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Injecting More Life into a 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo

997 911 turbo service engine out rear

The Porsche 911 Turbo (997.1) is an amazing automobile right off the showroom floor. Its 480hp twin-turbo engine coupled to an all-wheel-drive system allowed it to get to 60mph in less than 3.5 seconds and kill the quarter mile in less than 11.5. Cornering and stopping are equally impressive. Along with awesome performance are somewhat understated, by exotic car standards, looks.

But time waits for no one, certainly not cars. The vehicle pictured here came into my friend’s shop, Ace Performance, because at 30,000 miles the clutch was on life support. Like many things on a 911, the clutch job required removal of the engine, so while there you might as well…

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Of Subprime Loans, Cars, Money, and Lawyers

I am not sure how it got onto my iPad browser, but there it was, at 3:03am, as I was waiting for kid #2 to fall back asleep, a Mother Jones article on the business of selling cheap cars to anyone for a ridiculous amount of money. It features the story of Detroit car dealer Don Foss. Allow me to say that I don’t know much about this Mother Jones website, their political views, or reputation, so please don’t hold that against me. What I do know is that this is an interesting article.

Automotive media typically looks at monthly and annual auto sales. You see how each company has had the best month/quarter/year ever selling the most boring cars to the dealerships, and how everyone is happy about that. But what you don’t see is the dirty truth, which in the past, and currently, has bubbled up, of dealers selling to the public. It’s not just cheap used cars but new, even pricey cars, that are getting sold to people who clearly cannot afford them. It’s a huge sum of money, so naturally it gets political. Lies, deceit, and manipulation, everything but a sex scandal is present. If you think the days of scummy car sales are over, you’re wrong.

Source: Mother Jones

Review: 2016 Volkswagen Golf R

2016 vw golf r front side

About a year ago I drove a VW GTI. Based on everything I have read about it, I should have been in love. But there I was, on the twisty Merritt Parkway, in the middle of the night, feeling rather indifferent. I wanted to love it, but just kind of liked it. It’s was a great little hatch, but until this day I don’t know what I did not like about it. I guess this is what modern dating must be like; high expectations based on a biased written description and an eventual disappointment during the real-life encounter.

But now I have a date with the Golf R, a GTI on steroids, if you will, with more power and all-wheel-drive. The question is how much better, or different, can vehicle be with some extra power, a little chassis tuning, and two more driven wheels really be?

Quite a lot, actually…

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Craigslist: This Yugo tank can be your next racer

yugo tank

Are you looking for a solid class C 24 Hours of Lemons racecar? Look no more!

Everyone knows that if you want to really dominate Lemons, you must win the Index of Effluancy. Everyone knows that it is pretty much to impossible to win IOE without being in class C – cars with no prayer of finishing. And what better cars to dominate class C are there than something horrible produced in Eastern Europe!?*

Bozi, formerly of Hooniverse, presently of The Truth About Cars, and whoever else takes his shit, found this amazing Yugo which has been converted into a paintball tank. This, my friends, is what Lemons racers call a win-win – a pre-themed Class C car!

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Flat tire and hunger for adventure starts a quest for mods

4runner flat tire bfg at

Perhaps slightly inspired by Zach Bowman’s mega adventure or the memories of my own African safari adventure, my wife and I have decided on a family road trip into the great white north this summer. The plan is to pack up the trusty 4Runner and drive toward Portland, Maine, from where we will take the fast ferry to Nova Scotia, if it actually runs this summer. There we would basically just drive around, stopping in various places for a night or three.

This trip would of course require me to properly prepare the 4Runner, which is to say I’d have an excuse to perform unnecessary mods to it just because I could sort of justify them. I was planning to upgrade the lighting, perhaps get new tires, and some kind of a cargo management. I would also add stuff that I should already have in the vehicle such as: a first aid kit, flashlight, emergency tools, shovel, perhaps an air compressor, fire extinguisher.

Little did I know that a simple trip to New York City would show me just how unprepared I was for a real road trip.

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Audi Q5 Falls Out of a 4th Floor Garage

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tells us that “stronger roofs crush less, reducing the risk that people will be injured by contact with the roof itself. Stronger roofs also can prevent occupants, especially those who aren’t using safety belts, from being ejected through windows, windshields or doors that have broken or opened because the roof has deformed.” And this is why we have to live with thick pillars, smaller windows, and the reduced visibility that comes with them.

But the IIHS says nothing of vehicles falling out of fourth floor parking garages. In this Baltimore County Police video we see a late model Audi Q5 fall out of a fourth floor parking garage after its driver failed to properly pull into the parking spot. The amazing thing is that the driver survived and was not even seriously injured, but probably seriously traumatized.

If surviving that means living with thicker pillars, I am fine with this. You may remember this Top Gear “Tribute to Saab” where Clarkson and May drop and older Saab and an E30 BMW from a much lower height, with much different results. Where we all love older cars, driving something modern can seriously save our lives.

 

Hooniverse 2016 New York International Auto Show Coverage

NYIAS

It’s that time of year again, the week before Easter weekend, the opening of the New York International Auto Show. First, allow me to say that the International part is a bit of a misnomer, as there sure as hell won’t be any new Ladas there. But I digress. Like with all other shows, we will have our awesome pointless summery at the end, but since I will be there LIVE, I plan on doing some live-ish coverage.

Because laptops are heavy and have a relatively short battery life, I plan on doing all my coverage from iPhone and/or my iPad. And that coverage will be mostly on the Hooniverse Facebook page, because that app is much easier to use. It is also much faster, much more relative, and much more, I don’t know, much more 2013 than the website itself. But have no fear, when there is something dramatic to show, it will be up on the website. Jeff will be at home, chained to his desk, manning the site.

In the mean time, if there is anything specific you want to see, just mention it in comments. Expect sarcasm, behind-the-scenes look, and general weird stuff.

 

2016 Easter Jeep Safari Concepts

jeep concepts

Each year Jeep holds the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Each year they take it as an opportunity to showcase some very cool, yet almost production-ready, vehicles. This year is no different, except for the fact that this the 50th Easter Jeep Safari, which I guess is special. Among this year’s vehicles is not-so-resto-modded forward-control pickup on a JK frame, a long Wrangler Crew Chief with a Kaiser nose, a shortened CJ-5-like Wrangler, a Hellcar-powered Wrangler because fuck you G65 AMG, and a  Jeep Commanche concept based on the Renegade.

Jeep has a long history of cool concept cars, click here to see most of them from the past years. Last year’s Easter Jeep Safari concepts are here. Thoughts, opinions, and favorites on this year’s concepts are always welcome. I’ll take the Crew Chief, thank you.

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Review: 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i

2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i front side

There was a time in my life when I considered myself a Bimmer guy, a Propeller-head, as some of them are called. I owned seven BMWs in total, new and used, from a base E36 318iS, to a wagon, to an M5, all in succession. Nowadays I still get excited whenever I get to drive a new BMW because, while the company has moved in a very different direction over the last decade, some of the old BMW magic remains in all of its cars.

When the new X1 arrived at my doorstep I knew nothing about it. I assumed it’s just a smaller X3, which is just a taller 3-series wagon. While once BMW made the same sausage in three different lengths, they now make the same hamburger in three different sizes. No biggie, people love buying CUVs, so BMW is giving them what they want. But, this BMW is unlike the others, and it become evident the moment I opened the hood.

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2016 Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance

feature

Every year, mid-February, my wife, kids, and I escape the crummy New England weather for the sunny skies of southern Florida. This trip always coincides with the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance (2014, 2015). While I am not much of a concours person, I have grown to like this show a lot. Yes, it’s a bit snooty, after all it is set at the posh Boca Raton Resort, where just the cars of the resort guests easily surpass most people’s annual income, but I have learned to ignore the fluff and just enjoy the cars in the hot sun.

This year Jay Leno hosted the dinner and auction the night before the show (I didn’t attend that, too broke) and I happened to run into him at the show. We actually have a mutual Lada/VAZ-owning friend and I felt the need to mention that to him. Other than that, I checked out the cars. This year two things really caught my eye: hood ornaments and the way the dash design changed through the years. The styling of everything is really inspirational, which is one of reasons I go to that show.

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