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March 01, 2014

Saturday Car Thread 03/01/14 - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse & Countrysquire]

Welcome to the Go Fast edition of the car thread.

Today we bring you some race action, a lesson well-learned, the world's fastest production car, Countrysquire writes about the new standard for hypercars, along with all the usual features you've come to expect from your Saturday car chat.

What would a car thread be without mention of the greatest event in motor sports? Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the winner of last week's Daytona 500. It was an exciting race and a fantastic win for Dale Jr, his second win at Daytona. We'll get into more detail about the race during the NASCAR thread tomorrow but, for now, here's Junior taking the checkered flag.

Congrats to Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his big win.

Speaking of NASCAR drivers, what happens when a car blogger is openly skeptical about the authenticity of a Jeff Gordon ad? This is what happens:

BTW, the blogger is standing by his original story.

Moronette Y-not was kind enough to provide a lead on this Go Fast story: An American manufacturer has broken the record for World's Fastest "Production" Car. Kind of.

John Hennessey is a Texas boutique builder who believes that if more is better, too much is almost enough. The superlative Venom GT is a 1,244-horsepower monster fashioned by stretching a Lotus Exige, then stuffing it with a 7.0-liter Corvette ZR-1 engine with a pair of turbochargers. For those looking to own this kind of insanity, a Venom GT starts at $1.2 million.

That price is a bargain compared to Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport, the other supercar in the ongoing race for the top speed record. Hennessey and Bugatti have been competing for years, with bragging rights going back and forth between their headquarters in Houston and Alsace, France. This latest round occurred on Valentine’s Day, when Hennessey’s crew and the independent speed recorders from Racelogic descended on the 3.2-mile landing strip at Cape Canaveral. By the end of the day, Smith had made a GPS-verified run of 270.49 mph (435.31 km/hr).

The video is a bit over-the-top, but it's quite something.

The 1990s. Yeah, what a decade. From a blurry telescope to flavored cigars, it sucked in so many ways. But it wasn’t all bad. Nirvana reminded us that rock music is about more than flashy videos and this internet thing got a little momentum working. Also, McLaren introduced the greatest sports car the planet has ever seen, the F1. Introduced in late 1992, the F1 was a special car. Carbon fiber was exotic at that time and used extensively. It had 24K gold heat shields in the engine compartment, not unlike the space shuttle. Like a Grand Prix racer, you sat in the center of the chassis. The BMW S70/2 V12 that powered it was so great, that it endured a complete racing season without a rebuild. They took it to LeMans in 1995 and it won the overall victory. Twenty-odd years later, guys like me think that it is still the acme of sports car design, and the fact that they are now worth several times the original $800,000 asking price should be all the evidence that you need.

So who can top the legend? Ferrari has tried with the spectacular Enzo and fell short. The 1000+ horsepower Bugatti Veyron seems like an obvious choice, but it’s way too heavy to be a car that could see motorsport duty. The ‘who’ is the one and only McLaren Automotive and the car is the P1. P1, slang for “pole position”, which is quite ballsy considering McLaren’s 2013 Formula 1 performance. No matter, all reports is that the car is the new benchmark for hypercars. While us Porsche guys have been dreaming about the sublime new 918, McLaren has raised the bar beyond even what the engineers from Stuttgart can create. While I can drone on about how phenomenal this car is, like I’ve actually driven it, you all realize that I’m just another moron, so restraining orders from both McLaren and owners will keep me 500 feet between my ass and sweet, sweet McLaren leather. Viva technology, but I still prefer the naturally aspirated, non hybrid goodness of the F1.

Jeremy Clarkson and Chris Harris have both actually spent some time behind the P1’s wheel, so let’s see what they have to say. [Ed. note: You can skip to the 28:18 mark for Harris' summation, but the entire video, especially the track test, is fantastic.]

Beauty of the Week: Unlike last week’s beauty, the ’63 Corvette Stingray, it didn’t take 50 years for this car to reach a level of hideousness that ought to be illegal. A dozen years after its birth, the fabulous Jaguar XK-E had turned into a Marxist built monstrosity. But screw that thing, let’s talk about one of God’s gifts to the automotive world, the original E Type. How something so perfect was designed by an aerodynamicist and not a stylist is beyond me. Anyway, there’s nothing that I can say that would add much to what has already been written by so many others.

Some hotness for the Moronettes:

And, yes. Ashton Kutcher is hitting it:

Please feel free to send any complaints or commendations to us at Twitter: Nied's Dead Horse and Countrysquire;.

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:32 PM

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