31st July 2015

2016 Cadillac CTS-V First Drive [w/video]

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We drive Cadillac's newest super sedan on the street and at Road America (with the track to ourselves). Strong feelings are formed.

Continue reading 2016 Cadillac CTS-V First Drive [w/video]

2016 Cadillac CTS-V First Drive [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Jul 2015 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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31st July 2015

2016 Cadillac CTS-V Tested: Wicked, Poised, and Screaming for Vengeance

2016 Cadillac CTS-V

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Need we remind you these are seriously twisted times? Without prompt intervention, Bartholomew JoJo Simpson, that lovable fourth-grade cartoon cutup, will never see his 11th birthday. Homer is dumping Marge for a younger woman. Former down-home darling Miley Cyrus might be the instrument of some secret society. And in our own world, zero-emission vehicles are vying for garage space with modern muscle cars. READ MORE ››

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31st July 2015

2016 Cadillac CTS-V – Instrumented Test

-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-V-2016 Cadillac CTS-Vs-2016 Cadillac CTS-Vs-2016 Cadillac CTS-Vs--

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30th July 2015

2015 Chrysler 300S V-8 Tested: Three Additional Gears, Same Big Sedan Goodness

_2015-Chrysler-300S-V-8-PLACEMENT
-Most cars’ journey through a single life cycle—from launch to midterm update to giving way to something newer—can be tracked through the massaging of fascias, tweaks to head- and taillights, and updates to the available color palette. In the case of Chrysler’s second-generation 300 sedan, however, it also includes an ever-evolving tapestry of gearshifters. All 300s once had a meaty shift lever that slid through the typical PRND detents, but when Chrysler’s ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission began trickling into V-6–powered 300s, those models received new, Audi-esque, low-profile electronic shift levers. Now, as part of a mild refresh for 2015, the entire 300 line has adopted the same rotary shift dial as the smaller 200 sedan. READ MORE ››

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30th July 2015

2015 Chrysler 300 V-8 – Instrumented Test

-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8 5.7-liter V-8 engine-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8 5.7-liter V-8 engine-2015 Chrysler 300S V-8 5.7-liter V-8 engine--

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30th July 2015

OwnStar’d! Enterprising Wiz Hacks OnStar to Enable Remote Functions, GM Working on Fix

OwnStar Box and OnStar App

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’Tis the season, apparently, to get hacky. In the wake of the Wired story that saw a Jeep Cherokee in a ditch after pair of hackers took control of the ute remotely via a UConnect vulnerability comes the announcement of OwnStar, a little black box that, when attached surreptitiously to a GM OnStar-equipped vehicle, executes a man-in-the-middle attack between that vehicle and the OnStar RemoteLink app. It allows a hacker to enjoy the full suite of RemoteLink capabilities, including unlocking doors, tracking the car’s whereabouts, and starting the vehicle remotely, as illustrated in the video below.

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According to Samy Kamkar, the creator of OwnStar, the vulnerability doesn’t lie in the vehicles; rather, it’s an exploitable flaw in the RemoteLink app’s code that allows him to take control of the cars. While he’s only experimented on one vehicle—a friend’s Chevrolet Volt—there’s no real reason to suspect that it won’t work with other GM vehicles, given that the problem is on the mobile-device side.

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Kamkar plans to release full details of the exploit during next month’s annual DefCon security conference in Las Vegas. While GM told Wired that it has relocked the door that Kamkar used to enter, the security analyst tweeted today that he’s still able to take control of OnStar.

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The hacker says GM has been receptive to his work; we imagine a patch for the exploit will be available by the time Kamkar gives his talk during the conference, which runs August 6 through 9. In the interim, the only sure-fire defense against OwnStar is to give up using the app for the moment. Still, given that we doubt there are a flood of dudes armed with knockoffs of Kamkar’s box named things like “PwnStar”, “Pr0nStar”, and “SausageCastleStar,” you’re still probably all right.

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30th July 2015

GM’s OnStar Also had a Hacking Vulnerability

gm-onstar

One hacker claims he has a device that can take over any GM vehicle equipped with OnStar.

Samy Kamkar calls his device OwnStar and built it for around $100 and allows the hacker to lock, unlock and start the car. Unlike the recent Jeep Cherokee and Uconnect hack, which was done wirelessly and remotely, OwnStar must be placed on the vehicle it wants to hack and requires the driver to open the OnStar app within WiFi range of the device. Only then is the device capable of gaining access to the car.

Kamkar created a video detailing how the device functions and plans to explain more in depth at the major security conference Defcon next week.

SEE ALSO: Jeep Cherokee, Uconnect Vulnerable to Wireless Hacking

Essentially, the security flaw lies in the mobile software and OwnStar is capable of intercepting communication after the OnStar user opens the app. General Motors has already responded saying that the potential vulnerability has already been fixed and that no additional action is required by customers.

You can learn more about OwnStar by watching Kamkar’s demo of the device in a video below.

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[Source: Tech Insider]

Discuss this story at our General Motors Forum

The post GM’s OnStar Also had a Hacking Vulnerability appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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30th July 2015

Follow Along as Drivers Retrace Edsel Ford’s 1915 Cross-Country Trip in a Model T [Updated Day 12 – Colorado Springs to Trinidad, Colorado!]

1915-Ford-Model-T-Touring-National-Historic-Road“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”
-— Jack Kerouac, On The Road

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While the automobile may have spent the better part of the last century as an avatar for hope and a better tomorrow, it’s the road trip that serves as the catalyst for adventure and freedom. Back in 1915, nobody knew this better than a then 21-year-old Edsel Ford, who, along with a group of like-minded young men, all on the cusp of adulthood, saddled up in one of his pappy’s Model T touring cars for a road trip from Detroit to San Francisco. (Cadillac and Stutz vehicles accompanied the T, driven by some of Edsel’s similarly privileged peers.) In addition to sowing their wild oats, Edsel and company had semiprofessional business at hand, in the form of attending the San Francisco–based Panama-Pacific International Exhibition (PPIE)—the word’s fair held in conjunction with the celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal—where Ford exhibits would go on to take several top awards, lending an air of semilegitimacy to the proceedings.

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“The Americans have found the healing of God in a variety of things, the most pleasant of which is probably automobile drives.” — William Saroyan, Short Drive, Sweet Chariot

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In a build-up to the PPIE, public campaigns encouraged people to take to the still-emerging road system by automobile to “See America First.” Many heeded the call, including Emily Post, who traveled in a chauffeured vehicle, and Packard president Henry Joy. As such, the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) identifies the year 1915 as the beginning of the “The Road Trip Century.” From that point on, the road trip wove itself into the fabric of American culture, the automobile offering travelers freedom to move at their own pace and determine destinations on a whim. 1915 Ford Model T Touring Road Trip Century

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“That’s why I love road trips, dude. It’s like doing something without actually doing anything.”— John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

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To mark the 100th anniversary of the Road Trip Century, members of the Historic Vehicle Association are re-creating the cross-country feat in a restored 1915 Ford Model T Touring, the same model Edsel Ford employed in his excellent adventure. HVA president Mark Gessler and HVA historian Casey Maxon are slated for the majority of the wheel time in the Model T. Through the aid of Edsel’s diary, the team has been able to largely reconstruct the route, with stops in Indianapolis, Saint Louis, Kansas City, Albuquerque, the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

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No strangers to long-distance travel in Mr. Ford’s legendary T, we here at C/D wish them the best, and we kindly remind them to pack plenty of lip balm and sunscreen. Any concerns regarding their lack of comfort may be tempered by the fact that a 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost convertible will be along for the entire journey, the pair bracketing the Road Trip Century symbolically and chronologically. For an illustration of how far the four-cylinder engine has come in the last 100 years, consider that the 2.9-liter unit in the Model T produces just 20 horsepower, while the turbocharged four in the Mustang cranks out 310 ponies from just 2.3 liters—that’s an increase of approximately 2.9 horsepower per year. Suspension technology didn’t develop as rapidly, with the Mustang content to ride through its first fifty years (1999–2004 Mustang SVT Cobra aside) on a solid-axle setup that shares a passing resemblance with the Model T’s underpinnings. The 2015 Stang rides on an all-new IRS setup.  Road Trip of the Century

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“Road trip!” — Boone and Otter, Faber College, Undecided
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The whole shebang departed from Henry Ford’s Fair Lane Estate in Dearborn, Michigan, on Friday, July 17, the very same spot Edsel and his pals kicked off their epic journey a century ago. Scheduled to conclude in San Francisco on August 18, the route will cover 3565 miles, with numerous stops of interest scheduled along the way. Day one concluded in Auburn, Indiana, at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, after a relatively short 156-mile jaunt with the T averaging 25-to-35 mph; day two had the gang making a 164-mile run to Indianapolis where they visited the Speedway; day three had them overnighting in Saint Louis after covering 260 miles.

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We’ve posted the team’s itinerary below, and from here on out C/D be updating the journey on a regular basis with exclusive photographs and anecdotes from the road, so check back often.
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 “Without the automobile and road trips, the American dream would be more of a nightmare.” ­— Us, Car and Driver

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UPDATE Day 4 — Saint Louis to Jefferson City, Missouri: Due to heavy traffic conditions in and around Saint Louis, the team wasn’t able to get the cars close enough to the Gateway Arch for a photo session before departing. Later in the day, however, the entourage made time for a stop at the Historic Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center in Defiance, Missouri, where they shot the below photo of the cars in front of the restored Newton Howell house (circa 1814), one of the many restored antique buildings located on the premises. 1915 Ford Model T 2015 Mustang daniel Boone Heritage center

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Later, after arriving at the day’s destination of Jefferson City, Missouri, the group calculated that it had driven 127 miles for the day and 707 miles overall.

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UPDATE Day 5 — Jefferson City, Missouri to Kansas City, Kansas:

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Although otherwise uneventful, day five included two items of historical significance: First, a short stint on the Santa Fe Trail, the 19th-century trade route that connected the Missouri River—and by proxy the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers—with the largely unsettled (at the time) western territories and Mexico. Second, the entourage stopped for refreshments at the J. Huston Tavern at Arrow Rock, the very same place Edsel Ford and his contemporaries dined 100 years earlier. Opened in 1834, the tavern is the oldest continuously operating restaurant and tavern west of the Mississippi.0M1A5110

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Once arriving in Kansas City, the HVA group checked in to the Muehlebach Hotel, which was constructed in 1915, and hosted every U.S. President from Theodore Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan.IMG_1915

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UPDATE Day 6 — Kansas City, Kansas to McPherson, Kansas:

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Before setting sail from the historic Muehlebach Hotel, the gang was met by Maria Brown, the niece of this particular Model T’s former owner, Leon Brown. Maria shared stories and photos of her family enjoying the car in the 1970s, and the team reciprocated by taking her and her children for a ride in the Model T.

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Next up on the day’s agenda was a stop in Baldwin, Kansas, where several friends and relatives of HVA road-trip team driver/mechanic/photographer Casey Maxon would greet the travelers. Not content to simply make the scene, the Maxon clan arrived fully loaded, with Kevin Maxon, Casey’s father, rumbling in with his 1957 Chevy gasser, Tim Maxon astride a WWII-style sidecar motorcycle (complete with machine gun), and Chris Maxon behind the wheel of his Model A.Motorcycle-Sidecar-Machine-Gun-Military

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Maxon’s mechanic skills would come in handy later, when the T decided to throw its leather fan belt. A quick call to David George at D.L. George Historic Motorcars put the team on the road to recovery, George recommending they adjust the pulley alignment. After reseating the belt, the car ran the rest of the day without issue. Traveling Route 56 for most of the 160-mile day, the group reached McPherson before dark, bringing the trip total to approximately 1100 miles.1915 Ford Model T Edsel Ford

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UPDATE Day 7 — McPherson, Kansas: Day seven in McPherson was the first officially scheduled as a “rest and relaxation” day, and the break in the action allowed for the guys to visit McPherson College and its Automotive Restoration Technology Program, where the T was given a once-over. Chris Paulsen, an assistant professor, and Brian Martin, the director of restoration projects, were on hand to lend their considerable expertise, and they wasted no time in putting the T on the lift. The team couldn’t have asked for better hosts familiar with the century-old mechanicals of the Model T (Chris owns a 1910 and Brian a 1926, and both commute in them frequently).

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1915-Ford-Model-T-2015-Mustang

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While in the shop, the brakes were adjusted and every bolt on the engine and drivetrain were checked and tightened if necessary. The transmission bands were tightened somewhat, now having been properly seated, and all four wheels were checked. After a thorough going-over, the only concern was the fuel drip from the base of the carburetor. After a few adjustments Casey, Brian, and Chris agreed that the carburetor should be swapped for the spare that had been riding along on the journey. As Brian later put it, “It takes more time to take out your tools than it does to actually change a Model T carburetor.”Ford-Model-T-Repair

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UPDATE Day 8 — McPherson, Kansas, to Dodge City, Kansas:

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About 30 miles into the day’s journey, the Model T began to have troubles with fuel starvation. Despite changing the carburetor the day before to address this specific issue, it seemed they’d yet to get to the root cause of the problem. Not helping was the oppressive heat, which would reach 105 degrees before the day was done. The team stopped at Marmie Ford in Great Bend, Kansas, where they borrowed some shop space and changed back to the original carb. Thankfully, Chris Paulsen from McPherson had enlisted for a weeklong tour of duty as the Model T’s guardian angel (expert). 1915-Ford-Model-T

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As a side note, the first nationwide National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) championship quarter-mile drag races were held in Great Bend in 1955. The event was organized by the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association (SRCA) and held on the concrete landing strips of a former military airfield for B-29s. Art Chrisman of Compton, California, set top speed for the first day in his famed #25 car at 145 mph, and Lloyd Scott of Long Beach, California, set the 151-mph top speed of the weekend in his twin-engine Bustle-Bomb.

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With 80 miles to go to Dodge City, the team started taking some dirt roads to avoid the semis and high-speed traffic on Route 56. Soon, the pesky fuel issue that had plagued earlier in the day returned. Apparently, the changing of the carburetor failed to correct the problem. Slowly, the distance signs to Dodge City counted down the miles to a welcome respite from the oppressive heat. To put an end to a long, hot day, the guys visited the Depot Theater, a former Harvey House establishment where Edsel and company stayed back in 1915.Ford-Model-T-Mustang-Heat-Kansas

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UPDATE DAY 9 ­– Dodge City, Kansas to La Junta, Colorado:

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Somewhat fortuitously, the all-Ford team found themselves arriving in Dodge City, Kansas, just in time for the 150th birthday of Fort Dodge. Unconcerned about the namesake disparity, the good people of Dodge City extended an invitation to our intrepid travelers for them to participate in its annual celebration parade. As the parade came to an end, the gang hung a right and kept on going with their sights set on La Junta.1915-Ford-Model-T-Kansas

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After a stop for a BBQ lunch in Garden City, Kansas, the team reconnected with the original Santa Fe Trail route. Around 4 p.m. they hit Syracuse, Kansas, where they stopped at the Hamilton County Museum and checked out a couple of Ts it had on display. The museum building served as gas station, repair facility, and Ford agency in the 1910s, and further review of Edsel’s diary revealed that he had stopped at the spot for gas, oil, and minor repairs during his trip.1915-Ford-Model-T-Flat-Tire

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Just outside of town the gang rejoined the gravel Santa Fe Trail heading to La Junta. While enjoying some spirited driving on the largely gravel back roads, the driver’s-side rear tire went rogue, separating itself from the rim and attempting to take a shortcut through an adjacent field. After the repairs were made (a Ford F-150 tugging a trailer full of tools and supplies is also making the journey, and it rarely ventures more than a day’s travel from the T), the team continued on, arriving in La Junta, Colorado, at 10:30 that night.

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UPDATE Day 10 ­– La Junta, Colorado to Colorado Springs, Colorado:

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After a hearty breakfast at the Copper Kitchen, a favorite local restaurant, the T took a series of dirt roads out of town, while the F-150 and the Mustang followed 50 west into Manzanola. While there, they visited the Manzanola Trading Company, which is housed in an old hardware store that was established in 1905. Before leaving, they put the T on the industrial scale and discovered it weighed 1460 pounds. At the end of this comparatively easy day, the team checked in to the Antlers Hilton in Colorado Springs by 5 p.m.Model-T-La Junta-Colorado80

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UPDATE Day 11 ­– Pikes Peak/Garden Of The Gods:

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While in Colorado Springs, the team planned to subject the Model T to its toughest challenge yet: climb to the top of Pikes Peak. Initially constructed in 1889 as a horse and mule trail, the road fell into disservice a couple of years later when railway service was established. In 1915 the road was reopened to handle automobile traffic, and just a year later the Pikes Peak Hill Climb competition was born.Model-T-Pikes-Peak-Haggerty

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Edsel and his crew wisely decided to leave their vehicles at the base and ride the railway to the peak. Situated some 14,110 feet above sea level, it was a challenge the current-day team could not ignore. The T reached the 10-mile marker without incident, but by the time the 14-mile marker came into view the T was barely making progress and stalled out shortly thereafter. The decision was made, with the approval of a park ranger, to leave the T behind and continue the ascent in the Mustang and the F-150.Model-T-Pikes-Peak

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After spending some time at the top enjoying the cool 45-degree temperature and taking some photos, the travelers returned to the T, which surprisingly fired right up. To ensure a careful descent, the T relied heavily on engine braking and liberal usage of the Rocky Mountain Brakes, a period-correct aftermarket braking system that was quite popular in the day. Later, the team headed to the Garden of the Gods park for a victory lap of sorts through its massive, prehistoric rock formations.

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Update Day 12 – Colorado Springs to Trinidad, Colorado:

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After the previous day’s unsuccessful ascent of Pikes Peak, the team figured the T could use a thorough once-over before heading out. After replacing a fuel line and attending to the right-rear wheel, the guys set out for Trinidad, Colorado. After a few routing mishaps that required actual paper maps and the help of a couple of locals to rectify, the team continued on via winding gravel roads. Here they began to get their first real taste of wildlife, spotting mule deer, antelope, red-tail hawks, owls, and a host of other animals, including a group of half a dozen or more antelope that ran alongside the T for several hundred yards. Later they would pass through the remains of Shady Greenhorn.0M1A9754

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Keen to keep to back roads and two-tracks, the team found a route that would take them through Ideal Canyon, immersing them in thick pine forests and across dried riverbeds, reaching Trinidad, Colorado, by sundown.Ford Model T at Dusk
-Projected Itinerary:

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Day 1: 7/17 Dearborn, MI to Auburn, IN   147 miles

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Day 2: 7/18 Auburn, IN to Indianapolis, IN   151 miles

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Day 3: 7/19 Indianapolis, IN to St. Louis, MO   264 miles

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Day 4: 7/20 St. Louis, MO to Jefferson City, MO   127 miles

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Day 5: 7/21 Jefferson City, MO to Kansas City, MO   143 miles

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Day 6: 7/22 Kansas City, MO to McPherson, KS   235 miles

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Day 7: 7/23 McPherson, KS   zero miles (rest/repair day)

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Day 8: 7/24 McPherson, KS to Dodge City, KS   160 miles

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Day 9: 7/25 Dodge City, KS to La Junta, CO   210 miles

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Day 10: 7/26 La Junta, CO to Colorado Springs, CO   109 miles

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Day 11: 7/27 Colorado Springs, CO  zero miles (rest/repair day)

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Day 12: 7/28 Colorado Springs, CO to Trinidad, CO   168 miles

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Day 13: 7/29 Trinidad, CO to Las Vegas, NM   194 miles

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Day 14: 7/30 Las Vegas, NM to Santa Fe, NM   137 miles

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Day 15: 7/31 Santa Fe, NM to Albuquerque, NM

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Day 16: 8/1 Albuquerque, NM to Chambers, AZ   199 miles

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Day 17: 8/2 Chambers, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ   137 miles

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Day 18: 8/3 Flagstaff, AZ to Grand Canyon, AZ   79 miles

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Day 19: 8/4 Grand Canyon, AZ to Kingman, AZ   156 miles

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Day 20: 8/5 Kingman, AZ to Barstow, CA   163 miles

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Day 21: 8/6 Barstow, CA to Los Angeles, CA   190 miles

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Day 22: 8/7 Los Angeles, CA  zero miles (rest/repair day)

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Day 23: 8/8 Los Angeles, CA to Pismo Beach, CA  210 miles

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Day 24: 8/9 Pismo Beach to Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA   144 miles

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Day 25: 8/10 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

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Day 26: 8/11 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

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Day 27: 8/12 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

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Day 28: 8/13 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

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Day 29: 8/14 The Quail

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Day 30: 8/15 Monterey Motorsports Reunion

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Day 31: 8/16 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

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Day 32: 8/17 Stanford University

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Day 33: 8/18 San Francisco, CA/PPIE

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Day 34: 8/19 San Francisco, CA/PPIE

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*Note: Travel distances listed here are pre-departure estimates. We’ll have actual mileage figures in the updates whenever available.

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The story was originally published on July 21; it is being updated as the T makes its stops along the way to California.

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30th July 2015

This 1936 Film Explains Exactly How a Manual Transmission Works

Jam Handy Gear Film

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Along with the actual wheels, the manual transmission is among the least-evolved components of a modern car. A brand-new 2015 model’s stick shift has a whole lot in common with the three-speed gearbox you’d find in a car built 70 years ago. While the technology may be abidingly familiar to us enthusiasts, it can never hurt to take a refresher course in the basics. That’s why we love this vintage educational film from 1936, which nicely details how our beloved human-shifted gearboxes work.

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This is just another gem from the treasure trove of Jam Handy films, created to explain the high-tech mechanical concepts of the day in a way that just about anybody could understand. It has all the trademark features of a Jam Handy production: brilliant visual aids, excellent mechanical analysis, and charming old-timey voice-over work.

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Henry Jamison “Jam” Handy was a real character, a rambunctiously productive former Olympic swimmer who made a career out of producing short informational films for soldiers, salesmen, mechanics, and the average layperson. This film, “Spinning Levers,” was commissioned by Chevrolet in 1936 to explain how a manual transmission works—and, as a side benefit, to highlight the then-new synchromesh technology that was a highlight of the ’36 Chevy lineup. It’s basically one of the first advertorials.

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Anyway, take a 10-minute educational break and learn the basics of what’s going on inside most stick-shift transmissions. Even if you understand the concept implicitly, we’re certain you’ll learn something from the irrepressible Jam Handy.

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30th July 2015

IIHS: 2015 Ford F-150 Crash Tests Reveal Disparate Results Between Crew Cab and Extended Cab

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The Ford F-150 aced a suite of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and earned the nonprofit group’s “Top Safety Pick” rating. Of note, however, is that the honor was bestowed only to the SuperCrew body style, the bestselling version of the truck.

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The four-door SuperCrew passed all five tests with the highest-possible “good” rating. The reason? Ford installs steel members fore and aft of the front wheel wells (in yellow, below) to prevent those wheels from intruding into the cabin space, but the company doesn’t fit them to SuperCab or regular-cab bodies.

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Ford installed steel reinforcements (above, in yellow) only in its 2015 F-150 SuperCrew trucks—and not the other body styles.
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During the IIHS frontal-small-overlap test, which simulates hitting a pole or a car head-on by contacting 25 percent of a vehicle’s frontal area at 40 mph, the SuperCrew’s body cage remained “largely intact” with a “low risk of injuries,” the group said. The smaller F-150 SuperCab pickup (pictured at top) scored “marginal” due to “significant intrusion” of the passenger cabin, as the dashboard and steering wheel came “dangerously close” to the dummy’s chest. Since the A-pillars buckled and other body components “seriously compromised the driver’s survival space,” the IIHS rated this F-150’s structure as “poor,” which is below “marginal” and the group’s worst rating. Vehicles have to earn “good” or “acceptable” ratings in all tests to qualify as a Top Safety Pick.

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“That shortchanges buyers who might pick the extended cab thinking it offers the same protection in this type of crash as the crew cab,” said David Zuby, the Institute’s chief research officer. “It doesn’t.”

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An Automotive News report on the differing structures published in June prompted the IIHS to test two F-150 body styles instead of the single most popular variant, as it does for every other car it tests. While it’s not unusual to see cars with varying crash structures in the U.S. versus overseas—the U.S. has its own roof-crush standards, as well as other more stringent rules including those for side-curtain airbags—it’s the first time the IIHS has witnessed such divergent results for one U.S.-specified car model. As a result, the IIHS says it’s planning to crash-test several body styles of other full-size pickups this year, and it is investigating whether other manufacturers also are reinforcing vehicle trims it knows the IIHS will test.

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Compare the performance of this 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew with that of the 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCab pictured at top.
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Ford responded to Automotive News by saying that it will add “countermeasures” to 2016 regular-cab and extended SuperCab F-150s, telling the publication that “the type of countermeasure and structure will vary by cab type.” In a statement to Car and Driver, Ford says, “We addressed the IIHS small overlap front crash in our high-volume SuperCrew first, which accounts for 83 percent of 2015 F-150 retail sales. We are adding countermeasures in the SuperCab and the regular cab in the 2016 model year. Based on the IIHS data, both vehicles offer similar occupant protection levels [as the SuperCrew]. The F-150 program was well under way when this test was introduced in 2012. We are evaluating which specific changes we will make to the SuperCab and regular cab. It is important that any changes do not compromise performance on other crash tests.”

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In AN’s June story, Ford said, “We optimize each cab structure based on many factors including cab style, mass, wheelbase, powertrain, and driveline to meet regulatory requirements and achieve public-domain ratings.” Those “public-domain ratings” were clarified by Ford in this week’s AN report to be “crash testing.”

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2015-Ford-F-150-crash-test-comparison

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2015 Ford F-150 SuperCab (left) and 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (right).
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The small-overlap crash test, first introduced in 2012, forced automakers to quickly adopt changes after the IIHS revealed that most new cars—including luxury sedans—weren’t strong enough to prevent significant injuries in this common accident type. Toyota, for example, launched a 2014.5 model-year Camry that specifically addressed the body structure in relation to the test, and other manufacturers made similar improvements as quickly as the following model year.

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This story was updated to include Ford’s statement to C/D regarding actions it plans to take to update the SuperCab and regular cab F-150 models for 2016.

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