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…”

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

What Car Would You Drive To Woo?

Couple Kissing in Car

I’ve started many posts with a “what car would you” title, and being Gargling Gas, they usually run along the lines of something dark, sinister, destructive, or worse…

This time out I am really interested in understanding what cars you would choose to woo and romance a date. Car designs and tastes are extremely subjective and we never discriminate against ‘scenes’ within car cultures, but when it comes to romance and setting the tone for a romantic drive/date, a lot of cars can be eliminated, especially tuner and super-cars.

This may sound odd but a super-car just isn’t the right car for a romantic drive – they are loud, shouty, you are bound by racing seats, and causing a scene everywhere you go just dampens the mood for romance. If your date is classy, she/he may even feel embarrassed having to clamber out of the likes of a Ford GT or Lamborghini – if you are dressed to impress, having to play twister just to exit a car eradicates any iota of dignity.

Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

Supercars certainly look the part, but when you are trying to impress a date, having members of the public offer you masturbatory gesticulations is without a doubt a passion-killer. On a romantic date you hope to be swapping spit with your sweetheart, not finding it in/on your car when you return.

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

I’ll jump right in and offer up the car I’d use on a date; whether it’s a country drive and pub lunch or a classy London restaurant, my choice more than finds itself at home.

Behold the 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce.

This quaint little red sports car oozes Italian flare without screaming sharp lines, carbon fibre and 700-bhp of noise. It’s timeless in design and so classy it would happily roll with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren should they happen to meet on a high street.

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce

1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce

Okay, so if things heated up and more space was required, this car might not be practical, but if your date is the sort of person to appreciate a classic and a gentleman’s car, chances they’ll settle for nothing less than a four poster bed.

So what car would you choose as your metaphorical and mechanical oyster?

Video

No Sensationalistic Title Needed: 628-BHP Franken E30 M3

BMW Franken M3

BMW Franken M3

The Franken M3

Gargling Gas loves old school BMWs, particularly Pre 2000 M cars. The E30 M3 above is a very special classic indeed. Despite a V10 engine transplant, this ‘Franken M3’ only weighs in 150-lbs heavier than when it left the factory stock, around 3K-lbs.

BMW Franken M3 V10

BMW Franken M3 V10

Franken M3’s Heart

This monster’s modest 4-pot heart was ripped out and a 5.7-L V10 forced in its place. It wasn’t just any heart, either; the stroker unit came from BMW’s performance specialists, Dinan. Along with the massive power comes a tarmac creasing 480 lb-ft of torque, the same as Dinan’s heavier M6 S3.

Of course, the power mongers had to do some serious fettling to allow for a 6-speed transmission, V10 headers and E90 subframes and suspension, but considering all of this only added an extra 150-lbs to its stock weight, I still consider Franken M3 a seriously lightweight E30.

Cost?

Only $224,500.

I usually refer to cars as “her” or “she”, but I’ll end this post by signing off with: Check out the video below and watch this THING in action.

Video

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

Video

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.

The Term “Sleeper” Is Thrown Around Too Much

Gramps - Mighty Car Mods 11 Second Subaru Liberty

Gramps – Mighty Car Mods 11 Second Subaru Liberty

Sleeper Car Lists

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good Sleeper car list; it’s great to see auto enthusiasts shake up the Top 20s with various makes and models. However, I’ve noticed a large amount of these sleeper car lists  include the likes of the BMW M5, the Audi RS6 or RS3, the Cadillac CTS-V and even those infamous Dodge Hellcats – you only have to hear the name “Hellcat” and I bet the last words to leave your lips would be “understated”, “subtle” or “bland”.

Sleeper Car? Just Remember This: S.U.B.

Those three adjectives Subtle/Understated/Bland/describe what makes for the perfect Sleeper – it’s that simple. You take the underdog and inject it with steroids – a bit of a cliche, I know, but fitting because what you put into the car shouldn’t be a visual enhancement. What you inject into a Sleeper car’s metaphorical veins is the stuff of exciting and ingenious creation. It allows for that personal touch, each caress carefully thought out for both deception and extra power.

Carroll Shelby & The 146-bhp Dodge Omni GLHS

Carroll Shelby & The 146-bhp Dodge Omni GLHS

The late tuning legend, Carroll Shelby had the right idea with the Dodge Omni, a very basic little car he thought suited a turbocharged 2.2-L engine. The Omni GLHS was a pocket-rocket for its time, and despite the tell-tale decals, it remained a standard looking grocery-getter.

Nissan March Super Turbo

Nissan March Super Turbo

Another perfect example of a sheep in wolf’s clothing is the quirky little Nissan above. Notice the “Super Turbo”? This was the ultimate granny car that boasted both a supercharger and a turbocharger.

What About The Modern Sleeper?

If we brush the whole misunderstood entries – AMG, M badge, RS badge – aside, what exactly are we left with?

This is where I thrown in my two cents, and instead of posting a list, I’ll reveal a couple of my new favourites and let you post your ultimate sleeper cars in the comments box.

Ford Flex EcoBoost

Ford Flex EcoBoost

The crossover vehicle above is fairly rare in the UK, not something you’d expect to find here at Gargling Gas, however, this Ford Flex EcoBoost is as sly as they come. Its very eco-aware and green and very visible EcoBoost badge masks the fact this boxy car boasts around 350-hp and 355-lb-ft of torque, propelling it to 60-mph in under 6 seconds.

EcoBoost Badge

EcoBoost Badge

The Ford Flex’s rear end may reveal a leaf and the word “Eco”, but combine its 3.5-L V6 and the word “Boost” and you are capable of giving a scare to a lot of mid-range performance cars.

Volvo V60 Polestar

Volvo V60 Polestar

Volvo aren’t synonymous with massive HP or performance, more safety and solidarity. Although you have to be a bit of a car guy to understand what this gorgeous teal colour suggests, the Volvo Polestar looks like any modern family estate. It doesn’t look cheap or slow, but it doesn’t really suggest serious power either. Thanks to modern brands giving their entire fleet of models a mean and aggressive slant to them, apart from the colour, this slips under the radar.

This is where Volvo’s Polestar racing division come into play. This estate’s straight-six engine features a bigger twin-scroll turbo and intercooler, meaning 350-hp and 369-lb-ft of torque. That’s a family car that’ll do 0-62-mph in 4.9 seconds. 

If you’ve read this far you obviously love Sleeper cars. Don’t forget to check out our sister Sleeper Car site on G+ and let me know your top sleepers in the comments box below.

The Dodge SRT Hellcat’s Roar Reaches The UK

hellcat1

As an automotive writer, blogger, and owner of Gargling Gas – a site dedicated to the more aggressive cars and cultures – my ears obviously pricked up when I heard rumour of a 707-hp muscle car being given the nod. In an age of whining eco-warriors, eco-boxes and strict emission control, this was music to my ears, especially as all this horsepower was being hammered out by a giant supercharged 6.2-L V8 Hemi.

Okay, so the Dodge Hellcat’s monstrous power plant had to adhere to emissions, but as someone who fears the days of massive horse power generated by massive engines are quickly being replaced by smaller hybrid/turbo technology, it’s refreshing to hear an American legend has stepped up and injected their current SRT8 muscle with something a little more potent than those cliché steroids.

 

The first pictures I witnessed of Dodge’s monster showed it in an aptly bright green. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was the same as its little SRT8 brother in the same way a Big Mac tastes the same as a lightly seasoned and seared fillet steak. It is worth noting that The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is now easily available with sites such as 51st State opening the gates to import the model.

From a distance, the SRT Hellcat could be mistaken for the SRT8 model, as the Richter-scale damaging power is hidden within the belly of the beast. The one fantastic and obvious giveaway to a Hellcat (apart from the noise it creates if running) is the RAM air hole neatly positioned within the Challenger’s front lights. Using “angel eye” lights made popular by BMW, the Hellcat still retains its sidelights as air is helplessly gulped into its supercharger.

As for the Lambo green… were they taunting the Italians over the fact their muscle car boasted more horses than their Aventador? Were they having a dig at the eco-warriors painting such a mechanical behemoth green? I’d like to think so.

The Hellcat also comes in red, but I think the green is perfect and hails back to 70s and the days muscle cars ruled supreme.

I haven’t mentioned I’m a UK-based writer yet as all this talk of muscle and horsepower would seem ludicrous and incongruously placed on our small and winding country roads.

After a little research and interest (obsession) on the Hellcat it seems the UK petrolheads are all falling for its looks and are pining to experience the Jolly Green Giant’s punch.

When I hear people laugh at UK muscle car owners, always dropping the “mpg” debate, I do wonder if they include the Chelsea tractor owners, the supercharged Range Rovers, Porsche Cayennes and other heavy and petrol-guzzling 4x4s families buy to carry their 2.4 children – obesity in children is on the rise, but this is ridiculous.

With petrol prices tumbling in the UK and a machine available with 707-hp whilst offering similar mpg (22) as a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, why wouldn’t a serious petrolhead put in an order? What other car offers this much power for such a low price compared to its supercar rivals?

Even the infamous Ram 1500/2500 pickups are finding themselves in colder and damper climes. Thanks to Chrysler’s diesel Pentastar V6 power plants and 8-speed transmissions, the efficient torque and solid mpg figures are attracting customers across the pond.

No more massive V8s and leaf spring suspension; the current Ram 1500/2500s boast adjustable air suspension, touch screen technology and stylish interiors, workhorses going under the guise of a luxury hauler.

So is big always better?

Of course it is.