By now you heave read about our performance at the 2014 Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of Lemons race. Now from the Lemons HQ comes the wrap-up video. I was wondering why it took them so long and as soon as I saw the video I knew why – special effects and research into Tom and Jerry cartoons. Watch and see.
We’re not mentioned in the video, which could be perceived as good and/or bad, but surprisingly neither is the class C winning and really dominating Rally Baby AMC Hornet.
Should you hoons find yourselves on the road this summer, keep this little guide of world speed limits handy. Here we have the maximum road speed limits all around the world on each places’s fastest roads. This is not an excuse to drive at those speeds everywhere and saying to the local law enforcement “but sir, I saw this thing posted on this awesome car website so it must be true” won’t work. Trust us, we have tried it.
Some time ago we showed you some pictures, specifications, and a quick video of the US-market Ariel Nomad. Since then those pictures and video have gone kind of viral: Autoblog, Carbuzz, Road & Track, Motor1, and a handful of others. Today we have a dozen more pictures of the Ariel Nomad Tactical and we go into some design elements. We will look at specific components used in this vehicle and the differences between it and Ariel Atom.
This July we will drive one of the first production Ariel Nomad Tacticals on the beaches of Nantucket. In the mean time, enjoy the pictures and share them with others.
To many, the classic Fiat 500 might seem under-powered. It had a two-cylinder, 479CC, air-cooled engine that made twelve horsepower. Yes, only twelve horsepower. This was not much even in 1957. That is why companies such as Abarth had their way with the 500 and installed engines that made as much as 50 horsepower.
But here we are, many decades later. We are still hungry for power but in the mean time we have developed engines with substantially more horsepower per displacement. We’re all turbo-happy now because there is replacement for displacement, and it whistles. Now days one has many options of powering a classic such as the Fiat 500, with high output motorcycle engine probably making the most sense.
And yet here is a tiny Fiat 500 powered by a 300hp+ Subaru WRX STI engine. This is be beyond insane and it’s bordering on suicidal.
Someone once said, I have no idea who, it may have even been me, which makes this kind of dumb, that in order to go faster, one needs to go slower. I guess it is supposed to be some kind of rabbit-versus-hare analogy which may or may not work in racing. Whatever the case with it, it is the ideology that we have applied in our last few races, each time changing nothing, expecting better results, but always finishing short of podium.
That doesn’t really matter because we’re not doing this to win a shity trophy or for bragging rights. Worst case scenario for us would be to win Class B and get automatically bumped into Class A. Fortunately or not, that didn’t happen at the 2016 24 Hours of Lemons, Real Hoopties of New Jersey. We are racing for the fun of it and that’s how we like it, but damn it, a shity trophy would be a fun thing to get.
Chasing Classic Cars is one of the more popular shows on Discovery’s Velocity channel. Wayne Carini is the host and his now famous F40 Motorsports restoration shop is located Portland, CT. The good news for viewers is that Chasing Classic Car just extended their contract with Discovery for two more years.
Over the years I have met Wayne many times at various local press events. He has invited me to his shop as many times, offering a private tour, and all I had to do was email him to see if he was available. Despite the fact that I drive between Boston and New York City often, the timing to visit F40 Motorsports is never right; I was either with my family, driving at night, or in a hurry. Except for a few weeks ago on a recent Friday, when I was driving from Boston to New Jersey Motorsport Park for the Lemons race. I was early, alone, annoyed by traffic, and in the middle of the day.
The original CJs, Blazers, 4Runners, Land Cruisers, Broncos and many other old off-road capable vehicles had many things in common, including the fact that they all had two doors. It wasn’t until later on in the SUV evolution that people realized that those off-roaders do a great job of getting kids to school when there is a chance of flurries, and that they supposedly perform better in accidents than a ’74 Pinto. And so the four-door SUV era began and all the two-door SUVs went away, with the exception of the Wrangler.
I personally didn’t even know that Land Rover still made the 2-door Range Rover in the 1990’s, along the 4-door model which came in two wheelbase choices, but here it is. This 2-door was recently imported from Spain and our friend B.Z. Rong basically told me that I need this in my life. And he is right.
There have been dozens of Hooniverse contributors that have come through our revolving doors over the years. Some of them faded away, but many of then went on to do great automotive writing things, ending up in places such as Autoweek, Autoblog, and Road & Track. One of those contributors was a young man named Philip Thomas who has recently started working at a popular publication called Hot Rod Magazine.
Philip’s new job required him to move from Texas to California. He did that ever so adventurously by packing up his belongs and dogs into an old Chevy truck and driving. The move was basically an initiation into the Hot Rod world as the truck required many repairs along the way. Finally settled in, Philip started doing what all of us do in our spare time – pointlessly searching Craigslist for treasures.
The problem with pointlessly searching Craigslist for shit you don’t need is that you eventually find something you want. And Philip found a free (kind of) 1970 Gremlin Drag Car that was stashed away and forgotten in a backyard in Venice until the property went on sale. The whole story is quite amazing, so read it here on the Hot Rod Magazine website.
I am a father of two little kids. If my kids every do something like this, it will mean that I failed as a father. And by something like this I obviously mean not knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re”.
These days everyone is losing their shit over autonomous, or self-driving, cars. Research is being conducted, laws are being changed, and huge money is spent. In all that everyone seems to forgetting that sometimes the simplest solutions are the best solutions.
Sometime in the 1960’s, as per the above randomly found YouTube video, Citroen has developed a self-driving car. Or at least a “automated steering” car. Kind of. In those pre-digital, pre-GPS, days, the Citroen DS was modified with magnetic sensors to follow the cables buried under the asphalt. While not quite self-driving, it clearly worked.
Implementation of a modern version of a magnetic system like this is possible, if needed, but the costs would probably be astronomical. Addition of speed-control systems to it would be easy and basically already exists. The biggest advantage of this system could be that it could work in conjunction with, or as a redundant backup to, the modern satellite or cellphone tower based systems.