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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?

Fugly Yet Fast Sleeper

What you see above is a typical elderly person’s car, or a hand-me-down any teenager would secretly appreciate as a key to freedom . It’s a rather bland Ford Festiva, a late eighties box of delights. By ‘delights’ I mean the installation of a beautiful mid-mounted V8 – this is taking the creation of the Sleeper to the highest level. 

In many ways this is complete insanity; not in the concept of transforming this car into a stealth whip, but the fact the gorgeous V8 and its set-up must cost around twenty times the price of the vehicle. Whilst it can obviously pump out some serious BHP, it can only find the tarmac through the Ford’s silly little 13″ wheels.

The engine may be mid-mounted but it’s still a front wheel drive car, which equals mental under/torque steer. Another factor that may/will kill its driver is the decision to overlook the addition of bigger brakes… the builder “might get around to those” – let’s hope he stays alive long enough.

Now take these exhausts into consideration – I’ve seen a picture with them hidden beneath those black flaps (Maybe they only pop out when on the move?) but they are a pretty original looking, very Mad Max. If you dig this sleeper, there are more pictures on Autoblog.

 

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Highway To Hell: Brian Johnson On Cars

If you’re a gearhead/petrolhead, you’ve never had it so good when it comes to TV. I manage to track and watch all of them, which does take up A LOT of time. In fact, when I found out about a show airing on UK’s DAVE channel (Sin City Motors) – there will be a review once I’ve viewed it – I was thinking how many great automotive programs are now available, especially with For The Love Of Cars now airing on terrestrial channel 4.

Automotive television is obviously attracting great numbers as the Quest channel are set to air their new series, Cars That Rock on May 8th. Aptly titled, it’s hosted by car fanatic and AC/DC frontman, Brian Johnson.

In each one hour episode, the rock legend presents six of his favourite makes of cars, explaining his passion for them. It’s no secret Brian loves cars, as he’s appeared on a few programs, including Topgear, where he had to drive a hybrid whilst James May took the singer’s 1928 Bentley 4 1/2-Litre tourer for a spin – what I personally loved about that episode was the fact Brian explained he used the grand Bentley everyday to go to the shops… magnificent!

He told USA Today: “My favourite car that I ordered is a 1928 Bentley. I love to drive it because it’s a challenge. … The gas pedal’s in the middle, it’s got no synchromesh, the hand brake’s on the outside, and it’s got two aero screens instead of a windshield. It’s a bit of a do, but it’s such a wonderful thing, because it’s two-and-a-half tons and it has drums brakes. And you just respect it.”

The AC/DC frontman also loves to race his cars, another attribute I respect over the guys who keep their collections locked up in garages. His website, Brian Johnson Racing is dedicated to his second passion, offering everything from his racing diary to his online shop.

I’m defiantly looking forward to this and will be tuning in – I just have to find an excuse to give my better half as to why they’ll be more cars taking over the TV.

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Magnus Walker Does It His Way

I’ve been meaning to write a post about this guy for a while now, and after browsing his Facebook page and checking out how much time he devotes to posting and replying to fans, I decided to spread the love.

If you’re a serious car guy you’ll have probably heard about Magnus Walker  or seen pictures of his fleet of custom Porsches. His story is one of pure inspiration and one I truly admire because of what he has achieved from a handful of cash and a shot at a dream.

The following video is a documentary about this Urban Outlaw’s journey, from the UK’s glum city of Sheffield to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, and how his clothing empire allowed him to fuel his passion for Porsche. As well as the fashion world, Magnus has made big waves in the automotive world, featuring in Jay Leno’s Garage alongside his “277” 1971 911T (my personal favourite), and you only have to google his name to find many more inspiring videos.

 

I don’t need to write much more as I’ll let the star of the article fill you in himself. I just hope I remain true to myself and live the way I want to live – this man has proven it’s entirely possible. Sit back and prepare for some gorgeous and original retro designs and what’s it like to have a personal showroom packed with classic Porsches.

 

 

 

Resto-Modding: Are you In Or Out?

 

Over the past 5 years or so of tuning into literally every car show on the planet, I’ve noticed the rising popularity of resto-modding. Resto-modding is basically grabbing a classic car, gutting it and restoring it with modern components to make it perform and handle better. I recently wrote an article on resto-modding for rpmrush and also included what my personal resto-mod would be. It also goes into a little more depth about the whole process.

 

 

I’d love to know who is a purist and can’t stand the thought of butchering a classic, and those who are all in for the Frankenstein method of marrying retro to modern.

 

Why Buy New?

I recently penned this article for a friend of mine. After a little research I really got into rekindling the years I was into hot hatches (I owned the mighty pocket rocket Citroen Saxo VTS).

After finding a few favourites and stand out cars, I also realised the true bargains you can find after depreciation. As long as it’s clean, HPI checked, possess a full service history and lower than average miles, you should be able to pick up a car at a third of the list price.

Scorching Hot Hatches That Won’t Burn A Hole In Your Pocket