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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Emerging Automakers: Pt. 3 of 4

What are the future goals of the Chinese automakers?
Ah, the third installment. So the other day I picked up the latest issue Motor Trend and in its special 2010 Power List article, ‘lo and behold, we find our friend Mr. Wang Chuanfu, the BYD Company chairman, placed at #30.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Affordable Supercar Series (ASS)

In this new series, we'll look at cars that were amazing in their time and can still hold their own today. We like all cars. So the cars in this segment may have decent performance but make you weak in the knees with beautiful aesthetics or they could rip your face off with blistering performance. The only steadfast criteria that we'll adhere to is that these cars with a bit of searching can be found in good condition for less than $40G. Without further ado, we present to you our first installment of our Affordable Supercar Series.

What better place to start than with Aston Martin? Today, they produce one of the sexiest cars and a car of the decade contender, the DB9. Oh yes! It is sexy. It will be a timeless classic. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though! No, you can not own a DB9 and call it affordable. However, you can put one of its predecessors in your garage.

This, dear reader, is the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage. She's beautiful, isn't she? Yes, she may have some problems like the shared DNA of the last generation Jaguar XK. Seriously, do you hold it against Angelina Jolie for having Jon Voight as her father though? Besides, this thing was designed by Ian Callum. IAN CALLUM!!! He's responsible for every Aston design since this car. This car started the design language that brought James Bond back into the driver's seat of this iconic British marque.

What's underneath that captivating sheet metal? The DB7 started life with ample power(325hp) coming out of a supercharged straight-6. That's enough to get you into and out of a good amount of trouble but it doesn't have the panache that is so deserving of an Aston. That is why the Vantage model was chosen. It packs a 5.9 liter V12 with heads from Cosworth which produces 420 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. This gets to the wheels through a 6 speed manual or... just forget about the auto.

Still need more numbers? This 4000lb GT hits sixty miles per hour in 5.1 seconds and gets through the 1320 after 13.6 seconds at about 106mph. It circles the skidpad with .85G, too.

Sure, we could sit here and think of cars, like the 370Z or Evo GSR, that have better performance figures and cost about the same as this used Aston. Who designed those, though? I guarantee Ms. Jolie won't be seen in a new one of those.

-Danny Chin-
Photo courtesy of
Specs courtesy of

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What is the best car in the world?

If you ask this question, then obviously you are not a car guy. If you have an answer to this question, you are also not a car guy.

How on earth would you answer that anyway? It's very similar to "the question" raised in the novel, A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. "The ultimate question" to life, the universe, everything. Please, if you're about to run over to the nearest book store in hopes of finally discovering the answer, don't bother. There isn't one. It's just too vague.

Given, the question "what is the best car in the world?" does not have the same universal measure of importance.
My mother, for one, would care less, or just say that the best car in the world is her Nissan Maxima simply because she drives it.
And there's the bombshell. I respect a person as a fellow car guy if this person understands that the cars they like or the cars they would own in turn becomes an extension of who they are. It sends people a message of the things you hold important to yourself. The best car in the world is simply what is best for you.

I don't know, just thought it was a nice thing to think about if you ever find yourself asking that question.

-Danny Choy-

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Global Focus on Ford

@ the title, pun totally intended

I am absolutely psyched to see the new Ford Focus and Ford's future offerings in person when the NYIAS comes around.

Honestly, it just feels like every single department of the Ford Motor Company is getting straight A's. Both their car and truck, that is the Fusion and Transit respectively, has won North American Car of the Year. If this is worth any example, stockholders will note that on Nov. 2008, F stock was worth 1.26. As of today, it's worth 11.76 a share.

"Today our industry is at the intersection of three critical global issues-- the economy, energy and the environment. The winning companies will be those that address these issues with vehicles that are exciting and fun to drive. And without compromises."

-Danny Choy-

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Crazy talk.

A week ago, I drove my friend to the airport for his flight to Chicago and just yesterday, I picked up my cousin returning from Hong Kong.

It was no trouble at all as I'm always up for a drive if it's really late at night or early in the morning (significantly less traffic). I also find terminal ramps to be pretty fun and windy.

On our way back, my cousin began to mention an actor/musician from Hong Kong named Aaron Kwok who's supposedly a huge car guy. Aaron loves his sports cars so much that he's bought a climate controlled hangar in mainland China so that he could store them right by an airstrip, where he'll spend his weekends driving them without restraint. That is pretty boss.

Two weeks ago, I saw Jay Leno's special video posted on YouTube. He maps out a circuit of road in Los Angeles centered around Mulholland Drive in the new AMG designed SLS sports car. You guys can check it out at the end of the blog. Seriously great stuff!

Well, this all got me thinking of the possibilities if Aaron's airstrip and Jay's Mulholland Dr. ideas were to come together.

Ladies and Gentleman, behold::

to zoom, give the image a click^

A circuit approximately 3.5 to 4 miles long. Sure, it can probably use some improvements, but I'd be having the time of my life if someone were to close off that bit of road for a day and hand me the keys to a Porsche! I know, crazy talk...

-Danny Choy-

... but one can dream.