1A Blog Asks: Top Gear USA – Are You a Fan Yet?

 Top Gear

By now, we have all had some time to fully digest the first season of Top Gear USA, did we like it?  Whoa, whoa! Before getting too far into it, let’s do a quick refresher of what we saw:

Episode 1: We met Tanner, Rutledge, and Adam as a team for the first time.  Then we watched the Viper SRT-10 annihilate the rear tires attempting to escape the apparent wrath of a military helicopter.  Oh, there was also a 3-wide Lamborghini race, and we got to see Buzz Aldrin, who has gone 25,000 mph, but drives cars very slowly.

Episode 2: Tanner raced down a mountain in the new Mitsubishi Lancer EVO, Rutledge gave us a review on the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and V12 Vantage, and I guess we saw the 370Z.  I guess that portion was forgettable for me though because I don’t remember any Nissan in the episode. Dominic Monaghan also made an appearance as a guest.  I would have preferred that they interview the guy that made the awesome coffee table and chairs.  I guarantee he (or she?) is more exciting.  Moving on…

Episode 3: The Boss mustang had a wonderful exhaust note, but who really cared, because we saw a Coupe Deville fly through the air.  The three amigos spit alcohol on a fire and gained boat loads of carisma together.  The ‘shine runner 300ZX, Thunderbird Turbo, and Coupe Deville was a win.  You cannot deny it. Ty Burrell who?

Episode 4: Kid Rock was a big improvement over the last guests, the SVT Raptor roared through the desert with more air time than a rental car.  The El Camino and Del Sol paint ball event was “meh”, and the Gullwing SLS AMG Mercedes looked great, even though Adam’s criticism tried to ugly it.

Episode 5: Episode 5 was the one with the Fiero, Cutlass, and Roadmaster wagon.  Nuff Said. Tony Hawk stopped by to say hello as well.

Episode 6: The Morgan Aero Supersport looked great as always (just don’t look directly at it). Then the three raced from Miami to Key West in the seaplane, boat, and Lotus.  Michelle Rodriguez was the guest, and she could definitely beat me up. Read More

Chevelle SS Hood Pins: Why?

First off, I love Chevelle’s in a very bad way, especially the front end of a 1970, and the back of a 71-72.  Combining those two aspects together would make the ideal A-Body in my mind.  But anywho, that’s not the topic at hand.  I want to know why the heck GM decided that the SS packages so desperately needed hood pins?  Was there really a chance of a hood flying up?  The Chevelle hood weighs in at just less than 400,000 lbs, do you really think it’s going to fly away?  Maybe the latch just wasn’t able to handle the job alone?  Or maybe it was done strictly for the mean muscle car look?  I don’t know, I’m probably alone here, but I just think the hood pins take away from the clean Chevelle hood lines, and they make it look like a factory installed hack job.  Hey, just my 2 cents.

Somebody please school me.

Oh yeah, here are some pictures of an absolutely mint ’70 SS with a 582 cubic inch engine, pushing out ~750hp, through a 5 speed manual transmission at the 1A Auto car show. MMMMMM,

Your Opinion: Most Beautiful American Car Ever Built?

Personally, when I think about beautiful American cars, I always turn my brain right back to the 1930’s.  That was a period in time when cars were endlessly classy and smooth.  They were longer, lower, and more luxurious than any other time in history (my opinion).  Many of them were hand formed by master coach builders using wooden bucks, planishing hammers, and english wheels to shrink and stretch the metal into the right shape.  Not to mention they welded metal panels together with torches (Read: insanely hard), and could make it flat when they were done (…which is even harder).   A good coach builder’s work is absolutely amazing even in raw bare metal form.  Oh yea, so if I had to pick the most beautiful American car, I would likely go with an old coach built Duesenburg, like this one built by their in-house shop known as LaGrande.  mmmmm….



In your opinion, what is the most beautiful American car that was ever built?

Picture credit:


Question: Universal Studios Backlot Tour Cars?


Yesterday on Jalopnik, they had a story about Hollywood’s Hidden Parking Lot.  It was really a pretty cool read, and it got me thinking back to when I was about 13 years old.  I remember taking a family trip to Florida, and going on the “Universal Studios Backlot Tour”.   (It is a very vague memory so bare with me.)  I think I was on a trolley sort of thing, and I remember driving by a big parking lot that had a bunch of old movie cars in it.  The only part of the tour that I actually remember was the row of faded & damaged blue 1939 Plymouth coupe’s that were from the Roger Rabbit movie.  With a quick search of Google, I actually found an old picture of them.  Gosh I would love to have one of them.  Even the one with the missing roof!  Like most cars from 39-41, they just have great lines.

My question to you is:  Does anybody know if these cars are still there?  Got pictures? What else is there with them?  Bonus Points if you can find them on Google Earth! (I tried and failed.)

Photo by Jeff Lange, Found on:


Must Have Automotive Apps?

Ok, I have accidentally smashed almost every cell phone that I have ever owned.  I certainly don’t try to, but I’m constantly rolling around under cars, sandblasting, painting, washing, burning, and hammering things.   My environment is just not conducive to cellular phone usage.  Recently my service contract was up, and I had to make a decision.  Do I stay in my simple world without internet on my phone? OR Do I wake up to modern technology and get a phone that has internet, cool apps, and a variety of other gadgets?  I weighed out all the options and questioned some friends on phone durability.  I then jumped into the wide world of modern technology with a new Blackberry Bold. Wow!  Some of my friends tried to convince me to go with the Droid, which does look like an awesome phone, but I decided that it never stood a chance at surviving my automotive lifestyle.  I knew that I could get an Otterbox case for the Blackberry, and one of my friends has put his to the test with a 40 foot drop onto pavement, without damage.  So, mine shooould survive for a while as well.

This brings me to the point of this blog.  What apps does an automotive enthusiast like myself need for their Blackberry?  I know the flashlight is useful, but I don’t even know what else to look for!?  I realize that I could hop on Google and get recommendations from people I don’t know.  I would rather get the info from the absolutely awesome readers of the 1A Auto Blog.

What are the MUST HAVE Automotive apps?

Full disclosure: The Apple I-Phone pictured above was owned by a co-worker and was hit with a poorly (?) guided golf ball from about 50 yards.  The phone was resting “safely” in a golf cart cup holder with a pair of sunglasses keeping it company.  Then it happened, DRIVE! > POW! > SMASH! > CYA!  Just imagine those odds!

What Car Will You Buy When The Price Drops?

Recently, I talked about my deep rooted relationship with Cadillac Cateras.  In that post we learned how truly “special” they are, but we never touched upon their evolution into the CTS.  Yes, the CTS is in fact an acronym for Catera Touring Sedan.  Ouch! Don’t worry though, they aren’t really the same car…..well….sorta.  In 2003 the CTS still had the same heart, soul, and terrifyingly – awful engine as the Catera.  After that year though, Cadillac strapped on their game face and abandoned that awful drivetrain for good.  In walks 2004, oh hello there!, we now have a……….wait for it…… 400hp LS6 engine option. (queue – the sound of angels….  ooooaahhhhhh..)

This brings me to the point of this whole post.  I want to buy a Cadillac CTS-V, badly.  When the CTS-V price drops to an absurdly low level, I’m getting one.  Come to think of it, I don’t care if the car has been wrecked, recovered theft or sunk in a river. I want it, as long as it’s cheap.  I want 6 gears to shift into manually, I want rear wheel drive, I want big brakes, and obviously a big LS V8.  I would likely end up stuffing so much forced induction onto the engine that it would spit my rear end gears out at every set of lights. That’s ok though, because I will do it in high class Cadillac fashion.

What will you buy?

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