Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright’s AC Roadster to be shown at the 2015 Arizona Concours d’Elegance

Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife, Olgivanna, enjoy the 1937 AC sports car at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1948.  (Photo credit: Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation) 

PHOENIX -- Frank Lloyd Wright is widely acclaimed as the most-influential American architect of the 20th Century, but he was also a dedicated auto enthusiast whose artistic eye influenced his choices of fine luxury and sporting vehicles.
The second annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance, which will feature cars owned by Frank Lloyd Wright, has announced the entry for the January 11, 2015, event of a rare piece of motoring history from Wright’s intriguing life.
The 1937 AC 16/80 “Ace” roadster that was owned and driven by Wright will make its post-restoration debut at the 2015 Arizona Concours after being out of the public eye for more than 40 years.  A classic, upscale British sports car of the pre-war era, the AC will appear just as it did when owned by Wright, down to the signature Cherokee Red paint hue that the architect favored for nearly all of his cars.
The AC has a strong Arizona connection since it was used by Wright during winter stays at his Taliesin West home and architecture school in Scottsdale.  He purchased the sports car in 1948 and immediately had it repainted Cherokee Red. Period photos show Wright with his wife, Olgivanna, bedecked in sporty fabric helmets and goggles enjoying the AC at Taliesin West.
David and Rochelle Buice of Dallas, Texas, have owned the AC since 1974, and it has been undergoing a total restoration for the past two years.  The car is fully documented as the AC used by the architect and owned by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation through 1969.
David Buice said they have long been devotees of Wright’s architectural achievements, as well as being British sports-car enthusiasts. “For the architecture, we’re fans of his genius work,” Buice said.
The AC roadster will be among a collection of Wright’s most-interesting cars that will appear at the Arizona Concours at the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort.  The Cars of Frank Lloyd Wright class was inspired by the architecture of the Arizona Biltmore, which was heavily influenced by Wright, who served as a consultant for the design of the Phoenix luxury hotel that opened in 1929.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has been an enthusiastic supporter of the efforts to bring together the class of his cars, and one of the special events for the 2015 Arizona Concours is a tour for concours entrants to Taliesin West the day after the concours. Buice said that he and his wife are excited about the tour since it will return the AC to familiar grounds.
“It will be interesting to get the car out there, like a homecoming,” Buice said. “We have purchased helmets and goggles to replicate the picture of Mr. and Mrs. Wright in that car.”
Three other featured classes also are being organized for the 2015 Concours: pre-1965 competition Ferraris; classic American luxury brand Pierce-Arrow; and the cars of Carrozzeria Ghia, the Italian design house that celebrates its 100th anniversary during 2015.
The Arizona Concours steering committee also has determined the full class list for the 2015 show and competition, with 17 specialty classes for entries ranging from antique and full classic to sports cars and exotics. 
The Arizona Concours d’Elegance benefits Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the national organization that grants wishes for children facing life-threatening medical conditions. 
For tickets, entries and more information about the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, see www.ArizonaConcours.com.   
The Arizona Concours d’Elegance is a not-for-profit corporation registered with the State of Arizona, with federal 501(c)(3) status pending.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GUEST POST: A Quick Review of Maruti Celerio

Every new car from Maruti Suzuki is big news. Once again Maruti has always followed its modus operandi of making the cars that are reliable, practical, comfortable and affordable. With the launch of Maruti Celerio, a new small car adding to Maruti’s portfolio, Maruti Suzuki yet again has kept the design simple and clean to attract the buyers.

Maruti Celerio, offered by Maruti Suzuki, is a replacement of the average performing A-star and thereafter, the Maruti A-star will be discontinued. This new small car has a lot of potential to stand against its competitors. With the company’s success in the hatchback segment, Maruti this time too, aimed at reaching greater heights in sales in the future. Kept in mind to meet the needs of the Indian market, the new Celerio is robust, sporty and has engine mechanics that will deliver a good driving experience. With its pleasing exteriors designed keeping in mind the choice of the young Indians, a sporty front with sharp edges, the Celerio’s design is bound to woo young buyers. The styling cues are borrowed from the A-Wind concept. The Celerio is tall in comparison to the A-Star and measures 3600 mm x 1600 mm x 1540 mm in its dimensions while the wheelbase measures 2425 mm, offering a spacious cabin. The side profile is also elegantly designed with creases flowing from rear to the front fenders depicting the vehicle in motion.
Suzuki Celerio
Inside the cabin, Celerio gets decent interiors with good quality plastic in a dual-tone effect. The seating arrangement is aptly done with sufficient space for legroom and headroom for the occupants.  Maruti Celerio has got a class-leading luggage space of 235 litres. The touch screen display, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knobs definitely give an impressive look. The center console is embedded with Bluetooth integrated audio system and also offers steering wheel mounted audio controls.

Under the hood, the Celerio gets a 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder K-series petrol engine that produces a max power of 67 bhp and peak torque of 90 Nm. The hatchback is offered with two transmissions – a four-speed automatic (AMT) and five-speed manual gearbox. The engine is developed in such a way that it delivers an impressive fuel-efficiency of 23.1 kmpl.

Maruti Celerio is much safer compared to the previous A-Star. The Celerio offers a high driving position that helps in better view on the road. While the electronic power steering helps with shorter turning radius, the steel side impact beams ensure protection. The top variant is equipped with dual airbags, one for the driver and the other for the co-passenger; the car also gets ABS (Anti- Lock Braking System) for safety purposes.

Available in 7 colors, Maruti Celerio is priced competitively at Rs.3.76lakhs (ex.showroom, Delhi), is surely a value for money as it has been very successful in winning the Indian customers heart. For new cars & bikes, log on to Autoportal.com & Bikeportal.in

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

This is Not Your Father's Monte Carlo (Or Caballero)

1978 Lincoln continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee
Extinct for a reason
A million years ago, dinosaurs pooped on the ark and upper middle management types drove statement cars, the automotive equivalent of preening peacock feathers and Liberace fur coats.
Look at me! My disposable income is plentiful! My taste is impeccable!  This car shows all of that!
Usually, that statment was reflected in an American personal luxury coupe.  "Luxury" meant wacky conveniences like power windows and a tilt wheel, and maybe, an FM stereo. At the top, it meant padded vinyl roof and opera windows, power leather seats and long hoods.

"Personal" meant a couple of things. First, "personal" and "coupe" were almost redundant.  You and the girl of the day fit fine.  There was technically a back seat, to occasionally bring along some friends you didn't like all that much shoved into the back.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Risky Business: The Real Story

In Risky Business, Joel Goodson turns Daddy's 928 into an unintentional U-boat while trying to shag Lana the call girl. In movieland, all it takes to undo the swim is just a trip to your neighborhood Porsche dealer fro a shit-ton of Bounty paper towels and the use of a hair dryer.
Porsche 928

Porsche 928

Yeah right.  All the water damage fixed without a trace, for the cost of Joel's allowance, and the dealer will never say word one to the owner.  Oh, I absolutely believe that.

In the real world, and probably an earlier, less BS happy ending version of the script, the car wound up like this (once the insurance company stopped laughing as they denied the claim).

And so did Joel, when dad found out.

Acid Flashback: Little Brother

Dodge Omni GLH
This is the 1986 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo.  GLH stood for goes like hell, and by 1980s standards, it did. We have a soft spot for these awful Rabbit imitators. Yes, they were giant pieces of shit, designed and built by the same people who brought you the Aspen.  Yes, side by side, it was Blatz beer to the VW's Beck's. Still...

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Did we learn nothing from the K-car proliferation? Or the Fairmont? You cannot simly graft a fascia and turn a Futura into a Daytona. Or, in this case, turn a pedestrian Audi into a Bentley. Or worse, maybe this is a Toyota Venza, in which case, wth? becomes AYFKM?
Venza Bentley

Palm Beach Weekend

THIS is no. 7 of what to drive when you're there.
Bentley Azure

Best Viper Ever

This is the Zagato Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale.
Zagato Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale

Zagato Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale