Let’s Joyride in this Car

While touring a local air museum and looking at the planes parked outside, I happened to see this beauty parked outside.  I was skeptical about getting closer, but my good ol’ mom convinced me to hop a fence (well, duck it is more like it), and get closer.  Wow.  A beautiful 1958 Jaguar XK140.

The facts:

  • Very few XK140’s were made from 1957-1960.
  • Even fewer were made in this lovely shade of maroon.
  • Mostly, they were convertibles with a body-color hardtop like this pristine example.
  • This car with a 4-speed manual, 3, 4-liter inline, six cylinder and two person seating (with a small cargo shelf), probably cost a fortune to get to this level of restoration.  Maybe over $100K.

Since 2007, XK140’s have been plodding along in value.  Though the xk140 may not be as much fun to drive as an E-type, they are usually an equally affordable option to a 1950’s Corvette.  My advice to current XK140 owners is to hold on to your car.  They will go up in value.  While currently selling for about $60 grand, I would bet that in a few more years, prices will go up.

Back in 1959, these beauties sold for $3,750.  The money spent was well worth it.  Many notable people such as; Jay Leno, Dale Earnhardt, Sr, John Lennon, and Bill Cosby have all owned one at some time or another.  Sir William Lyons would have been proud to know how much these are treasured.

Lay on the Iron – Not Literally!

You’re probably thinking, “What the heck is Zoomvroom talking about now?”  Well folks, Zoomvroom is talking about a popular racing manuever.  ‘Lay on the iron’  can be roughly translated as an act during a race, where a driver will cut inside another car’s lane, thus forcing the other car to swerve away to an outside lane.  This has the byproduct of reducing the speed of the aforementioned car considerably.  Check this out in the Steve McQueen movie, Le Mans.

Note: Never, ever try this on a public road.

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

the heart car

Don’t go breaking THIS heart!  We all know that Valentine’s Day is a PERFECT day to have a date, and while this might (NOT) be the perfect car to drive around like Granny in, it’s a crack up.  This “car” was made by special effects and design house, Asylum (that’s where THIS car belongs…).  I don’t know what type of car it’s built on, but it seems to be about the same size as a VW Beetle.  So, this might be a good hot rod for your girlfriend.  My thoughts on it include heart surgery, asI’m pretty sure it’s NOT road-legal…  Here’s a funny joke:

What do you call it when somebody attacks this car?

A heart attack!

P.S.  Happy Valentine’s Day!


NOTE:  The Editorial Assistant (aka Pop) would like to apologize for neglecting to post this last night.  Good help is impossible to find.

This is My Dream Come True!

Since 2007,  rumors have been circulating the web with this not-so-credible (but I wish were true) story.

A New York man retired. He wanted to use his retirement money wisely, so it would last, and decided to buy a home and a few acres in Portugal. The modest farmhouse had been vacant for 15 years; the owner and wife both had died, and there were no heirs.

The house was sold to pay taxes.

There had been several lookers, but the large barn had steel doors, and they had been welded shut. Nobody wanted to go to the extra expense to see what was in the barn, and it wasn’t complimentary to the property anyway… so, nobody made an offer on the place.

The NY guy bought it at just over half of the property’s worth; moved in, and set about to tear in to the barn – curiosity was killing him. So, he and his wife bought a generator and a couple of grinders… and cut through the welds.

What was in the barn? Don’t miss it!

One can only dream for this to happen.  Maybe that’s even too optimistic for a dream.  Or, if it is real, I really DON’T believe it!  I’d need somebody like the FBI and/or the CIA to look into it first.  It’s even more so with all these rare and collectible cars.  As a contributing editor to Road & Track, Tom Cotter said, “Huge collections of cars just don’t happen.  Cars are accumulated-sometimes lovingly, sometimes not-by someone with a purpose.”  After a long time cruising the web looking for the photographer who took pictures, he was able to get this credible information from the photographer:  Manuel Menezes Morais was the photographer who clicked a lot pictures for the elusive owner in 2005.  The owner most likely lives somewhere in the Sintra region of Portugal (near Lisbon), hired Morais, scanned the pictures onto his computer, put them into an email with this fake story, and sent an email to some random unsuspecting person in the car world who then was so excited that they unknowingly started a worldwide internet hoax.

Here are all the derelict cars that Morais says are NOT for sale!  Too bad, as there are some that people would pay millions for.  Morais was able to contact the owner and ask him what his favorite car in the whole collection is.  The owner told him it was the Lancia Aurelia B24.  The owner has two.  Enjoy these derelict beauties!  That is the one good thing of looking at all these fake sites with these real cars!  They ARE REALLY cool!  My personal favorite is the 1948 BMW 507 Speedster about a third of the way down.

Sigh……  If only…

The Barn...

The doors were welded shut, but an angle grinder took care of that.

Lotus Super Seven Series IV, Lotus Elan FHC, Opel GT, Alfa Bertone.

Opels & American barges.

Fiat Cabriolet (1200 or 1500), Ford Cortina MKII, Mercedes Benz 180/190.

Pre-war stuff, 1970's American barges, who knows?

Austin A40 Somerset and endless rows of other cars.

Mini (Cooper?), Datsun Z, Rover P6.

Fiat 508 Balilla Sport, Mini (Cooper?) and MG Magnette.

American, 1920's.

American, 1920's.

Ford Taunus, Mercedes Benz, BMW 02.

Alfa Bertone, Porsche 356, Mercedes Benz.

Who knows?

Pre-war Austin? Alfa Giulia, BMW 501 V8.

Some BMW's.

BMW 501 V8

BMW 501 V8

American cars.

Lancia Aurelia B20.

It's a car. An old one.

Lancia Appia.

Porsche 356, Austin Healey Sprite MkII, Volvo PV 544, Ford Y?

Porsche 356.

Lancia Flaminia Zagato.

Alfa Bertone, Giulietta Sprint, crumpled Peugeot 205.

Yep, another one.

Giulietta Sprint, Giulia Sprint Speciale (SS), Nash Metropolitan.

Alfa Giulia SS.

Lancia Flaminia Coupé.

Mini Cooper MkI.

Austin Mini Cooper S.

Alfasud 1.5, Mercedes, Chevy Master.

Lancia Aurelia.

Opel GT, Lotus Elan FHC, Lotus Super Seven Series IV, Lotus Elan DHC.

Elan +2, DKW 1000 SP?

Lotus Super Seven Series IV and Lotus Elan.

Alfa Giulietta, Lotus Europa, another Lotus Elan FHC, Matra Djet?

Alfa 1900 Super Sprint.

Datsun Z.

Austin Mini Cooper MkI

Alfa Romeo.

Fiat Topolino II, Triumph TR4, Peugeot 202.

Steyr Puch, Austin Healey Sprite MkII.

Interior of Alfa Romeo.


Alfa Romeo.

Bristol 404 Saloon, Lancia Flaminia Coupé.

Abarth 1300 Scorpione.

Simca Coupé De Ville.

American (inspired) design.

Lancia Flaminia Coupé, Lancia Appia, Porsche 356, Alfa Bertone.

Saab 93, Alfa Berlina, Renault Dauphine, Opel Rekord, Rover P5 Saloon

Definitely American.

Porsche 356.

Interior of Porsche 356.

Hillman California.

BMW V8, Formula racers, Chryslers, Mercedes, Austin A30.

BMW V8, Formula racers, Chryslers, Mercedes, Austin A30.

Lancia Aurelia B20 2+2.

Volvo PV 444.

Austin Mini Cooper.

Lancia Flaminia Coupé, Peugeot 504 cabriolet & 404 cabriolet.

Mini, Alfa 1900 Super Sprint, Balilla.

Delhi Street Traffic (No, it’s NOT a Jewish Deli line!)

Close your eyes, click your heels three times, and imagine yourself in a bustling city where cars and Vespa’s whiz around cows the size of yaks.  The air smells of manure, spices, and gasoline, horns blare, and there are crowds.  We’re talking New Delhi, India.  New Delhi is definitely no stranger to the  thousands of sacred stray cows that roam the streets.  Many cows are owned by illegal dairies, and the owners often try and seriously wound the 180 or so cow catchers the city employs.  Sure, the bovines are quite mad at being taken forcibly off the streets.  Perhaps, one of India’s national images is a lone cow sauntering down the highway.  According to Parveen Kumar, one of the cow catchers, the cows spend their days munching on anything, be it a plastic bag (it is estimated that over 300 plastic bag’s are in just one of these cows’ stomach’s), a newspaper, a beer bottle, whatever these animals find, they eat.

According to Brajveer Singh, another cow catcher, the more dangerous folks are enraged drivers or motor scooter riders.  These drivers and riders often get into fist fights with the cow catchers.  The drivers and riders lose… Also dangerous are extremely religious Hindu’s, who have, on many occasions pelted these beefy bovines with stones, or worse, the cow catchers.  This often means that the “smallest (all cow catchers are above 200 pounds)” cow catcher will often go and beat the stoner with his bare fists.

Another Singh, Virpal Singh (who is NOT related to Brajveer Singh), said that the “milk mafia” is the most influential obstacle.  These illegal dairy owners often use political connections to get the cows they own back.  If it wasn’t for these people, Delhi, and many other Indian cities would be bovine-free.

Here’s some pics of these big bovines…  

This picture may look like photoshop, but it ain’t!  These bovines happened to bull their way onto the track (get it?!), and leave some special ‘gifts’ (okay,excrement).  Lewis Hamilton was a full hour ahead of Sebastian Vettel, as he wound his way around the track at an amazingly fast 16 mph (going downhill!), after being stuck behind a monstrous bovine!  He clocked a blindingly fast 3 hour, 12 minute time around the track!

Don’t complain the next time you are stuck in traffic.  Be grateful you aren’t stuck behind one of these bovine beauties!


The World’s First Airplane Car Thing… the Terrafugia Transition

So, remember how I’d said that I’d announce a very lucky winner today?  Well, I think we’ve waited long enough…Are you ready?  I’m sorry, I must be deaf! I said, ” Are you ready?”  I thought so!  Our lucky winner is…………Carolyn Boyles!  Congratulations Carolyn!  Please contact me with the address you’d like the subscription sent to.

What the %#&! IS Terrafugia, let alone the Terrafugia Transition?  I thought the same thing!  Well, if you’re interested (which I’m sure you are!), the Terrafugia Transition is the FIRST flying car available to the public.  Available, as in July of 2011, NHTSA cleared the Terrafugia Transition for legally driving on public roads.  The Transition is a milestone in terms of cars that can fly!  FYI: That doesn’t include jumping a Jeep off of a huge pile of rocks!  But, don’t expect to see Transition’s for at least another 5-6 months. Though Terrafugia has been around for about 13 years, they don’t have a factory big enough to commercially produce the $250,000 flyable car.  The Terrafugia will cost about $250-60,000, a company spokesperson said in September 2011.  Powering the 970-pound Terrafugia is a Rotex 912S engine makes 100 horsepower.  Guzzling only 35 mpg on the ground, a driver/pilot can go up to 300 miles on the ground, fill up with 23 gallons of premium unleaded automobile fuel, and take off from a local airport, go about 425 miles, fill up, and repeat the process.  When on the ground, the Transition is rear-wheel-drive, and when in the air, the Rotex 912S engine acts as a pusher engine.  The one small problem with the Transition is that it only can hold two people and 100 pounds of luggage.  Terrafugia is thinking of making a larger model for oil companies to use, as the Transition only needs about 300 feet to take off.  When on the ground, the Transition can go up to 65 mph.  When in the air, it can go 112 mph, with a stall speed of 45 mph.  The one thing the Transition is NOT meant to do is aerobatics.  The steepest angle it can go at is about 70 degrees in any direction.  This also applies to when going on a road, so don’t plan on going on narrow, hilly roads – you probably won’t make it…

Also, don’t expect to see a Transition take off from a long stretch of road or freeway; it’s required to take off and land from an airport.  That also means that if you have a long, straight driveway, you cannot take off from it!  One of the many things that NHTSA granted Terrafugia (which means “escape from land” in Latin) was to use RV tires, but Terrafugia is now asking to use equally safe motorcycle tires, as they are lighter, and as safe, if not safer.  Terrafugia’s MIT trained engineers designed the folding wings of the Transition to be only 6’8″ tall; short enough to fit into an average garage.  Terrafugia estimates that the Transition, which has been in development since 2006, to cost only $60,000 a year to maintain.  The estimates for how much money will be spent on gas for the Transition are about $28,000 a year, as it is as efficient as a Honda Insight.  American made, this car is good for people who want to buy local.  All you have to do is wait for one to be produced and have $250,00 in the bank!

As Edmund’s InsideLine said “That’s one small step for mankind, one giant leap for Terrafugia.”

Enjoy looking around on the Terrafugia website, impress your bos, and lose yourself in the land of Terrafugia!  http://www.terrafugia.com/index.html

Happy Blogversary!

Just think, one year ago (as of this previous Friday), I was sitting here writing my first post.  I was a bit nervous, but also really excited.  I want to honor my one-year (give or take a few days…) anniversary of my amazing blog, and my 100th post!  All right, it’s my 101st! Count all my posts if you don’t believe me!  I know that I wouldn’t be here without you, so I’d like to take a moment to thank you for keeping me going for one year!  I really did mean to post on Sunday, and have something fun announced on Monday, but I had a teen ice skating activity with a local teen group.  Some things added up, and I never got around to doing it.  Sorry!  I REALLY hope that this makes up for it.

So, I’ve decided to do a giveaway of a one-year subscription to Motor Trend.  All you need to do is post a comment before Thursday night, and you might be receiving a copy of Motor Trend in about 6-10 weeks!  I’ll announce the winner on Friday, so post a comment!  Booyah!