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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Breathe Easy

Recently, I've received a few emails from friends and family asking me to look over their tune-up invoice to see if they are being ripped off.  At the top of each invoice, it seems that mechanics are over charging for a simple air filter change.  I've seen some charge up to $55 for this service!  This is three times more than the actual cost of a regular paper filter that can be bought at any Autozone, Pep Boys, etc.  As a service to you, here's a quick video I found on Youtube that walks you through the simple process of changing an air filter.  Similar videos for your specific car can also be found on Youtube if you're still nervous about trying this.  Remember to check this every 15,000-20,000 miles.  You can thank me later for the savings at the mechanic as well as the pump.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunoco Sponsorship

When you can say you've been associated with Penske, McLaren, Donohue, Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari you're kind of a big deal.  While Sunoco isn't much of a team sponsor these days, choosing instead to put their backing into being the title fuel sponsor of NASCAR, they still were one of the iconic liveries of the 70's. In fact, they were so closely linked with the Camaro Trans-Am program that when the Camaro was relaunched, they were a part of the first Grand-Am Continental Tire Series GS effort (along with the matching #6 as well).  Enjoy!

Photos By Jay Bonvouloir

Photo By Wayne Lamport

Photos By Louis Galanos
Also check out a couple of Mr. Galanos' stories (1969, 1971) on historic races including the story of the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona in which the winning Sunoco sponsored Penske Lola was later stolen and chopped up!

Photo by Nancy Nally
Photo by Bo Nash

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cruise Night - Foxboro

Here are a few pictures from a Cruise Night that took place in Foxboro, MA yesterday.  Nothing much to say but I tried to stay away from the ubiquitous Corvettes and most Mustangs.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Beauty of All Wheel Drive

Think back to the turn of this millennium and remember how good things were.  Y2K failed to do anything to the infrastructure, the economy was booming, and the Fast and the Furious franchise wasn't a franchise.  People were living their lives a quarter mile at a time, had jobs, were buying all sorts of extravagance, and 401Ks seemed secure.  Everyone was happy.  That is, everyone except the car enthusiast.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Real Lotus Story

The recent Lotus soap opera has been pretty incredible. In a matter of less than half a year, parent company Proton sold its majority stake to DRB-Hicom, endangering the commitments and resources once promised to back Group Lotus' five-year plan to produce the five cars it unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, including the revival of the legendary Esprit.

Then, Group Lotus announced the termination of its title sponsorship of the Lotus-Renault F1 team, causing some serious rumors to surface. The word around the office is that Lotus will be going into administration, and Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is being placed on leave.

Yet despite the end of title sponsorship and mounting financial issues within the brand itself, more news revealed that Proton still holds a call option to purchase 10 percent of the Lotus F1 team from current team owner, Genii Capital.

In short, all the madness we're seeing unfold is starting to look like the tragic downfall of not just a storied British sports car marque, but threatens the equilibrium of the F1 race team as well. A failed attempt from Lotus to down play the media frenzy has only left car buffs and racing enthusiasts even more hopelessly confused.

However, there is still one great thing that I can take out of all this - it has caused myself to think about Colin Chapman and Lotus' past glory more than ever before. I've been searching on youtube for something that I could really sink my teeth into and this is far more than I ever expected I would find. It's a bit long, but if you have the time, why not?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2nd Flappy Paddle Heads GT5 Mega Invitational UPDATE: PP, Tracks, Prize

As you all may already know, reports announced that Lotus is no longer the title sponsor for the F1 Team Lotus. In fact, the team is actually under the ownership of Luxembourg financial advisory firm Genii Capital, the Formula 1 engines are sourced from Renault, and team operations are carried over from the old Renault F1 team as well.

Well this is awkward. The Lotus automaker has absolutely nothing to do with the Lotus F1 racing team yet here we are, hosting a Lotus-themed GT5 event in synchrony to the Chinese GP weekend. Oh well, we're rolling with it!

The featured car will be the Lotus Elise 111R '04 [Race Mod]. As a reference, the Elise was a special prize package from our last invitational, tuned to 549 PP (261-hp, 720-kg). For the upcoming race, PP will be capped at 575.

We aren't going to make an official roster of tracks (let's not take this too seriously) but expect to see the likes of Suzuka, Laguna Seca, and Grand Valley. From experiences we had from our last event, wide and flowy race tracks gave players more confidence to battle more aggressively without causing the pack to spread too far. That said, try not to take out half the grid on the first corner (but that'll likely happen regardless). 

As a reminder, the invitational will be held on the evening of April 14th, 10:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Looking for our lobby will be straightforward: FLAPPYPADDLEHEADS.

So yes, we've got the date and time, the car and PP, and the race tracks taken care of. Now, let's talk prizes:

I can already picture some of you struggling to make a connection with the NSX race car and the Red Bull Racing team. Don't think too much of it - at least I didn't offer an Infiniti road car and contrive its racing ties with Red Bull. Just know that the NSX is a bad ass car!

If you're having trouble finding us on GT5 the night of the event, be sure to message us at our PSN:

Add us on PSN (Playstation Network) with "FPH" written on the body of the request. Find us at:
Danny Choy: capn_chimichanga
Danny Chin: Anduril218
Kyle Swift: ROADWARRIOR721
Dan Weimann: SaintMonday

Or, you could also find us on twitter at @fpheads or @dchoyfph. I also accept letters via carrier owl.

The most important thing is to have fun!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cars and Coffee

This past week has been a hugely exciting time to be a petrolhead.  Chrysler's unveiling of the new 2013 SRT Viper left jaws dropped at the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday.  Pictures of that can be seen here.  Halfway across the world in Qatar, MotoGP started its season with a tooth and nail fight amongst Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, and Casey Stoner that lasted to the checkers.  Right here in Boston, the Lars Anderson Auto Museum kicked off the Cars and Coffee season with great showing of exotica.  Kick back and click the pics!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

NYIAS 2012 Coverage - Day 2


We start with a favorite of mine!
I'm noticing hexagonal Grille treatments on every other car. (It's on the FR-S too)
We are going to see this Mondeo/Fusion dethrone the Camrys, Accords, and Sonatas.
A waste of a cool prop on such a dull car
Spindle grilles are still hexagonal in my book.
Good news! Lexus unveiled the first hybrid ES! Anyway...
Infiniti's luxury electric-vehicle doesn't have a name
It does have six sides and six corners on its grille though.
Mr. Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer of Nissan-Infiniti. #badass
Bucking the trend, Acura concept rocks a pentagon grille.
*Remember when Lotus announced development of an in-house powerplant for its Esprit?
The Acura NSX Should keep them honest.
2014 Mazda 6 is one fine looking mid-size
Svelte looks and SkyActiv. Will it catch the category sleeping?
More than four decades old, the 1971 Porsche 917 LH Martini
  is probably the most incredible car at the show!
Uh oh. What if the only Lincoln that was interesting at the show is already 70 years old?
Taking the fight to BMW, everything seems to be going right for Cadillac and GM
The Nurburgring-tuned chassis is supposed to create the best handling Cadillac sedan ever.
Unfortunately, it also gave the ATS the most cramped Cadillac interior ever.
This KIA GT concept has got them Lamborghini Aventador-J carbon fiber blades!
So many flavors!
I love me some T-Rex
And now we jump a couple hundreds of thousands of dollars
Proper. We the 1%, baby.
Mulsanne looks terrific in person