About Alex Bellus

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So far Alex Bellus has created 169 blog entries.
8 05, 2018

Lap Around the Web – May 7th, 2018

By | 2018-05-08T13:30:24+00:00 May 8th, 2018|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

It’s a shame that Volkswagen hasn’t built a car this ridiculous to tackle the infamous Pikes Peak Hill Climb since 1987, but I don’t think anyone sees the gargantuan German automaker attempting to build a 650+ hp, twin-engined Golf ever again. From the sound of things, a Golf with a turbocharged 4-cylinder mounted at each end of the car was as sketchy to drive as it was fast. You’d think with perfect 50/50 weight distribution, the car would be really well balanced, but sometimes the computers keeping the engines in sync would get confused, sending different throttle inputs to each end of the car, making the short wheelbase Golf quite the handful to drive. To learn more about the craziest Golf Volkswagen has ever built, click the link and head over to Road & Track. […]

6 05, 2018

MN C&C – May 2018

By | 2018-05-06T17:33:34+00:00 May 6th, 2018|Events|0 Comments

Beautiful weather, stunning cars, and smiling faces all added up to make this one of the best MN Cars & Coffee events ever. Not only was it a great turnout of cars, but we saw everything from the debut of a brand-new Ford GT and a McLaren 720S to a London Taxi and some vintage military trucks. There was truly something for everyone with such a diverse group of vehicles, a new coffee vendor, and loads of food trucks spread throughout the Canterbury Park grounds. Here’s hoping for a similarly great show next month! […]

30 04, 2018

Lap Around the Web – Apr. 30th, 2018

By | 2018-05-01T08:23:58+00:00 April 30th, 2018|Lap Around the Web|1 Comment

Rotary engines are just insane little things, aren’t they? Even as someone who has dedicated my entire life to learning every possible thing I can about cars and the auto industry, I still find myself slightly mystified by those tiny, little brap factories. In normal, everyday applications like your average RX7, where they make anywhere from about a 100-hp up to 255-hp when they went out of production in the US, the rotary engine starts to resemble something made on this planet, but then you consider that all throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, Mazda raced wild Prototype-class cars at Le Mans and elsewhere with over 700 hp (and up to 900 hp for qualifying) from a relatively minuscule 2.6 liters. The secret, well one of them anyway, was the innovative variable-length intake runners that could extend out like a trombone to help the engine create more torque at lower RPMs while then shorten up to improve top-end power. This design even led to Mazda’s incredible Le Mans win in 1991. To learn more about these insane race engines and the cars that utilized them, head on over to Jalopnik. […]

25 04, 2018

It Smells Like Spring – MNillest Spring Opener

By | 2018-04-25T07:59:45+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Events|0 Comments

After a tortuously long winter, I awoke this past weekend to feel warm rays of sunshine on my skin. I heard birds chirping in the nearby trees. It appeared as if the snow was finally receding instead of accumulating for the first time in more than six months. That's when I knew it was safe to leave the house and attend a car show, so I went to the MNillest Spring Opener in White Bear Lake this past Sunday. Having never attended before, I wasn't sure what to expect but there was a solid turnout of fun and interesting cars to peruse for a few hours on a beautiful afternoon. Hard to beat that!

23 04, 2018

Lap Around the Web – Apr. 23rd, 2018

By | 2018-04-24T10:55:14+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

The big news over this past weekend was Luftgekühlt 5 – an intense celebration of air-cooled Porsches – that was hosted in a giant lumber yard in LA and organized by a veritable who’s who of Porsche fanatics including Patrick Long and Howie Idelson with help from Jeff Zwart, Rod Emery and many others. The show drew tons of gorgeous old Porsche street and race cars, and features some significant public debuts of high-profile cars such as a super rare (1 of 6), street-legal Porche Schuppan 962CR, Bruce Canepa’s new 959SC, and a new super lightweight Singer reimagined 911 called the MLHLND. It looked like an incredible event and as a Porschephile, I spent most of Sunday scrolling through various social media feeds and crying because I was missing out. Luckily, Petrolicious has a great album of photos from the event if you, like me, weren’t able to attend. […]

17 04, 2018

Lap Around the Web – Apr. 16th, 2018

By | 2018-04-17T10:02:27+00:00 April 17th, 2018|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

Hot on the heels of Ben’s ringing endorsement of the movie “Hitting The Apex” about motorcycle racing, I felt it was only appropriate that I start this week’s Lap with this wild, custom Yamaha GTS 1000, dubbed “Project Rhodium Omega”. While the bike’s architecture may be 25 years old, you could tell me this bike was sent back in time from 2068 and I’d believe you. There’s a really cool mix of super futuristic styling with some old-school touches that I can dig, and that wild light pod on the front makes it look a little like an angry Transformer. If you scroll to the bottom of the article, you’ll see some interesting build photos that show just how much work went into making this bike look the way it does today. […]

9 04, 2018

Lap Around the Web – Apr. 9th, 2018

By | 2018-04-09T15:05:55+00:00 April 9th, 2018|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

Wedge-shaped cars were a hallmark of the late 1970s and into the early ’80s. Like disco music, they’re one of those trends that were everywhere at the time but looking back, it might not have aged very well. Still, there’s something both nostalgic and futuristic about these photos depicting some of the most radical wedged concept cars to ever be built. Head on over to Petrolicious to see 10 of the wedgiest concept cars ever made, including favorites like the Lancia Stratos Zero, the Alfa Romeo Carabo, and the Lamborghini Marzal. Heck, there are even a few non-wedgy cars in the mix that carried the torch for the vintage futuristic photo shoot look that never seems to go out of style. […]

2 04, 2018

Lap Around the Web – Apr. 2nd, 2018

By | 2018-04-02T15:14:08+00:00 April 2nd, 2018|Lap Around the Web|0 Comments

I know I’ve professed my love for all things “Alfa Romeo” here before and if you’ve been listening, you’ve probably heard me call the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale the most beautiful car in the world. But Alfa, being Alfa, wouldn’t call something the “Stradale” if there wasn’t also a “Competitizione” version to take racing, which is how this amazing Petrolicious video came to be. Here we see three amazing drivers, including Derek Bell, Nanni Galli, and Arturo Merzario climbing behind the wheel of three of the gorgeous Alfa Romeos they used to race back in the day for a fun day of lapping around Alfa’s Balocco Proving Grounds. […]

27 03, 2018

Oddities, Eccentricities, and Aberrations – March 2018 Edition

By | 2018-03-27T16:05:55+00:00 March 27th, 2018|Cars We'd Like to Own|0 Comments

I've always liked Caterhams because they're raw and ridiculously fun to drive. For those people who want something barebones, fun, and tossable as the Caterham is known for, perhaps this one-off is the right car for them? Based on a Caterham CSR, it's just called the "Ultimate Driving Machine" and it features angular new bodywork that encloses the wheels as well as the driver with a custom hardtop and butterfly doors. The looks might not be everyone's cup of tea but I'm sure it's still plenty of fun to drive! Keeping things on the small and lightweight end of the spectrum, I'm kind of digging this little 1975 Mazda Chantez. This is the first time I've ever heard of this pocket-sized hatchback but I've got to admit, it's pretty neat looking; sort of like Mazda's version of the Honda N600. The 359-cc two-stroke engine might only produce a whopping 32 hp but it only needs to propel a little over 1,000 lbs of weight. Honestly, I'm stumped on how to feel about this thing. Both a '92 Corvette and a '67 Volvo P1800 gave their lives to become this... Thing. Functionally, it's a Corvette underneath with P1800 bits and pieces adapted to the nose and tail. It's not a particularly bad look but one must wonder what the thought process was that led to what we see here. Maybe the builder couldn't figure out how to fit a V8 in a P1800 and this seemed like the next best idea? [...]

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