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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ebay Finds: the Italian Hipster

Think back a bit.  Does anyone remember when hipsters were actually cool?  No, I didn't think so!  They kind of just appeared one day en masse without warning and took over the local bars, cafes, sidewalks, bookstores, and parks with their all natural cigarettes and cans of PBR.  Now, I'll admit if I could remember the day that the first hipster crawled out of the primordial ooze, I may have thought that this trust fund baby is really sticking it to the establishment with his unkempt mane, "screw you, modern fashion industry" attire, and "music that you probably never heard of."  Then, I came across this:

This is an OSCA 1600 GT Zagato from 1962.  For those of you who've never heard of OSCA, it was an Italian motor company that produced vehicles between 1947 and 1967.  They even competed (ineffectively) in Formula 1 for a few years in the 50s.  Ok, big deal, so what?  OSCA was formed by three brothers whose last name ended with "ati" and started with "Maser."  That's right OSCA was cool before Maserati was mainstream.

The one pictured above also has a special name attached to it.  Zagato built the body that was placed on top of the tube frame chassis and independent suspension.  At 750kg, the twin cam motor had no motivational problems.  Oh yeah, this whole package is for sale.  Check the Ebay listing here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ooo, Shocking! It's ELECTRIC!

Behold the Fiskar Karma, spotted at the unlikeliest of places, at 10th Ave x 32nd Street on a cold snowy Saturday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2011-2012 Silly Season Remix

Race season kicks off in just over a week with the Rolex Series 24 Hours at Daytona!!! Ya, we're revved up (every pun intended!)!  Okay okay, so we're not the biggest fans of the Rolex Series or Nascar, which both start the earliest of any series.  Who cares?!?!  Racing's back!  Here's a quick, semi-entertaining yet highly informative rundown of what happened in the off season with the series we do follow:

Mighty Mini

A big round of applause for rally extraordinaire Stephane Peterhansel, the X-Raid team, and the Mini Countryman ALL4 for winning the Dakar 2012 outright!

Defeating the likes of Bowler Wildcats, Red Bull VW Touaregs, and Hummer H2's, the Countryman ALL4 crossed the finish line with all the swagger of its ancestor:

However, this does not change just how much bigger in size Mini has gotten with the introduction of its first 4-door, all wheel driver model.

Take a look at what the Mini was all about back in the old days. Shot by Pete Fullarton, directed and edited by Lucy Armitage, this short video was produced for the Glasgow Riverside Museum to celebrate the original Mini's revolutionary design. Check out more of Lucy Armitage's work here. Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

You Wanna Be A Man With A Masterplan?!

Yo, you betta get a 190 sport sedan!

I don't know what it is about these straight gangsta dorky white guys rapping that makes me head over to eBay for a 190 Cossie, but these guys sure got a bright future in marketing!

But these guys below... not so much...

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Scion FR-S is awesome, and I'm a hypocrite.

Last month, I created a rant to express frustrated I am with Toyota's slow roll-out marketing strategy for the GT-86. Toyota first unveiled the FT-86 in 2009 and after all the hype, all the teasers, and media kits, I was simply tired of all the bullshit and I lost interest in the car.

Dozens of 86/FR-S/BRZ forums have sprouted over the years and very soon I could no longer stand the redundant discussions covering the same handful of subjects.

And yet, after I published, something strange happened. It's as if Toyota had decided to cast a curse on me and before I knew it, I was sucked back into it all. Suddenly, assigned me with more and more GT-86 related articles to work on and soon I found myself clicking through all the FR-S related literature I came across. I've clicked on every new gallery. Hell, I now start every morning by typing in "Scion FR-S" into the search box just to see whether Google news had found anything new for me to feed on. I've become an addict.

Confused, I decided to seek counseling from a friend of mine and we discussed the matter in depth. We're well aware of its performance and we like what we're seeing at the Tokyo Auto Salon so it wasn't like there was anything that hadn't already cross my mind. Nonetheless, perhaps addressing my thoughts aloud will allow them to take shape.

My friend Blake thoughtfully raised a rather important issue. Quite bluntly, he mentioned that it would only be a matter of time before an FR-S gets plastered with Fatlace, Monster, and Red Bull stickers. It will only be a matter of time before an FR-S gets bagged and slammed. It'll only be a matter of time before we spot a stormtroopered-out FR-S with pink BBS rims. It will be driven by d-bags that don flat-brimmed baseball caps, neon wayfarers, and ironic jeans.

Just look at the threads on Seriously, there's a whole thread dedicated to discussing what kind of craziness Veilside (of Tokyo Drift Fortune RX7 and Fortune NSX fame) might offer. I haven't heard that name in ages!

Hell, there's even a RWB rendering. On Nakai-San's defense, Rauh-Welt Begriff WAS cool. Unfortunately, some things can only be cool so many times before it starts becoming uncool, if you know what I mean. With the addition of every new project, RWB loses its mystique. In my opinion, the radical fabrication garage has already fallen from grace 5 Porsches ago. Now, the GT86 isn't even released yet and these hypebeasts are already finding ways to ruin it.

With respect, I took my friend's thoughts into account. I reached into the deepest corners of my soul and sincerely asked myself whether an FR-S is what I really want.

Alarmingly, not only is my answer a resounding yes, but I could also see in all likelihood that I'll be caught doing exactly the same things that I claimed only a douchebag would moments ago. I think I'm going to strip the Scion badges off of my future FR-S and replace them with Toyota badges.

JDM, yo.

Light is Right

With the passing of ever increasing CAFE regulations, the auto manufacturers are looking to make their cars lighter in an effort to reduce fuel consumption while maintaining or improving their current performance envelope.  The everyday consumer market will hear about high tensile steel and aluminum structures that are more rigid yet lighter than previous versions of the same car.  This is even being touted by vanilla, people carrying toasters like the Camry.  For us enthusiasts, lightness usually comes in the form of carbon fiber, the most exotic material made from one of the most basic elements.  Check out this video of a carbon fiber weave under, what I assume is, an electron microscope.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lost to Time

I've always found myself to be a history buff.  In college, I was actually a history minor... and by minor I mean whore.  Finding old pictures and videos like the one embedded below always fascinate me.  If you know of any articles, pictures, or videos about abandoned factories or dealerships please post the link in the comments.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Singing a Different Tune

tune - make more precise, intense, or effective

Within the automotive world, hidden away from all the shiny new supercars and drowned out by the lumpy-cammed V8 musclecars of the past, in a very dark corner sits the red-headed stepchild of automotive culture, the tuner.  For many, the word "tuner" conjures up the most vile and wretched kind of car enthusiasts.  He came to life in the 80s but started to gain notoriety in the mid-90s.  You could tell he was near by the incessant drone of his coffee can exhaust which was just a bit smaller than the subwoofer that filled the trunk of his Japanese import.  He was a brash, degenerate hooligan.  He was a ricer.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Founded by the heavyweights of internet media, Drive is going to change the game. Assembling members from Fast Lane Daily, Jalopnik, The Smoking Tire, EVO Magazine and Team Polizei, what we're seeing is the beginning of the end of British motoring shows and the birth of the first international car show.

Here's their January 2nd debut episode as well as Drive's preview of things to come:

No question, 2012 is going to be a big year for us.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Snick Snick

2011 has officially come and gone and with it there has been some depressing news.  Ranking pretty high on the list of unapologetically stupid actions by carmakers is canceling all production of manual transmissions.  The primary culprits of this heinous crime are no other than Ferrari and Lamborghini for not only murdering their manual transmissions but, in the process, committing manslaughter against their beautiful gated shifters.  Instead of mourning the passing of the gated shifter, we've decided to celebrate its life.  Enjoy and Happy New Year!