2017 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

2017 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

A Quick Look at the All-New Chevy Silverado 2500HD for 2017

Billed as the longest lasting truck of its kind, the all new Chevy Silverado 2500HD for 2017 has some major changes and enhancements in store for diehard Chevy fans. Not only is the Chevy Silverado 2500HD boasting more torque but also a newly redesigned hood that has vents added to keep that 910 lbs –ft. cool on all those long hauls, allowing more circulation to increase the efficiency of this beautiful big and powerful motor. There are too many new and improved features to list, but some of the highlights should prove that this is one vehicle worth test driving.


Chevy Silverado 2500HD

Choose Your Power

Both engine options are just as powerful as you’d expect from Chevrolet, but you can choose between the 6.0 Liter L96 V8 Vortec engine and the 6.6 Liter Turbo-Diesel Duramax V8 engine. Both are powerful beasts but improvements on the gas engine enable it to run on fuel that is up to 89% ethanol. What does this mean? It puts the Vortec into a class that is E85 compatible because it has the option, as mentioned above, to run on a fuel with an extremely high percentage of ethanol or standard unleaded gasoline. Both engines are then paired with Chevy’s innovative transmissions to ensure smooth sailing at max power.

The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD features an all-new, patented air intake system. Marked by a dramatic hood scoop, the system drives cool, dry air into the engine for sustained performance and cooler air temperatures during difficult driving conditions.

The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD features an all-new, patented air intake system. Marked by a dramatic hood scoop, the system drives cool, dry air into the engine for sustained performance and cooler air temperatures during difficult driving conditions.

What’s in a Transmission?

Then there is the transmission that makes the Chevy Silverado 2500HD a literal beast. The L96 is paired with the transmission that best suits all that power – the 6-speed MYD automatic transmission. One thing that should be noted is that the gasoline powered Silverado 2500HD HD for 2017 is not equipped with the newly designed hood scoop. Yes, it’s as functional as it is trendy, but that’s the way Chevy wanted it this year and they probably found that wasn’t as necessary on the gas engine as it is for the diesel powered motor.

2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71. Available fall of 2015.

2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71. Available fall of 2015.

Stylistic Changes of Note

While power and functional features are what endear truckers to the Silverado 2500HD, in 2017 Chevy decided to do away with three of their newer colors and simultaneously added two new ones. The colors deleted for the 2017 series were Tungsten Metallic, Autumn Bronze Metallic, and Slate Grey Metallic while the two added colors include Graphite Metallic and Pepperdust Metallic. Even the names of the two newly added color schemes are thrilling.


Words can only do so much to describe the changes made to the 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500HD so the best thing to do would be to actually see one up close and personal. Take a spin and feel the power while checking out some new design elements and those two new color schemes. About the only ‘bad’ thing anyone has said thus far is that it takes a bit of time to learn to maneuver it but it is not bad compared to other makes of its class. All in all, it’s a great truck with a trendy new design that lacks nothing in the way of performance.


Article Courtesy of dzhingarova

Photos courtesy of Car & Driver.com, Ford.com, vehiclephotos.vauto.com

Ford Builds on Perfection

Ford Builds on Perfection

It’s Hard to Improve on Perfection but Ford Just Did It – Again!

Year after year Ford’s F Series Trucks have been one of America’s bestselling trucks and again this year, the 2017 Ford F250 Super Duty XL tops the charts. The F-Series has always been considered to be the perfect truck in both function and style, and again this year, Ford shows that it really is possible to improve on perfection. They’ve done it again!


Ford F250 Super Duty XL

Almost 40 Years of Perfection to Be Exact

Most vehicles don’t even make it a decade before they are discontinued and rendered obsolete. For this reason, the fact that Ford’s F-Series trucks have lasted an amazing four decades on the market, since January of 1948, is one for the history books. In fact, not only has the F-Series been one of the longest running series ever but for the entire time, this amazingly versatile truck has been a chart topper. Once you’ve had a chance to see and drive the all-new 2017 Ford F250 you’ll see that the improvements are what keeps this model at the top of the industry.


Strong & Capable – Yet Highly Maneuverable

If the F-Series trucks are considered to be the iconic workhorse of pickup trucks, then the 2017 F250 Super Duty is the holder of the blue ribbon. This is the truck that can withstand the rigors of literally any job and as for maneuverability, it has it over all other trucks of its category from literally any manufacturer around the globe. In fact, without mentioning names, the other truck put out by Ford’s leading competition in the U.S.A. is said to be ‘okay’ but lacks the maneuverability that is so well-loved in the F-Series trucks.


Notably Tech Savvy

In keeping with the times, Ford has installed just enough technology to satisfy even the techiest of car lovers looking for a truck that will haul a load but will also offer a system that shows a graphic display when backing in reverse, guidelines to indicate steering and an 8 inch screen upon which to watch while maneuvering into tight parking spaces so that it can be done quickly and efficiently without endless goes at fitting a trailer into a tight spot. The 2017 Ford F250 also has an overlay on the graphic of the steering wheel so that arrows show where you are backing up and which direction you need to turn those wheels. It’s the next best thing to a fully autonomous vehicle and that, alone, is a compelling reason to keep this truck at the head of the class.


Ford, being the epitome of American made vehicles, has done it yet again. There are so many features on this one Super Duty truck to make it worth taking the time to take a test drive. The F-Series trucks just keep getting better by the year as features that were great last year are kept while new, improved features are added year-after-year. For a truck with all the diesel power you could want in a truck of this category and technology of the future, you just won’t get more for your money anywhere – and that’s a promise.

Article Courtesy of dzhingarova

Photos courtesy of Car & Driver.com, Ford.com, vehiclephotos.vauto.com

DAJIBAN: Why 1990s Dodge Ram Vans are All the Rage in Japan

DAJIBAN: Why 1990s Dodge Ram Vans are All the Rage in Japan

When you think of Japanese vehicles, you probably think of efficient cars designed for everyday use. If not, perhaps you think of the growing luxury car market in Japan and how imports are making their way across the world in today’s economy.


What you probably don’t think of are 1990s Dodge Ram vans. The interesting fact is that Dodge Ram vans are actually quite popular in Japan at this very moment. Keep reading to learn more about the ‘90s Dodge Ram phenomenon and how demand for this economical van has risen in an astounding manner, and for a very unique reason, in Japan.


Dodge Ram Van Racing

When you hear that Dodge Ram vans are popular in Japan, you assume that it’s because of their efficiency and ability to carry a lot of stuff, right? That’s what most people think when they first hear about the popularity of these vans overseas.

It turns out that the enthusiasm for Ram vans in Japan isn’t related to those attributes at all. Ram Vans are extremely popular because they’re being modified and raced on a track. While it isn’t exactly a mainstream sport in Japan, there is a whole unique sub-culture related to Ram racing.


Ram Racing History

Created by Abe Takuro, Ram racing was an idea designed to break all of the rules. When working at a race track, Takuro dreamed of racing the tall vans they used to transport other vehicles and equipment around the track as a lark.


Over time, his idea took off, though most tracks aren’t designed for taller vehicles at all. Now racers can even compete in the “D-Van Grand Prix,” once they get their Ram van race ready and know how to handle it on the track.


Maximum Modifications

The 1990s Ram vans that are hitting the track aren’t exactly your standard models, though that could be pretty interesting as well. Instead, racers are heavily modifying their Ram vans and making them as close to real race cars as possible.


From milled engines and cross-drilled rotors, to racing transmissions and top-notch Brembo brakes, these Ram racers are getting every bit of speed they can out of their vans. Many racers even outfit their vans with wheels that cost nearly as much as an entire older model Ram van.


Only in Japan, right? That seems to be the case, as Ram racing hasn’t made its way stateside. At least not yet…


Article Courtesy of Avondale Dodge

Photos Courtesy of hooniverse.com, autoevolution.com, pinterest.com, omgpancakes.wordpress.com, dragtimes.com

Strange Brew – The Cars of Buch-t

Strange Brew – The Cars of Buch-t

Of course life is bizzare, the more bizzare it gets, the more interesting it is – David Gerrold
Bech_1937This week, while perusing through the usual car sites, I came across a Wikipedia Commons page that astounded me.  The page was created by a user named Buch-t, and includes hundreds of photographs of cars from museums and events in Germany.  The amazing part is that I only recognized a few of the makes, with the remainder being completely foreign to me.  I pride myself on my classic car knowledge, but many of these cars are alien to me.  Below is a selection of some the oddest.  I challenge everyone to check out the page, and test your classic car knowledge: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Buch-t
1951 Bardahl – Not much can be found about this vehicle, though it is listed in Wikipedia as a Swedish brand.  The company is a subsidiary of Bardahl Oil, maker of popular automotive lubricants used by almost every automaker in the world.  The vehicle must have been a concept, or one off using experience gained in the aerospace or powerboat industries.  It is a strange little car.
1971 BMA Amica – BMA is a very small Italian automaker that built three models of cars from 1971 to 1994.  The Amica was a tricycle with a body made of plastic, complete with hinged doors.  Power came from a 50cc engine.  It reminds me of an amusement park bumper car.
1919 Bobby Alba – This model is also known as the 6CV, and was built by Lucien Bollack from 1920 to 1924.  The company was from France, and part of Automobiles Alba.  It’s a rather cute car for the time.
1950 Ardex – This was called the Microcar, and built by French car maker Ardex.  Founded in 1934, Ardex originally created a cyclecar, which followed the form of the Morgan three-wheeler.  In 1937 they created a four-wheeler that was the cheapest car sold in France, and then added electric and pedal powered cars during WWII.  Once the war was over, electric cars were banned and Ardex continued on until 1955 with this little beauty which sported  4 seats and a single cylinder two-stroke engine.
1971 ARH – ARH was a Spanish automaker from 1969 to 1972.  This Model was called the Condor, and sported a fiberglass body, a four cylinder 1200 cc engine from Simca.  A total of 8 vehicles were built.
1954 Cooper T33 – Cooper is a well known British race car manufacturer with links to the Mini Cooper.  The company is famous for its Formula One and Formula Three cars.  This one is not so famous.
1996 De La Chapelle – Based on the German translation, I am guessing this was a French car maker, specializing in reproductions, similar to Panther.  The car pictured is a concept car based on a Mercedes Benz engine.  The car also made children’s cars, complete with a 4-stroke engine.
1955 Ermini – This was a car maker from Italy, and it created cars based on Alfa Romeo and Fiat chassis, with coachwork designed by everyone from Frua, to Scaglietti to Michelotti.  This car was also the basis for the Devin motorcar, built by Bill Devin.
1939 Georges Irat – This is another obscure French carmaker, operating from 1914 to 1949.
1994 Grecav – This cute little car is from the Italian car maker Grecav.  Again, not much information is available, except in German…but this company took over BMA, maker of the Amica.
1956 Gregoire Sport – Gregoire is another French car maker, building cars from 1947 to 1972.  They created three models of cars, selling only 10-15 copies of the Sport.
1951 Hanomag Partner – This German car maker created the Partner as a concept car.  26 total pre and post production cars were created before they decided to get out of the car industry.  All but one of the cars were destroyed.
2000 Hommell Coupe RS – This car I recognize, since it is a favorite in Grand Turismo 5.  Hommell started building cars in 1990, creating four models until it finally ceased production in 2003.
1907 Lacoste Battmann – This French car maker built cars from 1897 to 1913. The funny name “Battmann” is the reason I included it here.
1968 Marsonetto – This started as a French car maker in 1947, and then owner Mario Marsonetto started building cars in the US from 1957 to 1972.  The model pictured here is called Luciole, designed by Baptise Luciole.  It came with either a Panhard two-cylinder, or a Renault 4-cylinder engine.  I think the design of the rear glass and B pillar makes it a strikingly beautiful example of French design.
1972 Monica 560 – This small French carmaker built cars from 1970 to 1972.  Only 8 production cars were created before the end came.  It reminds me of the DeTomaso Deauville.
Article Courtesy of Chris Raymond


Photos Courtesy of Commons.Wikipedia.org
My Forza Horizon Garage

My Forza Horizon Garage

With the holidays ended, I have decided to take a well deserved break from my usual posts.  One of the reason is a Christmas gift of the new Forza Horizon, which is taking up a lot of my time.  I love racing simulation games, starting out with Grand Turismo on Playstation.  The Forza series is a serious step up in my opinion, and the new “open world” version dubbed “Horizon” is even better.  The game offers the same style racing as Forza 4, but with a more open landscape, set in the beautiful state of Colorado.  As with the other Forza games, there is a design editor feature that allows you to customize the look of the car, but adding graphics and paint.  Here are just a few of the cars in my garage:

I love this car.  It is the old style Challenger, and I updated to reflect the Chris on Cars logo and website colors.  It is available for upload, and surprisingly there have been a few takers. 


BMW Art Cars are another favorite, and this is a pretty good job of recreating the original. 


This is a Pontiac GTO Judge.  I was never a fan of the 1970’s style decals, and decided to update the look to something more modern.


Another car that was hard to update.  This older Datsun is sporting a racing style design a’ la Marlboro racing livery.


This Aston Martin One-77 is one of my favorites.  The white on silver paint scheme is accented by some tribal work on the front and sides.  One cool car.


What do you do with a Land Rover Discovery?  I didn’t see any UN cars in the marketplace, so decided this was a great option for this SUV.


Ferrari F50.  Not my design, but makes the car look fantastic.  The attention to detail on the Blancpain racing livery is outstanding.


This little Fiat 500 is pretty cute with standard Alitalia livery. 


The GMC van is a replica of a Civil Air Patrol van I used to drive.  In real life I rolled it in a curve and almost killed myself. 


This little Citroen is done up in Chris on Cars colors.  Not only is this a great car, but in real life it is a favorite among the tuners in Europe.


The icon of the 1960’s, the Jaguar XKE is reborn as this Eagle GT.  In real life this is a $500K car.  Here in the game I can afford to own it, and have updated it with simple highlights on the exposed fenders.


The Cadillac Escalade is perfect for a fire rescue vehicle, though I am considering redoing it in black with Presidential seals. 


This Audi is one of the few sedans in Forza Horizon, so it was a natual for the Italian police livery.  Of course the Carabinieri would never use a German sedan, but it will have to do until a Alfa sedan is available.


The Jaguar E type coupe is one great car.  Outfitting it in gold and black livery looks pretty cool in the back roads of Colorado.


This Lambroghini Aventador took a long time for me to finish.  I tried to get a shark like appearance, and this is about as close as I could get.  Surprisingly, this is not as popular as I expected among the design buying Forza fans.


Police cars are a big hit in the Forza Horizon marketplace.  I started with a standard black and white car, and then added in this replica of the Massachusetts State Police.  All it needs now is some working lights and a siren.


This Chevrolet Corvette is based on a WWII bomber design.  I especially like the rivets in the aluminum bodywork. 


This Lancia is another design that I purchased.  It is a replica of a rally car, and the attention to detail is pretty amazing.


Forza Horizon is one of the best racing simulators out there, and I am addicted to the design studio.  If anyone is interested in trading designs, or looking me up, my username is roadster2005.  Hope to see you on the roads soon.

Article Courtesy of Chris Raymond

Photos Courtesy of Chris Raymond

BigBoyToyz – The Name Says It All

BigBoyToyz – The Name Says It All

BigBoyToyz – The Name Says It All

Discoveries can be found in even the most mundane of places.  In this case, I was researching a website named BigBoyToyz.com for an article.  What began as a simple project, turned into an afternoon of interesting reading, fun videos, and an excessive amount of drooling over some amazing supercars.


BigBoyToyz is not your typical premium used car dealer.  Established in 2009 in Gurgaon India, the company offers some of the most exclusive cars on the planet.  Promising to raise the standards of the industry, the company focused on ultra-luxury brands and supercars.  BigBoyToyz has gathered a collection of the finest whips in a mind blowing showroom…It is the Versace of used car dealers.


The cars are phenomenal, from Ferrari to Lamborghini, to Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin.  If there is a reality star or rapper driving it in Hollywood, then there is one just like it for sale here.  Like some of the exclusive car dealers in the U.S., they cater to the rich and famous.  In fact, there is even a celebrity page where you can see many famous actors and musicians visiting the showroom.


Some of the highlights of the site include an amazing Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 in Giallo Evros (yellow) and a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG in silver.  Both cars are incredible, and are must have cars for any collector.  Also listed is a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe in Dark Tungsten.  It is a stunningly beautiful automobile, and relatively rare.  However, the car that really surprised me was a car I had not known about prior to visiting this website, called the DC Avanti.


The Avanti is a sleek, low slung sports car completely designed and manufactured by the Indian car brand, DC Design.  Sporting a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo engine, it pushes out 250 horses, and can do 0-100kmph in about 7.7 seconds.  Built using lightweight carbon fiber both inside and out, the car is not supercar fast, but it is certainly supercar stylish.



They have a slew of other brands on offer and have a collection of used cars from marquee brands like BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Audi and what not.  You name it and they have it. They have one of a kind car collection and the only word that comes to my mind is insane!


BigBoyToyz.com is an interesting website, not only for the array of mind-blowing rides.  It offers some fun videos that include everything from cool car commercials, to scenes of idiots driving supercars.  On the blog page, there are well written articles that cover everything from automotive news to interesting car factoids, some of which were even new to me.  Overall, if you have the type of war-chest where you can afford to purchase the ultimate supercar, then this is the best place to shop in Asia.  If not, it is still worth the visit just to check out the fun articles and videos.


Article Courtesy of Chris Raymond

Photos Courtesy of BigBoyToyz.com

Car Design as Art, Figoni & Falaschi

Car Design as Art, Figoni & Falaschi

I have always considered the “Golden Age” of car design to be the period of the 1920’s and 30’s.  Sure, the 1950’s were great, with the introduction of the fin, huge chrome grilles and the beginning of the rocket age look, but true custom car design was at its peak during the time of the great coachbuilders, and the most flamboyant of the lot were the French.

This was a time when you purchased a rolling chassis from an automaker like Duesenberg or Hispano Suiza, and then sent it off to a designer to create the bodywork.  Designers would build cars specifically for you, like having a haute couture dress made.  The result, were some of the most fantastic shapes to ever be placed on an automobile, and my favorite of the group was Figoni & Falaschi.

After World War I, Giuseppe Figoni started a small body repair shop in Boulogne-sur-Siene, France.  His work included modifying the coachwork of touring cars, and his business prospered.  By 1925, he was building complete bodies on rolling chassis purchased from automakers including Delahaye, Bugatti, Delage, and Panhard.  By 1935, he acquired a partner, Ovidio Falaschi, and created the Figoni & Falaschi name.  Fascinated by the emerging aircraft industry, he was influenced by the shapes of airplanes, and the wind.  Figoni’s designs gave the impression of movement, even when the cars were standing still, and had an aerodynamic quality that would not be prevalent until the 1950’s.  Figoni was fascinated with teardrop shapes, and his Delahaye 135, with its elliptical shapes and enclosed teardrop pontoon fenders created a sensation at the Paris Auto Show of 1936.

Figoni had a command of color and design that was worthy of an artist, and favored two and three tone paint designs that would accentuate the shapes.  He loved to work with designers of high fashion, creating gowns, hats, gloves, and shoes that perfectly matched the design and colors of his cars.  He was also involved in designing racing bodies, creating aerodynamic bodies for cars like the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, a car that won the 1932 Le Mans, as well as other cars.

The creations of Figoni & Falaschi were flowing masterpieces, cars that the buyer wore like fine ball gowns, and a style whose closest relative today would be the Morgan Aeromax.  Their cars were an expression of freedom and movement, with enclosed wheels, and lines that made the cars float across the ground.

Figoni was an automotive sculptor who created patented designs for disappearing soft tops and even a disappearing sunroof.  The hallmark of the brand is the Talbot-Lago T150 C, a car whose teardrop shape, flush door handles, and sloping fastback became the symbol of French coachbuilders.  These cars were from a time when car design was true art.

Article courtesy of Chris Raymond

Photos courtesy of Google Images and Coachbuilt.com

Top 10 Most Innovative Cars of All Time

Top 10 Most Innovative Cars of All Time

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower – Steve Jobs

The automotive world is defined by its innovation.  Unusual, boring and popular cars are plentiful, but it is the truly innovative machines that are remembered.  This list of cars not only inspire, they were quantum shifts in the development of the automobile.  These are the cars that changed the world.

1908 – Ford Model T

The Model T was the first mass-produced automobile, making it one of the most important cars in US history.  This flimsy little car created the automotive industry, urbanized a nation, and gave mobility to the masses.  The manufacturing process that created the car was even more influential.  Almost every industry or market in the world can trace its roots back to the process refined by people like Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor.  When it finally ended production in 1927 with over 15 million cars sold, half the cars in the world were Model T’s.

1908 – Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Dubbed “The Best car in the World” by Autocar magazine, the Silver Ghost transformed luxury motoring as well as modern warfare.  The Silver Ghost had a significant role in the Turkish wars with Laurence of Arabia, Gallipoli, the Irish Civil War, World War I, the development of India, and was still in service during World War II.  Through its combat use, the Silver Ghost ushered in the era of mechanized warfare and virtually ended the days of the horse cavalry and artillery unit.  Most examples are still on the road today, and the earliest is worth an estimated $200 million dollars.

1922 – Austin Seven

This tiny car is genesis for the modern automobile.  The Seven borrowed the driver controls from the limited production Cadillac Type 53, and mass produced it throughout the world.  It was the first “people’s car” and the first production model for many major manufacturers.  The Austin Seven and its re-bodied siblings virtually gave birth to BMW in Germany, Nissan in Japan, Holden in Australia, Rosengart in France, and Lotus and Jaguar in England.

1938 – Volkswagen Beetle

The beetle has an amazing history.  It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche based on specifications made by Adolf Hitler.  It is one of the first rear-engine cars, with one of the first air-cooled engines, designed to travel at 100kph on Germany’s new Autobahn.  The Beetle is the longest running and most manufactured car of a single design platform, worldwide.  The production lasted 65 years, ending with 21.5 million cars in 2006 for Brazil and 2003 for Mexico.  The Beetle has had books and music written for it, has become an icon and a movie star, and was an inspiration to a generation.  Its namesake the “new” Beetle is still in production to this day.

1959 – BMC Mini

The Mini is an icon of the 1960’s.  Designed as a car for the masses, it is the first to use a transverse front-wheel drive layout.  It is the genesis for all modern front-wheel drive cars and spawned the hot hatch era.  The Mini was voted “Car of the Century” and produced over 100 variants in countries all over the world.  Not only is this little people carrier a great city car, the Mini has a stellar record as a race car, rally car and movie icon.

1955 – Citroen DS

Decades ahead of its time, the DS (Goddess) is one of the most celebrated designs in automotive history.  With its quirky scarab shape, hydraulic suspension, and turning headlights this car became a European icon that has consistently topped the “Most Beautiful” and “Most Important” lists throughout the world.  Whether it is the aerodynamic styling, the mechanical innovation or the pure space ship like design, every modern car on the road can trace its roots back to this automobile.  The DS shocked the world, and sold a record breaking 12,000 examples on its first day.  The list of its innovations to the automotive world would fill a book.  It is sculpture, art…it is a Goddess.

1961 – Jaguar E-Type

The E-Type is simply “The Most Beautiful Car Ever Created.”  The car is in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and has been an inspiration for everything from cars to clothes.  It is mesmerizing as a piece of art, and merely adequate as a car.

1966 – Lamborghini Miura

Designed by Marcello Gandini, this automotive icon is the world’s first supercar.  The Miura changed the conception of what a sports car could be, and introduced the world to a new level of motoring.  With its bull inspired design, its transversely mounted V12, and its lightning quick speed, this was the genesis for cars like the Pagani, the Bugatti Veyron, McLaren and the modern Ferrari.  The Miura launched Lamborghini and ushered in a period of amazing, outrageous supercar design.

1983 – Chrysler Minivan

The Dodge Caravan and its Chrysler siblings revolutionized the modern automobile.  Not only did it create the minivan market, it helped give birth to the SUV and crossover markets.  Arriving 18 months ahead of its only competitor, the Renault Espace, this vehicle became both an icon and joke to the American family.  Owning one was at first a sign of success, and a sign of “lost youth.”  The Minivan is now as much a part of the America family as the ranch home and the suburbs.

1997 – Toyota Prius

Just as the Model T and the Chrysler Minivan changed the world, so did the Toyota Prius.  The Prius was the first mass produced full hybrid electric vehicle in the world.  It became a status symbol in America when first introduced, and remains one of the cleanest vehicles sold in the US.  Like the Model T and the Volkswagen Beetle, the Prius is a major step in the evolution of the automobile.

For more motoring info, visit www.carfinance247.co.uk

Article Courtesy of Chris Raymond

Photos Courtesy of caranddriver.com, classics.com, cargurus.com, picsbox.biz, carbase.com, and wikipedia

The Perfect Summer Cruiser

The Perfect Summer Cruiser

The summer night is like a perfection of thought – Wallace Stevens

Now that summer has officially started, I decided to take a look at eBay and see what they had to offer in the way of summertime cruisers.  When I was younger, I had a perfect 1976 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Hardtop, and I loved to gather up the family and head off to the local ice cream shop on a hot summer night.  Classic cars and especially convertible classics are the best cars for summer.  Taking a sunset cruise along the beaches and small towns of Cape Cod in a 1950’s classic is something everyone should do.  So here are some great eBay finds for anyone looking to have an amazing summer.

1960 Buick LeSabre – $9,700.  This is an excellent condition Buick sold and owned in the same Lakeland Florida neighborhood for the past 53 years.  The color makes this car a classic, and removes the darker aura given off by the front and rear styling cues.  With a brand new interior, this car is ready for a nice summer car show.

1970 Buick Electra 225 – $5,200.  Another stunning Buick, this time in Jade Green with a white roof.  This custom 4-door hardtop is pillarless, and has only 17,800 miles on the odometer.  Equipped with a 455/370hp V-8, it can cruise all day in style.  It even comes with the original 8-track player.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 210 – $10,156.  This stunningly restored Chevy is a perfect summer cruiser.  It sports a 350cid V-8, dual exhaust and even an Alcantara “suede” interior.  Formerly owned by Lloyd MacKay, NHRA racer and collector, this car was fully restored and has every power option.


1960 Chevrolet Impala – $25,300.  This Chevy is more subdued than the outrageous 1959 model, and sports aircraft inspired side trim, and subtle ‘bat wing” tail fins.  With only 5,331 miles, this car is a truly amazing example.  It has the perfect color combination for the ultimate summer cruising car.

1959 Pontiac Bonneville – $15,000.  Nothing says summer like a teal and white Pontiac.  This car was the King of the Hill at Pontiac, and was built at the height of the golden age for cars.  The Bonneville sports a 389 tri-power V-8, a wide track design and Pontiac’s new gyro level ride suspension, giving it the best handling performance of any 1959 full size car.

1972 Pontiac Catalina – $18,100.  One more from Lakeland Florida, this car has only 30,296 miles and sports a 400ci V-8.  This is an absolutely gorgeous example of a perfect summertime cruiser.  With a perfect interior, and the colors of a perfect blue sky, this car would be great for a nighttime top-down cruise.

1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 – $12,000.  Our friends in Lakeland Florida always find the best cars, and this one is astounding.  This Super 88 has only 28,000 miles, and is finished in a stunning Platinum Mist Poly Metallic, and sports a 371 Golden Rocket V-8.  The car came from a New Jersey collection and is mostly all original.  The tri-window roof treatment and the stunning chrome side rails make this car a real head turner.  This is the perfect car to impress everyone at the local car show.

1967 Mercury Cougar – $8,600.  This is a truly elegant example of this pony car, finished in light beige with a medium saddle interior.  Powered by a 289ci V-8 this Cougar is a solid, no-rust original car.  The color of this car highlights the cat-like styling making it one of the prettiest examples available today.

1956 Lincoln Premier – $15,500.  This is a magnificent automobile, and is selling for much lower than market due to the fact that it is a faux convertible.  This Premier started life as a coupe, and lost its roof during a major redesign, including major body reinforcement.  Finished in a non-original Pearlescent White with a luxurious red leather interior, the effect is stunning.

1976 Lincoln Continental Town Car – $5,100.  Think of this as buying a huge summer mega-yacht for the price of a runabout.  This beautiful Town Car has only 59,517 miles and sports a 460ci V-8 engine.  Though not as light and airy as a convertible, it still is an excellent car for long summer drives.

1966 Chrysler 300 – $7,800.  This car is an amazing example of a great Elwood Engel design.  The car is -presented in a special order two-tone paint of black over dolphin gray with a black leather interior, the overall effect is dramatic.  The car has 80,300 miles and sports a 383cid V-8, and is mostly original.  The paint and condition make this 300 a beautiful example of 1960’s styling.

1961 Cadillac DeVille Convertible – $20,987.  For the ultimate summer land yacht, nothing beats a Cadillac.  This spectacular example is finished in Laredo Tan with saddle interior, matching saddle top and comes complete with Coker wide whitewalls and factory correct turbine wheels.   If you want to turn heads when you are taking that sunset cruise, this is the car for you.

That is my list of some great cruising cars for summer.  Let me know what car makes your list and let me know your memories of the perfect summer drive.

Article Courtesy of Chris Raymond
Photographs Courtesy of eBay
Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July




Happy 4th of July


Wishing all of you

a safe and happy holiday

from all of us at


Chris On Cars


Don’t forget to check out our archives…

Muscle Cars

Muscle Cars

This post is for all the muscle car fans out there…I decided to put a few pictures of my favorite muscle cars up, in the hopes that someone will enjoy them. I have not been a big muscle car fan, and especially don

BooEnn Sunglasses – Powered by the Sun

BooEnn Sunglasses – Powered by the Sun

BooEnn Sunglasses – Powered by the Sun

Our first new product review for Chris on Cars comes from a company called BooEnn.  The product is a set of smart driving glasses with “anti-collision” lenses that change instantly depending on light.  Powered by a low power consumption solar battery mounted right above the nose, they act to brighten or darken the lenses, depending on conditions.


For a start, the idea is pretty standard.  Many sunglass companies over the years have offered lenses that change with the lighting conditions.  The major difference here is that these lenses are made from a patented flexible LCD material, and the transition is amazingly fast.


Packaging – The box is similar to an iPhone, but lime green in color.  The packaging includes a lime green cleaning cloth, a matching pouch to hold the glasses, and company literature that is badly translated from its original language.  The packaging is in line with the expected price point for the glasses, and has an expensive feel.

IMG_2315 (1)

Specifications – The sunglasses are made from something called Ultra-light Antiskid TR100, according to the company literature, a “light weight, collision-resistant, high temperature-resistant material with no chemical residue release”, which is in line with European requirements for food grade material.  I’m not sure what that means, but it could be soy based or some sort of “green” material.  The lenses are a flexible LCD material made from 13 layers of nano-materials, all designed to improve visibility.


Drive Power: Solar battery

Reaction time(s): ≤0.2

Visible light transmittance(%):≤35%

Ultraviolet rays: UV400

Working temperature(℃):-20—70

Weight: (g):30

Size (mm): General frame: 340*165*15

Lens material: Plastic flexible liquid crystal

Frame material: TR100

Design – The frame design is bulky, and not very attractive.  The glasses are large and wide, and tend to sit high on your face due to the molded nose pads.  When worn, the glasses tend to be large on the face and stick out at least a quarter inch on each side of my head.  Overall, the look is something between Buddy Holly and Giordi from Star Trek.  When folded, the glasses do not fold flat, so pocketing them is out of the question.


Functionality – The glasses function well and work as described.  The darkening effect from shade to sunlight is amazingly quick, and visibility is definitely improved with the glasses.  Even in conditions that require the lenses to change continually, the transitions are quick and not distracting.


Overall – While the design of the frame needs work, the technology is so good that I would buy a pair myself.  After checking with friends, most decided they would tolerate the terrible design of the frame to have the technology.  BooEnn has not announced a specific price for the glasses, but I was told they are initiating an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaignwith prices ranging from $75-$150 depending on the perk.  I am also told that the company plans to update its marketing literature to be more in line with US standards, and tweak the design to be more fashion conscious.


Rating – On a scale of 1-5, I would rate these a 3, with the caveat that if BooEnn tweaks the frame design to be more fashionable, they would be a 5.

Article by Chris Raymond

Photos by Chris Raymond and Booenn.com



Layla – The Boat Tail Riviera

Layla – The Boat Tail Riviera


I tried to give you consolation…When your old man had let you down. Like a fool, I fell in love with you, Turned my whole world upside down. – Eric Clapton

This past week I decided to buy a new toy.  I found a beautiful 1972 Buick Riviera Boat Tail on Craigslist, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to own an iconic classic and an appreciating collector automobile.

FullSizeRender (4)

The Riviera is rare, with only 31,557 examples originally built, and the design was overseen by none other than Bill Mitchell (55-57 Chevy BelAir, 63 Corvette Split Window, 63-72 Buick Riviera).  .  Its flowing lines are immediately identifiable, and the boat tail design is unique in modern automotive styling.  Finding a decent one for sale is like discovering a unicorn.


Originally I was on the fence about buying a car the size of a English Channel ferry boat, but a twist of fate forced my hand.  During a conversation with my website designer/SEO guy name Brian, I discovered that the actual car I was buying was one he and his friend owned in high school.  The seller was his best friend, and the two worked on the car, made the upgrades and know every detail about the cars history.  It is a small world, and knowing that there was that connection made me believe I could be safe in taking the chance on the car.


The Riviera is beautiful, in a slightly ungainly way.  Mine is painted a Subaru WRX blue, and sports raised white lettered tires and Cragar SS rims.  Inside, the car is equipped with a front 60/40 split bench seat done in black with white leather inserts.  The previous owner had redone all of the body issues, added new carpets, and added a few cool chrome Edelbrock upgrades under the hood.  These upgrades made the engine shine and probably added a ton more horses to the stable.   It also has cherry bomb mufflers, and sounds like a true muscle car.  Once I started it up, I was hooked.

FullSizeRender (4)

The body is in excellent shape, with no rust or dent issues.  The paint is older, and pretty poorly done, with lots of orange peel and a few areas of dripping and waving.  The interior is also in good shape, with only the driver’s seat having issues, while the rest of the interior is un-molested.

FullSizeRender (2)

Driving the car is an experience.  The engine starts right up, and settles into a smooth idle after a few moments.  The cherry bombs on the exhaust give the car a mean growl, and every time you step on the gas, you expel a little more of the rear tire rubber.  Speed was never on the list of goals for the Riviera, but it still manages an impressive 0-60 in close to 8 seconds, which is not bad for a 19 foot long, two and a half ton behemoth.  With the upgrades to the engine, the car is now much faster, which means it is a challenge to drive.  The steering is like guiding a ship though a series of hard turns.  The steering feel is not only loose, it feels disconnected from the car.  When it does finally turn, the whole side dips and rolls like an aircraft carrier in high seas.  One major fault is the seats, which have no lateral support whatsoever.  On even the slightest turn, you often find yourself in the passenger seat.


Of course, now that I own the car, I need to figure out what to do with her.  Originally I had grand ideas of transforming her into the ultimate Grand Tourer.  I wanted to repaint her in a dark gray metallic and have the top section, that includes the roof, boat tail and the center of the hood, sprayed a slightly lighter color.  The interior was to be a medium saddle color, and the carpeted rear shelf under the massive rear window was to be transformed into a mahogany wood floor, much like a classic yacht.  I wanted to lower her by 2 inches, enough to highlight the lines without making her into a slammed custom.  I also wanted to add larger lower profile tires and larger chrome mag rims that would suggest a more refined hot rod look.  Finally, I wanted to cut the middle section of the bumper to highlight the full grill and make it a split bumper car, and add a center body colored fin in the center of the rear window, á la the 1963 Corvette Stingray Split Window Coupe.


In reality, I probably won’t get a chance to do any of these things.  If I decide to flip the car for profit, then it would make sense to see if the blue paint can be salvaged, either with a light re-spray or a color sanding and clearcoat.  One thing I will keep are the blue LED lights under the front grille – the same lights I have on my motorcycle.


In the interim, I have named her “Layla”, which means ”night”, or “dark beauty”.  I will continue to pilot her through the neighborhood scaring small children and wildlife, and have the time of my life playing with my new toy.


Of course, I want to hear from you…write me a comment and let me know what you think of Layla, and share any ideas you have on how to customize her.  I am always looking for cool design tips.



Article by Chris Raymond

Photos by Chris Raymond, Google Images, vilinstore.net and pinterest.com

Car Lister’s Epic Giveaway!

Car Lister’s Epic Giveaway!

The following is a sponsored post

Car Lister’s Epic Giveaway

Those of you who have followed my site know that I joined a website called Car Lister.co a while back to connect with my car-enthusiast friends and to post my content.  Car Lister is a new website that promises to be an all-in-one consumer car buying solution.


Utilizing technology, Car Lister simplifies the transaction of a vehicle between two parties in the online world in a way that’s never been done before. Car Lister has solved the problem of selling a car online, with a fully integrated, automated process that incorporates real time notifications and full validation throughout the entire process.


The system allows buyers to shop for new and pre-owned cars from any smartphone, tablet or desktop. What I like most about Car Lister is that it’s like Facebook for gear heads.  I can connect with my friends, talk about my rides, or post and read articles about the stuff I am interested in.  Users can even form groups, trade pics, and network with people from all over the world.


To celebrate the launch of their new website, Car Lister is introducing the 2016 Car Lister’s EPIC Giveaway.They are giving away daily,weekly,and monthly prizes. The grand prize will be a $25,000.00 voucher to purchase a vehicle at one of their participating Car Lister dealerships every month!  Daily prizes include gas cards and oil changes, weekly prizes include new tires, jumper box, and vehicle detailing and the monthly prizes are a $500.00 service voucher and the previously mentioned voucher for a car.

With everything that they are giving away, Car Lister also have a weekly contest that is called You Share, We Repair.  If you share your story with Car Lister, you will be entered to win up to $3,000.00 towards vehicle repairs at a participating Car Lister dealership.

Restrictions are listed on the rules page on their website.  Just sign up for a free Car Lister.co account and click on sweepstakes then click “enter to win” and you will have access to daily,weekly and monthly giveaways.


Check out theWinner’s Circle,” and you will see that there have already been 118 winners from 37 states, winning prizes ranging from gas cards all the way up to the lucky February “Grand Prize” winner who won a $25,000 voucher to buy the car of their choice.The best part about this giveaway is that it’s just the beginning. The entries have reset as we enter March, and I am crossing my fingers that this could be my (or your) month to win!


If you’re like me, you’ll be making this Epic Giveaway part of your daily routine. By the time your coffee is finished brewing, you have plenty time to log into your account and enter the daily, weekly and monthly drawings. Considering that the promotion is still in its early months, the odds to win are incredible. With just over 8,000 entrants into last month’s grand prize drawing, I can’t think of another promotion with better odds to win $25,000.00 (plus the cost of taxes) to put towards the car of your dreams. #Epic

Joining Car Lister is a great way to network with people who love cars, and a great way to make friends.  Once you join, check out the Chris On Cars page for articles, comments and discussions on the latest cars…don’t forget to join my group and connect with me.




If you are a regular reader of this site, you may have noticed that I recently took some time off from my writing duties.  It seems that with the weather, the holidays, and the cold, my motivation level wasn’t what it used to be.  In order to cover things up, I reposted some old articles and hoped for the best.  Well…things are getting back to normal here, and I should be updating things with the regularity of the past.  So, thanks for staying with me.

First, some housekeeping.  I am always looking for ideas on what to include on the site, and would greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions.  I am also looking for anyone who may be interested in posting their own articles and photos.  If you are interested, please send me an email at raymondcj@aol.com.

This week, I have decided to post some photos from around the net showing the snowpocalypse that is making life difficult for most of the country.  Included are some favorite photos from failblog.org, which is a great site to waste time on if you are housebound.  The rest of the photos are from around the world, and include some great shots of the mess the snow made in Chicago, and an amazing car accident from New Hampshire.

Photos courtesy of failblog.org, thatwillbuffout.com, jalopnik.com.

Article courtesy of Chris Raymond
The Rake of the Riviera

The Rake of the Riviera

In the United States, the automobile is synonymous with one name, Ford.  In the rest of the world, that name is Agnelli.  Rather than spend this week discussing the latest supercar, or who won at Pebble Beach, I am going to focus on an Italian iconoclast, Giovanni (Gianni) Agnelli.


Agnelli was the namesake to Giovanni Agnelli, the founder of Fiat S.p.A. and heir to the Fiat fortune.  Fiat is an Italian conglomerate, founded in 1899.  Besides being the carmaker who bought us the 500, the iconic Italian mini car, they are (or have been) the owners of brands like Maserati, Ferrari, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Chrysler, Autobianchi, Innocenti, Piaggio, Vespa, Simca, SEAT, and Iveco trucks.  In addition to vehicles, Fiat owns companies as diverse as Case Tractors, Alitalia, the newspaper La Stampa, Olivetti, and a slew of other companies making everything from weapons to pharmaceuticals, and from railcars to aircraft.  At one time, Fiat owned substantial shares of Edison, Rockefeller Center, Chase, and even Club Med.


Fiat, which is older than Ford by 4 years, was a major force in both European and Italian markets.  At one time Fiat employed over 500,000 people, and controlled 4.4% of Italy’s GDP, 3.1% of its industrial workforce and a massive 16.5% of its industrial investment in research.  He was the richest man in modern Italian history.  At one time, Agnelli controlled more than one-quarter of the Italian stock exchange, a control unparalleled on any world stock market.  It is amazing to me how much power can come from just making cars.


Agnelli’s life was one of finance and hedonistic fantasy, with himself as the company chairman, and the Italian playboy.  Married to a half-American, half-Neapolitan noblewoman, he was known for his pursuit of beautiful women and sports cars.  His affairs included actresses Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr, “La Dolce Vita” star Anita Eckberg, among others.  One of the more salacious stories is of an affair with Jacqueline Kennedy, before she married Aristotle Onassis.  The rumor includes the allegation that John F. Kennedy Jr. was actually his illegitimate son.

08-abarth 2

Agnelli was also a major trendsetter in fashion.  Esquire magazine named him as one of the five best dressed men in the history of the world.  He was famous for introducing the spread collar shirt, and the loosened off-kilter tie.  He wore exquisite Italian suits with hiking boots, and had a peculiar habit of wearing his watch over his wrist cuff.  His nickname was “The Rake of the Riviera” and was popular enough to inspire a classic menswear magazine called “The Rake.”  His love of fast cars almost killed him…twice.  Once he drove his Ferrari into a tree and wrecked his legs, then he drove it into the rear of a meat truck.


Fiat and its other entities moved the world.  The company built a huge plant in the former Soviet Union which became the linchpin of Soviet auto production.  He once sold 10% of the company to Libya, making Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi a partner in the business.  This move forced Libya to spend money it would have used for weapons, and also strengthened the failing Soviet leadership with Libyan investments.


Agnelli also changed Fiat over the years.  He admired the American automakers modern methods of manufacturing, and copied them at Fiat plants.  He built better and larger cars for the European market, and overtook Volkswagen as the continent’s largest seller of cars.  He improved on quality, and reversed Fiat’s reputation of “Fix it again, Tony.”  Agnelli diversified Fiat, a move that saved the business more than once.  He linked Fiat with General Motors in 2000 with the provision that GM buy out Fiat by 2004.  It was a move eventually cost GM $2.9 billion to escape.


Over the years Agnelli developed a close group of friends that included the Kennedys, Fords and the royal houses of Europe and members of the Politburo.  Other friends were a diverse group, and included Henry Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, the Clintons, Fidel Castro, Nixon, Reagan, de Gaulle, Onassis, and Winston Churchill.

01-Maserati Quattroporte_04

He also partnered on many US ventures.  He was on the board of General Electric and Chase Bank, and owned a major part of Rockefeller Center in New York.  He was also a member of the Bilderberg Group, the shadowy secret society that supposedly runs the world.  Gianni Agnelli’s life and death was like a Puccini opera.  He died in 2003 at age 81, on the same day that his family was to gather to argue about his will and legacy.  He was a symbol of Italy’s postwar renaissance, a country where the rule was “Agnelli is Fiat, Fiat is Turin; and Turin is Italy.”


What does this have to do with cars?  Everything.  The history of the automobile is not just cars; it’s also the people behind the scenes…the designers, the owners, the marketing people.  Agnelli is an icon who accomplished great things, and his life is interesting to anyone who loves history.  For the gearhead, his life story should be required reading, because of his connection to some of the greatest marques in history, and also because it shows how one little car company changed the world.


Article Courtesy of Chris Raymond

Photos Courtesy of Classicandperformancecar.com, bigpower.co.uk, autoham.ru, moteverdiclub.com, zcoches.com, cargurus.com, pistonheads.com, casa.mitula.it