Engine:Filthy and Stuck
For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 4
Trim: Black with Red Interior
Drive Type: Greasy
Shutesbury, Massachusetts, United States
If you're a serious fan of Formula One, you already know all about The Great Nosecone Conundrum of 2014. Those given to parsing each year's F1 regulations predicted the strong possibility of the so-called "anteater" noses as far back as early December 2013. Highly suggestive visual evidence first came after Caterham's crash test in early January, with further proof coming as soon as Williams showed a rendering of the FW36 challenger for this year's championship. That car earned a name that wasn't nearly so kind as "anteater."
Casual followers of the sport - or anyone who gets the feed from this site - probably don't know what's happening, except to wonder why the current year's F1 cars are led by appendages that would make Cyrano de Bergerac feel a whole lot better about himself.
The short answer to the question of ugsome F1 noses is "FIA regulations and safety." The reason there are various kinds of ugsome noses is simpler: engineers. The same boffins who have given us advances including carbon fiber monocoques, six-wheeled cars, double diffusers and Drag Reduction Systems are bred to do everything in their power to exploit every possible freedom in the regulations to make the cars they're building go faster - the caveat being that those advances have to work within the overall philosophy of the whole car.
Brazil is the place to be, apparently. Toyota has been investing in the South American country, as has BMW, which announced a $261 million investment in October 2012, on the heels of an Audi factory announcement in San José Chiapa. The high-end immigration is only set to continue, as Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar-Land Rover have both announced plans to set up manufacturing operations there.
Mercedes is the big news here, as its new facility will see the German manufacturer invest 170-million euros for production of its next-generation C-Class and upcoming GLA-Class. "Brazil is an important future market. With our local production we accept the challenge and take on the competition," noted Andreas Renschler, Management Board member for Production and Procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans. Production is expected to begin by 2016.
Jaguar-Land Rover, meanwhile, isn't so concrete in its plans. The news of its investment in South America comes from a job posting for a plant quality manager in Brazil that was picked up by the UK's AutoCar. "Portuguese language skills will be definite advantage" for interested candidates, according to the job listing. The want ad follows on the heels of remarks by Jaguar Land Rover's Dr. Ralph Speth, who said there are "very intensive discussions" with Brazil's government. Unlike Mercedes, there's no mention of which vehicles will be produced in South America, although AutoCar thinks the Freelander, sold in the US as the LR2, is a leading contender.
Records, as the say, are made to be broken. Whether that's cramming the most hot dogs down your gullet, running a faster mile, or yes, driving across the United States, odds are that there's someone out there wants to eat more, run faster or drive harder. Speaking of that last example, the record for driving from a set location on the east coast, in particular the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, CA, has been one that has fascinated gearheads since a guy named Cannonball Baker made the trek from New York to LA in 53 hours, 30 minutes, in 1933.
The competition saw its glory days when Car and Driver's Brock Yates came up with the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash (more affectionately known as the Cannonball Run), although the record was most recently set by Alex Roy and his 32-hour, seven-minute trek behind the wheel of a BMW M5 in 2006. Now, there's a new champion, who made the trip from east to west in a scarcely imaginable 28 hours and 50 minutes, behind the wheel of a 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG. That's works out to an average speed of 98 miles per hour over the course of 2,813.7 miles.
His name is Ed Bolian, and Jalopnik has a writeup of the epic voyage that details everything from the history of the Cannonball Run to Bolian's preparation and trouble finding co-drivers, to the trip itself. It is well worth a read.