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2017 Barrett-Jackson Northeast – More than just muscle cars

Kamil Kaluski June 23, 2017 For Sale

I have spent more time than I want to admit watching various automotive auctions on the TV. It’s good background noise and occasionally something very interesting comes through in between what seems to be a sea of classic American muscle cars in various tastes of modifications. Prices vary from “OMG, that’s a steal, I wish I bought that!” (usually something foreign) to “who the eff would pay that much for this thing?!” (usually something relatively new and modified). 

In all, for most of us it’s entertainment. But part of me wants to see what exactly happens at these auctions, off the screen. This is why I will be attending the 2017 Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction at Mohegan Sun.

The auction has been going on since Thursday. If you’re not in front of your TV or if you have cut the cable, the auction is being streamed here. I will only be there on Saturday, the last day. For a preview of what’s there I started browsing the lots. 

To my surprise, there is a lot more than just muscle cars. Below are a few cars that stuck out to me. The whole list is here. What’s most interesting to you?

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Quick Spin: 2017 Dodge Charger SXT AWD

Please give all the credit and respect to Dodge, all of FCA actually, for creating some of the most interesting vehicles on the market today. And then for having the guts to splash them in some equally ridiculous colors. Take this Yellow Jacket Dodge Charger, for instance. What other brand would offer a relatively pedestrian sedan in this color? BMW’s Individual Program comes to mind, but even that’s all custom order.

But there’s a little bit of an issue here. When I drove this car around, everyone had an opinion of the color. Unfortunately, aside from children and a friend of mine who owns Jeeps in orange and yellow, no one really liked it. So I ask, what is the problem here – the color or the fact that most people over forty have become boring geezers?

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Review: 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Two years ago my sister-in-law decided that it was time to replace her 4-cylinder 5-speed Honda Accord coupe with something new. Like everyone else in the world these days, she wanted a small cross-over. She wanted one for the same reasons that everyone else wants one for – higher ride, bigger trunk, ease of egress and ingress, and the availability of AWD. But she wanted something else – she wanted a car with some kind of a soul, not just an appliance. 

I advised her that soul is something that develops over time and promptly suggested a Jeepster Commando. When that was vetoed, I told her to test drive the RAV4 and the CR-V first. Then I sent her to MINI and Mazda dealerships. Like most would, she wrote the Toyota and Honda off right away despite the amazing deal she was offered on the RAV4. The MINI she wanted priced itself out rather quickly. The CX-5 emerged as a clear winner in terms of price, functionality, driving, and personality.

For 2017 Mazda has revealed the new CX-5. It is emphasizing the previous model’s zoom-zoominess and borrowing heavily from the handsome looks of its bigger sibling, the CX-9. Where other makers offer functional appliances, could Mazda win over more buyers like my sister-in-law who want a good-looking, fun to drive vehicle?

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24 Hours of LeMons: The Real Hoopties of New Jersey 2017 Wrapup

Every time I look our hard earned Judge’s Choice trophy, I shed a tear. It’s because I really wanted to win our class and I got that instead. It’s quite depressing that after almost four years of Lemons racing that’s the piece of crap trophy we have to show for it. But we will keep racing because it’s fun and we’re dumb enough to really want another crappy trophy. 

Anyway, the idiots that organize these dumb races put out the wrapup video of that race. We’re in it, of course. 

24 Hours of Lemons: Boston Globe reports on our NJMP race

Our rookie teammate for last month’s 24 Hours of LeMons at New Jersey Motorsport Park was my friend George Kennedy. Despite the fact that he is a full-time automotive journalist, we reluctantly allowed George onto the team. Before the race he has proven himself to be handy and during the race he has proven himself to good-ish driver, which was more than we could ask for. 

Being a professional that he is, George wrote an article for the Boston Globe about his race weekend. It went to print on Memorial Day but just recently it showed up online. Click here to read his version of race events. And here, again, is mine

 

Project 4Runner: Four seasons with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

It all started about fourteen months ago when I got a flat tire on a busy New England highway, in the middle of the afternoon, with my whole family in the car. Something big and sharp punctured my five year old right rear BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tire. The tire was beyond repair and needed to be replaced. While there was nothing really wrong withe rest of the tires but six years and 37,000 miles, I decided to replace them all. 

I did much research as to which tires to get. I wanted a light truck (LT) all-terrain tires because I knew at some point I would venture off the highway. I wanted a tire that would provide traction in all four seasons. A big requirement was that the tire was quiet on the highway. And in a totally poser way, I wanted a tire that look good, rugged. Oh, I did not want to spend a ton of money, either.

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Quick Spin: 2017 Subaru BRZ with Performance Package.

In my recent review I mentioned that you all should go and buy the Subaru BRZ because it is everything you all wanted – stick, rear-wheel-drive, fun, efficient, and affordable. I really think it is the best new car performance buy for the buck. In fact, I’m sure of it: GTI/Si/ST are wrong wheel drive, the American muscle cars are just too damn big and heavy, the Miata is too damn small for most of us, and most others are just priced out of reach for many. Those are all great cars, but the BRZ and its Toyota sibling simply give you more grins per dollar.

Now Subaru made the BRZ harder to resist thanks to the addition of the Performance Package.

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Review: 2017 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

This is the all-new fifth generation 2017 Honda CR-V. Yes, it is all-new, as per Honda, but you wouldn’t necessarily know this by looking at it. In my eyes it simply looks too similar to the 2016 model to be called all-new, but it is. One would know that this is an all-new vehicle by simply driving it. I would even go as far as to say that this is the most significant update to the CR-V since the original came out in 1997.

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2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon starts at $84,995

Kamil Kaluski May 23, 2017 The News!

The manufacturer suggested retail price for the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon $84,995. We should say only $84,995. That is the price for the highest horsepower V8 production car engine ever produced, a car that can do a damn wheelie and run the quarter mile in just over nine seconds. And the damn thing comes with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage. 

Think about that for a minute. It is almost unreal. The power, the performance, the price, and the warranty. 

The gas guzzler tax (shocking, I know) is included in that price but the $1095 destination fee is not. The Demon will have a several options, all of which are equally reasonably priced:

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LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS Crash Test

There is something about crash test videos that makes us watch them over and over again. It’s probably that whole watching-a-train-wreck thing that is oddly satisfying, somewhat saddening, and filled with anticipation. Some crash tests are scary and others show the incredible strength of the passenger cell and the energy absorbing properties of everything else. 

Chances are that if you are reading this you have probably played with Legos at some point in your life. If you ever played with Legos it is a safe bet that at some point you crashed your Lego cars. For instance, my brother and I would attempt to build a vehicle that would contain two mini figures, have operational doors and windows, and break apart the least upon being send down a flight of carpeted stairs. Good times. 

Apparently the crash experts from German ADAC are still kids at heart. They took the Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS, a really cool 1:8 version of the real thing with many functional features, and crash tested it. They followed their own rules and utilized the standard EURO-NCAP, 40% offset crash test. The Porsche hit the barrier at 46km/h, which is almost 29 MPH, which is damn fast for anything Lego. 

The results are quite amazing. For our viewing pleasure, ADAC used some fancy cameras, capturing the crash in 1000 frames-per-second. Just watch the video.