“Extreme Bentley” will be revealed in Geneva

January 28, 2009

If the 200+-mph Continental GT is simply not crazy enough for your day-to-day needs, Bentley leaked today that they will soon unveil the “Extreme Bentley”. The car will debut on March 3rd at the Geneva Auto Show.

So what exactly does the Extreme Bentley deliver? Nobody really knows for sure, but what we do know is that it will have the company’s most powerful engine ever. Additionally, the vehicle will be flex-fuel capable, meaning gas and ethanol. Quite honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Extreme Bentley comes with a flux capacitor with a Mr. Fusion conversion to generate the 1.8 gigawatts necessary to beat the current lineup of cars wearing the Flying B that have 700-plus lb-ft of torque produced under the bonnet.

Bentley did release a teaser shot of the front of the car. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show much other than the front fascia, which looks like the lovechild of a Continental and a Lamborghini. It’s not particularly pretty, but it might “work” with the rest of the car.


The New King…Make That New -Queen- Of Collector Car Trivia

January 19, 2009
As usual, the Classically-Tough Trivia Quiz puzzled many of the best automotive minds. Like in previous years, after sifting through the submissions, we found the average score was well under ten points.

That’s where “usual” stopped and Classically-Tough “firsts” began. For the first time in the CTTQ’s history, the contest was won a) by a non-American and b) by a person lacking a Y-chromosome.

Congratulations to the new Queen of Classic Car Trivia Isabelle T. from Nova Scotia. Not only did she win with a score of 20 out of the possible 34 points – she CRUSHED everyone else by a huge percentage.

If you didn’t get a chance to take the Classically-Tough Trivia Quiz, you can try your hand at it here before reading the answers.

Here are the answers:

1) The Honda CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion) was the first car certified by the US Government as compliant with model-year 1975 regulations contained in the Clean Air Act. More surprisingly, unlike every other car to eventually meet the regulations, it did so without the use of a catalytic converter.

2) The back cover of Road & Track throughout the 1950s was dominated by advertisements for Jaguar.

3) Ferrari model name designations corresponding to specific races included: LM (Le Mans), TdF (Tour d’ France, such as the 250GT TdF pictured above as it crossed the auction block at RM in Monterey, CA this past August), MM (Mille Miglia), TF (Targa Florio), Monza, and Mexico. Interestingly, the 365 GTB/4 was never officially named “Daytona”.

(Ferrari 250GT TdF) 

4) Dutch-based Spyker built mostly Benz-powered sports and racing cars starting in 1898, but ended production in 1925. It revived auto production in 2000 with high-end Audi-powered sports cars.

5) The base Corvette ballooned to its heaviest in 1978 at 3,572 pounds, but 1975 offered its all-time worst base power-to-weight ratio.

6) While 1971 was the last year for Porsche’s carbureted air-cooled six-cylinder, there were actually two models with two displacements. The 911T had a 2.2 liter, but the rare 914/6 used a 2.0.

7) In typical Colin Chapman style, the Lotus Elan 1600 Series 1 utilizes the front fame crossmember to store vacuum for the purpose of raising the headlights? Unfortunately, the inherent moisture in a vacuum tank helped to rust the member. Those that didn’t rust often were damage by curbs and bumpers.

8 ) Say what you want about the Edsel’s styling, but it’s hard to find many cars that came with more standard horsepower in 1958. The only vehicles to offer more power were the Baby-Hemi-powered Chrysler 300D, Chrysler New Yorker and DeSoto Adventurer, as well as Edsel’s FoMoCo big brothers Lincoln Capri, Lincoln Premiere and Mercury Park Lane.

9) Although Toyota eventually built the 2000GT, it was Nissan which originally contracted Yamaha and stylist Albrecht Goertz in 1963 to create a two seat sports car. Backing out after the initial prototype, Yamaha approached Toyota.

10) The last time Lincoln offered a vehicle with less than 100 advertised horsepower was 1929.

11) Krit used a swastika as its emblem. Unlike the later NAZI symbol, the Krit’s swastika was not tilted on end.

12) Fiat’s Lingotto plant brought raw materials in at ground level and moved finished cars onto the roof above the fifth story to the test track.

13) In celebration of its victory of the first Mille Miglia, cars from the Italian automaker OM begin the tribute La Festa Mille Miglia each year.

14) In 1969 Pontiac marketed the Le Mans, Trans Am and Grand Prix despite not competing in any of the synonymous races.

15) Buick initially used the Riviera name to denote a hardtop body style (without a fixed B-pillar.)

16) The Ford Mustang was initially only available in Raven Black, Caspian Blue, Skylight Blue, Guardsman Blue, Poppy Red, Rangoon Red, Dynasty Green, Pagoda Green, Cascade Green, Chantilly Beige, Prairie Bronze, Sunlight Yellow, Vintage Burgundy, Wimbledon White, and Silversmoke Gray.

17) Thanks to turbocharging, the 2.2-liter 146-horsepower Chrysler LeBaron/Dodge 600 had the best horsepower to cubic-inch ratio at 1.0814 hp/cu in., beating Ford’s 5.0 Mustang (.662) and Smallblock Corvette (.657). Ford’s turbo SVO Mustang offered a better ratio, but was on available as a coupe.

(1986 Dodge 600ES Turbo Convertible)

18 ) Legendary automotive journalist Tom McCahill penned one of the greatest automotive reviews of all time about the 1951 Jowett Javelin. He wrote that the Javelin “cornered like a porpoise with heartburn”, was styled “like a bride’s first cake: taken out of the oven too soon”, and that “I didn’t know whether to spray it with an aerosol bomb or pat it on the flank.”

19) BMW and Cadillac both have produced engines with six different cylinder counts. BMW’s include the 2-cyl of the Isetta, as well as 4,6,8,10, and 12 cyls in more modern cars. Cadillac’s first car had just a single cylinder, but 4, 6, 8, 12, 16-cylinder Caddies have also been produced.

20) After getting fed-up with the poor reliability of his car James Ward Packard had a less-than-helpful meeting with the President of Winton. During the meeting Mr. Winton challenged Mr. Packard to do better.

21) The extra credit question asked to identify a picture of the famous Buick Y-Job, the vehicle usually recognized as the world’s first concept vehicle. After it completed its tour of many shows and exhibitions, designer Harley Earl put it to use as his daily driver for many years


The Seventh Annual Classically-Tough Trivia Quiz

January 4, 2009

“Sam Barer’s Sound Classics’ Classically-Tough Trivia Quiz” went live on my column found on CarDomain’s site. While the original article said the deadline is Jan 3rd, I’m keeping it open until I post the answers around January 9th.

Here’s the quiz as posted on blogs.CarDomain.com:

Sound Classics Classically-Tough Triva Quiz 2008

Back in 2002 Sound Classics started an annual New Years tradition: “The Classically-Tough Trivia Quiz.” While it used to run primarily in Sound Classics’ newspaper outlets and only find its way online via enthusiastic readers, this year I’m proud to bring it directly to the CarDomain community.

What sets The Classically-Tough Trivia Quiz apart from other tests of useless automotive factoid regurgitation is that just about everyone will find a couple questions no-brainers, a few hard and the rest more agonizing than the extra credit question on a graduate-level biochemistry final. Which questions fall into each category, however, changes based on your area of passion. Furthermore, the Sound Classics team goes to great lengths to make most of the questions unGoogleable.

And I should probably mention that like in the previous six editions, this one features questions that are trickier than heel-toe downshifting a DeTomaso Pantera with clown shoes and a hook for a right hand.

Forget cash or prizes, (c’mon the stuff other outlets award is simply regifted junk the auto manufacturers send to journalists in hopes of getting more positive coverage), the Classically-Tough Trivia Quiz is all about bragging rights. If you think you have the answers, email sc@apexstrategy.com by January 3rd. Readers with the top scores will be honored, lauded, glorified, praised, and made famous in a follow-up column.

Now let the frustration begin –without further adieu: The Classically-Tough Trivia Quiz 2008.

1. Name the first make and model of car certified by the US Government as compliant with 1975 model-year regulations contained in the Clean Air Act. What was the company’s name for the technology and why was it unique? (4 pts total)

2. It was this brand of car that was most frequently advertised on the back cover of Road & Track from the magazine’s inception through 1960. (1 pt)

3. Name all the Ferrari model name designations that corresponded to specific races. (1 pt each)

4. It is the builder of high performance race-proven cars that started in 1898, ended in 1925… then started again in 2000. While its first car was Benz powered, its current cars feature Audi V8 and W12 powerplants. (1 pt)

5. This model in its base form reached its heaviest in 1978 at 3,572 pounds and delivered its worst base power-to-weight ratio in 1975. (1 pt)

6. Name the last year, production model and displacement of the final carbureted air-cooled six-cylinder Porsche. (1 pt)

7. What serves to store engine vacuum on a Lotus Elan 1600 Series 1 for the purpose of raising the headlights? (1 pt)

8. List every 1958 make/model that came with more factory-rated horsepower in the standard (non-optional) engine than an Edsel Citation. (1 pt each)

9. This auto company contracted Yamaha and stylist Albrecht von Goertz in 1963 to create a two seat sports car. (1 pt)

10. Which American automaker went the most consecutive number of years offering all its models with over 100 advertised horsepower? (1 pt)

11. It’s the automaker which used a swastika as its emblem. (1 pt)

12. This automaker tested cars on a track built on the roof of its five-story manufacturing plant. (1 pt)

13. A car of this make always is the first to start the La Festa Mille Miglia? (1 pt)

14. This brand in 1969 sold models named for three famous races (including one event and two separate race series) in which these specific cars had never participated. (1 pt)

15. Before it was released as its own 1963 model, Buick used the Riviera name to denote this? (1 pt)

16. This car was initially only available in 15 colors: Raven Black, Caspian Blue, Skylight Blue, Guardsman Blue, Poppy Red, Rangoon Red, Dynasty Green, Pagoda Green, Cascade Green, Chantilly Beige, Prairie Bronze, Sunlight Yellow, Vintage Burgundy, Wimbledon White, and Silversmoke Gray. (1 pt)

17. In 1986, which American convertible offered the highest ratio of horsepower to cubic inches? (1 pt)

18. Legendary automotive journalist Tom McCahill described this car in a 1951 road test with the following gems: “Cornered like a porpoise with heartburn”, styled “like a bride’s first cake: taken out of the oven too soon”, and “I didn’t know whether to spray it with an aerosol bomb or pat it on the flank.” (1 pt)

19. Which company has offered in its production cars the most number of engines with different cylinder counts (meaning 4 cyl, 6 cyl, 8 cyl, 10 cyl…)? (1 pt)

20. Everyone knows that Ferrucio Lamborghini’s meeting with Enzo Ferrari to complain about his Ferrari’s reliability sparked the formation of Lamborghini’s automotive business. James Ward Packard, however, had a similar less-than-helpful meeting six decades earlier to complain about the reliability issues of his personal car with the President of another auto manufacturer that also led to the formation of Packard’s own auto company. Name the car or company with which Packard took umbrage. (1 pt)

21. The tie-breaker: Identify the car in the picture at the top of the post. (1 pt)

Good luck…and have a happy 2009!