In this section of the blog, you can find articles about things about cars and the automotive industry that blow our minds or just make us laugh out loud.
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Great cars, great stories at Youngtimer Event 2014

Youngtimer-Event-2014Sunday June 15th was the third edition of the Dutch Youngtimer Event “Forever Young”. Owners and enthusiasts of cars from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s gathered together at the former DRU factory complex in Ulft, near the German border. Some visitors may have not even made it to the entrance of the event, as even the parking lot was one big cookie jar, filled to the brim with cars from the past, kept running by passionate owners who showed their car and told their story to other enthusiasts. With the outside area covered by brand- and model- owners clubs like the Mazda-owners club, Volvo 480-owners club and the EMW “Club for forgotten and undervalued youngtimers”, the air was filled with enthusiasm, passion and appreciation of each other’s hobby.

Walking into the factory hall was like stepping into a time capsule. It was easy to feel a bit of melancholy in this combination of the industrial atmosphere with the remains of the pre-war ironworks still visible and the well-preserved cars from the time when we were young. As most of the cars on display inside were for sale, some felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, finding it hard to restrain themselves.… Continue Reading …

Watch these racing drivers scare their passengers

Walter-Rohrl-Audi-S3-NurburgringBeing a passenger is almost always scarier than being the driver, especially for people who are used to being in control. Like for example, other racing drivers. So it should be fun to see what happens when you put a racing driver in the passenger seat while another racing driver makes a hot lap round a circuit. In case of Darrell Waltrip and David Coulthard, it makes great video’s.

But it’s not only fun with other drivers in the passenger seat. You’d think that someone who’s married to a racing driver is used to a bit of fast driving, but apparently not all wives are entirely up-to-date on how quick their husbands really are. Turn up your volume while listening to Mrs. Patrese, Mrs. Farfus, Mrs. Barbosa and grandma Gené scream their lungs out.

Journalists usually prepare themselves before an interview, making sure they are familiar with the background of the person they’re about to meet, to avoid making a fool of themselves. But Barbara Schöneberger, Dominic Littlewood and even Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson appear rather shocked by the speed at which their being driven around by drivers of whom you’d think are known for their ability to go fast.

Nico Rosberg is about to take former Formula 1 winner David Coulthard for a (wet) hot lap on the Nürburgring in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Before getting in, David warns us that he’s not a good passenger. As he crawls out of the car on his knees after the lap, we must conclude he wasn’t lying.… Continue Reading …

Automotive Mother’s Day gift ideas

As a true automotive enthusiast, you wouldn’t fob off the most important woman in your life with just another cook book or bath pearls for Mother’s Day, would you? Of course you wouldn’t! You’d get your mom something special, something that shows her how you appreciate everything she’s done for you. I know it’s hard to find something that does all those things, so here are 10 fine examples of automotive Mother’s Day gifts. Just pick your favorite and be the best son or daughter you can be!

1. All women love shoes. Some need to expand their house just to create enough storage space for their shoe collection. But there’s always that one special pair missing. Here’s your chance to surprise your mother with this pair of Maserati MC12 sneakers. Including the characteristic Maserati fender ports. Yours for just € 165,- / $ 206.30Maserati-MC12-sneakers-mothers-day-gift-ideaContinue Reading …

Ayrton Senna: five unforgettable moments

It’s the twentieth anniversary of the horrible weekend that shook the Formula 1 community and fans around the world, because of the tragic deaths of two drivers, Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna. The Austrian was only in his third Grand Prix weekend when he crashed into the concrete barriers at 315 km/h during Saturday’s qualifying session. He died on impact. One day later, the legendary Brazilian, three times F1 world champion and universally praised for his driving style and his attitude both on and off track, crashed off the track just a few laps into the race. He was fatally injured, and taken to a nearby hospital by helicopter, but wouldn’t make it to the end of the day.

To keep his spirit alive, here a five video’s of unforgettable moments on the track, which show his superiority in wet driving conditions, his devotion to win and his continuous dedication towards driver safety.… Continue Reading …

Manchester United sponsorship is looking less like a great deal for Chevrolet every year

Chevrolet-Manchester_United-shirt-sponsorship-dealThe seven-year, $ 559 million sponsorship deal that Chevrolet signed in 2012 with English Premier League football/soccer club Manchester United is starting to look like a costly mistake as time goes by. The deal already cost General Motors global marketing chief at the time Joel Ewanick his job, two months after it was signed. Ewanick then defended his decision by declaring “It was clear that the deal would bring Chevrolet increased brand exposure, purchase consideration and awareness around the world worth “over four times” the sponsorship’s cost. […] We crunched more data than I’ve ever seen. We had three separate media and consulting firms take a look at it and tell us what they thought it was worth. […] The way this was going to work over time, I would say that for the amount of money we were talking about, it was the biggest no-brainer I’ve seen.”

However, less than eighteen months after the official announcement of the deal, and even before the Chevrolet bowtie logo was supposed to appear on the official Manchester United shirts, General Motors announced it would withdraw Chevrolet from the European market. GM officials were quick to point out that Manchester United has a worldwide fan-base and that the English Premier League is the most watched football competition in the world, reaching an estimated 643 million households in 212 countries around the world. On top of that, the club’s regular appearance in the UEFA Champions League would still offer the brand the worldwide exposure it was looking for, as this competition is watched by 360 million households, some of which should be incremental to the EPL viewers.… Continue Reading …

How to put a Ford Mustang on top of the Empire State Building

Ford-Mustang-taken-apart-Empire-State-BuildingFor the two days preceding the New York Auto Show, Ford will put a 2015 Ford Mustang convertible for display on the top of the Empire State Building, again. Again? Yes, they’ve pulled that trick before, in 1965 to be exactly. So for everyone who will be in the Big Apple on April 16th and 17th, make sure to take the elevator up to the observation deck, and observe a bright yellow Mustang.

Except it won’t be a stock Mustang, as it is impossible to use a helicopter to fly the car all the way up, because the huge steeple on what was once the world’s tallest building makes that exercise a bit too tricky. Instead, the car will take the same route you will take to see it: the elevator. Only problem is: the entrance is only 36 inches (90 cm) wide, and the Mustang will have to fit through that in order to reach the 86th floor.

Ford-Mustang-classic-1965-taken-apart-Empire-State-BuildingSo what the engineers of an external engineering firm will do, is chop the brand-new, not even available to customers, Mustang into 6 pieces… Continue Reading …

6-wheeled alternatives to the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6

Mercedes-Benz-G63-AMG-6x6The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 is an automotive extravagance, absurdity on 6 wheels. Or, as Mercedes call it themselves: the automotive declaration of independence. Other people would call it an unnecessary waste of (natural) resources, but as Top Gear have shown in their review, there are some very important things you can do with the 6×6. For example: jumping sand dunes, climbing rocks and driving through a swimming pool full of people, which are of course very sensible things to do.

More is always better when it comes to power, and the G63 AMG 6×6 proves that for certain on-road, but mostly off-road activities, the same goes for the number of wheels. But what if you come up short on the € 380.000,- / US$ 525,000 / £ 315,000 excluding taxes Mercedes is asking for this six-wheeled monster?

Well, there are some alternatives for you, which you may be able to pick up for less money than that.… Continue Reading …

Controversial Cadillac ELR commercial parodied

For those of you who haven’t seen or heard about the recent “poolside” commercial for the Cadillac ELR, which was a viral hit on YouTube because of its controversial “American Pride” theme, watch it here:

In short: it features what Cadillac hopes will be a typical buyer of the ELR, a Plug-in Hybrid coupe which is technically based on the Chevrolet Volt / Opel Ampera, but will only be sold in North America, for a price tag that’s double that of the Volt. It starts with the actor standing in his bermuda shorts by the pool of his $4 million home, asking why “we” work so hard (although I don’t see any callus on his hands) and talking about how the Americans take only two weeks off in August while other countries spend the whole month with their lazy asses on the beach. … Continue Reading …

A new kind of retro: naming a model after the company’s founder

As manufacturers are running out of inspiration for another retro styled car, a trend for which Volkswagen is credited since it introduced the New Beetle back in 1997, I have started to notice a new trend: retro naming. And with that, at this moment, I don’t mean re-using model names from the past, like Alfa Giulia or Chrysler 300, which could be the subject of an entirely different article, but I mean using the first name of the company’s founder as a model name.

Ferrari-EnzoFerrari started this trend in 2002 when the Italians decided to name their supercar Ferrari Enzo. While the model’s two predecessors, F40 and F50, were named to celebrate the company’s 40th and 48th anniversary in 1987 and 1995 respectively, the Italians may have been a bit too quick with the development of their next supercar. It was already completed and ready to be sold in 2002, so the Italians must have called for an emergency board meeting during lunch time:

  • “Oh mama mia! Grande catastrofe! Gianni, what do we do now? The F60 is already finished!
  • — Eating spaghetti —
  • “When is the 60th anniversary, Alberto?”
  • — Drinking Chianti —
  • “That’s another five years, Vincenzo! We cannot wait that long! The Germans are working on a Carrera GT, which is much better than ours. We need it to be sold out before they finish their car!”… Continue Reading …

50th Anniversary of the Škoda 1000 MB

Skoda-1000-MB-50-year-anniversary-frontAfter 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911, this month, it is the Škoda 1000 MB which turns 50 years old. The first Czech mass-produced car made its debut on March 21st 1964 as the successor to the Škoda Octavia. It also was the first Škoda with rear wheel drive, a rear engine and unibody construction, making it a milestone in the nearly 119-year history of Škoda, as it marked the beginning of what would eventually evolve into a long line of rear-engined Škodas, although this was still a fairly popular layout for a compact car in that time. Other rear-engined, rear wheel drive models during that period are among others the Volkswagen Beetle, Simca 1000, Renaults Dauphine and R8, NSU Prinz, Hillman Imp and the Fiats 500 and 600.

Revolutionary technology

The 1000 MB was a revolution for Škoda, as it was built in an all-new production plant in Mladá Boleslav (hence the MB in its name), its design was radically different than the brands previous models,… Continue Reading …