Tag Archives: Hemi

2018 Chrysler 300S

Chrysler 300S defines modern American iron … 

2018 Chrysler 300S
Photo by Robby DeGraff

Looking for the modern definition of American iron?

Search no further than Chrysler’s 300 full-size luxury sedan. It is handsome, strong-jawed American iron with an attitude and the horsepower to kick the you-know-what out of any other large sedan, and that’s just in its basic trim. Continue reading 2018 Chrysler 300S

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2017 Lexus GS F

Lexus GS F is a NASCAR wannabe in street clothes … 2017 Lexus GS F

            Unless your name is Hellcat or you sport some semblance of racing stripes and a hood scoop you’re not supposed to gurgle and pop with power if you’re simply a luxury sport sedan.

Ah, but the Lexus GS is everything from a fine luxury sedan to a NASCAR wannabe, a racer in street clothes.

A base GS 200t, you see, is equipped with a 241-horse 2.0-liter I4 that’s turbocharged. Oh that’s nice and sporty in its own way and a potential Lexus owner that’s pushing the limits of his home equity loan to snag one will shell out roughly $47 grand and change.

But there are so many other choices, two more engines and a hybrid model too. So say sayonara to that base model if you want to light up the tires and thumb your nose at German luxury sedans, or domestic muscle too. The tested GS F, or F Sport model is the sharp end of the GS line and it’ll flat out fly.

Reason?

No, it’s not a HEMI, but the Lexus has a sexy sounding V8 that’ll nearly put the roughly 4,000-pound sedan into orbit. The numbers are this, 5.0-liter V8 creating 467 horsepower and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. Don’t go pooh-poohing that because your Vette or Hellcat has more ponies. With its modest weight and a dandy drive mode system that allows you to go from Normal to Sport or Sport+, you’ll suddenly find the GS turning surly.2017 Lexus GS F

I was expecting good power, but punched the console’s drive mode button just as I was pulling onto the freeway and the rear-drive GS twitched its tail and rocketed up to, er, well, more than the standard highway speed before I was halfway down the entry ramp. Haven’t had this much fun since my last Vette drive, and that’s been a while. Continue reading 2017 Lexus GS F

2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Packcharger1

            There’s no reason to be coy when addressing the strength of Dodge’s new Charger R/T Scat Pack. That’s Pack with a P as in Power.

No this is NOT the Hellcat with its ridiculous 707 horsepower. This is the macho family sedan, the four-door with 485 throbbing HEMI V8 horses under its hood with a bulge big enough to let you know it has a pair, er, a 6.4-liter 392 cu.in. engine in its bay.

This is Dodge’s second most powerful V8, just behind the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 in the Hellcat. But heck, let’s not talk about Hellcat and its $64,990 price tag here. That’s for the rich folks.

Related Video: Hop in with Mark as he drives a Hellcat at Road America.

The R/T with the Scat Pack package starts at a more family friendly $39,995. That’s right, Buster, this Charger is under $40gs and still will kick your neighbor’s BMW or Audi to the curb with a guttural V8 roar that will let everyone in the neighborhood know who the alpha male is.

I liked it.

Mine was a beautiful bright metallic blue that matches the old Charger blue from the early 1970s. I know because I pulled up next to one at a stoplight. We both did a double-take. Continue reading 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

Die-cast: Auto World 1971 Plymouth Road Runner

1971 Road Runner creates an eyeful of muscle carrr main

American Muscle came in various shapes and sizes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, before the first oil embargo put the nix on giant V-8s and the awesome grumble and power they delivered.

Now Auto World creates a beautiful 1971 Plymouth Road Runner in Petty Blue with white vinyl top (remember those?) in 1:18 scale. This is part of the aptly named American Muscle lineup that retails at roughly $80-85, a good price for this scale considering some 1:43 scale diecast and resin models are approaching that price range.

An advantage here too is that the doors, hood and trunk all open, so you can easily see the interior, a bright blue in the sample car, plus the well detailed V-8 under its long hood with black Air Grabber scoop.

Road Runners were fast, on- or off-track, and yes, Richard Petty, the King of NASCAR, successfully raced one in 1971. Auto World makes that one too. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World 1971 Plymouth Road Runner

Die-cast: 1970 Plymouth Superbird

AutoWorld delivers detailed Superbird

The nearly fluorescent candy colors that Plymouth and Dodge bathed their late 1960s and early ’70s cars in still grab you when you catch a glimpse today. Heck, this bright neon green AutoWorld 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird stirs memories of psychedelic pinwheels on TV’s then popular “Laugh-In.”Superbird-02

I’m dating myself and the collectors who’ll really appreciate this nicely detailed Superbird, complete with the cartoon Road Runner logo on its magnificent towering rear wing and another on the flat black headlight door on the car’s streamlined nose.

The Superbird was created to race in NASCAR and followed on the heels of Dodge’s Charger Daytona, which debuted in 1969. Both had a big rear wing to create down force and a wedge-shaped nose to aid aerodynamics and allow the car to slip through the air more quickly.

But at the time, to race a car, the automakers had to sell the same body style to the public, whereas now NASCAR’s racers are everything, but stock. So in 1970 Plymouth introduced the Road Runner-based Superbird for the racetrack and made 1,920 of the high-winged birds for the street. But it was one and done, the Superbird only flew out the showroom doors in 1970.

The details:

AutoWorld has mastered making U.S. muscle cars at very competitive prices so you can collect as many of your favorite makes as you want. Continue reading Die-cast: 1970 Plymouth Superbird

2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman 4×4

A real bare bones work truck with a Hemi 

Pickups used to be for farmers, builders and such, tradesmen if you will. That was before we all decided we need pickups just to drive around town taller than the rest of the world and to haul sod, peat moss and soccer players on weekends.2012 Ram Tradesman pickup

Well Chrysler, under the guise of its truck brand, Ram, thought tradesmen needed a good solid low-cost truck. Voila! The 2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman 4X4 in basic white, the most popular color for vehicles in the U.S. market.

This is a bare bones workers truck with standard cab and comes with a 4.7-liter, 310-horse V8. Base price for a 2-wheel drive standard cab pickup, with RamBox cargo system is $22,125. An even more basic model without the RamBox system, which entails two giant toolbox bins built into each side of the cargo bed, is $21,125 and that’s with a 6-foot 4-inch bed that’ll hold a sheet of plywood. Continue reading 2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman 4×4