Tag Archives: cars

Smart car my ass

Recently I started driving an electric car.  I pay nothing for gas.  It has a range of around 25 miles, but round trip to work and back is only 15 miles, so I charge it exclusively at work.  It has a top speed of 35mph and is classified as a “neighborhood electric vehicle”, but I drive on the back roads to work anyways, so no big thing.  It is far from roomy, probably not very safe in an accident, but short of a box full of puppies trained to hug kittens, it is probably the best way to meet chicks I can think of.  Being so small, you don’t even need a “no fat chicks” bumper sticker, cuz they look at it and realize they would likely get stuck in the door if they were to even try to fit in the tiny little passenger seat.  Funny thing is, the hotties that flock to it whenever I park it assume I am some sort of environmentalist dipshit who wants to talk to them about how Hitlery should drop out of the race or how much money we are wasting in Iraq.  I don’t bother explaining to them that I agree completely, but that it would be best if Obama joined her, and that a few nukes would save us tons of money in Iraq.  They also all assume it is a “smart car”… sigh.

smartnotsmart.jpg 

 

See, my little electric car looks like a shrunk down smart car to people who haven’t seen either one in person before.  That isn’t a bad thing, but seriously, what is the point of the “smart car”.  Yes, it can drive at freeway speeds, but who would want to fight with semi for a lane in that thing?  The real issue though is that the little coffin only gets  a tad bit better milage than a normal sized car, and it isn’t exactly cheap.  Really, the only reason to buy it in my book would be for the chick magnet appeal.  

My plastic deathtrap uses no gas, and did I mention that I don’t pay to charge it!  If you want a new vehicle to combat the crazy gas prices, wait until they at least get 60mpg, or buy a motorcylce, because if you are going to be unsafe and you insist on still using gas like a cave man, you can at least look cool doing it.  Trust me, nobody looks cool in these micro cars.  If you are normal sized, you will look huge in them.  If you are above average in size you will look like Andre the Giant in them.  If you are a tiny little person that is comfortably scaled to something that size, everyone will just assume you are far away and always yell to talk to you!

The voice of Kitt is… Val Kilmer?

Ok, this is just weird to me. In the new Knight Rider TV movie, the voice of KITT will be played by Val Kilmer. He is replace Will Arnett – yes, the guy who played Gob on Arrested Development. Turns out Arnett is already the “voice of GMC Trucks” in all the commercials, so GM wasn’t too happy about him voicing a Mustang. Considering their recent all-time record yearly loss of $38.7B, they must have been devastated. So Val Kilmer is filling in.

Kilmer’s voice is so different from William Daniels (the original KITT) that I have to assume there’s a major personality change in the car.

Sept/06 Automobile Magazine

So Automobile Magazine just put out an article entitled The top 25 Most Beautiful Cars of All Time.

I’m an proud owner of the second-generation 300zx (90-96) which made the list.
I’m taking a lot of heat for this in the forums since everyone has their own idea about which cars belong on the list.
Stock 300zx
stock 300zx

I agree that the list is lacking many favorites, but the real issue is that it’s too hard to make a list of only 25. The list should be “Top 100″ to be more fair.

One point people have made is that the list lacks “muscle cars” when they were in their prime. However I feel these cars were far from beautiful. (Badass, yes. But not beautiful.)

Many feel the 300zx doesn’t belong on the list. This is where I point out such facts as: The 90-96 300zx won Car and Driver’s ten best cars list EVERY SINGLE YEAR it was produced, as well as many other awards from other publications.

One forum fellow argued that if a 300zx were to pass by today, nobody would even give it a second look.
This is my point exactly! The 300zx was introduced with such a radical design from it’s previous edition (84-89) that it looked more like a concept car than a production car. It took years for other manufacturers to follow suit.
I believe the 300zx single handedly converted the auto industry’s styling from the dart-style of the 80’s to the bubble-look of today.
Don’t believe me? Do a search for ANY other car from the early 90’s and compare it to the 1990 300zx.
Mustang? RX7?
Or how about non-sporty cars that are popular today.
Civic? Accord?
It took years for the other manufacturers to catch up.

1992 Camaro
camaro

1993 Mustang
mustang

So in a way, the forum-fellow is correct. The 300zx wouldn’t get a second look today because this 16 year-old car still fits into to today’s styling.

Not to mention the upgrade potential!
Modded 300zx
mod 300zx

If you are bored, you can log-in to Myspace and check out my 1990 300zx (and 1998 Maxima) pics at http://www.myspace.com/zerobalance

Dodging cops

Since we seem to have a few car buffs on here I thought I’d mention the news about the Dodge Charger becoming the new NYC police “cruiser”. It’s going to look pretty badass, I think.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060209/ap_on_re_us/nypd_muscle_cars_1

I also read that they are testing the Dodge Magnum as a replacement to the SUV support vehicle class.
I think that would be a brilliant choice. How do I figure that?
Here, I’ll show my work.
(Cargo space) minus (rollover factor) plus (beef) equals cool.

Movie Car Collection: Cruel Intentions: 1956 Jaguar XK-140

I continue my series on great movie cars with a very elegant automobile in a rather inelegant movie [ Blu-ray ] [ DVD ]:

Cruel Intentions: 1956 Jaguar XK-140
Average price: $75,000
1956 XK-140

This movie has 3 things going for it:

+ Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar performing one of the greatest on-screen kisses ever
+ Reese Witherspoon naked
+ A 1956 Jaguar XK 140

Other than that, not so much. Without giving too much plot away (like you’re renting it for that), Sarah bets Ryan Phillippe that he can’t nail virgin Reese Witherspoon. If she wins the bet, she gets his Jag. If he wins, he can also nail her, and she makes a not-so-subtle hint that anal sex could be involved, and in fact damn well better if he knows what’s good for him. Did I mention she’s his step-sister? Definitely my kind of freak. As soon as he realizes he looks exactly like Ryan Phillippe, he goes for it. I’m sure I would too, if I were in the same situation.
     The Jag is black with a red interior, and I believe it’s a drop head coupe (DHC), not a roadster. A DHC is what we Americans call a convertible. A roadster is what we call a really stupid idea – no top at all! How did they come up with that idea in cold, rainy Britain? Beats me. Anyway, the car is beautiful, but for a long time I thought it was a 1952 XK-120, another very popular model, named after it’s top speed of 120 MPH. I doubt the 140 can do 140, but it’d be fun to try.

Movie Car Collection: Better Off Dead: 1967 Camaro

Continuing the Movie Car Collection series with another great American muscle car:

Better Off Dead: 1967 Camaro
Price range: $20,000-45,000
1967 Camaro

Better Off Dead is my favorite 80’s teen comedy. Considering the number of 80’s teen comedies, that’s pretty high praise. This car brings Lane together with cute French chick Monique (I bet he put his testicles all over her). More importantly, it flattens a Ford Falcon driven by the Asian Cosell brothers. On second thought, that’s not more important. I’d much rather have a hot French foreign exchange student than beat a Ford in a street race – I can do that with my WRX already.

Turns out, I am not the only one in love with this car, not by a long shot. There is a terrific story at betteroffdeadcamaro.com about how the owner of that site tracked down the original car (wasn’t easy!) and fully restored it to it’s former glory. Just like the movie. Wow, man.

Since the original isn’t for sale, you can settle for a diecast 1/18th scale replica. Yes, of course, it’s black.

Movie Car Collection: Animal House: 1961 Corvette

I am finally getting a chance to expand upon my earlier post about movie cars. The first car in Archangel’s Movie Car Collection is the 1961 Corvette featured in the movie Animal House

Animal House: 1961 Corvette
Price range: $35,000-65,000
1961 Corvette

The car driven by pre-med student and all around ladies man Eric “Otter” Stratton. It’s red with white cowls. Any car with cowls automatically goes up a notch in my book. Batman has a cowl – I rest my case. This car has also been memorialized in a 1/18 scale die cast model. You can view other Animal House cars at http://www.acmewebpages.com/animal/cars.htm. Granted, it would be a little cooler if it was a convertible, but either way you’ll be turning heads and sleeping with Dean Wormer’s wife in no time.

Archangel’s Movie Car Collection

When I have more money than I know what to do with, I’ve decided that instead of burning it for warmth, I’ll buy a stable of famous movie cars. I don’t need them to be the ones that were actually filmed (although that would rock), just be the same model. Therefore, every car in my list was once a production model. No Batmobiles or Death-mobiles, unless someone decides to mass produce them, and I doubt we’ll ever get a street legal Death-mobile. Besides the Pinto and Corvair.
     While I’m waiting to win the lottery or invent some perfect stock scam, I’ll be writing a series of articles to commemorate them and educate you on why I’m so damn cool. In researching these cars and movies, I found a few cool sites:

IMCDB
The Internet Movie Car Database. Thorough for some films, completely lacking for others.

Hemmings Motor News
These guys have an excellent classifieds section, both for cars and parts. The parts listing in particular is very extensive. They also sponsor(ed?) the TV show My Classic Car with Dennis Gage, which apparently is only on Speed now.

Motorbase
British database of cars. They also have auction listings and past results.

Collector Car Trader Online
Part of the “Trader Online” sites.

duPont Registry
You won’t find any candidates for restoration here, they deal exclusively with cars you can’t afford. All classics are restored, at least as far as I’ve seen. It’s also the standard for selling your used Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls, etc.

Upcoming cars:
Animal House: 1961 Corvette
Better Off Dead: 1967 Camaro
Cruel Intentions: 1956 Jaguar XK-140
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: 1962 Ford Anglia
and more!