Before the Dodge Chargers were dragging safes through Rio in improbable bank heists, before the orange Toyota Supra, before living your life a quarter-mile at a time, before Dom and Letty and Brian, there was just Stephan Papadakis, his friends, and Los Angeles. They weren’t interested in bar hopping or clubbing or what everyone else their age was doing. They were interested in cars, deserted streets and going fast. They liked to race, and there wasn’t an easier place or time for it than LA in the early 1990s. These were the Rodney King years, when crime, racial tension and police brutality were at a boiling point. Out of that atmosphere, Papadakis would rise to become a legend in drag racing history, shattering front-wheel drive records in his little yellow Hondas, proving that these underestimated tuner cars had real performance potential. Today, Papadakis runs a successful race shop that bears his name, but his ascent into legalized motorsports had beginnings in … [Read more...] about How LA’s Underground Street Racing Scene and The Fast And The Furious Grew Up
Why street racing is illegal
An illegal street race between a Lamborghini Murcielago and several Ferraris in southern Germany turned fatal yesterday, when the Lamborghini crashed and burned. The Murcielago veered off the road, slammed into an embankment, lifted into the air, and bounced back onto the highway from which it came, whereupon it burst into flames, according to 7aktuell.de. The two occupants inside, a couple, were killed in the ensuing conflagration, according to Bild (warning, you can see pictures of the wreck at that link. It's just pictures of a flaming and burned-out shell of a Lamborghini, but two people did die in it). They left behind a child. This is why street racing isn't just illegal, it's horrible, it kills, and it leaves behind loved ones. Don't do it. H/t to Kai! Photo credit: Paul Cook … [Read more...] about Supercar Street Race Turns Fatal When Lamborghini Crashes, Burns
Tesla's always been for weirdos. For nerds. For technogeeks, and the kind of people that read Gizmodo. For Tesla Man. But judging by the amount of videos we've been inundated with over the past few weeks (at least three or four!), is the Tesla Model S P85D the first electric car ever truly loved by street racing hooligans? We don't normally like to post videos of street racing, because they're pretty much universally stupid. But if there's one hallmark of a car taking over humanity's collective automotive subconscious, it's the posting of videos on the internet of people doing dubious (and often illegal) things. Like the video up top of one person racing their D against a Ferrari, and another below against a Lamborghini: And another against a BMW M4: And this guy, who just likes to launch up to 104 MPH: Or this one, who just likes to show he can go fast in the rain: If you spend any more than three seconds on Youtube searching for videos on the Tesla Model S P85D, plenty of these … [Read more...] about Why Are All These Tesla Owners Recording Themselves Breaking The Law?
Several National Hot Rod Asscoation drag racers who appeared on the worst idea for a show ever, Street Outlaws, have been warned that their competition license may be suspended for going on the show. Problem is, several members are still booked to appear on the show and this sudden change in policy enforcement comes at just the wrong time. Street Outlaws is awful even by Discovery standards. And I'm talking about a network that had an Eaten Alive special where a guy didn't even get eaten alive. We live in an era of television where Geordie Shore exists. That's right: we don't just have Jersey Shore, we have knock-offs in other countries. Oh, and I can watch that Flipping Las Vegas lady install marble countertops in a former crack-house in the 'hood. (Anybody else guilt-binge-watch that one to look at the company owner's cars? Dude's a Porsche guy, but I digress.) We have cameras following random "housewives" for no good reason in an attempt to rile up some drama-llamas who can put your … [Read more...] about NHRA Cracks Down On The Dumbest Fake Street Racing Show On Television
As is common every few years, a new Fast and Furious movie is upon us. The new one seems to be about explosions and car hacking and another absurd vehicular heist, based on the trailer. This is a far cry from the Fast and Furious movies of my youth, which were mostly about NOS and gear shifting and tuna sandwiches. Why did this happen? More importantly, how did it happen? Literally the only thing worth reading on the internet today is this ambitious project from Bloomberg, titled “The Stats of the Furious,” which meticulously tracks how the series has transformed over the years in terms of box office revenue, length, fight scenes, Coronas consumed, racing time, NOS usage, speedometer/tachometer shots, and more. It is vital data journalism. Why is there less street racing? Obviously, building a series around a dangerous, illegal and frowned-upon activity like street racing (as if vehicular heists are any less dangerous, illegal and frowned-upon) has limited returns. So … [Read more...] about These Graphics Chart The Decline In Street Races And NOS In Fast And Furious Movies