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30 Apr 2014

This 4.5-minute video of supercars and classics starting up is oddly mesmerizing

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Nitto Tire Video

There’s way more to cars than just about how they drive – any auto enthusiast can tell you that. While the way a car feels is vital, the way it sounds plays a huge role in making it exciting as well. Some cars, like the V12 of a ’60s Ferrari, are famous partially because of the fantastic noises that they make when the engine fires. It seems that Nitto Tires understands this concept, because it has put together a video with a wonderful sampling of the startup sounds of a diverse group of performance machines.

There is something here for every enthusiast to enjoy, including classic European sports cars, modern supercars and vintage American muscle. The best part is that the video doesn’t try to gild the lily with extraneous music or voiceovers. It just contains loving closeups, simple text and the acoustic joy of cars’ exhaust notes. Plus, it’s entertaining to compare the lumpy idle of a ’68 Chevrolet Camaro to the staccato growl of a Jaguar F-Type.

You would expect a video from a tire company to try to sell some rubber, but it doesn’t. In fact, most of these vehicles – many of them from the legendary Petersen Automotive Museum and more than a few with celebrity tie-ins- ride on competitors’ rubber. Scroll down to watch the video, and to see a list of the cars and a few Easter Egg factoids. Just be sure to turn up your speakers to get the full effect.

Continue reading This 4.5-minute video of supercars and classics starting up is oddly mesmerizing

This 4.5-minute video of supercars and classics starting up is oddly mesmerizing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 Apr 2014

eBay Find of the Day: 1981 Porsche 928 convertible by Carelli

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1981 Porsche 928 Convertible by Carelli Design

The Porsche 928 was perhaps the consummate European GT of its day. With a powerful front-mounted V8 engine that grew in displacement as the model years went on, it was capable of eating up the miles at triple-digit speeds in great comfort for occupants. It was also an unusual beauty, with its sharp front and curved rear featuring innovative integrated bumpers.

Currently for auction on eBay Motors is one of the rarest 928s you’re likely to find, in a handsome combination of Guards Red paint and tan leather interior, though we wouldn’t mind a less-showy finish to the factory wheels. According to the seller, this car is one of eight 928 convertibles by Carelli Design, a firm that’s still in business.

1981 Porsche 928 convertibleThe auction claims that these cars were made in 1981 as a feasibility study between Carelli and Porsche for a possible production 928 convertible. The seller says he worked at the dealership where the car is said to have been originally sold $103,000. To remove the roof and hide the convertible top, there were significant changes made to the body and interior, including redesigned doors and a completely new trunk. As you can see in the gallery, when down, the top is completely hidden in a very factory-like fashion. When up, it looks slightly awkward, though (and we’d really like to see a rear three-quarter view to check out the blind spots).

The car is mechanically stock, with a 4.5-liter V8 and an automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. Over the years, an aftermarket muffler, exhaust tip and switch to control the antenna have been installed. The seller claims there are just 6,333 miles on this rare Porsche convertible.

As of this writing, the auction sits at $25,100 with 2 bids and the reserve not met. The seller touts that the car comes with a certificate of authenticity from Porsche and a Motor Trend article about the Carelli-prepared 928s.

eBay Find of the Day: 1981 Porsche 928 convertible by Carelli originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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29 Apr 2014

Ten years later, Lansing takes a fond look back at Oldsmobile

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General Motors Phases Out Oldsmobile

Ten years ago, one of the world’s oldest auto manufacturers shut its doors for good. Oldsmobile had a rough final decade, typified by falling sales and the adoption of badge-engineered models that made them a tough sell against too-similar brands like Pontiac or Chevrolet with more rabid followings.

Car enthusiasts everywhere could mourn the passing of the brand that gave us the Rocket V8, 442 and Cutlass (before General Motors’ A-Body line turned into horrible Malaise Era, badge-engineered appliances), but for the people of Lansing, MI, where Oldsmobile production was centered for decades, the brand meant something more.

The Lansing State Journal has a really deep writeup of what Oldsmobile meant – and continues to mean ten years on – to Michigan’s state capitol, a city that’s been defined as much by its manufacturing operations than by its place as a seat of government. It also shows how the city has thrived since Oldsmobile’s closure, becoming an unlikely success story as General Motors continues to invest in the area. It’s a must-read, so click over, have a look and then come back and let us know what you think in Comments.

Ten years later, Lansing takes a fond look back at Oldsmobile originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Apr 2014 17:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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29 Apr 2014

1964 Ferrari 250 GTO sees Petrolicious embracing gorgeousness

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Petrolicious Ferrari 250 GTO

We’ve never, ever accused Petrolicious of slacking when it comes to the quality of cars it features. Each week brings a new, exciting, rare vehicle that has some special quality or provenance to it. But this week’s video… it’s beyond everything else the series has ever done.

That’s because it stars the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO, also known as (possibly) the most expensive vehicle ever sold. Only 36 were ever built, and this particular 1964 example was the first of the Series II range. Rather than some tinkerer or restorer behind the wheel of this masterpiece, Derek Hill, son of the first American Formula One World Champion, Phil Hill, is on hand for the interview and is slotted into the tight cockpit of the Rosso Corsa masterpiece.

This particular GTO was raced multiple times by Hill Sr., and it recorded wins at Daytona and Nassau, thanks in part to its 300-horsepower, 3.0-liter V12 engine. That makes it a bit special for the younger Hill, who can speak with some authority about this car’s provenance – and wheel it rather well himself, as he’s a fairly accomplished racer in his own right. Of course, if you’re like us, you’ll forget everything Hill says and will go completely slack-jawed as soon as that V12 starts to sing.

Grab your best pair of headphones, turn up the volume as loud as you can bear and scroll down for the full video. You won’t hear anything better all week.

Continue reading 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO sees Petrolicious embracing gorgeousness

1964 Ferrari 250 GTO sees Petrolicious embracing gorgeousness originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Apr 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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28 Apr 2014

Jay Leno's 1930 Bentley GJ 400 is a 27-liter monster

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Bentley GJ 400

Jay Leno’s Garage never fails to impress – and by that we mean both the YouTube channel and the actual place. The latest online bit features another truly insane vehicle. Leno’s 1930 Bentley GJ 400 isn’t actually a classic car and has few Bentley parts on it. It’s really a modern custom with vintage looks and a 27-liter Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine for power. This machine is absolutely immense, and weighs over three tons.

The Merlin engine was one the workhorses of World War II-era planes. In the GJ 400, Leno believes the V12 is making around 650-700 horsepower. Although, he admits that it could probably be pushed to over 1,000 if someone wanted to. However, he clearly loves this behemoth just the way it is.

While the design is classic, the mechanicals are relatively modern. The engine is fuel injected, and power routes through an automatic transmission to the rear wheels. Many of the updated pieces are hidden as well. For example, what looks like a blower at the front actually disguises an oil cooler.

This is a hard beast not to love, and it puts a big smile on Jay’s face. Scroll down to see if it inspires the same reaction in you.

Continue reading Jay Leno’s 1930 Bentley GJ 400 is a 27-liter monster

Jay Leno’s 1930 Bentley GJ 400 is a 27-liter monster originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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27 Apr 2014

Aussie Ford Falcon GT shows its rear end to Lamborghini Gallardo

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Screencap from video of a drag race between a Ford Falcon GT and Lamborghini Gallardo in Australia.

When Ford Australia announces, as it did recently, that it wants to celebrate the end of its Ford Performance Vehicle division with a Falcon FPV GT-F that celebrates big-bore origins of the nameplate, it’s talking about the kind of car in this video.

At some point the classic Falcon GTsaid to be an XY series – was invited to a test of acceleration against a Lamborghini Gallardo. At the very least, the Falcon GT had a 351 cubic-inch motor and 300 horsepower, but whatever this guy’s got under the hood of his yellow sedan makes has him so confident that he doesn’t even move his elbow from its resting place on the door.

You’ll find a reminder of Ford Australia’s heyday, a raucous exhaust note and some NSFW language in the short video below.

Aussie Ford Falcon GT shows its rear end to Lamborghini Gallardo originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Apr 2014 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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26 Apr 2014

BMW M235i in circuit scrap with legendary E46 M3 CSL

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BMW M235i paired with BMW M3 CSL

Earlier this month, we brought you news that BMW’s one-year wonder, the 2011 1 Series M Coupe, is actually trading for more money today than it did when new. That sort of short-term appreciation is a major rarity with modern production cars, but apparently it’s not the only BMW enthusiast coupe to enjoy far-above-average residual values. The not-for-North America 2004 M3 CSL, itself a single-year offering, apparently also fits that description, as we’ve just learned from Auto Express.

The M3 CSL ruled overseas BMW showrooms a decade ago, with just 1,400 examples built. Based on the well-regarded E46 M3, the rare two-door was relieved of extraneous bits for improved track work and driver fidelity, coming in at around 240 fewer pounds than a garden-variety M3. With carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic bodywork, thinner glass and a lot less sound insulation, the CSL was one of the more raucous cars of its day. Like the 1M Coupe, it was also one of the more connected cars of the era, with a retuned suspension, quicker steering, and a bit more power than its brethren.

As Auto Express points out, a good used one commands about the same money as a brand-new 2014 M235i – the closest thing BMW makes to a 1M Coupe today – which makes this video track battle an interesting new-versus-used showdown. According to AE, a well-sorted used M3 CSL will run UK consumers anywhere between £30,000 and £35,000 – roughly $50,000 to $59,000 US. That’s a massive premium over the $10k-17k British buyers can expect to shell out for a comparable standard M3, similar to the story that plays out for the 1M versus lesser 1 Series variants.

While not an M3 (there’s a new one of those nearly here, too), today’s M235i continues to carry the torch for Bavarian driving enjoyment, with a 3.0-liter straight-six funneling its 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. That means it’s got less power (but more torque) than the CSL, but it’s also got a fair bit more weight to tote around.

So, which one is quicker ’round AE’s test track? You’ll have to watch the video below to find out.

Continue reading BMW M235i in circuit scrap with legendary E46 M3 CSL

BMW M235i in circuit scrap with legendary E46 M3 CSL originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Apr 2014 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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22 Apr 2014

Ecclestone planning Historic Formula One series

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Historic F1 racecars

If you’re one of the legions of racing fans disappointed by the lack of noise from the new turbo V6s in Formula One and nostalgic for those old-school V10s, we have good news for you. According to reports, a new racing series is in the works that would bring back not only retired F1 cars, but also retired F1 stars.

The project , according to European trademark applications, is called Historic Formula One, and it’s already gaining support and potential participation from the likes of three-time world champion Nelson Piquet, former champ Nigel Mansell, race winner Gerhard Berger and Martin Brundle (a former F1 driver, Le Mans winner and race commentator).

The series is being organized by none other than Bernie Ecclestone himself, the controversial and embattled billionaire in charge of Formula One. Ecclestone also runs the GP2 and GP3 series that give potential future F1 drivers a ladder to climb. The addition of the Historic Formula One championship to the portfolio would give those on their way out a chance to continue competing.

While it may be too early to say what cars they would be driving and what format the races would take, the signs at present seem to be pointing towards the V10 racers that reigned supreme in the 1990s and into the new millennium. As for the events in which they’d compete, we could be looking at support races for the existing grands prix to give fans an extra spectacle on the same ticket.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’d see a racing series for old F1 cars and drivers, but could emerge as the most successful. The last was the Grand Prix Masters series ran one race at Kyalami in 2005 and another two (Qatar and Silverstone) in 2006 before shutting down. There are many other individual events at which owners of retired F1 cars compete, but seldom in an organized series with retired stars at the helm.

Ecclestone planning Historic Formula One series originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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22 Apr 2014

Watch the boys from Hot Rod hoon a Corvette worthy of a sinkhole

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Hot Rod Magazine: Roadkill

Have you read Mike Harley’s awesome write up of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible yet? The car Harley tests is the polar opposite of what you see above. Yes, the boys from Hot Rod Magazine’s Roadkill series are back, and this time they’re driving the world’s worst Corvette from Florida (where else?) to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.

Their mission? To put this god-awful car into the sinkhole that swallowed up a number priceless Vettes at the museum back in February. Now, you may be looking at the photo above and thinking, “Hey, that doesn’t look that bad. I mean, sure, the headlights are wonky and is that a bald eagle on the trunk?” Trust us, it is.

The two hosts face all manner of challenges – as per usual – along the way, from a run-in with Don Schumacher that nearly sends the pair to Las Vegas instead of Kentucky, to encounters with the local police to your typical batch of mechanical gremlins. It all makes for a seriously entertaining 22 minutes of video, all of which you can see by scrolling down.

Continue reading Watch the boys from Hot Rod hoon a Corvette worthy of a sinkhole

Watch the boys from Hot Rod hoon a Corvette worthy of a sinkhole originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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22 Apr 2014

Icon 4×4 gets lavish short film treatment

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Icon 4X4 Thriftmaster

Icon is one of the coolest American boutique vehicle builders around today, known in part for its talent of combining the looks of classic vehicles with modern powertrains and features to create something beautiful. A new video takes a sentimental look at the company’s philosophy and at two of its more recent creations – the Thriftmaster truck and E-Flyer bicycle.

Icon sees itself as a company that is picking up the pieces of American style by making products the best they can possibly be. The two vehicles in the video show off that dedication. The E-Flyer is an electric bicycle with a 35-mile range and derestricted 35-mile-per-hour top speed, and it’s priced at the relatively affordable price of $4,995.

The Thriftmaster is an even better expression of what the Icon does so well. While it looks like an old truck on the outside, a 5.3-liter V8 lurks under the hood with 315 horsepower or 435 hp in supercharged form. The pickup also packs all the modern conveniences like four-wheel disc brakes, navigation and on-board Wi-Fi. The company plans to build just five of them starting at $220,000 each. Scroll down to watch the video and get a better understanding of how Icon goes about its business.

Continue reading Icon 4×4 gets lavish short film treatment

Icon 4×4 gets lavish short film treatment originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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