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Archive for June, 2012

An Unending Quest to Drive a Lamborghini

June 18th, 2012
Lamborghini Murcielago 670-4 SV

I just want to take one for a drive...

I’m in the market for a Lamborghini.

I don’t want to buy one (well, I do, but my finances don’t agree), though—I want to rent one. For a day. I want 12 hours of Lamborghini excitement where I can forget about any problems in life and just experience the ethereal bliss that comes with driving a Raging Bull.

My only problem is I can’t find one. My city doesn’t have an exotic-car rental service. I was planning a trip to Boise and thought maybe I’d have luck there. No go. Well, except I did find a company that will transport a Lamborghini from Miami to Boise for me. For the price, though, I might as well put a down payment on a car of my own.

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Car Minded, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , ,

Two of the Coolest Car Ideas Ever

June 15th, 2012

SuperBus Project

Sometimes the best ideas for a new car come from out of nowhere.

Sure, a special edition Veyron or a 600-hp Mustang are worthy of space on pages across the blog-o-sphere, but even those amped-up machines are so…well, expected.

To really get our pistons firing we need the unexpected. We need to hear about something so ridiculously cool that we’re not even sure it’s real. We need vehicles so extreme that they don’t just have gullwing doors, they have 16 gullwing doors. Or an old beater car that doesn’t just have a new powerful engine, it has a new supercar engine.

Lucky for you, both freaks of car nature lurk just after the jump.

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Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Cars Coming Soon: Alfa Romeo 4C Heading to U.S. Ahead of Schedule

June 14th, 2012

When the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione hit the U.S. (in extremely limited numbers), there was hope that the long-lost Italian brand would finally ride valiantly back into the American mainstream with a long list of fun and sporty automobiles.

That hasn’t happened. In fact, the only new Italian we’ve been introduced to lately is the FIAT 500.

Get ready to rejoice, though, because the sumptuous and sexy Alfa Romeo 4C appears ready to drive off the boat about six months of ahead of schedule, probably leading the parade in a line of America-bound Alfas.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shows, Cars Coming Soon, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

The Car Wars: Ford Versus Apple

June 13th, 2012
iPhone on dashboard

The Siri button: Coming soon to a vehicle near you

While the iCar once envisioned by Steve Jobs will probably never materialize, that doesn’t mean the Apple experience will never infiltrate our cars.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that the Siri personal assistant will not only reside in our iPhones, she will soon take up residence in our cars.

According to Cook, within the next 12 months, drivers will be able to hit a button on the steering wheel and instantly connect with that now-familiar disembodied voice so many of us have become reliant on.

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88 Percent of Cars Have a Hidden History—Does Yours?

June 12th, 2012
2004 Honda Pilot

Could you spot the $15,000 in damages?

If you knew the car you were about to buy was once melted by fire, would you still buy it?

I’m guessing the answer to that question is a resounding “No.”

However, someone out there owns a 2004 Honda Pilot that had the driver’s side melted away by a raging fire that burned a mere feet from the then-brand-new SUV. The windows shattered, the leather melted, the paint peeled, and every rubber piece of trim and sealant turned to a black mass of burned-out carbon.

That’s exactly what you want to see in a used-car ad, right? Oh, except this car was repaired and re-sold before the damage ever showed up on any reports. After some $15,000 and 12 weeks in a body shop, the car came out looking (if not smelling) completely new.

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Cars That Won’t Die: Do You Have One?

June 11th, 2012
2003 Ford Ranger

Over 400,000 miles and still going

My car turned past the 100,000-mile mark this weekend. I’d been fretting over that number as it approached, wondering if things would suddenly start falling apart.

I’ve never had a problem with the car. It’s always started on the first try and always purred along without trouble, and it doesn’t seem to have lost anything in the way of performance or power. Still, it’s not a car exactly known for its longevity, so I’m nervous. My nerves weren’t calmed when I started my car for the first time since I crossed that magic number. Rain fell from the dark sky, and I flipped on the headlights in the parking lot at Fantastic Sam’s. The reflection in the building’s window told me only one headlamp illuminated.

Great. While a headlamp isn’t a big deal, I wondered what other problems were programmed to start now that I was into 6 digits. So far, nothing. But I’m still nervous.

Then I read stories about vehicles that are still going strong after trudging over 400,000 miles without much more than a battery change.

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The American Sleeper

June 8th, 2012
1995 Ford Taurus SHO

1995 Ford Taurus SHO

With the 2013 Dodge Dart set to debut in Q3 of this year, we are reminded of an old friend who hasn’t been around in a while: the American Sleeper. Let’s face it: Summer is here, and we all want to put a little pep in our vehicular step. While the Dart R/T may be out of the price range for someone just looking for a little summer fun, there are plenty of old sleepers still lurking out there and ready to burn some rubber.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, General Chat

Cars Playing Dress-Up! A Chrysler Becomes a Bentley, Celica Becomes Ferrari

June 8th, 2012

Replica cars are getting good!

We featured a post on these pages some time ago about replica cars. There were some pretty good knock-offs in that bunch, including a couple Mercury Cougars that became an Audi R8 and a Bugatti Veyron.

Economic times haven’t improved much in the last 14 months or so, so it’s not too surprising to see more well-done replicas hitting the market. Let’s say, for instance, you have a hankering for a Bentley Continental GTC, but don’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars to plunk down on one. What do you do? Well, make do on a Sebring budget, of course!

Have a look at this “Bentley” for sale on eBay (auction ends today).

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Cars Coming Soon: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

June 7th, 2012

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

I don’t like letdowns.

When I have high expectations for something, whatever it is better live up to those expectations, or I won’t go back for a second chance.

My expectations for the Hyundai Veloster were stratospheric. Finally, I thought, an automaker is going to build a hot car that doesn’t cost much, looks straight out of a designer’s sketch pad and offers some genuine performance chops. The initial concept sketches looked great. The rumor mill churned about this car being some kind of modern Honda CRX that Honda refused to build.

What we got, of course, was a Veloster that looks like a squashed meatball and accelerates almost as quickly.

A turbo Veloster is coming next year, but will it be worth another chance?

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2012 FIAT 500 Abarth Sold Out, Lots More Coming for 2013

June 6th, 2012

I don’t see many FIATs in my neck of the woods.

A new dealer has opened downtown, and I see a few of the cute and sprightly little FIAT 500 hatchbacks every now and then. I’ve never seen a 500 Abarth wild on the streets here.

While sales of the 500 haven’t exactly blown the doors down, Americans have fallen in love with the performance-oriented Abarth version. In fact, the 2012 model is all but sold out.

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