The Appeal of the Sports Car

Even though the news is full of stories of economic hardship, there remains a pre-occupation with the finer things in life. Even those who might never afford these luxury items spend an inordinate amount of time watching television programs and reading magazines about five-star restaurants, multi-million dollar mansions, fabulous luxury vacations, and the ever-popular sports car.

sportscarWhile there are a variety of definitions available for the term “sports car,” the term is usually referring to a lightweight vehicle that sits low to the ground and has an extremely powerful engine. Most are two-door, two-seaters with rear-wheel drive and provide more precise handling and faster acceleration rates. They are also usually much more aesthetically pleasing than other vehicle types.

It is the mechanical performance and the physical beauty that are the big attractions in a sports car. Fuel economy and passenger space are far down the list of important features for a sports car. Instead superior maneuverability, road handling, and high power are premium. Many popular sports car brands have established reputations as race cars which add to the cachet of owning such a vehicle.

Of course, it is possible to get sports car performance from a more mundane vehicle. “Tricking” or “Pimping” a car with a more powerful engine and improving its performance features is a popular pastime in many parts of the world. And some people will stretch the definition so that they can list a sports car for sale that is really a muscle car, sport compact, or hot hatch. Latching onto the sports car image improves the marketability and price of these lesser cars.

Many of the better sports cars and racing cars used by American racers aren’t available in the US or Canada. This is due to stricter safety regulations than are in place in Europe, the UK, and the Middle East.

Your Hobby Car’s Optimal Performance

carWhen I checked my repair manual for manufacturers recommendations I found that it was just fine to wait for the my oil gauge to register that it was time to add new oil.  However, I always wondered if I should fill it regularly to keep at the maximum level.  Since my college days a Mustang engine burning up on the freeway, and of always having a case of oil in my Volkswagen bus, oil levels are something I pay attention to with diligence.  The engine parts are lubricated and cooled as oil circulates through, and with a lifetime spent driving older cars with high mileage, I have come to realize just how incredibly important this is.

Add to that I live in an unbearable hot city during the summer, Phoenix, Arizona.  And the environmental heat combined with the heat of the engine makes this one car maintenance routing that is necessary to keep an eye on.  If the levels reach one quart under, this can serve to cause engine wear and tear and put you at risk of burning out that engine.  Never should oil be over filled.  This is a case of too much of a good thing, being a bad thing.  The crankcase will become too full and as it spins it will splatter oil into a foam.  It may also result in leakage as the gaskets and the seals will become overwhelmed.

When it becomes time to do an oil change, and you decide that you want to do this yourself, never do it when the engine is hot.  Hot oil creates horrible burns.  It is always recommended that you find a safe place to do that oil change, such as on level and solid ground.  This way your car will be safely jacked up, because you will need to get a bit dirty, and you will need to be under your car to change out the oil.  Make sure that all the tools you will be needing are close at hand, and then you are ready to go.  Changing your own oil and doing your own automotive repair is one way to save a bit of money.  Plus, by working on your own car you will become familiar with all the quirks and the next necessary fix-its that are required.  For more information click here

Unique Hobby: Restoring Classic Cars

Drivers all around the world indulge in the challenging process of restoring classic cars. Classic car enthusiasts are a distinct breed of drivers that love the challenge of converting a broken-down heap of junk to a purring mechanical masterpiece.

What Drives the Passion?

Most people can identify with the satisfaction of creating something from nothing, and that is at the heart of the matter for classic car restorers. Then there is the ‘thrill of the hunt’ involved when seeking out the vehicle, as well as the satisfaction gleaned from the creative problem solving involved.

rolls royce phantomWhile some classic car enthusiasts expect to make money from their efforts by selling the car, most of them prefer to keep the it as a prize. It is incredibly satisfying for them to hear compliments from passers-by, friends, and family. Ultimately, the restored car becomes a trophy, proudly displayed as tangible evidence of accomplishment and mechanical prowess.

Restoring a Car is a Huge Undertaking

First off, finding the make and model desired can be like an international game of hide and seek.  Collectors comb classifieds, junkyards, and used car lots worldwide to find their prize. For rare models, it can take years to score the desired vehicle.

Then the hunt for parts begin. After combing through the vehicle to see what can be salvaged, the restorer usually has a long list of parts to replace. Purists and people who compete at car shows are sticklers, using only original manufacturer parts or precise replications. It can take years to find all the missing pieces.

Repair work is like putting a puzzle together. With classic cars, systems are often antiquated and unfamiliar which means that taking them apart and putting them back together can be difficult. Restorers have to possess a high degree of mechanical acumen, patience, and problem solving skills. When done correctly, the restorer, much like anyone enjoying do it yourself auto repair, can point to the car and proudly say, “I did that!”

Enjoying the Fruits of the Labor

Showing off the finished car at car shows, local rallies, posting pictures online, and bragging about it is the fun part for most restorers.  Some say that they enjoy the mechanical and problem solving aspect more than showing it off.  Usually the restored car is unique, so it draws attention and adoration wherever it is driven. Restorers love to hear that they have a magnificent car.

Lucy Browne is an avid race and hot rod fan who writes about American race car drivers.

Keeping Your Vehicle Safe

Every time you leave your house you check it for safety. Is everything turned off? Are the windows closed? Is the alarm turned on and the doors locked? The same reasoning should apply to your car. The top 10 cities for car theft include Modesto, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Stockton, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Visalia, California; Seattle, Washington; Sacramento, California; San Diego, California; Fresno, California; and Yakima, Washington. Even if you don’t live in a high theft city, vehicle theft happens very quickly and in just a few minutes your vehicle is gone. However, just like your house, there are a few things that you can do to keep your vehicle safe.

One of the first things is probably the most obvious but also the most frequently forgotten. Lock your doors. Even if your just running into the store for a minute, that’s all the time it will take to jump in your car and go. And it is even easier when you leave your keys in the ignition. Also, if you park your car up close to the entrance, and under a light if you are out at night, it will be less appealing than the car parked in the dark corner at the back of the lot. Though most new cars come with them, you can get yours fitted with an alarm. Even though many people ignore car alarms these days, they do draw attention and that is exactly what a potential car thief does not want. If you are looking for something a little cheaper, you can buy a steering wheel club that prevents your steering wheel from being turned and creates extra steps for anyone who would want to steal your car.

There are also a few things that you can do to make your car less appealing. Always keep items hidden. This includes removable stereos, shopping bags, and personal items such as clothing or purses. You never know what will catch a potential thief’s eye. If you have any custom truck wheels or accessories bought at a site like, make sure you have them securely locked. That also goes for 20 inch rim and 26″ rims ; especially if they are ones that you have spent a lot of money on.

By taking these simple steps, you too can have the assurance of having a complete vehicle whenever you come looking for it.

Repair Manuals Help With Regular Auto Maintenance

There are many reasons to have car manuals around your garage.  Home car repair is affordable for one and two, you are able to keep a better eye the over condition of your vehicle.  If you own a Ford Explorer, repair manual will help when it comes time to change the oil, or even change a tire.  Not only is this good for the overall workings of your car, but both the oil and the tire pressure will have an affect on the gas mileage.

The grade of motor oil, and the pressure in tires can improve the mileage that one’s car gets by up to fifteen percent combined. Or with a Jeep Grand Cherokee repair manual, you will know how to change out the soft top.  The constant maintenance on vehicles, such as the previously stated oil change or the annual tune-up can cost a bit of money, and if one has the time and the inclination, these kinds of things can be taken care of at home.

And these simple ways of taking care of your car will not only be safer for you in the end, but will ensure that your car runs as efficiently as possible.  Many larger and more expensive, problems with car engines are caused by neglecting the continued maintenance.  The tune-up for example.  When a car is not in tune the gas mileage is decreased by almost five percent.

This is easy to fix when you have the assistance of Ford Ranger repair manual, figuring out the spark plugs and the filters becomes easy instead of confusing.  Another simple fix that will help with gas mileage is the air filter.  And again, this is one home ‘repair’ that will save the engine, air filters are instrumental in keeping the impurities away from the inner workings of the car’s engine.

Tips for Off-Road SUV Excursions

Many of the SUVs that are on the market are today, although they are suited for the off road terrain, it is best to stay in the existing roadways.  This helps with not only protected one’s life, and one’s vehicle,  but the landscape and the environment as well.  There are a few tips for staying safe when venturing off into wilderness.  One tip is to make sure that the tires on the SUV are meant for off road abuse.  Cooper Tire has a wide selection of tires for use on four wheel drive, and they are rated as some of the safest discount tires in the industry.  In general, tire pressure should always be check before heading off-road.

One tip when taking the back roads is to be sure to be on the lookout for hikers, bicyclists and those on horseback.  Also free range livestock such as goats, sheep, or cattle can shock one as they seem to appear at the last moment and out of no where.  There are many resources on the Internet to check the weather conditions before heading out.  In the Southwestern deserts flash floods can happen at a moment’s notice, and can not only strand drivers, but are dangerous as well.

In cases wherein one will be pretty far off of the beaten track, it is best to let some one know when you are leaving, where you are going and when you plan to return.  Let them know that you will give them a call when you return home, and should you not place that call, give them the names and numbers of whom they should call.  It is always recommended that one wears their seat belt, some of the rougher patches and the washed out roads can create problems in controlling one’s vehicle.

Smooth roads can be deceiving as well, as it is very easy to get caught in sand or large amounts of fine dirt.  Should this happen, it is best to ease out slowly, as trying to push the vehicle will only serve to get the car more stuck and dug into the ground.  And always know the vehicles ground clearance so as to not become trapped in a straddle over a large boulder.  Four wheeling can be fun and exciting, it is just always wise to practice caution and to be prepared.

Lewis Nelson blogs frequently about traveling, cars, and racing on his own blog as well as sites like the one found here.

Shopping for tires

Any American who has a car ha bought some tires at some point. They are not exactly a cheap investment and there are so many different types and styles it can be difficult to decide what is best for your vehicle. It can be equally tempting to just go for the cheapest and multiply it by four. But tires have a negative effect on the environment because they are so costly to get rid of. Some can go into playground surfaces, but most have to be burned before their materials can be recycled.

Just like everything else has gone eco-friendly, so now too have car tires (click here to see examples). Yokohama has just introduced a tire that is made with 80 percent orange oil. Since orange oil is a renewable resource, the tire is seen as eco-friendly. Although, it is not yet known how the orange oil tires recycle. It is a start, and they are only being offered for hybrid vehicles as of right now. These are not available for truck wheels as of yet. But they do have options for commercial trucks.

Yokohama has really changed the market in terms of choices when it comes to tires. The state of California and the United States Government are looking to make the tires that are on the market more informative as well. They want to put labels on all tires so that consumers know how fuel-efficient their tires are. The problem is that consumers rarely see the packaging on their tires before they are put on the vehicle. The labels will be available online, but how many people are going to do that much extensive research before they purchase new tires for their car? That is the question these proposed labels are facing.

Tires are the most important part of you vehicle, not those giant truck rims. They are the only part that touches the road. Make sure you research before you buy and make a choice that will be good for today and tomorrow.

Nitto Tires Wins Endurance Race

Nitto Tire and Team Achilles Motorsports recently competed in the world’s longest endurance race: the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The race requires teams to drive throughout the night for 25 hours straight. At the end of 25 hours the team with the most laps is declared the winner. The team campaigned a BMW M3 in the second fastest class overall and the fastest class requiring D.O.T.-compliant tires. The team ran on Nitto’s NT01 road race tires. Nitto created a new website that documents the race as it unfolded.

Despite a shaky start, the race was one of the closest on record. Early in the race the team was forced to pit and make needed repairs, which put them four laps down. Then, as they tried to regain their track position, a dense fog settled over the track, making it difficult to see more than a few car lengths ahead. The fog forced officials to stop the race for over 11 hours. After the restart, the team starts to catch up to the first-place team. But is it enough time?

After weeks of preparation and hours of racing, the race came down to a few crucial seconds. The team finished first in their class, with 477 laps completed and a 9-second lead over second place. In fact, the team’s laps and times were comparable to faster classes, which have the competitive advantage of using race slicks. When compared to these classes, the team finished second overall, fewer than 15 seconds behind the winner of the fastest class. This is Nitto‘s second consecutive win at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Nitto is the only tire manufacturer to hold back-to-back wins.

Nitto Tire develops performance wheel and tire packages including racing, off-road and street tire packages as seen on

What To Buy For Your Truck

There are many great tools and gear available today to add to a truck. Some of them look like a good investment others look like they are just designed for additional aesthetic appeal. In any case, you do have options when it comes to truck accessories. When you take the time to invest in a high quality truck accessory, you want to be sure it is the right item for you. For example, if you have a Nissan Frontier, you want to choose accessories that will work well with that truck to complete the look and function of it.

A good place to start is with a truck rack, assuming you have a need for it. Choose a rack that works well with the type of truck that you have, specifically. You may also want to invest in truck bed covers. These fit nicely over the top of your bed, giving anything you put inside of it protection from the elements. It also provides you with a bit of privacy.

Look at how you will use the truck, what you would like to have and the long term value of adding that accessory to the vehicle. You have plenty of options to select from and each offers a different benefit to you.

Wheel and Tire Packages Save Time and Money

Wheel and tire packages are a great way to increase the value of your car or truck without spending a fortune. In fact, most people prefer packages because it make choosing simple. And increasing the value of your automobile is well worth it.

Personally, I wait until I see rims for sale and then I go out and compare. A lot of the tire and rim companies have their sales around the same time so I wait until then and then I spend a couple of afternoons shopping until I find just what I want.

Tire and wheel packages take the guesswork out of the decision and it will save you time. Your car or truck will look nicer and you will have invested wisely.