulate the SUV with the actors inside. Collins has a long history of working with the Bond franchise. The TV personality turned stuntman worked on both Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale, though he’s also worked on other films as well.

In Collins’ memoir, The Man in the White Suit, the driver turned author describes how he juggled his time in the Army, on Top Gear, as a race driver and a stunt driver at the same time. As you may recall, the BBC attempted to prevent the memoir from being published at all, but lost the lawsuit in which it alleged revealing the Stig’s identity would breach Collins’ contract.”

Source: Autoblog

Top Gear USA Season 3

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  • On 14, May 2012

“Host Adam Ferrara has confirmed Top Gear USA will be back for a third season. The comedian-turned television personality broke the news during an event in New York City last night, according to Inside Line. The show is slowly gaining momentum in North America, and this season saw its best U.S. ratings yet. One episode drew an impressive 2.1 million viewers. Of course, that’s a small figure compared to the legions who tune in or download the original “Top Gear,” but with the American hosts getting more comfortable with each other every episode, we’ll hardly turn down more car-oriented programming.

Then again, Top Gear USA may be your only TG fix over the next few months. Jeremy Clarkson just confirmed the original show won’t be back until 2013. According to Ferrara, production on season three starts this weekend.”

Source: Autoblog

The Nissan Fan 370Z Project

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  • On 07, May 2012

“Nissan has already begun spinning wrenches on the company’s crowd-sourced project 370Z, and the automaker has been kind enough to craft a well-made video documenting the build. Fans of the brand chose a GReddy twin turbo kit, which should crank up the 3.7-litre V6 to the tune of around 500 horsepower! The Stage One clip follows the build as technicians dismantle the front of the sports car, yank the engine and bolt on the aftermarket goods. Fans also chose a GReddy Ti-C catback exhaust to help the engine breathe a little easier while hustling down the track, so the pipes go on next.

Nissan plans on documenting the full build before unveiling the project at the upcoming ZDayz 2012. If you’re curious about the creation, you can follow along on the Nissan Performance Facebook page.”

Source: Autoblog

New Toyota Supra

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  • On 07, May 2012

“Motor Trend reports Toyota may have plans to resurrect the Supra name, or at least a new sports coupe to fill the role of the long-dead two door. Hot on the heels of sports cars like the Lexus LFA and Scion FR-S, designers are reportedly working on dusting off the 2007 FT-HS Concept for another go at life. Paired with the company’s GRMN MRS prototype chassis, the vehicle will likely deliver up to 400 horsepower from a 3.5-litre V6 engine and an electric motor.

If the notion of a hybrid Supra is enough to ruffle your feathers, you may want to stop reading right now. Unlike the previous sports coupe, the new model will make use of an all-wheel-drive system. Still reading? MT reports the machine will put power to all four wheels via a CVT pulled from the Lexus RX.

That noise? It’s the sound of a lonely sad trombone echoing down the halls of the internet.

Of course, all of this seems to be little more than a few educated guesses stuck together. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has voiced his support for a Supra successor in the past, and if green-lit, the model could see production by 2015. Early guesses say the car would bow with a $60,000 price tag, which would make for a perfect argument against sticking a new NSX in your garage.”

Source: Autoblog

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