Going away to college and getting out from under your parents’ ever-watchful eyes is an exciting time. It’s even better if you own your own vehicle and can come and go as you please — gas money permitting, of course. But choosing the right car can be as daunting as choosing a major. There are as many solid choices as bad ones out there. Your needs and budget, and the car’s wow factor, all play a role in how you’ll roll to college. We’ve compiled a list of cars for every budget based on our scientifically generated coolness factor (just kidding, it’s totally subjective). Our picks aren’t your run-of-the-mill Toyota Corolla or Volkswagen New Beetle. These cars can help you navigate campus life, will be a hit with the ladies (or guys), and impress your friends. Before you ask why we didn’t include Nissan 240SXs, B16/B18-powered Hondas/Acuras, Mitsubishi Eclipse turbos, or Fox-body 5.0 Mustangs, know that we set some realistic criteria … [Read more...] about Coolest College Cars for Any Budget
Underrated muscle cars
I made a big mistake last Friday. While preparing a feature on the Top 10 American Muscle Cars ever built in honor of Independence Day, I solicited the rest of the Motor Trend staff for their opinions on what Detroit iron belonged on this list. What. An. Awful. Idea. Twenty-six emails later and the list had ballooned to nearly 30 cars, and included troll-ish selections like the Holden Maloo, and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (because ‘AMG’ stands for “Alabama Motor Group,” right?). Nevertheless after sifting through the emails we settled on our Top 13 (for the 13 original colonies) American muscle cars. Before we get to the list, we have a few notes about the criteria. For the purposes of this Top 13 list, a muscle car must be from an American manufacturer, sold in the U.S., have a two-door coupe body style, a 2+2 seating arrangement (cars that claim to seat five are acceptable), a front engine, and rear-wheel drive. For example, the Cadillac CTS-V coupe is … [Read more...] about Top 13 American Muscle Cars for Independence Day
Love them or hate them, the movies in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise deliver on what they promise: gratuitous action and lots of cars. The plots may only hold water until you start to think about them, but each film seems to outdo the last in terms of physics-defying stunts and the rarity and quality of the sheetmetal on screen. With hundreds of cars featured over the years, it’s tough to choose just a handful. Nevertheless, here are our top 20 cars from the first six films. At the end of the first film, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) races Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) in his father’s 1970 Dodge Charger, which is said to have 900 hp. After just missing being hit by a freight train, the Charger hits a truck and flips through the air. Although it looks like the Dodge muscle car’s racing days are over, the car returns for films 4 and 5 to break Toretto out of a prison transport bus. At the beginning of 2003’s “2 Fast 2 Furious,” … [Read more...] about Top 20 Cars of “The Fast and the Furious” Series
You’ve probably heard of the famous ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ among Japanese automakers that spanned the 1990s and a few years into the 21st century. Yes, that’s the same era which gave birth to some of the most legendary Japanese performance cars ever - all conveniently touted to have 276bhp in the name of motoring safety courtesy of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, or JAMA for you acronym nuts. But what does that have to do with the classic American muscle car era of the late 1960s and early 1970s? Well it was the era which gave birth to some of the most legendary American performance cars of all time. This is the point where we cue the muscle car and JDM fanboys to go absurdly bonkers in the comments, calling me all kinds of creative names for daring to compare the two. But the reasons behind both these era creating legends are surprisingly comparable. As it turns out, two rather significant points in automotive history have all kinds of … [Read more...] about 60s American Muscle And 90s JDM Legends Have More In Common Than You Think
Give Greg Anderson $7 million and he’ll win a couple of (maybe three) NHRA Pro Stock championships. Send that same $7 million to Jack Roush, and you’re somewhere near halfway to being able to paint Greg Biffle’s Nextel Cup Ford Fusion any way you like. Chip Foose would probably be able to squeeze a few AMBR winners out of $7 million. What NBC Universal got for the $7 million they entrusted to Dennis McCarthy was more than 200 cars for use during filming The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. McCarthy’s job was to make sure this reported $50 million production had enough cars that looked right, that those cars ran right, and to fix the cars the stunt guys busted so they could go back and bust them up again. There were cars that would be wrecked, cars that didn’t have to do anything but look good parked, parts of cars mounted on truck chassis so cameras could be crammed into the actors’ faces as they pretended to drive, cars that had to drift with … [Read more...] about The Fast & The Furious Movie Cars – Build Fast. Fabricate Furiously.
It’s gone bloodthirsty, and we love it. In the face of meltdowns, bailouts, recoveries, corporate molasses, media doomsayers, legislative killjoys, and green initiatives, today’s muscle cars are still thrusting madly with the bayonets of horsepower and retro imagery. In fact, car-mag stories on the revitalized ponycar wars have already become a cliché—but if you love cars, business, fight tactics, and retrospect, then it’s a story that can’t get old. Boss, GT, Shelby, SS, ZL1—all in action. It’s been more than 40 years since HOT ROD’s Oct. ’70 cover line arbiter of disaster, “’71 Cars: Will They Perform?” The staff knew the end of OE performance was near, and indeed it was. The first signs of recovery came with the Dec. ’81 issue’s claim that the all-new ’82 GM F-car was “The Best Z28 Camaro Yet!” Laughable in hindsight. By 1989 the magazine declared that the new 5.0 Mustangs were … [Read more...] about Muscle Car Rivalry – Ford Vs. Chevy: Boardroom Brawl!
Some muscle car enthusiasts are obsessed with one engine in particular, no matter what vehicle it powers. Maybe it’s a 426 Hemi or a Chevy ZL1 or LS6 or whatever. Pick your favorite mill. In the case of Al Geisler, it is a 427 FE side oiler. He owns more 427-powered cars than anyone has a reasonable right to, seven in all, since there really is only one engine for him. Why so? “I grew up with them, there was one in the family,” he says, wistfully remembering a 1963 Galaxie 500 XL R-code. “As far as I’m concerned it was the ultimate Ford that you could buy back in the day.” That’s why in his extensive collection of muscle cars (stay tuned for follow-up feature on his Boss Mustangs), he has five Galaxies, a Fairlane, and one other, more unusual 427-powered ride: a 1968 Cougar 7.0 Litre GT-E. Not often seen, with only a few hundred ever built, this model is unfamiliar to many muscle car folks. When Al and wife Debbie rumble into a car show, … [Read more...] about This 427-Powered 1968 Mercury Cougar GT-E is Among the Rarest of Blue Oval Muscle Cars
Welcome to our list of what we rate as the top 50 cars in Britain. The rules for inclusion are very simple insofar as there are no rules. We didn’t divide the cars into categories or price points or make sure that every major manufacturer was represented. Instead, we wrote down every possible candidate based simply on the cars that the senior editorial staff and road test team liked most, and we’ll say now that if this had been a list of our top 87 cars, we’d have saved ourselves a whole lot of time and effort. What actually happened is that we disappeared into a large room with big chairs, poured ourselves a lot of coffee and discussed, debated, argued and just occasionally shouted at each other until we’d whittled it down to 50 cars. We then all named our individual top fives to find the cars that would take part in our final shootout and placed the remaining 45 in order of preference. Then all we had to do was decamp to Wales for two days of driving … [Read more...] about The top 50 cars on sale today – picture special
► 12 other cars we are looking forward to in 2016 ► Everything from SUVs to stripped-out racers ► The fastest-ever BMW, and the return of Alfa Bentley Bentayga: The 187mph hyper-SUVOkay, to say we’re all ‘looking forward’ to it is stretching things, but the world’s fastest and most opulent SUV is unignorable. W12-powered, 2.4 tonnes, £160k and looks to scare its own mother, it’s the loudest statement yet in the age of China-chasing. Will be the auto event of the year. Fiat 124: The Italian MX-5If this doesn’t float your barchetta, check your pulse. To the charm, rwd chassis delicacy and reliability of Mazda’s roadster Fiat adds new front and rear ends plus turbocharged 1.4-litre power and a name that’s been evoking passions for half a century. Here in the autumn. Porsche Panamera: The no longer ugly four-door Someone’s tapped Porsche on the shoulder and pointed out that … [Read more...] about 12 other cars we’re looking forward to in 2016, CAR+ December 2015
Muscle cars are nothing without context. The sixties and early seventies were a time of revolution in America. Society and its luminaries reflected that. It was the age of Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles, Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee...JFK and MLK. Fashions and societal norms also followed suit. With every part of the culture swinging however it chose, radical modes of transportation would've (and should've) been expected.The humble beginnings of the muscle car recipe was straightforward. Simply, cram large (and high-output) engines between the fenders of as many models of sleek tin as possible. The more disproportionate the power-to-weight ratio; the better. Eventually, they even got all dolled up to match their lead-fueled machismo. The very crackle and pop of an exhaust note would quake down streets and rattle window frames. This, much like many realities of the era, was blanketed in an aura of rebellion. It was an explosive cocktail or nationality, pride, straight-line performance and … [Read more...] about Muscle cars are junk, but they could save the world