Tuesday, December 20, 2016

5 Dumb Car-Leasing Mistakes To Avoid

People who lease a car usually do so because it allows them to drive a newer vehicle for less money than it would cost to buy one.
But many drivers make the mistake of not reading the fine print before signing a contract, says Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com.
"People make a lot of mistakes when setting up their car leases and it can cost them a lot of money," he says. Here are five common car-leasing mistakes that consumers should avoid.

Paying too much money upfront | Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com
Car dealers advertise low monthly lease payments on new autos, but consumers usually are asked to pay several thousand dollars at the beginning of the term to get the low payments, says Reed.
That money is generally used to pay a portion of the car lease in advance. "But prepaying is a problem if the car is wrecked or stolen in the first few months," says Reed.
If that were to happen, the insurance company would reimburse the leasing company for the value of the car, but the money the customer paid upfront would likely not be refunded, he says. As a result, the consumer wouldn’t have a car, after having paid a lot of money upfront.
Reed suggests that consumers not pay more than about $2,000 in advance. "In many cases, it makes sense to put nothing down," he says.
If you pay less in advance, your monthly payment would be higher. But you could take the "prepayment" cash and put it in an interest-bearing account instead.
You could use that money to help make the monthly lease payments, says Reed. And if something happens to the vehicle before the end of the term, at least the leasing company wouldn’t have a big chunk of your money.
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Forgetting gap insurance | CHRISsadowski/E+/GettyImages
The value of any new car drops significantly after it's driven off the lot -- and leased cars are no exception, says David Jacobson, CEO of CU Xpress Lease in Hauppauge, New York, which originates and services car leases for credit unions.
If a leased car is stolen or totaled and the car insurance company makes a payment for the value of the car, that sum may not cover the consumer's total obligation under the terms of the lease, he says.
The driver would likely have to pay the balance out of pocket unless he has gap insurance. In that case, the policy would cover the difference, he says.
At the beginning of any car lease, consumers should ask if the contract includes this specialty gap insurance coverage, says Jacobson. If it doesn't, the customer should consider looking for a car with a lease plan that does.
"There is exposure without gap insurance," he says, "so I would not lease a car without it."
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Underestimating your miles driven | Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com
According to Jacobson, many leasing companies are able to advertise low monthly payments because they have low mileage limits.
It's common for leasing contracts to have a driving maximum of 10,000 miles to 15,000 miles per year, he says. If consumers exceed those limits, they could be charged an additional 10 cents to 30 cents per mile at the end of the lease.
"You could wind up owing a lot of money for miles when it's time to turn in the car," Jacobson says. The driver could owe big bucks on a car he is no longer driving.
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To avoid this extra fee, consumers should know their driving habits before signing the contract, says Jacobson. If they know they'll probably drive more miles than the agreement allows, they could ask for a higher limit.
Still, there's a drawback: The monthly lease payment would probably go up with a mileage increase, he says.

Not maintaining the car | bgwalker/E+/GettyImages
If the car has damage that goes beyond normal wear and tear, the driver could be on the hook for additional fees when it's time to return it to the dealer, says Jacobson.
Generally, if a car has a scratch but the mark is less than the size of a driver's license or business card, many companies will consider it normal use. They probably won't charge a penalty, says Jacobson.
Jacobson says that if there's damage to the car, the customer will have a chance to have it fixed on his own dime before turning it in. Otherwise, the leasing company will assess a value to the damage.
In terms of "normal wear," the definition can vary, and drivers shouldn't assume that their own lease servicers will be lenient. "Some will nitpick the car to pieces," says Jacobson. "Before getting the vehicle, consumers should ask what the lease-end-condition guidelines are."
Barbara Terry, an automobile columnist and author of the book "How Athletes Roll," says if the car is significantly damaged, drivers can expect a bill for repairs at "full market price."

Leasing for too long | antoniodiaz/Shutterstock.com
Most car-lease terms range from two to four years, though some can go longer, says Reed. However, drivers who lease cars for too long could end up paying extra money in maintenance.
Reed recommends that consumers not lease cars for longer than the warranty period, which averages three years, or 36,000 miles. "That's a turning point in the car's life, when it goes out of the bumper-to-bumper warranty," says Reed.
"If you keep the car longer, you'd have to consider getting an extended warranty at an additional cost, plus you may need to pay for new tires and brakes -- all for a car that you don't own," he says.
If a consumer plans to be in the same car for a long time, it's probably better to buy it, says Terry.
"If the driver owns the car, he'd have to pay for the car and pay for maintenance, but then he could continue to drive it for several years without having to worry about a required monthly lease payment," she says.
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Source: bankrate.com

How 5 Popular Cars Got Their Iconic Names

The names of popular cars

Some cars are so popular and have been around for so long that they are identified simply by their model name, no longer needing their brand name to precede them. We talked to the automakers who manufacture some of the most popular cars in the U.S. to learn about their history and how they got their names.
Corvette © General Motors


First U.S. model year: 1953
Origin of its name: Named after a fast type of warship.
Fun fact: Only 300 cars were produced by General Motors in 1953 under the Chevrolet brand. They were all white with a red interior.

Mustang © Ford Motor Company


First U.S. model year: 1964
Origin of its name: No one knows for sure, but the most plausible stories are that it was named after the mustang horse or the P-51 Mustang aircraft in World War II, both of which were known for their speed.
Fun fact: Ford considered Cougar, Torino, Allegro, Avventura and Thunderbird II as names for the car.

Jeep © Jeep 




Cost Of Ownership For 5 Types Of Cars

Driving costs of 5 types of cars

Americans' spending to own and operate their cars has dropped to a 6-year low, thanks to falling gas prices, according to AAA’s 2016 Your Driving Costs study. On average, car owners can expect to spend 57 cents for each mile driven, or about $713 per month. Here are the average costs for each car type, based on driving 15,000 miles annually.

Chevrolet Cruze © General Motors

Small sedan (Example: 2016 Chevrolet Cruze)

Annual cost: $6,579
  • Starting price: $16,120
  • Per-mile cost: 43.9 cents
Toyota Camry | Toyota

Medium sedan (Example: 2016 Toyota Camry)

Annual cost: $8,604
  • Starting price: $23,070
  • Per-mile cost: 57.4 cents
Hyundai Genesis | Hyundai 

Large sedan (Example: 2016 Hyundai Genesis)

Annual cost: $10,492
  • Starting price: $38,750
  • Per-mile cost: 70 cents
Ford Explorer | Ford

4-wheel-drive SUV (Example: 2016 Ford Explorer)

Annual cost: $10,255
  • Starting price: $31,160
  • Per-mile cost: 68.4 cents
Honda Odyssey | Honda 

Minivan (Example: 2016 Honda Odyssey)

Annual cost: $9,262
  • Starting price: $29,400
  • Per-mile cost: 61.8 cents
Source: bankrate.com




Sunday, December 18, 2016

20 Meanest Looking Cars You Don't Want To See In Your Rearview Mirror

Plymouth Prowler
Plymouth Prowler

The Plymouth Prowler, later known as the Chrysler Prowler, is a retro-styled production vehicle manufactured  by DaimlerChrysler in 1997 and 1999 to 2002. It is based on the 1993 concept car with the same name.
The Prowler was offered in a front-engine, rear-drive, rear-transmission setup. A total of 11,700 cars were produced. Chrysler gave its engineers a free hand to design a ‘roadster’ or a ‘hot rod’ type vehicle. The end result was the Prowler, the company’s follow-up to the Dodge Viper.
One of the Prowler’s most distinctive design features is the Indy racer-style front wheels. The car came equipped with a powertrain derived from Chrysler’s LH-cars, a 24-valve, 3.5-liter SOHC V6 engine capable of generating 214 hp at 5850 rpm.
In 1998, the engine was replaced with a more potent aluminum-block, 253 horsepower version of the V6. Both engines were mated to a 4-speed Autostick semi-automatic gearbox.
The transmission was mounted at the rear and bolted to the powerplant by a torque tube that rotated at engine speed. The layout is similar to that used by the Alfa Romeo 75, C5 Corvette, and Porsche 944. It helped in facilitating a 50-50 front-rear weight distribution.
The Prowler was Plymouth’s first rear-wheel drive car since the 1989 Gran Fury and remained as the last Plymouth model with such setup. Although the car was criticized for only having a V6 engine, the high-output 3.5-liter mill of Chrysler had a horsepower rating that’s similar to that of its Magnum V8s of that era.
The Prowler featured aluminum construction, mostly adhesively bonded, particularly in the chassis. The body was manufactured in Shadyside, Ohio, and the cars were assembled manually at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit.
Donkervoort G8 GTO Donkervoort G8 GTO

The D8 GTO made its debut in 2007 as the first closed Donkervoort. Compared to the D8, the D8 GTO has increased track width by 8 cm, bigger brakes for improved stopping power, an all-new front and rear suspension, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.
The D8 GTO is a completely new creation and holds the distinction as the world’s lightest GT, only weighing 650 kg. This is largely the result of the extensive use of carbon fiber for the entire roof, doors, fenders, and the entire rear section of the car.
Power emanates from a 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder turbocharged Audi engine rated at 335 to 375 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm. With a power-to-weight ratio of only 1.8 kg/PS , the D8 GTO can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and from zero to 120 mph in 8.6 seconds.
The first GTOs were built in a limited series of 25 premium cars in 2013. Production of the standard model, offered in Performance or Touring version, kicked off in 2014. The D8 GTO is the first full-fledged track-day sports car and the third Dutch car in the game, after the Savage Rivale Roadyacht GTS and the Savage Rivale GTR.
The D8 GTO is a high-ranked Class D car and the first to have its own engine card: the i5 Engine. It has a surprisingly high starting rank of 1071 and an equally surprising high MAX rank of 1251, still the car received a Tuning Kit bonus of +42 points for a maximum rank of 1407.
The car is essentially similar to the Class D variant of the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti when it comes to how high the rank starts and maxes out for its class. Its main competitors are the nanoFlowcell Quantino, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and the Mazda RX8.
The D8 GTO’s acceleration to its top speed is extremely fast, rivaling the Shelby Cobra 427, Savage Rivale GTR, and the Audi R8 LMS Ultra. As a lightweight track-day car, the handling and drifting capabilities of the D8 GTO are second to none.
Veritas RS III
Veritas RS III

The Veritas III was developed by German company Vermot AG in Grafschaft-Gelsdorf. It is a production version of a concept car that was launched in 2001. Vermot stated that it will produce the cars for either racing or regular road use.
The Veritas III pays tribute to the vintage Veritas race cars, essentially a rebodied BMW 328 that evolved as one of the finest cars in the immediate post-war era. Just like the classic version, the Veritas keeps ties to BMW and uses its 90º V-10 engine.
The Veritas RS III Roadster was introduced as a prototype and bagged the “Best Super Car 2009” award at London’s Salon Privé. It entered series production, although the term is imprecise because the series consists of a strictly limited batch of 30 cars and every single one went through manual production in Gelsdorf.
Even before production started, five of the luxury cars have been sold to Australia, Monaco, Spain, Great Britain, and Switzerland. Eight more have been reserved and more than 100 inquiries have been received. Hence, it is expected that the entire edition will have sold out even before the end of the year.
The production of one of the 1+1-seaters takes eight weeks, although three cars are assembled in parallel at the same time. The cars are fully homologated to European Union standard.
The distinctive shark’s mouth, Xenon twin headlights, tapered side sills, and the flat tail with a pair of central stainless steel tailpipes contrast perfectly with the asymmetric roll bar that has been incorporated into the bodywork on the driver’s side.
The 4.68 meter long and 2.02 meter wide beast is powered by a 5.0-liter V-10 BMW engine that has been mated to a seven-speed SMG transmission or to an optional six-speed manual. With a power to weight ratio of 2.9 kg/kW and an engine speed of 7,500 rpm, the RS III  accelerates from zero to 60 mph in under 3.2 seconds and achieves a top speed of 216 mph.
Mazda Furai
Mazda Furai

The Furai is a concept car built by Mazda and launched on December 27, 2007. A teaser photo of the car was released two weeks before launch. The Furai was officially unveiled at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The name Furai means ‘sound of the wind’. It was the fifth and final version of the Mazda Nagare range of concept cars that have been produced since 2006. Mazda engineers based the chassis on the Courage Compétition C65 Le Mans Prototype that was last used to compete in the American Le Mans Series.
The chassis was designed to use E100 ethanol fuel and was driven by a new 20B 3-rotor wankel engine that cranked out 450 brake horsepower. The engine was built by Racing Beat, a renowned rotary tuner that also created the Furai’s rotary-shaped muffler canister.
The car weighed 675 kg, which is only 30 to 50 kg more than a Formula One car. This gave it a power to weight ratio of .66, which is three times better than a Bugatti Veyron. It has a top speed of only 180 mph, but boasts of a zero to 60 time of 3 seconds.
Unlike most concept cars, the Furai is fully functional and was tested in various tracks. It ran at Buttonwillow and at Laguna Seca. Chief designer, Laurens van den Acker, stated that the Furai could be used for racing in Le Mans, and he also expressed strong hopes that it could be introduced to the market.
1949 Buick Roadmaster
1949-1953 Buick Roadmaster

The Roadmaster was given its first major postwar facelift in 1949. Its overall length and wheelbase were reduced but its weight was slightly increased. The most significant change was a larger two-piece, curved glass windscreen that made enthusiasts likened the Roadmaster to an ‘observation car.’
It was also in 1949 that “VentiPorts” was introduced by Buick. Four appeared on each of the car’s front fenders. The VentiPorts helped in ventilating the engine bay, but they were plugged sometime during the model year. The combination of the bombsight mascot and the VentiPorts placed the driver at the controls of a fictional fighter jet.
Dynaflow became standard equipment, and engine output was increased to 150 hp. This contributed in giving the new Buicks a top speed of 110 mph. The Riviera, joined the body style lineup in the middle of the year, selling 4,314 units.
The two-door Buick Roadmaster Riviera, along with the Oldsmobile 98 Holiday and the Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville, was among the first hardtop coupes ever produced. Another notable attribute of the Riviera is the optional ‘Sweepspear’ chrome body side molding, which became a Buick trademark.
The “Riviera trim”, as it was originally called, was also offered on the Roadmaster convertible. With 88,130 cars sold, the Roadmaster accounted for about 27% of all Buick sales, a very high proportion considering its price, which was only slightly lower than that of a Cadillac Series 61.
A new body style was introduced in 1953 – the Skylark convertible. It featured open wheel wells, a lowered belt line, a four-inch shorter windshield than the standard Roadmaster, Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels, and a new Sweepspear that reckoned on Buick’s 1954 styling.
 2016 Dodge Viper ACR
Dodge Viper ACR

The American Club Racing (ACR) model of the Dodge Viper made its debut in 1999. It came with suspension and engine upgrades meant to maximize performance in autocross and road racing environments. Output was increased to 460 hp and 500 lb·ft of torque.
Weight was reduced by more than 23 kilograms by stripping the cabin and discarding other non-essential stuff like the fog lamps. The new adjustable and stiffer suspension slashed another 6.4 kilograms. These cars, which also have handling and engine modifications, come with 20-spoke BBS wheels and an ‘ACR’ badge.
After the 2008 model year, a new ACR was added to the Viper range. Its upgrades were more radical than the original, including two-piece brake rotors, street-legal racing tires, and significant aerodynamic revision. Weight was also reduced by 18 kilograms by using the “Hardcore Package”, without air-conditioning, radio, speakers, amplifier, hood pad, and trunk carpet.
The aerodynamic upgrades generate up to 1000 pounds of downforce at 150 mph. The aerodynamic components were built by Plasan Carbon Composites and installed in the car by Prefix Corporation in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
In September 2011, a 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR achieved the sixth fastest production, street-legal car lap ever recorded on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with an elapsed time of 7:12.13. At SEMA 2014 Dodge presented a Viper ACR Concept car. After lots of speculation Dodge announced that the ACR will be returning for 2016.
Mitsuoka Orochi
Mitsuoka Orochi

The Orochi is a Japanese supercar that was designed and built by Mitsuoka Motors in 2001, with design revisions appearing in 2003 and 2005, before the car was finally put into production and released to the public in late 2006.
The car derived its name from the Yamata no Orochi eight-headed Japanese dragon. Mitsuoka categorized the Orochi as a “Fashion-Super Car” and said it is the car to drive for those who wish to gather attention from everyone.
The Orochi was officially launched at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2001 as a concept car that was based on the Honda NSX platform. Mitsuoka introduced a new convertible version called Orochi Nude Top at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2005.
In October 2006, Mitsuoka unveiled the production version of the Orochi. However, it limited production to 400 units over four years. The first Orochis were delivered in January 2007, and the cars came equipped with air conditioning, airbags, motorized wing mirrors and windows, low-beam side HID, a Panasonic satnav, and an immobilizer.
Iterations of the car include the Orochi Zero, Orochi Kabuto, Orochi Gold Premium, Seven Eleven Evangelion Limited Edition, and the Orochi Final Edition. The Orochi has been widely criticized by American and British reviewers for its appearance and design. However, not all reviewers were as harsh; the Orochi has been described as ‘bold’ and ‘polarizing’.
Maybach Exelero
Maybach Exelero

The Maybach Exelero is a high-performance sports car built in 2004. The 700 hp four-seater powered by a twin turbo V12 is a one-off design created by Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH, upon the request of Fulda Tires, the German division of Goodyear.
In order to test a new generation of wide, high-performance tires, Fulda needed a car that can exceed the 217 mph mark over longer periods of time. It also wanted a lightweight chassis, one that must not weigh more than 1.6 tons.
Maybach had built a model to serve as a test car as early as the late 1930s. This partnership with Fulda was renewed in 2004. The end result was more remarkable: race car driver Klaus Ludwig drove the Exelero in 2005 and attained a speed of 218.38 mph – setting a new speed record for limousines using series-production tires.
The Exelero combines the silky-smooth power of a sports coupé with the elegance of a high-end limousine. It achieves a top speed of over 217 mph with the dimensions of a small van.  Such speed was attained by installing a 6-cylinder engine with 140 hp and by an unusually low drag coefficient of cd = 0.25.
Maybach developed the model as a modern rendition of its epic streamlined sportscar from the 1930s. There are various references to the historical predecessor, which was also based on a powerful Maybach model – the SW 38.
The interior of the car is dominated by materials like natural leather, neoprene, high-sheen carbon-fiber surfaces, and coated perforated aluminium sheeting. The Exelero was purchased in 2011 by rapper Birdman for US$8 million. It was featured in Jay-Z’s music video for “Lost One”.
Dodge Charger Daytona
Dodge Charger Daytona

Dodge produced three separate cars named Charger Daytona, all of which were revamped Dodge Chargers. The name was derived from Daytona Beach in Florida, which was an early hub for auto racing and still hosts the Daytona 500, one of the premier events of NASCAR.
The first use of the Daytona name was on a variant of the Studebaker Lark. The Daytona served as the performance model of the Lark and it was manufactured from 1963 to 1966. When the 1969 Dodge Charger 500 failed on the highbanks of the superspeedways, the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was developed.
It was meant to be a high-performance version of the Dodge Charger which was produced in the summer of 1969 to win high-profile NASCAR races. In the fall of 1969, it won the inaugural Talladega 500. It won another race that year and four more in 1970 for a total of six.
The Dodge Daytona is one of the four famous aero-cars and it featured special body modifications that included a special sheet-metal “nose cone”, stainless steel A-pillar covers, fender mounted tire clearance/brake cooling scoops, a 23-inch-tall stabilizer wing on the rear deck, and a flush rear backlight,
The Daytona was constructed on the R/T trim specifications of the 1969 Charger, meaning it has a heavy-duty suspension and braking system, and was powered by a 440 cid Magnum engine. The car is now an extremely rare and precious collectible, with 440-powered versions reaching into the six-figure territory, while 426 hemi-engined cars are topping the $300,000 mark.
TVR Sagaris
TVR Sagaris

The TVR Sagaris is a sports car designed and produced by British automaker TVR in its facility in Blackpool, Lancashire. The car’s name was derived from the sagaris, the Greek name of a battle-axe used by the Scythians which has the ability to pierce the armor of their enemies. The car was designed by Lee Hodgetts and Graham Browne.
The Sagaris was introduced in 2003 at the MPH03 Auto Show. The following year, the pre-production model was displayed at the Birmingham Motorshow. The production model was released in 2005 at TVR dealerships across the globe. The Sagaris was based on the TVR T350 and was developed with endurance racing in mind.
A number of the design features of the production model were perfect for TVR’s intentions to use the car for such type of auto racing. A slew of air vents and intake openings on the bodywork allowed the cars to be driven for extended periods on race tracks without any modifications needed for cooling and ventilation.
The final production model featured a number of variations from the pre-production show cars, such as different wing mirrors, location of the bonnet hinges and fuel filler, and the vents on the wings are not cut out.
Just like all modern TVRs, the Sagaris does not comply with European Union regulation that all new cars must be equipped with anti-lock braking system and front airbags. It also shuns electronic driver’s aids like traction control or electronic stability control.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

This variant of the 2015 Dodge Challenger is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI engine capable of generating 707 horsepower and 650 lb·ft of torque. The engine is also used in the Charger SRT Hellcat. Dodge engineers removed the inner driving light on the left front to allow air to get into the engine resulting in more torque.
The SRT Hellcat came equipped with two key fobs; use of the ‘red’ fob will enable full output capability, while use of the ‘black’ fob limits engine output to 500 horsepower. The Hellcat can complete the quarter mile dash in 10.85 seconds. This was achieved with street legal drag tires. When running on stock tires the Hellcat is capable of blitzing the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 125 miles per hour.
The Challenger SRT Hellcat can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. It has a lateral acceleration of 0.94g and a top speed of 199 to 202 mph. The car can brake from 60 mph to a dead stop in 109 feet. The European-spec Hellcat can go from standstill to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, zero to 124 mph in 10.7 seconds, and zero to 186 mph in 38 seconds.
The Challenger Hellcat managed to complete the Motown Mile in 0:56.37; the Hockenheim Short in 1:14.6; and its Gingerman Raceway lap in 1:45.8. It also completed the Motor Trend figure-eight circuit in 24.7 seconds. In comparison to an old Ferrari F50 and a Mercedes-AMG GT R, the Nürburgring Nordschleife was completed by the Hellcat in 7:50.
Plymouth Fury
Plymouth Fury

The Plymouth Fury was produced from 1955 to 1989. It was launched for the 1956 model year as a sub-series of the Plymouth Belvedere. In 1959, it became a separate series and was positioned by Plymouth one level above the contemporary Belvedere.
From 1959 to 1961, the Fury was a full-size car, then it became a mid-size car from 1962 to 1964. It reverted to a full-size car from 1965 to 1974, and again became a mid-size car from 1975 to 1978. The Fury was marketed alongside the full-size Plymouth Gran Fury from 1975 to 1977.
The Fury was sold only as a Sandstone White two-door hardtop with the distinctive gold anodized aluminum trim in 1956 and 1957. In 1958, it was only offered in Buckskin Beige. These cars had a special cabin, bumper wing-guards and a V-8 with twin four-barrel carburetors. In 1957 and 1958, the 5.21-liter engine generated 290 hp.
The 1957 models were redesigned and became longer, wider, with massive vertical tailfins and a new torsion bar front suspension that replaced the previous coil springs. In 1958, the optional engine was a 5.7-liter called Golden Commando with two four-bbl carburetors blasting out 305 hp.
The model appeared in popular culture as the object of interest in the best-selling horror novel Christine by Stephen King. It was about a 1958 custom red and ivory Plymouth Fury apparently possessed by supernatural forces and is part of a terrifying love triangle.Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The Z06 was introduced as a 2006 model during the third quarter of 2005. It was powered by the largest-displacement small-block ever built, a new 7.0-liter engine codenamed LS7 rated at 505 horsepower.
The Chevy Zo6 is the lightest Corvette model while its LS7 is the most potent naturally aspirated engine mounted into a production car from General Motors. Aside from the larger displacement engine, the Z06 is equipped with a dry sump oiling system, as well as connecting rods crafted from titanium alloy.
The frame of the Z06 was built from aluminum, slashing 61 kilograms over the standard steel frame. Other weight saving techniques were employed such as the use of a magnesium alloy engine cradle and balsa wood/carbon fiber composite floors.
The body of the Zo6 varies from the standard Corvette with its intake inlet scoop on the front bumper, and bigger front and rear fenders. The front fenders were constructed using carbon fiber and the rear have ducts to help in cooling the rear brakes.
The Z06 only weighs 1,420 kg, giving it an exceptional weight to power ratio of 6.2 lbs per horsepower. This allows the car to achieve a fuel economy of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. The Z06 served as the official pace car for both the 2006 Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500 race.
While the Z06 is claimed to be capable of reaching 198 mph, it has an unofficial tested top speed of 216 mph, surpassing the Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 and Murciélago LP670-4 Superveloce, as well as the Ferrari 488 GTB and 458 Italia.
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

The latest F-150 Raptor is a massive beast that’s reminiscent of a raging bull that’ll barge through anything that crosses its path. It features a huge snout with a large blacked-out grille highlighted by the ‘Ford’ lettering across the entire front end.
Adding to the Raptor’s aggressive looks are the trio of lights above the grille that look like those used on semi trucks, while the two-tiered headlights surrounded by orange LED add to the effect.
From headlights to the tailgate, and from the drivetrain to the suspension system, the unique features of the all-new Raptor take off-road performance to a whole new level. High-strength aluminum alloy makes the 2017 Raptor about 500 pounds lighter than before.
Combine it with its high-strength, boxed steel frame, and the result is the best-performing Raptor yet. It features improved running clearance than the first-gen Raptor. Ford also added a four-wheel-drive, Torque-on-Demand transfer case in order to manage power distribution between the front and rear wheels.
The Raptor also features a 3.0-inch Fox Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology that provides for variable damping rates depending on wheel travel, which in turn provides a smooth ride on-road and an excellent off-road performance.
The twin-turbo, intercooled DOHC 24-valve, 3.5-liter EcoBoost is more powerful than the previous 6.2-liter V8 – 450 hp and 510 lb-ft. of torque. A ten-speed automatic gearbox with manual-shifting mode directs that power to all four wheels.
2016 Honda NSX
Second Gen Honda NSX

The second generation Honda NSX is a two-seater, mid-engined hybrid sports car produced by Honda Motors in the U.S. The cars were sold as the Acura NSX in North America and succeeded the original NSX that was built in Japan from 1990-2005.
In December 2014, Honda announced that the second-gen NSX will make its debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. The official unveiling of the 2015 Acura NSX on January 2015 was even aired live on YouTube.
In December 2015, the price for the North American market was announced as starting from $156,000 for the base model, to $205,000 fully equipped. At the same time, Honda announced the European launch for the NSX at the 85th Geneva Motor Show.
Mechanically, the second-gen NSX marks a departure from the first-gen cars since it sports a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC 3.5-liter V6 rated at 500 hp. The engine works with a three electric motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system and mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The total power output is 573 hp. The 2015 NSX can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, and on to a top speed of 191 mph. Structurally, the body employs a space frame design, which has been crafted from aluminum, ultra-high strength steel, and other lightweight materials.
Ford Interceptor
Ford Interceptor

The Interceptor is a concept car which Ford unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in 2007 in Detroit. It is a retro-styled sedan that reflects a modern rendition of the classic American muscle cars from the 1960s.
Ford officially launched the Interceptor Concept in a company press release on December 2006. Ford currently has no plans to produce a full-sized, rear-wheel drive sedan, but some of the Interceptor’s design cues were featured in the sixth-generation Ford Taurus.
The Interceptor Concept is powered by a Ford Racing 5.0-liter Cammer engine generating 600 horsepower and capable of running on E-85 ethanol. It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The 5.0-liter Cammer engine is an updated version of the 4.6-liter modular unit that was used in the Mustang GT until 2011.
The car features a powered clamshell ‘shaker’ hood that encases the engine. The full-size sedan is based on a stretched variant of the Mustang’s Ford D2C platform with a solid rear axle. The body has a high beltline and a low roofline, when compared to other Ford sedans such as the Ford Taurus, with a wedged profile.
The Interceptor Concept carries on with the current Ford horizontal three-bar grille design that was introduced on the Ford Edge and Ford Fusion. The hood is mounted high up, and flat with an elevated rear-mid section. The rear headlights also influenced those used on the current Ford Taurus.

Alfa Romeo Montreal
Alfa Romeo Montreal

The Montreal is a 2+2 coupé produced by Italian automaker Alfa Romeo from 1970 to 1977. It was unveiled as a concept car in 1967 at the Expo 67 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The concept cars were originally displayed without any model name, so the public simply picked “The Montreal”.
It used the short wheelbase chassis of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT, while the 1.6-liter engine was derived from the Alfa Romeo Giulia TI. The body was designed by Marcello Gandini at Gruppo Bertone. One of the two concept cars constructed for Expo 67 is exhibited in the Alfa Romeo Historical Museum, while the other is in museum storage.
The first production car was displayed at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show and varied quite a bit from the original, using a 2593 cc 90° dry-sump V-8 with SPICA fuel injection that generated about 197 horsepower. The engine is mated to a 5-speed ZF manual transmission and a limited-slip differential.
This engine was sourced from the 2-liter V8 used in the 33 Stradale. Its redline was programmed at 7,000 rpm, something that’s unheard of for a V-8 at that time. The chassis and running gear of the production model were derived from the Giulia GTV coupé and consisted of double wishbone suspension with dampers and coil springs up front and a live axle at the rear.
Stylistically, the most striking feature is the front end with four headlights that were partly covered by ‘grilles’ that retract when the lights are turned on. Another distinct stylistic element is the NACA duct on the hood. It is actually blocked off because its purpose is to conceal the the power bulge, instead of drawing air into the engine
2016 Cadillac CTS-V
2016 Cadillac CTS-V

The 2016 CTS-V looks savage with its V-shaped grille and conspicuous front splitter that protrudes like an underbite from the blacked-out front air dam. The headlights are sleek and get thinner as they sweep back across the flared front fenders.
The third-gen CTS-V comes equipped with a 6.2 liter LT4 supercharged gasoline V8. Rated at 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque, it is the most powerful engine that Cadillac has produced to date. The third-gen CTS-V is sometimes called the four-door Corvette because of its engine from the Corvette C7 Z06 and its terminal speed of 200 mph.
Nothing about the design of the cars is decorative. Everything in front of the A-pillar is unique except for the headlights. The widened fenders, vented carbon-fiber hood, and the entire fascia and grille treatment are all functional and V-specific pieces.
The Z06 also lent its electronically controlled limited-slip differential and its 8L90 eight-speed automatic gearbox. The only major change was made to the case of the 8L90, since it backs up to the LT4 in the Cadillac instead of the rear axle as it does in the Vette.
The CTS-V has electronic power steering and Cadillac installed a quicker ratio for V duty. However, it is worth noting that the standard CTS’ steering rack is one of the most accurate and lively in the mid-size luxury sedan segment.
Batmobile Tumbler
Batmobile Tumbler

Most people has seen the new Batmobile, dubbed as the ‘Tumbler’, in action on the silver screen. However, not everyone knows what makes the car tick. The filmmakers didn’t want to use computer-generated images so the original conceptualization was made by combining parts from different plastic model toy kits to come up with 1:12 scale concepts.
The final design was the result of six of the creations crafted over four months. From there, a massive block of styrofoam was manually carved into a full-scale model that was later used to build wooden molds for the 56 body panels.
The 9’4″-wide vehicle weighs approximately 5,000 pounds, but it may not be as heavy as you’d expect. The Tumbler that people see driving around is just a tube-frame chassis with carbon fiber body panels.
The team wanted to make sure that the Tumbler could hit a top speed of over 100 mph and accelerate from zero to 60 mph in five seconds. It can also consistently withstand leaps of up to 30 feet without any considerable damage. It’s likely that the team had a difficult time finding a dyno that’s big enough for the four 37-inch rear tires, but you can bet that the Wayne Enterprises-tuned Chevy V8 was blasting out plenty of grunt.
The cars cost around $250,000 each to build, so the producers ordered four. One was for the intricate flower petal-like cockpit, the other had a jet engine installed at the back, while the other two were race versions used for the action shots
The Tumbler is equipped with a pair of machine guns in the nose of the car. The driver’s seat shifts to the center when it is in ‘Attack’ mode, and the driver is made to lie face-down with his head positioned between the front wheels.
This serves two purposes: first, the centralized driving position makes it easier to perform extreme precision maneuvers. Second, it provides more protection with the driver cushioned by multiple layers of armor plating.
Other devices include a rocket launcher, six rear flaps to assist brakes, integrated safety connection to gasoline control, vector-controlled jet engine for quick boosts, stealth mode which turns off the lights and shuts down the engine, and the front wheels can eject when the car is damaged to create the Batpod.

Source:  legendaryvideos.com

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Could this be the best-preserved 1979 VW Beetle Convertible

Photos courtesy Bonhams.
By the late 1970s, America’s love affair with the Volkswagen Beetle was coming to an end. The final year for the Volkswagen Beetle sedan in the United States was 1977, but with the Rabbit Cabriolet not due until the 1980 model year, Volkswagen sold its Beetle Convertible here through the (extended) 1979 model year. With visions of future collectibility dancing in their heads, many owners parked their final-year Beetle Convertibles, reserving them for special occasion drives. At least one 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible wasn’t driven at all, and in fact was never registered; when chassis 1592041475 crosses the auction stage at the Bonhams Amelia Island sale, predictions are that it could sell for as much as $100,000.
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
At first glance, that seems like an astonishing amount of money for a 1970s Volkswagen Beetle without a celebrity pedigree, and the current high retail price for such a car sits at around $28,000. That said, high retail is what one would expect to pay for a very nice driver, or perhaps a restored example clean enough to compete in shows. With just 66 miles on the odometer, the never-titled example (from the personal collection of Seattle Volkswagen dealer Wade Carter, killed in a 2001 helicopter crash) is essentially a new car, as original as is possible after 37 years.
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
The actual pre-auction estimate for chassis 1592041475 is $50,000 – $100,000, and there’s history to support these prices. At Gooding & Company’s 2015 Scottsdale sale, a two-owner 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible with 700 miles on the odometer sold for $66,000 (including fees), while the year prior, a 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible with 659 miles on the odometer sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach sale for $58,300, including fees. A second 1979 Beetle Convertible will be crossing the stage at Gooding & Company’s 2016 Amelia Island sale, and the pre-auction estimate for this 14,000 mile example is $40,000 to $60,000.
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
The next owner of chassis 1592041475 will be getting a car powered by a fuel-injected and air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, rated at 48 horsepower and mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Top speed was said to be 80 MPH, though getting there with a yet-to-be-broken in 37-year-old engine will likely be a leisurely process. The car’s four-wheel independent suspension features coil springs and struts up front, with trailing and diagonal arms and torsion bars in the rear, and drum brakes (without ABS, of course) are used in all four corners.
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
Volkswagen Beetle Convertible production was handled by Karmann in Osnabruck, Germany, and the last cars rolled off the production line on January 10, 1980. As Mark J. McCourt explained in his 2010 Buyer’s Guide to the model, Americans purchased 10,681 Volkswagen Beetle Convertibles in 1979, followed by an additional 4,572 in 1980. To avoid having to comply with stricter 1980 emission and safety regulations, all of the final examples were sold as 1979 models.
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
Whether or not chassis 1592041475 meets or exceeds the high estimate, history tells us it will very likely exceed the $50,000 low estimate when it crosses the auction block on March 10. Should this particular Beetle convertible break the six-figure barrier, it stands to reason that other well-preserved examples will hit the market at future 2016 auctions. Will any others be unregistered, with less than 67 miles on the odometer?
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
The Bonhams Amelia Island Auction will take place on Thursday, March 10, at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For additional details, visit Bonhams.com.

UPDATE (14.March 2016): The 1979 Volkswagen Beetle convertible sold for $52,800, including buyer’s premium.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Vintage Bow-Tie Hauler

I get to thinking sometimes that I’ve been around so long that I’ve seen everything. Nothing new under the sun, nothing can surprise me. Occasionally, I am proven wrong about that. Rarely is it as spectacular as this. If you’ve been in the old car hobby for many years, decades maybe, you might get to thinking that you’ve seen it all. Thanks goes to Blindmarc for the tip!

But you have not seen it all, and as evidence to support that position, allow me to present Exhibit A:  One 1950 Chevrolet COE truck, coupled to a car carrier trailer which is loaded up and complete with not one, but four, rusty 1956 Chevy passenger cars.

The seller’s ad appears here on ebay. His opinion is that this setup would be great for drawing attention to a business, or as an ultimate expression of yard art. That is unassailable fact.

But there’s much more to it than that. Four rusty cars and a truck and trailer? Maybe to those eggheads at the county planning and zoning commission. To the true dyed-in-the-wool motor head, this is a heavenly, car spotter’s bliss. A non-rolling automotive Mecca, if you will. It would stop traffic and cause accidents. If there were a way to drag this mess to a car show, after awhile all the shiny-car owners would give up and go home in despair. They’d close their hoods, start their chrome-laden engines, idle slowly off the parking lot and drive away as the crowd surrounded….this.

Rusty treasure. The seller says they’re all non-restorable and have no titles, but frankly, who cares? Is there a title for the Parthenon? The Taj Mahal? The Statue of Liberty?

I often joke about “aggravating my neighbors” by bringing home some obnoxious new-old car. Clearly, this is the Holy Grail. If I could park it on my street in front of my house, even for just a day, they would then know who they were dealing with. Someone who has attained the status of least a demigod. They would surround me on their hands and knees and worship the ground I walk on and the lawn I park my cars on. They would throw small loaves of bread at my feet.  I’m not entirely sure why about that last part.

But back to reality. The seller’s $15,000 asking price is not enough. He has already lived the dream, and has recognized his obligation to now share the blessing with the rest of mankind.

The seller says the cars are complete with engines, transmissions and some trim parts, but are in rough condition. There are two four-door sedans, one two-door sedan Bel Air, and one four-door hardtop Bel Air. These details don’t matter, only the feeling of Zen that I get when I see it does.

s45677This beautiful, rusted offering is located in Wilson, North Carolina. The tip for the write-up came from Barn Finds faithful reader Troy W, to whom I am eternally grateful.

Source: barnfinds.com