Thursday, December 17, 2015

Major Auto Industry Vehicles and Their Competitors – Can You Tell The Difference?

Mustang vs. Camaro – GM trucks vs. Ford trucks vs. Dodge trucks – Corvette vs. Viper – you can
even throw a Ferrari in the mix, everyone is going to have their own opinions on which ones are better crafted, more stylish – can beat who where and why. But are vehicles made by different companies but in the same class even that much different from each other to even make a solid argument of which one is better?

Growing up in a family where General Motor checks mostly paid the bills, to me GM vehicles ran the earth, and Ford stood for (Find On Road Dead), you could say I had my share of argImage result for 2017 yellow viperuments with kids my age about how Camaros stomped on Mustangs. But in the end, we were really just a bunch of juveniles arguing about things just for the sake of argument.

If someone said that Camaros look like crap, I had to fire back on how the look of a Mustang made me want to puke. But were talking about back when Mustangs and Camaros actually looked different. This was back in the day when Corvettes were boring and the only people who really drove them were older guys with a lot of money, and as far as foreign sports cars were concerned, they weren't really in no ones budget.

Times have changed since then, exotic sports cars are much more affordable, Corvettes are made to kill the road course, not to mention the drag strip, even Mustangs and Camaros are made to pump out a lot of power while turning in road course numbers that are nothing less than awesome.

But with all this technology, what about the exterior styling of these vehicles. A lot of these vehicles share so much of the same characteristics, dimensions, and colors schemes, it seems hardly worth an argument about which one is the best looking. At a quick glance, there is not much that really sets these vehicles apart. Sure there are some attributes that are different, but it's almost like trying to compare one ditsy, blonde haired, blue eyed cheerleader with the other twelve cheerleaders on the squad.


As I have grown older, I have come to appreciate all vehicles. Ford vs. Chevy vs. Mopar is nothing more than needing something to stand for – almost like why most people vote for the home team in professional sports. You don't really know anybody on that team, but you feel obliged to root for them and wear their logos.

But to me, if you look at these pictures, it seems like if you closed your eyes you could mistake one for the other pretty easily. Even on the inside – General Motors has the Mylink technology displayed on a touchscreen in the center of the dash, Ford has the SYNC technology located in the same place, and image this, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge uses what they call the Uconnect that is also placed in the same place. But you can call it what you want to call it, all three of those systems basically work off a platform that is extremely similar. They all share the same connectivity availability, social medias, etc. Even safety features take on names or phases that are different from each other, but do the same thing.  

It's awesome that the power and efficiency of these vehicles are outstanding, but I'd like to see some major changes and attempts to look different in the styling department.

Monday, November 23, 2015

2017 Corvette Zora C8 Mid-Engine Possibilities

If you are that person who has been hoping and waiting for a mid-engine Corvette, your Corvette may be on its way sooner than you think. Many sources like Car and Driver and GM Authority claim Mark Reuss, head of GM's Global Product Development confirms that the company is already working on the next generation Corvette.

As of now, the C8 Zora-ZR1 mid-engine supercar is being pushed to make a 2017 debut. Estimates of  about $150,000 average price tag could be what Chevy will be looking for, and about only 1500 units will be built, much like ZR1 C4's and C6's.

Why the Push for a Mid-Engine Vette
GM claims there is two reasons for the push of the mid-engine Vette. One of those reasons are after tweaking all of the power that they did out of the ZO6, they realized that they would not be able to put any more usable power into the front-engine Vette because the tires simply just will not handle it.

GM also believes that a mid-engine Corvette could bring in a newer, possibly younger customer base. Instead of a big shot corporate man in America showing his success and his taste for the finer things in life with Porches or Ferraris, maybe a mid-engine Corvette could serve the same purpose.

Well, nothing is set in stone, but there should be no reason to worry that you might see a 2017 V-6 Corvette anytime soon. Sounds like a single cam V-8 with direct injection and shut down cylinder displacement will still be what's on the horizon. As for a power rating and or what kind of aspiration will be used is yet to be known.

There has been rumors that as government fuel consumption clamp downs become more and more an issue to car designers, we might see a 2020 mid-engine Vette that could host a V-6 that would leave room for an electric motor that would run the front wheels making it a four-wheel drive hybrid Vette.   

Cockpit and Cargo Space

A mid-engine Corvette will give the luxury of giving the driver and passenger better forward sight lines since there won't be no reason for having an elevated hood. But that also means your view looking backwards will obviously be hampered.

There is also a lot of questions about luggage space. Where will the gas tank go? If it gets located in the front, will there be space for golf clubs, luggage, etc.?

I guess time will tell, I'm sure GM does not even have a clear answer to how and where the transmission, trans-axle, radiator, and exhaust will fit. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

1957 Chevy: Bringing A New Style To The Automotive Company

'57 Chevy

How Did the 1957 Chevy Come About?

It starts with Chevy's need for change. For the first time since 1918, the car company was willing to offer a V8 in its 1955 version, and with that V8, Chevy thought it would be a good time to get rid of the shoe-box look that they were recently using and try something different. 

Chevrolet Chief Designer, Ed Cole, wanted to get rid of the shoe-box look by 1956 and have a whole new look for 1957. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned, the new look never launched and they would have to make do with the shoe-box style for one more year, but with big changes.

To help differentiate the '57 from '55 and '56, Chevy decided to make some changes. And to handle those changes, the task was handed over to Harley J. Earl. Earl had already had huge styling successes under his belt that not only worked out for GM, but also influenced the automotive world as a whole. 

These changes would be widely ridiculed by Earl's co-workers, automotive experts, and anyone and everyone who just couldn't see his vision the way he did. 

'57 Chevy Dramatic Transformation

Some of the changes were: A new dashboard, a reshaped windshield, sealed cowl, and 15-inch rims to replace the 16-inch rims. Also, Chevy designers relocated the air-ducts to the headlights, which gave the car the big distinctive chrome look in the front. And then Earl added the iconic quarter-panel fins to the rear to help make the Chevy six inches longer, ultimately giving the Chevy the lowered look that everyone recognizes today.

Other intriguing things that were new with the '57 were a lighter front-end, a bigger engine bay, and new drivetrain options that included a fuel-injection system and a three-speed Hydra-Matic transmission. A dual exhaust was offered with all V8 options for a little more horsepower but more so for the cool sound that it would give the Chevy. 

In commercials, magazine ads, and on billboards, the Chevy motto was always the same: "Chevy Puts The Purr Back Into Performance."

A 1957 Chevrolet Coupe And Convertible For Everyone

Different trim options helped make the car more affordable for the average family and classy enough for those who wanted the feel of something a little more luxurious.

Trim Models Were As Followed:

Base: 150 Series
Base: 210 Series
Del Ray: 210 Series
Base: Bel Air
Convertible: Bel Air
Nomad: Bel Air (station wagon)
El Morocco: custom hand-built to mimic a Cadillac

Each version was available in a two-door or four-door body style. The base "150" series with an in-line six was not only priced very well for consumers on a budget but also did very well when it came to gas mileage compared to the V8s. 

As you went up in models, you went up in comfort and class and, of course, in price. The Bel Air and Bel Air convertible was the most popular and expensive models, and in today's market, it is the most wanted by all collectors and car enthusiast alike, even if you're not a Chevy fan, you've probably wished you had a '57 at one point or another.

Option Up

Each version had options that could be ordered up to make the car more comfortable and luxurious. Some of those options were air-conditioning, power brakes, power steering, a padded dashboard, power windows, and power seats were all available and offered as options on most all trim models. 

Also, a signal-seeking radio with a power antenna could be purchased along with a separate speaker that could be placed in the back, and at that time, that's what automotive companies called surround sound. The "automatic-eye" was another new option. The automatic-eye was attached to your dashboard and could detect on-coming traffic and dim your headlights automatically, high-tech for 1957.

One of the things that played a part in making the '57 Chevy so desirable was the bigger engine bay it came with. This was important because it made room for the big-block engines that Chevy was making for racing at the time. As drag racing became more popular and going fast was the thing to do, having a '57 Chevy that could accept Chevy's big-block engines with virtually no fabrication required was a huge plus to the go-fast racing enthusiast.

Even without the big blocks, you could still make plenty of power by opting for what Chevy called the Power-Pack (283 cubic inch engine with solid lifters, a 4 barrel carb, and dual exhaust), which would make 275 horsepower right off the showroom floor. 

Although the 283 cubic inch motor would make 283-hp with fuel injection, that option was often overlooked by consumers at the time because very few people knew how to work on fuel injection setups. Even mechanics were having problems working on the new fuel-injection system. So, if you were buying the car to modify it and or race it, the Power-Pack option was a much smarter way to go.

The odd thing about these desirable collector cars is that in 1957 the sales of Ford's '57 model ended up out-selling the Chevy. Maybe it was the 1957 Chevy's bold chrome front-end or the rear-fins that threw consumers off. Maybe it was the introduction of the fuel injection and the 3-speed Hydra-Matic transmission - both of which consumers were skeptical about. Whatever the case was, by the time the '80s rolled around, these were considered one of the most, if not the most, collectible cars around.

Worth Every Penny
Nowadays, a meticulously restored '57 Chevy Bel-Air can go for around $100,000.00 or more, and a seller could catch even more for a convertible in the same condition. But if you are thinking about buying one, you will want to be careful and maybe even seek some professional help before doing so. There are a lot of replicas out there, and it can be very easy to be fooled.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2015 COPO Camaro #001 to be Auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson

2015 COPO Camaro

Lately, Chevrolet has been dominating the Barrett Jackson Auctions when it comes to selling for big prices. That's mostly because they have been putting #001 versions of Cars like their Z28 or ZO6 on the Auction block -- mostly with proceeds going to charity.

This weekend on April 18th at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, Chevrolet will be doing it again. The 2015 COPO Camaro #001 will be rolling across the action block to bring in more money for charity. With only 69 COPO Camaros being put into production, this will surely be a big bread winner at the auction this weekend.

The COPO has made a big hit in the past few years, they are strictly race cars and don't even come with a VIN#, but that doesn't stop people from buying them. Coming stock with a 550 horsepower 350-cu.-in. LSX V-8 with a Whipple supercharger, the car is set-up and has been known to run somewhere in the 8's in the 1/4 mile when finely tuned.

So what will it fetch. My guess is somewhere around $300,000.00.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Indianapolis 500 -- 2016 Camaro for Pace Car?

By now we should all know that the unveiling of the 2016 Camaro will come in the month of April at Belle Isle, but will the Camaro see a little more action than what Chevrolet is leading on to. Chevrolet's Camaro has never been a stranger to being a pace car at the Indianapolis 500 and this year probably won't be no different.

The Camaro started as a pace car in 1967 and than added to their resume in 1969 with a Camaro SS; 1982 Indy used the Z/28 as a pace car and also in 1993. Camaro continued the tradition in 2009 and 2010 with a Camaro SS, and than followed up in 2011 and 2014 with some more Camaro Z/28 action.

With all of this media hype that is surrounding the new Camaro, I don't see why they would stop the trend now. This would be a perfect way to keep the Camaro topic hot in May after their unveiling in April. Lots of speculation has been talked about in the last few weeks, some of it is just -- would, coulds and maybes, but one thing is for sure the Camaro will come with a powerful enough V-8 to be respected as an Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.

So where is this speculation coming from, according to, an insider close to the GM Lansing Grand River Assembly plant’s operations, where the Camaro will be built, dropped a few hints to auto evolution, and according to if you read between the lines, an Indianapolis 500 -- 2016 Camaro Pace Car sounds like something that could definitely happen.

“Teen Driver” Safety System Installed on 2016 Chevy Malibu

“Teen Driver” is a technologysystem that helps parents regulate and monitor how their teenagers are driving. This technology has been around for a while, but for the first time GM will be installing them on the 2016 Chevy Malibu. It's a simple case of making sure your teen's driving habits stay safe. The unfortunate thing is nowadays driving like a NASCAR driver with the radio blasting is not as much of a problem with teens as keeping their mobile devices out of their hands when they're in the driver seat. The technology to turn off mobile devices is in the working, but not yet quite ready for the public – let's cross our fingers for speedy solution.

Until than, the “Teen Driver” system does help parents get a little piece of mind when their kids have the vehicle. With a pin number keyed to the key fob your kids use, you can control many different aspects of the car and also request a report card of their driving when they get home.

Features the “Teen Driver” Lets You Control
  • You can set the radio to stay mute until safety belts are fastened.
  • You can lower the max. radio volume.
  • You can adjust max speed anywhere from 40-75-mph. Now this doesn't work like a governor where the engine won't go any faster. But if the speed is exceeded, an audible warning and visual warnings will go off until the vehicle is brought back to speed.
  • You can make sure that all smart car and safety features are implicated and can not be turned off. These features that will be permanently functional will be determined on what features you have on your vehicle – traction control, forward collision alert, front and rear park assist, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, front pedestrian braking, automatic light control, daytime running lights, parking sensors, automatic braking and more.

As mentioned above, parents can request a report card of their teenager's driving, this will include things like their top speed, distance driven, how many times the driver violated the pre-set speed limit, and how often the vehicle's safety features were activated. So not only will you know how far your teenage went and how fast they went to get their, but the “Teen Driver” system will also let you know how many times the stability-control, anti-lock brake system, forward-collision alerts and auto-braking events are activated.

Your teen may think of it like an invasion of privacy, but as adults we know it's all about keeping our teens safe. The fatal crash rate per mile driven is the highest in drivers 16-19 years old. So your kid may hate the idea of the “Teen Driver” system and believe it's part of a government conspiracy, we know it's just about them coming back home in one piece. Now if we can just get that technology that shuts off mobile devices for the driver, not just for teens but for everyone, maybe the roads will be a little safer.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Restored 1968 Corvette Roadster SCCA Race Car

It's rare to see these cars restored to look and drive more like a streetcar. Most of the SCCA race cars are either restored right back to spec with decals and everything or they simply don't exist anymore for obvious reasons (crashed). This 1968 Corvette Roadster was restored to adhere to some of its stock originality, but to also look car show pretty and promote street driving convenience with the possibility of still performing on the race track. 

For starters, the 1968 Corvette Roadster has the correct 460-cu.-in. MK IV engine that was up-graded to ZL1 specs for better efficiency. The engine has 9.2:1 compression, which makes it very easy to run on 91 octane pumped gas. A close-ratio four-speed Muncie transmission is mated up to the iconic engine to makes for fun driving. Adding to that fun driving is an adjustable suspension that includes heavy-duty springs, shocks, telescoping halfshafts, and upgraded bushings.

The interior features the stock full roll-cage that includes door bars, Kirkey lightweight seats with harnesses, Stewart Warner instrumentation and upgraded tilt/telescope steering wheel with power steering to help make street driving more convenient. Also to add to the racing yet street legal feel is a matching hard-top with full headliner.

Other features this 1968 Corvette Roadster has is an oversized aluminum radiator for touring and long trips, four-wheel disc brakes that are period correct and underside aluminum panels that promote better aerodynamics both for the road and the track. The VIN# does match up as an ex-SCCA race car back when it was in its prime, but now it's in a different prime of its life. Sports cars like this make for great conversational pieces at car shows and at the race track – street legal, track approved with a lot of history.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

NHRA Going Against the Street Outlaws Television Show


The Street Outlaws reality T.V. show is like most reality T.V. shows these days: fake, set-up, factually incorrect and basically silly. But for some reason they have quite a fan base, somehow these reality T.V. shows get people to tune in even if they know that the show is fake. The Street Outlaws producers have even managed to get some licensed NHRA drivers to join in on the very dangerous and illegal act, but much to those racers surprise, the NHRA organization is not having it.

In the past week NHRA has sent out letters to licensed NHRA competitors to stop participating in the Street Outlaws reality T.V. show or be banned from the NHRA. There has been NHRA racers that have been a part of the show and other racers that are scheduled to show up on the show in coming episodes. But the NHRA makes it very clear that they do not promote street racing of any kind and if street racing is what you want to do, you can turn in your license and go be a part of it.

I am in my early 30s now, but spent a lot of my early 20s engaging in the dangerous act of street racing in the Detroit Michigan area. I for one know first hand what you see on the Street Outlaw reality T.V. show is very fake, produced, set-up and in some sense it actually makes street racing look less dangerous than it really is.

Street Racing

When I talk real street racing, I'm not talking about some back road that has been safely banned for any thru traffic except for T.V. show members and crew. I'm talking about spectators on both sides of the road all the way down to the finish line. Thru traffic always a possible obstacle – potholes, curbs, trees, telephones poles, the unsuspecting drunk driver – all dangers to a driver with a car that in most cases is not fully safety equipped to handle a high-speed wreck.

I would honestly like to say I have never seen anyone injured or killed, but I can't tell you either way. When something bad happens, the automatic reaction for everyone is to get to your vehicle and get the hell out of dodge. Even if a man is trapped inside a burning vehicle, the best thing you can do for him is call 9-1-1 as you are making your getaway. It's sad, but it's true, there's no “No Man Left Behind” when you are engaging in illegal activity.

Another thing that the Street Outlaws Reality T.V. show portrays is the harmless changing hands of money. Sure, when it is all set up for T.V., it's not a problem. But in real life, $3,000-$4,000 is a lot of money to hand over. That kind of money changing hands promotes arguments, fights, brawls, and even murder, that's right, murder. Bruised egos and illegal money sends people over the edge, add in a few drinks, a few puffs on the sweet marijuana, and a crowd of encouraging spectators, it doesn't take much to feel compelled to protect that ego.

I have since hung up my street racing helmet and headed to the track for some safe fun. I encourage everyone to do the same. The Street Outlaws Reality T.V. show is just that, a T.V. show. Real street racing is dangerous to yourself, for the spectators, innocent people who are clueless to what you are doing and on top of it all, if you get caught illegally gambling and racing, say goodbye to your driver license for a while and possible jail time.

Friday, February 27, 2015

1953 Corvette 1-of-300 at the Mecum Auction


You talk about a priceless Corvette to add to your car collection. At the Mecum Auction this February, a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette will be auctioned off to the public. Although there was only 300 of these 1953 Corvettes ever produced, making all of them collectibles, this Corvette will be the most valuable of them all. Number 1-of-300, this Corvette could not be more of a collectible – first year Corvette was produced, first Corvette off the assembly line.

All 300 of these 1953 Chevrolet Corvettes came with the same interior and exterior. Standard on the Corvette was a Polo white paint job that graced the curves of the exterior lines and a red interior. Also coming with the Corvette was chic white wall tires with painted steel rims and a very cool front chrome grille with chrome moldings. Drivetrain was simple as well, a standard 3.8-liter (235 cu.-in.) inline-six engine that got 150-hp. Not the type of power that today's Corvettes put out, but this Corvette was mainly built for cool cursing.

The Mecums Auction officials claim that this 1953 Chevrolet Corvette could fetch somewhere around $175,000 – $225,000, but depending who is in attendance and who is bidding, I think we could possibly see a lot bigger number than that. The Mecum Auction will be February 27th and 28th. If the Corvette is not quite your speed or maybe not in your budget, you should still take some time to check out the auction. Usually the Mecum Auction has some really cool cars that come across the auction block that can fit all kinds of different lifestyles and budgets.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cadillac Heads for New Beginnings

New Cadillac

After spending more than 100 years connected to the Motor City (Detroit) Cadillac has decided to take their luxury line to the more luxury city of New York. In an attempt to distance themselves from Chevy, Buick, GMC, and other GM products, Cadillac thinks that New York would just be a better place to promote a true luxury line to keep up with other luxury brands.

On Sunday night during the big awards show, Cadillac made that very clear. They aired in three different commercial slots showing where there vehicles fit in more – in the high-class world of New York. In that commercial they became the first of all of the top luxury brands to show off a 2016 vehicle with what seems to be their new model “Tread Greatly”. The Cadillac CT6 showed us a very aggressive fronts grille smoothly integrating into bold body-lines seemingly running the length of a football field, no doubt, if there every has been a doubt, another beautiful car for Cadillac.

The CT6 will be the start of Cadillac's new alphanumeric name system, which is another attempt to look and sound more luxurious while trending with the other luxury companies across the pound. The CT6 will be a rear-wheel-drive V-8 and despite much speculation, no one really knows what drivetrain is going to be used. There is some talk about a dual-turbocharged V-8, but those could just be pipe dreams for GM enthusiasts. I would speculate, but I would rather just wait until the New York Auto Show where it is set to be unveiled and the true identity of the drivetrain will be too.

Either way, this attempt to take on a new look in the auto industry could be a good thing for Cadillac and GM. One things for sure, it sure can't hurt. Competing against companies like BMW, Audi, Lexus, and Mercedes, any edge you can get is a good edge. And in the end, the old saying goes – Location, Location, Location.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Silverado Latest "Black Out" Edition


Chevrolet has decided to add another special edition to their Silveroda line-up. It's called the "Black Out Edition" and it will be added to the work truck model. Although a special edition, the Silveroda doesn't take on a crazy expensive price tag like one would think. The package only cost $1,595.00 unless you option up to the 5.3-Liter V-8, than it will cost you an extra $1095.00. The extra $1095.00 will still keep your price tag under $30,000.00, which is still a pretty good price for a brand new truck. And by most all accounts, optioning up to that bigger motor will probably be a pretty good idea, I mean, who wants a truck that looks badass but doesn't have the balls to back it up. 

The nice thing about the Chevy Silverado Black Out work truck is it is a base work truck with a base work truck price, but you'll be eliminating the plastic bumper and the steel rims that the WT model comes with. Instead your truck will have 20-inch aluminum rims, dark factory tint, blacked out Chevy emblems all the way around and more. The edition only comes in the regular and crew cab, Chevy probably left the extended cab out of the running for this edition to help keep the cost down.

Chevrolet is no stranger to making limited editions for their trucks. As of right now there is five different editions in their 2015 Silveroda line-up: The High Country, Rally Editions, Midnight Edition, Custom Sport Edition, and Texas Longhorns Edition. Most of these special edition Chevy Silverodas will cost a little more than just a few grand over base price like the Black Out Edition, so choose wisely.

Image result for silverado high country
High Country

Friday, January 30, 2015

650- hp in a Hennessey 2015 GMC Yukon Denali XL That can Handle it


Who says a 6,000+ lb SUV that can carry seven-passengers and or can offer you a crazy amount of cargo space has to be sluggish when it comes to performance. The guys at Hennessey Performance Engineering definitely don't believe in that thought and that's why they decided to come up with a package for the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali XL (extended version) that proves a huge point.

When the Hennessey HPE650 performance package is applied to the Yukon's 6.2-liter EcoTech Supercharged V-8 it's pumps out a monster 650-hp. Now that 650-hp is not just designed for hauling the family around town or towing things, it's designed to go fast as well. In fact it performs so well it gets 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds while toppling the standing quarter-mile in 13.3 sec. at 113 mph, not bad for a vehicle that size.

With that kind of power you don't ever have to worry about your big SUV having troubles getting in-and-out of traffic even if you were to be towing something that is quite big, like a RV. You get all the comforts of a SUV on the inside, but the power capabilities of an up-scale four-door sedan that's designed to go fast. The Hennessey Yukon is just a great combination of power, comfort and versatility. 

The cool thing is that Hennessey Performance has packages for the Cadillac Escalade and the Chevy Suburban as well. So if you're driving an Escalade, Suburban or a Yukon Denali and you think you could use a little more power under your right foot, a Hennessey HPE650 performance package will give you more than enough power to tool around with.