Bangshifting brilliance

Powershifting, or bangshifting, as it is sometimes called, is a technique drag racers often used in the past to get down the track more quickly. Without any of the modern driver aids, it was entirely up to the driver to squeeze every last tenth of a second out of the car. This is where the practice of powershifting came in, which basically entailed keeping the throttle wide open as you quickly shifted the car into the next gear, in order to maintain as much momentum as possible. It takes some skill to do it well, and if done wrong, could have catastrophic results. If you ever watch Roadkill Garage, you will know that Steve Dulcich often likes to exhibit his bangshifting abilities.


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Find your cars on Google Maps

Last night, my wife was trying to find something on Google Maps, and in the process noticed that the satellite image that contains our house had been refreshed recently. Looking more closely, we realised that we could pin it down to a two-week period this summer, because there were three cars outside our house – the Outback on the driveway, and the E39 and Leon on the road. I bought the Outback on 16 June, and sold the E39 two weeks later.

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2178 miles around Europe in a £1000 E39

Tell someone that you are about to embark on a 2000-mile road trip in a 19-year-old car you paid £1000 for more than two years ago, and they’re likely to question your judgement. Cue Jeremy Clarkson leaning in towards the camera, raising an eyebrow, and uttering those immortal words: ‘What could possibly go wrong?’

Well, in this case, absolutely nothing went wrong. In fact, thanks to the car, this was probably the most comfortable and enjoyable road trip I’ve ever been on.

A wet Monday morning, all packed and ready to go.

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One clear example of why low mileage cars are not a good idea

‘Low mileage!’ A phrase that often adorns used car advertisements with inflated prices. Cars with low mileage are regularly lauded as if this was the single feature that guarantees you a higher quality, more reliable vehicle. The truth may very well be the opposite, however.

The simple fact is that cars are meant to be driven. When they are not, things wear out prematurely. All those moving parts on your car are meant to be moving, and when they don’t, they are more prone to fail. Grease dries up, oil stops flowing properly, and rubber cracks. Continue reading “One clear example of why low mileage cars are not a good idea”

A Mercedes 190E makes history in North Yorkshire

The market town of Tadcaster in North Yorkshire made the news in late December 2015 when severe flooding caused the partial collapse of the 18th century bridge that crosses over the River Wharfe. After 13 months of work, the bridge, which is the only road connecting the two sides of the town, was re-opened to traffic yesterday, and the first cars made their way across.

Leading the parade for this historic moment? A 1988 Mercedes 190E.


Is it cool to own a Rover 75/MG ZT?

Honest John certainly thinks so. In the past few weeks, they’ve featured both a 75 and a ZT, noting that these are modern classics worth buying. And that is even more true as good examples can easily be picked up for under £1000 at the moment. ‘If ever there was a car that has become the epitome of an up-and-coming classic,’ they wrote yesterday, ‘the Rover 75 is it.’


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If there’s a good driving road here, I can’t see it

Ford Europe ran a video series a few months ago highlighting some of Europe’s greatest driving roads. One episode covered the road over Blakey Ridge, which runs north-south across the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

The road is only an hour’s drive from where I live, so I set out eagerly on Saturday morning to try it out for myself. And then this happened.


I’m sure there is a good driving road here, but I’ll have to wait to make that judgement until I can see more than 50 metres in front of me.

Look how far they’ve come

Up until recently, American cars were really only good for two things: going fast in straight lines, and lazily floating along endless miles of straight motorways. Their sports cars were no different, and on the track, anything European with even half the power would easily leave them in the dust. However, in the last decade or so, the Americans have suddenly gotten very serious about turning their sports cars into proper sports cars, and nowhere is that more evident than in the latest Corvette and Camaro.

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Adding to the fleet: Our ‘02 SEAT Leon Cupra

We’re a one-car family. At least we were, and the plan was to continue as such until next year, when a job change would necessitate a second car. It just happened that when I was scrolling through eBay this week, we found a car that would suit my wife perfectly.

She’s always wanted a Golf or a Leon. She likes hatchbacks, and the Mark IV Golf and Mark I Leon have been some of her favourites. On Sunday morning, I was on eBay and spotted this Leon Cupra. The advert fit all the requirements, so I sent a message to the seller, who responded to my questions almost instantly. Everything looked good – service history, low mileage, and a brand new MOT with no advisories. The rest is history, and yesterday we brought it home.


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