• WILD-EYED & REVVED-UP: RODS AND ROSES!

    It’s become a tradition: The High Noon Engine Rev at the Rods & Roses Car Show in Carpinteria, CA. The show celebrated its 20 Anniversary on July 1st – and the roar of the engines this year was a loud salute to local automotive legend, Andy Granetelli.

    There were over 150 wicked, wonderful and wild-eyed customs, classics and musclecars lining Linden Avenue, Carpinteria’s main thoroughfare that delivers you to the “World’s Safest Beach” on the Pacific. Proceeds from this always-enjoyable show support local non-profits such as Future Farmers of America and Carpinteria Education Foundation. Our Jim Palam captured the spunk and spirit of this July 4th weekend event.The only thing thorny about Leonard Login’s ’23 Ford “C” Cab Custom, above, is the complimentary Participant Rose catching a stare from wild eyes on the air scoop covers.

    If you had a Fury fixation in 1958 then you needed to drop $3,892 to grab the title to this full-option Plymouth Fury. This one features an optional 350/305 dual-quad engine and push-button automatic. Bill Craffey proudly owns this high-fin beauty, left.

    It’s official: Chicks dig Porsches! Bill Pitruzzelli’s ‘56 Porsche Carrera GT attracts a bevy of young show goers.

    If there’s a car show anywhere near Michael Hammer’s home base in Montecito, you can bet that he’ll be there with a big grin and some eye-poppin’ treats from his impressive car collection – like this super-slammed and sexy ’51 Chevy Lead Sled.

    One of the High-Noon noisemakers was this Chip Foose designed, Jordan Quintal built F-100 Custom from the Petersen Museum Collection. That’s a towering cast-iron 502-cube V8 sporting a blower with “F-this” badging!

    Purple People Pleaser!. Rob Hansen’s plum-perfect ‘70 Dodge Challenger R/T sits ready to pounce at the intersection of Sleek and Sexy.

    Seeing Double: The folks at Mathon Engineering in New Jersey like doubling-up on their project bets. ’23 Ford T-Bucket – another Petersen Museum car – has at its thumpin’ heart a double-Chevy 350-inch motor mash-up.

    Ron Lawrence is a retired LA County firefighter who apparently got tired of polishing things. So it’s no surprise that this car guy’s pride and joy is this perfectly weathered and unpolished ‘30 Model A Ford roadster.

    How to Drive to Work: This beautiful and original (one respray since new) ‘68 Shelby GT350 is a daily driver for a Santa Barbara technology executive. What, no Tesla?

    Heading out of the show I spotted this ‘Work in Progress’ Low Rider parked on a side street. POTUS might call this frugal custom a “Bad Hombre.” But come on, those frenched antennas are a sure sign of style and sophistication. Pass the Grey Poupon, s’il vous plait!

    Words & photos: Jim Palam, http://www.jimpalam.com/

    For more information about Rods And Roses, please visit https://rodsandroses.wordpress.com/

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  • ’63 CORVETTE STING RAY: RACED FROM DAY ONE!

    Consummate Corvette aficionado K. Scott Teeters blogs about Ken Hazelton’s unique split-window coupe that has never been driven on the street. Zora Arkus-Duntov would have been proud.

    Although born to be a street sports car, this Sting Ray has never been anything but a racecar. Zora Arkus-Duntov was the driving force behind making sure that production Corvettes could be easily turned into competitive racecars. He was famous for saying, “I want my customers to enjoy their Corvette.”

    Even though he was in the engineering department and not sales and marketing, he thought like a salesman. Duntov’s insistence that Corvette customers had access to Chevrolet engineered parts for racing, created the Corvette’s racing halo.

    To continue reading, please visit  http://www.corvettereport.com/ken-hazeltons-1963-split-window-coupe-corvette-racecar/#more-11630

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  • Subaru BRZ review

    Subaru BRZ review

    The Subaru BRZ is one of the best kept secrets of the auotmotive world.

    Developed alongisde the near-identical Toyota GT86, it’s an affordable back-to-basics front
    engined, rear-wheel drive 2+2 sports coupe.

    For 2017, Subaru has given the evergreen BRZ a mid-life facelift, equipment upgrade and distilled the trim options down to just one – SE Lux.

    Subaru BRZ review

    The exterior design tweaks are subtle, apart from the old school aerodynamic wing at the rear. Elsewhere, there’s a new front bumper, LED headlights and 10-spoke 17-inch alloys.

    You can choose from five colours, though Subaru’s iconic WR (World Rally) Blue Pearl is surely the one to go for.

    Inside, a 4.2-inch LCD colour display is added to the instrument display, featuring such sporting essentials as a G-Force meter and braking gauge.

    Subaru BRZ review

    The leather steering wheel is now smaller and boasts audio controls, while plastics generally have been upgraded or replaced by leather, giving the cabin a more upmarket feel.

    The Alcantra and leather seats are more comfortable than ever (the driver’s seat has a six-way adjustment), while a 6.2-inch touchscreen has been added to the centre console, though sat nav is a £1,250 option.

    The infotainment system is not as hi-tech as the best of them, but it does the job and, of course, offers full connectivity.

    Subaru BRZ review

    Traditionalists will be pleased to note that the cockpit is still adorned with plenty of retro-feel knobs and toggle switches.

    The rear passenger seats are fitted with ISOFIX anchor points, but as with most 2+2s, they are
    almost totally useless. Better news in the boot where there’s 243 litres of space available – 1,270 with the rear seats folded flat.

    The 2017 Subaru BRZ is more driver focused than ever. Sadly, there’s no extra power for the 2.0-
    litre 200PS ‘Boxer’ petrol engine, but it is more responsive, it still sounds suitably throaty and CO2 emissions are slightly lower.

    Subaru BRZ review

    Elsewhere, Subaru’s engineers have made various changes (to the steering, suspension, dampers and
    brakes) to tweak the driving dynamics and make the BRZ even sharper than before.

    Priced from £26,050, the BRZ is one of the most entertaining cars you’ll find for that money.

    The chassis is better than ever and it’s enormous fun on flowing country roads. Agile and engaging, it’s helped by a slick six-speed short-throw manual gearbox and it feels totally
    planted.

    Subaru BRZ review

    For the record, the BRZ is capable of 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds (but feels faster) and it tops out at 140mph. Fuel economy is a claimed 36.2mpg (and it not far off that in the real world), while CO2 emissions are a very average 180g/km.

    But here’s the thing. The BRZ is also now available with automatic transmission – and it’s a bit of a revelation.

    Subaru BRZ review

    It may sounds like sacrilege in a sports car package like this, but the auto box slams through the gears pretty well – even producing the odd pop on down-changes, allowing you to concentrate on the driving. The engine even sounds more sporty.

    Verdict: The new, improved Subaru BRZ is better than ever. With a mild makeover inside and out, plus enhanced driving dynamics, it has to be one of the best-value, most entertaining sports cars
    on the market – and it still looks just as cool.

    Review by Gareth Herincx

    Subaru BRZ review

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  • Lexus Success Story

    The Reasons for Lexus’ Growing Success and Popularity

    In recent times, Lexus has become Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars and established themselves as pioneers in the luxury car sector. The luxury vehicle division of Toyota was first developed in the early 1980’s as a secret project to build the world’s best car, but they are now one of the most recognisable and successful automobile manufacturers around.

    In fact, Lexus led the U.S luxury car market for an impressive 11 straight years before a Tsunami and an earthquake hit production in 2011. After falling behind Mercedes-Benz and BMW, they now are clawing their way back and recently posted a global sales record in 2016 and their fourth consecutive record year of sales.

    Reasons for Success

    So, what can be attributed to this success? One of the main reasons is that they have managed to find great success in the United States – a major consumer in the luxury car market. Lexus has always struggled to replicate this success in Europe, largely due to the fact that the European market as not as receptive to “new” brands as other areas of the world.

    Another key reason is the fact that their vehicles are known to be extremely reliable, solid and well-engineered – this makes them a great choice for long-term ownership, which is an important factor for consumers when purchasing high-end automobiles. This also makes them the logical and intelligent purchase to make for any motorists in the market for this kind of vehicle, with specialist suppliers like RRG Group being the best place to turn.

    Hybrid Technology

    Lexus has also manufactured a handful of hybrid vehicles in recent years. This has made them more popular throughout the world as there is a shift in attitude towards eco-friendly driving, but particularly in Europe where they have previously struggled to sell. This is not too much of a surprise, as their parent company Toyota are famed for being world leaders in hybrid technology. As a result, hybrid Lexus cars combine the strengths of petrol engines with all the benefits of electric power.

    This success for the Japanese manufacturer only looks set to continue, as they are growing in popularity around the world whilst also maintaining their image in the United States. Essentially, their success can be attributed to their core values being inline with that of a modern day consumer. They are a brand about innovation, reliability, technology and eco-friendly motoring whilst also maintaining a luxury performance and sleek design.

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