Articles Written By: John Ackerman

This author has written 39 articles
BMW’s bursting into flames

BMW’s bursting into flames

Reporting news isn’t our thing here, but this hit my inbox and wanted to share. ABC News Investigates: BMW mystery fires ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross conducted an in-depth investigation into BMW safety concerns and discovered dozens of incidents in which the luxury cars caught fire even though…
Endurance racing: more fun, harder than expected

Endurance racing: more fun, harder than expected

My friends and I recently competed in our first endurance race with AER (American Endurance Racing) at Watkins Glen International. It was incredible. And, a lot harder on equipment than I imagined.   We started with my well-maintained 1989 BMW 325is that I previously used for racing in NASA’s Spec E30 series.…
The greatest tow vehicle, ever?

The greatest tow vehicle, ever?

I currently tow my race car with a 2011 Ford F150 crew cab. It’s great. I rarely find an issue with it when towing to races. But, it’s not perfect. There are occasions where having a topper for the bed would be beneficial, but I can’t justify the cost and lost…
Steve McQueen in Le Mans: new graphic novel

Steve McQueen in Le Mans: new graphic novel

Are you or someone you know a fan of Steve McQueen? Still needing that last-minute gift for your favorite car person for the Holidays? A group out of Switzerland, Garbo Studios, has announced a new graphic novel, Steve McQueen in Le Mans, celebrating McQueen and the cult classic movie, Le Mans.…
Helmet skirt and intercom kit DIY installation

Helmet skirt and intercom kit DIY installation

Due to the low availability of my new helmet, I was not able to wait to get it wired professionally before heading out to California ahead of the Baja 1000. At the same time, I needed to install a helmet skirt to keep the elements out. This article covers the…
2017 Ford Raptor: Baja 1000 Stock Full Class

2017 Ford Raptor: Baja 1000 Stock Full Class

Ford announced their return to the 2016 Baja 1000 with the newest and baddest-ass F150: the 2017 Raptor. The best part about this announcement? They are running in the Stock Full class, which is intended to limit what can be done to the truck. And, because rules are rules, they did…
BMW at SEMA: “racing-inspired” driving dynamics

BMW at SEMA: “racing-inspired” driving dynamics

BMW has done it again. By combining fast cars with aerodynamic add-ons and new exhaust sounds, they have brought the race track to the street at SEMA. To quote the press release (my emphasis in bold): “The [spoiler] is made completely from carbon fibre (wing, side sections, bases) and brings…
DIY BAJA: Giving Chase

DIY BAJA: Giving Chase

When we crossed the Mexican border, I had slept less than 15 hours in the past 5 days. Sitting in the back of a newly rented 15-passenger van I had little clue what was ahead of us. And, as any Bill Caswell-related adventure goes, it would entail a lot. I tried…
UPDATE: Corvette too loud for NCM Corvette track?

UPDATE: Corvette too loud for NCM Corvette track?

Some of you may recall last year how we gave high ranking to the the National Corvette Museum’s (NCM) Motorsports Park for a U.S. track. It’s long and technical, has easy access from the highway and convenient to most things many tracks aren’t (such as cheap fuel, food and hotels). Unfortunately,…
The Michelin Man… isn’t?

The Michelin Man… isn’t?

In the hunt to confirm the Michelin Man’s, aka Bibendum’s, true identity, we have found the truth. There is not a Presta or Schrader valve to be found… only tread. Rest easy knowing this is “A Better Way Forward.”
Awesome wheel fitment database: Wheel-size.com

Awesome wheel fitment database: Wheel-size.com

Have you been wondering what wheel dimensions your car or truck? Look no further than this site. Wheel-size.com claims to have over 2,000 total vehicles with specs that include offset by wheel size, centerbore and even bolt hole diameter. Maybe your vehicle is a little more obscure than some of the…
The first BMW M1… found in a barn!?

The first BMW M1… found in a barn!?

And it’s it was on eBay. Yes, one of the early BMW M1’s. Found in a barn. On eBay. Somehow this auction went under the radar for a bit. Evidently, one of the first, Lamborghini-built BMW M1’s was tucked away among the bovines in Bavaria. The auction says little about the…
More gear ratio options for your E36-chassis BMW

More gear ratio options for your E36-chassis BMW

Have you been planning a motor swap in your E36 and need a new differential gear ratio, but you are not so happy about the options available in the standard E36 offerings? Perhaps you have been interested in doing a limited-slip swap, but all of the E36 fitment differentials are a…
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R: Lipstick on a pig?

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R: Lipstick on a pig?

When the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage was introduced earlier this year, it’s stand-out yellow paint and odd looks polarized even the most die-hard of BMW fans. However, we, the BMW tifosi of the world, were promised there would be a revised version shown at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach…
(Car) Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

(Car) Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

When did the economics of parting cars become so bad? There was a time when it actually made sense to buy a parts car for the upcoming swap you had planned. But, I’m starting to doubt my logic these days… (more…)
NCM Motorsports Park – A great track?

NCM Motorsports Park – A great track?

Maybe you’ve heard. Late last year (2014), the National Corvette Museum (NCM) opened its own race track: a nearly 3.2 mile road course in its longest configuration in the Corvette’s hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky. And, it’s pretty awesome. With some 20 turns in its Grand Full course lay-out it…
This Jeep CJ-7 on Craigslist is WTF? AWESOME

This Jeep CJ-7 on Craigslist is WTF? AWESOME

While doing my daily lunch cruise for interesting vehicles on Craigslist, I came across what could be the most awesome — and possibly most bizarre — ad for a CJ-7. Ever.   Overall it sounds like a very nice, late-model CJ. In fact, according to who I can only assume is…
Pontiac G8 “Holden Ute” conversion on ebay!

Pontiac G8 “Holden Ute” conversion on ebay!

As Americans we don’t receive a lot of the cool cars the rest of the world gets, and this eBay find gives someone the chance at owning something pretty unique in the ‘States. Back when Pontiac was still in existence one of the last cars to move through its doors…
Fire System: Are You Doing It Right?

Fire System: Are You Doing It Right?

Most racing sanctioning bodies require some form of fire suppression systems in race cars, whether a fire bottle or an integrated system. While a fire bottle might be okay for some, many of us have full systems, such as a Firesense system by Spa Technique, but is it installed correctly?…
Herculiner DIY Bedliner paint review

Herculiner DIY Bedliner paint review

Have you gotten through your winter list of race car and race day maintenance items? Was “refinish / maintain my trailer” on your list? If so, I recommend taking a look at the Herculiner brand of DIY bedliner paint as a durable, tough option to paint. One of the most critical…
Canguro Racing: Baja 1000 in a Toyota Land Cruiser

Canguro Racing: Baja 1000 in a Toyota Land Cruiser

What do you get when you cross 8 friends, a Toyota Land Cruiser, a race in Mexico and a marsupial? A fun evening in Tijuana? A hallucinogenic dream brought on my a scorpion attack? Well, while you might end up with both of those, I can confirm you will get…
The Bloodhound SSC land rocket

The Bloodhound SSC land rocket

While I have always been intrigued by the technology, I have never really gotten excited about the cigar-shaped, land speed record jet “cars” that usually attempt these amazing feats.  It wasn’t until recently that I came across the latest effort, the Bloodhound SSC, by Richard Noble and driver Andy Green that I…
The National Classic Tour 2014 Historic Car Tour

The National Classic Tour 2014 Historic Car Tour

A happy Friday to everyone and Happy Independence Day to our fans in the US!  Enjoy some photos shot recently in San Sebastien, Spain of some really cool, historic cars.  I hadn’t heard of the National Classic Tour before, a historic car tour that changes location annually, but I imagine these folks…
Attend a beer festival near you

Attend a beer festival near you

What are you doing this weekend?  If your first answer isn’t “working on my car, “racing,” or “watching a race” chances are there is a beer festival near you and you should make it a point to go. Beer festivals are just that: a festival of all the hoppy, malty…
Endurance racing: “What makes those numbers glow?”

Endurance racing: “What makes those numbers glow?”

It was 11:30 PM as I shook-off my drunken stupor. A loud, raspy scream coming from beyond the trees drew me closer to the edge and it was then that I saw the orangish-yellowish glow… Have you watched an endurance race and seen those wild, glowing numbers on sides of…
Racing Into Obscurity

Racing Into Obscurity

Remember this BMW M Coupe and how it established itself as one of the elite race cars of its time?   Yeah, neither do I. As I was digging through old files on my hard-drive I came across what I still think is one of the cooler looking cars (street…

Awesome E36 M3 rally video – Petri Sivunen

How much do you know about Sastamala, Finland?  That is about what I knew, too.  Until I found this video. It’s always a blast to watch in-car footage from rear-wheel drive rally cars, but it’s even more special when it’s a BMW E36 M3.  Couple that with one hell of a…