The Most Unlikely Off-Road Cars Ever!

Why should you buy a Jeep, a Toyota Land Cruiser, or a Subaru for off-roading pleasures when you could have one of these machines?

  1. Rolls-Royce Corniche: This car competed and finished the 1981 Paris-Dakar Rally! While it wasn’t exactly stock, it was still cool. It had a custom tube frame, a GM small-block V8, a Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD system and an 87-gallon fuel tank. It’s quite possibly the coolest Rolls-Royce ever.rollsroycecornicherallycar
  2. Bentley Continental GT Speed: This car might handle itself like a proper British touring car when celebrities and the upper elite drive it around, but when Top Gear” got their mitts on it, everything changed. They put rally driver Kris Meeke in the driver’s seat and Captain Slow (or James May) in the passenger seat. This meant that the car’s full potential was finally untapped.
  3. Aixam Mega Track: Yeah, the name is weird. They probably could have thought of a better one. Aixam built “world-famous” economy cars. Out of the blue came this monster. It was a 400 horsepower, four-seat rally/supercar/absolute beast of a car. Yes, it was unexpected, but it was a gift from God.aixammegatrack
  4. Ferrari 308 GTB: Yeah, you heard me. A Ferrari was a rally car. A very successful one at that. It made the podium 20 times at rallies across Europe in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, Ferrari’s rallying and winning shenanigans were put to an end when the FIA dissolved the legendary Group B batch of rally cars.ferrari308gtbrallycar
  5. Ford Galaxie: Anybody who has bombed down a dirt road in an old muscle car knows that they make the best rally cars. This Ford Galaxie races alongside other intensely cool old cars in the Baja peninsula. The governing body is called the National Off Road Racing Association, or NORRA. This heavily modified Ford Galaxie shows us how it does business, in a very good scary way!fordgalaxienorraracer
  6. Lotus Esprite: Yes, really. The classically-unreliable British sports car actually did a very good job off road. After watching the “Top Gear” episode where they took this car off road, I am still in awe of how well this car performs off road!lotusesprittopgear
  7. Geo Metro: Yeah, you heard me. The tiny, crappy economy car actually performs well off road. There’s a guy who actually LIVES out of the thing! Well, not living IN it, but he’s gone a lot of places in the tiny little car!geometrocampingguy
  8. Ducati 1199 Panigale TerraCorse: This motorcycle is already a great track bike, but a Ducati dealer wanted to take it a step further. He simply adjusted the stock suspension parts, swapped the tires and brakes out, gave it an amazing paint job, and fabricated a skid plate. This bike turned into a holy terror on dirt roads. Watch out BMX bikes!ducati1199panigaleterracorsa

Of course, there are many more that I could mention. However, these are some really cool unlikely off-roaders. If you’ve ever owned an unlikely off-roader that I didn’t mention, let me know in the comments section!

A Fun Music Video

This is going to be a quick and fun post.  For those of you who remember the band “Berlin” from the 1980s, you might know their 2013 single “Gasoline & Heart.”

For those of you who have never heard of Berlin, let me give you some background:

Berlin is a synth pop group formed in 1982 in Los Angeles by bassist John Crawford, singer Terri Nunn, and keyboard player David Diamond.  They quickly made the charts with their provocative single “Sex (I’m A…),” which came from their gold-selling debut EP Pleasure Victim.

They quickly made the group whole with the addition of guitarist Rick Olsen, another keyboard player, Matt Reid, and drummer Rob Brill.

Their first full-length LP was the gold-selling Love Life album of 1984.  By 1985, the group had been trimmed down to the trio of Nunn, Crawford, and Brill.

The following year, they went platinum with their hit “Take My Breath Away,” which was the love theme from the Tom Cruise movie, “Top Gun.”

Nunn left the band in 1987 to pursue a solo career, so Brill and Crawford joined the Big F.

The band reunited in 1999 to record new songs, as well as perform a concert.  The studio and concert recordings were released as Berlin Live: Sacred and Profane, which was released in 2000.

2001 brought a whirlwind of recording sessions, which included co-writing songs with Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, among several other artists.  The end result, Voyeur, was their first full-length album in well over 15 years.

How does this relate to “Gasoline & Heart?” Well, the single was created without Nunn.

Truthfully, the song is just OK, but it’s got great footage of classic hot rods back in the day. It’s a fun distraction for a few minutes.  Enjoy.

Can You Text and Drive in This Great New Game?

I’d like to say sorry for this post coming out today.  As I had to attend a friend’s graduation yesterday, I was unable to post.  I do think however, that this post will make up for the delay.

Before we get down to business, let’s get one thing clear: texting and driving do not mix well.  If you get caught by the police, you get a big ticket, and could possibly lose your license, depending on if you’re a repeat cell phone law violator.  It’s incredibly dangerous, and can kill or injure a lot of people because you just couldn’t wait to respond.  Never, ever pick your phone up while driving!  Let’s all get one thing clear: texting and driving in the real world is much different than texting and driving in this hilarious new game called SMS Racing.

It’s a total remake of the 2013 browser game that had the same name.  The 2015 version uses all new material, and it shares only a name and a concept with the original game.

It was built for the 2015 Oculus Mobile VR Jam, where many app and game developers are teamed up to create the most captivating VR experience possible.

We’ve all seen or heard of the dozens of texting and driving games out there, many of which are dry, boring attempts to teach teens the dangers of texting and driving at the same time.  Enter SMS Racing.  It’s a whole lot of fun.  Let me tell you why.

When you start the race, you’re told to finish a lap as fast as you can while responding to text messages without crashing, all within a limited time frame.

An instructor talks to you during the race.  She encourages you to keep up with all of your social connections, and to focus less on the road.  This is when all of the sarcasm that the developers have kicks in.  She tells you that texting is an important part of driving, and that it would be rude not to respond to your friends.

Should you fail to respond to a message within ten seconds, you are told to “…restart, or keep driving and reflect on how it feels to have no friends.”  That’s cold.

The game has several features that were not in it previously.  It has a Time Trial and a Race mode, a head tracking feature to change your view based on movement, artificial intelligence rivals who also text and drive, and city and suburb maps.

This review is based on various user reviews, plus video recordings of the game.  I haven’t played it…yet, but if and when I have a chance, I will do a full review of it!

Users of the game say that the constant need to text can become frustrating at times, which only further demonstrates the sole purpose of the game.

They also say that when you finally get a lap in, you’ve probably cursed the game to hell and back, but you’ve probably crashed just as many times.  In the end, it’s all smiles and a good chance to laugh at how ridiculous it is to put texting before driving.

Please don’t. Driving requires a lot of attention, and you could kill yourself or others because you just had to glance down at your phone.  It can always wait.  If you can’t wait, pull over in a safe spot and read the text or social media alert.

Here’s some video from the VR Jam.

You can check out the game, and even download it at

However, you need the proper VR gear, but if you do, it seems like it’s worth a shot.

The Top Car-Killing Movies!

Just about everybody knows that breaking stuff is fun.  When directors get gigantic budgets and a car chase to shoot, sometimes they go overboard.  These movies destroyed the most cars – the numbers are crazy!

  • Ronin (1998):  Yes, Ronin was a good movie.  One of the many cool parts about it?  Director John Frankenheimer was a former amateur racer.  He enlisted former French Formula 1 driver Jean-Pierre Jarier and 300 OTHER stunt drivers to film the insane chase through Paris.  The result?  An epic eight-minute chase sequence that deserves a spot in the car chase hall of fame.  Oh, and they destroyed a mere 80 cars.  That’s nothing compared to other movies on this list!  Watch it here:
  • Bullitt (1968):  Yes, it is riddled with some funny errors – the 1968 Dodge Charger loses five hubcaps from four wheels over the course of the chase!  However, it is still one of the greatest car chases ever produced.  People are still making their own versions of it almost fifty years later.  The iconic Highland Green big-block Mustang fastback reached speeds well over 100 mph on the hilly streets of San Francisco, sometimes even with the legendary Steve McQueen behind the wheel!  More than 80 cars were destroyed during the filming of the movie.
  • Gone in 60 Seconds (1974):  Director, producer, stunt driver, and star of the original Gone in 60 Seconds H.B. Halicki was given a tiny $150,000 budget, but the movie has now grossed more than $40 million.  He drove the original “Eleanor” – the tastefully customized 1973 Mustang (to this day, one of the best-looking Mustangs ever) throughout the chase scene.  Somebody else from the crew would drive the car throughout the rest of the movie (cameraman, actor, etc.).  Many of the bystanders were members of the public – there was no money for extras.  Some of the crashes were completely unscripted, which makes the movie that much better.  When Halicki clipped another car at 100 mph and spun into a lamppost, he ended up in the hospital.  The crash ended up in the film.  Gone in 60 Seconds destroyed 93 cars.
  • The Blues Brothers (1980 and 2000):  The 1980 version of the film held the record for the most cars violently destroyed until the 2000 remake, which smashed the record (pun intended) by a whopping ONE car!  For the 1980 film, 60 used police cars were bought for $400 apiece, fitted with reinforced frames.  Almost all of the cars were unusable by the end of filming.  The 1980 version destroyed 103 cars.  The 2000 version decimated 104 cars.  This is the 1980 version: and this is the 2000 version:
  • G.I. Joe (2009):  Yes, it is an awful film by every account.  It also happened to briefly hold the record for most cars destroyed in a movie (112 cars).  It beat The Blues Brothers (2000) by eight cars.  Maybe blowing up stuff isn’t as exciting as we all thought it was as kids.  That being said, enjoy the gratuitous automotive destruction at
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013):  Sometimes, it’s best to leave the best alone.  Some movies don’t need a sequel, let alone four.  Die Hard is one of said movies.  Sadly, 25 years after Bruce Willis “killed” Alan Rickman (the guy who played Snape in the Harry Potter movies, kids), we are talking about the fifth and worst Die Hard yet.  Willis and the cast somehow destroyed 132 cars and badly damaged an incredible 518 cars PAST their 132 dead brethren.  That being said, the car chase is good.
  • The Junkman (1982):  Have you ever heard of The Junkman?  I hadn’t either until now.  It’s the crashiest film you’ve never heard of.  Directed by H.B. Alicki, the crash-hungry director of Gone in 60 Seconds, it reportedly killed more than 150 cars.
  • Fast Five (2011):  All in all, over 1000 cars have been destroyed since the first Fast & Furious.  That’s more than one a minute in total film time.  260 cars were destroyed in Fast Five.  However, Fast & Furious 6 used about 400 cars, with few surviving.
  • Matrix Reloaded (2003):  Somehow, the folks behind Matrix Reloaded managed to kill 300 cars loaned to them by GM.
  • Transformers 3 (2011):  By definition, every one of the 532 cars destroyed were ready for the junkyard – they were all donated to director Michael Bay because of flood damage.  They needed to be scrapped by law anyways – why not destroy them violently?

Well, that’s my list!  I hope that you enjoyed it, as well as the chase scenes.  I recommend you watch this song while listening to “Rockin’ Down the Highway” by the Doobie Brothers.  It seems fitting.

What Happens When You Put 50 Party Horns Into an Exhaust Pipe?

Well, it’s pretty shrill…and funny.  It sounds like, well, a bunch of party horns going off at once.  If you watch this without busting a gut, there’s something wrong with you.  It’s going to be the funniest 15 seconds of your life…guaranteed (or you get something back).

I’m very tempted to do this to my car, as it has dual exhaust pipes.  Yup, that means I’ll have 100 party horns.  Maybe somebody with a Top Fuel dragster will do this, but they’ll need fireproof party horns!

Why Supercars Aren’t Cheap to Maintain

Supercars are constantly redefining how crazy cars can be.  Think about the 1990s.  The McLaren F1 was the fastest car in the world until the Bugatti Veyron.  The Lamborghini Diablo wasn’t nearly as fast, but it was just as raw and pure of a driver’s car.  However, the car that one can argue defined the 1990s supercar wars was the Ferrari Testarossa.  It wasn’t the fastest, the most terrifying, or most exhilarating.  What it did do, however, was pave the way for supercars as we know them now.  Yes, that means being completely unaffordable to the general population and outrageous repair costs.

This blog post is by no means meant to make supercars from the 1990s and first decade of the 2000s seem like horrible messes of cars that are best left to be stared at in museums.  Drive these cars.  It’s what they’re meant for.  Grab they keys and floor it if you get the chance.  Just remember to set aside a LOT of money to repair them.  Oh, and find a really good mechanic.  Just because they say that they service European cars does NOT mean that they will service your Lamborghini Diablo.  They will, but they will likely do it badly and cause further damage to something that is expensive.  Ask them if they service your supercar.  They can usually point you to somebody who will if they can’t.

Many jobs require special tools for that car and that car only.  Your Craftsman toolset will do irreversible damage to your car.   Doing a simple task such as changing the oil, which might take an afternoon in your mom’s Toyota Camry, can turn into a five-day knuckle-bashing fest on a McLaren F1.  Let’s not even start on the Ferrari Enzo.

Yes, that’s a stock McLaren F1 engine bay!  The gold throughout the engine bay is actual gold leaf.  The exhaust is titanium, and no, the blue connectors are not for nitrous.  They are for fuel delivery.  That engine bay looks like a lot of fun to access!  No wonder it takes five days to change the oil…

McLaren estimates annual repair costs to be about $30,000, which doesn’t seem too bad until you find out that an oil change is $8,000.  You can even ship your F1 to McLaren’s factory in Woking, UK for repairs, where McLaren employs two full-time F1 technicians for F1 repairs alone!  That’s what Ralph Lauren does for his THREE F1’s.  Yeah, that blazer you bought is going to good use.  McLaren suggests replacing the tires in pairs ($3,000 per tire!).  McLaren scrubs in every set sold, for free.  That means that they custom-make the tires for free!  Service can take up to 6 weeks – not including transit to the UK.  It’s ten days door-to-door by air, seven weeks by boat.  The bright side?  The car is appreciating so quickly that repair costs will never catch up to their now-astronomical price.  Chumps.

This is the floor of the customer service department of McLaren’s Woking factory.  It might not be so bad to come here after all…

That being said, the McLaren F1 is one of the most amazing cars to ever come out of a factory.  It was the fastest car in the world for almost 20 years, and the driving experience is supposedly second to none.  It’s also going up in price really quickly.  Get one now if you want.  Yeah, your kids only need a semester at Stanford anyways!

This is a Ferrari Enzo engine bay.  Not exactly pretty, but it gets the job done!  I’m a fan of the massive intake manifold and massive shocks.  Those two gold tanks are gas reservoirs. An astute commenter corrected me – they are not fuel pumps, as I originally thought! They are gas-filled reservoirs that keep the fluid in the shocks, called damping fluid, under constant pressure. Given the massive speeds the Enzo can easily hit, a single small bump in the road could prove catastrophic, so these reservoirs are necessary.

When you buy an Enzo, you’d better have every single piece of paper detailing EVERYTHING that was done to it!  If you don’t, be sure to spend far more than the service cost off of the asking price!  When something goes wrong, it goes from a relatively inexpensive fix to a SNAFU in seconds.

Oil or shop fluids will irreversibly damage at least one $6,000 carbon-ceramic brake rotor, so a set of factory covers protects them during service.  I’m not joking!

Each authorized dealer must buy a $10,000 special tool kit and this scissor lift to work on an Enzo.  The massive V12 takes 12 quarts of oil.  That’s a lot.  Most cars take around 7.

Oh, and a word for the wise – warm up the Enzo’s big V12 with the $60,000 carbon fiber engine lid open, and the carbon fiber intake body will expand enough that the lid won’t close until the engine cools off.

This is a Porsche Carrera GT engine bay.  This car has long been the source of heated controversy, which only heated up after the tragic deaths of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas almost a year ago (they died on November 30.  I will do a one-year memorium post on that day).

Like every other Porsche, the Carrera GT gets an oil change every 15,000 miles.  No, it’s not based off of a semi truck engine, but good guess!  The entire car was a shelved endurance racing project from the 1990s, so it was built to be reliable.

An oil change is $3,000 because:

  1. A set of four ramps ($1,100) is required to get the car over the hoist arms on the lift.  Yes, it’s that low.
  2. The rear-heavy car has to be attached to the lift so it doesn’t tip or fall off of the lift.  A $550 set of 3/4 inch aluminum plates bolt onto the car for that purpose.  Most owners leave them installed.
  3. Two engine-oil filters – one replaceable and one reusable screen.  Strip the drain plug in the aluminum cover, and you’re down $6,800.

Replacing the ceramic clutch is $25,000, including labor.  By comparison, a $30,000 full brake job is a steal by comparison.  You can see how these mechanics live well.  When the Carrera GT was new, dealers had to buy a special $10,000 table and $8,000 jig to hold the car’s engine during service.

Overall, maintaining a supercar isn’t easy or cheap.  Should you buy one of these cars, make sure that there is a piece of paper detailing everything done to the car.  You’ll thank me later.

The Best Holiday Gifts for the Car Enthusiast!

The holidays are rapidly approaching.  We’ve all got at least one car enthusiast in the family.  Here’s what to get them (or you!).


Hemmings Motor News has always had a great selection of calendars.  There’s pretty much a calendar for every car lover here.  You can’t go wrong.

Calendars are helpful in many more ways than sitting up on the wall.  Write down schedules, birthdays, etc. on the best calendars for car lovers.


This is going to be a really good, long list that I really want.  Maybe I’ll see some around the holidays…(I know, more of my shameless begging)

  • Miller’s Time: A Lifetime at Speed
    • Don Miller went from street racing to being the guy who stood next to Roger Penske for over 30 years.  He’s set records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, been in Victory Lane at Indy multiple times, built cars from nothing more than a pile of steel tubing and a welding machine, and taken a kid from ramshackle dirt tracks to a Winston Cup title.  If you’re ready for racing honesty and humor, GET this book!  You can get it for about $30 on Amazon, and you might be lucky enough to get a signed copy!
  • Getting Started in the Collector-Car Hobby
    • This book from the fabulous Hemmings Motor News staff details many important aspects of the collector-car hobby for a newbie.  It’s only $6.95, and that family member or friend will be thanking you when they get that cool old car!
  • Ayrton Senna – McLaren
    • I’ve heard great things about this book.  It details the racing life of a legend through the people who knew him best – his teammates, mechanics, engineers, and management staff for his McLaren team.  His dream was to help underprivileged children in his home country of Brazil.  The Ayrton Senna Foundation, established shortly after his tragic death in 1994, has helped over two million kids in Brazil.  This book has been written with the full support of his family, something rare in the racing world.  A portion of the money used to buy this book will go to the foundation to help more children.  You can find a new one on Amazon for about $40, and you’ll help Brazilian children, and enjoy a good book.
  • MotorBinder
    • This book offers an astonishingly cool peek into the golden age of motorsport – when amazing ingenuity, drivers with no fear, and no such things as crowd control existed in race cars.  It’s a beautiful anthology of pictures, mostly taken at California tracks, but also at Nassau and Indy, as well as other famous race tracks.  It focuses on the action and personalities of such legends as Sir Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, Roger Penske, Sir Stirling Moss, and Bruce McLaren, among others.  Many of the pictures have never been seen before, many of which were taken by the San Francisco Chronicle motorsports editor, Gordon Martin.  It’s $69 on Amazon, and truly amazing.

Of course, there are far more books than these, but these are the ones that I would recommend in a heartbeat.


OK, talk about a HUGE list!  Everybody always wants cool clothing.  I’m going to try to keep this list sane, but I make NO promises!

  • Hemmings Motor News Polo Shirt
    • Polo shirts are nice.  They make you look classy, but casual.  Car enthusiasts love them.  Here’s one that will strike a conversation with any car lover.
  • Hemmings Muscle Machines Youth T-Shirt
    • Here’s one for the kiddos.  It’s the same as the Hemmings Muscle Machines T-Shirt for adults, just pint-sized.  It features brightly-colored cars from America’s fastest decade, and it’s sure to be a favorite among them.  I promise.
  • Hemmings Work Shirt
    • You should NEVER work on your classic without a work shirt.  They are durable, easy to wash, and can be sharp enough to go out in public in.  Here’s one you’ll wear with pride.
  • Hemmings Motor News Hats
    • Hemmings Motor News has a nice selection of ball caps.  There’s one for everybody.  Here’s my personal favorite.
  • Roadkill “Original Vintage Tee”
    • I have this t-shirt.  I love it.  I get a lot of thumbs ups from fellow car nuts.  And a lot of questions (i.e. Why would you wear a shirt that has the name of dead animals on the side of the road?).  Get it while supplies last.
  • Roadkill Dickies Jacket.
    • Roadkill is sponsored by Dickies.  Freiburger is always wearing a Roadkill Dickies jacket.  You can join him and other Roadkill fans by buying this Roadkill Dickies Jacket.  It’s expensive, but it’s cool and I want one.
  • Super Chevy Men’s Racing Shirt
    • Racing shirts are cool.  I should get some.  This is one I want.  Hint, hint.
  • Mopar Muscle Garage T-Shirt
    • Show off your Mopar allegiance with this t-shirt.  I’m a fan of different cars, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Mopars.  This is a cool t-shirt styled like something from the 1970’s, but with a modern twist.

OK, that’s it for clothing…you’ll find something for me in this list, right?


Diecasts are different than the cheapy DIY cars you can get at Michael’s.  Those things don’t fit together well and take forever to build.  Getting a diecast means that it’s made out of high-quality materials, and comes in a box ready and waiting for you.  How nice is that?

  • Hemmings 60th Anniversary Gas Pump Island
    • Limited to just 1250 units, this 1:12 scale model has six separate pieces that will make a great addition/start to a diecast collection.  It’s got a base/pump island, a tall Hemmings sign, two sandwich boards showing scaled-down versions of real Hemmings signs, two Gilbarco gas pumps with Hemmings 60th Anniversary logos, and a Hemmings oil can display.  This is cool, and what makes it even better is that the gas pumps are also coin banks!  The hose nozzle unlocks the coin door on the bottom.
  • Ford GT White 1/12 Diecast
    • The Ford GT was really the American supercar of the first decade of the 2000s.  Ford took the supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 from the F-150 SVT Lightning pickup, and tuned the engine up to 550 horsepower.  It’s really, really cool.  While prices of the real thing are going up and up, diecast prices aren’t!
  • Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
    • This was Germany’s answer to the Ford GT, Ferrari Enzo, and Porsche Carrera.  It was diabolical.  It looks demonic in black, and you can own one…kind of!

Miscellaneous Items

This is the random (but still cool) stuff.  It’s stuff life water bottles, shot glasses, tool kits, etc.

  • Hemmings 60th Anniversary Wall Clock
    • It’s pretty amazing that the “Bible of the Hobby” has been around for 60 years.  What better way to remember that by looking at a cool clock?
  • Car Quiz for the Classic Car Aficionado
    • Think you and your family/friends know a thing or two about classic cars?  You’ll love this game!  Give everybody a run for their money!
  • Hemmings Aluminum Water Bottle
    • Sometimes it’s nice to have the nice feel of aluminum in this world of crinkly plastic.  Get this solid Hemmings water bottle.
  • Hemmings Fleece Blankets
    • Stadium blankets are useful for more than just going to the game.  They’re great for spontaneous picnics, and car shows.  These navy blue blankets have the Hemmings logo embroidered into them.  They roll up courtesy of nylon straps with handles for easy carrying.
  • Hemmings Flashlight, Pen Set, and Tire Pressure Gauge
    • Keep this in your glovebox, and you’ll be prepared for map reading in the dark, jotting down important numbers, and checking tire pressures.  Plus, it comes in a nice case.
  • Roadkill Shot Glass
    • This is a sharp-looking shot glass.  You can drink your favorite adult beverage from a shot glass with your favorite car show on it.

Of course, there’s plenty more in terms of miscellaneous car odds and ends.  Just go to a local car dealership and mosey around (do it when you take your car in for service).  See what you can find.  You’ll be surprised.  Ask the sales staff.  They’ll be happy to help!

Going to a car show is also a good place.  Bring cash and/or credit cards (sometimes they only take cash).  At big car shows, manufacturers will often have merchandise like a thermos, a bag, and random stuff like that.  Chat them up.  They’re often stressed, tired, and are happy to talk to you about anything related to that brand.  They really open up, and they are very knowledgeable about the technologies in the various cars on display.

The World’s Hardest Car Quiz!

No, I haven’t passed it yet.  I recommend taking it…over and over again.  My best score to date on this has been 60%.  And I thought I knew a lot about cars.  Go figure.  Try to take the quiz and pass – it’s harder than you’d think (even if you ARE a natural test-taker!).

Tell us your score(s) – we won’t make fun of you for failing (I’ve done that a few times with this quiz)!

The whole point of this quiz is to have fun…so do that!

Why Driving a Surplus Military Truck May Not Be a Good Idea

While this happened a while ago, I’ve been having fun with lots of other posts.  Anyhow, here goes.

Huntington Beach, CA police had an eventful night on September 10.  Officers responded to a call of a suspicious military vehicle around 7:45 p.m.  They found an elderly man driving a surplus military transport truck through town.  Early on, officers heard several loud pops.  These turned out to be backfires.

This elderly man led police on a chase for a short distance, reaching speeds of up to 10 mph.  Yes, 10 mph!

When the man arrived at his business, the police arrested the man for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

The unnamed man was released later that evening.

Maybe driving something this large through town ISN’T such a good idea…

Wish the Chevrolet El Camino a Happy 56th Birthday!

Most of the time, there are truck folks and car folks.  I’m guessing these are truck people’s feelings towards the environmentally-concerned…But, this is how car people feel towards truck people…


While they may share some interests (big engines, burnouts, disturbing the peace), their vehicular interests rarely coincide.  The Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero changed that here in America.

The Chevrolet El Camino went on sale as a 1959 model, and was based off of the Impala/Bel Air platform.  The body style truly popularized the term, “business in the front, party in the back.”  During the 1960s and 1970s, the El Camino was little more than a Chevelle with a pickup bed.  Thus, it was offered with the legendary SS performance package, which gave it a big-block Chevrolet V-8 (396-454 cubic inches), an optional four-speed Muncie M-22 overdrive transmission, heavy-duty suspension, and for some odd reason, a vinyl roof (I have no idea why, plus it looks absolutely TERRIBLE!).  A few El Camino’s were actually optioned with the rare LS6 performance package normally found in the Chevelle.

My favorite story about the El Camino is an owner of a 1970 LS6 El Camino saying that he would have to drive around with 300 pounds of concrete in the bed to prevent the tires from being shredded by simply putting the transmission in first gear!  He got kicked out of quite a few drag strips because of that!

From 1978-1987, the El Camino was based on GM’s G-Body architecture, which it shared with the Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo, Buick Regal, and Oldsmobile Cutlass.  GMC sold a rare companion version of the El Camino, first called the GMC Sprint, and then the GMC Caballero.

Prior to GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, plans were made to import GM of Australia’s Holden Maloo ute as the Pontiac G8 ST, essentially a modern-day El Camino.  But, Pontiac was killed during GM’s restructuring, and the would-be El Camino revival never came to fruition.  That’s not to say that people haven’t been building custom El Camino’s over the past few years, basing them on the Chevrolet Camaro platform or the GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado platform.  GM’s announcements that it is permanently ceasing operations in Australia starting in 2017 essentially means that we will likely never see a factory El Camino again.

Wish one of my favorite vehicles a very happy birthday.  I promise that I will do a blog post honoring the El Camino soon – I love it that much!

Until then, enjoy the pictures of the El Camino over the years!

Tell me which generation is your personal favorite.  The final El Camino picture is completely ’80s, which is somewhat awesome!  If I owned it, I would put in a modern LS3 crate engine and wreak havoc…