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12 Nov 2014

This is why we love the Porsche 911 reimagined by Singer

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Porshce 911 Reimagined by Singer

In the world of restomods, Singer Vehicle Designs is inarguably one of our absolute favorites. The company, founded by rocker Rob Dickinson, has made its name as an obsessive constructor of vintage, built-to-order Porsche 911s with modern internals and beautiful accouterments.

Xcar has put together a lengthy interview with Dickinson, covering the source of his fascination with the 911 and his passion for automotive design, before falling into his rock-and-roll days with his band Catherine Wheel. He also covers how he got into the world of modifying Porsches, rather than just restoring them. There’s much, much more in the video, though, and we promise, you won’t want to miss it.

Take a look.

Continue reading This is why we love the Porsche 911 reimagined by Singer

This is why we love the Porsche 911 reimagined by Singer originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Nov 2014

Maserati updates Quattroporte, Ghibli for 2015 at LA Auto Show

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2015 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Maserati won’t be showcasing any all-new products at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have anything to celebrate. It is, after all, the marque’s centenary this year, and in 2014 has achieved the best sales it’s ever racked up in the US market.

The most noteworthy Trident model to be displayed in LA next week will be the revised Quattroporte, the S Q4 and GTS trims of which are treated to some enhancements for the 2015 model year. The top-spec Quattroporte GTS in particular “benefits from a sportier and aggressive appearance,” highlighted by color-matched lower bodywork, an updated emblem, red accents on the wheels and upgraded equipment inside, including red leather upholstery, contrast stitching, piano black trim and integrated wifi.

For 2015, the smaller Ghibli sedan also gets standard navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a new finish for the brake calipers. Maserati will also showcase the GranTurismo MC Centennial Editions, as well as the Alfieri concept originally unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show (new images of which we’ve included below). Finally, the Petersen Automotive Museum is also collaborating with the Italian automaker to display an array of historic Maseratis in the West Hall lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Continue reading Maserati updates Quattroporte, Ghibli for 2015 at LA Auto Show

Maserati updates Quattroporte, Ghibli for 2015 at LA Auto Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 Nov 2014

1993 Mercedes Benz SL600 promises bargain V12 thrills in Harry’s Garage

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1993 Mercedes-Benz SL600

Former Evo editor Harry Metcalfe lives a pretty fantastic life when it comes to automobiles. When he’s not in England driving around in a 1954 Land Rover Series 1 or a recently purchased 1987 Ferrari Testarossa, he’s in the south of France with his 1993 Mercedes-Benz SL600, which is the focus of his latest Harry’s Garage video.

It’s hard to describe a convertible as ‘understated’ when it packs an ultra-smooth 6.0-liter V12 pumping out around 389 horsepower, especially when that same engine is also in early examples of the Pagani Zonda. However, this SL absolutely does it, somehow. Other than some badges, there’s nothing about this droptop that screams about its performance potential.

Priced at nearly 100,000 British pounds when new, the SL600 is also a technological tour-de-force for its time. One absolutely absurd feature is that even the rearview mirror is electrically adjustable. However, despite the complexity, Metcalfe praises the over 20-year-old Mercedes’ reliability.

With cold weather creeping into larger parts of the US, give this video a watch to experience a luxury Mercedes convertible tooling around the sunny, south of France.

Continue reading 1993 Mercedes Benz SL600 promises bargain V12 thrills in Harry’s Garage

1993 Mercedes Benz SL600 promises bargain V12 thrills in Harry’s Garage originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 09 Nov 2014 19:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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06 Nov 2014

Ring Brothers stun SEMA with blown, 980-horsepower Chevy Chevelle ‘Recoil’

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Ring Brothers 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle

The Ring Brothers are back at it for the 2014 SEMA Show, unveiling a suitably wild 980-horsepower Chevrolet Chevelle that goes by the name of Recoil. Yes, you read that properly.

We aren’t sure what’s more impressive, the immense power of the supercharged, fuel-injected Wegner Motorsports LS7 V8 or the fact that it can be developed gulping nothing more than 91-octane pump gas. Alongside the big blower, Dynotech driveshaft, Flowmaster mufflers and nine-inch Ford rear end, Mike and Jim Ring have fitted a Tremec T56 transmission that’s been reinforced by Bowler. Distinctive three-piece HRE wheels have been fitted, with 20-inch hoops in back and 19-inchers in front.

Aesthetically, the track-oriented Recoil is finished in BASF Sand Storm paint, while the exposed carbon-fiber strips on the hood provide a unique take on racing stripes. That’s not the only CF on this muscle machine, either, as the Ring Brothers have fitted a hand-laid, carbon-fiber front bumper and mirrors. The Recoil’s cabin is the definition of functional, with simple padding on exposed seat frames and a Racepak gauge system readily conveying that this car is all business.

Take a look up top for our live gallery from SEMA and then scroll down for images and a press release from the Ring Brothers.

Continue reading Ring Brothers stun SEMA with blown, 980-horsepower Chevy Chevelle ‘Recoil’

Ring Brothers stun SEMA with blown, 980-horsepower Chevy Chevelle ‘Recoil’ originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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06 Nov 2014

Ken Block’s 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR and CR Supercars Villain are retro done right

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Ken Block's 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR

Gymkhana king Ken Block has had a pretty simple car history in his trademark videos, starting out with Subaru Impreza rally cars before moving into Ford Focus racers for the past four installments. His next video, though, Gymkhana Seven, kind of goes back in time.

Rather than the cutting-edge rally racers of past videos, Block will pilot a heavily modified 1965 Ford Mustang, called the Hoonicorn. How heavily modified is it? Well, Block’s Hooligan Racing Division, ASD Motorsports and Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s RTR, spent two years working on it, ditching the standard engine and rear-wheel-drive layout and replacing it with a 410-cubic-inch Roush Yates V8. Yes, that’s a NASCAR engine, and it produces 845 horsepower.

A NASCAR-powered Mustang would be news in itself, but it’s the other powertrain changes made by Block and Co. that really makes headlines. Power is channeled through a one-off Sadev transmission and all-wheel-drive system, meaning that Block has basically married a NASCAR stock car with a WRC racer. ASD also developed the customized suspension, tubular chassis and roll cage. The wide Mustang body is the work of RTR and Block’s own Hoonigan Racing Division, while the 18-inch fifteen52 wheels are shod in Pirelli Trofeo R tires that use a specialized compound exclusive to Block.

CR Supercars Villain MustangAnother cool classic custom Mustang on display at SEMA comes courtesy of CR Supercars, a new division of Classic Recreations. Seen at right, the so-called Mustang Villain boasts composite bodywork grafted atop an original 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback. Power comes from a 5.0-liter Coyota V8 engine, and those 420 horses are sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed Tremec transmission. Handling prowess is enhanced through a completely reworked chassis that relies on modern suspension bits and pieces.

We have a full battery of images available of both vehicles above and below, while you can scroll down to take a look at the official press releases from Block, Hoonigan and CR Supercars.

Continue reading Ken Block’s 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR and CR Supercars Villain are retro done right

Ken Block’s 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR and CR Supercars Villain are retro done right originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 20:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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05 Nov 2014

Jeep dealer buries WWII Willys GP in showroom floor

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Willys Jeep in Floor

The Willys MB Jeep earned icon status during World War II thanks to its ruggedness, simplicity and go-anywhere ability. Following the war, it didn’t take long for the handy vehicles to be scooped up by the public, and a brand slowly grew around the vehicles that has continued to thrive. Fast-forward to present day, where it’s not uncommon for auto dealers to try to grab some of the magic of yesteryear by displaying classic models to connect customers with their brands’ proud histories. Now, a Canadian Chrysler Group dealer is taking that notion to the extreme by actually making a vintage WWII Jeep part of its foundation.

Bay King Chrysler in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, recently completed its new showroom, and the franchise really wanted to show its dedication to the Jeep brand. As dealer principal Jamie Richter tells Autoblog, the inspiration for the Jeep installation came from his brother, who became fascinated with a home that had a glass floor looking down into its wine cellar. The company already had the 1943 Willys MB to display, but it had originally planned to build a jungle gym around it for customers’ kids. Now, the classic is literally in the floor as customers enter. Richter tells Autoblog that customer reaction so far has been “fantastic.”

It’s certainly a novel way to bring people into the showroom, and seemingly a nice nod not only to Jeep, but to the men and women who served in the war. If you want to see more about how the Jeep was actually installed and what it looks like, check out this video.

Continue reading Jeep dealer buries WWII Willys GP in showroom floor

Jeep dealer buries WWII Willys GP in showroom floor originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Nov 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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05 Nov 2014

Lamborghini Urraco ownership is traumatic but awesome

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Lamborghini Urraco video

Gene Ondrusek and his 1975 Lamborghini Urraco have a relationship forged in heartache. He bought the car on a whim in 1987 and had barely driven it when the timing belt snapped thanks to a bad previous engine rebuild. With the interior already a wreck, Ondrusek set off on a restoration that would take years to get the Lamborghini back together.

All of that time arm-deep in the car’s mechanicals has turned Ondrusek into a pretty persnickety owner. Passengers have to remove their shoes before getting in, and he has a mat to protect the carpet on the driver’s side. However, despite his fastidious temperament, this Urraco isn’t a garage queen and gets driven often.

Ondrusek doesn’t exactly make the Urraco sound like an unmitigated joy behind the wheel, either. The seating position forces the driver to sit at an angle, and with no power brakes or power steering, the wedge-shaped coupe is not exactly easy to handle at low speeds. Still, all that time fixing the car has clearly created a strong bond behind man and machine, and we think the wedgy, underappreciated mid-Seventies Marcello Gandini design has held up well. Get a feel for both the car and the owner’s connection by watching this latest video from Petrolicious.

Continue reading Lamborghini Urraco ownership is traumatic but awesome

Lamborghini Urraco ownership is traumatic but awesome originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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05 Nov 2014

1971 Chevy Corvette Jimmie Johnson Concept is a modern classic [w/video]

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1971 Chevrolet Corvette Jimmie Johnson Concept

The Autoblog staff is full of men and women who love cool cars, whether they are old or new, foreign or domestic. And there’s a special place in our hearts for the Chevrolet Corvette, which has stood out as a performance icon at a benchmark price since well before the 1971 model you see above rolled off the assembly line in Kentucky.

Thing is, time marches on, and so do the standards of automotive performance. While there’s certainly nothing at all wrong with the classic small- and big-block V8 engines the Corvette has been fitted with over the years, the latest pushrod V8 in the current C7 Corvette is the best ever designed and built by The General, equipped as it is with continuously variable valve timing and direct injection to pump out 460 horsepower while still meeting the latest efficiency and emissions requirements.

Chevrolet has teamed up with NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson on the creation seen here at today’s SEMA Show. Behind the aforementioned Gen V LT1 V8 sits a six-speed manual gearbox that, like the engine itself, can be found in GM’s expansive aftermarket parts catalog. Adjustable coil-over suspension bits replace the stock pieces, and the 18-inch blacked-out wheels were made to emulate the rallye wheels of the 1971 original.

All the details can be seen down below, along with a video showing the collaborative effort between the boys from Chevy and Johnson in creating this modern/classic custom.

Continue reading 1971 Chevy Corvette Jimmie Johnson Concept is a modern classic [w/video]

1971 Chevy Corvette Jimmie Johnson Concept is a modern classic [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Nov 2014 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 Nov 2014

Motorweek goes retro with ’80s hot hatch shootout

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Motorweek 1986 Hot Hatch Test

Motorweek’s decades of history on television make it the perfect medium to look back into the automotive past and see how things are different now. It recently added old road test videos to its YouTube channel of the Acura NSX and Toyota Supra, as well as the Ferrari F40. For one of its newest flashback clips, Motorweek has exhumed an affordable five-car challenge of 1986’s premiere hot hatches.

By today’s standards, this is an eclectic field that features fondly remembered classics like the Volkswagen GTI 16-valve and Acura Integra. However, it also throws in some nearly forgotten contenders like the Dodge Colt Turbo and Ford Escort GT. The angular Toyota Corolla FX16 GT-S rounds out the group.

It’s fascinating to watch Motorweek run the quintet through the slalom, down the drag strip and on various roads. What’s most striking in this clip is the difference in the definition of a performance car between then and now. With its 16-valve, 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the GTI is the burliest of the contenders with 123 horsepower, but it still takes 8.8 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. By today’s standards, that would make it a plain-jane economy car, and not even a particularly quick one.

Still, in their day, these hatches were the pinnacle of affordable performance. If you’re curious to see the winner of the nearly 30-year-old test or just want a heaping helping of nostalgia, this video is definitely worth checking out.

Continue reading Motorweek goes retro with ’80s hot hatch shootout

Motorweek goes retro with ’80s hot hatch shootout originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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31 Oct 2014

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee Season 5 trailer percolates interest

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Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee makes its debut in one week, and after seeing the full trailer for this season, we can’t be more excited about it. We’ve known about the lineup of comedians for quite some time – Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Hart, Fred Armisen and Amy Schumer will all be there – but this is our first look at the cars of season five. And boy, are there some good ones.

From the trailer, we can see a Ferrari Daytona, a Ford Mustang Boss 302, a Frogeye Sprite, a first-generation Chevrolet Corvette, a Porsche 550 Spyder (we’re guessing this is a replica) and a Saab Sport, interspersed with smaller clips of what looks like a Land Rover Defender and some sort of droptop Mercedes-Benz. Oh, and there are issues with a few of the vehicles, meaning that not only will there be typically humorous conversation, but more than a few amusing situations for Seinfeld and his guests.

Season five of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee premieres on November 6, at noon. Be sure to check back here for the full first episode.

Continue reading Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee Season 5 trailer percolates interest

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee Season 5 trailer percolates interest originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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