Be Cautious Where You Take Your Classic Car or Muscle Car – Cars News

Classic car owners, including those with muscle cars, street rods, hot rods, antiques and vintage trucks, are facing uncertain times as car thefts are on the rise, and actions from thieves are becoming more bold and brazen.I recently came across a story written by a man who owned a Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette Coupe with all matching numbers. The all-original classic sport car had an immaculate dark blue interior where only the carpet had ever been replaced. The 327 engine was said to produce a rhythmic loping that not only brought a smile to your face, but got you day dreaming of having this beauty parked in your own garage. Then disaster strikes and you’re snapped out of your dream and into his nightmare!The owner of this beautiful piece of American history took his prized car to what he called a small “backwoods” show that a friend and he decided to go to in the spur of the moment. As owner Jacob Morgan, of Bakersfield, CA described, “The event was an annual but rather unofficial gathering of classic car buffs and I was thrilled to bring my car down. Unfortunately, the part of Florida that the event was being held was extremely dry due to drought. About three or four hours after arriving, a man who owned a red GTO (I could not tell you the year because frankly I did not care afterward) decided to start up his ride for the spectators. It was just one backfire but it was enough to start the dry grass ablaze–and guess where my Corvette was parked?Nearly thirty classic cars were consumed by the blaze started by that backfiring GTO and my Corvette was one of them. Of course I had the car properly insured but they just aren’t making 1963 Corvettes any longer and the only one I could find that was similar cost $10,000 more than my policy’s payoff. I guess if there is a moral to my sad tale, it is to avoid backwoods car shows at all costs because they are unregulated, disorganized, and very dangerous to classic cars like my beloved 1963 Corvette Coupe.”This may not be your traditional way of losing your prized classic car, muscle car, street rod, antique car, vintage truck or other collectible old vehicle, but it does drive home the point that we need to exercise care in even the most innocent surroundings like a car show! Freak accidents like Mr. Morgan experienced can and do account for many losses to enthusiasts – not just theft or vandalism.Sadly though, theft isn’t a rare thing and the methods are becoming more bizarre. Guy Algar and I have had pieces stolen off one of our own vehicles that we were towing back to our shop while we stopped for a quick bite to eat! We’ve had a good number of hubcaps taken over the years. And, we actually had the brake lights ripped off of our car hauler while we were in a parts store one day picking up parts for a customer! We’ve had one customer tell us the story where he had taken his wife out to dinner and had carefully parked his 1969 Corvette at a local restaurant, under a big bright light, and in what appeared to be a “safe” area, only to come out 45 minutes to an hour later to find all his emblems and trim taken right off the car! Thieves have been known to take the entire car hauler (with the classic sitting on top) right off the tow vehicle’s hitch ball and transfer the hauler to their own tow vehicle when people are on the road, at a car show, or some other type of event. These are bold moves by people who do not fear the consequences.Other thefts that have been reported around the country have included:

Dr. Phil just had his ’57 Chevy Belair convertible stolen from the Burbank repair shop he had brought it to for repairs.

A 1937 Buick, valued at over $100,000 was taken from a gated community parking garage in Fort Worth, Texas.

Tom of New Mexico reported the theft of two of his collector cars to Hemming. Tom owns about half a dozen collector cars altogether, and to store them all, he rented out a storage unit. Unfortunately, when he went to check on them recently, for the first time in about six months, he found that two were missing – a 1957 two-door Chevrolet Belair and a 1967 Mercury Cougar GT.

There was also a report of a man from Jefferson City, Missouri, who actually recovered his own stolen car, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro that had been stolen 16 years before, after seeing it in a Google search!

In a Los Angeles suburb, a woman came home to a garage empty of her prized 1957 Chevy Bel-Air which had been valued at more than $150,000. The beautiful convertible had been featured in several magazines and TV shows and won dozens of awards at car shows around the country. A neighbor’s surveillance camera caught the actions of the thieves and revealed that the Bel-Air was pushed down the street by a pickup truck which had pulled into her driveway just minutes after she had left. The thieves likely loaded it onto an awaiting trailer. It’s thought that the thieves spotting the car at one of the car shows, followed it home afterwards, then waited for the opportunity to steal it.

A Seattle collector was the victim of a targeted “smash-and grab” from the warehouse where he kept his cars. The thieves apparently ransacked the building and drove off with a 396/425 four-speed 1965 Corvette Stingray; and a 20,000-mile 396/four-speed 1970 Chevelle SS.

A 1959 Chevrolet Impala was stolen during a Cruise Night. The owner got good news-bad news when the police tracked down because while they did recover the classic car, he had put in a claim for the theft with his insurance policy after the theft many months before, so the car went to the insurance company rather than being returned to him. Apparently detectives recovered the Impala from a chop shop nearly eight months after it was stolen, repainted and modified.

Hemmings News also reported of a reader whose 1970 Ford Maverick was stolen from his home in Missouri. The car was found and returned, but the investigation apparently revealed that the thief had been watching the owner for 2 years, with the intention of stealing it and using it to race with. Chilling thing to find out.

A 1979 Buick Electra 225 Limited Edition was stolen out of a grocery store parking lot in suburban Detroit with the thief escaping with an urn inside the trunk that contained the remains of the owner’s stepfather!

After saving for over 40 years, a man from Virginia bought the car of his dreams, a 1962 Dodge Lancer. Buying his dream car, he began his restoration project, which was about 60 percent complete when he relocated to Texas. Without a garage to keep it in after his move, he stored it in a 24-foot enclosed trailer along with a 1971 Dodge Colt he planned to turn into a race car, and kept the trailer parked at a storage lot. At the end of July, the trailer and everything in it disappeared.The last story actually has a happy ending because it was recovered due to alert shop owners being suspicious of person wanting to unload a Lancer for only $1,500 including the many boxes of parts. After some research, the owner was reunited with his car. Guy and I have been approached on numerous occasions by people wanting to sell their vehicles. Some have hardship stories and the callers are willing to unload the car for a real bargain. We’ve always walked from these offers, primarily because we’re not in the business of buying and selling cars (we’re not dealers or re-sellers), but also because we’re cautious of a “too-good-to-be-true” price. One call in particular did make us very suspicious, as the woman caller insisted that the sale had to be completed by Monday (she called our shop over the weekend) and the price was extremely low for a rather rare model Mustang. Alert shop owners can be instrumental in aiding in the recovery of stolen classic cars.But not all stories have a happy ending like this. Classic cars, muscle cars and antiques can make their way to chop shops, end up damaged and abandoned, and even being re-sold on Internet sites such as eBay and Craigslist!Just yesterday, I reported on a 1954 Chevy Pickup truck which was stolen from a woman’s driveway in Oklahoma City. (Ironically this article was already written and scheduled for release today when the news hit. I’ve added her case because, unfortunately, it emphasizes how common thefts have become.) She wisely reached out to the Hemmings community of enthusiasts for help. Hemmings.com has a huge following, referred to as “Hemmings Nation”, and appealing for help to a community of enthusiasts like this can be instrumental in helping to give vital information to police and authorities who can help track and recover a stolen classic car. We applaud the work that Hemmings does.And, the methods that thieves are using, as you can see, are as varied as the types of vehicles! Even seemingly innocent little car shows and gatherings are places you need to exercise a little caution and care. As I reported in a July article, carjackings involving classic cars are even becoming more commonplace.Surprisingly, in some cases, the Internet has been helpful in aiding in the recovery of classic cars and muscle cars. There have been numerous stories, much like the Camaro owner above, and a man who found his 1949 Ford through a listing on Craigslist (the two men responsible were arrested and charged with disassembling a vehicle after the owner positively identified it as his) where owners have been able to locate their cars in Internet searches.For those not so fortunate, insurance is the only consolation. We highly recommend classic car or “collector” car insurance. There are a number of companies that provide this specialized insurance, and it is generally well worth the cost. Classic Car News provided an article, Purchasing Classic Car Insurance, containing a list of companies along with links to contact them. I also recommend Hagerty Insurance’s publication, Deterring Collector Car Theft, which has tips on theft prevention.In addition to the quick-strip thefts, thieves usually always alter, remove or forge VIN numbers, which make identification of the car or truck more difficult. Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) are serial numbers for vehicles that are used to differentiate similar makes and models. Much like social security numbers, every vehicle has a different VIN. VIN plates are usually located on the dashboard on newer cars, but are often found in the door jams of older models. VIN plates can be switched with another vehicle for a fast coverup.The point here is to be aware of your surroundings, including where you park your car. Don’t take it for granted that just because you’re at an event with fellow enthusiasts that something bad can’t happen. Take preventive action by securing your old car or truck. Guy Algar suggests, “Don’t forget to take precautions even at home. You may feel safe parking your ride in ‘the safety’ of your two car garage, but remember, even if you don’t have windows where people can peer in and spot your valued car, thieves can also follow you home from work, a cruise, or even the grocery store and plan a theft after surveilling your home and learning your schedule. If you have a ride that catches people’s attention, remember that it can also catch the wrong attention!”RESOURCES:Hagerty Insurance – Deterring Collector Car TheftClassic Car News – Purchasing Classic Car InsuranceAUTHOR’S NOTE:The safety of your classic car or muscle car is extremely important to most owners. Everyone wants to protect their ride with methods that work, and that won’t bust the bank. We draw on the experience of experts in Classic Car News’ upcoming series entitled “Keep Our Rides Safe”, which appear each Wednesday. – Andrea

The Best Advice on Cars Is on Car Blogs – Cars News

The increasing and continual development of technology has led to the tremendous importance that the Internet holds today. Other media like television or newspapers still have their share, but the Internet is gaining on them as we speak. The Internet is unlimited as far as space is concerned. People from all over the world have access to any type of information, and they can find just about anything that crosses their minds. The Internet is growing into a more and more reliable source of information and it’s expanding in its every aspect.The same ascendant trajectory is experienced by blogs, which are websites generated by users, whose entries are shown in reverse chronological order and in journal style. Most blogs offer comments or the latest news on a particular topic, which can vary from food to politics. Other blogs appear to be rather personal diaries than actual news websites, but the usefulness of personal experience is not to be neglected. From the very beginning, most blogs gave readers the possibility to leave their comments, which is very important for those interested in what others have to say on a certain matter.The typical blog is a combination of text and images, and it also offers links to similar blogs or websites, or even to other media which may be related to that particular topic. Although most blogs are textual, there are some blogs which focus on video and photographs. This is all the more useful when you need to actually see what you are talking about. A good example is a car blog. What would a car blog be without any pictures of cars or short videos showing car performance. A car blog can be very useful for all categories of people, from those mad about cars to people simply interested in car maintenance, for instance.An automotive blog, like most other blogs, is the perfect medium for news dissemination. A car blog will help in bringing important information to the public’s eye, the kind of information that big companies consider it’s best kept unrevealed. Automotive blogs have gained credibility, by showing that the information they present is accurate, especially when the mainstream media follows the lead of such bloggers. However, more often than not, it’s the other way around. It is the material published by such media that an automotive blog presenting car news tends to react to.An automotive blog is concerned with everything related to cars. Whatever a car maniac might think of is right there, on a car blog. And the best part is yet to come. Not only can car enthusiasts access a car blog with the purpose of finding the latest news about cars, but they can also have their own input to the content of that particular automotive blog.A typical car blog focuses on the latest news from the world of automobiles, because this is what readers are mainly interested in. However, the variety the information provided by an automotive blog exceeds just about any expectation, as it goes from car maintenance, diesel cars, fuel efficiency, car modifications to racing or observing the automotive industry, and many other related topics.

Prices on Used Cars Tumble on Hybrids and Small Models – Cars News

Are you ready for a used car bargain? Consider a smaller model or a hybrid; recent car news reports detailed a dramatic drop in prices for subcompact and similar sized cars. According to the latest trends report, an entry level sports model had a price reduction of about 2.1%, while subcompacts were down a whopping 2.8%. Minivans and compacts dropped in price as well with an overall 2% drop. Some individual models are showing drops of up to 12.5% over previous quarter costs, including hybrids; some used models are down as much as 10%.What is behind this new pricing trend for smaller used cars?While standard sized vehicles, SUVs, and trucks are actually increasing in price, buyers are choosing smaller models for a variety of reasons. Falling and steady gas prices made family vehicles and larger rides more attractive. Hybrids also do not sell as well when low gas prices are making news. Cars designed for fuel economy have been lingering on lots for longer periods of time, leading to naturally lower prices.Lower prices on smaller used cars are directly related to the uptick in leasing seen in previous years. Most of the vehicles that have falling prices are known for fuel economy and anywhere from three to five years old. The surge in leasing small, subcompact, and hybrid vehicles peaked in the period between 2010 and 2012 and was directly related to the record high gasoline prices recorded those years.Now that those leases have ended and gas prices are more stable, the used cars returned after their leasing period ended have now flooded the market, directly impacting resale prices. With the recent trends in mind, it is likely that the price of these vehicles will continue to stay low as more cars enter the secondhand market, making a small model an excellent value for buyers. The current low price trend reflects models that are from one to five years old and represents a wide array of makes and styles.The rule of supply and demand applies to the used vehicle market, too. As so many fuel-efficient models reach the marketplace, prices naturally become softer. Conversely, leases for large trucks, SUVs and sports models that were not fuel efficient fell accordingly when gas prices increased. There are now fewer large trucks available for resale, resulting in static or even rising prices. The most recent used car pricing models reflect this continued trend, and it is likely that it will continue for at least the rest of the year and possibly longer.The glut of small used cars and hybrids into an already crowded marketplace translates to great news for buyers. Consumers looking for a commuter model or a great value on a used vehicle will be able to find a surprising array of options thanks to the latest trends.

Classic Car News – Take Your Classic Car Back to the Future – Cars News

“The Back To The Future films were classics in their own right” reports Suite101.com, but the car they chose was something even more legendary. Back in 1985 when the film was first released, the DeLorean DMC-12 was already a pretty unique car, but imagine turning up to a school reunion now in this classic car – you may not have been cool at school but undoubtedly this vintage vehicle will ensure you’re now the king of cool.The DeLorean, one of the most controversial cars of all time, featured in the Back To The Future trilogies in its much modified state and was created by Formula One design innovator Colin Chapman of Lotus Cars -” little did he know that the car would become one of the most famous movie cars”, reports Suite101.com.Imagine getting into trouble before you’re even born! It seems like a pretty difficult task, but Marty McFly managed to do it via the Back To The Future films – and all thanks to the metal marvel of the DeLorean. Vintage cars hold their classic status due to their rare existence, which is why the DeLorean earns its classic title with only around 8,500 DMC-12 cars produced.Thanks to the films being regularly aired and the likability of the Doc Brown character, “it’s not just middle-aged dads who get a kick from the DeLorean car” reports the Times Online. The hype for the DeLorean was huge back in the 1980′s, but the classic vehicle still had some unflattering reviews, such as being said to be “underpowered”. However, with 130bhp (which seems nothing now), the difference isn’t that significant when compared to the “smog-strangled Corvette of the late seventies” and it’s 165bhp.The hype generated by the introduction of such a unique vintage motor meant that in 1981 it was going for the kind of money you’d get a Ferrari or Porsche 911 for. It cannot be disputed that the Delorean was a revolutionary car for its time; with the Times Online reporting that “some people even thought it was a kit car” – but it of course was not.You certainly feel like your back in the past driving one of these cars, with an 85mph speedometer and a three-speed automatic gear-box – taking you back to the 1980′s. The Times Online states that “the whole DeLorean thing is a fascinating chapter in automotive history, and the good news is that it could be around for a while”, with Stephen Wynne taking on the DeLorean name and rebuilding these vintage cars – making them as good as new.

The Importance of Vehicle News – Cars News

Are you looking for a new exotic vehicle? Do you want to replace your old car with a new one? If yes, you can find it online. The internet and computer technology have helped many businesses to inform people about their latest news and other information easily. Keeping pace with the demand of the day, the number of news and information providing portals has increased significantly. Now there are many news portals offering latest car news to keep you updated with the latest trends.Vehicle news portals are very useful. These portals can help you take right decision at the time of buying cars. Some of them offer a plethora of car options to choose from. There are some news portals presenting vehicle news in the most attractive and impressive ways. A vast majority of them include many dedicated sections for keeping people updated with a lot of things. They may include blog section, review section, news section and much more. Some of them have their different niches to help the visitors find their desired things with their least possible efforts. A significant number of interactive websites share a strong platform for their audiences. Most of these websites offer strong platforms that allow users to ask various questions and get answers quickly. A few of these websites include instant chat options and allow you to chat with other visitors. These are very user-friendly. They can offer you many “call to action” points. With certain images, links, buttons or user interface elements, these websites motivate you to take their desired actions. On those platforms, you can find many colorful pictures and graphics. These are very good to convey a message in a simpler way.In this article, I shall discuss on the importance of vehicle news Helps you take a right purchase-decisionThis is the significant benefit of vehicle news. As you get to know about various cars with their advantages and disadvantages, you can decide the right car for you. As many websites include review sections, you can know the opinions of other car-users. Keeps you aware of the latest cars and vehicle informationYou stay updated with the new cars, motorcycles or other vehicles that are coming to your national market. Most of the news stories include the names of the places from where you can buy the newest cars. Saves your money, time and effortAs you do not need to go outside of your home to talk to many marketing managers, you can save your time. You can save the fuel of visiting one showroom to another. You do not need to cross-check information with the other car experts.

Classic Car News – If It’s Good Enough For the Queen, It’s Good Enough For Us – Cars News

If you’ve always wanted to travel like royalty then now is your chance – the Queen’s customised Jaguar Daimler Majestic is now up for sale. News.sky.com has reported that “drivers who fancy travelling in royal style now have a unique chance”.According to the Daily Mail website, keeping its regal touch by displaying the same number plate as when it was used by the Queen between 2001 and 2004, the Jaguar Daimler is being sold by specialist memorabilia dealer Peter Ratcliffe. Peter has said “this is a one-off chance to buy a car that was made especially for the Queen of England”.The Jaguar was mainly used by the Queen for driving around the grounds of the Windsor estate, so it’s no surprise that the Daimler has only clocked 14,000 miles. The Geae Times website has reported that “nothing in the car has been changed from when it was owned by Her Majesty”, which is another unique selling point as well as the low mileage – a Jaguar enthusiast would love to get their hands on such a majestic machine.Painted a shade of British racing green, the Daimler Majestic V8 has undergone numerous modifications to suit the previous owner. If it’s good enough for the queen I’m sure it will be good enough for the lucky person who can afford such historic beauty. As expected, this royal transporter comes with a hefty price tag of £65,000, which makes it a rather expensive second-hand vehicle – but considering the previous owner it’s no surprise really.The Daimler could be perfect for a lady looking for a classy car with a compartment specifically dedicated to holding a handbag. One of the customised features of the Jaguar was an in-built section of the armrest designed to keep the Queens handbag in place while driving – this may come in handy for women who take about 10 minutes looking for their keys while trying not to drop their handbag.Another additional characteristic of the Daimler which relates to the previous owner is the telephone link to 10 Downing Street. Unfortunately this is not part of the deal and the line has been deactivated – it could have been a pretty handy addition though if you got caught speeding.

Hawaiian TV News – Stolen Kayak, Surfboard Through Window of Car On the H1 – Cars News

Not long ago, I was discussing watercraft and boat insurance with an insurance agency owner in Kailua Hawaii, I guess he noticed I was wearing a Kailua Canoe Club sweat shirt. We discussed some of the types of water toy, boat, and marine businesses he insured. He noted that everyone who owned a jet ski was required to have a license for it, and insurance. If no proof of insurance, it could be confiscated by the authorities, but more importantly, if it was stolen you’d eventually get it back if it was duly registered with its identification number.This all made sense to me, and as I was thinking about it later that night I saw on cable TV where someone had stolen a kayak out of the back of the owner’s pick-up. It had a sticker, and the owner provided a digital picture of it, this was broadcast all over Oahu. Think about it, where are you going to go, it’s an island, you can’t go anywhere with it, and I don’t know anyone who has ever paddled a kayak to the mainland or anywhere away from that island chain. It’s a lot like the FBI’s Most Wanted List at the Post Office, or the Child Predator shows on TV, and mind you the TV put this on the airwaves free of charge for a mere kayak, maybe worth $600.00 but not much more than that for sure.The next night on the same cable station was a story whereby a car driving down the main freeway in Hawaii (The H1) and as it passed under an overpass suddenly a surfboard came through the window. Luckily, this rare event didn’t kill or injure anyone, but the freeway became closed to the frustration of all motorists. Was there an altercation on the overpass between young surfers? Was the surfboard accidentally dropped? Do you think it was a stolen surfboard? Lastly, I don’t imagine that the owner of the surfboard had insurance for it.Nevertheless, I bet the Mercedes SUV owner had some sort of uninsured motorist insurance, I wonder if flying surfboards without insurance counts? Maybe I’ll ask my new insurance acquaintance what happens in such an event next time I see him. The reality is you just never know what might happen – just that it might, and you’ll need insurance at some point. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

New Car Transmission Options – Cars News

Automatic Transmissions:Many car owners love their Automatic Transmissions for comfort and ease. Put it in Drive, the torque converter does all the work and you Go. New technologies in Automatic Transmissions are now allowing six-speed automatic transmissions. You will find these six-speed automatic transmissions in mainstream cars like the Mazda6 and Ford Five Hundred. The MINI Cooper S, made by BMW, is thinking of going with the six-speed automatic transmission in its car. Seven-speed automatics are also showing up in high end luxury cars.CVT Transmissions:These are also automatic transmissions, yet perform slightly differently. You still put it in Drive and go. In these transmission, I have heard you do not feel the shift like normal automatic trannys, and that they cannot transfer as much horsepower to the ground, without some type of failures. The Nissan Murano and MINI Cooper have this option, and we will see how widespread this goes.Manual Transmissions:The Manual Transmission is the choice of gearheads who love their cars. They live and breathe having cars with this transmission, giving them complete control of the car at all times, and how it transmits the power. These transmissions have not changed much. You still have the clutch, brake and gas combo to make it move and stop. They do in many cars now have six-speed manual transmissions, and this is not an uncommon thing. Whereas you had 4-speed manual trannys long before. Want control? You want a manual transmission.Auto-Shifting Manual Transmissions:BMW and Audi are the leaders in this front. BMW has its SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) and Audi has the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). I have driven neither, so I don’t have first hand experience with how they relate in control to a Manual Transmission. However, they do use a clutch like a manual transmission that is automatically shifted. The good news about that? Automatic transmissions loose roughly on average 20% of its power as it hits the wheels. With this transmission, you dont loose that power, because you do not have a torque converter, but you have an actual clutch. This is great news for people who like the option of automatic for traffic, but want the power to shift whenever they want to without loss of power. Look for more of these trannys soon, as even Volkswagen Golf’s are said to have them as an option.

Determining a Safe Car Seat – Cars News

Determining the safest car seat is a task that all parents face. The truth behind the matter is that some parents are not fully informed about the seats that they choose to purchase. Presently, seats have evolved into a safety regulation that is monitored by law. Specific regulations are in place to ensure that children are as safe as possible when riding in vehicles. The regulations pertain to height and weight of a child as well as age and the type of vehicle that the car seat will be placed in.Parents are often unaware of the technicalities associated with seats and often lack the knowledge to pick the proper car seat for their child. Also, in the retail market, many car seat manufacturers fail to meet certain requirements and or are less safe as compared to other styles/brands.Several resources are available for parents to use in order to determine what the safest child seat is for their child. The most notable resources include, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as local consumer reports. The NHTSA reveals the regulations that are put in place in accordance with state law pertaining to seats, as well as a list of the leading brands in relation to safety. Local consumer reports will discuss top brands as well as report any recalls that have been noted. The consumer reports can be seen on local news stations as well as the websites associated with the local news stations. Car safety is a very serious issue and by making people more knowledgeable, the roads will be much safer.So, if you’re looking to find a seat for your little one, it is best that you look for seat reviews beforehand. You may be surprised as to which car seats are the best selling and have the best reviews compared to others!

Old Cars Still Make Great Cars – Cars News

If you’re not too particular about that new car smell, there are quite a few treasures to be found in the local used car market. Take the Toyota AE86 Trueno for example, it was made extremely popular in the local market by the Japanese racing themed anime, Initial D and was for a time one of the coolest cars to be seen in. Besides the Trueno, there are other cars that have escaped the jaws of the salvage yard. Below are a couple of classics we found that will continue to live long happy and brisk-paced lives away from the scrap yard.Honda Civic EG9 (1992 – 1995)A car that has risen to almost meteoric status among boyracers is the Honda Civic EG9. It’s popularity stems from the power and the ability of its B16A VTEC engine to accept bolt on parts easily. On top of that, the shark-like appearance of its front fascia won many fans (boyracers definitely) over.Even though the stock engine of a Honda Civic Si EG9 comes with 150bhp, enough to garner respect both on the track and off, a huge tuning industry has been built around this version alone.In the US tuning scene, these Civic EG9s are still a force to be reckoned with. Tuners are still picking old heaps up to breathe new life (and horsepower) into them with the plethora of hop-up parts available.What to look out forThe car being more than 10 years old probably has quite a high mileage. First thing you should check are the suspension. Take it out for a drive and see if it’s soaking up the bumps as it should. A jarring ride might mean that the suspension is shot. Check the brakes too. Make sure they’re still stopping the car without using too much pedal pressure.If you have to stamp on it to make it stop, it means the brake cable might be too loose or the brake linings have worn out. Finally, make sure the ‘check engine’ warning indicator isn’t lighted on the dashboard. If the light is on, it might indicate a serious fault with the engine or it might just be faulty circuitry but it’ll be safer to walk away.Mitsubishi Evolution (Evo)This rally bred machine needs little introduction. Born from Mitsubishi’s aim to win the World Rally Championships (WRC), the Evo has evolved over the years with greater power, performance and speed in reflection of the company’s aim. To enter into the WRC, a car had to be homologated and produced in significant numbers as a road going car before it is allowed to enter into the competition.Due to this rule, Mitsubishi produced thousands of Evos but the car was still relatively unknown outside of Japan. Reason being that Mitsubishi showrooms outside of Japan didn’t carry the model and it was only obtainable through private or grey imports. Due to the unofficial nature of the car, it was unknown to all but the most hardcore enthusiasts.The first Evolution had a 4G63 4-cylinder in-line DOHC turbocharged engine from a Galant VR-4. The engine received a larger capacity intercooler, a higher compression ratio, modified port configuration, new injectors, lighter crankshaft, con rods and pistons.These changes brought the engine’s power to 250bhp @ 6,000rpm. Besides inheriting the engine, the first Evo also got its transmission driveline from the Galant as well. This was modified with double-cone synchromesh on second gear to improve shift action and durability, uprated clutch and a more positive pedal action were added as well.While doing research for this article, I came across a very rare gem of an Evolution. I managed to find one of only two Evolution 3s in Singapore. My earliest memories of the Evolution 3 come from watching Jackie Chan pilot his fully tuned sunburst yellow Evolution 3 through a Hong Kong highway on a high-speed test run in the 1995 movie, Thunderbolt.The Evolution I was given the rare (and probably once in a lifetime) opportunity of driving was a polar white Evolution 3 GSR. The third-generation Evolution was built in 1995 with only 5000 RS and GSR units ever produced. It used the same championship winning 4G63 type powerplant as in the first Evolution coupled with the TD05H-16G-7 turbo producing a peak horsepower of 270bhp @ 6,250rpm. The Evolution 3 was also the first in the bloodline to receive a manually operated twin-jet intercooler water spray system.One of the most significant improvements made in the Evolution 3 was its aerodynamics. The higher speeds demanded in WRC made engineers give the car a total aerodynamic redesign. Front bumper openings were enlarged, larger airdams with brake cooling ducts and a lower ground clearance reduced airflow under the body to generate downforce. A larger rear spoiler rounded up the new aerodynamic complement.What to look out forConvinced that you want an Evolution of your own? Here’s what to look out for when you go hunting for one. Look for signs of grey or blue exhaust smoke. It can indicate that the car is using too much oil and most likely linked to a cylinder or turbo problem and repairing / replacing either of these two will be an expensive venture.White smoke is fine at idle as the Evolution engine is known to produce condensation in certain weather conditions. Black smoke is quite normal too especially on hard acceleration and even more noticeable on de-catted models. Take a look at the engine bay and make sure there’re no leaks or spillages, worn belts and damaged hoses. The general condition of the engine can indicate the overall care the car has received from its owner.The Evo comes with a sophisticated four wheel drive system and is even more complicated on Active Yaw Control equipped (AYC) cars. These systems can cost a fortune to repair. It is important to check that the gearbox and clutches are functioning properly. During the test drive, listen out for any groans from the rear of the car when turning left or right as this could indicate a problem with the AYC differential. Any whines you hear can indicate a problem with the car transmission or transfer box. So pay special attention to them.Most of the components on the Evos are computer controlled and problems will most probably be logged. It will be wise to get an independent specialist or Ralliart garage to carry out an inspection for you and get them to hook up the car to a Mitsubishi diagnostic computer called a MUT-II.BMW E36 3-series (1990 – 2000)This is probably one of the most iconic 3-series ever produced. A huge hit with the European techno tuning scene, this beemer is probably the continental equivalent of the Honda Civic EG9. The E36 enjoyed great success in the market with a huge tuning institution built around it. The car came with a wide selection of capacities for its 4 – 6 cylinder engines. Displacements ranged from 1.6-litre to the flagship 3.2-litre M3 sports model.Visually the E36 cuts an aggressive appearance from the front quarter with its individual quad headlights and the square cut kidney grilles. Most owners would replace the understated bumpers for the flared bumpers of the M3 which are widely available from tuners. Plonk on a huge spoiler and you’ve got yourself a Euro techno powerhouse. Nevermind the lack of horsepower as long you have that menacing M3 stance.There’s a significant E36 following in Singapore. Passionate and enthusiastic owners gather on a local BMW forum to discuss everything and anything about their E36ers.During the course of research for this article, the author experienced great difficulty in securing a suitable E36 for a photoshoot. That was until I approached this bunch of generous private owners on the BMW forum. They immediately offered their cars to me for a photoshoot and even tossed me their keys to drive them out on my own for the shoot.What to look out forConsidering the car has been around for awhile, it’ll be wise to take a close and detailed look at the E36 you’re intending to buy. Pop open the bonnet and look for obvious spills and leaks as that’s always a good indication of the overall care the car has received. Make sure you start up the engine from cold (put your hand on the hood to see if it is) as a hot engine will sound very different from a cold one. Ticking noises from the hydraulic tappets are fine. Rev the engine to see if smoke from the exhaust appears blue, it might mean faulty oil stem seals. This can be problematic and costly to repair.Check both front and rear wheel arches for signs of rust or repair and also open up the boot to remove the lining to check for rust. On the test drive, take notice if the car feels unstable or nervous while taking a mid to high speed corner. If it does, it would mean that either the rear trailing arm bushes or the rear shock mounts (maybe both) needs replacing.