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Driving Slow Cars Fast

Whilst the title is a little ambiguous, it holds the key to the ultimate driving experience and will make sense once you watched the following video.

I fervently follow Jalopnik and their YouTube /DRIVE channel, knowing my automotive needs will be satiated with either interesting news or all-out mayhem.

It obviously comes down to personal taste in what you look for in a car’s chassis, but I have to go with the Toyota MR2 or the Mazda MX-5 (Miata) for slow(ish) cars you know you can throw around and experience that feeling of speed due to the car’s compact size and the minuscule gap between you and the tarmac.

Whilst both of these cars are RWD and excellent for kicking out the rear (the MR2 perhaps too easy due to its mid-mounted engine), you may prefer FWD or AWD, the ability to attack corners without the risk of spinning or ending up in a ditch more suited to your style.

Check out the video below and tell me your favourite slow car you know feels fast when it is either sideways or zipping along bendy country lanes.

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Dashboard Attraction

1982 Lancia Orca – Source

Whether its seamless lines or seductive curves, a car’s style and beauty is usually judged upon its body shape, its interior features taking a back seat, so to speak.

Since our true connection and enjoyment comes from being behind the wheel of a car, staring into an aesthetically appealing dashboard only heightens the experience.

 

1984 Aston Martin Lagonda

 

Because cars all possess different characters, manufactured to suit all walks of life, finding that comfortable and familiar interface isn’t hard. The pipe, slipper and open fire lover will prefer acres of polished walnut and chrome whilst the geek or technophobe will opt for the dash equivalent of the iPod.

 

1981 Citroen Xenia concept – Source

The dash I find most attractive would no doubt see me into a ditch from staring at it and not paying attention to the road. It comes from a car I know I’ll never own, an Italian rally-bred monster with muscular box flares and gorgeous lines. It’s turbocharged and four-wheel-drive, all its power and tech crammed inside a small car built by a company renowned for its terrible build quality.

Guessed it yet?

 

Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo 

It’s that ultimate driver car and petrolhead’s fantasy, the Lancia Delta Integrale. Its looks and performance overpower any pragmatic cries of reliability, rust, and recovery vehicles. You’d drive one every now and again, each time a treat and as thrilling as the last.

Complimenting this design experimentation in sex and desire by feeding you information as you take control, comes a magnificent dashboard, one I simply adore. I think it’s down to my love of watches and dials and being able to see what’s going on under the bonnet.

 

 

Aesthetics is a highly subjective topic, but I think anyone can appreciate what is going on here.

So what’s your favourite dashboard? Are you a digital man or dial man?

Troy Paiva: Cars From The Dead

After downloading Stephen King’s Mile 81 novella onto my iPhone last night (I like to wait until the wife is asleep and read under the duvet)I couldn’t help but notice the eye-catching cover art. Intrigued, I tapped the artist’s name into my phone’s Notes feature and, oblivious of the amazing world that awaited me, I went to sleep.

The name I recalled from my phone the following day was Troy Paiva, and one search into Google images filled my screen, eyes, mind and soul with a barrage of stark and contrasting colours that accurately (and rather eerily) represented everything I feel about the automobile and the personalities they possess. As you may know, nothing excites Gargling Gas more than cars with attitude, machines possessing a sense there is something more than electrics and mechanics going on behind their headlights.

With a vision expressed through lighting and a penchant for exploring the abandoned and unknown at night, Troy Paiva manages to inject colour, life and drama into the ostensibly listless and dead.

Troy Paiva has been stalking the night for images since 1989. Whether it’s abandoned buildings or junkyards, or simply exploring places he considers the ruins of a “Lost America”, Paiva finds inspiration through his sense of isolation and loneliness.

Thinking of himself as more an “Urban Explorer” than an artist and photographer, Paiva has also penned books about his night-time experiments with loneliness and light. “I love the surreal feeling of wandering through an abandoned subdivision, alone, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. Your senses become heightened and you feel the weight of time.”

Personally I am extremely excited because, not only do I adore and need all of these photographs hanging in my home, but Paiva “gets” it, he understands how static objects (especially machines) set within bleak backgrounds can evoke feelings and tease the senses if viewed a certain way.

Take the guy above, for example – whilst some (my wife and mother-in-law included) may see it as a horror B-movie prop, Gargling Gas and the majority of our readers (I hope) see her as an orphan that first needs taming, naming and then given a home, a place where she’ll be cared for, restored, loved and cherished.

But then that could just be me…

If you want to see more of these stunning shots, check out Paiva’s galleries

And remember folks, Gargling Gas exists because cars have feelings too…

The Creation Of Something Special In 1160 Pictures…

… special to me anyway. Search Gargling Gas for the Buick Grand National and you’ll find a fair few posts on my infatuation with it.

It’s not totally unrealistic to find a solid example and have it shipped over from the States for a reasonable price (£10-15K). Most sensible, and let’s face it, boring non-car people will probably cry, “An American muscle car in the UK? Are you mad?” Yes, probably, but then I could counter the remark with something like, “Wow, £5K on touching up the woodwork on your stairs”, or, “£25K for a small soundproof recording studio?” Each to their own and all that…

People spend out on the things that make them tick, whether it’s a giant train-set or a set of rare stamps, and everyone knows and accepts this. Except when it comes to cars (I’ve found) people are quick to comment, frown, stroke their metaphorical beard – or in the case of my mother-in-law, her beard. Non-car people suddenly turn into Jeremy Clarkson and offer advice based on a one car experience, whether it was their own, a family member’s or even a friend’s.

“Oh, you wanna steer clear of Fiats, mate. My sister’s cousin had one… nothing but trouble.”

“No, no no… I’d go with a turbo diesel. Reliable and just as fast as petrol engines. They’ve come a long way with those diesels, y’know.” Etc…

Now I’ve gone off on a tangent and will swiftly get back to what this post is about.

Today I found a great piece featuring a Buick GNX on the American Resto Mods website. Pictured above is a very tired 1987 Buick GNX exhumed from a Louisiana bog in 2011. The poor thing was left parked in the mud since 1991 – 20 years! Who would leave a four-year-old GNX – any car, for that matter – in the mud for two decades?

Thankfully, the mud being situated along the gulf meant enough oil content to prevent any serious rust. In fact, the important and structural parts of the car were solid, and apart from having to evict insects and mice from their cosy home, the Buick was great restoration material.

Click the link below, and in 1160 pictures, witness the love and dedication that transformed the above into the stunning example below.

1987 Buick Grand National Restoration

A few Gargling Gas Grand National posts:

Love At First Sight

Buick, Please Don’t Taint A Legend

 

 

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45 Minutes Of Dirty Rats

It’s Saturday afternoon, my wife is out and my dogs are asleep. This means trawling the web for cool car videos, cranking up the volume and kicking back without any requests to fix things or throw tennis balls.

If you’re a car guy, whether you like tuner imports, American muscle or the latest supercars, a part of you has to respect the Rat Rod. They are ugly, noisy and uncomfortable, but they look amazing and are usually pretty damn fast. Its rising popularity has spawned the TV show, Vegas Rat Rods (Sin City Motors in the UK), a series showing there’s a lot more than just rusted old parts that go into a build. Oh yeah, and there’s the junkyard diva, Twiggy lending a helping hand.

The Rat Rod was what you once considered a vehicle pieced (botched) together out of any parts that would make it function until the inevitability of an other component failure. If it received bumps, scratches and the exposed metal rusted, who cares? It was just a machine that carried stuff from A – B; it got the job done.

Over the past decade, these classic rust buckets have merged with the resto-mod scene, scrap-worthy vintage shells now fetching silly money so they can be kitted out with new drive trains, suspensions, and even turbo chargers. You’ll hear the word “Patina” used a lot within the Rat community, as a true Rat needs to possess a layer of corrosion. Some builders may simply coat their vehicle in matt black paint, whilst the majority leave the areas of patina on show and treat the entire shell with a clear coat, protecting it from further corrosion.

As you can imagine, the sky’s the limit with these builds – literally anything can be added for originality or personal expression. The Ford Model A is the granddaddy of the Rat Rod basis, a foundation onto which anything can happen…

…which leads seamlessly onto the video below.

Will the dogs wake up? Will my better half return? 45 minutes is all I ask… Are you with me?

Drift Garage, Forsberg & Tuerck

If you are even remotely interested in the drift scene, whether you follow Formula Drift or you prefer mixing it up on the streets with your friends and your zip-tied missiles, you’ll have heard of the names Ryan Tuerck and Chris Forsberg. Not only are they Formula Drift pros, but they also spend time wrenching and hooning in their garage.

Drift Garage is a youtube venture featured on the Network @ channel. They promote all things cool and street like skating, BMX and Drifting. Should you want to delve further into what serious drifters do in their garages to push the sliding boundaries, the series of videos below will leave you wanting to rush out and find a cheap Nissan you can wrench on.

I especially liked the episode where they build a drift missile for $5000. Forsberg and Tuerck are both informative and amusing and it’s great to see two pros messing with relatively cheap cars – just look at the drift warrior above, for example, a car build purely for function and not form.

Check Drift Garage out if you are looking to satiate that need to slide and do something a little different.

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Fall From Grace: Mercedes 280ce

The car above is everything I love about cars. Affectionally known as Grace, the beautiful Mercedes has a few tricks under her dress. From the image above you see a wonderfully cared for 1972 Mercedes 280ce, a car anyone would be proud to be seen driving around town. However, approach her and dare to get a little personal and you’ll see there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

As you can see, someone has gifted her some rather nice black shoes and Pirelli rubber. Her stance has been altered to lift her gorgeous rear end, and just look at the results. Like I said, this is what I personally like about cars, and whilst I respect 100% originality in restorations, I also love tasteful customisations – if you were to purchase Grace, all the original parts come with her, like it or not.

Grace has personality and charm. She’s from a time when cars were beautiful and expected to last longer than 10 years. Her drivetrain has been fully rebuilt and virtually all of her working parts have either been reconditioned or replaced. I guess you could call her a resto-mod as some of the parts are new and the overall finish clearly shows off some modern touches.

Grace is pretty yet menacing, beautiful yet dangerous, and I have fallen head over heals for her. I think if I owned her, I’d like to shoehorn the 6.3-L AMG lump and make her a true Sleeper. If you want Grace in your garage, check out the link below. Oh, and just like all beautiful women, she’s not cheap.

Gorgeous Grace