Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Detroit Dragway - Gone But Not Forgotten



Flashback Friday: Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! At <b>Detroit Dragway</b>!

Detroit Dragway was located in the then not so populated Brownstown Township of Michigan just outside of Detroit. It opened in 1959 and closed its gates in 1998.

The shutdown was mainly due to two reasons. The first reason was Detroit Dragway needed a renovation, but the proposal to do so was turned down by Township residents in 1994. The extra traffic congestion and noise pollution were not what the now populated upscale Brownstown Township wanted. The other reason for closing down was a lack of business due to a much nicer updated track [Milan Dragway] only about an hour away.

Although Milan Dragway did not in no way have the history that Detroit Dragway had, it did, however, have much-needed safety regulations and creature comforts to attract more racers and spectators on a weekly basis.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

"Sunday, Sunday, Sunday at Detroit Dragway", that used to be the catchphrase broadcasted across the radio waves when main events were being promoted. Although by the time I was old enough to go racing with my Dad the real history of the track had already passed on, the tracks legendary stories, records and photos prove that there's no doubt the big time drag racers would always show.

In 1959 and 1960, Detroit Dragway hosted the U.S. Nationals for the first time putting them on the map and paving the way to host many more great racing events. Big names like "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, Connie Kalitta (a hometown hero), Shirley Muldowney, the Sox & Martin car, the Ramchargers, car and much more would come to compete.

<b>Detroit Dragway</b>

Detroit Dragway: A Dragstrip with a Purpose

One great thing that Detroit Dragway did for the surrounding cities was it gave illegal street racers a place to race legally. Growing up in Michigan I witnessed and joined in on the street racing fun. Telegraph Rd. among many other Detroit highway roads were a hot spot for street racers, and Detroit Dragway was a place to go close by and legally race.

Also, another service Detroit Dragway provided – a great place for The Big Three to promote their products. What better place to put their new performance vehicles on display than a racetrack that is right next to the then biggest automobile manufacturing city in the world (The Motor City).

The Changing of Detroit

Things have changed through the years. Detroit may still be nicknamed The Motor City, but it definitely is not the biggest automobile manufacturing city in the world anymore, and by most accounts, it is still broke and struggling.

Street cruising/racing on Telegraph, Outer Dr., and Grand River disappeared in the late 70’s and 80’s, but made a comeback in a huge way in the '90s and early 2000s, but recently disappeared again for good reason. The last of those good times came to an end somewhere around 2003. My pals and I were the last generation before a police taskforce was finally formed putting an end to the dangerous past time. Definitely a good thing. Although there may be some strays out looking for that kind of trouble still, there's not even enough of them for the police department to have a taskforce for illegal drag racing anymore.

<b>Detroit Dragway</b>

White Knuckle Racing
I did get to race at Detroit Dragway a few times before it was shut down. I was always hearing these stories about a big dip at the end of the track after the finish line, and I'm here to tell you it was there. I don't know if I would say it was dangerous, but it was an eye-opener when you crossed the finish line (hence the need for renovation).

Racing at Detroit Dragway was fun. There was a slight feel of danger and fear when racing at that track, almost like you were crossing your fingers in hopes that you made it down the track and back to the pits safely. Milan Dragway doesn't really give you that feeling, but that's because the track is up to code and the safety is at 100 percent.

Nowadays, Milan is where racers from the southeast side of Michigan and beyond go to do there drag racing. I recommend it to anyone, it's a nice facility and a nice place to race. And I can tell you from experience that the price of emissions is a small price to pay opposed to being caught in an underground drag racing sting.

Gone But Not Forgotten
The once famous Detroit Dragway located at Sibley and Dix in Brownstown Charter Township is now a warehouse facility. Most who live with-in the surrounding high-class bossie neighborhoods don't even know what kind of history was bulldozed down to keep their neighborhoods quiet.

But for those of us who do remember "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday" being shouted out on the oldies rock station, we knew what it meant. It was time to get the old clothes out, help Dad chain up the race car, and go and have some fun while dreaming and counting down the years to when we would one day get to do the same thing.

DETROIT DRAGWAY – Just another part of drag racing history gone but not forgotten.

first trip to <b>detroit dragway</b> was in 1961 when my cousin took me i ...







 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Corvette Discount - $8,000?

Image result for 2017 Corvette Grand Sport

Let’s face it, Corvettes are expensive and getting a deal on them from the dealership is an almost unheard of phenomena. But from now until about May 1st, you might have a chance to purchase a brand new Corvette ZO6 or Grand Sport equipped with the Carbon-Fiber Brembo brakes with an $8,000 discount. The discount will come in the form of a three-part deal. The first part is a loyalty discount. This will give you a $2,000 rebate if you are already a proud owner of a Corvette. The second rebate will come on all Corvettes with the high-performance brake setup. The reason why this is happening, Chevrolet has yet to make a statement, but purchase any Corvette with the high-performance brake package and you will get a $5,000 discount. Usually, when a car company beefs up the performance of a vehicle they also beef up the price, but for a $5,000 discount, why ask any question. Your last rebate will be a $1,000 “Bonus Tag” discount for a total saving of $8,000. Again, it’s very rare to find new Corvettes with marked-down prices or big discounts, so the answer to the question of - why - it’s kind of a mystery. One could only speculate that increasing sales and making room for more Corvettes that are coming in the near future would be the reason. Maybe statistically the Corvettes with the Brembo brake package don’t sell as well. Let’s face it, unless you are planning on doing some serious road racing, the heavy duty brakes won’t do you a lot of good and will leave you about $5,000 lighter in your pocket book.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chevrolet Redline Special Edition Vehicles

Image result for Red Line Vehicles

Chevrolet has been making an attempt to offer more options to the consumer without adding more models to their lineup. This can be seen in the Silverado lineup where you can choose from five different special edition trim models. 

Chevrolet has done this in the past with their world-famous trucks and has had a lot of luck with it, so in order to keep the luck running, they have come up with a special Redline edition that will not only be available on the Silverado but also on eight other Chevrolet vehicles. 

Nine Redline Special Edition Vehicles

  • 2017 Colorado
  • 2017 Camaro
  • 2017 Silverado 
  • 2017 Cruze Sedan
  • 2017 Cruze Hatch
  • 2017 Malibu 
  • 2018 Trax
  • 2018 Equinox
  • 2018 Traverse 

This will be the Chevrolet brands biggest special edition project to-date. Never have they had a special edition span across so many different models in their lineup. This Redline special edition lineup was first introduced at SEMA in 2015. Brian Sweeney, U.S. Vice President of Chevrolet says, "this is just one example of this company taking the concepts we introduce at these cars show and bringing them to the showroom."

The Redline special edition vehicles will come with mostly visual upgrades. Coming in a special silver paint, they will also receive a blacked-out grille with a black-out Chevrolet bow tie, special edition black and red accented rims, red trim, and other special features.  

If you want a Redline special edition Chevrolet model, you might get lucky and find one that a dealership has ordered to play host to their showroom. But in most cases, you will have to head to your dealer and have one ordered for you, at least while they are still a new and hot commodity. Happy Hunting

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Electric Genovation GXE Corvette Breaks More Records



Update
Last year the Genovation Cars company came out with something most people have never seen before -- an all-electric C-6 prototype Corvette. Named the Genovation GXE, this Corvette managed to break the Land Speed Record and the Standing Mile Record.

Well, you may be happy to know Genovation Cars is back at it again. Last week at the Kennedy Space Center Space Shuttle Landing Facility in Merritt Island, Florida, the Genovation GXE Corvette managed to beat the old Land Speed Record of 205 mph by boosting it to a 209 mph, and also broke the Standing Mile Record by hitting 190 mph over the previous 186.8 mph record.   

Using two electric motors with one in the front and one in the rear for a 50/50 weight ratio, the motors can put out the equivalent of 700-hp and 650-lb.-ft. of torque. These motors use a 44-kwh battery that can travel up to 150 miles on one charge.

As of now, Genovation Cars get the working electric components from specialized dealers. They then create the software that creates the amazing performance that these electric Corvettes make.

With a now boosted price tag of an estimated $750,000.00, Genovation hopes to be able to have a C7 Grand Sport ready for delivery to costumers as early as 2019. There will be 75 cars in all prepared to order. Each car will have a completely on-off exterior color, different front and rear fascias, a custom interior, and a custom center touchscreen to adjust for the uniqueness of the powertrain.  

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Everyone should associate Corvette with V-8 power, power that creates a unique American sound that purrs through the mufflers and makes our heart's pound. But technology has a way of making changes in the way we recognize and enjoy things. 

Although it is a safe bet to say that it will be a very long time, if ever, before we will have to worry about only having a choice of electric power for American sports cars, our taste and wants change quickly from one generation to the next. And government regulation can change a lot of things as well, just look at the sports car era of the late '70s and '80s. 

In the past few years, the Tesla motor company has owned the market for fast and effective sporty electric cars. With the Tesla Model S you could reach 60-mph from a stop at the very quick time of 2.8 seconds, and if you kept going you can top out at 155 mph. 

But like with any market anywhere there will be competition. 


The Genovation eXtreme Electric company has made their own version of an electric sports car out of a Corvette to give the Tesla Model S a run for its money. Boasting a different kind of power, the Electric Corvette is still rated at 700-hp and 600-lb.-ft. of torque. Now that power can help you get 0-60 in 3.0-seconds flat and has hit a proven 186.8-mph top speed with a manual transmission. 

Now this Corvette may not be able to make a cool ground pounding sound when you put the peddle to the metal, but you can get 130-miles out of it on one charge. If getting 700-hp out of your Corvette without filling up on gasoline is your style, you should be prepared to shell out about $355,000 for that luxury. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

2018 Cadillac CTS-V What to Expect

Image result for 2018 Cadillac CTS-V

Mainly what you can expect with the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V is what you could always expect from the CTS-V dating all the way back to its first release date in 2004. The Cadillac CTS-V sedan will be a beefed-up version of the regular CTS with the intent to compete with German sports sedans. Sedans like the Audi RS6, Mercedes E63, BMW M-5, etc. will all have to go toe-to-toe with this American-made monster. 

In the past, the Cadillac CTS-V has been able to beat those cars from the other side of the pound in performance and handling. But with competitors all wanting to be on top of the hill, competition will be thick. The third-gen Cadillac will - as it has always done - use the engine and transmission components from the Corvette. 

The 6.2-liter Supercharged V-8 will push out around 640-hp+ and 630-lb.-ft. of torque+. Connected to an eight-speed transmission the Cadillac will be able to reach 0-60 in 3.6-seconds and reach 100 mph in just 3.9-seconds. General Motors rumors it as a car that can reach a top speed of 200 mph, but they have said that before. 

Some people may not be very happy with the automatic transmission availability (only), but the truth is, with technology these days, the only thing you gain with a manual transmission is the feeling of being in a car that feels faster. In recent years automatics have out-performed manuals in the quarter-mile on a consistent basis. And that's not just for the Cadillac brand, the Corvettes and Camaros have also been found to be faster with an automatic.  

Past years have left some people questioning the steering of the CTS-V, saying that it has been a little bit on the week and loose side. Supposedly Cadillac has addressed these issues and the steering is now much more hefty and precise. With GM's new Magnetorheological suspension and huge Brembo brakes, the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V should have no problems handling any performance driving you throw at it. 

In true Cadillac fashion, like all of the other CTS-V sedans, even with the massive engine under the hood and other power upgrades, you will still be able to drive this vehicle back and forth to work, to the golf course, and even take them on long trips with every luxury every other Cadillac offers. 


Image result for 2018 Cadillac CTS-VFor all of the new CTS Cadillacs, including the V-Series, they will be receiving a new infotainment system which is supposed to add more capabilities and be more compatible with the ever turning technology age. Other interior upgrades the CTS-V will receive is a sportier steering wheel, and that's about it. For the most part, from the inside to the outside you will be owning a CTS except the emblems will have a dash and a V added to them and the power will be enormous. There will be some body improvements, but hardly notable.  

There is one last thing to mention - this is about as big as a rumor as you can get - but a rumor is a rumor. Since all other vehicles in their class have two different body styles, there has been some talk about a possible addition of a wagon or a sedan to the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V line up, but that's just a BIG rumor. MSRP expected to be around $86,000.00.  


Sunday, February 26, 2017

The 2017 Autorama Detroit: Not Enough Time for the Fun

Image result for 2017 autorama detroit

From the cars to the entertainment, the largest indoor car show in Michigan is a nice hold-over to the nicer days of Michigan car cruises, car shows, drag racing, etc. The nice thing about the 2017 Autorama Detroit this year opposed to some of the years in the past, is being able to walk to COBO Hall without freezing to death.  

The crazy Dukes of Hazard jump was even able to be performed without the worries of sliding across a sheet of ice - didn't even need to shovel and lay a bunch salt down before hand. Danny's band "Count 77" performed an outrageous show like they always do. I think since his love for cars runs so deep, being in a facility with so much automotive madness around just makes his band perform that much better. 

Seeing Daisy Duke and Luke Duke show up was crazy. I was so young when I used to watch them on T.V. it's amazing to see how great they still look. About 30 years ago I can remember my first Detroit Autorama. I was aloud to sit in the orange charger (General Lee) and the Batmobile from the Batman series and have my picture taken in it. That year they had a monster truck car crushing exhibit in the COBO arena portion of the facility. Those are some of my earliest memories and I still have the pictures and autographs. 

From what I've seen at this three day spectacular event is a lot of new and exotic looks in an attempt to probably stand out from the crowd. A lot of wild paint jobs and impractical suspension and rim setups. Cars and trucks customized to the tune of looking more like a "Hot Wheels" car than something you could drive out of COBO Hall with. 

But I did see a lot of people and car builders going back in the other direction. A lot cool vehicles that our modest - ones we will probably see cruising the streets of Woodard this year. Old classics, muscle cars, trucks, sports cars, even some of those pesky 80's cars that don't really draw much attention in any aspect of the automobile world. 

Unfortunately, I had to head home before the best part of the whole show got on its way. There's nothing like it when you get to watch the cars leave one-by-one when the show is over. All of them off to their trailers, all of the drivers wanting to give one more punch of the throttle for the cameras. Maybe Next Year Autorama Detroit. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Pushing Limits No Camaro Has Before



Image result for 2018 chevrolet camaro zl1 1le

Looks like the picture is stretched, right, but it's not, that's the new 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE! Revealed the day before the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway, this Camaro could be Vehicle Chief Engineer of Camaro, Al Oppenheiser's, best yet. 

This Camaro in its disguised form was many times throughout the winter mistaken for the next Sixth Gen Z/28. When Oppenheiser was asked why not a Z/28? His reply was if and when that next Z/28 does happen it will only come back out as a naturally-aspired vehicle the way it was attended to be when it was created. He also went on to say the car was built for the track but is a little bit more streetable than the last Z/28.  

This new 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE gets around the GM proven grounds track three seconds faster than the last ZL1. But make no mistake, it's not because of a new drivetrain, this new track car will still be using last years ZL1 power source, the 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 connected to a six-speed manual transmission. (no automatic available

So what makes this monster so much better than the previous year's ZL1? The 1LE track package of course. For the first time in a long time Camaro is going to ditch the already very effective Magnetic Ride Control Shocks and upgrade to a set of Multimatic Spoiler-Valve Dampers. With a stiffer frame and the largest tires to every be found on a factory Camaro, this suspension should hug corners like your grandma hugs her grandkids.    

There is more to the equation. The body is outfitted with large dive planes in the front and a huge Carbon Fiber spoiler in the rear. The body also host a new and bigger front-splitter and a larger grille to help get more air into the engine compartment. Six-piston front, four-piston rear Brembo brakes will help you stop while those larger tires will be a set of Goodyear Eagle F1 3R's to help grip the asphalt in just about any track conditions. 

Image result for 2018 chevrolet camaro zl1 1le

The new version of the 1LE still gets some of  the old styling with the satin black wrapped hood, black side mirror, and blackout taillights. This new version will also come with other ZL1 perks such as the eLSD Positraction Management System with the same line-lock and launch capabilities. And all ZL1 1LE Camaros will come with the Performance Date Recorder (PDR). 

So what will this 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE cost you? Well, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one, the suspected MSRP will probably be somewhere around the $68,000.00 mark.