Monthly Archives: February 2014

Street Parked: Bentley S2 Saloon in Paris

Black Bentley S2 Saloon Street Parked in Paris

I learned two important things today.  First of all, Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter is a great way to salvage crappy pixelated cell phone photos.  Second, even as a car enthusiast I can barely tell Rolls Royces and Bentleys apart (more on that in a future post).

The former is important because according to my wife I am an awful photographer (she’s likely right).  This is probably because I take the same approach to photographing people as I do to shooting cars.  Namely, stand in the middle of the street, get as close to the ground as possible (slightly below street level ideally), and then throw every possible filter at the resulting image until it looks halfway decent.  While this generally works for cars, most of my human portraits end up looking like some unintentional, cheap (and not at all artistic) imitation of an Andy Warhol pop art portrait.

The latter is important because I’m sure that whomever owns said Bentley is acutely aware of the difference between his Bentley and the equally unreliable Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II.  This is likely not limited to the fact that Bentley chose the more pedestrian “2” in their model designation, while I can’t help but identify the equivalent Rolls Royce as Silver Cloud, the Second.  Fortunately (unfortunately?), my depleted bank account does not discriminate.

To be honest, I have no problem having fun at the expense of owners of early ’60s British saloons as 1) they don’t use the internet, and 2) if they did they would not have made it past my inability to correctly differentiate between whoever/whomever in the first sentence of the last paragraph.  Crisis averted.

Can You Autocross a Jeep Grand Cherokee? (Video)

Silver WK Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 Autocross

Yes… yes you can.  We actually decided to answer this question this past fall after a season of autocross totally lacking in high center-of-gravity, two-wheeled drama.

I invited a friend along to the final points event of the Chicago-area BMWCCA autocross season. The organizers resisted but we were eventually able to successfully register a WK (3rd gen) Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 citing its lower ride height and performance upgrades.  The club initially required an instructor ride-along given lingering concerns about stability but eventually relented and pretty soon everyone was looking to grab an available seat.

My friend and his Jeep actually did pretty well, placing mid-pack in the non-BMW class with much more nimble entrants ranging from Honda Civics to Porsche GT3s.  Most importantly, he kept the shiny side up.

Photo credit: Schettel, Windy City BMW

Street Parked: Aston Martin DB6 in Paris

Aston Martin DB6 in ParisApparently it’s quite common to find this Aston Martin DB6 street parked around Paris.  I spotted it just off the Champs Élysées in the posh 8th arrondissement just a short walk from AM’s Paris dealership.  Would you take this over a modern Vantage?  Tough call…


Street Parked: Willys Jeep in Joshua Tree

Willys Jeep in Joshua Tree

Took a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park a few winters ago and came across this pristine Willys Jeep at the abandoned Desert Queen Ranch.  Should you decide to venture up to the ranch to check out this specimen I am almost certain it will still be there…

More pictures follow: Continue reading

Street Parked: Mini Cooper / MINI Cooper S in Paris

Red Classic Mini Cooper and Red R56 MINI Cooper S

Caught these two Minis parked near my flat in Paris last night.  I’m starting to get worried I’ve been in Europe for too long — the current generation of MINIs are starting to seem downright large…