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24 Sep 2014

Audi UrQuattro gets the Petrolicious narrative

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Petrolicious: Audi Quattro

Audi started a revolution in the world of rallying when it paired an all-wheel-drive system with a turbocharged, five-cylinder engine and a rakish, three-door body. That car, the Quattro, didn’t just upset the entire balance of the World Rally Championship, it (eventually) led to a transformative effect on the consumer car market.

But we’re not just interested in this car simply because history has proven the UrQuattro to be important – we love its sharply creased looks, its offbeat soundtrack and its gravel-spitting abilities. Evidently, so does the crew from Petrolicious, as they’ve lavished their lenses upon the car. This particular model hails from 1983, and has covered a healthy 175,000 miles, says owner Manuel Leon Minassian. His first experience with the Ur (meaning “original”) came in Beirut, where the car received plenty of praise from students at his school.

That first encounter led to a long passion for the Quattro, culminating in his purchase of this car four years ago. Take a look at Minassian and his Audi in the latest video from Petrolicious.

Continue reading Audi UrQuattro gets the Petrolicious narrative

Audi UrQuattro gets the Petrolicious narrative originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 Sep 2014

Leno shows some style with a ’67 Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Zagato

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1967 Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Zagato

Given the number of cars in Jay Leno’s collection, plus the ones he just gets to drive, it seems like the number of classics that he hasn’t been behind the wheel of could be listed on a Post-It note. However, Jay Leno’s Garage viewers are in luck this week because they get to watch the host experience a vehicle for the very first time, and he comes away suitably impressed.

The model in question is a 1967 Lancia Fulvia Sport 1.3 Zagato that’s owned by auto appraiser and journalist Donald Osborne. It’s a good thing that he’s around, too, because Jay is pretty clearly out of his element when discussing this beautiful coupe. The two of them end up having a fairly long conversation about not just this car but also the whole history of Lancia.

According to Osborne, the Zagato-bodied version was the top model of the Fulvia range, and the famous coachbuilder made about 7,000 of them between 1965 and 1972. The styling featured a gorgeous mix of razor sharp creases and shapely curves to really set the design apart from its contemporaries, and power came from a 1.3-liter V4 spinning the front wheels.

It’s fascinating to watch Leno learning about the car for the first time over the course of the video and then start picking out little details about the Fulvia that he likes. Get educated right along with him in this interesting episode looking at one of the great Lancias.

Continue reading Leno shows some style with a ’67 Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Zagato

Leno shows some style with a ’67 Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Zagato originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 Sep 2014

Five reasons to love, or hate, the culture of American cars

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Pontiac Trans Am Screaming Chicken

As enthusiasts, we love cars from all parts of the world. Whether they be supercars from Italy, luxury sedans from Germany or tiny urban runabouts from Japan, as long as they’re interesting and well-designed for their intended purpose, we’re location-agnostic when it comes to picking favorites.

… Mostly.

Considering that the vast majority of your humble staffers from Autoblog hail from and call the United States home, it’s only natural that some of us have a few hometown heroes with which we fill our fantasies. And it’s not like American automakers haven’t left a thorough swath of vehicles for us to swoon over – while the automobile wasn’t exactly invented in the US, it was certainly popularized here, and, while we can probably find just as many flops as hits, the annals of automotive history are filled with plenty of examples of excellence rolling out of Detroit.

Here are a few reasons for automotive enthusiasts to love America.

Continue reading Five reasons to love, or hate, the culture of American cars

Five reasons to love, or hate, the culture of American cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 Sep 2014

Nissan’s Nismo celebrates 30th year with video retrospective

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Nismo 30th Anniversary

Nismo, the motorsports and high-performance arm of Nissan, has a lot of racing success to celebrate in its history and possibly even bigger accomplishments to look forward to. The company is commemorating its 30th anniversary with a video looking back at its most important milestones from each year of its past.

Nismo’s job first and foremost at its genesis was to excel at motorsports. It wasn’t too long after the division was founded in 1984 that the company made its first of many attempts to take an overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It never quite succeeded in that goal, but still managed to do well in long-distance competition elsewhere. At the same time, Nismo was racking up wins in touring car races in Japan.

Eventually, the division’s engineers started dipping their toes into tuning road cars, in addition to going racing. What began as something sporadic has become a growing part of the Nissan lineup with Nismo-branded models of the 370Z, Juke, Note in Europe and the GT-R.

That isn’t the end of the Nismo road car expansion, but where it’s going exactly is still a secret. According to Nissan spokesperson Dan Passe speaking to Autoblog, the company’s motto for the division’s future is, “Nothing is off the table.”

According to Passe, in terms of numbers, the US is already Nismo’s biggest market, and the company is now going through an education process to expose more customers to its high-performance division. That’s being done though projects like the Nissan GT Academy to engage young people with the brand and especially through motorsports. Passe says that the automaker is “in conversation with racing teams” to get even more of its cars on the track in America.

Worldwide, Nismo is also making a big jump back to the top class of endurance racing with the GT-R LM to challenge Audi, Porsche and Toyota at Le Mans in 2015. That’s some steep opposition, but watch the video for a better understanding of why it’s so important to Nissan’s motorsports arm to be competing there.

Continue reading Nissan’s Nismo celebrates 30th year with video retrospective

Nissan’s Nismo celebrates 30th year with video retrospective originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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23 Sep 2014

Gold-plated Aston Martin DB5 model sells for $90k

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Gold-plated Aston Martin DB5 model with Sir ken Adam

Classic Aston Martins sell for big bucks at auction. So this news of a DB5 selling for a princely sum hardly comes as a surprise. But the model in question wasn’t an actual DB5. It was a scale model.

Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary James Bond film Goldfinger, this 1:3 scale replica of the DB5 that Sean Connery drove in the movie was plated in 24-karat gold and signed by Sir Ken Adam, who designed the modified movie prop. Created by Propshop at Pinewood Studios, the model comes complete with radio-controlled machine guns, bulletproof shield and rotating license plate – just like the one in the movie.

After registering interest from some 19,000 viewers from 129 countries, the model sold online for £55,000 ($90k) to one Mr. Robert Tyrrell, an English farmer and Bond fan. Proceeds benefit the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Continue reading Gold-plated Aston Martin DB5 model sells for $90k

Gold-plated Aston Martin DB5 model sells for $90k originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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23 Sep 2014

Stolen Jaguar E-Type reunited with owner after 46 years

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1968 Jaguar E-Type Convertible recovered after 46 years

Barely six months into owning it, Ivan Schneider had his Jaguar E-Type stolen from outside of his Manhattan apartment in 1968. Now, 46 years later, the somewhat beat-up convertible has been recovered just before it was about to be shipped to a new owner in The Netherlands.

US Customs agents at the Port of Los Angeles found the car during a routine check, and they contacted Schneider to arrange returning it to him. When the feds found it, the E-Type was already in a shipping container ready to go to its new owner. The condition is hardly perfect today, including rough paint and a replacement door, but Schneider is ecstatic to get his classic back.

Understandably, the now 82-year-old never thought he would see his droptop Jaguar again. Schneider told the LA Times that he bought the E-Type for $5,000 after winning a case as a lawyer, and it was originally painted gray. Now, he plans to have to have the vintage convertible restored to its former glory in New York.

Continue reading Stolen Jaguar E-Type reunited with owner after 46 years

Stolen Jaguar E-Type reunited with owner after 46 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 Sep 2014

Leno drives Volvo P1800 from Roger Moore’s The Saint

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Volvo P1800 from The Saint

Outside of a few notable exceptions, Volvo usually isn’t associated with making beautifully curvaceous vehicles. But in the 1960s and early ’70s the company proved with the P1800 that its cars didn’t only have to be safe but staid family transportation. Underneath that shapely styling were a lot of components from the brand’s parts bin, but that didn’t bother Roger Moore when he drove one of these in the TV series The Saint. Actually, the future James Bond actor didn’t just get behind of one of these; he owned this exact 1967 P1800 S. It’s this week’s highlight on Jay Leno’s Garage.

Moore was the car’s original owner, but it also appeared in studio scenes of The Saint. Despite its famous provenance, when owner Bill Krzastek bought the P1800 in England, it was in pretty rough shape. The Volvo underwent a nine-month restoration to get it back into shape, which included some new body panels and wheels. Krzastek claims that much of the interior is original, though.

Krzastek comes off has a little bit nerdy, but you have to give him credit. He absolutely loves his Volvo and knows something about practically every detail of his car’s history. Krzastek even refinanced his house to fund the purchase and restoration of the P1800. Although, with the right maintenance these old Swedes have been known to go millions of miles. Enjoy this look at one that was a star of the screen in the ’60s.

Continue reading Leno drives Volvo P1800 from Roger Moore’s The Saint

Leno drives Volvo P1800 from Roger Moore’s The Saint originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Sep 2014

Dodge Viper saved from crusher by students, but will it last?

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1992 Dodge Viper

The saga of the Washington state community college hoping to keep its allegedly pre-production Dodge Viper out of the maw of the crusher is going strong. Not only does the school still have the car, but there’s a chance that the college might even get to keep it.

The whole situation flared up in March when the South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, WA, received a notice from Chrysler Group that requested that the school’s Viper be destroyed. The automaker had loaned the muscle car to it about a decade ago to use for educational purposes in its auto tech classes. With the Dodge growing long in the tooth, “it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students,” the company said in its press release on the matter.

However, the college balked at destroying its Viper, despite the fact it had signed a contract with Chrysler Group to do so. The school further claimed that its car was incredibly special because it was a pre-production example and just the fourth one made back in 1992. Although, as we pointed out at the time, the photos of the school’s vehicle showed a coupe that looked like a newer Viper GTS.

In a recent followup from Fox News, things appear to be tenuously positive for the college. It’s negotiating with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to find a way to get ownership of the Viper. A company spokesperson said for Fox’s story, “We continue to pursue an amicable resolution of the matter.” Until there’s a final verdict, this muscle machine is safe as an education tool to teach students how to wrench on its big V10. Hopefully, we won’t have to watch this Viper get crushed.

Dodge Viper saved from crusher by students, but will it last? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Sep 2014

Bob Seger’s Detroit Made music video is an homage to the Motor City

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Bob Seger Detroit Made music video

At this point, Bob Seger feels like the living embodiment of old-school rock ‘n’ roll. The Michigan native has been strumming out classic records like Night Moves for decades, and he just released a new single called Detroit Made. It sounds like a future staple of just about every classic car show within the next few years, and the video is dedicated to the Motor City, past and future.

Detroit Made is all about cruising in the city in a classic Buick Electra 225, perhaps better known as a “deuce and a quarter.” It’s straight-down-the-middle rock and could just as easily be from a decades-old Seger album as something new.

The video for the new single mixes shots of American classics cruising along Woodward Avenue with a contemporary look at the city. Sure, there are the well-known dilapidated buildings falling into rubble, but the people there aren’t just letting the city die. Other parts show the attempts to clean things up and rebuild. Check out the video if you need a few minutes of old school rockin’ in your life.

Continue reading Bob Seger’s Detroit Made music video is an homage to the Motor City

Bob Seger’s Detroit Made music video is an homage to the Motor City originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Sep 2014

Take a spin in a street-legal Lancia Group B rally car

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Petrolicious Lancia 037

Lancia’s death is sad for many, many reasons, chief among which is the end of its wonderful, wild rally heritage. While the brand might best be known for the Stratos and the Delta HF Integrale, there was another big name model, called the 037, that did its best to live up to the family name.

The last of a dying breed, the 037 debuted as a rear-driver at the dawn of all-wheel-drive dominance. Despite its disadvantage, though, it still captured a WRC championship in 1983, and managed to finish second to Audi in 1984 and Peugeot in 1986. It remains the last rear-drive car to win the WRC title.

As per Group B regulations, Lancia built a limited run of homolgation specials. The street version, the 037 Stradale, sports a 2.0-liter, supercharged Abarth engine – detuned from the rally cars, of course – while this particular example benefits from a rortier exhaust, meaning it produces somewhere around 240 horsepower, according to Toledano.

It’s a truly stunning piece, and one worthy of coverage by the team at Petrolicious. Take a look at the video.

Continue reading Take a spin in a street-legal Lancia Group B rally car

Take a spin in a street-legal Lancia Group B rally car originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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