Ninety-two year old James Barbour III is tough in an unusual kind of way. The stereotypical tough guy grimaces and fights and struggles. Instead, Jim has the remarkable ability to stay even, to keep things light. To make it seem like when the going gets rough, well, it’s not rough at all. According to him and wife, Patricia Barbour, he’s never even sworn. He says “Oh my,” when he’s most fired up. That’s the way he was as a young cadet Tuskegee Airman in a biplane getting hammered by a hurricane. It’s the way he was as a 42-year old race car driver getting flipped and tossed around in a tiny Austin-Healey. And it’s how he faced down the indignities of racial prejudice and segregation, in the Army and beyond. In early June, after hearing who he was from a mutual friend, I flew to Florida to spend some time with Jim and Pat to hear these stories. I sat in their comfortable, brightly lit home on a small pond in the town of Wesley Chapel near … [Read more...] about From Tuskegee Airman to Racing Godfather, Jim Barbour Is the Living Legend You Don’t Know About
Count to 100 everyday
It’s 2017 and a car company ‘Murican enough to get its name shouted in a country music song finally sells an all-electric car. Well... again. This time they promise not to snatch it back and crush it. Which is nice, because the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is pretty decent to drive, and it could take electric vehicles mainstream in a way we haven’t seen before. (Full Disclosure: GM wanted me to drive the new Bolt EV so badly they flew me to San Francisco, put me up in a hotel and paid for my food while I cruised around Silicon Valley and the west edge of the Bay Area. I drove the $41,000 top-trim Premier spec car.) More than two years ago now, Chevrolet announced it was going to build the electric vehicle of the people. It was to have $30,000-ish, 200-miles-per-charge, viable seating for four adults. At last year’s CES they trotted out running prototypes, and last month the first few hundred Korean-designed, American-assembled Chevy Bolts were sold to … [Read more...] about The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt May Be The Start Of The Everyday Electric Revolution
Bill Kraus is thankful for his country and for the people who've pledged to protect it. He's also thankful that about 10 years ago he agreed to play a round of golf with an acquaintance-turned-friend, Steve Newton.The friendship between Kraus, a former Under Armour marketing executive, and Newton, a restaurant industry veteran, blossomed into a partnership that launched Mission BBQ, a fast-growing chain of fast-casual restaurants.Now five years old with 41 locations in 11 states, the Baltimore-based chain is looking to double in size in two years, and Kraus and Newton say they plan to turn their concept of barbecue with a hefty helping of patriotism into a national brand. "There's nothing more American than barbecue and nobody more American than someone that will serve, protect and save it," said Kraus, 53.However, the partners believed, nobody had been able to successfully pull off a barbecue chain on a national level. And if they were going to try, they wanted to do it in a way that … [Read more...] about Glen Burnie-based Mission BBQ blends barbecue and patriotism in bid to become national brand
For years, carmakers have seemed to be stuck in the same cycle of producing slightly better iterations of cars that came before. Lighter, bigger, faster and more efficient, but the recipe stays the same – an internal combustion engine burns fuel to propel a crankshaft, spinning a transmission that sends power to the road. Niche hybrids aside, the car as a piece of technology has stayed stagnant for over a century. We’ve long looked at electric vehicles as the true car of the future, one that you plug into your home just like a smartphone and produces zero emissions. Just like your smartphone, however, an EV’s battery life is unpredictable, and when you do deplete it, it takes ages to charge it back up again. Fine if you’re just browsing Facebook, not so fine if you’re on your way to Penang and the low battery warning just came on. Indeed, most industry observers now see plug-in hybrids as a perfect solution, at least in the short term. With a more powerful … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: BMW 330e plug-in hybrid Malaysian review
On March 2 – 4, 2018, the Classic Auto Show (CAS) is being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Given such diverse car culture in SoCal, it’s only fitting that the show offers up some of the best representations of the hobby. Over 1,000 cars will be in attendance with seven newly added exhibits and a star-studded cast from the biggest automotive shows on the silver screen. Hot RodsLike bacon and eggs, hot rods and Southern California go hand in hand. The “Hot Rods” exhibit will showcase three iconic cars from Bruce Meyer’s collection: the Doane Spencer Roadster, Person Brothers 2D coupe, and the So-Cal Speed Shop Belly Tank. A few big clubs from the area will be showing their rides too. The Sultans Car Club of Long Beach, Wild Bunch Car Club, Hot Paints Restorations, and the Road Kings of Burbank will all be showing some prized steel. You’ll also be able to meet the editors here at HOT ROD magazine throughout the show at our booth. Lowriders … [Read more...] about The Classic Auto Show Returns to L.A.!