Drive Wire: June 14, 2016

Isle of Man sadness, a weird new auction house, Model S scandals, an online lifestyle guide, and wingsuiting over a volcano.

What’s up guys, it’s Marisa Hunter and this is Drive Wire for Tuesday, June 14th.

We begin the day with sobering news from this year’s Isle of Man TT, which more than lived up to its reputation as possibly the greatest and the most dangerous motorsports event on earth. Although 2016  saw lap records by Mike Dunlop and Mark Higgins for motorcycles and cars respectively, there were also four deaths this year, making it memorable for all the wrong reasons. Sidecar racer Dwight Beare was killed on June 5th, as was senior TT racer Paul Shoesmith. Then, on June 10th, sidecar racer Ian Bell and TT rider Andrew Soar were both in fatal crashes. Our sympathy and our thoughts are with the loved ones of all four racers. No matter what happens with this magnificent but controversial race in the years to come, these men will not be forgotten. 

Turning to the competitive and often strange world of auto auctions, there’s a new auction house on the scene and they’re evidently trying to out-fancy everyone. The company is called, and I quote, “The Finest Automobile Auctions”, and their debut event is this weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania. With 50 lots up for bid, from a ‘73 Porsche 911S to a ‘39 Bentley Mark V, there’s plenty for the car enthusiast to gawk at. But there’s weird stuff, too, like a ‘62 Citroen Deux Cheveaux Safari, and even the ‘43 Beetle driven by the head of the Red Cross in World War II. Good luck, The Finest Auctions, even if your name is…pretty bland.

It seems Tesla has been hit with a slew of claims that the front suspension on their Model S is faulty or flawed. The “uproar” started when an owner made a claim, evidently legitimate, that a front ball-joint was experiencing unusual wear. Tesla balked at first, as the car was out of warranty, but eventually relented and offered to pay half the bill, if the owner would sign a goodwill agreement. So far, more or less car business as usual. Now, Tesla claims it’s been hit with 37 false complaints of front suspension problems, some even including false vehicle identification numbers. Stranger still, they claim to have come from a person named Keef Leech, who is not a Tesla owner. For the record, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it’s found no issue with the suspension and considers the matter resolved. Meanwhile Tesla’s stock dipped, their reputation took a small and perhaps undeserved hit, and we learned that even the almighty Elon Musk can’t escape the rumor mill.

Today we take a different spin on gear and bring you the Vanual, an online manual by an intrepid man by the name of Zach Both. Rather than keeping all the fun to himself, Zach is sharing his knowledge on how to turn your van into a rolling home. His website is split into two parts, one a detailed build manual, the other a lifestyle guide, and for once in our gear section, it’s absolutely free. Check it out, if only for daydream purposes, at thevanual.com

In today’s ridiculous video, we have a wingsuit video that will possibly never be topped.  Roberta Mancino grabs the amazing updrafts over Chile’s Villarica, a very live volcano. Yes, a volcano! We can only assume that this idea transpired when Roberta was sitting at home and thought I guess my wingsuit flight isn’t dangerous enough – how can we involve fire?

That’s it for today’s edition of Drive Wire. For more, be sure to come back to thedrive.com, and follow us @thedrive on all your favorite social media platforms.