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One Lap of the Web: Saucy spouses and salty roads

Wed, 05 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800

-- Not every race car driver was James Hunt. Legendary drag racer Don Garlits couldn't have been legendary without his wife Patricia, who recently passed at the age of 71; in a few more weeks, they would have celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. She supported Don when he didn't think his racing would amount to anything, and she was instrumental in persuading Don to switch to rear-engined dragsters -- Don's eventual acceptance ended up changing the face of drag racing forever. You know that old chestnut: behind every man is a woman deeply invested in his self-preservation.

-- The always feisty Autoextremist breaks down the Super Bowl for us enlightened consumers of advertising. Key takeaway: Olivier Francois's mastery of surprise speaks far greater than the ad itself, but more importantly, the message isn't muddled in a barrage of hashtag-laden "teasers -- " many of which are cringeworthy to begin with. But around here, we liked the Jaguar ad.

-- We've been on a Datsun 510 bender recently. Here's a rundown of the history of the Trans Am 2.5 Challenge -- seeing as the series only lasted three years, it's a pretty quick read. Did you know a Ford Pinto once raced in Trans Am? Some say the action was…explosive. (Ok, sorry about that.)

-- If you're in San Bernadino, somebody stole a 1,000-horsepower Dodge Challenger. While you would think a Superbird-nosed Challenger with a skyscraper wing that probably sounds like the Four Horsemen would be easy to spot, sadly it was inside a 39-foot enclosed trailer at the time it was stolen -- just a regular box trailer, one that doesn't have 1,000 horsepower, or any horsepower at all. More details at Jalopnik.

-- What happens to all the salt we dump onto the roads? The Smithsonian has a theory: it goes into our bodies of water, really messing up fish, salamanders, and plants. Displaced New Englanders (like me) have another theory: it goes into the rocker panels of our Saabs. All of it.

Photo courtest of STL Drag Racing.




By Blake Z. Rong