Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Best of" video from the 2012 FIDAE air show

Airbus has just released a 'best of' video from this year's FIDAE (Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio) air show in Chile.

Highlights include the A380 Super Jumbo and the A400M military transport, as well as a rather natty Latin tune.

Thomas Crapper's Little-Known Porcelain Carburetor

The Red Green Show offers a handy DIY tip on how to upgrade your car with a simple mod using items you can easily find around your home - as long as your home isn't a one-room shack in the Blue Ridge Mountains, that is.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Watch Audi's Truth in 24 Full-Length Documentary

Audi took a crew from NFL Films to Le Mans in 2008. Today, for free, you can enjoy the full 92 minutes of the documentary, Truth in 24, which emerged as a result.

Chock-full of fabulous soundbites from the likes of engine-builder Ulrich Baretzky, 'secret weapon' engineer Howden Haynes and eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, the film covers the lead-up to the big race of the year and takes an in-depth look at the behind-the-scenes activity needed to contest the French classic, as well as some of the nail-biting last-minute strategic decisions that separate the winners from the also-rans.

Don't worry, there's plenty of incredible race footage, too, all available in tasty half-HD.

According to a report at, Audi is revving up a sequel, Truth in 24 II. This time around, there's supposed to even more footage from Le Mans, so stay tuned!

Apple fans can download the full film via iTunes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ford GT + Hennesy + One Mile = 257.7mph

That's right - from a standing start to virtually 260mph in a street-legal car that can still go around corners and costs less than a Bugatti Veyron.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mighty Car Mods: Nissan March Super Turbo

Here's a bit of a rarity, at least to readers in the West. Though we're huge fans of the little high-tech minimonsters churned out by Japan in the 1980s and 1990s but the Nissan March Super Turbo is a new to us.

This little beast looks like heaps of fun and thanks to the guys at Mighty Car Mods, it looks to be back to its full-power self. Bravo!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Modified 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT For Sale

Here are a couple of photos of a 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT with some modifications, including a GTR body kit.

With a total production run of just 406 cars, the 924 Carrera GT is an extremely rare beast and thanks to the rather agricultural roots of the basic 924, is amongst the lesser-loved vehicles to emerge from the famous Stuttgart firm.

That lack of love is far from deserved. Despite the pedestrian VA/Audi underpinnings, the basic Carrera GT produces 210bhp from its turbocharged four-cylinder motor and comes with balanced handling that soon grows on its drivers.

Just 406 Carrera GTs were produced as part of a program designed to homologate the model for competition. This particular car is LHD, meaning it carries the 937 model code. You are unlikely to ever see a Carrera GT on the road, much less parked at the kerb.

You could, however, own this particular, thanks to it being on sale as a project car. We have no idea how much work will be needed to get the car back on the road and running reliably but at less than £15,000, it could offer relatively cheap entry into the rarified world of limited-run Porsches with competition pedigrees.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Repost: Austin 7 Road Rally Competition Car Pix

Seems like our old post on this lovely car is missing some photographs so we're re-posting the photos here.
There's an excellent account of this car and its sister competing in the 10th Classic Marathon from Paris to Tangiers. This page carries a fun account of doing a winter rally in one of these two cars. The original post is here. You can see a bit more of this wonderful machine on the old web site here and here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fully-Restored M151 Jeep

We just dug out some pictures of a beautifully-maintained M151A2 MUTT (Multi-Utility Tactical Truck).

Though to the untrained eye this may look like the classic Willys Jeep seen in so many war films, this is actually a later evolution of that popular American concept. Initially built by Ford, the M151 series replaced the well-known MB and M38 jeep Light Utiity Vehicles that had served so well in WWII and Korea.

In production from 1959 until 1982, some of these M151s may still be in service with the US military but they have virtually all been replaced by the bigger HMMWV. This means the vehicle you see here forms a direct family link from the Jeeps and Hummers on today's roads to the primitive but invaluable jeeps that bounced their way across war fronts on at least four of the world's continents some 75 years ago.

The M151 first saw service in Vietnam and as late as 1999, US Marines were using a FAV (Fast Attack Vehicle) variant of the MUTT in Kosovo.

Despite the MUTT looking like a relic of a bygone age and its having been elbowed aside by the Humvee for almost all front-line applications by US troops, the M151 can still be found in active use with dozens of the world's armies.

Thanks to YouTube, we found a few high-quality videos of an M151A2 for you to enjoy.

The example in these videos appears to be in even better condition. It certainly carries more period equipment.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

China Blocks Ferrari Searches Over Deadly Crash

Jalopnik rounds up the various reports covering the alleged censorship of web searches in China that include the word "Ferrari".

The tale of censorship apparently revolves around an odd accident in which the reportedly illegitimate son of a senior member of the country's Communist Party may have been behind the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Italia Spyder that crashed, killing the politically-sensitive mystery man and leaving two other people severely injured.

Reports claim that all three victims were in the Ferrari when the accident took place. The driver was ejected from the car and died, while his two female passengers suffered serious injuries including head injuries, burns and at least one broken leg.

According to reports, authorities in China started blocking internet searches of the word "Ferrari" and deleting content posted on blogs.

Discussion of the story can be found in the NY Times blogs, The Atlantic, The Globe and Mail, and the Guardian. More interestingly, perhaps, are the Chinese-language reports - by and New Tang Dynasty Television - as well as one rather strongly-worded article in China's Global Times.

I wonder - if Google were around in 1969, would people be able to search for "Chappaquiddick"?

One note of caution: if you have friends in China (or who might be there at the moment), don't email this to them. Their email is being monitored. Trust us - we found out the hard way!
(Photo from

The World (the California part, at least) Has a New Electric Family Car

The newest boy on the all-electric-automobile block has just emerged into the California sunshine. CODA, which has been promising its four-door EV for a while now, finally started selling its much-anticipated all-electric, all-Califnornian offering.

The CODA car brings "best-in-class acceleration", "fast and easy charging", zero emissions and a good ole' Californian peace sign to the market, all for less than $30,000, once you've received your Federal tax rebate (the pre-rebate price is $37,250).

According to CODA, their car will manage 125 miles on a single charge. It also comes with a "best-in-class EV battery warranty". There are a few caveats attached to some of these claims but it's still great to see the market and product choice continue to expand in the EV car sector.

I do wish someone would explain to me why so many all-electric cars still seem to need grilles at the front, though...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Historic F1 Roll Call

Check out this fabulous pack of historic F1 cars at the Brands Hatch Ferrari Festival back in 2001. This is a bunch of some of the tastiest historic Grand Prix cars you'll see anywhere, and you get a good close look as they head out of the pits for the race. Brabham, Benetton, Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren, Tyrrell and more - with plenty of audio - stream out for their warm-up lap.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Michael Fassbender on the BBC's Top Gear

Seeing as our sister site, nsphere, is providing the latest HD trailer for Ridley Scott's upcoming sci-fi epic, Prometheus, we thought we'd regale you with some videos of that film's star, Michael Fassbinder, enjoying his time on the BBC's Top Gear program.

Update: Top Gear seems to be having trouble serving these two videos to our site at the moment, so in the meantime, scroll down to see a YouTube video of Fassbender's Top Gear appearance. You can also follow the links underneath the first two videos to watch them on the Top Gear website.

Michael Fassbinder and The Stig in the McLaren MP4-12C

This video can still be seen at the Top Gear website.

Behind the Scenes with Michael Fassbinder on Top Gear

This video can still be watched on the Top Gear website.

If you're a fan of Top Gear and you somehow missed the episode featuring Fassbinder, make sure to check out episode 4 from the latest series, which has just ended. If you're not a fan of the program, it's still worth seeing how much fun Fassbinder seems to be. Michael Fassbinder on Top Gear

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Richard Hammond's Crash Course Trailer

Richard 'The Hamster' Hammond's new series launches soon on BBC America.

The new show sees Hammond doing what seems to be one of his favorite activities - destroying things. In this case, Richard Hammond apparently uses big things to destroy smaller things.

Hit Play to watch the official BBC trailer or head to the BBC America site for more about the show.

1929 Gar Wood Miss America VIII Has Two Seats, 16 Cylinders, 2,000 Horsepower and Unlimited Awesomeness

You're looking at the motivation behind one of power-boat racing's most notable classics - a pair of V-16 competition engines built by one of the greats of American power sports, Harry Miller. Each of these engines displaces 1,113 cubic inches and produces more than 900 horsepower. With their original superchargers fitted, they're reputedly good for 1,800 horsepower each. All that power isn't much use without something to push around and here's where the beast variable is injected into the incredible beauty formula of this marine-monster equation.

The Beauty of a Simpler Era

Gar Wood built Miss America VIII in 1929 and what a boat it is: thirty feet of Philippine mahogany, three-quarters of it the original timber used by Gar Wood and designer Napoleon Lisee. Lisee is quoted as having considered this boat, the Eighth, the best he ever built.

Enduring Success

But Miss America VIII is more than just a zen-like beauty and testament to the passion for powerful performance. She's also an incredibly-successful boat, having won the Harmsworth Trophy not once but twice.

In 1929, some 400,000 spectators along the shores of the Detroit River and the island of Belle Isle, watched Gar Wood himself pilot VIII to the boat's first Harmsworth Trophy win, narrowly beating Gar Wood's own Miss America VII, with his brother at the helm.

The following year, VIII was beaten by yet another of Gar Wood's boats - Miss America IX. 1931 was again to be VIII's lucky year, however.

This time it was Gar's brother George, who sat behind the wheel of VIII as it crossed the finish line behind Gar Wood in Miss America IX and Kaye Don in Miss England II.

After the first two finishers were disqualified for having beaten the starter's pistol, Miss America the Eighth was declared to have won her second Harmsworth Trophy.

Those Miller Engines

Miss America VIII enjoyed all of that success from 1929 to 1931 before Mr Miller's incredible engines even entered the picture. Gar Wood had met Harry Miller at the Indianapolis 500 automobile race in May of 1931 and ordered up some of Miller's impressive motors for the Harmsworth race. An accident, however, had prevented them from being fitted in time for the 1931 trophy race in Detroit.

The Miller V-16s did arrive, however, and Wood had them fitted in order to aim for even higher speeds. VIII had been running with Packard V-12 engines. Though powerful, they simply weren't in the same league as Miller's revolutionary new V-16s.

The Miller engines, with their aluminum blocks and heads, were much lighter than the Packards. In addition, they were designed to rev much higher - as high as 6,000rpm. The era's other competition engines, were typically running at just 2,500 rpm.

Running with their superchargers, the two Miller V-16 engines gave Miss America VIII some 3,600 horsepower. Late in 1931, the boat was timed at 104mph on the Harlem River, proving the worth of this incredible pairing of beautiful hull and stunning alloy V-16 engines.

Miss America VIII Videos

Related Videos


Miss America VIII is up for sale. For more great photos and plenty of information about the boat and/or the chance to become Miss America VIII's new owner, head over to Mecum Auctions.

All Miss America VIII photos in this post and the first video, courtesy of the fine folks at Mecum Auctions.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Take the Australian Grand Prix F1 Fanatic Quiz

F1 Fanatic, the Formula One Blog, has just launched its Australian Grand Prix F1 Fanatic Quiz

Test your Formula 1 knowledge in the run up to the 2012 season, which kicks off in Melbourne this coming weekend, by steering your browser over to the blog's quiz page. (registration required)

Photo by Phillip Asbury. Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A pair of superb on-board motorsports videos

Here are a couple of my favorite on-board videos, one of Frank Gardner lapping the UK's Oulton Park circuit in 1973. The other is with Jacques Laffite piloting the Ligier Matra JS9 F1 car around Italy's fearsome Monza track in 1978.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Isle of Man - E250 Karting GP - On the Streets of Peel City

So you like going fast on four wheels? Then you should check out this classic on-board video from the Peel kart GP on the Isle of Man.

With low-drag bodywork, these karts are capable of 160mph+ on fast circuits. On the winding Peel city circuit, it's more about cornering but there is still plenty speed enough to make it hurt when you get it wrong and the acceleration is what one calls 'stupid fast'.

I used to enjoy one of these, albeit in only 125cc form (still good for something in the region of 140mph, mind), and I can honestly say there is probably nothing this affordable that can provide anything like the thrills of going from 0-60mph in under 3 seconds, easily exceeding 70mph on even short tracks and generating brutal cornering forces.

Fling one of these around a track even for 30 minutes a week and you'll soon develop forearms to rival Popeye. Just make sure those tires are properly warmed up, okay?

Boeing 737 Taking Off from Malaysia's Penang International Airport

We've finally found time to revamp the blogs so like a dusty old 'barn find' that has been pulled from the wretched nether-regions of a long-forgotten garage, lovingly restored and triumphantly presented in all its shining glory, we're wheeling the gearheads blog back out into the sunshine with an appropriately-themed YouTube video.

Gearheads of all types should be able to enjoy this one but aviation buffs will likely get the biggest kick out of this view from the window of an AirAsia Boeing 737 taking off from Penang International Airport. Boeing's 737 has been a huge hit in Asia's rapidly-expanding budget airline sector and these workhorses can be seen dotting the tarmac everywhere from China to Indonesia.

What's your favorite airliner? Is the high-tech, high-volume behemoths like the Boeing 777, 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A380, or are you more partial to something a little more intimate like this jet and the Airbus A320? I you're like the team here at gearheads, though, you still can't shake that love affair with the venerable Boeing 747, with the romance and true jet-set feel of that upper deck. Let us know via the comments. We're always keen to hear from like-minded enthusiasts.