Tag Archives: Cars

Street Parked: Lloyd Alexander outside Munich

Blue Lloyd Alexander

On the subject of Lloyd automobiles, the book of Wikipedia states that there is “little prestige to be gained by driving a Lloyd,” and “he who is not afraid of death, drives a Lloyd.”  In other words, this car is only 50% Dodge Viper.

In fact, the Lloyd Alexander really is a story of half measures.  Nearly all Lloyds possessed only two cylinders — most employing two strokes, rather than the now common four.  A rear bench seat was available (as an option), and early models boasted a body fashioned out of wood and fabric.  By the time the steel-bodied Alexander rolled off the production line in 1957 Lloyd had almost doubled engine output to a staggering 19 horsepower, which could propel this little guy to nearly 100 km/h, assuming the driver possessed both the fortitude and a strong tailwind.

As you can see in the photograph above, this Alexander is securely attached to a trailer, which is likely the safest way to travel by Lloyd, and probably the fastest too.

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.

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: 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…

The XK-E Reborn: Jaguar’s Awesome F-Type

F-Type Profile LBack in October I had the opportunity to get an early look at the brand new Jaguar F-Type roadster expected to debut later this year.  Short of Aston Martin’s GTs, I think it’s one of the best looking cars out there.  Designer Ian Callum has done an amazing job of creating an aggressive, contemporary take on the classic long-hood roadster while capturing many of the design elements of the E-Type that made it so timeless (dual center exhaust outlets and sculpted rear haunches come to mind).

The torque behemoth that is the supercharged 5.0L V8 also found in various -R branded Jaguars will be available, but I’m most excited for the new supercharged V6 which will be good for 340-370HP while producing one of the best sounding exhaust-notes I’ve heard in a long time.

Sadly, no manual transmission is available (yet) but at least they’ve done away with the frustrating rotary gear selector knob found in other models.  When I asked about a potential row-your-own option, I did get the corporate line followed by a wink/nod hint to keep an eye on future announcements so I’m not giving up hope just yet…  A 3-5 year old V6S with a manual transmission might be a great (almost affordable) roadster one day. Continue reading

Jaguar Alive Driving Experience

A few weeks ago I ducked out early to check out the Chicago-area Jaguar Alive event.  In addition to the typical presentations and street drives (in this case in the quick and luxurious XJ Supercharged), Jaguar set up an autocross course as well as an all wheel drive technology demo area complete with man-made snow and muddy chicanes.  The best part, however, was the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the extremely rare XKR-S, a $130,000+ red meat cocktail of supercharged speed and track-ready hardware.  The folks at Jaguar put together a brief video with two and a half minutes of product highlights surrounding 5 seconds of me in the XKR-S struggling to put 550 HP to work on a short gravelly drag strip:

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Great Falls Cars and Coffee – July 30th 2011

Great Falls Cars & Coffee July 30 2011 at Katie's CoffeeI stopped by Katie’s Coffee in Great Falls this morning for the weekly DC region Cars & Coffee.  Despite the summer heat, there was a huge crowd of owners and enthusiasts by 7:15am.  From classics to tuners to exotics (and even a few track cars), there was a car for every taste and budget.

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