From John D. Rockefeller to Howard Hughes, eccentricity has long permeated the great minds of modern industry. This axiom is equally true of the pioneers of the automotive world, as demanding personalities and unbridled vision were hallmarks of quite a few automotive visionaries, ranging from Henry Ford and Gottlieb Daimler to Enzo Ferrari and Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. Few among them, however, compared with Ettore Bugatti, an icon of another era whose name has largely been relegated to the shelves of wild-eyed automotive historians and the opulent garages of equally admiring car collectors.
Speed Technologies has just made off-road racing a lot easier. The company, a leading team in the SuperLite Championship series, has launched a rental program that puts drivers behind the wheel of one of its fleet of SuperLite trucks, while removing the logistical nightmare of race support, heavy start-up costs and post-race shop time.
The rarely considered reality of convertibles is that in the beginning they were not the exception, but rather, the rule. That is, at the dawn of the motorcar, most vehicles were open-air; convertibles did not evolve as a way to open cars up, but instead were a function of the act of putting roofs on cars that did not previously have them. Because of this, the term convertible did not even arise until some thirty years into the evolution of automobile mass production.
Automotive design has long served as a bridge between science fiction and reality. Car designers have historically displayed a panache for packaging new and potentially influential technologies into shapes that embody our preconceptions of what the future will look like, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of our collective imagination.
It is a journey that takes the intrepid golfer to eight of the most extreme golf courses in the world: the highest, the lowest, the hottest, the coldest, the most southerly, the most northerly, the hardest and the greatest.
Through most of James Bond’s adventures, the fictional master spy’s means of transportation have ranked at the forefront of the guns and gadgets highlighted in the films. With tricks that range from the plausible (bulletproofing and the ability to lay oil slicks) to the utterly impossible (transforming into a fully functional submarine or turning invisible), these cars have usually featured makes produced in 007’s homeland, Great Britain.
Driving along California Route 156 heading towards Monterey, I am passed by a yellow 1970s DeTomaso Pantera. It is one of those stylish 70s monoliths, Italian chic design powered by American muscle—the kind of car that prompts words like “sexy” and “beautiful” and as the epitome of cool enjoyed substantial celebrity ownership, including Elvis himself, who famously shot his once when it refused to start.