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.

merc1

I’ll cover the important upgrades:

RunFlats

Tyres:

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.

Mercedes_E-klasse_Guard_beschoten_2

Windows:

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.

bf

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Two Legends, But Who’s God? E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth

Mercedes 190E Cosworth vs BMW E30 M3

Mercedes 190E Cosworth vs BMW E30 M3

Before you roll your eyes and yawn at yet another BMW E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth article, consider the prospect of the latter catching up (and dare I say it, surpassing) the BMW in “want” factor. Thanks to the perpetually changing ‘what’s hot”, “what’s not” nature of the automotive world, factoring in the whole Drift/Hipster/Retro movements, could the old Merc capture a little more cool factor and equal that of the Ultimate Driving Machine?

Again, before you write this obvious contender off, a car well known for its performance and constantly compared to the E30, the Mercedes 190E Cosworth boasts both a great back story and amazing racing heritage – the Merc also features the uber cool dog-leg gearing.

Although both cars are luxury German sedans, both powered by a naturally-aspirated in-line 4 engines, both RWD, both punching out around 190-bhp with 170+ft.lbs of torque, their prices differ rather dramatically.

BMW E30 M3  King of Europe ProSeries Drift Competition

BMW E30 M3 King of Europe ProSeries Drift Competition

A decent BMW E30 M3 will start at around £25K, where a mint 190E Cosworth will set you back only £12-15K. I’ve seen mint E30 M3s go for as much as £40K, with track-spec examples hitting £100K.

Another factor to consider in is how good a car looks drifting. Obviously the E30s look incredible, both agile and sinister, and because of its perfect balancing, fantastic impersonating a crab. I think the E30 looks more like a racecar than the Mercedes, the latter thought more as a businessman’s chariot.

Mercedes 190E Cosworth Drift Car

Mercedes 190E Cosworth Drift Car

What some may forget are the glory days when Mercedes and BMW duked it out in European Touring Cars – the 190E Cosworth was a winning car, a force that drove BMW to create the M3 in the first place. In fact, the Merc was so good, Ayrton Senna bought one after winning a 1984 Nurburgring race – check out the 190E in action in the video below.

So with its boxy retro looks, its track abilities, its ability to drift and perform on track, could the 190E see its desirability and value increase?

If you’re still not convinced or sure, Motor Trend did an in depth video on the Germans, so take a look and let me know what car you’d rather see in your garage.

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No Substitute For Automotive Passion: BMW E30 M3

BMW E30 M3

BMW E30 M3 – Petrolicious

It doesn’t matter what type of cars you’re into, there are certain models that cast a spell, a collection of nuts, bolts and wires that evoke the child-like emotion: “I WANT, I WANT!”

I had this emotion the first time I took a ride in an MGB GT. I climbed out of that car and wandered around like the Toad in Wind In The Willows, “Poop, poop!”

MGB GT

MGB GT

Thanks to my father, and much to my mother’s dismay, my first car was a rebored orange 1978 MGB GT.

There are a few cars that have this hold over me, chief among them the Buick GNX, but rather than list the others, check out the video below and listen to this guy’s story on the BMW E30 M3 (also on my list). If you’re into cars you’ll know the E30 M3 is a classic with perfect balance and handling, a great looking car with more than enough hooning power. A decent one with average miles will set you back around £30K, which may sound a lot to some; to those in know like this guy in the video, it’s a small price to pay for a car you’re smitten with.

I’ve used a video from Petrolicious to highlight the special bond us petrolheads have with our cars before. The YouTube channel is worth subscribing to for it’s fantastic filming and great selection of cars, all of them boasting some kind of cool story – and as far as Gargling Gas is concerned, car stories are the best.

Enjoy!

Alpina: More Than Just A Tuning Company

Alpina e12 B7 Turbo

Alpina e12 B7 Turbo

Having owned several Mercedes, a BMW e46 M3 and currently an E36 325i coupe, I’m a massive fan of German cars. Whilst Mercedes have their AMG tuning division and BMW their infamous M division, there’s another name synonymous with BMW that offers more than a badge and extra grunt.

Alpina e12 B7 Interior

Alpina e12 B7 Interior

Since 1965 German manufacturer, Alpina have worked alongside BMW, their platform the canvas onto which they lavish their unique styling and performance enhancements. Whilst the car above could be mistaken for an early e28 M5, if you look a little closer you’ll notice the “Alpina” and “B7 Turbo badges”. Both cars are performance sedans in their own right, however, the Alpina’s styling is more luxurious, complete with signature spoked wheels, and perhaps ahead of its time considering the use of turbos in the current M cars, Alpina turbocharged the engines.

Classic Alpina Wheels

Classic Alpina Wheels

Alpina’s 1979 launch of their B7 Turbo was a significant move forwards regarding the general public having access to big power family cars. In the same year, Road & Track magazine tested the B7 Turbo and proclaimed it as ”The World’s Fastest Sedan.” This is an amazing feat, especially as five years later it still held the title, boasting a 163.9-mph top speed.

Alpina e12 B7 Turbo

Alpina e12 B7 Turbo

We tend to think of the early M cars as the first stupidly fast sedans, but Alpina’s 1979 B7 Turbo produced 296-bhp – that’s more power than BMW’s M1 supercar and 11-bhp more than the first M5 in 1985.

The videos below show off some very rare cars, including a couple of later e28 models, one in action against a BMW e36 M3 – although it doesn’t quite match the e36 in performance, it still highlights the amazing power on offer in 1979, over a decade before the e36 was produced.

I was thinking about getting my hands on another M3, either an e36 or an e46, but after seeing their stylish turbocharged cousins, I’m leaning towards an Alpina.

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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.

 

 

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What Vehicle Would You Choose To Outrun The Cops?

O.J. Simpson's Ford Bronco

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

Gallardo-Monza

Gallardo-Monza

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.