Las Vegas is a strange place. It was quite hot outside when I arrived at the track on July 5, during the tail-end of a massive heat wave in the vicinity. I was already sweating after just a few minutes in the 100+ degree heat. After signing in and attending the driver’s meeting, I chose this Aston Martin as my second car after some time in a Mercedes SLS AMG. After climbing out of the SLS, the sweat was replaced by a feeling of confidence.
I drove a total of four different cars on this track that morning, and of them, this Aston was by and large the most surprising. I didn’t know what to expect, with this Vantage S being my first ever Aston Martin, but after I climbed out of the hot seat, I realized that this entry into Aston’s lineup is a lot better than people might think.
This absolutely pristine Jaguar E-Type was out for one of the cruise nights this summer in Detroit, MI. The E-type was deemed “the most beautiful car in the world” by many in its day, and you can really see why when looking at this car. I was also thrilled to have the chance to shoot it with the hood open. There is a mechanic elegance about how it sits with the hood up that is nothing short of seductive for a gear head. This is basically as close as cars get to pornography folks, any more than this and I would have to flag this post as NSFW. Enjoy the gallery of this Jag among Jaaags.
The Ford Mustang is a true American icon. There isn’t much else to say about it. However, the Mustang has not always been a perfect car (nor will it ever be). Over the years, it has gone from an affordable sporty car, to a pathetic little economy car posing as a sports coupe, to a small, boxy, yet rather quick little ponycar, to a retro-styled sports coupe which has plenty going for it. The base model, however, has always been the one that most enthusiasts tend to laugh off as a rental car special and a fake sporty car. That all changed a few years ago when Ford put a new engine into the V6 model, something enthusiasts pined for. Read the rest of this entry »
Malcolm Bricklin is a pretty well-known guy in automotive history. He’s had his successes and failures, but his most well-known business venture was the ill-fated Yugo, considered to be the worst car ever sold on American shores. However, his other experiences are also worth mentioning. He is the man responsible for Subaru’s initial presence into the United States (he was one of the first official importers, and one of the most successful), and he brought out one of the downright strangest cars to be designed in America–the Bricklin SV-1. Read the rest of this entry »
This DE 36 DHC is not a product of the German parent of Mercedes Benz. The Daimler name was actually shared by two separate companies for a period of time, one the German company we all know and the other the oldest automotive marque from Britain. This car is the latter, and is one of just 6-7 DE 36s built. Under the hood lies a 5.4L straight 8 with 150hp, and at around 3 tons the DE was most certainly meant for relaxed cruising in style. This DE 36 DHC recently sold for a little over a half-a-million dollars in 2010. It was brilliant to see in person this summer, literally stopping me in my tracks when I saw it. Not many cars can outshine a Bentley S1 or various Rolls Royces that were around it, but this Daimler succeeded. This is automotive art like we no longer have today. Enjoy the pics.
The ’63 split window Stingray is the most beautiful Corvette of all time in my opinion. I liken the Stingray to being the “American E-Type” because it was of the same generation as the Jag and had a similar significance on car design. The 1963 model was the only year to feature the split rear window design, and after seeing it all of the subsequent Stingray coupes look a tad awkward without it. The car you see here was the top of the line ’63 Vette with a fuel injected 327ci (5.4L) V8 that produced 360hp. It was a brilliant machine, seemingly in Concours condition, and the owner had parked it in a great spot for photos. Enjoy.
The HemiCuda is my favorite “muscle car” bar none, and occupies a spot on my most coveted list of cars. It has everything I look for in American Muscle; an epic motor (The legendary 426 Hemi), an badass name (Barracuda), cool features (the pistolgrip manual shifter), and awesome, cartoonish styling that brings out childish enthusiasm. The car you see here is pretty much my ideal ‘Cuda, exactly as I just described. Being a ’71 Hemi ‘Cuda, this car is worth a fortune (at least $400k, and climbing) because only a handful were built due to lower demand in its day. That makes it just as unattainable as every other car on my most coveted list, and a real treat to behold in person. Enjoy the epic badassary….
While in Zurich it seemed as if the Swiss did not buy any non-RS Audi models, they were literally everywhere. I know many of our European viewers may find these cars a bit normal, but we don’t get these RS models in America so it was quite a thrill to see them for me. Hopefully Audi will wake up and realize they could sell double the number of RS models if they would just offer the full line of them on the US market. Either way it was cool to finally see the V10 RS6 up close, as well as the RS5, and B5 RS4; epic cars. Enjoy the pics.
This new M6 is the very essence of the trend for modern cars; heavier with more power. BMW has gone a bit too far this time I think because the M6 now weighs 4500lbs, and that is nearly as much as a VW Touareg. This sort of weight is not really what comes to mind when I think of a sports car, and it renders the car’s 560hp far less impressive than it suggests. I am not a fan of this new M6, and I am someone who covets the previous M6 with the V10. A GT car should have some solid weight, but it should not be bordering SUV territory; enough is enough. Carlos hits the nail on the head at (3:27-3:35), saying he can respect it but he doesn’t desire it. That is the problem I see too, and it is one that I see shared by the Bugatti Veyron and other cars like this. Sure companies can engineer a heavy car to perform well on paper, some of the numbers the M6 achieves are staggering (especially considering the weight), but at the end of the day heft is heft when the laws of physics step in. There is an answer somewhere for making cars faster and more efficient, and adding weight like this is not it. Motor Trend hit it on the head in this vid.
Ten years ago if someone had told me that Hyundai would soon be making sports and luxury cars I would have laughed in their face. Hyundai was basically the poster child for offensively cheap cars that people would only buy because they couldn’t afford a Honda or Toyota. Over the next decade though, Hyundai would make one hell of an effort toward improvement, becoming one of the best real values on the market. I have been a huge fan of Hyundai in recent years, applauding their innovation and commitment to quality in their drive up market. The Genesis Coupe you see here is one of the cars that helped vastly step their game up, a fast sports car from a company with little racing history. It couldn’t possibly be that good, could it? Read the rest of this entry »
The three letters “G-T-O” are legendary in automotive culture. They stand for “Gran Turismo Omologato”, an Italian phrase which means “Grand Touring Homologation”. Ferrari is the most famous manufacturer to use this phrase, as the famous 250GTO entered history as one of the most famous and sought-after Ferraris ever built. The other manufacturer to use this acronym heavily was General Motors during the same time period. From 1964 to 1974, Pontiac built its GTO, at first just an option package on the midsize Tempest, then later on a fully-fledged model. The GTO kicked off the muscle-car era, an era that went down as one of the most famous in American automotive history, but died in 1974 as a flabby memory of its former self, downgraded to an option on the Ventura (Pontiac’s Chevy Nova clone). But, in 2004, GM decided to bring back the name, 30 years later. They took the Holden Monaro, slapped a new front and rear end on it, moved the steering wheel, and gave it a few Pontiac badges. I took this used 2004 model to the streets to see if it was any good.
On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to have someone at the Subaru booth at the Fort Lauderdale International Auto Show unlock the Subaru BRZ for me to take a video and a few extra pictures. Pictures are available after the jump. As of Tuesday, we know that orders are being taken now, and production will be starting soon. Sales will start sometime next month, or in early May.
Albert S. Davis Read the rest of this entry »