Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Wed, 24 May 2017 21:58:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 Land Rover BAR Race Yacht Ready to Set Sail in Bermuda http://www.automobilemag.com/news/land-rover-bar-race-yacht-ready-set-sail-bermuda/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/land-rover-bar-race-yacht-ready-set-sail-bermuda/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 21:58:36 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163557 Land Rover’s BAR R1 catamaran team is ready to compete for sailing’s ultimate prize, the America’s Cup, the chase for which kicks off on Friday, May 26. A new video starring the R1, a Range Rover, skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, and his crew was released in anticipation of the big race. “The last couple of...

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Land Rover’s BAR R1 catamaran team is ready to compete for sailing’s ultimate prize, the America’s Cup, the chase for which kicks off on Friday, May 26.

A new video starring the R1, a Range Rover, skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, and his crew was released in anticipation of the big race.

“The last couple of years have been hard work, and it’s been great to have the design, technology and engineering support of Land Rover in the development of the R1 race boat,” said Ben Ainslie, in a statement.

“We have been waiting for this moment, and the whole team are very excited and ready to give it our best shot.”

No doubt about that. The Land Rover BAR team is competing against teams from Artemis Racing, New Zealand, Japan, France, and local favorite/current Cup holder — Oracle Team USA.

In the video, the skipper looks calm and collected behind the wheel of a Range Rover and also at the helm of his speeding catamaran as it flies above the waves with the crew in action.

“As pioneers in the car industry we couldn’t think of a better opportunity than to support the British America’s Cup team in their quest to win the hardest, and indeed oldest sporting trophy,” said Mark Cameron, Land Rover’s experiential marketing director, in a recent release.

“Land Rover has been involved in sailing for a number of years, therefore being a part of the pinnacle event and having the opportunity to put our knowledge and expertise into the R1 race boat is a great showcase of a true industry collaboration between marine and automotive.”

One team will be eliminated from the competition after this week’s qualifier and the remaining teams will go into the playoffs on Sunday, June 4.

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Thousands of Minis Invade Ireland for 2017 International Meeting http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-international-mini-meeting/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-international-mini-meeting/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 21:25:05 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163418 Forget Coachella — for Mini Cooper lovers, the International Mini Meeting is the must-see festival of 2017. Over 1,200 Minis and 3,000 attendees will gather at Westport House in Ireland to showcase their cars and enjoy a slew of Mini-themed events. Participants can enjoy activities like a Mini treasure hunt along the Wild Atlantic Way,...

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Forget Coachella — for Mini Cooper lovers, the International Mini Meeting is the must-see festival of 2017. Over 1,200 Minis and 3,000 attendees will gather at Westport House in Ireland to showcase their cars and enjoy a slew of Mini-themed events.

Participants can enjoy activities like a Mini treasure hunt along the Wild Atlantic Way, the Mini Owners Club Olympic Games, slalom races, and awards for exceptional cars. There will also be live music and family activities held throughout the weekend. The gathering will also honor two special guests: Irish racing legend Mervyn Johnson and Monte Carlo Rally winner Paddy Hopkirk. Mini cars of all ages are welcome at the event and an Irish Mini dealer will showcase the next generation of models.

International Mini Meetings started in Germany in 1978 as a three-day camping event. Its popularity grew to the point where a different country hosts the festival every year.

Festival tickets cost just over $100 for the weekend, including camping. Sunday tickets are available for just over ten bucks at current exchange rates.

For Mini enthusiasts, this event is hard to beat for the sheer quantity and diversity of cars. It runs from May 25 – 28.

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2018 Honda Odyssey Priced from $30,890 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-honda-odyssey-starts-30890/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-honda-odyssey-starts-30890/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 18:48:27 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163440 The 2018 Honda Odyssey goes on sale tomorrow starting at $30,890, an increase of $100 from the previous base model. The Odyssey commands a similar starting price to the 2017 Toyota Sienna, and the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica before incentives. But a base 2017 Kia Sedona only costs $27,850. For 2018, the base Odyssey LX adds...

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The 2018 Honda Odyssey goes on sale tomorrow starting at $30,890, an increase of $100 from the previous base model.

The Odyssey commands a similar starting price to the 2017 Toyota Sienna, and the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica before incentives. But a base 2017 Kia Sedona only costs $27,850.

For 2018, the base Odyssey LX adds new features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, an acoustic-laminated windshield, and noise-cancelling technology. One step up is the EX, which features tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and other upgrades for a grand total of $34,760. Honda Sensing is now standard on this trim and brings along collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, and lane keep assist. Prices are up just slightly from the 2017 Odyssey EX.

On the EX-L trim, available for $38,260, buyers get leather-trimmed seats, a power tailgate, a one-touch power slide and tilt moonroof, and extra USB ports. The EX-L Navi Res adds a rear entertainment system with Blu-Ray playback capability as well as a Garmin navigation system. Prices breach the $40,000 mark at this point, with the EX-L Navi-Res priced at $40,260.

The Touring trim replaces the standard nine-speed automatic transmission with a new 10-speed unit. Priced at $45,410, the model also tacks on a hands-free power tailgate, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, front and rear parking sensors, and the HondaVac vacuum cleaner that was previously only available on the top-trim level. This top trim level is the Odyssey Elite, which adds ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, and other items to the mix. Prices for this range-topper start at $47,570, making it over $1,000 more expensive than the top-trim 2017 Odyssey.

All Odysseys come with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine producing 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque.

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2018 Lexus LC Coupe Production Ramps Up in Europe http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-lexus-lc-coupe-production-ramps-up-in-europe/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-lexus-lc-coupe-production-ramps-up-in-europe/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 17:50:44 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163386 Lexus’ flagship LC coupes destined for Europe have begun assembly in Lexus’ Motomachi plant in Japan, the birthplace of the LFA supercar. The factory has been retooled for production of the luxury automaker’s newest model. Engineers in the final assembly area work in an all-white environment, which Lexus says, helps employees focus on their tasks....

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Lexus’ flagship LC coupes destined for Europe have begun assembly in Lexus’ Motomachi plant in Japan, the birthplace of the LFA supercar.

The factory has been retooled for production of the luxury automaker’s newest model. Engineers in the final assembly area work in an all-white environment, which Lexus says, helps employees focus on their tasks. Each worker’s job on the assembly line takes twenty minutes to allow enough time for quality control.

Lexus employs heavy use of glass and LED lighting along the assembly line so workers can examine their work with accuracy. This includes an inspection zone for the exhaust silencer with thicker glass to isolate idiosyncrasies in sound quality.

Lexus offers the LC coupe with a V-8 engine producing 467-hp or a hybrid drivetrain featuring a 295-hp V-6 coupled with a 59-hp electric motor.

Shifts are delivered through a 10-speed automatic for all-gas models while the hybrid gets two transmissions: a conventional 4-speed automatic and a CVT managed through the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System. All coupes put their power down through the rear-wheels.

Lexus says LC coupes will be delivered to European showrooms in August, but has not yet announced details on pricing.

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Geely Purchases Majority Stake in Lotus http://www.automobilemag.com/news/geely-buys-majority-stake-lotus/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/geely-buys-majority-stake-lotus/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 15:43:06 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163392 Chinese conglomerate Geely will purchase 51 percent of Lotus in a deal that promises to accelerate the growth of the U.K. sports-car maker. Geely is also buying a 49.9 percent stake in Proton, Lotus’ struggling parent company. The deal will expand and accelerate the rollout of new products and technologies for Lotus, Geely CFO Daniel Donghui...

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Chinese conglomerate Geely will purchase 51 percent of Lotus in a deal that promises to accelerate the growth of the U.K. sports-car maker. Geely is also buying a 49.9 percent stake in Proton, Lotus’ struggling parent company.

The deal will expand and accelerate the rollout of new products and technologies for Lotus, Geely CFO Daniel Donghui Li said in a statement. It should also help Malaysian automaker Proton, which has been struggling for a while rebadging cars from foreign automakers and selling them in the local market. Some experts say an investment could revive sales and lead to a much-needed improvement in quality.

“The agreement lays the foundation for a wider framework for both Geely Holding, Proton and Lotus to explore joint synergies in areas such as research and development, manufacturing and market presence,” Geely said in a statement.

Geely has owned Volvo since 2010 and is expected to share the fruits of that partnership with Proton. Proton could gain access to some of the latest technologies developed by the pair, including Volvo’s scalable platforms. The resources could come in handy as Lotus prepares to introduce its first SUV by 2019.

The parties are expected to sign a final agreement in July, reports Automotive News. Geely did not indicate the valuation of the deal.

Once finalized, the deal will end a long road of negotiations for Proton and Lotus. In total, Proton had 15 suitors, including French automaker PSA Group that would later go on to buy GM’s European business.

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One Week With: 2017 Chevrolet Camaro V-6 1LE http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-chevrolet-camaro-v-6-1le-review-one-week/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-chevrolet-camaro-v-6-1le-review-one-week/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 07:05:24 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163252 Here’s a short list of the best cars I drove last year: Dodge Viper ACR, Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, Acura NSX, and most importantly, a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro V-6 Convertible. Is this the first time a V-6 Camaro was mentioned in the same breath as an ACR? Probably, but I had such a perplexing amount...

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Here’s a short list of the best cars I drove last year: Dodge Viper ACR, Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, Acura NSX, and most importantly, a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro V-6 Convertible. Is this the first time a V-6 Camaro was mentioned in the same breath as an ACR? Probably, but I had such a perplexing amount of fun in the drop-top V-6 Camaro, I couldn’t help but to sing its praises.

For 2017, Chevy offers the junior Camaro with the track-focused 1LE package, so imagine my peculiar elation when a Krypton Green Camaro V-6 1LE arrived on our paved doorstep.

Like the SS 1LE, it is best viewed as a trim rather than an entirely different model. Visually, both 1LEs ramp up the aggression by incorporating a new black front splitter, signature blacked-out hood, and new 20-inch wheels unique to the package.

To prep the V-6 for trackwork, the coupe receives a whole wardrobe of hand-me-down performance components from the SS, including auxiliary cooling systems, limited slip differential, fuel management, differential cooler, and most notably, the SS’ FE3 suspension system that adds upgraded front struts and a stronger multilink rear suspension.

Not pilfered from the SS are those new 20-inch wheels, wrapped in 245/40ZR-20 front and 275/35ZR-20 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric run-flats. These new shoes hide four-piston Brembo calipers in the front, a slight downgrade from the six-pots on the SS 1LE.

On-road, these SS components add up. The Camaro’s Alpha platform remains the sharpest in the segment; with the 1LE’s bits bolted on, the confidence it inspires is refreshing. Steering is excellent and very communicative through the 1LE’s microsuede steering wheel.

Brakes aren’t as grabby as the six-piston calipers on the SS 1LE, but the Brembo system was still more than capable of hauling the coupe down from speed. The 1LE’s composure and predictability all feel like hallmarks of something much more expensive, belying the Camaro badge on the horn button.

Under the distinctive satin black hood idles the same 3.6-liter V-6 we loved in the regular V-6 Camaro. Output remains at 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque, routed to the rear wheels through a short-throw six-speed manual transmission. This is more-or-less the same engine we find in Cadillac, GMC, and Buick applications, but in the Camaro, it feels right at home.

Just like we discovered in the convertible, the GM V-6 has never sounded better. Even on the standard V-6 Camaro, it wails not unlike the F-Type S. It’s a very distinctive war cry, hitting a raucous tonality more in line with classic six-cylinder sports cars of yore than modern V-6s. In the 1LE, the 3.6-liter adds a selectable setting to the exhaust, wedging the active exhaust flaps open, allowing the LGX V-6 to sing freely.

On tight California canyon roads, I hardly missed the relentless grunt of the 6.2-liter V-8. The V-6 1LE will still hit 0-60 mph in a respectable 5.2 seconds, so there’s still some speed to match the sound. Still, a lack of low-end grunt stymies any plans for bravado-laced light-to-light sprints, considering peak power arrives toward the top of the rev range.

As tempting as it is, the V-6 1LE occupies an interesting and unenviable position in the marketplace. With an affordable base price of around $32,000, it’s competing directly with the slow-selling 370Z, a stripped-out BMW 228i, and a loaded Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86. Buyers of these cars tend to be tribal in nature – someone interested in purchasing a 370Z is most likely not going to consider a V-6 Camaro, no matter the performance, and a BMW buyer is going to stick within the confines of his/her entry luxury segment.

In this regard, the V-6 1LE is in a class of its own. For the money, you won’t find a more capable, track-ready rear-wheel-drive coupe. I know, it might be hard to swallow, but for the first time, the V-6 Camaro is a viable alternative to the big-boy V-8 SS for enthusiasts on a budget. Instead of feeling like a performance compromise, it’s a different experience altogether.

I guess it’s time to update my list for 2017.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro V-6 1LE Specifications

ON SALE Now
PRICE $32,895(base)
ENGINE  3.6L DOHC 24-valve V-6/335 hp @ 6,800 rpm, 284 lb-ft @ 5,300 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual
LAYOUT 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE 18/27 mpg
L x W x H 188.3 x 74.7 x 53.1 in
WHEELBASE 110.7 in
WEIGHT 3,487 lb
0-60 MPH 5.2 sec
TOP SPEED N/A

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One Week With: 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic Wagon http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-mercedes-benz-e400-4matic-wagon-review-one-week/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-mercedes-benz-e400-4matic-wagon-review-one-week/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 07:01:25 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163247 The milk-chocolate brown and cream-leather Designo interior of this 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic calls for a tweed jacket, khaki jodhpurs, a dark green wool vest, and one of those sportif wool hats with the bird’s feather sticking out from the band. This wagon befits a gentleman or lady of either Anglo or Saxon descent out...

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The milk-chocolate brown and cream-leather Designo interior of this 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic calls for a tweed jacket, khaki jodhpurs, a dark green wool vest, and one of those sportif wool hats with the bird’s feather sticking out from the band. This wagon befits a gentleman or lady of either Anglo or Saxon descent out on a fowl-hunting excursion, offering plenty of luxuriously carpeted cargo floor for ol’ Rex the bloodhound to slobber onto.

For those tired of the compromised handling characteristics of crossovers that offer no payoff in ride quality, in part due to the considerable unsprung weight of their typically big wheels, the Mercedes-Benz E400 Wagon is refreshingly different – long, low and wide. Its sporty, raked d-pillar is a departure from past E-Class wagons, which came off with awkwardly squared-off d-pillars to preserve rear-compartment space.

You’d be folding a pair of rear-facing third-row seats to get Rex to fit into that rear compartment, something rarely seen in a modern station wagon, let alone one with a rakish d-pillar. However, unlike wagons of the past, the 2017 E400 has far less headroom to offer back there thanks to structural members that meant to provide rollover protection.

“My kids tried the rear-facing third-row, and it’s lost a bit of comfort compared with the old E-Class wagon,” says contributor Marc Noordeloos. “It’s never going to be a comfy place to spend time, but the seat cushion is much thinner than in the old car.”

Marc’s son is 10, and his daughter is nearly 12. The rear-facing seat proved “almost too small” for his daughter, and with booster seats becoming required for children as old as 8, this $83,055 E400 is best thought of as a two-row hauler for smaller families that can occasionally carry a couple of friends.

“One of my favorite cars of 2017,” says road test editor Eric Weiner of the E400. “It’s sexy, functional, and feels very modern to interact with. There’s also a distinct elegance combining this saddle-colored Designo interior with the shimmering dark emerald exterior paintwork. The interior is like a warm leather womb. Such refreshing break from the staid black interiors so often plaguing German cars.”

Although the Wagon adds capacious three-row utility to the E-Class along with the sort-of-shooting-brake flavor many enthusiasts love, there’s “sport” conceit to be found. Nevertheless, ride and handling is as good as it gets for a modern midsize luxury car.

“The 18-inch wheels are the magic size and the optional performance tires make a huge different in regards to handling and overall steering precision,” says Noordeloos. “Speaking of steering, the rack is by no means very communicative, but it’s accurate and befitting of the luxurious, cosseting nature of the E wagon. Just stay away from the “sportier” steering settings as they only add unneeded heft. The best drive mode setup is to configure the individual mode to only stiffen up the optional air suspension. Comfort mode is perfect for low to medium speeds but the sport setting for the suspension adds a nice amount of body control on the highway.”

There’s marginal roll and minimal understeer in corners. Even in “Sport+,” the E400’s ride is reasonably comfortable. The dynamic settings are the sort of feature most buyers will try once before settling on the perfectly buttoned down “comfort” mode. Except “Comfort” starts the E-Wagon from a stop in second gear, while “Sport” and “Sport+” launch in first. The twin-turbo V-6 provides sufficient oomph in second, unless you’re an enthusiast who has tried a first-gear launch. For those who would choose the twin-turbo V-6 wagon over the turbo-four sedan because it’s a wagon, that becomes a threat to matching EPA fuel economy numbers.

The only big complaint is the information/entertainment system, which like virtually every premium/luxury brand’s system, can take your attention off of the road. Pull over, please, if you try to fiddle with the COMAND rotary control knob and look for an FM radio station that doesn’t have the strongest of signals. Such stations don’t show up on the screen unless you specifically tune to them, and that requires a bit of digging through menus.

But that’s the state of luxury brands these days. There is, at least, a physical volume wheel you can use that’s right in front of the center console. Aside from that, the Mercedes-Benz E400 Wagon 4Matic provides the best modern combination of stylish, sumptuous luxury and utility on the market today.

As Noordeloos concludes, “this is clearly the best wagon on the market in the States.”

2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic Wagon Specifications

ON SALE Now
PRICE $63,295/$83,055 (base/as tested)
ENGINE 3.0L twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6/329 hp @ 5,250-6,000 rpm, 354 lb-ft @ 1,600-4,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 7-passenger, front-engine, AWD wagon
EPA MILEAGE 19/25 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 194.2 x 72.9 x 58.1 in
WHEELBASE 115.7 in
WEIGHT 4,299 lb
0-60 MPH 5.3 sec
TOP SPEED 130 mph

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List Trawling: Five American Head-Scratchers http://www.automobilemag.com/news/list-trawling-five-american-head-scratchers/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/list-trawling-five-american-head-scratchers/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 00:04:01 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163382 Sorry, GM/Ford/Chrysler fans – your favorite automakers have made some real stinkers over the years. These undesirables often get shoved behind sales of icons like the ’71 Challenger or ’57 Bel Air, but if you look in the wrong places with the wrong filters, you’ll find some seriously strange cars from those same companies. Here...

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Sorry, GM/Ford/Chrysler fans – your favorite automakers have made some real stinkers over the years. These undesirables often get shoved behind sales of icons like the ’71 Challenger or ’57 Bel Air, but if you look in the wrong places with the wrong filters, you’ll find some seriously strange cars from those same companies. Here are five you can pick up today.

1992 Pontiac Grand Prix Richard Petty Limited Edition

It doesn’t get more early 1990s GM than this. In 1992, Richard Petty teamed up with Pontiac for a special edition Grand Prix, spawning a semi-desirable branded sports coupe that was far more show than go.

For special edition geeks, it’s still reasonably interesting. Petty lent his signature to the trunk badge and his likeness to, of all places, the wheel center caps. But other than that, the special blue paint, body cladding, and badging, it’s a regular two-door Grand Prix.

This is cleaner than most Grand Prix of the same vintage, remaining with the same owner since new and covering just under 10,000 miles. If you’ve got a burning desire for a special edition GM car in mint condition, get in touch with the seller here on Craigslist, where it’s listed for $15,000.

1989 Chevrolet Caprice 9C1 Prototype

Shockingly, this big-body Caprice is stranger than the Pettymobile, if even just for the ad itself. We found this Caprice listed on multiple Craigslist portals around the globe – we’re reasonably sure this is for the seller’s visibility, and not a shady listing.

For starters, the seller claims the Caprice wears “over 100” special order trim and components, created as part of a promotional or marketing tour when it was new. According to the ad, some of these are prototype parts that were never put into production, increasing the rarity and special-factor. Some of these parts came from Chevy, some from other brands like Buick or Cadillac, and some were just fabricated for this particular car.

Here’s where it gets wild – despite the near-zero collectability factor of these Caprices, the seller lists this for a smidge over $1.5 million. This is sure to be a desirable car for the right collector with the right requirements, but we’re not entirely convinced this is worth even six figures.

Regardless, you can check the million-dollar Caprice out for yourself here on Prague (yes, Prague) Craigslist.

1975 Bricklin SV-1

Alright, this isn’t really an American car, but it was built and designed in Canada, and that’s close enough. Looking very much like a DeLorean that picked a losing battle with a highlighter, the Bricklin SV-1 was a failed project of Malcom Bricklin, founder of Subaru of America.

Before finalized production, the Ford V-8-powered SV-1 was compared favorably to the contemporary Corvette. After the first customers took delivery, it was clear that the Bricklin was hobbled by production woes. The wedge-shaped body was constructed of fiberglass bonded to acrylic plastic, causing cracking and warping. Most Bricklins suffer from overheating issues, thanks to low airflow inlets and small radiators.

This orange 1975 SV-1 is a clean, low-mileage example that’s remained with the seller since 1977. Find it here for a reasonable $20,000.

1980 Plymouth Volare

Every once in a while, a bland and unremarkable car will emerge from the woodwork in such pristine and well-kept condition that it’s nothing short of astounding. Take this 1980 Plymouth Volare for example. There’s nothing innately special or noteworthy about the Volare, in either design, mechanical construction, or appearance. The fact that someone found it worth their time to maintain this frumpy white sedan is beyond us, but we’re a little thankful they did.

The seller is quick to admit this isn’t a showroom fresh example, but from five feet away, the Volare looks as sharp as it can muster. Powering this slab of Malaise-Era goodness is the tried-and-true 3.7-liter (225ci) Slant-Six (inline-six), sending power to the rear wheels through an automatic transmission.

Cosplay as a 1980s librarian with this clean Plymouth Volare on Craigslist here.

1980 Mercury Bobcat

Again, we must ask: why? Who has the time, mental fortitude, and desire to keep such a mundane, uninspiring ride in such clean shape? Don’t worry, we’re just as thankful for this clean Bobcat as we are for the Volare, and we’re sure someone, somewhere is looking for this model in this condition.

This Pinto-in-drag has covered just 40,000 miles since new, and despite condition, been through four different owners after remaining with the first for 30 years.

Find it here on Bring a Trailer before it’s gone.

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1969 Pontiac Firebird Convertible Restored by New Mexican Priest Set for Charity Raffle http://www.automobilemag.com/news/1969-pontiac-firebird-convertible-restored-by-new-mexican-priest-set-for-charity-raffle/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/1969-pontiac-firebird-convertible-restored-by-new-mexican-priest-set-for-charity-raffle/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 20:29:41 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163261 Holy hot rod! Father Matt Keller of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup, New Mexico has a passion for muscle cars that is nearly as big as his devotion for the Lord. When he’s not tending to his flock, chances are you can find the padre working under the hood of a Chevy or, these days,...

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Holy hot rod! Father Matt Keller of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gallup, New Mexico has a passion for muscle cars that is nearly as big as his devotion for the Lord.

When he’s not tending to his flock, chances are you can find the padre working under the hood of a Chevy or, these days, wrenching a donated red 1969  Pontiac Firebird convertible that will be raffled for charity next month.

The sweet Firebird had only one previous owner and just 79,000 miles on the clock prior to its restoration. It currently sports an original cream interior, new top, power steering, and power brakes. Father Keller is personally refurbishing the 350 cubic-inch V-8 engine that’s mated to a three-speed Hydra-Matic transmission.

If you are feeling lucky, it will be auctioned on June 17 for $25 a ticket — and 10,000 will be sold. You don’t have to be Catholic to enter, but a few Hail Mary prayers might not hurt you chances of winning, either.

“The Gallup Diocese is the poorest in the country and one of the best places to serve,” Father Keller tells us via email.

“Many who want to attend seminary simply can’t afford it. We wanted to find a way to help them and create a fun, community-building project in the process.”

Keller grew up in New Mexico and was a trained mechanic who loved cars prior to his even higher calling. He sold his own 1964 Chevy Malibu SS prior to joining the priesthood, believing his car days were behind him, but Someone clearly had other plans.

This Firebird is the second car Keller has restored. Last year, he restored a donated black 1972 Chevelle, the raffle for which raised $140,000 to help five Gallup students attend seminary.

“This car is a numbers-matching original with a fantastic factory interior and a newer convertible top. We’ve worked with a team of men from body shops from all over the state of New Mexico to restore the car to mint condition,” said Father Keller.

“Rico Motors here in Gallup also donated a new paint job for the car.”

Raffle tickets can be purchased at www.V8forVocations.org through June 16 and participants don’t need to be present to win.

Photos courtesy of “V8s For Vocations.”

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Bentley Continental 24 is a Bright, Brash, and Europe-Only Special Edition http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bentley-continental-24-bright-brash-europe-special-edition/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bentley-continental-24-bright-brash-europe-special-edition/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 20:20:00 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1163297 For the majority of its almost 100-year history and especially during its post-war period, Bentley produced quiet, cushy cruisers painted in mostly demure colors. Now, new money rules the market, and it told subtlety to take a hike. For those who absolutely, positively have to stand out in a sea of black Mercedes-Benz S-Classes and...

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For the majority of its almost 100-year history and especially during its post-war period, Bentley produced quiet, cushy cruisers painted in mostly demure colors. Now, new money rules the market, and it told subtlety to take a hike. For those who absolutely, positively have to stand out in a sea of black Mercedes-Benz S-Classes and silver BMWs, the new Bentley Continental 24 is Crewe’s newest assault on restraint.

These bright colors aren’t just for fun – this fresh bumblebee special edition is Bentley’s roadgoing tribute to the new livery on the Continental GT3 race car. Bentley and ABT reworked the GT3s color in preparation for the 2017 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

Does the yellow clash with your outfits? No problem – the Continental 24 can be had in St. James Red over Black Crystal as well. Better still, Bentley says a monochromatic color scheme is available for no cost.

Massive 21-inch black wheels are accented with either yellow or red, contrasting with carbon fiber mirror caps, black brake calipers, and blackened exterior trim. Inside, carbon fiber extends to the trim, door panels, and treadplates. The cushy diamond-quilted alcantara seats are stitched to match the exterior color, along with an embroidered “Continental 24” logo on the headrest.

Underneath all of this tinsel is a Continental Supersports. The 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 is identical, returning the same 700 hp and 750 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing a 0-60 sprint of just 3.4 seconds and a top speed reaching up to 209 mph.

Sorry, Beverly Hills – this is a Europe-only model. Production is capped at an appropriate 24 units, each priced from an eye-watering $280,600.

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