By Christopher A. Sawyer
We’ve reviewed products here before, everything from Quixx All Metal Polish to Meguiar’s Clean 16. It's one of the perks of the job. That’s why, when the people at Stoner asked if I’d like to review the company’s Complete Car Care Kit, I jumped at the chance, even though the cars in the parking lot of One TVD Tower are relatively new, undergoing restoration, sitting under a car cover hoping to be restored before Hell freezes over, or on loan from a manufacturer. In other words, they might not be the best subjects. However, intrepidity suggested brushing off the concerns, and figuring out how best to cross that bridge after I’d burned it.
This explains why there are photographs of a 1997 Simplicity Regent lawn tractor in this review. Said tractor has spent the past 19 years using its 44-in. mowing deck to cut the vast acreage surrounding One TVD Tower, and the snow blade to scrape off the snow and ice that can accumulate on its vast parking area during a Michigan winter. Its is a life of dust and dirt, heat and cold, and few baths to wash off the residue. During that time it has been washed twice and waxed once, each event occurring so long ago as to disappear in the mists of time. Which is why it is the perfect candidate for this test.
By Christopher A. Sawyer
The dictionary defines irony as: "A state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects, and is often amusing as a result." Certainly the £59,999 ($73,854) special edition Harrods Seven is a textbook definition of the word.
The car, which is exclusively on display in the retailer’s Knightsbridge store, is a Caterham Seven unlike any other. It started life as a Caterham 420S, and was put through the Caterham Signature program under the watchful eye of the folks from Harrods. This program allows the customer to select the colors and designs, instrument panel and interior styling, embroidery and even the color of the chassis. The reason for this customization is simple. According to Caterham’s Chief Commercial Officer, David Ridley, “A Caterham Seven isn’t a car you need to buy, it’s a car you buy because you want it. As such, we believe you should make it your own in every way.” Obviously the, “We make a boat load of cash when you do so,” is inferred.
Ford Performance has introduced performance calibration kits for 2015 and newer Mustang V8 and EcoBoost models. Each is 50-state compliant, will not void the vehicle’s warranty, provide real power gains, and are available for manual or automatic transmission models.
The EcoBoost motor’s calibration kit increases both torque and horsepower significantly. It pumps the 2.3-liter four’s output from 310 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque to 335 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. This, however, doesn’t tell the whole story. Gains are available throughout the powerband, with an average gain of 40 horsepower and 60 lb.-ft. from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm, and an average increase of 75 horsepower and 64 lb.-ft. from 5,500 rpm to redline. Even more amazing is the 100 hp increase at 6,000 rpm.
The Mustang V8, on the other hand, gets three performance calibration kits. The first, which includes a high-flow air filter, bumps output by 13 hp and 16 lb.-ft. Move up a step, and you get a cold air intake, 87-mm throttle body, and an intake adapter from the GT350 that includes an open air filter. This package increases engine output by 21 hp and 24 lb.-ft. over stock. But it is the third kit that changes the pony car’s nature.
The third performance upgrade adds just 5 lb.-ft. of torque, but a stout 37 horsepower gain with the rpm raised to 7,500 rpm. Like the other V8 upgrades, it has a no-lift shift facility on manual-equipped cars to allow shifts without lifting off the throttle. On all the kits — EcoBoost and V8 — the automatic-equipped cars get optimized performance shift schedules as part of the package.
The kits are currently available from Ford Performance Parts — CAS
The Lister Motor Company introduced its limited edition Stirling Moss edition Lister Knobbly at Pebble Beach this past weekend. Priced at $1 million plus tax, the magnesium-bodied car is built to the special lightweight specification run by the Lister works cars in the 1950s. Unfortunately, none of the factory race cars survive.
In addition to a hand-formed aluminum body, the Moss edition cars feature a magnesium engine sump, clutch and differential housing. Each of the 10 cars will be painted green with yellow stripes, the factory color scheme raced by Moss at Silverstone in 1958. There’s also a solid sterling silver number plaque with Stirling Moss’s signature engraved on the front, alongside the number of the car. No more than 10 will be built, and several deposits were taken at Pebble Beach. Each of the owners will meet with Moss at the factory to take delivery of their car, and receive a personal welcome letter from the former driver.
By Christopher A. Sawyer
When I was growing up, gas-powered go karts were all the rage; their single-cylinder Briggs and Stratton engines chugging away behind your head, and a rudimentary steel tube frame tying everything together. Against the clock they weren’t quick, nor did they have a high top speed, but they felt like rockets as you skimmed along the ground imaging yourself to be Jim Clark or a young Mario Andretti.
Things have changed dramatically since then, and the idea of a kids go kart has all but disappeared form the scene. With “helicopter” parents the norm, the idea of a youngster racing along in a self-propelled vehicle is enough to drive them to apoplexy. Plus, will these kids needs the driving skills that can be learned in a future of self-driving car?