We are nothing without the support of our friends, families, and partners.
Have you ever tried to get some sleep in the front seat while someone else was driving? Or maybe on a plane? Sitting mostly upright, leaning against the window, you know how difficult it can be. Now imagine doing this every night for six months because you live in a car with a buddy.
[EXCERPT FROM ISSUE 1.07]
I believe the words you’re looking for right now are, “What the hell? Why is THIS ‘the effing cover?’” It’s okay. At first glance, you might just see a ratted-out Volkswagen Jetta. It looks like it’s parked in a jungle even when it’s parked at the shopping center. You see the forced rust, you pick up the socialist theme, and now you’re fully invested in exploring this one-of-a-kind machine in-depth.
Look at that picture again. I bet you see something new this time. That’s how it all starts. The little Vento catches your eye and draws you in. Next thing you know, you’re lost in the jungle, trying to make your way back to whatever you were doing previously. That’s why this story is in this issue. How this story came to be – in the last week of the month, no less – is why it’s “the effing cover.” [Read more…]
Bodo Engemann send me a quick note on Facebook this weekend while I was building Issue 1.08. On Tuesday, 3 September 2013, North Diamonds Mitsubishi club was invited to Kinder-Hospiz Sternenbrueke (Star Bridge Children’s Hospice) where they presented the organization with a check for €3,000 (about US$4,000).
If you’re a subscriber, you read all about how North Diamonds’ event Tuning 4 Kids came to exist (preview), how it’s growing every year, and how the funds raised help terminally ill children and their families in Germany. We’re happy to share the results of their hard work and dedication to their community. [Read more…]
Have you ever wanted more? | Ever get that feeling you want something more out of your local club, but can’t quite put your finger on it? What if you teamed up with a local charity to make help terminally ill children and their families? That’s exactly what North Diamonds Club did.
My good friend Bodo Engemann tells me, a couple years back, at their annual Christmas party, they found themselves in a member’s garage, looking at a table covered with gift bags full of all the random goodies handed out by generous sponsors during events over the course of the year. They got to talking about a local childrens’ hospice called Kinder-Hospiz Sternenbrueke, which helps families provide end-of-life care for their terminally children and decided to host a little auction. At the end of the night, they’d raised about US$400 (more than 300€) for this noble cause. Betting on pens and lighters. [Read more…]
From the Care of the Year file, here’s something interesting I just read on my lunch break. You ought to check it out. Why? It’s an ethereal piece; a metaphor speaking to fleeting victory and attention deficit in the mainstream automotive media. Man is born. Man lives. Man dies. And it’s all vanity.
Walking away from this piece today, I couldn’t help but think about what it must be like to walk the old tarmac on a warm, summer afternoon in Germany and think about all the drivers and pit crews and team managers who put it all on the line, running wide open for glory we’ve almost completely forgot in favor of the latest Nordschleife novelty.
Worth a couple minutes of your time. We should all aspire, but we should also pause to simply be now and again. Where do the ghosts of motorsport past speak to you?
[images: Christer Lundem]
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in three years talking to gearheads all over the world, it’s the truth behind the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Human nature, it seems, predisposes us to want most that which we do not have. This is a long overdue story about something I want, but cannot have – a Mitsubishi ASX – and why I’m glad other gearheads get things I do not.
As I sat down to write this story in September, it had been pretty much three months since Vanessa and I touched down at Heathrow in London for Day 1 of our GBXM|united World Tour 2012. Within an hour of landing, two jetlagged Americans had the absolute best experience ever at a car dealership. Awesome people like Darin, Shona, and Adnan had been working diligently behind the scenes to get us behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi for weeks leading up to this day, but it was Lourance at SMC in Hillingdon who would be the face of Mitsubishi UK for us.
For the record, Mitsubishi UK let us borrow a brand new, 2012 Mitsubishi ASX press car. These are provided to members of the motoring press for reviews and whatnot. Now, as Gearbox Magazine is more tailored toward the enthusiast side of the industry (that is, stories for people who play with cars moreso than shop for them), we don’t really do reviews.
It’s been something of an internal struggle to draft this piece. In fact, I was so unsure where I was going with this piece that it sat for the better part of a year – six months! The important thing I want GBXM readers to know is this: a lot of exceptional people went out of their way to make our dream of driving a Mitsubishi while traveling to meet fellow Mitsubishi owners and attend a big Mitsubishi meet possible and the least we can do at GBXM is let everyone know how much we appreciate that.
ISN’T THE ASX JUST AN OUTLANDER SPORT?
In a sense, yes. It’s also an RVR; third generation, to be precise. I remember making sure Vanessa sat in a new Outlander Sport when we visited the Los Angeles International Auto Show at the end of 2010. She ended up falling head-over-heels in love with the Nissan Juke, but I really like this little crossover.
Here in the States, though, we only get one engine choice – the 4B11. It’s a nice piece of kit, relatively speaking, the foundation of the latest
Galant Fortis VR4 Lancer Evolution, though not turbocharged. Over here, you can select a 5-speed manual gearbox, but ticking the AWD box on the order form relegates you to a CVT box which, as everyone knows, makes it feel like you’re driving a vacuum cleaner. This made the 6-speed manual gearbox and the 1.8L DOHC MIVEC turbo-diesel engine in our 2WD ASX4 tester all the more special.
The ASX4 diesel happily accepted all our luggage in the back, felt nimble and spry even with four adults in it (with room to spare), and was just a pleasure in which to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road from the other front seat halfway around the world. UK fuel prices being easily double what we pay here in Arizona, I was gobsmacked when I saw the converted charge from our one fill-up at the diesel pump (more than US$110, folks), but I was pleasantly surprised to see we got 67mpg on that tank. Incedible.
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER
Why don’t the car manufacturers make every model available everywhere? It’s a combination of emissions and safety standards, but I suspect mostly protectionist policy-making. Anyway, it’s easy to see what other people have that we do not and use that as reason to gloss over that which we do have.
I’ve stood around parking lots outside Stuttgart, Germany, telling my BaWü Mitsu-Fruende family how much I wish we got the turbo-diesel Lancers they did, and how I wish the Autobahn was also in America, and how the average German 10-year old is a better driver than 90% of licensed American vehicle operators. They tell me they wish they could afford the insurance, taxes, and fuel required to own the kinds of cars we do, and how they wish they could freely modify their vehicles as we do.
I’ve talked to guys with super nice, old school Mitsubishis and turbo-diesel Pajeros down under in Australia about how much I wish we had all neat models they do, and could explore the Outback. They ask me what it’s like to drive Route 66, or the PCH, or the Las Vegas strip.
And I’ve talked to friends on the US east coast, telling them how much I wish we got some snow here in Phoenix so I could go play with my AWD Galant VR4 or feel like a boss in my 4WD Pajero. They tell me how much they wish they could run summer tires on their street cars all year long, and how they wish they didn’t have to drive through salted roads for months at a time.
Six months ago, I got to drive something I’ll probably never get to drive again (as long as I live in the US) someplace far, far away, with friends I consider family that I can’t just go visit on whim.
There is so much out there that we don’t get right here at home. As much as that suuuuucks, I have to admit it’s a good thing. It’s good because it gives us yet another reason to get off our asses and out into the world at large.
We all have our favorite car (or truck or bike) events we return to year after year. A big part of why we attend those events is the machines. As gearheads, we love checking out the hardware, don’t we? We put in extra time and energy to make sure our vehicles are at their best because we know our brothers and sisters will be looking to them for ideas just like we’ll be looking at theirs.
The machines bring us together – across the street, across town, across the globe. [Read more…]
The Autobahn. Two words bringing to mind images of Teutonic driving pleasure. Unbridled speed on tarmac of the highest quality among a population of drivers of the highest ability. It is the dream of every motoring enthusiast in the world to stretch the legs of a fine, German car on the wide, smooth lanes. It is the gold standard of motorways. The Alpha and Omega.
It is also home to der Stau. [Read more…]
I recently joined a sort of mastermind group. Once a month, I get together with two other guys with automotive websites to have a couple drinks, talk shop, and keep each other honest. In our first ever meeting, we got to talking about how the automotive world is just too damn big for any one or two people to cover on their own, so we thought we’d try working together. Hopefully, this results our being able to better cover the automotive world for you – from Abarth to Zagato. [Read more…]
Over the course of the last two years, I toyed with the idea of possibly going back to Germany to attend ElbeTreffen. Sometime after the DSM Shootout last summer, I decided we had to make it happen and started planning in earnest. Plane tickets to Germany in the prime tourism season (summer) were crazy expensive, but I discovered we could save nearly US$1000 by flying into London. I’ve never been to the UK.
The GBXM World Tour 2012 began to take shape. [Read more…]
We’re pretty much a 2-man operation here at Gearbox (unless you’d like to join us, of course). And the last month has been crazy for both of us. Dennis has been trying to buy a house in The Netherlands, and I’ve been trying to plan out the most epic gearhead adventure I’ve ever had. We’ve come up a little short on new stories, but wanted to let you know we’re still in this for the long haul and we appreciate your continuing to stop by.
Here’s a quick look at some of the stories we’ve got in the works right now… [Read more…]
We’ve all seen some pretty incredible machines, many of them built by people we might never meet, who live thousands of miles away, and speak languages we don’t understand. The language of the automobile, however, we understand. We look at their cars. They look at our cars. Things make sense. Being a gearhead is universal. This story involves two gearheads, three countries, a limited edition Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and hot laps around the infamous Nürburgring. [Read more…]
Have you ever thought about driving around the world one day? Could it be the ultimate road trip? Here at Gearbox Magazine, we love stories of people doing remarkable things with vehicles. Nick and Joanne Yu bought a used truck in South Africa, then drove it home… all the way to England. We caught up with them between adventures. [Read more…]
Earlier this month, we showed you what the Essen Motorshow 2006 looked like. Today, we’ll skip some years (four, to be exact), and take a look how the event has evolved. To give a few hints: more classic cars, less bikes, more Opel, more Irmscher, more US classics, and less European classics… [Read more…]
It doesn’t matter what you drive, how you drive it, or where you drive it – there are 7Bn people on this planet and that means that, if you’re one-in-a-million, there are 7,000 people just like you. Since we launched this project, we’ve gotten to know gearheads all over the world. It’s truly incredible. Here’s 2 big reasons why you want to make international gearhead connections. [Read more…]
It’s time for the second part in the series;Back to the Past, where we do reports on meetings/events held in the past. Today, we’ll check out a Hummer in Gulf trim, Golf R32s, yellow Lamborghinis, fast Opels, a lot of girls, and a mix of old timers, modern (tuned) cars, and some bikes. Yes, we’re taking you back to the Essen Motorshow. In 2006 to be exact. [Read more…]
Death & Taxes. They say those are the only certainties in life. I don’t know who they are, but I think we can add one more thing to the list – uncertainty. Life is pretty good at serving up surprises, ya know? I think every gearhead thinks about stuff like this from time to time. (I know I have!) So I’m going to start sharing my own adventures here on Gearbox. [Read more…]