This week we’re going to a car show and a movie.
Saturday, April 26, 2014 was the date of the 27th annual Seal Beach Classic Car Show. Despite the forecast rain the night before, which probably gave the organizers fits, the weather on the day of the show was Southern California picture-perfect.
Part one’s coverage (in AutoMatters #328) of the 40th anniversary of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach ended with exciting drifting competition on Saturday night, April 12th. Now let’s move on to Sunday’s racing action with Indy Lights, SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road trucks (not only spectacular racing, but also insane jumping and crashing into the tire barriers!), Verizon IndyCars and, to wrap up a very full weekend of seven different race series, Pirelli World Challenge cars – all on the famous 1.968 mile, 11-turn course through the streets of Long Beach, California.
Just after midnight on Saturday, while driving on the freeway, I had the scare of my life. I have absolutely no doubt that I came within a few seconds of having a terrible, high-speed, life-ending crash. Unlike in the thought-provoking new science fiction movie entitled “Transcendence” (spoiler alert), where efforts are made to transfer a dying man’s consciousness into a sophisticated computer system, there would have been no coming back from such an accident. I am sharing my experience with you in the sincere
The 40th anniversary of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach took place on April 11-13.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. To draw our attention to the life-threatening dangers posed by distracted driving, and to help people become safer, more responsible and better-informed drivers and passengers, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, Impact Teen Drivers, the California Office of Traffic Safety, more than 250 law enforcement agencies – including the California Highway Patrol, and others have joined together in a state-wide public awareness and education campaign.
Logitech’s G27 Racing Wheel (http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g27-racing-wheel) is intended to bring what they describe as “a simulator-grade racing experience to the PC and PlayStation 3.” More than just a steering wheel, it also includes pedals and a manual shifter.
The fast, wide, two-mile track at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana recently hosted two thrilling NASCAR races: the Nationwide Series “TreatMyClot.com 300” and the sellout, standing room only Sprint Cup Series “Auto Club 400.”
This week AutoMatters goes to the movies with reviews of “Need for Speed” and Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted.” They both feature cool cars.
If you enjoy watching professional auto racing live and in-person, SoCal (Southern California) is the place to be. Also, it takes a lot of tech to bring you a new AutoMatters column each and every week, so this week come into my home office and take a close-up look at some of my latest hi-tech tools.
This week AutoMatters visits an exhibit of classic muscle cars. Then it’s off for some high-flying, thrilling entertainment with a review of the action-packed movie “NON-STOP,” now playing at a theater near you.
Ah, muscle cars – I remember them well. Glossy brochure pictures featured these loud, in your face machines in surreal settings like idyllic fields covered in flowers to stimulate your imagination. They were drag raced and many spent their Friday and Saturday nights at impromptu car shows at the local drive-in (movie or burger). These were nostalgic times, recalled by “Muscle Cars: 50 Years of American Horsepower” – a new exhibit at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park.
All of the major U.S. auto manufacturers got in on the action. Their very names evoked speed: GTO, AMX, Superbird, Firebird, Mustang, 4-4-2, Road Runner, Torino, Javelin, Charger, Camaro, Barracuda and more.
I was fortunate to have been a teenager with my very own muscle car back in those days. It was a bright red, 1970 Plymouth Duster 340.