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Don’t try this at home folks!

Tuner Joe Hunnycutt pilots the monster vette down the airfield at a soft 190mph, but loses traction at the finish line sending him on a wild ride through the grass! Luckily no one was hurt and Joe drove the car back to the pits under its own power with some cosmetic damage due to catching some serious air!

I’ve wanted a decent garage for years now and there’s always seemed to be reasons why it wasn’t possible. Not least of which being the difficulty of finding a contractor prepared to work with us where we’re located. (We hear “you’re too far out a lot – despite the fact that it’s only 20 mins from town).

We’ve also had challenges on location of a garage. Our lot is big (an acre) but the majority of it isn’t really useable as we back onto a rocky hill. While going through the last round of “can we/can’t we” we happened to be lunching with one of the other members of our local ‘vette club and as it happened his son has just set himself up as a contractor doing this kind of work.

Mike came around and looked at our situation. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling very optimistic, I thought I’d been through every permutation of what was possible. But he came up with a different proposal that should work just fine and doesn’t require anything fancy on the permit side of things. After several discussions and running ideas back and forth the plan looks like a go and we signed the paperwork last night to get the ball rolling!

I don’t feel “excited” as such yet. I’m definitely pleased that we’ve finally got some movement in the right direction, but it still feels too far off to get really pumped by it. For now the work will be prepping the site, leveling etc. with the actual construction happening next year once the weather breaks.

The plan is to build an oversize double in size. 24 by 32 with a 10 foot roof. This will give me good parking for two cars and the space to put a car hoist in there down the line as well as a bit of a “shop” area for working on projects etc. We couldn’t afford to go any bigger really and I don’t think we’d have room without starting to hit the rock and bumping the price up dramatically.

Mike is coming round to do a site survey and mark up the location on Wednesday and then do the leveling on Thursday. It will be interesting to see how it looks. I must remember to take some “before” now.

I’ve been readying my ZR-1 for summer as the weather has been getting (very slowly) warmer and removed one of the front wheels a few days ago. I’d picked up a slow puncture and wanted to get it fixed ahead of getting on the road again.

There are various restrictions about getting tires plugged:

  • The hole can be no bigger than 6mm
  • the plug can’t be within the sidewall area
  • The hole must be “clean” with no wire reinforcing showing
  • No more than three plugs per tire

A lot of the time I think that these limits (which are set by the tire manufacturers…) are designed simply to achieve more tire sales, but that said Continue reading

The museum has released details of the cars damaged in the floor collapse:

  • 1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors
  • 2009 ZR1 “Blue Devil” on loan from General Motors
  • 1962 Black Corvette
  • 1984 PPG Pace Car
  • 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette
  • 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
  • 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
  • 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette

Seeing the Spyder on the list makes my heart fall. The museum also released some pictures :

DSC_1259 DSC_1250

Auction season is in full swing with Paris’s Le Grand Palais being just one of the latest. As always with these events the cars combine rarity and beauty along with eye-popping prices. I have one simple strategy when it comes to any kind of auction – don’t! It really doesn’t matter too much what is being auctioned and, what’s more, they’re all pretty much above my pay grade!

That said, here’s my choice from the line up at Le Grand Palais.

Citroen DS21 1968 Citroen DS21

At an estimated $190,000+, this is probably the cheapest car at the auction and I still couldn’t afford it! Oozing all of the Gallic charm it can muster, the DS series was iconic of Citroen. I remember ads on TV declaring “Citroen DS for the sheer joy of driving.” a captivating idea that stays with me even now. Driving – just for sheer pleasure. Years later my first real car was a Citroen Xantia, direct descendent of the DS series and a car enjoyed by both myself and my wife.

Jag D-Type1955 Jaguar D Type

As a British lad, how could I not be entranced by Jaguar who have produced some of the most beautiful and highest performing cars in the history of the automobile. The D-Type brought innovation in chassis design and was one of the most successful sports cars in Jaguar history winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Look at those curves! Estimated price? An eye-watering $5-6 million. Continue reading

So Formula 1 has announced it will go ahead with plans to have double points awarded for the last race of the year. This was proposed by Bernie  “the poisoned dwarf” Ecclestone whose efforts to manipulate and add artificial “competition” have no bounds it seems .

In the last few years we’ve seen rules brought in to ban people from actually racing each other, KERS to make passing easy, DRS brought in to make passing easy (when KERS didn’t do the job), tires made from blancmange and now what has to be the final insult of double-points for the last race.

Why don’t they just let Bernie pick the winners he wants?

I, for one, have officially given up on Farce One.

 

I just watched a video of the the new targa roof for the Porsche 911 Targa 4. It really is impressive, everything sliding around in coordinated harmony and certainly makes the manual lift-off roof on the Corvette look rather basic. Apparently the Porsche engineers worked on the roof for two years to perfect its operation and it certainly looks like they did.

A few things strike me though. First, I wonder just how durable that mechanism is going to be in the long term. The complications introduced by that engineering look like a nightmare when the cars start to age. I have visions of half open rear windows, roof pillars stuck half open or closed and the targa caught somewhere in between.

The second thing is purely space related. In the vette I can take the roof off and leave it at home so it doesn’t take up storage space (if I feel confident enough about the weather!). It doesn’t look to me like that’s possible with the Porsche set up.

Finally, you have to wonder what the weight penalty is on a system like that. After all this is supposed to be a lightweight sports car!

There’s something to be said for simplicity. Again though, you have to admire the ingenuity and engineering involved.

So the new C7 Z06 has been launched. There’s some great technology in the new C7s so it’s no surprise that the new uber-vette looks like an amazing deal (prices haven’t been announced yet). Yet I have to say I feel dissappointed, though not exactly surprised.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, increase engine capacity and you increase power. Add a supercharger to increase volumetric efficiency and you get more power. It’s been the easy solution since the 1920s and sadly I don’t see anything here beyond that thinking. It’s the same-old same-old. More power, more cubes, who cares about real efficiency gains…

I felt kind of embarrassed for the whole GM presentation and especially Mark Reuss. There was the thumping rock track (okay not too thumping, let’s keep it safely corporate…) and then Reuss climbs on the stage looking old, tired and bloated. I got the idea that they were trying to do something like the Stark Expo from Iron Man 2 but without the style, panache or balls. And Mark sorely missed the presence of some “Ironette” equivalents.

Chevy has won both the truck and car award for 2014. Great news and a big boost for GM as a whole. But the whole show fizzled like a wet firecracker searching desperately for gunpowder. And a fuse. Next time maybe GM could bring in Robert Downey Jr – I’m sure he’d be available at the right price.

And by the way. Those tail lights are still butt-ugly…

Recently Corvette Online released some “spy pics” of what could well be the new C7 ZR1 engine. The photos show what appears to be a supercharged fifth generation LT1; inside information suggests it’s a 6.2 liter engine and will be pushing out 650+ hp.

I find myself with strangely mixed feelings over this idea. As a C4 ZR-1 owner I can’t claim to not like power, but to me this represents yet another instance of more brawn and less finesse.

When the ZR-1 was released in 1990 it represented a huge leap in performance Continue reading

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