Iconic Movie Cars – The Italian Job – 2003 Mini Cooper

July 25th, 2014 by Ed Pol

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Welcome back everyone to another installment of Iconic Movie cars! Sorry for the bit of the hiatus but we have been quite busy. This week’s movie is The Italian Job (2003) and the 2003 Mini Cooper that was moded to steal quite a bit of gold, actually 3 Mini Coopers were moded in the movie. The movie was about a team of thieves 112_0806_09z+movie_cars+mini_cooper_the_italian_job[1]who plan to steal gold from a former associate who double-crossed them. Most of the film was shot on location in Venice and Los Angeles.

The plot involves your normal betrayal in a movie and the usual “I’m going to get you back” type of story-line. Steve double crosses the group after a gold heist and leaves them for dead. A year later Charlie finds out that Steve is living in L.A. and starts to plot on how to get the money back. The gang devises a plan to get 3 small cars to drive through his house in order to quickly steal the gold. Those cars were the 3 2003 Mini Coopers that were updated with mods to make them quicker and to make them carry the amount of weight that the gold will add to the trunk of the car. With the driving through the house plan falling through, they end up blowing a hole in a busy L.A. street in order to steal the gold from an armored truck and drive the Mini’s through the L.A. subway system.

In 2001 the Mini Cooper was the first model on the new generation of Mini. It was available in a Cooper and Cooper S model. 2003_mini_cooper-1It sported a 1.6L engine that had an option for a supercharger and the S after the cooper is what signified that. The Cooper heritage was further emphasized with the John Cooper Works (JCW) range of tuning options that are available with the Mini. Mini also created a one-off racing model of the Mini Cooper S named the Mini Cooper S Works. This car had many extra features that would help to improve performance, such as a racing exhaust and high performance air filter as well as an upgraded suspension. The car also had one-of-a-kind 17 inch racing wheels.

I have never driven a Mini Cooper before but I know a few people that have own them. One of them being a taller than average person and he would surprise me when he would tell me he had so much room to fit in his car, granted no one would be sitting behind him but he was able to fit in it and be comfortable. These cars do look like a ton of fun to drive and they seem like little go karts zipping around. In the movie they made this car even more desirable by putting Charlize Theron behind the wheel and of course all the upgrades they did to the car and the locations where they were driving it.

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Traveling with your dog this summer

July 24th, 2014 by Dan Tole


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Keeping your dog safe and secure in your car is important whether you’re just going for a quick trip around town or on a cross country summer adventure. An unrestrained dog can become a potential hazard and a serious distraction.

In 2011 AAA and Kurgo conducted an online survey of 1000 dog owners and found that 84 percent of survey takers allowed their dogs to roam freely in the car and 65 percent admitted to being distracted by their dog while driving. So, here are a few tips to keep you and your pup safe this summer:

Don’t put a pet crate on the front seat; airbag deployment could be fatal to your dog in an accident

Don’t leave your dog in your parked car, car temperatures can rise quickly in the heat and heat stroke can happen in minutes

If you’re transporting your pooch in a small pet carrier the best place for it is on the floor between the front and rear seats, if it was designed for use with a seatbelt then go ahead and put it on the backseat restrained with the seatbelt.

Make sure the tag attached to your dog’s collar has your correct information including a cell phone number.

Take a minute to learn of a vet in the area of your destination, also keep a pet first aid kit and health records should there be an emergency.

Before you set out on the road take a few minutes and do a little research on the best way to restrain your dog in your vehicle, there are many choices for harnesses some of which have been crash tested.

Have fun and stay safe on the roads this summer.

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Iconic Movie Cars – Transformers – 2006 Chevrolet Camaro Concept (Bumblebee)

June 27th, 2014 by Ed Pol

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Robots in disguise…  You got it right! This weeks iconic movie car is Bumblebee from the movie Transformers! We will be talking about the 2006 Chevy Camaro. I know that Bumblebee has had a few adaptations from the comics to the animated movies, however the ones I grew up loving was the Volkswagen Beetle Bumblebee! In the movie Bumblebee first appears as a 1977 Camaro, which has rust and primer spots all over, obviously a work in progress but after Bumblebee hears a comment about his looks he scans another Camaro driving down the road and comes back as the hot looking 2006 Chevy Camaro Concept car.2010-chevrolet-bumblebee-camaro-hd-wallpaper-for-desktop

Chevy had to make a one-off concept for the movie because the car did not come out until 2007. The body panels were used from the same molds that were on the 2006 concept car and the body was fit to a chassis of a Holden Monaro to make it capable of performing in the movie.

The fifth-generation Chevy Camaro is a Canadian manufactured muscle car produced by General Motors and marketed in the USA under the Chevrolet name. Production of Camaros started in 1967 and ended in 2002, after a long hiatus production started on the Camaro in March 16th, 2009. It went on sale in April 2009 for the 2010 model year. The Camaro was made available in five different trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT, 1SS AND 2SS. Each trim level powered by different motors. The cars also came with a couple of different transmissions, 6 Speed auto or a 6 speed manual. The LS and LT trim levels are powered by the 3.6 L (3,564 cc or 217 cu in) GM LLT V6 producing 312 hp (233 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 273 lbf·ft (370 N·m) at 5,200 rpm. The SS with manual transmission is powered by the 6.2 L (6,162 cc or 376 cu in) GM LS3 V8 producing 426 hp (318 kW) at 5,900 rpm and 420 lbf·ft (570 N·m) at 4,600 rpm while the SS with automatic transmission is powered by a new variant of the LS3 called the GM L99 which produces 400 hp (300 kW) at 5,900 rpm and 410 lbf·ft (560 N·m) at 4,300 rpm.

6299217843_3f1b363bfa_zOn July 22nd, 2009 GM Announced a Transformers Special Edition appearance package for the 2010 Camaro. The $995 appearance package can be applied to LT and SS Camaros with or without optional RS Package and could only be applied to order made in the Rally Yellow exterior scheme. The package includes an Autobot shield badge on the driver and passenger side panels underneath the camaro nameplate, the shield was on each center wheel cap, and embroidered on the interior center console. The transformer logo also was on the sill plates replacing the “Camaro” labeled plates, and high-gloss black center rally stripes with the transformers ghost logo embedded, resembling the Bumblebee Camaro. 1,916 units were produced with this package.

The movie really made this Camaro pop out to me and at the time I really wanted one of these! Especially with the transformers package! One problem was that recently I went to the auto show in Hartford, Connecticut and I sat in one. I have to say it was honestly horrible, the roof was cut so low and your visibility was horrible! Not what I expected for such a nice car. If you don’t have to sit in it the car is really nice but once you get in the car it does nothing for me and it wasn’t comfortable at all. But hey every car is not for everyone! See you next week for another Iconic movie car!

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Iconic Movie Cars – Dumb and Dumber – 1984 Ford Econoline

June 20th, 2014 by Ed Pol

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Want to hear the most annoying sound in the world? No? I didn’t think so; neither did Mike Starr who played Joe Mentalino in the movie Dumb and Dumber. Harry and Lloyd had one hell of an adventure cross-country in the customized 1984 Ford Econoline van known with a sign on the side called Mutt Cutts. The set up for the movie 968full-dumb-&-dumber-screenshotstarted when Lloyd was driving Mary Swanson (Holly) to the airport and she leaves behind a brief case. Lloyd realizes the plane has left already so then Lloyd is hell bent on returning the briefcase to her and maybe catch a date in the process! Harry Dunne is Lloyd’s childhood friend and they jump in his Mutt Cutts van and start their trek and thus so begins a movie that inspired an animated cartoon, a 2003 prequel and a sequel to be released in November 2014.

The 16 year span of the Econoline style started from 1975 – 1991. For the new generation the Econoline was given a ground-up redesign using a new platform. The engine was moved forward and the hood was lengthened and flattened to give the driver and passenger a bit more room up front. The van was sold with two wheel bases and three different body lengths. The standard Econolinemutt-cutts-sheepdog-truck1 had a 138-inch wheelbase, the longest until 1990. The van stayed mostly unchanged except, in 1979 a minor facelift was performed adding a new grille. Square headlights replaced the round ones in 1983. The Econoline was sold with a few different engines: 300 CID I6, 302 CID Windsor V8, 351 CID Windsor V8, 460 CID 385 V8, 6.9 L Navistar diesel V8, and 7.3 L Navistar diesel V8. With 4 transmission types offered: 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic.

Dumb and Dumber came out in 1994 and I still remember going to the movies and laughing so hard at some of the jokes Lloyd and Harry came up with. Once thing I can remember and will most likely never forget is when the two of them finally make it to Aspen on a scooter with frozen snot all over their faces and of course being stuck together because of another disgusting thing that I care not to mention here! I haven’t seen the movie in years but I did watch the new trailer for Dumb and Dumber Two and it looks like it will hold up to the hype but of course only time will tell! Let’s hope it turns into another cult classic like the first one! See you next week for our next Iconic movie car.

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Iconic Movie Cars – The Fast and the Furious – 1994 Toyota Supra

June 13th, 2014 by Ed Pol

 

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“I live my life a quarter mile at a time” and if I was driving the 1994 Toyota Supra from The Fast and the Furious it would be one hell of a quarter mile. The Fast and the Furious was released in 2001 and was loosely based on a magazine article titled “Racer X”. Street racer Dominic Toretto and his crew are under suspicion  for hijacking tractor trailers and stealing expensive electronic equipment. Brian O’Conner is an undercover cop trying to figure out who is stealing the equipment. During the course ofi002671 the movie Brian races for pink slips and owes Dom a 10 second car, later on Brian shows up with a run down and beat up Supra in which the team rebuilds into a 10 second car. One great scene is when Brian and Dom are driving around testing the car on its maiden voyage and running diagnostics, they pull up to a guy in a Ferrari and start an impromptu race and of course the Supra smokes the Ferrari.

In the movie Jesse refers to spending $15,000 -$20,000 to get the car to the 10 second car Brian promised. In reality there was over $80,000 put into the car in the movie. The Supra in the movie featured a twin-turbo 2,997 xx Toyota 2JZ-GTE I6 capable of producing 544 bhp after heavy modification. Performance statistics on the car: Max engine speed fast_furious_5007,770 rpm’s, 0-60 mph 3.3 sec, 0-100 7.2 sec, ¼ mile time 9.2 sec at 185 mph, Top speed 210 mph, Slalom Time 65 mph, and the curb weight 1200KG. The engine performance and work done to it is as follows: Turbonetics T-66 ball bearing turbo, F-trim compressor built by Performance Factory, Turbonetics Delta II Wastegate, RPS Stainless steel/HTC coated custom header, 100 HP Nitrous Oxide System by NOS, AEBS TurbDownpipe, GReddy front mount intercooler, GReddy Power Extreme exhaust system, GReddy Pro-Fec B Boost Controller, GReddy Power Pulleys, GReddy Oil Cooler Kit, GReddy TurbTimer, GReddy Boost, EGT, Oil Pressure and Water Temp gauges, GReddy Airinx Intake, GReddy steering wheel-mounted boost remote control device, GReddy Cam Gears, APEXi Blowoff valve, HKS Vein Pressure Converter, HKS Graphic Control Computer, HKS Injector Pulse Mo11 lb. Billet Flywheel, Powerhouse Racing ported/polished throttle body (traction d, fuse cover, relay cover, cruise control cover, ignition module cover and all brackets).

1993-2002 Supra is the last of its generation and as of this writing Toyota has not started making any more. With this version of Supra, Toyota took a big leap in the direction of a more serious high-performance car, using parts from its higher end Lexus models. It came stock with two different engines, the Toyota 2JZ-GE naturally aspirated 220 HP motor and it also came with a Twin Turbo 2JZ-GE motor that produced 276 HP stock.  This generation received a new 6-speed Getrag/Toyota V160 gearbox on the turbo models. The naturally aspirated motors came with a 4-speed auto or 5-speed manual. Toyota also took measures to reduce weight of the car, Aluminum was used for the hood, targa top (when fitted), front cross member, oil and transmission pans, and the suspension upper A-arms.

supra_ff_w308When this movie was released it was a great movie, I think I watched it a few times. There was nothing better than watching all of the street racing and hot cars racing. I remember that after this movie everyone in my area started buying eclipses and doing work to them to make them look like the one in the movie. The movie is as cheesy as it gets now and the series is still running but I will still watch any of the movies any time I catch them on T.V. just because. We are waiting for the next one to come out but after the terrible accident which was Paul Walkers unexpected death the movie was put on hold. But take the movies as a grain of salt and go into watching them for the pure enjoyment of seeing awesome cars then you will have a good time!

 

When this movie was released it was a great movie, I think I watched it a few times. There was nothing better than watching all of the street racing and hot cars racing. I remember that after this movie everyone in my area started buying eclipses and doing work to them to make them look like the one in the movie. The movie is as cheesy as it gets now and the series is still running but I will still watch any of the movies any time I catch them on T.V. just because. We are waiting for the next one to come out but after the terrible accident which was Paul Walkers unexpected death the movie was put on hold. But take the movies as a grain of salt and go into watching them for the pure enjoyment of seeing awesome cars then you will have a good time!

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Iconic Movie Cars – Ghostbusters – 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Hearse

June 5th, 2014 by Ed Pol

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Who are you going to call? Ghostbusters! Yeah that is right, this week’s iconic movie car is the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Hearse that was featured in the movie and the Ghostbusters main mode of transportation it was also known as Ecto-1. The car would hold their proton packs, Ecto Goggles, P.K.E. Meters and a bunch of traps to capture ghosts. The car went through quite a journey between the two movies. There were a total of 3 cars, 2 for the first movie and a 3rd for the second movie. The first ecto-1one was modified to make it look as it did in the movie, a second was brought in incase of problems but was left un-modified and used for early shots when the movie was going through the transformation of the car. In the second movie the car was named Echo-1a and added a Super Slammer Muon Trap on the roof that would enable to Ghostbusters to capture smaller ghosts much quicker than the portable versions, it also added the possibility of capturing much larger ghosts.

In previous drafts of the movie Ecto-1 was supposed to be a 1975 Cadillac Ambulance, but by the time the final script was written, the price had escalated to $1400 for an even older 1959 model. During filming, inflation increased the cost to $4800. In the second movie Ecto-1 was backfiring and spewing smoke, this was not done by special effects as the Cadillac was in a poor state of repair. The car died on the Brooklyn Bridge and the NYPD fined the filmmakers because there are no breakdown lanes on the bridge. Ecto_02

In 1954, Wayne Works of Richmond, Indiana – a large school bus producer – purchased the Meteor Motor Car Co of Piqua. On March 19, 1956 Wayne announced the acquisition of another Ohio professional car builder, the A.J. Miller Company of Bellefontaine, Ohio. Under this new conglomerate, the company would not be called Miller-Meteor. From day one Miller-Meteor built on the Cadillac commercial chassis and the first coaches debuted in 1957. In 1958 there was a record breaking single order for 40 funeral cars, In 1962 the company was the largest manufacturer of funeral cars and ambulances on the Cadillac chasses; sales broke all records. The car originally retailed for around $11,000 and it was equipped with an 8 Cylinder cast iron block, V8 with 310HP.

After reading all about this car I have kind of grown fond of its unique look.  This is no compact car that much I can tell you. This thing is a “Boat” and very bubbly, it had that normal 1959 look that we are used to, the “bubble” look. But as I read about it and looked into it the car grew on me and I sit here and think about what it would be like to drive one of these things around town? It would be a blast to just cruise around. I grew up with the movie Ghostbusters and watched it every time it was on T.V. I loved hearing the siren going off and the guys jumping into Ecto-1 screeching around corners to make it to their next ghost busting gig. The music was catchy and the movie was great! But of course Ecto-1 was what it was all about, it was their chariot and it was awesome!

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