Saturday, April 21, 2018

1951 Buick LaSabre Concept - More Tech Than Some Brand New Cars Have

 

Back in 1951, this convertible Buick LaSabre was not just extreme looking, it was way ahead of its time. It had technology advancements that weren't even thought of yet and would give us a sneak peek into the future of the automotive industry.

Harley Earl was the lead designer of this beautiful piece of machinery. From 1927 to 1958 he was General Motors' Head-of-Styling and had his hands in the cookie jar of many breakthrough designs and technology projects throughout his career.


One of the first things that really set this car apart is the fact that it could function on gasoline and methyl alcohol. There were separate fuel cells for both sources and an easy way to switch between the two from the convenience of the driver seat. It also had one of the first smaller engines that could produce high horsepower, much like what we see in today's vehicles. This beauty used a 215 cubic-inch V-8 HEMI aluminum block that was topped off with dual carbs, aluminum heads and a supercharger that produced 29.5 PSI. All this was good for 335-hp @5,500-RPM. In 1951 that was an outstanding number for such a small engine.

The styling was nothing short of artwork for this Buick LaSabre. Earl designed the first wraparound windshield that was said to give the driver a panoramic view. It also saw the likes of GM's first rear brake coolers that used functioning rear scoops on the back quarter-panel. They were designed not only to cool the brakes but also the battery that was positioned in the back.

One of the very noticeable features that people hadn't seen too much of was the hidden futuristic headlights that would pop out from behind the grille with a flip of a switch. Also, the Buick LaSabre had a feature on it that to this day is only really used on Indy and Formula-1 cars. The automatic jack system was the first of its kind and allowed you to work under your car without a floor jack or jack stands. Maybe today that doesn't sound like much, but think back to 1951 and the stock emergency jack that would be provided for you if you had the unfortunate flat tire. Oh yea, remember, there were no cell phones to call TripleA or a friend and no OnStar type systems.

Another feature that may really stun you is the automatic sensors that could recognize rain and put your rag-top and windows up without you being around to control them. The Buick even had a backup source of power so if your battery were to die you could still at least control features like the radio, windows and the rag-top.


This car was designed from Earl's imagination and his love for jet-airplane designs. The sleek styling-lines and the flamboyant curves are what really sets this Buick apart. The interior even showed a little bit of aeronautical passion in it with a dashboard that included an altimeter, tachometer and a compass. Earl adopted this 1951 Buick LaSabre as his own and drove it till he had about 50,000 miles on it before handing it over to the GM museum in the 1960's.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Yenko Camaro: Rare 1981 Turbo Z

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Car enthusiasts, including knowledgeable Camaro enthusiasts, may believe one of two things: the last Don Yenko speciality car was the 1971 Chevy Nova Yenko, or it was the 2010 Chevy Camaro Yenko, but neither one of these beliefs would be true.


The 2010 Chevy Camaro Yenko is in fact not a true Don Yenko car at all. Chevy obtained the rights to use the Yenko name on the 2010 Yenko Camaro, but that does not make it a Don Yenko car. Instead, unlike true Don Yenko cars that were customized at his dealerships, the 2010 Yenko Camaro is just a special edition factory produced Camaro, the Yenko franchise had nothing to do with it.

The 1971 Chevy Nova Yenko may be the last memorable Yenko speciality car, but there is a true Yenko edition that came after the ‘71 Nova. The very rare Stage I & II 1981 Camaro Yenko Turbo Z may not have come out in the muscle car era when cars were known for their power, but like most of Yenko’s cars, these Camaros would be customized to be much more powerful than what they were when they were ordered from the factory.

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Thanks to emission regulations, the 1981 350-ci.-in. Camaro Z-28 was choked down to a mere 175 horsepower, not nearly enough to be called a muscle car anymore. Don Yenko decided that one of his last adventures in car building would be to give the Chevy Camaro some much needed modern power that could be respected.


There was 19 Stage I & II Yenko Camaros built at Don Yenko dealerships. Three of those were the Turbo Z Stage II Camaros making them some of the rarest Camaros in existence. All 19 of these Camaros are still considered extremely rare and came with an abundance of visual and performance upgrades.


Not only did the 1981 Yenko Camaro come with enough performance upgrades to knock off about three seconds from its original Z28 quarter-mile time, it also came with all of the luxuries that could be ordered from the factory like leather, air condition, tilt steering wheel and more. The only thing it did not come with was a radio - in place of the radio was a “Yenko Turbo Z” plate.

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1981 Yenko Camaro Upgrades:
  • 7 PSI. Turbocharger Added to the 350 cu.-in. Engine 
  • 350 Turbo Trans
  • G80 Positraction
  • 3.08:1 Rear Gears                      
  • Koni Shock Absorbers
  • Stiffer Stabilizer Bars 
  • IROC Front Spoiler
  • Turbo Z Logo Specific Decals and Floor Mats
  • Leather Racing Steering Wheel

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So how much horsepower does this turbocharged 1981 Camaro Yenko produce? Well, no one is for sure, but experts estimate that it is probably somewhere around 210-225 horsepower. If you were thinking about shopping for one of these rare Camaros, especially the 1-of-3 Stage II editions, have fun finding one.

The up coming Mecum Auto Auction does offer you a chance to bid on a Stage II. The week of Jan. 5-14, 2018, Mecum will have one of these rare gems rolling across the auction block - expect a price tag around $140,000.00.  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2019 Corvette ZR1 Spits Out Flames Like The Batmobile



In recent admissions from Chevrolet - they claimed that the new 2019 Corvette ZR1 will be capable of shooting flames out the exhaust pipes. No one really knew what that meant - would it shot out puffs of flames when you let off the throttle, would it shoot out flames at full throttle, or did it have some kind of flame-throwing device on it?  

Our questions are answered with this Chevrolet 12 second video. When the ZR1 LT5 powerplant is ran at open throttle, beautiful whitish, blue flames shot out of the exhaust pipes. When the throttle is released, aggressive sounding pops are said to follow as the flames disappear.

All this can be contributed to the dual over-head cams on the 6.2-liter engine that promotes a 52 percent larger supercharger than what you will find on the current LT4 Z06. Also contributing to the light show is Chevrolet's first duel-fuel-injection system. And flames aren’t all this exhaust system does.

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The new sound flap that Chevrolet has installed gives the ZR1 an amazing sound, one of which is so loud, in some of the videos of the ZR1 running the track at Nürburgring in Germany, you can see that the exhaust system has been altered to point in a certain direction. The conclusion that can be made for the odd-looking extended exhaust is to point the exhaust sound away from the noise emissions meter.  Nürburgring has strict noise pollution levels that can’t be exceeded.  

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Friday, December 15, 2017

2018 Cadillac V-Series Championship Edition

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When Cadillac returned to the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech Prototype Manufacturers Championship Series after a 14-year hiatus, the Cadillac team and drivers dominated the class winning the Champion for the season. To celebrate this achievement, Cadillac has announced a 2018 V-Series Championship Edition for the ATS-V coupe and sedan and the CTS-V, the same models they used to race their way to the winner circle.

The brand new Cadillac V-Performance DPi-V.R Prototype hit the circuit with a vengeance winning seven straight races out of ten, including the Rolex 24 of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring to complete the “36 Hours of Florida”. Cadillac used three cars - the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R driven full-time by Jordan and Ricky Taylor, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Eric Curran and Dane Cameron - to come in 20+ points above the 2nd placed Nissan team for the year.

Upgrades for the 2018 Cadillac V-Series Championship Edition Models    
 
CTS-V Championship Edition
  • Cadillac Black Raven or Crystal White Tricoat exterior paint
  • Cadillac V-Performance graphic on hood and rear spoiler
  • Red Obsession mirror caps
  • Cadillac DPi-V.R graphic on quarter windows
  • Serialized Certificate of Authenticity (sent after retail delivery)
  • 19” V-Series wheels in polished Alloy with Midnight Painted Pockets
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    Morello Red Package
    • Morello accented high gloss carbon fiber interior trim
    • Split-folding rear seats with Morello Red stitching
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    Carbon Fiber Package:
    • Carbon fiber front splitter
    • Carbon fiber hood vent
    • Carbon fiber rear spoiler
    • Carbon fiber rear diffuser
  • Luxury Package:
    • Tri-zone climate control
    • Heated rear outboard seating positions
    • Power rear-window sunshade
    • Manual rear side-window sunshades
    • 110-volt power receptacle
  • Ultra-view sunroof
  • Red Brembo® brake calipers
  • RECARO® performance seats

ATS-V Coupe and Sedan Championship Edition
  • Cadillac Black Raven or Crystal White Tricoat exterior paint
  • Cadillac Performance graphic on hood and spoiler
  • Red Obsession mirror caps
  • DPi-V.R graphic on quarter window
  • Serialized certificate of authenticity
  • 18” V-Series wheels – polished Alloy with Midnight Painted Pockets
  • Morello Red Package
    • Morello accented high gloss carbon fiber interior trim
    • Split-folding rear seats with Morello Red stitching
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    Carbon Fiber Package:
    • Carbon fiber front splitter
    • Carbon fiber hood vent
    • Carbon fiber rear spoiler
    • Carbon fiber rear diffuser
  • Sunroof
  • Red Brembo® brake calipers
  • RECARO® performance seats
  • Next generation Cadillac user experience

ATS-V and CTS-V Championship Editions May Also Include These Options Depending on the Way the Dealer has Ordered Them:
  • Performance Data and Video Recorder
  • Sueded microfiber steering wheel and shifter
  • Advanced Security Package
  • 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission

There will be 200 Championship Edition Cadillac models produced throughout the year. They should start showing up at select dealerships this month. The ATS-V sedans should start at around $72,190 and the coupes around $74,390. The CTS-V will come in around $105,730.

With each purchase of the Championship Edition Cadillacs come along a tuition and accommodations to the Cadillac V-Performance Academy at Springs Mountain. The trip is good for 2 days and is well worth the time. If you want to learn how to use the power of a Cadillac V-Performance vehicle properly, this is the best way to do it.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Legal Detroit Drag Racing - New Detroit Motorsports Venue?

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When the “No Holds Barred” Motor City Showdown legal drag race at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport was finally legitimized and given an official date, all Detroit and surrounding area car enthusiasts were ecstatic, to say the least. With the two closest drag strips to the Detroit area being long traffic crammed drives away, this gave illegal street racers a place to show off what they had without the worry of authorities or traffic intervening and with safety personnel on hand.

Image result for Motor City ShowdownThe event went off without a hitch and everyone seemed to have a blast. Detroit Police Chief James Craig kicked off the event with a parade of many classic looking roadsters and hot rods. After the short but glamorous parade, the competition began. Drag racers and their cars from all across the Metropolitan area made many quarter-mile passes giving the jam-packed crowd and their cameras just what they wanted - smoky burnouts, wheelstands and side-by-side action-packed drag racing.


Now that the event has come and gone with such success, many racers and fans are wondering if it’s going to be an annual event or even better, will the washed-up airport be
turned into a complete Motorsports venue. This thought has been tossed around at many city council meetings. Current Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is accepting proposals for what to do with the airport with a drag racing venue being just one many other proposals. Other proposals include an update and revamp to the airport, an area designated for techno dance clubs and others that hasn’t been publicly announced yet.
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Although the Detroit airport is still in use it has not had regular service from commercial airliners in 15 years and is on pace for a $1.3 million loss for the 2017 fiscal year. With Detroit still trying to recover from its most recent major economic decline, the job opportunities a Motorsports venue will create would be ideal. And just like with Detroit’s professional sporting events, concerts, auto shows and the many other activities that Detroit puts on every year, it will only help bring business to a city that desperately needs it. There is also talk about moving the very profitable Detroit Grand Prix to the new Motorsports venue if it gets built. This would help with some of the conflicts that Detroit has been having with the Grand Prix in the last few years.

So what’s the verdict? Mayor Mike Durgan just recently got re-elected, and from what everyone seems to understand is that he likes the Motorsports venue idea and is eager to do something profitable with the airport. We also have two major problems in the city - drugs and illegal drag racing. With a place nearby to drag race legally, that would definitely help combat the drag racing problems (Detroit has always had a bad one), and adding techno dance clubs to the city would probably help promote more opportunities for drug use and drug distribution. To me, it sounds like a Motorsports venue would be a win-win for the city of Detroit.  

Brian Olatunji and his group Leadfoot Events LLC. are the ones that came up with the idea for the “No Holds Barred” Motor City Showdown. Brian is a native of the city and a professional drag racer. He says, “We hope that this will bring tourism and highlight the city no different than other major events such as the Thanksgiving parade and the auto show”

It could do just that. With the right amount of big names behind a state of the art Motorsports venue, getting big money IHRA and NHRA events to Detroit might be something the city could end up seeing. With Kalitta Flying Services located next to the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti about 50 miles outside of Detroit - the owners of the mega-aviation business are some of NHRA Top/Fuel drag racing’s biggest faces - and that could really help way in on a decision to bring another professional race event to the Motor City.

As far as a permanent answer, Detroit should have one for the second annual “No Holds Barred” Motor City Showdown by spring of 2018, with more information on more permanent plans for the airport by fall of next year.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Electric Corvette Ready To Go Into Production

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Would you feel comfortable in a Corvette that doesn’t rumble like America’s most iconic sports car? The guys at Genovation Cars believe that this will be the future for all cars including cars like Challengers, Camaros, Mustangs, etc. So to see if this generation is ready for that type of technology, Genovation Cars will put an all-electric sports car into production that is based on the seventh-generation Corvette Z06.   

The Genovation GXE Corvette is the fastest electric car in the world breaking its previous record of 205.6-mph with a top speed of 289.481-mph. The current Corvette we have been seeing in videos breaking these records was based on the six-generation Z06 whereas the Corvette that will be going into production will be based on the seventh-generation.



Making this move to production all possible is the Genovation’s decision to team up with two very tech-driven companies. The first partnership that the Genovation team formed is with the Michigan-based Prefix Corporation. Prefix will be in charge of vehicle prototyping, engineering, integration and vehicle production planning. The other partnership that Genovation has created is with a California-based corporation called Stafl Systems. This well-respected team of engineers will be responsible for the electrical systems, battery-pack integration, powertrain refinement and performance.

“We’re thrilled to have begun the next evolution of the GXE with these two world-class partners,” Andrew Saul, CEO of Genovation Cars, Inc. says. “We’re a driven team that is focused on offering the highest performing street-legal electric car in the world.”

The development of the prototypes for the seventh-generation Genovation GXE Corvette is on the way at the Prefix Corporation's headquarters. You can expect to see a debut of these electric sports cars at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early next year. When Genovation starts taking orders for the Corvettes, how much can you expect to pay? Well, the number that comes up the most is around $750,000., so yes, these cars are not being produced for the average Corvette enthusiast.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Camaro 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels Edition

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Back in 2013, Camaro offered up a Hot Wheels Special Edition Camaro that came with a Kinetic Blue Metallic paint job. For 2018, Camaro will be offering another Hot Wheels Edition to celebrate Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary. This time the Camaro will be dressed up with a Crush Orange paint job. Although some might think that the Camaro color is the famous Camaro Hugger Orange - it’s not. The Crush orange is actually a tribute to Hot Wheels iconic orange race tracks they produced for many years.

Stretched across the center of the Camaro running from bumper-to-bumper are a set of Satin Graphite racing stripes with Ice Metallic accents. Along with the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Edition package comes Satin Graphite ground effects, blacked out bowtie badges, 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels fender emblems, darker tail lights, and orange brake calipers. Hot Wheels-inspired 20-inch wheels with Chevrolet center caps round out the bold but sleek looking special edition exterior looks.

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The interior has its own set of goodies. Special Hot Wheels Edition door sills pop right out at you when you open up the door. The gorgeous Jet Black interior is trimmed with Crush Orange stitching and other orange inserts like knee pads, door panel inserts, custom-made seats and more. You’ll even find a Hot Wheels logo on your steering wheel for a constant reminder of your special edition purchase.

These 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Edition packages can be ordered on the 2018 2LT and 2SS Camaros for $4,995.00. At the 2017 SEMA Show Chevrolet intorduced the new 2018 COPO Camaro Hot Wheels Edition with an updated 302 small block race engine. Most of the special accented parts and accessories that you receive on the Hot Wheels 2SS and 2LT trim models are the same on the COPO with two big exceptions. The wheels and tires are different and more beefy to accommodate competition racing, and on the doors and quarter panels of the COPO is a pretty good sized Hot Wheels 50th anniversary decal that is a little lighter shade of orange then the Crush Orange. So although a pretty big decal, it’s not intrusive to the exterior look.

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The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Edition can be ordered both with the coupe and the convertible. These are going to be limited edition Camaros, and orders have already been being processed with delivery dates sometime in the spring of 2018.