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Entries from September 30th, 2010

Under the hood: Don Klein

September 30th, 2010 by Stu

Pictured: Automotive journalist, author, historian, consummate marketer and enthusiast Don Klein and his ’73 Dino 246

I stepped off the train, threw on my shades and took a big gulp of clean, country air. The temperature felt more like July than late September, but the multi-colored leaves lining the trees were clearly a sign Autumn was taking hold. I focused my attention on the parking lot and immediately spotted my pal Don Klein, waiting patiently for me in his yellow ’73 Dino 246. It’s not like I could have missed him…the car stood out like a speed addict at a Grateful Dead concert in the small, working class town of Dover. After exchanging pleasantries and sliding into the rich leather buckets, Don immediately launched into the plan for the day. First we were going to stop by the mechanic’s shop in order to pick up one of his other vintage Ferraris, a 1967 330 GTC that had just been reupholstered. I’m no math whiz or anything but unless we’re dealing with autonomous vehicles, there must be at least 2 drivers in order to drive 2 vintage sports cars at the same time. Uhm, this could get interesting.

More pics, video and getting to know Don after the jump

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Honda CB750A Windjammer – Wooster Street, NYC

September 29th, 2010 by Ian

You know how the old saying goes…there is no replacement for displacement. Or at least that is what Honda must have been thinking when they brought the 4-cylinder, 120 MPH CB750 to the US and European markets in 1969 after having experienced tremendous success with their smaller line of bikes. The high speed sport bike was unprecedented not only for its straight-4 engine with an overhead camshaft, but for its adoption of front disc brakes, both of which were features previously unavailable on mainstream production motorcycles of the time and, in typical Japanese manufacturer fashion, were offered by Honda at a lower price point than the competition. This particular example is unique for its automatic, or Hondamatic, transmission (that’s the “A” in Honda CB750A), Honda’s first ever, and Windjammer aftermarket fairing. The whole thing is delightfully retro and that massive fairing really transforms the bike from a high speed sportster to an effortlessly fast highway cruiser along the lines of a modern day Gold Wing. It goes without saying that this bike looks positively amazing considering it’s more than 30 years old at this point.

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New Product: Honda CR-Z’s 3-D Times Square Takeover

September 24th, 2010 by Ian

Honda took over Times Square yesterday to introduce their all-new CR-Z Sport Hybrid to the 35 million or so people who pass through each day. The big news on this wedge-shaped little car is the marriage between hybrid powertrains and sporty hatchback design. Fun to drive, cheap to own, good on gas…it’s a brilliant combination that Honda is hoping will lure away owners of gas-only “hot hatch” competitors like Mazda 3, VW GTI and Mini Cooper S. From a design standpoint, CR-Z harks back to the similarly intentioned CR-X, an autocross hall of famer revered by parking lot warriors from the 80s, 90s and today. The 90 degree glass rump and squared off stance have CR-X written all over them and fits in quite nicely with some of the more modern styling cues. The new hatchback represents more than just the first hybrid you can get with a manual. It’s symbolic of the trend towards mass-adoption of fuel saving technology across all model lines, not just the ones that sell in the most volume.

Much like the Maxim print campaign used to launch the zippy CR-Z into mass media, the event theme was one of 3-D wonder and delight. Honda pulled out all the stops and hired Pharrell from N.E.R.D. to do a live performance while Maxim Magazine models in tight black T-shirts were handing out classic, movie-theater-style glasses to all those in need. As a part of the takeover, Honda ran 3-D CR-Z commercial footage on the Times Square HD Spectacolor screen (located on Broadway between 46th and 47th Street) and Sony provided 3-D Gran Turismo 5 racing simulators. Spanning five blocks of Times Square, Honda says the event marks the first time 3-D footage was broadcasted to the public space.

To maximize your Man on the Move experience, we have taken the liberty of shooting the event through the crappy, plastic lenses glued into the equally cheap cardboard frames. We figured the pictures would be more authentic this way.

Enjoy

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New Product: 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition – Harriman State Park, Rockland County (NY)

September 23rd, 2010 by Stu

Editors note: Even the best of us make mistakes now and again. With that being said, it has been brought to our attention that the car pictured here is not in fact a Z06 Carbon Edition as we were originally lead to believe. Apparently the limited edition run of 500 cars will not begin production until later this year. According to our sources at Chevy, the main elements are…

1) Carbon fiber rockers and hood (CFZ option on the order sheet)
2) New “Z07″ chassis package — carbon ceramic brakes, chassis tuning and wheels and tires inherited from the ZR1
3) Commemorative Interior elements: Microfiber suede accents, special sill plate
4) Carbon fiber roof panel

Items 1 and 2 on the list above — accounting for most of the special edition’s functional elements – are available on any 2011 Z06 as optional equipment. That’s the car we drove and that you see represented here…essentially a Z06 with these new options and the Supersonic Blue paint. The actual Limited Edition car comes with those added commemorative elements (suede etc.) and starts production later this year. Please forgive us for the confusion.

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The weather could be better…a lot better. This is what I kept mumbling to myself as I stood staring angrily at the rain clouds, car keys in hand, contemplating how easy it would be to spin horribly out of control on a slick road in the beastly 505 HP Z06 Carbon that was residing in my parents’ suburban driveway at the time. The Supersonic Blue, special edition Corvette just kept staring at me, whispering “fire up my hand-built, 7.0L V8…light up the acres of rubber wrapped around my 20 spoke, 20 inch competition gray aluminum wheels…and rev me mercilessly on a windy back road somewhere.” How can I be expected to say no to any of that. So, with guidance from Weather.com and my Helen Hunt-like storm chasing intuition, I threw caution aside and set on a course to outrun the depressing clouds that loomed overhead. My destination was to be Harriman State Park, a hikers’ haven and bird watchers’ delight, but somewhat of a well-kept secret amongst car and motorcycle enthusiasts searching for fantastically scenic driving roads that aren’t all that far from Manhattan.

The ride to Harriman is basically a one hour stretch on the Palisades Parkway, a woodsy North South highway known for the friendly state troopers lurking in every shadow. But the weather had been cooperating, the roads were dry and my right foot was running out of will power. Mind you, the sky could have opened up at at any moment and I would have lost my window to stretch this baby’s legs a bit. What the hell, let’s give this gussied up Vette a little dance. I dropped the balky shifter into 3rd, jacked the revs up a little bit and proceeded to give the throttle a good squeeze. In a matter of 2 or 3 seconds, the red needle on the tach blew past 4,500 RPM, opening up the exhaust baffles and unleashing a roaring muscle car soundtrack that’s quite possibly more addictive than many of today’s hard drug offerings.

More driving impressions and pics after the jump…

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PL Custom Emergency Vehicles – Manasquan, NJ

September 23rd, 2010 by Stu

PL Custom Emergency Vehicles has been building, well…you know, custom emergency vehicles as far back as 1946. Want proof…check out their awesome front lawn. Like a hungry rodent to a wheel of cheese, the retro rescue vehicles from Cadillac and Ford drew me right in as I drove by the company’s HQ in Manasquan, NJ one Sunday morning on my way home from the Jersey Shore. Is it just me or does the one in the middle look like Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters.

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Wanted: Trigger Happy Street Spotters with an eye for cool

September 21st, 2010 by Stu

Picture it…you’re half awake, walking the dog on some neighborhood side street one Saturday morning and, out of nowhere, appears a band of wild Ferrari drivers revving the bejesus out of their hand-built V12 engines. It’s an occurrence so amazing that you have to see it to believe it. Being an avid photographer and frequent admirer of fine automobiles, you immediately reach for your trusty SLR to properly document the sighting. Too bad all you have on you is one nervous Terrier, a few poop bags and an iPhone tucked into your pajamas. Don’t worry Macgyver, all you need to do is point, shoot and email us the file. We will proudly display it in the new Man on the Move user submitted section (don’t worry, we’re working on a cooler name) so that you can properly gab about it with all your family and friends.

Mobile submissions – manonmove.4840@twitpic.com

From your computer – http://manonthemove.com/user-submitted/

Share the love and send us your photos

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Porsche 928: 9th Street – West Babylon, NY

September 20th, 2010 by Dimitrus

A bit of history for you on this glorious Monday morning…

Affectionately known as the “land shark,” 928 was dramatic in its styling with a long-nose and distinctively rounded off rump sporting a pair of bad ass, side-exiting exhaust. The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, V-8 powered 2+2 GT car was not only among the fastest production models of the day, but also the most expensive with loaded GTS models exceeding $100,000 in 1995.

Much like Cayenne and Panamera, the 928 represented a major Porsche departure when it was introduced in 1977 at the Geneva Auto Show. As if the use of a water-cooled V8 wasn’t offensive enough to Porsche purists, the new sports car also differed from the brand’s bread and butter 911 in the placement of said V8 – it was mounted up front.

Overall, the 928 aimed to be a well-rounded, well-mannered luxury sports car that allowed for maximum driver comfort while still offering the exciting levels of performance expected from a brand like Porsche. And while it never came close to 911’s high level of success, Porsche did manage to sell 61,000 of them throughout the rather long 18 year production run. Along the way, 928 was used as an incubator for many industry-first innovations like an instrument cluster that moved in tandem with the steering wheel to maximize visibility, an early all-wheel steering system called the Weissach Axle and an unsleeved, silicon alloy engine block made of aluminum, which reduced weight and provided a highly durable cylinder bore.

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New Product: McLaren MP4-12C Unveiling – Lux Studios, NYC

September 17th, 2010 by Stu

Pictured: Auto design legend and McLaren design boss Frank Stephenson posed proudly in front of his latest creation, the MP4-12C (call it 12C for short)

McLaren, long known for excellence in racing and an absurdly fast, low volume road car called the F1, is diving head first into the “entry level” supercar game. I know what you’re thinking…entry level my left foot. But before you write us off forever, I do have a decent explanation for my seemingly wacked out pricing nomenclature. Entry level, in this case, pertains to exotics hovering around $220k like the Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes SLS AMG and Bentley Continental GT. Then you have the $300-$500k players like Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and Lambo Murcielago. Finally, the hyper exotics…members of an elite top speed club capable of velocities somewhere north of 220 MPH – Bugatti Veyron, Koenigsegg CCX, Pagani Zonda, Gumpert Apollo, SSC Ultimate Aero, and last but not least, the infamous McLaren F1.

Ok, now that we have covered supercar class hierarchies, back to the McLaren at hand. The Woking-based company is cashing in on all the aforementioned sweat equity amongst race fans and deep-pocketed supercar lovers to offer discerning sportsmen a reason to consider something other than a Ferrari or Lamborghini. After spending an afternoon gazing at this lustful machine at the Lux studios unveiling, it’s easy to understand why the eyes of Italian loyalists will feel compelled to wander. The sexy two-seat coupe, with its trick scissor doors and gaping side intakes, is every bit the exotic and exudes a tasteful level of design restraint alongside more angular competitors. Put another way, it’s easy on the eyes. The low slung body was penned by auto design legend Frank Stephenson, formerly head of design at Alfa Romeo and the man responsible for. amongst other things, modern versions of the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500.

You might be wondering what ever happened to the other “entry level” sports car that had McLaren’s name on it. Well, if you recall, it had Mercedes’ name on it too. Of course we’re talking about the now defunct Mercedes SLR McLaren, the long nosed coupe jointly developed by the two brands and sold for some 6 years (2003-2009). Needless to say, the brands have since parted ways to do their own thing.

Here are some of 12C’s juicy performance details in case you were curious. The chassis, a superlight carbon fiber affair, contributes to the car’s relative lightweight while also maintaining stupefying levels of rigidity. Positioned amidships, 12C’s 3.8L twin-turbo, all alluminum V8 churns out 592 HP and 443 ft lbs of torque. Couple that in with a 2,866 pound dry weight that undercuts rivals by some 200 pounds and you have yourself a sub 4 second 0-60 MPH time and a top end somewhere near 200 MPH. The F1-derived 7-speed, “Seamless Shift Gearbox” has the ability to preload gears as you attempt to negotiate through all that raw power.

Look for MP4-12C at select dealerships next Summer. In the meantime, check out all the McLaren porn we have captured for you after the jump.

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Jaguar XJ 4.2 Series I – Prince Street, NYC

September 16th, 2010 by Ian

Jaguar recently unleashed an all-new XJ on luxury buyers worldwide. Its modern design langauage, lithe profile, cutting edge interior and less-than BMW/Audi/Mercedes price tag already have people singing its praises. But don’t forget where it all started.

Respect

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The Batmobile, Ford Escort Style: RT.35-Normandy Beach, NJ

September 15th, 2010 by Stu

I’m willing to bet you never considered an ’88 Ford Escort hatchback as being a good jumping off point for recreating the Batmobile. Well, shame on you for being so closed minded. Seriously though, this is the kind of stuff that gets me out of bed in the morning. The owner, creepily clad in Batman hat and T-shirt, was more than happy to share his unique creation with Man on the Move readers and uses the crime-fighting economy car as a part of his superhero act for kids’ birthday parties and, oddly enough, corporate functions (your guess is as good as mine on that one). Jersey Shore Batman also tells me that the organ style exhaust pipes protruding from behind the head rest are indeed functional, which begs the question of what the afterburner-style pipe in back is spitting out. Maybe it releases grease or thumb tacks to allude the Joker’s henchmen when a chase pursues.

We can’t make this stuff up folks.

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