Fast as fast can be, you'll never catch some of the cars this weekend's Pod Rods talks about, from Lamborghini to Jetta, with some new and classics in between.
Plus we look at the latest car events calendar:
-- Come on now, haven't you always wanted to drive a race car on a public street? Well, Aston Martin Red Bull Formula 1 team driver Daniel Ricciardo is using his mid-summer break to make a video series aptly called "Road Trip USA." And he's seen running an RB7 V8-powered F1 car along bumpy San Francisco streets, smooth desert road, and even the Las Vegas strip, the race car equipped with headlights. One thing we notice is how the stiffly-sprung F1 car literally bounces over San Fran's rougher roads, but seems right at home in the desert. Watch the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ld7c6ZO4n2A.
-- Speaking of cross-country, albeit at a slower rate, the historic Harley-Davidson motorcycle ride across the U.S., which made a week-long stop in Jacksonville for repairs, continues its westward journey after stops this week in Springfield, Ill., and Kansas City's National World War II Museum and Memorial. The historic 1918 ex-U.S. Army Harley-Davidson Model 18J motorcycle made it "home" on July 26 as Frenchmen Christophe de Goulaine and Pierre Lauvergeat met Bill Davidson, great-grandson of company founder William Davidson, at the factory museum in Milwaukee as they ride it cross-country on "Operation Twin Links." The two men and motorcycle are making a 5,600-mile journey that began in Mobile in late June, then Jacksonville as de Goulaine visited Fort Caroline National Memorial, since he is a direct descendant of French Huguenot Capt. Rene de Goulaine de Laudonniere, who founded the fort settlement in 1564 with Jean Ribault.
The historic motorcycle and its classic Army sidecar suffered some mechanical maladies that required some engine upgrades at Jacksonville Adamec Harley-Davidson dealership, with help from Team RS, a Jacksonville-based group competing in September’s cross-country Motorcycle Cannonball with St. Augustine’s Norm Nelson on a 1911 Reading Standard. Operation Twin Links' progress can be tracked at facebook.com/operationtwinlinks, as they end their journey in San Diego, then plan to ride the motorcycle, which was used in World War I in France by the U.S. Army, to ride down the Champs Elysee in Paris to honor Veterans Day.
-- A rare and classic 1966 Porsche 356 with an Italian coachbuilt body with hints of 1960s Maserati as well as Fiat 850 Spider in its shape will be sold at Gooding & Company's Pebble Beach Auctions on Aug. 24 and 25, and its estimate is between $700,000 and $1 million. Southern California Porsche dealer John von Neumann came up with the idea for the car as Porsche stopped making the 356 in 1965, and he knew his clients would want a convertible version of its 911 replacement. He got a 911 chassis from Porsche, then had Italian car designer Nuccio Bertone clothe it in a sleek shape with hidden headlights and a custom leather interior. Shown at the March 1966 Geneva Auto Show close to Porsche’s own Targa, the concept was liked but no one ordered one, so von Neumann ended up driving it for a while before it went to three more owners and was changed from red to its current black over beige leather livery.
-- I have had the chance to drive a new Lamborghini Aventador at speed, but nothing like this - and nothing like the new Aventador SVJ, which is set to be unveiled very soon during the upcoming Pebble Beach concours events. Lamborghini decided to take its latest super sports car from the House of the Raging Bull and set the lap record for production cars at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, in a lap time of 6:44.97 minutes. The car wore camouflage, and was driven by official Lamborghini driver Marco Mapelli on the iconic original twisting and turning race track in Germany. Joined by Lamborghini’s Research and Development team, with extensive tire support from Pirelli technicians, the new car's "J" stands for Jota. That's a legendary name for the top performance cars in Lambo's past.
“The Aventador SVJ takes the Jota suffix, following the Lamborghini tradition for denoting a car’s track-focused talent,” explained Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman & CEO. "This new car is the convergence of Lamborghini technologies to produce a super sports car that transcends current performance benchmarks."
Catch a look at how the camo Lambo did at the 'Ring in this video: https://www.lamborghini.com/en-en/news/aventador-svj-sets-nurburgring-lap-record-ahead-unveiling?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Tw_AventadorSVJ_Record_2018_07_26_%272&utm_source=Tw.
-- The new owners of a neo-classic German sports car company will introduce new cars in 2019, five years after the original company closed. But until then, there will be re-engineered models of their powerful BMW-powered cars, the GTMF5 Coupe and MF4 Roadster Heritage Editions. Wiesmann Sports Cars was started in 1988 as a low-volume sports car maker, their car designs a mix of classic Jaguar XK120 and AC Cobra, with badges bearing a gecko as the logo. The cars were sold through Europe, the Middle East and Asia until the firm closed in 2014. Now new ownership sees the relaunch of this sports cars brand, still powered by the latest BMW M-Power V-8 engines. While there's no word yet on whether the company will finally sell their cars in the U.S., the reintroduced Heritage Models will be unveiled Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 at England's Salon Privé.
-- Only a few weeks after Volkswagen snagged the all-time hill climb record with its electric I.D.R race car in the Pikes Peak “Race To The Clouds,” the German company has its eyes on the Southern California Timing Association land speed record in the BGC/G class next week on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. And it won't do it in the exotic single-seat I.D. R, but a specially prepared, "near-production version" of the 2019 Jetta compact sedan. A 2019 Jetta normally packs a turbocharged, direct-injected 1.4-liter in-line four with 147 horsepower that helps it get to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. The Bonneville Jetta uses a version of the Jetta GLI 2-liter with just over 210-hp stock, and just over 400 hp when it hits the salt flats. At Bonneville, the Jetta must accelerate to more than 208.572 mph to equal the existing record for a car in this class. The race car is very light, the interior carrying one seat and basic controls and a safety roll cage, mounted on a lowered chassis, with special tires and two brake parachutes.
-- The U.S. has had some fun Datsun and Nissan sedans to play with in recent decades, some of them legendary among tuners for how much fun they can be. Now Cars Evolution has done a timeline video showing the evolution of the Datsun/Nissan Silvia, a line of sport coupes that became the drifter’s choice of two-door. here's the Silvia’s timeline from 1965 to 1999: https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/bnnsdepuqkwouazvf0tg.mp4.
-- Since we are looking at the evolution of one sports coupe from start to finish, how about a video that shows the evolution of the winning cars in the biggest race of motor sport - the 24 Hours of Le Mans? The folks at notiauto.com have posted their own look at the silhouettes of every car that won the legendary 24-hour race in France, and you can see it at https://www.facebook.com/notiautoracing/videos/1934204266630486.
CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS
Orange Park High School Band Car Wash & Car Show: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the school, located at 2300 Kingsley Ave. $25 entry fee. Call Amy Bilbray at (904) 349-3087 for more information.
12 hours of Jacksonville go kart endurance race: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug.18, at the 103rd Street Sports Complex, located at 10271 103rd St. Run by ProCup Karting, the endurance race returns after a 17-year absence and includes karting schools and other activities on Friday, Aug. 17. Teams will race Honda LO206 karts. No license is required, so bring teams and race for the top step on the podium in one of six classes in equally prepared and weight ballasted karts. For more information, fees and schedules, check procupkarting.com/registration. Registration ended last weekend.
Florida International Rally and Motorsport Park Track Attacks: Most Saturdays at the on-road and off-road racing and testing facility, located at 7266 Airport Road in Starke. The track days allow car owners to test their setup and improve driving skills. The cost is $214 per driver in advance, or $250 the day of the event. Guests and crew pay $10 each to enter. Online registration ends at 11 p.m. the day prior to each event. For more information on all events at The FIRM, go to gorally.com.
Mandarin cruise-ins: 7 to 9 a.m. at Village Bread Cafe at the Crown Point Plaza, located at 10111 San Jose Blvd. The other is from 6 to 9 a.m. in the parking lot outside Panera Bread at 11111 San Jose Blvd.
Automotive Addicts Cars & Coffee: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at The Avenues mall parking lot, located on the east side facing Southside Boulevard. Visit AutomotiveAddicts.com for more information.
First Coast Car Council: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Medical and Merchants Center of Mandarin, 11701 San Jose Blvd.
Callahan Cruisers: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Hardee's at 542309 US 1 in Callahan. This is the Callahan Cruiser's fourth anniversary cruise-in, and also raises funds for "Save The Change For Sophia," to help a girl with Rett Syndrome.
Jax Beaches Cars and Coffee: Classic Car Cruise from 5 to 8 p.m. every third Tuesday at the Sea Walk Pavilion and Latham Plaza between 1st and 2nd Street. Information: betterjaxbeach.com.
Johnny Angel’s monthly cruise-in: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at the restaurant, located at 3546 St. Johns Bluff Road S.
Amelia Cruizers’ new event: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, and every third Saturday, at the McDonald’s at 463761 Florida 200/A1A in Yulee.
Sunshine State Chevelles’ third Saturday cruise-in: 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, at PDQ restaurant, located at 194 Florida 13 in Saint Johns.
New first Friday of the month cruise-in: 6 to 8 p.m. each first Friday in the parking lot of Freddy’s, located at 386 Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park.
Send information on automotive and motorcycle events to email@example.com or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville FL 32202.