Hennessey’s 10,000th car is an 808-horsepower Ford Mustang

Hennessey

The folks at Hennessey Performance Engineering based in Sealy, Texas have been building fast cars since 1991. They’ve now unveiled their 10,000th build: the 2019 Hennessey Heritage Edition Ford Mustang.

It features Hennessey’s HPE800 upgrade designed for the current Mustang GT, but this special edition, limited to just 19 units, also comes with a number of special features.

 

First and foremost, the car dons a unique livery inspired by the design of a 2018 Ford GT Heritage Edition supercar that Hennessey took delivery of earlier this year. Both cars even feature the same “1” racing number donning their flanks.

Hennessey’s special Mustang, which is officially known as the Hennessey Heritage Edition Ford Mustang, also sports a bevy of unique carbon fiber elements including its front splitter, side skirts, rear spoiler, and engine coilpack covers.

 

It sits on lowered suspension and a set of 20-inch forged wheels developed in-house at Hennessey. Wrapped around each wheel is Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber. Stopping power meanwhile comes Brembo brakes with available 15.1-inch rotors at all four corners.

The most impressive part of the package of course is its powertrain. Thanks to a new 3.0-liter supercharger attached to the donor Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V-8, along with all of the associated plumbing, the car is rated at 808 horsepower and 677 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough to see the 0-60 mph run completed in 3.3 seconds and the top speed reach just over 200 mph.

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As mentioned, just 19 examples will be built, each priced from $89,950. Each of the turnkey cars will also come with a serial numbered dash plaque and engine plaque, letter of authenticity, and personal letter of gratitude from Hennessey CEO and founder John Hennessey.

Hennessey has managed to build a wide variety of performance cars over the past 27 years, including hypercars and six-wheeled pickups. By the company’s calculations, its vehicles have averaged about 650 hp in their power ratings over the years.

“We are very grateful to our customers, team members, dealers, family and friends who’ve shared and supported our passion for building powerful, fast, fun vehicles for the past 27 years,” John Hennessey said in a statement. “This is an exciting time for the company and we look forward to building the next 10,000 Hennessey cars and trucks in the years to come.”

Ram is recalling 1.1 million pickups because their tailgates might open unintentionally

Ram

Ram is recalling 1.1 million pickups in the U.S. because their tailgates may fly open while the trucks are in motion.

The safety campaign affects 2015 to 2017 model year Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks equipped with power locks. Trucks with manual locks or 8-foot beds are excluded.

An additional 300,000 trucks are being recalled in Canada.

The danger posed is that cargo could potentially fall out of the back and strike other vehicles, although there have been no reports of any accidents related to the issue. Nevertheless, Ram parent Fiat Chrysler has received over 5,800 complaints.

The recall is scheduled to begin on Sept. 14, and Ram urges all owners to make sure to secure any cargo stored in their truck’s bed.

The new 2019 model year 1500 is not included as it uses a different tailgate design.

New York motorcyclist crashes and dies trying to outrun police

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A motorcyclist trying to outrun a police officer who was trying to pull him over for speeding crashed and died outside Buffalo on Thursday night.

Nathan J. Knab and another rider were spotted by a state trooper as they were going over 100 mph on Route 100 just after 10 pm, according to police.

When the patrol car began to pursue them, both bikers began to flee, with one continuing down the highway as Knab turned onto an exit ramp onto Transit Road in Depew, lost control and hit a guardrail, police said.

Knab was thrown from his motorcycle in the accident and brought to Erie County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have not said if they have identified and contacted the other motorcyclist, WKBW reported.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

$4.5 million classic car fraud scheme shut down by FBI

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As classic cars become more than just aspirational items and more investment pieces, buyers should always stay vigilant. Today, it’s easy for criminals to scam would-be buyers out of a sale with a little creativity and the Internet. Many enthusiasts found that out the hard way over the past two years.

The FBI and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York exposed a $4.5 million classic car fraud ring and unsealed an indictment detailing the criminals’ doing last month. In total, 25 defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering.

The criminals, most of Eastern European descent, launched the nationwide fraud ring in November 2016 and the criminal activity continued through July of 2018. U.S. officials said the scheme involved posting fake classic car ads online, luring buyers, and setting up shell corporations to transfer money out of the U.S.

Victims responded to ads for various classic cars on popular car sale sites, and once the two parties agreed on a final price, the defendants would direct  the buyers to automotive transportation companies. The transport companies were actually the shell corporations ready to receive payment and wait for one of the 25 criminals to withdraw the funds. Victims never received the car they thought was being delivered.

Upon receiving payment, the group would begin withdrawing money from the shell corporations’ bank accounts sometimes the same day victims wired money. The group worked to ensure withdrawals were in varied denominations to not tip off financial institutions or authorities to the illegal activity. The money was then sent to various Eastern European countries. Most of the victims were never able to recover the money sent and some have been left paying for auto loans without ever purchasing a car.

Each defendant could be in for up to 50 years in prison for their crimes and victims will be eligible for restitution.

F1 legend Niki Lauda has emergency lung transplant at 69

AP

Three-time Formula One World Champion Niki Lauda is recovering from an emergency lung transplant Thursday at age 69.

The Vienna General Hospital said the procedure was needed due to a “serious lung illness” that The Österreich reported came after an infection the Austrian picked up while on vacation in Ibiza, Spain.

Lauda was severely burned in an accident at the 1976 German Grand Prix and had fluid vacuumed from his lungs so he could return to racing in just six weeks, an event chronicled in the Ron Howard-directed film “Rush,” which stared Daniel Brühl as Lauda.

Lauda has also had two kidney transplants, which the newspaper said restricts what medicines he can take during his treatment. His current condition is said to be improving, but is still precarious.

The 1975 driver’s champion went on to win his second title in 1977 and a third in 1984, while running his own airline, Lauda Air. He currently owns 10 percent of the Mercedes-AMG F1 team and acts as its non-executive chairman.

1958 Bentley stolen by Saddam Hussein and destroyed in Iraq War restored in USA

saddam

Of all the perfectly turned-out classics we saw gracing the lawn at the Inn at St. John’s for this year’s Concours of America, none could top the backstory of this 1958 Bentley S1 Continental. Rescued by Jim and Patty George of Clinton Township, Michigan, this sporting four-place convertible coupe was originally sold to an Iraqi crown prince. It logged barely 10,000 miles during its star-crossed Iraqi days.

That’s probably the least interesting part. It was eventually confiscated from its rightful owner by Saddam Hussein. We’ll get to that. First a brief history.

Upon its introduction, Britain’s Autocar exclaimed, “The new Bentley offers a combination of safety, comfort, and performance beyond the imagination of most of the world’s motorists.” Period documentation indicates that the Park Ward coachwork over the Bentley’s chassis cost Prince Abd al-Ilah of Hejaz the equivalent of $13,000 in 1958—or $112,000 with 60 years of inflation factored in. The 4.9-liter inline-six F-head engine produced 178 horsepower and was teamed with a four-speed Hydramatic, good for a top speed of 120 mph. The standard equipment list included power steering, automatic transmission, two-mode rear dampers, radio, Connolly Vaumol leather trim, and fold-down rear back rest. Only 31 S1 Continentals were configured with left-hand drive.

The Bentley left England with a silver metallic exterior, but Prince Abd al-llah only had a few months to enjoy it; he was killed in the 1958 Iraqi coup d’état on July 14 that year. Ten years later the car was acquired by Baghdad businessman named Janabi, who painted it white to use for his son’s wedding. The car then appeared in the 1992 Iraqi film King Ghazi, which garnered the attention of dictator Saddam Hussein. Saddam allegedly first offered to buy the car, but after several refusals simply took the Bentley for his own collection and applied a silver and blue two-tone paint.

In the aftermath of the second Iraq war and the fall of the Hussein regime, the general mayhem reached the Bentley and the car was mutilated by several bullet holes and even received some axe wounds. On the bright side, Janabi wisely kept registration documents and he was eventually restored as the car’s rightful owner when hostilities subsided. Jim George purchased the tattered remains in 2015 and shipped them to Florida for a 17-month stay at Richard Gorman’s Vantage Motor Works in North Miami.

Craftsmen overhauled the engine, replaced broken glass, filled half-a-dozen bullet holes, straightened the aluminum bodywork, refurbished the slashed upholstery and splintered dash, installed a new fully-lined convertible top, and painted the Bentley the same silver metallic hue it was born with. To commence its second life in style, the car appeared at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Based on its unique history, current condition, and sales of like cars, the Georges’ Bentley is worth at least $2 million.

George, a retired real estate developer, loves sharing his collection of two dozen keepsakes with classic car enthusiasts. No fan of trailer queens, he adds: “Weather permitting, I drive at least one of my cars every day.”

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Test: Chip On Its Shoulder

We’ve tested nearly half a dozen first-gen EcoBoost Mustangs around here, so we’re pretty familiar with how the car drives and performs. The 2018 model, a midlife refresh, has picked up a 10-speed automatic, an extra 30 lb-ft of torque, and a whole lot more attitude.

See nearly 300 images of the sixth-generation Mustang taken by Motor Trend photographers right here

To date, the EcoBoost-equipped Mustang has been a confident performer, especially equipped with the optional Performance package. In a comparison test against the turbo four-cylinder Camaro, I wrote it “can be driven as fast as its motor will carry it down a winding road with complete confidence.” Apparently, that’s too tame for the Mustang engineering team. This new car drives like it has something to prove.

It’s obvious the moment you start driving the car hard. The optional limited-slip differential locks up aggressively, and the optional summer tires don’t always have the grip to handle it. You must be careful with the throttle in tight corners; it will try to put all 350 lb-ft down at once and pop you sideways. Leave the stability control on until you’re familiar with the car because it’ll let you rotate more than you expect before it steps in. This car now requires a delicate touch. Manhandling it turns a race horse into a bucking bronco.

You can make life easier on yourself by staying away from the Sport+ and Race driving modes. Both make the throttle hyperaggressive and the steering too heavy, making it needlessly difficult to drive the car smoothly. Those modes also lock out the selectable steering settings, so you can’t customize the car to your taste. Sport or Custom modes are best but don’t let you change the firmness of the optional magnetorheological dampers, which work best in Sport+ and Race. In Sport and Custom, they leave the car underdamped and a little too bouncy for serious driving.

 

The new 10-speed auto is one thing that doesn’t need fixing on the street. On our favorite roads, it was perfect. Even with its software update, the EcoBoost still runs out of breath at high rpm, but you wouldn’t know it because this transmission knows exactly how to use all its gears to keep the engine in the meat of its power. That include both shifting at the horsepower peak and downshifting under braking so you’re right at the torque peak when you’re ready to accelerate out of the corner.

Regardless of which mode you prefer or how you dial in the settings, there’s no denying the EcoBoost Mustang is damn quick on a back road once you figure out how to drive it right. It’s a sweaty-palms experience, but it’ll surprise a lot of fast cars.

This was born out at the test track, as well. At 5.3 seconds to 60 mph and 13.9 seconds in the quarter at 97.2 mph, this is the quickest EcoBoost Mustang we’ve ever tested and nicely reverses a trend we discovered and reported of EcoBoost Mustangs getting slower. Our test team found Drag Strip mode, unsurprisingly, returned the best results, though it surprisingly doesn’t have launch control. A little brake torque up to 1,500 rpm netted the best launch. If you’re curious, the last V-8 Mustang we tested hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and ran a 12.6-second quarter mile at 115.1 mph.

We’ve long praised the EcoBoost Mustang’s braking for being stronger and more precise than you’d expect in what is now the base model, and this one is no exception. Its stop from 60 mph in 106 feet is right on par with its predecessors.

Things didn’t go so well in our handling tests, though. Pulling 0.96 g on the skidpad and lapping the figure eight in 25.1 seconds at 0.75 g average, it did about as well as the last EcoBoost with an automatic transmission we tested. Thing is, it’s significantly slower and pulling a lot less g than the best EcoBoost Mustang we’ve tested, and it’s not just the numbers. The test team reports things started out all right, with great braking, good road holding, and strong traction coming off the corners, but the laps were still nearly a second off the pace. Going for another try, everything “went pear-shaped,” as the notes have it. “Times did not improve, and the transmission started really hiccupping,” our test team wrote. “A couple of times, after pulling the paddle for a downshift, it literally freewheeled, no throttle response, as if it was in neutral. Then it popped into second and the revs jumped (no matched revving), and it totally upset the car. Also, I don’t think the LSD was working properly because going to throttle at the same rate in the same place spun the car once—a really slow-mo spin, but still it was a surprise.” No doubt, our Figure Eight test is very hard on cars, but these sorts of things don’t usually happen.

The test team’s notes end with, “Feels like a good eight-tenths car, but ask ten-tenths and it won’t like it.” Which, really, kind of jibes with our road impressions. Although we had no mechanical issues on the road, the car did not like to be driven to within an inch of its capability. My own notes read, verbatim: “This thing grabs you by the collar and screams in your face, ‘I’m sporty, mother******!’ It’s like trying to wheel a classic Mustang hard. You’ve gotta know what you’re doing.”

Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen

It has been about seven years since Ford redesigned the Focus, and despite receiving an update for 2015, it feels a little outdated. Past spy shots have shown that Ford is hard at work developing a new Focus, but it hasn’t been clear when the car would officially be revealed. Based on these photos, that date is probably just around the corner.

Our spy photographer caught this Focus sedan prototype on the road in Europe, and while they’re technically spy shots, it’s clear Ford wanted this car to be seen. Instead of wearing traditional camouflage, the car is covered in a bright, colorful wrap with comics. Really, we shouldn’t even call it a prototype since it’s being used as more of a marketing vehicle.

From what we can see, the new Focus is curvier and looks a little more mature than the current car, while the headlights and taillights have a more upmarket feel. Of course, it also looks a lot like the Focus hatchback that was caught completely undisguised last month.

Ford has yet to confirm an exact date for the official reveal, but we do know the new Focus won’t be shown at the New York Auto Show. Last we heard, it will get an event of its own somewhere in Europe next month.

2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante Put to the Test on Ignition

Get ready to go fast—really, really fast. On this new episode of Ignition presented by Tire Rack, raging bull believer Jonny Lieberman sets out to convince doubting Jethro Bovingdon that the wind-cheating Huracán Performante really is as good as Lamborghini says it is.

Remember, Lambo showed the world a Nürburgring lap time of 6:52.01, at the time a record-breaking run that was 4.99 seconds quicker than the Porsche 918 Spyder.

The plan is of course to hand the Performante over to pro driver Randy Pobst, the man who set the Big Willow lap record of 1:23.54, to see what he can make of the bright green beastie.

If the Performante can beat the 918 on Big Willow, then surely that would verify it did the deed on the ’Ring. However, before they get to the track, Bovingdon and Lieberman have a little driving to do themselves.

 

Does the Performante do the numbers? Watch and find on the 190th episode of Ignition live now on Motor Trend OnDemand.

Footwear company Nine West files for bankruptcy and will sell some brands

A woman enters a Nine West store in New York.

U.S. footwear and apparel company Nine West filed for bankruptcy on Friday and said it would sell its Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag business to Authentic Brands Group.

Nine West, which owns brands such as Anne Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt, said it had received $300 million in debtor-in-possession financing and had entered a restructuring agreement.

The company, which had missed a debt interest payment in March, now plans to focus on its apparel, jewelry and jeanswear businesses.

Reuters had reported of Nine West’s plans on Thursday and sources had said the company had about $1.5 billion in debt.

U.S. retailers are going through a period of upheaval, with more than 15 filing for bankruptcy last year unable to stand up to competition from online shopping.

Nine West listed assets in the range of $500 million to $1 billion, according to a court filing. The filing also stated Nine West’s liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion.