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No Substitute For Automotive Passion: BMW E30 M3

BMW E30 M3

BMW E30 M3 – Petrolicious

It doesn’t matter what type of cars you’re into, there are certain models that cast a spell, a collection of nuts, bolts and wires that evoke the child-like emotion: “I WANT, I WANT!”

I had this emotion the first time I took a ride in an MGB GT. I climbed out of that car and wandered around like the Toad in Wind In The Willows, “Poop, poop!”

MGB GT

MGB GT

Thanks to my father, and much to my mother’s dismay, my first car was a rebored orange 1978 MGB GT.

There are a few cars that have this hold over me, chief among them the Buick GNX, but rather than list the others, check out the video below and listen to this guy’s story on the BMW E30 M3 (also on my list). If you’re into cars you’ll know the E30 M3 is a classic with perfect balance and handling, a great looking car with more than enough hooning power. A decent one with average miles will set you back around £30K, which may sound a lot to some; to those in know like this guy in the video, it’s a small price to pay for a car you’re smitten with.

I’ve used a video from Petrolicious to highlight the special bond us petrolheads have with our cars before. The YouTube channel is worth subscribing to for it’s fantastic filming and great selection of cars, all of them boasting some kind of cool story – and as far as Gargling Gas is concerned, car stories are the best.

Enjoy!

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Rat Rod Hell: Gargling Gas Heaven

Nephilim Kustoms

Nephilim Kustoms

To those not familiar with the rat look or the rat rods so popular Stateside, the imagery involved with this post might seem like a vision of automotive hell. To Gargling Gas, however, the images and video content leave me with goosebumps, a place I’d quite happily spend all eternity in the afterlife.

Rat rods are obviously massive in America, but the cars in this post were transformed into the sinister machines you see by Nephilim Kustoms, a garage in Poland. These guys totally understand what it takes to transform an American classic into something bad, mean, eerie, a form of transportation for the dead.

Nephilim Kustoms

Nephilim Kustoms

As Gargling Gas respects car cultures from all corners of the globe, it’s great witnessing a small country like Poland producing such sinister rides. The majority of people passing the garage may see the cars as junk, vehicles only good for the crusher. What most don’t understand is that a lot goes into a serious rat rod – they may look bad on the outside, but underneath they are structurally sound, a solid canvas onto which the creative “rat look” vision is lovingly painted.

Take a look at the short videos below, kick back, relax, and watch exactly what it takes to make the hairs stand up on Gargling Gas’ neck.

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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.

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Skogen Racing: Connoisseurs Of Sleeping

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Skogen Racing Cortina – Mondeo ST220 Engine

This outfit from Sweden are exactly what messing about with cars are all about. Take a 30-year-old car on the verge of being either parted out or scrapped, wrench on it, give it a major heart transplant, and then drift it or race it through forests.

My favourite of the bunch, despite being a massive BMW fan, is the Ford Cortina pictured above and below. Once Skogen Racing have finished with it, you are left with a 950-KG car boasting 306-whp, a transplant from a Ford Mondeo ST220. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than shoe-horning a bigger power plant into the car, the list of modifications more than enough to both harness the extra grunt and stabilise the little car.

306-whp Ford Cortina With A Mondeo ST220 Engine

306-whp Ford Cortina With A Mondeo ST220 Engine

I say ‘messing about with cars’, but Skogen Racing are a little more than that, regularly competing in auto events. When they aren’t injecting serious power into retro cars, they’re either sliding, racing or dragging them, the team often arranging events and meets.

770-bhp BMW Powered Ford Seirra

770-bhp BMW Powered Ford Seirra

Some of their cars do hint as to being modded, but when you consider their Ford Seirra pictured above and its turbo-charged BMW M50B25 transplant, no one would expect it to boast 770-bhp. After swapping the Ford 2.8i V6 for a BMW 2.5-L inline-6, followed by adding a Garrett GT40 turbo, intercooler, injectors and forged pistons to handle the power, I consider this a serious sleeper.

So if I were facing the crusher, this is the way I’d like to go out: smoking and screaming, sliding through the Pearly Gates so violently an immediate one-way ticket to Hell would be issued.

Check out more of Skogen Racings insane livery and the way they add massive power without making it too obvious.

The one gem they did build that can be called a pure sleeper is the MK1 Ford Fiesta featured in their video below. I remember this car as a four-year-old, two of them in my street, both owned by elderly people. Take a look what Skogen Racing did to it…

A Good Year: Do You Conform With These Rules?

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Like fine wines and their ‘good years’, a car’s desirability can also be signified by its year of manufacture. Just as a season of perfect weather conditions grace the land, producing palate-tantalising grape nectar, car designers manage to merge the combination of curves, lines and technological advancements to create an automotive ‘good’ year.

One of the finest years has to be 1957, a year Chevrolet nailed the Bel Air pictured above. Out of all the automotive TV programs I watch, “57” comes up the most. It’s not surprising, either; just look at the combination of curves and lines and the way it’s a fairly compact car but features those glorious fins.

This article features American cars because, although Euro and Japanese cars have their ‘good’ modes, they are defined more by their chassis number, spec and ‘facelift’ improvements.

1962 Ford Thunderbird

1962 Ford Thunderbird

Take the Ford Thunderbird above, for example, one of my favourite looking cars. Despite it being in my top 5 garage, I could only have one from 1961-63 because of those rear afterburner tail lights. American cars seemed to change their looks considerably over a short period of time, whereas the rest of the world hang on to their chassis number longer and work on technology and subtle design improvements.

1963 Corvette

1963 Corvette

Another extremely desirable car is the 1963 Corvette Stingray for the simple reason ’63 was the only year Chevrolet produced the rear split-screen.

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

In 1970, after Plymouth had a redesign on their Barracuda, shifting it away from resembling their Valiant design, they built a limited number Hemi ‘Cudas, a car now highly sought after because of its place and heritage in the 1970s muscle car story.

Last but not least… 1987… the Buick GNX. How could Gargling Gas not feature its all time favourite car? After Buick transformed their rather bland Regal into a turbocharged monster in 1984, calling it the Grand National, just three years on saw a farewell with their GNX, the X standing for ‘experimental’. This X meant 275-hp, a massively understated figure that left the GNX a must for the serious collector.

1987 Buick GNX

1987 Buick GNX

Of course, there are many more cars I could list, so forgive me for not listing them, but I’d be getting away from the point of my article:

So with my long-winded explanation that cars have their good years and all this talk of desirable models, do you conform to prescribed? Do you go along with these ‘good’ years, or do you like the ‘undesirables’, the ‘ugly ducklings’ you find alluring, looks that appeal to you simply because they tick all your personal boxes?

 

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When Cars Were Built To Last Along With Their Style

Modern Cars

If you were to walk through a crammed car park whilst blurring your eyes, you’d be hard pressed to single out brands and models from a distance. The modern automobile – the majority of – has started to take on generic features and angular lines. Manufacturers like their cars to look mean from the front, which usually entails angry and slanted headlights combined with a sporty bumper. Whilst the average grocery-getter looks far better than the grocery-getter of yesteryear, cars have lost their individuality.

Mercedes-Benz 190e

This post stems from the video below and my love of old school German cars. Although I haven’t owned the gorgeous 280, I’ve owned a few Mercedes W124s and a 190E like the one pictured above.

Not only are they unbreakable and a joy to drive, their aesthetic design is simple yet beautiful – no aggressive lines, no day-running lights and LEDs, not in the least ‘messy’.

German car doors slamming with a solid and reassuring “thunk” may be a cliche, but it is very true. All the older Mercs I’ve owned were pushing 25 years old, but all of the electrics, switches and mechanics worked. Take a look at the 280 in the video below and take in the simple lines and gorgeous interior. It’s no powerhouse or sports car, but to me it represents what the average car should look like.

Resto-modding: Saving The Underdogs Of Yesteryear

Ford Escort Mk1

To some people, resto-modding is nothing more than stripping a car of all its originality. This group of people are called ‘Purists’, a breed I totally respect and fully understand their views on maintaining originality, but there are some cars that just don’t warrant the expense of sourcing original parts, whether resto-modded or not.

Take the Mk1 Ford Escort above, for example, the base for a potential resto-mod project that could end up resembling the rally legend featured in Fast N Furious 6.

Paul Walker Ford Escort Fast N Furious

The Ford driven by the late Paul Walker in the Fast N Furious 6 was the legendary Escort Mexico, a car still used today for amateur rally because of its superb yet simple layout and chassis.

To find an original Mk1 Mexico in good condition today will set you back around £25,000, a car I’d personally like to see kept 100% original because of its adequate power and sufficient brakes. However, the Ford pictured at the beginning and below is just the 1.1-L Popular base model.

A half decent 2 door example can be sourced for around the £3-5K mark. Now instead of scrapping the poor car or parting it out, how about giving it a big heart transplant, disc brakes and a cool paint job?

 

Mk1 Ford Escort

Keeping a classic on the road with modern parts and technology is surely a good thing? Whether it’s an original Mexico or not, the finished project could still look like the car below. I’m all for keeping cars original, but when you can take a base model and inject it with fire breathing technology, I’m all for saving the underdogs of yesteryear.

Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico

As a side note, Paul Walker was a real petrolhead, a Gas Gargler like myself. He had a great ‘car guy’ collection. Check out my Fast N Furious personal rides piece  here and see for yourself.