JL Wrangler dons ’70s flair, Sean Connery’s DB5 for sale, mark your Pagani calendar

American Expedition Vehicles

First company to Hemi-swap the Wrangler drops ’70s throwback

Intake: American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), a prominent outfitter for popular off-road platforms such as the Dodge Power Wagon and the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator, introduced a 1970s throwback model at last weekend’s Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona. The JL370 Wrangler Classic (and the matching JT370 Gladiator Classic) incorporate yellow Rubicon lettering on the hood as well as orange and yellow striping along the body, hood, and custom dash panel to evoke the loud feel of many graphic packages found on some of the best ’70s 4x4s. Custom White Salta XR wheels shod in meaty 37-inch BF Goodrich K03 tires ensure plenty of ground clearance, and AEV’s standard stamped steel front bumper houses a Warn winch to lug you or fellow crawlers out of tight spots. The Rubicon’s meaty Dana axles are upgraded with 4.56 gears to handle the upsized tires and a custom DualSport RT suspension system hoists the vehicle an additional 2.5 inches to ensure proper body clearance and even more ground clearance. The package starts at $20,500, and plenty of lighting and gear add-ons ensure you can spec this retro Rubi’ just how you like. AEV says that the package is a limited production affair, so if a ’70s-inspired modern Wrangler stirs your soul, don’t wait to make a move.

Exhaust: The AEV JL370 Wrangler Classic is a nod to the Jeep CJs of the 1970s, and it’s another illustration of how the off-road aftermarket can move faster than the factory: AEV put a V-8 in the Wrangler before Jeep did (as far back as 2012), and it fit the JL Rubicon with 37-inch rubber before the OEM, whose largest current factory-backed options are 35-inchers via the Xtreme Recon package. Though it may arrive fashionably late, Jeep isn’t missing the Rubicon nostalgia fest: At this year’s Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep unveiled the Rubicon 20th Anniversary Concept, a Wrangler Rubicon 392–based creation with a 2-inch lift and—at long last—37-inch BFGs. The concept has a high chance of making it to the production line, which begs the question: Retro throwback from a trusted aftermarket name, or modern celebration straight from the marque itself?

Scott Dixon scores Indy 500 pole in record-breaking attempt

2022 indy 500 qualifying scott dixon record speed pole
Indianapolis Motor Speedway | Matt Fraver

Intake: On Sunday, IndyCar champion Scott Dixon earned his fifth career Indianapolis 500 pole award, aboard his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with the fastest qualifying run ever recorded in the race’s 105-year history. Qualifying for this year’s Indy 500 began on Saturday, with 33 cars, each making a four-lap attempt. The 12 best four-lap averages advanced to Sunday’s Fast Twelve qualifying round. Then, the top six from the dozen qualified a third—and final—time to determine who would lead the field to green next Sunday for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Six-time champ Dixon was last car to qualify in the final round. Despite the immense amount of pressure, “Iceman” Scott Dixon lived up to his name as he delivered a run of the century, with a four-lap average speed of 234.06 mph, which Scott Brayton’s old pole record speed of 233.718 set in 1996.

Exhaust: Dixon’s epic run Sunday pulled the future Hall of Famer even closer to Rick Mear’s record six Indy 500 poles. It should be noted, though, that the all-time speed record comes with a caveat. See, back in 1996, “The Flying Dutchman” Arie Luyendyk posted a run of 236.986 mph on the consolation day of qualifying (under the old format) which precluded the blistering run from the record books. Still, we’re not taking anything away from Dixon, or Chip Ganassi, for that matter, who placed four of his six entries in the final round of qualifying. Rinus Veekay and perennial contender Ed Carpenter carried the Chevrolet banner in qualifying, securing second and fourth position, respectively. Less than a week, now, and we’ll see which driver—and which powerplant—is out front at the end of 500 miles in the 106th running of the Indy 500.

You could bond with Sean Connery’s Aston Martin DB5

Disclaimer: Hagerty has entered into a joint venture with Broad Arrow Group as of January 10, 2022.

Intake: A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 owned by original 007 actor Sir Sean Connery is to be auctioned in California in August. Broad Arrow Auctions will put the Snow Shadow Grey car under the hammer at its Monterey Jet Center sale, where it is estimated to bring between $1.4 and $1.8 million. The DB5 was delivered new to a Mr. A. White in the U.K. in the same year that Goldfinger rocketed a gadget-laden version to screen stardom, however Connery didn’t buy the car until 2018. “Dad used to talk about owning his own DB5, for no other reason than he loved the car,” son Jason Connery says. “He did tell me that driving the movie cars, all laden down with the gadgets, especially the machine guns in the front, made the car really front heavy and turning at slow speed was a Herculean task, so driving without gadgets was a joy! He loved how well balanced it was. Dad also said he would have kept the ejector seat. I didn’t ask who for.” Connery kept the Aston at his home in Switzerland before he passed away in 2020 at the age of 90. Proceeds of the sale are set to go the Sean Connery Philanthropy Fund, and as an additional incentive Sir Jackie Stewart has offered to take the buyer for a drive.

Exhaust: Despite the on-screen image, Connery didn’t share Bond’s taste in metal. Though he had a soft spot for British performance, Leno remembers that Connery—”one of the cheapest guys” he’d ever met—was more taken by the affordable, off-beat Jensen C-V8 and its Chrysler eight-cylinder than he was with the six-cylinder Aston. “We were talking about his Bond car once, the Aston Martin DB5, and he said, in his Scottish brogue, ‘I’m not paying top money for that! You’re crazy!'” Considering that a real 007 movie car is worth five times as much, Connery’s car could be a steal. 

Suzuki’s focus on automotive sector spells end of MotoGP program

suzuki motogp jerez spanish grand prix 2022 exit leave
Instagram | suzukimotogp

Intake: Suzuki is cancelling its MotoGP effort for the second time in the last decade citing a required increase in focus and financial support on Suzuki’s automotive efforts. Interestingly, this puts the team at odd with Dorna, MotoGP’s organizer, over the contract Suzuki signed promising to be in the paddock through the 2026 season. Suzuki claimed in a leaked dealer memo obtained by Cycle World that the exit is currently being negotiated with Dorna, but final details are unknown at this time.

Exhaust: Factory involvement in racing is a constant ebb and flow, even between various series and disciplines. Suzuki’s exit from MotoGP comes as a surprise to many but, in hindsight, the company’s reasoning checks out. Interestingly, one of the big things Suzuki felt the need to clarify was that its exit from the MotoGP paddock is not a signal of its departure from the powersports market. New Suzuki models will continue to be delivered to dealer showrooms and the factory will continue support for MotoAmerica, AMA Supercross, AMA Motocross, and NHRA Pro Stock Drag Racing.

Pagani C10 to debut on September 12

Intake: Pagani has confirmed that its new model will finally be revealed in the fall. The successor to the Huarya (and the Zonda before it) is known as the C10, although we expect a more evocative name to accompany its fanfare launch in Milan on September 12. What we do know is that the car will maintain its AMG V-12 heart for now, although Pagani is also planning an electric version. Just don’t expect that battery-powered version to appear in a hurry; the combustion-powered C10 has been in development since 2017.

Exhaust: As only the third new model since Pagani made its debut at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show, the C10 is keenly anticipated. The spy shots and sketches show little of the architectural beauty that the brand is known for, and we can’t wait to see what kind of barmily bejewelled interior will come with as well. 

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