Video: Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Suzuki

Motorcycle land-speed record holder Bill Warner died yesterday after crashing during an attempt at setting another record. The 44-year-old was clocked at 285 miles per hour on the runway of a former air base in northern Maine, before he lost control of his modified Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle and veered off the runway.

It is not known what speed he was traveling when things started to go wrong and unclear what caused the crash, which happened shortly before 10:00 AM. Warner’s crew suspect there were mechanical difficulties on his last run, in addition to a slight breeze, according to the video news report. Warner was conscious and able to speak after the crash but died an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou. The event and runway were closed for the rest of the day as police investigated the incident.

Warner was participating in “The Maine Event” at Loring Air Force Base in an attempt to reach 300 mph in one mile. Warner’s best land-speed record, set in 2011, was 311.945 mph in 1.5 miles on the same runway, according to the Loring Timing Association, a record that still stands today for open-cockpit motorcycles. After that run, Warner said the scariest part was stopping the bike before the end of the runway. Be sure to check out the video news report after the jump.

Continue reading Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH

Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York state legislature fails to address anti-Tesla EV bill

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors, Legislation and Policy

Tesla Motors service bay with Model S in red and white

A surprise pair of bills in the New York State Assembly that would have narrowly targeted Tesla Motors and its direct-to-customer sales model has been put in neutral. The State Assembly ended the 2013 legislative session Friday without taking action on the bill and, since the lawmakers will not reconvene until January, it is effectively dormant for now.

Tesla said that had the bill passed, it would have had to close its stores and stop operations in New York, which is why Tesla CEO Elon Musk took a personal interest in the situation when it hit the headlines late last week. Once the bill was stopped, Musk tweeted, “The kill Tesla bill in NY was stopped in the 11th hour due to public outcry. Am super grateful to everyone who helped.”

Behind the scenes, Automotive News reports that there were attempts at dealmaking that Tesla turned down. The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association said it would allow Tesla’s existing New York stores (all three of them) to keep operating but would not allow new stores to open. Tesla turned down the deal. A Republican sponsor of the bill also offered to put in a Tesla exception, so as not to “adversely impact any business operating in the state of New York,” Senator Lee Zeldin told AN.

The president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, Mark Schienberg, told AN that Tesla should just set up dealers like other automakers (something Musk has explained is a bad idea) and that Musk has “just chosen that he’d rather not follow any of the rules and regulations and standards that each state has, and that’s why there’s a pushback right now.”

The “pushback” here was started when the New York dealers association filed a suit against Tesla in late 2012. The NY State Supreme Court ruled this year that they did not have a claim to file suit. With this case and more pushback in Texas and Massachusetts and other states, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if this issue goes national at some point.

New York state legislature fails to address anti-Tesla EV bill originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 24 Jun 2013 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Senate passes bill recognizing 100th anniversary of Indy 500

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Government/Legal, Chevrolet

2011 camaro indy pace car

2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Indianapolis 500 Pace Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

Americans began racing cars just as soon as they started to appear on our streets, as evidenced by the fact that the Indianapolis 500 has been going strong for 100 years. The U.S. Senate wanted to tip its collective hat to commemorate that momentous occasion, so our senators decided to pass a resolution officially recognizing the race for its longevity. And since it doesn’t cost anything to recognize a date, the resolution was passed unanimously.

In other interesting Indianapolis 500 news, the event’s 100-year history also coincides with the 100-year anniversary of Chevrolet. The company and the race are so intertwined that Arthur Chevrolet, who’s brother Louis founded the Bowtie Brand, ran the very first Indianapolis 500. Louis actually ran the race himself in 1915 and 1919, while another brother Gaston took first place in 1920. The 2011 Camaro Convertible will fittingly serve as the pace car for this year’s event.

Senate passes bill recognizing 100th anniversary of Indy 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Alan Mullaly, Bill Ford Jr. get huge bonuses from Blue Oval *Update

Filed under: Etc., Ford, Earnings/Financials

Bill Ford Jr. and Alan Mulally

Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. and Chief Executive Alan Mulally have reportedly been given big-time bonuses by the Blue Oval for keeping things moving when General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. Mulally received $56.5 million worth of Ford stock before taxes and Ford got stock worth $42.4 million.

Ford, Jr. hired Mulally from Boeing in 2006, before they went around to different banks to secure restructuring loans to stay solvent through the lending crisis and economic recession. In 2010, Ford saw its best year since 1999, clearing $6.6 billion in profits.

To add to their enormous bonuses, the Los Angeles Times says that Ford, Jr. and Mulally opted to purchase Ford stock at $14.76 a share. *Update: Ford tells us that Ford, Jr. and Mulally do indeed have stock options but have not cashed them in at this time. Market value of Ford stock rose three percent today to $14.46 a share.

[Source: Los Angeles Times | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]

Report: Alan Mullaly, Bill Ford Jr. get huge bonuses from Blue Oval *Update originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Mar 2011 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Opinion: VW webisodes with SNL’s Bill Hader go awry [w/videos]

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Volkswagen

VW Jetta and Bill Hader

Bill Hader and the Volkswagen Jetta – Click above to watch the videos after the break

If you have watched Saturday Night Live the last couple of years, you may share my opinion that the only things truly funny is Weekend Update, when cast members do a really good parody of real people like Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and the like, or when the cast produces video set-pieces before-hand.

When the show goes into original sketches, it can be a long hard, painful, unfunny slog. And this brings me to a new set of video webisodes produced by Volkswagen and ad agency Deutsch/LA starring SNL cast-member Bill Hader.

Webisodes are an increasingly common and important marketing tool used by companies, especially automakers. Ford has especially been making wide use of them as it seeks to be king of social media. The thinking goes like this: We are limited to 30-second and 60-second ads on TV because of cost, but why not get jiggier with longer-form pieces on the Net where we don’t have to pay for time.

The best of this medium remains BMW’s The Hire series of web films.

Click here to continue reading how VW went wrong.

Continue reading Opinion: VW webisodes with SNL’s Bill Hader go awry [w/videos]

Opinion: VW webisodes with SNL’s Bill Hader go awry [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Jan 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bill Cosby on Carroll Shelby and buying a Super Snake

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Etc., Celebrities, Humor, MISC

Bill Cosby's Shelby Cobra Super Snake

Bill Cosby discusses his Shelby Super Snake – Click above to listen to audio after the jump

“Ladies and gentleman, I was idling… I was idling… the car had not moved, I had not put my foot on the gas pedal… and it was killing people…” – Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby and Carroll Shelby are friends. The builder of racecars once asked his comedian pal why he drove Ferraris and insisted that he switch to American built sports cars. Cosby took Shelby up on this offer and was soon the proud owner of a Shelby Cobra Super Snake. It’s claimed that the output on the Super Snake was 462 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque, which is probably a bit more than the lightweight racer actually needs.

Bill Cosby apparently agreed with this notion, as he turned the story of the Cobra into a skit named “200 MPH.” His description of the Super Snake’s delivery is hilarious. During an appearance on The Tonight Show in more recent years, Jay Leno prodded the Cos to tell the Cobra story for the audience as well. What ensued was an impromptu version of “200 MPH” that might actually be even funnier than the original routine. You can judge for yourself. Both are posted after the jump. Thanks for the tip, Luke!

Gallery: 2007 Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale: Carroll Shelby’s Supersnake

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Bill Cosby on Carroll Shelby and buying a Super Snake

Bill Cosby on Carroll Shelby and buying a Super Snake originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Nov 2010 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Sweden asks collector to pursue $15.9M Saab bill

Filed under: Saab, Earnings/Financials

Saab griffin emblemAccording to Reuters, the Swedish government is pursuing a $15.9 million debt that it says is owed by Saab. The country said that if the carmaker’s newest owner, Spyker, didn’t turn over the funds by September 20, that it would leave the matter in the hands of its official debt collector. Since that date has already come and gone, we can only imagine that there’s a crack team of burly looking Swedes threatening to break some kneecaps in Zeewolde as you read this. Meanwhile, Spyker CEO Victor Muller has said that the issue is nothing more than a legal dispute and that it will be handled through the appropriate channels.

So where does this alleged debt originate? According to the report, the Swedish government paid Saab’s worker’s wages while the company was transitioning between General Motors and Spyker ownership. In the past, both Saab and Spyker have said that the carmaker should only be held responsible for a portion of the debt. From the looks of things, the Swedish government begs to differ.

[Source: Reuters]

Report: Sweden asks collector to pursue $15.9M Saab bill originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 Sep 2010 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Bill Ford admits Blue Oval may lose investors to GM IPO, seems unconcerned

Filed under: Ford, GM, Earnings/Financials

Bill Ford dons sunglasses

Bill Ford, executive officer for Ford Motor Co., seems to be taking a fairly realistic stance when it comes to arch-rival General Motors releasing its IPO. While speaking at the kickoff of this weekend’s Woodward Dream Cruise, Ford said that he was certain that some of his company’s investors would likely move to GM, but he isn’t entirely concerned. Even though Ford stock has slid off from its 52-week high of $14.57 recently, the company’s executive officer said that he doesn’t spend his time fretting over stock prices, preferring instead to worry about steering the company in the best direction possible.

This week, GM filed paperwork to issue an IPO, thought to be one of the largest offerings in America’s history. Until then, Ford had enjoyed the privilege of being the only publicly-traded domestic auto manufacturer after both GM and Chrysler filed bankruptcy in 2009. With a new kid on the block, odds are some money is bound to move toward The General and away from FoMoCo.

[Source: Bloomberg, The Detroit Free Press | Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images]

Report: Bill Ford admits Blue Oval may lose investors to GM IPO, seems unconcerned originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Double Bill – C/D and MT pit Cadillac CTS-V Coupe vs. Audi RS5 vs. BMW M3

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Luxury


Click above to watch the video after the jump

The Cadillac CTS-V Coupe has some serious performance chops. The potent angular coupe is loaded with a blown 6.2-liter V8 capable of 556-horsepower, 15-inch front and 14.7-inch rear Brembo brakes and a Magnetic Ride Control suspension setup. Impressive stats to be sure, but does Cadillac’s sleek two-seater have the goods to take on the BMW M3 coupe and Audi RS5?

Both Motor Trend and Car and Driver have obviously been pondering the same question, as the competing buff mags dusted off their camcorders and cut up a pair of comparison videos featuring the three super coupes doing a ménage à trois of the automotive kind.

Make the jump to experience both videos. In the first video, MT goes all-out with its comparison, bringing both Editor-in-Chief Angus McKenzie and the spanking new CTS-V Coupe to Germany to take on the pair of well-established Bavarian competitors. The second video shows the unique C/D approach, with no first, second or third place finishers and not a single word is uttered. C/D just let the hot coupes speak for themselves with beautiful pictures and heavenly exhaust notes.

[Sources: Car and Driver, Motor Trend]

Continue reading Video: Double Bill – C/D and MT pit Cadillac CTS-V Coupe vs. Audi RS5 vs. BMW M3

Video: Double Bill – C/D and MT pit Cadillac CTS-V Coupe vs. Audi RS5 vs. BMW M3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Jul 2010 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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