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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Good, Bad & Ugly

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

On: Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 3:38PM | By: John Welch

ALMS test 2

Last weekend's Sports Car finales were the bee's knees.

"Just why was Buell so great?!"

And I break my "no GM reporting" oath, mostly to rub it in everyone's face.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

On: Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 11:12AM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly test 1-1

North Carolina-based USGPE getting closer to finalizing their driver line-up, constructing a car, and establishing their European base.

Gran Turismo 5 gets delayed even further. I feel apathy creeping in.

Toyota fixes the deadly floormat issue; unfortunately it isn't all that sophisticated a fix . . .

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

On: Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 2:26PM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly test 1-1

Drayson Racing to campaign the 2010 ALMS calendar, LMP Challenge car a "Real Race car!", video of the epic Patron Highcroft ARX-02a rebuild, another F1 team signs up with Cosworth.

Penske/Saturn deal ends in terminal prognosis for Saturn; are the Hummer, Opel and Saab deals next?

9ff creates another wonderful Porsche-based road car, then decorates it with what is possibly the worst paint scheme ever devised. Hide your children, shield your eyes!

Just for kicks, let's start off with some videos documenting Patron Highcroft's resurrection of their destroyed Acura ARX-02a, a story we covered last week . . .



The crash itself . . .




Duncan Dayton explaining the task at hand . . .




 . . . and time lapse footage of the actual rebuild. Incredible.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

On: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 12:45PM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly test 1-1

GM increases production, television puts JD into a schizophrenic rage, Acura won't stop attaching chrome serving-trays to the front ends of their automobiles . . .


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

On: Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 11:46AM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly test 1-1

Fritz Henderson allows us a taste of GM's Australian bounty, the word 'bad' is redefined ala Michael Jackson, and Flavio Briatore shows there is hope for disco fanatics everywhere, as long as we are referring to fashion and not poorly planned crash-to-win fiascos . . .

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

On: Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 12:02PM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly test 1-1

The Good: Turbine-powered race cars. They're good, promise. In 1967 and 1968 several took to the track attempting to break the piston-engine stranglehold on motor racing. Howmet Corporation, a metal fabrication company, built two Le Mans style protoypes and entered them in the 24-hour races at Le Mans and Daytona. Howmet manufactured intricate aluminum parts used in military turbines and saw a turbine-powered sports car as an excellent marketing tool. And so, the Howmet TX was born. The advantages of the turbine were obvious: it produced (the equivalent of) 325 brake horsepower, yet due to its aluminum construction it weighed in a feathery 170 lbs. Unfortunately the Howmet team suffered mechanical issues and were never able to finish a race.

The G,B,U; Unattainable 911 Edition

On: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 4:14PM | By: John Welch

The G,B,U; Unattainable 911 Edition test 1-1

The Good: Porsche is introducing a new 911, the 'Sport Classic'. New Porsches are always appreciated, but the good news here is the new flappy-paddle transmission. The transmission itself isn't new, just the flappy-paddles. Prior to this model, a Porsche customer not possessing the wherewithal to specify a manual transmission had to settle for Pontiac Grand Prixesques thumb-shifter thingees. I've always thought this to be a rather moronic solution for gear-changing, just like the universal inter-automaker refusal to make auto-boxes with levers that move down for an up shift and up for a down shift. How many times has an auto-journalist bitched about that in the last ten years?

With the old Porsche system you were required to squeeze the sides of the steering wheel's spokes to effect gear changes. Completely counter-intuitive. Thankfully, the electronic connections are all the same for either system, so all Porsches with the bizarro shifters could theoretically be retro-fitted with flappy-paddles. Honestly, who are these goons that are buying Porsches with automatic transmissions to begin with?! Sigh, IDIOTS . ..

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

On: Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 3:15PM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly test 1-1

The Good: Everything about the Ford F-150 Raptor makes me happy. Long-Travel suspension? Check. Huge, CORR-style fender flares? Check. 310 bhp V8, soon to upgraded to 400? Check. Skid plates, unique and strangely attractive grille, vicious rubber and a composed on-road ride? Check, Check, Check, and Check. I've always liked Chevy trucks but this thing is just too good to be believed. It looks like it wants to eat babies without going way overboard (ala SuperSwampers, stupid brush guard, TruckNutz) and apparently the thing is beyond capable. Even though I don't currently have any reason to own one, I'm sure I could make something up.

How could this package get better? The current 5.4 liter mill will be joined by a 6.2 liter option by the end of the year. This thing is so serious it comes with a little red stripe dead at the center of the steering wheel's rim. Use it to make sure your tires are pointing arrow straight when that lurid power-slide gets away from you. Heh, that is the sort of thing that makes a pseudo race-dork like me sweat in his sleep. Edmunds Inside Line has a great image gallery. See the video after the jump  from Motor Trend. Anyone want to inform me what dictionary the word "Heavy-Dutyized" comes from?...

The Good The Bad, and The Ugly

On: Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 4:40PM | By: John Welch

The Good The Bad, and The Ugly test 1-1

Baaad Bad Ideas . . .

How many '86 Trans-Ams have you seen with one functioning headlight? Plenty, I'm sure. Pop-up headlights have always been a BAD idea. "Hey, instead of putting normal headlights on our auto, let's equip it with a set of overly complicated pneumatic headlights that will surely fail within the first five years of the car's life!!" I doubt they actually looked at it in that light; but geez, c’mon, why engineer a car with any system that may fail and ruin your ability to drive the car? On top of that, pop-up headlights are horrifically ugly. Fortunately, this pop-up phenomenon is basically dead, but the car industry is not free of bad ideas that will surely cripple certain automobiles over time. Nor is the industry free of gawd-awful ugly design. We explore an example of both...