Plug N Play Driving

I’ve been an F1 fan for twenty years and I’ve watched the ultra high-tech components make their way onto the manufacturers’ lines. The introduction of KERS (Kenetic Energy Recovery System) into F1 eventually spawned the various types of hybrid vehicles we see today. Over a decade on and the electric methods of powering vehicles have improved, both in efficiency and the speed in which they can be charged.

Whilst the F1 white coat’s latest efforts have been introduced onto the 2014 cars, offering double the HP of KERS, I wonder how long it’ll be before we see the end of the racing combustion engine?

The fully electric car has proven its enormous torque and acceleration possibilities. Petrolheads criticize the lack of sound and the smell of burnt fuel, and whilst I’m a passionate petrolhead, I get excited at the true potential of all this clean power. No spanners, wrenches or skinned knuckles; just laptops, programs, leads and ports. Gone are the days of the grease embellished mechanic; in are the boffins and computer geeks. Instead of superchargers and turbos and all those expensive parts needed to make an engine more powerful, it’ll be a case of just downloading and installing a program.

The only real problems we face with the fully electric vehicle is the charging times needed to give the cells a full charge. I expect this will soon be fixed, with greater driving ranges possible and the ability to charge wirelessly – I really can predict a ‘plug n play’ car in the not so distant future.

It will probably be this simple too and I’m glad I’m at an age where I’ll experience the development of the fully electric car whilst having experienced two decades of the combustion engine.

The only thing putting a dampner on all this potentially amazing technology is… technology. It’s all very well being able to tweak power and torque levels with a laptop, but with GPS devices already finding their way into hire cars, company cars, and insurance companies using them to offer lower premiums, it won’t be long before we are all tracked. Speeding is of course illegal, but who doesn’t open up the taps once in a while? It would feel a bit too 1984 for my liking.

So who’s in for the future of electricity? Or would you prefer cars remained as fire-breathing and snorting petrol guzzlers?

I’m 70/30 in favour of petrol, but then I do like to gargle gas once in a while…




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 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.


Magnus Walker Does It His Way

I’ve been meaning to write a post about this guy for a while now, and after browsing his Facebook page and checking out how much time he devotes to posting and replying to fans, I decided to spread the love.

If you’re a serious car guy you’ll have probably heard about Magnus Walker  or seen pictures of his fleet of custom Porsches. His story is one of pure inspiration and one I truly admire because of what he has achieved from a handful of cash and a shot at a dream.

The following video is a documentary about this Urban Outlaw’s journey, from the UK’s glum city of Sheffield to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, and how his clothing empire allowed him to fuel his passion for Porsche. As well as the fashion world, Magnus has made big waves in the automotive world, featuring in Jay Leno’s Garage alongside his “277” 1971 911T (my personal favourite), and you only have to google his name to find many more inspiring videos.


I don’t need to write much more as I’ll let the star of the article fill you in himself. I just hope I remain true to myself and live the way I want to live – this man has proven it’s entirely possible. Sit back and prepare for some gorgeous and original retro designs and what’s it like to have a personal showroom packed with classic Porsches.





Resto-Modding: Are you In Or Out?


Over the past 5 years or so of tuning into literally every car show on the planet, I’ve noticed the rising popularity of resto-modding. Resto-modding is basically grabbing a classic car, gutting it and restoring it with modern components to make it perform and handle better. I recently wrote an article on resto-modding for rpmrush and also included what my personal resto-mod would be. It also goes into a little more depth about the whole process.



I’d love to know who is a purist and can’t stand the thought of butchering a classic, and those who are all in for the Frankenstein method of marrying retro to modern.



Kanjo Racers: Highly Illegal But Fun

Originally posted on Gargling Gas :

Japan bought us the world of highly tunable turbo cars and gymkhana. They also popularised many of their insane cars in the Fast & Furious franchise, where modding your car and driving like a bat out of hell was a way of life, a culture in the same vein as skating and surfing.

I love the Japanese scene, especially drifting and touge. However, this article touches upon the highly-illegal practices that take place in Kanjo racing.

Before I compound further on the subject, the devil on my left shoulder loves the fact I’m about the praise these kamikaze Honda lunatics, whilst the angel on my right is trying to convince me these racers shouldn’t be given any page space at all.

So what is Kanjo?

Yep, the devil won.

Kanjo is a circular road in Osaka, Japan. The younger generation have taken their love for modifying their Hondas to another level…

View original 212 more words


Cute Super Turbo Sleeper

Damn I love a sleeper. You all know Gargling Gas loves a good sleeper but the cute little ones boasting big BHP are the greatest. Not since the little super and turbocharged Nissan March have I seen such a cool car.

It comes from the company once ridiculed for its skip-like image and performance. Anyone into cars knows very well Skoda produce some amazing cars, especial their diesel turbos. They’ve managed to overcome their poor image and create rally cars, really showing the world what they were now capable of.

A decade or so on and they’ve taken their technology a few steps on with the Fabia vRS 1.4TSi –  smart and good-looking hatchback boasting 180-bhp from a 1.4-L super and turbo charged engine. The other stats also look promising: 184lb ft of torque means 62mph in just 7.3sec (remember this is only a 1.4-L) and a 139mph top speed. Not lightening fast but it does manage to return an impressive 45.6mpg and a 148g/km CO2 figure.

Neat, cool, fast and capable of frightening a few bigger cars… perfect.


Why Buy New?

I recently penned this article for a friend of mine. After a little research I really got into rekindling the years I was into hot hatches (I owned the mighty pocket rocket Citroen Saxo VTS).

After finding a few favourites and stand out cars, I also realised the true bargains you can find after depreciation. As long as it’s clean, HPI checked, possess a full service history and lower than average miles, you should be able to pick up a car at a third of the list price.

Scorching Hot Hatches That Won’t Burn A Hole In Your Pocket