Powerful cars fueld by gas and batteries lead the news this week in Pod Rods, while a classic muscle car is up for auction, and some wild stuff announced for next March’s Amelia Island Concours.


Plus, a packed car event calendar.

— All hail the return of the King — Corvette, that is. Chevrolet unveiled its 2019 Corvette ZR1 this week, calling it a supercar that pushes the marque’s performance legacy with “the highest power, greatest track performance and most advanced technology in its production history.” The sixth-generation ZR1 gets a supercharged LT5 V-8 rated at an SAE-certified 755 horsepower, with 715 pound-feet of torque. The ZR1 also comes with two wind tunnel-honed aerodynamics packages, including an available High Wing that provides an estimated 950 pounds of downforce. Along with GM’s first dual-fuel-injection system, the ZR1 is offered with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. Its new front fascia is designed to channel air for propulsion-system and drivetrain cooling, with four new radiators, bringing the heat-exchanger total to 13. A special carbon-fiber “halo” hood is open in the middle to clear the LT5 engine’s supercharger/intercooler assembly. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 goes on sale next spring; no price tag attached just yet.

— Speaking of American supercars, the first Shelby GT350 is going up for sale Jan. 13 to 15 at the next Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale — and it has a vinyl roof! Chassis #SFM6S001 is a pre-production prototype, the very first 1966 Shelby GT350 built as documented in the SAAC Shelby American World Registry. It’s powered by a matching-numbers high-performance 289 cubic-inch V-8, with four-speed T10 manual transmission. Conceived and built to homologate Ford’s wildly successful Mustang for SCCA competition, Carroll Shelby’s original GT350 exemplified Ford’s “total performance” mantra and conferred an unbeatable image on the trendsetting new Pony car. A primary Shelby American test car used for most of the driving tests in the development program, it was also used to evaluate a vinyl roof treatment, which was never an option. It began life as a factory-standard, Wimbledon White K-code high-performance 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback. For more information, go to the Barrett-Jackson website at barrett-jackson.com.

— The iconic custom cars of “Big Daddy” Ed Roth are coming to the next Amelia island Concours d’Elegance March 9 to 11. That includes the Beatnik Bandit, Orbitron and some other wild hot rods. Roth was a legend who created some of the most outrageous, reality-bending customs. Born in 1932, Roth’s first car was a 1933 Ford coupe bought at the age of 13. His custom cars, his T-shirts and his art defined what came to be known as “counter culture.” Ed was part engineer, part mad scientist and artist all at once, also known for his iconic “Rat Fink” character — a drooling, bug-eyed rodent, that he claimed was his anti-Mickey Mouse.

“The custom car era of the 1950s and 1960s was an interesting mutation of the ‘dream car’ epoch that swept through the Big Three and the hot rod scene of that time,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance “Roth pushed things well beyond the edge of the envelope. Then he tore up the envelope. His customs were three dimensional versions of his cartoons. This is going to be fun. Weird, but fun.”

The collection of Beau Boeckmann, the Petersen Automotive Museum and the National Automobile Museum in Reno are providing the vehicles for display. The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island , event proceeds benefitting Community Hospice and Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local charities. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org.

— Tesla had some major announcements this week, first with a new sports car, then with something way, way bigger.

First to roll out was the Tesla Semi, which company founder Elon Musk called the safest, most comfortable truck ever. Four independent motors provide power and acceleration claimed to hit 60 mph in 20 seconds fully loaded. It can maintain 65 mph up a 5 percent grade, and have a range of 300 or 500 miles. It will have an “Enhanced Autopilot” to help avoid collisions, the driver in a centered position.

Then Musk surprised folks with a brand new Roadster, more a 4-seat electric coupe with a targa-style removable top. Musk claims it will be the world’s fastest production car. Here’s Tesla’s official video link. He claimed the base model will hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, make it to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and trip the quarter mile in 8.9 seconds. It will have a 200kWh battery pack with more than 600 miles range. It will be all-wheel drive.

— Aston Martin has a new evolution of its stunning hypre-exotic Valkyrie. Called the Valkyrie AMR Pro, it is a track-only hypercar designed by Adrian Newey, the most successful Formula One designer of all-time. It is also the product of the unique collaboration between Aston Martin, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing. The hypercar’s naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter Cosworth-built V-12 engine develops more power and torque - exact figures released in due course - thanks to a significant engine recalibration and the modification of the road car’s emission control systems. The output of the Rimac Energy Recovery System remains unchanged, but its control systems will be re-programmed. All aerodynamic surfaces have been revised in the pursuit of significantly increased downforce. If you want one, only 25 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pros will be built. Deliveries are expected in 2020. All cars are sold.

— Alfa Romeo’s Giulia Quadrifoglio sports sedan won ‘Performance Car of the Year (under 100,000 pounds) at Octane Magazine’s 2017 motoring awards ceremony. The Italian marque scooped the top prize as Octane Magazine recognised the elite of the international historic motoring world at a glittering ceremony at London’s Globe Theatre. The category was judged by a panel of car experts, including TV host Jay Leno, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell.

Fall weather brings out the cars shows and cruise-ins, and here’s what happening:


• Dixie Chapter Pontiac Club’s Fall Classic: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Nov. 18, at The Avenues mall, 10300 Southside Blvd. Free for spectators and $30 per show vehicle.

• Ancient City Auto Club Autoshow: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind at 207 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine. Free for spectators and $25 per show vehicle.

• Barbecue for the Troops: Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Nimnicht Chevrolet, 1550 Cassat Ave. The event raises awareness and funds for local troops and their families during Military Family Appreciation Month, with free food. All funds raised help the USO.

• Florida International Rally and Motorsport Park Open Track Days: Every Saturday at the on-road and off-road racing and testing facility located at 7266 Airport Road in Starke. The track days allow car owners to test their setup and improve driving skills. The cost is $214 per driver in advance, or $250 the day of the event. Guests and crew pay $10 each to enter. Online registration ends at 11 p.m. the day prior to each event. For more information on all events at The FIRM, go to gorally.com.


• New location for the weekly Saturday morning informal cruise-in in Mandarin: 7 to 9 a.m. at Village Bread Cafe at the Crown Point Plaza at 10111 San Jose Blvd.

• Sunshine State Chevelles’ third Saturday cruise-in: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at PDQ restaurant, located at 194 Florida 13 in Saint Johns. This is a new cruise-in.

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

• Callahan Cruisers: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Sonic Drive-In at 7045 Normandy Blvd. in Jacksonville.

• Jax Beach Classic Car Cruise: Held from 5 to 8 p.m. every third Tuesday at the Sea Walk Pavilion and Latham Plaza between 1st and 2nd Street. Other attendees are encouraged to use the public parking lot adjacent to Latham Plaza. Information: betterjaxbeach.com.

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

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