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French Artist Fills Potholes Across Europe with Mosaics

French Artist Fills Potholes Across Europe with Mosaics

An anonymous artist known as Ememem, has been filling in street and sidewalk divots with striking geometric mosaics — colorful bursts of beauty amid the asphalt.

By Christopher Smith | September 23, 2022
Dead Man Riding – The Legacy

Disaster struck in early 2020 when Mike was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, with the COVID pandemic shutting off New Zealand from the rest of the world shortly after - effectively ending his booming tour business.

By Christopher Smith | September 29, 2022
The Guide to Road Racing – Table of Contents

The Guide to Road Racing: Winding Road Magazine’s ultimate guide to getting your start in racing.

By Christopher Smith | November 03, 2020

Features

Keepers: Volkswagen Golf GTI Mark II—Shopping

Locating a Mark II GTI in stock condition is about as difficult as eating chocolate pudding with chopsticks. The situation is further complicated by age; the newest Mark II GTI is still 17 years old, so when shopping for a GTI, standard used-car guidelines should be followed to the letter. The good news is that these cars are generally available in good condition for less than $5000, with “project cars” going for even less.

By Christopher Smith | November 21, 2009
Keepers: Volkswagen Golf GTI Mark II

Browse through the pages of just about any history book on performance vehicles, and the term “hot hatch” will inevitably show up, usually in close proximity to the letters GTI. The formula is a familiar one—take a rather unassuming, practical car, add performance goodness, and simmer until frothy and delicious. Volkswagen followed this recipe back in 1976 with the Rabbit, turning the small, three-door hatchback into a pocket-rocket GTI. It wasn’t a terribly fast car, but it made all the right noises while offering ballet-dancer balance and super-glue grip. The term “hot hatch” was born, though six years would pass before that first-generation, Mark I GTI (renamed Golf for the domestic market) would hit U.S. shores. It was replaced just two years later by its slightly larger, slightly more powerful successor, the Golf GTI Mark II.

By Christopher Smith | November 16, 2009
Keepers: Mustang SVT Cobra—Community

Mustang clubs are about as common as all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets. There are clubs for old Mustangs, new Mustangs, convertibles, specific models, specific colors (yes colors), and of course, clubs for the SVT faithful. The good news here is that yes, there is a Mustang club in your neck of the woods, wherever your woods happen to be. If, however, you want to associate only with the Cobra crowd, that may be a bit tougher unless you stick to internet chatting only. Most Mustang clubs—even the ones specializing in a particular Mustang genre—welcome all breeds of the horse, and that’s okay because Mustang fans generally love other Mustang fans, whether behind the wheel of a V-6, GT, or Cobra. There is a dark side however; drop an SVT badge on anything other than a bona-fide Cobra, and true Cobra owners will strike with great vengeance and furious anger. For these folks, the SVT badge is a sacred item, so if you’re thinking of sprucing up a V-6 or even a GT with Cobra badging, think again. At least if you want to be part of the Mustang crowd and have two working legs.

By Christopher Smith | November 01, 2009
Keepers: Mustang SVT Cobra—Shopping

“The fix” are two words perpetually connected with the 1999 SVT Cobra. To make a somewhat confusing story very simple, it goes like this: Design flaws in the intake and exhaust caused the car to make less than the 320 horsepower advertised by Ford. Average losses were in the 30 horsepower range, but some folks claimed as many as 50 ponies were missing from their Cobra. The fallout caused Ford to stop Cobra production, issue a recall, and “fix” the cars already in circulation so they actually produced all 320 horsepower. All Cobra owners were notified of the problem and asked to deliver their cars to the nearest SVT dealer for service, which consisted of a new upper and lower intake manifold, new exhaust system, and a PCM reflash.

By Christopher Smith | October 26, 2009
Keepers: Mustang SVT Cobra

When the concept of Keepers was bouncing around the NextAutos office, there was a tinge of trepidation about discussing Mustangs and Camaros. Aside from the fanatical, insanely-large following enjoyed by both cars, they’ve been covered, featured, mentioned, compared, discussed, reviewed, and otherwise overblown by just about every publication on the planet. As such, you’ll never likely never see a Mustang GT or Camaro Z28 in this neck of NextAutos cyberspace, but some of the specialty models do stand a chance, such as the 1999 and 2001 Mustang SVT Cobra.

By Christopher Smith | October 21, 2009
Back To School: We Preview Aston Martin’s Performance Driving Course

The folks at Aston Martin invited us to preview the same courses that customers go through, and we gladly accepted. This would not only allow us to brush up on our dynamic driving skills, but it would give us the chance to spend some more time with the latest crop of Astons—the V8 Vantage, DB9, and DBS coupes.

By Steven J. Ewing | September 29, 2009
Dinan S1 335i: Better Than an M3?

Taking the fabulous BMW 335i and trying to make it better than an M3 is a tempting but difficult exercise. Not only is the M3 a very good car, so is the 335i. If anyone has a chance to pull this off, it would be Dinan, the long-standing mega tuners of BMWs in the U.S.

By Tom Martin | September 28, 2009
Keepers: Audi S4 B5-series—Community

Here’s where the frustration of dealing with recurring S4 mechanical maladies all but disappears. YouTube is full videos that feature turbo S4s committing various acts of horsepower heroics (like the Nurburgring vid posted above), and that’s due to the devout following of Audi owners on the whole. The unassuming styling of the S4 however, combined with the Biturbo’s ease of tuning make it an Audi favorite despite the car’s relatively short North American lifespan. As such, S4 owners have an extremely broad enthusiast community when it comes to technical help, aftermarket tuning, spare parts, or just friendly camaraderie. In fact, there are so many web sites in cyber land devoted to all things Audi that we could never hope to list them all, but we can offer a few suggestions on groups both big and small.

By Christopher Smith | September 22, 2009
Keepers: Audi S4 B5-Series—Shopping

Most performance enthusiasts—and especially the fans of Q-ship performance—are well aware that the much-loved Biturbo S4 does have a dark side. Yes, Audi was pumping out some cool cars back in the day, but questionable quality, poor reliability, and astronomical repair costs have become a trademark characteristic for Audis of this era. Talk to just about any S4 driver and you’ll get a similar story of mechanical maladies that either total thousands of dollars, or take the car off the road for weeks or months at a time while the owner gathers parts for the repair. As such, the best S4 purchasing advice is to have extra money set aside for repair work. You’ll need it.

By Christopher Smith | September 20, 2009
Keepers: Audi S4 B5-series

In light of Audi’s all-new unveilings at the Frankfurt Motor Show , the timing couldn’t be better for a flashback to one of the company’s defining performance offerings. We’re speaking of course about the Audi S4 sedan that first appeared on Yankee soil way back in 1992. The formula hasn’t changed much over the years, but when it comes down to a specific S4 genre, we look to the second-generation B5-series S4 as the version that roundhouse kicked the sport sedan segment of the day, becoming a performance legend in the process.

By Christopher Smith | September 15, 2009
Keepers: Thunderbird Turbo Coupe—Community

As one might expect with a lesser-known performance car, the Turbo Coupe community is a lesser-known group of individuals who not only love the Turbo Coupe, but all iterations of the Fox-Body based, “aero birds” that graced the FoMoCo lineup from 1983-1988. They also love and embrace the same-era Mercury Cougar, which mirrored the Turbo Coupe’s development through 1986 by offering the 2.3 turbo with a five-speed on the rare XR-7 model.

By Christopher Smith | September 12, 2009
Keepers: Thunderbird Turbo Coupe—Shopping

Folks who’ve been considering a Turbo Coupe purchase—especially those with some mechanical know-how—will find prices are surprisingly affordable, with fixer-uppers generally available for under $1000. Be warned though; while these cars have longevity and reliability on their side (more than a few TC owners attest to topping 200,000 miles with just basic maintenance), bringing one back from the dead can become a pricey endeavor.

By Christopher Smith | September 08, 2009
Keepers: Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe

Now that Ford is getting all excited about turbocharged engines, we thought it might be nice to revisit its original turbo effort from the 1980s. Long before Dearborn coined the term EcoBoost there was just plain boost, force-feeding Ford’s venerable 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Enthusiasts will recognize this engine as the force behind other Blue Oval 80s creations like the Mustang SVO and Merkur XR4Ti, but the unmistakably-aero appearance of the 1987-1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe holds a place in our enthusiast heart as having the best combination of performance, styling, sportiness, comfort, and gadgetry.

By Christopher Smith | September 01, 2009
Keepers: Subaru WRX—Community

Subaru enthusiasts share a broad enjoyment of just about everything Subaru, with various meets and events happening on almost a daily basis. Given the go-anywhere, all-wheel drive nature of the Subie lineup, back-woods barbeques and off-road events go hand-in-hand with traditional pavement-bound activities—year round.

By Christopher Smith | August 27, 2009
Keepers: Subaru WRX—Shopping

Turbocharged power funneled through an all-wheel drive platform is often a recipe for a reliability nightmare, but in keeping with its rugged rally-bred existence, the 2002-03 WRX is quite the stout performance machine that takes spirited driving in stride. In fact, the issues most prevalent to would-be WRX owners are actually previous WRX owners, or more accurately, previous owner abuse. General used car shopping guidelines are definitely in effect here, but given the WRX’s youthful and often exuberant audience, extra attention to detail could save you from purchasing someone else’s thrashed-out ragdoll.

By Christopher Smith | August 18, 2009
Keepers: Subaru Impreza WRX

Every once in a while a car comes along that transcends the motoring world to become an icon for a generation. Cars like the 1957 Chevy Bel Air and 1965 Ford Mustang may spring to mind as previous icons, and as we enter the final months of the 21st-century’s premier decade, we find there’s a new car to grace that exclusive list: the 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX.

By Christopher Smith | August 13, 2009
Keepers: GMC Syclone/Typhoon—Community

Every hardcore performance ride has an enthusiast following, and while the same kind of race-inspired pedigree may not surround the Syclone/Typhoon, a small but faithful group of gearheads congregate to www.syty.org , online home to the International Syclone Typhoon Owners Association (ISTA and yes, they opt to go O-less for the acronym). International is no typo either; despite a limited production run, Syclones and Typhoons have found homes in such faraway lands as England, Sweden, Germany, and Austria. SyTy.org also lists club chapters for Brazil and Japan, though a visit to both websites suggests activity in those areas might be waning.

By Christopher Smith | August 10, 2009
Keepers: GMC Syclone/Typhoon—Shopping

The Syclone/Typhoon (often referred to as SyTy by owners and enthusiasts) super trucks were always intended to be niche, limited-production vehicles. Save for a few outlier units in 1992, Syclones were exclusive to the 1991 model year and exclusively black, while Typhoons offered more color and less exclusivity thanks to a production run that spanned 1992 and 1993. As one would expect, the Typhoon is a bit easier to find; nearly 5000 came off the assembly line during its two-year run as opposed to 3000 Syclones, so while these trucks are rather rare, they’re not impossible to find.

By Christopher Smith | August 04, 2009
Keepers: GMC Syclone/Typhoon

Nothing seems to polarize motoring enthusiasts more than the concept of a performance truck, and the NextAutos office is no exception. What kind of absurd mentality could ever conceive such an abomination as a utilitarian vehicle that aspires to be something other than utilitarian? After all, you could bolt plywood to a shopping cart, tie it to a boat, and go water skiing carting if you really wanted to, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to have a blast jumping the wake or cracking the whip into the beach.

Or does it?

By Christopher Smith | July 28, 2009
Blog: GM 4.0 – Corvette to the Rescue?

I have noted in my previous blogs on GM 4.0 that GM’s remaining core problem is with branding, now that its’ former biggest problems – unit costs and scale costs – are being dealt with through bankruptcy. By branding, I don’t mean marketing B.S., I mean the entire set of perceptions and beliefs that consumers hold about your company or its divisions. Branding addresses the expectations customers have about things they can’t see on a spec sheet or a test drive. It also covers their understanding about how others will perceive what they drive. That stuff is very important.

By Tom Martin | July 27, 2009
Keepers: Mazda RX-7—Community

As one would expect with niche, Japanese tuner cars such as the RX-7, there exists a very dedicated enthusiast community that loves to tweak, tune, and show these cars off every bit as much as driving them.

By Christopher Smith | July 24, 2009

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The Guide to Road Racing: Winding Road Magazine's ultimate guide to getting your start in racing.

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