Late in waining hours of the PM, I find myself with a few minutes and a full mind. I’ve got a theme for this line of thought though today, so pucker your butt holes, and prepare for a wild ride, because this post is all about cars… Accept for the first little bit here. Just a bit of news about the current goings-on. My film class has broken up into 2 different sets of groups. 1 set has begun forming around the Directors from next semester’s class that I listed last post, and the other groups are for the final project we have running at current. Actually, my group is finishing up our go around with the equipment, and will soon move on to the editing process. I’ve just got to say, we’re getting to work with one of the schools RED cameras, the RED Scarlet…
For all you non-filmmakers out there that don’t see the significance of shooting on this camera, let me list off a few movies that are being made, or have been made recently with this type of camera…
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Thor: The Dark World
Grown Ups 2
This is the End
Star Trek: Into Darkness
…and I’m cherry picking from a huge list here. This is truly professional grade equipment, used by some of the biggest names on some of the biggest titles…in slightly more intricate configurations, granted, but in essence, the same basic gear. We’ll be adding a few titles to that list by the end of the semester…pretty cool. Alright, on with the motoring. I don’t know if I really speak for the ladies out there, but most all guys have a list of dream cars that they would love to own if they got a chance. Some guys have a Top 5, some a Top 10, some just have a list…regardless, most have a mental shopping cart for if they were ever to come into a sudden windfall of millions of dollars. I have a pretty big list myself, that I throw together in no particular order, but I went through the exercise recently of trying to carve out a Top 10 from that list, and I’d like to share it here today. So…
First, an honorable mention. I went back and forth with this and my number 10 pick, so much so that I decided it merited being talked about…
The 2008 Ariel Atom 500
It has a 500HP 3 Liter V8 engine and weighs just over 1200 pounds. It’s power to weight ratio is better that the Bugatti Veyron (just google it, and make sure you have some tissues) and accelerates from 0-60 mph in just over 2 seconds. This thing will destroy your face. Okay, on to the list.
#10, The 1992 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) M-Spec
The Hero Car of character Brian O’Conner from the 2nd and 4th installments of the Fast and Furious trilogy. It had a twin turbo charged straight 6 engine, which at a factory measured ~280HP has a tremendous amount of speed and power.
#9, The 2014 Koenigsegg Agera S
This car is pure pornography. The twin turbo charged V8 engine in this monster puts out over 1000 horsepower, and has beat the world record, previously held by the Bugatti Veyron, for acceleration from 0-300 km/h (0-186mph) with a blistering 14.53 seconds. The price tag on this one might also be the biggest on this list, 4.2 million dollars.
#8, The 2010 Lexus LFA
I don’t have a whole lot of reason for liking this car much more than any other, beyond the fact that it’s just gorgeous. It’s got a 4.8 Liter V10 engine, the body is made mostly of a carbon fiber polymer material, it puts speed down to the ground unbelievably well…crap, it’s just a beautiful car.
#7, The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Coupé
This car probably needs no explanation. If you don’t recognize it immediately, then you don’t watch near enough secret agent flicks. This is THE James Bond car. It first appeared in Goldfinger, later Thunderball, it reappeared in Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and has been featured again in Casino Royale and Skyfall. Probably wouldn’t ever get the chance to sit at the wheel of one with all the gadgets and guns, but it’d still be a pretty slick ride.
#6, The 1969 Dodge Charger
The most iconic car of any that exists of the historic Dodge lineup. I say this as a Challenger owner, but I know that this car has remarkable prestige. It was the General Lee, Dominic Toretto’s car of choice, it’s 500 and Daytona derivatives put Dodge back on the map with NASCAR…the car has pedigree. Slap a big block blower on top, and some big chunky tires on the back, and you’ve got a drag car that will everyone envious.
#5, The 2008 HSV Maloo E Series
This one is a little bit out of left field. The Maloo is a sport truck that hails all the way from Austrailia. Now we may have plenty of options over here for hot and sporty pickups, but it holds the record for World’s Fastest Production Utility/Pickup Truck at 168 mph, a record previously held by the Dodge Ram SRT10. Whereas the Dodge Ram simply had a V10 stuffed in under the hood, the Maloo was designed with style in mind as well, in other words…it looks the part of an actual speed demon. And it doesn’t hurt that the Maloo is packing the same 6 Liter LS2 412 horsepower V8 motor that the Corvette had. Speaking of Chevy, they had a decent try when they designed the SSR, but, well, never mind. That really wasn’t a decent try…that thing was atrocious. The Maloo…bangin’.
#4, The 1991 Alfa Romeo SZ
What in God’s name am I doing with an Alfa Romeo on this list? Well, I think it’s gorgeous. As far as 90’s era cars go, this baby is a super model. It wasn’t packing a lot of heat under the hood, a 3 Liter V6…but it didn’t need it, this car was all style. Alfas aren’t renowned for their superb engineering, or their longevity, but for the brief moments that they are fully functioning…they are amazing. I’d love the crap out of one of these for about a week.
#3, The 1973 Dodge Challenger 440 Magnum
You can’t tell me you didn’t see this one coming from me. There are a lot of different Challenger body styles out there, but to my eye, I don’t see a whole lot more beautiful than that generation 1 E-body. And of all the engine options offered, wouldn’t you go with the largest? The 440 Magnum and the Six-Pack would be the two options you’ve got, and while the Six-Pack is technically the higher output engine, the Magnum just comes with a little more weight when you let the words slip through your gob. The Challenger is my car, and this is the grandpappy.
#2, The 1970 Nissan Skyline GT-R Coupé (KPGC-10)
Whoa…hold your horses their Corey, you’ve already got a Skyline on the list. Yea, I know, but there are some cars out there that are just love at first sight. I’ve loved that R34 Skyline for some time, never having gone back and gandered at that from which it came, but I saw this pop up in Fast Five, and I knew that I had to know more. Even back in 1970, this car just looked mean. A 2 Liter 160 horsepower straight 6 motor may sound relatively underpowered, but these cars weren’t built for straight line speed…they’re corner jockeys. I dunno, I can get wrapped up in the numbers for quite a while, but all I really know is that when I see this car, I want to slap on a set of shades, and go drifting around a twisty-turney mountain road.
Alright, so what can possibly occupy the top spot on my Top 10 List. I’ve already mentioned a Charger and a Challenger, so what can I possibly want more than that. You could venture a couple of guesses, and you’d get close, but you’d probably still be wrong.
#1, The 1970 Plymouth Road Runner (Hammer)
This…this is unequivocally the most beautiful car I have ever seen. This is not just any Plymouth Road Runner, but a custom job created by Custom Car Designer Steve Strope at his shop, Pure Vision Design, and was given then name ‘Hammer’. The Hammer is a fusion of European exotic flair and American Detroit muscle. It has a smaller, lighter Mopar wedge motor that outputs an estimated 750 horsepower. Everything is custom…engine, drivetrain, chassis, exhaust, wheels, tires…it’s even been fitted with heating, AC, and power windows. Even aside from the custom Hammer treatment, Plymouth’s take on the Chysler B-body platform, as expressed by the Road Runner/GTX/Satellite models.
Dodge did an amazing job with their B-body models, but Plymouth just stands a cut above in my mind. Yep, the the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner is number 1 in my book. I doubt I’ll ever get my hands on the Hammer that was shown at SEMA, but maybe I can still find me one with a 440 Six Pack.
As it were, I’ve got my Xbox One now, and just picked up Forza 5. I’m thinking something I might try and do, depending on their database of cars, is try to assemble that list.
Alright guys, and dolls if you do it too…if you’ve got a Top 10 Cars list that you wanna share, drop in and lay me some sweet sweet comments.
<Edit>Several of the cars on this list came to be objects of my lust due to their role in the Fast and Furious movie franchise. This past Saturday we lost one of the front men for that franchise, and all around great guy, Paul Walker. He was involved in a car accident on Saturday afternoon as a passenger in his Porsche, driven by his friend Roger Rodas, who was also killed. Walker was the founder of the Reach Out Worldwide organization, and Rodas was hosting a car show for the organization just down the street. Rodas was a very philanthropic man himself, and did a lot to try and give back to those around the world in need.
Walker, aside from his talent as an actor, was very adamant about finding ways to give back to the community. We are at a gigantic loss without this man that helped shape the car enthusiast community. He is survived by his wife and daughter. Rest In Peace Paul Walker, and Roger Rodas.
You will be greatly missed.
Let’s try and get a bit less somber now…</Edit>
I get a lot of enjoyment from a little show imported from over the pond called Top Gear. It’s all about cars and good laughs, and it lets me see a little more about the European motoring scene than I would normally be exposed to over here. I found out about several of the cars on my top 10 list through them. They show a high volume of super cars, hyper cars, and luxury sports, but every now and then they can pull something from way out of left field. The kind of cars where you wonder if the designers had a little crack sprinkled in their morning cereal. In some cases, these make for amazing cars. Others…not so much. I want to take a look at a few such cars shown on Top Gear that rated a 9.0 on my weird stuff-o-meter.
Awesome or Awful
Yea, you’ve already seen this ^up there^, I know. I just how well HSV was able to fuse a car with a pickup. I’d like to think that if Chevy made El Caminos that they’d look this good. I feel like I know better though. I think that the SSR was an attempt to try and bank on some of that old magic and…well, I’d definitely throw that one in the awful pile…
The Maloo though, I’d really call that a stylistic success, and it being able to best the Ram SRT10 in transferable power, that’s pretty snappy too. The Ram SRT10 had its own problems though. Trying to put a huge V10 motor in the front without putting any thought into weighing the rear end down too. It didn’t matter how easily you pressed on the accelerator, all you ever did was end burning rubber.
The HSV Maloo – Amazing in my book
It looks like someone fitted a cockpit onto a trike. This thing is more that just a street legal 3-wheeler though. It has a little surprise in store for aggressive cornering. If you were to take a corner in a smooth and leisurely fashion, it would act normally…but start cornering a little more quickly and aggressively, and it gives you this…
Yea…it will lean in to the turn like a motorcycle, or…if you’re feeling where I’m coming from…like a jet fighter. With a little 4 cylinder 65 horsepower engine that maxes at 115 mph, it’s not breaking any speed records. But just imagine being able to take this thing out and powering and tilting through every corner you encounter. This thing isn’t practical at all, but it looks ridiculously fun.
The Carver One – Amazing in my book
Someone actually intentionally designed a car to look like this. I don’t know why people had to get it into their heads that these clean, more eco-friendly cars by and large have to look like such utter garbage, but that seems to be the trend in the motoring world today. But yes, this was actually designed to look a particular type of fish that has a…low drag coefficient…or whatever…
Yea, that thing…I’m sure that little guy performs real well in a wind tunnel. So what else is so special about this car, you may ask? Well, it cuts down nitrogen oxide production by as much as 80% by using what they call an aqueous ammonia or urea chemical that mixes with the exhaust gas and pulls it out. Let’s cut to the chase here…ammonia…urea…they’re using sheep pee. Yea, that’s the big innovation there, the car has been injected with sheep wee to cut out greenhouse gas emissions. I’m still wondering why it has to look like an invalid carriage.
The Mercedes-Benz Bionic – Awful in my book
Paramount Group Marauder MPV
Hang on. This picture doesn’t quite do it justice. Let’s keep looking. Ah, here we go…
That’s better. Do you ever think that you’d see a vehicle that makes a Hummer H3 look like the old Mini Coopers? If you’re wondering what possible reason may exist for the production of this vehicle, the name really says it all…MPV – Mine Protected Vehicle. Like the Hummer itself, it started its life as a military vehicle, and someone in the marketing department said, “Hey, you think we could make any money with a civilian model?” and someone else nodded and cried to the engineers, “Make it so!” The engine specifications to this thing are irrelevant, and fuel economy is moot because it can come fitted with long range fuel tanks. The meat and potatoes of the vehicle are thus: it can stand up to explosions from a 7kg payload of TNT from any part of its hull…14kg if the explosion comes from under one of the wheels. The hulls armor plating can withstand fire from a .50 cal. It weighs 15 tons, and can be loaded down to 18 tons and still pony up to 75 mph. With seating for 10, this is the ideal vehicle for small army starter kits. Sadly though, with a price tag of nearly half a million, you’ll probably only have enough money left to outfit your small army with super soakers.
The Paramount Group Marauder MPV – Awful in my book
When Top Gear talked about this car, they introduced it by saying that a man was looking for a super car that was catastrophically atrocious, and that this was his car. Despite its incredible speed, it was unanimously hated for its looks, to which they said something to the point of their photographers not being able to find any one single angle that might flatter the car. From the outside at least, I couldn’t disagree more, I think this is a beautiful car.
I mean, it’s a little bit flamboyant and ostentatious, but Lamborghinis are designed quite the same way, and everyone thinks they’re some of the most beautiful cars around. So, I don’t get what the fuss is about…until I get a look inside…
Oh boy…it’s time to eat my words. That is very gaudy indeed. They really don’t need to color match with the neon paint, but they went and did it anyways. And it looks like they’re just throwing switches and gauges wherever they please, no rhyme or reason involved whatsoever. Oh, and the seats in here, the racing bucket seats…can’t be adjusted. The pedals however can be extended or retracted as needed to fit the drivers height…how back asswards is that?
Ugh, I wanted to love this car, but then you open those ridiculous gull wing style doors, take a look inside, and begin to understand what the Top Gear boys were on about.
The Gumpert Apollo – Awful in my book
Aston Martin Cygnet
I don’t know if there really is a more proper response to this vehicle than stunned silence. Aston Martin has a reputation for debonaire style, British luxury and power, and high social status all rolled up together all rolled up together with a black bow-tie. And then, at the suave dinner party you might expect Aston owners to attend, someone sharts, drops a turd down their pant leg, and this little surprise lands and stains the hand-woven anatolian carpets.
If this car looks at all familiar to you, their is good reason. It’s simply a rebadged and rebumpered version of the Toyota iQ…
The more appropriate question though is probably why. Why would Aston Martin stain their brand with this little hipster ragamuffin? Well, their is good reason for that too. The European union in the past several years has been cracking down on European car manufacturers to lower the average fuel emissions across the spectrum of cars they make. A lot of manufacturers already had at least one eco-friendly car amongst their lineup, but Aston Martin had never catered to that crowd, and found themselves in an uncomfortable position. They bit the bullet however buy tarting up the iQ’s interior, slapping some new dressings on the outside, and calling it good enough for government work. There is nothing technically wrong with this car, except for the fact that it’s trying to put on an expensive suit and go hobnobbing with the Aston Martin crowd. It should be said though that, testament to its poor looks and forethought, since its production began in 2011, it has since been halted in September of this year. A short 2-year run for it.
The Aston Martin Cygnet – Awful in my book
Spyker is a Dutch car manufacturer that began its life as an airplane manufacturer. Since the reformation of the brand name, the C8 has been the first entry into the car market. My only real gripes for the car are that possibly the designers didn’t look at it from all angles before determining that it was hot and ready for development. The back wheels sit out almost the full width of the tire itself on either side, giving it a rather awkward stance. The convertible top also seemed like it was thrown together a bit hastily from a design aesthetic standpoint. Here’s what I’m talking about…
The top when on just makes kind of a clean drop off in the back, almost giving it the appearance of a pickup truck. And with the amount of window space off the front, the car looks like it has a gigantic forehead when viewed from the front. That’s really all I can find wrong with it. On the inside, it looks fantastic…
Look at the exposed gear shift linkage, the humble but stylish and informative dashboard, even the attention to detail given to the floor pedals, the inside of this car is brilliant. They’ve even gone and improved the way the top looks on the car when up in subsequent versions of the car, so improvements are continuing to be made to the cars style. This car has a lot of potential to be a real contender in the super car scene; just a few refinements and it’ll be ready to stand up to the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Pagani, and McLaren.
The Spyker C8 – Amazing in my book
Alright, my mind full of cars has at last been exhausted, and I’m going to call it a day. It’s entirely possible that by the next time I post again, I’ll be on to my finals, and a hairsbreadth away from graduation. More news to come as I get to it. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving, and got to spend some good time with family. Until next time…
Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.
Just an epic pile of bacon