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Old 8th March 2012, 05:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
At least the original Top Gear is entertaining. The US clone is not even that.
I agree.

Here in the UK they've shown the original, german, australian and US versions at one time or another and I'm sad to say that the US one is by far the most tedious. May be if they got presenters one can actually care about one way or another but they seemed to all had a personality bypass performed on them.
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:07 PM   #22
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
At least the original Top Gear is entertaining. The US clone is not even that.
It seems to me, and I could be wrong here, that US testing is either blatant advertising, or boils down to 1/4 mile results.

US cars never sold well in Europe because they are mostly concepts of 1950ies driving (plus the size, too big for most old European cities). But let's not forget that some of automobile icons were in fact made in USA - anyone remember the Lola, from the early 60ies? Muscle cars, ALL of them, were wimps compared to the Lola, which was, truth be told, strictly a race car. There was the Ford GT, which I would kill for. And, of course, the still current legendary Chevy Corvette.

However, with all due respect to one and all, in my view, the British TVR was the essence of poison, a light chassis and a damn powerful engine, race track steering and handling, a dream. Its fit and finish were poor, but for sheer driving pleasure, that was the one to beat.

My fun car is an attempt to combine Italian style engines (no turbo, just sheer, raw power through revs, sound is a syphony, my limiter is set at 8.500 rpm) with British type (specifically, Cosworth type) handling, agility and breaking. Opinions will vary, but I feel very happy in it.

My preference for tuned cars from Britain no doubt comes from the fact that I took rally driving lessons in Britain, on the then popular Ford Escort Cosworth (1.6 litres DOHC engine, twin Weber 45 DCOE carbs, 120 bhp street legal version, 160 bhp rally version, 180 bhp speed racing version). Ah, those were the days! A bottle of spring water cost more than a litre of high grade petrol!
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
This where you realise the benefits of driving a Soviet (now Ukrainian) Vehicle knows by the designation T-84. It may not be fast on a racecourse, but in a traffic jam it still does around 40mph...
One more option is BTR. When I owed Nisan Armada it had FLYBTR number plate. Fast like racing car, but big and strong like BTR.

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Old 8th March 2012, 05:20 PM   #24
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
I didn't know that Fiat made stable cars. Or Zastava...
Long ago, behind seven mountains, seven seas and two big walls I drove a russian made FIAT (under licence), it was very dependable, after a lot of work...

I had a sticker in the rear window that read:

"I originally wanted a Lamborghini but could not pronounce the name..."
(in german)

At yea olde car shoppe:

Customer: "I want a La.., La.., La....."
Salesman: "Lada?"
Customer: "No, but give me one anyway"
Salesman: "Put your name here at the bottom. You can have one in twenty years when your name is at the top."

Ciao T
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:22 PM   #25
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
I didn't know that Fiat made stable cars. Or Zastava...
Oh, FIAT made some fabulous cars. The FIAT Dino, for example, two seater by Pininfarina, coupe by Bertone. The X/19 mid engined two seater, which was made for the US market some 7 or 8 years after the official production stopped (Bertone did it). In its day, the 128 was years ahead of the competition, and was Car of the Year 1968.

FIAT always made great engines, but often failed with bodyworks. And all Italian cars usually have a problem, or two, or a thousand, with electricity inside, one way or another. Your fuel gague dies, you can't just get a new one, you have to buy the enrite new instrument board. To change a burnt out light bulb on a FIAT Stilo, you need TWO HOURS of service work, which promoted the European commission to introduce new legislation strictly forbidding such practices.

As for Zastava (Flag), they produced FIAT vehicles on licence. Their one and only original car was the Florida - design by Giugiaro, mechanics by FIAT, made in house. The export version is also known as the Sana. In 1988, when it appeared, it actually started to sell very well indeed, the two key markets in Europe being the UK and (gulp!) Germany. Unfortunately, that, as just about everything else, was cut short by the bout of local wars.

Today, Zastava does not exist as such any more, it's now owned and renamed to FIAT Serbia. They just showed off the first brand new model from that marriage, the FIAT 500L, and you can expect to see it in the US showrooms soon. However, with a starting price of 16,000 in Europe, I seriously doubt it will sell well. All the Korean boys undercut it in price and offer more for the money.

Il Dottore, the late Giovani Agnelli, took FIAT to its pinnacle in the late 60ies and early 70ies, but also to its darkest times, which were the 80ies and the first half of the 90ies. Now FIAT faces a reputation of poorly made cars (which they are not right now) and has somehow lost its course, they don't seem to know which way to head for.
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:24 PM   #26
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
Hi,



Nope.

I only care how fast I can get ahead in the Los Angeles/New York/London/Paris/Berlin/Beijing/Tokyo/Other (delete as appropriate) traffic Jams.

This where you realise the benefits of driving a Soviet (now Ukrainian) Vehicle knows by the designation T-84. It may not be fast on a racecourse, but in a traffic jam it still does around 40mph...

Ciao T
Wake up, T., it's T-90 today.
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:25 PM   #27
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavebourn View Post
One more option is BTR.
I was inside a BTR some ejit drove in the path of a .57 cal (14.5mm) heavy machine gun. Make mine a T-84 Please and confiscate any loose RPG's...

Ciao T
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:25 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
Long ago, behind seven mountains, seven seas and two big walls I drove a russian made FIAT (under licence), it was very dependable, after a lot of work...
Russian design school: repairability is one of major criteria, sometimes weighting more than reliability. After buying Lada you had to go underneath and inside and tighten all bolts and nuts.
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:29 PM   #29
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
Hi,



Long ago, behind seven mountains, seven seas and two big walls I drove a russian made FIAT (under licence), it was very dependable, after a lot of work...

I had a sticker in the rear window that read:

"I originally wanted a Lamborghini but could not pronounce the name..."
(in german)

At yea olde car shoppe:

Customer: "I want a La.., La.., La....."
Salesman: "Lada?"
Customer: "No, but give me one anyway"
Salesman: "Put your name here at the bottom. You can have one in twenty years when your name is at the top."

Ciao T
It appears the export models were far better. It was, and still is, very popular over here. Rough, uncouth, but dependable and cheap, even with an air con. Yeah, they actually built one in.

As for the Lada Niva, the jeep, I saw a test in a British mag dedicated to SUVs, jeeps and generall 4 wheel drive terrain vehices, and in their test, that ugly, uncouth amd downright primitive Lada Niva, beat the lot of them: Nissan, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, the lot, for sheer terrain tolerance - it will go whene no other four wheel machine will.

But on the road? If you don't own an oil well, don't even think about it.
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Old 8th March 2012, 05:36 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvv View Post
I took rally driving lessons in Britain, on the then popular Ford Escort Cosworth (1.6 litres DOHC engine, twin Weber 45 DCOE carbs, 120 bhp street legal version, 160 bhp rally version, 180 bhp speed racing version).
I have a '96 Ford Taurus that has the 3.0L DOHC engine, 200HP street rated.
I guess your "american cars are all slow, designed in '50's" is based on the Top Gear UK garbage that promotes only german cars (sponsors).
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