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Blazing through Baja
Testing the new BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tire

Jeff Glucker October 23, 2014 Featured, Reviews

BFGoodrich KO2 Lede

The names covering the walls clue me in to the fact that I’m somewhere special. My off-road naivety has me in the dark as to the placement of the actual dot on map that is my location. Still, the names… I recognize them. Walker Evans, Parnelli Jones, Rod Hall, and many other names can be seen scattered on the walls, the ceiling, pretty much everywhere inside this bar. The bar is a part of a larger facility known as Mike’s Sky Ranch, and if you’re a fan of off-road racing then I’ve arrived at your Mecca.

The day started in Ensenda, Mexico, which is a beach town situated on the Baja Peninsula. It’s also the starting point for the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 off-road races. For me, it’s the starting point of a trip designed to show me about a new tire; the BFGoodrich KO2. It’s a journey that will show me how tough the tire is, but also give me a bit of insight into how amazing and wild the world of off-road racing can be.

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Podcast: Episode 80 – Diesel Driving Death March

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Myself and Blake Z. Rong head into the Podcast Business Office to prattle on about cars. The main topic of the evening is Rong’s recent participation in the Audi A3 TDI Mileage Challenge. He was tasked with driving from Albuquerque, New Mexico to San Diego… on one tank of diesel fuel. That’s 824 miles of driving required. That’s damn near impossible, but two teams managed to pull it off.

From there the talk moves to the recent Motor Press Guild Track Day event, where I got seat time in a variety of vehicles out at Willow Springs.

Click on past the break to listen up…

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BaT Auctions: Prepare your wallet for destruction

Jeff Glucker October 22, 2014 For Sale

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Apparently I’ve been under a rock (or have had my head down editing video), because I just found out that Bring-A-Trailer is hosting its own online auctions now. Today sees the ending of timers for a new batch of vehicles and, as you’d expect from BaT, the offerings are excellent. They range in price from “Ooooh crap, maybe I should shift some things around and buy that!” to “Wow, people pay that much for those?!”

Head on over to Bring-A-Trailer to check out the latest batch of vehicles. The list includes the above Mini Cooper, a Ford Falcon Sprint with racing history, a refreshed Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, and an excellent Buick Skylark with a 500-ci Caddy mill swapped under the hood.

Dodge Viper: More charm needed for this snake?

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The Dodge Viper returned to the world in 2013 and everyone… kind of went, huh. That’s a bit of a surprise considering the styling is excellent, the V10 makes amazing noise, and the performance capability of the car is higher than that of most drivers that will climb behind the wheel.

Still, it’s priced a bit high in its 2013 and 2014 model years, and the sales are sluggish. Dodge has decided to fix that for 2015 with a massive price drop and a minor power bump.

We’re curious what would make the car sales figures so flat though, as this seems like something that fans of the well-to-do fans of the brand would be snapping up. Is it simply a matter of a car being priced too high?

Pretty much… yes.

[Disclaimer: Dodge loaned us the Viper for a few days, and included a tank of gas. I believe I used one tank for each day I drove the car... worth it.]

Podcast: Episode 79 – A regular podcast

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I’m once again joined by my podcast partner in audio crime. Blake Z Rong has returned from doing famous automotive journalist activities so we have lots to chat about. Additionally, we fall back into the old format of starting with a bit of new car news before digressing into, well, basic insanity.

Hop the break and let your ears explore the space…

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Video: TMI Autotech is Prepping Ariel Atoms for the US Market

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Friends of Hooniverse TMI Autotech are the go-to source for freshly built Ariel Atoms here in the United States. They’re based in Virginia. That last line isn’t exciting until you realize they’re more specifically located right at Virginia International Raceway. That’s quite a nice spot when you have a fleet of Atoms eager to be flogged around a race track.

This short video they’ve produced gives you a glimpse into their facility. Since we’re buddies with them, we thought we’d pass it along to you.

…and yes, you can bet your ass we’re trying to get seat time in one of these things.

Ken Block takes us for a ride in his GRC Fiesta ST

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The Global Rallycross series recently invaded Los Angeles, and our man Jason Connor trekked up to check things out. He arrived during the practice days, and was given the chance to ride shotgun with one Ken Block. His GoPro was charged up, his helmet was affixed, and he was sent off through the course.

Podcast: Episode 78 – Back into the podcast palace

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Podcast Producer Chris Hayes and myself step back into the original podcast palace of love for Episode 78. Blake Z. Rong is off doing professional automotive writer things on the other side of the country.

Topics range from a few favorites revealed at the Paris Motor Show, to Volvos new crazy concept turbo motor, and on to a few things we’ve driven recently. These include the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, a 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and a few other machines.

Also, I digress towards the end and talk about a time when I got really drunk…

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Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG: Ballin’ on a budget or the real AMG deal?

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For many years now, AMG have been churning out ballistic machines with hand-built engines. The cars sole purpose has been to generate power, noise, and tire smoke. Now though, there’s a new generation of AMG vehicles and one of the interesting spots in the lineup is occupied by the CLA45 AMG.

It’s a compact sedan that’s shaped a bit like a coupe and offers up turbocharged four-cylinder goodness. That doesn’t sound like something that the mad minds at AMG would cook up… until you realize that this is one of the most powerful four-cylinder engines ever created.

Still, is it the real AMG experience or is it merely a budget pretender? Let’s watch…

Fantasy Finds Friday: Niki Lauda’s prop Ferrari from RUSH

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Today is a rather unique find for the Fantasy Garage. There’s a company called Prop Store, which is based in Los Angeles and London, and the outfit sells many items from TV and film. There’s an auction coming up this month that has tons of truly amazing items from the movie world, and were I a richer man I’d have a house filled with lots of really dumb shit that I personally find awesome.

One of those items would be this screen used Ferrari 312T2 prop car from the film Rush. It’s not the only car up for auction, but it’s the one I’d be most thrilled to take home. The starting bid is a relatively low £10,000, and the expected price is somewhere between £20,000-£30,000.

Seems pretty damn cheap for a vehicle that actually operates. It was built on a tube chassis, and it was designed to accept other bodys for shooting purposes. For sale purposes, the battery has been removed and all fluids have been drained. Additionally, it’s recommended that it not be driven… HAHAHA, nuts to that!

Check out the whole auction here, and sound off in the comments on what you’ve found for your Fantasy Finds on this Friday.

[Source: PropStore]

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