ZINIO logo
Road & Track

Road & Track April/May 2021

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

Read More
United States

in this issue

16 min
the mad canadian

ON OCTOBER 5, 1979, a wild-eyed bearded man climbs into a yellow rocket-powered Lincoln Continental, presses the pedal down, and drives off the end of a 1400-foot ramp at 180 mph—about 100 mph too slow—at which point the chutes come out, the wings fold up, the body blows off, and he plummets into the St. Lawrence River. It was Ken “The Mad Canadian” Carter’s dream to jump a car one mile over the St. Lawrence to land in the roses on Ogden Island, New York, thus proving him to be the greatest daredevil in a world crowded with daredevils. He spent four years and over one million dollars to do it. In the end, the car barely made it 506 feet from the launch point. And it wasn’t Ken Carter behind…

1 min
route to vine august 4-7, 2021 northern ca

+ Hit the track at Sonoma Raceway for private autocross and hot laps in Road & Track’s top performance car picks with editors and special guests. + Wind through Wine Country and take in picturesque views along a curated route bending through Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. + Pair fine California blends with private guided tours of the most impressive automotive collections at local estates, including Far Niente Winery and Boeschen Vineyards. + Downshift and explore NorCal in a hot air balloon, with pit stops at 5-star resorts including the spa at Montage Healdsburg and Auberge du Soleil. PLUS, INTRODUCING AN ADDITIONAL ONE-DAY EXPERIENCE: VICTORY LAP | AUGUST 5, 2021 A one-day outing on the track at Sonoma Raceway — complete with community, competition, conversations with editors, and more! Please note: Dates and itinerary are subject to…

9 min
ferdinand’s biggest bet

MANY AUTO COMPANIES have created spectacular engines. Bugatti’s most modern incarnation is likely unique in having reversed that equation. This was a car company built around an engine—and not even the one its cars ended up using. The origin story really does involve a sketch on the back of an envelope, the one on which Volkswagen boss Ferdinand Piëch scribbled his proposal for an 18cylinder powerplant in 1997. At the same time, he was leading VW through its empire-building expansion, crushing his enemies and delighting in the lamentations of their women. The company was then also deep in negotiations to buy Rolls-Royce. Piëch seems to have been thinking of a motor worthy of this proposed acquisition. Yet this would be one of the few battles in the auto executive game of Risk…

17 min
my riskiest moment

Racing is all about risk. It’s more than just life and limb—motorsport can exact a toll on your finances and family. Careers are launched and ended in the blink of an eye; years, decades, a lifetime of preparation can come apart with one split-second decision. We spoke with seven current and former professional drivers from across the spectrum of racing to learn about the moments when they risked it all. Victory, defeat, exhilaration, heartbreak—it all plays out here. DARIO FRANCHITTI THE CRASH THAT MADE DARIO DISAPPEAR \ AS TOLD TO MARSHALL PRUETT The biggest piece that was salvageable wasn’t a door. It was part of a door. ¶ In 1995, I had signed to drive for Mercedes in DTM. We were testing the new C-Class model at Hockenheim, the German track cut between…

2 min

THE DODGE VIPER was the last truly scary sports car. The original RT/10 roadster made 400 hp—with no airbags, ABS, or other safety nets. Hell, it didn’t even have exterior door handles. Legend has it that 30 percent of RT/10s were crashed on the way home from the dealer. Unbelievable, but rooted in truth: In 2000, the IIHS’s Highway Loss Data Institute revealed that the 1997-99 Viper, which stickered close to $70,000, cost insurance companies more per incident than any other vehicle, averaging seven times the payout of a typical collision claim. We spoke with two experts about what made the RT/10 such a handful: Bob Lutz, the father of the Viper, and Bob Woodhouse, whose Omaha dealership was No. 1 in Viper sales numerous times. The Viper’s thorny reputation…

1 min
fix-a-grille: here’s a solution

Okay, so you love the way the BMW 4-series drives, the way it looks from all other angles, but you just can’t stand that grille. What’s a Bimmerphile to do? May we suggest Prior Design. This German aero-tuning company with an outlet in Gilbert, Arizona, is working on a kit that should pop right into the space that once held that offending grille. The new look is far less controversial than what comes out the doors in München. “I really, really like the car, everything about the car, but I just don’t like the front that much,” said Andreas Belzek of Prior Design. So he came up with his own versions for a replacement. Prior Design has entire body kits for Mercedes, McLarens, Lamborghinis, and, a new one, Hyundais. Some of…