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26 Aug 2014

Toyota celebrates 30th anniversary of Land Cruiser 70 with Japan rerelease [w/videos]

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Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series Re-release

It’s a common refrain among auto enthusiasts to bemoan the current models being sold for being overly complex and expensive and to wish that automakers would just make vehicles like the old days. Sure, they might not have been as safe or efficient, but there was often a certain rugged simplicity that’s gone today. Well, Toyota is actually doing it and thinks there’s enough demand to put the Land Cruiser 70 back into production in Japan for its 30th anniversary. Sadly, it’s only for one year.

The original Land Cruiser 70 served a long life in Japan from 1984 to 2004. Even today, the proven model remains in production in some regions abroad. People in its home country still love the vehicle though, and Toyota is brushing off the mothballs to give customers what they want. For the first time ever there, it’s also offering the double-cab pickup version in addition to the traditional enclosed body. The company thinks that it can move about 200 of these classic trucks this year, which isn’t too shabby for a vehicle that’s three decades old.

Looking at the pictures above, these look like the same old Land Cruisers, but Toyota is updating them slightly to meet modern safety rules. The grille, hood and headlights are all tweaked, and they now come with airbags and anti-lock brakes. A 4.0-liter V6 is under the hood making 228 horsepower (170 kilowatts) and 266 lb-ft of torque (360 Newton-meters), and the only available gearbox is a five-speed manual. Part-time four-wheel drive is standard. If you’re really afraid of getting stuck in the wilderness, locking front and rear differentials and a winch are available as options.

Prices for these throwbacks start at 3.6 million yen ($34,600) for the SUV or 3.5 million yen (33,700) for the truck. Scroll down to watch some videos of these awesome “new” models showing what they can do off-road, and to read Toyota’s official announcement.

Continue reading Toyota celebrates 30th anniversary of Land Cruiser 70 with Japan rerelease [w/videos]

Toyota celebrates 30th anniversary of Land Cruiser 70 with Japan rerelease [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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26 Aug 2014

Here’s what a front-row seat looked like in 2014 Mille Miglia

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Jaguar F-Type Mille Miglia

From 1927 to 1957, the Mille Miglia was one of the great, romantic European road races of the golden era of motorsports. The cars were fast, beautiful and loud but also extremely dangerous and regularly claimed drivers’ lives. After two fatal accidents in ’57, the event finally had to reform and came back in 1977 as a historic rally held over the course of several days. That didn’t make things boring, though, and Xcar found that out firsthand with a front-row seat to this year’s race in a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

Xcar was actually following the Jaguar team this year that included Ian Callum and Jay Leno in an XK120, which we previously got a glimpse of when it was covered on Jay Leno’s Garage. Where Leno focuses on a more personal story of competing, this one takes a more macro view. You really get an idea of how crazy the Mille Miglia still is, and while the F-Type is way too new to actually compete in the rally, it can still wear an event sticker and drive with the vintage racers.

One amazing fact about today’s Mille Miglia is that if you’re competing in the event, there are basically no rules. The roads are technically still open to traffic, but the police shut down intersections and provide a rolling roadblock. Xcar‘s F-Type alternated between following on the course with the classics and snipping off chunks of the route to watch the participants arrive at each stop. Check out the video to experience fantastic historic rally.

Continue reading Here’s what a front-row seat looked like in 2014 Mille Miglia

Here’s what a front-row seat looked like in 2014 Mille Miglia originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25 Aug 2014

Dirt Every Day tries to find the best 4×4 for under $4k

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2014 Dirt Every Day Cheap Truck Challenge

If you want to build a cheap truck that can still do dirty deeds off the beaten path, it’s best to start with solid axles and a solid V8 engine. That sums up the lessons learned after watching the 2014 Cheap Truck Challenge from the Dirt Every Day video crew, who took to the deserts and surrounding areas near Reno, NV, in an attempt to find the best 4×4 for under $4,000. Fortunately for us, the whole sordid journey was captured on video.

This isn’t the first time the boys from DED filmed a Cheap Truck Challenge, and this year’s festivities pitted together a 1993 Chevy S10 pickup, a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 1975 International truck in a series of challenges ranging from donuts to drag races, with plenty of hill-climbing and rock-crawling action in between. We don’t want to spoil all the fun, but suffice it to say one competitor was found to be lacking while the other two performed (mostly) well. See for yourself in the video above.

Continue reading Dirt Every Day tries to find the best 4×4 for under $4k

Dirt Every Day tries to find the best 4×4 for under $4k originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25 Aug 2014

Jay Leno drives postcard-perfect ’32 Ford Highboy Roadster

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1932 Ford Hot Rod

At the turn of the century, it was arguably the Honda Civic that best defined inexpensive performance tuning, and in the ’50s it was the Tri-5 Chevys. One of the earliest platforms to gain a huge following among young people looking for a cheap way to go fast was the classic ‘32 Ford Highboy Roadster. This week, Jay Leno’s Garage looks at one of the very first vehicles that defined the look of the hot rod heyday.

This ’32 Ford was built in the ’40s and graced the cover of the fourth issue of Hot Rod Magazine back in 1948. All of the hot rods that you see shining at car shows today owe a serious debt of gratitude to this roadster. It bears all of the cues that define the look, including a notched frame and hidden door hinges. Under the three-piece hood is a flathead V8 boasting all sorts of period modifications, including copper cylinder heads. It was seriously fast in its era too, and proved it by reaching 112.21 miles per hour on a dry lakebed in 1947.

These days, this hot rod is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Although, if you can’t make it to California to see it, the United States Postal Service is celebrating this Ford with one of its two hot rod Forever stamps. Like Jay says in the video, in terms of hot rodding, “it all comes back to this.” Check out the video to learn more about this rolling piece of tuning history.

Continue reading Jay Leno drives postcard-perfect ’32 Ford Highboy Roadster

Jay Leno drives postcard-perfect ’32 Ford Highboy Roadster originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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22 Aug 2014

Camaro Z/28 and Mitsubishi Starion meet in this nostalgic vision of ’87 Japan

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Orange Orchid music video

The ’80s is just far enough away now that it no longer seems like an era defined by Reagonomics and neon clothing. Filmmaker Matt Clark has embraced the look of the music videos of the decade in his new short film titled Orange Orchid, set in 1987 in Chiba and Yokohama, Japan. The video features some great sports coupes of the time and is set to the song I Know There’s Something Going On from Abba-alum Frida (along with drumming and backup vocals from Phil Collins).

Clark really embraces the pop-culture look of the era’s videos with big hair, a healthy dash of neon, inexplicable smoky rooms and big, over-wrought movements. However, the real stars for us are the pair of ’80s sports coupes that also kind of personify the main characters. Nijo in her denim jacket has a modded Camaro Z/28 with huge, dished wheels sticking way out past the fenders. Naturally, the Chevy also features some great butterscotch paint and a car phone inside. Alex, the guy pursuing her, forgoes any obvious upgrades in favor a clean, all-white Mitsubishi Starion to go along with his tailored suit and giant cell phone.

We wish this video featured the cars a bit more prominently, but that drumbeat from Collins on this forgotten 80s gem is pretty fantastic, too. Give it a listen in the video.

Continue reading Camaro Z/28 and Mitsubishi Starion meet in this nostalgic vision of ’87 Japan

Camaro Z/28 and Mitsubishi Starion meet in this nostalgic vision of ’87 Japan originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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22 Aug 2014

’67 Chevy Corvair convertible vs. ’86 Pontiac Fiero in cult classic showdown

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Chevrolet Corvair versus Pontiac Fiero

Every few a decades, the folks running General Motors lose their minds briefly try to market a car that public doesn’t see coming and often aren’t ready for. In the ’60s there was the rear-engine, air-cooled Chevrolet Corvair, then the mid-engine Pontiac Fiero in the ’80s and the completely bizarre Chevy SSR in the 2000s. What all of these had in common was that they bucked the trend for American models of their era, for better or worse. The latest episode of Generation Gap tasked the hosts with finding two cult classic vehicles to choose between; they came come up with two of these quirky products from The General.

On the classic side, there’s a 1967 Chevy Corvair Monza convertible. Being from later in the production run, it wears slightly more aerodynamic styling than the earlier, boxier examples. Hanging out back is an air-cooled, 2.7-liter flat-six pumping out a robust 95 horsepower. In the other corner is the somewhat more modern 1986 Pontiac Fiero SE with a mid-mounted, 2.5-liter “Iron Duke” four-cylinder, an engine nearly ubiquitous in GM cars of the ’80s.

Judging by when they were new, the Corvair was far more successful than the Fiero with over 1.8 million sold. Of course, Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed kind of poisoned the well, even if the poor safety reputation wasn’t entirely deserved. The Fiero on the other hand only lasted for a few model years before shuffling off, but it eventually got its own performance boost with the V6 version and rather attractive GT models. Check them both out in the video and tell us in Comments which you want in your garage.

Continue reading ’67 Chevy Corvair convertible vs. ’86 Pontiac Fiero in cult classic showdown

’67 Chevy Corvair convertible vs. ’86 Pontiac Fiero in cult classic showdown originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21 Aug 2014

Xcar takes a closer look at the electrifying Renovo Coupe

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Renovo Shelby electric car

Xcar Films went to Pebble Beach and gave ex-Intel engineer and Renovo Motors CEO Christopher Heiser a platform to talk about his new electric supercar based on the Shelby Daytona Coupe. The relevant nuggets: 500 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque from direct-drive twin sequential axial flux motors powered by a lithium-ion battery, 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds, top speed over 120 mph, 2,500 pounds, $529,000 to purchase.

While Heiser spends almost six minutes talking about the car and what it means to him, almost all of it is information we already know. When he gets to the bits that perk our ears, like when the mentions of advanced technology and upgraded parts, he skips the details. After four years of having to drive it at night to keep the secret, we don’t even get to see more of what’s inside, much less a daytime run with the Xcar chaps.

So we’ll look forward to the next installment. In the meantime, this one’s another beautiful entry in the Xcar catalog.

Continue reading Xcar takes a closer look at the electrifying Renovo Coupe

Xcar takes a closer look at the electrifying Renovo Coupe originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20 Aug 2014

Lamborghini Miura and Countach driven back to back in bid to make Autoblog staff jealous

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Lamborghini Miura and Countach video

For the Autoblog staff, we’re in the honeymoon phase following the Monterey car week and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In terms of big, huge, labor-intensive events on the horizon, we’re free until the beginning of October, when we’ll ship off to Paris for its annual motor show. That means we’re free to look back on the beautiful metal out in California, which included more than a few classic Lamborghinis, including the Miura and Countach.

Unfortunately, we never had a hope of getting behind the wheel (believe it or not, asking exceptionally wealthy car collectors to borrow their meticulously maintained, extraordinarily rare vehicles doesn’t elicit immediate cooperation). Considering this grave injustice, we’re left taking solace in the latest video from Car, which sees the British outlet taking spins in both the Miura and Countach. The pair of vehicles served as forbearers to the modern supercar, with the former’s early mid-engine layout and the latter’s aggressive, wedge-shaped styling.

Take a look at the latest video from the lucky bastards team at Car.

Continue reading Lamborghini Miura and Countach driven back to back in bid to make Autoblog staff jealous

Lamborghini Miura and Countach driven back to back in bid to make Autoblog staff jealous originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 Aug 2014

Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #393 LIVE!

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Autoblog podcast graphic

We’re set to record Autoblog Podcast #393 this evening. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the 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 #393

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #393 LIVE! originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 Aug 2014

Jay Leno keeps on truckin’ in a 1967 Chevy C10 restomod from Holley

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Holley-tuned C10 truck

Jay Leno doesn’t seem like a pickup truck kind of guy. Sure, he may have some appreciation for practically every vehicle on the road, but surely he cares more for some of them a little more than others. Trucks just don’t appear to be in his wheelhouse. Still, there’s an exception to every rule, and this week he welcomes in the CEO of Holley Performance Products to highlight the company’s restomodded 1967 Chevrolet C10 in Jay Leno’s Garage.

Holley forgoes the big wheels, tons of chrome, huge engine path of modding in favor of a more subdued approach that focuses on mechanical upgrades. Under that mint green hood is a Chevy LS3 V8 mated to a six-speed Tremec T56 manual transmission with a Hurst shifter. The engine bay keeps the vintage styling too with a Holley self-tuning fuel injection system and coil pack covers – Jay describes the mill as looking like a “little block that thinks it’s a big block.” All told, the company thinks the truck is sending about 500 horsepower to the rear wheels.

Outside of the new engine, the C10 also gets a lowered suspension, wood-lined bed and modestly larger wheels with period styling. That green paint is original, too. Of course, looks are only half the equation for any restored vehicle, and Jay proves that with two big burnouts in this restomodded pickup. Check out this video of Leno happily going out of his comfort zone.

Continue reading Jay Leno keeps on truckin’ in a 1967 Chevy C10 restomod from Holley

Jay Leno keeps on truckin’ in a 1967 Chevy C10 restomod from Holley originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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