By Mark Vaughn
Hard to believe, but the Mazda Miata is 20 years old. And Mazda didn't let the birthday pass without a party.
On July 17, parked in the inner courtyard of Mazda R&D in Irvine, Calif., were examples of every significant Miata and MX-5 Miata ever made. There were pristine first-, second- and third-generation cars as well as a number of racing Miatas and a couple of concept cars. The beautiful red Monoposto sat next to the gold, fixed-roof M Coupe, and that one was next to a 1995 M Speedster (the latter reminding us that there have been so many special- edition Miatas that the regular production cars should be worth more than the special editions when these things enter the collector-car market, though that may be unlikely given that most owners don't want to quit driving them).
Video: Rhys Millen's run at Pikes Peak.
Now it's released one of my favorites to date: Rhys Millen's run in his specialized Hyundai to the top of Pikes Peak. Weather and a new car conspired to bump Millen to third ("Monster" Tajima took first yet again) and keep the notorious 10-minute mark intact, but Millen had a good run in an exciting car, and I'm already counting down the days until next year's Race to the Clouds.
Check out the video, after the jump.
Judge upholds ticket issued to man sporting factory-installed, DOT-approved taillights.
If you answered "yes" to both these questions, then we have the following to say: 1.) Congratulations on owning a beast of a car, and 2.) It's time to get out of Dodge, er, Maryland, before you start paying some serious fines.
According to this post on Jalopnik, a forum member by the name of Jackalope over at G8Board.com has a disturbing story: After being cited and ticketed $60 for illegal taillights on his G8 GT -- the factory-issued, Transportation Department-approved headlights, mind you -- said reader brought the case to court.
And the judge upheld the ruling.
By Greg Migliore
President Barack Obama has received his first up-close look at the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
The president stopped by Compact Power battery plant in Holland, Mich., on Thursday, where he sat in the car. The parent company of Compact Power, LG Chem, will make the battery cells for the Volt.
Toyota, Tesla to collaborate on electric version of the RAV4.
Running Pocono Speedway with a TV cast of racing hopefuls.
One of the most humbling things about driving fast cars is realizing there are teenagers out there -- and even pre-teens -- who can kick your butt around a racetrack, just as talented youngsters could do in basketball, tennis or any other sport.
I met my latest batch of young hotshots at Pocono Speedway, where I lapped a NASCAR-style stock car for the first time. While the Stock Car Racing Experience school is a regular feature at Pocono’s tricky, 2.5-mile tri-oval, this day also featured young cast members of “Changing Lanes.” This eight-part documentary reality series, which debuts Sept. 1 on BET, follows a group of racing hopefuls as they compete for a coveted slot on the Revolution Racing team, which develops female and minority NASCAR drivers through its Drive for Diversity program.
From the series, narrated by the rapper and actor Ludacris, I met and drove speedway laps with cast members Jessica Brunelli, 17; Michael Cherry, 20; Katie Hagar, 24; and Ryan Gifford, 20. Between them, this foursome has raced everything from karts and dirt-track midgets to Formula BMWs and stock cars. And with contagious passion for the sport, they’ve been working their way up the daunting ladder that leads from obscure -- yet brutally competitive -- tracks in the boonies to the promised land of NASCAR’s big-name series.
The EPA will not use the Chevrolet Volt's vaunted 230-mpg rating.
By Greg Migliore
Time is running out to get a 2011 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500.
More than 3,300 orders have been placed for the instant icon -- arguably the best ‘Stang ever -- and Ford is capping orders for this model year at 5,500.
Do the math: that means 2,200 or less remain. Ford says it will halt orders in a bid to maintain the exclusivity of the GT500, and the initial response has already beat expectations.
“The car continues to be popular with sports car enthusiasts and collectors who are blown away by the increase in horsepower and performance,” said Fritz Wilke, Mustang brand manager. “The limited production of the 2011 should make this year even more desirable.”
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Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5