Evel Knievel

Legendary American motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel Sadly died of pulmonary disease on November 30th, 2007 in Clearwater, Florida, aged 69. He was Born in Butte, Montana on October 17, 1938. He was raised by his grandparents. After watching a Joie Chitwood auto daredevil show as a child, he took to jumping using a pedal bike, later moving on to motorbikes. As a troubled youth, he earned his stagename after occupying a jail cell next to a man named Knofel, leading the jailer to refer to the pair as Awful Knofel and Evil Knievel (Knievel later changed the spelling of the first name to Evel). In addition to stunt riding at local shows, his early life including a spell in the United States Army at the behest of a magistrate, as well as jobs as a hunting guide and an insurance salesman, while also becoming an ice-hockey team owner. Knievel notably staged an exhibition match against the Czechoslovakian hockey team ahead of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

After moving into sports full time, he had moderate success on the motocross circuit. Knievel moved into the entertainment business in 1966 by setting up his own touring daredevil show, initially using a variety of performers and later converting it to a solo show with his jumps as the center-piece. He came to national attention when he persuaded the owners of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to let him jump their fountains on New Year’s Eve 1967. After a failed landing, which was caught on film, Knievel spent 29 days in a coma. After his recovery, he continued to make high profile and lucrative jumps, and began lobbying the government for permission to jump the Grand Canyon. Unable to obtain permission, he settled on a jump over the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho, which he attempted on September 8, 1974 in the X-2 Skycycle. The parachute deployed immediately after launch and the vehicle crashed just a few feet away from the river’s edge. Knievel suffered minor injuries and avoided drowning. Knievel then traveled to Britain, and on May 26, 1975, attempted to jump 13 buses in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium, again crashing with severe injuries. His longest completed career jump came at Kings Island theme park in Ohio on October 25, 1975, jumping 14 buses, marking his peak television audience.

In 1977, Knievel served six months in jail for assaulting promoter Shelly Saltman for writing an unflattering book. After this conviction, Knievel’s career suffered, causing him to declare bankruptcy following a $13 million award for damages to Saltman. After cancelling an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in Chicago after injuring a cameraman during a practice jump, Knievel eventually withdrew from doing major shows. He instead concentrated on touring with and training his son Robbie Knievel, also a daredevil, eventually making his last jump in March 1981. Knievel’s nationally televised motorcycle jumps were four of the twenty most-watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports events to date. He became a celebrity, recognizable for his use of a Stars-and-Stripes red, white and blue V-shaped set of motorcycle leathers and cape. On the back of this fame, Knievel gained endorsements from Harley-Davidson and a toy line by the Ideal Toy Company.

He was also the subject of A 1971 film Evel Knievel which starred George Hamilton as Knievel, and he starred as himself in the 1977 film Viva Knievel!. Knievel later said of his career that he had “earned $60 million, and spent $62 million”. In total he attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980, and in 1974, a failed jump across Snake River Canyon in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket. The 35 broken bones he suffered during his career also earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. According to the obituary in The Times Newspaper , Knievel was one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s and was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999 and his daredevil exploits continue to inspire stuntmen and daredevils worldwide much to the chagrin of Health and safety regulators.

Advertisements

Karl Benz

Generally regarded as the inventor of the gasoline-powered automobile, the German engineer & Automotive pioneer Karl Benz was born on November 25, 1844 in Mühlburg (Karlsruhe). Benz attended the local Grammar School in Karlsruhe. In 1853, at the age of nine he started at the scientifically oriented Lyceum. Next he studied at the Poly-Technical University. Benz had originally focused his studies on locksmithing, but went on to locomotive engineering. On September 30, 1860, at age fifteen, he passed the entrance exam for mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe. During these years, while riding his bicycle, he developed a vehicle that would eventually become the horseless carriage.After his formal education, Benz had seven years of professional training in several companies, starting in Karlsruhe with two years of varied jobs in a mechanical engineering company. He then moved to Mannheim to work as a draftsman and designer in a scales factory. In 1868 he went to Pforzheim to work for a bridge building company Gebrüder Benckiser Eisenwerke und Maschinenfabrik. Finally, he went to Vienna to work at an iron construction company.

At the age of twenty-seven, Karl Benz joined August Ritter at the Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop in Mannheim, later renamed Factory for Machines for Sheet-metal Working. Karl Benz led in the development of new engines & in 1878 he began to work on new patents. First creating a reliable petrol two-stroke engine. Other German contemporaries, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach were also working on similar engines, but Benz was the first to make the internal combustion engine feasible for use in an automobile. Karl Benz showed genius, through his successive inventions registered while designing what would become the production standard for his two-stroke engine. Benz soon patented the speed regulation system, the ignition, the spark plug, the carburettor, the clutch, the gear shift, and the water radiator.

in 1882 The company became Gasmotoren Fabrik Mannheim, but Benz left in 1883 and got a job at a bicycle repair shop in Mannheim owned by Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Eßlinger. In 1883, the three founded a new company producing industrial machines: Benz & Company Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik, (Benz & Cie) which began producing static gas engines as well. Benz continued his ideas for a horseless carriage. Using a similar technology to that of motorcycles he created an automobile, which had wire wheels with a four-stroke engine of his own design between the rear wheels and a very advanced coil ignition and evaporative cooling rather than a radiator. Power was transmitted by means of two roller chains to the rear axle. Karl Benz finished his creation in 1885 and named it the Benz Patent Motorwagen. This was the first automobile entirely designed to generate its own power, and not simply a motorized-stage coach or horse carriage.

The next year Benz created the Motorwagen Model 2, which had several modifications, and in 1887, the definitive Model 3 with wooden wheels was introduced, showing at the Paris Expo the same year. Benz began to sell the vehicle making it the first commercially available automobile in history, then In Early 1888 another gear was added to The Motorwagen allowing it to climb hills. To generate publicity and demonstrate the feasibility of using the Benz Motorwagen for travel, Benz’s wife Bertha took her first long distance automobile trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim , using one of the vehicles.Having to locate pharmacies on the way to fuel up, and repairing various technical and mechanical problems during the journey, Including adding leather to the brake blocks to make them more effective thus inventing brake lining. She arrived at her destination and sent Karl Benz a Telgram announcing the fact & Today the event is considered world’s first long-distance journey by automobile.

This event is celebrated every two years in Germany with an antique automobile rally called the Bertha Benz Memorial Route and is signposted from Mannheim via Heidelberg to Pforzheim (Black Forest) and back. Benz’s Model 3 made its debut at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. there was a great demand Benz’s vehicles and By 1899 Benz was the largest automobile company in the world. In 1893 Benz created a less expensive vehicle suitable for mass production – the Victoria. This was a two-passenger automobile with a 2.2 kW (3.0 hp) engine, which could reach the top speed of 18 km/h (11 mph) and had a pivotal front axle operated by a roller-chained tiller for steering. The Benz Velo also participated in the world’s first automobile race, the 1894 Paris to Rouen, where Émile Roger finished 14th, after covering the 127 km (79 mi) in 10 hours 01 minute at an average speed of 12.7 km/h (7.9 mph). In 1895, Benz designed the first truck in history, some of these were subsequently modified to become the first motor buses.

In 1896, Karl Benz created the first flat engine. It had horizontally opposed pistons, where the corresponding pistons reach top dead centre simultaneously, thus balancing each other with respect to momentum. Flat engines with four or fewer cylinders are most commonly called boxer engines or horizontally opposed engines. This design is still used by Porsche, Subaru, and some high performance engines used in racing cars (Like the Subaru Impreza WRC) and BMW motorcycles.

Competitions between Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG) in Stuttgart and Benz & Cie became intense. The main designer of DMG, Wilhelm Maybach, built the engine to the specifications of Emil Jellinek, who stipulated the new engine be named Daimler-Mercedes (after his daughter) and began racing the vehicles with great success. So Benz countered with the Parsifil, in 1903 with a vertical twin engine that achieved a top speed of 37 mph (60 km/h). In 1903 Karl Benz announced his retirement from design management but remained as director on the Board of Management through its merger with DMG in 1926 and, remained on the board of the new Daimler-Benz corporation until his death in 1929. Benz son Richard returned to the company in 1904 as the designer of passenger vehicles along with continuing as a director of Benz & Cie.

In 1906 Karl Benz, Bertha Benz, and their son, Eugen, then founded the private company, C. Benz Sons (German: Benz Söhne), producing automobiles and gas engines. The latter type was replaced by petrol engines because of lack of demand. The Benz Sons automobiles were of good quality and became popular in London as taxis.In 1909, the Blitzen Benz was built in Mannheim by Benz & Cie. The bird-beaked vehicle had a 21.5-liter (1312ci), 150 kW (200 hp) engine, and on November 9, 1909 in the hands of Victor Hémery of France, the land speed racer at Brooklands, set a record of 226.91 km/h (141.94 mph). on November 25, 1914, the seventy-year-old Karl Benz was awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, the Karlsruhe University, thereby becoming—Dr. Ing. h. c. Karl Benz.

sports car racing became a major method to gain publicity for manufacturers and the Benz Velo participated in the first automobile race: Paris to Rouen. soon Unique race vehicles were being built. Including the Benz Tropfenwagen, which was introduced at the 1923 European Grand Prix at Monza and became the first mid-engine aerodynamically designed Racing car.In 1924 both Benz Cie and DMG started using standardized design, production, purchasing, sales, and advertising— marketing their automobile models jointly—although keeping their respective brands. Then in 1926, Benz & Cie. and DMG finally merged as the Daimler-Benz company, naming all of its automobiles, Mercedes Benz, after ten-year-old Mercédès Jellinek. A new logo was created, consisting of a three pointed star (representing Daimler’s motto: “engines for land, air, and water”) with the laurels from the Benz logo. Sadly On April 4, 1929, Karl Benz passed away at his home in Ladenburg at the age of eighty-four from a bronchial inflammation.The Benz home is historic and is now used as a scientific meeting facility for the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation, which honors both Bertha and Karl Benz for their roles in the history of automobiles.

Other Events and Holidays occuring on 25 November

  • International Day For the Elimination of Violence against Women
  • National Parfait Day
  • Shopping Reminder Day

Tiff Needell

British racing driver and television presenter Timothy “Tiff” Needell was born 29 October 1951. He is best known as a former co-presenter of Top Gear and current co-presenter of Fifth Gear. Needell first raced at a driving school at Brands Hatch in 1970. He progressed to Formula Ford, his progress assisted by the use of a Lotus 69 FF he won in an Autosport magazine competition. He later sold his Lotus and used the money to buy and race an Elden Mk10. Needell’s Formula Ford period culminated in his acquiring a Crossle 25F with which he won the Kent Messenger FF Championship after competing for only half of the remaining season. This success landed him a partly paid drive in the Formula Ford 2000 Championship in a Hawke chassis provided by McKinstry Racing. Needell was completely dominant in that car and series which provided him with the springboard into Formula 3. The remainder of the 1970s saw Needell as a front runner in the British Formula 3 series and then in the Aurora British Formula One championship. In 1979 he was unable to graduate to the F1 World Championship due to the lack of the correct licence, but he was back in 1980, driving two Grands Prix for Ensign, qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. However, he had an engine problem and did not finish the race. He subsequently failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix.

In 1988 and 1989 he competed in the British Rallycross Grand Prix in a Metro 6R4 prepared by Will Gollop’s motorsport team. He achieved a good result in 1988 finishing 4th in the B-Final in what was his first rallycross event, however, the 1989 event was cancelled due to heavy fog after the practice sessions. Needell made his first appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1981 driving a Ibec-Hesketh 308LM alongside Tony Trimmer. They failed to finish and again in 1982 this time paired with Bob Evans and Geoff Lees in an Aston Martin Nimrod NRA/C2. However the following year Needell finished 17th driving a Porsche 956. In 1985 Needell briefly led the 24 hours driving the Aston Martin EMKA C84/1 and would eventually finish 11th. His best result at Le Mans was 3rd in 1990. He then had a couple of years in the British Touring Car Championship with Nissan, before returning to sports cars in 1995, driving a Porsche at Daytona and a Jaguar XJ220 at Le Mans. He then drove the Lister Storm for 3 years, reaching 3rd overall at Daytona in 1997 before gearbox problems dropped them to 19th. In 1998 he finished 2nd in the GT1 championship and won the Silverstone Golden Jubilee Trophy race. Since then, Needell’s racing career has mainly consisted of racing tin-tops (hard-topped cars), with varying levels of success in sports cars, historic racing and touring cars. He achieved particular notoriety after an accident with Nigel Mansell at the 1993 TOCA shoot out race at Donington Park.

Needell is also known in the United Kingdom as a television presenter and motoring journalist, in particular in association with the BBC TV series Top Gear which he started co-hosting in 1987. In 2001, when the BBC cancelled Top Gear (the show was brought back in 2002), Needell and the whole cast defected and signed with Five to produce and host a new motoring show named Fifth Gear. He does however, still contribute to Top Gear magazine. Needell has also co-presented ‘MPH’ at Earls Court in 2003, 2004, 2005 with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond and in 2006 with Jeremy Clarkson and James May (because Richard Hammond was recovering from his accident). He also appeared very briefly in the 2005 Top Gear Comic Relief special, Stars in Fast Cars. In 2009 he appeared on James May’s Toy Stories featuring the building of a Scalextric around Brooklands, and also visited James’ LEGO house. In 2011, he appeared on Top Gear, driving the Ariel Atom V8 in a race against a BMW S1000RR around the Top Gear Test Track. The segment was done in humour, with James May supposedly driving the Atom V8, only for it to actually be Tiff. He was also one of several people suspected of portraying the elusive masked racing driver The Stig on Top Gear.


BERNIE ECCLESTONE

English Formula One business magnate, “Bernie” Ecclestone was also born 28 October 1930. He is currently president and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration and through his part-ownership of Alpha Prema, the parent company of the Formula One Group of companies. As such, he is generally considered the primary authority in Formula One racing. He is most commonly addressed in tabloid journalism as “F1 Supremo”. His early involvement in the sport was as a competitor and then as a manager of drivers Stuart Lewis-Evans and Jochen Rindt.

In 1972, he bought the Brabham team, which he ran for fifteen years. As a team owner he became a member of the Formula One Constructors Association. His control of the sport, which grew from his pioneering the sale of television rights in the late 1970s, is chiefly financial, but under the terms of the Concorde Agreement he and his companies also manage the administration, setup and logistics of each Formula One Grand Prix. Ecclestone himself entered two Grand Prix races during the 1958 season, failing to qualify for either of them.Ecclestone is also the ex-majority owner of the British Queens Park Rangers F.C.

Gary Gabelich

On 23 October 1970 Gary Gabelich set a land speed record in a rocket-powered automobile called the Blue Flame, fueled with natural gas.The Blue Flame was the rocket-powered vehicle driven by Gary Gabelich that achieved the world land speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on October 23, 1970. The vehicle set the FIA world record for the flying mile at 622.407 mph (1,001.667 km/h) and the flying kilometer at 630.388 mph (1,014.511 km/h). Blue Flame was constructed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin byReaction Dynamics, a company formed by Pete Farnsworth, Ray Dausman and Dick Keller who had developed the first hydrogen peroxide rocket dragster,called the X-1 and driven by Chuck Suba.Blue Flame used a combination ofhigh-test peroxide and liquified natural gas (LNG), pressurized by helium gas. The effort was sponsored by The American Gas Association, with technical assistance from the Institute of Gas Technology of Des Plaines, IL.

” Reaction Dynamics” was formed in 1965 and started out as “DFK Enterprises”, for Dausman, Farnsworth and Keller. At that time Dick Keller worked part time as a research assistant into gas technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which was the research arm of the American Gas Association. Pete Farnsworth was a Top Fuel dragster racer.The engine of Blue Flame was designed by Reaction Dynamics, Inc. and some of the components were manufactured by Galaxy Manufacturing Co. ofTonawanda, New York. Galaxy Mfg. Co. was formed in 1966 by Donald J Magro and Gerald Muhs and was principally engaged in flow control systems, cavitating venturi, and precision machining fields.The Blue Flame engine is a regeneratively cooled, liquid-propellent engine of the variable thrust type. It can operate on either a single or dual-propellant basis. In operation, the engine permits natural gas use as a liquid or gas or both with a two-stage combustion start. The oxidizer flow is established first, then LNG enters a heat exchanger where it vaporizes and is brought to combustion temperature. The gas is then injected into the combustion chamber with the oxygen provided by the hydrogen peroxide. A stable flame front is established and the remaining LNG is injected to bring the engine to full powerNominal design engine running time was 20 seconds at full thrust of 22,500 pounds-force (100,000 N) generating the equivalent of 58,000 horsepower (43,000 kilowatts).Dick Keller stated that the Goodyear Tire Company restricted their top speed to 700 mph (1,126.541 km/h). Reaction Dynamics subsequently modified the LNG flow in the 2-stage LNG injector system to almost halve the maximum thrust. The actual thrust during the record runs was between 13,000 pounds (5,900 kilograms) [equivalent of 35,000 horsepower (26,000 kilowatts) and 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms)

According to Dick Keller the kilometer timing traps were inside the mile. The Blue Flame record runs involved accelerating continuously to the mile mid-point, then coasting through the mile. The peak speed, of approximately 650 mph (1,046.074 km/h) was reached at that point and then the vehicle decelerated the rest of the way. The kilometer speed trap was biased towards one end of the mile, resulting in the 8 mph (12.875 km/h) higher speed. The frame of the Blue Flame is a semi-monocoque type aluminum, with welded tubular structure in the nose section and with an aluminum “skin.” The vehicle is 37 feet 4.6 inches (11.394 m) long, 8 feet 1.5 inches (2.477 m) high to the top of the tail fin , 7 feet 8 inches (2.34 m) wide and the wheelbase is 306 inches (7.8 m). It has an empty weight of 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) and is approximately 6,600 pounds (3,000 kilograms) fully fueled and loaded. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. designed 8:00-25 tires for the vehicle, with an outside diameter of 34.8 inches (880 mm) and smooth tire tread surface to help prevent heat buildup using Nitrogengas at 350 pounds per square inch (24 bar] The Blue Flame is now on permanent exhibition at the Auto- and Technik Museum Sinsheim in Germany.

Bentley

Bentley 3 Litre

Best known as a manufacturer of luxury automobiles Bentley Motors Limited was Founded 18th January 1919 by W. O. Bentley. Bentley had been previously known for his range of rotary aero-engines in World War I, the most famous being the Bentley BR1 as used in later versions of the Sopwith Camel. Before World War I, Walter Owen Bentley had been in partnership with his brother Horace Millner Bentley selling French DFP cars, but he had always wanted to design and build his own range of cars bearing his name. In August 1919, Bentley Motors Ltd. was registered, and a chassis with dummy engine was exhibited at the London Motor Show in October of that year. An innovative 4 valves per cylinder engine designed by ex-Royal Flying Corps officer Clive Gallop was built and running by December, and orders were taken for deliveries starting in June 1920; however, development took longer than estimated, and the first cars were not ready until September 1921. Their durability earned widespread acclaim. Appearances were made in hill climbs and at Brooklands and a single entry in the 1922 Indianapolis 500 mile race driven by Douglas Hawkes finished at an average speed in excess of 80 miles an hour. After the war, W. O. Bentley designed and made production cars that won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1924. Woolf Barnato acquired his first Bentley (a 3-litre) in 1925, just 12 months before he also acquired the business itself. With this car he won numerous Brooklands races. He was a member of a social set of wealthy British motorists known as the “Bentley Boys” who favoured the cars of W. O. Bentley. Many were independently wealthy, often with a background in military service. Barnato was nicknamed “Babe”, in ironic deference to his heavyweight boxer’s stature.The Bentley enterprise was always underfunded, but inspired by the 1924 Le Mans win by John Duff and Frank Clement, Barnato agreed to finance Bentley’s business. Barnato had incorporated Baromans Ltd in 1922, which existed as his finance and investment vehicle. Via Baromans, Barnato initially invested in excess of £100,000, saving the business and its workforce. A financial reorganisation of the original Bentley company was carried out and all existing creditors paid off for £75,000. Existing shares were devalued from £1 each to just 1 shilling, or 5% or their original value. Barnato held 149,500 of the new shares giving him control of the company and he became chairman. Barnato injected further cash into the business: £35,000 secured by debenture in July 1927; £40,000 in 1928; £25,000 in 1929. With renewed financial input, W. O. Bentley was able to design another generation of cars.

A group of wealthy British motorists known as the “Bentley Boys”— Woolf Barnato, Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin, steeplechaser George Duller, aviator Glen Kidston, automotive journalist S.C.H. “Sammy” Davis, and Dr Dudley Benjafield among them—kept the marque’s reputation for high performance alive. Bentley, located at Cricklewood, north London, was noted for its four consecutive victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans from 1927 to 1930.In 1929, Birkin had developed the lightweight Blower Bentley, including five racing specials that started with the Brooklands racing designed Bentley Blower No.1.In March 1930, during the Blue Train Races, Woolf Barnato raised the stakes on Rover and its Rover Light Six, having raced and beat Le Train Bleu for the first time, to better that record with his 6½-litre Bentley Speed Six on a bet of £100. He drove against the train from Cannes to Calais, then by ferry to Dover, and finally London, travelling on public highways, and won; the H.J. Mulliner-bodied formal saloon he drove during the race as well as a streamlined fastback “Sportsman Coupé” by Gurney Nutting—he took delivery of on 21 May 1930—became known as the “Blue Train Bentleys”; the latter is regularly mistaken for (or erroneously referred to) as being the car that raced the Blue Train, while in fact Barnato named it in memory of his race.

Bentley was Purchased by Rolls-Royce in 1931, when production was moved from London to Derby, and When the new Bentley 3½ litre appeared in 1933, it was a sporting variant of the Rolls-Royce 20/25, which disappointed some traditional customers yet was well received by many others. After World War II production of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars was moved to an ex-wartime engine factory in Crewe, Cheshire and standard-steel Bentleys were slightly lower priced Rolls-Royces without the Rolls’ distinctive square-shouldered grille. The Continental fastback coupé first appeared in 1952 and was an evolution of the 1946 Mark VI produced principally for the domestic home market, the majority of cars produced (165, including a prototype) being right-hand drive. The chassis was produced at the Crewe factory and shared many components with the standard R type. Other than the R-Type standard steel saloon, R-Type Continentals were delivered as rolling chassis to the coachbuilder of choice. Coachwork for most of these cars was completed by H. J. Mulliner & Co. who mainly built them in fastback coupe form. Other coachwork came from Park Ward (London) who built six, later including a drophead coupe version. Franay (Paris) built five, Graber (Wichtrach, Switzerland) built three, one of them later altered by Köng (Basle, Switzerland), and Pininfarina made one. James Young (London) built in 1954 a Sports Saloon for the owner of James Young’s, James Barclay. Sadly financial problems brought about a collapse of Bentley in 1970.

In 1998, Vickers decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors. The leading contender seemed to be BMW, who already supplied engines and other components for Bentley (and Rolls-Royce) cars and because of their long-lasting joint efforts in building aero engines. Their final offer of £340m was outbid by Volkswagen Group, who offered £430m. Volkswagen Group got the Crewe works and found it held the rights to Rolls-Royce’s “Spirit of Ecstasy” mascot and the shape of that radiator grille but no rights to the Rolls-Royce name or logo. In 1998 BMW started supplying components for the new range of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars – notably V8 engines for the Bentley Arnage and V12 engines for the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. It also emerged that BMW was able to terminate its supply deal with Rolls-Royce with 12 months’ notice, which would not be enough time for Volkswagen Group to re-engineer the cars. Bentley reintroduced the venerable Rolls-Royce V8 engine into the Arnage, initially as an additional model, and all BMW engine supply ended in 2003 with the end of Silver Seraph production. From 1 January 2003 forward, Volkswagen Group would be the sole provider of cars with the “Bentley” marque. Rolls-Royce production was relocated to their Goodwood plant in Goodwood, West Sussex, England.

Bentley has been owned by the Volkswagen Group of Germany since 1998. After acquiring the business, Volkswagen modernised the Crewe factory in order to increase production capacity. In 2002, Bentley presented Queen Elizabeth II with an official State Limousine to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. In 2003, Bentley’s two-door convertible, the Bentley Azure, ceased production, and Bentley introduced a second line, Bentley Continental GT, a large luxury coupé powered by a W12 engine built in Crewe. The Flying Spur, a four-door version of the Continental GT, was also introduced. In April 2005, Bentley confirmed plans to produce a four-seat convertible model—the Azure, derived from the Arnage Drophead Coupé prototype—at Crewe beginning in 2006. By the autumn of 2005, the convertible version of the successful Continental GT, the Continental GTC, was also presented. These two models were successfully launched in late 2006. A limited run of a Zagato modified GT was also announced in March 2008, dubbed “GTZ”and A new version of the Bentley Continental was introduced at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show: The Continental Supersports. This new Bentley is a supercar combining extreme power with environmentally friendly FlexFuel technology, capable of using petrol (gasoline) and biofuel (E85 ethanol).

Evel Knievel

Legendary American motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel was Born in Butte, Montana on October 17, 1938. He was raised by his grandparents. After watching a Joie Chitwood auto daredevil show as a child, he took to jumping using a pedal bike, later moving on to motorcycles. As a troubled youth, he earned his stagename after occupying a jail cell next to a man named Knofel, leading the jailer to refer to the pair as Awful Knofel and Evil Knievel (Knievel later changed the spelling of the first name to Evel). In addition to stunt riding at local shows, his early life including a spell in the United States Army at the behest of a magistrate, as well as jobs as a hunting guide and an insurance salesman, while also becoming an ice-hockey team owner. Knievel notably staged an exhibition match against the Czechoslovakian hockey team ahead of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

After moving into sports full time, he had moderate success on the motocross circuit. Knievel moved into the entertainment business in 1966 by setting up his own touring daredevil show, initially using a variety of performers and later converting it to a solo show with his jumps as the center-piece. He came to national attention when he persuaded the owners of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to let him jump their fountains on New Year’s Eve 1967. After a failed landing, which was caught on film, Knievel spent 29 days in a coma. After his recovery, he continued to make high profile and lucrative jumps, and began lobbying the government for permission to jump the Grand Canyon. Unable to obtain permission, he settled on a jump over the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho, which he attempted on September 8, 1974 in the X-2 Skycycle. The parachute deployed immediately after launch and the vehicle crashed just a few feet away from the river’s edge. Knievel suffered minor injuries and avoided drowning. Knievel then traveled to Britain, and on May 26, 1975, attempted to jump 13 buses in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium, again crashing with severe injuries. His longest completed career jump came at Kings Island theme park in Ohio on October 25, 1975, jumping 14 buses, marking his peak television audience.

In 1977, Knievel served six months in jail for assaulting promoter Shelly Saltman for writing an unflattering book. After this conviction, Knievel’s career suffered, causing him to declare bankruptcy following a $13 million award for damages to Saltman. After cancelling an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in Chicago after injuring a cameraman during a practice jump, Knievel eventually withdrew from doing major shows. He instead concentrated on touring with and training his son Robbie Knievel, also a daredevil, eventually making his last jump in March 1981. Knievel’s nationally televised motorcycle jumps were four of the twenty most-watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports events to date. He became a celebrity, recognizable for his use of a Stars-and-Stripes red, white and blue V-shaped set of motorcycle leathers and cape. On the back of this fame, Knievel gained endorsements from Harley-Davidson and a toy line by the Ideal Toy Company. A 1971 film Evel Knievel starred George Hamilton as Knievel, and he starred as himself in the 1977 film Viva Knievel!. Knievel later said of his career that he had “earned $60 million, and spent $62 million”. In total he attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980, and in 1974, a failed jump across Snake River Canyon in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket. The 35 broken bones he suffered during his career also earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. Knievel Sadly died of pulmonary disease on November 30th, 2007 in Clearwater, Florida, aged 69. According to the obituary in The Times Newspaper , Knievel was one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s and was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999 and his daredevil exploits continue to inspire stuntmen and daredevils worldwide much to the chagrin of Health and safety regulators.

Kimi Räikkönen

Finnish racing driver Kimi-Matias Räikkönen was born 17 October 1979 in Espoo).Räikkönen entered Formula One as a regular driver for Sauber-Petronas in 2001. Having previously only raced in very junior open-wheel categories, he was given his Super Licence from the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) after a performance delivery promise by his team boss, Peter Sauber He joined McLaren Mercedes in 2002, and became a title contender by finishing runner-up in the 2003 and 2005 championships to Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, respectively. Räikkönen’s 2003 and 2005 seasons were plagued by severe unreliability from his McLaren cars.After switching to Ferrari in 2007, he became the highest paid driver in motor sport with an estimated wage of $51 million per year. In turn his move to Ferrari saw him secure his first Formula One World Drivers’ Championship, beating McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by one point, as well as becoming one of the very few drivers to win in their first season at Ferrari. In 2008, he equalled the record for fastest laps in a season for the second time. After one more year in the sport, he left the Ferrari F1 team to drive a Citroën C4 WRC for the Citroën Junior Team in the World Rally Championship for 2010. Along with rallying, Räikkönen has turned his attention towards NASCAR, and made his debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.

In 2008, Räikkönen was among the two Formula One drivers who made it into the Forbes magazine’s The Celebrity 100 list, the other being Fernando Alonso. He is 36th on Forbes magazine’s The Celebrity 100 list of 2008, and 41st on the previous year. On the same list, as of 2008, he is listed as the 26th highest paid celebrity overall and the 5th highest paid sportsman behind Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Michael Jordan and Phil Mickelson. In 2009, Räikkönen was listed as the equal 2nd highest paid athlete in the world, behind Woods. In 2009 Räikkönen left Ferrari and was replaced by Fernando Alonso. He was expected to return to McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton but negotiations with the team failed. Räikkönen was linked to Mercedes GP but the team eventually signed Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. Toyota F1, before it pulled out of Formula One, offered Räikkönen a driving contract to replace Timo Glock in 2010. Räikkönen did not drive in Formula One in the 2010 season.

In 2009 Räikkönen made his rally debut at the Arctic Lapland Rally, driving a Tommi Mäkinen Racing-prepared Abarth Grande Punto S2000. He finished in 13th place. Räikkönen made his WRC debut in the 2009 Rally Finland,He was running third in group N and 15th overall before crashing out in Väärinmaja, last stage of Saturday. During 2010 Räikkönen became afull-time driver for the Citroën Junior Team, driving a Red Bull-sponsored Citroën C4 WRC with his co-driver, Kaj Lindström. Räikkönen scored his first WRC points when he finished eighth in the Jordan Rally. Consequently, he became the second driver after Carlos Reutemann to score championship points in both Formula One and the World Rally Championship. In the next WRC event, the Rally of Turkey, Räikkönen improved his best result with a fifth-place finish. In the 2010 Rally Finland, the retired four-time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen entered the race and said that if Räikkönen cannot beat him then he might as well go back to Formula One. Kankkunen finished eighth and Räikkönen 25th due to car trouble. He finished seventh in the Rallye Deutschland, his second ever asphalt rally, while notching up his first ever career stage win, the last stage of the rally. Räikkönen achieved his first rally win in the Rallye Vosgien 2010 in France. He won all six stages in the asphalt rally. Räikkönen did not start in the Rally Catalunya after crashing. Räikkönen entered the 2011 World Rally Championship season under his own team, ICE 1 Racing driving a Citroën DS3 WRC He finished eighth in the Rally Sweden. Skipping the Mexico event, he next competed in Rally Portugal and finished seventh.

in 2011 Räikkönen signed a deal with Toyota team Kyle Busch Motorsports to run a limited schedule in the Camping World Truck Series Series. Räikkönen also took part in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a strong finish of 15th, though he started the day with tough practice sessions and qualified only at 31 out of 37 trucks. Räikkönen went on to race in the Nationwide Series at the same track on 28 May driving for Joe Nemechek and NEMCO Motorsports. He finished 27th after having debris stuck on the grille of his car and getting a penalty for speeding in the pitlane, Räikkönen tested Robby Gordon’s car at Infineon Raceway, with plans of Gordon fielding a two-car team for him and Räikkönen at the Toyota/Save Mart 350. However, Räikkönen crashed the car in the test, and the deal with Robby Gordon Motorsports fell through.

in 2012, Räikkönen returned to Formula One with a two-year contract with Lotus. Räikkönen began the season by qualifying 17th for the Australian Grand Prix However he recovered and moved up to twelfth, before making it into the top ten. He took three places on the last lap of the race, to finish in seventh place. Räikkönen qualified for the Malaysian Grand Prix in 5th place. He started the race from 10th place because of an unscheduled gearbox change and also eventually finished the race in 5th. At the Chinese Grand Prix he was 14th after running 2nd after incorrect tyre choice resulted in him being overtaken by 10 cars in the space of one lap. At the Bahrain Grand Prix he finished second starting from 11th position on the grid. It was his first podium Räikkönen finished third at the Spanish Grand Prix, after having qualified in fifth place, which had been promoted to fourth as a result of a penalty given to Lewis Hamilton. In Monaco Räikkönen qualified in 8th but finished one place lower in 9th place. For the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified 12th but finished 8th. In the European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit he finished second behind Fernando Alonso.

In the 2012 British Grand Prix he finished fifth, after having qualified in sixth place. Räikkönen reached 4th in the 2012 German Grand Prix, eventually gaining the last podium spot after Sebastian Vettel was penalised for an illegal overtaking manoeuvre. Räikkönen qualified 5th for the Hungarian Grand Prix Eventually finishing the race in 2nd place, just one second behind the race winner Lewis Hamilton. Räikkönen qualifyed fourth for the Belgian Grand Prix and went on to finish 3rd behind Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. Räikkönen qualified 7th for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, eventually finishing in 5th. At the Singapore Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified 12th. and eventually finished 6th. At the Japanese Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified 8th after spinning at his final attempt in Q3 and finished 6th after being passed by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton after the second round of pit stops. Räikkönen eventually qualified 5th for The Korean Grand Prix and finished the race in 5th after an impressive battle with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton which ended in Räikkönen’s favour. Räikkönen was 48 points behind the championship leader Sebastian Vettel after 16 rounds of the 2012 season, however He won the Brazillian after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton suffered gearbox problems. At the Indian Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified in 7th place Eventually finishing 7th.

Räikkönen Extended his contract with Lotus was extended for 2013. In 2012, Räikkönen won his first race for the Lotus F1 team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after a good start from fourth saw him take Pastor Maldonado and Mark Webber at the first corner. He was unable to match the pace of Hamilton, but a mechanical issue retired the McLaren and allowed Räikkönen to win the race, despite pressure from the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Lotus celebrated its first win since the 1987 Detroit Grand Prix which was won by Ayrton Senna. Still third, Räikkönen was 16 points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the championship. But after Hamilton’s pole position at the concluding race of 2012, Räikkönen would have to finish at least fifth in the race if Hamilton were to win. He qualified ninth howeverOn lap 52, Räikkönen, made a mistake and went off the track and tried to use an escape road to re-enter the track rather than drive over the grass. The road was blocked and he was forced to turn back. He lost numerous places and found himself behind a Caterham and a Marussia. He skidded again to be lapped, but re-claimed the lost places and with a retirement from Hamilton, finished the race in 10th and claimed his 3rd place in the standings, with a 1-point contribution to the tally. He ended the season 71 points behind Fernando Alonso and 74 points behind champion Sebastian Vettel. Räikkönen was named the driver of the year in a poll in a French auto racing website, http://www.toileF1.com In second place was Fernando Alonso.

In 2013 Räikkönen won the Australian Grand Prix despite starting from seventh He also set the fastest lap of the race on lap 56. Räikkönen qualified seventh in Malaysia, but was demoted three places for impeding Nico Rosberg during qualifying. Eventually finishing the race seventh, behind team-mate Grosjean. Räikkönen qualified and finished second At the Chinese Grand Prix. In the Bahrain Grand Prix he qualified ninth, but was promoted to eighth after Lewis Hamilton received a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change. He finished the race second ahead of his team-mate Romain Grosjean, with Sebastian Vettel winning the race. At the Spanish Grand Prix, Räikkönen started fourth and finished second thanks to a three-stop strategy. At the next race in Monaco, Räikkönen started fifth eventually finishing in tenth place. In the process, it continued his streak of 23 consecutive points finishes, one shy of the record of 24 set by Michael Schumacher across three seasons between 2001 and 2003. Räikkönen finished ninth at the Canadian Grand Prix. Räikkönen finished 5th At the 2013 British Grand Prix, finishing in the points for the 25th consecutive race, breaking Schumacher’s record and putting him in third place in the championship. At the German Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified fourth and finished second, only a second behind Vettel.

Räikkönen gualified sixth for the Hungarian Grand Prix but finished second – for the fifth time at the circuit. The result promoted him to second in the Drivers’ Championship, one point ahead of Fernando Alonso and 38 points behind championship leader, Vettel. At the Belgian Grand Prix, Räikkönen finished fastest in Q2 but did not finish the race, this ended his chances of beating the most consecutive race finishes – a record held by Nick Heidfeld at 41 finishes – Räikkönen recorded 38. He failed to score again at the Italian Grand Prix after losing his front wing at the start and was unable to pass Jenson Button for a point scoring position. Räikkönen left Lotus for the 2014 season, and instead join Fernando Alonso at Ferrari. it was revealed that Räikkönen had not been paid by Lotus for the whole season, meaning there were several million euros of outstanding fees. Räikkönen publicly cited this as the reason for leaving Lotus for Ferrari. Räikkönen qualified 13th, for the Singapore Grand Prix eventually finishing third place. At the Japanese Grand Prix, he qualified 9th and finished 5th. Then at the Indian Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified 6th eventually finishing in 7th place. Räikkönen refused to enter the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix unless he was paid. Räikkönen qualified 5th, but was demoted to the 22nd and last grid spot. Then Räikkönen retired on the first lap after crashing into Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham and Räikkönen missed the rest of the season.

In 2014 Räikkönen signed a 2-year deal With Ferrari. After a mostly disappointing first half of the season he finished fourth place at the Belgian Grand Prix. However Räikkönen ended the 2014 season a career-low 12th in the Drivers’ Championship. Räikkönen remained with Ferrari for the 2015 season, partnering former world champion Sebastian Vettel after Alonso announced his departure from the Scuderia. Räikkönen had to retire from the first race of the season in Australia due to a loose wheel following a pitstop. He recovered to finish fourth both in Malaysia and China. However Another pit issue befell Räikkönen during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Despite this Räikkönen eventually finished second at the Bahrain Grand Prix and recorded his first podium since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix for Lotus, and the first in his second spell with Ferrari. Räikkönen qualified in 7th place for the, Barcelona Grand Prix Moving to 5th position before being controversially overtaken by Ricciardo, and finishing the race in 6th. Räikkönen qualified in 3rd place for the Montreal Grand Prix, unfortunately spun at the hairpin while on the out-lap from a pitstop, and lost his 3rd place to Valtteri Bottas.In the Austrian Grand Prix he was involved in a big crash with Fernando Alonso which left Alonso’s McLaren on top of Räikkönen’s Ferrari.

At the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix, Räikkönen ran second behind Vettel looking set for a 1–2 until a technical failure meant he lost straightline speed. He then lost further positions after the restart so following a pitstop he retired. Räikkönen started from 17th on the grid at the Belgian Grand Prix However, he managed to overtake the middle pack and finished the race in 7th, after teammate Sebastian Vettel had a tire blowout on the 42nd lap causing him to lose a 3rd place finish. Räikkönen qualified on the front row for Ferrari’s home race the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but dropped to last due to mechanical problems eventually battling from the back of the field to finish fifth. At the Singapore Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified in 3rd, behind Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Räikkönen maintained the position through the race despite being uncomfortable with the car, to take his second podium finish of the season. Räikkönen ended the season by finishing third in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to take his third podium of the year and was fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.

Sadly Räikkönen had to retire from the first race of the 2016 season in Australia Grand Prix however Räikkönen did finish in second place at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Räikkönen outpaced teammate Sebastian Vettel in qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix to take 3rd on the grid, unfortunately he collided with Vettel but despite this he eventually finished fifth. He Finished the Russian Grand Prix in third place after a huge start collision, which left his teammate Vettel out of the race. This was also the 700th podium in Ferrari’s Formula One history. At the Spanish Grand Prix Räikkönen finished behind Max Verstappen in second place to take his third podium of the season in the finishing ahead of his teammate Vettel who was third. During the 2017 motor racing season Räikkönen had his first pole position in 129 races at Monaco, qualifying just 0.04 seconds faster than his teammate Sebastian Vettel. For the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, Räikkönen qualified second, Eventually finishing second, with Vettel finishing first, giving Ferrari a 1-2 finish. Räikkönen renewed his contract with Ferrari for the 2018 season.