Die-cast: Autoart’s Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Nissan GT-R surprisingly put the engine up front …Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Since the mid-1960s most Le Mans-style prototype racers have put the engine behind the cockpit. Certainly the winning cars have featured this layout.

So it was a surprise in 2015 when Nissan opted to swap that layout, putting its muscular twin-turbo V6 back in front of the cockpit driving the front wheels. The car looked a bit like a spinoff of the Delta Wing, just not quite so radical. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium

Toyota C-HR takes cute, useful and fun to drive to a new level … 2018 Toyota C-HR

Mini has had cute pretty well sewed up among small cars with four doors, but now Toyota has stepped up to the plate with its latest C-HR crossover.

The tested C-HR (cute hot rod?) was the top-level XLE Premium model decked out in a  bright blue paint job with a bright white roof. It’s a fun, economical home run of a car! Continue reading 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium

2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Mazda CX-5 remains a sporty crossover … 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

As the world turns toward an all crossover and SUV automotive market it’s encouraging that the likes of Mazda continues to try and design sharp-looking vehicles that drive more like sports cars than trucks.

This week’s fun four-wheeler is the midsize CX-5 crossover in top-level Grand Touring 4×4 trim and bathed oh so beautifully in Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint. That’ll cost you $595 extra, but it’ll also turn heads. Continue reading 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

2018 BMW M550i xDrive

BMW’s M550i a hot, but sophisticated, rocket! … 2018 BMW 550i xDrive

BMW 5 Series sedans still rock.

I know I about drooled myself silly praising the BMW 530e xDrive I tested about six weeks ago. I lauded it as epitomizing BMW’s motto of The Ultimate Driving Machine, and I still believe that. But …

Along comes its sister sport sedan, the M550i xDrive, and well, my lather has returned. That’s because in place of the silky smooth plug-in hybrid system of the 530e, with its 248-horse twin-turbo I4 and electric hybrid system, the 550 drops in a throbbing V8. Yes, this one has a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that creates — hold on — 456 horsepower. Continue reading 2018 BMW M550i xDrive

2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Muddy Fun

Muddy fun for a Jeep geek

2018 jeep wrangler unlimited, jeep, wrangler, wrangler unlimitedFull disclosure: I’ve been a Jeep guy for a very long time having first driven the SJ Cherokee back in the late 70’s.

I was forwarded on and email from my blogging partner, Mark Savage, who received an invitation from the Jeep people but couldn’t make it to an event. I was all over it and jumped at the chance, along with other media folks, to discover the off roading capabilities on the new JL Wrangler at Cliff’s Insane Terrain Off Road Park in Marseilles, IL.

This latest rendition created a lot of buzz prior to its release earlier this year, maybe even more than the last redesign in 2006.  All kinds of speculation about what the JL would have and maybe not have. No worries off roaders, the Jeep guys were all over this from the start.  Continue reading 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Muddy Fun

Die-cast: Replicarz 1925 Duesenberg Indy 500 winner

Pete DePaolo’s Duesenberg is a beauty … Replicarz 1925 Duesenberg Indy 500 winner

Last time we laid eyes on Replicarz’s 1/18 scale Indy-winning Duesenbergs they were prototypes. Now comes the real deal, and just in time for next month’s 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

Granted Duesenbergs haven’t been ripping up the Speedway recently, but they were a force in the 1920s. And Peter DePaolo may have been the best-known racer of his day, and Duesenberg’s main man too. So this 1925 Indy winner should be the fastest mover of the three winners (also 1924 and 1927) now available. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1925 Duesenberg Indy 500 winner

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1985 March 85C, Indy Winner

Spin and Win Indy 500 winner a beautiful race car …1985 Indy 500 winner, March 85C

The March chassis was a dominant one in Indycar racing during the 1980s, and it was a beautiful racer.

That’s what makes Replicarz’s new 1/18 scale March 85C, the Miller beer-sponsored red and white beauty driven to the Indy 500 win by Danny Sullivan in 1985, such a winner. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1985 March 85C, Indy Winner

2018 Audi Q5 2.0T quattro w/Prestige

New Audi Q5 remains smooth, luxurious …2018 Audi Q5

Evidently once a smooth operator, always a smooth operator.

Audi’s new Q5 compact luxury crossover/sport-ute carries on its tradition of smooth, sporty performance with luxury ladled on for good measure. It’s a bit larger than its predecessor and slightly more fuel efficient too. This is an all-around winner. No wonder the Q5 is Audi’s best-selling vehicle. Continue reading 2018 Audi Q5 2.0T quattro w/Prestige

For the ultimate Green Bay Packer Fan

A complete collection would have this

green bay packers, green bay packer fans, packer fans, cheeseheadsHere in Wisconsin us Cheeseheads love the Green Bay Packers. Want to get on the season ticket list to watch them play at Lambeau Field? Ya right! Get in line behind the other 133,000 that are waiting. So maybe your great great great granddaughter will actually be able to sit in the seats. Just about anything related to the Packers gets snapped up by fans.

In my days covering the team as a sportscaster in Green Bay, I saw all kinds of shrines, even some vehicles that were painted in the team colors, green and gold but never a car owned by a former player like Bart Starr’s 1967 Corvette given to him for being MVP in Super Bowl 1.

Mecum

When Bart Starr and I were on a first-name basis

On some planets what I had was a dream gig. Covering my favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers, when what amounted to a

bart starr, green bay packers, green bay packer coach, packer coach, starr
that’s me on the left looking back. So much hair then.

god, Bart Starr was the coach. Yup, living large as a television sports reporter in Green Bay, WI. Bart was such a super-nice guy even in the face of loosing seasons. In conversations we had outside the locker room, or offices, at the team headquarters, 1265 Lombardi Avenue, he never brought it up, and he knew I was a car guy. Oh I’ve got stories but this blog entry would go on forever.

Will it go to a Packer fan?

Well now that Vette is for sale and will go to the highest bidder May 19th at the Mecum Auto Auction in Indianapolis. The car was built in June of 1967 and finished at the factory in Goodwood Green. Why would it be any other color? It’s changed hands several times over the years and is listed as unrestored with mostly original paint. It

Mecum

also comes documented with the tank sticker stating: Courtesy Delivery – B. Starr. There was no value estimate from Mecum on the listing so I picked up the phone and called. They think this C2 will go in the $200,000-$225,000 range. While I never found a Vette with the identical options, I found a couple that were close. One at Hemmings, listed for $135,000, while BringATrailer.com had listings in the upper $60’s. Man I wish I had the cash.

UPDATE: Generating a high bid of $150,000 the car did not sell at the auction so Cheeseheads, you might get another shot at it.

What’s Bart doing now?

He’s been having a rough couple of years with some serious health problems including two strokes, a heart attack, a broken hip, bronchial and sinus infection. At 84 he had several stem cell treatments and his wife Cherry says he gets better every day.

Evan Siegle/Packers.com

 

 

 

2018 Nissan Titan XD Diesel Pro-4X 4×4

Nissan Titan XD diesel, the locomotive of pickups . . . 2018 Nissan Titan XD

Let’s be honest, all the large heavy-duty pickups are pretty much alike in how they drive and the features they pack. Pricing is also very close.

But some just look more serious than the others and I think of this week’s test truck, the 2018 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X with a Cummins diesel engine 4-wheel drive as a locomotive for the street. Continue reading 2018 Nissan Titan XD Diesel Pro-4X 4×4

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