While wandering around at Cars and Coffee a few weeks ago, I spotted an odd-looking car with its rear view mirrors attached to the front fenders. “Oh yikes, this thing probably belongs to some weeaboo guy who gets a raging boner from reading his collection of Initial D mangas” I thought to myself. But as I got closer, I could see that this car was not some wanna-be drift machine covered in JDM stickers. No, this car is the real deal.
I’ll admit that when it comes to vintage Japanese automobiles, I know next to nothing about them. However, I know just enough to recognize that this right-hand drive Toyota Corona 2000GT is a very unique automobile here in the USA. Having spent a couple of hours researching mid-1970s Toyotas, I can now proceed to share with you some information about this car.
France is famous for a lot of things: fine wine, exquisite art, and cities of great culture and history like Paris, Marseille, and Bordeaux. But when it comes to cars, Italy is definitely the European country in the spotlight.
Still, that doesn’t mean French cars aren’t worth a look. This 1937 Citroen Traction Avant was a highly advanced car for its day, and has more in common with a modern car than you might think. Continue reading →
Lately, I’ve been noticing a trend among import car owners. Back in 1999-2004 these “Rice Rockets” or “ricers” were modified to mimic the cars seen in the movie The Fast and the Furious. During that time, some of these import cars used to actually be fast. They had turbo kits, nitrous oxide, custom wheels, aftermarket body kits, and high-end stereo systems. It would seem the days of the traditional ricer (that might actually be fast) have come to an end.
Now, the import car scene has changed. Cars are still being modified, but the emphasis is not on speed, drag racing, or going fast. Instead, they have become more of a fashion statement. Continue reading →
There aren’t many cars on the road that I don’t recognize, but this one totally caught me by surprise at Cars and Coffee. I confess that I don’t know much about mid-century French cars, so I hope you will forgive me for not recognizing this one right away. However, I thought it intriguing enough to take some pictures – and boy, am I glad I did!
As it turns out, this gleaming silver beauty is a Facel Vega HK500. One article I read called it “The best car you’ve never heard of” and after doing some research, I can see why the author made that statement.
There is a basic principle of engineering that affects all cars: in order to make an engine produce more power, you need to add more fuel and more air. Adding more fuel is the easy part, but adding more air can be challenging. That’s why automakers use turbochargers to boost the incoming air, which in turn boosts the power output of an engine. This is particularly effective on smaller engines.
Turbochargers have been standard fare on Saabs, Volvos, and high-end Nissans for decades. One car manufacturer that has kept their distance from forced induction is Honda. However, they did experiment with it during the “turbo craze” of the 1980s.