Tag Archives: Mustang

Review: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible: Topless Hot Wheels

America loves the new Chevrolet Camaro. You really can’t argue with the previous statement, as the new Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang in 2010. That was with one body style, the coupe. All while the Ford Mustang had both a coupe and convertible, along with a myriad of other speciality models. So what happens when you chop the top off the Camaro? Chevrolet has taken out the sawzall and handed me the keys to find out. Read More…

AutoBird Podcast – Esp 36: “Bad Beak”

Episode 36 starts with introducing this weeks guest Nick Saporito from GM Inside News and Ford Inside News. This week we find the garage quite full. Both Nick and I  have had Cadillac Escalade Platinum’s along with Chevrolet Cruze’s. Also in the garage I have a Mitsubishi Evolution MR and Nick has a Buick Regal Turbo.

We then move along to the major news of the week segment. This week included:

  • Top 10 ugliest car grilles [Link]
  • Dealers are creating monster Camaros [Link]
  • Great YouTube find: CHP video from 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake [Link]
  • How to install and iPad in your Mustang [Link]

Next came our main topic which was discussing what’s coming in 2011. We take a look at Ford’s financial goals along with some Detroit Auto Show talk.

Last we plug our respective sites: Ford Inside News, GM Inside News, AutoBird Blog and Accelerate Mpls.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Off Road Ford Mustang Fail?

We’ve seen the Chevrolet Corvette fail last April, and that was a sight to behold. We now bring you this Ford Mustang fail. My friend Neal, that lives in Iowa spotted this hot piece of metal sitting outside where else, a Sportsman’s Warehouse in Ankeny, IA. The store apparently sells everything you would need for hunting and other outdoor activities (wonder if there is a gun rack in the trunk). Clearly this Mustang has custom bumpers along with a large lift kit. The hood might be from a Boss, while the rear mud flaps are clearly meant for a F350 dually. The straight pipes coming out the back I am sure pass emissions. One has to wonder, do they take this thing mudding or in the fields? Regardless, if you happen to be near Des Moines, IA anytime soon, keep your eyes peeled for this hot piece of Mustang. The owner may even let you check its undercarriage.

AutoBird Podcast – Esp 33: “Take Your Top Off Episode”

Episode 33 starts with introducing this weeks guest Nick Salvatore from SpeedSportLife.  Moving into the garage we talk about the 2011 Porsche Cayenne and 1967 Ford Mustang I drove since the last recording. We also heard about the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS and Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec Nick was in.  We then move along to the major news of the week segment.  This week included-

  • NADA picks vehicles with best cost of ownership (Link)
  • Nissan vs. Hyundai – Who is going to be the #2 Asian Automaker (Link)

This week we continue with the newer segment called car spotting.  Justin spotted a Chevrolet Corvair.  Nick saw a Alfa 159 Wagon when in Europe and his new Glut Orange Audi S5.

Next came our main topic which was discussing ownership “stigma” or stereotypes that go with certain convertibles.  We also hit on some positives/negatives along with reliability, and cost of ownership. (Link)
Last we plug our respective blogs, SpeedSportLifeCheers and Gears,  AutoBird Blog and Accelerate Mpls.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Cars & Café – September 4, 2010

Another month has come and gone which means it is time for yet again another Cars & Café.  Unfortunately this month the Saturday happened to fall on the holiday weekend known as Labor Day.  Most people in Minnesota that have a cabin know Labor Day weekend as a work weekend and I fall into that category.  As I was cleaning up boats, many auto enthusiasts in Minneapolis were gathering for coffee and doughnuts.  Oh and there were cars as well.

The weather was gorgeous (where as last month is was *ahem* crappy) and the cars flowed in.  Luckily for us my friends Ross and Alex Bellus both were in attendance reporting back.

The good is a long list this month.  The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Super Snake made an appearance again as did the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage.  The Bentley Continental SuperSport made an appearance along with three Porsche GT3 RS’s.  These are all super but the Mazda Miata with a LS3 V8 shoved in it, well that really takes a special place in my heart.  The amount of awesomeness that oozes from that is off the charts.

I’m told little to no head scratching vehicles made an appearance, so I will just have to take the word that there were few.  I did hear about a VW Golf that had digital camouflage (what!?).  Also, the above VW something or another that was chopped and had a small bed welded on on the back made an appearance.  Oh and that VW something or another had full hydraulics in the front which the owner lowered down once parking.  Also a BMW had a very unique sound system in the trunk that payed homage to BMW’s M division.

From the Super Seven to the Yenko Camaro, the cars were all there and the weather cooperated.  Many thank’s to Ross and Alex Bellus for providing the photo’s.  Until next month when the enthusiasts gather again for a cup of coffee and doughnuts, oh and the cars.

Photography- Alex Bellus and Ross

Biggest BMW err Mustang um Fail Ever

I’m literally speeechless….Not even sure how to approach this.  It’s a BMW 5 Series in the front and Mustang in the back?  This is not like business in the front and party in back people.  This is almost a serious offense.  He should be given a ticket for doing such a thing.

Source- SpeedSportLife

First Drive – 1967 Ford Mustang: The Sun Bums Mustang

This past weekend I had the honor of driving the Sun Bum’s 1967 Ford Mustang convertible.  You see the Sun Bum’s own a cabin across the road from my family’s cabin up in Northern Minnesota.  I have eyed this yellow 67′ Mustang from afar ever since I was a kid.  When I was old enough to cross the road alone, I ventured over and stuck my nose to the glass, gawking at the leather and vinyl interior.

This summer Sandy (the owner of the 67′) walked over to me and said “You wanna drive it?”  I of course said the words I have waited to say since I was a little kid – YES!  This past weekend Sandy ran an errand and when she came back she pulled the Sun Bum’s 67′ Mustang into our driveway and honked the horn three times.  I was down the road talking to a family friend.  Immediately looking at him, he knew and said “Go.”

As I slid into the drivers seat, I got goosebumps.  I’ve stared at this car for years from across the road.  The interior is all original!  The seats are *ahem* cushy with little to no lateral support.  The dashboard has no cracks nor did the seats.  The door panels were in terrific condition.  We lowered the windows, turned up the tunes on the radio (oldies of course) and we hit the road.  Sandy was wearing a sun hat and I had a big stupid smile on my face.

Sandy had a lone speaker in front of the automatic shifter.  Yes, this Mustang is an automatic and yet I still enjoyed myself.  Sure I wouldn’t have minded a third pedal, but beggars can’t be choosers. Regardless we hit the road and the engine purred.  As I mentioned, the car isn’t rebuilt but the engine is. This is a rebuilt 289 which replaced the original 289 V-8.  With only two rust spots on the whole car, the thing is cherry.

The V-8 isn’t powerful enough to snap the rear end loose off the line, but she’ll go.  We got onto a two lane highway and hit about 60.  But honestly, between the wind noise and the sloppy steering, it felt much faster.

Oh that sloppy steering? It probably had the loosest steering I have ever driven, yet I didn’t care.  We cruised around a local lake and then through town.  As we headed back to the cabin I noted the similarities between this 1967 Mustang and the new 2011 Mustang.  From the dual cowl dash and two main round gauges, to the lines on the exterior.  The bloodline seems to have continued and the new Mustang is still a true thoroughbred.  Back to the Sun Bum’s 67′.

Sandy and her husband named themselves the sun bums due to living in Mexico sixty percent of the year and the rest in Northern Minnesota.  This weekend was a work weekend at the cabin, what with pulling boats and starting to close up for Labor Day, which is a mere week away.  But a car I have admired from afar and up close alike, I finally had the opportunity to drive. And that my friends made the weekend special.

Cars & Café – August 7, 2010

Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

Another month, another gathering of man and machine.  Of course I speak of Cars & Café, out at the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen.  This month promised, as usual, to be eventful.  I woke up a little early (4:40 am), as I did poor planning.  I had not washed the 300ZX (note to self: next month wash the 300ZX before the morning of Cars & Café). So, I washed the 300ZX and popped off the T-Tops.

As I was cruising out West to meet up with my buddy in his S2000, I saw black sky in front of me – then lightning  – and then I saw a car come over the hill with windshield wipers on (this was not going well).  I hit the gas and made it to his garage with the 300ZX still clean and dry.  We ended up taking his daily driver and leaving the 300ZX and his S2000 there, as it started pouring down rain right after I pulled into the garage.

Upon arriving, it was clear the rain, which was at this point a nice steady rain coming down, had affecte turn out.  Nooooooooo I cried to the car gods.  Luckily some of the cooler rides still managed to show up.  As I was admiring a nice Ford F150 Lightning, I heard something loud pulling into the complex.

I turn to see a true hard core car guy (you would have to be) driving a Cobra in (remember no top) through the rain.  Two Dodge GLH Turbos sat next to each other, both in ridiculously good condition.  I also counted not one but two Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbos (I drooled a little).  Quite a few Acura NSX’s showed up, along with a Lexus IS-F.

Two BMW’s caught my eyes this month.  One was a early 90’s 540i manual white on black with only 28k on the odometer.  The kicker?  It is for sale and they are asking only $25k!

Someone buy that car or buy me that car!  There was also a mid 80’s M6 in fantastic condition that caught my eye., along with an early 2000’s black Audi S8 that is a regular at Cars & Café.  I just love that car!

So good story,  I am walking by the club house and hear tires squealing like a burn out.  I look around and am quite confused.  Suddenly I realize that the sound is coming from behind this building in the VIP section.  I go running through the crowd, and as I turn the corner I almost fall over.

This Lamborghini Miura owner clearly had put the car in reverse instead of first gear (as best I can tell from the situation).  The car had gone backwards off the cement and onto the pebbles directly below.  Part of  the car definitely was resting on the cement.  The tires were squealing and these two guys were pushing the back of the Miura trying to get it back onto the cement.  Finally after a few minutes they accomplished this task, but not before you could smell the clutch and tires.  It was quite a scene.

Also filed in the – ahem – interesting category, was the Toyota Camry Solara parked in the American muscle section.  Hey at least it was on dubs!  Sitting next to that was a Chrysler 300C.  Not just any Chrysler 300C, but one riding on 24’s – and wait – it gets better.

The person had welded extensions (eyebrows?) onto the leading edge of the hood.  You can still see where the person welded and sanded them.  They were not painted yet (I am assuming they are going to paint them….at least I hope so).  Let’s not forget the white Toyota Yaris hatch with lime green wheels.

Jensen

On the list of awesome cars I would include the RUF 911, Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, and a Jensen that showed up.  The red GMC Typhoon that was for sale earlier this year was on hand, along with two Ford GT’s (they are Cars and Cafe regulars).  A new Lotus Evora made the trip, along with a Ford Mustang Shelby Super Snake.

One of the cleaner Oldsmobile 442’s I’ve seen was on site as well.  Obviously I have already mentioned the two Dodge GLH Turbo’s but I want to just mentioned them again in this section of awesome.  Last but not least was the regular BMW 200ti. It is a work in progress, but hot all the same.

One cool thing was this garage that had a Corvette Z06 in it.  Ok that car was nice but you know those bag chairs you take to soccer games and such?  Well they had one of those. and then they had a ginormous one that was literally super sized.  To get a idea of just how big it was they let me sit in it and I got a picture!

Overall the rain really put a damper on the attendance, or at least it felt that way.  With most of the people clearing out before 10 AM, it had to be one of the shortest Cars & Cafés I have attended yet.  Thankfully, the doughnut holes provided by Imola Motorsports stayed dry in the clubhouse.

Yes they were tasty,and yes I ate some.  Just for the record, doughnut holes always seems to taste better when they are delivered in a BMW M5.  I can not prove that, but that seems to be my experience.  Here’s hoping for a dry Cars & Café next month!

Review – 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8

I will be the first to admit that I was not around during the beginning of the pony car wars.  Luckily for me, I am around at the rebirth of the pony car wars.  The Ford Mustang really never left , while the Challenger had been off the market for some time.  The Challenger beat the new Camaro to market, but the Camaro is making up for lost time with killer sales numbers.  So back to the Challenger SRT8, is this beast one blast from the past or should it just be left in the past?

The exterior really is a retouched 21st century take on the original formula.  The exterior lines and design is unmistakably Challenger.  The SRT ups the formula with a chin spoiler, larger wheels and brakes, along with a small trunk lid spoiler.  Up front you have what almost looks like a sucker mouth front clip with four round lamps, the two inner lights being parking lights while the outer two are the headlights.  The fog lights below put out a surprising amount of light.  The character line that flows from the headlights down the side of the fenders and door flows into the rear haunches, which are exaggerated and quite large.  They look terrific.  The rear end is somewhat tall but stays true to the retro recipe set forth by the rest of the styling.  The rear tail light is a strip across the back that is really three pieces – but usually if you look quick, you would not notice.  Two squared off polished exhaust tips peek out from the bottom of the bumper to let you know, “hey I’m here, I can and will let you hear me.”  From the retro metal fuel cover to the raised hood with functional air inlets, I love the exterior lines.  They are classic – pure and simple.

Some have called the Challenger’s interior bland or boring.  I really actually feel it fits the car.  It is not over done, but the materials are all soft touch and have a feeling of quality.  The seats are nothing short of terrific.  I did note the seat bottoms were a little flatter then the seats in the Charger SRT8 I recently tested.  That said, they are terrific ,with great bolsters for your backside.  They were all-day comfortable and then some.  The gauge cluster consists of four round barrels with the tachometer and speedometer in the center and the fuel and engine temp gauges to the side.  The SRT8 model had a built in performance meter set up.  This included everthing from the ability to time 1/4 miles and 0-60 runs, to braking and even a G meter.  I must say this is very trick.  The head unit in this Challenger was the optional Uconnect system.  It is hard drive based and easy to use.  Something of note is that automatic climate control is not currently available in the Challenger.  While this does not bother me, it seems to irk some when they see the price tag on this particular car.  Did I mention the seats?  Overall, I liked the interior.

Like the other SRT8’s, the engine bay is filled with a 6.1 liter HEMI V-8 pumping out 425 horsepower to the rear wheels.  The power is channeled through either a pistol-grip six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic.  I had the later and it was acceptable.  I noted the block of the engine was painted orange in a nod to the history of this vehicle , and I really liked that little detail.

I drove this car in town during the week and went up north during the weekend.  On the open highway the car was a very comfortable cruiser.  Composed at any speed, it enjoys straight lines.  When the turns start coming the car can handle it, but this is no light weight.  The car weighs over 4,000 lbs!  On the way back from up north I had my mother, girlfriend and sister all in the Challenger SRT8, along with a full trunk.  After the nearly four-hour drive I asked how they fared.  Only the person behind me (the driver) said it was cramped.  I still managed to average 22.7 mpg on that highway jaunt with the cruise control set at 77 mph.  In the city I averaged 16.5 mpg, and that included downtown stop and go along with suburb and highway driving.  The car is rated at 13/19, which I easily exceeded.

So what do I make of this modern day remake of the Challenger?  It’s big, it’s comfy (did I mention the seats?) while being somewhat practical for what it is.  A ton of fun, but at a price.  Ringing in at $44,940, this is no cheap trick.  That is a lot of coin considering what Ford and Chevrolet are offering now with the new Mustang and Camaro.  Still, this car has a different personality then both of those cars, and I think it sells on its own merits.  Would I recommend the Challenger? In a heart beat!  Now, if you asked if it is better then the Mustang or Camaro? I would say that is all in your definition of better.

Full Disclosure- The review vehicle was provided by Dodge

Massive Pile of Honda Civic Fail

You read that title correctly, what you are looking at is indeed a Honda Civic.  In fact it is a 6th generation Civic hatchback, err I should say was a 6th generation Civic hatchback.  Now it is a confused little hatchback.  With Mustang rear tail lights and an awkward rear spoiler, do not even get me started on the fender flares, this thing reads like a massive pile of fail.  Thanks to our keen reader Joe Pine for spotting this atrocity and snapping a few pics.