Pinnacle Auto Appraisers' Blog

Keeping the auto appraising industry up to date with important auto industry and appraiser information.

Toyota puts liquid hydrogen-powered car into 24-hour race - Kyodo News Plus

Toyota Motor Corp. on Saturday entered a racing car powered by liquid hydrogen into a 24-hour endurance race in central Japan, making it the first such car in the world to participate in an official race.

The move is the latest endeavor by the Japanese automaker to popularize hydrogen as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel amid tightening environmental regulations worldwide since it does not emit carbon dioxide when burnt.

Toyota, the developer of the world's first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle, Mirai, has said offering a wide range of green vehicles, including hybrid cars, is more effective in cutting their carbon footprint than just focusing on electric vehicles.

The entry comes as the use of hydrogen gains popularity across industries. Four major motorcycle makers in Japan, including Kawasaki Motors Ltd., said earlier this month they will jointly develop hydrogen-powered engines with an eye to launching them on two-wheelers.

The race at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture will be held through Sunday.

Toyota started to run a hydrogen engine car in a race in May 2021, using gaseous hydrogen. It initially aimed to enter a liquid hydrogen vehicle into a race this March, but the plan stalled after a vehicle caught fire during a test run.

By subjecting the liquid hydrogen car to endurance races, Toyota intends to improve the nascent technology's functionality and address some of its challenges, including how to keep liquid hydrogen at an extremely low temperature.

Using hydrogen in liquid form instead of its gaseous state would double a car's mileage and allow for smaller hydrogen fueling stations, Toyota said. The automaker is aiming to commercialize hydrogen engine cars in the future.

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Honda to re-enter Formula One racing with Aston Martin in 2026

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West Coast Kustoms “Crusin Nationals” car cruise returns to Santa ... - KEYT

SANTA MARIA, Calif.- The 42nd Annual West Coast Kustoms Cruisin’ Nationals car show and cruise has visitors coming in from all over the region.

It’s a car show unlike any other here in Santa Maria.

"Its spectacular it's like a big parade. You got people you know, spectators on the side cheering the cars on and giving you thumbs up, you know, And like I said, people that build their cars they're it just motivates them more," said Arturo Rivas visiting from Oxnard.

The show features 1965 and earlier American made vehicles.

From up north, Eureka, San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Ysidro, Chula Vista, all over and just, you know, meet up with everybody and hang out, you know, have a good time," said Arturo Rivas.

The car show runs Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 at the Santa Maria Fairpark. 

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Zegna’s Alessandro Sartori on Personal Passion, Vintage Cars - WWD

Meeting a fashion designer in a garage for an interview is not something that happens every day.

This garage in particular, however, has a special meaning for Alessandro Sartori, artistic director of the Zegna brand, as it is a personal investment that stems from his passion for vintage cars.

Nor is Milano Garage your average parking lot. Spotless, with gleaming white walls, it stores classic designs and also luxury modern ones. Sartori calls it a “hotel for cars.”

Five of them are his own, fondly bought and restored over the years.  

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Sartori’s interest in classic cars isn’t a recent one, as it dates back to his childhood and merges with his other two main passions, which are related to his day job, he underscores — design and  photography.  

“Since I was a child, I was passionate about the aesthetic lines of French cars from the ‘70s and ‘80s such as the Citroen DS 23 Pallas, or the Lancia Delta S4, and my father indulged me, buying me models and taking me to exhibitions. I remember one showcasing cars owned by [the late Fiat tycoon] Gianni Agnelli in Turin, for example,” recalls Sartori. “I wasn’t attracted to or impressed by expensive or necessarily famous or trendy cars but by a particular and unique design, and I would photograph them and learn about the designers behind them.”

Alessandro Sartori’s car collection

A vintage car at Garage Milano. Daniele Mango/WWD

He points to the opportunity to meet American designer Frank Stephenson, who revisited the Mini Cooper in 2001, as a highlight.

When his busy schedule allows it, traveling to the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, or at Villa D’Este in Lake Como, Italy, or to the Monte Carlo Rally, are also personal moments he relishes.

He speaks affectionately of his first vintage car, a blue Ford Mustang Fastback 289 from 1965, that he acquired in 2011. He sought that particular car because he had the precise model when he was a child, he says.  

What is fundamental, he explains, is that the car must be original. This doesn’t mean it has to be in mint condition when he buys it. Case in point: the now-gleaming and perfect orange Porsche Targa 911 dating back to 1972, his fourth purchase.

“I was looking precisely for that specific color and model, but it was in need of a total restoration, which took four years,” says Sartori. “I bought the original fabrics and leather for the interiors.”

It’s obvious that, apart from the aesthetic significance, the technical and cultural implications are embedded in his admiration for these vintage cars.

Alessandro Sartori’s car collection

From Alessandro Sartori’s car collection. Daniele Mango/WWD

Sartori’s attention to detail isn’t surprising, given his meticulous approach to his fashion designs. He’s been acknowledged for leading the major style shift and commercial success of the Zegna brand.

The connection with Zegna runs deep. Sartori began his career at the Italian group in 1989 as a menswear designer and became creative director of the Z Zegna line in 2003. In 2011, he was appointed artistic director at Berluti in Paris and left five years later to rejoin Zegna in his current role.

At Zegna, to respond to the need for more comfort while staying stylish, he introduced a new form of the suit, developing his personal take on menswear and a signature style. He continues to experiment with light shapes, materials and technical finishes, developing a new leisurewear silhouette and subverting under and outer layers.

Before the Porsche Targa, he bought the red 1972 Lancia Fulvia HF Fanalone, or “big headlamps” due to its oversized headlights. “Buying it was my dream come true,” he says, his eyes twinkling.

His second buy was a bronze Porsche Turbo from 1981 that he bought in 2014 in Memphis. “I like the idea that the [Porsches] are tweaked with slight changes through the years while maintaining their original design — it’s genius,” he says of his other Porsche, the 911 T. Which leads him to see some similarities with menswear, when variations on some staples evolve through the collections and make the difference.  

Driving these cars is also part of the fun, as Sartori would never consider keeping them locked up as in a museum. He shows photos of a trip through France, and recalls fondly of driving up to the Swiss lakes or the Dolomites.

Alessandro Sartori

Alessandro Sartori Daniele Mango/WWD

That said, he realized years ago the need to protect the cars and with a partner, Riccardo Tosi, he set up Milano Garage in 2015.

“I used to pay a monthly rent for the Mustang in a garage where nobody would take care of the car, and I thought this made no sense at all, so with Riccardo we decided to find a location where we would ensure the cars would be cleaned, covered, parked away in the right temperature in summer and winter, and insured,” says Sartori.

Gradually, and by word of mouth, Milano Garage began to open up to others. “We also take care of transferring the cars to the exhibitions, take photos there, and, in brief, respond to the needs of our clients,” says Sartori. “There really isn’t anything similar in Italy, it’s a new concept here.”

In lateral projects, Sartori has had the opportunity to work with Maserati and Ferrari on Zegna capsule collections and create interiors for the luxury cars.

His next dream car? “Ah, I would love to buy a black Ferrari Dino,” he says wistfully.

Alessandro Sartori’s car collection

Part of Alessandro Sartori’s car collection. Daniele Mango/WWD
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‘What do I do now?’: Charlotte woman’s car stolen less than a week after apartment fire - WBTV

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A string of car thefts in Charlotte last weekend hit one woman especially hard.

According to police reports, two car burglaries and two attempted car burglaries took place between Saturday and Sunday on one small stretch of South Tryon Street, right near Nations Ford Road.

One of those cars belonged to a woman who recently lost her home to a fire.

Erica Whitted is taking it about as well as anybody could expect, and said she’s thankful she and her mother are okay through it all.

On May 15, a fire raged through Whitted’s apartment building at the corner of South Tryon Street and Arrowood Road, giving her time to grab only a few things before she and her mother evacuated.

“At the time, it’s like you couldn’t grab anything, like it was so quick,” she said. “Good thing I washed my clothes and left them at the door, that was the only thing I could really grab.”

She packed up those clothes in her car and drove herself and her mother to Hyatt Homes just down the street.

Then, just a few days later, her horrible week got worse.

Whitted’s Hyundai Tucson was stolen from the parking lot of her hotel, leaving her without a home or car.

“I was actually leaving to go to Dunkin’ Donuts, and I was just like ‘where’s my car?’” she said. “It’s like ‘what do I do now?’ I’m trying to fix one situation and now I’m in another situation.”

Fortunately, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police quickly found her car right across the state line in York County.

“They just busted a window and hot-wired it, and left it stranded in the middle of the road,” Whitted said of the theft.

She should get her car back next week once it gets fixed, but between taking care of her mother and losing their home last week, she said the car theft was a breaking point for her mentally.

“I mean I do everything, I take care of my mom, I go to work. And for it to happen, it’s like ‘Just why?’” she said.

Despite going through an incredibly difficult week, Whitted is still taking it all with a smile on her face.

“Mentally I take it day-by-day,” she said. “That’s all you really can do. The world’s going to keep going, so I just keep on going.”

As she has dealt with seemingly one awful break after another, her manager at work started a GoFundMe campaign to help Whitted and her family replace everything they lost in the fire. Those interested in helping can do so here.

Related: Investigators: 2-alarm fire at Charlotte apartment complex accidental

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Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett's car stolen from dealership ... - CBS Pittsburgh

Local News

KDKA-TV Afternoon Forecast (5-26-23)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) —  A man is facing charges for allegedly stealing a vehicle belonging to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Christopher Carter of Murrysville is charged with receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of automobiles and other vehicles, and theft by unlawful taking, according to court documents. 

According to court records, Pickett was doing some advertising at Bowser Chevrolet of Monroeville on Wednesday when a man hopped in his car and sped off.

Drew Borst was watching TV at his home in the afternoon when he got a call from a friend who lives around the corner.

"Asked if I heard all the noise and if we were OK, and I said, 'I don't know what you're talking about,'" Borst said.

Borst quickly learned his neighbor, Carter, put his dog in a blue SUV and drove off.

"He drove and he went to the intersection right here, and I guess an argument broke out between him and somebody on the bike trail," Borst said.

By the time Borst stepped outside, Carter left the car parked at the stop sign and started chasing after his other dog. Another neighbor drove the car back to Railroad Lane and parked it on the grass in front of Borst's home.

It wasn't long before Murrysville police responded as Carter grabbed the downspout pipe off his house and fell down.

"They actually put him on a stretcher and put him into an ambulance," Borst said.

This is when Borst said two employees from the Bowser Chevrolet dealership showed up and told police the car belonged to Pickett.

Borst couldn't believe what they said.

"I thought, I got see if I heard that correctly. So I walked out, and I said to the two Bowser kids, I said, 'Did I hear that correctly?' And they said, 'Yeah,'" Borst said.

Court records say Monroeville police responded to the dealership on Route 286 just after 4:00 p.m. for a stolen 2023 navy Hyundai Genesis.

In the complaint, the officer said a witness saw a man walking around the showroom for a while before stealing the vehicle and heading east toward Plum. It also states surveillance video showed the suspect arrived at the dealership in his personal vehicle. By looking up the registration, police identified the suspect as 60-year-old Carter, who is now in the Allegheny County Jail.

"Who knows why people make the decisions they make," Borst said.

It's a day Borst won't forget when he also saw a black case carrying the Steelers' playbook in the trunk of the car.

"What are the odds that Kenny Pickett's car got stolen? And parked in my front yard? You know this doesn't happen every day," Borst said.

Now he wants to send a message to the quarterback himself.

"Kenny, come see us, you know where we live," Borst said.

When Bowser employees recovered the vehicle, they noticed some scratches and scuffs that were not on it before it was stolen.

The Steelers confirm to KDKA-TV that Pickett's playbook was in the car. It has since been returned, along with the SUV.

KDKA-TV reached out to Bowser for comment but has not heard back at this time.

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