Posts Tagged ‘Television



24
Mar
11

General Lee vs new Charger

2011 Dodge Charger R/T vs. The General Lee

Dodge’s Latest Against Hollywood’s Greatest

By John Pearley Huffman, Contributor | Published Mar 14, 2011

The only way to do this test right was to recruit an actual General Lee for a test. No, not just a ’69 Charger somebody painted orange to look like the General, but an actual survivor from the set of the TV series. That’s right, a General Lee that was actually used in filming the show, authentic from the top of its haphazardly painted roof to the bottom of its correct American Racing Vector wheels. The real thing.

Not an easy thing to do. Real General Lees were sacrificed for our entertainment. According to Ben Jones, who played Cooter on The Dukes of Hazzard, as well as builders involved with the show, 256 General Lees were used to film the series. Others claim about 321 were used in the series. Regardless of the number, only a handful remain, and they are big-buck collectors’ items.

And so we called Bob Hartwig, a former airline pilot who now works at Cinema Vehicle Services. He’s also a collector of movie and television star cars. Hartwig said yes.

“It’s the only R/T 440 left from the original show,” he explains while removing the straps that hold his prize General Lee to its trailer. “When the show went off the air in 1985 there were still about 17 General Lee Chargers left. They auctioned those off. And I bought this one from the guy who bought it at the auction.”

Jacked up on its rear leaf springs, Hartwig’s General has the attitude we all remember from the series. But get up next to it, and the reality of how Chargers were treated during production of the show is apparent. Hartwig hasn’t restored this car to pristine condition, instead choosing to keep it in as close to the state it was in when filming concluded. There are dents, dings, scratches and enough patina to document this muscle car’s 42 years of hard use, including more than a few drunken dirt road runs after late nights at the Boar’s Nest.

In other words, it’s frickin’ beautiful, and it’s here at California Speedway on a cool February morning ready to take on its shiny new grandchild, the 2011 Dodge Charger R/T.

The General Lee Fantasy
It won’t show up in any marketing research, but the reason anyone will buy a new 2011 Dodge Charger is the fantasy that it’s really the General Lee. It’s the dream of sliding across that big orange hood, leaping in through an open window, drifting across dirt roads, eluding Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane and jumping a 400-foot-wide creek. It’s the dream of freedom, joy, implausible indestructibility and being a Duke boy in Hazzard County.

Actually we’d bet you our last pair of Daisy Dukes that it does show up in the marketing research. But Dodge doesn’t share that with anyone.

Of course there have been Chargers other than the General Lee that have given the name some cultural heft. There’s the 1969 Charger Daytona Big Willie Robinson drove around Los Angeles when he was organizing the Brotherhood of Street Racers. There are the Chargers Richard Petty drove to NASCAR championships in 1973 and ’74. And of course there are all the Chargers that have been featured in movies like Bullitt, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Blade and most recently Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, and that black, blown ’70 Charger that scares Vin Diesel so much in the Fast and Furious movies.

The General Lee is America on a 117-inch wheelbase.

But despite all that, the Charger that matters most is the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard television show that ran on CBS from 1979-’85. It’s the big coupe millions of us grew up watching fly. Millions who have grown up to find themselves smack in the middle of the current Charger sedan’s sales target demographic.

Generally General
According to Hartwig’s estimate, 60 percent of his General Lee’s sloshed-on orange paint is as it was laid on at Warner Bros. The roof’s flag has been replaced, but the “General Lee” lettering above each door is vintage and the “01” graphics on the doors are cracked and fractured. The front bumper is munched, all the plastic pieces show weathering and the interior has been re-dyed. The truth is, back then, the producers of Dukes didn’t see the Chargers they were consuming as collectibles or classics. They were simply disposable props. And they were treated as the throwaways they were. Why waste time trying to get the paint perfect when there’s fresh donuts to be eaten over at the catering truck?

However, original doesn’t mean this can didn’t come ready to run. Hartwig has rebuilt the General’s 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) Magnum V8 so it runs stronger than its original 375 horsepower. It also fires up with roar, as you’d expect, and settles into an appropriate ’60s muscle car idle, complete with just the right amount of rumpity-rump.

And the rest of the drivetrain is in excellent shape, too. Its Torqueflite three-speed automatic and solid rear axle, packing a limited-slip differential and 3.55:1 gears, are a time-tested combination that stood up to anything our test-driver Mike Monticello could dish out.

In sum, it’s a General Lee ready for a really big jump! Only this one never got a chance to commit on-screen automotive suicide.

Not the General
Unlike the General Lee, the 2011 Charger R/T drives into California Speedway under its own air-conditioned, computer-controlled power, wearing “Toxic Orange” paint that’s about as close to the General Lee’s color as the factory currently offers. It’s not really that close; in fact, it’s more ’60s psychedelic than late ’70s kitsch, but it’s a blistering shade anyhow.

There are substantive mechanical changes to the 2011 Charger, but the most obvious tweaks are stylistic. And most of these tweaks are lifted straight off the 1968-’70 Charger.

In silhouette, the 2011 Charger isn’t much different from the four-door sedan that first wore the name as a 2006 model. After all, the 2011 Charger still rides on the same Mercedes-derived LX platform as the ’06 car, still rides on the 120.2-inch wheelbase and the greenhouse is more or less carryover. It’s details like the twin depressions in the hood, the scallops carved into the doors and the double-sided hockey-stick taillights that come over directly from the General Lee-generation Charger.

“I know all those styling bits come over from the old Charger,” Bob Hartwig noted in seeing his General Lee next to the new Charger. “But these cars don’t look anything alike.”

And he’s right. They don’t.

That, however, doesn’t mean that this latest restyling is unsuccessful. The ’06 car was generic; it could have been an Intrepid, Monaco or Coronet. This one, on the other hand, despite those hideous chrome wheels and that silly rear spoiler, looks more like a Charger should. It’s bolder, more aggressive and polarizing.

If you don’t like how this car looks, give it up and go buy a Taurus.

Got the New Hemi
Under the new Charger’s hood is the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which we’ve been praising for years. Now rated at 370 hp at 5,250 rpm and a chunky 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm, it features Chrysler’s fuel-saver technology that shuts down four cylinders for better fuel economy when their power isn’t needed. Um, we wouldn’t be using that fuel saver stuff during this test.

The new Hemi, like the old Hemi, is a pushrod, overhead-valve engine with an iron block, and it has an eager personality thanks to variable cam timing and a stiff 10.5:1 compression ratio. However, with its contemporaries moving on to six-, seven- or eight-speed automatic transmissions, the Charger R/T’s mandatory five-speed box is antiquated.

All-wheel drive is now offered with the R/T package for the first time in 2011, but it makes burnouts and powerslides impossible and should therefore only be purchased by nuns and men named Stacey. Our orange test car, like the General Lee, was driven by its rear wheels, just as Bo, Luke and Cooter would want it.

Orange Peeling
Get past the orange paint and the Confederate battle flag painted on its roof. The essential element in the General Lee’s massive charisma is that it’s a ’69 Charger. And while that second generation of Charger may not be everybody’s favorite muscle car shape, it’s in everyone’s top 10. Make that top five. Even at 42 years old, the old Charger’s perfectly proportioned shape, sweet details, blunt split nose, tunneled rear window and chrome fuel door are timelessly cool. This is America on a 117-inch wheelbase.

Hartwig’s well-aged General Lee, the number registered on its odometer meaningless, did its species proud. The acceleration runs were an exercise in trying to tame wheelspin, but a dab of power braking and a gentle touch had the car ramming its way to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds (5.9 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip). It went on to pummel the quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds at 99.3 mph.

Bud Lindemann’s TV series Car and Track tested the NASCAR-ready 1969 Charger 500 with the 425-hp 426 Hemi and measured its 0-60 time at 6.9 seconds. And the 440 was supposedly down 50 hp from that. So this General’s heart is pumping. We should also give some credit for the additional acceleration to the extra grip of the General Lee’s modern BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires. They measure 225/70R15 out back and 225/70R14 in front, and they’re undoubtedly the only part on the car engineered after Daisy joined the Cougar ranks.

Lindemann’s 1969 mind may have perceived the Charger as a handler, but it really wasn’t. And it still isn’t. The steering is loose, the independent front torsion bar and solid axle on leaf springs rear suspension was outmoded even in 1969. It’s a car built to understeer massively and it does.

On the slalom course the General Lee felt as if it were going to keel over and scrape the numbers off its doors. It managed to barge through the cones at just 56.9 mph. Considering its obstinate behavior during its skid pad orbits, the 0.74g measured there is almost shockingly good.

But the brakes were even worse. Of course there’s no ABS, the front discs are tiny and the General puts 58.7 percent of its 3,699 pounds over its front wheels. So maybe the 181-foot stopping distance shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s still kind of shocking. In everyday driving (and this car will never again be a commuter), the General Lee would be plowing through the front doors of every Starbucks it passed.

Modern Manners
In every measurable dynamic, the new Charger R/T blows away the General Lee — likely to no one’s shock at all. Power brake a bit, let the wheels slip slightly with the traction control system off, and the 2011 Charger R/T gallops to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds (5.1 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip), with the quarter-mile consumed in 13.7 seconds at 102.8 mph. A solid performance by 21st-century standards and impressive in light of the fact that this is a porky 4,315-pound sedan that the EPA rates at 16 mpg in the city and a fine 25 mpg on the highway.

Of course the rack-and-pinion steering has more feel and is much more precise than the General’s. Naturally the new Charger’s all coil-sprung, all-independent suspension is more supple than the General’s. And, naturally, its four 245/45R20 all-season Firestone Firehawk GTV tires produce superior stick.

Yet the new Charger still handles like a Charger. There’s plenty of body lean and loads of understeer through the slalom and on the skid pad. With the stability control off, the 64.1-mph slalom number is sub-middling and the 0.81g generated on the skid pad is modest. An aluminum-block version of the new Hemi could knock a hundred pounds off the nose and improve things.

Both the old Charger and the new one were built to chase the horizon in comfortable cruises, and both do it well. There aren’t many cars at any price that ride better than a new Charger. And there aren’t any cars that look better than a ’69 Charger at cruise.

The Big Jump
The 2011 Charger’s new interior feels high quality from door handle to shifter and steering wheel. It’s a great leap forward for Dodge, and necessary, as every other manufacturer has been improving interior quality. The General Lee’s interior, on the other hand, is dominated by a big roll bar, a lot of beige dye and loads of both wear and tear.

The standards for both comfort and performance have come a long way in 42 years, and even if Bob Hartwig’s General Lee had shown as a pristine, brand-new 1969 Charger R/T 440, the 2011 edition would be the better everyday companion.

But our elevated expectations of comfort and performance have also brought with it a numbing isolation. The new Charger R/T doesn’t have anything even close to the raw mechanical thrills of the General Lee. Get behind the wheel of that massive old orange car and you can feel it rock with the engine’s idle; you can hear the secondaries open on its four-barrel carburetor as you dip into the throttle and your soul jumps even before the exhaust roars. For a few moments you believe the General Lee can fly. And for a few moments there isn’t a better place to be in the world.

Maybe Dodge has already figured out how to engineer that snorting edge into the upcoming 2012 Charger SRT8. But if it hasn’t, it ought to be trying.

Ultimately the faster and better-handling 2011 Dodge Charger R/T is without a doubt the car you want to be in if Roscoe and Enos are on your tail. It’s also more comfortable than the General Lee, safer than the General Lee, more fuel-efficient and it has Bluetooth, satellite navigation and most importantly an iPod hookup so you can listen to your Waylon Jennings collection all day and all night.

But thanks to modern-day safety regulations, emissions regulations, noise regulations, fuel economy standards, focus groups, CAD CAM designs and wind tunnel shapes, the General Lee is just cool in a way the new Charger will never be. And that is why it wins this test.

Yeehaw!  more photos!

01
Mar
11

Banacek AMX 400 aka Phoenix ESV Experimental Safety Vehicle -George Peppard’s Custom Ride!

Banacek (one of the rotating NBC Mystery Movie series)was a short-lived, light-hearted detective TV series starring George Peppard (of A-Team fame) on NBC from 1972 to 1974. It alternated in its timeslot with several other shows but was the only one to last beyond its first season. It was later rebroadcast on A&E Network.

The show had a mixture of humor combined with rather intricate plots. The show was well received by critics and was picked up for a third season. However, before the third season could start production, Peppard quit the show in order to prevent his ex-wife Elizabeth Ashley from receiving a larger percentage of his earnings as part of their divorce settlement! I am sure Banachek would have an old polish proverb for that situation!

There’s an old Polish Proverb that says:

The regularly featured cars in the series were a 1941 Packard 180 with a Victoria body designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin (license plate number 178344) and a 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine.

But for the subject of star cars, there was a customized 1969 American Motors AMX that was built by George Barris. The car first became known  as the AMX-400 but on Banachek it was the “Phoenix – ESV!”

“The Phoenix, a crash-proof ESV (Experimental Safety Vehicle) worth $5million manufactured by RW company. Totally driver-proof safety vehicle. One of the sensational innovations found in this car is a compensator. It is mounted to a small on-board computer system and it automatically corrects skidding and fishtailing caused by oversteer.”  In ONE episode this special prototype car of the future is stolen off of a moving train, and Banacek is called in to solve the mystery!  Below is how the car appeared on the show, with large cardboard bumpers added and a new temporary paint job!

How the car looked when it was the ESV safety car!

Before it was the Phoenix, it had been around awhile.

Front view of the AMX-400

In the late 1960s, Barris teamed up with the American Motors Corporation to produce a bolt-on customizing kit for the AMX that was marketed through AMC dealers. Through this connection, George got his hands on a factory-fresh 1969 AMX and gave it the full Barris treatment.


WHERE IS IT NOW?

When Barris got the AMX 400 back from the show  the paint was removed, and it was restored to its former look. The car went on the road with the International Show Car Association (ISCA) and appeared at every major show around the country. That’s when it got its reputation as the most photographed AMX in the world.

After the car-show tour, the AMX disappeared for a while before turning up in a museum in Nags Head, North Carolina. It was then sold into Tom Monaghan’s Domino’s Pizza collection. When Monaghan only had a few stores, he had red, white, and blue AMC Javelins for delivery cars. When his pizza franchises took off, he built a 244-car collection. Eventually, he decided to sell everything.

Mike and Lin Geary acquired the car in 2003 in relatively sound condition, with a mere 3300 miles on the odometer, and set about refurbishing it. The car was repainted by Tabz Toys in Lan­caster, New York, and Ron Lasker re-created the original pinstriping.

The biggest modification was the chopped top, which came down 4-1/2 inches. In the process, the windshield posts were raked back two inches, and the rear window was inset between the ­”flying buttress” rear ­pillars.

The nose of the custom car was extended 15 inches and given a wild new look with a radical peaked louver grille. Rectangular headlights were hidden behind three bladelike grille bars, while the hood was revamped with twin scoops and a peaked tip that matched the grille bars’ shape.

All four wheel openings were radiused, and custom front bodyside flares were added to match the enhanced rear body character lines.

The rear of the custom car was extended eight inches and reconfigured with a row of 15 louvers that started at the top of the rear window and continued all the way down the trunklid and rear fascia.

A novel taillight system featured a full-width light that glowed green during acceleration, amber during deceleration, and red during braking.

Body details included a wild set of three-inch-diameter side pipes and a pair of competition-style fuel-filler caps. Both filler caps are just for looks; the actual fuel filler door is at the rear of the car.

A two-tone paint scheme in cream-toned Murano Pearl and Rustic Orange cleverly utilized the car’s body lines as color breaks.

The car was then reunited with its creator in Detroit at the ’05 Autorama.  Interest in the car spread quickly, and Geary received an offer to display the AMX 400 at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum’s Hot Rods and Cool Mods exhibit, where it stayed until late 2006.

Geary’s plans for the future include displaying the AMX 400, his ’69 midengine hybrid AMX, and his stock ’68 AMX in a restored car dealership. With that kind of exposure, I think it’s only a matter of time till we see the AMX 400 on TV again; it might be on Barrett-Jackson.

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22
Feb
11

SCC on TMZ at Comikaze Party! Rain, towtrucks and starcar crashes!

Last Friday night in the worst rain and traffic I have been a part of in years, three intreped StarCarCentral.com members braved the weather and conditions to support GAMERS UNITED.

Harvey Levin’s TMZ TV show had a camera crew at the Beverly Hills event for the first L.A. ComiKaze Comic Con party where three SCC members came to support the cause of the night, giving out comic books and video games to sick kids!  Michele Rodriguez was a celebrity guest and was really sweet to all three of us, she loved the cars!

Nate and Paul caught by TMZ

Jon Bumblebee, Paul BTTF, and Nate Knight Rider all braved the rain and REDONKULOUS traffic but all got there before the party and the rain started.  Various camera crews were on hand to cover the party thrown by Regina Carpinelli CEO Comikaze Expo and was held at her art gallery “The Celebrity Vault”  at 345 North Canon Drive Beverly Hills,Ca 90210 that specializes  in celebrity and rock and roll star limited edition photography.

A donation of comic books or cash and an invitation got you into the party, but there was only room for three stars outside: Bumblebee from the Transformers, Back to the future Delorean and KITT from Kinght Rider were parked out in the elements!   The buzz and photography around the cars was non stop through the night, but after a few turns in front of the camera we went next door and the three of us had a New York Style Pizza and caught up on a few stories!  After some more rain and a few more times lighting up KITT for the cameras I decided it was time to go home, as Monster Jam was the next day.  Kitt had other ideas!  It let out a terrible sound and the starter decided it didn’t want to play any more! So what does every good Knight Rider do in that situation? TURBOBOOST!!!!

"TURBO BOOST? I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE START BUTTON!"

Actually, I just called AAA and they sent out a tow truck to take KITT back to the Knight Industries repair truck.

Paul and Jon stayed a while longer while the paparazzi never stopped taking photos of KITT even while being loaded on the truck!

I got KITT safely home, dropped him in the driveway and got the A-Team van out for Monster Jam the next day.   (see previous blog!)

Sadly it was Paul’s turn next to have some bad star car incident, he made it fine to the Monster jam the next day, but on the drive home hit  a stalled truck in the road and tore up the side of his BTTF car!

When you play with your toys, stuff like this happens!  Luckily the F.L.A.G. mechanic was over on Monday (aka Alex!) and had a new starter in KITT in no time flat and we went out for a nice lunch all before noon!  That man has skills and connections! But I don’t think he can get Delorean stainless panels.

Here’s a look at Pauls car before the accident.   I am not sure I want to see what it looks like now! 😦

Paul vows to be all back together and rolling by our next event!  Many of your favorite star cars will be on display in November at www.comikazeexpo.com

TMZ was also at another SCC event but didn’t get any of the Knights of the West Coast on Camera on Valentines day.  A few fans of the Hoff showed up with Knight Rider stories for a new series where stars trade places with celebrities who have their same name!

David Hasselhoff looks different! (click the link to watch the TMZ video)

21
Feb
11

MONSTER JAM AND STARCARS AT DODGER STADIUM PREMIER!

Thanks to Charger Steve, Star Car Central Los Angeles and San Diego Chapters  have been part of the attraction at Monster Jam shows for the last four years. Most shows we drive  a parade lap inside the stadiums for the fans as part of the pre-show.  This year we appeared at three Monster Jam shows in San Diego, Anaheim Stadium and a first time ever at Dodger stadium with different members of the famous television and motion picture car group at each event.

Back in black! Bandit, KITT and the A-team van! I Pity the fool who don't like black star cars!

In the shadow of the famous Dodger Stadium we eventually lined up our cars, hoping the rain would pass over us and we could drive the infield of Dodger stadium!

Our first stop of the day was to gather in the nearby police academy parking lot, not just because it was close and a big open area to gather but also because it was a movie and TV location used many times. Most notably in the opening sequence of “Charlie’s Angels”

So in another instance of “Cross geeking” (tm nate truman 2003) Here’s a shot of Paul’s Back to the Future delorean under the Academy arch!

"1976 pilot shoot of Charlie's Angels! Where's Farrah?"

So we all parked in the historic lot until everyone arrived!

Then we all drove around the stadium, stopping to admire a few closed gates and lined up for the driver’s area display.

'NEW JURASSIC PARK EXPLORER! LOU, WATCH OUT! IT'S BIGGER THAN IT APPEARS IN YOUR SIDE MIRRORS!

We also welcomed Scott with his Jurassic park Explorer for the first time! Everyone agreed he was an easy addition to the SCC team!   Lou was a trooper and came all the way to the event, and after a call from his wife and a look up at the sky made a wise decision and went home! Little did we know what was in store for us!

Charger Steve led us in and lined us up, then lined us up again, then finally got us where he wanted us!

"Rain? What rain?"

Lou was the first to leave of the 15 cars that made it to the stadium. We lost about three cars in the days leading up to the show, and another three before the main event started! It was going to be 20 cars! Darn Rain!

Magnum P.I. Ferrari and Back to the Future Delorean, with Knight Rider bookends!

Jenn’s SPM Kitt lead the display, Paul’s Delorean, Oscar’s Magnum P.I. 308 GTSi Ferrari followed by Alex’s KITT at the start of the row of movie and TV cars. Before the big show started, Oscar and Alex had headed for cover with their cars due to leaks! Thanks for staying for the fans as long as you did!

Herbie the Love bug, Star wars, and James Bond?

Obishawn and Yoda made a mad dash for cover, but Cliff and Justice in their Nascar Herbie and Brian in his James Bond BMW stayed for the show!  (We did have a nice tent city to keep us dry during the worst of it thanks to Mater Mike!)

Next up was the Blues Brothers 2000 police car, and Tony’s perfect Smokey and the Bandit trans am! He even had the T-Tops off for a while!  Tony’s bandit is spot on, even down to the Coors boxes!

This was the first SCC event for Scott and his dad Norm with their Jurassic park Explorer.  We have to get Ari and his Jurassic park jeep together at a future event!

What's that Orange car next to the A-Team van? It should have a sign.

Down at the far end of the display was Jon’s Bumblebee, some orange car Steve brought ( he’s working on a sign so people know what show it’s from. It was a spin off from Smokey and the bandit I think…) and the A-Team van!

Charger Steve's General Lee, and Mr. T's A-team van! (Mr. Truman, that is!)

Due to the rain, most of the owners and drivers of the Star CarCentral.com cars stayed under cover and enjoyed great food and stories in a near by tent city, but the crowds still flocked to the cars to see their favorite movie and TV cars!

Not even pouring rain could keep the fans away from the famous cars!

Towmater and the A-Team, and some contructobot transformers at Starcarcentral.com HQ!

Bringing up the other end of the display was Mike’s Towmater tribute tow truck and Nate’s A-Team van!  Those darn constructobots always are photobombing . They act more like decepticons than Autobots!

Even though the rain thinned the group throughout the day, hats off to all who came! Otherwise we would never have this cool shot of the rain storm with starcars at dodger stadium!

Next up, KITT turboboosts into the Knight Rider repair truck, and Back to the Future has a run in on the freeway on the way home….

14
Feb
11

STARCARCENTRAL.COM BACK AT MONSTER JAM FOR TWO WEEKENDS!

Thanks to Monster Jam Fan Charger Steve, it’s now been three years that Nate Truman’s  star car central gang and Steve’s San Diego star car owners  have appeared with the monster truck drivers at Monster Jam events!   Both in San Diego and Anaheim, and this year for the first time at Dodger Stadium!

Monster Jam 2011 Charger Steve leads the way around Anaheim Stadium with Nate Truman's StarCarCentral movie cars.

Charger Steve's Mystery Machine!

On Feb 12 10 famous movie and tv cars took a lap around Anaheim stadium and enjoyed the show, and this weekend on the 19th, EIGHTEEN star cars are in the line up to appear!  (Let’s hope for no rain!)

STEPHEN BOGGS  JURASSIC PARK MONSTER TRUCK!
ARI AND HIS JURASSIC PARK JEEP

NATE TRUMAN AND THE BATMOBILE
Paul  WITH THE BTTF DELOREAN
JASON BUCKARRO WITH TRANSFORMER RATCHET

JON WITH HIS TRANSFORMER CAMARO BUMBLEBEE

OSCAR   WITH THE MAGNUM P.I. FERRARI
LOU  WITH THE  STARSKY AND HUTCH TORINO
CLIFF AND   JUSTICE WITH THEIR  NASCAR HERBIE THE LOVE BUG
brian  WITH HIS JAMES BOND BMW WITH NEW ROCKETS
Sue KESSLER AND HER GET SMART MACHINE GUN WIELDING SUNBEAM
ALEX  AND SON  WITH KITT FROM KNIGHT RIDER

PAUL MILLER AND HIS MAD MAX INTERCEPTOR

PLUS FROM CHARGER STEVE’S SAN DIEGO CHAPTER JOINING IN THE FUN WILL BE THE BLUES BROTHERS 2000

MIKE TOWMATER TRIBUTE TOWTRUCK

STEVES GENERAL LEE FROM DUKES OF HAZZARD

TONY’S SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT TRANS AM

AND OBI SHAWN AND YODA WILL BE THERE IN HIS  STAR WARS CAR “H-WING”

Your ticket to Monster Jam includes entry into the drivers area where the star cars will be on display!

Come say you are a fan of the blog and meet the owners – and get a photo with your favorite movie or TV car!    Pray for no rain on Saturday and we will see you at DODGER STADIUM at 2:00 pm! Then stay for the show, we will take a lap inside the stadium as part of the pre-show around 5-6 pm! Cheer on your favorite car!  NITRO BURNING FLAME THROWING CRASHES!!!  And that’s just you trying to get into the parking lot!  Come say “HI” and we will see you there!

For fans of FACEBOOK, Starcarcentral.com International now has it’s own page to see all the photos from members at the event!

09
Feb
11

Can you design the next batmobile urban assault vehicle?

Here’s a challenge for all the builders that want a chance to design something along the lines of a functional batmobile, or futuristic version of today’s HUMMER.

If you ever wanted to design a super car loaded with as many weapons and tools as you could imagine (think your own personal Batmobile), now is finally your chance. Not only do you get an opportunity to design the craziest vehicle you can dream up and see it built in real life, but you can also win up to $7,500 in prize money from the Pentagon’s research branch, DARPA.

There are a few simple rules that you do have to keep in mind though:

  • The vehicle has to use “tubular steel chassis with existing GM LS3 V8 powertrain,” which is the steel frame pictured below.
  • Has to carry up to five passengers, including up to three people lying down.
  • It’s got to carry up to 1,200 lbs and tow up to 4,000 lbs

As long as you follow the three rules above, you can get as creative as you want with your design. Thinking of stealing some ideas from the Transformers movie? How about jet propulsion and speedboat ability? Go for it. DARPA is open to all suggestions. Submissions are to be in before March 3, 2011.

body 300x75 Ever Wanted to Design a Military Supercar?

To find out more information and submit your designs, click here.

I have a chassy ready to go, but I don’t think it will seat 5 people even if they are lying down!

26
Jan
11

Rockford Files car on display in South Dakota!

Museum’s Screen Used Rockford Files Firebird

Nelson Garage’s Rockford Files Firebird

Written by Jim Suva

NelsonFirebird1

Nelson’s Garage is a museum located at 629 Main Street, Deadwood, South Dakota. This museum is on the main floor of the Celebrity Casino Hotel.  Nelson’s Garage is owned by brothers Don and Robert Nelson.  In November 2003, Don Nelson informed me that they were putting a screen-used Rockford Files Firebird on display in their museum.

This Firebird is a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula. It has a 350 cubic inch engine with a 4 barrel carburetor, automatic transmission, AM/FM radio, power steering, power brakes, power windows and air conditioning.

The Firebird was purchased through a prop house that has a relationship with Cinema Vehicle Services. According to Robert Nelson the Firebird has patched holes in the trunk lid and fenders. These holes were filled in after the standard rear spoiler was removed. This car also has two letters of authenticity from Cinema Vehicle Services. One letter states that this car was used in the filming of the “Rockford Files”, the second states that the car was used in the television shows “Rockford Files” starring James Garner. Both letters contain the VIN number of the Firebird and are signed by the President of Cinema Vehicle Services.

The Firebird has been on displayed for a number of years now. Robert said, “People who appreciate and know the car best are typically the people who used to watch the TV series. They love the car!” In fact, a lot of people who visit their property are retired, and that is why they felt the car would be such a good fit.

Rockford Firebird Nelson2 Rockford Firebird Nelson1

The Rockford car has been well taken care of. It is rotated with other cars on display and is serviced regularly. When the car is not on display, it is serviced and stored in a heated warehouse. I believe this one of the last Firebirds that James Garner drove as Jim Rockford. This is a nice piece of TV history and it is in very good condition.




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