Get Me To The Funeral On Time

1970 Dodge Challenger Hearse

1970 Dodge Challenger Hearse – ebodies.blogspot.co.uk

Apart from the handful of models not successfully making the transition from car to hearse, most manage to convey a look comprised of the adjectives, grand, regal, sinister and evil. The stretched black vehicles, gliding their occupants’ empty shells to their final place of rest also naturally earn big respect.

I’ve had my fair share of experience driving hearses, as I once worked as funeral assistant. In fact, my post, The Dead Travel Fast, catalogues my tales of woe concerning the transportation of corpses.

1967 Jaguar XK-E 4.2 Series I

1967 Jaguar XK-E 4.2 Series I

One of my personal favourite hearses comes from the 1971 comedy Harold and Maude, a Jaguar his mother buys him after she disapproves of his first choice of car, a Caddy hearse. Not best pleased, Harold transforms his gift into a sports hearse.

Hearse From Hell

Hearse From Hell

Taking of Cadillacs, take the monster above, for example, the love child of Ghostbusters and Mad Max. Known as the Alexis Funker Hearse, this fire-breathing death machine just highlights what can be done with a little inspiration and versatility – hearses may be long and black, but they can be made to suit all walks of life.

About a year ago, I wrote a post simply titled, What Car Would You Be Buried In?, understanding the special bond between car guys and their pride and joys.

I think if I couldn’t be buried in my favourite car, I’d like to know my corpse took its last final ride in it.

Death & Dodgem

Death & Dodgem

So, my morbid and twisted followers, what car would you turn into a hearse, knowing it was going to be your final ride?

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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…”

 

 

 

 

’72 Trashcan Sleeper Bomb

1972 Chevy Nova "The Trash Can"

1972 Chevy Nova “The Trash Can”

It’s been far too long since I posted a good old sleeper car, so I’ll make up for it by posting an absolute monster of a car.

Brilliantly and aptly named, “The Trash Can” is a 1972 Chevy Nova with a little more than just rust and worn seats under her belt. This classic muscle car boasts a 5.3-L V8 heart, and helping this old-timer breath a little better, twin Precision 58mm turbos turn this tired old dog into a purebred greyhound.

Sinister looking Chevy Nova "The Trash Can"

Sinister looking Chevy Nova “The Trash Can”

Gargling Gas loves sheep in wolf’s clothing cars so much, we have a sister page dedicated to Sleeper Cars on G+, so if you think “The Trash Can” is right up your alley, check us out and show us your sleepers.

The beauty about this particular sleeper is it covers all the bases when it comes to Gargling Gas’ depiction of the perfect car: Badass, Sinister, Fast, Loud and full of character… after all, cars having feelings too, right?

Twin Turbo Sleeper Car

Twin Turbo Sleeper Car

This is “The Trash Can” trying to destroy a dyno, and whilst I couldn’t find legit BHP figures, the fact she can hit the 1/4 mile in the 9s suggests 800+

The coolest part about “The Trash Can” isn’t just her badass looks and power; it’s the fact she only cost $4K.

Check her out showing off on the strip in the video below.

NOTE: These were test runs, and the fact she left the lights way after the car in the opposite lane was so her crew could listen to the engine etc…

Video

Steve McQueen’s Ferrari 275 GTB Graces Mulholland Drive

Steve McQueen - Ferrari 275 GTB

Steve McQueen – Ferrari 275 GTB

I was recently invited to attend a car TV show launch in London featuring a restored 1962 Sebring Sprite raced by Sir Stirling Moss. The show was National Geographic’s Car S.O.S and, having the privilege of watching the screening of the first episode, I learnt a certain movie star raced in the same car and series as Moss.

Car SOS - Sir Stirling Moss' 1962 Sebring Sprite

Car SOS – Sir Stirling Moss’ 1962 Sebring Sprite

This actor was the original “King of Cool”, none other than Steve McQueen. If you’re unfamiliar with his work (although I highly doubt it), he’s the guy in the dark green Ford Mustang in the most famous car chase movie of all time, Bullitt.

I knew McQueen liked racing cars and I always associated him with Le Mans 1971 and Bullitt 1968, but I didn’t realise he bumped fenders with the epitome of the gentleman racer, Sir Stirling Moss.

Sir Stirling Moss' 1962 Sebring Sprite

Sir Stirling Moss’ 1962 Sebring Sprite

Later that evening I managed to chat with the show’s presenters and get up close to the little race car. I peered into the tiny cockpit and imagined battling it out on track, looking in my mirrors as McQueen and Moss prepared to take a dive down the inside – yes, this is fantasy; I’m not deluded enough to think Moss would ever be in my mirrors.

These were the hay days of racing cars, the days when gentleman with fat wallets could climb into cars and race with the stars.

Steve McQueen - Ferrari 275 GTB

Steve McQueen – Ferrari 275 GTB

Inspired, I dug a little deeper and discovered a recent video of McQueen’s Ferrari 275 GTB on YouTube. The car channel, theAFICIONAUTO not only managed to get hold of McQueen’s beloved Fezza, but they also took it for a spin down Los Angeles’ Mulholland Drive.

In fact, going back to the movie, Bullitt, McQueen actually owned and drove his 275 GTB at the time of its filming. As the Italian masterpiece makes it way along Mulholland Drive, you get to hear it’s glorious V12 song, all the while taking in some of McQueen’s favourite sights.

Ferrari’s Classiche department has since restored the 275 GTB, leaving as flawless as the day it left Maranello.

Steve McQueen - Ferrari 275 GTB

Steve McQueen – Ferrari 275 GTB

Because this is a classic Ferrari, price tags are going to be high, but when you factor in the previous owner’s own tag as “The King of Cool”, the price is going to soar – by soar, I mean over $10M. This is the money a lucky bidder forked out for the GTB at an RM action in August 2014.

Yes, it’s a lot of money, but if you sit back and watch the video below, take in the sights, the sounds, and imagine every bend through the eyes of “Mr Cool”, you’ll get some idea as to why people part with so much of their hard earned cash.

If you like the look of the little Austin Healey Sebring Sprite, check out Car S.O.S. and watch Moss take it for a good thrashing after its restoration.

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What’s The Most Unreliable Car You’d Happily Own?

Chap broken down

“Buy with your head, not your heart,” is something you’ll either hear from your parents, partner or non-car person. I’ve had this kind of advice fired at me from all angles over the years… thankfully, the wife is (slightly) more understanding.

Luckily, if you are like me and born with high-octane sluicing around in your arteries, this advice goes unheard, no matter how persistent the messenger. I’ve bought cars with my heart every time I’ve fancied a change, and to hell with reliability and MPG, especially with my first two. When you’ve just passed your driving test and you are still in your teens, money is usually an issue, especially when it comes to insurance – you are advised to select something simple, sensible and cheap for both insurance and maintenance.

1978 MGB GT

1978 MGB GT

“Bugger that,” was my immediate response, all ready knowing full well I wanted an MGB GT. A 1983 Ford Mustang quickly followed, then an Alfa, a Maserati, an M3… the list goes on.

People spend silly amounts on various hobbies, such as art, flying, fashion and golf, so why is driving your desired car a problem to these people who harp on about MPG and reliability?

Funnily enough and despite the marque’s bad reputation for breaking down, the Alfa I owned was reliable and extremely fun to drive. My 147 was Russo red with cream leather and top-spec alloys; it was a lovely looking thing, too. The older Alfas are not so reliable, which leads me onto the point of this post – notoriously bad for electrical and mechanical failings, there is one particular model I’d happily own, despite the bad rep.

Alfa Alfetta GTV6

Alfa Alfetta GTV6

The combination of the Alfa Romeo GTV6’s looks and V6 wail is enough to hammer the last nail into the proverbial pragmatic coffin. With looks this good accompanied by the mechanical opera soundtrack, who cares if you spend more on fuel and recovery trucks?

This is defiantly a car you’d gawp at over your shoulder every time you parked up and walked away.

Here’s the Italian beauty in full flight in 007’s Octopussy. 

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What’s That One Car You Wish You’d Kept?

Gas Monkey Garage 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline

Gas Monkey Garage 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline

Even if you’re not a real car guy, you probably harbour fond memories of freedom thanks to the automobile – whether it was a piece of junk “first car” or a “daddy’s BMW” car, four wheels and an engine meant doing whatever the hell you wanted… away from your doorstep.

If you’re a car guy like me, you’ll have loads of fond memories from your early days of motoring, whether you got all oily under the hood or you lived your days out on mad road trips. I’ve loved all of my cars but there is the “one” I wished I’d kept, much like Gas Monkey Garage’s first car pictured above and below.

Gas Monkey Garage 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline

Gas Monkey Garage 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline

The ratrod 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline was the first car that bought Fast N’ Loud’s Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman together. In one episode, Rawlings finds out the car is up for sale, and despite setting him back $50K, he manages to reunite her with Gas Monkey Garage.

1978 MGB GT

1978 MGB GT

My first car was an orange 1978 MGB GT, and although I spun it in the rain on my first day of legal driving, crunching the rear wing, if I knew then what I know now, I’d have kept her and fixed her up. What I ended up doing was selling her on and buying a 1983 Ford Mustang, much to my mother’s distain.

As I learnt to drive in a tiny 1.0-L Rover Metro, the MG’s rebored 1.8-L engine sounded amazing. The low cockpit was an entirely different world to that of the modern car I learned in – the big steering wheel, leather seats, cool dials and increase in power left me shaking with excitement. She smelt of petrol, oil and leather, and going too fast around corners meant immediate correction, something I hadn’t learnt in my time with the instructor.

My time with her was short, but I wish I’d kept her, and the more I think about those exciting days, the more I want to buy another MGB GT.

Midlife crisis? Who cares…

What’s the one car you still wished you washed every Sunday morning?

As this is Gargling Gas, here’s Richard Rawling’s sweetheart doing a burnout.