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Friday
Feb122016

M1 Concourse: One More Reason to Win the Lotto

By Christopher A. Sawyer

I pulled into the parking lot of the multi-color old building at the corner of Woodward Avenue (a.k.a. “M1”) and Rapid Street, and parked in the first line of spots near the sidewalk. Parked a row behind me was a black GMC Denali with some guys inside. I made note of their presence, and remained wary as I walked up to the purple door at the back of 34 Rapid St., pressing the doorbell and waiting for someone to let me in. Nobody came to the door.

That’s when a voice from inside the Denali called out, “Are you Chris?” As I walked over, the person in the driver’s seat said, “This is my office.” If it hadn’t been for the activity taking place across the appropriately named Rapid St., I would have thought this was a clandestine meeting to sell government secrets, smuggle contraband, or buy counterfeit Gucci handbags. You know, the kind where they replace the second “c” with and “h” and charge less than half of what it costs to buy the real thing. (It’s a safe purchase as long as the recipient can’t spell…)

“Are you Brad?,” I asked as I walked toward the passenger side front door, stopping to take a look at the construction site across the street. I had been here seven months before during the Dream Cruise, following Woodward Ave. into the depressed and dusty outskirts of Pontiac, Michigan, in order to see the site on which the latest automotive country club would be built. At the time, it was nothing more than a fenced-off area enclosing 87 acres and filled with neat stacks of old, thick, broken slabs of concrete. It was immediately apparent that a lot of work — a lot — had to be done to bring this idea to reality. This project was going to take years, and yet, just seven months later, I was about to tour the facility.

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Friday
Jan292016

Nissan Debuts Titan XD Accessories


Nissan recently showed a number of factory accessories now available for the 2016 Titan XD, many of which are designed to work with the Utili-track bed channels and cleat system. They are:

  • Titan Boxes
  • Sliding Tool Box
  • Bed Tent
  • Sliding Bed Divider
  • Lockable Rear-Seat Cargo Organizer with Fold-out Flat Floor
  • Weight-distributing Hitch Ball Mount and Hitch Ball (Class IV)
  • Chrome Step Rails, Running Boards and Running Board Lighting
  • Water-resistant Seat Covers
  • Splash Guards and Tailgate Guard
  • Fog Lights


Rather than bore you with words to explain these items, here is a little video Nissan produced that shows them all in use. — CAS


Friday
Jan292016

Ground Effect Returns to Goodwood

By Christopher A. Sawyer

On March 19-20, 2016, the Goodwood Member’s Meeting will be host to late 1970s and early 1980s ground effect F1 cars. The list of cars invited to participate in the event include every ground effect Lotus, the Ferrari 312T5, Brabham 49C, Williams FW07 and FW08, as well as cars from Ensign, Fittipaldi, Osella and Wolf. More than 30 ground effect F1 cars are expected to participate.

The ground effects revolution started with the introduction of the Lotus 78 in 1977, though it could have begun nearly a decade earlier. In his book, Colin Chapman: Inside the Innovator, author Karl Ludvigsen recounts how Tony Rudd and Peter Wright began investigating ground effects in late 1968 while both were at BRM. Technical chief Rudd wanted a way to produce downforce that would not require the fragile high-mounted wings then in use. A number of spectacular failures of these devices led the FIA to ban them, but Rudd was certain team aerodynamicist Peter Wright could find a way to produce high levels of downforce without separately mounted wings.

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Friday
Jan292016

An Unexpected Option

At first glance, this one doesn’t make much sense. Ford Performance is offering a back seat package for the GT350R, the track-ready, two-seat version of the already potent GT350. Trimmed in the same Alcantara material with red piping as the front seats, the back seat kit comes standard with the factory restraints found in the GT350.

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Friday
Dec112015

Nothing Succeeds Like Excess

Rolls-Royce may have 130 dealers, but it will build only 15 of these cocktail hampers. Hand-crafted over an eight-week period from American walnut and natural grain leather, the hamper was designed by Sina Maria Eggl, who consulted with the experts from Dorchester Collection’s London Hotels, The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane as to what was needed to cater to those high-end customers interested in mixing both classic and contemporary cocktails.

Pop open the Navy Blue leather lid and you will find hand-crafted utensils, including a paring knife housed in a recess cut into the walnut and fitted with a magnet to hold the knife in place. The lower section of the box holds a pair of dishes designed for canapés, which sit either side of an ice bucket. Drawers hold recipe cards and cotton napkins, while the upper tier contains Theresienthal cocktail tumblers and decanters, and a shaker. This area is covered in Golden Sand leather and offset with polished aluminum. The glasses take one month to make as they are blown into beechwood molds, hand finished and topped off with a platinum rim. Capping it all is a glass tray that is housed beneath the hamper’s wooden chopping board. According to Gavin Hartley, Head of Bespoke Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, “This beautifully executed cocktail hamper illustrates the marque’s intimate understanding of the desires of the most discerning patrons of luxury in the world; Rolls-Royce customers.” — CAS