Tag Archive for Muscle Cars

Car Videos, The King of Cool, Mustangs, and Ken Block

The first cool car video I saw was the movie “Bullitt” – the chase scene is widely regarded as the benchmark for such things.  Steve McQueen (possibly the greatest anti-hero of all time and The King of Cool) is a detective who does whatever is necessary to get the bad guys.  And, he uses a bad-ass muscle car to do it…

Steve McQueen was the real deal.  Think James Dean, Paul Newman and AJ Foyt all rolled into the same guy –  McQueen was 10 times cooler than all that, period. He brought us a car chase even our mom’s couldn’t turn away from, he shared LeMans with us, he helped make the movie “On Any Sunday“, and he never stopped trying to escapeIf I weren’t a Brian, I’d want to be a Steve…

McQueen LeMans

Now Ken Block is no Steve McQueen, but he has carried on McQueen’s legacy of sharing with young people how stuff with motors is cool.  I thank him for that (his latest work is shown below). Block’s latest Gymkhana video is done using a Ford Mustang (the Bullitt car was the 1968 version).  Just as Ford has supported Block’s efforts, Ford has recognized Steve McQueen as part of Mustang history.

I believe Block’s video with a Mustang tearing around on city streets begs a recollection of the Bullitt original.

Now for the latest Gymkhana video – essentially, this is just a movie with a car chase without all of the silly dialogue and contrived plot. I love a good sense of humor and like the fact that Block pays homage to the donut shop (4:54) – reference the Traktor Terror video donut scene (1:40).  Gymkhana Seven also pays tribute to famous car chases (7:30).

Thank you Ken Block – you’re pretty cool.

Devil and a Hellcat

Over the last couple of weeks in Portland, there was a media introduction of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The gist of the story – 707 horse power, retro styled muscle car with loads of useable modern technology.

“Devil and a Hellcat” (get it?) sounds like a movie about WWII in the Pacific… The Grumman Hellcat (how the Hellcat name was made famous) was used to combat Japanese Zero’s.  This isn’t about flimsy imports, this is an intramural war – Dodge vs. Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge.  Combatants from the Land of the Rising Sun have long since been dispatched…  This is about pure brute force and hitting a nail with the biggest hammer – American style!!!  Hellcat is that SRT/Dodge hammer.

Grumman F6 Hellcat

Grumman Hellcats on the Prowl

My job was mostly to make sure that no over-exuberant journalist crashed any of the Hellcats (Dodge and SRT afforded them personal discretion with the rest of the cars), and to provide chauffeur service to those that preferred the experience from the right seat.

Since there are pros (with editors) available and most write much better than I, I’ll save my commentary and simply link to a story written by the most competent driver of the bunch – Alex Lloyd Driving the World’s Fastest Muscle Car.

Two things that I took away:

1) If you’re a MOPAR lover – today is a great day

2) Social Media is a now a bigger part of doing business than you think (even if you already think it’s really, really big).

To the second point, Wednesday was a day devoted to new media.  There were people there that you would only associate with cars via their blogs, instagram and twitter accounts – and some, not even then.

The one that struck me in particular, was a woman named Jennifer Holly  @worldwarjenn. After a brief inquiry, she insists that she is not particularly popular on twitter, and that she will be reviving her website soon – my assessment is that she’s kind of awesome, in that sweet, smart, engaging, smiley, 20 something and loving life kind of way.  That’s all, and somebody at Dodge believes that, that carries weight – who am I to judge..?  Could it be that Dodge understands that cars are for everybody and that they’re FUN!?!?

Brian Jenn Holly Hellcat PIR

Patrolling the Pacific with @worldwarjenn in a Hellcat

When it comes right down to it, the best Muscle Car in the World is the one living in your own garage.  What I confirmed over the past two weeks, is that the Dodge and SRT guys are a clever bunch and great fun to be around – they love their new car.  And, they have done a great service to us by extending a great American tradition – well done, boys and girls!!!