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Dirty, Filthy, Evil, Naughty, Sexy and Bad

Those are just six adjectives I attribute to the noise the Jaguar F-Type R creates when petrol ignites within its eight cylinders. Never mind mpg, reliability, looks (in this case the Jag does just fine), or handling, for when a car sounds this bad (the good kind of “bad”), you only have to drop the windows and hammer and all those niggling problems magically vanish – and as far as I’m concerned, magic and alchemy is exactly what Jaguar have applied to this big cat’s heart.

Should you ever need to unblock your ears, just watch the video below.

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Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: The Sleeper Car

Ford Granada Sleeper ZZZ ZZZ

Ford Granada Sleeper ZZZ ZZZ

You may or may not have heard of the term “Sleeper Car” before – to some it probably sounds like a camper van vehicle or caravan – however, a Sleeper Car is the complete opposite of the meaning derived from the word “Sleeper”.

As you’ve most likely guessed from the title, this type of vehicle is a bog standard car hiding and possessing enormous amounts of power under its coat.

Example: How great would it be to embarrass a Porsche at the lights in an old Mitsubishi Galant? How is this done? Mitsubishi are primarily known for their EVO cars, the ultimate turbo tuning machines. Despite this, their Galant VR4 (pretty standard in appearance) comes with 276 bhp stock, so with some tuning and performance upgrades at a relatively low cost, they can be boosted to around 600+ bhp.

Mitsubishi Galant VR4

Mitsubishi Galant VR4

Depending on your budget, any car can be transformed into a Sleeper car. I recently watched an episode of Fast N’ Loud on Discovery where Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman took an old ’59 Rambler Wagon (pic below), treated and clear coated its weathered body for effect, but installed a massive 4.8L Chevrolet V8 with an Edelbrock Carburettor and MSD direct ignition and disk brakes. From the outside it looked like an old truck, but a blip of the gas and it could shift tectonic plates.

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One problem you face boosting horsepower is hiding the upgrades needed to cope with the extra grunt. The main two are exhausts and brake callipers. Unless you purchase black callipers, simply paint them before installation. Exhausts are pretty simple if you can get under the car – ensure they are out of sight but still manage to function properly. Sports exhausts usually offer different styles, either for sound or performance. Try and pick one that offers optimum flow as well as offering a good amount of muffle – a deep rumbling exhaust suggests upgrades.

If you have bottomless pit of money to throw at car, check this Sleeper Car out for scaring pretty much any other potential racer at the lights. This is essentially an F1 powered Alfa 164 Procar. It was built in cooperation with Brabham and possess the only Alfa Romeo V10 ever built. This disguised Alfa produces 605 bhp at 12,000 rpm! – not sure what the insurance premium would be on this one.

Alfa Sleeper F1 Car

Alfa Sleeper F1 Car

The perfect wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Alfa Sleeper Car

Alfa Sleeper Car

My favourite and perhaps the ultimate Sleeper is “Farm Truck” from the TV show Street Outlaws – check out the video below and witness the power that old truck can lay down.

If you are thinking about creating a Sleeper Car with a small budget, aim for a small and light turbo car, something you can add a cold air intake and bigger exhaust to, also one in which an ECU tweak is viable. These three options can add as much as 60-80 bhp to a small turbo car, putting you in the same arena as the bigger sporty saloons.

Trailer Park Boys SH!T Mobile Is Actually Immortal

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The majority of the vehicles making their way around the Canadian trailer park, “Sunny Vale”, in The Trailer Park Boys are Detroit originals, although some are the Canadian versions.

Easily my favourite and the car featured here at Gargling Gas is the “Shit Mobile”, one of the main characters, Ricky’s mode of transport and home.

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After a little research I realised the car had an off-screen story to it too – the 1975 Chrysler New Yorker was owned by the show’s creator, Mike Clattenberg, and after driving right through to the second season, his wife deemed it too ugly and wanted it gone from their driveway.

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In an interview with the loveable four-eyed, Bubbles, (Mike Smith) Auto Trader discovered there is more to the New Yorker than viewers may think.

When asked about Ricky’s “Shit Mobile”, Bubbles replied:

Yup. Big. Heavy. Powerful car. That was in mint condition when we first started and we had to break the car down. It took a long time to do with axes and sledgehammers. It was hard to dent it. There’s so much iron in the thing.

The actual Shit Mobile is so banged up, but it’ll still do a brake stand to this day. You can’t kill the engine in that car. It always fires up every time someone turns the car on. The thing is still working.

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Just goes to show that the phrase “They don’t make them like they used to” really does apply to the automobile.

Gargling Gas is all about cars and their personalities, and this beat up New Yorker is the perfect example of how those knocks, dents and scratches (and even lack of doors) give a car its character.

BMWs & Preparing Lithuanian Sledges

Owning a BMW E36 325i (HeLLga) and possessing a passion for sideways action, it was only a matter of time before I’d stumble across the ‘The Ugly Duckling’, the incongruously placed BMW above. Its owner hails from a part of Europe boasting scented forests and pristine lakes, a seemingly serene and peaceful place… until you look a little closer.

There are some pretty cool goings-on taking place in Lithuania at the moment, a combination of old school BMWs, mad driving skills, and a creativity and enthusiasm captured in a series of short films.

Norbertas Daunoravičius (pictured above) is the brains behind Norbe Films, a vision shared through his website and YouTube channel. Here he reveals both his love of retro Bimmers and his ability to make them slide. Referring to what is commonly known as the ‘Drift Missile’, Norbertas prefers the name ‘Sledge’, a term coined from the current Lithuanian car culture. 

Norbe Films presents useful videos on Sledge preparation, primarily involving an old BMW and wrenching on it until it will drift. The film below is the longest – and perhaps considered his feature piece – The Ugly Duckling. Although the 15 minutes of footage features hardcore Hooning and antisocial driving, Norbetas manages to convey intelligence, humour and a real passion for cars. The Ugly Duckling also captures the spirit and culture of Lithuania, its people strong-willed, inventive and industrious.

If you haven’t got 15 minutes to spare, check out the excerpt above, a little taster, a lesson in Lithuanian parking.

One Car Apocalypse

Zombieland

Zombieland

As a fiction writer as well as an automotive scribbler, I’ve not only noticed the ubiquitous appearance of zombies, vampires and apocalyptic settings in film, TV and books over the past decade, I’ve had a few ideas myself.

Of course, cars always find themselves into the forefront of my imagination, which in turn led me here to Gargling Gas and an important question I’d like all you petrolheads to consider.

28 Days Later

If you were a character in film, TV or a novel set within the aforementioned genres, what would be your car of choice?

Would it be a car chosen for pragmatic reasons such as reliability, economy or its ability to traverse all terrains? Or would you throw caution to  the wind and go for something fast, aggressive and loud?

Mad Max

Mad Max

As the choice can be made within the realm of fiction and fantasy, where cars can miraculously jump like the General Lee and land with no mechanical issues, I’m going to go with something a little more interesting than the ‘real world’ solution to zombies and the apocalypse I penned a while back – Zombie Benz.

Bellflower

Bellflower

Bellflower isn’t strictly an apocalyptic film, although the car, Medusa is a creation built should the apocalypse ever occur. I think the protagonists had the right idea, though, a muscle car possessing flamethrowers.

My favourite protagonist in any story has to be “The Kid”, a twisted and psychotic greaser from Stephen King’s genius apocalyptic masterpiece, The Stand. He is short and boosts his height by six inches by means of a tall hairdo and high-heeled cowboy boots.

He drives a heavily customised 1932 Ford deuce coupe, which he drives dangerously fast, “speeds high enough to induce brain damage”, always with a beer or a whiskey chased with Pepsi in hand.

The Stand

The Stand

I think if I were to appear in film alongside the undead, bloodsuckers and a world ready to leave me alongside a handful of survivors, my main priority would be vanity – I’d need to look badass. People would need to hear me coming, fear me once they saw my ride, and either bow down or swoon as I rumbled by, slowing to throw a glance over my RayBans whilst flicking a cigarette butt out of the window.

A Prius? No. A Lamborghini? Hell no. What then?

Fast & Furious

Fast & Furious

If you follow Gargling Gas you’d expect me to say the Buick Grand National, but since it has made a fair amount of on-screen appearances, including Fast & Furious (2009), I’ll go for something nearly on par with its legendary sinister looks.

My car of choice has a good amount of power, killer looks, retro lines and nickname pertinent to the genres. It would look menacing from the front, great from the side, and simply amazing sliding around corners and splattered in buckets of blood and zombie brains.

BMW E24 635 CSi

BMW E24 635 CSi

Let me introduce The Shark-nose, the BMW E24  635 CSi. Oh yeah, it would without a doubt have to black, like my current Bimmer, HeLLga.

So what car would you choose to drive in a world void of life, a world wanting either your blood, your brains or ultimately your life?

 

 

Buick, Please Don’t Taint The GNX Legend

When car companies decide to revive an old and popular model by building a ‘tribute’, they usually don’t do it any justice – it’s a bit like Hollywood rehashing a classic – think Gus Van Sant and his audacious yet appalling remake of Psycho.

One of my favourite cars (I’m going to own one to spank my midlife crisis into submission) is indeed the ’87 Buick GNX – I have professed my adoration for the Vader car in a previous post, Love At First Sight. The GNX is special in that is was unexpected and completely insane. Buicks weren’t and still aren’t known for power or outrageous styling; they were and still are comfortable and luxurious. When Buick released the Regal Grand National in 1982, the public took notice, and when Buick noticed the public taking notice, they upped the power almost every year until its final run in 1987 – the 87s are the most sought after because Buick wanted to bid the GNX farewell with a memorable send off, a special edition stroked by the McLaren brush and boasting a wildly underrated 245-bhp.

When Buick released the GNX, they gave birth to their black sheep of the fleet, a muscle car eater, a sinister machine fit for only Darth Vader, the choice of hitmen and serial killers.

Over the past year or so I’ve been following any news on the 2015 GNX, trying to find an accurate idea of what it’s going to look like – despite being released as a four door sedan and not like its coupe predecessor, I’d like to think it will resemble the picture above and the 2013 Regal GS below, because as far as modern designs are concerned, they looks pretty aggressive. Both the Grand National and GNX will be created on a RWD platform previously used by the sixth-generation Camaro and also the third-generation Cadillac CTS. Although concepts have varied, I know the figures are encouraging enough, but are they good enough to earn the GNX badge and status.

Owning a 2015 GNX doesn’t need to be the stuff of midlife crisis dreams either – the performance and looks will come cheaper than the 40s fantasy Porsche 911. Even if this is just out of reach, securing a car loan from a good bank will ensure the legendary GNX badge sits in your garage.

Casting the smaller engine options and models aside, the daddy GNX will have a twin-turbo 3.6-L V6. Phew, thank god they stuck with the V6 instead of using a V8. Twin-turbo is also good because it remains true to the original in that instead of using V8s like all the other muscle cars of its era, Buick decided to go with a V6 and a big turbo. The new model will possess around 400-bhp, but is this enough to challenge the likes of the Cadillac CTS, something Buick intended?

I personally don’t think it will live up to the GNX name in ground-breaking performance, but I do think Buick will create a great looking and fast sedan. The GNX will only come in black, just like its 80s daddy, so at least they’ve got that right. Perhaps if Buick found a few more horses and stripped away some of the weight using exotic materials (think BMW CSL), the GNX will be another Buick to remember. Okay, so it will push the prices up shedding weight, but it’s not like there’s going to be a shortage of people lining up to buy the new GNX.

 

CoPo Muscle Vs Evil Legend GNX

 

If you follow my blog, it’s fairly obvious which car wins it for Gargling Gas. The Buick GNX is my idea of heaven, both mentally, physically and even sexually.

Motor Trend  is a very good YouTube channel, the cars fantastic and the presenters knowledgeable and fair. I agreed the outcome was close on the two cars featured, especially as the 69 Chevelle was a CoPo boasting widow-making horsepower.

The match up was hardly old vs new, but the generation gap showed what a turbocharged V6 could produce. Don’t get me wrong, as I adore all muscle cars, it’s just the GNX was one of those bizarre releases from a company known for tame machines. If you lined up a bunch of muscle cars and suinted your eyes, the Chevelle wouldn’t stand out – the GNX, however, would be that streak of black, the Grim Reaper lurking in your peripheral vision.

Watch and enjoy the entertainment and great reviews.