Sadness at NASCAR finale, Public Citizen protests Toyota, electric conversion for classic Mini

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

NASCAR finale sends Ford driver to the winner’s circle

Intake: The NASCAR Cup race Sunday at Phoenix was won by Penske Ford driver Joey Logano, and Logano also won the season championship. Chevrolet was the Cup season manufacturer’s champion, while Toyota took manufacturer’s championships in the Camping World Truck and the Xfinity classes. Saturday evening’s Xfinity race and championship was won by Ty Gibbs, 20-year-old grandson of Coach Joe Gibbs, who owns the Toyota team. Gibbs’ son, and Ty’s father, Coy Gibbs, COO of the race team, was present at the race and was on NASCAR Sirius radio Saturday night talking about how proud he was of his son, and about how Coy himself was a “horrible” race car driver, convincing him to make the move to management. Hours later, Coy was gone, dying in his sleep Saturday night. He was 49 and leaves a wife and four children.

Exhaust: Coy Gibbs’ death was announced moments before the race, and it cast a pall over the proceedings. Coach Gibbs lost his other son, J.D., in 2019 to a neurological disease. He was also 49. He also left a wife and four children. Both men were highly regarded by their peers. –Steven Cole Smith

NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Gibbs family trophy celebration
Ty Gibbs celebrates with his father Coy Gibbs and mother Heather Gibbs after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 5th, 2022. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Public Citizen protests Toyota at the race

Akio Toyoda Tokyo Motor Show 2019
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Intake: Also at the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship in Phoenix, Public Citizen, Ralph Nader’s group, protested Toyota’s “slow-walking of electric vehicles,” calling on the company to push toward selling “100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2030. As the largest global auto manufacturer, Toyota has the ability to shift the worldwide market on EVs,” said East Peterson-Trujillo, clean vehicles campaigner with Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “Toyota is stuck in the past, betting the climate crisis, public health, and economic benefits won’t push consumers toward cleaner, cheaper EVs. Toyota must leave its boring, polluting vehicles in the rearview mirror.” At the event, a plane circled the crowd towing a banner with the words: “Want exciting? Drive electric. Want boring? Drive Toyota.”  In addition, a billboard truck drove around the outside of Phoenix Raceway displaying a video calling on Toyota to fix its long-term strategy on EVs.

Exhaust: This is in response to comments by Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, in September that he was skeptical about the zero-emission mandate by California, New York and other states. “Realistically speaking, it seems rather difficult to achieve that,” he said. Electric vehicles are “Just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe.” –SCS

Orders open for $71,000 Mini Recharged

Intake: Britain’s Recharged Heritage is offering an electric conversion for the classic Mini, but there’s no small price to pay. Supply your own donor vehicle and it can be electrified for just shy of $50,000 or Recharged Heritage will provide a complete car for $71,170. The process is reversible with not a single new hole drilled to accommodate the powertrain, and no weight is added either. Providing the motive power is an 18 kWh battery, mated to a 72 kW (98 horsepower) electric motor which spins to 14,000 rpm. In energy-saving Pure mode it will match an original 1275 GT by accelerating to 62 mph in 11.5 seconds and reaching a top speed of 78 mph. Switch to Sport and it will cut three seconds off the 0-62 mph run and top out at 92 mph. Range is just north of 100 miles and there’s an on-board 6.6 kW charger which means it’ll take around three hours to charge on a 7kW supply.

Exhaust: Recharged Heritage is endorsed by BMW and run by former BMW man Tom Festa, but the cost of such involvement is high indeed, and there are more Mini-priced alternatives. Swindon Powertrain, for example, has a 128 kW conversion kit for $16,000 although batteries are not included, and you’ll have to assemble it yourself. –Nik Berg

(Incredibly) high-mileage Honda still looking good

High Mileage Civic
Weeks Motors

Intake: The website found a 2022 Honda Civic for sale at a Dallas-area Honda dealer with an incredible 248,740 miles on the clock for $18,999. The site pulled the CarFax and learned it was a one-owner car, a personal vehicle with no accidents or damage reported. The car has the durable 1.5-liter turbo engine and an automatic transmission, and the Touring Sedan’s black leather upholstery. According to the story, the owner had the car for 386 days, averaging 613 miles a day.

Exhaust: Why so many miles? It turns out the owner delivered medical supplies daily from Dallas to Houston and back, at least a 500-mile round trip, which means there was a lot of driving on the side, too. Whoever this owner was, he or she can deliver our medical supplies anytime. –SCS

The first Flyin’ Miata ND V-8 is set to soar at auction

Flyin Miata V-8 ND
Flyin' Miata

Intake: Colorado’s Flyin Miata has been juicing up the world’s most popular sports car since the first NA edition of 1990. When the fourth generation ND arrived in 2016 the Colorado crew even managed to shoehorn a GM 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 under the hood, while keeping an almost bone-stock look. A Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed manual transmission was fitted along with a Pontiac G8 differential to send 525 horsepower to the rear wheels, making it possibly the most powerful Miata on the planet. Custom-tuned Fox Racing coilovers were installed with uprated Flyin’ Miata sway bars and four-piston Wilwood brakes. The ABS was retained but the stability and traction control systems were removed so some deft footwork is required when driving. Nonetheless the car has covered 16,000 miles since construction in 2016 and is now for sale on Bring A Trailer, with bidding at $55,000 at the time of writing.

Exhaust: Emissions rules put a stop to Flyin’ Miata’s V-8 exploits in 2018, so these “Habu” cars are few and far between. Having never left factory hands this special provenance could see the price soaring to unseen heights. –NB

Subaru teases new Impreza ahead of LA show

2024 Subaru Impreza silhouette teaser

Intake: In another teaser photo apparently lit by a single candle, this one from Subaru, we see the roof outline of the new Impreza, which is set to debut November 17 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This photo is obviously a hatchback; we don’t know if there will be a sedan, as no candlelit photo of that has shown up yet.

Exhaust: This 2024 model shows that Subaru is one of the few manufacturers who hasn’t completely given up on the hatch in favor of little SUVs. We look forward to seeing the rest of the car. –SCS

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    Nader and his cronies should let the market decide. You can’t force people to buy an EV. I think Mr Toyoda is right, the infrastructure to run millions more EV’s will be very difficult if not impossible to achieve in a short period of time (ten years). And as everyone knows, EV’s contribute nothing to pollution or green house gases, they are made from fairy dust and unicorn farts.

    Agreed 100%. The concept of electric vehicles is a good one, but having to live with one is a different story. And, as pointed out by Don, there is still the matter of manufacturing polution and electrical generation. It is going to be quite a while before we have the infrastructure needed to support an all electric fleet using zero emissions sources. Unless we all want to have the problems California is facing, we need to be more realistic.

    Not just the external infrastructure, but the amount of materials needed per car means the EV as currently constructed cannot be scaled to replace the fleet. I wonder how long it will take for this to become obvious?

    Fact: The zero emissions vehicle has not been invented yet. (Don’t think that a bicycle is, because humans emit CO2 and methane gas.) How do we go from ground zero to zero emissions in 7 years?

    These protesters don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to electric cars. But that is not exactly news.

    I miss the Flying Miata V8 cars. I didn’t know one happened on the latest generation car.

    What’s next gluing hands down on a racetrack, yeah try that and see what happens!!!! The problem is if you disagree with far left you are attacked, again in the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along”. What happened to constructive talks and compromise. Mr. Toyada is right, we do not have (the world) the infrastructure to support total EV’s. Also take a look at what these “mines” look like and how they affect the planet when strip mining for the heavy metals required for batteries and such. SLOW down. It regardless of what those that think it can, it cannot happen overnight.

    I hate EVs. With that said, it was 80 in the northeast today in November. 80 in November is a lot like kissing your cousin… it feels good, but deep down you know it just aint right

    To understand this strong arm push for Electric cars is much deeper in world global politics.

    These automakers are doing what they are forced to do. The globalist basically are forcing the laws and changes. The automakers really have no choice.

    The laws are impossible to meet and if they refuse these high powered groups will be his with web wars and other challenges that will damage their companies. In a way it much like black mail.

    The motives of these global groups and people are to use environmental issues to gain more power and redistribution of income.

    Many just want to say they are a bunch of do gooders but they are motivated in other ways.

    Read up on just what these folks say ad do at the WEC meetings.

    Read up on ESG scores. This stands for environmental , Social and Cooperate score. This is being used to bully companies into Environmental and global social programs to power these globalist objectives.

    The last meeting they were bragging how they will soon be able to measure each of our carbon footprints. Can you imagine the control they would have once they do that. This will effect how you travel, what you eat, how warm or cold you are and what you can or can’t buy. All in the name of the climate.

    Note my post please read and see what the people at these conferences say and read the names of just who is attending. You know many of the names and some you will know soon.

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