Stella – Solar Family Car

A few weeks back I was driving from Philadelphia to Hershey PA and found a Nissan leaf driving ahead

Flying Cars – the future of personal transportation or a thing of the past?

Ever since man started thinking, he has been fascinated by the idea of flying. Gods, Demons, mytholo

Convertible cars – a love hate relationship

Convertible cars are expensive, impractical, sometimes heavier and mostly slower than their roofed s

 
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by K.R

Stella – Solar Family Car

July 8, 2013 in Auto Blog, Future Fuels, Hybrid Cars by K.R

A few weeks back I was driving from Philadelphia to Hershey PA and found a Nissan leaf driving ahead of me in the city. I was admiring the design and technology of this cute little car completely oblivious to the fact that the driver had no intention of entering the interstate – perhaps he didn’t want to go to Hershey or perhaps he simply couldn’t. Yes the leaf is highway capable, yes it looks cool, yes it saves a ton on gas but is it fun to drive? hmm, not quite. The problem with the electric car is the battery, batteries are utterly useless in cars, they cannot even start the conventional piston engine  on a cold morning without you having to call AAA, let alone powering the whole thing, and this is something I cannot understand, unless there is a real breakthrough in the battery technology like the invention of High Fructose Corn syrup or the pet rock, car companies should not enter mass production and face humiliation at the hands of people who drink soda and own pet rocks.

Solar car Stella

Solar Car Stella of Eindhoven University (http://www.solarteameindhoven.nl/nl/pages/#!/home)

The leaf has a range of 80 – 100 miles and it would take many hours to reach full charge, looking cool is not possible as the driver will almost always be looking at the battery charge level, pushing buttons to turn on the radio or even the turn signal will result is losing valuable miles and then there is the uneasiness of the whole thing, a constant subconscious fear that the car will never make it. Every long trip has to be meticulously planned with traffic/ road work/ alternate routes and the odd dead deer in mind. This is not driving at all; it is the road equivalent of steering the Apollo13 back home. So the world is running out of gas, batteries only work in laptops – for one year and Hydrogen which is perhaps the only fuel that has a huge potential announced its intentions with the Hindenburg. Which brings me to the Stella – a solar powered car that can carry 4 people and has a range of – are you ready – 375 miles.

The Stella was built by students at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) and I was compelled to have a look at this university’s portfolio and it seems it has a lot of smart people and Stella is not the first car they have built. Smart people give me a lot of reassurance – Steve Wozniack, Nicola Tesla and Robert Oppenheimer were smart and their inventions worked ( but had there not been Nicola Tesla, the other two would have failed). Smart people are hard to find and don’t always have a wonderful life, of the three I mentioned – the chubby one had an air crash and lost his memory, the skinny one was called a communist and publicly humiliated and the smartest of the trio married a pigeon. Which means the makers of the Stella may give  the world an extraordinary invention and in the process destroy their own lives. Stella  is solar powered and so it looks awkward however it still looks much better than the ones we are used to seeing on popular science which look exactly like rooftop solar panel onto which the wheels of a baby pram are nailed.

The Stella is also said to produce more power than it consumes, which means it will be taxed by the governments of the world as they among other things also own the Sun. Before I pack up for the day, I hand out my gratitude to the brilliant minds at the  Eindhoven University of Technology and wish them success in the World Solar Challenge they will be competing later this year in Australia.

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by K.R

Flying Cars – the future of personal transportation or a thing of the past?

September 17, 2012 in Auto Blog, Concept Cars, Future Fuels, Future Material by K.R

Ever since man started thinking, he has been fascinated by the idea of flying. Gods, Demons, mythological creatures have been associated with the ability to fly; stories of unsuccessful attempts of humans at flying have been around for thousands of years. One of the earliest being the Greek bloke Icarus who strapped wings made of wax, he did fly but not for long. From the Greek mythology to the modern day super heroes – flight has been considered the ultimate super power and even though we have managed to achieve over a 100 years of flight, it still remains a complicated thing. It is not as easy as something you park in your garage or get a speeding ticket for, flying is still as impossible to the common man as it was in the days of Icarus.
'The Fall of Icarus', 17th century, Musée Antoine Vivenel
Frankly, we are not designed to fly as much as we are designed to drive and driving may not be as cool as flying but it still is a cool thing to do. If you ask me, I am in control of the car and that I am not drunk when I am driving but I can’t say the same about the pilot in the commercial jet I am flying in. And then there is the weather factor, every time I flew over Denver, I prayed for my dear life as the turbulence got the best of me. It is in such situations that it is hard to believe that an aluminum tube with wings filled with highly combustible liquid at 30,000 feet from the surface of the earth which is being blown around the entire state of Colorado by violent winds, with no parachutes and possibly drunk pilots can actually be safe. If only I had a much-relaxed schedule and a road to my destination, I would even drive to Papua New Guinea.

Sometimes I think my fear of airplanes is because I don’t know how to fly one and I don’t feel comfortable to trust someone else with my life. Maybe flying an airplane is as easy as driving a car and it really is a safe thing to do. If Ford and GM made airplanes for the masses, I might not hesitate to buy one and fly to work every day.  So I set off to explore the mythical and elusive Flying Car.

Inventors and scientists have shaped the progress of mankind. Some have been pioneers and some have been lunatics and then there is the third kind; pioneers who were lunatics. Some of those got strange ideas when they saw the first airplane. They wanted to make cars fly or planes drivable and so the Flying car concept was born and although this idea and some attempts have been around for about a 100 years, it never really worked in the real world.

Flying Car

(Jess Dixon’s Flying automobile 1940)

The concept of the flying car got a lot of attention when the idea was in its infancy but that has slowed down a lot and I am forced to think that the inventors have realized that cars and planes just don’t go together. There have been close to a hundred attempts by different inventors at trying to create a portable flying machine and none were met success.

Flying is also a dangerous thing to do, it needs a lot of training,  a lot of space both in the air and at land and it is a very expensive affair. An even bigger problem is fuel. Cars are able to achieve 40 miles to the gallon and even that is not enough. World fuel is running out at an alarming rate and cars are adapting to that change but since the flying car is not even ready to run on conventional fuel yet, it may to too little too late when it is finally completed.

Training to be a pilot is much more demanding than learning to drive a car, I learned driving my dad’s car in one day and I have heard similar stories from my friends who took to driving at a very young age with very little time spent in learning. Flying is a different ball game all together, depending on the size and type of aircraft, learning to fly may take anywhere from 80 to several hundred hours.

Terrafugia Transition
Terrafugia -- 2012 NYIAS -- front view, folding wings
The Terrafugia Transition is a lightweight flying car being built by Terrafugia a Massachusetts based company. The development started in 2006 and the Terrafugia Transition took its maiden flight in March 2009. How much does it cost? Well I will come out straightforward at you, $279,000. The good news is that it looks right which means it should fly right.

 

Moller Skycar
Moller Skycars
Although not the first in the business, the Moller skycar is without a doubt the most popular name when it comes to flying cars. Paul Moller has been working on his designs for the past 40 years which is a very long time, the videos show that the car is airworthy, however it is not perfect yet and if you thought the Terrafugia Transition was expensive, then think again. The Moller Skycar M400 is expected to cost $500,000.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadable_aircraft

Even if flying cars could be made small enough to fit in a regular car garage with the ability to vertically take off and land, it still would be a very difficult thing to manage. An airplane moves in a three dimensional space as opposed to a car which moves in a 2 dimensional space. This changes a lot of things. Airplanes cannot be pulled over if something goes wrong, and if something does go wrong with the craft, forget getting late for work, you may never even get there.  Even if enough people got trained to fly their flying cars, what route will they follow? Will there be freeways in the sky or will people just head straight for their destinations? If there are specific routes to follow while in the sky, then what is the point of flying? And if not, then the one good thing that would happen is that the science teacher will have no problem in explaining Brownian motion to her students, all she needs to do is point to the sky at 8AM.

In the event of an accident, there are air bags in a car to protect the people in it, on the other hand the manufacturers will not bother to put these in an airplane and the reason is a no-brainer. There has however been a lot of talk about using ballistic parachutes in light aircraft. The ballistic parachute will shoot a parachute in the event of an emergency, the canopy will deploy and the light aircraft will land safely. This can definitely come in handy for flying cars however there is one problem. When the plane is brought down by a parachute, there will be very little that the pilot can do to steer clear of houses, trees and power lines. Accidents are bound to happen in a world of flying cars and when they do, we will see people getting wedged in the Chimney or falling on the porch.

All these facts point in one direction – “Flying cars” may disappear just the way the auto-giro and the zeppelin disappeared however we humans have always pushed the envelope and that is what makes us human. The Flying Car is not a reality now, it may not be 10 years from now may be even 20 years from now but with advances in other fields such as alternative energy and better materials and advances in computers and unmanned aerial vehicles, it just might make a come back and that may be the next big leap for us.

Having expressed my fear of flying, my hatred for storms and my displeasure with people falling on my terrace, I would still like to give it a shot if flying cars are made possible. Over a hundred years ago, when people switched from horse backs to motorcars, there were quite a few accidents; some went up in flames, others ended in trees or ravines. There were no roads built for cars and there were no safety considerations. However progress came slowly and steadily. Knowing that driving is dangerous, people still bought cars and drove them and the manufacturers made the cars safer, the authorities made the streets drivable and brought in regulations.  I am looking forward to the flying car being a reality, eventually that is the route we all will take.

 

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by K.R

Convertible cars – a love hate relationship

September 11, 2012 in Auto Blog, Concept Cars, Super Cars by K.R

Convertible cars are expensive, impractical, sometimes heavier and mostly slower than their roofed siblings. While the Toyota Solara or the basic Ford Mustang convertible can be classified with a pinch of salt as every day commuters, the problem arises as we move up the ladder. The more powerful the car, the faster it goes and the faster the car can go, the more rigid it needs to be and in a convertible, there is no roof (when it is tucked away) which means the portions on either side of the passenger (the engine, front wheels, rear wheels) are connected only by the floor. As the heaviest ends of the car are connected only by the floor, the car will twist a lot more than a normal car. The luxury car makers also stuff in a bunch of electric motors and complex assembly to make the hard top or soft top to work with the push of a button which also adds to the weight and adds more moving parts, which means more things can stop working a day after the factory warranty expires.

r8 small

The other problem that comes into picture is wind, the faster a car goes the higher is the wind resistance and as a result high performance sports cars are designed in a wind tunnel to be as slippery as possible to beguile mother nature. In case of a convertible,  the aerodynamics goes for a toss. The head wind scoops into the passenger area to form a vortex. This happens because the wind rushing over the car at high speed reacts with the slower wind within the passenger area; the effect is similar to a fighter jets being slowed down by parachutes after landing. Since the wind makes a u-turn and blows from behind the driver into the wind shield it can create trouble for middle aged bald men who wear a wig as demonstrated by Jeremy Clarkson.

And then there is the safety issue. No roof means your head goes into the ground or tarmac or sewer depending on where your car flips over.

How do convertibles overcome these two fundamental design problems?

1)      The absence of a roof makes the car to twist and wobble, so there is lot that goes into making a convertible than just tearing out the roof. The only way to make the car stiff is by adding reinforcements to make the frame heavier and the doors beefier thereby adding additional weight and slowing the car down.  The top league cars like Lamborghinis, Ferraris and the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport have their brand names on the line and they have to go quick with or without a roof. This leads to increasing the power from the engine and that adds to the cost. The extensive use of carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium alloy in making these cars helps keep the weight down while increasing the rigidity (and the cost) at the same time.
z4 small
2)      The trouble with the aerodynamics due to the reason stated earlier is handled in a much lighter, simpler and innovative way. Many of us would have seen a horizontal board behind the driver seat in convertible cars these days. The board is not there to make the car look pretty; it is rather installed to reduce the drag due to wind interference. This vortex explained earlier which gets created while driving convertibles at high speed with the roof tucked away  is almost completely avoided by adding this stiff board behind the driver seat. The wind becomes smooth on top of the car and there is much less drag due to wind resistance.

wind restrictor for bmw z4

(Photo courtesy www.windrestrictor.com)

So convertible cars have a few fundamental design problems and to make them work, more flaws are packed into them. Why then do we like convertibles so much? What is the point in spending more to get less? Convertibles do not work in the rain which means anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania they can be used 3 times a year, they have less luggage space, they age early, they are more expensive, they look terrible with their roof on, they are heavier and slower than the normal cars and Honda civic owners can spit directly on your face when you pull up next to them which means convertibles are completely and utterly useless in the real world or are they?
mustang small

It turns out there are stronger reasons why we should love them than why we should hate them; they are cool, they turn a lot of heads, they give us a sense of freedom, their magic has no bounds and the experience of cool wind and blue sky while thundering down the pacific cost in a mustang from SFO to LA is a breathtaking one, the only thing to beat it would be driving back to find out the color of the Golden Gate bridge. Convertibles are… forever.

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by K.R

Windrestrictor for convertible cars

September 10, 2012 in Auto Blog, Car Designs, Muscle Cars, Super Cars by K.R

In my upcoming post I will be talking about convertible cars however this post is about a product which can come in handy for convertible cars called the Windrestrictor. I was introduced to this product at a car show, I stopped to take a closer look because this product looked unique, it had illumination, etching and it also had an important purpose as far as convertible cars are concerned.

wind restrictor for cadillac

(Photo courtesy: Windrestrictor http://www.kingpennindustries.com/KPI_Gallery.aspx?GroupID=1&PID=9)

Those who have driven convertibles would know what a mess the car makes of your hair due to the draft, the wind also slows the car down as it runs over the car and scoops into the passenger section. The addition of a flat block behind the seat drastically reduces the effect of wind making the car more aerodynamic at higher speeds with out messing your hair.

wind restrictor for bmw z4

(Photo courtesy: Windrestrictor http://www.kingpennindustries.com/KPI_Gallery.aspx?GroupID=1&PID=10)

I have seen similar set up in some high end convertibles and there has been some talk about this on popular car shows. The windrestrictor however is a customizable product available for BMW, Mercedes, Chevrolet Corvettes, Camaros and many other brands and models, the illumination and etching is definitely a head turner, it is  a unique and innovative product with beauty and purpose.  For more information check out www.windrestrictor.com

 

(FutureCarDesigns.com does not endorse this or any product presented on its website and is not responsible for any inaccurate information in this website)

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by Glyde

Kuwait – an exotic car enthusiast’s pilgrimage

September 9, 2012 in Auto Blog, Muscle Cars, Super Cars by Glyde

It’s been over two months now that I’ve been in the Arabian Gulf nation of Kuwait. As much as I
expected from everything that I heard, read and watched over the years about the Arabian Peninsula,
quite a lot holds true. From scolding hot winds to opulent malls. Most of what I thought of this place to
be like, was much a reality. But the most satisfying reality of all was the flamboyant and radiant show of
the most exotic wheels that I had dreamt of, had posters of and revered on TV programs and magazines
over 20 years of my life.
DSC01880

In my time in the US, mostly Silicon Valley and San Francisco, CA and little bit of the mid west; I’d
only experienced the visual aura of these exotic birds. They were bewitching just to look at and be
photographed with. But it still didn’t wasn’t enough without hearing their baritone or tenor soundtracks
as abundantly lavished by our demigods – the top gear trio of Clarkson, May and Hammond.
DSC02067

In Kuwait, my prayers were answered and only to my surprise did I realize that my gods were
particularly ingratiated with my faith in them. Day 1 to work, I thought would be a routine office
run. What was about hit me was something I would have bet against with odds at a million to one,
was not possible.

Just when my cab was about to exit the drive way of our apartment complex, the
quintessential AMG 6.3 V8 gargle, reverberated through my spine. And then like a tiger stalking a wild
boar, the CLS 63 AMG locked eyes with our Mazda 6. It just strolled past like the beast had had a filling
breakfast, and was not interested in an early lunch.
DSC02152
It was about a 30 min drive from my apartment to the office and a fleeting thought came back to me
that the car, as it is everywhere else in the world, was a method of vulgar display of one’s wealth. It
dawned on me that I was in one of the wealthiest nation in the world. The place was awash with GTRs,
Mustangs, AMGs and Porsches. But the most beguiling of all – Ferraris and Lamborghinis were quite the
eye candies. The experience was almost therapeutic. By the time I got to my office, I was so immersed
in my thoughts of what I show I’d witnessed, I didn’t quite realize that it was past 5:30 and I was to
be shuttled back to the apartment. The orgy resumed and got better and better. First time ever did I
actually like being in traffic jams. We were within a feet of 911s and Grand Tourismos, while they raced
past us.
DSC02169
By the time I got to the elevators of my apartment complex, I began to reminisce on the day’s log
of events. The only thing that had encroached on every square nanometer of my brains was the
most brilliant kaleidoscope of automobiles I had gorged on all day. The very specimens which their
manufacturers hailed as their crowing glories. I meditated myself out of the most fantastic and awe-
inspiring nervous wreck. All the above was just one day.
DSC01957
In my next articles, I shall be talking about who drives which type of car here. Just to give a taste of
what’s coming next, the most common type of owner of 911s here is not the archetypical suave,
wealthy middle aged man; it’s a bonnie lass in her early twenties or a woman donning a traditional attire
in her forties.

Till then!!

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by K.R

Ferrari F12 wins the 2012 Auto Bild

September 7, 2012 in Auto Blog, Super Cars by K.R

Good news Ferrari fans, the F12 Berlinetta won the 2012 Auto Bild Design Award late last month. The F12 entered the competition against 144 competitors held in 21 European countries by the leading auto magazines.
The F12 is a stunner; there is no doubt about it. Ferrari designed the F12 in partnership with their long time design partners- Pininfarina. The F12 is a great looking car, however its performance also top trumps almost every other GT car. The Berlinetta packs a 6.3 liter monster V12 that develops a whopping 730hp – more than any other road legal Ferrari. The F12 is also quicker than any other Ferrari; it has been clocked around the Fiorano circuit at 1 minute 23 seconds making it quicker than the 599 GTO, Enzo and the 458.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

(Courtesy: NRMA Motoring and Services (Flickr: 2012 Geneva Motor Show – Ferrari F12) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
Ferrari has always made very powerful superfast cars, however the success of Ferrari is because of the way people just fall in love with the cars – which has more to do with the way Ferrari design their cars. Celebrating the success of the F12, this post honors 10 beautiful Ferraris from the past.

10 incredibly beautiful Ferraris from the past

10) 275 GTB:
1967_Ferrari_275_GTB
The 275GTB rolled out of the Ferrari stables in 1964 during the golden era of car design. The 60s brought in some of the most beautiful cars the world has ever seen which includes the Aston Martin DB5, the Corvette Stingray, Ferrari 250 GTO and the legendary Jaguar e-type. The 275 was a very beautiful car and also very innovative for its time. The 275 evolved from the 250, it was another masterpiece by Pininfarina and Scaglietti built the coach. The 275 came 3rd in Motor Trend’s list of top 10 Ferraris.

9) 288 GTO:

Ferrari_288_GTO_(1985)_Model

It took Ferrari over 20 years to launch the successor to the 250 GTO, and when the 288 rolled out it was an astonishing car. It was the first street legal car ever to touch over 300km/h (189 mph) and it was quite a beauty

8) 250 GT California Spyder:

Ferrari_250_GT_California_Spyder_black
(Courtesy: By cosmic_spanner [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Only 50 California Spyders were ever made, the first one came out in 1957. The California Spyder is one of the most desirable collector cars. Broadcaster Chris Evans paid orver 10 million dollars for his Ferrari California Spyder in an auction

7) Testarossa/512 TR:
Ferrari_512_TR_1
Most car gurus are not big fans of the Testarossa, they feel the engine could have been better, the gearbox was clunky, the car was too wide, the wheels were puny and the overall design was just vulgar. However, the rest of the world sees the Testarossa as the face of Ferrari. The Testarossa came out number one on Fifth Gear’s poll on world’s favorite Ferrari. It was designed of course by Pininfarina to be a poster more than anything else. It looked stunning, it was 100% passion, it was 100% Ferrari.

6) 308/328:

Ferrari_308_01

The 308/328 is a different story from the Testarossa, in this case the car gurus and the rest of the world are in sync. Everyone will agree that the 308/328 is a beautiful design and personally it is one of those Ferrari designs that look good in any color.

5) Dino:

MHV_Ferrari_Dino_Spider

Enzo Ferrari was one of the most influential carmaker ever to live and he was also a very loving father. The Ferrari Dino was named after Enzo’s late son Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari and since Enzo named this car after his son, it just had to be a no compromise car.  It was every bit what a Ferrari should be, it is often voted as one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever made.

4) Daytona:

Ferrari_Daytona

The Ferrari Daytona was a front engine Gran Turismo. Pininfarina designed it however it was quite different from what Pininfarina were known to do. The Daytona was in a league of its own, and ever since its launch the Ferrari Daytona has been a part of pop culture. One of the most memorable being the epic Top Gear race between James May on a powerboat and Richard Hammond driving the Ferrari Daytona around the south of France.

3) 250 GTO:

1962_Ferrari_250_GTO_34_2

(Courtesy: Sfoskett http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1962_Ferrari_250_GTO_34_2.jpg)

The 250 GTO needs no introduction, it has been very popular among collectors, and one was sold for as high as 35million dollars in May 2012. A car with a racing pedigree, a prancing horse on its nose, with one of the most beautiful designs and in very small number still in existence just had to be one of the most desirable cars. It is almost always rated as the greatest Ferrari ever made.

2) 250 TR:

1961_Ferrari_250_TR_61_Spyder_Fantuzzi_34_left_2

(Courtesy: Sfoskett  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1961_Ferrari_250_TR_61_Spyder_Fantuzzi_34_left_2.jpg)

The 250TR (Testarossa) was the predecessor to the 250 GTO. The 250TR has won the 24-hour Le Mans multiple times and it remains one the most desirable Ferraris till date.

1)  F40:
Ferrari_F40_pic2
The F40 rolled out on the 40th anniversary of Ferrari. It was also the last Ferrari to be made under Enzo Ferrari. Designed by Pininfarina, the F40 was and still is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. It was way ahead of its time with a carbon fiber body and sophisticated aerodynamics. Its 2.9L V8 twin turbo developed 471hp and the car broke the 200mph barrier, its top speed was 201mph. Top Gear has referred to it time and again as the greatest supercar ever made. It is the ultimate driving experience with one of the most accurate steering and very few amenities- no traction control, no radio, no carpets in fact the car did not even have door handles. It was meant to do two things – go fast and look good.

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by K.R

Dragvette products to improve car handling and performance

September 5, 2012 in Auto Blog, Car Designs, Car designs by users by K.R

The big auto manufacturers have a huge research arm with millions of dollars of funding for developing suspension technology; on a much smaller yet innovative level I met a gentleman Mr Steve Yates at a car show. He had a peculiar contraption with a set of car wheels on his stall and as I was walking by I saw the wheels move up and down. This caught my attention and I stopped to find out what was going on.

dragvette suspension by steve yates

He showed me two spirit levels, one on each of the wheels. While the wheels were moving up and down he asked me to take a look at the spirit levels. The one on the right had its bubble dancing left and right while the wheel was moving – this was expected of course, however the bubble in the spirit level on the left wheel, stayed at dead center. This was quite amazing, and immediately I could understand that something like this will make the handling much better in a car when it went over bumps and negotiated turns.He  showed me a testimonial by a racer who’s car had improved by 2 seconds a lap and had maintained even temperatures on the tires with the Dragvette suspension installed.

He also explained to me what he had done to the left wheel to make it so stable however I won’t bore you with the details, you can find the details on his website www.dragvette.com .

Mr Steve Yates can be contacted at:

7205 Flutter Rd.

Fort Wayne, IN 46835

Phone: 877-422-0943

website: www.dragvette.com

 ( FutureCarDesigns.com is not responsible for any inaccuracy in the information on this post or this website)

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by K.R

Corvette Engine Restoration by Ron Bockerman

August 30, 2012 in Auto Blog, Car designs by users, Engine Restoration, Muscle Cars by K.R

More on corvettes, this time it is the real deal, restoring hi performance engines. Mr Ron Bockerman of “HiPerformance Restoration Inc” has been restoring car engines for the past 40 years. He specializes in restoring engines for the Corvette, Camaro, Chevelle,Nova ( 283, 302, 327, 350,396, 427, 454 and more) and in providing original Corvette engines, Chevy engines and drive train parts.

Restored Corvette Engine 1963 327/340

Restored Corvette Engine by Ron Bockerman

 

 

Mr Ron Bockerman can be contacted at:

Cell: (402) 980-6034

Evenings: (402)253-8221

rwbocker@aol.com

 

( FutureCarDesigns.com is not responsible for any inaccuracy in the information on this website)

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by K.R

Teakwood Steering Wheels by Freemans Design

August 28, 2012 in Auto Blog, Car Designs, Car designs by users by K.R

Last weekend when I was in Carlisle at the Corvette show I met this gentleman Mr Eric Freeman from Freeman Design – Manufacturer of  Teak-wood steering wheels for corvettes. He had put up a few Teak-Wood Steering wheels out in his stall. The wheels seemed to be high quality products and works of art. Mr Freeman makes his own steering wheels and the craftsman ship is excellent.

His flyer shows two trims:

  •  The MIDYEAR with the following dimensions: (Fits ’63 – ’75) 16″ Dia.x 4″ Deep and 15″ Dia. x 2.5 Deep and
  • The SUPER SPORT with the following dimensions: (Fits ’63 – ’68) 16″  x 4″ Deep and 16″ Dia x 2.5″ Deep

Teak Wood Steering wheel for Corvette

 

Teak Wood Steering wheel by Freeman Design

Eric Freeman can be contacted at:

Freeman Design

9016 Oren Thompson RD

Charlotte, NC 28213

Phone: 704-510-2250

 

 

( FutureCarDesigns.com is not responsible for any inaccuracy in the information on this website)

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by K.R

Carlisle Corvette Show

August 27, 2012 in Auto Blog, Car Designs, Car designs by users, Muscle Cars, Super Cars by K.R

If we were to re-name the countries of the world by the Supercars they make – England will be Aston Martin and Italy will be Ferrari, when it comes to the US which is the land of the muscle car, there still is one name that makes its way  into the Supercar club – The Chevrolet Corvette. One can argue that the US has given the world the Dodge Viper and the Ford GT but lets face it, it is the Corvette that has had close to 60 seamless years in the business and that is what counts. The Corvette is by no means a poor man’s Supercar but you do not have to be billionaire rich to have one either. The spirit of the corvette is its simplicity, it looks like a fast car but it does not have the wings and fins like a Lamborghini, nor does it look posh like an Aston, what it is, is a blue collared brute who learned etiquette’s while constructing a library.  The corvette can deliver on the track and it can be a civilized street car at the same time, it can be customized to almost anything. Corvette

 

I have always been a Corvette admirer and while driving home last week I heard something on the radio and then checked out the details on the internet where it was mentioned that it is the largest Corvette show in the world. I was not quite sure about it so I decided to check it out. On Saturday August 24th 2012, I headed for Carlisle PA from Harrisburg, things were quite undramatic till I reached Carlisle, the closer I was to the show, the more corvettes I saw on the road. Finally I found a field for visitors, paid the parking fee, parked my car and started walking towards what looked like a typical American neighborhood with houses, an elementary school and narrow streets. I reached the gate, purchased the ticket and headed in. As soon as I stepped inside the gate, the drama unfolded, I was greeted by a stingray followed by several other corvettes. There was quite a crowd, the day was wonderful, the temperature was just perfect and I entered the first row which had mostly people selling used corvette parts however every now and then I found myself looking at someone selling handmade wooden steering wheels or rebuilt engines and of course I had to make pit stops at these stalls and have a chat with the sellers.

The first 3 or 4 rows were similar, people selling car parts, t-shirts, stickers etc and then I found the grand stand. I wasn’t quite sure why it was there, I didn’t think they had a race track here, so I went to investigate. I climbed the grand stand and I was right, there was no race track, but what I saw from up there was better than any race I have been to. A spectacular view of the entire affair, an ocean of corvettes which went all the way up a small hill.

Worlds Largest Corvette Show

It was absolutely breathtaking and I was now convinced that this really was the biggest corvette show – not in Carlisle, not in the USA but in the entire world. It seemed as though every single corvette that ever rolled out was there.

Next, I climbed down from the grandstand and began walking along the endless lineup of corvettes of what turned out to be a very pleasant walk through a time tunnel of Corvettes although the sun was beginning to be a real pain. This is what I saw:

Quad headlamp Corvette

So , not a bad day this, let me finish with a really cool one: