Sleeping On The Job

1977 Pontiac Firebird Esprit - The Driver

1977 Pontiac Firebird Esprit – The Driver

In the world of crime, getaway cars are more important than the heat you are packing, for a whilst a BB gun would fool the general public and the entire staff of a bank, a useless engine will have you worrying about showers and soap before you’ve shouted, “Drive!”

Kray Twins Ronald and Reginald

Kray Twins Ronald and Reginald

If I think “getaway car” my mind always goes to the days of 60s London, the Kray Twins, “Mad” Frankie Frazer and the other real life gangsters who paired Savile Row suits with brass knuckle dusters. British cars of the era weren’t particularly fast, including those of the Police, so when gangsters starting using the power and might from the 3.8-L Jaguar Mk 2, the Old Bill didn’t stand a chance… until they started using them as motorway cars.

Jaguar Mk2

Jaguar Mk2

The Mk 2 gained a reputation as a fast car among criminals and the police because of its 220-bhp straight-six engine. In its day, 0-60-mph in 8.5-seconds was pretty impressive for a big car, another reason criminals used them – along with the getaway driver and four gunmen, you still had room for the all-important SWAG and perhaps a few body parts. Although it wasn’t entirely inconspicuous because of its grandeur, it was a sleeper in its own right because you wouldn’t exactly expect it to burn rubber.

’67 Shelby GT500 “Eleanor”

In the movies we’ve seen all types of getaway car, from the Pontic Firebird in The Driver (1977) to the Minis from the Italian Job. A lot of movies show the bank job getaway cars as monstrous black muscle cars or vehicles like the Ford GT500 Mustang, Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds… which is cool in fantasy but…

Whilst these fantasy cars look great on film, I suspect in real life they’d get you caught pretty quick – not only would you stick out like a sore thumb, modern police cars wouldn’t struggle too much to keep up.

This leads me onto wolf in sheep’s clothing cars, Q cars, and the 2011 movie, Drive. In this brilliant crime movie (derived from the James Sallis novel of the same name), a stuntman (Ryan Gosling) uses a bland and boring silver Chevrolet Impala (the most popular car purchased in California at the time) as a getaway car. The Impala looks like any other car on the street, only under it harnesses extra power (300-bhp).

In the clip below, a mechanic tells the driver, “Plain Jane and boring; just like you asked for,” exactly what makes a sleeper so cool. Inconspicuous and fast without anything giving the game away – these assets are what the ultimate sleeper and getaway car are all about.

Check out the opening movie scene below, probably my favourite intro into any film – in fact, this clip almost plays out like a mini-movie in its own right.

If you like the concept of the sleeper car, check out our sister Sleeper Cars site on G+.

Top 10 Stock & Sinister Cars

There are loads of Top 10 posts on sinister cars floating around the web, but most of them don’t consider the term “sinister” beyond looks. Like millions of other subjects regarding aesthetic design, I fully understand this is highly subjective, it’s just Gargling Gas thinks when the term “sinister” is applied to cars, it should also include “presence”.

Below, I’ve listed my personal Top 10 Stock & Sinister cars.

Mitsubishi EVO VIII FQ-400

10. Mitsubishi EVO VIII FQ-400

10. Mitsubishi EVO VIII FQ-400

This is an angry car with lots of sharp lines and dark orifices I daren’t insert a finger. This hooligan both “talks the talk” and “walks the walk”… in fact, the FQ-400 decimates the walk.

1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville Series 62

9. 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville Series 62

9. 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville Series 62

The Series 62 Deville is a two-and-half ton monster with staring eyes and a menacing grin. Should Satan ever find himself in a car showroom with some cash to burn, only a black Deville will suffice. Despite resembling a mechanical bat ready to spread its acres of folded wings, this Caddy would leave Batman trembling and sobbing in the arms of Robin.

1982 BMW E24 635 CSi

8. 1982 BMW E24 635 CSi

8. 1982 BMW E24 635 CSi

This car has the nickname, “Sharknose” due to its front end. Although the grille is certainly imposing, it’s all about those eyes.

If the saying “Your eyes are the windows to your soul” holds true, I don’t want anything to do with this beast.

1969 Dodge Charger R/T

7. 1969 Dodge Charger R/T

7. 1969 Dodge Charger R/T

The sinister for me in the Charger comes from the hidden lights/grille; as a kid I loved the front end appeared as a gaping black intake – no British cars had or do feature this headlight flap.

The Mercedes-Benz 600

6. The Mercedes-Benz 600

6. The Mercedes-Benz 600

The 600 is four tons of German engineering that only understands police and army escorts and cheering crowds. This car possesses serious presence and an air of superiority only matched by its occupant sitting in the back. Psychopaths such as Saddam Hussain, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and Ferdinand Marcos have glided among their minions in the Mercedes 600.

Marussia B2

Marussia B2

5. Marussia B2

Their F1 cars aren’t anything to shout about, but just look at this insectile machine above. This Russian car’s turbo-charged 2.8-L engine rockets it to 60-mph in 3.8-seconds. This post isn’t really about performance, but considering the Marussia B2 reminds me of those trap-door spiders, both its looks and speed send shivers up my spine.

1971 Lincoln Continental

1971 Lincoln Continental

4. 1971 Lincoln Continental

Up until the 80s, Lincoln Continentals were heavy and luxurious cars, well-equipped and boasting excessive styling. They are long, sleek, best in black, and during the its 60’s “slab-side” design and suicide doors they are now affectionately called “suicide-slabs”.

It could have something to do with the horror movie, The Car (1977), although I think the stock version above is more sinister, despite famed Hollywood car designer, George Barris’ evil slant on the design.

1958 Plymouth Fury

1958 Plymouth Fury

3. 1958 Plymouth Fury

The next car is my personal favourite novel/movie car. She’s a jealous and possessive car, one with a penchant for 60s music and killing.

The ’58 Fury is called Christine and comes from the mind of writer, Stephen King. Although he made a few technical errors when he penned the novel, one about the transmission and the other the fact Plymouth’s coupe in ’58 was in fact the Belvedere (this causes much debate in social media threads from people who haven’t read the book or watched the movie), King nailed one hell of a novel.

Bone stock (apart from her owner requesting a special red for the year), Christine rolled off the production line looking poisonous. Like the aforementioned Caddy, Christine’s fins, lines and menacing grille, give the car a truly insidious and sinister presence.

“Don’t talk about my car; she’s real sensitive.” ~ Arnie Cunninham (owner).

Buick GNX

Buick GNX

2. Buick GNX

The Buick GNX is my personal favourite “real” car. I have probably over-blogged about the Buick GNX and the only reason its not on my top spot is because I want this article true and in no way biased, and when you see the following car you’ll understand why I couldn’t possibly usurp the queen of sinister.

Despite all this, the GNX is one evil automobile. The “GN” stands for “Grand National”, a turbo-charged and revolutionary kick-in-the-pants Buick Regal that only came in black. The “X” stands for “Experimental”, Buick’s farewell to the Grand National. In 1987 the Grand National received more horsepower (around 250-275), although the exact figure is debatable due to Buick playing down the engine’s total output.

What we are left with is a turbo-charged V6 car capable of hitting 60-mph in 4.8-seconds – at the time this was simply staggering. With its glossy and impossibly deep black paint, black wheels, tinted windows and all of those sharp angles, the GNX is almost the true epitome of sinister.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Jonckheere Coupe

Rolls-Royce Phantom Jonckheere Coupe

1. Rolls-Royce Phantom Jonckheere Coupe

I really wanted either Christine or the Buick GNX to take top spot, but I think you’ll agree the car above wins it hands down. The Jonckheere Coupe is the epitome of sinister and evil – even the sound of the word, “Jonckheere” adds chills to the already sinister, “Phantom”.

In 1925 Rolls Royce created this simply beautiful yet sinister car, the equivalent of Cruella De Vil or the evil Queen from Snow White.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Jonckheere Coupe

Rolls-Royce Phantom Jonckheere Coupe

Just take in her gloriously long rear, her seductive curves and a fin that would give Jaws nightmares. For me it’s the ultimate in opulence and decadence, a car even too sinister for the Devil himself.

I hope you liked my choices, and remember, I understand the topic is subjective and you may switch some of the cars around – if you have your own choices, please comment and let me know.

I’m Invincible In my Car

How many times have you sat at a red light and imagined gunmen spilling out from the back of a van and spraying your car with high velocity rounds? I know, all too often, right?

Well I have a solution that’ll leave the gunmen scratching the top of their balaclavas and you with a smug grin on your face.

Picture the Royal family in their Rolls Royce, the President in a stretched Cadillac or the Pope in his silly white cubicle car and you’ll know what I’m on about – armoured cars.

So unless you are royalty, the leader of a country, a religious figurehead, or a gangster rapper, here’s what you would have to consider if you were to go about turning your car into a impenetrable fortress.


I’ll cover the important upgrades:



To escape gunmen in a car you’ll obviously need a tyre that will take a few rounds. The answer is pretty simple: Run Flat Tire Inserts. These assure continued operation of the car despite ballistic impacts and prevent a total tire blowout.

The system used by the U.S. government is comprised from lightweight, high strength polyester elastomers that make up the roller and a runner. The runner is securely attached to the wheel in the drop centre, and provides a track or channel in which the roller is allowed to move or “rotate” about the wheel at the same speed as the tyre, thus reducing friction and heat build up.



Bulletproof lightweight glass-clad polycarbonate is used as multi-hit protection against those pesky bullets. The glass is seamed, edged and finished using a proprietary quality process that provides unprecedented UV and delamination resistance. All glass features excellent ballistic protection and superior optical quality with very minimal distortion.

Below you can see types of rounds and the velocities taken into consideration when building an armoured car.

Fuel Tank:

This is one component you wouldn’t want punctured. Although a stray bullet is unlikely to cause an explosion (I saw this proven on TV program), a fuel tank resembling a piece of Swiss cheese will leave you stranded. A bullet proof fuel tank features a flame retardant coating, self sealing polymeric foam, insulating foam, and a Kevlar or ballistic wrap.

Bomb Proof Floor:

You can’t be too careful; whilst you are throwing your car around like Ken Block, trying to avoid gunfire, you may have missed the grenades rolling under your car. A bomb proof floor is comprised of multiple layers of Kevlar fabric that’s stitched together rather than bonded under heat, enabling the Vehicle Fragmentation Blanket more flexibility with a blast impact.

Body Panels/Doors:

Depending on the level of protection – bullets or bombs – there are various materials that can be used for a car’s body and door panels.

As I’m avoiding bullets, a wise choice would be Kevlar armour panels. They are very durable, light and easy to install. Because they are so light as opposed to heavy bomb proof steel panels, you don’t have to go crazy upgrading your brakes and engine to cope with the added weight.

Flame Thrower:

This is a little extra, an after thought inspired by a movie. To distract any menacing gunmen, give them a few licks of fire to deal with.



Rat Rod Hell: Gargling Gas Heaven

Nephilim Kustoms

Nephilim Kustoms

To those not familiar with the rat look or the rat rods so popular Stateside, the imagery involved with this post might seem like a vision of automotive hell. To Gargling Gas, however, the images and video content leave me with goosebumps, a place I’d quite happily spend all eternity in the afterlife.

Rat rods are obviously massive in America, but the cars in this post were transformed into the sinister machines you see by Nephilim Kustoms, a garage in Poland. These guys totally understand what it takes to transform an American classic into something bad, mean, eerie, a form of transportation for the dead.

Nephilim Kustoms

Nephilim Kustoms

As Gargling Gas respects car cultures from all corners of the globe, it’s great witnessing a small country like Poland producing such sinister rides. The majority of people passing the garage may see the cars as junk, vehicles only good for the crusher. What most don’t understand is that a lot goes into a serious rat rod – they may look bad on the outside, but underneath they are structurally sound, a solid canvas onto which the creative “rat look” vision is lovingly painted.

Take a look at the short videos below, kick back, relax, and watch exactly what it takes to make the hairs stand up on Gargling Gas’ neck.

Aaron Beck: Badass Defined

Plymouth Cuda

Plymouth Cuda – Aaron Beck

If you read yesterday’s hearse post, you’ll have seen the image of a rather mean, stretched and black Dodge Challenger. The rendering is by a talented individual called, Aaron Beck, a guy who obviously knows and understands what makes a car badass. His twisted and sinister vision is capable of possessing a collection of nuts and bolts with the kind of presence that gives Gargling Gas goose bumps.

Take the Plymouth Barracuda above, for example, a car I could see myself cruising along Nevada back roads in, body parts in the trunk, wads of cash on the passenger seat, the throb of V8 the perfect soundtrack as I headed towards the horizon.

Rocket Bunny Cuda (Nissan S13 front end) - Aaron Beck

Rocket Bunny Cuda (Nissan S13 front end) – Aaron Beck

If someone were to ask you to imagine what the love child of a 70s Cuda and an early 90s Nissan S13 would look like, you’d assume they’d left their medication in the cabinet that morning. Ask Aaron Beck and he’d answer, “It would like a Rocket Bunny drift car, of course.”

The lines all work, as does the front end, and as far as the usual LS V8 engine swap the drifters all go for today, leave the original Hemi in it and call it perfection.

Rat Cuda - Aaron Beck

Rat Cuda – Aaron Beck

The Rat look is a phenomenon that just keeps growing, its rusty insidious tendrils reaching out past the usual fare of American iron to German soil and the VWs and Bimmers. The Rat Cuda above is a rendering done for the up and coming Mad Max: Fury Road movie. This is another reason I feel Aaron is worthy of a post, the fact he is associated with one of my favourite road movies.

Mad Max Vehicle - Aaron Beck

Mad Max Vehicle – Aaron Beck


Aaron Beck's Kuda

Aaron Beck’s Kuda

From his renderings to reality, Aaron’s three dimensional ride is his Kuda pictured above. His eye for detail and talent make it extremely hard to tell what is 2D and what is real, but if you take a look at beckkustoms, you can witness the Kuda’s build and the labour of love that is the car’s interior.

So I doff my cap to you, Sir Aaron Beck, for your creations are sinister and the epitome of ‘badass’ – I’ll certainly be paying extra attention when I sit down and watch Mad Max: Fury Road.




What Vehicle Would You Choose To Outrun The Cops?


O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco

Road movies are great, car chase movies are better, the live car chases broadcasted from helicopters the best.

For those born from the 80s onwards, you may not be familiar with the image above – sitting behind the wheel of the white Ford 4X4 is NFL hero/alleged murderer, O.J. Simpson. The story isn’t really pertinent to my article, but the fact he was high profile meant full-on TV coverage of his chase through Los Angeles. Despite the chase being at slow speed, the image of Simpson’s Bronco being followed by 20 cop cars, their lights flashing, makes for one cool scene.

Which leads me onto the point of my article and a question I want to ask all you auto enthusiasts: If you were to outrun the cops, knowing you’d eventually grab the attention of helicopters and TV, what vehicle would you choose? It would obviously have to be fast, but would it be a sensible/reliable choice, or would the thought of cameras make you opt for something exotic or badass?

Despite being caught, this video highlights how some drivers end up as legends when they appear to have the skills of Ken Block. Yes, they are criminals and they are endangering lives, but this is Gargling Gas and we like everything to do with speed, action and all-round badassary.

This video shows a driver with a little savvy, knowing the cops are targeting him with spike strips. Although he successfully swerves and avoids a few attempts at puncturing his tyres, the driver decides he can walk up to cops with a gun and not get shot. He gets shot…

Okay, most of us wouldn’t face the might of Dubai’s Police livery, but let’s consider the cars other countries use on the highway. Here in the UK, the police use Mitsubishi Evos and Subaru STIs, and the Somerset force even took delivery of an Ariel Atom – the car that gave Jeremy Clarkson a face lift.

Ariel Atom Police Car

Ariel Atom Police Car



This Lambo Gallardo LP560-4 is used by the Italian Polizia traffic unit. Rumour has it Lamborghini actually donated two of their 202-mph cars to the police, although one was written off a few years ago.

Dodge Charger Pursuit

Dodge Charger Pursuit AWD

Although not as fast as the Atom or the Lambo, my favourite is this 2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit, apparently the fastest police car in the USA. It possesses muscle car heritage, looks badass, mean and dangerous. If I had to battle on the highway with a cop car, this is the one I wouldn’t want to go up against.

So with these cars in mind, and the fact you could have your fifteen minutes of fame on the highway, what vehicle would choose to take on the cops in?

What car would Gargling Gas choose?

Why that’s easy, the Buick GNX, of course.

Buick GNX

Buick GNX

Family To 62-mph In 4.7 Seconds

Audi RS6

Audi RS6

We love estate cars at Gargling Gas because wagons are cool. They allow the working man to load up ladders and work benches, the family man to cram in children, flat pack furniture and bags of hedge trimmings, the psychopath the jam in chainsaws, axes and sacks of lime, all in the comfort of a car. These practical vehicles become even cooler when they possess 911 Turbo performance figures.

The inspiration for this post came from the car pictured above, the Audi RS6 Avant. It’s a great looking car, but it’s not exactly the sort of car you’d expect to have to move out of the way on the motorway. It’s also not the sort of car you’d expect to see pass you at the speed of light. Having moved over for one yesterday, I watched in awe as this silver estate streaked by, listened as its twin-turbo V10 throbbed and blatted and catapulted it into the horizon, just before I caught a glimpse of the badge: RS6.

Not being the world’s biggest Audi fan, I did a little homework on the RS badge. I knew it was Audi’s equivalent of the M and AMG divisions, and I’ve always known about the RS2 from being a sleeper nut.

In fact, after doing my homework on the current RS cars and their incredible figures, it only highlighted what an amazing feat of technology the RS2 was/is considering it was built over 20 years ago.

Audi RS6 C7 Avant

Audi RS6 C7 Avant

Despite knocking the previous model’s V10 on the head, Audi’s current RS6 C7 Avant pictured above (damn that Nardo grey looks good) produces a ridiculous 560-bhp and 516-lb-ft from a twin-turbo 4.0-L V8. That means you are able to whisk the kids out of the house and to 62-mph in 3.9 seconds – experts claim this is an over estimate by Audi, too. Considering these impressive figures, the 20-year-old RS2 hits 62-mph in 4.7 seconds, all from a considerably smaller single-turbo 2.2-L straight 5 engine.

Audi RS2 Avant

Audi RS2 Avant

Okay, so the RS2 is obviously lighter, but it offers better mileage and still provides the mod-cons such as Recaro racing seats, air-con and a decent sound system. The handling was well ahead of its time, too, the combination of AWD and its Porsche-designed braking and suspension systems making it more at home on the Nürburgring than the supermarket carpark.

In 1995 Autocar clocked the RS2 from 0 to 30 mph at just 1.5 seconds, a time quicker than the McLaren F1 road car, and amazingly Jacques Villeneuve’s Williams F1 car.

Because Audi’s styling was fairly subtle, the RS2 is the king of Sleepers, a car Gargling Gas has to adore. They are fairly hard to come by now as they are real classics, but offered the choice of an RS6 or an RS2, I’d have to take the latter.


Screaming Bloody Murder

This article was inspired by a youtube video I watched on my phone in bed at 5am this morning. Unlike most guys who may start their day in an entirely different way, I usually spend an hour or two watching car clips and videos. Now, I’ve always been into evil cars, way before the ‘murdered out’ look took hold, and by ‘took hold’, I mean all the celebs and the whole car wrapping deal.

Because of the ‘murdered out’ tag and fad, it seems I’m among a minority who actually understand what a true ‘murdered out’ car is. There are certain esoteric rules that have to be adhered to if a car is to be accepted into the’murdered out’ gang. First off, if your name is David Beckham or Justin – I can’t even get a speeding ticket in a Lambo – Bieber, then kindly f**k off. If you are a fan and think Beckham’s Porcshe or Bieber’s Caddy are ‘murdered out’, then I implore you to do the same.

Never mind the Porsche, just take a look at the car above – it’s a Cadillac CTS-V. It’s Cadillac’s fast and expensive warrior sent to challenge zi German’s AMG and ///M badges. It’s supposed to be a shiny and luxurious car, a hi-tech machine that can be turned into a track car at a touch of a button. The Matte black wrap is hideous – it’s like handing James Bond a shovel and asking him to dig a grave for the last person he shot.

Before I waste your time by trying to explain what these esoteric rules include, please check out the video below.

Enjoy? I did, no matter how early it was, and despite what other manly activities take place at this time in the morning, I could’ve done the same over this car.

A ‘murdered out’ car can’t be forced; it can’t be a new car wrapped in black. It has to have presence, a character, as though it could start up on its own and take a slow and ominous cruise around town – think Christine on fire and taking herself back to Darnell’s DIY garage, think of other movies such as, The Car, Duel and even Jeeper’s Creepers (notice the Caddy’s horn in the vid?). In fact, now I’ve mentioned Stephen King, I’ve just remembered a short story of his, Mile 81, a tale featuring a mud-covered station wagon (which was strange because there hadn’t been any rain in the area for over a week) that veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that says “closed, no services.” The driver’s door opens but nobody gets out. This is the kind of eerie presence a true ‘murdered out’ car should possess.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a short clip that will give you another accurate idea of what a real murder car is all about – it’ll definitely put a smile on your face.