A STANDARD Ferrari

By: Mr. Slide

The years 2004 – 2009 were frightening times for many people. Underpowered, eco-friendly, cars were becoming more and more popular. Thousands of people were being robbed of truly great driving experiences. An entire generation of Americans was being taught that cars were predictable, boring, and homogenous. The dark-ages of the common car were poisoning the driving experience[1].

An Expensive Light in the Darkness

The general consensus among automotive historians on early/mid 2000s supercars is that past and future models were/are better. Mr. Power and I tend to agree with this. Back then; it was rare for someone to physically seek out (and pay for) a magnificent driving experience. Thankfully, that didn’t stop Ferrari from making one.

 

Introducing the Ferrari F430, produced from 2004 – 2009, amidst the height of the underpowered eco-friendly plague. With it’s 4.3L naturally aspirated V8 it kicked out 483hp. You’re probably thinking, “hey, if I wait a few years later I could get a much better car in the Ferrari 458.” The 458 is a juicier car, however, there’s something special about the humble F430. It has a gated manual transmission.

Maestro

Harmonically orchestrate your own experience behind the wheel of the F430. Slam that shifter through the gears while climbing up to 200mph. Listen to the magnificent grumbling noises while heel-toeing and controlling everything yourself. This is a Ferrari you can HAMMER. It’s all about the driving experience with the F430, and the gated shifter simply amplifies it. You don’t just sit back and hit the gas, like with modern supercars (458!!), you’re the boss, you’re calling the shots.

 

It was half the cost of the 458 but twice the involvement. Unfortunately, Ferrari will never make this gearbox again. In fact, they don’t plan on making any manual production cars ever again.

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458 Italia

Cash in on Control

That can only mean one thing…the Ferrari F430 manual is a fantastic investment car. They are just coming out of Ferrari’s seven-year, unlimited mileage, warranty — making them less expensive to buy. Right now they are selling for about $100,000. Scoop one of these up, drive it like crazy, and have fun. Then stuff it in your garage and hang on to it for a decade or two. Pretty soon the F430 will be considered vintage and collectors will be willing to pay a fortune for that manual transmission.

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F430

People forget that there were in fact cool cars produced in the early 2000s. The Ferrari F430 is an interesting car, and certainly one that you can enjoy driving. It represents a changing in times for Ferrari; and highlights the beauty of heel-toeing, shifting, and conducting the orchestra.

[1] The remnants of these times can still be felt today.

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The New Ferrari Portofino — The California We Never Got

BREAKING NEWS!

By: Mr. Power & Mr. Slide

Mr. Power and Mr. Slide sit down to discuss Ferrari’s newest vehicle dropped today : The Portofino

Mr. Slide: Well, it looks like the California is dead and Ferrari has officially announced its replacement — the Portofino

 

Mr. Power: Yes, Mr. Slide. The ugly stepchild of the Ferrari brand is out. The California, in its last iteration, was a far cry from its classic movie star heritage. If Enzo was still alive he would’ve never let it outside the factory gates.

 

Mr. S: Strong words, Mr. Power. But how about this new Portofino? Named after the small (expensive) vacation city in Italy, its looks are phenomenal. With a 598hp V8 this car can absolutely fly — reaching 60mph in only 3.5 seconds. Ferrari also completely revamped the old California T by adding 40hp, an overhauled intake system, electric power steering, and that fancy new torque delivery technology (the Variable Boost Management system). Added to all this is that fiery electronic rear differential.

 

Mr. P: I agree, this car is stunning to look at, it blows the California away. Honestly, it may be the best looking car Ferrari currently makes. I think it has perfect dimensions and a better wheel design then the 812 Super Fast. Ferrari’s design department took styling queues from the Aston Martin Zagato and it shows. The fluid shapes and exterior contours are stunningly beautiful. For the first time Ferrari has finally made a GT car that is aerodynamically designed with just the right amount of Italian flair. Well done.

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Image of the Portofino from Ferrari’s website http://auto.ferrari.com/en_US/sports-cars-models/car-range/ferrari-portofino/

Mr. S: I guess I would agree. I’m impressed with the beauty of this so called, “starter Ferrari[1].” Would you buy one?

 

Mr. P: Trying to buy a Ferrari is a complicated process. Most dealers will emphasize how difficult it is for people to get in the Ferrari brand, or fit the qualifications to buy a new one. However, if I had the money, I would most certainly buy one. I’m a huge fan of the cars Ferrari makes, but I hate all the strings attached. They have done an impeccable job retaining their customers, however they have turned their backs to new buyers. If for whatever reason you are a 20-something-year-old with a big enough trust fund to endorse such a brash decision, I would highly recommend considering the Portofino as your first Ferrari.

 

[1] Whatever that means…

The New VW Bus

By: Mr. Slide

Thousands eagerly wait in complete darkness. The electricity in the air is tangible. Adrenaline flowing, heart pumping, chills fly down the spine like a feather faintly brushing skin. Off in the distance a quiet, but familiar, beat sounds. Your head starts to nod and you look down at your feet. Now the music is getting louder.

An epic roar from the crowd.

Eyes up!

Yes!

The bright spotlight reveals a legend’s return to the stage — welcome back VW Bus.

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NOT the new Bus. We don’t have the rights to post a picture of it. Pls just google it

Yesterday Volkswagen announced a new bus due to release in 2022. It’s called the ID Buzz and it’s 100% electric. Volkswagen has teased this vehicle since 2002, now they finally have a concrete concept model. The inside looks spacious, the colors are great, and that exterior is definitely bus-ish.
The Type 2 bus that we’re all familiar with had a rear mounted, air-cooled, engine. This meant instant death in a collision. The car would die if you were rear-ended, and you would die if you rear-ended someone else. Thankfully VW’s new electric design means the ID Buzz will have a stronger structure for crashes.

 

Then again the VW Bus was never about safety or performance. This machine was made to fit an era. It was designed to be a practical mode of transportation suitable enough to be driven to Woodstock and back. It represented the counterculture flow of 60’s. Could this new electric bus be attractive to the new hippies (aka hipsters)? Only time will tell. For now, I would just recommend changing the bus’s name. Keep groovin’, keep rockin’, and keep solving mysteries in that machine.

 

 

 

 

The Blue-Collar Steed

By: Mr. Slide

Pickup trucks and America go together like cake and ice cream. People love their usefulness, design, and outstanding capabilities. While the pickup’s overall potential has grown throughout the years — the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor is expected to have 450hp, 510lb-ft torque, and a 10-speed automatic transmission ­— the basic idea remains the same. Pickup trucks have been, and forever will be, designed to get jobs done.

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image from Ford’s website http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/2017/?intcmp=lp-sse-cta-vhp-f150

Take the Horse by the Reins

I recently had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a 1991 Ford F-150. Truly a relic of a car. It had a jet-black exterior accented by red trim and a large silver stripe down the middle. The interior was beet red; there was no radio, no heat, and no air conditioning. This pickup was specifically designed to work. In case that wasn’t abundantly obvious, the original owner had named it Bill — after the rough New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

 

The old Ford had a few quirks to it, the absence of a parking brake combined with a worn out first gear made starting the car on a hill particularity frightening. Rev up to 3,000, release the foot brake, engage the clutch, roll backwards uncontrollably for 300 yards, jam it into second and spin the tires until takeoff. It was fabulous. Never had I experienced such excitement on a simple startup.

 

Once on the road, the truck drove surprisingly well. Shifting through gears was seamless and the ride was a blast. The missing radio wasn’t an issue because I needed to listen to the engine to make gear changes (tachometer kicked the dust mid trip). Further, the only real scare after the initial start up came on the highway. As you may know, the 1991 Ford F-150 has a floor shifter, meaning that it was extra long and extra easy to accidentally hit. At one point (at 65mph) a heavy bag on the middle seat fell and nudged the shifter into neutral. This caused a tremendous amount of panic. However, this minor accident while carrying a full load on a busy highway never distracted me from the beauty of the car.

A Fighter

300,000 hard miles, over 26 years, and it still worked. This truck epitomized old man strength. I loved it. It was a true lunch box vehicle with its V8 motor; floor shifter, black/red color combination, and massive bed. The 91’ 150 was a joy to drive and I would definitely recommend not being terrified of it. Stepping behind the wheel of an old pickup like this truly allows one to appreciate what those cars are made for — work. No glitz, no glam, just guts.

The Verdict

8.4 / 10 (could be less frightening)

2018 Porsche Panamera: Powerslide Review

By: Mr. Power       

Are you an executive that is looking to cruise into work at an average speed 10mph over the speed limit? If yes, then the Porsche Panamera is the car for you. Are you concerned about the functionality of having your coffee in one hand and the company’s annual expense report on the dash? If yes, then the Porsche Panamera is the perfect fit for your three-car garage.

 

The Porsche Panamera is a car that was designed to go fast first and worry about speeding tickets later. The base model starts at $85,000 with a peppy 330hp twin turbo V6. The range topping Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive is equipped with a twin turbo V8 and an electric motor — which combines for a whopping 680 horsepower. The most incredible figure surrounding the ranging topping Panamera is its base price of $194,800. Upon reading this number my wallet had a stroke.

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This image (like the cover image) came from porsche.com

New for this year, Porsche finally unveiled the Sport Turismo version, which in my mind offers a much more sleeked and defiant design. It’s a shooting brake style that simply screams class.

 

The Porsche Panmera boasts insane stats that are taking New York’s financial district by storm. Fitted with four comfortable seats, this car instantly engulfs its passengers in luxurious leather. A quick look at the dashboard reveals technology suitable to take over a third world country. This vehicle is dripping in money and announces to the world that you vacation in The Hamptons.

 

Everything about the Panamera is posh. There is no piece of fine-brushed aluminum that doesn’t feel cool to the touch. Some may consider it the automotive incarnation of the devil, however I believe this vehicle exemplifies perfect harmony between performance and comfort.

The Verdict.

9 / 11 (too expensive as compared to its Audi RS 7 rival)

The Best Car for the Beach. A Casual Conversation

Rain wasn’t due for a few more months. Crops were drying up and a lonely Oklahoman farmer feared for the worst. Taking a deep breath he grimly turned his head to the sky. Suddenly, before he had a chance to beg the heavens for rain, the atmosphere turned black.

*BOOM*

Torrential rain.

A grin slowly arches across the farmer’s face as he turns, squints, and walks back towards his house.

“There must be a CCC starting,” he happily mumbles under his breath.

 

Casual Car Conversation (CCC)

By: Mr. Power & Mr. Slide

We start these conversations with simple, yet thought provoking, questions. This week’s will be, “What is the best car you can take to the beach?”

 

Mr. Slide: Have you ever driven a dune buggy?

Mr. Power: Unfortunately, I have never driven one but they look like supreme beach vehicles. The styling, the swagger, the rawness, it epitomizes everything fun and exciting about going to the beach.

Mr. S: I’d agree. Besides dune buggies, what other cars make great beach vehicles? 

Mr. P: I think there are two different ways of answering this question. One could go whole hog and roll up with a Ford Raptor, or (in a more free spirited way) choose a Yamaha WR250R. Yes, the Yamaha is not a car — it is a motorcycle. Don’t let that fool you though; it has the all the tools to rival dune buggies. Beach parking can be precarious and unpredictable: the bike alleviates all stress however with its small frame and great functionality. As for the Raptor, this beast will have enough cargo space to pack all the boogie boards and beach chairs your heart desires. All while offering the best off-road capability money can buy.

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Not a WR250R

Mr. S: If you’re going with the Ford Raptor and the Yamaha, I’d definitely pick the soft-top Toyota FJ40. Its classic style is fantastic and I love the back seats that face each other. Only thing is it might be tough to eat an ice cream and drive a stick (although I know it’s totally possible). Like the Raptor, it too does well on sand. Can’t beat it…. And, as long as we’re getting two choices, I’d snag the Yamaha as well.

Mr. P: Going to the beach is all about having fun, us car enthusiast find it hard to separate the beach from the car that got us there. The parameters for a great beach vehicle are; 4-wheel drive (or a dirt(ish)-bike), luggage space, and most importantly the smile it puts on your face when you drive it to the shore.

Mr. S: Well said, Mr. Power. However, as we all know, the sandy coastlines are ruled by one king — the dune buggy. Respect its reign and get behind the wheel of one.

 

How to Make Money Investing in Cars

By: Mr. Slide

You hear it all the time.

“Don’t buy that hunk of junk, it’s a terrible investment.”

“Cars make awful financial assets.”

“They immediately depreciate after you drive them off the lot!”

“They’re a waste of money!”

 

Wrong! Believe it or not, cars can make excellent financial investments — you just need to buy the right ones.

Yes, yes, yes, we all know that certain monsters like Ferrari, Bugatti, and Rolls Royce, always draw a big demand from greedy collectors. However, there are a slew of other vehicles that people (surprisingly) are willing to pay top dollar for. Understand the shared characteristics of these cars and you can become a savvy automotive investor.

 

What’s Hot Right Now?

First off, the car you’re looking to flip has to have a manual transmission. This is a must. Automatics are more expensive to maintain and collectors don’t have that same psychotic affection for them. Also, please…keep the mileage down. Automotive aficionados prefer pristine (garage baby) cars that haven’t really been meddled with.

Trendiness is another major factor to keep in mind. People often look for cars, or car styles, that define an era. They want a vehicle that will make them think, “Wow! I remember when I used to see those on the road all the time. Those were simpler (better) days.”

S.U.V. Super. Unique. Value.

As Mr. Power pointed out, folks today are obsessed with SUVs. As a result, there is a massive demand for the oldies. Take for instance the Ford Bronco: in the 1970s and 1980s these vehicles were everywhere. They cost $7,500 for the base two-door model in the 70’s, and now they’re selling for about $70,000[1]. That’s an 833% increase in value. If you want to figure in inflation: $7,500 in 1971 is $45K today, which is expensive, however the Bronco flipped in 2017 still brings in a 55% profit. That’s a pretty solid investment.

Seriously, if you have the cash, and don’t mind waiting, investing in cars can be a fantastic way to make some money. You just have to read what people like, buy one, and stuff it in your garage.

Hmmm…I wonder what kind of car could be the next Ford Bronco (hint, hint, Performance Hatchbacks, baby!)

Buy. Store. Sell.

That’s right; The Powerslide is back at it again hyping hot hatches. They are extremely popular on Europe’s narrow roads and ready to explode in America (if we can just get some more good ones). Most of the performance models, like the Honda Civic Type R, the Ford Focus RS, and the Volkswagen Golf R, already come standard with 6-speed manual gearboxes and distinctive looks.

They also have already garnered a tremendous demand from the younger generation. Kids today think they are cool and wish they could afford the marked up prices. However — they can’t ­— but perhaps you can. Buy a hot hatch now, throw it in the garage for 15 ~ 20 years, and boom. Retirement fund.

Ford Focus RS
A Ford Focus RS from autocar.co.uk http://images.cdn.autocar.co.uk/sites/autocar.co.uk/files/styles/gallery_slide/public/ford-focus-rs-rt-2016-125.jpg?itok=chMaUcOh

 

The same way you youthfully dreamed of the 1970’s Bronco is the same way today’s kids fantasize about hot hatchbacks. They have a strange aura about them. An aura you can capitalize on — they are generation defining.

 

 

 

[1] https://classics.autotrader.com/classic-cars/1971/ford/bronco/100882148

A Brief Look Into The Future of Cars

By: Mr. Power

Up until this point the automotive industry has largely relied on dinosaurs to power their products. Now, as Climate Change becomes even more evident, we must listen to the polar bears and move towards a different energy source to power our beloved cars.

 

So, What are Our Options?

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A hot Tesla from https://pixabay.com/en/car-electric-tesla-s-electric-car-1209912/

Option 1: A Shock

Companies such as Tesla have revolutionized the electric car and it looks like it’s here to stay. Other car companies have tried to compete with Elon Musk by reveling their own versions of an all-electric car. These companies include; General Motors, Nissan, and BMW. Frankly, its fair to say that they don’t hold a candle to what Tesla offers.

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Notice the mix… from https://pixabay.com/en/car-engine-prius-c-motor-car-231213/

Option 2: A Mix

Hybrid powered cars (which contain both gas and electric powered motors), represent the midway point. They harmonically blend technological improvements all while keeping the oil companies happy. They are terrific for now but still rely on the dinosaur juice to get going.

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This is water….https://pixabay.com/en/water-drop-dropping-splashing-384649/

Option 3: Something Wildly Different

After electric and hybrid, we begin to get funky with the hydrogen-powered car. Honda is the first major automotive company to venture down this road, and their troubles have highlighted the tasks complexity. Although hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth, it’s easier to extract gold from Fort Knox then to get un-bonded hydrogen.

The great thing about hydrogen though is that it is not at all harmful to the environment. This is because it only disposes water vapor through its tailpipe (or something along those lines).

After weighing these options, and meeting with the polar bears, I’m personally of the opinion that electric power is the best way to go. So next time you scoff at the Solar Panel loving, Telsa driving, Crunchy Granola Dentist, think about how he has chosen to save us all and values polar bears lives.

36,000hp Semi Truck

By: Mr. Slide

Exotic vehicles can be broken down into three categories; ones that you have to drive to appreciate, ones that you have to ride passenger in to appreciate, and ones that you just have to watch to appreciate. The 36,000hp Shockwave definitely falls into the last category.

 

Combining the power of three U.S. Navy jet engines (each producing 12,000hp) allows this rig to hit 376mph and clear a quarter mile in just six-and-a-half seconds. I know, sounds bananas, but it’s true.

 

 

The Shockwave is also one of the wildest looking vehicles ever produced — think RC car with a rocket attached (like from Toy Story) only scaled up by a million. It has double smokestacks that spit out demonic black clouds, an absurd flame throwing tailpipe, and military grade parachutes for “brakes.” It seriously sounds like a rocket ship and resembles a bullet train whizzing by (except it’s 125mph faster). However, it’s just a Chevy…from 1957. Bananas.

 

Neal Darnell, the brave man who drives Shockwave, claims that he experiences 6G of positive force while accelerating and then negative 9G of force when the parachute brakes eject. That’s more than what astronauts experience during liftoff. In fact, most people pass out at 9Gs of force because blood struggles to reach the brain[1].

 

So there you have it, one of the craziest vehicles ever made — the Shockwave. You wouldn’t want to drive it, you wouldn’t want to ride in it, but you would definitely want to see it.

 

SOURCES

[1] Baily, Zoe. “Is the Sun Pulling the Planets Closer to It? | Space Facts – Astronomy, the Solar System & Outer Space | All About Space Magazine.” Space Facts Astronomy the Solar System Outer Space All About Space Magazine, Space Answers, http://www.spaceanswers.com/solar-system/is-the-sun-pulling-the-planets-closer-to-it/.
Cover image from WonderfulEngineering.com  http://cdn.wonderfulengineering.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Shockwave-4.jpg
Watson, Leon. “One Lorry You Won’t Get Stuck behind: Introducing the 400mph Shockwave, the World’s Fastest Truck That Can Outrun a Japanese Bullet Train.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 17 Feb. 2014,  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2561173/One-lorry-wont-stuck-Introducing-400mph-Shockwave-worlds-fastest-truck-outrun-Japanese-bullet-train.html
Toy Story images from: (Left) https://thepowerslideblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/63b02-toystory_149pyxurz.jpg
(Right)  https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2216/2519512734_2f9e601194_z.jpg?zz=1