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Cars!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by VMan, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    By the way, Joe, nice to see you back.
     
  2. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    I second that. Joe, where you been bro? I would love to see Joe G and Kalra in debate. I'm just waiting for it.
     
  3. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    (j @ 15 July 2004, 5:09) By the way, Joe, nice to see you back.
    I second that. Joe, where you been bro? I would love to see Joe G and Kalra in debate. I'm just waiting for it.
    Bring it on (just kidding&#33[​IMG]
     
  4. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    None of which matters one bit to private parties residing in developed countries and commuting via paved roads of (by world standards) excellent uniformity and condition.

    At any rate, all the climb test proves is that the Porsche has a more favourable (torque)*(gearing)/(mass) ratio in first gear than the army truck. (I would suspect that the arrival and departure angles of the HUMVEE are greater.) Another factor that undoubtedly helped the Porsche truck (and contributed to the aforementioned more favourable ratio) is that the US military truck has a three-cog slushbox, the antique GM THM400 I believe. I don't know if the Porsche truck had a manual or 5-cog slushbox, but even if the latter modern electronics provide much more effective launch control than simple brake-torquing of a mechanical slushbox does.

    As far as real offroad (and poor road) capability goes, of late I've been exceptionally impressed with the Subaru Forester. The NA version is preferable to the turbo, because the ultra-short gearing that can send the turbo one to 100km/h in about 5.5 seconds if launched in a clutch-hating manner also makes going over rough terrain without frying the clutch...interesting. The turbo also has fuel requirements that render it allergic to most of the petrol found in places where civilians may actually require off-road capability. If Subaru would introduce a Diesel version of their boxer four, I believe they would dominate the African and South Asian markets within five years.

    Had Porsche made a small, light, sporting, minimalist off-roadster in the vein of their 1980s Baja Panamericana concept car, I'd have no problem with it. However, for a sports car company to so cavalierly toss its heritage in the rubbish bin and become a lowly truck maker is vile and perhaps even an indictment of capitalism itself.

    Peace,

    JG

    PS: I really should know this answer, but is the car in your name-picture a Mk. I E-Type or an XKSS?
     
  5. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    Yep, insipid and soulless. It has neither the grace nor the manners of a proper sports car, nor does it have a single endearing quirk that can allow a car to transcend the plane of mere machinery into the realm of the inspiring. It just has the ability to generate numbers that were impressive ca. 1990 but are now inferior to many estate cars. My first go around, when I bought an Opel Speedster on the grounds that it would be more reliable than the Lotus and it looks better I did audition an NSX because of its reputation. It was totally unimpressive. All of the controls of the NSX have a lightness that to me imparts not a feeling of precision but rather a feeling of nauseating disconnectedness. Like a Buick. Yes, the front wheels moved in perfect proportion to the input on the steering wheel, but the feel of the rack was more Yank-tank than thoroughbred sporting machine. The clutch and shifter had actions positively Civic-like in their inoffensive banality, working perfectly but not communicating at all. IMO the humble Mazda Miata is a far superior sports car. While I've not driven an F355, it is not at any rate the car against which the NSX was supposed to compete. The NSX was aimed at the previous V8 Ferrari, the 348. Ferrari has moved two generations on since then, but Honda's content to sell 150 or so NSX's a year that are barely upgraded from the car's 1990 specification. Peace, JG
     
  6. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    I drive a 1999 Audi A6, which is a nice highway cruiser, but not the most nimble of rides. Still, quattro comes in handy for Michigan winters.
     
  7. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

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    For what its worth, I'm a great fan of the Subaru as well - I currently own an Impreza WRX, and its a lovely car. I'm not sure why you're shocked to see Subarus - it makes (IMHO) far more sense to drive in the snow in a car that has 4 wheel drive, and a low center of gravity, rather than an SUV, that has only the former. And the Subaru boxer engine format lowers the CG even more than your average car.

    I second Joe G's thought about the diesel Subaru - I'd be one of the first customers, if such a vehicle were to make its way stateside.
     
  8. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    I've never sat in a BMW 8-series or known anyone who spoke of one, but it's on my list of the most attractive cars of its day, along with the Mercedes 500SL that was released at about the same time. Long, sleek, elegant, echoing the M1 in the nose, they still turn my head.

    I do know from a diplomatic corps that ran a fleet of 750iL's that the BMW V12 is much more trouble-prone than the Jaguar HE or Mercedes 12-pots, and BMW electrics have never been particularly long-lived, so I would be scared of running one, though.

    About the Forester, it's the real deal. When I last visited my father, we imported a few cars and trucks in order to gauge their suitability to West African roads and fuel quality. Of those, the Forester and Baja 2.5 were by far the most impressive. (The Impreza was hampered in comparison by its lower ground clearance.) But Subaru puzzles me to a large extent. Fuji Heavy Industries designs the best-suited cars for the developing world since the Land Rover and Toyota "FJ" Land Cruiser, yet does not bother to get them there. A Forester-like vehicle (i.e. a medium-sized wagon with a very stiff chassis, compliant suspension, decent ground clearance, and an engine that's reasonably forgiving of fuel quality) would be the ultimate developing world machine. But it has taken them until very recently to even consider developing markets. For example, sales of the Forester (badged as a Chevrolet, General Motors owning a share of FHI) only recently started in India. If a car and a country were ever more suited for each other than a Subaru and India, I've never seen the match.

    Peace,

    JG
     
  9. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    All true about the Porsche. I still like them. If I had one I would have it painted flat olive drab or tan and have the underside armor coated, then take it out and rally it around in the mud and drive it around town all muddy. I would wear a suit and tie when I did this, of course. I have slid my Bimmer around in the mud a bit, and it does okay but is too low slung to do any real rally work. The car in the photo: [​IMG] (the album cover from Donald Byrd's 1963 album "A New Perspective"), I believe is a Porsche (ironically). Not sure what model but you will be able to look it up from that info. A great photo, I'd love to get a blown up copy for my wall. As a bit of trivia, this cover inspired the much less striking cover art for Tone Loc's surprisingly good album "Loc-ed After Dark": [​IMG]
     
  10. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    Seeing the two album covers convinces me that is a Mk. I E-type. An XKSS (i.e., a roadgoing D-Type racecar) had a shorter, steeper front fascia, like so: [​IMG] It is definitely not a Porsche; follow the lines shown to their logical conclusion and you will note an impossibly long bonnet, such as one would never find on a rear-engined automobile. Also, the form vocabulary of the headlights and headlight bezels is unmistakably early-1960s Sir William Lyons. And the car in the Tone Loc album cover is a Series-3 E-Type, the last (and worst) of the series, bloated in styling and powered by the V12 instead of the I6. Peace, JG
     
  11. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I had thought it was an E-type the first time I saw the photo. I looked it up and someone had said it was a Porsche, but I didn't look into it further. Here's another image of a Jag to compare: [​IMG] I think you are right. There are several books on Blue Note album cover art. Now I am convinced I must get one so I can frame this picture for my wall along with some of their other awesome artwork.
     
  12. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Keep in mind the short focal length of the lens used distorts perspective greatly, so it still could be this one. The best way to settle it would be to find pictures of the different headlight covers and compare the mounting hardware.
     
  13. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    My top five favorite current cars:

    Dodge Viper SRT-10 (relatively affordable exotic. True convertible, 2nd coming of the Shelby Cobra, 70,000 mile warranty)

    Ford GT (Amazing performance, Seriously heart stopping retro good looks. Detroit again beats the Italians at their own game.)

    Ferrari Enzo (Highest performance Ferrari ever, which is saying quite a lot. The current pinnacle of the sports car.)

    Mercedes Mclaren SLR (comfort and performance. When you're late to the opera and need to get there at an average speed in the three digits.)

    Subaru WRX STI (A street legal version of their kick-butt rally car. Fits 5 adults, can carry your groceries and do car pool duty, costs about $32k, and can smoke your neighbor's corvette in the 1/4 mile or on a road course.)

    My top five favorite cars of all time:

    Dodge Challenger 426 Hemi convertible. (arguably the greatest muscle car ever built. Dodge captured the essence of the muscle car era, just in time to see the era collapse.)

    Model J Deusenberg Boat-tail speedster. (The car I would drive if I were the Great Gatsby. The sound of that engine, the beautiful liines, and the amazing opulence of the car still astound today.)

    Ferrari NART Spyder. (Steve McQueen's ride, and perhaps the most beautiful convertible ever built. The perfect car for cruising the Pacific Coast Highway with a beatiful girl in the passenger seat.)

    Mclaren F1 (A performance car which still hasn't really been surpassed. An amazing exercise in building a car where the only consideration was making the best car possible, and cost wasn't even a factor.)

    Shelby Cobra (giant Detroit V8 shoe-horned into an ultralight aluminum body. A take no prisoners roadster that even today has few equals.)
     
  14. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    I tested the SLR, it is mindblowing, so smooth, in no other car do you fell as if you are floating at about 20mph, when your speed is touching 200.
     
  15. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    My fave is the McLaren F1. Supposedly McLaren is in the process of developing a "baby McLaren."
    I like Spyker and Pagani. Recent cars (some just prototypes which will never see production) by Koenigsegg, Chrysler, Bugatti, Calloway and Audi have been very interesting. To me, though, a car is more than its 0-60 (or 0-100) time and top speed. I remember a few years ago when the Mercedes M-series was just a prototype - I really liked it. Fast forward to now, and I think it's one of the ugliest vehicles out there after all the changes from the prototype. One of my favorite concept cars is the Bugatti EB 218, which I hope will see production someday.
    Anybody remember the Ford GT 90 from the mid-90s?
     
  16. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    The baby McLaren is known as the Mercedes SLA, which seems to have been scraped in favour of the new SLK, as that takes a lot from the designs of the SLA, however there is still a chance that there will be a SLA, pitched as a smaller SLR.
     
  17. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    Indeed. On that note, see how the headlight bezel of the Series 1 E-Type (if it's got covered headlamps, it's an S-1) picture you posted is bevelled, just as the bezel featured on the album cover is. While I could not quickly Google a picture providing conclusive proof or disproof, from memory I believe that the XKSS's headlight bezel is curved rather than stepped.

    However, I cannot say I've ever looked that closely at the XKSS's headlight bezels, or for that matter that I've had the opportunity to spend more than a few short minutes admiring either that beautiful automobile or the D-Type from whence it came.
     
  18. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    Oh, and my top five lists:

    Today

    1) Lotus Elise: the only proper sports car sold today, excepting some British specials (Atom, et. al.) that are only borderline as cars but packed with sport.

    2) Audi TT VR6: that body, that interior, and finally a V6 to motivate it. Who cares if it's a Golf underneath?

    3) Lambo Gallardo: Audi engineering, Lambo panache? It makes the Ferrari 360 look like yesterday's news.

    4) Audi A8 4.0TDI: Volkswagen's best engine in their most advanced chassis, and as of yet at least it's been spared their wretched new grille.

    5) Smart Roadster: indisputable proof that a modern car needn't be lined with lead.

    All Time

    1) Jaguar XJ-6 Series-3: mostly because I've had the fondest of memories of them from about 1981 until 2001, when either my father or I ran one without interruption.

    2) Lancia Integrale: the pinnacle that WRX's and Evos still aspire to reach.

    3) Aston-Martin DB6: frankly, Astons have also interested me much more than Ferraris, which seem vulgar. It's like comparing Kilgours to Dolce & Gabbana.

    4) Citroen DS-19: I've never driven one, but the engineering behind it has yet to be even approached.

    5) Lotus Elan: if anyone who needs to question why should check his/her pulse.

    And my least favourite is any so-called supercar that drives like a lorry at town-speeds and does not provide any sensation of speed. I'd rather drive 15mph in my Elise than 150mph in one of those new half-million euro Mercedes cockmobiles.....
     
  19. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    [​IMG] A viper... exotic? Sorry, I chuckled when I read that.
     
  20. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    Have you driven the new Astons (DB9, Vanquish), they are no different to a BMW 330.
     

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