Cars that Altered History Forever

Vehicle owners often have a favorite dream car that they own or desire to own. Over the years, there have been many automobiles that were considered innovations and are now icons of the automotive industry. Various automotive industry giants created a list of cars that made history and changed the world.

Ford Mustang

The Mustang is as American as apple pie. The car was first introduced to the public in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. During the first year on the market, more than 500,000 were sold. The Mustang surpassed the Corvette and the Shelby in popularity and represented an affordable muscle car. The sports car also proved that it could stand up to the reputation earned by the Camaro and the Charger.

Volkswagen Beetle

The Beetle was unique in exterior design and function. Ferdinand Porsche developed the concept and was joined in his efforts to create the car by Adolph Hitler. The first Beetles were introduced in 1938. The last model featuring the rear-mounted engine was manufactured in Mexico in 2003. The unique air-cooled engine was later incorporated into the Porsche 911. The Beetle was reintroduced in 2003. Before the compact car became known as the Beetle, it had a number of names that included the KdF-Wagen, Kubelwagen and Type 60.

Jeep Cherokee

The introduction of the Cherokee made an impact on the automotive industry that would last for decades. The vehicle was the first middle-sized SUV made available to the public and quickly became quite popular. Manufacturers soon followed with their versions.

Austin Mini

The Mini was manufactured in Great Britain in 1959. Although small cars were already available, the Mini was unique due to the side-mounted engine and front-wheel-drive. In this way, the interior offered more space for occupants and cargo. The Mini Cooper and the Cooper S gained notoriety and success as race and rally cars. The little vehicle won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, in 1965 and again in 1967.

Toyota Prius

The Prius brought the concept of the fuel-efficient hybrid into reality. The first models were manufactured in Japan in 1997 as four-door, mid-sized sedans. Today, the designed advanced to include the five-door fastback. The Prius NHW11 or Generation II was the first of its kind to be made available outside of Japan in 2000. The car was readily accepted in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States.

Making History: five cars en route to classic status

The last decade has been something of a golden age for cars. And it will likely go down as the final evolution in the era of the largely mechanical and driver-intensive vehicles as cars are slowly taken over by technology, eventually becoming fully autonomous.

There can be little doubt that many of the final driver-based vehicles will ultimately end up with classic car status. With the massive improvements in per-displacement power production, stability control and aerodynamic design, the last 10 years have been a golden age of car production, featuring many of the most powerful and best-performing vehicles that have ever graced the roadways.

Here are a few rides that are likely to stand head-and-shoulders above even this stiff competitive cohort.

The Dodge Viper SRT

The Dodge Viper is perhaps the longest-running production of a single, easily recognizable sports car in American automotive history. Unveiled in 1991, the Viper of that year introduced the world to the rawest and most unwieldy street car that any American manufacturer had ever produced. And all the way to the end of its production run in 2017, the Viper maintained a strong adherence to its own lineage, with the final model bearing a strong resemblance to its 26-year-old forebear.

Right up to its last iteration, the Viper earned the reputation as an automotive rodeo bull, a vehicle powerful enough to kick any competitor into the dust but a danger to any driver not skilled enough to wrangle it. Between the neck-snapping power, wild handling and venomous aesthetics, the Viper is all but assured classic status.

The Dodge Challenger

With throwback styling that strongly nods to Mopar’s heyday in the ‘60s, the Dodge Challenger is as handsome as it is thrilling. A true driver’s car, the Challenger suffers from less of the wild-stallion-like feral road handling of its Viper cousin. And it can take a cart full of groceries back home with four adults riding along.

Yet, in its upper-echelon forms, the Challenger ranks among the most powerful production cars ever churned out of Detroit. It’s not hyperbolic to call the Challenger the archetype of modern American muscle. And this means its eventual classic status is a good bet.

The Honda S2000

The S2000 is an often-overlooked convertible that, while having a sleek and competent design, just doesn’t tend to visually reach the heartstrings the way that more exotic cars can. But the S2000 remains one of the greatest driver’s cars ever built. With its screaming 9,000 rpm redline, the S2000 accelerated, handled and sounded like a Ferrari but was priced like an Accord. You can bet on its presence at the auto auctions of the 2050s.

Changes Coming to F1 for 2019 Racing Season

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Those who are fans of Formula One racing are well aware of one of the problems the sport faces. In most Formula One races, those who start in the first rows almost always win unless there is an accident on the track.

There are two reasons for this. Formula One teams are experts at what they do. They know how to pace out a race to make sure that nothing goes wrong from start to finish. Another problem is that it is very hard to pass and overtake on the track.

In order to make it easier for drivers to pass, and to add some more excitement to F1, there are changes being made to the setup of the cars for the 2019 racing season. These changes are in anticipation of more extensive changes that are to be implemented in the 2021 season.

For 2019, the front wings on an F1 car will be wider, and there will be fewer flaps. This is being done in order to make it more aerodynamically possible for a driver to follow another driver closely. Right now, the setup of the cars causes turbulence when in the following position. This makes it harder for drivers to maintain the position that they need to be in to take advantage of passing opportunities.

There will also be a change in the design of the front brake ducts. There are currently small wings on the brake duct assemblies. In 2019, these will no longer be used. With this redesign, the brake ducts will be more apt to serve their intended purpose of providing cooling. It is hoped that this change will also help to end the problem of blown front axles that plagued several of the racing teams such as Ferrari, Force India and Haas during the current racing season.

There will be changes in the rear wing of the cars in 2019 as well. The rear wings will be taller and wider. The design of the rear wing will be simplified. This change will increase the downforce on the vehicle. This will stop the practice of coasting that some drivers currently use to make sure that they don’t run out of fuel.

With these changes in place for the 2019 Formula One season, the racing should be more exciting. There may be more chances for drivers to make a move resulting in fewer pole to win situations.

Avoiding Common F1 Racing Mistakes

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Formula One racing is exciting. Drivers race around the twisting and turning tracks to gain position and obtain a coveted place on the podium. Each year, there are a few new drivers in Formula One as some drivers retire and others realize that they just don’t measure up. It is important for new drivers to learn from the mistakes of others so that they have the potential for a long and successful Formula One career.

In Formula One racing, initial race position is of critical importance. The best racers on the best teams will do everything in their power to hold off drivers trying to come up from the back of the pack. Unless there is an accident or major error by a driver in the front two rows, those in the back of the pack rarely win a Formula One race.

New drivers should make sure to drive to the best of their abilities during the qualifying rounds. Any let down in performance will result in a poor starting position and few race points.

Another key for a new driver is to get the most out of the best tires for the track. Formula One drivers are required to use two different types of tires during the course of the race. One type is usually a hard tire while the other is a soft or super soft tire.

Invariably, one type of tire will perform better on a track on a given day. It is important that the driver make the most of the drive time available on the better performing tire.

A new driver to Formula One needs to make sure that all of the intangibles are working in his favor. Everything in Formula One is calculated by the team. The team engineers know just how much fuel is needed, when to make a pit stop and how the car needs to be set up for the race.

A new driver needs to make sure to listen to the team at all times. It’s vital that a driver get in for pit stops when they’re called by the team. Any mistake can cost position and points.

Finally, a new driver should review as much film as possible of previous races on a track. This is the next best thing to on track experience. Seeing how great drivers of the past raced is an important learning experience.

Debunking halo device myths

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Formula One (F1) Racing has been going through some big changes lately including the changing of their historic logo to the addition of a safety guard on the cars above the driver’s heads known as “the halo”. This has led many to begin passing around some myths about the sport that couldn’t be further from the truth. So what are these myths and what is the truth? The myths are as follows:

  • The Halo Device Goes Against The Rich History Of F1 Racing
  • It Will Permanently Destroy The Aesthetics Of The F1 Cars
  • The Halo Device Could End Up Trapping Drivers After A Wreck

The Halo Device Goes Against The Rich History Of F1 Racing

F1 racing fans are proud of the rich history of the sport. F1 racing represents the very best in both driving and engineering that the world has to offer. This is one of the biggest reasons that they seem to be so against the change in the design of the car. Although there has always been an element of danger in the sport, there is nothing more important than the safety of the drivers. This has been reiterated year after year as additional safety measures are taken so that fans can enjoy the sport while minimizing the risk of injury to drivers.

It Will Permanently Destroy The Aesthetics Of The F1 Cars

This myth is based on the misconception that the halo will remain in its current form for eternity. In fact, F1 racing officials are actually very open to the idea of racing teams designing their own halo guard systems and presenting them to a committee for consideration. The only caveat to this is that all teams would have to be given access to the designs so as to not give one team an unfair advantage over another.

The Halo Device Could End Up Trapping Drivers After A Wreck

While this is a very valid concern, all tests indicate that the halo device would actually aid drivers in getting out of the car easier if it were to flip onto its roof during a race. This is because the halo will keep the nose of the vehicle up higher thus allowing more room for a driver to escape before emergency responders arrive.

The Aerodynamics of a Formula 1 Car

Ask anyone who is employed in Formula 1 and they’ll likely say that implementing aerodynamics wins championships. Aerodynamics consists of two main principles: minimizing drag and increasing downforce.

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Aerodynamics became especially important in the late 1960s. That’s when numerous teams began to experiment with race car wings. Early tryouts with high mountings and movable wings created remarkable accidents, so regulations were implemented as of the 1970 season. These rules are growing along with the development of aerodynamics.

Wings on these cars function like aircraft wings, but in reverse. The former generate negative lift, also known as downforce, while wings on planes create lift. That’s because air travels over the sides at different speeds, and this produces variances in pressure. A modern car can develop 3.5 times the lateral cornering force of its own weight. In theory, these cars could be driven upside down.

By the middle of the 1970s, Lotus engineers discovered that the entire car chassis could act like a giant wing when the underside of the car was inventively designed. This is called ground-effect downforce. In the following years, more linear developments have moved aerodynamics along. Increasing speeds have led the sport’s controllers to adjust racing rules.

The aerodynamic factors of today’s cars are regulated by the location, height and width of bodywork. Each pound of downforce takes off milliseconds of lap time, so teams invest substantial amounts of money and time into computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel exercises. These two components are today’s main types of aerodynamic studies.

The rear and front wings on these cars make up about 60 percent of the downforce. The rest is covered by the floor. The wings’ designs differ from track to track because of different downforce requirements. For example, Monza is a high-speed track where wings are smaller to increase speed and reduce drag. Monaco, on the other hand, requires aggressive wings because of its track design.

Resourceful engineers will occasionally find loopholes and introduce clever solutions, such as F-ducts, double diffusers and exhaust-blown diffusers. Nevertheless, they don’t last long. One invention, the drag reduction system rear wing, has stuck around. It allows drivers to adjust the angle to increase speed and reduce drag. However, they can only use it on certain parts of a track and when a driver is within a certain time frame ahead in the competition.

What to Know About Your Car’s Transmission

Everyone should know a little something about their car’s transmission. It’s one of the most vital systems in an automobile and a failure could end up being very costly to repair. By understanding this system a little better, you can take proper care of your transmission and identify problems much sooner.

Just Like Oil

Most people don’t realize that transmission fluid should be changed, though not quite as frequently as oil is changed. For newer vehicles, the fluid should be changed every 100,000, so, if you don’t keep your vehicles for long, you may not need to worry about this. However, if you typically hang onto your cars for as long as possible, you can typically expect to pay between $160 and $200 for a transmission fluid change.

For older vehicles, you should consider getting a transmission fluid change after 30,000 miles. If you’re unsure, ask your mechanic. Conversely, very new vehicles are intended to never receive a transmission fluid change. The manufacturers install a sealed transmission that cannot be opened, ensuring the transmission fluid lasts the lifetime of the vehicle.

What Does Transmission Fluid Do for Your Vehicle?

In both standard and automatic transmissions, the fluid is intended to keep the various mechanical components lubricated and helps to reduce the heat caused by the friction of moving parts. Even so, the various parts of the transmission will wear down and cause the fluid to become contaminated with tiny particles. When the concentration of these particles gets too dense, they can cause damage to the system.

It should be pointed out that it takes several years for metal shavings to contaminate the transmission fluid to the point that would require a flush and change. If it occurs early in the car’s life or is a frequent occurrence, that may be a sign of a bigger mechanical problem with the system.

Changing the Transmission Fluid

Checking the fluid level is usually a simple matter. There should be a dipstick in the engine compartment, similar to the dipstick for checking the oil. Even when the transmission fluid’s level looks fine, it may still be contaminated and in need of flushing. If you suspect a problem, contact your mechanic and draw attention to your concerns. He can make a better assessment as to the quality and level of the fluid.

If your system does need to be flushed, it will be a much more complex matter. You might be able to do an oil change yourself in your own driveway, but changing out the transmission fluid is another matter. It will require lifting the car up on a hoist and locating the release plug or valve, which is typically difficult to reach. It requires patience and a great deal of flexibility.

For the best care of your transmission system, allow your mechanic or a transmission specialist to care for the system. They’re more experienced and better equipped to test the fluid and flush the system. An expert can help you keep your system running at peak efficiency throughout the life of your vehicle.

How Do Formula 1 Cars Operate?

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Formula 1 cars are some of the fastest machines man has ever created. They are precisely engineered to maximize speed and performance above all else. Despite their popularity, many still do not know just how they work. That is why the following list of four main components that allow a Formula 1 car to operate has been assembled. These components, in no particular order, are as follows:

  • Transmission
  • Chassis
  • Aerodynamics
  • Engine

Transmission

The transmission of Formula 1 cars must be as seamless as possible, as drivers quickly shift up and down as they accelerate and decelerate down straight stretches or around turns. Drivers use paddle shifters to shift gears as opposed to a more traditional stick shift. This allows drivers to quickly and precisely shift gears while accelerating at incredible rates.

Chassis

In order to be as light as possible, the chassis of many Formula 1 cars are made of carbon fiber. This allows the engine to move the vehicle down the race track much faster than a typical steel chassis. In a sport that relies on milliseconds to win a race, every additional weight reduction is of great concerns to each team.

Aerodynamics

The body of a Formula 1 car is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. In a race where top speeds easily exceed two hundred miles per hour, it is imperative to minimize wind resistance. In order to maximize the efficiency of the vehicle, each part of the car is individually designed to minimize wind resistance as opposed to designing a the car as a whole.

Engine

Unlike most vehicles seen on the road that have only a few hundred horsepower at most, the engine of a formula 1 vehicle has an average of 900 horsepower. This monstrous engine catapults the vehicle down straightaways and around curves faster than any other machine in the world. The engine is the crown jewel of Formula 1 racing and is easily the most tinkered with and adjusted part of the car.

Formula 1 vehicles are truly an engineering marvel. Hopefully, by reviewing the major components mentioned above, it will be easier to understand just what it takes to make Formula 1 cars operate.

How Tesla is Changing the Auto Industry

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With the release of their third model, the Model 3, Tesla has proven that they are a company that is very serious about offering innovation and disruption. Over the years that Tesla has been operating, they have introduced many new innovative features in cars. This innovation has not gone unseen, as many manufacturers and lawmakers have either tried to adjust with Tesla or put them out of business.

As a sort of scoreboard of Tesla’s achievements, below are a few of the accomplishments of Tesla, and the impact that these accomplishments have had on the automotive industry

Autonomy

Tesla’s first vehicles were not fully autonomous, but rather semi-autonomous. The systems that were installed on the Tesla vehicles were able to keep a vehicle within its lane while also regulating the vehicle’s speed. In recent years, since Tesla’s introduction of autonomous technology, many manufacturers have installed safety technology. An example of such technology is lane-keep assist, which keeps a vehicle in its lane based on the road lines surrounding the vehicle.

Electrify

Although Tesla was not the first manufacturer to release an electric vehicle, Tesla had a huge hand in forcing manufacturers to race towards releasing the first electric vehicle. By bringing awareness to the capability of electric vehicles, and having a support for their new endeavors, Tesla showed rival companies that they needed to improve or else they would fall behind. Unlike many other manufacturers, however, Tesla has accomplished creating their own charging stations.

Update

Tesla’s ability to update its vehicles through wireless updates has challenged manufacturers, who either do not have the technology to do so or are in fear of hackers, to improve the way that they service their vehicles. Tesla does not have many dealerships, so customers needing to bring their cars in for servicing would not be an ideal situation. Instead, Tesla developed a method for servicing their cars remotely.

Conclusion

Since the first Tesla model was released, the Model S, the internet went ablaze with videos of the premium P85D beating, more expensive, supercars in races. Tesla has not only developed classy and sleek cars, but vehicles that offer very innovative technology that currently challenges the automotive industry. Not only has Tesla proven themselves to be a highly capable company, but also a company that may be here to stay for the long haul.

Luxury vs. Standard: Which Car is Worth the Price?

When it’s time to shop for a new vehicle, there are many factors to take into consideration. If a person has enough money to spend, one consideration is whether or not to purchase a luxury vehicle, or a vehicle that is a step down from what is considered luxury.

When making this decision, car buyers have to consider why they want a luxury car. Do those reasons justify the additional expense?

Upscale Association

Some people want a luxury car because they believe that certain cars with certain brand names are associated with wealth and success. Lexus, Mercedes, and Jaguar are among the brands that people often associate with high-class professions such as doctors, lawyers, and CEO’s.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a car for this reason. Something to keep in mind is that there are very nice luxury cars such as Lincoln models that may not have the same upscale associations as a Jaguar or Lexus, but are still very nice cars with a lower price tag.

A Nicer Ride

Another thing to keep in mind when deciding between a luxury or standard car is the ride. Some people want a luxury car because they believe that they have a more comfortable ride with more leg room. This isn’t always the case.

Some luxury cars are designed to have a more sporty drive. This means that they concentrate on better handling which may mean that they don’t have as comfortable a ride.

There are many standard cars that have a comfortable ride with a lot of legroom. For example, the Chevrolet Impala and the Hyundai Genesis both have more front legroom than any luxury model. The Hyundai Genesis and the Cadillac CT6 have also received commendation for having a great ride. These cars cost much less than most European or Japanese luxury cars.

Better Material

Those who want a car made of the nicest materials will find that luxury cars are very nice. Most have plush, leather seats with wood inlays in the dash. While some of the nicer standard models might have leather seats, they just don’t seem as nice when you are sitting in them.

The decision between a luxury car and a standard car comes down to what a person really wants in a vehicle. If it’s a brand name, luxury might be the way to go. If it’s a comfortable ride, an upscale standard vehicle is probably just as good.