For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gray
Power Options: Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows
Drive Type: None
Pearl River, Louisiana, United States
Last week, in the midst of Detroit's first days seeking relief in Chapter 9 of the bankruptcy code, Automotive News contributor Larry P. Vellequette penned an editorial suggesting that American car companies raise the white flag on dual clutch transmissions and give up on trying to persuade Americans to buy cars fitted with them. Why? Because, Vellequette says, like CVT transmissions, they "just don't sound right or feel right to American drivers." (Note: In the article, it's not clear if Vellequette is arguing against wet-clutch and dry-clutch DCTs or just dry-clutch DCTs, which is what Ford and Chrysler use.) The article goes on to state that Ford and Chrysler have experimented with DCTs and that both consumers and the automotive press haven't exactly given them glowing reviews, despite their quicker shifts and increased fuel efficiency potential compared to torque-converter automatic transmissions.
Autoblog staffers who weighed in on the relevance of DCTs in American cars generally disagreed with the blanket nature of Vellequette's statement that they don't sound or feel right, but admit that their lack of refinement compared to traditional automatics can be an issue for consumers. That's particularly true in workaday cars like the Ford Focus and Dodge Dart, both of which have come in for criticism in reviews and owner surveys. From where we sit, the higher-performance orientation of such transmissions doesn't always meld as well with the marching orders of everyday commuters (particularly if drivers haven't been educated as to the transmission's benefits and tradeoffs), and in models not fitted with paddle shifters, it's particularly hard for drivers to use a DCT to its best advantage.
Finally, we also note that DCT tuning is very much an evolving science. For instance, Autoblog editors who objected to dual-clutch tuning in the Dart have more recently found the technology agreeable in the Fiat 500L. Practice makes perfect - or at least more acceptable.
Custom cars generally fit into neat little boxes in terms of how they are used. For example, you're unlikely to see a modded Corvette going rock crawling; it's just not what it's made for (though we bet it'd look awesome, for a minute). In the same way, chopped, channeled and customized '50s hot rods aren't really meant to go racing. They look great and go fast, but they are generally more cruisers than sports cars.
However, if this video is any indication, the people of Finland don't adhere in these stereotypes, because this rodder is happy to play in the dirt with his lead sled.
According to the video, the driver is a member of the Ford-Freak Club of Finland, and he clearly knows how to have some fun. Possibly inspired by his country's great rally drivers, he gets the tail way out going around this gently curving gravel track. The stunt is somewhat reminiscent of the stock cars races on the sand at Daytona Beach, and this is probably close to what it sounded like too. Scroll down to watch a very cool Finn getting his hot rod a little dirty.
For a certain cohort of young folks, Jurassic Park is a touchstone film from their childhood. Not only did it play into practically every little boy's love of dinosaurs, the movie included some great action scenes and special effects that still hold up today. In its latest video, The Aficionauto takes a look the Jurassic Park Motor Pool, a California car club with over 40 fans who created replica vehicles from the iconic film.
The club is made up of an interesting cross-section of people. Many of them were Jeep Wrangler fans that already loved off-roading and Jurassic Park, and liked the idea of bringing them together. Like any close-knit club, it ends up being about community and people coming together to share their interests. It's quite a heartwarming video. Also, be sure to stay until the end because The Aficionauto teases a future Jurassic Park-themed vehicle. Scroll down to check out the motor pool.