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So far Alex Bellus has created 224 blog entries.
18 03, 2019

Oddities, Eccentricities, and Aberrations – March 2019

By |2019-03-18T16:38:37-05:00March 18th, 2019|Cars We'd Like to Own|0 Comments

If you’ve ever wanted to a vehicle that can go wherever you want offroad, you’re probably familiar with the Mercedes G-Wagen, Land Rover Defender, and Hummers. Those who like to get a bit more in the weeds have probably familiar with Unimogs and Pinzgauers. But even the most savvy off-roaders have probably never heard of the UMM Alter II. That’s because it was a small, low-volume manufacturer based in Lisbon, Portugal that specialized in rugged agricultural and military vehicles. The UMM Alter II even had a stint in the Dakar Rally back in the day, where it garnered a reputation for bulletproof reliability when all the vehicles entered by UMM finished the rally under their own power. And power comes from a Peugeot 2.5-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder. I don’t know why but I really want this thing. Please, somebody, buy it before I do something foolish. […]

18 03, 2019

Lap Around the Web – Mar. 18th, 2019

By |2019-03-18T14:03:17-05:00March 18th, 2019|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

The Porsche 919 Hybrid is one of the most dominant endurance race cars of the current era. With a virtually identical power to weight ratio as a modern F1 car, the 919 is ruthlessly fast but its complex aerodynamics make it fairly easy to drive. The combination of a highly-strung 700+ HP V4 engine along with some incredibly power-dense battery cells mean that the 919 is producing just shy of 1,200 HP going to all four wheels with computers to control everything seamlessly so the driver can focus on making the absolute most of the mechanical symphony being orchestrated around them. Chris Harris of Top Gear got the quite enviable job of driving the Porsche 919 for a day and you can see what that was like for him in the video below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D4l4TUj8sQ&t=0s […]

11 03, 2019

Lap Around the Web – Mar. 11th, 2019

By |2019-03-11T13:12:50-05:00March 11th, 2019|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

The latest season of Top Gear has already started airing on the BBC in the UK but we won't be able to watch it in the US until the middle of April. That being said, they've been teasing out some content on their Youtube channel, including what looks to be an awesome racing challenge between Chris Harris, Matt LeBlanc, and Rory Reid in some cheap (sub-$10K) high-luxury cars. Between the Mercedes 600SEL, Bentley Arnage, and Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, they all look pretty good as race cars but we'll have to wait for the episode to air next month to know which one is the fastest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmhrAbl5Js0   For Audi nerds or just fans of fast, practical, sports cars, there are few things more lust-worthy than the Audi RS2, built in limited quantities between 1994-1995. The RS2 was the ultimate evolution of the Audi 80 Avant platform. With further fine-tuning from Porsche, the 2.2-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder produced 315-hp going to all four wheels, which were also supplied by Porsche along with the massive brakes. All in all, Audi made just under 3,000 RS2s and unfortunately, none of them were imported into the US. However, now that they're 25 years old, that will hopefully start to change. I'll let Jalopnik tell you the rest of the reasons why you should import one right now. Niki Lauda was one of Formula 1's most prolific drivers. Back when he was still actively racing for Ferrari, the cars were much more of a handful than [...]

4 03, 2019

Lap Around the Web – Mar. 4th, 2019

By |2019-03-04T13:00:55-05:00March 4th, 2019|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

Plenty of manufacturers design cars using CAD (computer-aided drafting) software prior to putting it into production. That’s all pretty normal these days. But what if you want to take an old car that already exists and make it a wild, modern interpretation of what you’ve always dreamt of? It turns out you can do that on a computer too, just like Ken Block did when he commissioned designer Ash Thorp to design a new, racier version of his beloved 1993 Ford Escort Cosworth rally car. Taking feedback from Ken, Ash was able to blend some of his favorite features of modern rally cars onto the iconic Escort Cosworth body. The rough model looks great as-is, but Ash went one step further, grafting Ken’s newest livery onto the 25 yr old rally car. Once everything is signed off, the dimensions for the new body panels are all right there in the software and get sent over to the team that actually builds the car. It’s amazing what modern technology can do for old cars! […]

26 02, 2019

Lap Around the Web – Feb. 25th, 2019

By |2019-02-26T12:33:38-05:00February 26th, 2019|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

You know what sounds awesome? Ferrari race cars. Particularly, vintage Ferrari race cars with big, carbureted V12s that shoot fireballs and don’t have any sound insulation like the Ferrari 512 BB LM in this video. While one could make a case for just listening to the sounds this beast of a race car makes as it slides its way around a wet Imola circuit, it’s even better to watch the footage from both inside and outside the cockpit as the 512 BB LM chases a wild Porsche 935 K3 around the track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwdu9f8xUqw […]

19 02, 2019

Lap Around the Web – Feb 18th, 2019

By |2019-02-22T13:29:03-05:00February 19th, 2019|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

Mazda his pretty well-known for their efforts at LeMans with the mighty 787B of the early 1990s but before that, they raced the car you see above. This was Mazda’s 1982 entry and it marked their last production-car based racing entry to see the famous French race. Known as the Mazda 254i, this Group 5 racer didn’t achieve the success Mazda was hoping for, instead finishing 14th overall during its sole run at LeMans. A second 254i was campaigned as well but failed to finish the race. These cars were raced sparingly for a couple of years before they fell off the map, although the LeMans finisher, unfortunately, was totalled in a racing accident. It took 35 years for the sole surviving 254i to surface again and luckily, it’ll be receiving a full restoration and a new life. To learn more about this quirky Mazda 254i race car, head over to Japanese Nostalgic Car. […]

12 02, 2019

Oddities, Eccentricities, and Aberrations – February 2019

By |2019-02-22T13:48:07-05:00February 12th, 2019|Cars We'd Like to Own|0 Comments

Check out this MONSTERBUS! Although the ad says its perfect for taking 22 of your best buds paintballing or booze cruisin’, I think it’d be ideal for transporting your buddies to and from Monster Jam. They could all hop out and go to their seats while you jump it over cars and do barrel rolls in it. What’s not to like? If you got your buddies to chip in on the $75k asking price, it almost starts to sound like a bargain… […]

11 02, 2019

Lap Around the Web – Feb 11th, 2019

By |2019-02-22T13:30:01-05:00February 11th, 2019|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

Obviously, snow tires are really important things to have in Minnesota during the winter but your drivetrain can make a huge difference in how your car handles snow and ice too. The guys at Team O’Neil tethered various cars to an old Jeep in an icy parking area and goosed the throttle to show how different differential and traction control setups work when things get really slick. As you’ll see in the video, 4WD doesn’t always mean that all four wheels are getting power and sometimes, a 2WD with a limited slip differential can put the power down even better than a Jeep when conditions get tough. […]

28 01, 2019

Lap Around the Web – Jan 28th, 2019

By |2019-02-22T13:34:53-05:00January 28th, 2019|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

It’s easy to forget about the Toyota 2000GT. Only a scant 351 examples were ever built, and at $6,611 in 1967, it was more expensive than both the Porsche 911 and the Jaguar E-Type. Still, Toyota built the best car they knew how to at the time, with a stiff, lightweight chassis and a healthy 150-bhp from a Yamaha-tuned inline-6. With swoopy, teardrop styling and a well-appointed, but driver-focused interior, the car looked every bit as good as it drove – if you were of small enough stature to fit in it, of course. There’s a lot more to the mystique of the legendary Toyota 2000GT than I have room to get into here, but the folks at Silodrome broke down the fascinating history of the car that paved the way for the Toyota Supra so you can get up to speed. […]

22 01, 2019

Lap Around the Web – Jan 21st, 2019

By |2019-02-26T09:21:11-05:00January 22nd, 2019|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

It’s unfortunate that winter usually means the end of car season here in Minnesota. The cold temps and slippery roads mean most people tuck their fun cars away for months at a time. In Austria, however, they celebrate the cold weather with a winter motorsports event, simply called the “Ice Race in Zell am See”. Here, loads of beautiful race cars and sports cars don studded tires and take laps around a small race course formed out of the snow and ice. Some of these amazing cars even attach tow straps and pull skiers around the course! […]

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