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Might You Do $10,000 For This Crazy Clean 1985 Subaru Brat GL?

9 May

MY FIRST CAR was a 1982 Subaru Brat. I learned about 10 months after buying it that you were supposed to depress the clutch when shifting into all-wheel drive mode. I had wondered why it was getting harder and harder to move that little gear shifter when I wanted to put it into all-wheel drive.

Source: Might You Do $10,000 For This Crazy Clean 1985 Subaru Brat GL?

 

Elon Musk Just Teased The First Image Of The Tesla Semi Truck

1 May

FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T HEARD, Tesla has been working on a big rig truck and just teased their first image of it. Seems like a likely evolution for the company’s vehicle efforts, and I think it would likely be a game changer, so to speak.  Think of the billions of dollars spend on billions of gallons of diesel fuel, and how that adds to the cost of getting goods shipped all over the U.S.  Think of how much diesel emissions add to climate change, too.

Any speculative sketching of Tesla’s truck (to be unveiled in September) will have some basics, guaranteed: an extremely aerodynamic shape, for starters.  Plenty of space for massive battery packs (and they’ll have to be massive, for the distances semi-trucks travel).  One thing not mentioned is solar panels – the amount of space on the top of a semi-trailer plus how much time in daylight is spent on the road should mean some sort of solar energy/recharging ability would be a no-brainer.

Source: Elon Musk Just Teased The First Image Of The Tesla Semi Truck

America’s Greatest Race Series – Celebrating Can-AM’s 50th Anniversary – New Book and Great Video

29 Nov

THE CAN-AM RACING SERIES is largely forgotten by passing racing fans, but not for long, thanks to this amazing book.

In the 70’s the Can-Am series was fun, competitive, and wild, every season. The cars were by far the coolest looking of any race cars. I thought so then, and still do, now. The cars not only looked great but featured amazing engines and chassis…and they really don’t look dated 40+ years later. When I was a kid I had a huge Tyco and AFX slot car track in my basement and by far my favorite slot car was the SHADOW…followed by the legendary  and awe-inspiring Porsche 917. Check out the video below, which is a great preview of the book, filled with awesome photos.

 

Order the book here!

A Visual History of the Greatest Racing Series Ever: The Can-Am Started 50 Years Ago – Feature – Car and Driver

26 Oct

WHEN I WAS A KID, I was so enamored with the Can-Am cars and this series. All I wanted was the AFX and Tyco versions of the Porsche 917 (possibly THE most dominating race car EVER) and that cool, black SHADOW car. If you’re a guy and grew up in the 70’s and were into cars, you know exactly what I’m talking about. This book looks amazing!

Source: A Visual History of the Greatest Racing Series Ever: The Can-Am Started 50 Years Ago – Feature – Car and Driver

 

Video

The Inspiration for those Ron Burgundy/Dodge Commercials?

24 Jan

This probably wasn’t the inspiration, but Dodge tried something like those Ron Burgundy commercials a long time ago, starring Don Knotts. Love the facial expressions!

BMW X6: Big & Ugly

9 May

I love cars, and am fascinated by car design, and there’s some cars that just drive me crazy.  One example is the fat, bloated and downright ugly BMW X6.  Its a four-wheel drive offshoot of the 5-Series Gran Turismo  itself a big, ugly vehicle.  They both ask the question that wasn’t asked:  what if we put a hatchback on a big BMW sedan?  And what if we made a version that’s an all-wheel drive crossover?

BMW X6

BMW X6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I don’t understand why BMW thought this was a good idea.  If you want a crossover/SUV BMW there’s the X5 – which over the years has got better-looking.  The X5 looks in proportion; if you’ve ever seen an X6 up close, its big and imposing – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but its design just doesn’t work.  Rather, its the auto-equivalent of that over-sized guy in the aisle seat across from you – you might not be right next to him, but he’s still taking up too much space.Both the X6 and 5-series GT have the traditional BMW styling cues: twin kidney grill, the Hoffmeister kink in the C-pillar and the upper and lower creases along the sides.  Even with those, it still looks like what it is:  a heavy, slab-sided crossover.

I’m not some elitist BMW-hater, though the last few years, most BMWs haven’t been nearly as good looking as most Audis (compare an A8 to the 7-series, for example).   Still, BMWs great reputation of a driver’s car still holds sway and is no doubt still well-deserved; the hulking X6/5-series GT cars might very well be great to drive.  My guess is that with these two, that’s not going to matter.  Its about the name, regardless of the looks.

My Current and Possible Next Car

21 Jan

Not actually my Volvo S60
I love cars.  Always have.  When I was a kid in the 70’s I remember worrying about the gas crisis – what if we ran out before I was old enough to drive?

Currently I’m driving a 2001 Volvo S60 T5 (the car pictured is similar, but not mine).  Its got 160,000 miles on it and I’ve learned over the years that parts for this car are expensive!  The car hasn’t been trouble-free, per se; but it has been dependable, for the most part.  However, recent problems and maintenance have got me thinking that it might be time to “put down” the S60.  I might not have any choice but financially at the moment I might not be able to replace it, either.  It could be that I replace one aging, high-mileage car with another.

Still, because I love cars so much, and will probably be looking to buy in the months ahead, its got me thinking of various cars I’ve owned – and would like to own.  I know what I don’t want – an SUV, or an automatic transmission or a car that I’ve owned before (list below).  I think I might be looking at late model/last generation versions of the Subaru Legacy, Mazda 6, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Golf and maybe a Saab 9-3.  I need a fun, sporty, 4-dr. sedan.

 

I’ve owned so far, from first to most recent:

1982 Subaru BRAT (Brown, with white rims and the obligatory Dunlop white letter GT tires.  Brown was a great color car to drive in high school.  Did you know you have to depress the clutch when you shift into 4-wheel drive?  I found this out after the transmission died)

1978 Honda Accord  (a lot of bondo and a lot of money went into this car.  Oh, the things I know now)

1981 or ’82 Toyota Corolla  (This was brown – yes, again – was later painted red, and was bullet proof.  Got a great deal, was in terrific shape and got rid of it too soon)

1982 Toyota Celica (I should not have got rid of the Corolla for this, but wanted something sportier, faster, bigger, and this was!  First car with a sun-roof, first car with something other than a 4-cylinder.  This thing could cruise)

1982 Honda Accord  (I put a lot of miles on this one, was low-mileage and near mint condition when I found it at a used-car lot in southeastern CT. Blue, just like my first Accord)

1992 Mistubishi Eclipse (My first brand new car.  Got it when the Accord was really done.  I still remember that new car smell)

1993 Ford Probe GT (My second brand new car, traded in the Eclipse.  Big regret was getting the automatic trans – and trading the Eclipse in for it.  This was the last brand new car)

1995 Mistubishi Diamante (Bought in 1996, a year old; traded in the Ford Probe.  Underrated car, very dependable, great highway cruiser.  Took Alex home from the hospital in this!)

1981 or 1982 Mazda RX-7 (The original version.  Was going to really rebuild this nicely over time, but getting laid off derailed that plan.)

1993 Infiniti G20 (Oh, could this thing handle! Super-fun to drive)

2001 Subaru Forrester (This was primarily the ex-wife’s but I drove it often.  Best handling car in the snow I ever drove.  Made two trips to CT.  Just a terrific car)

2001 Volvo S60 (bought in September, 2004)

 
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