NSXPO Meets Type R Club At Thunderhill

This weekend's Pod Rods is no turkey.

We've got news about a local legendary racer winning a major award; lots of LA unveils; another local winner at Hilton Head; and a local driver dukes it out with other race car inventors at Gainesville Raceway.

It's all on Pod Rods:

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum presented its Spirit of Competition Award to three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and St. Augustine resident Hurley Haywood at a Wednesday night event at the Philadelphia museum.

Bill Warner, chairman and founder of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, introduced Haywood. The 2013 Spirit of Competition Award presentation was sponsored by Wilkie Lexus, Haverford, Pa. Other sponsors included Hagerty Insurance and RM Auctions.

"Hurley Haywood has won more of the 'big three' sports car endurance races - Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring - than any driver in motorsports history," said Executive Director Fred Simeone. "His philosophy, 'If you have one ounce of energy left, then you haven't done your job properly,' fits perfectly into our theme of the spirit of competition."

Haywood has won Le Mans three times (1977, 1983, and 1994) and has a record five wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona and won Sebring in 1973 and 1981. He also represented IMSA in the International Race of Champions in 1986, 1989, 1992, and 1995. He is currently chief driving instructor at the Porsche Sport Driving School and he is the driving force behind Brumos Automotive.

The "Spirit of Competition" is the theme of museum and the focus of its annual fund raiser, a distinguished figure from motorsports selected each year who has a specific inspirational message. Past recipients of the award include Mario Andretti, Janet Guthrie, John Fitch, Craig Breedlove and Sam Posey

Lots of LA Auto Show reveals this week:

Volkswagen showed its "Design Vision GTI" after its debut earlier at Germany's Wörthersee festival. The 503 hp, 186 mph concept was designed by Klaus Bischoff (Head of Design of Volkswagen Brand) and his team, based on a Golf. It has substantially wider front and rear tracks and specially developed 20-inch wheels. It can reach 62 mph from a standing start in just 3.9 seconds with a turbocharged and direct-injection 3-liter V-6 using twin turbochargers, a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive.

Subaru introduced the 2015 WRX, a more powerful and better handling version of its iconic high-performance model. It has a 268-hp, 2-liter direct-injection turbo BOXER engine, the model's first six-speed manual transmission and a new optional performance automatic transmission. It has a new wide-body sedan design and a new torque-vectoring system that supplements the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. There is a roomier interior, upgraded comfort and new user technologies like an optional harman/kardon premium audio system offered for the first time in a WRX. As for looks, the new design continues the familiar WRX wide-body stance in a new profile with narrower headlights and a functional hood scoop for the intercooler. There is also a new Sport Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) with the choice of stepped automatic shifting eight pre-selected ratios in Sport Sharp mode, or 6-speed and 8-speed manual shifting modes using steering wheel paddles.

Jaguar showed off not only its new F-TYPE Coupe, but its high-performance R Coupe in front of VIPs like Simon Cowell and Kelly Osbourne. The new TYPE R Coupe gets a 5-liter, 550 hp supercharged V-8, enabling acceleration from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. The new coupe goes on sale in the spring.

"Creating a sports Coupe is the purest of design tasks and also the most challenging; get it right and aesthetically the result will be as dynamic as the car should be rewarding to drive. In F-TYPE Coupe, I believe we've got it right," said Ian Callum, Director of Design/Jaguar.

The all-aluminum F-TYPE Coupe adds to the existing three-car F-TYPE Convertible model line..

Chevrolet announced two new sedan options to its Sonic lineup - the performance-inspired RS and the stylish Dusk. The RS starts at $20,530, while the Dusk starts at $20,945. The Sonic RS has an Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged four with 138-hp and 148 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed manual or a 3.53 final drive ratio for automatic-equipped models, plus sport-tuned suspension and lowered ride height. The

Dusk, first shown as a concept at the 2011 SEMA Show, has a ground effects package, rear spoiler, 18-inch aluminum wheels with a Midnight Silver matte finish and four-wheel disc brakes. It comes exclusively in Ashen Grey Metallic. Both go on sale in spring.

Chrysler will offer a unique metallic matte exterior color on a special edition SRT Viper GTS model in a limited production run of 50. The Anodized Carbon Special Edition Package arrives in January.

"We've been waiting for the right time to use this striking new exterior color at the Chrysler," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT. "The Viper is the perfect vehicle to showcase this combination of finishes and details to create such a unique look."

The package includes Black Vapor Chrome five-spoke "Rattler" wheels, Gloss Black GTS badge, Satin Black exhaust bezel, Anodized Carbon fuel filler door, orange brake calipers, carbon fiber brake ducts and rear applique. Inside, an Alcantara-wrapped headliner, door bolsters and knee blockers; orange accent stitching on Nappa leather-wrapped door trim, center console and instrument panel, and on the Nappa leather and Alcantara seats. And of course, it gets an 8.4-liter V-10 overhead-valve engine with 640-hp.

BMW Group DesignworksUSA produced two entries for the LA Auto Show Design Challenge with a theme of Biomimicry and Mobility in 2025. The first entry - BioMINIcry - inspired by underwater biomimicry including swarm intelligence, deep sea creatures, and jellyfish. The design team explored using water as a commuting alternative to help solve LA's daily traffic congestion. The second entry - S.E.E.D.

- investigated how nature dealt with extreme environmental conditions to create the ultimate exploratory device based on inspiration from specific self-sustaining species.

There was another local winner at the recent Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d'Elegance. The Most Outstanding Car - Pre-1948 class win went to Bud Frazier's 1934 Chrysler Airflow CY, a car familiar to many who attend the Sunshine State Chevelles first Saturday cruise-in, recently moved to the Merrill Crossing shopping center on Merrill Road..

Lexus will send its IS F CCS-R race car to the Dec. 7 and 8 running of the National Auto Sport Association 25-Hours of Thunderhill race in Willows, Calif. Three professional drivers will pilot the lightweight version of the stock IS F, which rides on 18-inch Motegi Trak-Lite wheels and has an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission and orange mica paint job with carbon fiber hood. The annual race at Thunderhill Raceway Park is considered the longest endurance road race in North America. For more details on the race, visit www.nasa25hour.com.

A luxury ocean liner got a special welcome in Miami on Tuesday from some special Fiats.

When the 139,400-ton MSC Divina came into the Miami port for the first time, it was escorted by fleet of high-powered Fiat personal watercraft. The Divina had just ended an 18-night Atlantic Ocean crossing from Venice, carrying a Rosso Brillante (metallic red) Fiat 500.

"Like the MSC Divina today, the Fiat brand made a trip from Italy to America two years ago to bring Italian style, European technology and great value for money into this market," said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand Worldwide.

The Fiat 500 personal watercraft have made multiple appearances this year, including San Francisco and Chicago's waterfronts and the summer's Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif.

BMW has a new K-Series motorcycle. The 160-hp K 1600 GTL Exclusive has an in-line six-cylinder engine and tops the Motorrad tourer range, with standard central locking with anti-theft alarm, electronic suspension adjustment, Dynamic Traction Control, Hill Start Control and ABS. The film antenna for the radio that is embedded in the topcase lid. There is a new passenger seat design with heated backrest, plus LED auxiliary headlights, adaptive xenon headlight, Tire Pressure Monitor, additional brake light, engine protection bar, floor lighting and LED daytime running light with a BMW first - Keyless Ride.

The Florida Crown Region of the Porsche Club of America joined the Brumos Companies' fundraising program to make a combined $5,600 donation to the local chapter of Wounded Warrior Project. The club's board of directors approved a suggestion to donate $2,800 in proceeds from a low-speed lapping session at Daytona International Speedway. Brumos agreed to match the amount.

The Florida Crown Region was established in 1960, and is one of the oldest in the Porsche Club of America with almost 1,100 members. For more information, go to www.pcafcr.org.

Britain's legendary Lister Cars, which will resume sports car production, reunited its past recently at its Cambridge Lister Engineering operation including founder, Brian Lister and many of his original team members. They were joined by the new Lister Cars senior management team, Lawrence and Andrew Whittaker.

Lister said it was "truly wonderful" to reunite original team members back in a factory that will once again produce a Lister sports car.

"I'm not sure any of us would have predicted that we would find ourselves back involved with Lister sports car production so many years later," he said in a news release. "But that is the fantastic reality of what is being celebrated today."

Those celebrating included original team members Colin "Chippy" Crisp, Edwin "Dick" Barton, Mark Hallam, Mark Pauley and Martin Murray.

Lister Cars will again produce the "Knobbly" sports racing car almost 25 years since its Jaguar-powered Lister Storm. For more information, visit ListerCars.com.

Lexus unveiled its new production-ready RC coupe at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The RC is a stand-alone model based on the GS platform, and will be available with a 3.5-liter V-6 teamed with an eight-speed sequential transmission, and a 2.5-liter Lexus Hybrid Drive system. It is 1.2-inches wider, 1.4-inches lower and 2.8-inches shorter in wheelbase than the new IS sedan, with either a dual injection 3.5-liter V-6 with 314 hp or a dual-injected 2.5-liter four cylinder engine with a 105kW electric motor driven - the first Lexus hybrid coupe. It will be offered in rear wheel and all-wheel drive.

The name says it all about what was raced last weekend - Grassroots Motorsports $2013 Challenge. The job was to build and race a car that cost no more than $2,013, as prescribed by the Central Florida-based enthusiast magazine at the event at the NHRA's Gainesville Raceway. The 40 entrants included Andrew Nelson's mini-hot rod, made from a 1960, 1968, 1970 and 1973 VW Beetle plus some other bits and running on a 350-cu.in. V-8 with Ford 9-inch rear end. Then there was Georgia Tech's Wreck racing's 1969 MG Midget with a turbocharged Lexus inline six, or Team External Combustion's radically lowered 1995 Jeep Cherokee 2-door with intercooled turbocharged inline 6. Jacksonville was represented by Tripp Ferrer and his 1963 Morris Minor, its 48-hp four replaced with a 400-hp 350-cu.in Chevrolet V-8 and planted on a shortened Chevy frame.

In the end, though, the winner was a flamed Dodge Shadow with a turbocharged engine entered by Shelby Dodge Auto Club member Patrick Culkin, which did the quarter-mile in 11.319 seconds.

Check out Dan Scanlan's video report on the drag racing part of the event, with Ferrer's rumbling Morris and Nelson's tire-smoking VW right here.

Finally, we come to the end of Pod Rods this week with a rallycar crash that ends up in something very nasty. Citroen WRC driver Mikko Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen were racing along in the Wales GB rally last weekend when the Finnish team rolled right into - excrement. This in-car video shows the mess. 

One big traditional car show marks the calendar for the holidays in Daytona, plus some fall cruise-in action closer to home:

Car shows:

16th annual VW Turkey Run Show - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the St. Augustine Flea Market at 2495 Florida 207, off Interstate 95. Proceeds benefit the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation.

40th annual Daytona Turkey Run - Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, Daytona International Speedway at 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach. Display car registration is $50 at the gate, while admission is $15 per day Thursday to Saturday and $10 on Sunday. The event will celebrate the 40th anniversary of American Graffiti with actors Candy Clark, Cindy Williams and Bo Hopkins. The event, which fills the track infield with thousands of classics, hot rods and special interest cars, also includes cruise nights, a swap meet and a car corral. For more information, go to www.turkeyrodrun.com.

Florida cruise-ins:

• Informal cruise-in - 7 to 9 a.m. every Saturday at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop at 11117 San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin.

• Historic Main Street Cruise-In - 5 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday on Jacksonville's Main Street from 1st to 12th streets.

• Amelia Cruizers - 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the shopping center at 474323 E. Florida 200 in Fernandina Beach.

• Azalea City Cruisers - 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday on the 600 and 700 block of St. Johns Avenue in downtown Palatka. Free.

Georgia cruise-ins:

• Southeast Georgia Car and Truck Club cruise-ins - 6 p.m. the second Saturday of each month at Sonic's, 395 Charlie Smith Senior Highway, St. Marys; and 6 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month at the Millhouse Steakhouse, 1215 East King Ave. in Kingsland, next to Interstate 95.

• Bike Enthusiasts show - 7 p.m. the first and third Thursdays, Cavagnaro's restaurant at 1810 South GA Parkway W. in Waycross.

• Zaxby's Car Show - 6 to 9 p.m. the third Saturday of every month, Zaxby's at 2316 Memorial Drive in Waycross.

Please send information on cruise-ins and automotive and motorcycle events to dan.scanlan@jacksonville.com or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, Fla. 32202

Source : http://www.jacksonville.com/2013-11-22/story/pod-rods-local-legends-award-local-racers-morris-rally-car-ends-muck-and-lots-la

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