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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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Why GM Need The Buick GNX Revived

If you follow Gargling Gas¬†or you’ve skipped through some posts, you’ll know I love¬†the Buick GNX from the various posts on it. In fact, “love” doesn’t even come close; the Buick GNX to me represents everything I adore about the automobile, a car possessing an aura that IS the spirit of Gargling Gas.

The Darth Vader car is unique in the fact it managed to eat muscle cars whilst bearing the badge of blue rinse and¬†comfortable¬†slippers. The GNX is all black and very sinister, its owners probably best left alone. It was a murder car before the term “murdered-out” was coined. ¬†In the late 80s and early 90s (and even today), a GNX pulling up next to your Corvette or BMW M3 at a stop light would be a daunting experience – its¬†unnerving¬†presence is also backed up by a performance that’ll frighten a E46 M3 and terrify a Porsche Boxster S.

Anyway, here is yet another post I wrote on the GNX, a guest post for WhyDoes.com  РWhy Does Luxury Marque Buick Plan To Re-release Its Black Sheep?

More GNX reading:

A GNX Dragged Back From The Dead

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 РB; 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?

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WRX STI Smashes TT Course (on four wheels)

If you follow Gargling Gas¬†you’ll know I’m a big fan of the Subaru WRX – I’ve owned two and currently drive a slightly modded Prodrive WRX. They are fast, relatively cheap to maintain and¬†reliable given their performance and great handling – after all, their technology (yes, all WRX owners will tell you this, on more than one occasion) has been tried, tested and developed in the WRC.

Anyway, enough of me going on and¬†mentioning¬†the great Colin Mcrae and Robert Burns¬†as there’s another name making the headlines in the auto world.

Three-time British Rally champion, Mark Higgins set a new lap record of the Isle of Man TT course in a stock US spec 2015 WRX STI (pic above), albeit it with additional roll-cage, race harness, fire suppression system and modified springs and dampers. Renowned worldwide as the superbike road course¬†where mistakes aren’t forgiven and deaths are common, Higgins previously set the¬†lap record in 2011 driving a (you’ve guessed it) Subaru.

I say mistakes aren’t forgiven, but Higgins must have had the gods looking over him in 2011 when he made a spectacular 150-mph save. Check out the footage below and watch just how much he jostles with¬†the steering wheel to keep the rocket from slamming into the walls. In an interview after, the Manx driver claimed the only way out of that situation was to simply floor it and power his way out of the drift.

 

The guy has real skillz, agreed?

This time round Higgins completed the 37.75-mile (60.7km) death run in 19:26, just over half a minute quicker than 2011. The impressive package from Subaru averaged a staggering 117.510-mph, staggering because the course isn’t exactly racetrack smooth.

As soon as any video footage is released, you’ll find it on here.

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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 Рif 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

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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. ‚Ķ 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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Mike Musto & Big Muscle

If you are remotely into cars and car culture, you’ll have no doubt heard of the /DRIVE channel on YouTube, particularly their /BIG MUSCLE segment hosted by Mike Musto.

This is everything I love about man and machine and the¬†infinite customizations that make vehicles individual, extensions of man’s personality. Some episodes feature all out race cars, whilst others showcase some pretty interesting projects, from 500-bhp sleepers to old school rat rods. One episode that stood out from the rest featured an insane 1966 Nova Wagon. Gargling Gas loves wagons, and aside from that mental Mercedes wagon drift missile, this has to be one of the most exciting wagons¬†I’ve ever seen.

If you like what you see below, check out Mike Musto tame some of America’s coolest machines at /BIG MUSCLE. I think you’ll agree that an incredible amount of passion and dedication went into this Nova Wagon’s creation… this is what car ownership is all about.