Tag Archives: car advice

Your dream Porsche is actually a Porsche

Not an Audi, as mentioned previously.

The evening started pleasantly enough, we took the TT over to Stourport, ambled around, ate chips, strolled by the river. Standard stuff. Luckily my passenger enjoyed the heavy use of the loud pedal so the journey back was spritely…

At a set of traffic lights on the journey home, there it was…

The road stretched ahead of us as we sat and watched vehicles join us from the left, waiting our turn to continue onward. Sneaking through the lights at the last moment, we saw it. The lights went green for us and naturally we gave chase. The TT caught up and the four rings of the Audi badge almost kissed the Turbo insignia below the spoiler of the 2007 911. Dark blue, with dark wheels, we both floored it up the hill to the roundabout; he took the right hand lane and us the left, cheekily accelerating around him on the outside as we joined the dual carriageway. We hadn’t intended to overtake, we’d expected him to turn right towards the motorway, but at the last moment he snuck in behind us, following us down the dual carriageway.

With the TT now ahead, the 911’s headlights filled the rear view mirror – he must have been a hairs breadth from our license plate. We politely moved into the left hand lane, as if some imaginary race steward was frantically waving a blue flag in our direction. The Porsche pulled alongside to overtake and at that moment the planets aligned.

The traffic lights ahead turned red.

Both cars rolled to a stop, staring at a full half mile of uphill, empty dual carriageway.

Pulse racing from the TT’s cheeky, unintentional overtaking manouvre at the roundabout; I hit the switch and lowered the electric window. Everything happened in slow motion. I looked over at the Porsche driver with the biggest grin on my face, and he looked back at me, beaming in agreement. There was no malice between us, no aggression, no disrespect – just a love for the vehicles in which we sat and a joyful acknowledgement of the situation that was unfolding.

We both knew what was about to happen.

We both knew it was ON.

The lights went Orange, and then Green…

The 911 paused for a slit second and I let the clutch out as fast as I dare whilst nailing the throttle – the TT launched, all four wheels clamouring for grip as we bounced off the rev limiter through first and second… The noise from both vehicles was incredible.

We hadn’t made it to third gear before the Porsche rocketed past us.

The roar of the boxer engine and the wail of its turbo filled the TT as the Porsche bellowed up the hill. With the TT still going through the gears at pace the Porsche was gone, at unbelievable velocity the taillights disappeared up the hill and across the roundabout. Despite our best efforts to use the cornering abilities of the TT, by the time we’d crossed the roundabout and hit the second straight of the dual carriageway the Porsche was long gone.

The 225bhp of the TT was no match for the 400bhp produced by the Porsche’s mighty 3.6 litre unit. It wasn’t a massacre, we put up a fight, but the TT was shown its place in the pecking order, given a good solid trouncing by its German cousin.

The TT was still accelerating in fifth gear when my thoughts turned to last weeks ‘Your dream Porsche is an Audi blog’. I turned to my passenger, (who hadn’t read the blog) laughed to myself, and explained the irony of the situation.

Everything had changed in less than a minute.

Your dream Porsche is an Audi until a Porsche comes along and reminds you that your dream Porsche is still a Porsche, for reasons that facts, figures and finance can’t explain.

Motoring is about passion, it’s an insatiable desire, its about design, engineering, and that little extra something… you can’t quantify the experience of nights like tonight, there is no star rating system to dictate how much a car will make your pulse race.

I’ve loved the TT, I’m seriously considering selling the Mondeo and jumping into Audi land.

But one day, sometime in future… it HAS to be a 911.

Written by Joe in June 2013

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Fixing the Mazda MX5: with Gorilla Glue

I’ve been having a problem with the Mazda, and it’s one of those problems that you never get around to fixing.

It’s not a big deal, which is why it’s been ignored for so long, but here you have it…

Every time I close the boot, my indicator light falls out of it’s housing. There’s probably a good reason for this, but as far as I can tell, it’s a case of bent plastic and too much use so it was time to fix it the real man way – glue the fucker back in place.

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Here you can see Offender Numero Uno… The indicator light dangles down from it’s housing.

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In the close up, you can see the theory behind my idea… The plastic clips were all bent from it constantly being pushed back in the boot lid, and I couldn’t really be bothered to go shopping around online for a proper housing, so opted for a cheap, quick fix.

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Gorilla Glue comes in all shapes and sizes, and for this job, I opted for the standard ‘Super Glue’. It retails around £5 for two tubes, and is available widely. I picked this up at Halfords. Right, now time to see if it really is ‘strong like gorilla’.

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Here’s the method and the madness… Cover the metal housing with a whole bunch of Gorilla juice and hope for the best. I followed the instructions, and sure enough in about 30 seconds I had what felt like a solid fix on the indicator light, and had managed to do DIY all by myself without gluing myself to the car.

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Feeling very proud of the job I’d just completed, considering it was a 3 minute bodge job.

You can’t tell from the photos but all of my fingers were glued together like that and typing has become virtually impossible…

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And finally, the same shot from earlier, but with the indicator light safely glued in place!

The real challenge comes now, with icy mornings and balmy summer afternoons, it’ll be interesting to see how long the Gorilla glue maintains it’s stickiness and does it’s job holding the indicators in place.

It’ll be equally interesting if the bulb inside the light fails and I have to pull the whole thing off with a crowbar.

Overall, 5 Stars for Gorilla Glue ‘Super Glue’, I’ll be using that again!

Making Sense of the Current Lotus Range: Evora

Lotus Silverstone (Race and Service Centre) are offering 2 Years 0% APR 50/50 Finance on Brand New Lotus Elise, Exige and Evora models, plus 3 years / 27,000 miles free of charge servicing. This caught our eye over on Twitter, and it’s a killer time to be buying a Lotus with deals like that flying around. We decided to learn more about the range before placing an order. Here’s what we discovered:

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Lotus Evora – 3.5 litre / naturally aspirated / 276bhp

3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVTi 24-valve with 6 speed manual transmission

Weight: 1383kg

0-60mph: 4.8 seconds

Max Speed: 163mph

MPG: Urban 21.5 / Extra Urban 39.6 / Combined 30.3

Lotus Evora S – 3.5 litre / supercharged / 345bhp / £63,950

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Supercharged 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVTi 24-valve with 6 speed manual transmission

Weight: 1437kg

0-60mph: 4.4 seconds

Max Speed: 178mph

MPG: Urban 19.9 / Extra Urban 37.7 / Combined 28.7

Evora Sports Racer- 3.5 litre / £67,900

Available as either naturally aspirated or supercharged engine, the Evora Sports Racer ‘Sports Pack’ provides switchable sports mode with sharper throttle response, increased rpm limit and sportier setting for Dynamic Performance Management (DPM), sports diffuser and cross-drilled brake discs.

Basically, marketing spiel aside, this is the badboy you want. Just look at the details! Yes, sign us up. We want this one, in white and black. Forget the bright colours and subtle silvers, it needs big black wheels, black roof and red brake calipers.

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Screw you America. And Canada. And everywhere else that isn’t Yewrope.

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Of course, it had to be the Ford Escort RS Cosworth Rally set, featuring the legendary Michelin Pilot model

Things to spend a student loan on: Scalextric

You’ve moved out of your parents house, the government has just deposited £1200 (or there abouts) in your bank account and all you have to do until the next payment is attend some lectures, feed and water yourself and keep a roof above your head.

Anyone who says school days are the best of your life clearly hasn’t been to university.

Joe chose to go to Falmouth University to study English. Being a harbour town on the far end of the country, close to beaches and with arguably more sunshine than any other university, it seemed like a great place to spend three years.

One evening after a few too many Rattler Cornish Ciders, Joe and the lads decided it was time to replace the television with a huge Scalextrics set… A week later, and a few hundred pounds lighter in the pocket, this was the result:

Monaco comes to Falmouth

The photos are a bit rubbish, but then camera phones were in those days!

Of course, it had to be the Ford Escort RS Cosworth Rally set, featuring the legendary Michelin Pilot model

Of course, when browsing eBay for suitable Scalextric sets, it just had to be the Ford Escort RS Cosworth Rally set, featuring the legendary Michelin Pilot model. We bought 2 of these, along with a couple of other sets to make the huge track.

With plenty of time on our hands, we were able to create a 'Works' car, sponsored by Falmouth & Porthtowan Surf School, whom Joe happened to be working for at the time. Freeriders Surf Shop also featured prominently in the 'free stickers' draw of Joe's cupboards.

With plenty of time on our hands, we were able to create a ‘Works’ car, sponsored by. Freeriders Surf Shop…

The banked corners proved a lot of fun

The banked corners proved a lot of fun… Although one of the Cosworths would stick like glue where the other would launch itself across the room

The Ford Fiesta XR2i Scalextrics Car wasn't very popular, was sluggish and for some reason just didn't handle very well...

The Ford Fiesta XR2i Scalextrics Car wasn’t very popular, was sluggish and for some reason just didn’t handle very well…

Speculative price guesses and hyperbole laden blogs aside…

We think Rowan Atkinson’s F1 really is the best colour for a McLaren F1.

Atkinson's McLaren F1 on display at Goodwood Festival of Seed

Atkinson’s McLaren F1 on display at Goodwood Festival of Speed

As news breaks that Britain’s favourite comedian is about to sell his famous McLaren F1, we thought we’d skip the speculation around the sale figure and just take a moment to enjoy the damn thing as it is.

The already legendary car gained even more publicity after it was involved in an incident with a Rover Metro in 1999. The McLaren caught the rear end of the Rover Metro on the slip-road adjoining a motorway, causing significant damage to the front end of the car.

The car suffered significant front end damage after an altercation with a Rover Metro in 1999

The car suffered significant front end damage after an altercation with a Rover Metro in 1999

In 2013 another crash left the McLaren almost completely destroyed; an accident which resulted in Britain’s highest ever insurance payout – reported to be £900,000.

After losing control on a slippery bend in Peterborough, the McLaren hit a tree and caught fire. Much of the rear end of the car was destroyed, and the engine came to rest 20 yards from the car.

The crash that resulted in Britain's highest ever insurance payout, reportedly it cost over £900,000 to get Atkinson's McLaren F1 back on the road

The crash that resulted in Britain’s highest ever insurance payout, reportedly it cost over £900,000 to get Atkinson’s McLaren F1 back on the road

The aftermath

The aftermath of Britain’s most expensive single vehicle collision

The car was subject to a lengthy rebuild at McLaren HQ, and was subsequently featured in Classic & Sportscar Magazine.

We think when it comes up for sale, it’ll cause quite a stir.

All finished - Rowan Atkinson's McLaren F1 standing proud at McLaren HQ

All finished – Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1 standing proud at McLaren HQ

7 reasons your next car should be a tiny 4×4

The Suzuki Jimny has been in production since roughly 1969, going through numerous facelifts and updates to become the miniature hero it is today. Regarded as underpowered, underdeveloped and outdated by the majority of the motoring press, we think it’s about time someone stood up for the little Jimny, so here goes…

These guys are having a fantastic adventure

These guys are having a fantastic adventure

1. It’s ready for adventure

As 4×4 vehicles go, the Suzuki Jimny is a capable off-roader straight from the factory. If you’re looking for some off-the-beaten-tracks exploring, or like to spend your time rural geocaching; then the tiny Jimny is the perfect partner for an afternoon of exploring the wilds.

Powering through at least three feet of water

Powering through at least three feet of water

2. It’s ready for winter

Here in the UK the slightest sign of snow has the roads grinding to a halt, persistent rain can wash away a town in less time than it takes to brew a up of tea. The Suzuki Jimny is ready for all that. The high ride height allows you to see over the top of stranded vehicles whilst, it’s tiny size allow the Jimny to navigate through the gridlock to find an off road route home.

City slicker

City slicker

3. It’s a sharp looking city slicker

So many off roaders look far too rugged for a night on the town, but the little Jimny cleans up a treat. Because it’s a capable 4×4 without having to add all sorts of bells and whistles, the bodywork can remain uncluttered meaning it’ll sit outside your local organic coffee shop without causing a stir.

Girls love the Jimny

Girls love the Jimny

4. It’s a non-threatening four wheel drive

Look at that cute face! The Jimny wouldn’t hurt a fly. It’s a great looking little car, that doesn’t shout about it’s abilities. Understated, yet charming… the perfect combination. It’s a proper 4×4 that doesn’t have it’s very own stereotype associated with it like the Chelsea Tractor.

Looks like the Lake District, and that's fantastic

Looks like the Lake District, and that’s fantastic

5. It’s available in a wide range of great colours

We’ve chosen some of our favourite Suzuki Jimny images from around the web, and don’t they look fantastic? With the right set of wheels and a good choice in bodywork colour, the Jimny really is a work of art. On the plus side, if you can’t find one in the colour you desire, simply head on down to your local vinyl wrapping workshop and have them change it for you. The Jimny is so small it’d be just like wrapping a christmas present.

Champagne paintwork against a vanilla sky, what's not to love?

Champagne paintwork against a vanilla sky, what’s not to love?

6. It’s very cheap to buy, own and run

A used Suzuki Jimny can be bought on the low side of £2,000 with service history and in good shape. Newer models are closer to £5,000 but that’s still a bargain. The 1.3 petrol engine is frugal, parts are cheap as chips and minimal servicing is all that’s required. Being Japanese and simple means it’ll never go wrong, and if it does you can simply buy another one.

Good enough for the RNLI, good enough for us!

Good enough for the RNLI, good enough for us!

7. It’s an international lifesaver

The fact that lifeguard services around the world put their faith in the little Jimny is reasssuring. Beach lifeguards need to be able to get across the sand quickly and safely, so a big lumbering 4×4 is no good for a crowded beach. The Jimny is the perfect beach companion, and that’s pretty cool.