Wednesday, August 23
Yeah, no one does. And yet, if the desperate housewife on your street didn't go for its mid-life crisis tackling appeal - maybe this thing will do the trick.
Maybe this is the dad version. After slamming doors and screaming about his wife doesn't really understand him - he can storm out and get into this, Hemi-powered, 1.5 ton Viagra bottle . Cause that's what this is. It's even called the Firepower - to remind you that you don't shoot blanks. The idea of this sort of sporty Chrysler actually makes the Corvette seem like it's for young people. Check out the story on Car's awesome new website - fun fact: Car's been a hair away from publishing my Escalade test-drive for 4 months. I'll let you know how that goes.
My main man Bobby S picks up on the CNN story about Hybrids paying for themselves. Sure, it might take six years - and, by that point, gas will be so expensive that hybrids will pay for themselves even faster. This is making my head hurt. However, a fun note is that an unidentified source at Galpin Ford - the kick-assingest Ford dealership in California - actually pointed out to me that...big finish...The Hybrid Escape gets worse gas mileage than the terrorist loving, baby seal clubbing, wood-burning, none-hybrid model.
But Basic Transportation, how the hell can that be? Because of added weight and the fact that - I'll say it again - hybrids only run on electricity at or below around 30MPH - the whole thing is a conspiracy to make you forget that electric cars exist, that ethanol/biodiesel is a lot cheaper and easier to produce, that fuel-cells are more treehuggy and that Honda actually made a Civic that ran on water and made muffins in the glovebox, but the CIA covered it up.
Only the last one is made up.
I've seen the Nitro a bunch of times at car shows. On one hand, it can be customized and - on rims, with tints, a blackout grille, and TVs in the headrests - this thing will be alright. But so will anything. Aside from that, do Volvo-driving soccer moms really need another family truckster with 4x4? Let's be honest with ourselves. If you're serious about your 4x4ing, you won't be going for this Dodge. That'd be like taking your cousin to the big dance - deep down, you'll know you can't really do anything serious.
And so, briefly, don't spend 20K on this. And, whatever you do, don't spend close to 30 for the leathered out, 4x4 (link to 'price announced Autoblog story). Basic Transportation suggests something basic - like the Jeep Unlimited.
Wednesday, August 16
Prepare yourself for - the a much better looking that this - Cool Cheap Cars at coolcheapcars.blogspot.com will be devoted to cars, SUVs and trucks that people can actually afford. Anyone can sound smart when telling you about how fast the new Ferrari is. Who cares? Are you a banker? Has the stock market been good to you? I didn't think so.
Cool Cheap Cars will keep you on the cutting edge of cheapness AND coolness. Still under development, Cool Cheap Cars aims to become not only the number one car and truck blog but also the most-visited, best loved and cheapest website on the world wide web (or 'web' as the cool kids call it.)
Sunday, August 13
- New-School technology, oLd sKool flAva.
There's just nothing quite like cruising yo six fo. Today, you can put Lambo doors on your Chrysler 300 - rim it up, drop in some amps - and you've got a pretty cool car, one that looks right in front of the club. If you trying to roll extra hard, you might spring for some airbags, remote-controlled ones - so you can drop it like it's hot as you walk away. Doing all this to the current breed of electric cars, what few there are, just wouldn't work.
However, there's West Coast tech-hippies (think Burning Man) that have been converting ordinary, pimpable cars to electric for years (some, decades). The article you can see by clicking on the title is from L.A. Weekly about an L.A. comedian who's had a '48 Oldsmobile, like the one pictured, converted to an all-electric, lowrider. Though the juice box takes up most of the backseat, it's a small price to pay for an electric car that can actually do burnouts - and, presumably, other stuff regular cars can do - like not making you look like a lamer to the ladies. You've just witnessed the future of sustainable motoring. Remember where you were at this moment.
Thursday, August 10
Most folks in America haven't encountered the Smart ForTwo. Part of Daimler (Benz), Smart's been making the FourTwo since 2000 and it's surprisingly comfortable and you can park perpendicular to the curb and, of course, it gets fantastic gas mileage.
We'll get a chance to check out the practical little car thing when it comes to the States next year. In the meantime, however, superfreaks at the Smart offices (or whatever) in Greece decided to spend what little time they may have on taking the 84hp, six-cylinder, diesel engine and transmission from a Unimog uber truck and shoving it up skirt of the tiny ForTwo. The result is pure Greek comedy - minus all the insest. To give credit where it's clearly due - Greek 4x4 Rally Champion/God Stefanos Attart was the one who designed the thing.
This bad boy you find your eye drawn to is the ForFun - something that will never get built but exists as a bit of a publicity exercise - and there's nothing wrong with that. The ForFun couldn't fit the Unimog's unbelievable suspension - but it does feature individually-adjustable shock absorbers.
Check out http://www.thesmart.ca to see a couple more pictures - they've been kind not to sue me for using the above image.
Monday, August 7
No...Really? Ford is all over the news. This isn't a Ford. And it's hard to say it's a Chevy. Chevy just makes Trucks and SUVs anyway, right? A Chevrolet motorcar, in fact, all cars made by General Motors used to be proud, bold machines. A Bel Air didn't give a shit if you didn't like fins. A Le Mans wiped its ass with safety. Novas didn't come with cupholders.
The problem with this turd isn't that it's small or that it's slow. Many fine automobiles are. But, is it a Suzuki? Is it an Isuzu? Daewoo? Hyundai? Kia? You see where I'm getting at. Putting a bowtie on this is like putting a slice of pickle on monkey's brain floating in beet juice - it don't make it American, it don't make it a Whopper. This ain't no Chevy. Now, according to Autoblog - and the release they copied and, then, painstakingly pasted - this sad thing isn't set to come to the States.
Meanwhile, my pappy's paying a benjy ($100) a week to gas-up his Tahoe. We're open to small, even slow cars. This Country made the Beatle what is is today. Even the Pacer had a place in our hearts, and it blew up. These were compact cars that had personality, charisma, that Herbie factor. Small cars are alright, but it's sad if they make you look like you couldn't afford a bigger car. A small car should make you look like you're too cool for a Denali. What the hell is this thing?
Want to see a small car that a person with self-esteem might bejewel onto his European driveway? The original was just voted the sexiest car of all time, or something very similar, by Top Gear magazine. That's because, when gas is the equivalent of six dollars a gallon, as it one day will be in Brentwood, and is today in much of Europe - small cars are much more attractive. Whether your other car is a Ferrari or a Mercedes or a Yacht, you'll want to get to work in something that manoeuvres through traffic and goes easy on the bloody petrol, mate. Parking and going down old city streets feels stupid in a Durango. Behold, in the tradition of old cars making a comeback (still pissed off the Microbus isn't coming back), check out the Fiat 500 - reborn (in 404 days).
Sunday, August 6
Few stories this week have captured our imagination like Mel Gibson's. According to the police report / charging documents, he was driving a 2006 Lexus LS when pulled over by an L.A. County Sheriff on Pacific Coast Highway.
But, wait a minute, surely a dashing, accomplished actor such as Mel wouldn't be caught dead in a dentist car like that - even if he did have an open bottle of tequila riding shotgun, nothing rockstars-up a middle-of-the-range Lexus.
Mel's got a proud history of driving cool stuff in his flicks. The extended cab Chevy truck in Lethal Weapon - this was before big trucks were cool. Before that, let's not forget the mean-looking 1973 Australian XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe customized as the 'Interceptor' in Mad Max. He even revived the role for a very special episode of the Simpsons.
In Payback, he drives a Chevelle and an old, beat-up Cadillac limo - too cool.
Plus, in 'What Women Want'. I think he takes a cab. Anyone of these fine vehicles would have made a much better option for being super drunk in. Sprinkle a little style on the 'ol, drunken jew hate.
- Check out Jon Stewart tell it better on the Daily Show - Here.
- Steve Colbert (he was funnier on the Daily Show) gives his take - Here.
- Take your celebrity gossip kinda seriously, why are you here? You should be - Here.
Saturday, August 5
I like the idea of having a toilet and a couch wherever I go. It's not that I'm lazy, or fat, or a redneck. I just like to have the choice of being comfortable.
But RVs haven't really changed since the 70s and bring up a lot of feelings that I explored in my landmark, conversion van post. Check out Autoblog's feature on RV's that are pretty cool - plus, it includes the GM Futureliner, the awesome bus thing General Motors were using for something called Futurama - a touring show that showcased futuristic innovation throughout America.
'Wagon' didn't always mean 'disgusting' - but just look at this!
There was a time, when, if you were the kind of person that has lots of kids, more than 2 or 3, you'd have no choice but to get yourself a station (estate, for my UK friends) wagon. Today, only a rare breed gets themselves a wagon - and they're rarely cool-enough for surfers to buy after your kids move out.
This monster is the new Suburu Forester Airbrake, out in Japan. Suburus aren't even bad cars, though I've never heard of someone owning one, not even on MySpace.
Even the Benz and BMW wagons have an air of quiet desperation about them. Let's look at what a wagon once was, in another installment of Cool Cheap Cars:
Entertainment for the kids? Singing songs, maybe farting and blaming it on each other. However, this is something you could drive and not feel bad about spawning all them youngins. $10K