Super Bowl’s Over, Let’s Move On

Chevrolet Corvette

Congratulations to the Ravens and Baltimore fans everywhere!

While the game was electrifying, I thought the advertisements overall were severely lacking in energy this year. It’s like the power went out on all of them even before the Superdome went dark. My favorite car ad was the Audi prom spot. The Chrysler/Ram Paul Harvey spot almost made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. The others were just mediocre.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to cars rather than the outlandish, extravagant attempts to sell them. Yes, we need vehicles to serve the mundane and much-needed transportation services of daily life, and I find irony in the fact that we often buy them based on some perceived emotion or extreme experience marketing people promise they will provide.

True car enthusiasts can look past overly produced TV commercials and buy based on other, more meaningful, factors.

One of those factors might be the car’s future collector value. Make it affordable and fun to drive as well, and the deal closes itself! What 2013 cars could be future collectibles?

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How To Ruin a Camaro ZL1

813 Customs Camaro

This blog post could be finished with that one picture. Sometimes words just aren’t necessary to further explain an automotive atrocity.

As a natural-born writer, though, certain words simply erupt from my fingers when I look at this picture. Many of them unsuitable for a respectable blog.

First, I should note that I can appreciate a good car modification as well as anyone. I know a lot of time and money and skill goes into tearing down a vehicle and rebuilding it to exact specs specifically suited to an individual’s tastes. That’s partly why I’ve been in love with car culture so long: A vehicle can take on the persona of the person behind the wheel. And that’s pretty cool.

But this… this I just don’t get.

Perhaps the saddest part of this custom job is the donor was a Camaro ZL1. The GT500-killing 580-hp superbeast that reigns supreme as king of the muscle cars. Think the car you see above will turn a lap at Leguna Seca in 1:39.18 or blast to 60 in 3.8 seconds? Nope. So why not use a base V6 Camaro for this custom job when all performance is lost anyway? That’s where I get lost. Even more confusing, a turbocharger was added to the 6.2-liter V8, which I can’t imagine will ever get used.

The work was done by 813 Customs in Tampa and includes a gold vinyl wrap (at least it’s not actually gold-plated), 30-inch Forgiato wheels, a custom dash and a completely re-worked interior to handle at least 8 million speakers and three 23-inch TVs. I didn’t know one 23-inch TV would fit in a Camaro.

The 813 Customs Facebook page is littered with comments about the car, some even positive. For the few who see this work as an improvement on the ZL1, you’re in luck. The company has its creation up for sale.

The 813 Customs Camaro ZL1: Yes or no?


Used Chevrolet Camaro Used Ford GT500

Go Retro, Buy Used Muscle

2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE

The modern-day retro muscle-car craze may be on the downward side of its spiral of popularity. The Mustang will evolve into a sleek sports car within a couple model years, which surely means the Camaro will follow suit shortly thereafter (because, honestly, the Camaro is always a step behind the ‘Stang, right?)

For 2013, though, Chevrolet will offer the Camaro SS 1LE, which is a tarted-up track version made with bits from the Camaro ZL1. The ZL1, in convertible form, starts at just over $60,000, while the SS 1LE will begin at just under $40,000. Yes, the prices have gotten outrageous, which is why it might be best to buy a real retro muscle car and have some fun customizing it yourself.

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Cars Coming Soon: A 600-HP Mustang and a New Acura NSX?

2012 Ford Shelby GT500

It was over a year ago when I wondered how long it would be before an American muscle car became the first straight-off-the-lot 500-hp muscle car. Well, silly me. That mark was eclipsed probably the day after I wrote that post, and now a few cars offer a stock 500 horses or more.

While we’re all still waiting for a standard Mustang GT or Camaro SS to cross the 500 mark, the current Shelby GT500 makes over 500 horses and the coming Camaro ZL1, (which just recorded a stellar 7:41.27 ‘Ring time) will produce around 580 ponies. That’s pretty impressive and means the ball is back in Ford’s court to either keep the horsepower wars going or concede to Chevy that we’ve reached the point where horsepower is at its peak.

Yeah, right.

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Five Cars Worth Waiting For

2012 Hyundai Veloster

One of the worst feelings in the world is spending big money on an item, then waking up the next morning to see that a new and improved version will soon be released.

It’s happened to me with computers, cameras and iPods. Just last month, for example, I finally caved and bought an iPhone4, only to read that the iPhone5 could come out next month. Of course it will – that’s just my luck.

Many people buy a new car, then find out later that if they had waited 6 months to a year, a better replacement would arrive. Nailing down exact release dates of future models is no easy task, but for car buyers who aren’t in a hurry, keeping one eye on what’s in the automotive pipeline could really pay off.

In the coming months, some pretty sweet rides will show up  at dealers across the country. Start making room in your garage now for one these:

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