Popemobile cranked up to speed

YW kits out the Pope with some speedy transport Trundling around at walking pace in an 8 year old 4×4 – that’s no way for a modern Pope to show his credentials, spread the word and cover some ground. We thought we’d equip him with some serious wheels for his UK visit. I mean, Edinburgh […]

Radical Popemobile hits the streets

YW kits out the Pope with some speedy transport

Trundling around at walking pace in an 8 year old 4×4 – that’s no way for a modern Pope to show his credentials, spread the word and cover some ground. We thought we’d equip him with some serious wheels for his UK visit. I mean, Edinburgh to London at 4mph? Nah, we can get him down from the dizzy heights of Scotland to the low life of London in a gnat’s whisker with our seat-of-your-pope-mobile. Think supercar meets garden shed and you have some idea of the direction we’re taking. Construction was well underway last year, but some awkward homologation issues delayed deployment. The Vatican has very precise requirements for their numero uno. The result is concocted from existing machinery to minimise scrutineering hiccups, and combines the sci-fi dynamics of 200mph+ projectiles with the class of retro supercars. Batman: eat your heart out, Robin donate your cape.

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Autemo.com : transform your car … virtually

We heard, via Twitter, about a website that totally transforms your car for just a few dollars. Intrigued as our house mascot Golf GTi was just about to go to the bodyshop to get a couple of panels repaired and a new lick of yellow paint. How could they do it for the money? We […]

We heard, via Twitter, about a website that totally transforms your car for just a few dollars. Intrigued as our house mascot Golf GTi was just about to go to the bodyshop to get a couple of panels repaired and a new lick of yellow paint. How could they do it for the money?

We delved deeper to see how it could be possible. Autemo.com is the site, beautifully laid out yet functional, it’s mission to virtually transform cars. No sheet metal gets cut, no bodykit riveted, no trick paint spayed; it’s all done in Photoshop. Fancy turning that rusty old Nissan into a Tokyo drift dreamcar? That cooking Chevy into chopped chariot? Test drive the mods you are planning for your ride before committing to the bodyshop. When your pimpmobile hits the spot you can convert your car for real reassured your facelift will be more super-car than super-shed.

Go to Autemo, read the intro, take the tour and decide what sort of look you are aiming for. Then simply upload a photo, select an artist, and commit a derisory AUD $30-$90 to get the car of your dreams. You get to watch progress as the artist uploads WIPs (Work In Progress) photos, and you can comment and request changes. It’s a virtual chop but with real interaction with the artist.
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Smart Hillclimb Special

It takes a bit of commitment and determination to create what no-one has done before. Usually it means that either it’s a dumb idea, or it’s really tricky. So when Jim Gazey decided he’d turn his Smart ForTwo (or ForOne if you like) into a hillclimb car, he had to do some very careful plotting […]

Jim Gazey in his Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Jim Gazey in his Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Smart ForOne hillclimb car

Smart ForOne hillclimb car

It takes a bit of commitment and determination to create what no-one has done before. Usually it means that either it’s a dumb idea, or it’s really tricky. So when Jim Gazey decided he’d turn his Smart ForTwo (or ForOne if you like) into a hillclimb car, he had to do some very careful plotting and measuring. to squeeze an ex-Toyota MR2 engine into the nano-space where a humble 3-pot normally resides takes some doing. Gut the interior and fit a roll cage, and it doesn’t look, on the face of it, there’ll be much room to squeeze in Jim’s not insubstantial frame. Makes you wonder what happens to the centre of gravity of it all…Reportedly, some heavy right foot at the start line raises the nose dragster-like a full 12 inches off the black stuff. Brave indeed.

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Click Continue to listen to Jim talk about his hillclimb rocket
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Smart add Brabus “Tailor Made” bespoke styling

Fancy ordering a wild Smart this Autumn? Brabus has a new range of styling and customer options for you to order. There’s something special about Smarts: they appear to transcend normal car buying patterns, and instill a loyalty and pride beyond their price. If you need evidence of this, come back here shortly when we’ll […]

Brabus Smarts from the Tailor Made range

Brabus Smarts from the Tailor Made range


Cambell Blue Brabus Smart sporting British flag

Campbell Blue Brabus Smart sporting British flag


Balloon race at Smart Festival 2009

Balloon race at Smart Festival 2009

Fancy ordering a wild Smart this Autumn? Brabus has a new range of styling and customer options for you to order. There’s something special about Smarts: they appear to transcend normal car buying patterns, and instill a loyalty and pride beyond their price.
If you need evidence of this, come back here shortly when we’ll have a flowery report of our day at the 2009 Smart Festival. Smart used the occasion to launch it’s “Tailor Made” range of Brabus themed specials. These are not just trim upgrades, but full panel colour choices and interior finishes with themed options, such as the “Campbell Blue” shown here, celebrating the iconic blue of the land speed record cars built and tested at the Brooklands workshops right next to Mercedes World; venue of the Smart Festival. Choose your wheels and spoilers, (full screen) satnav, exterior downlighters, daylight running lights, you name it. You can even have a union jack embroidered in your leather seats to go with your German British car. Lastly spec your gear knob. These must be extra special, as someone swiped one off the green display car, right during the Festival !

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2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – in the pink!

The Frankfurt Show is well and truly over, but we find ourselves with a lot unpublished material that we are sure, as car fans, you’ll want to see. So read on! Firstly on on the Mansory stand, there’s a pink, totally outrageous, modified Bentley coupe. Just why would you want to do this to a […]

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

The Frankfurt Show is well and truly over, but we find ourselves with a lot unpublished material that we are sure, as car fans, you’ll want to see. So read on! Firstly on on the Mansory stand, there’s a pink, totally outrageous, modified Bentley coupe. Just why would you want to do this to a beautiful car, even if you have way too much money?! Answer: you wouldn’t but it sure gets some attention. Maybe we looked at the other stars on their stand as a result.
Pink Bentley

Pink Bentley Vitesse Rose by Mansory

If you thought carbon fibre-everywhere was yesterday’s theme, then look further along their stand where an Aston and a Bugatti lurk in proud assertion of the breed. At least the dark weave of the carbon cloth gives an unexpected understatement to the conversions. Naturally there are deep performance tweaks to supplement the cult clothing. But this is a fashion show…and bespoke clothing doesn’t come cheap.

Cyrus Aston Martin (DB9) by Mansory

Cyrus Aston Martin (DB9) by Mansory

Carbon bodied Bugatti Veyron

Carbon and chrome bodied Bugatti Veyron Linea Vincero

Mansory’s carbon and chrome Bugatti Veyron, by contrast is pretty tasteful. Veyron’s are not subtle, and plenty of factory cars look more outrageous than this example. We’ll take this one and leave the matt pink Bentley thanks.

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2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – Mad Motors!

A motor Show would be nothing without a few mad motors balking at corporate styling shyness. The Hamann stand seemed to epitomise aftermarket tuning with a sense of humour. Where else will you see a BMW X6 with zebra stripes, a Lambo painted to resemble an F16 fighter jet, a McMerc SLR decked out with […]

Hamann's Volcano Mercedes McLaren SLR

Hamann's Volcano Mercedes McLaren SLR


A motor Show would be nothing without a few mad motors balking at corporate styling shyness. The Hamann stand seemed to epitomise aftermarket tuning with a sense of humour. Where else will you see a BMW X6 with zebra stripes, a Lambo painted to resemble an F16 fighter jet, a McMerc SLR decked out with more carbon appendages than a formula 1 racer? We need bonkers motors to stop us sinking into the straight-jacket of corporate-safe styling. OK, so your average punter’s not going to sink their hard-earned cash into one of these vegas-on-wheels mascots, but a petro-cash-rich-car-nut might just get the humour and steer some dosh Hamann’s way.
Hamann's message to the world

Hamann's message to the world

click through to the next page to see more photos of Hamann’s radical rides!
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Ford Custom Street Rod model at Santa Pod

Guest Contributor David Jefferis, from our friends over at Scale Model News, just visited Santa Pod Raceway and fell for this 1:36 scale 1950s-era Ford Custom Street Rod model. There’s usually a treasure trove of models at car races and events. Collecting can be quite addictive but you need to be selective. David kindly let […]

Guest Contributor David Jefferis, from our friends over at Scale Model News, just visited Santa Pod Raceway and fell for this 1:36 scale 1950s-era Ford Custom Street Rod model. There’s usually a treasure trove of models at car races and events. Collecting can be quite addictive but you need to be selective. David kindly let us re-post his report

Ford Custom Street Rod

Ford Custom Street Rod

David Jefferis advises:
The best collector advice is always to keep your eyes open, no matter where you happen to be. And the tasty yellow custom Ford pictured above was a byproduct of a photo-video trip to the UK’s Santa Pod raceway, a honey pot for anyone who’s into the custom scene, with noise, speed, smoke and spectacle as bonus extras.
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