The Garage has returned from the New York Auto Show. We kick off our coverage not with the news that will grab headlines in mainstream media, but instead we will focus on what many predicted would never happen: that Saab would even exist when the New York Auto Show came around this Spring. Saab not only exists, but had a stand at the show. The Garage was honored to have been invited to a special reception after the show to learn more about the future of Saab at the Cooper Classic Car Gallery in tony Greenwich Village.
Archives for March 2010
Our friend’s Justin Pritchard and Lesley Wimbush were at the recent launch of the 2011 Ford Mustang GT, that took them down the twisty Encinal Canyon road in California. Fortunately for us, Justin had his video camera along for the ride. This quick clip gives us an idea of what the ’11 5.0 V8 sounds like. The engineers have made sure none of the magic has been lost.
It has been a long time since I’ve been to a sprint car race, but even in the Eighties when I went, drivers were protected by a full roll cage. This video shows just how tough these guys really were.
Long time Canadian racer Dave Boon tipped us off to this so perhaps I should just let him describe it:
Some incredibly good USAC late 50’s early 60’s open wheel footage. One heads up – it shows Sweikert’s fatal at Winchestor and it is damn hard to watch – on the upside they show Cotton farmer wrecking at Phoenix in 1960 and how he walked away is waaaaay beyond me.
Video after the break
It’s official: the coolest, baddest station wagon money can buy in North America is on its way in the form of the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon. The Sport Wagon rounds out the CTS-V family, which is also available in sedan and coupe form. The heart of the CTS-V is the engine, of course-a 6.2L supercharged V-8 belting out a healthy 556hp. Buyers can choose between a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. Other V-Series goodies like Magnetic Ride Control and Brembo brakes are present and accounted for.
The CTS-V Sport Wagon is expected to hit the showroom floor late 2010 in North America, and later on in Europe and the Middle East. In North America, the CTS-V Sport Wagon is in a class of its own-overseas is where the V’s competition awaits, as the BMW M5 Touring, Audi RS6 Avant and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Estate are not available here. Kudos to Cadillac for delivering one sadistic grocery getter.
What better to wake up to on a Monday morning than a smoky burnout video? Matt Farah and the guys are playing around on a runway in Oxnard, California while JF Musial lets the cameras roll. These new Stangs pack some punch, which is to be expected with the V8 powered GT. What might not be so expected are Matt’s smoky donuts in the V6 powered car! Good hoonage all around.
After the break of course.
The Volvo C30 arrived in the US as a 2008 model (2007 in Canada), and has just received its first refresh. The most striking view of the C30 has always been from the rear, where the Volvo P1800ES was clearly the design inspiration. Up front, the design was basically a Volvo S40 (the car on which the C30 is based), which certainly wasn’t a bad thing; it just couldn’t compete with the rest of the car. All that changes with the 2011 model. Style-wise, the C30 is now a complete package, with a new front end Volvo fans have been waiting for.
While Canadian buyers have a choice of normally aspirated and turbocharged five cylinder engines, the sole powerplant for the American market is a 2.5L turbocharged inline five, rated at 227hp. A six-speed manual is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional. The C30 is available in base T5, or sporty top-spec R-Design. While the drivetrain is carryover from last year’s car, Volvo engineers tweaked the R-Design with stiffer springs and quicker steering for a sportier ride.
Perhaps some of our younger readers may not know this, but drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits is a half a foot short of two feet. Why is that you may ask? That is because the rear engined dragster had not yet been invented when Garlits’ clutch exploded, taking half of his foot with it.
The following video is exciting dipsticks all over the world as they see the force with which a clutch explodes. Perhaps we should look at it a bit closer. Let’s watch it shall we?
Let’s analyze this somewhat. Dickhead leaves the line in his hyped up Honda CRX. 50 feet down the strip, his clutch lets fly and rips the front end off his ricer rocket. Dickhead gets out of the car and looks, dumbfounded at his ride than done blowed up real good.
All kidding aside, let’s take a look at dickhead and his car. Anyone notice the front tires? The little Honda is wearing full drag slicks. Now, look at dickhead. He looks stylish in his jeans and tee shirt. We’ll give him the benefit of doubt and suggest that he must have removed his helmet while still inside the Honda.
Some racing organizations are still in the dark ages, allowing guys like dickhead to put themselves in danger because they are too stupid to know any better.
Longtime readers know that I tend to shy away from business issue when I write. I just don’t have as much interest as I should to make a proper comment. Likewise, like many Canucks, I don’t give much thought to politics of the real kind or the racing kind. As a result, I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about the troubles of Bill Simpson. I have however noticed that whenever his name has been mention since a year or so before his split with the racing safety company that bears his name, trouble seems to follow.
The latest spot of trouble seems to be more than a spot of trouble. It would appear that Mr. Simpson or the folks acting on his behalf at Impact Racing have been using bogus SFI stickers that were made in China. That means that they were not actually SFI certified. That means that this company has been placing racers at risk.
Every company cuts corners, but if a company chooses to cut corners on something this important, then where else have they cut corners when building the products their customers expect to save their lives?
The full SFI press release is after the break. As of this writing, the Snell Foundation, which is followed in Canada, has not posted any information on their website.
The whole team at Corvette Racing had high hopes leading into the 2010 ALMS season opener at Sebring. Finally there was some competition for the Corvettes and the team was going to have to work hard to get to the podium. As everything who watched the race knows, the race didn’t go as planned. In fact, it was about as bad an outing as they could have had, with uncharacteristic equipment failures and then a monumental pit lane error that caused a collision between the two Vette’s on pit lane.
As any successful team does though, they are planning to review the event and learn from their mistakes to hopefully ensure they don’t happen again. I’d be willing to bet that the second round will be a whole different ball game for Corvette.
I have long believed that the best auto reviewer is the one who can put him or her self into the shoes of a vehicle’s intended target consumer’s shoes. I have tried very hard over the past few years to do it. Friend of The Garage, Jil McIntosh does it possibly better than anyone I’ve ever read. There is one market segment that eludes my ability to morph into: the mid range coupe.
Some might say that this market segment is targeted at young, upwardly mobile women and there is no way in Hell that I’m ever going to fit into a pair of Manolo Blahniks. I would go along with this except for the fact that Jil and a number of my other female writer friends have absolutely no problem fitting into mud splattered work boots of the 1 ton pick up buyer.