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11 Apr 2014

Autoblog Podcast #375

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Episode #375 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Chris Paukert, Brandon Turkus, and Steven Ewing talk about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, what we expect to see when the updated Dodge Charger and Challenger are unveiled in New York, the BMW 1 Series M Coupe’s rising stock as a classic, and Ram trucks outselling the Chevrolet Silverado. We start with what’s in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #375:

Topics:

In the Autoblog Garage:

Hosts: Dan Roth, Steven Ewing, Chris Paukert, Brandon Turkus
Runtime: 02:07:46
Rundown:

  • Intro and Garage – 00:00
  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade – 42:59
  • Updated Dodge Charger and Challenger – 01:01:42
  • BMW 1 Series M Coupe – 01:11:50
  • Ram outsells Silverado – 01:27:30
  • Q&A – 01:55:43

Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #375

Autoblog Podcast #375 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Porsche 911 with VW turbodiesel prepares for LeMons assault

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The diesel 911

LeMons racing is a wonderful example that setting limits can actually breed creativity. The series mandates that all entries must cost $500, not counting safety equipment, and that cap forces teams to be ingenious in how they build a racecar. Take for example this diesel-powered Porsche 911, which its creators have dubbed Ferkel the Nein-11, that will be racing in the Sears Pointless race this weekend in Sonoma, California.

This Frankenstein combines a 911 chassis that was originally bought just for its European powertrain and a Volkswagen TDI diesel engine mounted in the rear. After deciding the shell could still be of some use, the team decided to go racing. “We began brainstorming what replacement drivetrain to use for maximum offense and there was really only one answer: a diesel,” said Philipp von Weitershausen, one of the team captains, to Jalopnik. They bought a 1998 Jetta TDI on the cheap and started figuring out a way to hack the engine into the bay. To pay respect to the donor, the VW’s trunk was highly modified (and drilled) and grafted onto the back of Ferkel.

This team isn’t a newcomer to LeMons. Its last car was a classic VW Beetle with a Subaru engine and dual controls, named Ferdinand the Bug, which could be driven from the left or right side. It’s quite a sight.

As Ferkel shows, LeMons offers a way for amateurs a relatively cheap way to go endurance racing. The restrictions force builders to do things far out of the norm and use what’s around them to get things done. The team has chronicled the entire build with videos on Facebook. Bravo to the turbodiesel 911.

Porsche 911 with VW turbodiesel prepares for LeMons assault originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

David Hasselhoff's own KITT replica up for auction

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David Hasselhoff's KITT Replica

Depending on when and where you grew up, the name David Hasselhoff likely conjures up images of Knight Rider, Baywatch, pop singer, or possibly a washed-up TV actor, but one thing that can never be taken away from The Hoff is his connection to one of the greatest automotive icons in pop culture. The Knight Industries Two Thousand, usually shortened to simply KITT, was the real star of Knight Rider for many fans. Based on a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, the car combined snarky quips for comedy relief and stunts to provide much of the show’s actions. Now, Julien’s Auctions is selling Hasselhoff’s own replica as part of a larger sale of the actor’s personal memorabilia collection.

This recreation is based on a 1986 Firebird and comes with all of the tech on the inside that now seems hilariously outdated, like the yoke steering wheel and plethora of buttons. The interior also thoughtfully includes a voice box with over 4,000 sound clips from the show. With a 5.0-liter V8 and an automatic transmission, performance is likely adequate and period correct. According to the listing, this car was created by fans and given to the Hoff. Sadly, the replica doesn’t convert to Super Pursuit Mode like KITT could in later seasons, and we most associate KITT with conventional front-hinged doors to go with the power t-tops and ejector seats.

Bidding currently sits $27,500 with eight bids, since starting at $15,000. Julien’s predicts it will sell for between $30,000 and $50,000. If there is some nostalgia for KITT in your heart, there is still plenty of time to bid.

David Hasselhoff’s own KITT replica up for auction originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

1949 Gmünd Porsche shows the birth of an icon

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Gmund Porsche 356

The Austrian village of Gmünd is more than just difficult to pronounce; it’s also the birthplace of the Porsche brand. Before the company ever started building sports cars at its current home base near Stuttgart, the fledgling business completed several vehicles in the tiny town in Southern Austria. In this video, former Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion Jeff Zwart takes a look at a 1949 Gmünd coupe to see how the company has evolved since its earliest days.

The thing to note about the Gmünd-built Porsches is their absolute design simplicity. The phrase “form follows function” gets bandied around a lot, but it really means something when you look at these early cars. However, the minimalism was partially out of necessity. The vehicles were meant to be sporty but certainly weren’t rockets. Power came courtesy of a modified Volkswagen Beetle engine, and anything extraneous would have slowed the models down. Scroll down to watch Zwart go back in time to Porsche’s beginnings.

Continue reading 1949 Gmünd Porsche shows the birth of an icon

1949 Gmünd Porsche shows the birth of an icon originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Mar 2014 12:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

What if all famous movie cars had to be cheap?

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Unconventional Heroes by Gerald Bear

Hero cars in films need to be sexy. It’s why Doc Brown and Marty went back in time in a DeLorean, and why Bo and Luke Duke tore about Hazzard County in a Dodge Charger. The stars of the show need to get about in something cool.

Artist Gerald Bear seems to disagree with this notion, as his latest series of illustrations, Unconventional Heroes, shows. He’s taken the look of famous cars from both the big and small screen and applied their appearance to far, ahem, more humble offerings.

Starsky and Hutch’s Ford Gran Torino is transformed into a Fiat Panda, while Speed Racer’s Mach 5 takes the form of a BMW Isetta bubble car. Niki Lauda’s Ferrari Formula One car, though, is subjected to the funniest transformation, although Optimus Prime’s latest form is pretty humorous, as well.

Take a look below at the gallery of images, and be sure to let us know which is your favorite.

What if all famous movie cars had to be cheap? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Apr 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Petrolicious keeps our love of the Saab Sonett aflame

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Saab Sonett

German auto designs lean toward function and purpose. Italian designers deliver passion and beauty. The Brits, majesty. American cars, brashness and authority. If you want a funky design, though, you go to Sweden. The land of cheap, do-it-yourself furniture and delicious meatballs knows a thing or six about style and design, and while that character is only now reemerging thanks to a certain string of Volvo concepts, it use to be that Saab was the authority on penning some of the industry’s more unique designs.

Take the beautiful Sonett for example – a small coupe whose appearance is a funky mishmash of a Porsche 911 and a Bugeyed Sprite with just a hint of a Citroën DS (it’s that convex rear window). It’s a positively striking car, made more unique by its two-stroke, three-cylinder powertrain and four-on-the-tree manual transmission. With just 70 horsepower hauling about 1,500 pounds of Swedish style, the Sonett strikes us as an ideal alternative to some of the English sports cars of its day, particularly for those that are looking for something beyond your average MG or Triumph.

For Glenn Roberts, the Sonett was a part of his childhood. His family owned example was originally a special-order item by his parents in 1967. He bought the car from them 13 years later and has never looked back, completing a restoration in 2004. With a story like that, it’s not surprising that Roberts and his silver Sonett are the most recent pairing to get some attention from Petrolicious.

We have the full video available below. Scroll down and have a look.

Continue reading Petrolicious keeps our love of the Saab Sonett aflame

Petrolicious keeps our love of the Saab Sonett aflame originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #375 LIVE!

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Autoblog podcast graphic

We’re set to record Autoblog Podcast #375 this evening. Check out the topics below, or drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven’t already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #375

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #375 LIVE! originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:47:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Stirling Moss-crashed 1956 Maserati 450S to be auctioned in Monaco

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1956 Maserati 450S Prototype by Fantuzzi

RM Auctions has some very special and expensive Italian sportscars of the 50s and 60s consigned for its auction in Monaco on May 10, but the one that currently carries the highest estimated value at between 4 and 5.5 million euros ($5.5 – $7.5 million) is a 1956 Maserati 450S with some very interesting provenance.

The Maserati started its life as a six-cylinder 350S that Stirling Moss drove in the 1956 Mille Miglia race. Unfortunately, the brakes failed, and it crashed into a tree and nearly into a ravine. Moss and his co-driver weren’t injured, but the car was kaputt.

Maserati repaired it and used the chassis as a test mule for its new 5.7-liter V8 racecar called the 450S. It featured an extended wheelbase to fit the larger engine and a new body with a single seat. The racer hit the track again at the hands of Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1957 Buenos Aires 1000 KM but retired with transmission issues. Later that season, it crashed again at the 1957 Mille Miglia at the hands of driver Jean Behra. After that, the car sat around the workshop until it was sold without an engine in 1965.

After kicking around several owners, the 450S received a restoration in the 80s with a correct V8 engine being installed, and it made its grand reemergence in the 1987 Mille Miglia. According to RM, it has mostly sat on display in a climate-controlled environment since then.

The 450S is a rarity, with Maserati only building 11 of them, counting the prototype. While the test car proved temperamental on the track, the other cars won at Sebring and the Swedish Grand Prix in 1957. Scroll down to read the full history of the car, and be sure to check out the gallery for some great photos.

Continue reading Stirling Moss-crashed 1956 Maserati 450S to be auctioned in Monaco

Stirling Moss-crashed 1956 Maserati 450S to be auctioned in Monaco originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Apr 2014 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Jay Leno goes old school with 1966 Lotus Elan 26R

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Screencap from 'Jay Leno's Garage' featuring a Lotus 26R

On the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage the guest’s are both from inside the garage: the man they call Professor Jim Hall, Leno’s master fabricator, and the 1966 Lotus 26R that he spent 18 months building. The Elan 26R was the racing version of the Elan that Lotus founder Colin Chapman began building after watching privateer teams prep their roadgoing Elans for competition duty all over Europe. Built by the factory from 1964-1966, drivers like Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart won silverware in the roadster called “the giant killer.”

Hall, a veteran Lotus wrench, started with the 1966 Elan street car and turned it into a 26R that’s arguably better than the factory original. Except for the engine block and head, original 26R body and Elan chassis, just about everything is custom built, highly modified or special order, from the fabricated oil pan, brake lines, safety wiring and oval exhaust tubing to the six-speed sequential transmission.

The episode is an unusually-long 21 minutes because, as an in-house build, Leno can go through the process of putting the whole roadster together. When he takes it for a drive and keeps going on about how it sings, you can hear it, too. It’s worth the time to check out Mr. Hall’s Opus in the video below.

Continue reading Jay Leno goes old school with 1966 Lotus Elan 26R

Jay Leno goes old school with 1966 Lotus Elan 26R originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Reflecting on the Ford GT on its 10-year anniversary

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Ford GT

Ten years ago, during the bright-eyed enthusiasm of the early 2000s and before the collective automotive industry did its best Titanic impression, we had the Ford GT. An everyman’s supercar like there’d never been (remember, this was before 638-horsepower Corvettes were a thing), the GT arrived with a supercharged, 5.4-liter V8 that produced 550 horsepower and graced this retro-styled rocket with an easy, sub-four-second sprint to 60 miles per hour.

Equal to the GT’s performance were its looks. Inspired by the GT40 racers that dominated Le Mans and bested Ferrari in the 1960s, the sleek, low, almost-reptilian look of the GT was the absolute pinnacle of the retro styling that so defined the early 2000s.

Crank and Piston put together a video celebrating the ten-year-old GT, arguing that Ford is a bit too busy with the next-gen Mustang, which turns 50 next week, to do it themselves. In the short clip, there is gratuitous engine noise and supercharger whine, not to mention scenes of the white-on-red GT prowling the deserts and streets of Dubai. It’s a bit short, but very nicely shot. Scroll down, have a look and be sure to turn up those speakers before getting started.

Continue reading Reflecting on the Ford GT on its 10-year anniversary

Reflecting on the Ford GT on its 10-year anniversary originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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