Friday, March 30, 2012

NHRA Legend, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins dies.

It is with a heavy hear that we announce the passing of former NHRA Pro-Stock driving legend Bill Jenkins otherwise known as Grumpy. Jenkins was one of the leading drivers that helped revolutionize the NHRA Pro-Stock category, and was a 13 time NHRA national event winner, 5 of them in a row. Jenkins earned an engineering degree from Cornell University and used that knowledge to create many racing products still in use today. He earned the nickname Grumpy because of his no nonsense attitude. Jenkins was inducted in to the Don Garlits International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1993, the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2008 and was voted 8th among NHRA Drag Racing's greatest racers in 2001. Jenkins was 81 years old.  Rest in Peace Grumpy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Porsche 911 Carrera S against Nissan GT-R

Tiff Needell pits latest Porsche 911 Carrera S against Nissan GT-R

Few rivalries are as heated as that between the Nissan GT-R and the Porsche 911. And with both models having recently been updated, Evo magazine has taken the updated GT-R and the new 911 Carrera S to the Bedford Autodrome for a little head-on-head action. And who better to put in front of the camera and behind the wheel than Tiff Needell, the longtime Fifth Gear co-host who's now doing a series of video tests for the magazine British enthusiasts love best.

Now if you're thinking that the GT-R really ought to be compared to the 911 Turbo and not the naturally aspirated 911 Carrera S, well, you're probably right. Particularly since Nissan hiked the price on its latest performance flagship to nearly $100,000. But Porsche hasn't released the turbocharged version of its latest 911, so the Carrera S will have to do. Skip past the break to see how they compare, as well as which one is Tiff's favorite.

Thank you for publishing this. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni

One of my favorite cars of the past 10 years. I realize I have a bias because of my family, but Rwd Lamborghini..... You can't go wrong with that. 

This is a limited (to 250 units) version named after Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni. The engine was rated at 550 PS (405 kW; 542 hp). The vehicle has dry weight of 1,380 kg (3,000 lb). Unlike the contemporary line-up, this model is rear wheel drive (because the standard all-wheel drive system was removed). It is the first Gallardo ever to use 2 wheel drive.

The CORSA ESP setting allows greater drift angles over regular models.
Other features include re-calibrated optional e-gear transmission, redeveloped 45% limited slip differential, full leather black upholstery with white colour strips, Polar white centre console, a stripe down the centre of the car, and a badge below the left side window bears the signature of Valentino Balboni and the production number of the car.

The Lamborghini LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni can reach a top speed of 199 mph and reach 0–100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
The vehicle has MSRP of €162,000 (Europe), £137,900 (UK), $219,800 (US).[28]
In 2009, the car was voted Top Gear's car of the year; Richard Hammond deadpanned: "We were impressed with its stripe, its V10 engine, its rear wheel drive, the savagery of its exhaust, and its stripe."

Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione

Ferrari is an automaker the operates in two spheres: racing and road cars. The company builds the latter to fund the former, but while the two have long operated as fairly separate units, there is plenty of room for overlap. Like its Corse Clienti department.

Established to facilitate privateer racing teams running Ferrari GT cars in various series, the Corse Clienti division also runs the firm's elite XX development program that allows some of its best customers the opportunity to act as "client test drivers." In other words, people pay big money – and by big, we mean millions – to test out new equipment developed by Maranello's skunkworks before it's implemented on future road cars.

The program started with the Enzo-based FXX back in 2005, which was succeeded by the 599XX in 2009. But like the FXX led to the even more extreme FXX Evoluzione, so has the 599XX. More an upgrade package than a new car, the $250,000 evolution kit includes a bigger front splitter, giant rear wing with moving foils, a 30-horsepower upgrade to 740 and another two years of factory-supported track days.

The most recent was held at Japan's Suzuka circuit, where the 599XX Evoluzione hit the track for the first time since delivery to its eager new owners. It was also the first time the upgraded track car was run in public, following its debut at the Bologna Motor Show back in December. Of course, now that the 599 range is being phased out, we can't help but wonder what Ferrari will base its next developmental track car on: the new F12 Berlinetta? The 458 Italia? The upcoming Enzo successor? It's early to tell, but you can check out the 599XX doing its thing in the video clip and press release after the jump, along with the fresh crop of high-resolution images we've added to the gallery.

New Ford Explorer PERFORMANCE

The redesigned Ford Explorer is already selling quite well, and it looks like the three-row crossover is about to add another variant to boost the bottom line a little more. Ford posted on its Facebook page a 26-second video that teases a high-performance version of the Explorer.

The video show only a mesh grille, a beefy exhaust and what appears to be body-color wheels. There's not much else we can share about the brawny family hauler, but we think it's safe to speculate that an EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 with 350 or so horsepower lies in waiting under the hood of this Explorer Sport.

The good news about this tease is that we won't have to wait long to see the finished product. Ford tells us that the powerful CUV will be officially unveiled on the Ford Explorer Facebook page on March 28. Hit the jump to watch the video for yourself, and stay tuned for more information on this hi-po 'ute as we get it.

DODGE DURANGO SRT8 and Jeep SRT8 you better watch your backs.

Sergio Marchionne on Last Night's 60 Minutes

CBS' 60 Minutes sat down with Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne last night to discuss the automaker's resurrection and the touch-and-go period in 2009 when the Fiat executive began talks with the federal government over a controlled Chrysler bankruptcy. Marchionne said that when he arrived at Chrysler, the company's employees were all afraid the company wouldn't survive. Now, he says, that fear is gone. The segment explains how Marchionne saw early on how well Chrysler strengths, specifically in minivans and light trucks, could dovetail with Fiat experience in small-car technology. The executive calls Chrysler the "other half" of the Fiat coin from a product perspective.

The segment also spends some time looking at the upcoming Dodge Dart, with Marchionne saying the car is "mechanically outstanding." The executive played a strong hand in improving both Fiat and Chrysler quality, at least according to Consumer Reports. The besweatered Marchionne also spends a bit of time talking about American workers and the labyrinth of bureaucracy within Chrysler when he arrived. Hit the jump to watch – it's well worth the 13 minutes of your day.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

13,185 Unique Visitors from 11 countries across the world.

13,185 Unique Visitors from 11 countries across the world. 

I would never have believed that this blog would get past 1,000 viewers... now we are way beyond that. Thank you.

Look at the previous entry for some Lamborghini love.



Automobili Lamborghini is bringing motor racing excitement directly to the road. This new and most extreme top model in the Gallardo lineup is based on the successful race car from the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo, the world’s fastest single-make series.
The car, presented on September 12, 2011 at IAA Frankfurt fair, will be produced in a limited run of 150 numbered units and will be available upon request in the historically suggestive “Rosso Mars”.
The “Rosso Mars” color symbolizes Italy’s traditional racing color, as established at the beginning of last century in motor racing, when the home nations of the competitors were indicated by the color of the paint on the vehicles.
Dark green stood for Great Britain, blue was for France, white (and silver later on) represented Germany, and red was the color of all race cars from Italy

Formula 1 According to Americans.

How Lamborghini Names Their Cars

F1 Cars and Teams Infographic

Volkswagen To Add 800 Jobs at Chattanooga Factory

Volkswagen To Add 800 Jobs at Chattanooga Factory

Getty Images
Volkswagen AG said it will hire to fill 800 new jobs at a Chattanooga, Tenn., factory it opened last year, reflecting anticipated demand for a new car built there.
The hiring, which will help the German auto maker increase production of its Passat midsize sedan, comes in addition to 200 new jobs added at the Chattanooga plant earlier this year.
“Local production is essential to making Volkswagen of America profitable,” said Albrecht Denninghoff, an analyst at German investment bank Silvia Quandt & Cie.
The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga currently employs more than 2,700 people, including 500 by Aerotek, a unit of Allegis Group Inc., and the company’s staffing supplier. The new hiring disclosed on Thursday will include jobs offered by both companies.
Volkswagen has shown recent strength in the U.S. market with brand sales rising 26% in 2011 to 324,400. It ended the year with a 2.5% U.S. market share, up from 2.2% a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp. Volkswagen has set a goal to sell 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018.
The Chattanooga plant started making the Passat last year and it went on sale in the fall, selling 22,835 in a couple months. It was more than the 12,497 it sold in all of 2010 when the Passat was made in Germany and cost $8,000 more.
VW has sold 14,507 Passats this year through February. New staffing will give VW the potential to build 170,000 cars at the plant by 2013, according to company officials.
“Quite plainly, we need more Passats to meet the market demand,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
Helped by favorable foreign exchange rates and an ample supply of affordable labor, the U.S. is emerging as fertile ground for foreign auto makers who want to expand their production.
Volkswagen is mulling a second plant to produce Audi vehicles in the U.S. BMW is expanding its plant in South Carolina while Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unit is considering adding a second U.S. plant.
Earlier this month, VW also said it will invest $40 million to build a warehouse for distributing parts for the Chattanooga-made Passat. The warehouse will employ 45 people by 2016.

My Interpretation. 
This is exactly why I do not like how their are people who still will not buy cars made outside of America. They truly have no idea that their is no such thing as a foreign company. Every company is an international firm in todays world. This company that yes has german heritage produces many of their cars in America, while the "Big 3" American firms are outsourcing to Mexico and Canada... Now can you tell me who is the true America firm?

My Trip to the Denver Auto Show

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Confirmed: Datsun making a comeback.

Perhaps in an effort to combat Toyota's Scion brand, Nissan has confirmed that the Datsun nameplate will join with Nissan and Infiniti in 2014. Currently, the U.S. has not been named as one of the countries where Datsun will make its comeback. Russia, India, and Indonesia are slated as the three launch countries. I won't count out the U.S. though. There would be a huge market for a Nissan sub brand to go after the youthful market. Can we see a possible Datsun 510 or 610 in the near future? I hope so!

Source: Nissan

Press Release: Nissan CEO expects strong growth in Indonesian auto market
- Carlos Ghosn details Indonesian investment and the launch of Datsun -

Production capacity to grow to 250,000 by 2014
33 billion Japanese yen investment
Nissan strongly supports Indonesia's green car program
Return of the Datsun brand

JAKARTA (20 March 2012) -- Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced measures to strengthen its production base and sales presence in Indonesia. Total capacity will increase to 250,000 annually by 2014, with the workforce expanding to 3,300, and sales outlets are planned to increase to 150 by 2015.

On March 19, CEO Carlos Ghosn met Indonesia president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and reiterated Nissan's commitment to the nation's motorization.

"Nissan is bringing new jobs and new vehicles to Indonesia," said Ghosn. "We are going to expand our production capability and offer a new and exciting product line here."

The new plan announced today will make Nissan's Cikampek site, located 80 kilometers outside of Jakarta, one of the largest production facilities in the ASEAN region for Nissan.

In 2011, 890,000 vehicles were sold in Indonesia, for the first time making the nation ASEAN's largest car market. Nissan is in line to achieve its sales objectives of 60,000 units for fiscal year 2011. Indonesia total industry volume is estimated to increase nearly double by 2017 compared to 2010, largely driven by the introduction of the Green Car program now being drafted by the Indonesian government. Nissan strongly supports the program and looks forward to its speedy ratification.

While talking to the media, Ghosn announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan's third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti. Datsun will provide sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese carmaking expertise and is a important part of Nissan's DNA. Datsun vehicles will start sales in India, Indonesia, and Russia from 2014.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2011 Great Race highlights

The 2011 Great Race may be one of the wildest vintage car events that exist today. It's vintage cars taking part in a cross country endurance rally. Each year over 100 cars participate. Check out this fantastic highlight reel from 2011.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

2002 Ford F-150

Here we have a 2002 Ford F-150 truck with a 5.4 liter engine and 121,306 miles on the odometer. The customers complaint is an intermittent extended crank especially first start. There is no history on the truck so I do not know if it has well taken care of or not. On a hunch I decided to hook up a fuel pressure gauge and crank the engine over.
This is what greets me. No fuel pressure. I quickly check for spark, injector pulse, and scantool communication. I have everything except for fuel pressure. Now it is time to figure out why. I do not want to disturb anything like connections or relays. So, I head for the inertia switch in the right side kick panel. With that exposed I can use my low amp probe to check the health of the fuel pump circuit and the fuel pump itself.
So, with everything hooked up I crank the engine over and take a snapshot of the scope pattern. The advantages of the low amp probe are many. I like it because it is quick and non-intrusive. Lets look at that pattern.

I get a non modulating 18 amp pattern. This is typical of a fuel pump that is locked up. High amperage with no humps. One thing I can take from this pattern is the circuit is in good shape or else we wouldn't be able to support almost 18 amps of current. Now, there is a caveat here. Be sure to inspect the wiring around the top of the tank and framerail before fingering the pump. So what can we do to also confirm our findings?

We go low tech! A quick wrap on the tank with a rubber mallet is usually enough to vibrate the pump enough to unlock. So I smack and retry. Here is the scopeshot.

Now that is ugly! A couple of more whacks and I get this.
The truck roars to life and this fuel pump sounds like a jet engine. Lets check our running pattern.

Amperage is a bit high at 8 amps peak. I usually see 6 amps or so. The pattern is terrible. This pump has seen better days for sure. I wouldn't be taking this truck too far. I report my findings to the shop owner. He calls the customer and explains the issue and gives an estimate. Customer refuses the job. Oh well, I hope he is handy with a rubber mallet. Here is an example of a good fuel pump pattern for comparison.

 The low amp probe saved me so much time here. It is a great tool to utilize. It tells me more about a circuit and component than any other tool in my opinion. I often see low amp probes in the shops I visit. I always ask if they are using it. I usually get-"Nah" as my answer. Techs break out your amp probes and use them.