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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Freak of the Week: 2500+ whp/ton

Welcome to #7 of Freak of the Week, where for every weekend, we look for something balls off the wall crazy, polarizing or just weird and worth talking about.

Odd Man Out - 3 - 1961 Chrysler Imperial

I dub thee king of the fin, ruler of the winged, dictator of the decadent... For me the height of the finned era that began in 1949 with the Cadillac ended in 1961 with the Chrysler Imperial. It is a land yacht of epic proportions with more doo-dads than a swiss army knife. From the head lights that are pods set into a cutout to the squared steering wheel, its just over the top... and I love it. I can just imagine the conversation that lead to the tail lights...
- The designer is doing the final massage on the prototype, in walks the engineer -

E - Uh, that's a sweet three foot fin and all but didn't you forget something?
D - No! Of course not, it's design perfection symbolizing our march into the future!
E - Yes you did, the only future this thing will have is the wrecking yard if you don't put some tail lights on it
D - SHITTTTTTTTTTT, uh run down to Quality Farm and Fleet and pick up some tractor lights, we'll just stick them on there somewhere


D - Perfect! It looks like it was meant to be
E - That looks like absolute shit
D - I'm the designer and I say it's aesthetically pleasing
E - It looks like a tractor light bolted to a fin
D - Shut up...
I would love to cruise in one of these beasts, of course I would need an extra long garage to keep it in but oh well I still want one. The king of fin is another odd man out.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ebay Finds - Are You Torquing to Me (or not)

Like many petrol heads, the writers of FPH constantly click through page after page of listings on Ebay and dream about the possibilities.  Previous posts have shown things like crazily lusted after race homologations, rare European exotica, and high dollar custom builds.  Today, I decided to get back to my routes and looked for some (relatively) inexpensive Japanese performance.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can't Stop, Won't Stop!

Another 15 inches here at the city that never sleeps, and all any of the news channels can talk about now are whether the buses will be running on regular schedule.

New York Times

Well, whoever these guys are (I'm going with Scandanavian), they're laughing at us.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

N-thusiast X-tinction Part 2

Look down at your center console (now at me, now back to your console...damn Old Spice commercials).  I bet there's at least 3 things that you notice right away.  There's the shifter, a cup holder probably, and the hand brake.  This last item goes by many names.  There's hand brake, parking brake, and emergency brake, or e-brake for short.  I've decided that e-brake will from now on mean "enthusiast brake."  Let me explain after the jump.
My Mazdaspeed 3

Monday, January 24, 2011

Freak of the Week: Land Down Under

Welcome to Freak of the Week #7. Every week, Weimann, Chin, and I look for something balls off the wall crazy, polarizing, or just weird and worth talking about.

This week's search took me to a continent that I know relatively little about. However, there is one thing about Australia's car culture that is very clear. They love their Supercar V8 Series. And so do I.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Autoblog Causes a Runaway Train of Thought

Infiniti Essence Concept

In the past week’s Autoblog, a bit of emphasis has been put upon a seldomly discussed niche— Japanese premium brands. Paul Eisenstein wrote an article on whether Honda has lost its footing, questioning Acura’s direction. Noah Joseph reports plans within Infiniti to anchor their line-up with both an entry-level and halo models.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Opposite Lock - Rants & Raves

When the CAFE regulations were passed last year, the automotive world was turned on its head.  How could an auto manufacturer achieve an average fuel mileage of 35 mpg across its entire lineup?  Recently BMW released its first salvo into the fuel mileage war and it comes in the form of a four cylinder.

Kickin' it Old School

Thanks to this amazing visual presentation by Josh Clason, I'm thoroughly hypnotized. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be busy browsing eBay Motors for the rest of the night!

JDM Legends from Josh Clason on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ebay Finds

For those that think an Aston Martin DB5 or a Shelby Cobra aren't rare enough, here are two cars from the 50s that would satisfy those extravagant connoisseurs.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

N-thusiast X-tinction

Many people consider the Ferrari 458 to be the pinnacle of automotive excellence.  It is the ultimate in high performance, vehicular perfection.  With its combination of active aerodynamics, lightweight exotic materials, a horsepower dense power plant, and lightning fast transmission, this car sits at the top of the evolutionary charts.  Although for the everyday enthusiast like myself, it marks the end of an era that many people never really got to appreciate...

Remembering the 'Aviator', Gilles Villeneuve January 18, 1950 – May 8, 1982

“Only Villeneuve could have made that happen,” Arnoux said. “I had confidence because it was Gilles. I would never have tried to fight so ferociously with any other driver... The duel with Gilles is something I'll never forget, my greatest souvenir in racing.”

Monday, January 17, 2011

Freak of the Week: VWtf?? Bitchin' Wagon edition.

Welcome to #6 of Freak of the Week, where for every weekend, Weimann, Chin, and I look for something balls off the wall crazy, weird, or just polarizing and worth talking about.


This week, we feature Ken "King of Chop" Prather's '62 Minibus.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ebisu keeps it real.

With all the D1-GP, Formula Drift, and Gymkhana videos, the drifting scene has evolved extremely quickly the last couple of years. And while the franchises have allowed the sport to do well for themselves, financially... sometimes it's better to take a step back and see its humbler origins-- just a bunch of young enthusiasts looking to improve themselves, learn more about their cars, and make new friends along the journey.

Relax! Happy Weekend everybody! Thank you, Mr. Remi Schouten, for the fantastic video.

Summer Drift Matsuri 2010 - Ebisu Circuit from Remi Schouten on Vimeo.

That said, does anybody know of any venues here in NY that has something like that? I'd love to pay a visit!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Ever have that dream where you're a leper who has a weird craving for Sunchips while sailing the globe in a catamaran and can't get internet service on your laptop's wireless card?  No?  Just me? Anyways, I wake up and wonder why I'm looking for an internet connection.  Knowing me, I'd probably be searching for my perfect sports car to drive to a high-end leper colony to get some damn Sunchips finally!

Then as I keep thinking about it, it hits me!  There are so many niche segments in the automotive world that anybody can find the perfect car for them.  Now, I don't know what kind of car would be perfect for a rich, junk food-eating leper but I'm sure there's one out there.  As for the enthusiasts in the United States, we have a plethora of options but Europe and Japan still tempt us with forbidden fruit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


It seems as though Porsche has become this week's agenda here at Flappy Paddle Heads. And while Danny Chin was busy with the air cooled era 911s, he kindly left a bit of room for me to talk about this.


Odd Man Out - 2 - Chevrolet Coupe Pickup

Before there was the El Camino there was the coupe pickup. Simply remove the trunk lid and slide in a bed and you've got a truck. Beginning as a business coupe which had a shorter roof length and no back seat (so you can put all the shit you intended to sell in it) there was an optional model where you could also convert it temporarily to a truck. Now there were Utes at the time as well but with this style you could have a car or a truck, how awesome is that? Now I've seen Utes but I have yet to see one of these rare beasts with a bed in all my hot rodding years. It is truly a unique, funky, and cool vehicle. It was ahead of its time and a real odd man out...

Porsche - Cold, Calculating, Precision-Built Porn

I'm going to be honest with you right now.  I'm not a fan of Porsche.  Yes, I respect the engineering, the racing pedigree, and the history behind the marque but they just don't tickle me in any particular way.  I guess you could say Porsche is like "Sex Panther" cologne to me.  "60% of the time it works, every time."  Today, I'm in that 60% zone...
Porsche 918 RSR Concept on

Monday, January 10, 2011

Affordable Supercar Series

The 80s were a dark time for the automotive world.  Manufacturers hadn't figured out how to make horsepower after federally mandated smog equipment had been bolted onto motors.  The giants of the sports car realm - Supra, Corvette, 928 - didn't break the 300 horsepower mark until the very end of the decade.  However, if you look hard enough there's always a light in the darkness.  In the mid 80s, the light could be found in music by a still black Michael Jackson, the inherent goodness of Darth Vader, and the turbo V6 in the blacked out Buick Grand National.

Why it's important.

The essence of Art has been defended time and again for many years. People will question- does it make money? Is it practical? Is it a consumable? What's the point?

Pablo Picasso drew a piece using muted colors-- a horse's head with a sharp tongue, a bull with horns from a tumor, people lying distorted. Some would say that a 12 year old child could draw with more anatomic precision than him. Others would say that this piece is a desperate cry against the horrors of war, a symbol worth hundreds of millions of dollars... if it ever were for sale.

The same idea goes for motorsports. Why do people do it? Freud believes that racing drivers have a death wish and they'd like nothing more than to die. Team Engineers are just as impractical. They're creating cars that serve no purpose than to help racing drivers on their mission.

But motorsports and art are one and the same. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It pushes the boundaries of what a person can or can't do. It's a part of humanity and they share the same feelings of glory and achievement as anything else.

A "Thank you" to Antti, for creating this video. Please subscribe to his channel here. Those that don't understand only have to see some of his work.

Also, a thank you to my cousin Eric, and more recently my friend Afrina (you better find me an Italian to read the book to me), for encouraging my irrational obsession over the prancing horse.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Freak of the Week: Dammit Jalopnik! Big ups to Speedhunter!

Welcome to our fifth installment of Freak of the Week, where for every weekend, Weimann, Chin, and I look for something balls off the wall crazy, weird, or just polarizing and worth talking about.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Opposite Lock - Rants & Raves

Toyota has been trying to repair their public image ever since that whole driving into a wall accidentally scandal.  Lately, these kinds of commercials have been popping up to bolster that goody-goody joy joy feeling inside us all.  I'll let you know what I think about it after the jump and you can voice your opinion in the comments below.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

You Just Been Pimped!

Do you ever find yourself in the mood to watch a race and turn on the Speed Channel only to find Pimp My Ride or hour after hour of Barrett-Jackson auctions?  If you're like me, there's a series of reactions to this.  First, there's a feeling of anger/disappointment.  This is followed by being perplexed at how 18 TVs fit into one car.  Then, something on the auction block piques my interest and I settle in for a couple hours with dreams of buying some of those ridiculously priced concept cars from the 50s or maybe a nicely restored, numbers matching, overpriced Hemi Cuda.  Well, this post is here to slap you upside the head because there are much more interesting cars to find than what's at Barrett-Jackson, Mecum, or RM.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Year 2010: FPH wrap-up

As we welcome a new year, FPH takes a step back to reflect on a tumultuous 2010. Courtesy of Autoblog, FPH presents to you an extensive time line of 2010.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Odd Man Out - 1 - Sunbeam Alpine

Here's my New Years resolution, throughout the year I intend to post 52 old, funky, odd cars that I love. These won't be your Gullwing Mercedes, racing Ferrari, or generic Corvette but rather the odd ball, long forgotten, and sometimes failed vehicles that have just enough quirks to peak my interests.

This particular car is exactly the type of car I'm looking for. Its an easy one to forget, just less than 70,000 examples were made from 1959 to 1968. It's an odd car, in particular the Tiger version. Who would have thought to shoehorn an American V8 into a little British car? The poor man's Cobra of the day. And while it's not a particularly failed car having such a long run, the parent company Rootes was bought by Chrysler and its days were sadly over.

I was reminded of the Alpine while flipping through the January edition of Automobile magazine where it was featured in a 60's small sports car road trip to Watkins Glen. The aesthetic is good, a little Thunderbird with some 50's fin shrunk into a classic British roadster size. It's not a fast car in its usual non-Tiger form with under 100 hp and topping out just under 100 miles per hour but its not about the speed, its about the style. Just looking at it makes me want to go ride through the countryside. I am particularly partial to the removable hardtops which I feel look much nicer than a typical convertible top. While I don't mind MG's, and Triumphs of the day, I prefer the Sunbeam Alpine, the odd man out...

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