Cars That Meet Their Maker

This is a touchy subject for me, as watching cars meet their end is always a sad thing. Cars are loyal and reliable (unless they are Italian) friends, butlers and chauffeurs; they transport us to work, give us pleasure, whisk us to important meetings and special occasions. They save us time (unless they are Italian) and shelter us from bad weather. An old car wears its dents and scrapes, rips and tears, stickers and badges with pride, and to see one crushed is like watching the dog in Marley & Me going to doggy heaven (yep, I welled up at that, too).

Some cars are the real stars in movies, but how many of them meet their maker? I’ve watched every car/road movie ever made and it’s these following examples that stand out and are memorable to me. If you can think of more examples, please let me know in the comments box.

Herbie The Love Bug

One death in particular yanked on my heart strings when I was at infant school. Thinking about it, the following car (along with the General Lee) sparked my interest in cars. Because our teacher was off sick and their weren’t enough stand-ins to cover, two classes merged together to watch Herbie The Love Bug. I was besotted with the lovable and magical little car… until he tried to commit suicide, that is. Yes, that’s correct: suicide. After his racecar driver owner buys an Italian sportscar, Herbie gets jealous, smashes up the red Lambo and trundles (almost drunkenly) around the streets at night, crashing into to things, before mounting a bridge to try and launch himself into a river. The feeble noise Herbie made combined with his desperate attempt to find grip for his launch really got to me and I remember biting my lip so I wouldn’t cry in front of all my mates (and girls).

I made the clip, and despite being over 2 minutes long (I had to add the jealous scene as well as the attempted suicide), it tells a tale all on its own.

 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The next car to roll into the eternal junkyard is a very precious machine indeed. Whilst I love the movie and my friends usually laugh at the following scene, I just hate it. I know it isn’t a real Ferrari California that takes a dive in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, but all the same, it’s horrible to watch.

 

Christine

Christine is in my top 5 of favourite movies and novels of all time. I can watch this film over and over and it never wears thin – the soundtrack is great too. Christine is a gorgeous 1958 Plymouth Fury, a jealous and hate filled machine. There are many cool scenes in the film, along with some impressive effects for the period. Although Christine goes on a killing spree and miraculously heals after taking a beating, she ultimately meets her end when she is run over and crushed into a cube of twisted metal. Heart breaking…

 

 

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

The Ford Falcon with that big supercharger bursting through its hood is one of cinema’s coolest and meanest rides. Four decades after Mel Gibson completely stacked his beloved Falcon in this movie, the automotive world has been replicating the ‘used and abused’ look in recent years. The popular ‘murdered-out’ look combined with the ‘rat’ look surely take their roots from the Mad Max films.

 

Vanishing Point

This is my favourite cult movie. Kowalski works for a car delivery service, and after taking on a 1970 Dodge Challenger, he takes a bet that he can deliver from Colorado to San Francisco in 15 hours. Unlike the silly road movies like Smokey and The Bandit, this has a more serious side to it with flashes of back story telling you what kind of a person Kowalski is. When I first watched this as a kid, I didn’t really get why the film ended the way it did, but the more you watch it and understand the moral thread, it makes a statement. Just go watch it if you haven’t already.

Kowalski is probably the coolest guy ever to grace the big screen. Every man wants to be him.

Old Parked Cars: Unique Unusual But Great

Gargling Gas adores the battered and bruised, the old dogs that compare and brag about their scars, cars that have served a purpose and clocked up the miles rather than sat gleaming in garages.

Take Christine’s ugly sister above, for example, a car that has attended the ‘University Of Life’, a mechanical Stephen King that could bend your ears for hours about their road trips, owners, bumps and scrapes they’d been through.

Whilst I try and feature all the aspects I love about cars, this post may not resonate with every petrolhead, gearhead or car guy out there. To Gargling Gas, some cars possess character, charm and personality, no matter what their condition. I recently wrote a post on murdered-out cars that partly conveys why I am so passionate about the automobile.

Not many sites are purely dedicated to such a specific aspect about the car, but I stumbled across an amazing place called, Old Parked Cars, and this is exactly what it presents. It reminded me of a guy who published a book solely on atmospheric photos of parked cars, a book I posted about – check it out, Patrick Joust is very talented at capturing just what I’m whittling on about.

I’ve also previously mentioned the horror author, Stephen King on here. If you are aware of his work you’ll have probably detected his love of machines, trucks and cars. Whilst Joust manages to capture a cars’s presence on film, King does it wonderfully through words – I wrote a post on Evil and Cars and King crops up the most.

Actually, now that I’m coming to this post’s conclusion and can see all the highlighted links I’ve added, I’ve just realised I have no conclusion – what I’ve done is unconsciously pieced together a jigsaw of EXACTLY why I love cars – a bit of a long-winded way of doing doing it, I admit, so I apologise if you’ve stuck with it and questioned just what the hell I’ve been banging on about.

Do remember this though, “Because cars have feelings too…”

 

 

 

 

’72 Trashcan Sleeper Bomb

1972 Chevy Nova "The Trash Can"

1972 Chevy Nova “The Trash Can”

It’s been far too long since I posted a good old sleeper car, so I’ll make up for it by posting an absolute monster of a car.

Brilliantly and aptly named, “The Trash Can” is a 1972 Chevy Nova with a little more than just rust and worn seats under her belt. This classic muscle car boasts a 5.3-L V8 heart, and helping this old-timer breath a little better, twin Precision 58mm turbos turn this tired old dog into a purebred greyhound.

Sinister looking Chevy Nova "The Trash Can"

Sinister looking Chevy Nova “The Trash Can”

Gargling Gas loves sheep in wolf’s clothing cars so much, we have a sister page dedicated to Sleeper Cars on G+, so if you think “The Trash Can” is right up your alley, check us out and show us your sleepers.

The beauty about this particular sleeper is it covers all the bases when it comes to Gargling Gas’ depiction of the perfect car: Badass, Sinister, Fast, Loud and full of character… after all, cars having feelings too, right?

Twin Turbo Sleeper Car

Twin Turbo Sleeper Car

This is “The Trash Can” trying to destroy a dyno, and whilst I couldn’t find legit BHP figures, the fact she can hit the 1/4 mile in the 9s suggests 800+

The coolest part about “The Trash Can” isn’t just her badass looks and power; it’s the fact she only cost $4K.

Check her out showing off on the strip in the video below.

NOTE: These were test runs, and the fact she left the lights way after the car in the opposite lane was so her crew could listen to the engine etc…

Video

What’s The Most Unreliable Car You’d Happily Own?

Chap broken down

“Buy with your head, not your heart,” is something you’ll either hear from your parents, partner or non-car person. I’ve had this kind of advice fired at me from all angles over the years… thankfully, the wife is (slightly) more understanding.

Luckily, if you are like me and born with high-octane sluicing around in your arteries, this advice goes unheard, no matter how persistent the messenger. I’ve bought cars with my heart every time I’ve fancied a change, and to hell with reliability and MPG, especially with my first two. When you’ve just passed your driving test and you are still in your teens, money is usually an issue, especially when it comes to insurance – you are advised to select something simple, sensible and cheap for both insurance and maintenance.

1978 MGB GT

1978 MGB GT

“Bugger that,” was my immediate response, all ready knowing full well I wanted an MGB GT. A 1983 Ford Mustang quickly followed, then an Alfa, a Maserati, an M3… the list goes on.

People spend silly amounts on various hobbies, such as art, flying, fashion and golf, so why is driving your desired car a problem to these people who harp on about MPG and reliability?

Funnily enough and despite the marque’s bad reputation for breaking down, the Alfa I owned was reliable and extremely fun to drive. My 147 was Russo red with cream leather and top-spec alloys; it was a lovely looking thing, too. The older Alfas are not so reliable, which leads me onto the point of this post – notoriously bad for electrical and mechanical failings, there is one particular model I’d happily own, despite the bad rep.

Alfa Alfetta GTV6

Alfa Alfetta GTV6

The combination of the Alfa Romeo GTV6’s looks and V6 wail is enough to hammer the last nail into the proverbial pragmatic coffin. With looks this good accompanied by the mechanical opera soundtrack, who cares if you spend more on fuel and recovery trucks?

This is defiantly a car you’d gawp at over your shoulder every time you parked up and walked away.

Here’s the Italian beauty in full flight in 007’s Octopussy. 

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What’s That One Car You Wish You’d Kept?

Gas Monkey Garage 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline

Gas Monkey Garage 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline

Even if you’re not a real car guy, you probably harbour fond memories of freedom thanks to the automobile – whether it was a piece of junk “first car” or a “daddy’s BMW” car, four wheels and an engine meant doing whatever the hell you wanted… away from your doorstep.

If you’re a car guy like me, you’ll have loads of fond memories from your early days of motoring, whether you got all oily under the hood or you lived your days out on mad road trips. I’ve loved all of my cars but there is the “one” I wished I’d kept, much like Gas Monkey Garage’s first car pictured above and below.

Gas Monkey Garage 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline

Gas Monkey Garage 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline

The ratrod 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline was the first car that bought Fast N’ Loud’s Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman together. In one episode, Rawlings finds out the car is up for sale, and despite setting him back $50K, he manages to reunite her with Gas Monkey Garage.

1978 MGB GT

1978 MGB GT

My first car was an orange 1978 MGB GT, and although I spun it in the rain on my first day of legal driving, crunching the rear wing, if I knew then what I know now, I’d have kept her and fixed her up. What I ended up doing was selling her on and buying a 1983 Ford Mustang, much to my mother’s distain.

As I learnt to drive in a tiny 1.0-L Rover Metro, the MG’s rebored 1.8-L engine sounded amazing. The low cockpit was an entirely different world to that of the modern car I learned in – the big steering wheel, leather seats, cool dials and increase in power left me shaking with excitement. She smelt of petrol, oil and leather, and going too fast around corners meant immediate correction, something I hadn’t learnt in my time with the instructor.

My time with her was short, but I wish I’d kept her, and the more I think about those exciting days, the more I want to buy another MGB GT.

Midlife crisis? Who cares…

What’s the one car you still wished you washed every Sunday morning?

As this is Gargling Gas, here’s Richard Rawling’s sweetheart doing a burnout.

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Gas Guzzling Music

Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40

Petrolheads will understand why opening a window and letting rip through a tunnel beats any form of music, especially if you have a car with big displacement and horsepower. I won’t rule out the smaller engines with turbos as many owners (I’ve owned two WRXs) love the sucking, hissing, whooshing and warble of BOV and big exhaust.

However, nothing quite beats the throb of V8 (especially the Ford GT), the scream of Italian V6 or the roar of either a V10 or V12. Having owned and driven pretty much all types of engine, my favourite note comes from BMW’s inline-six from the E46 M3 – it’s raw, raucous, dirty and earth-shattering when the revs go past 5500. The only engine to top this for me is the V8 from the F1 cars before they went all turbo – I attended the British GP in 2010, and the first time they took to the track, I experienced serious goosebumps.

The brilliant video below is a compilation of some of the best engine sounds around. Whilst some are missing, it’s a great way for the petrolhead to kick back and take in the combustion engine’s suck, squeeze, bang and blow sound track.

Is your favourite engine in there? If not, what’s your favourite sounding car?