Riding Shotgun: What Gun Would Your Car Choose?


At Gargling Gas we believe cars possess character and personality just like us. You associate certain cars with certain things, just like we stereotype a person for driving a certain car i.e. BMW/Estate Agent or Audi TT/Hairdresser.

So with this in mind, I pondered on these mechanical characters and personalities, eventually imagining cars selecting weapons from a gun rack. Within minutes I had a whole fleet of cars and an arsenal large enough to pull off a small heist.

I’ll start with the first car/gun that sprung to mind as I have owned one (the car, that is) and loved every minute of driving her.

AK-47 (Kalashnikov)

Probably one of the most famous guns in the world, the AK-47 is a reliable and powerful assault rifle. Although rather dated now, it is a particular favourite with terrorists.

I associate the AK-47 with the middle east and places such as Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here we have the W126 Mercedes-Benz S Class, a car I also associate with these places, especially the corrupt leaders and dictators. The Merc is a classy and smooth ride, renowned for its German reliability and build quality. If you need transporting across a country to execute a few people in comfort and style, this is the ride for you.

Mini Sub Machine Guns: Mac-10, Tec-9, Micro Uzi

These mini machine guns are great for those moments when you need to aim and spray. Because of their compact size, they are light and easier to conceal.

Whenever I see these cute little guns, the first image to hit me is South Central L.A. and a gang pulling off a ‘drive by’. The car of choice in these parts is always the ’64 Chevrolet Impala, its suspension modified to transform it into a low rider.

Sniper Rifle

I envisage the movies when it comes to the sniper rifle, a cool and calm hitman carrying his trusty briefcase containing a Meccano set of gun components. He’ll find a room, quickly and efficiently assemble his rifle and centre the cross hairs onto his mark.

Classy, robust, extremely powerful yet tastefully understated, the Audi A8 (the car from Ronin) is the perfect choice of car for a hitman.

The infamous sawn-off pump action shotgun


The sawn-off is an old concept used by many a gangster, although I always picture the cockney London gangsters/cocaine dealers using them.


And what motors are synonymous with Saaff Laandan gangsters? The Ranger Rover Sport, of course.

The Magnum .44 (Dirty Harry)

Described as the most powerful revolver in the world (The Smith & Wesson Model 500 has since taken that title), the .44 is a head removing revolver with one hell of recoil kick. This gun is also a favourite in movies, particularly Dirty Harry, “You’ve got to ask yourself a question: ‘do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

I think someone who buys a .44 Magnum is proud to be American, and this would come into play when choosing a car. That would mean a Cadillac – because this vehicle was ubiquitous throughout all three Dirty Harry movies, this ’76 Eldorado fits the bill perfectly.


When it comes to this piece of engineering excellence, I can think only of the F.B.I and authority. The reason they prefer this Austrian 9mm semi-automatic is for its reliability.

Compared to the cops and their Crown Vics, the F.B.I. would select something a little more exciting, a car relecting their bigger egos. They are known to go for black, and this understated Charger R/T speaks nothing but F.B.I.

Snub Nose .38 Police Special


This cute little fella is the preferred weapon of choice by detectives and private eyes. The snub nose allows for easy concealment and the gun itself offers a decent amount of close range stopping power.


Any undercover agent or private eye would choose a boring but popular car, something that blends in to its surroundings no matter it goes. There is nothing more boring than a grey Honda Accord – popular, featureless, the car equivalent of a chameleon.

So what gun would you choose, and does it reflect your choice of car?

How to Be A Duke Of Hazzard

The General Lee

When was the last time you drove down the road only to be presented with one of those Dukes Of Hazzard moments? You know the ones – whether it’s a skip with two ideally placed planks or a car transporter with its tail down, these moments (in me at least) evoke the imagery of me flying through the air in my car – this could be down to my obsession with the Good Ole Boys combined with the fact my father used to hang me over the stair banisters from the landing by my ankles, but that’s for another letter to childline.

Joking aside, there is a real science to jumping a car and landing successfully. Although the Dukes wrecked a criminal amount of Dodge Chargers with their ludicrous jumps and film edits, a properly prepped vehicle can make a huge jump without killing itself and its occupant.

Please consider my basic maths and physics theory. Three factors come into play when it comes to launching a projectile over distance. Weight distribution, aerodynamics and a lot of complicated Newtonian theory.


In its most basic form: The initial launch angle (0-90 degrees) of an object in projectile motion dictates the range, height, and time of flight of that object.

As I’m not a physics teacher and you probably just want to know how to jump a car, it boils down to this: How fast do I need to hit a ramp, and at what angle, to clear a predetermined distance?

After an audacious attempt to actually try and break down Newton’s Laws into some sort x,y,z formula, I quickly realised I’d have more success in translating Tutankhamen’s diary. With that said, I did find out that most jumps involving vehicles use a ramp of no more than 30 degrees in angle… well, it’s a start.

Further reading and I uncovered some tips on how to jump a car. So, forget all that school stuff for a moment and take onboard these tips from the pros.



If you hit a jump with too much speed you run the risk of a face plant (nose dive). Too little speed and you probably won’t reach the other side. Speed (velocity) is the most important factor to take into consideration, as even one mile per hour over or under can translate to as much as 15 or 20 feet – that’s massively over shooting or not making the jump at all.

It doesn’t stop there; if you’re accelerating on takeoff, the front end of the car will rise, and if you’re decelerating, the front end will dive – the predetermined speed needs to be reached and maintained before you hit the ramp.


Air Time

Once you are airborne, a factor not many people would consider is the gyroscopic effects of the wheels. Depending on the vehicle’s weight distribution, the experienced stuntman can control the car’s pitch with the drivetrain layout. It’s known that a rear-wheel-drive vehicle responds immediately to throttle application, whereas front-wheel-drive cars can correct errant pitches through steering input, as the weighty and spinning wheels at the front alter the yaw angle of the vehicle’s momentum. Despite these varying behaviours, all-wheel-drive cars offer the ultimate level of airtime control, since using all four wheels enables both yaw and pitch correction.

Car Crash


Once you’ve landed correctly, the vehicle’s suspension does the rest. Bottoming out is inevitable unless you have heavy-duty dampers and springs installed. If you’ve landed on all four wheels and are still alive, you’ve pulled it off; if, however you slightly miss-judged or overlooked one of the aforementioned factors, you’ll either be in hospital or you’re in a car lot picking out a new car – trial and error.

While most publications will say, “leave it to the pros”, I will conclude and say, “Next time you want to impress a girl, don’t reach for the handbrake; plant your foot down, aim for the ramp, and pray… and make sure she’s not touching up her mascara.”

Stanced: An Introduction To Air Suspension

Stanced Lincoln Continental

Stanced Lincoln Continental

So What Exactly Is Air Suspension?

To begin with basics, air suspension replaces a car’s stock springs with air springs – not dissimilar to those of a big truck. Most modern cars have standard coil-springs, which are easy to replace with the airbags as they virtually slip right into place. Because of the boom in installing this type of suspension for enhancing a car’s stance and ride, there are companies out there offering bolt-on kits – there are even air-spring suspensions for the older leaf-springs you find on classic cars.

Air Suspension

Air Suspension


The great benefit of installing an air suspension is having the ability to adjust the spring rate and load capacity. What would usually take days or even weeks of finding the perfect balance is now taken care of in minutes by the in-car controls.

Air Suspension In Car Controls

Air Suspension In Car Controls

Ride and Handling

The more an air suspension system compresses, the stiffer it gets – using this adjustment along with its progressive spring rate with the in-car adjustability allows for enormous performance gains. This means you can tune your car’s ride for changing conditions easier and faster.

Of course, it comes down to personal choice how a car should ride and handle. By adjusting the air pressure and shock valving, you can make your car either soft and comfortable for a long journey, or firm and tight for a track, or anywhere in between.

Stanced WRX

Stanced WRX


This is one of the main attractions to air suspension, as a car sitting extremely low on its wheels looks pretty cool. Some choose to lower a car or truck for aesthetic reasons without losing any drivability or function. Others, however, prefer the vehicle to sit on the ground when parked up, only to rise to the functioning ride height when the car is turned on – this is really cool to witness and can be seen in the video below.

Shelby Mustang Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

This is what happens when a German tuning company get hold of a Super Snake. Tuners Anderson Germany decided the Mustang Shelby Gt500′s exterior doesn’t represent the true monster that lives under the hood. Giving it the look of a poisonous Amazonian creature, the Super Venom Edition looks truly menacing with its flat back wrap and red stripes The red cobra insignias feature throughout, not that you need reminding what edition this is.

The great asset this Super Venom possesses is its body kit and stance. Anderson Germany added a wide body kit that includes a front spoiler, massive flared wheel arches, a carbon fibre hood vent, side skirts, and a new rear diffuser with unique tailpipes – this is what a mustang looks like after some serious time spent in a gym.

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

With the evil exterior perfected, the Germans went to work on the interior, using the same black and red colour scheme. Anderson Germany love carbon fibre, and it can be seen here on the console, steering wheel and gear knob.

Shelby Super Venom

Shelby Super Venom

Something Anderson Germany felt didn’t need tweaking was the Mustang’s 662-bhp 5.8-L V8 – this snake can hit 60 mph in 4 seconds, whilst offering up to 24 mpg highway.

Carroll Shelby’s Rarities

Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby

The name ‘Shelby’ in the auto world is usually associated with the Ford Mustang, the Dodge Viper, the AC Cobra and the Ford GT-40; however, the late Carroll Shelby put his knowledge, input and name to some other not so famous cars, and its these rarities I want to talk about.

But if you aren’t clued up on the inimitable Carroll Shelby, let me briefly fill you in.

Having raced all his life until heath problems forced him to quit in 1959, Shelby acquired a great deal of racing experience and knowledge. It was winning the 1959 Le Mans in an Aston Martin that led him to notice the English team AC Cars and their Bristol. In 1961, Shelby asked the English team if they could supply him a car that would accept a V8 – a year later the AC Cobra was born.

In 1963, after Henry Ford II’s offer to buy Ferrari was quickly snubbed by Enzo Ferrari himself, he summoned Shelby to help build a car to beat the Italians at their own game. This is where the gorgeous and legendary GT-40 came in, a car that stamped its name in the Le Mans history books with a big black marker pen with: 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.

So it’s with this natural ability to build winners that also went into the following relatively unknown Dodge cars.

1983 Dodge Shelby Charger

1983 Dodge Shelby Charger

First up is the early 80s Dodge Shelby Charger. This was the era Carroll Shelby worked as a performance consultant for Dodge. Between 1983-1984 Dodge launched the Shelby Charger, a 2.2-L 4-cylinder engine that produced a meagre 107-bhp and 127 ft-lbs of torque. Although power wasn’t high on the agenda with this model, Shelby focussed on the suspension and styling. Stronger brakes, quicker steering and special wheels also came with this edition, along with cosmetic touches such as decals and racing stripes.

1987 Dodge Shelby Charger

1987 Dodge Shelby Charger

A year later and the Dodge Shelby Charger received the much-needed edition of a turbocharger, boosting the power up to 146-bhp with 175 ft-lbs of torque. Customers saw a massive leap in performance increase despite its turbo lag.

Dodge Shelby Omni

Dodge Shelby Omni

Around the same time in 1986, Shelby modified the last 500 Omni’s off the production line. It’s a rare car to find today, and with its innocuous appearance and a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds, it was one of the most affordable performance cars and the ultimate ‘sleeper’ car. This amazing performance from the little car came from the same 2.2-L Chrysler engine packed into the 1985 Dodge Shelby Charger, although the system received an upgrade on the turbo’s inter-cooler, the air manifold, injectors, and throttle body. What was once capable of 146-bhp on the Shelby Charger was now up to 175-bhp in the Shelby Omni.

Shelby Daytona Z

Shelby Daytona Z

In 1987, Dodge applied Shelby performance package to the Daytona Z, although Carroll Shelby himself didn’t oversee the project; it still bore his name though due to the package being his creation.

Dodge Shelby Lancer

Dodge Shelby Lancer

Another year on and the Dodge Lancer received the Shelby touch too. With only 400 manual and 400 automatic built over two years, the Shelby Lancer is a very rare car. Power again came from a 2.2-L Chrysler engine tuned to Shelby’s specification, including the turbo and intercooler. This car produced 175-bhp with 175 ft·lb of torque. The Daytona was heavier than the previous Shelbys and this hampered performance slightly with a 0-60-mph time of 7.2 seconds, although for the ear, this was pretty swift.

Carroll Shelby was an incredible man; he worked with cars (particularly Ford) right up to his death last year, aged 89.

Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: The Sleeper Car

Ford Granada Sleeper ZZZ ZZZ

Ford Granada Sleeper ZZZ ZZZ

You may or may not have heard of the term “Sleeper Car” before – to some it probably sounds like a camper van vehicle or caravan – however, a Sleeper Car is the complete opposite of the meaning derived from the word “Sleeper”.

As you’ve most likely guessed from the title, this type of vehicle is a bog standard car hiding and possessing enormous amounts of power under its coat.

Example: How great would it be to embarrass a Porsche at the lights in an old Mitsubishi Galant? How is this done? Mitsubishi are primarily known for their EVO cars, the ultimate turbo tuning machines. Despite this, their Galant VR4 (pretty standard in appearance) comes with 276 bhp stock, so with some tuning and performance upgrades at a relatively low cost, they can be boosted to around 600+ bhp.

Mitsubishi Galant VR4

Mitsubishi Galant VR4

Depending on your budget, any car can be transformed into a Sleeper car. I recently watched an episode of Fast N’ Loud on Discovery where Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman took an old ’59 Rambler Wagon (pic below), treated and clear coated its weathered body for effect, but installed a massive 4.8L Chevrolet V8 with an Edelbrock Carburettor and MSD direct ignition and disk brakes. From the outside it looked like an old truck, but a blip of the gas and it could shift tectonic plates.


One problem you face boosting horsepower is hiding the upgrades needed to cope with the extra grunt. The main two are exhausts and brake callipers. Unless you purchase black callipers, simply paint them before installation. Exhausts are pretty simple if you can get under the car – ensure they are out of sight but still manage to function properly. Sports exhausts usually offer different styles, either for sound or performance. Try and pick one that offers optimum flow as well as offering a good amount of muffle – a deep rumbling exhaust suggests upgrades.

If you have bottomless pit of money to throw at car, check this Sleeper Car out for scaring pretty much any other potential racer at the lights. This is essentially an F1 powered Alfa 164 Procar. It was built in cooperation with Brabham and possess the only Alfa Romeo V10 ever built. This disguised Alfa produces 605 bhp at 12,000 rpm! – not sure what the insurance premium would be on this one.

Alfa Sleeper F1 Car

Alfa Sleeper F1 Car

The perfect wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Alfa Sleeper Car

Alfa Sleeper Car

My favourite and perhaps the ultimate Sleeper is “Farm Truck” from the TV show Street Outlaws – check out the video below and witness the power that old truck can lay down.

If you are thinking about creating a Sleeper Car with a small budget, aim for a small and light turbo car, something you can add a cold air intake and bigger exhaust to, also one in which an ECU tweak is viable. These three options can add as much as 60-80 bhp to a small turbo car, putting you in the same arena as the bigger sporty saloons.

Fancy Owning Sir Stirling Moss’ Mustang GT350?

Not only is this car the mechanical equivalent of Marilyn Monroe, this very special Shelby Mustang GT350 once belonged to and was raced by a certain living legend, Sir Stirling Moss.

Ford Mustang GT350

Image Mecum Auctions

1965 Shelby Mustang GT350

This gorgeous piece of automotive history will be auctioned off at Mecum auction house at their Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next month, where I’m sure the serious collectors will bid high to have this added to their garages.

Image Mecum Auctions

Image Mecum Auctions

Moss drove this 350GT from 1991 through 1997, racing at nine venues across Europe and at Australia’s Targa Tasmania.

Not only does the car come with huge documentation, but it also comes with photos taken during races Moss was competing in and pictures of the late and great Carroll Shelby himself.

Underneath her hood beats a 4.7-L (289 cubic inches) V-8, pumping out a respectable 430-HP. This power is sent through a four-speed manual transmission.

Image Mecum Auctions

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what they think she’ll go for?