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petrolheadguru

petrolheadguru

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since 18/06/2010

53

Mazda RX-8 26/09/2010

RX8 a great design superb handling & performance package

Mazda RX-8 I have owned many Japanese sports cars over the years and when the chance of an RX8 came my way I dived in feet first and bought it without even taking a test drive. Mine is an 06 model RX8- 192 with 40K on the clock and is in superb condition only having had one owner from new.This is the 5 speed 192 BHP model and has premium two tone leather red/black (£1600 option new) very smart looking with velocity red bodywork.It has a golden mica sheen that only appears in bright sunlight,otherwise it looks non metallic red on a cloudy day,very unusual but beautiful looking as it suddenly comes "alive" like magic when the sun shines. It has a premium sound system by Bose,CD,radio,other comforts include heated seats that are electrically adjustable,airconditioning and for the ladies the all important vanity mirror and built in light.Not too be used while driving of course! Safety features include a traction and stability control system (it can be switched off if you are feeling brave or stupid!), airbags for front and rear passangers all round,it scores so well that the insurance group is a mere 14/15 for the RX8 depending on the model and power rating.There is a 231 BHP model with 6 speed transmission,you can get automatic versions too.Another reason for the low insurance group is the small 1300 rotary engine (equivalent to a 2600 piston engine),don't be fooled into thinking this tiny engine can't be capable of much,its amazing.Road tax just £235,low for this class of ...

Chrysler Crossfire Coupe 24/09/2010

Chrysler Crossfire cheap way into Mercedes Sports ownership!

Chrysler Crossfire Coupe The Chrysler Crossfire is a Mercedes SLK sports underneath with a flashy American suite,designed by A British car designer and built in Germany at the Karmann factory.This is no bad thing really,Geman reliability,European handling,cheap Chrysler servicing in the UK and top value for money. Ours was a 2004 model,bought for my wife,in black with two tone grey leather interior,large standard German Ronal 19" alloys at the rear and 18" at the front with low profile tyres.These hold the road really well,aided by the ESP (Electronic stability program) ABS (antilock brakes) and that party piece rear spoiler that pops up over 63mph and stays up above 30mph,folding back away flush when cruising around at urban speeds.This is not just for show but helps with down force on the rear.Super safe too with airbags and side impact protection. They are a tight 2 seater coupe with a reasonable boot but a bit high and narrow for loading shopping etc into.Its not the easiest car to park as the view out the back is poor but being quite a smallish car and not a big bouevard cruiser like most American sports cars this was not a big issue.Being based on the baby Mercedes sports meant small and light,rear wheel drive,coupled with a 3.2 V6 twin overhead cam engine makes this a seriously quick car in the Audi TT,Porsche Boxter,Nissan 350Z class at half the price! Tyres are about the most expensive thing on these at about £450-£500 per set but servicing costs were reasonable with an A service at ...

National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst 21/09/2010

Petrolheads like me love it but family tickets way too expensive

National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst I have visited Beaulieu a few times and much has changed over the years! My very first visit to Beaulieu Motor Museum was 30 plus years ago while on holiday with my parents as a youngster.I have vague memories of the visit,especially the incredible Land Speed World Record breaking cars stand out in my mind. Donald Cambells 1960s Bluebird looked like nothing else on earth and the much older 1920s Golden Arrow of Henry Seagrave is a wonder.Were these guys incredibly brave or just stupid? Next visit was about 12 years ago in 1998 with my girlfriend,her birthday treat to me and we stayed at the beautiful Bucklers Hard a few miles away.I remember the Palace house was still occupied by the family and so felt lived in,not like the usual National Trust Museum type places I have visited.The Museum then was more like a private collection in one large farm like outbuilding,well laid out and plenty to look around but you could manage to see everything in about 2 hours without rushing.Entry fees were modest,can't remember exactly but £6 or so each,not much more or less.We arrived quite late and it was winter time so virtually had the whole place to ourselves,brilliant! Now 2010,my girlfriend is now my wife,its the end of the kids holidays in late August and we decided to have an extra short holiday to the Isle of Wight before our 9 year old son went back to school.Our excuse to get him away from the Playstation and for us to take a trip down memory lane too.We decided to visit ...

Starting to Collect Antique Porcelain - John Sandon 21/09/2010

Beginners guide that fills a space on the shelf quite well

Starting to Collect Antique Porcelain - John Sandon I am into collecting antiques,porcelain in particular and my taste is eclectic.I have a great many books on the subject and relatives of mine kindly buy me almost every new reference or guide book that appears each year for Birthdays and Christmas,so I rarely buy them myself unless something truely great comes along which hardly ever happens. Starting to collect Antique porcelain probably was not an ideal present for me,maybe 20 years ago it would have been more useful was my first impression looking at the cover after unwrapping it."Oh thanks Mum,just what I need another book" However to be fair,I did sit down and read it from cover to cover,there are some good tips about fakes and restoration,with a decent outline of the history of porcelain starting with its beginings in China during the Sung period some 800 odd years ago,then on into Europe via Italy and of course,Germany and finally England in the mid 18thC. You may know John Sandon and his father Henry from the BBC TV Antiques Roadshow as the experts on antique porcelain,mostly European and English,especially Worcester as father Henry was curator at the Porcelain Museum in Worcester.You can trust the information in the book is accurate and upto date no question. There is some information on trade marks,Chinese reign marks and methods of dating pieces so this is a handy guide for the beginner.I am no know it all and found some interesting new information and tips that would be of benefit to any seasoned ...

Do you believe in life after death? 20/09/2010

Energy can not be destroyed but can turn from one form to another

Do you believe in life after death? In my opinion there must be something else after we shake off this mortal coil. OK this debate will rage on for as long as mankind is alive probably without a satisfactory answer but can there really be nothing to look forward to after we have gone? The gift of life is a mystery in itself,why are we here?? Science tells us that it all started with a big bang and maybe we are heading for oblivion,absolutely nothing and not an atom will remain to show we ever exisited.Life therefore is a happy mistake,eons of evolution later here we are,clever monkeys with an over developed imagination capable of wonderful achievements but also horror.What science can not explain is who or what caused the big bang and why.They can not tell us what happens to any of us after we die or when or how the universe will end,these are major questions in mans quest for knowledge. In my opinion our life force,spirit,soul,that spark that defines life must change and move on in another form.You can not see a life force or touch it,we only know it exists because we see people and things that are alive,growing,changing,getting older and finally dying when that spark has left us.Can this spark be measured? Well sort of,the brain produces electrical impulses and these can be recorded,but the big question is,is there an afterlife? On Star Trek Spock used to say to the Captain "its life Jim but not as we know it".Science theory suggests there are many dimensions of inner and outerspace so maybe our ...

TELEVISION. Could you live without it and how would your time be spent in replace of it? 20/09/2010

Why Don't You do something less boring instead?

TELEVISION. Could you live without it and how would your time be spent in replace of it? Too many of us are telly addicts,vegging out in front of the box is a national past time,does it affect the whole Western world? Answer,yes! Could I live without television,yes of course I could, but rather would not,I am too used to it now,even as "background noise" it is nearly always on in our house.This is a very non PC way to behave,what with global warming and dwindling resources,yadda,yadda. What would I do without it? Probably as the old kids TV program "Why Don't You" used to say,something less boring.A strange TV program that urged us as kids to turn off the box and create something,play outside and live a little.That idea obviously did not work! The best times of my life have been spent away from the TV,I love to travel, meet new people and experience life outside of the lounge so I guess TV is an evil box that is hypnotising us to stay in,you can't miss that episode of Eastenders or my favourite film is on tonight etc.You know what they say nowadays,"Staying in is the new going out" what rubbish! I guess we could all benefit greatly from not having TV dominating our lives,save energy and save the planet too! Just think of the money you would save,no TV licence,all that electricity saved and above all alot more free time to spend talking to your family,yes the lost art of conversation (Oh God no!),more time for reading,writing reviews,surfing the net,going down the Pub,sounds great!

Rover P6 Drivers' Club 14/09/2010

Rover P6 Club for old boy racers!

Rover P6 Drivers' Club If you are into classic cars then I hope this review will be interesting. The Rover P6 Club was set up back in 1993 to cater for all enthusiasts of the grand old Rover P6,everyone welcome.Today the annual fee is just £30 and represents great value. Included in the price is a monthy "Driving Force" part colour Magazine of excellent quality featuring owners vehicles and their ownership experiences.There are lists of upcomming classic car shows and exclusive Rover P6 meetings,classified pages for cars & parts,Trade adverts for classic car insurance,parts suppliers and garages offering service & repair facilities. I joined the club last year in 2009 through their website, www.p6club.com ,Mark Gray is central to the running of the Magazine (Editor) and his wife Angie is the chairman.I chose this club above others as its the largest,plus due to the well organised easy to use website and rapid reply to my emails.Joining this club is simple and instant,help is always available,unlike some where everything is done the old fashioned way via snail mail! You can visit the website for free and have access to most areas to get a feel for what the club is all about but membership is essential to get full access.Membership pays for itself over the year so its well worth it.To start with I received a good recommendation for insuring my car,a series II 1974 blue P6 2200 SC Automatic and this saved me the subscription fee from day one.Specialist insurers PD James of Birmingham ...

Mitsubishi 3000 GT 12/07/2010

Mitsubishi 3000GT & GTO superb safe handling supercar performer

Mitsubishi 3000 GT ***EDITED VERSION OF AN EARLY REVIEW,THANKS FOR LOOKING*** Mitsubishi 3000GT and GTO Twin Turbo 1994-1998 a real diamond! (Mitsubishi translates as three diamonds in English) I have owned a few cars over the years,understatement of the century! I had one of the last,new shape GTOs imported from Japan,an as new 1998 model with 6000 miles only,a one year old car when I bought it.It was the top spec MR model,18" chrome alloys,bright red,black leather,4wd,4ws,6 speed manual it cost thousands less than a UK main dealer car and looked a million dollars.Unlike the more common UK models it had the same open lights upfront not pop up,different large 18" chrome alloys and a fixed rear spoiler similar to the Toyota Supra,but lower, a little different from the UK model,it was the latest shape and Mitsubishi UK never had these to sell. The wheels were unique Mitsubishi Japan Chrome alloy,very expensive and only found on the Japanese top MR model,people kept asking me what is it? A real head turner and a superb very safe performer with supercar looks. It was very sure footed in all weathers rain or shine,the 4wd system with its rear wheel drive bias,kept it bolted to the road and the 4ws helped it corner like on rails turning the rear wheels in slightly when cornering,only driving like a real idiot could upset its handling,only then would it show understeer.This is when the front end lets go when accelerating into a corner and you plough straight on off the road.On the ...

Triumph Stag 10/07/2010

Triumph Stag 3.0 V8 BRITISH AND PROUD OF IT!!

Triumph Stag ***EDITED VERSION OF AN EARLY REVIEW,THANKS FOR LOOKING*** TRIUMPH STAG 3.0 V BRITISH AND PROUD OF IT I started to get into classic cars years ago and only last year did I buy an old MK1 Stag for a bit of fun.It was a 1972 model and Tax exempt,had only had 4 owners and low miles just 55,000 but was on its second engine,a new old stock MK2 unit fitted back in 1982.It had alot of history going back to the end of the 70s and loads of MOTs backing up the mileage.Even had club valuation for £10K,not that means alot as that was done in the 90s.It had been extensively restored so bodily had no major signs of rust,quite remarkable for a British 70s classic. Paint job was poor,it had microblistered above the primer level so needed stripping and repainting.The removable hard top was in good order but was a two man job to take on and off,a stupid idea really.The soft top was a replacement one and looked as good as new after I applied a reconditioning coat of black hood reviver. Mechanically it was very good and would be difficult to fault.It was the best version,4 speed manual with overdrive,that worked too! It even had power windows that worked,power steering that was a bit light for me but was fine.They have disc brakes upfront and old fashioned drum brakes at the rear.Getting parts is no problem,Rimmer Bros can supply just about every nut and bolt for one of these.Only interior trim can be a problem but there are good trimmers who will transform your tired interior into ...

Parker's Used,New & Trade Car Price Guide 10/07/2010

Parkers used car price Guide can be somewhere good to start with.

Parker's Used,New & Trade Car Price Guide So you have decided to go and by a used car. A good idea if you think you know what you are doing but buyer beware! A reliable every day price guide,Parkers is a good place to get a reasonable idea of current market values based on auction results around the country.Remember these prices are probably ok for last month or possibly a little time before so if you can find the car you want at under "book" value your doing ok.Parkers will cover most common makes and models of car but don't expect to find rare exotics or many classic cars (they have a limited section on classics in the back).You can find out about specifications such as economy,mpg and performance 0-60,top speed,insurance group and details of engine sizes types of trim etc so you can find the exact model you are looking for. Usually Parkers car prices start at "Trade in" price from a dealer upto fair condition,good and then excellent condition.Values are adjusted up or down on mileage,an average car will cover 12,000 miles per year, so a car with less than the average miles is often priced higher than an above average mileage car.Service history is key to backing up the true mileage of the car,old MOTs,stamped service book and plenty of receipts is always reassuring.If there is no history or if the car has had umpteen owners then walk away,you have been warned! Never never buy a car from somebody off the street or if they drive to meet you.Usually rough cars go with rough people! Check that they have ...

Citroen C5 2.0 Estate 08/07/2010

Citroen C5 2.0 16V VTR estate

Citroen C5 2.0 Estate ***Improved edited version of an earlier review,thanks for looking*** Citroen C5 2.0 VTR petrol Estate,bought mine in late 2006 from a Citroen main dealer as an ex demo car with only 1700 miles on the clock about 6 months old for only £10,000!! A whopping £7000 below new price,a real steal,I just love to grab a bargain! They even gave me a more than generous PX offer for my horrible 03 plate Fiat Ulysse,so all I needed was £3500 to make the change over.I can not think of a better deal I ever made on a nearly new car,this is the way to buy "new" if you can find one.I do not believe in getting finance ang getting stuck with a big monthly payment,better by what you can afford.Contract hire is also fine ,you avoid depreciation but remember you never own the car unless you are prepared to buy it back at the end of the contract.Whatever car you buy you usually lose money,so I like to get the best I can for my budget. I ran the car for a year with no major problems ,putting about 10,000 miles on it.In that time the only niggle was the fuel cap would not stay shut,I had to remove part of the locking part to stop it flying open all the time,otherwise everything worked as it should.It had very smart alloys with low profile tyres,the magic carpet Citroen suspension easily absorbed the bumps,very comfortable.It had three settings,one to lower so you could easily hook up a trailer to your tow bar,standard setting for on tarmac and an off road setting that raised the car giving it a ...

Warhammer 40,000 06/07/2010

Warhammer 40K not just a table top battle game!

Warhammer 40,000 Warhammer 40,000 game of strategy I was first made aware of this table top strategy game by my young boys about 10 years ago, back when our eldest was 12 years old. I was intrigued that they were into playing toy soldiers but it was much more than that and quite unlike what I imagined. Suitable for ages 12 upwards to adult, it is a time consuming hobby and not just a game between like minded friends. The story revolves around the 41st millennium in the dark distant future where mankind has a vast crumbling Intergalactic Empire he is desperately trying to defend from marauding Aliens and traitors who have turned against the God Emperor. All very heavy going I am sure but once you see them play the game properly it is interesting. First of all I was rather horrified at the cost of the models, they were spending their pocket money so its totally up to them what they waste it on. A box of 12 plastic figures each measuring just 5cm high would cost around £10 - £12.The figures are very highly detailed with separate chest, legs, arms, heads and weapons so that the modeller can glue his soldiers in different fighting poses. A far cry from the boxes of one piece plastic Airfix soldiers I used to buy as a child for £1 for 20 or more, these really do have minute realistic detail in the faces, bodies and weapons. The tanks too, if built well have moving turrets and weapons. Yu can see the rivets in the armour and a clever modeller will using a craft knife simulate small bullet ...

Maserati Quattroporte V8  06/07/2010

Maserati Quattroporte IV 5 star cool car

Maserati Quattroporte V8  ** Edited version with extra information and pictures,thanks for looking** I Love Mazers and have owned a few over the years,including this QP IV designed by Marcello Ghandini,famous for his Lamborghini Countach and Lancia Stratos to name a few.My Quattroporte IV is a 1997 model in metallic black with gorgeous black leather interior.They were produced for the UK market RHD,having the V6 2800 Biturbo 284 BHP(I have this one) and a 320 BHP V8 3200 Biturbo engine.There is not a huge difference between the two,performance figures both say are capable of 0-62 mph in well under 6 seconds and each can top 160+ MPH,the V8 being a heavier more thirsty unit a little lazy less high revving but more torque.The V8 is also more expensive to insure,tax and service,so gives very little advantage hence my choice. The 1990s Maseratis are contrary to belief very reliable,much better than the 1980s Biturbos,having twin turbo intercooled IHI units fitted from Japan,which are ultra reliable and mine had a German ZF 4 speed auto,very robust and quality engineered.First Maserati to get powerful antilock ABS brakes,drivers airbag,electronic suspension and these updates wholly due to Fiat taking over in 1993.It has airconditioning system thats ice cool,electric seats,electric windows and auto folding electric wing mirrors. By 1997 Ferrari had taken over full control under Fiats umbrella and slowly Maserati are becomming less on the sidelines and a more main stream luxury brand,breaking into ...

Sony RDR-GX120 05/07/2010

Sony RDR-GX120 fine budget buy DVD Recorder from Sony

Sony RDR-GX120 DVD Recorder-Player Sony RDR-GX120 a decent budget buy from a quality maker We were looking for a replacement DVD player/recorder as our old LG model had gone into meltdown and refused to work any more. I decided to look for a better quality make like Sony or Panasonic, Japanese always best and most reliable we have found and worth paying a little extra.We bought ours in late 2007,I checked out the local stores and could not find many around the £150 level so decided to risk the internet.I found a company on Amazon selling this particular model for just under £120 delivered so this seemed reasonable.It is still available today at around £90,so still well worth it even 3 years on,that’s if all you want is a simple DVD recorder! I paid by credit card and it arrived by the end of the week,well packed ,safe and sound with the remote and instructions.I never enjoy setting up this kind of thing,its usually very time consuming and irritating when it doesn’t work first time.I must admit the instructions were long winded but I ploughed on through ok.We set it up to work using a scart connection to the TV,line 1 and the second scart from Line 3 /decoder to our sky plus box.There are various options for connecting up the DVD recorder depending on your equipment and its straight forward looking at the handy diagrams they supply,even I can understand. Scart connection is best as the player has a smartlink function (your TV has to be compatible,and must have one of the ...

Acoustic Solutions LCD 26 NK 750 HD 03/07/2010

Acoustic Solutions 26 " LCD TV budget buy HD ready TV

Acoustic Solutions LCD 26 NK 750 HD We purchased ours new from Argos in 2005/06 for our son as a birthday present. At around £350 at the time we thought this was fair for a big HD ready LCD TV that he could use with his PS3 which we were planning on buying later for his Christmas present. I had seen them on sale in Woolworths so could see the TV working in store unlike Argos and close up they looked very smart in silver.Acoustic Solutions is not a make I was familiar with but obviously a budget Chinese TV that looked good quality.Other well known branded HD TVs this 26" size were much more expensive,but I could not really notice the difference in picture quality to be honest.A much smaller branded TV for similar money would not do,it had to be HD ready and at least 26" or bigger. The model in question we have is the Acoustic Solutions LCD26NK750HD,having a 26" LCD screen,a remote control wth easy to understand buttons,front of the TV has on/off,channel +/- and TV/AV buttons to the right side.There is a blue standby light,very curious set up because it always seemed to be on standby unless unplugged.Switching it on and off was always a fiddle too,I was always pressing the on off on the set and remote to eventually get it to turn on or off.Many times I would just pull the plug out of the wall. It was bought for my son for PS3 Games, so had to be HD ready,at the back it has AV4,S Video Audio,Headphone socket,1 x HDMi socket,sockets for gaming console,2 Scart sockets for DVD player or Sky box/Freeview ...
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