Sunday, June 26, 2011

Imperial Speedster

In a past issue of Hot Rod mag I saw a car that blew me away.  This project was designed by Murray Pfaff and Pfaff Designs.  They started with a boat of a car, the 1959 Chrysler Imperial Crown Custom and after a mind blowing amount of chopping and fitting reduced it into a little two seat speedster.  They also fitted it with a modern 6.1 Hemi and the dash cluster out of a 1960 Imperial.  I jumped online to find out more info and photos of the car and project so here they are.








I've added some links to the project sites with piles of info on the build process.  This incredible undertaking and equally incredible results is definitely worth a look.




Saturday, June 11, 2011

Added a Tower Strut to the Mustang

Ordered a tower strut from a company called Agent 47.  Weird name but the product looks pretty good and best of all it clears the factory plenum cover.  Install went super fast and super easy however I over torqued one bolt and twisted it off.  Not sure if it's really a big deal or not.  I just paid for an alignment so I'd have to tear it all apart to fix that bolt and then have to get it aligned again.  I took it out for a spin anyway and it may have been my imagination but it did feel much tighter in the turns.

I also bought a DRL (daytime running lights) module because I'm moving to Canada and they require them.  I tried to go through the proper channels and went to my Ford dealer to have them turn them on in the computer but they said it requires a registration number from Canada before they can do it.  I thought this was a ridiculous process to go through so I just bought the aftermarket module for $38 and will do it myself.  F U Canada and FU Ford.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Deadline Rant

I've been watching a lot of Netflix crap lately and one of the shows called Street Customs reminds me a lot of the video game industry that I'm a part of.

Street Customs is a show based around the West Coast Customs company that is ran by a guy named Ryan Friedlinghaus.  They basically customize vehicles for people.  Not really hot rodding them but more like they "pimp" them by lowering the cars, adding tons of electronics, big wheels, and fancy paint jobs you know, nothing to do with speed at all just flash and bling.  Their customers are generally the rich and famous that can't stand owning a car that might look like somebody elses.

So anyway this show completely pisses me off because the management style Ryan displays is ridiculous!  Generally speaking what happens is a celeb walks in and says I want something outrageously custom and I want it in a week.  Ryan says, "No problem." and at that point he has shrugged the responsibility of getting it done off onto his employees.

From that point on he spends the rest of the project yelling at his employees to work late nights and weekends to finish in the insane time frame that he himself created and if it doesn't happen he blames them instead of himself.  As a manager and owner of the company it is completely his responsibility to create realistic deadline that allow his employees the time they need to not only finish but complete it at a level of quality that is expected.  If they truly are the "world famous" West Coast Customs that they claim then even celebrities can have the patience to wait for their high quality products.  If not then go get crappier quality from someone else.  Go tell Bugatti that you want a Veyron in a rush and they'll tell you to stuff it.

The same thing happens in video games.  Publishers want ground breaking innovation in a ridiculously short time period which forces everyone to work insane hours to complete it.  For the publisher it's all gravy because the employees are all salary and don't get overtime so they get the product out faster and cheaper.  They have no motivation to make realistic deadlines other than a higher level of quality which they expect anyway.  It's all simply an insane circle.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Watch Love the Beast or I will come to your house and strangle you.

Tonight on Netflix I watched "Love the Beast.", a story about actor Eric Bala and his obsession with his very first car.  I totally identify with him since I also still own my first car, a 1970 Plymouth Duster 340.  If you have a passion for cars at all you'll check it out.  If you don't then you have no soul...of course I've been drinking...


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

McLaren Auto Porn

Serious Wheels posted some high rez pics of the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 car.  It's a beautiful car but the horsepower numbers seem low.  The page claims it's a 3.8 liter V8 with twin turbo chargers and it's putting out 493hp.  That seems a little wack.  My stock Mustang has a 4.6 liter V8 naturally aspirated and is putting out 300hp.  So I'm a little confused.  Click the link to see for yourself.  Serious Wheels


Saturday, April 30, 2011

To Cuda or not to Cuda

My first car was a 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 which I still have although it's been taken apart.  Since then I've been thinking that instead of restoring the Duster (which originally wasn't a 340) I'd love to drop the 340 into a pre-1970 Barracuda Fastback.  I'd love it to be a Formula S but a regular 6-banger would give me the freedom to do what I'd want to with it.

This dream was rekindled a bit when I watched an episode of West Coast Customs where they took a 1967 6-banger, customized it and dropped in a new 6.1 Hemi into it.  I'm more of a hot rodder than a custom guy but this one turned out really nice.

  
Just for reference I'm including a picture of what an original Barracuda looks like the same year.  As you can see they did change a lot but I love the super clean lines with all the trim and crap removed.  The original car certainly isn't ugly though.



I have a lot of loose ends to tie up before I get to a point where I can even worry about it however it's nice to dream

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2011 Hennessey Venom GT: How is this not a Lotus?

Quote from Hennessey, "Our dedicated staff of former Bonneville, Formula One and Le Mans race engineers have teamed to design the Venom GT— incorporating many of the best technologies and advanced materials available today. The goal? The best overall performing and best looking road-legal supercar that we could build."  

Ummm guys, it was already made awhile ago.  I'm pleased to introduce to you the 2004 Lotus Exige.  Yeah yeah, I know Hennessey admits that they built the car from the ground up using the Lotus platform but I just don't see how they can call it a different car.  Like when Hennessey created the Viper Venom wouldn't this be the Lotus Venom??


Friday, April 8, 2011

Jeep Announced Six Jeep models get the Mopar Makeover for 2011

Jeep plans to show six new Mopar-tuned models at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.  Three of them are worth a look.

Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush
6.4L Jeep Wrangler Renegade
The extreme looking Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush has a 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8 capable of 540 horsepower.  It sits on monster truck-like 39-inch tires rely on custom drifeshafts and has a full roll cage.








The Jeep Wrangler Renegade is packing a 475-horsepower 6.4-liter V8 bolted up to a six speed manual transmission.  A four-inch suspension lift was also added to make room for 35-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Radials.

Jeep Wrangler Pork Chop







The final one is called the Jeep Wrangler Pork Chop.  Apparently the vehicle is called the Pork Chop because all the fat has been trimmed.

It started off as a 4,240-pound Wrangler and then lost 850 pounds by losing the bumpers, doors and tailgate. The hood was swapped with a lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber unit that weighs all of eight pounds, while all four fenders were swapped with lightweight replacements. Mopar even ripped out all the carpeting, replaced the gas tank with a lighter unit and swapped out the factory seats for Sparco Chrono Road bucket seats.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2012 Mustang Cobra Jet

No it's not street legal but it does do the quarter mile in under 10 seconds.  Using an aluminum block 5.4-liter V8 and Ford Racing Whipple supercharger this Mustang Ford claims to be the quickest production car.

You want one?  Well too bad, the sold-out 2012 Cobra Jet starts at $91,990, with a fully loaded Cobra Jet coming in at $103,980. That sounds expensive, but Cobra Jet owners say it's cheaper than a do-it-yourself project delivering the same results.

Sold out really??  Awww, now I'm gonna have to tear up my check.

My Shenanigans Have Gone High Tech

After years of law enforcement not agreeing with my "robust" driving style and a super close call Friday night which would have cost me my license I decided to buy a radar detector.  But I didn't get just any radar detector, I got the Escort Passport 9500ix, this baby sees all!! It has built in GPS which keeps up to date with the location of any speed cameras and also uses it to learn false signals.  So you drive by a place that is sending out a false signal like an automatic door and it beeps, but after driving by the same spot three times the detector learns and stops signaling at that location. I got to see it in action this morning because my kid's school has one of those warning boxes that displays you approaching speed and the radar detector flipped out four blocks away!

I've never had one before and I know they aren't illegal but I feel totally devious using it......AND I LOVE IT!  If your interested here's a link to more info. Escort Passport 9500ix

Monday, April 4, 2011

Holy Crap!!

This video sure made me jump!!

 

I gotta ask though, what the hell was he/she filming and why?   That part makes me think it's staged.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oh Pagani, you taunt me so..

Does Pagani make anything ugly?  The new 2011 Pagani Huayra doesn't replace the Zonda for me but I certainly wouldn't say no to it.  It's got a Mercedes-AMG turbocharged V-12 with around 700 hp!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

YEEE HAWWWW!!

Kind of a strange comparison but someone decided to pit the General Lee 1969 Dodge Charger 440 against a 2011 Dodge Charger R/T.  Obviously the new Charger performed better but the 1969 still kicks the modern Charger's ass in the "looks" department.



Pretty fun to watch regardless of the results but why isn't anyone wearing Daisy Dukes??

Monday, March 7, 2011

Not Sure This is Working

Flat black paint jobs are the new thing and I admit I love the look but I'm not sure flat colors other than black really work.  Alfa Romero has always made some good looking cars and this 4C concept shown in Geneva is no exception but the flat red paint makes it look like it was just pulled out of a barn.  What do you think?

This Dodge I Wouldn't Mind Owning

The 2011 Challenger SRT looks pretty good in metallic green.  Plus this is the new 392 model with 490 horsepower.  The sticker is around $45,000 but I still think I'd go fort the Mustang GT over this.  It's cheaper and I bet faster and lighter.  Also you could just wait till 2012 and pick up a Boss 302 Stang for that type of cash.  Still I can't deny the Challenger is a nice looking car.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

2011 Koenigsegg Agera: Bring a change of shorts

Who doesn't love hypercars, but even among hypercars the 2011 Koenigsegg Agera is insane!   Five liter V8, twin turbochargers, an estimated 940 to 1115 horsepower all with that gorgeous body wrapped around it!  Oh yeah and it said some crap about eco-blah blah something or other.  Seriouswheels has posted lots more details and it's usual array of high quality auto porn for us to drool over so get a towel and take a look. SeriousWheels.com

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2012 Dodge Charger SRT-8 Walkaround Video

Dodge released a video of the 2012 Charger at the Chicago Auto Show and I have to say guys is using the word "aggressive" and all the engine revving in the world isn't going to change the fact that it's ugly.


My Search for the Perfect Wheel

I make video games for a living and I'm a car enthusiast so it doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to guess that I'm a big fan of racing games.  Gran Turismo,  Test Drive Unlimited, Need for Speed, Forza, Dirt, I love them all.  But when you first get a game there is always a huge and unrealistic learning curve as you get use to the controls.  Some let you remap them to your liking but some like Test Drive Unlimited 2 are set and you can't change them.

Old Driving Force GT
As you might expect I own a racing wheel already but it's an old Logitech Driving Force GT wheel.  This thing is very "plasticy ", loose, and sloppy once configured.  I attempted to set this up for use with Gran Turismo 5 and it was a complete fail.  It would setup but the controls were so sloppy I would have better luck guiding the car with mind control.  So obviously this thing has to go.  But what should take it's place?  Also I have the additional problem of my TV and game systems being setup on my fireplace mantel which makes them up high and far away from where I sit.  That means I need wireless or a extremely long cord.

New Driving Force GT
At first I went at it like most guys do.  "Ugh, me  need wheel.  Me go to store, get wheel" and that's what I did.  Went to Best Buy and some home with the new Logitech Driving Force GT wheel.  Got it home, unpacked it and instantly noticed the endless miles of wires.  What?  I didn't even look, certainly by now everything is wireless.  Nope, not wireless.  So it when back in the box and back to the store for a refund.  Never even hooked it up and took it for a spin.  So I got back home and thought do I really need a wheel?  I've already got one, maybe I just need to get used to it.  So I hooked up the old wheel and tried playing for about on hour or two.  Two hours of absolute frustration and rage.  Yes, I need a new wheel.

HKS Racing Controller
After that I started thinking small and found a different kind of hand held controller made by HKS. HKS which we all know is an actual car tuner company has put their name on an interesting controller that has been getting great reviews.  It's shaped like a regular PS3 controller but the steering, gas, and brake buttons are unique and more logical for racing applications.  After reading many outstanding reviews I thought this was the one but was it wireless?  Certainly it being a PS3 controller it's wireless but as I got to looking in the fine print I saw no mention of it.  Then looking at some video review it revealed it wasn't.  WHAT THE HELL?!?  Why in the world would they not make this wireless when the standard PS3 controllers not to mention the controllers of ever other game system out there are wireless??  Okay so that's out.

 Next I went to the other extreme.  I thought I'm a car nut and I love car games so I should treat myself and get the best damn wheel out there.  First I had to decide what that was and I came up with a list of some "must have" options.
  • Wireless
  • Strong Construction
  • Paddles & Stick Option with Clutch Pedal
  • Precision Calibration with No Lag
Logitech G27
I started looking at Logitech.  They make a controller called the G27 which appears to have it all.  Leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, metal clutch, brake, and gas pedals and paddle option.  The price is about $299 which isn't too bad I guess since I was saying I wanted the best.  However it was missing one huge thing.....NOT WIRELESS!!!  What is the deal?  Everything these days is wireless why aren't racing controllers?  Digging further into the reviews it didn't sound like it was stellar often getting 4 out of 5 stars for feeling a little cheap compared to it's price.  But I think for me personally if this controller was wireless I would purchase it.  Other than looking like an uber geek for having this thing sitting in my living room I think it has most of what I wanted.  So I decided to just focus on the wireless aspect of what I wanted.

Ferrari Wireless GT F430 Scuderia
That lead me to Thrustmaster, yeah I know nice company name huh.  Actually Thrustmaster has been in the business a very long time and my first wheel I ever bought was a Thrustmaster.  They recently made a wireless wheel and petals setup based one the Ferrari which has the extremely long name of  Thrustmaster Ferrari Wireless GT F430 Scuderia Edition Cockpit.  This thing is a folding all-in-one unit which claims the wheel is 70% a replica of the actual wheel in the Ferrari F430.  It's extremely pretty and slick looking.  It's also nice that the wheel and pedals are connected because I often find myself chasing the pedals across the floor as they slide away from me.  It is around $250 but doesn't have some of the features I'm looking for such as clutch pedal and manual stick option.  Also I didn't have to read many reviews before I saw one where a guy said he snapped off the gas pedal and after a home repair later snapped off the brake pedal.  So apparently it lack in the strong construction category as well.  So I decided to pass on this one as well.

Thrustmaster T500 RS
I had kind of given up the search when one day Gran Turismo 5 had a huge patch update.  After it was done I  saw they were promoting a couple wheels for the game.  One was the lower end Logitech Driving Force GT but the other was a Thrustmaster wheel called the T500 RS.  This wheel is on the high end of the scale selling for around $600.  From the reviews I read it is has super sturdy construction and realistic force feedback.  I also watched some video reviews where they compared the wheel's movements to that of the wheel in the actual video game and they precision looked very good.  It does have a clutch pedal but no stick shift which I don't really understand.  But it's not wireless which is the big thing I need.  Also I can't justify paying $600 on something that doesn't meet absolutely my every need.

So for now I'm just sticking with the regular old controllers.  I really don't think my list of features is that crazy and I surprised it's so hard to find the wheel I'm looking for even at a high cost.  It seems that if I want the ultimate realistic driving experience I still need to take my car to the track which isn't a bad thing at all.

Friday, February 25, 2011

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302.....drool.......drool.....

Maybe it's just because I have a Mustang already but I love the upcoming Boss 302 for 2012.  Recently they announced that it will come with launch control and Autoblog got a demo of it's use  They also did a nice write up. First Drive: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Check it out!



Thursday, February 24, 2011

2012 Dodge Charger SRT-8

When Dodge first reintroduced the Charger back in 2003 (I believe) they made it into a four-door which really ruffled some feather from the Dodge fans.  I admit I wasn't very happy about it either.  They also took a retro brand and didn't make it retro like everyone else was doing which seemed stupid at the time.  But the look was pretty mean so it kind of grew on me.

Now for 2012 they have done a redesign and can attempt to fix the things they messed up on.  Well they didn't.  It still has four doors and worse yet they went retro in a wrong way.  If you look at a 1970 Charger you can see where they got some of their ques from but the mix of the two has combined to make one of the ugliest cars to date.  At least they are moving away from that terrible looking grill they put on every vehicle they make. What do you think?

1970 Dodge Charger
2012 Dodge Charger SRT-8

 Ugh, that hood!!

Installed a Hurst Shifter

Happy Birthday to me (well last month). I bought a Hurst Billet Short Throw shifter for my Mustang and installed it. Great way to spend my birthday weekend and $200 bucks. Certainly made the Mustang drive more "raw" and less factory. The Hurst billet version is much more "beefy" than the factory as you can see in the pic below.


The List

I have become completely obsessed with the Superformance Daytona Coupe, really anything from Superformance. Their cars seem to have that soul and passion you'd want from an exotic/race car. I don't have a snowballs chance in hell of ever owning one but at least they have earned a spot on my everchanging top 10 list of "Cars I Would Buy If I Ever Learn to Make More Money Than Bills."


Making Some Changes.

Decided to move this page to a blog because it's easier to update and it doesn't take up space from the url I pay for.