Friday, May 10, 2013

Decades of Dreams: From the 60's to Today.

1) 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner HEMI: Back in the days when good ol' American muscle was king of the road, you could see this car roaming around from almost any street corner at any given time. Unfortunately today, they have been mostly relegated to car shows and museums as a result of the previous owners abusing the unholy crap out of them. I can't say that I blame 'em, as the 440 HEMI had an advertised rating of 425 horses. Although the buyers of these monstrous machines quickly learned that 425 was a conservative figure due to looming smog regulations and companies fearing for their livelihoods. In reality, those numbers were much closer to the 500HP realm. From the factory. What's not to love? You would be lucky to find a clean one equipped with a four-speed tranny anywhere under 30k.

2) 1972 HEMI 'Cuda: For many of the same reasons I stated for the Roadrunner, this bad boy made the list. It has the looks to kill, the power to back up any bar-room smack-talk, and the character to go with it. Mopar's have always held a special place in my heart, and this addition was easy enough for me to make.

3) 1986 Ford RS200 Evo: "This car is an unlikely sight in the USA in any given form, because only 200 were produced. And the factory up-rated Evolution models, like this one, are actually one of only 24 produced. The quoted 3-second 0-60 times are no joke. This car is faster than the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 produced in the same era and the price estimate is a fraction of either of those. The mid-mounted 4-cylinder is punched out to 2.1L in this Evo version, and horsepower is estimated at just under 600. That number flirts with some modern cars, but the interesting thing about this, is that it's tiny. Seeing them in photos does not do them justice. In person they seem similar to a first generation Toyota MR2 (the RS200′s overall length listed at 157.5 inches vs. the MR2′s 155.5 inches), but with 5x the horsepower.We want it."


4) 1998 BMW M5: I included this little gem on the list largely because I enjoy driving cars that tend to be sleepers. Of course, if you see a pretty blue Bimmer with a big fat M badge on it, you wouldn't consider it a "sleeper", per se, but if you take the badge off, you will see some seriously confused faces as you blast past in supreme comfort and style. Most of the BMW's I've seen that lack the badge are of the 528i variety and are embarrassed by their puny little engines. But me? I would take it off and play. The '98 M5 has just under 300 horses, but I would have to give it just a little more oomph with a good custom tune and maybe exhaust.

5) 2008 Nissan GT-R: This beauty has a HUGE 3.8L V6 Twin Turbo with 473 Hp and an all wheel drive platform. It can sprint from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, has a top speed of 195 mph. The GT-R has been hailed as the most technologically advanced car to ever grace the planet, and it can be had for the princely sum of 70 grand. Not too shabby for the tech giant of the world.

6) 2014 Chevrolet Stingray Corvette: Generally speaking, I am not a fan of Corvette's. Its been called the middle aged man's mid-life crisis by some, and the poor-man's Ferrari by others. The impression that I've gotten from almost all Corvette's released past 1970 has been the same; aggressive good looks on the outside, and cheap, low quality interiors. BUT, Chevy has heard the voices of it's followers and naysayers alike, and has turned the interior of this monster into a pleasantly elegant place to romp the go-pedal. The performance numbers speak for themselves, as the C5 and C6 Z06, or even the Grand Sport version of Chevy's flagship sports car have been at the top of their game in the racing and tuning scene for years. Just take a look at some of the Lingenfelter or Hennessey Vette's of yesteryear and you will see precisely what I mean. A fully loaded version can be yours for roughly the same price as the '08 GT-R, around 70K.

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