This weekend’s Pod Rods goes under the sea with something designed by Aston Martin; laps the ‘Ring with something Italian; sits center seat with something British; and checks out some EV action in Jacksonville.


Plus we ring you the weekly automotive event calendar:

— Aston Martin has collaborated with Triton Submarines LLC to design a sexy sub. Codenamed Project Neptune, the venture enables Aston Martin to grow the brand into new aspects of the luxury world, with the underwater performance and elegance “one has come to expect from the British marque,” it says. Founded in Florida by L. Bruce Jones and Patrick Lahey, the team at Triton make deep-diving submersibles. Project Neptune takes Triton’s Low Profile (LP) three-person platform as a basis of Aston Martin’s design language.Of course, no word officially on how much this sexy sub might cost.

— The folks at McLaren showed off an unusual car in camouflage this week, with the Facebook question, “There’s something very unusual about this 720S. Can you guess why?” Then it showed someone driving that secret car from a center seat, with the comment, “Another clue.”

The test mule, based on the current McLaren 720S, is part of testing for the company’s upcoming BP23 hypercar. The center driving position is homage to its McLaren F1, McLaren’s first supercar, only 108 made from its birth 25 years ago through 1998 with a 6.1-liter V-12 with 535 hp and a top speed of 240 mph.

Top Gear magazine got to play with the center seat test mule, and here’s the link. Top Gear says the real BP23 really has nothing in common with the test mule other than the center seat, which will have twin flanking passenger seats like the McLaren GT did. Whatever powertrain the BP23 will have will come in later test cars.

— The silent future was gathered near EverBank Field Thursday as dozens of electric and hybrid car owners gathered for the fourth annual North Florida Drive Electric rally in a parking lot across from Intuition Ale Works. The event, hosted by North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, JEA, Clean Fuels Coalition and Sierra Club, showcased pure electric cars like the Tesla Model S and Model X SUV as well as the new Chevrolet Bolt, joined by a BMW i3 compact and some Ford C-Max energi and Chevrolet Volts plug-in hybrids. Those interested in electric cars learned about JEA’s rebates, all part of National Drive Electric Week.

— Chevrolet celebrates an anniversary pretty soon - the 100th birthday of its first truck, the 1918 One-Ton, setting the stage for a century of iconic trucks. To commemorate this milestone, the brand is looking back on 10 of the most iconic designs in Chevy truck history.

“Today, the Chevrolet truck design studio is focused on purposeful design that creates personality and customization options for a wide breadth of truck customers,” said Rich Scheer, director of Exterior Design for Chevy Trucks. “Looking back on the past century of truck design, I realized that Chevrolet designers have been focused on the same goals since the very beginning.”

Those trucks began with the 1918 One-Ton, which Scheer said was its first production truck and designed as a rolling chassis featuring an open cab, an inline four-cylinder engine and an open frame allowing customers to install the body that fit their needs. The most iconic truck in its past century may be the 1947 3100 Series, which Scheer said saw advertisers coin the phrase “Advance Design,” because it was bigger, stronger and sleeker than ever before with a five-bar horizontal grille.

— Rallycross driver Ken Block has a really wild ride that sort-of looks like a 1965 Mustang notchback coupe. Called the Hoonicorn, the carbon-fiber-bodied all-wheel-drive machine has about 1,400 horsepower and has taken on London’s streets as well as some other wild rides. But as Block tweeted this week, “The best part about filming #ClimbkhanaPikesPeak: lots of seat time in this beast, my ’65 Ford.” Yes, that’s right — Block hung his twin-turbo Hoonicorn on the ragged edge smokily drifting up Pikes Peak’s twisting 14,000-foot-high ride to the sky. Check it out at

— Alfa Romeo tweeted some photos of a camouflaged SUV and the following: “There’s a new King of The ‘Ring – the Stelvio Quadrifoglio laps Nürburgring in a record 7 min & 51.7 sec – the fastest SUV in the world. And it backed it up with a video of that camo SUV, linked here. Top Gear magazine says the Stelvio Quadrifoglio lapped the notoriuos German race track eight seconds faster than the previous production SUV record, which was done by a Porsche Cayenne Turbo.^

— We checked out the trial run of the Hemming Park Classic Car Cruise-in on Sept. 22, held by Sunshine State Chevelles. Along with food trucks and kid’s games, there were about 25 hot rods, classics and customs arrayed throughout the historic city square outside of City Hall, the Main Library and Museum of Contemporary Art. The Grease Rags Gals rolled in to join the event, with Chevelles club president Chris Conover as DJ. The event is proposed as a monthly cruise-in on the fourth Friday of each month.

— Mercedes-Benz showed off a sketch of its latest design, but it’s not a luxury car — it’s an update on its venerable Sprinter, unveiled at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta. Targeted for initial launch in early 2018 in Europe, other markets will follow. Mercedes gave few details on the new commercial van other than the sketch. But the new Sprinter will be ultimately be built in the company’s new North Charleston plant now under construction.

Fall is in the air - maybe - and that means more car events coming on the calendar:

Benefit motorcycle ride:

Jacksonville’s M.A.D. D.A.D.S (Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder) hold its 11th annual Motorcycle Ride For Life Saturday, traveling past sites where victims have been murdered. The anti-crime organization will kick off its annual ride at 11 a.m. at Adamec Harley-Davidson at 8909 Baymeadows Road, registration starting at 9 a.m. and$10 per motorcycle, and $5 more for a passenger. The police-escorted ride rumbles into the city’s Southside and Arlington, then over the St. Johns River to the city’s Northside before ending at the Florida Riders Restaurant at 243 Edgewood Ave. S. M.A.D. D.A.D.S will volunteers pass out fliers with information on recent murders and urge anyone with information to tell police. For more information, call M.A.D D.A.D.S founder Donald Foy at (904) 718-1649.

Car Shows:

• 31st annual Cruisin’ to the Creek Car and Truck Show to benefit Ronald McDonald House: The First Coast Car Council’s biggest annual event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Trout Creek Fish Camp at 6550 Florida 13 in northwest St. Johns County, just past the Florida 16 bridge. Free to spectators and $30 for show vehicles day of show. For information, go to

• Hilliard Car Show: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Hilliard Middle/Senior High School at 1 Flashes Drive in Hilliard. Free to spectators and $20 per show vehicle.

• Third annual Jax Hot Rod Autorama: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at First Baptist Church of Middleburg, 2645 Blanding Blvd. Free for spectators, $25 for motorcycles and $30 for show cars.Cruy


• Informal cruise-in: 7 to 9 a.m. every Saturday in Mandarin near Panera Bread in the Riverplace Shopping Center, 11111 San Jose Blvd.

• Sunshine State Chevelles fifth Saturday cruise-in: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at National Carburetors, 6500 Bowden Road, in the business park off Salisbury Road.

• Cars & Coffee Indoors: 8-10 a.m. Sunday at Vaughn Motorgroup, 11350 San Jose Blvd. Visit for more information.

• Amelia Cruizers: 5 to 8 p.m. each third and fifth Saturdays at Dick’s Wings and Grill, 474313 Florida A1A, in Yulee. Info:

• Automotive Addicts Cars & Coffee: This cruise-in hits the road next month as it joins the Jacksonville Jaguars to stage at EverBank Field. The show will be held from 7 a.m. until noon Saturday, Oct. 14, on lots C and D on the stadium’s east side. The show is free to the public. For information, visit

Send information on automotive and motorcycle events to or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville FL 32202.