Little Red Corvette

The Corvette is to America what the Aston Martin is to England. It doesn’t need any introduction, and since the majority of my readers are from the States, I don’t need to waffle on about heritage or what it means to the U.S. However, I will say that the word ‘Corvette’ – in my mind – evokes images of those signature rear lights, Face from the A-Team, and the crossed flags badge. The Corvette is light and slender and designed to cut the air like a bullet. The horsepower is always massive and models of past were loud widow-making maniacs… which is why I’ve always fancied one.

Over here in the UK you can pick up a 2008 car with low miles for under £30,000. The C6 is a great-looking car, and I found an eBay example for £28,000 that possesses a massive 6.2-L V8. Because the Corvette is light compared to the European cars, and the fact it pumps out 440-bhp, it is fast… very fast. You get the looks, a wonderful sound track that can crumble buildings, and enough power to lay thick elevens every time you even glance at the accelerator.

Although Jeremy Clarkson contradicts himself a lot when it comes to the Corvette (most cars come to think of it) – he loves it, he hates it, it’s too flimsy, it’s the most uncomfortable ride in the world, you can’t have one in Britain etc – I don’t think it’s too out of place in the UK. We are a nation of people who need big 4X4s just to pop to the Post Office. Certain parts of the UK you’ll only find Range Rover Sports and Mercedes G Wagons, all driven by mums who need to fit in two children and a handbag. Why would the Corvette be out of place? It’s not massive compared to these 4X4s, it’ probably more economic than the supercharged Range Rover, and it’s no bigger than an Aston Martin or Ferrari 599.

If you want that car with savage acceleration and a gut-rumbling sound track, the Corvette is the one for the job. It may be a little flimsy, but it is light and will keep you on your toes when the road turns bendy. If I suffer a midlife crisis, I’ll take a red Corvette over the 911 any day.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

What Car Made You A Car Guy?

As you can see, the car above is the car that first made my infantile senses tune into something and take the time out to think, “Cool, that’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”

In the early to mid-eighties, The Dukes Of Hazzard aired every Sunday afternoon here in the UK. My Grandad, snoozing from the Sunday roast, would be awoken to the sounds of a four-year-old me running around the house, up and down the stairs, holding an invisible steering wheel and pretending I was driving The General Lee. I had all of the toys and the show remains the most vivid memories of I have during that era.

Films like Cannonball Run and Smokey And The Bandit also made an impression, as when it came to owning a real car I wanted something different to all the generic modern 1.0-L cars nearly all teens end up driving. After my MGB-GT I ended up with a 1983 2.3-L Turbo Ford Mustang, a car most definitely chosen thanks to the influences of my childhood TV viewing.

Three decades on and I’m still tuning in to all of the car shows, even writing a blog and contributing to car magazines, and it’s all thanks to The General Lee. Although shows like Street Outlaws is partly set up, I still get pumped up for the drag races featuring the Murder Nova. I love watching YouTube channels such as DRIVE, The Smoking Tire and Mighty Car Mods – there’s literally nothing that slips the net when it comes to automotive viewing.

So what’s the car that had a significant enough effect on you to call yourself a car guy?

 

 

What Car Would You Be Buried In?

 

Everyone takes a final ride in a car after they’ve died, but this is the hearse, the vehicle taxiing you to your final place of rest. Having been a funeral driver, I think hearses are really really cool and I’d be more than happy to let a vintage Rolls Royce hearse transport my corpse to the grave.

 

But what if you could take that journey one step further and take your infinite sleep inside the car of your dreams? What if you could be placed behind the wheel of a car and slowly lowered six feet under? Would it be a car you grew up with? A muscle car, a super car, or your reliable daily, old faithful?

Perhaps I’m too young to consider this seriously, as I’ve yet to experience many many more cars. I’d know it would be some sort of performance car, maybe that project car that takes years to complete. Who knows?

Right now I like the thought of thundering my way to hell in an old school Mercedes. Yeah, the 190E Cosworth – the devil would have a job catching up with me in one of those babies. Then again, thinking about it, it would be criminal to bury one of these classics.

So what would be your final ride?

Link

Highway To Hell: Brian Johnson On Cars

If you’re a gearhead/petrolhead, you’ve never had it so good when it comes to TV. I manage to track and watch all of them, which does take up A LOT of time. In fact, when I found out about a show airing on UK’s DAVE channel (Sin City Motors) – there will be a review once I’ve viewed it – I was thinking how many great automotive programs are now available, especially with For The Love Of Cars now airing on terrestrial channel 4.

Automotive television is obviously attracting great numbers as the Quest channel are set to air their new series, Cars That Rock on May 8th. Aptly titled, it’s hosted by car fanatic and AC/DC frontman, Brian Johnson.

In each one hour episode, the rock legend presents six of his favourite makes of cars, explaining his passion for them. It’s no secret Brian loves cars, as he’s appeared on a few programs, including Topgear, where he had to drive a hybrid whilst James May took the singer’s 1928 Bentley 4 1/2-Litre tourer for a spin – what I personally loved about that episode was the fact Brian explained he used the grand Bentley everyday to go to the shops… magnificent!

He told USA Today: “My favourite car that I ordered is a 1928 Bentley. I love to drive it because it’s a challenge. … The gas pedal’s in the middle, it’s got no synchromesh, the hand brake’s on the outside, and it’s got two aero screens instead of a windshield. It’s a bit of a do, but it’s such a wonderful thing, because it’s two-and-a-half tons and it has drums brakes. And you just respect it.”

The AC/DC frontman also loves to race his cars, another attribute I respect over the guys who keep their collections locked up in garages. His website, Brian Johnson Racing is dedicated to his second passion, offering everything from his racing diary to his online shop.

I’m defiantly looking forward to this and will be tuning in – I just have to find an excuse to give my better half as to why they’ll be more cars taking over the TV.

Video

Regaining The Horses That Have Bolted From Your Stable

I’m one of those guys that obsesses over horse power. Whilst I fully understand the difference between going fast and feeling fast and BHP figures don’t always reflect the performance of a car, I still judge by these stats. I think it’s a mental thing, knowing one car has more than another. When buying a car I’ll always try and find one with high figures and low 0-62-mph times (another obsession of mine).

These stats can be improved with mods, and again, I’m such a stickler for finding the tiniest of advantages in tweaking the basics such as filters, plugs and leads etc… My WRX had a K&N sports filter installed, along with a Prodrive 3″ up-pipe and full exhaust system. Although this upgrade allowed for a 300-bhp re-map, I left it at around 245-bhp, over 20 more than stock. 60-mph comes at 5.4 seconds, quick enough for the time being… well, until I get a 300-bhp R33 Skyline, but that’s for another time, a series of articles about my drift adventure.

Over time and a little wear and tear it’s obvious your car’s engine isn’t going to have the power it did when it rolled out of the showroom. Depending on the age of your car and how well it’s been treated, most of those escaped horses can be cheaply rounded up and put back in the stable.

This is where my article ends, as below is a video I stumbled across today that not only reminded me of the fact I wanted to touch upon this very subject, but is explained by touring car champ, Jason Plato.

Not bad, eh? A cheap way to find 20 odd bhp. Spend a few quid more on a sports filter, along with performance plugs and leads and I think that cool VR6 would’ve gained a few more ponies than when it left the production line.

IAMknighted: A Site For Petrolheads

I am delighted to announce my part in the superbly presented and interesting automotive site, IamKnighted. The main focus is on motor sport and car culture. As you know, I’m a massive fan of both, particularly car culture and the effect automobiles have over people.

I will be writing articles and have great faith in their ability to grow into an influential publication. Please look them up and check out their site and what they have to offer. My first piece is on drifting and how the drift community manages to bring different car groups together as one: Drifting: Bring Car Communities Together

It Takes Two To Tango

I recently stumbled across this little car whilst working on a piece for a celebrity car site. The star who actually bought one of these plug in Tango 600s is Gorgeous George (Clooney). “Here we go”, I thought, “another celeb purchasing an electric car, ensuring the world knows they are eco-aware and doing their bit for the planet.”

Preparing for a humorous assault on the little Tango and ensuring I got all my facts and figures correct, I quickly became aware this car was no joke. It’s hard to believe looking at it, but this bit of kit can hit 60-mph in 3.2 seconds and will continue all the way to 150-mph. WTF? I hear you ask…

Other WTFs include its $108,000 price tag and its weight: 3057-lbs – a third of this is due to batteries. This fully electric tandem two-seater shifts its big weight with two Advanced DC FB1-4001 9″ motors, both producing an amazing 1500-ft-lbs of torque.

The battery packs can also be upgraded from lead-acid to Nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) or lithium-ion (Li-ion) in the future. This will dramatically improve vehicle performance – 80% charge takes 10 minutes; full charge under 3 hours. The range isn’t too bad either, the standard pack offering 80 miles from a full charge.

So what we have is a quirky little sleeper, an eco-friendly midget capable of embarrassing some supercars – as you know, Gargling Gas is a mad Sleeper fan. It’s easy to park and drive around the city. The dash looks like it came from a proper race car, and the interior is finished to a high grade. The only feature I don’t like is the cheap looking wheels – they look like something Ford used in the 90s.

I don’t know about you, but I’d love to own one for a month or so, just to see the expressions of incredulity on Porsche, Lambo and Ferrari owners’ faces as this innocuous little machine leaves them silently behind.