If you’ve ever felt your car “get away from you” on wet pavement, even for an instant, chances are you experienced hydroplaning. It’s scary at best, and can be downright lethal at worst.
Hydroplaning is what happens when your tires are overwhelmed by more water than they can scatter or channel away. The water pressure at the leading edge of the tire’s contact patch pushes water under the tire, and eventually enough water builds up that the tire loses contact with the road surface. The thin film of water between the rubber and road means a loss of braking, traction and steering control.
The first ten minutes of a light rain are actually the worst in terms of hydroplaning. In that ten minutes, the oil and rubber residue on the surface doesn’t have time to wash away, and inst ...[more]Read More
As energy prices continue to soar, many people are turning to electric cars to help them save on costs. Electric cars run on large battery packs that need to be recharged regularly for continued use. They do, however, end up protecting the environment and consumption of our nonrenewable resources.
Up until now, electric cars have had to be plugged in so that the batteries can recharge for the next use. New technologies, however, are currently being tested and will be available on the market soon. One of the most beneficial technologies is a charging plate that allows drivers to charge up their electric cars wirelessly.
If you remember the news story from last year where an entire house was swallowed up by a sinkhole in Florida, it may seem like deja vu! Yesterday, Corvette aficionados from around the world gasped a collective sigh as they turned on the news and watched the sad news unfold. An enormous sinkhole, forty feet in diameter, swallowed eight extremely rare Corvettes housed in the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The total value of these classic Corvettes is not yet known but it will be in the millions. The Corvettes ranged in age from 1962 to 2009. Six of them had been donated to the museum while two of them were on loan from General Motors. Two of the Corve ...[more]Read More
Performance cars had to start somewhere, and there were so many obscure, low-production makes before about 1925 or so, it was inevitable that some higher-performance models would come along. The Mercer Raceabout was one of those.
Mercer was founded by two engineers, backed by a significant amount of capital. Their first cars were handcrafted touring sedans, but by about 1910 they had introduced the Type 35R Raceabout. This early race car featured a 293-cubic-inch four-cylinder (pistons the size of gallon jugs!), developing 55 horsepower and capable of propelling the Raceabout to over 90 mph. The Raceabout took five of six races in 1911, losing only at the Indianapolis 500.
In the 1914 Corona Road Race, driver Eddie Pullen set a new speed record of 86.5 mph, breaking the previous speed ecord of 78.72 ...[more]Read More
We know you’re proud of your ride and want to keep it looking good. Here are some ideas to keep it as shiny and sharp-looking as it did from day one:
- Be careful about washing:Not all car washes are created equal; the kind with rotating brushes can wear down your car’s finish, especially on an older car. Opt for a no-touch car wash if possible, or just go ahead and wash it yourself. And never, ever wash with laundry detergent or dish soap – the detergent will immediately strip all the wax from your car’s finish. Go with a quality car wash formulation from your local auto parts store. Also, dry your car off afterwards if possible, with a terrycloth towel or chamois; dried water spots not only don’t look good, they can damage your finish.
- Keep your c ...[more]
By the early 60s, the era of tailfins and chrome had come to a close, and early 60s full-size Chevrolets featured cleaner, boxier lines and more modern-looking interiors. Under the hood, the Impala was available with anything from a straight-six to a big-block V8 for real performance in a big, heavy car.
By ’63, the problematic 348 V8 was gone and the big-block 409 was on its way out. Chevrolets were starting to see real competition at the tracks, however, and the Z-11 was the answer to the big-inch V8 cars coming from Ford, Dodge and Pontiac. Chevrolet took the 409 engine and bored it out to 427 cbic inches, along with special heads, valves and a new intake manifold topped by two 4-barrel Carter AFB carburetors.
The Z-11 was built for one thing and one thing only: racing. That meant it was a no-frills ...[more]Read More
The WRG2 is the third generation of Nokian’s innovative “All-Weather Plus” tires, with a unique asymmetrical tread pattern that can address different driving conditions, weather and road conditions. The outer shoulder is narrow, with a generous number of sipes for handling and traction, with an entirely different tread design at the inner shoulder for winter driving. The tire’s center section uses 3D sipes for handling and stability, with a “slush wedge” and polished grooves to move water and slush away from the tire footprint.
Nokian tires are designed with a unique environmentally-friendly rubber compound, utilizing cool silica, canola oil and low-aromatic, purified oils for reduced rollin ...[more]Read More
Detroit is host to the North American International Auto Show every year, where manufacturers get to roll out their newest offerings. Not surprisingly, the NAIAS draws huge crowds from all over; last year’s show brought close to 800,000 people to the city, and this year’s NAIAS promises to be a worthy follow-up to the 2013 show. A few debuts to look forward to this year:
- 2015 Ford Mustang: Redesigned with a lower silhouette, wider stance, facelifted grille and revamped suspension, the next-generation of the pony car will feature a standard 3.7 liter V6 that churns out over 300 horsepower, as well as an all-new 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine and an upgraded 5.0 liter V8 that yields over 420 horsepower. Even with the changes, the Mustang bloodlines are still clearly there in the overhaul ...[more]
So…what’s a good plan for a small, lightweight British sports car with a steel tube frame and aluminum body panels? Shoehorn a Ford 427 V8 into it, of course!
The 427 Cobra started life as the AC Ace, a cute little roadster powered by a British straight-six (and later a Ford four-banger). In the early Sixties, American hot rodder Carroll Shelby and Ford were looking for a car that could compete with the Corvette on the race tracks. Shelby approached AC Cars, an agreement was reached and the first versions of the Cobra featured the Ford 260 V8, which had also been used for the Sunbeam Tiger , another Shelby brainchild.
An intermediate model used Ford’s 390 V8, but its nose-heavy weight distribution and lack of suspension tweaks made it almost undriveable in competition. The subsequent mode ...[more]Read More
Thinking about heavy-duty all-terrain tires for your truck, 4x4 SUV or Jeep? The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R is a great tire with an excellent reputation, but the Mastercraft Courser is really worth a look too.
The Wrangler really excels when it comes to tread formulation – Goodyear’s silica/rubber tread compound is sticky and flexible for traction on or off road. But look – the Mastercraft Courser also infuses silica into its tread compound.
The Mastercraft provides excellent traction off-road, with 12% more lateral grooves and an open groove design at the tire’s ...[more]Read More