Bear with me as I step back in time to formulate what I believe are three terrific American built performance cars: the Ford Mustang, the Dodge Challenger, and the Chevrolet Camaro. Currently, only the Mustang is in production with the Challenger coming back by 2009. GM hasnt committed to building the Camaro just yet, but the company is likely to make a decision in favor of the car and its sibling, the Pontiac Firebird, by this summer. So, what is it about American performance cars that set them apart from the rest? In one word: muscle. Read on as I compare and contrast these three vehicles and share with you my feeble attempts to explain the culture behind the cars.So, you think I forgot the Chevy Corvette and Dodge Viper when talking about performance cars? No, I did not. Both models are performance cars as well as race cars. On the other hand the Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro are mass produced performance cars with muscle. There is a difference in the way a typical race car handles, rides, and performs vs. a muscle car. Typically, a muscle car was a coupe version of some of the larger cars that were pervasive on U.S. highways in the 1960s and 1970s. The Mustang and Camaro, however, were designed separately [although they both heavily borrowed parts from other models] and these pony cars were a category all to themselves. For comparisons sake, they join the "Dodge Challenger" , a performance version of Mopar cars of its time. All three were compared by critics of that time and all three will once again be compared in a few years when production has been ramped up. "Ford Mustang" - Step back in time with me to April 1964 to an era when America was heavily involved in the space race, Lyndon Johnson was president, and General Motors ruled autodom. Ford, for its part, had been nipping at GMs heels for years, but the failed Edsels of the late 1950s had cost the company dearly. Still, it was the time of the New York Worlds Fair and Ford used the fair and television technology to promote its newest offering, the Mustang. A 2+2 coupe borrowing parts from the Fairlane and Falcon, the 1964 model was the first one sold and is widely credited with being the best introduction of a new vehicle ever. With a V6 engine standard and V8 optional, the all new Mustang quickly broke sales records and has been a hot seller ever since. Indeed, with the introduction of the retro look Mustang in 2005, the car once again has spawned interest in the muscle car segment as both DaimlerChrysler and General Motors craft competing models of their own.Dodge Challenger - After the success of earlier muscle cars including the Dodge Charger and Plymouth Cuda, the Dodge Challenger was launched as a 1970 model. The car borrowed heavily from the Cuda although the sheet metal was somewhat different and the wheelbase was stretched by a couple of inches. Because the muscle car era was in decline at the time of its introduction, the Challenger lasted only five model years before it was cancelled. The concept Challenger currently on display at many auto shows is based on the 1970 design and is the talk of message boards and blogs across the nation. Look for Hemi powered engines as being favored by many owners; the car is likely to share some technology with the current Magnum wagon and Charger sedan. "Chevrolet Camaro" -- GM was asleep at the wheel when the Mustang came out. It took nearly three years before the company could respond and when it did the Camaro and Pontiac Firebird were the result. Although both cars sold well over the years, neither one could match the Mustangs sales levels and by the time the last cars were sold in 2002, production dropped to a trickle. Still, the end of the Camaro after 35 years has stirred renewed interest in the name and thanks to the retro Mustang, the entire muscle car category is growing once again. Look for a 2010 Camaro to be the first Camaro since 2002; a ragtop version is also being considered.So, just who can be expected to purchase a muscle car these days? People just like me: middle aged men who grew up with the original models. In addition, a whole new generation of younger drivers tired of the me too look of so many of the compact cars out there. Muscle cars of today are so much different from earlier era cars as they incorporate the look of the originals while harnessing todays technology. Thus, fuel savings will be decent without sacrificing performance: a true win-win situation.No, I cannot wait to see a Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro lined up at a traffic light waiting for the light to turn green. A new muscle car era is upon us and for that I am very excited.
The Mercedes B-Class, a line of compact cars about the size of a Volkswagen Golf, is expected to be imported to the U.S. market within one or two years time. This model is unusual in that it will be the first vehicle marketed by Mercedes in the U.S. that is not a true luxury car. Instead, the German automaker is hoping to capitalize on its venerable name by serving a greater share of the American populace by marketing a more ordinary model. Soon after the B-Class debut, yet another small vehicle derived from Mercedes will also make its appearance in the U.S.: the Dodge Hornet. Both the B-Class and Hornet are being developed to revolutionize their respective brands, pitting DaimlerChrysler against some of the leading youth brands in the world.Not everyone thinks that it is a good idea for Mercedes to sell a budget model in the U.S., particularly one sporting the Mercedes marque. Yet, Mercedes has been building smaller models for years and in Europe the brand is known for producing luxury cars as well as vehicles for the masses. Indeed, Mercedes biggest adversary, BMW, also produces a line of small cars and is planning on bringing these vehicles to the U.S. shortly. Thus, like it or not, Mercedes must respond and the B-Class will be the answer.For Mercedes, the B-Class likely to make it to the U.S. will be a four door sedan outfitted with a six cylinder gas engine. A hatchback, popular in Europe, will probably not be included in the deal knowing American consumers disdain for that particular body style. Diesel powered B-Class are a possibility and will become even more likely should BMW introduce the same.For Dodge, the Hornet represents an answer to Scion and their line of youth oriented brands. While the Mercedes B-Class will likely appeal to VW and Nissan owners, the Hornet will target Scion owners as well as those inclined to purchase a Honda Element or other small, boxy vehicle. DaimlerChrysler, the owner of both Mercedes and Dodge, knows that the Hornet is necessary as the brands current entry level vehicle, the Caliber, is too expensive to compete against the lowest priced cars from Japan and Korea. Considering that Chinese cars selling for $8500 or less will also be arriving soon, DaimlerChrysler must respond and respond quickly with the Hornet.While plans havent yet been finalized, the Hornet will likely strongly resemble the concept vehicle now on display at car shows around the country. This means that the Hornet will sport a 1.6L I4 mated to a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission, with a horsepower output of 170. With 19 inch tires, stow and go seating, and Saturn ION-like doors, the Hornet will not be confused with any other vehicle on the road which is exactly what Dodge hopes will happen.To keep production costs down, DaimlerChrysler is looking for a manufacturing plant, probably in Mexico, to build the vehicle. Aiming to keep prices to around $10,000, DaimlerChrysler may tap Volkswagen to produce the vehicle at one of its own plants. This would enable VW to fill excess capacity and give DCX a readily available source to produce the Hornet.Yes, the B-Class is poised to change the way American consumers think about the Mercedes brand while giving the make a chance to capture a broader chunk of the market. With the Hornet deriving its platform and other key components from the B-Class, Dodge will also benefit and be able to holds its own against Asian imports. Yes, both products present risky moves for parent DaimlerChrysler, one that the automaker must take in an ever changing and highly competitive world.
It can be frustrating to have your car break down on the highway. Few people will stop to offer help to disabled drivers. You may not have a cell phone with you, so you'll have to walk to find help. And even if you do have a phone with you, how likely are you to know the number of a nearby towing service? All of these things combine to make a bad situation worse. A good solution, particularly if you spend a lot of time driving, is to pay for a roadside assistance plan.A roadside assistance plan is a form of insurance. You pay for the service from a variety of sources; you might even buy it from your car insurance company. The annual fee that generally costs less than the cost of a single tow can be quite a bargain should you be unlucky enough to have a breakdown as the cost of towing a car even a short distance can easily amount to $100 or more. If you live in a rural area where services are not readily available, roadside assistance could save you several hundred dollars on just a single breakdown.Here are a few sources you might consider for buying a roadside assistance plan:Your "car insurance" company - Most provide basic towing services for a small annual fee added to the cost of your regular premium. Rates vary from company to company, but towing service can often be had for as little as $10 per year. AAA - The American Automobile Association includes roadside assistance as part of their basic annual membership. The cost varies, but typically runs between $40 and $80 per year. The services they offer are not limited to towing; gasoline, repair of flat tires and even locksmith services are available should you lock yourself out of your car or run out of gas.AARP - The American Association of Retired Persons offers a roadside assistance plan for members. The cost is similar to that of an AAA membership, and you must be at least 50 years of age to join. If you spend enough time driving, you will eventually have a breakdown while on the road. It isn't just the province of defective auto lemons; it eventually happens to all cars. It would be nice if everyone could plan when and where to have a breakdown, but that just isn't possible. It is, however, possible to be prepared for those types of emergencies. A roadside assistance plan is an inexpensive way to make sure that you and your car can be towed to safety in case of a roadside emergency.
The main priority for todays Learner Driver should not be passing the Driving Test but embracing the philosophy of skills for life initially. Surely passing the Driving Test is the main objective? Not So! Your main objective should be to acquire the necessary skills that will keep you, your passengers and all other road users safe. This makes sense, but is not taken on board by a very large proportion of Irish learner Drivers, with the result that we have an appalling accident record here which impacts on the whole community.The first and arguably most important step for the new driver is to enrol with a professional Driving School who will set the foundation for both basic and advanced skills and ensure that safety is a priority. The lack of basic skills throughout the motoring population is very widespread and stems from several inherent flaws which are only now beginning to be addressed by the Government. Thankfully our membership of the European Club is forcing the various agencies that are involved in the whole motoring scene to take action and implement the various Directives on a structured time scale.The Irish Driving Test only began in 1966 more than thirty years after the UK introduced that most feared of life events!Most of the recent EU changes have usually taken effect here three or four years after the UK. These would comprise the Driver Theory Test, revised Test Marking Sheet, Provisional License revisions, and Mechanical Checks on the Practical Driving Test.Aspects still to be rolled out will be Mandatory Tuition for Motorcycles and Cars and the long awaited Examination and Registration of Driving Instructors. One of the reasons for our poor standards on the roads, particularly within the young driver community is that Driving Instructor standards are not subject to scrutiny. It is quite commonplace to see Instructors giving tuition in a pupils car with no L plates displayed. This shows a complete disregard for the basic rule of Law and by extension the calibre of instruction has to be mediocre at best.What can you expect on your first lesson with a Professional Instructor? Will you be taken into a city centre? Will you be taken on a high speed carriageway? Will you be driving off down the road in just five minutes? Absolutely not!What will happen is a concentrated session covering many diverse subjects relating to both the workings of the car and all its equipment and a look at the current Driving Scene into which the new Driver is entering for the first time. An investigation of all the basic mechanics that are the responsibility of the Driver, and which now form part of the Driving Test, will take place, and a brief discussion on the current requirements of the Driving Test.Once this is accomplished, the basic Cockpit Drill will be looked at along with all instrumentation and secondary controls. Following on from this section, a brief discussion on the use of the Gearbox will take place and then on to the most mystical of Car equipment the Clutch. (That is of course assuming that we are driving a car with a manual Gearbox, with its accompanying Stick Shift.)It surprises most beginners that it is the Clutch that moves the car and not the Gas pedal. In fact, since you are going to be on a level stretch of road for the first tentative steps, it is interesting to demonstrate that the Car does indeed move with the foot no where near the Gas Pedal. This is the point at which we are learning the first real Driving Skill; that of understanding the Term Biting Point and how to recognise it.In the very early stages, a complete mastery of being able to bring the Clutch to Biting Point and hold it steady is the key to Driving away smoothly in every different situation. No amount of gas pedal usage will move the car unless the clutch is at Biting Point first. Once the car begins to move, and is building up a little momentum, then the clutch can be fully released gently and the Gas pedal then comes into play.Next follows a brief demonstration of the clutch control technique by the Instructor followed by the Pupil.The sequence of moving off safely comes next, followed by the Real Thing, but of course its no use getting going if you then dont know how to stop safely which will also be demonstrated. You are now on the move practising starting and stopping and the adrenalin is finally pumping after all the Theory! Guess What? You will be doing the whole procedure in Reverse within a few minutes. Yes thats rightReversing! Reversing is such an integral part of every day driving that its something that cant be left till later. If it is put off, then chances are that fear of failure will begin to creep in and that is not the object of Driving Lessons.So there you have, in graphic (almost) detail, the first steps on your Driving Career. If you are going to progress steadily then you should be prepared to do plenty of homework in between your Lessons, with a pad and pen as well as reading the Notes which your Instructor will have given you!There is plenty more where this came from, so take time to look at all the resources available and you should be well on the way to the basic apprentice stage after three or four weeks. The Driving Test is not a consideration at this stage and will only be addressed when you have a suitable level of skill built up over several months.
Have you tried to sale your used car? Or just started to think about selling your "used car" , but dont want to go anywhere wrong while dealing in sale of used car. Now-a-days selling a second hand or used car needn't be a headache for anyone.Number of online sites provides you with used car classifieds and selling advice with all easy tools and guidelines to make your selling more easier and there is no question of getting cheated or any fraud. If your want to sell you used car there are many ways let us discuss few of them.Preparing your car for saleDealing with buyersWording the advertThe price setting CanvassersCar Crime Centre New V5C Document You can also place an advertisement on internet to get your used car sale. With an online car classified ad listing with pictures of your used car, full description, options and features, and more will help to get the fair price on your selling. Create your used car classified ad today, and start receiving qualified leads from interested used car benefits buyers today! You can find many online ranks sites are highly on most major search engines for a variety of auto related search terms and mostly these terms are only used by car shoppers to find "used car benefits" s on the web. So giving online advertisement is the best way to get your used car benefits sale in the market. And for giving online ad is very easy process one can easily place use car ad on internet.Anna Josephs is a freelance journalist having experience of many years writing articles and news releases on various topics such as pet health, automobile and social issues. She also has great interest in poetry and paintings, hence she likes to write on these subjects as well. Currently writing for this website Best Cheap Used Car . For more details please contact at firstname.lastname@example.org