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(Editors Note: Tomorrow is Juneteenth in many States. The Kicker would like to honor everyone who’s free at last. Let us never take our liberty for granted and may we all march forward toward peace and a bright, unified future.)

Here’s a just-for-fun post we found at a site called Brittish Car Terminology.

British term American term
accumulator battery
actuator switch or servo
Artic ‘artic’ulated lorry=semi tractor-trailer
baulk ring synchro ring (transmission synchromesh)
bonnet hood
boot trunk
bulkhead firewall
choke tube venturi (carb)
core plug freeze plug
crocodile clip alligator clip
crosshead screw Phillips head screw
crown wheel ring gear(gear in differential)
cubby box glove box or glove compartment
damper shock absorber
drive shaft half shaft or axle shaft to wheel
drop-head coupe convertible (version of 2 door coupe, see roadster)
dumpy screwdriver short screwdriver
dynamo generator
earth ground
estate station wagon
fascia dashboard
fixed-head coupe 2 door coupe
frogeye bugeye
Gallon (Imperial) 4.5 US Quarts
gearbox transmission
gudgeon pin wrist pin
hood convertible top
jointing compound gasket sealant
lorry truck
mole wrench Vice grips
monocoque unibody
Ministry of Transport Department of Transportation
MOT (see above) DOT (see above)
nave plate hubcap
near side left side.
nose front of car
off side right side.
paraffin kerosene
pinking knocking or pinging
prop shaft drive shaft
petrol gasoline
prise pry(apply force with a lever, pry-bar, crow-bar, screwdriver)
proud raised, stands above surrounding surface.
quarterlight vent window – small, usually ‘triangular’ side window
rev counter tachometer
reversing lights back-up lights
ring gear flywheel gear, or starter gear (shrink fit onto the flywheel)
roadster convertible (car that comes only with a soft-top, usually a minimalist, manual, Erector-Set top*
roundabout rotary, traffic circle
RoStyle type of steel wheel (as opposed to wire)
saloon ‘sedan’,2 or 4 door
scuttle cowl
side curtains removable side windows, usually flexible plastic.
silencer muffler
sill rocker panel
shooting brake station wagon
spanner wrench
split pin cotter pin
spring washer split lock washer (as opposed to star washer)
squab part of seat
suction advance vacuum advance
sump oil pan
thrust bearing throwout bearing
tick over idle
top gear high gear
torch flashlight
trunnion sliding or rotating joint (suspension) (pin in bore)
tyre tire
wanker someone who hacks on their car — usually clueless
wheel nut lug nut
Whitworth British thread standard (size denotes hex head size)
windscreen windshield
wing fender

Locating a Car

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There are four reasons why the police may want to “locate a car;”

  1. To recover a stolen car
  2. To establish that a certain car was at the specific location at a certain time
  3. To stop and arrest someone with a warrant
  4. Retrieve an abductee

Obviously, the best way to identify a car is through the license plate. But plates can be stolen which can muddy the waters. A better identification is the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) which is engraved on a plate in the dashboard, visible through the windshield. This makes personal, visual confirmation the primary way to locate a vehicle.

So police might canvas a neighborhood looking for a suspect vehicle or for a resident who knows where the vehicle is. However, what happens if you don’t see the car? Well, there are still other ways.

The Sat-Nav (Satellite Navigation) system can track a car’s movement in real time. This may take a warrant, or not, depending on your jurisdiction. Why spend all that time tracking down a car when there is a programme following where the car is going all the time? Many people don’t think about their onboard navigation. Professional car thieves do. Unsurprisingly, when people steal a car the Sat-Nav is the first thing to go.

Although many people don’t have records of their tire tracks, certain tire marks at a crime scene may be checked against a car to see if they are the same sort. In fact, there is a national database for tire tracks and composition so that a tire can be quickly identified from the residue it leaves. This would suggest that a car was at a certain place, but you may need additional clues to work out when the car was at the location.

If the car was involved in a collision it may leave debris at the scene. There may be entire panels but usually, it’s just bits of paint. It may be part of the hood, some glass from the window or anything else. Most national law enforcement agencies maintain a database of the characteristics and composites of every aspect of vehicles commonly driven in their jurisdictions.

car-1531277_1920Even if nothing is physically left at the location, it might help to think deductively. If a car’s gas is being paid through a certain account knowing where that card was recently used provides indications of where it might be going. Once the search area is established, police could search for security cameras or closed-circuit cameras to establish a visual identification. The person’s account is a brilliant source of information, especially in these days when people pay by credit card.

Then there are cars used for professional purposes. A car used as a taxi may have the markings of the business which runs it, making it visually easier to spot. Of course, the fastest way to establish location might be to ask the cab’s control office. Dispatchers should generally know where a vehicle is.

The placard on rideshare vehicles are less noticeable and blend in with thousands of other rideshare vehicles. Clearly Uber tracks everywhere a cell phone associated with the driver’s account goes, which the company will turn over to law enforcement if requested. It’s not proof positive that a car was at a particular place at a particular time, but it’s quite likely.

Kicker Blog hack: Some pay as you go cell phone plans are cheap enough that you can leave an old cell phone charged up in your glove compartment so that if you’re separated from your vehicle authorities could locate the phone and with it the car.

What happens if a car has been stolen, how do you recover it? Well, it’s essential to act quickly. Don’t assume the stolen car is still being driven around. With an older car the parts may be more valuable than the car itself, so it may be quickly chopped up. Even with newer cars, many thieves essentially launder the car by selling it in parts. It’s hard to scrub the VIN number off all the places its engraved unless you take the car apart anyway.

The criminal may give themselves away with the rareness of these parts though, and the lack of a “paper trail” to who owned them. It becomes clear after a little digging, so it comes down to the honesty of the auto parts intermediary or dealer.

So how do you know if you’re at risk of losing your car to a thief? If you have a rare, or collectible vehicle you’re more of a target. Also, expensive or luxury brands are more often stolen for obvious reasons—the reward better justifies the risk of getting caught. However, there’re a couple factors that might not come quickly to mind.

  1. The risk goes down in areas that don’t enforce the car theft laws.
  2. The risk goes down if the chopped parts being sold are common.

So watch out for areas on borders between countries or states. The Oregon/Washington border, for example, Border cities Vancouver and Portland charge each other extradition when a car thief is jailed before trial, so car thieves steal their cars in one state and chop it across the state line so that if they’re caught they’ll be released before trial. In these areas, more common vehicles lower the risk of getting caught further and nearly any vehicle in good condition is a target for theft.

The only remaining device left to police is to target thieves instead of the vehicles threw bait cars. By allowing car thieves to attempt to steal a car that won’t actually start but is equipped with cameras, the arrest is quick and the case against them is sure.

Although not all cars are located, there are many techniques out there to make sure that cars are recovered and returned to the owners. And now you know.

Fun Local Finds

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When you start looking around at cool vehicles you run into a many fun, unexpected things.

2018-06-02 14.11.20Take this couple, who’ve modified their trike to accommodate the special needs of their best friend.

 

Or this surprise, free classic car show that happens every first Thursday all summer at Lisa’s (a local diner).

 

2018-06-07 16.03.17I came before a lot of the cars had arrived. I look forward to going back and interviewing some of the owners.

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So get out and think cars folks. It’s a fun hobby and a great group of creative people who believe in the romance of the road.

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Of Presidents and their Cars

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Sometimes we don’t think about why things are the way they are, we just accept them. For example, why, in a “car country” like the U.S., does neither the president nor the vice president drive on public roads? It’s not actually a law, that they can’t, but its official policy.

Perhaps the image that springs to mind is of a chauffeur ferrying the president about to important appointments–occasionally chatting with the POTUS about his day. In actual fact, the presidents’ drivers are part of their security team who is highly trained to take evasive action when necessary.

This all stemmed from the assassination of JFK. Even though the President wasn’t actually driving when that occurred, it reshaped how the secret service looked at threats during transport.

PresidentReaganLeaningonhisCJ8-700x469Still, a number of presidents find ways around the rule. Noted Jeep enthusiast, Ronald Regan drove a number of jeeps off-road, which some might think is more dangerous. He and Nancy bought a working 688-acre ranch in California to get away from the politics when he was governor and kept in through his Presidency. Hard to say if he did any stunt driving while acting, but he did get a vanity plate for the jeep that read, “Gipper.”

Which president sacrificed the biggest in terms of loving to drive? That depends on how you measure it. Donald Trump was certainly already accustomed to someone else doing the driving, however, he put the largest car collection of any President-Elect to garage until the end of his time in the White House. From a 1956 Rolls to a 2003 Merc all must remain in the garage. It’s a wonder why he wanted the job really.

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On the bright side, traffic is no longer a problem. As you can imagine, the chief benefit of being a world leader is that your driver needn’t stop for a traffic light and even if things get really bad you can just go by helicopter instead.

 

Contrary to popular belief, there are several plains outfitted for the President, and whichever one he’s on becomes “Airforce One.” Likewise, whichever helicopter he takes is “Marine One.” The car equivalent is Limousine One, AKA the First Car, but it’s seldom called that. Most reporters and security personnel seem to refer to the main armored limousine containing the president by a codename, “The Beast.”

It kinds of make sense if you had a limousine that you wouldn’t drive it yourself, you’d hand over the keys to someone else. Perhaps doubly so if you’re running a nation 24/7.

Interestingly, with all the flags, etc. it still has Washington D.C. numbered plates. (Some national leaders don’t, the Queen of England for example.) This started in 2013 is most notable because the D.C. plates contain the Moto of Washington D.C. “Taxation without representation.” (The reference is to D.C. not having any representation in Congress but still paying federal taxes.)

Where is the car kept? Well, the 1910s were a tipping point in the car versus horse debate and the stables at the White House were converted into a garage at that time. Fear not, the President still has access to horses but they are kept elsewhere. Mostly though, the only time you’d see a presidential horse is at the swearing-in ceremony or at a president’s funeral; they have gone out of favor in recent years.

As most people know the Beast and its retinue of cars form what is known as “motorcade”. It should come as no surprise the term was coined by an automobile reporter in 1912 who worked for Arizona Republican. One of the vehicles in a presidential or vice-presidential motorcade is a Chevrolet Suburban, equipped with ECM (electronic countermeasures) to protects against guided attacks from a number of devices.

The Beast itself is highly customized by GMC, but most resembles a Cadillac. The Secret Service gives precise specs for the vehicle but obviously tells very little details about it. We are told it costs between $300,000 and $1.5 million. That’s a big range.

As of 2009, the weight increased drastically which necessitated higher capacity tires. Clearly visible to expert eyes are Goodyear Reginal RHS tires meant for trucks. Much of the weight comes from the armor plating and 5 inch thick, bulletproof glass.

The cabin is airtight against gas attacks, which creates some quirks. For example, there are no keyholes. The Passenger doors are opened via a method the Secret Service doesn’t disclose. Notice a theme here? Another quirk, the only window that rolls up or down is the drivers. Let’s hope it’s a powered window. Who wants to crank that puppy up and down?

rendering-of-new-presidential-limoThe Beast also contains fire extinguishers, 1st aid kits, and 2 pints of the blood in the Presidents type. But the best defense is a good offense, and the Beast’s offensive capabilities, include rocket-propelled grenades, a tear gas cannon, pump action shotguns, and infra-red smoke grenades. Okay, now I’m envious.

Finally, before you ask, yes the Beast Goes pretty much everywhere with the president. They have around 13 of them and they load them into c-130 aircraft even on trips to Asia.

It seems the Secret Service has responded adequately to the black eye they got from JFK’s assassination.

 

4 Big “Custom” Vehicle Paint Fails

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When you hear the word “custom,” it’s usually synonymous with stunning, quality, show-stopping—or at least it should be. However, “custom” really just means something that’s done especially for a person. And sometimes that can be a DIY disaster, customization compliments of a very subpar “professional” or a massive fail that has everyone looking for the wrong reasons. When it comes to a custom paint job for your ride, custom doesn’t necessarily guarantee high quality.

You want to make sure people are looking out of awe and envy. Paint jobs can go wrong—horribly, terribly wrong. Remember all the clichés like you get what you pay for, and always do your homework before trusting a body shop with your baby. Otherwise, you might end up with one of these duds and be the laughingstock of your neighborhood.

Now That’s Dedication

 

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LINK: https://burningman.org/culture/history/art-history/perspectives-on-playa-art/art-cars-on-the-playa/

“If nautical nonsense be something you wish,” well, then one particular car is probably right up your sandbank. Who knows why one owner was inspired to make an entire SpongeBob-themed car, but to each their own. On the other hand, it looked very much like a garage project that never saw the much-needed hand of a professional, complete with a marine colored-body covered in images of the stars and the crowning jewel or a green hood. However, if you’re feeling creative, that’s great—but there’s absolutely no reason for your car to suffer along with you.

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LINK: https://daisyjoe.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/custom-flame-painting/

Next up, one truck left some wondering if this is some kind of rig Firebird? An homage to a Tesla? Nope, it’s just a “regular rig” whose owner took the idea of flames a bit too literal and far. In reality, the paint job of one particular truck was pretty awesome and a skilled person obviously took to it. However, there’s no way to get around the blatant poor choice here. If the goal is to evoke panic, then this owner is successful—but if you don’t want to cry fire in a movie theater, you certainly don’t want to do it on the highway.

What Were They Thinking?

Don’t have a professional car paint on hand? No problem—just grab a sharpie and go to town (actually, stay home since those in town don’t deserve this visual assault). Sharpies can do a lot from spiffying up your black, scuffed up shoes to providing some touches to dark furniture with nicks. But when it comes to re-painting your car, depend on the best materials and the best experts for results you won’t be embarrassed by. You know how bad that middle school Sharpie manicure looked? It doesn’t look any better on a car.

 

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LINK: http://www.cargods.com/2011/04/21/serious-paint-job-fail/

 

Can’t decide between getting in your car or heading to a circus funhouse? You can have both with a monstrosity that’s part freak show, part vehicle and has a 100 percent laughable “paintjob.” A white sedan painted with black lines similar to tribal tattoos of the 90s, sadly it just might be possible that it was done at a body shop—which is further evidence that you need to read testimonials, check out photo galleries and make sure you’re trusting your vehicle to those who know what they’re doing (and have the photos to prove it). Otherwise, you might end up with a car fit for a fun house.

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LINK: http://www.nwkite.com/forums/t-22206.html

 

What you do with your ride is up to you, whether you want to pay homage to a cartoon or go overboard with a wacky design. No matter what you do, go for quality customization.

 

Badges – Truths and Fictions

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A car emblem is more formally called a badge, and it’s the tip of the spear when trying to communicate your brand to the auto-buying public. Car makers have used taglines and sometimes even the distinctive design of the car itself to help brand their cars. Long ago they could rely on that small figure on the hood to help, but those were deemed hazardous. Still, the badge is consistently the first insight members of the public get with a brand. Like all attempts at branding, it can be entirely misleading.

background-3276749_1920A number of people believe the BMW logo is based around a propeller. In actual fact, it was based on the Bavarian flag, which is also blue and white. Having looked at the Bavarian flag though I would say that the propeller theme is more obvious which might explain why so many sources on the internet continue this myth.

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BMW isn’t alone in this type of confusion. Look at Chevrolet’s badge for instance. It may have been based around the Swiss cross (but then again a “+” is such a common symbol) or it may have been inspired by a specific design of wallpaper.

Chrysler, however, has an obvious theme. The 1930’s gave birth to the age of the jet engine and Chrysler wanted to draw subtle connections.

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Audi’s four rings are based on the link of four companies, one of them being Audi, the other three being audi-1721126_1920DKW, Horch, and Wanderer.

If you are like me you haven’t heard of any of these companies but DKW or Dampf-Kraft Wagen was into creating steam-powered cars, so understandably was a thing of its time. Horch created a number of cars in Germany including the Cabriolet.

Wanderer made automobiles, but also vans, bikes, and even trucks. This is a four-ring emblem with lots of history.

ferrari-2151244_1920.jpgFerrari is based on one of the enduring Italian symbols of the prancing horse. Apparently, a fighter pilot had a horse emblazoned on his plane. It isn’t linked to Ferrari family though, they just happened to like the design. The idea that Ferraris have horsepower and so are represented by a horse doesn’t quite work; Italians don’t use the word horsepower to describe the force of a car.

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Mercedes had the idea of a three-pointed star to represent success in land, sea, and air, though nowadays most people have forgotten that they made boats and planes and just remember the manufacturer of cars.

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Despite seeming to be only three rotated diamonds the badge of Mitsubishi, in reality, relate to two Japanese families, namely the crest of Iwasaki and the crest of Yamanouchi, the former holds a shipping business, the latter the head of a great clan. Since both represent three objects; Iwasaki was chestnut leaves and Yamanouchi was oak leaves the symbol relates to them both.

car-3258541_1920The origin of Subaru’s stars is a bit obscure. There are five stars on the logo and there are six stars in the Pleiades which is a kind of sub-constellation found in the constellation of Taurus, which is what Subaru means in Japanese. It would make more sense to have the logo have nineteen the same number as Taurus, but maybe that would be too obvious? Also, nineteen stars wouldn’t make a good badge.

When Ferdinand Porsche broke away from VW, he chose the Coat of Arms of Stuttgart (where his company headquarters was located) and the flag of the Free Peoples of State of Wurttemberg to create one of the more interesting badges.

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Still, they help to sell quality brands of cars and that’s the main reason they are there. The histories are just an added bonus.

 

New Car Smell

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It’s one of life’s great mysteries, why the new car smell is so appealing. But what exactly is it?

Maybe the smell is just newness in general? If a car hasn’t been used it doesn’t have that “lived in” feel? It’s an unfamiliar situation which might be reacting with our noses? Okay, that’s not very scientific talk. So then – let’s get scientific.

You’d think it would be a simple question to answer, like “the leather” or “the paintwork” but the answer is a great deal more complex than that. Any salesperson will tell you that consumers are rational but not logical, which means we care about the features of the car like gas mileage, safety, and reliability but our decision is ultimately an emotional one.

Our five senses heavily influence our answers to questions like:
How does it run?
How does it look?
How does it feel?

We may not consciously be aware that we’re asking, “how does it smell?”

And ‘smell’ is the best description, right? It’s a pleasant odor, but not perfume. Its fresh like ozone more than sweet like air freshener. It can be hard to put your finger on, and one reason could be that it’s a complex cocktail of other odors.

 

 

So what does a new car smell of?

Well, it could remind you of a newly washed sweatshirt, a bath sponge or an escalator. This is because the most active ingredients are both polymers found in those two items; polyester (sweatshirt) and polyurethane (the sponge or an escalator). Not really connecting the two odors? As appealing as you may find the smell of sweatshirt/sponge/ escalator, there’s a big difference in intensity. Escalators are in big rooms and we’re not usually closely confined with our sweaters and sponges. The odor doesn’t collect and stagnate the way it does in a car. The complexity of the molecules in a car is greater too.

 

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The scent of polymers comes from something called “outgassing” or releasing their raw materials. Fortunately, vehicles are not as insulated as houses because continued exposure to polymers it can cause headaches or dizziness. Despite the innocuousness of these materials, compared to exhaust fumes or cigarette smoke it may also lead to lung cancer if you have too much exposure to these types of materials.

 

Some simple chemicals come into play as well, which don’t account for as much volume but due to their volatile state put our more scent.  And not all the chemicals are simple. A number of more complex ones include benzene and formaldehyde. Benzene is found in gasoline while formaldehyde is a disinfectant type substance.

Most likely the compelling odor comes from all these substances coming in “one big hit” which would be a happy accident for car sellers, at least at first. Used car dealers quickly adapted and the industry has managed to bottle the scent so they can spray it in any freshly cleaned vehicle to add that special zing.

While the bottled smell fades rapidly after purchase a truly new car smell is hard to remove quickly. If you are one of the folks who doesn’t enjoy the smell of a fresh new car, don’t bother trying to mask it with a car air freshener—they’re not up to the task. The best thing is just to avoid taking the car on too many long journeys and if you do take some long breaks park in the shade. Sun and warmth just exacerbate the problem.

So to sum up, the new car smell, while pleasant is only mostly harmless. The problem is of course that people generally like a new car smell and it’s one of the reasons people buy a new car. There has been some attempt to remove some of the more volatile substances but the actual smell won’t be going anywhere for a long time.

 

The Give and Take of Taking Passengers

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Editors Note: The post below is tongue and cheek fun by our friend Paul Wimsett. To get the full effect, read it in a Brittish accent.

Why Take Passengers?

 A free road on a mountain pass, the wind in your hair, the convertible top is down. Your vehicle is red and sleek. You glide along the road. There’s a very smooth soundtrack at the very corner of hearing. A well-paid voice-over artist will begin his spiel any time now…

Cue Reality…

Unlike the commercials, not only are the roads as busy as Hell, the car is in dire need of a wash and there is always someone in the car with you. Not so much the idol of your dreams as someone you are tired of seeing. How did we end up like this?

But you do need a navigator, someone to make sure you are in the right lane, to make certain that you are heading in the right direction. A sat nav can only do so much and anyway, is rather distracting and may even go out of date. A human navigator is a bit more, well human. If too human in some cases. Far too human. Give it rest sometimes, please!

In a tight space it is easy to get on another person’s nerves, especially if as a driver you want to controls the radio, CD or podcasts, the heating, the air conditioning, the windows or the sunroof. No wonder a passenger might wish to seize control over some of this. It’s not exactly a battle, but it’s a bit of a fight.

They might slide the seats back and forth. They may block views from the windows when you desperately want to see what’s happening with the traffic. They might create reflections by leaving items on the dash. If it’s your loving wife, maybe she hogs the mirror and then not put the mirror back. There are so many ways they might annoy.

Maybe they chew on candies, talk too much or distract you from the road. In which case, it’s important to take charge. They might throw their wrappers on the floor. Or the place might be full of crumbs. Such things never seem to be sorted, owning a car was never meant to be like this.

You might not be perfect yourself. Are you lost again? Did you go the wrong way at the last intersection? Distracted again, weren’t you?

Then if there are children in the back they might start banging the seat. There’s no sign of where you wanted to go, no noticeable landmarks. You may be on this road for a few more hours yet. And now your bladder’s kicked in. There seems to be no end in sight.

If only we all live in the perfect commercial. But that’s how they sell their goods, we guess. We’re not told all this but maybe knew it, all the time anyway.

At least we can dream on.london-259173_1920

Or…

Maybe release some tension by having a go at them. You could annoy them by beeping the horn, by not following their instructions or arguing with other road users, even pedestrians. Try picking the most circuitous route, you’d be surprised how annoying corners get for people with no wheel to grasp–especially when they’re attempting the AM coffee. As do potholes, speed humps, and a personal favourite, cobblestones.

I had one mate who loaded up on beans on toast as a pre-trip ritual. Imagine driving with the window down and your head out like someone’s pet bulldog. It’s hell when it rains. There’s really only one way to combat this. If you can’t beat them join them. Together we were a force to be reckoned with. Just be careful when you roll down your window to ask directions.

 

V8 vs. V6

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Ah, the V8 vs. V6 debate – it’s as classic as a second generation Trans Am. Which one is better? Is there really a big difference in these muscle car parts? The answer is that the “best” option is up to you, the driver. What will you be using your ride for? There are a lot of racing enthusiasts who are only happy with the V8 option because of the power and speed. However, for many “regular” drivers a V6 is (way) more than enough power. Consider what you really want from your machine to make the best-informed decision.

What’s the Difference?

Overall, V6 cars will be less expensive to purchase, insurance will likely be lower, and your pocketbook will thank you at the gas station. This can mean more cash flow for those must-have accessories. A V6 can easily handle the daily commute and the occasional road trip, packing enough punch to inject a good amount of speed and power into an open road ride. The downside? Well, it’s not a V8 and doesn’t have the power of that monster.Mehta_V6 Emblem

Yes, a V8 will likely cost more in every department. Is it worth it? That’s up to you. Are you jonesing for weekends at the track, car show hopping, or heading to that favorite stretch of open road? Then a V8 may well be worth it. Sure, it might be a little trickier (ahem, expensive) to modify and those with lead feet might be tempting fate, especially with highway photo radar systems, but you only live once.

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So, How Do I Choose?

Test driving many different V6’s and V8’s is the only way to get a real feel for the difference – and your preference. Many of the newer V6 models are extremely (and sometimes surprisingly) powerful and people realize that’s “all” they need. Others instantly fall in love with the rumble of a V8. There’s no way to predict which way you will lean until you get behind the wheel.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

Some racing pros suggest that a V6 is the right choice for someone new to the muscle car family. Others are more the “do what feels right” type. It’s important to keep practicality in mind, even though it may not be the most fun part of buying a new ride. If you’re shopping for an (extremely lucky) teen’s first car, they likely won’t need a V8 and that’s asking for trouble anyway.

However, if it’s a second “just for fun” car that won’t be eating up gas in a long routine commute, it might be the perfect pick. Think about financing, the often unpredictable gas prices, and insurance premiums when making a selection. Choosing power is a big deal, so do your research, test drive as many machines as possible, be reasonable, and most of all, enjoy.

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Beauty: Under the Hood

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Beauty isn’t just skin deep – neither in a person or with your ride. The right parts can seriously dress up the inside of your machine. It doesn’t matter if you’re the kind of person who kicks the tires and pops the hood without having a clue of what you’re looking for. Having an eye for beauty and detail is universal. Racers and car show regulars know that settling for prettifying the surface alone isn’t enough. You’ve invested in an American dream – the most incredible powerhouse on the road – so it (and you) only deserves the best.

My, the Possibilities

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The amount of amping up under the hood is vast. However, it can be a very inexpensive and rewarding hobby unlike the embarrassment of slowly modifying the exterior. If you’re driving around with only a couple of improved pieces and the rest is still factory, no one will know but you. Consider starting with a master cylinder cap cover – perhaps in a show-stopping chrome – to start adding a little polish under the hood. Aficionados who are going the “one piece at a time” route should think about either holding off on the installation until all desired pieces are acquired, or making sure to keep new parts clean and polished.

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An aluminium A/C cap cover is another part of the affordable accessories family. Fuse box covers, shock tower covers, and oil dipstick covers are also easy ways to improve the inner beauty of your ride. All of these parts can easily be found for under $100 each.

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Make a Big Impact

 

Dress-up kits are an easy way to drastically change the look under the hood. Large pieces, complete with the stang emblem, cost around $300. Proudly pop that top – whether at a show or simply while showing off your machine – for the never-ending “wow” factor. Chrome is expected on the exterior, but having a shining interior properly displays the power and beauty of your machine.

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Make the Most of Your Investment

Maintaining your tricked-out interior is crucial. Why spend cash on a project and then

 

allow it to be less than stellar? Rust is a common problem with chrome, but buffering it off with steel wool is a quick fix. Make sure to wash the interior chrome regularly, just like with the exterior body. Your average car wash soap works well on chrome interiors, but for added shine include a couple of capfuls of white vinegar to the mix. After gently washing the parts with a large sponge, it’s important to completely dry the chrome parts to prevent spotting and rusting. A little easy care can make a huge difference – both in looks and the life of the parts.

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