Thursday, July 19, 2012 13:31
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to legally drive a Formula 1 car on the street, now you can. Well, almost. The Ariel Atom looks like a Formula Ford SCCA racecar with two side-by side seats. It’s so fast, it will scrunch up your face better than any fun house mirror. It will give anybody something known as “The Permagrin.”
Jay Leno has two of them (check out the photo gallery at Jay Leno's Garage). I watched him on a rerun of “My Classic Car” over the weekend. There he and Dennis Gage were, tooling around Los Angeles in one. He’d gas it every time there was a little open road up front and no coppers in sight. Gage said it messed up his trademark handlebar mustache.
The Atom originally began as a student project by Coventry University transport design student, Nik Smart. Seems Smart’s name fits. He is one clever dude. More...
Friday, July 29, 2011 08:00
SpeedTV’s Car Show has now aired two episodes and the History Channel has decided to continue its iteration of the wildly popular BBC Top Gear. I have already reviewed the latter here at RCG.
Sadly, it does not appear the History Channel producers seem to have learned much in their “off season.” The ENTIRE show is dedicated to a BBC Top Gear staple: a car contest. This time the Top Gear guys are asked to find replacements for the ubiquitous “Texas” pickup truck. The guys chose a Miata, a Ford Maverick and a BMW 325E. For me, this episode had the same aroma as the “loads” they were asked to haul around San Antonio.
SpeedTV’s offering is “a whole ‘nother matter.” I wonder though, how both shows are hosted by guys named Adam (Ferrara and Carolla). Coincidence?
Hands down, The Car Show producers have better writers. Carolla is funny in places, but sometimes quite vulgar. He was joined on the set by former NBA star John Salley, Matt Farrah and Pulitzer Prize winner Dan Neil. The badinage on the set was very lively. The Car Show guys are light years better than Rutlege Wood and Tanner, “full time sideways” Faust on Top Gear. More...
Friday, July 22, 2011 08:00
It’s not without irony that the frumpy people from Top Gear—like the joker trolls of the NBA—would capture Icelandic sand and cinder racers (the odd European cousin of American sand drags) flogging their umpteen-horsepower paddle-tired drag rigs across local waterways. What’s that you say? It’s absurd, nothing fits, cats and dogs living together, and these spooky rigs are walking on water (or beating it into submission), making as much sense as Richard Hammond and the clowns from Top Gear being awesome.
Check out the vid below (“Top Gear: Richard Hammond's Iceland Buggy Trip—Top Gear BBC”) and you’ll understand why it's gotten more than a half million hits after it originally aired on the BBC’s Top Gear. Just the audio is worth the trip, in case you have your eyes closed.
These water-sprints are officially nuts, though the good kind. These rigs are set up to run high-vertical volcanic sand and cinder slopes, wearing paddles on all corners powered through solid front and rear axles slung low in short-wheelbased Jeep and Land Rover-sized buggies. These frightening little freaks sport significant powerplants buried in tube-framed chasses stout enough to keep the driver from suffering the injuries usually levied upon folks crazy enough to drive up the inclined sides of extinct cinder cones.
Speaking of crazy, in the case of this video, someone amongst these relatively unanchored fellows decided that their one-ton boggers could walk on water. In essence, they had the tools and the talent and lack of sense of self-preservation to pilot the same sled they hillclimbed across a body of water. In a sense, it’s probably all about keeping the tires spinning faster than the rig was moving… Sure, at some point you run out of rotational velocity, but by then you’ve swallowed so much water from across the hood you’ve probably drowned anyway.