Posts by Dustin Driver

Found: Mazda 1800 Sedan

Posted in Classic, Collector Cars, History, Mazda by Dustin Driver | September 25th, 2012 | 1 Response |

I kinda have a thing for Mazdas. Even the lowliest Mazda dances like a Braavosi sword master . But most Mazdas aren’t what you’d call beautiful. This 1972 Mazda 1800 sedan, however, is simply stunning. And for good reason: It was penned by one of the most legendary automotive designers in history. Here in the US, the 1800 is exceedingly rare. Only 2100 or so were imported. This 1800 is for sale on Craigslist for the low price of $4500.

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Crower Six Stroke

Posted in Car Tech, Emissions, Environment, Gas Prices by Dustin Driver | September 21st, 2012 | 3 Responses |

We’re all familiar with the venerable Otto cycle—intake, compression, expansion, exhaust. But that’s just not enough for veteran race engine builder and performance aftermarket mogul Bruce Cower. He added another two. The Crower Six Stroke promised to boost power and efficiency while eliminating the cooling system altogether years ago. So what happened to the concept engine? 

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De Tomaso Vallelunga

Posted in Celebrity Cars, De Tomaso, History by Dustin Driver | September 20th, 2012 | Leave a Reply |

De Tomaso is known for stuffing huge lumps of American iron into gorgeous Italian bodies. The company’s first car, however, was a bit more modest. The Vallelunga was powered by the venerable 1.5-liter Ford Kent four cylinder and used a VW transaxle. It was the world’s first mid-engine production car. And any respectable gearhead should know all about it.

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MGB GT Reborn: LE50

Posted in auto industry, Best of, MG, News by Dustin Driver | March 21st, 2012 | 1 Response |

The MGB-GT is the prettiest shooting brake ever made. But its engineering is more than 50 years old. And it wasn’t cutting edge to begin with. Now Frontline Developments in the UK are giving the MGB GT the engineering it always deserved: A 215-horsepower Miata mill, six-speed gearbox, limited-slip diff and advanced suspension components. Oh, and did I mention all those goodies are attached to a brand-new reproduction body?

Frontline Developments have been making advanced suspension bits and performance parts for British sports cars since 1992. After restoring and driving dozens of the things, they decided to build a brand-new car with the latest tech.

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Past Perfect: P/904 Carrera

Posted in Design, Porsche by Dustin Driver | March 20th, 2012 | 1 Response |

Cars have lost their charm. They’re sterile, wind-tunnel tested, über-safe cocoons that stir the soul like a washer/dryer combo. On the other hand, yesterday’s cars were packed with passion, but they drive like shit. That’s why companies like Texas-based Gullwing America recreate retro rides based on modern tech. And this, their P/904 Carrera based on a Porsche Boxter, may just be the ultimate retro reboot.

Gullwing America makes a meticulous tribute to the famed Mercedes 300SL called the Panamericana. The car is built on a steel tube chassis with aluminum bodywork—just like the real thing. It rocks a 400-horsepower Mercedes-based V8 (or a 320-horsepower V6 for the faint of heart) and many modern Mercedes parts. It is exquisitely crafted to standards that any German engineer would approve of.

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Studs are for Duds

Posted in Car Care, Rants & Raves, Roads by Dustin Driver | February 16th, 2012 | 4 Responses |

Studs. Much studs.

When Old Man Winter belches hoarfrost over the land, it’s only natural to seek solace in a nice set of studded snow tires. The grinding metallic paws provide a sense of security. They just feel like they’re slicing through the ice, delivering life-saving stability and grip. Au contraire mon frère! Studded tires are terrible. They provide less grip in frosty conditions than their specialized studless counterparts and they pulverize pavement, turning roads in to rutted moonscapes. Stop buying studded tires. They suck.

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ZUGO: Yugo, Electrified

Posted in Design, EcoLust, Electric Cars by Dustin Driver | January 12th, 2012 | 2 Responses |

The Yugo was supposed to unite the Balkans under an umbrella of capitalism, to infuse the area with much-needed jobs and cash. Instead, the car was crap. Still, there’s something endearing about the little hatchback, something honest and pure. That’s why it still has a special place in our hearts—and why designer Milos Paripovic has re-imagined it as an electric. Oh, and also because he wanted to poke fun at electric cars.

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Rant: Bullet Trains

Posted in Alt Fuels, General, Rants & Raves by Dustin Driver | January 11th, 2012 | 5 Responses |

In China, they have a new bullet train that can hit 311mph. The aerodynamic design is based on, appropriately, an ancient Chinese sword. It’s quite a feat and begs the question, where in the hell is our bullet train in the U.S.?

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The $160K Electric Surcharge

Posted in EcoLust, Rants & Raves by Dustin Driver | December 23rd, 2011 | 2 Responses |

The new Varley evR-450 electric super car can hit 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds, packs 900-plus torques and looks like a Nissan R390. It costs $200,000. It’s also based on the awesome, gas-guzzling $40,000-ish Superlite SLC coupe.

The evR-450 is assembled in Australia by Varley Electric Vehicles. It’s super-trick, featuring twin carbon ironless core AC motors with totally awesome-sounding Tritium Wavesculptor inverters. It has a semi-monocoque TIG-welded aluminum chassis with an integral space frame and weighs just 2750-ish pounds. Range? A comfortable 100 miles. Top speed? A disappointing 100-ish miles per hour. Are the batteries worth the extra cost of $200,000? Hit the jump to find out.

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Classic Review: MGB GT

Posted in Car Reviews, Collector Cars, MG by Dustin Driver | December 19th, 2011 | 2 Responses |
MGB GT by Dustin Driver

Dan Wood's MGB GT

We all dream of owning vintage iron, of rumbling along in a piece of automotive history, of being the envy of car nuts everywhere we go. Well, we can. There are truly affordable classics out there. And I’m going to find them. Welcome to Classic Review.

Don’t fear the MGB GT. It is not a finicky piece of questionable British engineering possessed by the Prince of Darkness, Joseph Lucas. It is a beautiful little beast, a punchy and snarling sports car with the refined manners of a grand tourer.

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