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Matt Farah Tests The Top Speed Of The Corvette ZR1: Video 20
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Chevrolet, Corvette ZR1, Kurt, Matt Farah, The Smoking Tire, video on 12 20th, 2011

The Corvette ZR1 is the fastest car that GM has ever produced, and it’s the closest thing to a supercar that’s still being built by a major American manufacturer. Stuffed full of 6.2-liter, supercharged LS9 V-8, the uber Corvette makes some 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. Given enough room (and the right conditions), Chevy says the car is capable of a 205 mile per hour top speed.

The ZR1’s top speed is exactly what Matt Farah and The Smoking Tire set out to test at the Mojave Mile in the high California desert. Using a press fleet ZR1 Corvette (which we’ll never see here in the Southeast), Matt set a goal of 180 miles per hour in the standing mile, but failed to take a few things into consideration. The track’s altitude of 2,700 feet, for example, reduced the ZR1’s output from 638 horsepower to roughly 577 horsepower.

Did he make it? You’ll have to watch the video to find out, but let’s be clear about one thing: Matt either has huevos mas grande or a clear lack of sanity for pushing the double-ton in a press fleet car. Those of us who drive them (occasionally on the race track) know they aren’t exactly maintained the same way we’d look after a top-speed-run-car. Having a tire plug let go at 150 miles per hour, for example, would be an, um, unpleasant experience.

In Russia, Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention 21
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Kurt, Russia, The Smoking Tire, video on 11 21st, 2011

In the former Soviet Union, the dream of owning a car like a Land Rover was beyond the average Russian, who needed to slave for decades to afford a car like a Lada. Now that Russia has embraced capitalism, however, there are plenty of cars of all shapes, sizes and values on the road. While that’s good for the average Russian citizen, it also produces regular traffic jams of epic proportions, since many of the roads were built when only a fraction of the population could afford cars to drive on them.

What’s a well heeled Russian politician / gangster / businessman to do when he needs to get to the office or strip club, pronto? If you own a Land Rover, the answer is “whatever it takes to beat traffic.” The video below (from The Smoking Tire) may start on the slow side, with our anti-hero driving behind a street car to dodge the epic traffic jam on the main road, but I assure you it isn’t just four-and-a-half minutes of “follow the trolley.”

Take note of the various traffic jam avoidance techniques used, since they may come in handy on your next vacation in Moscow. I suspect the start of the video has lots of disposable income, and plenty of friends in high places, so getting caught would be only a minor inconvenience. Unless you’re equally hooked up, getting caught would probably mean a lengthy stay in Russia, as a guest of the state, so deploy the video wisdom below at your own risk.

The Smoking Tire Drives The Art Morrison 3G Corvette 4
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Chevrolet, Corvette, Kurt, The Smoking Tire, video, video games on 10 4th, 2011

If you own Gran Turismo 5 for the Sony PS3, chances are good you’ve seen the Art Morrison 1960 3G Corvette. You may even own it, if you’ve got a bank account big enough, or you may have simply looked it over and opted to buy something more contemporary. After all, who wants a fifty-year-old relic when you can buy something really fast, like a Nissan GT-R, for less money?

Watch Matt Farah drive the Art Morrison 3G Corvette in The Smoking Tire episode below, and you’re likely to come away with an entirely different perspective. First, the only thing the Art Morrison Corvette has in common with an original 1960 Corvette is the body style. Underneath, the 3G Corvette rocks a modern chassis, modern suspension, modern brakes and a seven-liter V-8 good for 538 horsepower. It’s got 50 / 50 front to rear weight distribution and and extremely low center of gravity, so it’s going to hold its own against a lot of cars on the racetrack.

Some would say that cutting up a survivor 1960 Corvette is an act bordering on blasphemy, but I’d beg to differ. Art and Craig Morrison have taken something and improved it in every way, and there are plenty of low mileage, trailered-to-car-shows 1960 Corvettes to gawk at. Their 3G Corvette took over 3200 man hours hours to build, and the result is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of design and engineering.