America’s racing season starts this weekend with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, so we thought Pod Rods would take a peek at some special stuff there.
Then we get an emotional buzz off a Ford, check out what “Emmo” is doing before he comes to The Amelia Island Concours, and let Jalopnik solve what’s a supercar.
It’s all in Pod Rods, along with the local car event calendar:
— First off, one intriguing part of the Rolex 24 weekend at Daytona International Speedway is a high-speed exhibition of cars that raced in the round-the-clock endurance race there in the past. Then those cars are displayed in the infield as the race begins Saturday afternoon. Jacksonville collector John Campion has three special Lancia race cars arrayed on display, and also plans to run them in the Rolex Heritage run. Then part of his Lancia collection will be included March 11 at the special Martini racing class display at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Cocnours d’Elegance.
— Speaking of The Amelia and its event-filled March 9-11 weekend at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island, this year’s honoree is veteran racer and Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, while the event will also celebrate 60 Years of N.A.R.T, the Porsche Carrera, Auburn, IMSA GTP, the Jaguar E-Type and the Ferrari Daytona.
— And if one video of Fittipaldi isn’t enough, how about this sneak preview of a special Super Bowl ad for Kia, as “Emmo” drives the company’s new rear wheel-drive Stinger sports sedan on a race track against another unseen driver. The 60-second ad will run in the Super Bowl’s the third quarter Feb. 4, the automaker’s ninth consecutive year advertising in the show.
— A special 2016 Harley-Davidson Softtail Slim motorcycle customized to commemorate the commissioning of the USS Milwaukee, a littoral combat ship that’s part of Mayport Naval Station’s upcoming fleet of the new combat ships, was set to go up for auction this weekend at the 27th annual Mecum Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction. Harley-Davidson chief stylist Ray Drea redesigned it to honor the U.S. Navy and the city of Milwaukee, sharing many features with the actual ship. After touring the country for more than two years, it was donated to the National Military Family Association, which will get all proceeds from the auction to help military families in communities, like Jacksonville.
— Land Rover is teasing folks with the interior of what it calls an all-new full-size luxury SUV coupe.
The Range Rover SV Coupe will be a “dramatic and desirable addition” to the British company known for luxurious SUVs, featuring what it calls a “seductive body design and a supremely refined interior. That two-tone interior shows pleated leather seats and some nice wood, while its design will celebrate the Range Rover bloodline with a dramatic two-door silhouette which alludes to the company’s 1970s 2-door. The Range Rover SV Coupe will be hand-assembled at the SV Technical Center in Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire, UK. Production will be limited to no more than 999 vehicles for worldwide distribution. Full details will be revealed at www.landroverusa.com on March 6.
— BMW is showing us a bit more of its upcoming BMW’s new 8 Series Coupe after official teasers and spy shots of a flagship two-door due this summer. But while the basic design is now clearer, BMW’s official shots show the car wearing a camouflage skin.
— Speaking of teasers, the Croation electric hypercar company known as Rimac, which just introduced a sleek and powerful car, is teasing folks with its next model in a video and released image ahead of its 2018 Geneva show premiere. The company says the “Concept Two” will be more comfortable and faster than the Concept One. Rumors say it will be a bigger 2-seater with a bit more luxury.
— A great sports car should give its owner a thrill behind the wheel. Ford calls that “buzz moments,” not unlike what you feel watching a favorite football team or – they said this, not me – watching a gripping “Game of Thrones” episode. So working with neuroscientists and designers, Ford brought the research to life with the unique Ford Performance Buzz Car. It’s a customized Focus RS with “wearable and artificial intelligence technology to animate the driver’s emotions in real time across the car’s exterior, as seen in this Ford video. Ford worked with Designworks to create the Buzz Car. Each “buzz moment” experienced by the driver – analyzed using a real-time “emotional AI” system developed by leading empathic technology firm Sensum – produces a dazzling animation across almost 200,000 LED lights integrated into the car.The Buzz Car also features high-performance Zotac VR GO gaming PC, 110 x 500-lumen daylight-bright light strips and 82 display panels with 188,416 individually addressable LEDs
— Finally, the folks at the automotive blog site, Jalopnik, have decided to try to answer a conundrum – what’s a supercar, and what’s a hypercar and beyond? And they illustrate it with a great period 1970’s shot of a supercar concept called the Alfa Romeo Carabo by Bertone. Here’s the link to the story.
Lots of wheeled events occurring as the weather warms up:
• Adam Sandoval Rides Motorcycle Poker Run: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Adamec Harley-Davidson of Jacksonville, 8909 Baymeadows Road. The poker run supports Wounded Warrior Project as part of Sandoval’s cross-country adventure with his chihuahua, Scooter. The ride costs $ 20 per rider and $ 10 per passenger, with additional poker hands $ each. The ride will stop at Adamec at 10399 Atlantic Blvd. and 1520 Wells Road, as well as Wounded Warrior Project at 4899 Belfort Road before ending at the Baymeadows Road facility. Full event details at adamecharley.com.
• 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.
• Jacksonville Boat Show: Saturday and Sunday at the Prime F. Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St. For information, visit boatjax.com.
• Resurrection Catholic Church Winterfest and Car Show: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Resurrection Catholic Church, 3383 University Blvd. N., created for Modern Mustangs of Jacksonville. Free for spectators and $ 20 per show vehicle.
• K-9 for Kayston Benefit Car Show: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at The Barn at Live Oak Ranh, Jesup, Ga. Free for spectators and $ 25 day of show for show vehicles.
• Fourth annual Bryceville Car Show: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at behind the fire station at 7280 Motes Road. Free to spectators and $ 20 for show vehicles, presented by the Callahan Cruisers to benefit the Bryceville Sports Association.
• Jacksonville RV MegaShow: Feb. 8 to 11 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, 13611 Normandy Blvd. More than 400 new recreational vehicles of all types, including motor homes, travel trailers, fifth-wheels and tent campers, will be on display. For more information, visit the Florida RV Trade Association’s website at frvta.org.
• Jacksonville International Auto Show: Feb. 16 to 18 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center; sponsored by the Jacksonville Automobile Dealers Association. For more information, visit jaxautoshow.com.
• Mandarin now has two weekly Saturday morning informal cruise-ins: The newest is 7 to 9 a.m. at Village Bread Cafe at the Crown Point Plaza, located at 10111 San Jose Blvd. The original has re-formed from 6 to 9 a.m. in the parking lot outside Panera Bread at 11111 San Jose Blvd.
• Historic Springfield Main Street Cruise: 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday on North Main Street between 8th and 12th streets.
Send information on automotive and motorcycle events to [email protected] or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville FL 32202.