Petrol Personalities

It’s Not Every Day That You See an Icon Driven by a Legend

Valentino Balboni driving a Lamborghini Miura on Amelia Island
Re-shared from Hooniverse
Text and Photograph by Bryce Womeldurf

Over the weekend, I attended the Amelia Island Cars & Coffee and their 21st annual Concours d’Elegance. While there on Saturday, my wife and I were waiting to be shuttled to our parking area, when a Lamborghini Miura drove by a few times. On one pass, I captured some photographs of it approaching on the straight and rounding the corner. Later that night, looking through the raw files, the driver’s head and face, for some reason, looked very familiar… When I zoomed the image up to full size, I recognized him immediately; the retired legendary Lamborghini chief test driver, Valentino Balboni. Can someone help me get my jaw up off the floor?  (more…)


This CBR1000RR powered Honda S600 is “California Hot Rodding at It’s Best”

Video by Jay Leno’s Garage

Jay Leno’s Garage brings us a new video review of a great old car, progenitor of the Honda S2000, the Honda S600, but this one being a bit more special, was abandoned and taken in by it’s current owner, Matt Brown, who swapped the engine from a 2007 Honda CBR1000RR motorcycle. It even has motorcycle suspension pieces and gauges. Matt Brown claims it’s “more motorcycle than car.” Jay fittingly calls it “California hot rodding at its best” and a fantastic creation from the “more brains than money club.” Check out the video. This little roadster is a screamer!

Denise McCluggage Should Be Your Hero

Denise McCluggage piloting a Ferrari

Re-shared from Road & Track, text by Jason Cammisa, photo Getty + ISC Archives

[The great Denise McCluggage passed away on May 6, 2015. This article was originally posted January 20, 2015, on the occasion of her 88th birthday – The Eds]

Denise McCluggage turns 88 today. As my personal way of wishing her a happy birthday, I’ll tell you a story.

It’s the Streets of Willow Raceway, June of 2007. I’m here to drive a Mercedes CLK63 AMG Black Series. This is the first time I’m on a racetrack with other journalists. I expect to be the slowest of the bunch and I expect the AMG to be terrible. I am wrong on both counts. The Black Series is incredible—the first heavy modern car I’ve ever experienced go perfectly neutral at its limit. It refuses to understeer. It refuses to not be incredible. It refuses to refuse to do whatever you ask of it. I am in immediate love with the car, I’m pushing as hard as I can, and I’m passing everybody.

Almost everybody. There is one car out there driving at my pace, and I do everything I can to catch it. (more…)

What a TopGear Presenter Should Be


Re-shared from Smallblog V8, text by Michael Gooderham

Regardless of cyber whining or anything else, TopGear “Mk.2” (2002-2015) is dead. Its metabolic processes are now history. It’s off the twig. It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off the mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. It is an ex-programme. The features that were prepared for the final three episodes will be shown, somehow, somewhere – probably iPlayer – and with that, back to the studio in the sky.

But don’t worry, because they’re going to reboot it next year! Just because the four key people in creating it and making it great are no longer involved, doesn’t mean the BBC can stop making a show that basically prints money. However, before they can find out how much of that money-printing ability was down to The Tall One, The Short One, The Slow One and The Lucky Underpants One, there’s the rather thorny issue of figuring out who their replacements are. I don’t know who to replace Andy Wilman with, but the presenters? Well, now… (more…)

Lamborghini’s Founder was a Man Obsessed with Purposeful Perfection

Ferruccio Lamborghini
Re-shared from Petrolicious, text by Ryan Connolly

Ferruccio Lamborghini was a blue-collar visionary, the type of man who all Petrolisti aspire to be. He built fast cars, made a bunch of money, and never even needed to incur a dime of student loan debt to do so. I kid, I kid. Ferruccio Lamborghini’s lasting legacy stems from his work as a supercar builder, but despite his name adorning the rumps of Miuras and Aventadors from Bogota to Beijing, Lamborghini Automobili was simply the cherry on top of Ferruccio’s empire. (more…)