Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm a bit of a fan...

of this car. It's the BMW M8 Prototype.

We finally finished up our article on it after BMW nonchalantly dropped it on everyone during a press junket about, of all things, their future micro city cars and other "green" initiatives. Horatiu of BMWBlog was working to get this article turned around and I chipped in a little to help compile all of the information into one spot.

The M8 Prototype was rumored to have 550HP - though that's never been officially confirmed. The car was pared down to the basics - manual controls, lightweight seats and materials, alcantara interior and a six speed manual. The car was ultimately sidelined due to the economy and the United States having only a lukewarm reception to the initial E31 850i. Even after the Bavarians introduced the cheaper 840i with a version of the M60/2 V8 sales did not grow tremendously.

This thing was the pinnacle of M GmbH and it was aborted at the absolute last minute. It's legacy? A few old "press" photos of a complete car floating around for 15 or so years and a heavily detuned version in the guise of the 850CSi. What a shame this wasn't available.

The video is below comes from an iPhone 4 as Horatiu didn't have a video camera on him. First foray into editing film since completing one film project in high school. That said, constructive criticism is welcome as I'd love to improve upon it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Day at the 1967 Glen

There isn't much to not like about this. Jim Clark, no guard rails, Watkins Glen and pre-advertising campaign F1 cars. The only think to not like is ridiculous jazz flute in the background but I guess it's period music - reminds me of Grand Prix!

Automotive Addicts 9/11/10

635CSi, originally uploaded by Murph32256.

This is the rear deck of (obviously) a 635CSi that was in incredible shape - I think the color is Bronzit or something along those lines. It was a greay looking shark, though.

Click the link on the pic above to jump over to the rest of the gallery. I've been playing with black and white pictures and tried to use an old manual Nikon 24mm f/2.8 lens with OK results - using a manual lens in a digital age proves to be harder than expected but when you get it right it's worth it!

Jumped the Shark - the Black Shark

There are two things going wrong with this picture.

1. It's matte black - a trend quickly getting played out.
2. It's yet another company or "tuner" who's taken the most basic concept of modifying cars: a new exhaust, 20 inch "performance wheels", modified suspension and custom seats. This is a modified Audi S5 as dressed up by SR Auto Group as an Audi S5 Typhon.

I know it sounds whiney but I just don't get it. It seems like every day another company turns up as a supposed tuner just because they've slapped bigger wheels and brakes on a car. I guess I don't understand how these cars are tuned when they're doing upgrades that, with the use of the internet, most anyone could do themselves.

Also, it appears that if you're going to tune a car - it is a prerequisite that you provide it with a matte finish. I thought it looked good for a while, but after seeing everything from a Honda Civic all the way up to a McLaren-Mercedes SLR carry the paint then perhaps it is a bit played out.

What happened to the days of Alpina, Ruf, and AMG(prior to being absorbed by Benz) when to tune a car you had to truly improve performance and set it apart from the pack. These days, splash of carbon fiber on the visible spots, oversized wheels, and some silly custom paint and an exhaust and you have a "tuned car."

This type of tuning reminds me guys at the local gym who only work out glamor muscles so they look impressive but don't have the stones to back it up.

If you're going to take the time to design something for performance and speed - make sure you don't build a car that has only moderate abilities beyond the base model and mated to a suspension/wheels that will crush your bones at every expansion joint. Seems silly but this still isn't anything more than a dressed up boulevard cruiser.

(Source: Autoblog)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Do I need a reason?

It's a P3/4 - probably one of the best looking race cars of all time. period.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Cheese that is Vintage BMW Commercials

I always like seeing period car commercials - it's an interesting view into both products and marketing of the period. A few months ago Jalopnik posted a late 1960's Pontiac commercial showing how scary it must be for women to cars.

These few below are German market BMW commercials which are beyond cheesy. I happened to stumble across them on YouTube and, honestly, they're the first time I've ever seen BMW period commercials from the late 1960's/1970's models. However, the themes conveyed proliferate BMW advertising of today - a big German saloon(2800CS) is the road-going equivalent of the then-new private jets.

Need a sexy lady? Live near train tracks ? Great, slide on over to your local BMW dealer and snag the uber-rare 2002 cabrio( thanks to Baur!) and wait for the next AMTrak to come through - you'll have Bavarian babes in literally no time whatsoever.

Next up on the agenda? Jet down to Monaco for some light shopping - I can't speak German but the gist seems to be that "that big Six engine is eine gem!"

This last one I don't know a single 2002 owner who would drive the classic on the beach!

While the commericals are a bit ridiculous it's important to remember that these commercials helped to sell the models that brought BMW back from the edge of collapse. "Die Neue Klasse." Without these cars, BMW likely wouldn't exist today, cars like the M3, M5 or 6 Series would be cruising the streets. The days of the M10 4 cylinder and the M30 Big Six - clearly the advertising worked as these cars put the Bavarians on a path that would lead them to eventually over take Mercedes-Benz.

All videos found in Thalmanac's YouTube page