FOLDAKAR – Cyber Marian is Racing a Folding Bicycle in Dakar Rally!

We have met Cyber Marian, the modern Polish hero, previously when he Wrecked to the Future in an FSO Polonez and was involved in Car Wars, where he helped protect old cars from the environmental, bicycle-riding, Evil Empire. Now Cyber Marian is back and this is a story of how he competed in this year’s Dakar Rally!

Marian being Marian, he has chosen his vehicle carefully – a Polish folding bicycle from communist era!

Marian, like me, apparently grew up in the 1980s, in typical communist block building neighborhood that is present in every city in Poland, as seen in the beginning of the film. Back then every one of us had dreams, dreams of being able to do things that we’ve seen in the movies and on TV. Unfortunately, the Iron Curtain only allowed us a peak at this other world and left the rest of it to our imaginations.

Bikes were popular in Poland but, like everything else, hard to come by. There were about half a dozen popular models in varying sizes, each one of them a folding kind so that it could fit in one’s undersized city apartment. The Wigry 3 bicycle was one of young Cyber Marian’s first vehicles and an obvious choice to compete the grueling rally with.

Here is the amazing part about this film – Cyber Marian and his crew actually traveled to the Dakar Rally in South America with the Polish ORLEN Team. The ORLEN team had three vehicles in the race; two MINIS and a Toyota HiLux. Everything was shot on location. Enjoy the film, subtitled for your viewing pleasure.

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Video: Fifty-car pileup in Slovenia

Kamil Kaluski February 2, 2016 The News!

Dense fog. You’re driving, cautiously as you may when suddenly, right in front of you are a bunch of stopped cars due to an accident. You stop, you get the car off the road, what do you do then?

I don’t have an answer to that question, but the people in the video seem to have the right idea. They got out of their cars and go away from the road. The accident occurred in Slovenia where very dense fog and high speeds contributed to this pileup which included over fifty cars, several trucks, and a bus. Unfortunately four people died and 25 were hurt.

Quick Spin: Land Rover Range Rover Sport Td6

2016 land rover range rover td6 diesel front

It is interesting how in a span of a lifetime people change, or don’t change. Four years ago I went to Poland where I met up with my childhood friend. As a child, my friend Paul has always had interest in outdoor and expedition type activities. While he’s not full-on car geek like me, he always preferred 4x4s over conventional cars. Many years ago Paul even bought my father’s old UAZ when he, ahem, upgraded to a Lada Niva.

Fortunately, Paul has done quite well for himself in the post-communist Poland, running a successful construction company. About four years ago, few days before I arrived for a visit, he happened to pick up a brand new Land Rover Discovery 4 (LR4 in U.S.) with the then new turbo-diesel V6 engine. After a few minutes in that vehicle I began wondering about the sanity of Land Rover product managers. Why were they not selling Rovers with this engine in North America?!

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Truck Thursday: Brand new 2008 Ssangyong Actyon Sport

Ssangyong Actyon Sport side

Here is your chance to own a truly one of a kind pickup truck. Well, no, supposedly there is over two hundred of them in U.S., but when did you ever see one for sale?

This awesomely named Ssangyong Actyon Sport can yours for a low price of six grand. Yes, there is a catch.

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Italian Cars Living and Dying in Poland

italian cars poland

Let’s start of with some sad news: Zlomnik.pl, the Polish website that I have come to love, the website that I blatantly stole all these pictures from over the years, is no more. I talked to the man behind the site, the only Polish auto journalist I know, and he basically said that he was done with the site, that he has written everything he wanted to write on it. I certainly understand him, and I also understand that it probably took him a significant amount of time to run and maintain the site, along with some FB pages. He has decided to run a different site, one that deals strictly with obscure and/or interesting cars. Personally, I see where he is coming from.

But there is good news! In my years reading that website I managed to steal enough pictures from it for a few more “Living and Dying in Poland” articles that at least a dozen of you love so much. Today we once again check out the Italian cars that are living and dying there. Funny thing about Italian cars, while they were made under license in Poland, very few were actually sold there, so a vast majority of the cars seen here was likely privately imported. Grab a beverage and enjoy!

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Modern Art Monday: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Kamil Kaluski January 18, 2016 Modern Art Monday

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 2017 sedan gray boston auto show (4)

The modern automotive world is full of amazing new cars. Yet when we look at them, they all seem kind of plain, kind of generic, and kind of similar, if not to each other then to other cars in the maker’s line-up. It’s certainly not everyday that a brand new car just strikes you with its beauty, but it happens. For me it happened when I finally saw the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in person.

My Lord, what a beautiful car. Like a supermodel, there isn’t a wrong line, a bad angle, or a wrong curve on it. Frankly, there are so many curves on it that many of them require careful examination to see. While I attempted to, it is very difficult to show the beauty of this car in pictures. Enjoy.

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Quick Spin: 2015 BMW M235i Convertible

2015 bmw m235i front side

I try to write a review of every car I drive, but this is not always possible. In 2015 for many, mostly personal, reasons I missed a few. Here are my abbreviated impressions of the BMW M235i.

I’ve owned seven BMWs. They are had the following traits in common: rear wheel drive, in-line six cylinder engines, and manual transmissions. While they all varied in chassis codes (E28, E34, E36, E39, E46), they were true to the BMW fundamentals of being drivers’ cars, whatever that means. They were simply fun to drive, or at least more fun than their rivals. Unfortunately BMW seems to have sort of lost its ways lately. But there is hope and it is called the M235i.

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Quick Spin: 2015 Mazda3

2015 mazda 3 side front

I try to write a review of every car I drive, but this is not always possible. In 2015 I missed a few, so here are my abbreviated impressions of these cars.

Something funny has been happening lately. Every time someone asks me for a basic vehicle recommendation, I find myself suggesting a Mazda of some kind more and more. Last year my sister-in-law bought a CX-5 and now my other sister-in-law is getting ready to buy a Mazda3. Internet car heroes say that the “Miata is always the answer” but maybe it isn’t?

Maybe Mazda is always the answer?

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Quick Spin: 2015 Acura ILX

acura ilx 2015 front side

I try to write a review of every car I drive, but this is not always possible. In 2015 for many, mostly personal, reasons I missed a few. One of those was the modern interpretation of the classic Integra, the Acura ILX.

It’s quiet and it rides well. The interior is very nice and super comfortable, with all the latest bells and whistles can be expected from a modern premium car. It’s safe, too, with all kinds of traction systems, airbags, collision avoidance, it will even steer itself back onto the road if it detects that it is about to go off. Its dual-clutch transmission might the best one in the business, as it uses a torque converter for smoother take-offs, a common gripe of DCTs. With all that, it’s even reasonably priced and comes with Honda’s renowned reliability.

And yet I can’t seem to love it.

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New England Auto Show: January 14-18, 2016

Kamil Kaluski January 13, 2016 All Things Hoon

New England Auto Show

The big January Auto Show is always Detroit, but what if you can’t get there? Those of us living in New England can enjoy our own auto show, the New England International Auto Show, as known as the Boston Auto Show. As it did for the last few years, it is located at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the Seaport District and it runs January 14th through January 18th. All the major auto manufacturers will be there, because the Boston area is the sixth largest economy in the country, and therefore we buy a lot of cars, or at least a lot of Subarus, Jeeps, Toyotas, and pickups.

While there won’t be any of the latest concepts there, there will be production vehicles which you may have not seen before, such as the new Lincoln Continental which was just unveiled at Detroit, the new Prius, RAV4 Hybrid, or the Nissan Titan XD diesel. There will be exotics, after-market companies, and on Sunday, January 17th from noon until 2pm, there will be a meet & greet and autographs with Verizon IndyCar Series driver – No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, Simon Pagenaud at the Grand Prix of Boston display. Yes, the IndyCar Grand Prix is coming to Boston this Labor Day.

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