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Gas Guzzling Music

Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40

Petrolheads will understand why opening a window and letting rip through a tunnel beats any form of music, especially if you have a car with big displacement and horsepower. I won’t rule out the smaller engines with turbos as many owners (I’ve owned two WRXs) love the sucking, hissing, whooshing and warble of BOV and big exhaust.

However, nothing quite beats the throb of V8 (especially the Ford GT), the scream of Italian V6 or the roar of either a V10 or V12. Having owned and driven pretty much all types of engine, my favourite note comes from BMW’s inline-six from the E46 M3 – it’s raw, raucous, dirty and earth-shattering when the revs go past 5500. The only engine to top this for me is the V8 from the F1 cars before they went all turbo – I attended the British GP in 2010, and the first time they took to the track, I experienced serious goosebumps.

The brilliant video below is a compilation of some of the best engine sounds around. Whilst some are missing, it’s a great way for the petrolhead to kick back and take in the combustion engine’s suck, squeeze, bang and blow sound track.

Is your favourite engine in there? If not, what’s your favourite sounding car?

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?

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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.

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/Drive: The Escort Goes to Rally

MK1 Ford Escort Rally Car

MK1 Ford Escort Rally Car

With all this talk of old school and retro cars, including my previous post on Ken Block hooning a MK2 Ford Escort, I couldn’t help but notice an upcoming feature on /Drive. My favourite Youtube channel announced a two-part episode where the MK1 Ford Escort’s Aussie owner, Sandy takes his beloved car back into rallying. If you love rallying this should be an interesting feature as they’ll show exactly how they set up the car for rally and how they ran.

Check out their preview below.

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DC Shoes Presents Ken Block Ragging A MK2 Ford Escort

Ken Block - 1978 MK2 Ford Escort

Ken Block – 1978 MK2 Ford Escort

Gargling Gas loves Ken Block’s hooning abilities, especially his Hoonicorn ’65 Mustang. Yesterday’s post involved a nostalgic reflection on the tin boxes my Grandfather drove me around in, one being an Austin Metro, the other a MK2 Ford Escort. I recalled a video of Ken Block hooning a MK2, which led to a rather silly mind’s eye image of my Grandfather ragging his sandy coloured MK2 like Block style.

30 years on, the legendary MK1 and MK2 Escorts’ prices are soaring, and the simplistic and lightweight, RWD car is still the preferred choice of chassis to learn the art of rally in.

Check out Block and the 1978 MK2 Ford Escort rally car – I can’t remember where I read it, but I’m sure Block does this from time to time, man and machine stripped of computer aids, a pure way of honing reflexes and skills.

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Mini Monster Metro

Austin Metro

Austin Metro

The car pictured above is everything Gargling Gas isn’t – pathetic, weak and helplessly slow. However, this post came to be (or will come to be) out of a combination of nostalgia hailing back to when I was around four-years-old, and one of my favourite rally cars.

Aside from the colour, the cute little gold car above is identical to the one my Grandfather owned, the fifth Metro to leave the production line and the first painted bronze. He owned a MK 2 Ford Escort before it, and even though I was still learning to tie my shoelaces at the time, I understood this Metro car wasn’t as cool.

However, it was – much to my delight – the first car I managed to sit in the front of whilst moving, a memory I still cherish. I think it was around the time seatbelt laws were introduced as my parents never let me sit up front, but my Grandfather, well he was easy to manipulate. I begged and begged and eventually I broke the old man, and before he’d even walked around to open his door, I was all strapped in. I marvelled at the open space and the fact I was so close to the controls.

“Don’t tell your mum and dad,” he said.

“I won’t,” I replied.

And I didn’t.

Austin Metro

Austin Metro

So what about the rally car? How could this little tin box ever hope to race, let alone compete with the likes of Audi, Lancia and Peugeot on the world stage of Group B?

1985 MG Metro 6R4

1985 MG Metro 6R4

The monster above is the mighty 1985 6R4, a compact weapon of mass destruction. Whilst the family runaround possessed around 60-bhp depending on engine choice, the 6R4’s 3.0-L V6 delivers over 400-bhp.

The 6R4 started off well, only Lancia bettering them, but after mechanical gremlins throughout 1986 and the fact Group B rally was banned due to a series of accidents and spectator deaths, the lunatic Metro ended up competing in rally cross at the hands of privateers.

MG Metro 6R4

MG Metro 6R4

Another interesting fact about the little boxy car is its link to Jaguar – the 3.0-L V6 found in the 6R4 was given two turbochargers and put into the XJ220 supercar.

I think the fact my Grandfather owned and ferried me around in a Metro is the reason I love the 6R4. They took a popular British runaround loved by the blue-rinse brigade and turned it into something capable of messing the overalls of a seasoned racer.

Just listen to how furiously angry this little Metro is once it’s in full race mode…

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Two Legends, But Who’s God? E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth

Mercedes 190E Cosworth vs BMW E30 M3

Mercedes 190E Cosworth vs BMW E30 M3

Before you roll your eyes and yawn at yet another BMW E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth article, consider the prospect of the latter catching up (and dare I say it, surpassing) the BMW in “want” factor. Thanks to the perpetually changing ‘what’s hot”, “what’s not” nature of the automotive world, factoring in the whole Drift/Hipster/Retro movements, could the old Merc capture a little more cool factor and equal that of the Ultimate Driving Machine?

Again, before you write this obvious contender off, a car well known for its performance and constantly compared to the E30, the Mercedes 190E Cosworth boasts both a great back story and amazing racing heritage – the Merc also features the uber cool dog-leg gearing.

Although both cars are luxury German sedans, both powered by a naturally-aspirated in-line 4 engines, both RWD, both punching out around 190-bhp with 170+ft.lbs of torque, their prices differ rather dramatically.

BMW E30 M3  King of Europe ProSeries Drift Competition

BMW E30 M3 King of Europe ProSeries Drift Competition

A decent BMW E30 M3 will start at around £25K, where a mint 190E Cosworth will set you back only £12-15K. I’ve seen mint E30 M3s go for as much as £40K, with track-spec examples hitting £100K.

Another factor to consider in is how good a car looks drifting. Obviously the E30s look incredible, both agile and sinister, and because of its perfect balancing, fantastic impersonating a crab. I think the E30 looks more like a racecar than the Mercedes, the latter thought more as a businessman’s chariot.

Mercedes 190E Cosworth Drift Car

Mercedes 190E Cosworth Drift Car

What some may forget are the glory days when Mercedes and BMW duked it out in European Touring Cars – the 190E Cosworth was a winning car, a force that drove BMW to create the M3 in the first place. In fact, the Merc was so good, Ayrton Senna bought one after winning a 1984 Nurburgring race – check out the 190E in action in the video below.

So with its boxy retro looks, its track abilities, its ability to drift and perform on track, could the 190E see its desirability and value increase?

If you’re still not convinced or sure, Motor Trend did an in depth video on the Germans, so take a look and let me know what car you’d rather see in your garage.