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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.

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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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What Vehicle Would You Choose To Outrun The Cops?

O.J. Simpson's Ford Bronco

O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco

Road movies are great, car chase movies are better, the live car chases broadcasted from helicopters the best.

For those born from the 80s onwards, you may not be familiar with the image above – sitting behind the wheel of the white Ford 4X4 is NFL hero/alleged murderer, O.J. Simpson. The story isn’t really pertinent to my article, but the fact he was high profile meant full-on TV coverage of his chase through Los Angeles. Despite the chase being at slow speed, the image of Simpson’s Bronco being followed by 20 cop cars, their lights flashing, makes for one cool scene.

Which leads me onto the point of my article and a question I want to ask all you auto enthusiasts: If you were to outrun the cops, knowing you’d eventually grab the attention of helicopters and TV, what vehicle would you choose? It would obviously have to be fast, but would it be a sensible/reliable choice, or would the thought of cameras make you opt for something exotic or badass?

Despite being caught, this video highlights how some drivers end up as legends when they appear to have the skills of Ken Block. Yes, they are criminals and they are endangering lives, but this is Gargling Gas and we like everything to do with speed, action and all-round badassary.

This video shows a driver with a little savvy, knowing the cops are targeting him with spike strips. Although he successfully swerves and avoids a few attempts at puncturing his tyres, the driver decides he can walk up to cops with a gun and not get shot. He gets shot…

Okay, most of us wouldn’t face the might of Dubai’s Police livery, but let’s consider the cars other countries use on the highway. Here in the UK, the police use Mitsubishi Evos and Subaru STIs, and the Somerset force even took delivery of an Ariel Atom – the car that gave Jeremy Clarkson a face lift.

Ariel Atom Police Car

Ariel Atom Police Car

Gallardo-Monza

Gallardo-Monza

This Lambo Gallardo LP560-4 is used by the Italian Polizia traffic unit. Rumour has it Lamborghini actually donated two of their 202-mph cars to the police, although one was written off a few years ago.

Dodge Charger Pursuit

Dodge Charger Pursuit AWD

Although not as fast as the Atom or the Lambo, my favourite is this 2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit, apparently the fastest police car in the USA. It possesses muscle car heritage, looks badass, mean and dangerous. If I had to battle on the highway with a cop car, this is the one I wouldn’t want to go up against.

So with these cars in mind, and the fact you could have your fifteen minutes of fame on the highway, what vehicle would choose to take on the cops in?

What car would Gargling Gas choose?

Why that’s easy, the Buick GNX, of course.

Buick GNX

Buick GNX

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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

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 19.07.17

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…