Thursday, November 29, 2007

iPhone Road Shots: Ford Mach 1 Mustang

Well as I posted a few days ago.. I have a ton of great iPhone road shots I'll be posting over the next few weeks. Here is a beautiful Ford Mach 1 Mustang. Thanks to Barry for helping me identify this car as a 1970. The Mach 1 had a various range of engines as did most muscle cars at the end of the era. Ranging from a 351 Windsor to the mighty 428 cobra jet in the 1970 model, the Mach 1 was a serious tire shredding machine! I've always been a fan of the Mach 1. It was one of the last great beasts of the Muscle car era. With the fuel crisis soon to follow, the Mach 1 ended a great era of American power and style with a high note.

(Special thanks to Bryan for all the great road shots!)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

iPhone Road Shots: Lamborghini Gallardo

This week I have a bunch of great iPhone road shots to post. So let's kick it off with the always traffic stopping Lamborghini Gallardo! This Italian bull in yellow isn't quite as out of this world as it's forefathers, but you have to admit there is nothing else on the road that comes close to that design. Some complain that Audi has tamed the ragging bull since their influence began in the early 2000's. Personally I don't think an AC that actually works & a rear window you can see out of is a bad thing, but hey.. I could be wrong?

Friday, November 23, 2007

New Poll Added!

Well just added our newest poll... When shopping for a car.. what do you consider most important? This should be a good one! Look forward to seeing what everyone considers most important.

If you have any suggestions for a poll for Car Test Ride.. feel free to drop me an email at

Supercar Poll: And the winner is?

The Bugatti Veyron! Our supercar poll winner.. Seems the longstanding must have supercar McLaren F1 has been de-throned as the supercar champ. It's hard to argue any other car that can trump the Bugatti. It is the first car in a long time that is over the top in every way imaginable. Thank you to everyone who participated in the poll! Be sure and check back soon for a new poll.

If you have ideas for a new poll.. please send an email to

Monday, November 19, 2007

iPhone Road Shots: 2008 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas

Here is an iPhone pic I took at my local Jaguar dealership of the beautiful 2008 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas. I've always been a fan of this car.. especially the "R" version's. The extended wheelbase Vanden Plas edition comes standard with a healthy 300HP 4.2 liter V8 and some nice added luxury features on the inside. This car demands prestige in any crowd and I can't imagine any car on earth that says "Jaguar" more than the XJ!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Top Muscle Cars - 2007 SEMA Show - MSN Autos

Top Muscle Cars - 2007 SEMA Show - MSN Autos

Here is a look at the top ten muscle cars from the 2007 SEMA Show from MSN autos. I personally love the "Smokey and the Bandit" 1978 Trans Am! Who wouldn't want the guilty pleasure of popping the T-Tops out of that bad boy and going on a beer run. Also interesting is the Gateway Classic Mustang. The plan is to put modern tech under the classic body of the first generation Mustang. Seems a big and expensive task, but then again Classic Mod cars are becoming quite popular. Come on though, isn't drum breaks and Bias Ply tires part of the fun of owning a classic muscle car?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Search for my next car: A Testament to Durability- The 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL

It has been a while since I've posted a review on the quest for my next car. To be honest I haven't really even looked at any new cars lately. I've been playing around with the idea of purchasing an older used car and doing away with car payments all together.

Now for most people this would be a pretty simple ordeal. There are tons of great used cars available for an affordable price. One could be sensible and pick up a nice used Honda Civic or Toyota Camry.... But, of course not me! I have been playing around with the idea of purchasing a Mercedes-Benz 560SEL/SEC for years. These cars have always epitomized the pinnacle of Mercedes build quality in my opinion. For me purchasing an older car couldn't just be something cheap and sensible, it would have to be something I would feel passionate about driving. A car I would wake up every morning and look forward to glancing at the over polished shiny paint sparkling in my garage. For me all the quirks of an older car make it seem more human... The aggravation of expensive repair bills seem daunting.. but those perfect moments when a classic old Benz is running like the day it pulled out of Stuttgart would make it all worth while!

As I mentioned before this search has been years in the making. In particular the 560 SEC coupe is one of the cars I always dreamed owning. The market for 126 (official chassis number)Mercedes is a strange one. 560 SEC's can be had for as little as $1500 for a beater, all the way up to the high 20K range for a 6.0 AMG car. The tricky part has been finding a middle ground for a nice dependable 560 SEC that isn't going to break the bank. I wouldn't rule out the 4 door SEL version if I found the right car, but these cars seem to run the gamete as well.

Just so happened I ran across an add for a 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL at a local used car dealership. After a quick chat on the phone with the sales manager I went to check this car out knowing only a few things.... One it was white over Blue... Two it had high mileage. As I arrived at the dealership I noticed the old gal sitting proudly up front among cars half its age. As described the Car was white over blue (the quintessential Florida car mind you) with chrome period correct rims with gold plated Mercedes stars (Blah!!). The sales manager I had spoke with then met me by the car and handed me the keys and stated "take it for a spin.. it hasn't been started in a few weeks, but should be fine." This did concern me as I preceded to check over the car for any rust and other imperfections. As I sat down in the cushy drivers seat, I noticed the odometer read 196K+ miles. The little flaws this car showed were really starting to make me want to just walk away now. Interior wasn't awful, but it did show wear of a 21 year old car with close to 200K miles on the clock. The only thing running through my mind was "this car needs a ton of work."

By this point I figured I might as well take it for a drive and to my surprise I turned the key and with one crank, the old girl came to life! Within a minute or so of letting the car warm up, the AC was blowing cold air (a must for these cars, as AC repairs can be very expensive). All warmed up and ready to roll I proceeded to pull out of the dealership. Now before I go any further, I must say the road I tested the car on was just perfect. A newly paved 4 lane strip of road with minimal traffic and a 55mph speed limit. Merging into traffic at about 40% throttle I immediately noticed how powerful the 5.6 liter engine was. With close to 200K miles on it this engine ran like a top! Now this is a very large, steel, heavy car and I really expected it to handle like a late 80's Lincoln Towncar. This was definitely not the case! Although the seats are very bouncy and soft, the car has a very stiff suspension you can tell is tuned to handle well at high autobahn speeds. Driving this car about a mile then shooting a U-turn it felt very nimble and I all but forgot how big this car actually is. After I made the turn to head back towards the dealership it just so happened a very impatient gentleman in a new Cadillac Escalade (no comment) proceeded to get right on my bumper and fling his arms all about for me to speed up. Who am I not to conform! I stood on the throttle and with a large puff of carbon smoke all over his pretty new pearl paint the old Benz took off like a rocket! This car pulls hard at rolling speeds and 30-60 went by in an instant!

Once back at the dealership I gave the car another once over and did notice some blue smoke sporadically puffing out of the top of the engine. All in all I think this particular car needed thousands to make it right and I will continue my search. With that in mind it still stands as a testament to near perfect Mercedes build quality! Nothing about this car felt "old." It was powerful, handled well, stopped like any modern car, has an incredible safety record, and all the bells and whistles you find standard today. This is a car I could drive everyday, and even though it is 20+ years old it still looks as prestigious as any new 100K super luxury ride! If the right Mercedes 560 comes along, it just may be my next new (used) car.

Monday, November 12, 2007

iPhone Road Shots: Porsche 911 "964" Cabriolet

Here's a shot of a beautiful guards red Porsche 911 Cabriolet. This is probably a early 1990's model officially referred to as the 964. The Porsche 911 Cabriolet had the tried and true N/A 3.6 liter air-cooled flat 6 boxer engine that pumped out 250 HP and 228 lbs ft. torque. The light 964 Cabriolet had a curb weight of approximately 3200 lbs which rocketed the car to low 6 second 0-60 times and a top speed of around 160mph!! Porsche was one of the first auto makers to introduce a tiptronic automatic transmission on the 964 model which is now standard on most modern automatics. This car really is timeless (well.. maybe it's just because the 911 hasn't really changed much in 43+ years). The 911 holds it value well, and dare I say if your looking for a collectible car for auction blocks of the future.. You can't go wrong with a Porsche 911!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1/Callaway Turbo Corvette Video:

Here is a cool old school Motorweek video testing the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 & Callaway Turbo Corvette. Now, I have to admit I have a love and hate relationship with Corvette's. Unlike most.. I liked the C4.. and can't stand the C5. It is probably because the area I live in has the most C5 Corvette's in a 30 mile radius than any other place on earth! The ZR-1 stands as a real achievement for Chevrolet, and I dare you to find any Corvette enthusiast that wouldn't die for one in their dream garage. And look at those performance numbers! These cars are screamers even by modern standards!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

iPhone Road Shots: 2005 Audi S4

A nice iPhone shot of a Dolphin Grey 2005 Audi S4. I have actually driven one of these cars with an automatic and they drive beautifully. The S4 is very scalpel precise in every execution on the road with a smooth, silky V8. I love the very subtle details that make you do a double take to differentiate it from a normal A4. Can't wait to see what Audi has in store for the 2009/10 S4 redesign!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

iPhone Road Shots: Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3L 16v Cosworth

Thank you to Bryan for a great iPhone road shot of the classic Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3L 16v. This car was an answer from Mercedes to BMW's first generation M3. Mercedes teamed with Cosworth to produce a high revving quick little 2.3L 4 cylinder engine. Later models had a 32v 2.3L engine (Not brought to the U.S. unfortunately) These cars are getting really hard to find in good, original shape. In fact I search for them from time to time on Ebay motors and nice examples go for a high premium. Here is a nice example in Champagne (seem to see a ton of them in that color here in the U.S.)

If you have a cool iPhone road shot (or any other phone or camera for that matter) Please email pics to

Friday, November 2, 2007

Maybach Exelero Video:

A great video of the Maybach Exelero.. Wow! If you ever dreamed of patrolling the streets of Gotham City this is the car for you! This one off car really takes design to a new level with retro style reminiscent of streamline cars of the 20's and 30's. Built in 2005, the Maybach Exelero has a Mercedes built 700HP Bi-Turbo V12 engine.