Monday, April 28, 2014

Wilmington Cars & Coffee - May 3rd

The next Wilmington Cars & Coffee event will be held on May 3rd at Chili's (819 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403). Come out and get your weekend started right with free coffee, doughnuts and most importantly lots of cool cars and petrol heads.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

E-Bay find of the day - Mint 1992 Dodge Viper

Although we've never been the biggest fans of the Dodge Viper, you really can't knock it's unique styling and high power.  Today's E-Bay find of the day is a 1992 version located in Middleburg, North Carolina, which the seller says was number #176 of 200 built.  The most amazing part about this over twenty year old V-10 is the extremely low mileage, just 3,045.  Yes under four thousand miles in twenty two years, that works out to an astonishingly low 152 miles per year. Several of the accessories are still in the original factory packaging and the original bar code from the assembly plant is still on the window.  Like all vipers produced that year, this one is red with soft vinyl top and grey leather high back bucket seats.  The original MSRP on these vipers was only around $50,000 but because of the limited number produced almost all sold for significantly over that price.  Check out the photos below and find the original e-bay listing here.  Act fast, as there are only six days left on this one and it's gaining a lot of interest.

Saturday Morning Motorvation: Vintage Porsche

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kim gets his cars back

After fighting with US and New Zealand law enforcement for more than two years, Kim Dotcom will be getting his cars back. He is a big petrol head and has quite the collection as well.  In celebration, here is his ring video.

F1 - A guide for Americans

    F1 has always had a large following in almost every country but the united States.  The lack of races in the US  and no American teams or drivers has contributed to this. If you want to be an F1 driver, you probably need to be the son of rich European parents. There are a few exceptions to this (Senna) but even those probably had very wealthy parents and started racing go karts while still in diapers. But just because you won't be a millionaire driver yourself, you can still enjoy F1 (Quick joke - How do you become a millionaire race car driver? Start with a billion dollars.) It's like NASCAR but better because the cars are faster and they turn both left and right. No,  not really but that just emphasizes the stereotypes that keep gear heads from enjoying all forms of racing. In order to bridge the gap, let's start with the basics to understanding F1.

  The season;  The 2014 season started on 14 March in Australia and finishes on 23 November with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.  There are a total of 19 races scheduled, each in a different country.  While eight of the races are in Europe, there is one scheduled for the United States from 31 October to 2 November in Austin, Texas.  There have been discussions and rumors of a race in New Jersey but it doesn't look like that will ever happen.

  The tracks;  The majority of the races are held on purpose built circuits but there are a few still held on public roads which are temporary converted into race tracks.  The most famous of which is the Monaco Grand Prix.  This is also one of the most prestigious events in the F1 calendar and the expense and extravagance surrounding this event is beyond belief.  During practice runs, many of the drivers have unofficial agreements to leave as much rubber on the road as possible in order to burn off the layer of filth left by the previous night of partying.

Grand Prix De Monaco 2014

  The cars; The single seat, purpose built, open wheel cars are the fastest multi-turn circuit racing vehicles in the world. On the faster tracks, the cars reach speeds over 200 mph and up to 5 g's of force in turns.  During the race, cars will make several pit stops to change tires and make basic repairs.  Since 2009, there is no refueling during the race.  An F1 pit stop is an incredible coordinated event involving upwards of 30 people and should take less than two seconds for the top teams.

Sebastian Vettel

  The teams and drivers:  There are a total of eleven teams for the 2014 season.  Mercedes, Red Bull,
Ferrari and Lotus are the most popular and well known.  The top drivers to keep an eye on this year are Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.  Vettel, racing for Red Bull, has won the championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  He is one of the most successful F1 racers of all time.

  Where and when to watch;  CBS Sports Network airs most of the races live and frequent replays the following day.  The replays are extremely helpful unless you want watch live in the middle of the night.  Just make sure if you are watching the replay to avoid spoilers on Facebook.

Bernie Ecclestone
  Bernie; While not critical to understanding F1, no guide would be complete without mentioning Bernie
Ecclestone. Bernie, who is now 83 years old, became a key player in F1 for many years, turning it (and himself) into billion dollar industries. He is a very savvy businessman but may soon be a prisoner in Germany.  His trial started on Thursday, 24 April 2014 in Munich.  The charges, of bribery and incitement to breech of trust, stem from a 44 Million dollar payment to a German banker named Gerhard Gribkowsky to facilitate the the sale of F1 Group to a buyer of Ecclestone's preference.  Gribkowsky has already been found guilty and is serving an eight and one half year sentence.  If convicted, Ecclestone, even if only receiving a fine, would be forced to finally step down from F1.

Hopefully that's enough to get you started.  We'll be posting throughout the season and providing a few more guides on the car details and drivers as the year goes on.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Morning "Motor"vation: Boxster GTS

Here's your weekly dose of "motor"vation, courtesy of Porsche and their newly announced Boxster GTS.  Look's like they are finally starting to let these mid engine machines stretch their legs.

Friday, April 4, 2014

2015 Porsche 911 Turbo S Review: Video Game Fast - XCAR

Great review of the current Porsche 911 Turbo and history on the evolution of the turbo in the Porsche line up.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Car Show Visitors Guide AKA getting all up and in those fancy cars

  If you've ever been to one of the public days at the Paris, Frankfurt or Detroit Auto show, you know first
hand just how hard it is to get up and personnel with the high end cars.  I've had the opportunity to visit a few of the major auto shows and have developed a few tricks to make for a more enjoyable experience. Here are my top tips;
Crowds at the IAA Frankfurt 2009

Press Days - If you have the chance to go during a press day vice public, definitely do it.  There are obviously ways that an average guy could get into one of the press days, but for most it's not practical.  If you are able to get in during a press day, you will find a much smaller crowd, no barriers and easier access to the vehicles.  The manufactures want to make sure the press gets the best photos, videos and impression of their vehicles.  Most of the major manufactures will also hold press conferences during these days and freebies.
Frankfurt 2011 Crowds at the Mercedes Demo

Plan your trip - This is especially important if press days are not an option.  Hit up the show's website, print the floor plans, exhibition hall layouts and all the info you can.  If you are patient and can avoid opening day you will save yourself some frustration.  After reviewing all the info, develop a solid list of the top cars you want to experience and where they are located.  If you can purchase and print tickets online, do so as this will save some precious time and get you ahead of those less organized than you.
Porsche GT3 RS Premier at Frankfurt IAA

Dress the part - While you should dress practically for a long day of standing and walking, you also need to have a look of money about you.  It might be tempting to go with the running shoes and track suit for comfort but dressing like that will get you no where with the reps at the booth.  You also do not want to over dress as they will see right through this as well.  The key is to dress like you have money, will be comfortable throughout the day but also that aren't trying to impress anyone.  Avoid running shoes, hiking boots and stick with some simple leather shoes.  A nice button down shirt with dark blue jeans or slacks will complete the look and depending on the weather a simple sport coat or leather jacket will complete the look.  Don't forget to ditch the timex digital watch for something a little more upscale as the details matter.  Make sure the wife, girlfriend or kids that are with you also dress the part.  The kids can be another great tool to help get past the booth bouncer and up close with the car.

Just an average day at the auto show, Frankfurt 2009
Day of the show -  You'll want to get there about thirty minutes before the gates actually open and make sure you have your plan all mapped out.  The goal is to be one of the first to the cars you are most interested in.  Don't get distracted by the booth babes next to the new Honda, keep pushing straight to the Aston Martin or Lambo booth. The average visitors will simple go for stand to stand, you want to get out ahead of them.  When you do arrive at the booth of your dream car, step right up with confidence and ask to take a closer look.  The "bouncers" manning the velvet rope are just there to keep the rift raft out, not high class potential buyers like yourself.  It helps at this point if you know a little more than average about the product and can ask at least one technical question.  Once past the bouncer, there will be multiple employees eager to show you their newest cars.  Take your time, ask questions and play the part.  Don't forget to act a bit indifferent about the whole affair or they may become suspicious.  Feel free to take a few photos as well, just don't make too big a scene out of it or ask the employees to take them for you.

After finishing with one of your dream cars, head straight to the next one and you'll still be ahead of the crowds.  If you plan your trip out correctly within the first 60 minutes of being at the show, you'll have already been up close and personnel with the Astons, Ferraris, Lambos and Porsches before the swarming masses have descended.

Once the crowd's start to build at the super cars, you can transition over to checking out some of the not so expensive options or even call it a day.  By mid afternoon the area surrounding the super car booths will be a complete shoulder to should mass of people anyway.

Wilmington Cars and Coffee Saturday 5 April

The next Wilmington Cars and Coffee meeting is this Saturday 5 April.  The event will be going from 9 am until 12 and featuring free donuts, coffee, free raffle for discounts and prizes.  Chili's is also offering a discount to all participants.  This will be the first Cars and Coffee of the spring and they are expecting a large showing of over 300 cars from all makes, models and years.