CONSUMER TECH—It’s a Baja Buggy with a lightweight aluminum alloy chassis, powered by a 6.2 liter LS3 Chevrolet V8 tuned to 500 horsepower, and driving the rear wheels. It’s got California written all over it. Except it’s not California. It’s a river bond near Shanghai, in the People’s Republic of China. And it’s not Stillen, Penske or AEM behind this open frame tuner. The builder is Yu Guangyi, and he cranks out about five cars a year from his Eastern hot rod shop. The subject vehicle was designed for the Taklimakan Rally—one of Asia’s biggest rally events.
LA CAR REPORT— LA Car’s Doug Stokes was invited out to nearby Santa Anita Park for a preview of the 17-city Ford EcoBoost Challenge.* We had a great time tasting and testing Ford’s latest (and may we say greatest) adventure into the world of boost. No, not the geriatric nutrition supplement, we’re talking turbo-charging here. Using the engine’s own (usually wasted) exhaust gas to spin a small turbine that pulls more air into the engine than it can suck in by itself, thus making more horsepower.
LA CAR REPORT—Back through the tech line they went, the crew and car of Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78 Furniture Row Chevy SS. Why? Something wrong on the underside of the car. Guys were lying on the ground at the side of the car with wrenches in their hands. They were measuring stuff. They were frowning a lot. Things looked desperate. This was 10:30 am Sunday, in Fontana. By 11:30, they had to be through tech and on the grid.
LA CAR REPORT— It was a long road for everyone on Sunday in the Auto Club 400, which turned out to be 418 miles due to NASCAR’s version of “overtime.” And in the end, Cinderella didn’t win, as he was supposed to. That is, Kurt Busch, off a suspension and having won the pole and all the practices leading up to the race, didn’t manage the victory. He was oh-so-close though, and his battle with Kevin Harvick was really the story of the day, until Brad Keselowski spoiled the party on the way-past-the-last last lap.
LA CAR REPORT— Such a little thing, the lug nut. Even with five of them in hand, the number that are supposed to go on a NASCAR tire, you don’t have much to carry. But what a fuss has been made over the nuts in NASCAR over the past few weeks. Why? Because neither the Sprint Cup nor the Xfinity Series now patrols the wheel hubs to see whether the tire changers get the five lugs tight.