5 Awesome Exotic Street Cars You Never See on the Streets!

A long time ago when someone purchased an exotic car they purchased it because it appreciated, meaning it became more valuable.  For that reason, before 1991, the idea of a Cannonball Run style event was more suited to fictional movies than actual roads.  During this time you’d be hard pressed to find an exotic with over 100 miles on the clock.  Then the Kuwait invasion happened in 1991, an oil crisis began, and something happened to our view of exotic cars.

Suddenly, and without warning, exotic cars began to depreciate.  Vehicles like the Ferrari Testarossa had been heavily produced and companies like Lamborghini, then owned by Chrysler, were always on the brink of collapse.  Competition like the Honda NSX came to bear at a percentage of the price and suddenly no one was buying anymore.  That meant exotics now needed to be designed with the driver in mind instead of just making crazy power (which is probably why the McLaren F1 dominated the top speed market for so long).  Exotic companies began producing more vehicles to keep profits up, reducing prices even more, and exclusiveness had finally worn off.

So you had a choice.  You either sell your exotic car and consider another investment or you do something that was completely unheard of… you drove it.  A new marketing mindset was born and a new wave of buyers, empowered by internet success still dreaming of the cars that once wallpapered their bedrooms, purchased with just that purpose in mind.  Then in 1999 a man by the name of Maximillion Cooper, inspired by the movie Gumball, created a road rally of exotic cars and the dreams of many car enthusiasts both young and old were realized; to see exotics on the road.  Then a company by the name of Teckademics covered it, created the Mischief 3000 movie, and made it famous.  The genie was finally out of the bottle and nothing would put it back.

Fast forward to today and seeing a Lamborghini or Ferrari tearing up a highway isn’t that rare.  Events like Irvine Cars and Coffee have pulled in close to 1,000 cars per event.  Copycat cars and coffees and rallys popped up everywhere.  Do a little searching and you’ll even find track events that, for a minimal fee, will allow you to do laps in  your favorite exotic.

Yet there are still cars out there that are incredible and numerous and still don’t ever come out.  Maybe buyers just want to keep them pristine or they actually believe they may appreciate after a time.  Still you wonder if they are hiding out in some garage somewhere waiting for their opportunity to stretch their legs.

Here are 5 awesome vehicles for the street, that you never see on the street!

1.) Jaguar XKR-S
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Packed with a 550 horsepower motor in one of the coolest looking bodies ever created the Jaguar XKR-S was a statement that Jaguar was back on the scene with a vengeance.  This car was not mass produced in the traditional sense, as the numbers were always low, but even then you’d think you would see some running around in the wild or showing up in your favorite rally like it’s lost cousin the XJ220 did.  Yet, pull up your favorite social media and you won’t see, well, any of them.  The only thing I can think is they are being stored until they’re worth more since the numbers are limited, but the demand for the Jaguar XK was very selective.  It was replaced by the Jaguar F Type which was a totally different type of car so perhaps that could play a roll in the death grip owners have since they have nothing to replace one.

2.) Bentley Continental Super Sport
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When the Nissan GTR came out a war started between it and it’s most capable rivals, the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette.  Sneakily in the background Bentley began to prove, once again, that they knew how to go faster and still stay in style.  They did it with this iconic car, the Bentley Continental Super Sport.  It replaced comfy seats with hard, yet comfortable, carbon fiber seats while completely removing the back seats.  This car was fast in all the right ways.  A turbo 12 cylinder, all wheel drive, 600 horsepower masterpiece.  A luxury car capable of 200 mph speeds backed by a century of winning pedigree.  The competition wisely never brought up the car in conversation.  Still, go to your favorite Cars and Coffee or high speed rally and you’ll be hard pressed to find one, even just driving around.  You can still find Bentley on the race track with Pirelli World Challenge and Super GT, but the streets are bare and it’s just really odd from such an amazing performance vehicle that was absolutely made to be driven.

3.) Aston Martin Rapide
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I know what you’re going to say, this isn’t really a car show kind of car.  Although I would like to argue it’s more important to think that a 4 door, 505 horsepower, 200+ mph car hasn’t been seen anywhere on a rally or on the road traveling at all.  Think about it.  This car is amazing in all the right ways and just says load up a few of your friends and drive across the country.  Add in a reason to drive and… look, where are they hiding!  I’ve managed to see a few dealer cars in big automotive shows, but once the lights came up I think they all scattered into the woodwork and disappeared and it breaks my heart.

4.) Saleen S7
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When it comes to supercars the Saleen was meant to represent the power of American engineering.  It was produced from 2000 – 2007.  It made various power outputs and all them were race car levels.  It was considered a very capable and fast car.  Other than some notable appearances, such as in the movie Bruce Almighty, it’s largely an invisible car.  I’ve seen one presented by the Saleen company itself and one that ran in a rally back in the early 2000’s, again manufacturer presented, yet, since then they’ve been notably absent from a scene where McLaren F1’s, Mercedes CLK-GTR’s and Maserati MC12’s are still making waves to this day.  It seems rather odd that they don’t get more conversation since they seem to all hail from the same pedigree of street bred race performance.  They just disappeared.  It would be very easy for a car with production numbers in the hundreds to do that as many owners easily see potential appreciation in them and they probably aren’t wrong.  You’d think that even with that you’d see one lone and crazy driver taking his out for a spin from time to time to brag about them.  Yet, like a wild Do do, there are none to be found.

5.) Lamborghini Jalpa
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One of the great things that happened in the new era of driven exotics was you got to see cars that you never would’ve seen aside from a television appearance on the road prior.  I’ve rubbed elbows with Testarossas, Muiras, and the legendary Countach, but even then some still remain elusive.  That being said Lamborghini was known for making some cars that didn’t get bedroom poster wall time like the Countach.  The Jalpa is one such example, Lamborghini’s V8 supercar.  The only appearance I’ve ever seen was being helmed by Phil Collins in Miami Vice in the ’80’s.  Yup, we’re talking a ton of years ago.  Since then drivers in rallys and other events are always looking for that alpha car that nobody else has and yet they seem to have always passed over the Jalpa.  Maybe they don’t even know it exists, but alas I’ve never seen one in the wild.

If you have seen one of these vehicles, post in the comments and let us know!  We’re always looking for those rare animals in the wild.  If you have some other cars you never see, post that up as well.  You never know when someone has spotted one!

 

 

 

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Fire Extinguisher? Why Doesn’t Your Car Have One!

When we discuss vehicles we often discuss things like maintenance routines, types of tires or brakes, and various other rudimentary topics.  Sometimes we bring up safety, such as seat belts, rolls cages, crumple zones, and all that fun stuff.  Among those discussion, only the most professional discuss fire safety.  I think we chalk it up to never seeing it and think it’s all taken care of, when in reality it really is never addressed?

Look through any good toolkit and you’ll see jumper cables to go along with the standard tire jack.  I’ve even seen EMT’s that have a full go-bag with gauze and tourniquets, but there’s always one thing missing.  To those of you that have road flairs you even get bonus points for being so proactive.  Every time I ask these same people I always get the same answer.  Do you have a fire extinguisher?  The answer is consistently, “no.”

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When asked why they don’t have one and it is usually, it’s not easily accessible or they didn’t even think about it.  Even when they know they tend to not act on the information and add one later.  Some see it as too much work.  It’s such a weird thing to consider.  Ask any local parts store how many extinguishers they sell for vehicles and I doubt you’ll get any excited confirmations.  Why are these things so hard to sell!

A look into fire extinguishers, training, and their upkeep is a good indicator of why.  The use of a fire extinguisher in general isn’t cut and dry.  Sure, you pull the pin and spray, but where do you spray and what type of fires can they fight?  When it comes to a building fire this is a big deal and for the new user it can be rather intimidating.  In addition if you’ve ever taken any training from first aid and CPR to more advance trauma response you’ve never even encountered a fire extinguisher class to go with it so how do you practice?  That is, at last, compounded by the idea that fire extinguishers degrade over time and require some upkeep to make sure they are functional when they are needed.  So we understand why you are reluctant to add one.

So here’s some reasons to have an extinguisher.  The primary reason may seem simple, but there’s some more no-brainers that’ll add to the ease of your decision.  Unlike house extinguishers, vehicle extinguishers are made specifically for vehicle type fires.  These are usually chemical and electrical fires (type B and C) using a dry powder extinguisher.  These are extremely simple to use with a easy instruction right on the extinguisher.  In general it’s pull the pin and sweep the base of the fire.  Yup, that’s it.  Imagine if you had an accident and a fire occurred and you had a friend stuck in the vehicle or perhaps injured in a way they can’t be moved and two seconds of fire extinguishing would save their life?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have it?  People don’t realize how quickly a fire can spread and within seconds it’s already too late.

The real trick is training.  No, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on classes.  On the contrary, I picked up my first extinguisher, read the instructions, graphically displayed on the bottle, and I was pretty well versed on its use and what types of fires I could extinguish.  The only thing that you may not consider is testing your application.  Sit in your vehicle and imagine a fire at various locations and see how quick and easy it is to access your extinguisher’s location and engage a flame.  Let’s be honest, you don’t want to spend any time near a vehicle blaze, especially fidgeting with an unfamiliar device, but if you can quickly douse a fire as it starts then you’ve solved your problem before it even began, especially if the fire just happens to be on you.  So see how quickly you can access your trunk, your hood, and your dash.  Most importantly, know when to fight and when to run.

Unlike other things in your vehicle, the maintenance is a breeze.  Extinguishers usually have a shelf life so when they expire or once they are used you simply replace them, but don’t forget the maintenance because an expired extinguisher is just as useless as not having one at all, but don’t worry about changing it often as a typical dry powder extinguisher is 12 years.  So chances are you’ll own your extinguisher longer than the vehicle you purchased it for.

I hope this article prompts you to spend a little time in a new section of your parts department that you never considered in the past and make sure your bag of tools is complete.  I hope that when a problem does occur that you look like a professional in a moments notice. If we save one life, or even one vehicle, this article will have been worth it.

I know I didn’t mention it and it’s because it really is my opinion, but I think fire extinguishers look cool.  Whenever I see a track car with that telltale extinguisher I think, “this car has a record.”  It’s just an immediate and uncontrolled thought.  I remember seeing an exotic from the factory with the extinguisher bracketed in and that’s when you knew it meant business.  The other reason I saved this for last is, I hope you think of it more as useful than a fashion statement, but if it gets one in your car then I’ll take it.

Good luck and keep driving!

Excessive Noise Cameras Will FAIL!

Currently the Edmunton Canada government is testing “noise cameras” as they are being called.  The idea is that a certain level of vehicle noise will trigger a camera that takes a picture of the offending vehicle and sends the owner a ticket in the mail.  Where do I even start with this insanity?

Let’s just address Canada’s record on automotive laws.  This is the kind of heavy handed action I would expect from Canada whose track record on driving freedom is lackluster at best.  Canada has notoriously impounded cars for supposed street racing, even when it wasn’t, charged owners $10,000 dollars for 30 miles over the speed limit, and crushed cars as an “example” to, I don’t know, somebody.  Whatever that lesson was suppose to be , because I’m still confused as to why they got their car crushed if I’m being honest, it explains why last I checked there’s no huge automotive examples coming out of Canada.  So it’s no shock when a bunch of old ladies don’t like typical road noise at 9 in the morning so they whine to their local government official to save them from, wait for it, noise… Seriously?

These is what I would expect from a police state that cares little from deterring any crime what-so-ever and would rather pander to a select few for votes.  The assumption that your populace is criminal alone is insulting and a constituent that received these kinds of cameras should question those they voted for.  Typical street cameras cost in the hundreds of thousands and require some sort of third party to police it, but they won’t reduce fatalities, they won’t reduce drug use, or deter criminality in the least (so much for that serve and protect, right?).  All they’ll do is create a burden of upkeep and maintenance and create criminals of anyone that has a broken tailpipe.

Being cost prohibitive, what areas would they go in?  Imagine if you lived in low income housing and suddenly a couple of these went up?  They certainly can’t go in noisy city areas where police, construction, or general noise would set them off and cause handing out of multiple incorrect tickets that will overload the court system and stir up controversy.  Not to mention, if you received a ticket and were unaware of the noise level and corrected it, would you still be viable for the ticket?  What’s to prevent say a Lamborghini or Ferrari from constantly triggering the device and automatically sending out a ticket to these owners even though they have been approved for road use?  Is your mission to piss off your citizens?  Unless of course you plan to ban all the loud cars in the world, which is all of them by the way.  Cars are loud you know.

So if they tell me they’re having a loudness problem, what problems are they having?  Oh no, they can’t be bothered to actually give us a report which I’m going to venture is more associated with jackhammers and construction than automobiles.  We’re suppose to just fill up the vision of 100’s of aftermarket cars driving down the streets of Edmunton every day.  Are you serious?  I basically drive for a living and I used to have a 2 hour daily commute every day and I saw maybe one aftermarket vehicle a day if I was lucky, which most of those were rims.  Where are you living that you are hearing a done-up car every morning at 2 AM?  Seriously, at this point you must be living in like Irvine California and moving is pretty much your only option at that point.

Inside your house the amount of noise a vehicle makes is greatly reduced so people saying they are awoke from sleep with vehicles is relatively preposterous.  A typical vehicle’s decibel level is from 40 to 80 db.  Even taking off the muffler wouldn’t increase that sound by much.   As an example, a typical race car is 110-150 db, where you’ll need to wear you ear plugs and I don’t know many vehicles that are even capable of producing that kind of noise.  Yes, prolonged exposure to 85 db can cause hearing loss, but a car horn can produce 175 db!  So why aren’t we all deaf?  Because there are things like the doppler effect and noise canceling meaning that if you’re in the vehicle that noise is negligible and it certainly won’t cause harm.  The same can be said for your house!  A vehicle produces a pressure type wave of sound that even trees in the front yard can displace this noise.  If you had an 8 foot wall in front of your property you’d dispel 10 decibels of sound alone.  Even interior noises like air conditioning can counteract incoming sound.  To get an idea of how little those aftermarket vehicles actually effect you, remember our reference to the typical race car?  That’s the same decibel level as a typical police or fire siren.  So why aren’t there complaints about them?  Simply because we don’t assign them with “hoodlums” that these videos make them out to be.  It’s insulting and you should be offended if you have a pulse.

These types of cameras are nothing new.  It’s actually a lazy way for politicians to make money to pack wasteful projects.  They don’t have to hire police if a camera can do it.  What we’ve discovered is that traffic cameras of any kind do not function unless a human being is attached.  Red light cameras that were set up have caused more accidents as drivers slam on their brakes to avoid them.  The same would work for a warning that said a noise camera was nearby.  Drivers would simply get off the throttle and it would change nothing.  So you would have an ineffective item sold non-existent crime and nothing would get resolved.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, good old fashioned police duty works and if it works, don’t change it.  Empower them to remove “dangerous” vehicles from the streets and you’ll be a lot better off and if you live near a noisy street, stop complaining, and move.

So basically these cameras, if they plan to pick up anything over 85 db would pick up police vehicles, loud stereos, car horns, and a wide range of things that would taint the sound.  Will these be released to the public as awareness or simply swept under the table to attain a narrative that you, the car enthusiast, is really a criminal in their eyes that needs to be suppressed?  It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard that narrative and we need to change it.  We represent a very large society, many call a community, and we are not criminals.  We simply want to enjoy our hobby in peace.

Down the road I plan to pick up a db meter and measure some exhaust sounds for people so they get an idea of what level of noise a vehicle makes so we can even see if this really is a problem.  You know, actual data.

 

Luxury Cars and the Evolution of the Automotive Enthusiast

I’ve worked in some pretty cool car brands.  I’ve worked with everything from Civics to Lamborghini.  I’ve sold car, taken phone calls, turned wrenches as well as judged and showed at car shows.  With well over 30 years of experience in cars I’ve been able to see many many people grow up, evolve, and even leave the car life.

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There is a consistency that I always see in any type of owner.  Think of it as an automotive evolution.  The crazy thing is you could’ve been driving for years and when that mid-life crisis hits it’s like you reset to zero.  Maybe it’s that constant drone of the same car over and over that promotes the lack of experience or just the adrenaline that fuels up and totally spills off like a NOS bottle going dry.  Either way it’ll be consistent.

Before we even begin there is always a moment when the bug begins.  It’s either a picture in a paper or a magazine that talks about 1,000 horsepower cars.  Maybe it’s the performance that Porsche and Corvette constantly fight over or the impressive run of a Koenigsegg.  Either way, it’ll start like a parasite that takes over everything that makes you want to get a piece of the pie.  Then there will be a moment when you have some expendable cash and the journey will begin.

The first thing that happens to any buyer is to look for the craziest, fastest, unrelenting vehicle they can find.  Even when they have something naturally powerful they’ll want to throw on exhausts, intakes, turbos, literally anything to get them more power.  If they have little or no experience this is when they make the most mistakes.  They’ll pick a car that is about as comfortable as a sardine can and is totally impractical for daily use.  Even if it is a constant modification will undo all that comfort like a plastic surgeon on an A list celebrity.

What will eventually happen will either be the constantly breaking down, the problems, the upkeep bill or the back pain you’re suddenly experiencing and you’ll start to wonder about your choices.  You may even realize you’re not a pro shop like in the magazines so you’ll never hit that 1,000 horsepower mark or realize that even the cars that advertise 1,000 aren’t always that reliably doing so.  You’ll think, I need something that is a little bit more reliable or has a warranty for more than five minutes so I can get to work to pay for it.

Now here’s where a critical moment may form.  You may end up going with a secondary car.  Some people buy that daily driver for the kids such as minivan or SUV, but the lust for something powerful will always be present.  If you have a perfectly good GTR in the driveway why are you taking that loathsome SUV to work, right?  Sooner or later you’ll start falling back to your tried and true and realize you’re back to square one.

For most people the realization is that you can have your cake and eat it too.  These cars are in the form of luxury cars.  You could consider the BMW M3 or Mercedes AMG.  These cars may not stand out like a Lamborghini, but they will definitely get attention and they won’t blow your back out while you’re driving it… or will they?

At this point you may have made a critical mistake or you may have hit pay dirt.  If you’ve ever sat in an AMG seat you’ll be hard pressed to say you’ve sat in a more comfortable driving seat, but no one is going to argue that you’ll want to stay in warranty while you’re in them.  You may be tempted to purchase a cheap luxury car and it may not be the best bet because you’ll end up right where you started paying exorbitant maintenance fees or you’ve picked something slightly more reliable and powerful and you’ll spend a great deal of time in it.

My question to many is why not start with the luxury?  A Maserati may not be a Ferrari but it’s literally the next best thing.  Throw out the carbon fiber back destroying seat and you have a fast car with a good warranty that will get you from point A to point B with a smile on your face and it can be a primary or secondary vehicle.

I think that the big brands have learned this as well.  Drive the new Lamborghini Urus and you’ll be hard pressed to think you’re sitting in an SUV at all, but you still have a Lamborghini parked in your driveway.  So why not have a range of power to luxury?

Lastly, vehicles like Cadillac, Bentley and Rolls-Royce used to be thought of as old person cars and they really aren’t.  I remember when the Mercedes Benz S600 was stomping on Ferrari F430s while still having cooled seats.  It was the moment I realized I may be looking in the wrong direction for power and drive-ability.

Lastly, some of you, like myself will never be able to give up your uncomfortably fast and cramped performance cars and honestly, I’m not asking you to.  What I’m saying is we may have put the cart before the horse when selecting our vehicles and we should’ve thought about the drive before we thought about our weekend track car.   Regardless of what you do, you aren’t wrong in that decision as long as you’re happy.

Good luck and great driving!

 

Time to End the Cars and Coffees!

It’s 5 A.M.  I know because I’m staring at the clock like that nosey neighbor who is looking over my fence, thinking “seriously?”  Yes, I set my clock for this ungodly hour and although I’m tempted to hit that snooze button like a Pavlovian response I know I can’t, even though it’s Sunday morning… you know, when I should be completely unconscious and resting for the coming busy week.  Come to think of it I’m up earlier today than I am on a regular work day!  The reason I can’t hit the snooze is because it’ll take me 30 minutes to shower and at my current rate of awake that’s twice my normal time.  Then I have to do a little detailing on my special car, meet a few friends that are thankfully driving with me to take the emphasis off me passing out at the wheel and making a cop think I’m just now coming home from a bender and the drive itself will take an hour.  All the while I’m trying to figure out if I left something at home on to burn the place down or if I even locked the door!  Say, did I lock the door?

Why am I doing this?  Well because over 15 years ago some idiot in California thought it would be a good idea to start a car show before God woke up!  Then, because lemmings need friends when they jump off cliffs, everybody and their brother decided to copy the formula claiming it as their original idea.  Lather, rinse, repeat, and it’ll be hard pressed for you to find any Sunday that doesn’t have some 7 or 8 AM start time event with some derivative of Cars and <insert variation here> attended by insomniac car enthusiasts everywhere.  Seriously, they have to be insomniacs because I can’t keep my eye… zzzzzz.  Yes!  I’m awake.  Keep writing… got it.

I guess I should tell you a little bit about my history.  Unlike my dad, who killed a polar bear with his spiral notebook while going up hill, both way to school, my car life was actually really, really easy!  I’d get up on a Saturday or Sunday at around 8.  I had time to get a cup of coffee, do some errands, all sorts of fun stuff.  I’d let the car run for a few minutes as I touched up some spots, drive out to my favorite breakfast joint with some friends and then we would all tear into an event as fresh as the morning dew.  Now?  Now I know how my dad felt fighting that polar bear.

So here we are in what everyone is calling the future and we’re beating ourselves up senselessly to get to shows.  Here’s my suggestion.  Let’s just stop.  It’s time we learned from our mistakes and called a mulligan and say we work hard enough at work, it’s time we not work at our car shows.  How about we make them all reasonable hours and make them an event.  A fun event where everyone can drive safely to a show and still sleep in on their day off.  Is it too much to ask?  Really!  I’m even okay with making them in the afternoon or evening too.  In the day and age of the internet where everyone wants a show, why not.  We could have a whole fun filled car day and end it with a dinner together and feel like we accomplished something as we move back to the grind the next week.

So here’s my plea, to all those out there still doing events.  It’s time we did away with anything with the words Cars and Coffee and all the ideology that goes with it and allow me to hit the snooze button, just once, for old times sake.

So You Only Support Car Shows That Support You?

Every day I read someone’s statement that, “I only support car shows that support mine.” Well, this is me looking for those people at my car meet after I supported theirs. I have events that I attend regularly to support people and they’ve never shown up to anything I’ve invited them to.  In fact, I’ve actually had people I’ve supported actively try to sabotage me!tenor[1]
You know what? I get it! You understand what you’re saying and you probably do mean to support shows that support you, but the reality is you’re one person. You have a clique of friends, the people you really support, and you probably don’t even remember all the people that supported your show, especially if you have hundreds show up regularly. I also understand that you work so hard on your own show that you don’t have an opportunity to push all those little shows that pop up with a couple of cars you don’t like so who cares about those little shows that are like you were once trying to claw their way up, right? Maybe you even see them as competition. So yea, I get it.
 
The reality is, if you really want to support this “thing” we call enthusiasm then you’ll do what I do. You’ll support everyone regardless. You’ll support the big and the small.  You’ll get with friends and go just to hang out and give show runners constructive input on how to make their event better.  You’ll flood events with cars just to say you did it.  You’ll not expect anything in return.  If everyone did that we would change the face of “support” in our areas.
 
When I set up New England Car Show Review my mission was to have a place that was unlike all those other pages that just listed antique and muscle car events.  I wasn’t taking a side. I wanted to help everyone no matter how big or small and hopefully get enough pull that these events could get people to show up, come together and enjoy this thing we call cars.  I wanted antiques, muscle, import and exotic considering each other’s events and have some peace.  Yet, all I see it people fighting and destroying events while saying they’ll support people that support them as their false flag.  So here’s the reality.  If that’s the way you support people then it doesn’t mean much and your sentiment has no value.  
So in the next few years, because it’s right around the corner, when they make gasoline cars illegal and self-driving cars take over because we really weren’t as unified as we like to think we are, then you can remember the good ole days when you had the opportunity to have a car show, when you had an opportunity to support your “community”, and it mattered and when you ask yourself what happened I want you to remember this dumb little article and you can say, “ooooh, yea.  Guess I could’ve handled that differently.”
You could do that or you could just realize right now that it takes a country to build a pyramid that can withstand the test of time.  You can decide right now to come out and have fun with us and forget the politics, the manipulation, and the screwy world we live in and, for at least a couple of moments, be free.

How Do You Change the Negative in the Car Show World.

If I’ve learned anything from psychology it’s that it’s very easy to be negative.  We wake up every day to a battle.  Whether it be bills, pushy boss, or that load of laundry that just keeps building up, we’re surrounded by negative influences.  The worst part is not that we have those negatives, it’s that we have no outlet to off-load that truck-load of negative energy.  By the time the weekend hits and we drive up to the car show in our nicely cleaned car, the second we see someone cheating by wearing the wrong badge or spending money on something we had to work hard to get or someone just bringing some piece of junk that doesn’t live up to our standards we don’t have anything constructive to say, but we do have a great place to finally get out all that energy we’ve been building up over the week.

Group mentality can make the dynamic even worse.  If we do find clarity when we showed up in our favorite muscle car we may be tempted to compliment that small import car for its artistic expression.  That is until one of our friends, empowered by the new found negativity feels that he can stack himself up higher by belittling an easy target.  Why not?  He thinks you already hate those cars and the peer pressure alone could get you to acclimate without even thinking about it and now a whole circle of friends believe it’s apropos to do the same and fixing the damage could be irreparable.

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So how do you keep your head above water?  How do you keep the negative away?  The first thing you need to realize is you’re not going to win this war.  There will always be negative people.  There will always be people who find something bad in everything.  So the real question is not whether you can fix things, because you can’t.  It’s the weight of, do you cut this out of your life or is it something you can tolerate?  I know that may sound negative, but bear with me.

The reason I put it this way is because yelling at someone for being who they are isn’t going to fix anything, it just makes you look like the square block for the round hole, so the solution needs to be more fluid.  For instance, you ever know that guy who is just negative 24/7?  Someone you finally just had to stop returning calls to or just started ignoring at work?  Sure you do!  Everybody has and they’re not worth dealing, but there are those friends who are just having a bad day, or maybe week, or maybe they’ve just jumped on the bandwagon that “imports suck” and with a little leading they’ll start to come around.  In essence you need to find out if you have a good person on the wrong path or a bad person that chooses to be abrasive.  It shouldn’t be that hard.

Once you’ve deduced who has potential there’s a long path of positive reinforcement and setting an example.  Basically in this pursuit you’ll be leading the way.  When someone says something positive you need to commend them or reinforce that behavior.  You could even spur on good behavior by redirecting negative behavior.  “Hey, that car isn’t that bad, but check out that car over there!  It’s awesome!”  People who get attention tend to want to keep attention so once they see that good vibes get attention they’ll keep those good vibes going.  I’m sure you know that Instagram friend who would do anything to get likes?  Ask him to post a picture of his favorite car at the show!  Now he’s trying to look for the good and not the bad.  Even if he selects his own car you’re reinforcing positive behavior.  Look at this dynamic in different groups and cliques you’re associated with and you’ll see there is a shared energy among people and see how that energy is shared and what kind of energy is it?  How do you move it around?

That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or not have bad days.  No, by all means have bad days.  People should see that you get weak just like they do.  The real day of success is when you say something negative and someone calls you out on it.  That’s the day you’ve truly succeeded.  You’ve made it to the day when even a negative has become a positive.  You’ve found a way that it’s easier to build than it is to destroy!  If we can change the world with that then we’ve done something.

The idea is that car shows, if they are going to succeed and build, need to be a refuge from bad days.  People need to go to these shows so they can feel positive and have positive interactions.  If you’re inundated with negative you won’t stick with something and we have to be honest and say if we don’t invest in our community it will die.  They’re already doing away with manuals and talking about self-driving cars.  We need to invest in our future and it has to be a positive one or no one will understand even why we do it.

What Does Your Car Really Say About You or How Your Car Really is Classified?

In this ever increasing car world of ours it is getting more and more difficult to classify cars! First is started with just Coupe, Sedan, and Truck. Now there are Crossovers, SUVs, SAVs, compact, sub-compact, mid-sized, you name it! Then they introduced Hybrids, PZEV, Electric, I can’t take it anymore!  There has to be an easier way, right?

The reality is we don’t use those classifications unless we’re parked parked at a dealership rummaging through the brochures. Seriously, just look at the car and you know exactly what that thing represents.  When you’re out in the world you use a whole different lexicon to describe a car that just drove past you.  These titles may even deter you from buying a car you want because the title goes with it! Let’s walk you through a few.

Chick Magnet
Probably one of the most overused adjectives at any car lot is the Chick Magnet. The concept is easy. This car will make you attractive and cause woman to want to ride with you. 9.99 times out of 10 it’ll do the exact opposite and even in the .01 it’s because you’re using it as an Uber and even Uber doesn’t want you.  The worst part is I’ve seen the line used on women! The reality is that if you need a car to get a chicks then you’re already doing something immensely wrong.

Mostly likely you’re driving a Mustang, Challenger, or Camaro

Mid-Life Crisis
This model of car is made for those getting over the hump of life.  It’s that day that you question if you’ve lived life to the fullest.  The cheapest performance cars available that get the most bang for the buck are on the menu.  What it really means is that you’re going to spend above your means, crash the car in a week and break your hip! Thankfully you’re old enough and wise enough to have bought GAP insurance.  If it’s taken you 30 years to get into a fast car it probably doesn’t mean you didn’t live your life to the fullest, more likely you probably weren’t cut out for one in the first place (see Old’s Mobile below).

Most likely you’re driving a Porsche, Corvette and Miata

Girlie Ride
If anything is abhorrent to a male driver it has to be the Girlie Ride. It’s basically a car that would look perfectly acceptable with flower rims, hearts hanging from the rear view, and stuffed animals in the back.  It also emasculates any male that comes within 50 feet of it.  Think about a biker gang member sipping on a Shirley Temple through a straw and that’s about what it does.  If you want your masculinity questioned drive one of these.  Fortunately, scientist say there is no proof that it will do as much damage as drinking soy milk so you should be safe in one, but you may want to avoid prolonged exposure… at least around your cross fit buddies.

Most likely you’re driving a Volkswagon Beetle or Mistubishi Eclipse.

Old’s Mobile
Ever walked up to a car and felt old?  It’s heavy, rocks like an ocean liner, and has seats that feel like your old sofa.  If you’re younger than 50 you may experience a feeling of dread while sitting in one.  The problem is that the Old’s Mobile is constantly changing, so you’ll have to keep up on trends, but it shouldn’t be that hard.  Just sit in the car and if Death is sitting in the back seat pointing a boney finger at you then you may want to pass (no, not die, like find another car!)  In reality the Old’s Mobile won’t kill you, because it hardly goes over 30 mph without a running start, feels like you’re driving at sea and is built like an Abrahms tank, but you may want to consider writing a will.

Most likely you’re driving a Oldsmobile, Buick, or Cadillac.

Douche Wagon
Sit behind the wheel and you’ll feel a sense of your nose getting higher in the air. No, it’s not your seat self-adjusting, it’s actually your attitude changing.  Soon you’ll be triple parking in handicaps spots and telling homeless people to get a job.  That’s right, you think the world is your oyster now and you can do whatever the hell you want, whenever the hell it suits you. Cut off anyone you like, they’re expecting it.  Don’t expect the disease to last forever though.  Shortly after the car gets repossessed and you have to buy a small car because of the amount of depreciation on it, your humility should come right back to you.

Most likely you’re driving a BMW, Mercedes, or Audi with bonus points for the SUV variant.

Yuppie Cruiser
You don’t work. You sit in an office all day barking orders, smoozing the boss, and going on liquid lunches and when the day is over you go to your overpriced condo or making reservation at the restaurant that is impossible to get reservations at.  In reality you have the intensity level of watching grass grow.  In fact, you’re the perfect candidate for the Mid-Life Crisis car in about 10 years when you ask what the hell happened to your life.

Most likely you’re driving a Volvo, Saab, or Alfa Romeo, which comes with vanity plate and executive parking.

Compensator
Ever seen a 3 foot tall guy step out of a truck that could drive over your house? Of course you have! These guys have deficiencies and for that, they need a vehicle that can compensate! The bigger, the more flamboyant, the better.  Car companies know these guys exist and build these vehicles to target them. You’ll never own one because you can’t deal with excess, but this fills up the compensator void perfectly.  It’s also important to know that the compensator thinks his car is a chick magnet.

Most likely you’re driving a Ferrari or Monster Trucks.

Stalker
Do you own a small truck or box van?  You’re probably just an upstanding guy that is just trying to get through a day lugging around a ton of equipment for your plumbing or electrical business, but to the outside world you are a predator waiting to pounce. Better make sure some kind of logo is on the side of your truck or you’ll have the cops called faster than you can say cable guy! The worst part is if you’ve got the required wife beater shirt, spare tire, and the right kind of glasses don’t even look at playgrounds.  That is unless you already have a lawyer retained.

Most likely you’re driving a Box Van, Work Van, etc.

Cop Magnet
Your car is loud and sporty or has a bright or unusual color that draws attention to it… the wrong attention.  It doesn’t matter how slow you drive, when you passed that cop he was pretty sure you almost broke the sound barrier.  Every conversation begins with, “do you know how fast you were going?”  If your answer has ever been, “I was parked” then you’re car is probably a cop magnet.  In fact, you may want to retain a lawyer up front. Trust me he’ll get a lot of work because once a cop pulls you over and finds nothing he’ll have to give you a ticket, no matter how bogus, just to save face.

Most likely driving a Lamborghini, a Mustang or anything heavily modified.

Drug Dealer
Cold medicine may have been the worst drug you’ve ever used, but get spotted in one of these cars and by the end of the day you’ll have a wire tap and a drug enforcement van parked out front of your house faster than you can say, buyer’s remorse!  The beauty of this class is you can actually dodge it. How you may ask? Easy! Don’t have nice rims on it! Leave those stock ugly ones on or downgrade to steel rims.  In fact, the uglier the better.  Suddenly you’ll blend right back into the populace as a productive, boring, part of society.

Most likely you’re driving a Lexus or Infiniti, but any Japanese luxury with shiney rims will suffice.

Eco Police
Your car is small and fuel efficient. If it’s not a electric then it’s a hybrid that, although it’s the size of a walnut, costs as much as an H1 Hummer.  You have no problem driving 30 in the high speed lane or enlightening a diesel driver about how his lungs are two charcoal briquettes. You have no facts to back up any of your claims, but you just know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re making a difference and you’re back window has the stickers to prove it.  If you had done a little more research you’d probably realize the car you’re driving is as economical as a coal factory and about as good for the environment as a Chernobyl.  There’s also a good chance it’s a Girlie Ride too.

Most likely you’re driving a Prius or Insight.

Soccer Mom!
Yea, that’s right, you’re a mom! You need to get 6 kids, to band practice, karate class, and most importantly the soccer game and you have to be there yesterday! There are guys hopped up on speed that are jealous of your Adrenalin level.  Although you’re simply a stay at home mom you believe that your directive has priority above all others and you will probably yell fervently at the cop that pulled you over for going 120 mph with the kids in the back because he just doesn’t understand your importance!  Yup, to perform your job you need a vehicle the size of a commuter bus capable of driving over arctic landscape even though the worst terrain you’ve ever faced is a puddle in your driveway.  It’s got to be big and as fuel efficient as a monster truck.

Most likely you’re driving a minivan or SUV, but the bigger the better, such as a Hummer.

Undercover Cop
Why does the highway slow to a crawl when you’re around?  Why does your friends hide stuff from you like you’re a narc?  Well, it’s probably because you drive something that looks like something a cop would drive!  You’ve had it happen.  You’re cruising down the highway at a brisk pace and those tell-tale lights appear in your rear view mirror.  You have no idea so you slow down way too far below the speed limit… just to be sure.  You can never be too careful, right?  I hate to break it to you, but that’s you.  Don’t expect to be invited to any illegal activity any time soon, plus people are more disappointed when they find out you’re not a cop!

Most likely you’re driving Chevy Capri, Crown Vic, or Dodge Charger in black with steel rims and seriously, take off the brush bar.

So as you’re probably aware, this list is just for fun.  Maybe you just like the car.  The reality is in the world of cars stereotypes are comical at best and nobody takes them seriously so feel free to drive the car you love and make it’s identity yours.  Don’t let anyone’s statements, including these, deter you from buying the car you want.  Even if it is made for a girl!

 

5 Speed Modifications That Aren’t All They Are Cracked Up to Be

So you’ve purchased your new car and plan tons of great upgrades, but unfortunately your budget is a little stretched so you’re thinking of some great starter upgrades.  At first you’ll be tempted to go down the path of so many others and take the easy way spending a great deal of money basically pulling the flash off your vehicle.  This could be great for a start, but these options could end up just sapping your budget for nothing and keep you from your goal of real speed.

Here’s a list of modifications that may not actually do a great benefit for your car up front and how they may help down the road.

5.) Rims
At first this seems like a logical upgrade and if you’re looking to dump those heavy stock rims it may be a good idea.  If you plan to spend a ton of money on three piece rims to go faster you’re going in the wrong direction.  In fact, many race drivers use cheap steel wheels and opt to spend all the money on the tires, the actual contact patch to the road, to go faster and get more out of their vehicle.  If the car is just for show then I’m sure you’re going to go crazy on rims and you know the downfalls (or should I say potholes) that you’ll face, but if someone is arguing about clone rims versus real on their 90 horsepower car that will never see the track they’re not the brightest crayon in the box.

If you plan to go fast on the track then wheels will eventually be part of the equation, but it will be long after you have enough experience to make a good decision and it won’t be what is being advertised in your local car magazine.  If you’re talking about going fast down a regular street you’ll be replacing those expensive rims in a week after you hit that road hazard and crack your hoop into three very expensive pieces.  Give it some time to figure out what you need for rims and save that big money drop for down the road.

4.) Short Throw Shifter
I’m still amazed at how many aftermarket businesses harp on $200 short throw shifters as some magical way to make your car faster.  Let me be the first person to let you down by saying no short throw will ever add horsepower to your car, it won’t make you handle better, and it won’t be any kind of improvement on your vehicle other than that feeling in your head.  It still urks me that they try to sell it to kids on a budget that want to go faster and it’s just a feel good part that they’ll never utilize correctly because they don’t really learn how to shift properly in the first place or put it on a car that could optimally use it.

If you plan to run on a cone track then a short throw may be part of your eventual future, but it will be after you learn how to be good at shifting first.  It’ll be when you’re trying to shave a thousandth off your time and beat that pain in your side that keeps jamming you into second place because he has all the money in the world to put into his Miata and all you need is just some oomph to get you over that finish line a tad faster.  That’s it!  If you have some expendable income and want to have fun then knock yourself out, but don’t expect to roast that new Corvette at the light because you just installed a shifter.  Seriously.

3.) Blow-Off Valve
If you run a nice turbo set-up you may be tempted to slap on one of those cool upgraded, adjustable blow off valves.  Why not? It sounds awesome!  If you’re looking for just sound and a way to blow off a couple of hundred bucks then you’ve come to right place.  Otherwise don’t expect a single horsepower gain for your expenditure.  A blow off valve simply takes excess pressure from your intake stream when you let off the pedal and let’s it release.  In some systems that have a recycling effect adding in that cool noise will actually be wasting air.

Down the road if you continue to build up your turbo system though that blow off valve and it’s friend the waste gate will play integral rolls in how well your vehicle performs and could even save it from a terrible demise if the boost gets up too far, so the blow off valve will be in your future, but will be part of an awesome engine build, not because you like to hearing it scream “fish!”

2.) Exhaust
Other than just making your car sound better an exhaust upgrade really isn’t going to do much for your car other than generate an engine code.  Even worse, on naturally aspirated vehicles a huge diameter exhaust can hurt the pressure inside the system used to pull out exhaust gasses and reduce power as well.  For the most part the sound is the bonus and the engine pays for it.  If it’s just a welded on muffler it’s probably doing absolutely nothing at all other than making you feel good.

A well done exhaust is a necessary part of an entire engine build and a well planned free flow exhaust with a specific diameter joined to equal length headers will be just what the doctor ordered down the road, but again, it’ll be attached to a fully built motor and will compliment the engine work, not popped on in some one-size-fits-all fashion.  It’ll be the end of the work, not the beginning.

1.) Cold-Air Intake
Sold like a way to keep charge air down and intake air high, the reality is gains from cold air intakes is minimal at most.  The reality is that the amount of air your vehicle intakes is based more on how your engine itself is set-up.  The air outside isn’t cold either, it’s ambient air temperature, or should I say it’s the same temperature as the air that was going into your intake anyway so the charge air isn’t a great improvement.

What intakes of this type can do is prevent you from having to purchase another expensive filter since they are easier to clean and usually much more easily accessible.  They’ll also support modifications down the road if your stock intake is restrictive or not placed into the flow of the outside charge air and many cars do have some pretty restrictive intakes.  That being said, it doesn’t even have to be a “cold-air”.  It can be any upgraded intake.

This list really could be exhaustive.  After looking at 5 or 6 articles my cringe meter went into the red and popped off the limiter pin as it went back around for another round.  The trick is to just be careful about what you read and think, “will this really do what I want it to do?”  The only way you’ll do that is by thinking about everything before you start your build.  Throwing parts at your car will just make it look like an episode of hoarders on wheels and will put you back to the drawing board the second it gets challenged for its performance.

Simply put; work smart, not hard.

Do you have some mods that you think aren’t all they’re cracked up to be?  Let us know!

How to Understand the Car Enthusiast

When I have a car conversation I think I tend to confuse people.  Everyone talks about supporting everything, but they have expectations and once those expectations aren’t met they turn on those they cheered to support.  For me, I love it all.  Sure, there are cars I wouldn’t own, but it’s not because I don’t like them it’s because they either don’t meet my needs or my garage can only hold so many cars.  I like to focus on the concept of why something was built, where it came from and what it had to offer.  I want to experience them all.

Drive what you’re passionate about.  You’ll spend 37,935 hours of your life, on average, driving.  That’s over 4 years of your life  behind the wheel of a vehicle and some will log even more.  The only thing you’ll do more is eat and sleep and we know how important those things are.  Yet every day someone is saying, “any car will do” or “if the price is right.”

You need to want to drive your car, even if you’re not a car person.  If you dread turning the key you are ruining a certain part of your life, like eating food you don’t like, it has an effect.  Whether the car was free or cost 2 million if it isn’t fun then you’re doing yourself an injustice and it will show.

You have to realize that a car isn’t a car, it’s the extension of the person driving it.  Like a psychological experiment you can read a driver by what they drive.  Is it utility or performance?  It is clean or dirty?  Try it out sometime, even on yourself, it works.  We spend our whole lives trying to understand people from our perspective being told we should live in their shoes, well climb into their car and feel what it’s like to be them for 10 minutes.  Ask them what’s important to them and you’ll know a person by their vehicle, even the stuff they don’t know about themselves.  You’ll be quick to realize a better way to pick your friends and why you do.

For that reason, for me at least, all cars are created equal.  They start of hunks of metal, as an ideology or concept, with a purpose and that purpose will identify with a buyer.  A person that sees that concept and attaches to it and becomes one with that vehicle, truly defining who they are by their mode of transportation.  No other thing on the planet can compare.  This can even help us understand the world and give us hope.  Cheap cars usually fail unless they have character like the VW bug.  Cars of performance and flash like the Lamborghini Countach are exonerated as our desire for the apex of results and we want to live because make stickers that say life is too short to drive boring cars.  Simplified like this, as people, we aren’t as bad as we think.

For this reason when I hear someone say they hate something and want it removed I’m quick to ask where the data is that supports having it made illegal.  We have to understand that driving is a privilege and many an unfair law has been made to regulate it.  If we are to embrace freedom then it is indeed the vehicle that we will first embrace that concept.  I’ll keep this section short because it should go without saying, make good choices to minimize your risk to others.

So the next time you think about going out to a car show, try out something new.  See a new group of people and try to appreciate what they do and see why they do it.  If you leave your mind open you’ll find that we, as car people, aren’t so dissimilar.  We all started as dreamers waiting on a hunk of metal to complete our vision.  We were all considered rabble-rousers or some variation of miscreant as we enjoyed that passion.  We can talk about how bad our lowered car is, but there was a time when our grandfather’s lifted ’57 Chevy was considered gaudy by the world.

If I could ask our community one thing it would be to take off the identity hat for 2 seconds when you’re talking to others.  Don’t try to press your world into theirs.  Don’t try to get people to drive your make, your model, your manufacturer and consider for a second that their car, whether it’s faster or slower, may be something that you would like to drive for a second or two.  If you’re not opened minded about that, trust me, I understand and honestly, it’s your loss.

As for me, I’m going to keep enjoying everything from Yugos to Koenigseggs.  I’ve seen the bar set all time lows and crest to breathless, oxygen deprived, heights.  I’m going to enjoy the people, whether they race, drift, drag or just like to camber it out and drag it on the ground a la those absolutely gorgeous low-riders <insert drool here>… and I hope you do the same.