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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Louder than Thunder

I first saw this Honda CR 750 racer, masterfully created by Minnesota's M3 Racing Factory, on BikeEXIF. Nevermind the history and the performance, my only wish since was to just hear what the damn thing sounded like. Thanks to the genies of Clash Production, my wish came true!

Gentlemen, turn up your speakers.

Honda CR 750 M3 Factory Racer from Clashproduction on Vimeo.

Click here to get redirected to M3 Racing Factory

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Volkswagen - (Not the Rich) People's Car

Luxury is a funny thing in the car industry.  Upon hearing that word, many different marques enter the mind.  The usual suspects include Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti.  Since 2009, some might consider Hyundai's Genesis sedan as a good entry-priced piece of opulence but let's be real here.  Nobody ever wants to talk about their cheap luxuries.  This being the case, let's talk about the Equus as well as another plebeian manufacturer's attempt at extravagance, Volkswagen's Phaeton.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Freak of the Week: Road Star 2000GT

While working on the Toyota compilation earlier this week, I rekindled enthusiasm for the legendary Toyota 2000GT.

Monday, March 28, 2011

David E. Davis Jr (1930-2011)

The automotive world is mourning the passing of the great David E. Davis Jr.  As a past contributor to Car and Driver and Road & Track in addition to being founder of Automobile Magazine and Winding Road e-magazine, Davis inspired and influenced an incalculable number of automotive enthusiasts.  While he will be missed by many, his legacy lives on.  We would like to extend our condolences to the Davis family.

Autoblog's Matt Davis remembers his father here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Japan Week: FPH wrap-up

A big thank you to all of our friends and fans that showed their support to our "Japan Week" compilation. We hope to have opened your eyes to Japan's diverse and interesting products as well as their colorful automotive history. We had a lot of fun during project and definitely learned a few things along the way.

Moreover, I'm very happy to have spotted a few visits that came from Japan! Our thoughts are with you, we wish that your situation continues to improve, and we hope that you have enjoyed the posts and are pleased with our efforts.

And finally, If our tribute has moved some of you readers into taking action, it is not too late! Here are some ways you can help:

Japan Week: Motorcycles

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Beginning of the End - IndyCar GP of St. Pete - UPDATE

Tomorrow the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kicks off the beginning of the 2011 IndyCar series which represents the swan song for the current chassis and rules system. Next year the current Dallara chassis which has seen few updates since its intro in late 1996 will be jettison for the Dallara produced safety cell with multiple aero and engine manufactures. The series is gaining traction with car counts up to the point they actually have had to consider what to do when they hit the artificial cap of 26 (more at Indy of course). With the late season drama produced last year that saw the championship lead change hands in the final race without artificial means (yes that's a shot at the bogus Chase format) and the well documented struggles of NASCAR its an all important season to gain more "market share" so to speak.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Japan Week: Mazda

Neutral Bomb: Driving Etiquette 101

Rant time! Ok, so we've all dealt with one, if not several of these issues, so it's about time we get them off our chests.

We at FPH pride ourselves in being better than average drivers. We can rev match shifts without thinking, dodge random items scattered along the highway, read the roads and respond accordingly.....and in the case of our own Danny Chin, let the elderly drivers know exactly how he feels!

During this rant, we are going to offer simple solutions to these problems in an effort to make driving less stressful for you, me and everyone on the road.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Japan Week: Nissan

First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.  While it seems that the fate of their country is currently indeterminable considering the scope of the natural (earthquake, tsunami) as well as man made (nuclear reactor, economy) disasters, I can't help but think of the virtues of the Japanese people that have brought them so far.  Japan is down right now but they're definitely not down for the count.  In honor of their tireless work ethic, spirit of innovation, and technological advances, FPH has decided to designate this week "Japan Week" where we will showcase the best from the prominent manufacturers.

Freak of the Week: Beep Beep!!

My last post was a rant towards Chrysler, but today in FotW #14, we take a look at a specimen from the Pentastar's "Golden Years."

After the domination of the Dodge Charger Daytona during the 1969 season of NASCAR, Plymouth would get its own version with "King" Richard Petty behind the wheel. In fact, the Superbird was so dominant, NASCAR's decided to implement a 305 cubic inch displacement limit for "aero cars." We all know, in the world of motor sports, there's no bigger compliment for a car's racing success than a ban.

Forty years later, Aussie Murray Markwell of Southern Customs shows off his Plymouth GTX-to-Superbird conversion with the help of Bandit Films.

Welcome to Murray Country from Bandit Films on Vimeo.

Happy Monday, everybody!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tip of the Iceberg

There have been two stories that have been revisited multiple times throughout the past week. While Japan’s status prompts should come to mind first, I humbly admit that our operations currently lack the resources to properly cover the affairs. Rather, I’d like to discuss the significance of automotive journalist Scott Burgess’ resignation from Detroit News.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ukrainian Touge

Most of us know that drifting started on the mountain passes of Japan known a touge.  This video is one man's tribute to those pioneers of the Land of the Rising Sun albeit in his own backyard.  Sit back, relax, watch this amazing testament to car control, and have a great weekend.

Friday, March 18, 2011


"sleeper: something or someone that becomes unexpectedly successful or important after a period of being unnoticed, ignored, or considered unpromising or a failure"
Ever since the first police car rolled out of the factory, motorists have been trying to avoid the eye of "the man."  Everything from radar jammers to just plain slow driving have been employed by the general population.  While radar jammers and detectors have their place and driving slowly doesn't, the best way to avoid the 5-0 is by simply not drawing their attention in the first place.  In other words, drive a sleeper.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Past Meets Present

The C2 Corvette Stringray (1963-1967) offered drastic changes from the previous C1. It was the first production Corvette coupe, offered substantial improvements in power and handling over its predecessor and gave us the infamous '63 split window.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Badge Loyalty

Badge Loyalty. I'm willing to bet that more than some of you will think of that guy with the Ford logo tattooed on the back of his head (true story, this guy actually exists) or the family with a mailbox in the shape of the ubiquitous Bow Tie. Today, I submit a different definition- A marque's loyalty to the essence of the badge they place on the hood of their automobiles.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time Capsules

"Win on Sunday; Sell on Monday" is a phrase that's been used since the inception of motorsport.  It gained huge popularity with marketing departments in the 60s when muscle cars ruled the dragstrip and NASCAR's ovals were filled with cars that were close to showroom stock.  There are still cars like the Porsche GT3, Corvette Z06, and Viper ACR that abide by this marketing scheme.  However, these are all quite expensive and extensively modified for race duty.

In the world of motorcycles, this old adage still holds true. Although Honda didn't reach the top step of the podium at Daytona this weekend, this wasn't always the case.  One man has held two very rare Hondas in their original shipping crates for nearly 20 years.

Jean Ragnotti and his Renault R5 Turbo

Followers of FPH know all too well that we are big fans of the Group B rally cars.

Apparently, you guys love them too as our previous articles of the beasts have regularly been ranked as one of our most popular posts. (click on our Group B label for our previous articles).

One of the more popular drivers of the era was Renault's Jean "King of the Asphalt" Ragnotti and we are happy to showcase this man's talent. Happy Monday everybody!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why I Hate Corvettes

I would like to start off by saying that the Corvette is a fine car that represents a great performance bargain in the market but… I hate the damn car. It is nothing more than a status symbol for the mid-life crisis. It’s nothing special, it isn’t a famous racing brand, it’s not rare, it’s just another car.

It’s right there with your Mustang and Camaro. Somewhere in your late 30s, you start feeling a little short between the legs so you go out and buy the loudest colored, newest special edition car you could find so you could feel like a man again. If you are a billionaire, you go buy a Bugatti. If you are a millionaire, you go buy a Lamborghini. If you are Mike the middle manager, you go buy a Corvette. And, if you are Joe the plumber, you buy a Mustang or Camaro.

Now at one point in time, they were unique cars. Upon their introduction, they were like little else in the American market. The early C1 cars had some style to them; they were relatively small and came only as a convertible. Unfortunately it was also a failed car that survived with the help of the Thunderbird. GM couldn’t let Ford be the only game in town so to speak.

The C2 car was okay, but I don’t feel there is much that puts it any higher than the rest of the muscle car heap besides a higher price tag. On a separate note, can someone please explain why a split window Corvette is somehow more valuable than a V16 Cadillac? When the others went racing the Corvette stayed home. The “mighty” Corvette couldn’t possibly be beaten by such lowly competition like the Mustang or Javelin (to be fair the Javelin would have been in the C3 era) so why even show up?

This Corvette racing mystique has all of a sudden showed up out of nowhere like it’s always been a superior race car. It wasn’t until recently they showed up in an empty class and beat up on a bunch of little guys. When Aston Martin showed up they couldn’t keep up in speed. And now that they have showed up in what was GT2, they finished behind the M3, 997, and F430.

The main reason I hate Corvettes is similar to the same reason that some hate BMW; it’s that aura of superiority. Your Corvette isn’t special and it doesn’t make you special either. They are right there with the Mopar Survivor crowd, obsessively delusional. Your fiberglass C1 wasn’t straight from the factory so how do you expect it to be straight now, almost 60 years later? If I see Corvette club stickers my asshole radar just starts going off automatically. This is not to say all Corvette owners are jagoffs, I have just found it to be a higher percentage and it makes me hate that damn car just a little bit more. It’s an okay car, but sorry, it’s nothing special.

A Motorhead's "Garden of Eden"

Deus Ex Machina - Temple Of Enthusiasm, Bali from Deus Customs on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Freak of the Week: Say What?!

In Freak of the Week #13, we look at a 1941 Willys... with a twist. This Willys body style is very popular amongst Hot Rodders. You'll usually find these stuffed with some kind of big block, always a V-8, usually blown. Several popular customizers have created their own vision, such as this Bob Ida 1941 Willys RAZRBACK:

But that’s not why we’re here is it? After all, while beautiful and clean in it’s own respect, does it really bring anything totally different to the table?

Take a look at this!
From the outside, it appears to be another Willys fiberglass recreation. However, let’s pop the hood and start it up shall we? As Sam Jackson said in Jurassic Park, "Hold on to your butts".

That’s right! How many people can say they have an AWD hot rod? Taking a donor EVO VIII, the car was cut up until it was down to the just the “frame” and suspension. The Willys fiberglass body was modified to fit over the chassis, but what a job! Add some Torq Thrusts and no one is the wiser.
End result is a 5 speed, AWD, 354 whp, 375 ft-lb pumpkin. Can you imagine the initial shock of people expecting a deep rumble or supercharger whine, only to hear a turbo spool?

I can think of only one thing:: Autocross anyone?

A Quarter Life Crisis.

Sometimes I go to bed with comforting thoughts. I've got plenty of time and it'll be a while yet before I turn 25. But then the following morning, I would jump out of bed, look into the mirror, and tear my hair out with panic. I'm almost 25 and I've yet to figure out what to do with myself.

On that note, there's a lot that can be said about Adam Cramer. He figured his strengths and weaknesses and knew what it is he wanted to do at a young age. Anybody can see the passion he puts into his work. I mean, look at his shop! He even said he never bothered to count the exact amount of motorcycles.

Handmade Portraits: Liberty Vintage Motorcycles from Etsy on Vimeo.

His criticism to the new youths of America aside, I only hope to one day discover my own crystal clear destiny. It isn't very likely that I would become a vintage motorcycle mechanic but the whole idea of automotive journalism makes me pretty happy. And I'm not even getting paid for it.

Go out there and have a good weekend everybody!

To our viewers out there in Japan, our thoughts are with you. Hang in there, we wish for great success in your rescue efforts.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Must See Movie Car Chases

As a car guy, there are certain obligatory movies that need to be in the collection. We at FPH have seen our fair share and would like to share our favorites with you.

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974):
Now, you may or may not know that the one with Nick Cage was a remake. The original featured a Mustang that was equivalent to a land yacht, but nonetheless, it is amazing. This chase is at the top for several reasons: 1). It's 45 minutes long, making it the longest car chase in movie history!!! 2). Real people, real drivers. They just decided to take the car onto the public roads and see what happens. 3). No CGI jumps 4). 93 cars were destroyed in filming this chase!

5). Oh BTW, that wreck? Not planned. The pole was hit at 100 mph, and the only concern of the driver/director/producer/stunt-man was if they got that on film

Much better ending

Since this first one was a long one, we'll leave it at this for now. Stay tuned for more carnage in the next installment!!

An Apple a Day...

Since we've been talking about incredibly rare Porsches and old episodes of Top Gear, I thought I'd combine the two topics.  Conveniently, this brings us to the most recent limited edition uber-car from Stuttgart, the Carrera GT.  It just so happens to be, in my opinion, with its unique V10 whoooop whhhooooooop, the best sounding car... in the world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Humble Beginnings

With the 17th Season of BBC's Top Gear ending not too long ago, I've gone a bit nostalgic and decided to dig around and find out where it all began for our ambitious but rubbish trio.

Freak of the Week: Up To No Good

I decided to go underground for our FotW # 12. The Cannonball Run was an "organized" event in the '70s where participants gathered at a hotel in New York City to set off for a coast-to-coast race to see who could cover 2,800 or so miles in the shortest amount of time, finishing at another hotel in Los Angeles.

I would like to make it crystal clear to everyone that Flappy Paddle Heads does not condone activities the following vehicles will tempt you into committing. Please drive carefully! That said, if danger is what you seek, you might as well come prepared.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No Replacement for Displacement... Except Turbos

For many, the chance to see an insane, high-revving, Formula 1 car is coming to an end.  The current 18,000 rpm 2.4 liter V8s will show their full fury for the 2011 and 2012 seasons then go the way of the Mastodon and Saber-toothed tiger.  With the FIA's focus on greener technologies in racing, smaller displacement engines have constantly supplanted the previous generation.  The 3.0 liter V10s gave way to the current 2.4 liter V8s and they will, in turn, fade away in favor of 1.6 liter four cylinders.  However, for the first time in the modern era of F1, the consumer can truly boast about having F1 technology in their daily driver.

RB7 at

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Make A Wish Foundation Needs Your Help. Just Kidding. But Seriously.

I was just working on some material for Freak of the Week before calling it a night when I received the most incredible IM all week.

I am thoroughly convinced, and proven time and again, that if you ever needed help looking for a car on eBay Motors, you will not find a better person to do the job than Danny Chin.

Geneva 2012: FPH wrap-up

This post feels a bit unnecessary as anyone who really wants to know what went down in Geneva is better off heading over to the massive 76 car list provided by Autoblog's Ultimate Wrap Up.

But let me have my bit of fun.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Renaissance Man: Electric Vehicles and Elon Musk


The other day, I had a thought about the Doomsday Clock. Initially created in 1947 to address our world's fate under the ever ominous threat of nuclear destruction with every minute the arm moves closer to midnight, the clock has since been refashioned to reflect critical climate changes and also address the quickly accelerating developments in science, nanotechnology, and the sort that may, however harmless it may seem now, cause irrevocable damage in the future.

Well then, I thought to myself, I suppose it's be perfectly logical to believe that midnight strikes when we can no longer access our main source of energy-- fossil fuel.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ebay Finds: Dollars not Sense Edition

People always say that one man's trash is another man's treasure.  Although I'm not a fan of dumpster diving, this seems to be very true considering we have things like Craigslist, Ebay, and 50% divorce rates.  After seeing the two following Ebay listings, I can completely understand the trash part of that statement as well as 50% divorce rates.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Accord-ing to Me

At the end of the 2008 season, Honda turned its back on the sport of Formula 1.  The collapse of the world economy and, to a lesser degree, a lack of Japanese drivers proved to be too much for the company to bear.  However, Honda wants the American consumer to think that they turned these lemons into lemonade in the form of the Accord coupe.