Saturday, May 16, 2009

Muscle Cars that are stars in Movies.

Car chases have always been a good highlight in a lot of movies. Asides from great actors and spectacular special effects, the fasts cars featured in a movie always gives its viewers the adrenaline rush whenever you watch an excellent car chase scene. Numerous movies today focus around cars as a tool to enhance the story, some of these movies even use the car as one of the main character.

Successful car movies always have a great car chase scene and is coupled with a fancy fast cars in it. Fast cars comes in different forms and shape but nothing says speed and power it better than a muscle car.

For the past few years a lot of Box office hits on car chase movies have muscle cars featured in it. The classics and latest models have made tremendous success in the film industry. Bringing audiences to the cinemas giving them a taste of speed and adrenaline at the comfort of your seat. Actors play a big role in a good movie but a fast and powerful car is the core of every successful Car chase movie.

Here are some of the muscle cars featured in recent films:

Gone in 60 seconds (2000) - The movie starred Nicholas Cage as "memphis", a former master car thief forced to return to his former trade and steal fifty specified cars for crime boss Raymond Vincent Calitri.

Although there were fifty cars featured in the film, the main car chase centered on the Pepper Gray 1967 Shelby GT-500 Mustang nicknamed "Eleanor"

The Fast and The Furious(2001) & Fast & Furious (2009) - In both film Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) drove a Dodge Charger R/T 1970.

The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) - Even though the movie didn't receive any good reviews it still featured a great class 1969 Dodge Charger "The General Lee".

Gran Torino(2008) & Starsky and Hutch (2004) - For the film Gran Torino Clint Eastwood had a 1972 Gran Torino Sport which was the focal point of the story & In the movie Starsky and Hutch the duo drove a 1975 Ford Gran Torino.

Knight Rider(2008) - KITT is portrayed as a black 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR

Transformers - The autobot Bumble bee was depicted as a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro at the beginning of the movie and a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro on the later parts of the movie.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A New Lease on Life - Worry-Free Mobility

Vehicle leasing is no longer some kind of "new math" or eccentric idea. It has been completely mainstreamed and is a common practice in the U.S., Canada and even Europe (although we're way ahead here in North America). Businesses first popularized the notion of leasing as a way to know, in advance, some of the costs of transportation for their particular activities.

Companies both big and small now routinely lease both cars and trucks, in addition to construction equipment and other special vehicles. In fact, the economic reasons in favor of leasing are voluminous and well known, and there are no more arguments to defeat, especially for corporate accountants. Now even individuals, and not just wealthy ones, recognize the economic advantages of leasing over buying. But it is not just good for your wallet. It can be good for your attitude, as well.

Psychological benefits, too
There are other advantages beyond cost savings, of course, including psychological benefits. Leasing in general, and particularly leasing with a reputable firm with a well-known commitment to customer service, is a good way to reduce frustration, stress and strain in one's life. A study done in the 1990s rated "car troubles" (accidents, engine failures, flat tires, etc.) as among the top five "stressors" for American adults 26-45 years of age, right up there with job insecurity and crying babies.

Even if you take life at a more peaceful pace, and live in a more relaxed region (the country? the mountains? the beach?) where residents are less wedded to the "rat race" lifestyle, it is still very much the case that car troubles are a source of great anxiety for many people. With car leasing, especially the way it is done at the best firms, those stresses and strains of ownership are gone. You are protected from the problems, no matter what kind they are, whether it's a fan belt or a cracked windshield. Not your problem!

Leading with high-tech
You will have complete peace of mind with any of the modern, well-regarded, tech-savvy leasing forms now dotting the North American landscape. All repair and maintenance work, inside and out, will be done with the latest computerized color-matching, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and factory-authorized procedures. In addition, your personal needs will be attended to, from arranging rental car services to coordinating your insurance photos and claims reports. With a leading lease firm by your side, you are never left alone to deal with problems.

When it comes down to choosing a leasing firm, make sure you compare apples to apples and don't just go for the lowest monthly payment. A $375 payment (about average) with a so-so leasing firm is not as good a value as a $400 payment with a top-notch company that will take care of you like family. To know how firms treat their customers, make sure to ask for referrals and check all the consumer complaint sites on the Internet.

Your aim is to find a firm that will work out a fair payment, not dramatically higher than the competition, and then solve all the vehicle problems for you so that you can maintain the stress-free lifestyle of which your car lease is now an integral part. Economically, car leasing makes sense, and has for years. Psychologically, though, it makes even better sense. Leave your stress and worry behind you and take advantage of (excuse the obvious pun) a new lease on life!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Title Controversy Swirls Around GM Collection Cars

If you follow the collector car auction scene, you've by no doubt heard about the big broo-ha-ha surrounding title and paperwork issues that threatened to suspend the sale of as many of 80 cars out of the General Motors Collection. The whole thing came to a quick boil around 4:00 PM EST on Thursday. Bad information and poor reporting immediately followed. Fortunately, I had a front row seat as one of the broadcast commentators for SPEED TV. First, a little background, then what happened.

Contrary to popular rumor, General Motors has been selling off vehicles from it's events and shows collection for several years. These are NOT the 350 or so family jewels that make up the core of the company's Heritage Collection. I believe those to be safe from anything short of a complete liquidation of the company, which is not likely to happen by government mandate or otherwise. More accurately, the vehicles on offer here are cars, trucks, design studies, engineering mules, tuner toys, pace cars, old SEMA show cars, the first Olds Cutlass Ciera, the last built previous generation Saturn VUE, and such that have lived their purpose and are no longer needed.

It costs a lot of money to store and maintain all this hardware, and GM needs to simplify. About 250 such vehicles were sold at Barrett-Jackson's sale in January of 2009, and by any measure, the process was successful. Another 100 plus vehicles were consigned to the Palm Beach sale taking place currently; As I write this, two days are in the books, with the third and final day of the sale taking place today (Saturday).

For the rest of the story click here >>

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The BMW Z4 is all new for 2010, and the updated roadster will be ready for production later this spring. BMW gave the Z4 sleeker sheet metal, a folding hard top, and upgraded powertrains, but the biggest change could be to its price tag. Buyers looking for a new Z4 can expect to plunk down $46,575. That's a big jump from the base $36,700 of the 2008 Z4, which packed less power and less road presence. The 46 large is also exactly the same price as the Z4's nemesis; the Porsche Boxster. The 2010 model will net you a 258-horsepower inline six capable of hitting 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. The base Bimmer will also come standard with leatherette seating surfaces (upgrading to Kansas leather tacks on another $1,250).

The 306-horsepower, twin-turbo Z4 sDrive35i will cost a whole lot more, with a starting price of $52,475, including destination and handling. The 2008 Z4 M was a bit cheaper at $50,400 and carried more power, but the 2010 car's higher torque numbers make for an equally-quick droptop, as evidenced by its 5.1 second 0-60 time with the dual-clutch gear box.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Self-Repairing Car Paint

In another case of Nature to the Rescue, scientists have come up with a polyurethane coating that repairs itself in the sun. The secret ingredient: chitosan, which comes from the shells of crustaceans and is also used for water filtration, blood clotting and as a diet aid. The common principle appears to be that it as a binding agent, i.e. it wants to hold certain things together.

If your car is scratched and it has the chitosan-injected coating, when put in the sun the chitosan "bonds with other materials in the substance, eventually smoothing the scratch" in less than an hour. No muss, no fuss, no messy clean up. However, the magic only works once -- the coating can't repair itself in the same place twice. Researchers also haven't yet studied how wide a scratch can be before it cannot heal itself.

Nevertheless, self-repairing paint powered by the sun is still a terrific development, especially for those folks with shiny black cars on which even tiny scratches seem to scream for attention. No word on when or if it will ever be available, but the team behind it has a patent pending and is thinking about the business opportunity.

[Source: Autoblog]

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Best Car Lease Deals for Feb 2009

Several good car lease deals were available in February despite the fact that many car-makers have pulled back on their end-of-year clearance programs. Our favorite lease program in the fall was Volkswagen's "Sign Then Drive" event, which offered low lease rates and $0 due at signing on VW's most popular models.

As a general rule, you're more likely to find attractive leases on a car-maker's more sought-after models - and that's good news for most buyers.

It may seem strange that dealers offer more attractive lease deals on their better-selling models, but there is a good reason. If you're a dealer, offering a lease is a risk. The dealer bets that when the lease is up and a customer returns the vehicle, it will still be worth a lot of money and the dealer can resell it for a total net profit. But if the car depreciates fast, which is more likely on poor-selling models, the dealer or car-maker could lose money because it can't sell the off-lease car for much money. This is partly why Chrysler disbanded its leasing program in July of last year - its cars depreciated so fast that leasing became a money-loser.

So who is still offering great lease programs now?

Volkswagen. Despite ending the Sign Then Drive program, Volkswagen is still offering good lease terms. Three of its fuel-efficient, small cars - Jetta, New Beetle and Rabbit - can each be yours for $199/mo + $1,999 at signing for a 36-month lease. When VW offered no-money-down leases under the Sign Then Drive event, these cars leased for $269/mo. So even though the current program requires you to cough up $1,999 up front, you actually save several hundred dollars in total lease costs because of the lower monthly payments, compared to the no-money-down offer.

Lincoln. If you're looking for a little more luxury or an American nameplate, Lincoln is offering a no money down deal through the end of March. Available on both the Lincoln MKX and MKS, the deal is no down payment (after cash back) no first month's payment and no cash due at signing. The lease rates for the deal are $529 per month for 39 months on the MKS and $99 per month for 39 months on the MKX. Taxes, title and tags are extra, but in this market you may be able to negotiate that.

Toyota. Toyota runs all of its specials by region. Lease offers in Florida could vary greatly from offers in Chicago, so you need to check with local Toyota dealers to see what they'll offer you. See below for the best deals.

Honda. Honda has several great national lease offers running through early March, as shown below. There may be even better regional offers, so be sure to contact local Honda dealers for the best deals.

Hyundai. If you buy or lease a new Hyundai before Feb 28, the newly announce Hyundai Assurance Program will allow you to return the car to Hyundai with no further financial obligation if you lose your job. While gimmicky, this is a great way to get some worst-case scenario protection from a company that is still offering decent lease rates. There are stipulations, so be sure to check out the Hyundai Assurance program's website for more details.

Nissan. A few good lease offers remain, and Nissan is one of the few carmakers offering solid lease terms on SUVs - with special deals on both the Rogue and Murano.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just three questions to ask on car leasing vs. buying

1. Have you crunched the numbers?

Not sure whether you want to commit to the car for a long term? Break out the calculator. Use BankingMyWay's (Mainstreet's partner site) lease vs. buy calculator to crunch the numbers for you. If keeping your monthly payments down is most important to you, know that the short-term monthly cost of leasing is usually less than the cost of buying. (On average, monthly lease payments are 30% to 60% lower than loan payments for the same car, same down payment, etc.). This holds true even when compared to 0% or low-interest loans. Plus, in an ownership arrangement, auto dealers will likely require more money down than with a lease deal.

2. How important is ownership to you?

When you buy a new car, you pay for everything, including its upfront value, plus finance charges, plus fees. In return you get equity, which is essentially the car’s resale value, or what you can expect to get back if you sell it or trade it in. And when you finish making payments, you’ll be free and clear. But is a long-term equity deal a good one? After all, the longer you own and drive a vehicle, the less equity you have. When you’re leasing, you’re only buying the time you will use the car, meaning the amount it will depreciate in the time that you drive it. That keeps monthly payments down, but leaves you with no equity at the end of your contract.

3. What about repairs?

When you lease a car, you’re not really the owner. But when it comes to car maintenance and repairs, not being the owner can be a good thing. By and large, any type of repair will be covered under your manufacturer's warranty. (And your car’s always almost brand new, so the risk of something going really wrong is rather low.) Car owners, on the other hand, have a vested interest in car care and maintenance. That can include keeping on top of oil changes and brake pads replacements as well as keeping the body scratch- and dent-free. Leasers as a rule find themselves less concerned with the details, since it’s not going to be their problem down the road.

Also, when leasing, be aware of additional fees (including security deposits and any lease-end charges) so they don’t take you by surprise. Expect to make your first monthly payment when you sign your contract.

When it comes to buying or leasing a car, there is no right answer. Buying and leasing both have their pros and cons, so the key is to look hard at your own situation and preferences before you sign a contract.