The GTO was the original Muscle Car and I got to take this beautiful ‘67 for a spin last week. This was my second time driving a 60s era muscle car, and first time in one that was an actual “muscle car” and not technically a “pony car.”
The GTO is a big comfortable cruiser with a big 400ci V8 that’s got some good pull and a ton of character. While definitely not fast by modern standards, the GTO did deliver the muscle car experience I was looking for, cruising around, looking good, with the soundtrack of a V8 rumbling or roaring. It really is an ideal boulevard cruiser, and that’s what the classic muscle cars were all about.
This GTO had the 3 speed auto, but in a big cruiser like this, I was more than fine with that. What I wasn’t fine with were the drum brakes, which really just don’t work in the modern world. Even at a safe following distance, if the soccer mom in front of you decides to slam on her brakes for a squirrel, you pretty little GTO will be toast. All drum brakes do is add a huge amount of un-needed anxiety to an otherwise quite pleasurable driving experience. I’d advise anyone looking to drive their GTO to convert to disc brakes ASAP, and save the originals for when you sell the car.
Save for the terror of the lack of brakes, I really enjoyed driving this GTO. It was a beautiful spec and it made me feel like a real bad muthafucka behind the wheel.
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Stopped by Porsche of Princeton in NJ recently. I saw this GT2 RS in the window a few days earlier and I had to get a few pics. The ultimate 911 in the best color. Absolutely unreal on its own, but they actually have 3 GT2 RSs on the showroom floor right now.
When it comes to the Bergen County Cars and Caffe meet held twice a year at the truly enormous Garden State Plaza shopping mall (home to a crowded IKEA with 30% screaming children and 60% exasperated parents), muscle cars are typically under-represented. Those that do show, however, are very strong examples as per the rest of the field for the day. This fully-prepped Charger was running around the outside perimeter, and being a Mopar addict, I just had to shoot it. The black paint, fetching chrome wheels, and evil exhaust note brought this sleek beauty to life around the mall.
Driving a Ferrari 612 on such a tight track was an eye-opening experience for me. This is a big V12 GT car meant for the open road, how on Earth did Ferrari make it handle so light and nimbly on a small track with some areas only a little bigger than an autocross? And how did the car give me so much confidence after just getting to know it that I was comfortable taking the chicane that splits up the main straight flat, reaching 200kph (124mph) on the back straight before diving into the hairpin?
Looking at this track, you wouldn’t think that sort of speed would be possible from a big car like this. The 612 should have been totally out of its element here, but it was so willing the change direction, and so nicely balanced, that it actually felt right at home. I was enthralled by Ferrari when I first drove the 430 Scuderia on track, but this 612 sold me for good on their ability to make any car drive as it should. Just as the Scuderia did, the 612 seemed to connect right to my brain stem, and driving it felt more telepathic than artificial. The fact that they could do that with a big 2 ton GT car is unbelievable. Most big GTs I’ve driven don’t really get past being merely competent in tight corners, but this 612 was genuinely playful. I remain blown away by it. And that V12!! 🎶🎶🎶
The BMW i8 is today a lot like the DeLorean was in the early 80s.
While not nearly the political phenomenon the DeLorean was, in the market it occupies the exact same slot: a spaceship-looking car with epic doors that doesn’t perform nearly as good as it looks. In fact, the ratio of the i8’s power compared to the Ferrari 488’s is nearly identical to that of the DeLorean compared to a Ferrari 308.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually really love the i8 for what it is, and I enjoyed cruising around in the sapphire blue one you see above. But the i8’s party piece is its appearance rather than its performance. It’s only about as fast as a stage 2 Subaru, but it will turn as many heads in town as a Koenigsegg, especially in an insane color like this. We actually had a guy push his stroller into a curb because he was so fixated on our i8 just sitting at a red light.
The i8 is really is a concept car you can buy, but it’s more for casual drivers than enthusiasts in terms of the driving experience it offers. Also just like the DeLorean ⛄️
The Philly Auto Show was great this year. We got to see some of the hottest new industry offerings, and the CF Charities hypercar exhibit was better than ever this year. It’s always a bright spot for us Northeastern car folks in the dead of Winter. Enjoy!
I was lucky enough to take this 57S out for a spin just a few months before Maybach folded. It was always my preference to a Rolls Phantom as a kid looking through DuPont Registry, but on my 2011 trip to Pebble Beach I drove this Maybach back to back with two Rolls Royce’s and my opinion totally changed.
The Maybach was awesome in so many ways, but it never really shakes it’s S-Class roots. But behind the wheel it drove exactly like a W220 S Class, just a little bigger and with a lot more power. It was nowhere near the unique driving experience you get in a Rolls. After driving this car, I understood why the brand was folding. It just wasn’t quite distinctive enough for those who want the opposite of a regular experience.
The first modern Jag I ever drove was this mental XKR-S. One of just 300, it also remains one of the rarest cars I’ve driven.
I knew it would be fast with its 550hp supercharged V8, but at the time, I hadn’t expected it to be so hardcore in terms of ride and handling. This is very much on the sport end of the GT range. And the sound this thing made was unreal, a genuinely savage roar.
This was quite a car to experience back in 2011, and these are actually quite a deal today considering their rarity and performance. Just be ready to handle the obvious Jag issues. Also, as I’ve been posting all this stuff from the past, I’m starting to realize I had quite a burgundy thing going on.
Yet more JDM fun, but this time from the cloudy shores of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This is a Toyota Soarer, in its second generation, shown at RADwood Philly. The third generation model we know as the Lexus SC, but it was never marketed in the USA until that point. Enjoy the photos of this Japanese grand tourer. Continue reading Toyota Soarer at RADwood Philly 2018→
Hershey’s AACA Fall Meet is a truly unpredictable beast. While it’s a great place to view pre-war and muscle cars alike, sometimes a JDM oddity shows up. Exhibit A is this very cool Mazda Sentia sedan, the RHD version of the 929 that Mazda sold in America during the early Nineties. The custom wheels set off the lines rather nicely. Continue reading Mazda Sentia at the 2018 AACA Fall Meet→
We were 21 and they threw us the keys to this $500,000 Rolls Royce. That was the moment we knew our idea had worked. We started Mind Over Motor largely as a way to get access in the automotive world, and just 2 months after we launched the site, we somehow landed press passes to Pebble Beach.
A few weeks later we were doing 100mph up a beautiful stretch of coastline on 17 Mile Drive in this Phantom Drophead Coupe with the wind in our hair and huge grins on our faces.
My own mindset at the time was far too juvenile for a Rolls, but there I was with my right foot connected to a V12 and I wanted to see what it could do. Obviously, I realized the Phantom wasn’t a sports car at all, more a luxury super-yacht for the road. But it was capable, and the whole experience was immensely satisfying.
We knew we had a very ambitious idea going in, and as we pulled out past the gate in this Rolls, it hit us, this was reality. 🤘😎
Back in the Seventies, Ford boldy advertised a number of self-determined similarities between the Mercedes W124 E-Class sedan with their newly-launched Granada sedan. While it didn’t exactly draw buyers to the showrooms away from the three-pointed star to the Blue Oval, it certainly got people talking at the time and was unconventional for the time. 40 years later though, I think Mercedes may have won the war. Take a look and tell me–do you see a difference? I can see it, but after a few whiskey sours, maybe I can be convinced that the Granada and the 230-E are the same car. Continue reading Is it a Ford? Or is it a Mercedes? That infamous advertisement, 40 years on.→