Ford’s flathead V-8 turns 90, hybrid Bugatti teased, old Acuras gain (limited) warranties
Ford’s flathead V-8 turns 90 (no joke)
Intake: April 1, 1932, marked the debut of Ford’s Model 18 and with it, the flathead Ford V-8. It wasn’t the first American V-8 engine—Cadillac and even Chevrolet had offered V-8s in the 19-teens—but unlike those early designs, this V-8 was cast with the crankcase and cylinders as a single unit. Just as importantly, Ford made the engine affordable to the masses and launched America’s love affair with V-8s. The 221-cubic-inch engine was rated at 65 hp initially but grew in size and power throughout its 21-year U.S.-production run.
Exhaust: The impact of the Ford flathead V-8 on American motorsports cannot be overstated. By today’s standards, it’s archaic, but the compact V-8 democratized horsepower and helped many of the automotive industry’s biggest aftermarket companies get off the ground by supplying performance pars to racers and hot-rodders. The engine was a staple of sprint-car racing for decades. These days, you can still find flatheads in period-correct hot rods—and they’re still racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats, too.
Reborn Bizzarrini in final trials
Intake: The “new” Bizzarrini 5300 GT Corsa is undergoing road tests before being delivered to the first of 24 customers. An authentic recreation of the sports car which won its class in the 1965 Le Mans 24 hour race, the 5300 GT has been built to meet FIA historic racing regulations, so a few examples may even return to the track. Developed by Giotto Bizzarrini and derived from the Iso Grifo A3C, the 5300 GT was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Piero Drogo of Carrozzeria Sports Cars. Wearing the Bizzarrini badge it, of course, featured a Bizzarrini engine and the reincarnation uses a period-specific 5.3 liter V-8, fed by Weber carbs, and delivering over 400 hp. As part of its revival the 5300 GT gets a repositioned fuel tank (the original tanks were, rather frighteningly, set in the sills) while buyers who don’t want to take to the track will get carbon-fiber bodywork in lieu of fiberglass. “Had it been available, we believe Giotto Bizzarrini would almost certainly have deployed carbon-fiber in his racing cars,” says Richard Quinlan COO of Bizzarrini. “As a result, the 5300 GT Revival Corsa will be offered with a full carbon-fiber bodyshell as standard for those customers who do not need to conform to Historic Racing regulations.”
Exhaust: Testing is going swimmingly, says Bizzarrini CMO Simon Busby, “We were thrilled with the car’s performance during endurance testing, delivering the same adrenaline-fueled driving experience as Giotto Bizzarrini’s original design. Now, as we complete the process of building the cars for our customers throughout the world, we are refining the initial engineering and design proposals for our modern supercar. Utilizing the very latest technologies, and built with the ethos, passion and values of our founding genius, this will truly be a Bizzarrini for a new generation.”
Bugatti and Rimac tease two new models
Intake: Bugatti Rimac is to open a new engineering and design center in Berlin, Germany, and threw an easter egg into the announcement with an image that showed two new hypercars hidden under Rimac- and Bugatti-branded car covers. The Berlin innovation hub will house design and engineering teams alongside business functions such as finance, IT, legal, and Marketing. The HQ of Bugatti Rimac remains in Zagreb, Croatia, at its under-construction, $220 million Rimac Campus. Bugattis will continue to be manufactured in Molsheim, France.
Exhaust: Emilio Scervo, CTO at Bugatti Rimac, hints that the undercover Bugatti may be a hybrid. “The Veyron and Chiron were of the same family but now we have the opportunity to establish a new lineage as part of the Bugatti Rimac era. With the world-leading performance electrification expertise pioneered in the Rimac Nevera, and the unrivaled combustion engine innovation of the Chiron, the possibilities for unleashing new levels of ability and performance are almost endless,” he said.
Jeep unleashes final Easter Jeep Safari concept, Magneto 2.0
Intake: Jeep has dropped another heavily stylized and cropped rendering of a future Easter Jeep Safari build that will be revealed later this month in Moab. They only gave us the following text to accompany the image: “Like all good comebacks, do you stick with the proven blueprint in all of its mind-boggling electrified glory or do you push the limits on legendary Jeep 4×4 capability and off-road development even further? Fair to say the enthusiasts already know the answer. The story continues …”
Exhaust: Jeep showed off the all-electric Wrangler Magneto at EJS last year, so this one, which appears to wear “Magneto 2.0” on the hood, looks to be its successor. There’s not much to go on in this photo, but the fenders are unmistakably carbon fiber, hinting at a potential theme of lightweight components used to balance out what’s sure to be a bevy of battery cells mounted along the chassis. What stands out most in this photo is perhaps the hood scoop. The original Magneto used a hood scoop, despite the fact that it didn’t have an engine to breathe air, so we’re not sure if we would read too much into that, but it could point to a hybrid system. No matter what, we won’t have to wait too long to find out, as Easter Jeep Safari kicks off in just over a week.
Acura CPO program now covers vehicles up to 10 years old
Intake: Acura now offers a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program for vehicles up to 10-years-old. Called Acura “Precision Used”, the brand hopes this program encourages “young, first-time buyers to purchase premium vehicles with the peace of mind of an Acura-backed Limited Warranty.” This program isn’t as comprehensive as the “Precision Certified” CPO program for newer vehicles (up to 6 years old), but it’s the first of its kind for a luxury automaker. The Precision Used CPO program offers extra piece of mind in the form of a 6 month/7,500 mile warranty, Acura Concierge services, 12 months of roadside assistance, trip interruption reimbursements, a free oil change, a 7 day/300 mile vehicle exchange policy, and 3 free months of satellite radio service.
Exhaust: Capitalizing on the trend of tarting up older vehicles to earn higher margins (instead of selling them as mere used cars, or dumping them at local auctions), the need for inventory that merely starts/stops/steers became more of a frenzy as both supply chain constraints and rising sticker prices have excluded many folks from the ability to buy a new car. Most big name retailers sold more used cars than new even before the pandemic hit (under brand names like and Echo Park and Val-U-Line), and if more brands choose to embrace this trend, it will continue to skew to used vehicle sales at new car dealerships. That said, KIA’s CPO program may not feel threatened, but this move only adds more pressure from manufacturers on dedicated used car dealers, be it the likes of Carmax/Carvana, buy-here-pay-here note lots, and possibly even on curbstoners.
This Sunbeam S7 has its own “Chamber of Secrets”
Intake: If you are on the hunt for a British motorcycle with a little extra interesting history, Bonhams’ upcoming Spring Sale includes a Sunbeam S7 that was previously owned by Robbie Coltrane. You might not recognize the name at first, but Coltrane is the man under the gigantic beard who played Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies. Coltrane sold the bike in 2003 due to a bad knee keeping him from easily starting the machine, and since then the bike has received a full restoration making it ready for show or riding.
Exhaust: The 489cc twin-cylinder engine is mounted inline with the frame, which likely makes for a fun riding character. If that’s the type of bike you’re into, then that’ll provide more long-term enjoyment than simply hanging value on the previous ownership. It’s also worth noting that this S7 is a later 1950 De Luxe model that benefits from factory changes rolled out in 1949 that aimed to increase reliability. This bike cast an “exploriamus” spell on us, and we’d love to take it on an adventure.