automobiles

The New York International Auto Show is back!

The New York International Auto Show strikes again! With approximately 1,000 vehicles on display contained under 950,000 sq. ft., the show is one of the world’s biggest and greatest automotive shows for over one million car enthusiasts to check out the newest cars, trucks and SUV’s.

A few dozen, new for 2016, cars made their big debuts at the show. Some of these were the all-new Audi A4 with a power boost up to 252hp, the sixth generation BMW 7 series, the 365hp BMW M2, an all-wheel-drive Ford Fusion V6 Sport and Hyundai’s new flagship brand, Genesis, showed us the new G90. Other debuts include the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Fiat 124 Spider, Cadillac CT6, the 5.0-liter V8 Lexus LX500, Lincoln Continental, Mercedes E-Class with a new 2.0-liter, 241hp four cylinder and the Volvo S90 luxury sedan.

New concept vehicles were also revealed at the show, including the Buick Avista coupe grand tourer, Volkswagen BUDD-e, the Kia A1A Optima and the Kia Telluride.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the New York International Auto Show over the next few days.

First Responders at the New York International Auto Show

Ever go to the New York Auto Show and wonder where all those police cars on the lower level come from? They come from the New York City Police Museum.

Incorporated in 1998, The New York City Police Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the New York City Police Department, the world’s largest and most famous police service. Every year, they have a spectacular display of the police cars of New York City, from the 1930s to present day.

1958 Ford Custom 300 with factory 292i V8 (4.8L) and 3 speed automatic. Emergency equipment includes a Federal signal Model 17 light, Federal Signal Model 28 siren, Stewart Warner Police Special Speedometer and Motorola Twin V Police Radio.

1974 Plymouth Satellite Custom with factory 318i V8 (5.2L) and 3 speed automatic. The NYPD switched from the larger Plymouth Fury to the smaller Plymouth Satellite due to the gasoline crisis. Each car was $3,767. Precinct numbers were added to the sides of the cars in 1978. Includes a Signal Stat #9555 light bar, Signal Stat VI Siren & Control Center, Stewart Warner Police Special speedometer and Motorola T-Power Radio

1989 Chevrolet Caprice 9C1 Police Package with Federal Signal Aerodynamic 24H lighter and Federal Signal PA-300 radio. This car is built in tribute to P.O. Edward Byrne.

2016 Smart Car, with 89 horsepower and CVT transmission. NYPD installed options include NYPD specialized LED lighting and message board with 72 different programmed messages and a VIT fuel management system.

2016 Ford NGPI Utility, comes with 304 horsepower and al-wheel-drive with police tuned suspension, heavy duty wheels and brakes, NYPD specialized LED lighting, Rumbler siren, front push bumper, ballistic door and window panels, computer tablet with keyboard and printer, priority start (battery rundown protection), skid plate, AVL (automatic vehicle locator). It also has a park kill module, which turns the sirens off when the vehicle is placed in park, and a run on module, which allows the vehicle to run when the ignition key is removed but turns the car off when the brake is pressed so the car can’t be stolen.

1961 Plymouth Savoy from “Car 54, Where are You?”, with factory 318i V8 (5.2L) and 3 speed automatic, and Motorola Twin V radio, Stewart Warner Police Speedometer, Federal Signal Model 28 Siren and Federal Signal Model 17 light. Each car cost $2,694 in 1961.

Serial One: The First Honda in the US

In 1969, Honda debuted the N600, the first Honda car that was imported to the US. Designed to combat bad fuel economy and high emissions, the N600 was roughly three feet shorter and half the weight of the average American car at the time.

n6001

Mechanic and restorer Tim Mings is the only full-time Honda N600 mechanic in the world – having worked on over 1,000 throughout the past 20 years. From the first 50 produced (serial #1 through 50), only 3 survived. After sitting under five decades of dust and dirt, Tim recently found this N600, purchasing it sight unseen, unaware of its’ pedigree. Now, it’s Tim’s mission to restore Serial One, the very first N600 that rolled off the line. Mings says it’s “humbling that I get to be the guy that does it. I’m the first person to take it apart since it was put together in 1967”. Once the restoration is complete, it will be going to the Honda Museum.

 

During the 12- to 18-month rebuild, Honda will be documenting the restoration of this special car at SerialOne.com – follow along, both with Honda and us, as we keep a close eye on the progress!

Images from: Honda Motor Co.

Ford opens doors for law enforcement

Ford has always been a staple in law enforcement vehicle history – going all the way back to 1919 when departments used Model T police trucks. Then, came the infamous Crown Victoria era in the early 90s and late 2000s. Now, we have the new Explorers and Tauruses we see most departments using on the roads today.

Ford is taking their dedication to law enforcement one step further, and will now be offering doors that protect against armor-piercing bullets. Since 2008, they’ve offered factory-installed ballistic panels on their police car doors, but they only protect against handgun fire and non-armor piercing bullets. Only about 5 to 10 percent of police vehicles sold by Ford have the optional ballistic protection, which costs about $1,500 per door.

Controlling 60 percent of the US police vehicle market in 2015, Ford will be the first in the US to meet the Justice Department’s highest standard for body armor, which is the equivalent of a bulky SWAT team vest.

The ballistic panels, which cover the majority of the door, have two layers. The first layer is made from ballistic-grade ceramic tile, which disperses the energy and starts to break the bullet into pieces on impact. The inner layer is made from aramid fiber, which is the same material used for Kevlar, and catches the shrapnel from the bullet.

Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations said that “any kind of protection that can be added into the vehicles that officers are driving in is a great idea”, since officers are frequently targeted when they are in their patrol cars.

Unavailable to the public, the doors are destroyed when police cars are scrapped so they don’t wind up in the bad guys’ hands.

Engineering the doors proved to be a challenge since the added weight of the ballistic protection had to be supported by the hinges of the door, though they made it happen. Ford will continue to offer both non-armor piercing and armor-piercing protection doors for departments with different needs. Pricing for upgraded protection has not been announced.

Photo Credit: Ford

No Porsche for You!

It’s no secret Jerry Seinfeld is a car guy – but did you know that he’s a major Porsche fan? According to Complex Magazine, Seinfeld owns over 45 of the brand’s most sought after models. Car collectors seized the opportunity of a lifetime, taking up the chance to own some of the comedy legend’s beloved Porsches that he recently unloaded — for over $22,000,000.

Considering the “cheapest” vehicle that sold was a 1964 Volkswagen Bus for $99,000 (and the most expensive car from his collection sold for over $5 million!), you know these vehicles came from a very well maintained and well-cared-for collection from someone who truly loves his Porsches (and Volkswagen’s).

Check out some of the cars that hit the auction block – the only one that didn’t sell was his 2000 Porsche Carrera GT prototype. We can only imagine what else he has in his garage.

  • 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder — $5,335,000
  • 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster — $682,000
  • 1958 Porsche 356A 1500 GS/GT Carrera Speedster — $1,540,000
  • 1958 Porsche 597 Jagdwagen — $330,000
  • 1959 Porsche 718RSK — $2,860,000
  • 1963 Porsche 356B 2000 GS Carrera 2 Coupe — $825,000
  • 1966 Porsche 911 — $275,000
  • 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder — $3,000,000
  • 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR — $2,310,000
  • 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster — $363,000
  • 1990 Porsche 962C — $1,650,000
  • 1994 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6 Turbo S Flachbau — $1,017,500
  • 1997 Porsche 993 3.8 Cup RSR — $935,000
  • 2011 Porsche 997 Speedster — $440,000
  • 2012 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 4.0 “Brumos Commemorative Edition” — $462,000
  • 1960 Volkswagen Beetle — $121,000
  • 1964 Volkswagen Camper — $99,000

Photos from Gooding & Company Auction House.

The Autocracy’s Top 10 Car Films

Who doesn’t love a good car movie? With enough car chases, crashes and explosions to get your adrenaline pumping, there’s nothing better than plopping down on the couch after work or on a weekend and getting in your “car movie” fix. Here’s a few of our favorite films – leave us a comment below and tell us what your favorite car movie is!

Greg’s Picks: 

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – The Bandit is hired on to run a tractor trailer full of beer over county lines in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff. Starring Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Sally Field and Mike Henry.

Fast Five (2011) – Dominic Toretto and his crew of street racers plan a massive heist to buy their freedom while in the sights of a powerful Brazilian drug lord and a dangerous federal agent. Starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson.

Blues Brothers (1980) – Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised. Starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

Used Cars (1980) – When the owner of a struggling used car lot is killed, it’s up to the lot’s hot-shot salesman to save the property from falling into the hands of the owner’s ruthless brother and used-car rival. Starring Kurt Russell, Jack Warden and Al Lewis.

Transporter (2002) – Frank is hired to “transport” packages for unknown clients and has made a very good living doing so. But when asked to move a package that begins moving, complications arise. Starring Jason Statham, Matt Schulze, Qi Shu and François Berléand.

 


 

Dave’s Picks: 

The Fast and the Furious (2001) – Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Connor must decide where his loyalties really lie when he becomes enamored with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy. Starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster.

Dukes of Hazzard (2005) – Cousins Bo and Luke Duke, with a little help from their cousin Daisy and Uncle Jesse, egg on the authorities of Hazzard County, Boss Hogg and Sheriff Coltrane. Starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds and Willie Nelson.

Bad Boys (1995) – Two hip detectives protect a murder witness while investigating a case of stolen heroin. Starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Starsky and Hutch (2004) – Two streetwise cops bust criminals in their red-and-white Ford Torino with the help of police snitch called Huggy Bear. Starring Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Snoop Dogg.

Gran Torino (2008) – Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski’s prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino. Starring Clint Eastwood. 

 

Honorable Mentions:

My Cousin Vinny (1992) – Not a true car movie in the sense of the genre, although the defense’s case comes to a close thanks to evidence found in a photo of a tire mark. Vincent Laguardia Gambini’s 1962 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible also does play a small role in the film, a la “mud in the tires” and the scene where he gets stuck in the mud and drops his freshly dry-cleaned suit.

Tommy Boy (1995) –  How can you not like David Spade’s 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX in the film? Though, any true car guy has probably shed a tear or two after what happens to his car.