Compact Cars

Depth of Speed: British Mania

Posted in Classic, Collector Cars, Compact Cars, European Rides, General, MG, Other Rides, Racing, Rides, Videos by MrAngry | August 20th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

British Cars

My Grandmother used to have this green carpet in her house that was perfect for rolling my Matchbox and Hotwheels cars around on. It was low cut and green and for some reason it left imprints of the wheel marks in it when I would run them through it. That was over 35 years ago and believe it or not but that carpet helped cement me as a die-hard car enthusiast. It’s funny what gets us into cars. Perhaps a particular event in time sparks our interest. Or maybe it was a person or situation. Other times though it could simply be the sound of a well tuned engine. The following video is the story of Roger Gisseman and his love of British cars. Gisseman is the type of enthusiast who not only keeps the hobby going strong, but thanks to his eclectic taste, makes it a bit more enjoyable for everyone by throwing in a little variety.
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Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals 2011

Triumph TR4 and TR3

BCW MG TD Replica
Recently, I attended the Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals show at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania. Held every May, this show features a vast array of meticulously maintained classic British, European and Japanese cars, exemplary examples of their more modern kin, as well as a beautiful collection of kit cars.  As far as sheer variety in makes, models and years, hands down, this show can’t be beat.

This has become something of an annual treat for me as I can think of few better ways to spend a weekend than by gazing at a gleaming sea of jaw-droppingly stunning automobiles, many of which I guarantee you won’t find at other shows. Plus, participation is open to anyone with an import or a kit car – all you have to do is register, make your car pretty and show up. It’s a great opportunity to display your cherished ride and meet other aficionados of your favorite marques.

I used to come down to show my Saab and hang out with the Saab contingent that makes it out every year. But even though I have a Subaru now, it’s just so much fun that I continue to make the trip to Carlisle (my WRX was parked over by the lone DeLorean, if you happened to be there). Volvo, BMW and Audi clubs also traditionally have a large showing so the weekend is packed with the cars you love, cars you haven’t seen before, your friends from the forums, barbeques – it’s a good time for everyone.  So, if you’re not too far out from Pennsylvania, I definitely recommend heading out there next May to check out the Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals. To tide you over, provided for your viewing pleasure are some of my favorite cars of the weekend. Enjoy!

 

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Chevy Sonic Z Spec: The Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing

Posted in Chevrolet, Compact Cars, NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW by Kurt Ernst | April 15th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Chevy Sonic Z-Spec. Image: © GM Corp.

Next week at the New York Auto Show, Chevy will officially unveil the new Sonic Z Spec. Enthusiasts everywhere will yawn, since the Z Spec package includes graphics and appearance accessories only. You can add a flashy vinyl wrap package, a rear spoiler, a ground effects package and either 16 inch or 17 inch painted alloy wheels. If you want mirror caps or chrome exhaust tips, you can order those from the Z Spec catalog, as well as custom sill plates and aluminum pedals for the inside. What you can’t get is anything to make the car go faster, handle better or stop quicker. Read More…

Fiat 500 Fuel Economy Is Good, Not Great

Posted in Compact Cars, Fiat by Kurt Ernst | January 30th, 2011 | 1 Response |

The Fiat 500, outside of NYC. Image: Chrysler Group, LLC

The Fiat 500 is the first car to be sold under the Fiat brand in North America since the Italian manufacturer vacated these shores back in 1983. There’s a lot riding on the diminutive, retro-modern commuter car, which can only count on the cute factor for initial sales. If the Fiat 500 isn’t equal to or better than competitors from Ford, Mini, Honda and others, it won’t generate the expected sales results, which could impact Fiat’s future product mix in the United States. In other words, Fiat has a lot riding on the success of the 500. Read More…

Buick To Introduce Verano Sedan In Detroit

Posted in Buick, Cars, Compact Cars, Detroit Auto Show, Featured, General, Luxury Cars, NAIAS, New Cars by Kurt Ernst | January 6th, 2011 | 2 Responses |
2012 Buick Verano

The 2012 Buick Verano. Photo: © GM Corp.

Buick is set to show their third new model in two years at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. The Verano is Buick’s entry into the compact luxury segment (although I have a hard time writing “Buick” and “compact” in the same sentence), and will slot into their product line below the recently launched Regal sedan. John Schwegman, Buick’s VP of marketing, sums up their reason for launching a compact sedan as follows: “Verano expands our lineup, continues Buick’s momentum and gives us a great opportunity to attract a new generation of customers with a product that delivers on their expectations for design, performance and technology. It is a smart choice that delivers unexpected luxury in a compact sedan – and it will compete head-to-head with competitors from Audi and Lexus.”

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ: Ridelust Review

Posted in Chevrolet, Commuter Cars, Compact Cars, Domestic Review, Featured, General, Promoted, RideLust Review by MrAngry | January 4th, 2011 | 4 Responses |

2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

PRO’s: Great interior, great styling, great road manners and oh so quiet.

CON’s: Short on power, may be tight for taller drivers.

FINAL THOUGHT’s: An American small car that just rewrote the rules on what an American small car should be.

Believe it or not but the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze was one of those rare vehicles that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I’d had first seen it in person back at the Washington DC Auto Show in early 2010, and from that moment on I had a feeling that the car was going to be a hit. With its sights dead set on stealing customers away from such cars as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Cruze seeks to deliver consumers a compact car that is anything but. The first thing you notice about the Cruze is that it is a good looking automobile, not a good looking small car, but a good looking automobile. This particular Cruze was an LTZ model equipped with the RS appearance package. That means unique rocker moldings, RS emblems on the lower front doors, as well as a unique front fascia that incorporates stylish fog lights. The rear fascia is also unique and includes a blacked-out center section with chrome strip and rear deck-lid spoiler. Combine that with the Cruze’s sporty 18-inch wheels and you now have a car with a decidedly European look about it.
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Jay Leno Flies the Carver One/Persu Mobility Trike

Posted in Bizarre, Blogging the Bloggers, Commuter Cars, Compact Cars, Concept Cars, Corner Carvers, Design, EcoLust, FAIL by Dustin Driver | December 26th, 2010 | 7 Responses |

I haven’t seen Jay Leno smile this much since he got the Tonight Show. And the thing that put that smile on his substantial visage? A 65-horsepower three-wheeled commuter vehicle, the Persu tilting trike. The aerospace-inspired contraption is actually the Carver One, a Dutch invention that didn’t quite make it off the ground. Thankfully, the technology has been licensed by Persu, who plans to sell it stateside with a new, sleeker body and a hybrid drivetrain.

Source: Jay Leno’s Garage, Persu

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Honda recalls 1.35 million Fit compact cars worldwide.

Posted in Commuter Cars, Compact Cars, Honda, Safety by MrAngry | December 17th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

Honda Fit Recall

According to Autonews.com the Honda Motor Corporation said it would be recalling over 1-million Honda Fit compact cars due to some defective headlight wiring. The recall encompasses all 143,000 cars that have been exported to the United States, the 385,000 that have been sold across Europe as the Jazz, as well as all cars sold in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. A Honda spokesman stated that the entire cost of the recall would run around $43 billion U.S. dollars, an amount that would have a small impact on Honda’s overall earnings. The good news is that as of yet there have been no accidents and or related incidents due to faulty wiring.

Source: Autonews.com

What’s your least favorite modern car?

Posted in Commuter Cars, Compact Cars, EcoLust, Economy Cars, Emissions, Engines, Environment, Featured, Promoted by MrAngry | December 15th, 2010 | 11 Responses |

This past weekend I found myself talking to a few buddies about cars we loved and which cars we could simply do without. Most of the cars built today are actually quite good. Sure they may have some flaws here and there, but for the most part they’re comfortable, well built and drive ok. We conversed about every major manufacturer, but when it came time to single one company out, we almost all unanimously chose the car that you see above – the Smart Car. People, I absolutely hate this little thing. So much so that I would rather see it pushed off a cliff on fire than have it sitting in my driveway. Now I know that there are some of you that are going to chime in and say that the Smart is a great little car, that it’s economical and fits a certain lifestyle, but I am here to tell you that for the most part…. your wrong. Keep in mind also that one of the people in this conversation was a Smart car owner and he hates the flippin’ thing.
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Buh-Bye Chevrolet Aveo, Hello SONIC!

Posted in Chevrolet, Compact Cars, EcoLust, Economy Cars by MrAngry | December 10th, 2010 | 6 Responses |

ChevySonic

The current Chevrolet Aveo is a tiny little puddle jumper of a car. It’s cheap (around $12,500), economical (35 mph hwy) and provides one with basic transportation to and from their destination. Over the last 10 years Chevy has been trying to revamp their image, and with cars like the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2011 Camaro, they’re actually doing a pretty good job of it. As the Aveo goes the way of the dodo bird, we’ll be greeted to a new replacement called the Sonic. The Sonic will basically be a redesigned Aveo with new sheet metal, interior and a more youthful image that GM hopes will help drive sales.

The head of marketing for Chevrolet in the U.S. states, “The new car is roomy, stylish and fun to drive, and Sonic is a youthful, energetic name that helps convey what this vehicle is about.”
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