The Beast is back

Attention Silverstone Classic fans, we have some good news – the iconic AMC Javelin will be racing at this summer’s Classic.

A crowd favourite back in the 1970s, the 6.4L muscle car competed in the Saloon Car Championship and the Special Saloons series, with several top ten finishes and pole position in two Special Saloon races in Silverstone in 1972. Owner and racer David Howe bought the Mustang and Camaro rival in early 1971 from a US serviceman who had been posted to the UK, having witnessed the success enjoyed by muscle cars in saloon car racing.

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German reinforcements

New, heavy duty ambulances have been introduced in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein due to a rise in heavier and obese patients. The new vehicles will be safer both for the patients being transported, and the attending paramedics. Based on 7.5 tonne trucks, the ambulances feature lifting gates that can lift loads of up to 1.5 tonnes, and wider stretchers which can carry patients weighing up to 400kg. Otherwise, patient care remains the same.

Photo: RKiSH

“We’ve noticed that many patients don’t weigh 75 kilos these days, but often a lot more – that’s the basic reason we’ve chosen to get these heavy-duty vehicles,” said Christian Mandel, spokesperson with Schleswig-Holstein rescue services spokesman, speaking to Two ambulances are currently on duty, with no plans to order more just yet.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described obesity as one of the greatest public health challenges in the 21st century. According to an OECD obesity update in 2014, 15.7% of men and 13.8% of women in Germany are considered obese.

Topping out on the Isle of Man

Some people do their job so well that all you can do is sit back and marvel at their skill, and perhaps display just a hint of jealousy.

British Rally champion Mark Higgins is one such individual. Driving the dangerous 37.7 miles Isle of Man circuit, which requires vast levels of concentration, cool and a hefty dose of skill behind the wheel, Higgins bettered his own record by tearing around the circuit in a time of 17:25.139s, at times reaching eye-watering speeds of 175mph (281km/h). For reference, a jetliner will generally take-off between 150 to 180mph.

Higgins was at the wheel of a specially designed Subaru WRX STI (which cost around €631,000), tailored to go around the TT circuit, with an engine tuned to output 600bhp, with 0-100km/h in a mere 2.6 seconds, topping out at 289km/h.

His average speed around the Snaefell Mountain Course, which has claimed the lives of 252 people since 1911 (including four killed in 2016 alone) was a blistering 128.7mph. What’s almost even more incredulous is Higgins’ calm demeanor as he narrates some fairly hair-raising manoeuvres.

I’d say sit back and relax as you watch the video, but your fingernails might get a little trim.

Hop in and go

Councillor Ciarán Cuffe Chairman of Dublin City Council’s Transport Committee, Shane Ross Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, and Steve Tormey, Chief Executive Toyota Ireland
Councillor Ciarán Cuffe Chairman of Dublin City Council’s Transport Committee; Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport; and Steve Tormey, Chief Executive Toyota Ireland at the recent launch

Ireland’s car sharing service GoCar has a new competitor – Toyota Ireland has announced the launch of YUKO Car Club (Yuko means ‘Let’s Go’ in Japanese), part of the company’s vision to help create a more environmentally sustainable future and ease urban congestion.

A range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, EV and fuel cell vehicles will be available to hire, including the Yaris, Auris and Prius models, with the C-HR and the Prius plug-in hybrid arriving at the end of the year.

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Rebuilding a V8

Rebuilding an engine is no easy task. Even for the most dedicated petrolhead with a decent collection of tools, it’s a job best left to the professionals.

The good folks at Hagerty decided to rebuild the flathead V8 from their 1946 Ford pickup, and to show us exactly how it was done.

The six-minute video, comprising over 40,000 photographs kindly taken throughout the 100-hour project, charts the captivating rebuilding process, complete with complex machinery and plenty of elbow grease.

To be honest, we’re still not exactly sure as to how it was done, but you’ll find it hard to take your eyes off this.

A Renegade Life

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The new Jeep Renegade represents a number of firsts for the US carmaker. It’s their first entry into the miniature SUV market for one thing, while it’s also the first Jeep to be exclusively built in Europe and then sold in the US and other markets, instead of vice versa.

To look at, the Renegade is very much a blend of European and North American influences. It’s got the iconic Jeep grille and headlights, for example, and various nods to its heritage around the cabin, though it’s not quite as square as the Wrangler. Style-wise, I still find it hard to say whether I like it or not. The front grille is fantastic – pure Jeep (and chrome) – while the rear, including the lights, is certainly interesting. When you look at it from the side, however, it does seem a little squat, like the offspring of the aforementioned Wrangler and a Skoda Yeti. It’s more adorable than macho.

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