• Evija’s new manufacturing facility readied to deliver final prototypes for last stages of the testing program
  • Series production to begin in Hethel this summer
  • “With our new factory ready, we are ahead of the pack in the emerging EV hypercar segment and 100% ready for some healthy competition” – Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars
  • New film shows Evija assembly hall coming ALIVE (Link Below)

(Hethel, UK – 19 February 2020) – The new manufacturing facility where Lotus will build the Evija all-electric hypercar is being readied for final prototype production. 

Series production and first customer deliveries of the all-electric two-seater will begin in the summer.

The hall is situated at the brand’s historic home of Hethel, in Norfolk, UK. It has been built trackside, next to Lotus’ storied 2.2-mile circuit which has hosted testing and shake-down sessions with many Formula 1 legends such as Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark and others.

The result is a versatile and inspiring workspace that will see Lotus hand-build up to 130 examples of the Evija. The first year’s production allocation is already designated to customers around the world. 

Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars, commented: “This is now the newest car production facility in the world, and to witness it move from the drawing board to reality has been deeply satisfying. It’s testament to the commitment of all involved, and is the perfect sleek and high-tech production home for the Evija at our iconic Hethel headquarters.”

He proudly unveiled the completed hall to more than 1,400 Lotus employees during a series of staff briefings held in the new facility, telling them: “With our new factory ready, we are ahead of the pack in the emerging EV hypercar segment and 100% ready for some healthy competition.” 

Work on the new Evija factory began in summer 2019. The interior has been fitted on three sides with gantries which frame the build stations. These have been designed and engineered to be sleek and unobtrusive, though robust enough to carry the necessary power, data and compressed air systems required to assemble the Evija. 

An overhead gantry crane, multiple vehicle lifts and a wheel alignment ramp have also been installed. The interior is illuminated by more than 30,000 of the latest high-density, low-energy LEDs. A state-of-the-art light tunnel will house the rigorous final inspection, before each Evija is driven out directly on to the famous Hethel test track for dynamic validation. 

Highly collaborative in nature, the project has involved the co-ordination of 20 specialist contractors with more than 50 experts on site over the last six months.

About the Lotus Evija: 

  • The name means ‘the first in existence’ 
  • The world’s first all-electric British hypercar
  • The first electrified Lotus, the first Lotus hypercar and the first Lotus developed under the stewardship of majority shareholder Geely 
  • At 2,000 PS, the world’s most powerful series production road car
  • 0-62mph in under three seconds; 0-186mph in under nine seconds; a top speed of more than 200mph
  • Full battery charge capability in under 10 minutes; battery power output of 2,000 kW; full EV driving range of 250 miles
  • Outstanding aerodynamic performance and downforce
  • A Lotus like no other. A hypercar like no other. Yet instantly recognisable – as a beautiful car, as a Lotus
  • Destined to be driven, not left unappreciated in a gilded cage. It is ‘For The Drivers’
  • A statement of intent, and a global calling card for Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering
  • It performs like a beast, but looks like a beauty – a technical masterpiece

About Lotus

Group Lotus is based in Potash Lane, Hethel, Norfolk, UK, NR14 8EZ. It is part of Geely Automotive, the fastest growing automotive group in the world. Geely has a 51% controlling stake, with 49% owned by Etika Automotive, a Malaysian conglomerate.
Lotus Cars builds world-class, high-performance sports cars including the Evora, Elise and Exige ranges. In July 2019 it launched the Evija, the world’s first all-electric British hypercar.
Lotus Engineering provides a comprehensive consultancy service which works with many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. It is internationally recognised for its long-standing contribution to ground-breaking automotive engineering and vehicle development.

Notes to Editors

The Lotus media site contains news, images, specs, statistics and videos from the latest models to heritage and engineering technology. Please register your details.


The 1936 Ford Custom owned by Jeff Boone was awarded the top honor in the custom car world, while the King of Kustoms award was given to the 1949 Mercury Custom owned by Glenn Black.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (February 16, 2020) – The Sacramento Autorama, one of the world’s longest running indoor car shows, hosted over 500 world-class custom vehicles and handed out over 400 individual awards during its awards ceremony on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds in Sacramento, California. The most prestigious of these awards was the Custom d’Elegance which was awarded to Jeff Boone’s 1936 Ford Custom. Other major award winners included Glenn Black who won King of Kustoms with his 1949 Mercury Custom and Bob Dron who won the H.A. Bagdasarian “World’s Most Beautiful Custom” for his 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline.

The Sacramento Autorama’s most coveted award is the Custom d’Elegance. Each year it is given to the best chopped, channeled and sectioned vehicle from 1935-1948 that embodies the true spirit of a classic custom. This year, the ’36 Ford Custom triumphed over the other six contenders, earning its owner a spot alongside industry icons like Gene Winfield, Joe Bailon, George Barris and John D’Agostino on the historic perpetual plaque, as well as $2,000 in prize money.

The ’36 Ford was originally purchased by Boone’s grandfather in 1941. His grandfather began modifying the car in period to promote his used car dealerships. After being submerged in a flood, the car sat unused until it was gifted to Boone in 1973; he was just 11 years old. Boone began collecting parts and slowly put the car back together as he grew older. The long restoration process ultimately brought him to Sacramento Autorama this year where the car was shown for the first time. The custom features a 221 cubic Inch Ford engine mated to a ’39 Ford three-speed transmission. The roof has been chopped three inches, door corners rounded, B-pillars slanted and much more.

The Sacramento Autorama’s other top award was the King of Kustoms, which recognized the best 1935-1964 custom build with a focus on bodylines, design, flow and quality of workmanship. This year’s winner was Glenn Black with his 1949 Mercury Custom. Judges particularly praised its incredible paint which perfectly complemented its long swooping lines.

“For the Sacramento Autorama’s 70th anniversary, we gathered some of the greatest customs of all time,” said John Buck, owner of Rod Shows and producer of the Sacramento Autorama. “Each of the cars here represented the pinnacle of their respective categories – the best of the hobby. We couldn’t be prouder to be the gathering point for this community.”

Other major awards given at the show were the Big B Awards. The World’s Most Beautiful Custom, which was presented by the family of show founder H.A. Bagdasarian, recognized the best custom car from 1936 to present that featured a silhouette change, including a chop, channel, or section.  This year, that award and its $500 prize went to Bob Dron and his 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline.

The next Big B award was the Sam Barris Memorial Award, named in honor of legendary custom car builder Sam Barris. The award was presented by the Barris family to the owner of the car with the best metal work, alignment of body panels and paint. For 2020, the Barris family chose Chris Bonilla and his 1949 Mercury Custom.

The Joe “Candy Apple Red” Bailon Award was designed and created by Bailon, one of the nation’s premier custom car designers and builders. This year, the award was presented to Calvin Fisk and his 1953 Ford Pickup. Fisk received the award and a $500 prize.

The last of the Big B awards, the Dick Bertolucci Automotive Excellence Award, was given to the vehicle manufactured before 1973 that famed hot rod and custom builder Dick Bertolucci felt exhibited the best craftsmanship in assembly, fit, finish and detail.  This year, Bertolucci selected Jerry Jacob’s 1957 Chevrolet Belair built by Dominator Street Rods for the trophy and $500 in prize money.

For more information about the Sacramento Autorama and for the full list of 2020 award winners, please visit

About Rod Shows
Based in the automotive cultural hub of Southern California, Rod Shows produces the West Coast’s premier indoor hot rod and custom shows including the Grand National Roadster Show and the Sacramento Autorama. Its professional show management team sets the highest standards for top quality competition and displays with every show and personally visit the country’s top automotive coachbuilders and events throughout the year, ensuring the Best of the Best participate in its events.  For more information, visit


Photos by Drew Phillips.

Dubbed the ‘Hitman,’ this 1969 Mustang Mach 1 makes 1000hp from a twin-turbocharged Coyote V8, rides on modern coilover suspension and is the first Mach 1 to be built under the Classic Recreations’ license from Ford Motor Company

YUKON, Okla. (February 12, 2020) – Oklahoma-based custom coach builder Classic Recreations has introduced its latest vehicle – a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 it has nicknamed “Hitman.” The vehicle is the first Mach 1 produced as part of an exclusive licensing deal with Ford Motor Company that includes iconic Mustangs like the Boss 429, Boss 302 and the Mach 1.

The Classic Recreations “Hitman” Mach 1 began with a real 1969 Mustang Mach 1 body that was restored to factory-new condition before receiving its intercooled, twin-turbocharged Ford 32-valve Coyote V8 that makes 1,000 horsepower. A Tremec six-speed manual transmission, 9-inch rear end with Posi-Traction, tubular subframe connectors and state-of-the-art engine management systems work together to put that power to the ground while exhaust gases escape through a set of custom stainless steel turbo manifolds and dual stainless steel MagnaFlow performance mufflers. Fuel is delivered to the engine by an electric Vaporworx fuel pump housed in a Rick’s Tanks 18-gallon fuel cell.

Engineered specifically to complement high horsepower builds, the “Hitman” Mach 1’s suspension setup includes coilovers up front, a Total Control rear coilover system and Total Control front and rear sway bars. A power rack and pinion steering system helps to keep the driver in control at all times.

For maximum traction, Classic Recreations has mounted 18-inch lightweight American Racing Wheels at all four corners, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2s sized 225/40R18 in the front and 315/30R18 in the rear. To rein in all that power, the “Hitman” features six-piston Wilwood calipers with slotted and cross-drilled rotors on all four corners. An adjustable rear proportioning valve gives enthusiasts complete control over brake bias, allowing them to match the settings to their intended use and driving style.

A BeCool aluminum crossflow radiator supported by two electric cooling fans helps keep the engine cool while an “Old Air” air conditioning system keeps the Mach 1’s occupants comfortable. Other amenities include a JVC head unit wired to a Kicker amp, speakers and subwoofer. A woodgrain aluminum steering wheel, five-point seat belts, 200 mph gauges, TMI Mustang interior panels and a cosmetic rollbar complete the Mach 1’s purposeful yet comfortable interior.

The “Hitman” Mustang Mach 1 was given a two-tone grey and black paint job by Classic Recreations. A factory-style Mach 1 front chin spoiler and rear decklid spoiler coupled with Mach 1 badges makes the car stand out while staying true to its timeless design.

The Classic Recreations Mustang Mach 1 is a bespoke vehicle, custom-built to its owner’s wishes. Whether a Mach 1 leaves the shop as a period-correct recreation or as a resto-mod loosely based on the original car, the final product is fully dependent on the customer’s desire. For more information on Classic Recreations’ officially licensed 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Mustang continuation cars or Classic Recreations’ other services visit or call (405) 577-6464.

About Classic Recreations:
Classic Recreations’ team of skilled technicians and craftsmen have been modifying and building high-performance vehicles for more than 15 years. Each built-to-order vehicle takes approximately four months (nearly 2,500 man-hours) of painstaking assembly. Classic Recreations is licensed by Ford Motor Company to build licensed Ford Mustang restorations and continuation cars, and Classic Recreations is a Ford Racing distributor. Each Classic Recreations Shelby comes with an official Shelby serial number and is included in the official Shelby Worldwide Registry. Find out more about how to get your own customized vehicle at

Ford Motor Company trademarks and trade dress used under license to Classic Recreations.


The premier motorcycle lifestyle event will honor the motorcycle racer and customizer as the 2020 Legend of the Sport, as well as present a showcase of more than 300 vintage and modern motorcycles

Carmel, Calif. (February  11, 2020) –The Quail Motorcycle Gathering presented by GEICO Motorcycle has announced it will honor prolific American motorcycle racer and designer Roland Sands as the 2020 Legend of the Sport during the 12th annual event on Saturday, May 16, 2020.  

Hailing from Long Beach, California, Sands has set several track records around the world and was most notably the 1998 American Motorcyclist Association 250GP Champion. After 10 years of professional racing, Sands founded Roland Sands Design (RSD), a motorcycle, product and apparel company which has played a pivotal role in popularizing high-performance custom bikes to the masses. Over the last five years, the team at RSD has expanded into the event space with the Moto Beach Classic in Southern California and the the Super Hooligan National Championship, a series that unites the custom-motorcycle scene with flat track racing.

His motorcycle and product designs have earned several accolades including three V-Twin Wheel Design of the Year awards, a V-Twin Control Design award, a Chip Foose Design of Excellence award, a second-, third- and fourth-place award in the Modified Harley class at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building, a V-Twin Trendsetter of the Year award, a Biker Build-Off championship on the Discovery Channel, a Biker Build-Off Rookie of the Year award, and a 2Wheel Tuner Brappy award. Sands was also the 2018 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Grand Marshal.

“Each year, we recognize a Legend of the Sport for their achievements in racing and contributions to the sport of motorcycling,” said Gordon McCall, Director of Motorsports for The Peninsula Signature Events. “In the past, legends have included Arlen Ness, Wayne Rainey, Malcolm Smith and many more. This year, we have the great pleasure of adding Roland Sands to this epic list of influential people.”

Roland Sands will be invited on stage during the show for a Fireside Chat, where he will discuss his success and accomplishments with the crowd. The show will take place on the pristine lawns of Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California. Featuring a variety of activities for people of all ages to enjoy, guests can indulge in farm-to-table Mexican cuisine and goods from motorcycle lifestyle vendors. Children, families and even pets are welcome.

New this year, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering presented by GEICO Motorcycle is offering General Public Admission Only Tickets at $55 which include parking and gear valet service for those riding a motorcycle to the event. Food and beverage options will be provided by the Quail Lodge culinary team in the NEW concessions pavilion. General Public Admission + Hospitality Tickets are $90 and include a gourmet lunch in a private seating area inclusive of a buffet of culinary delightments and non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets are available online at Learn more about the event at and follow the action on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @TheQuailEvents.

About The Peninsula Signature Events
The Peninsula Signature Events is organized by The Peninsula Hotels, dedicated to creating world-class bespoke events at its properties in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Bangkok, Manila, and Paris – future openings, Yangon and London. Quail Lodge & Golf Club is home to the following Peninsula Signature Events: The Quail RideThe Quail Motorcycle GatheringThe Quail Rally and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering


Josh Blyler earns his first King of the Hammers win with Team Nitto while Erik Miller and Marcos Gomez round out the top three spots at the opening race of the Ultra4 Racing season on Friday, February 7, 2020.

Cypress, Calif. (February 10, 2020) – Nitto Tire U.S.A., a leading manufacturer of off-road and street performance tires, has announced that Team Nitto drivers Josh Blyler, Erik Miller and Marcos Gomez have swept the podium at the 2020 Nitto King of the Hammers race in Johnson Valley, California.

The King of the Hammers race marks the beginning of the 2020 Ultra4 Racing series and is widely regarded as the toughest single-day off-road race in the world with over 212 miles covered in less than 12 hours. In the race’s unlimited 4400 class, the drivers pilot custom race buggies through a course that includes both high speed desert running and highly technical rock crawling. To win, a competitor must display remarkable stamina, skill and have the proper equipment to withstand the rigorous conditions.

2020 marks both Blylers’ first win at King of the Hammers and the second time that Nitto Tire has swept the podium at the King of the Hammers, with the last sweep taking place in 2017. Taking second place was longtime Team Nitto driver and two-time King of the Hammers winner Erik Miller with Nitto Driver Marcos Gomez securing the podium sweep with a third-place finish. All drivers and teams were competing on Nitto’s capable, durable and race-proven Trail Grappler M/T tire.

“The entire team at Nitto Tire is extremely proud of our amazing drivers and their incredible accomplishment at one of the toughest off-road races in the world,” said Chris Corbett, Nitto Tire U.S.A.’s events and motorsports manager. “This race pushes competitors and their rigs to the extreme, so a reliable, durable and race-proven tire like the Nitto Trail Grappler M/T is crucial to success. Speeding through the desert and navigating countless rock obstacles, the right tire is one of the single biggest factors in determining whether or not you end up on top of the podium.”

For more information about the 2020 Nitto King of the Hammers powered by OPTIMA Batteries, please visit To learn more about Nitto Tire, please visit Nitto on Facebook at, on Twitter and Instagram at @NittoTire, on YouTube at, or at

About Nitto Tire® Nitto Tire ( develops performance tires for all uses, including racing, off-road and street. Using state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facilities in both Japan and the United States, Nitto provides innovative and high-quality performance tires for the most demanding automotive enthusiasts. For more information about Nitto or its products, visit the company’s web site or contact the company directly. Nitto is a registered trademark of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., located at 5665 Plaza Drive, Ste. 250, Cypress, CA 90630.


The 2020 ROUSH Raptor features a new performance brake package, custom off-road wheels and tires, new design features, and a host of optional upgrades.

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, MICH. (February 7, 2020) – ROUSH Performance has announced that its 2020 ROUSH Raptor is now available to order at all ROUSH Authorized Dealers. For 2020, the newest off-road capable truck in ROUSH’s stable now features a high performance front brake system, newly designed 18-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, and a custom interior.

The 2020 ROUSH Raptor comes standard with the new ROUSH High Performance Front Brake Package by Alcon that includes black six-piston calipers embossed with a silver ROUSH logo as well as upgraded 13.7-inch rotors and high friction pads that provide greater stopping power and are built to withstand longer bouts of spirited driving without fading. The heavy duty off-road tie rods were specifically designed for the 2020 Raptor, improving overall steering and responsiveness.

The new, standard ROUSH-designed 18-inch Satin Gray Split Spoke Wheels come with integrated black trim rings and an extra set of red-trim rings, giving drivers the option to change the look of the wheels. These new wheels are wrapped in trail-ready 35-inch General Tire Grabber A/TX Tires providing all-terrain traction and a quiet, comfortable ride on the street. As an added touch, newly integrated puddle lamps light-up the ground with the ROUSH “R” logo as the driver unlocks or enters/exits the truck.

Other standard components for the 2020 ROUSH Raptor include the ROUSH Axle Back Exhaust System with 5-inch tips featuring etched ROUSH “R” logos, giving the Raptor its signature ROUSH sound. Inside, the ROUSH Raptor features premium black leather with red stitching, suede bolsters, debossed ROUSH logos and the custom ROUSH gauge cluster. Customers who purchase the Ford Recaro package will receive ROUSH embroidered headrests. Like all official ROUSH vehicles, serialized interior badges and an exclusive graphics package, which includes a windshield banner, bedside graphics, tailgate blackout graphics, USA flag and Jack Roush signature graphic, complete this truck’s custom look. Additional available options include a splatter graphic, Off-Road Utility Kit, and ROUSH Console Vault.

New options available for 2020 include the ROUSH Retractable Aluminum Bed Cover and ROUSH Chase Rack with Dual Rigid Light bars (late availability). The rack sits above the bed without sacrificing cargo space and the dual 7,920-lumen light bars feature translucent black enamel lights and an integrated thermal management system to extend the longevity of the LEDs. The lights now feature the capability to fold back, allowing drivers to gain extra clearance for their garage should they need it.  The optional Retractable Aluminum Bed Cover opens with the twist of a knob, allowing full access to the bed when open and securing cargo out of view when closed. The optional bed cargo manager add-on can also be added to keep gear secured and organized. 

“The 2020 ROUSH Raptor is a very capable vehicle,” said Jack Roush Jr. “This year, we outfitted our Raptor with premium off-road performance technology, which has been matched with signature ROUSH style and engineering. This allowed us to create a trail-ready vehicle built to tackle any terrain.”

The 2020 ROUSH Raptor starts at $16,500 above the price of the base vehicle and comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty. Each ROUSH Raptor includes a unique serialized certificate of authenticity and is hand-built in the ROUSH Performance facility in Plymouth Township, Michigan. The ROUSH Raptor is now available to order and will be shipped to all ROUSH Performance Authorized Ford Dealers in Spring 2020. For more information on the 2020 ROUSH Raptor or any other ROUSH Performance vehicles, visit

About ROUSH Performance
ROUSH Performance was founded in 1995 by motorsports legend Jack Roush, the winningest name in racing. Combining performance engineering with entrepreneurship, ROUSH began selling designs he had created for his own team to the wider world of motorsports. Based out of Plymouth Township, Michigan, ROUSH Performance, a division of Roush Enterprises, designs, engineers and manufacturers completely assembled pre-titled vehicles, aftermarket performance parts, and superchargers for the global performance enthusiast market. For more on ROUSH, please visit or call 800.59.ROUSH.


The ROUSH Stage 2 Mustang includes all-new upgrades with track-tuned technology to create a versatile performance car that is refined for daily driving and optimized for weekend track days

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, MI (February 4, 2020) – ROUSH Performance has announced that its new 2020 Stage 2 Mustang is now available at all ROUSH Authorized Dealers. The Stage 2 Mustang, the highest performance naturally aspirated Mustang in the ROUSH stable, received major upgrades for 2020 with a new aero kit, ROUSH-calibrated MagneRide® suspension and new FlowForm wheels as well as two new performance packages.  

New for 2020, the standard ROUSH-calibrated MagneRide® suspension provides a highly adaptive ride with responsive handling and comfort that can quickly transition from daily driving comfort to confident corner-craving at the racetrack. The redesigned ROUSH R9 Aero Body kit includes a new functional front fascia as well as heat-extracting hood and fender vents to decrease engine and driveline temperatures. Also new for 2020, the ROUSH-designed Matte Black FlowForm 20-inch wheels come wrapped in Ultra High-Performance Continental ExtremeContact™ Sport tires for uncompromising grip. Finally, the newly designed sport interior includes premium black leather with race-inspired stitching and American flag accents on the front seats.

The 2020 ROUSH Stage 2 Mustang is also now available with two new performance option packages – the Competition and Podium packages. The Competition Package includes the ROUSH Active Exhaust System which uses an electronically controlled valve to give the driver total control over the tone and volume of the Stage 2’s exhaust note as well as the Engine Bay Styling Package, locking lug nuts and a custom ROUSH car cover. For the track-day enthusiast, the Podium Package includes upgraded Brembo brake pads and rotors for greater stopping power and the ROUSH Stage 2 Cooling Package which includes engine and transmission coolers, on top of everything in the Competition Package.

Additional optional upgrades for the 2020 ROUSH Stage 2 Mustang include ROUSH Forged wheels featuring a ROUSH-exclusive design in a Gloss Gunmetal Grey finish; X or H-pipe exhaust upgrade; the Premium Interior Package with custom-designed ROUSH leather seats available in Amaretto or Black; the Engine Bay Styling Package; and a Convertible Style Bar.

The 2020 ROUSH Stage 2 Mustang starts at $12,995 above the base vehicle and comes standard with an in-house 3-year/36,000-mile body warranty. Each ROUSH Mustang includes serialized badges and is hand-built in the ROUSH Performance Factory in Plymouth, Michigan. The ROUSH Stage 2 Mustang is now available to order at ROUSH Performance Authorized Ford Dealers. For more information on the 2020 ROUSH Stage 2 or any other ROUSH Performance vehicle, visit

About ROUSH Performance
ROUSH Performance was founded in 1995 by motorsports legend Jack Roush, the winningest name in racing. Combining performance engineering with entrepreneurship, ROUSH began selling designs he had created for his own team to the wider world of motorsports. Based out of Plymouth Township, Michigan, ROUSH Performance, a division of Roush Enterprises, designs, engineers and manufacturers completely assembled pre-titled vehicles, aftermarket performance parts, and superchargers for the global performance enthusiast market. For more on ROUSH, please visit or call 800.59.ROUSH. 


Photos courtesy of Volkswagen AG.

Fresh off new record setting runs at the Nürburgring, Pikes Peak and Goodwood, the all-electric Volkswagen ID.R race car will run at the Sonoma Speed Festival, May 28-31, 2020, in an attempt to beat the current track record time of 1:15.430 set by a Mercedes-Benz F1 car during the 2019 event.

Sonoma, Calif. (February 4, 2020) – The Sonoma Speed Festival will host the all-electric Volkswagen ID.R on the 2.52-mile (4.06 km) 12 turn road course at Sonoma Raceway from May 28-31, 2020 in an attempt to set a new track record. The record lap time of 1:15.430 minutes was set by Esteban Gutierrez in the Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid at the inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival in 2019. The Volkswagen team will perform daily runs in the ID.R with the goal of besting the Formula 1 car by the end of the weekend.

The Volkswagen ID.R currently holds the overall record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb as well as the electric car record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The ID.R produces 670 horsepower from its electric drivetrain and will be configured for optimal performance at Sonoma Raceway, including updated aerodynamics and battery load. The car joins over 220 vintage and modern race cars at Sonoma Speed Festival for the annual food, wine and motorsports event.

“Last year we watched the Sonoma Raceway track record topple during the inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival,” said Jeff O’Neill, founder of Sonoma Speed Festival. “We are excited to see that record challenged yet again in 2020, this time by Volkswagen. The ID.R represents the future of motorsports and we are thrilled to share a glimpse of what is to come with our guests.”

Volkswagen AG and its motorsports division have committed to a fully-electric future with models like the e-Golf or the upcoming, all-electric ID. Family on the road and the ID.R on the track leading the way. Guests at the Sonoma Speed Festival will enjoy a look at the past, present and future of motorsports with the Volkswagen ID.R as one of the event’s star attractions.

“After setting the overall record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2018, we are looking forward to returning to North America to launch a new record attempt with the fully electric powered ID.R.,” said Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “The Sonoma Speed Festival at Sonoma Raceway provides a serious motorsport challenge. We are seeking to beat the lap record set by a Formula 1 car and underline the potential of electric drive.”

Tickets for the Sonoma Speed Festival are available at here. For more information about the Sonoma Speed Festival, visit and follow the action on Facebook and Instagram @sonomaspeedfestival.

About Sonoma Speed Festival
The Sonoma Speed Festival is dedicated to highlighting the best racecars and collections from the international community and the U.S. One of the primary goals of the event is to connect the beauty and sophistication of the wine country to an event that is spectator and participant friendly while showcasing the best aspects of Northern California. For more information visit or email


Photos by Ian Wood.

“Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection,” which opened to the public on February 1, 2020, includes 10 custom automobiles from the rock star’s collection

LOS ANGELES (February 3, 2020) – The Petersen Automotive Museum debuted a new exhibit on February 1, 2020 which features 10 custom vehicles donated from rock star James Hetfield’s personal collection. Located in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery, “Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection” celebrates Hetfield’s creativity as a world-renowned artist through his built-from-scratch custom car collection and photos.

Key vehicles on display include the 1948 Jaguar “Black Pearl”; the 1934 Packard “Aquarius”; the 1953 Buick Skylark “Skyscraper”; the 1937 Lincoln Zephyr “VooDoo Priest”; the 1936 Auburn “Slow Burn”; the 1936 Ford “Iron Fist”; the 1937 Ford Coupe “Crimson Ghost”; and the 1932 Ford Roadster “Blackjack.” Along with the custom vehicles, the exhibit features images displaying the build process of each car and a video of Hetfield talking about the cars.

“Like his music, James Hetfield’s car collection is a reflection of his creativity as an artist,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Paying homage to classic silhouettes with a hint of disregard for convention, each car on display in ‘Reclaimed Rust’ tells a unique story. We are thrilled to present this collection in an exhibit of rock star proportion.”

The museum hosted an opening reception and media preview on January 30, 2020. The reception was highlighted by a ribbon cutting, a fireside chat with Hetfield and an auction featuring two signed, limited-edition ESP guitars.

“Reclaimed Rust,” sponsored by ESP Guitar Company, runs through October 2020. For more information about the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit  

About Petersen Automotive Museum
The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, 90036. Admission prices are $16 for general admission adults, $14 for seniors and $11 for children ages 4 to 17. Active military with ID, personal care attendants and children under age 4 are admitted free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For general information, call 323-930-CARS or visit


1932 Ford Roadster “Kugel Muroc No. 4” – winner of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster

Owned by Monte Belsham and built by Jerry Kugel, the ’32 Ford Roadster was crowned America’s Most Beautiful Roadster while Ron and Vicki Ernsberger’s 1936 Willys Model 77 built by The Tin Man’s Garage, Inc. won the Al Slonaker Memorial Award.

Pomona, Calif. (January 26, 2020) – The Grand National Roadster Show, the world’s longest-running indoor car show, recognized the top roadsters, hot rods and custom vehicles in the country during its awards ceremony which took place on January 26, 2020 in Pomona, California. This ceremony includes the presentation of two of the custom car world’s most coveted awards – the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award and the Al Slonaker Memorial Award.

One of the oldest and most prestigious awards in the automotive world, America’s Most Beautiful Roadster is presented each year to the best “open” hot rod in the country.  This year’s AMBR winner, the 1932 Ford Roadster “’32 Kugel Muroc No.4” owned by Monte Belsham and built by Jerry Kugel, bested 9 other contenders to not only take home the title’s $12,500 prize provided by ARP, but become immortalized on the award’s 9.5-foot tall perpetual trophy alongside a “who’s who” of hot rodding, including legendary builders like George Barris, Andy Brizio, Boyd Coddington, Barry White, Troy Ladd and Chip Foose.

The AMBR winning 1932 Ford Roadster is one of ten Highboy Roadsters created by Jerry Kugel. Originally built for Nick Barron, the car was modified and painted by Sqeeg’s Kustoms. The Roadster is powered by an LS1 with Hilborn injection and a 4L60-E transmission.

The Al Slonaker Memorial Award was elevated to the same importance as AMBR this year with a matching $12,500 prize purse thanks to award sponsor ARP. The winner of this year’s prize, the 1936 Willys Model 77 owned by Ron and Vicki Ernsberger and built by The Tin Man’s Garage, is now held in esteem as this year’s top custom. The Al Slonaker Memorial Award is dedicated to the memory of Al and Mary Slonaker, who founded the Grand National Roadster Show in 1949. The award has been presented to the best non-roadster vehicle at the show each year since 1974.   

The ’36 Willys Model 77 features a 498 cubic inch Arias V6 Hemi mated to a Tremec TKO 5-Speed. The build features a scratch built cab, bed, fenders and a heavily reworked front clip. The paint, done by The Refinery by Adam Krause, is PPG Rosso Mugello Ferrari Red with 6 coats of clear over two coats of paint.

“Each year the best in the world congregate in Pomona to compete for America’s Most Beautiful Roadster and the Al Slonaker Memorial Award.” said John Buck, owner of Rod Shows and producer of the Grand National Roadster Show. “Monte Belsham’s ’32 Ford Roadster and Ron and Vicki Ernsberger’s ’36 Willys Model 77 fit the bill as some of the all-time greats in their respective classes. Both builds now stand among giants, and deservedly so.”

More than 600 individual awards were presented during the closing ceremonies of the Grand National Roadster Show, which earned its reputation as “The Grand Daddy of Them All” by showcasing more than 490 world-class roadsters, hot rods, muscle cars, customs and more while attracting 50,000 fans over the course of the weekend.

This year, the Grand National Roadster Show featured a special exhibit called “Drag Racing Then and Now” which was presented by Lucas Oil and sponsored by Cragar Wheel. The exhibit hosted a curated gathering of the most important, unique and stylish dragsters from throughout history. Dragsters on display included a 1967 Buick Gran Sport Funny Car by Lipori/Fiberglass LTD. which is the only Buick powered Buick Funny car ever created, to Shirley Muldowney’s 1977 NHRA championship winning Top Fuel dragster, the first car piloted by a woman to take home an NHRA professional series crown of any kind.

This year’s show also featured appearances by celebrities from across the automotive enthusiast community. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Michael Anthony of Van Halen were both in attendance while Mike Ness of Social Distortion displayed a 1954 Chevrolet. This year’s “Builder of the Year” was Dave Kindig, owner of Kindig-it Design and host of Bitchin Rides. Kindig earned the accolade thank to decades of work pushing the boundaries on the design and execution of his custom creations.

The annual pin stripers auction raised money for Teen Challenge in memory of Nicole Meguiar, the late daughter of Meguiar’s Polish’s Barry Meguiar. The auctions took place on Saturday and Sunday and raised $50,000.

For more information about the Grand National Roadster Show and for the full list of 2020 award winners, please visit

About Rod Shows
Based in the automotive cultural hub of Southern California, Rod Shows produces the West Coast’s premier indoor hot rod and custom shows including the Grand National Roadster Show and the Sacramento Autorama. Its professional show management team sets the highest standards for top quality competition and displays with every show and personally visit the country’s top automotive coachbuilders and events throughout the year, ensuring the Best of the Best participate in its events.  For more information, visit

1936 Willys Model 77 – Winner of the Al Slonaker Memorial Award