Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cutaway Friday - Tatra Evolution

How to Sound like a Gallardo V10

The Littlest Lambo is by far the best sounding "baby" supercar currently made, not to mention the prettiest.  It may be aging quickly, and not nearly up to the game-changing technical and dynamic standards of the newer 458 and MP4-12C, but it easily beats those two on raw, visceral appeal.

Having heard a lot of Gallardos run out through the gears in person, I can say this is a very good facsimile.  There needs to be some sort of music scholarship for this kind of rare talent, how else are we to preserve such mechanical symphonies in the impending age of electric commuter lozenges?

This kid goes pretty in depth, so if you're impatient just skip ahead to 5:25 for the good bit.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Beat Boxes

I really like old Volvo 700 and 900 series.  One day I'd love to build a full-lux sleeper with some sort of hot American V8 - Coyote 5.0, LS series 350 etcetra.

Imagining the following scenario brings a smile to my face:

Pick my mom up at the airport, she tells me she's surprised at my choice of wheels and that I've finally grown up and bought a respectable car.  We get on the freeway and I drive like an old man 90% of the way home - the smooth ride and quiet interior easily lull her to sleep after a stressful day of travel - then do a massive, smokey burnout for a hundred feet away from the first traffic light.  Mom's always had a great sense of humor.

Two Wheeled Turbo



Great looking cars, serious German modernist design.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Japanese Classic Car Show, 9/15/2012

2012 marked the Japanese Classic Car Show's eighth year, and my eighth consecutive year of wanting to go.  From where I live in San Diego, it's about 130 miles one way to Long Beach, and in the past there had always been something to conspire against me making it - work, home repair, a summertime flu - the type of stuff one deals with when not effing about with cars.  This past Saturday I finally attended, and it did not disappoint.  

I estimate there were two-to-three hundred cars sprawled around the beautiful bay side park where the show is held, every last one something interesting, special or rare.  Shakotan style Cressidas, tuned 240Zs, early Skylines and rotary Mazdas, Kei cars, engine-swapped 510s, "Mango" Corollas, AE86s, 2000GTs, slammed pick-ups and everything else imaginable - if it's old and Japanese, there was probably an example parked somewhere on the grass.  Many cars were completely original, having earned a warm, soft patina through decades of loving ownership, others restored to better-than-factory standards.  Besides a few neat old stockers on hand, nearly everything was modified on some level; multi-carbed tunes and wild engine swaps were thick on the ground, and the collection of vintage wheel candy was almost unbearable.

There were some pretty cool vendors on hand, too.  Magazines, tuners, and a guy with an incredible and wallet-wrecking collection of Tomica, Choro-Q and AutoArt models - again, so much selection it was overwhelming.  I came away with a stuffed Dampachi for my desk at work and a few t-shirts.  How I managed not to blow a few day's wages on models I do not know.

Living in sunny SoCal for the past ten years, I've had the good fortune to see a lot of good car shows - JCCS though, is a great car show.  The wide variety of quality machines and friendly atmosphere remind me of more casual events like Cars & Coffee, something I can't really say about many other judged car shows I've attended.  Despite the 100F+ weather and hellish LA area traffic, I highly recommend it - definitely worth a road trip, or even a cheap plane ticket.  Next year we'll make a weekend getaway out of it, and stay at the big boat.

The Queen Mary Hotel is docked at the same park where the show is held, and attendees are entitled to special rates.  It's a very interesting destination of its own, showcasing the luxury, style and engineering of a bygone era on a massive scale.  From what I hear, the halls are largely empty of staff (and surveillance), allowing for exploration of the deepest bowels of the ship, from engine room to areas of the keel nearly forty feet below the waterline.

A big thanks to those at JCCS who saw fit to give a rank amateur such as myself press credentials, too.  I'm sorry if I didn't use them properly - because I was so late to sign up, I never received a packet.  Because I'm a noob I had no idea what the privilege entitled me to.  Again, cheers guys.

With a little luck, I'll be there next year showing a KP61 Starlet.  I can't wait.