Thursday, December 21, 2006

100% unadulterated horsepower

This is what I quite possibly love most about muscle cars. Don't get me wrong, the styling is some of the best in history in my eyes, but even it is trumped by the power factor, power to the 10th degree. It's that very power that has been responsible for my less than splendor driving record back in the day. I never racked up more than 5 or 6 points before they began dropping off, though as luck would have it, every time my record was completely clean, I'd tack on a couple of tickets. I wasn't always guilty, so at the time I didn't see much reason to try and fight them in court.

Posslibly the most entertaining was the two I got during Woodward's Dream Cruise on two seperate years. The first was simply a $90 fine, labeled on the ticket as "an exhibition of power." I was coming to a complete stop, powerbraking the car, and once the white smoke was pouring off the tires like a 5 alarm fire I'd ease off the brake, feathering the throttle until the hot, sticky tires finally found adhesiveness to the street. I told the girl with me at the time that I wasn't gonna stop doing burnouts until I got pulled over, which was after I did a good half dozen or so. The crowd took up a collection as the officer wrote the ticket, paying for more than half of the fine.

Then next time I wasn't as lucky, as I was tagged with a careless driving, though a court battle got it dropped to an illegal lane change, which greatly reduced the points and prevented my classic car insurance policy from dropping me. During that exhibition of power I had a touch over 500hp on tap, and almost equal amounts of torque. I may have left the scene with a ticket in hand, but it didn't break the smile on my face.

There is just something about trying to control something that is out of control, something that possesses more power than a vehicle could possibly ever need. That same desire drove me to park the car, as it still sits in a rolling state, in order to build something more radical. Now, equipped with a 12 point roll cage, the beast awaits it's engine that will make an estimated 650-700hp on the engine alone. The 250hp nitrous kit will be on tap for when it's needed. Insane? Perhaps, yet it's the desire to push the envelope a little bit further that keeps us gearheads striving for more power.

Here are just a few clips I found on youtube the other day that got my blood pressure pumping, sent goose bumps up my arms, chills up my spine, giggling like a school girl, and cussing like a school boy....fuck yeah baby, that's what I'm talking about! Enjoy.

Got Torque?

You asked for a morning wake up call?

Scotty, give me warp speed!

Special on Donuts!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Who killed the electric car?

Personally, I've never been a big fan of movies that try and convince us that there is an "inconvenient truth," one in which tell of a doomsday soon to come, or some conspiracy put into motion by the big money corporations. In reality, most of these theorists gather facts that only show one side of the story, such was the case with "Who killed the electric car." While I have yet to see it (don't know if I could stomach it), I have heard and read all about it.

I had done by own bit of research on this car awhile ago, long before this movie ever came out. What I found across the internet and on forums was that very few owners of EV1's were actually happy with their cars. Many had been left stranded due to dead batteries at one point or another, and most agreed, the car was simply impracticle. GM sold just 800 of these cars, and they were never in great demand by the general public, but hindsite is 20/20 you know. Toyota, some 6 years later, would deliver just 342 electric vehicles to customers. They too agreed, they couldn't give the things away, the public simply wasn't buying into a fully electric car. Even Toyota came to bat defending GM, saying the movie was misleading and one sided. Interesting that the filmaker of the movie owns an electric RAV4-EV, was part of a protest outside of Toyota, though when given free Toyota key chains and bottled water, they gave Toyota a free pass from being portrayed as a bad guy in the film and all footage was cut from the film.

Electric car killer?

I was talking to somebody the other day in regards to when we were back in elementary school. Back when the weekly publications distributed in our classroom talked of global warming and how we would run out of oil by....well, right about now. In addition, there was the gas crisis back in the 1970's, while I was either too young to remember, or perhaps not even born yet. This country quickly believed that doomsday was in the very near future and began shifting over to buy smaller, more economical cars. During this period, due to the American automakers inability to act quickly enough, a trend to buy imported cars was beginning.

After the realization that we weren't really about to run out of oil, the performance cars began to return in the 80's, as did the rise in popularity among SUV's and full sized trucks. Even though gas prices has continually rose over the years, people still paid the price. Only during quick, drastic rises in the price of gasoline do sales of such bohemoth vehicles take a hurting.

Another interesting argument is among the "NO BLOOD FOR OIL" crowd. Well, last I checked, we aren't at war with Canada or Mexico, our top two suppliers for crude oil. In fact, I believe most would be surprised to hear where out oil in this country actually does come from. Here are the top 15 as of October 2006, for TOTAL oil imports, not just crude oil.

1. Canada
2. Mexico
3. Saudi Arabia
4. Venezuela
5. Nigeria
6. Algeria
7. Angola
8. Iraq
9. Russia
10. Virgin Islands
11. Ecuador
12. Kuwait
13. Brazil
14. United Kingdom
15. Norway

Energy information administration

A bit surprised? So was I the first time I read it. Take it for what it's worth, but that's just my two cents, just another one sided conspiracy film telling their version of the truth.