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Video: 1,800-HP Dune Buggy Rips Sand

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 9:30AM | By: Chris Weiss


Video: 1,800-HP Dune Buggy Rips Sand test 2

All out dune buggy action is pretty fun to watch no matter what, but when the buggy has an absolutely monstrous V-8 engine strapped to the back, it's even more fun. This video takes you to some coastal dunes to watch one of the most suped-up bugs you're likely to ever see take on the sand.

Typically I'm too ADD to watch a Web video for more than four minutes, but this 14-minute clip that has been making its way around the blogosphere is worth sitting tight for. The video is basically all about a fun-lovin' joy ride on the Oceano Dunes in Pismo Beach, California. That would be worth about two or three minutes of my time, tops, if it wasn't for the fact that the vehicle of choice is a completely overpowered 1,800-hp beast of a dune buggy.


1978 Ford Mustang II Cobra II

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 3:16PM | By: Peter C Sessler


1978 Ford Mustang II Cobra II test 2

The 1974-1978 Mustangs aren’t known for high performance or even low performance. Like any car, you’ll find there are enthusiasts who like these cars—it’s just that there are fewer.

The Mustang, after the downsizing it took in 1974, looked like it was a winner for Ford—but unfortunately, sales started to decline after 1974. But not to worry, the Fox-based Mustangs were already in the works—but it took time for them to get into production, so in the meantime, Ford had to do with what was available.

Performance always sold for the Mustang. Throaty exhaust pipes, big tires, and lots of stripes always helped the Mustang. And, so, that was done for the Mustang. By 1978, the Cobra II Mustang was the “hot” Mustang, and everyone one who came within 50 feet of the car would instantly know that this was a Cobra II Mustang, as it was plastered on each door.


Mecum Offers Monster Muscle Sextet For Street Or Strip In Dallas

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 2:14PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Photoillustration by author test 2

Unlike the Sotheby’s Australian auction I covered a few days ago, Mecum could pretty safely say it had something for just about everyone at its October 6-8 Dallas auction. And in my trilogy of features on the sale, I’m going to try and do the same thing.  

First off are six feature cars built with "speed contests" in mind, with four that’d require trailers to take them home after a day of play and two that could be driven to, in and from a day at a drag strip—or road course—provided you kept the shiny side up (and left some "meat" on the tires).


Teenagers And Cars

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:32PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Teenagers And Cars test 2

About two Sundays ago, we lost power at around 12:30 AM and it didn't go back on until three or so hours later. I wondered why this happened—there weren't any storms that night and by morning I had forgotten about it.

A week or so later, I read in the local paper that a 17-year-old girl had run into a pole with such force that it caused the power outage; it also cost her life. Such a waste.

Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence these days. Does it seem to you that more and more kids are having accidents today or is it me? There is a local garage where they bring the wrecked cars and it amazes me that there are always so many. A good 30-40% are cars that were driven by young people. What are the reasons for this?


 

Accessories Can Be A Worthy Investment

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 11:21AM | By: Peter C Sessler


Accessories Can Be A Worthy Investment test 2

You might want to consider making some small investments to make your car a bit more bearable. You can spend an incredible amount of money on car accessories, but we'll look at some of the more practical ones that are available. Obviously, you can save a lot of money by doing these yourself.

The first area to consider is your car's lights. All cars today use halogen bulbs, but, even so, some cars have poorly designed reflectors and lenses. To get brighter lights (to help you see deer, for example) you may want to consider replacing the original bulbs with ones that have a higher wattage rating. Most of the local parts stores stock them, and it is suggested that you have your headlights aligned to make sure you won't blind anyone.

There is also a great variety of add-on driving lights that you can install either on top or below your front bumper or in the grille area. These are designed to supplement your high beams. However, you'll probably find that adding a good set of fog lamps is preferable. Fog lamps will help you see better in the fog, rain, and snow.


Chevy Officially Targets US For Colorado Launch

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 10:15AM | By: Chris Salamone


Chevy Officially Targets US For Colorado Launch test 2

After months of rumors, General Motors has decided to launch their latest global platform Chevrolet Colorado in the United States. However, don’t expect the US version to be exactly the same as the Colorado recently unveiled in Thailand. GM’s global product development organization intends to study the US market and make thoughtful adjustments for our distinctly American market – insert gargantuan cup holders here.

“For example, Chevrolet Colorado Chief Engineer Roberto Rempel and his team lived in Thailand during the Colorado’s development,” said Brad Merkel, global vehicle line executive. “They immersed themselves in the highly competitive truck market and observed how the Thai people use their vehicles and the driving conditions they experience.”


1967 Ford Mark IV - Ford's Reponse To Enzo

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 9:17AM | By: Peter C Sessler


1967 Ford Mark IV - Ford's Reponse To Enzo test 2

In the 1960s, Ford Motor Co. was into racing big time - the reason being that whatever you raced on Sunday, customers would come and buy the car on Monday. It was a simple process - win on Sunday, sell on Monday.

The same formula applied to sports car racing, but it would be better (i.e. cheaper) if Ford just bought another sports car manufacturer, changed the name to Ford and watch the sales take off. The only problem here was Enzo Ferrari, owner of the most successful sports car manufacturer company who also had the most winning-est race cars around, did not want to sell out to Henry Ford II.

Henry Ford II was not your easy-go-lucky car manufacturer. When he wanted something, he would go out and get it. And so from 1964 to the end of 1967, epic duels between Ford and Ferrari took place which pushed the development of sports cars to a new level and which also provided thrilling competition for spectators to see.


General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #6

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 5:23PM | By: Peter C Sessler


General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #6 test 2

Q: I own a 1999 Toyota Camry which had a hard time starting and got poor gas mileage. I took it in for a tune-up and it now runs a lot better. However, the idle was still poor, and at higher speeds, the engine now misfires. I opened the hood one night when the engine was running and I saw lots of blue sparks on the plug wires.

I got a set of spark plugs and put them in myself. Now the car runs a lot better but it will still misfire at any speed - not all the time - but occasionally. I took it to the mechanic who told me I'll have to have the fuel injection system cleaned.

A: The blue sparks you saw on the wires are the giveaway. The wires are bad causing a misfire between adjacent wires. Get a new set of wires, preferably ones that are specifically made for your car. If you've already changed plugs, then this sounds like something well within your capabilities.

As for the fuel injection cleaning, get a can of injector cleaner (or carb cleaner), spray inside the throttle body and wipe the inside of the body clean. That should take care of that.


How Low Will It Go? Kia GT To Lose V-6?

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 4:24PM | By: Chris Weiss


How Low Will It Go? Kia GT To Lose V-6? test 2

Before the Kia GT concept launched, rumors indicated Kia had a rear-wheel V-8-powered sports car to show at Frankfurt. When the concept made its official debut, it had a 3.3-liter turbo V-6 instead of a V-8. No big deal, since a 390-hp Kia sports coupe is still an interesting concept.

Rumor has it, the V-6 may give way to a four-cylinder in production, however.


Old Concept Turns One-Off Supercar

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 3:16PM | By: Chris Weiss


Old Concept Turns One-Off Supercar test 2

On any given year, there are a number of awesome concept car debuts. Many of these cars are the most interesting, exciting stars of major auto shows. Sometimes, they go on to limited-run or full-blown production. Many times they never make it past the concept stage and are retired to the annals of automotive history.

The past few years, we've had a pretty good run of concept cars being green-lighted. Intriguing, cutting edge concepts like the Jaguar C-X75, Porsche 918 Spyder, and Lamborghini Sesto Elemento have all been approved for limited production, and other exciting concepts like the Lotus Esprit were designed to preview upcoming production models.

But we aren't always so lucky. Some sexy, high-performing concepts are left to be forgotten and mentioned only in passing every year or two in auto news stories.

One artist decided that one concept deserved to be more than just a forgotten relic of once edgy design and technology. Since Ford wouldn't build it, he's doing it himself.


Shoom! Heathrow Puts Laser-Guided Pods To Work

On: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 2:10PM | By: Chris Salamone


ULTra Pod System at London's Heathrow test 2

It’s no secret that airport efficiency has become something of an impossible dream in the last decade. And yet, the BAA (British Airport Authority) recently commissioned an automated, battery-powered pod system named ULTra intended to minimize traveler transport time while simultaneously reducing airport costs. Starting with London’s Heathrow Airport, the first phase of the ULTra network will initially connect two car parks with Terminal 5. Total travel time is about 5-6 minutes, over 1.2 miles.

Reuters reports that a seemingly-futuristic pod system has been something of a dream for British engineers over the last 60 years. Back in 2003, those bleary-eyed dreamers received some vindication. The BAA formally evaluated the long-term transportation needs of Heathrow to ascertain options with (1) low emissions, (2) high level-of-service, (3) efficient use of space, and (4) value. The study’s conclusion: pods are the only practical solution, “providing a 60% improvement in travel time and 40% operating cost savings” over traditional rail or bus options. After years of planning and negotiation, in 2009, BAA and ULTra PRT finally entered into an operating and maintenance contract intended to last 20 years.