California Dreaming

California. There’s some magic in that name. Just saying it immediately brings up images of endlessly cool Americana; sand, sun, surf and Hollywood all being in California might have something to do with it. An iconic place, cars named after it seem to have inherited some of that magic: Cadillac’s Eldorado after the El Dorado county in Sierra Nevada, the eternal Chevy Bel Air after a Los Angeles district of the same name, and of course Ferrari’s peerless 250 California Spyder, one of the prettiest cars to wear the prancing horse. So what do we make of Nissan’s vehicular application of “California”? Certainly a long-roof version of a compact family sedan isn’t the most obvious choice.

IMG_6034

Continue reading

Al Mini

In vehicle dynamics, weight is an important consideration. Weight affects a car’s dynamics unlike any other, making its presence known from the purely subjective measure of “driving pleasure” to the cold numbers of fuel economy. With legislation requiring ever more safety equipment, and consumer tastes demanding ever more comfort, space and better fuel economy from their cars, it’s a mad dash to keep vehicle weight in check. Different materials are now being employed towards this end, and aluminum has been working wonders, with early mass-market adopters Jaguar and Audi preaching its weight saving benefits.

SAM_3303

Of course, racers have been gracing intricate frames with shapely aluminum bodies, shedding weight without the fatal consequences of setting magnesium alight.

Continue reading

The Mini Family Workshop

The man-cave is a mystical place for men with hobbies. A quiet place all to himself, the man-cave is the masculine equivalent of J.K. Rowling’s gender-neural Room of Requirement. Depending on the chosen hobby or passion of its owner, the man-cave can either be a place of quiet, wood-panelled and leather-wrapped contemplation, a home-based mecca of sports or a place where the man is free to craft, with his hands, what his mechanical imagination designs.

SAM_2780

What we have here, then, is one very fine example of the man-cave. Or in more equalised terms, a workshop of a very high calibre. Continue reading

The Mini Family

Among the many Minis present for the celebration of the 55th anniversary of the small car, were a few tough Minis from the Move Over racing team. In the group was one that drew particular attention: a blue Clubman with a very unique engine setup. A few days after the event, a message popped up in our inbox. Soon after that…

SAM_2631

…we had a gracious invitation to the home of the supercharged Clubman’s family.

Continue reading

Counterclockwise: The Time-Warp Lancer

Pop quiz: How easy is it to find a perfect 1936 Delahaye 135M Figoni et Falaschi Competition Coupe? Very. All one has to do is board a plane to Tennessee and head for the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Rare cars like the 135M can easily be found in perfect condition; for such cars, no restoration will ever cost more than their value. But what if you went looking for a showroom-fresh Box Type Lancer today? Well, you’d probably be looking for a long time, much longer than you would spend on the Delahaye. Probably, but not today.

time warp 41

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the most perfectly factory-fresh Box Type Lancer in current existence.

Continue reading

A Father’s Legacy: Rust Production’s Sunrise Run 2014

Most fathers I know strive to leave a legacy for their children. I know mine does, and while I’m not sure what exactly that is, one of which I can be sure of is the love of all things on four wheels. As it turns out, there’s a car club in Laguna that was built on the same kind of legacy, given form through old iron handed down to young blood. On the day before Father’s Day, we were lucky enough to be invited to join them as they rose with the sun for their second Sunrise Run.

Rust Production Sunrise Run

Continue reading

A Saint’s Ride

The year 1995 was a very special one for Philippine Roman Catholics. The Philippines was chosen as the host of the World Youth Day – the first Asian country to do so – and as part of the festivities the Pope was set to return to the country after his first visit in 1981. The parade was to be along Roxas Boulevard, ending at Luneta. Pope John Paul II was a pontiff well-loved by Filipino Roman Catholics; having beatified Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino martyr during his 1981 visit. Coincidentally, the beatification was also the first to be done outside of Rome. With his fondness of the country so vivid, it felt right to prepare accordingly for Pope JPII’s second visit.

pope 17

These emblems used to be pretty common on our roads.

Continue reading

404 Found

If you’ve gone to any store that stocks magazines in the past month or two, you’ve probably noticed the big splash Peugeot is making. Maybe you’ve even encountered an example of the very pretty 208 hatchback, the eccentric 3008 minivan, or the slick 508 executive sedan. Yup, the French automaker is making big news, and while they may need to release an educational campaign telling people how to correctly pronounce their brand, this is really not the first time they’ve been available in the country.

Not a 208

Not a 208

Continue reading