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Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16

Cloned classic cars are everywhere. Heck even my dad has a cloned 1966 Chevelle SS. There is one difference between my dad, along with most other cloners, and one Bobby Patton, they have no problem admitting that their vehicle is officially a clone.

Mr. Patton apparently purchased a 1965 Chevy Chevelle from a gentleman and figured out that there is one extremely rare model in 1965 that the average person wouldn’t recognize from a regular old Chevelle. This model is the 1965 Chevelle Z16 , which features a boxed frame, different engine stampings, special badges, different rear end, and the most obvious one, a unique VIN.

After tricking some car show judges into giving him a nice collection of trophies, Mr. Patton decided he was going to try and make a quick buck off of this clone by auctioning it off. Well, the problem is that he didn’t identify the vehicle as a clone, but as one of the few Z16s in the world, and was trying to get a cool $100K out of it.

The crack detective team at Chevelles.com sniffed out this fraud and began a conversation with the man that was auctioning the car. The conversations were not accusatory, but instead an attempt to help the guy realize that whoever sold him that car had tricked him. One of the folks talking to Mr. Patton pointed out numerous errors with the vehicle, including a homemade cowl VIN tag, incorrect speedometer, wrong engine stamping, wrong frame, and many other things.

Obviously, the guy kept pressing the issue and it took several days for him to come to his senses and pull the car from the auction site. That was a little too long, as someone reported him to the Ohio State Highway Patrol and they paid him a nice visit.

He claimed to have purchased the car that way, but the cops found out from the original owner that the car was badged, titled, and sold as a Chevelle 327SS, not a Z16 . A long story short, now his car is impounded and he is serving two years of probation. Who would have known cloning a car could cause such issues?

Image is of a real Chevrolet Chevelle Z16.


Okay, I have worked in many repair shops in my day. During my tour as a service manager, I came across a fair share of “Mountain Man Mechanics,” which is the politically correct thing to call them. These guys love taking the strangest vehicles and creating monsters out of them.

There was one mechanic that took a 1980s Honda Civic hatchback and dropped a 1300 cc Hayabusa engine in it, thinking it would increase the Civic’s performance. He didn’t quite grasp the logic of torque-to-weight ratio and ended up with only a really cool sounding Civic .

Another monster that sticks out in my mind is when a mechanic tore apart his unwilling wife’s mid-1990s Mitsubishi Mirage and dropped its body on a self-shortened S-10 frame. He then dropped a 307 cubic-inch Oldsmobile engine in it and connected the Olds engine to the transmission and transfer case on the S-10 frame. It actually looked and sounded mean when he was done, but instead of re-welding the frame together, he used several bolts to secure it. Guess what happened...

What’s my point here? Well, a new monster has recently come to our attention, which is for sale on Craigslist. The owner has dubbed this machine a 2007 Willys Trike. This trike has a stretched Jeep CJ-2 body with a motorcycle wheel on the front. The body sits on a custom frame – hopefully it’s welded – and has the rear independent suspension from a T-bird.

Instead of having the old Jeep CJ-2 engine, this beast has a Chevy 4.3-liter Vortec engine, which is good for around 190 horsepower, if it is stock. Plus it has a four-speed transmission connecting the engine to the rear wheels.

The handle bars for the motorcycle wheel span all the way from the front of the vehicle through two slots under the windshield. We bet this thing is a scary animal to maneuver at high speeds. But anyways, this “Mountain Man” monster can be yours for “just” $11,000. We bet this thing sits on the market for a while.

Source: Craigs List

We are no vacuum cleaner experts, but we can say from firsthand experience that Dyson vacuums suck, in a good way. As a company it’s obvious that they don’t suck, as the above video makes it look like the employees and management sure do know how to cut loose sometimes. Okay, we are done with the “suck” jokes.

The video shows what happens when a company has a few too many spare parts lying around, some extra time, and a team of engineers that simply love building random stuff. What you get is a fastest vacuum cleaner car competition.

The rules were simple; build an electric car using spare parts from a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Some of the cars looked a little boring, but others were amazingly innovative and downright fast. The engineers then launched their creations down a drag-racing track made from empty boxes and wooden pallets to see whose car was the fastest.

Though the video doesn’t show a winner, it was still entertaining. Far and away our favorite clip was the dude donning full racing garb going down the track on a go-cart-like contraption that he built. We’re pretty sure the racing equipment was more for effect than actual fear of injury. Another funny one is at the 0:32-second mark when the operator looks like he’s diffusing a bomb, when in reality he is pressing the launch button on an impressively quick creation.

It’s always nice to see a large company like Dyson pulling off a fun project like this. And it’s even more impressive to see the kinds of wheeled contraptions engineers can zip-tie together from a few spare vacuum parts. Enjoy watching what happens when engineers have too much free time on their hands.

Rear-end collisions involving supercars are no new thing. A large percentage of their owners have no real regard for the speed limit and tend to launch these super-expensive machines into the rear end of slower-moving vehicles. Because of how common these wrecks are, we typically pass them off as not newsworthy.

Of course, when an accident looks more like it happened during the red carpet affair at the Emmy Awards ceremonies, our ears tends to perk up a little. This time around, a $200K Ferrari California “lightly tapped” the rear end of what appears to be a Lincoln stretched limo. By “lightly tapped,” we ultimately mean slammed into the rear end at a fairly high rate of speed.

This California driver hit the rear end of the limo so hard that it pushed this massive luxury transporter forward hard enough to smash it into the rear of yet another Lincoln stretched limo. We managed to scrounge up a video of the accident’s aftermath, but unfortunately, we were not able to find footage of the actual accident, which was likely an extravagant display of speed and complete disregard for public safety.

By looking at the accident’s results, it doesn’t look like anyone was hurt. The Ferrari owner’s wallet, on the other hand, is likely hurting pretty badly, as is his ego. You really have to wonder how fast this guy was driving to push a car nearly three to four times its weight forward into another car, while at a stop.

Sit back, enjoy the above video, and have a nice chuckle. Let this be a warning though, just because you drive a supercar, you are not automatically a super driver.

Lotus Exige S

As we all know, Lotus Group has been in some hot water for a long time and has yet to pull itself out of its downward spiral. The latest news came when Proton , the unfortunate owner of the Lotus money pit, was bought out by DRB-Hicom. Well, this led several of our colleagues in the automotive journalism field to begin questioning the status of Lotus and its easily angered CEO Dany Bahar.

When you encounter this kind of bad press, there are a few ways that a global company, like Lotus, can handle it. Ultima Ultima tely, it boils down to a right way to handle it and a wrong way to handle it. Well, Lotus took some the pretty innocent rib jabbing from the media and decided to take the wrong way to an entirely new level.

Lotus decided to take its frustrations out on everyone in the worst possible of ways… via a Facebook post. On their official page they call out several journalists for their “inaccurate reporting,” as Lotus group pretty much claims. They then proceed to entertain us with a long list of fact vs. myth tidbits that really tell us absolutely nothing, other then making clear the fact that they are completely pissed and have no idea how to contain their anger.

The rant almost reads like a 13-year-old girl whose best friend just stole her boyfriend, called her fat, and then spread a nasty rumor that she was kissing the town nerd under the bleachers during the homecoming dance. Yeah, it’s really that bad. What’s worse is a full 10 hours after that scorned-teenager-like post went up, it is still there for the entire world to see and laugh like hell at.

On the surface, it is starting to look as if Lotus is beginning to crack and DRB-Hicom did not become the giant they did by handling things like this lightly. Plus there have already been rumors of Lotus being sold off to China Youngman, Shanghai Automotive, or Beijing Automotive. This may be the straw that broke Lotus’ and Bahar’s back…

Hit the jump to read the unedited post from Facebook, it’s well worth it.

Here’s something you don’t get to see everyday. In an effort to promote the 2012 New York Auto Show , event organizers decided to take a different route than conventional advertising.

Trust us, it can’t get any more different than the Lamborghini Aventador hot dog cart. The Italian supercar was parked in midtown Manhattan together with a cart of Sabrett hot dogs and anybody that walked up to it could get - wait for it - free hotdogs! Nothing gets New Yorkers more amped up than free stuff, then you add the obvious attraction that is the Aventador and you have the prefect blitzkrieg cross-promotion.

In the middle of all the gawking at the Aventador and the chowing done of the hot dogs, the tinge of irony surrounding one slogan in the cart that says "keep parks clean" wasn’t lost on us. After all, for all the positive messages and call to action the slogan is encouraging, it goes without saying that a Lamborghini Aventador is the farthest thing from what you’d describe as eco-friendly.

Nevertheless, the publicity stunt must have worked wonders for the organizers because the early returns on the 2012 New York Auto Show suggested that the event was one of the most successful stagings in the past years.

Maybe next year they’ll come up with a Ferrari F12berlinetta that dispenses free subway tickets.

As much as we try to resist talking about every single celebrity’s car, there are some cases where a celebrity car also happens to be 100% ridiculous. In those cases, well, we just can’t help ourselves. Enter in, Justin Bieber’s 2012 Fisker Karma .

We aren’t reporting on the fact that this teen pop idol is being environmentally friendly, nor that he was handed the keys to this beautiful black Fisker Karma free of charge. Nope, that’s not the story. The story is that this 18-year-old pop sensation turned this beautifully sculpted ECO-supercar into a rolling mirror, literally.

We are cool with a little chrome, but there is a point when it becomes excessive. Mr. Bieber, you hit that point of excess, then broke through the barrier and tossed a live grenade at the remainder of that barrier to make sure it can never be crossed again.

This young man chromed out the entire car, not just a few accents here and there, the e-n-t-i-r-e car. Top to bottom coated in shiny, sunlight-reflecting chrome. Now, if he lived somewhere that the sun wasn’t excruciatingly intense, that might be cool, but this dude lives in California. As you can see from the above video, the sunlight creates a nearly blinding reflection on the car’s surface, which we would assume is illegal.

Um, nope, according to California law, a fully chromed out car is perfectly legal, but those pretty little mood lights under the front bumper are not legal. I remember getting pulled over repeatedly in Pennsylvania for my Camaro’s exhaust being too loud, that monstrosity of a Karma is louder than my Camaro’s exhaust could have ever been.

Hit the jump to see this beautiful machine before Bieber ruined, err, customized it.

There are some “versus” videos that we come across that once we read the titles we simply just keep moving. Things like “Dodge Viper vs. Tomahawk Superbike” come to mind. C’mon, same engine but the bike weighs over 1,000 pounds less. Yeah, no need to watch that one. Other times titles are so intriguing we cannot pass them up, regardless of how obvious they seem.

In a day’s work, we came across this gem titled “Aston Martin vs. Inline Skater” and thought “what the…” Thinking it was going to be some sort of goofy prank, we almost skimmed right past it, but figured watching it wouldn’t hurt.

To our surprise this is a legit video of a German man racing an Aston Martin Vantage , from what we can tell. You may be wondering how the man on the skates plans to keep up with the Aston Martin, which has about 400+ horsepower. Well, he specially fitted three miniature jet engines, which produce 300 horsepower, onto a suit and used them to propel him down a 1/4-mile straight. According to the driver of the car, the skater claims that he has reached upwards of 120 mph and had no objections after finding out the Aston Martin could clear a 1/4-mile in 13 seconds.

You might still think there’s no chance for the inline skater, but you may be shocked to see just how fast those inline skates will go. Plus you can get a good laugh at the driver of the Aston Martin as he is more impressed with the speed of the skater than trying to win the race.

Sit back and enjoy the video above. Oops, we almost forgot, don’t try this at home.

We all love high-performance cars and nearly everyone that loves high-performance cars loves seeing these cars do burnouts. Regardless of the love, there is a time and place for everything. I remember my first ever burn out well, it was in a 1986 Camaro IROC-Z, which I had just finished painting and doing body work on. On my way home from school, some buddies talked me into power-blocking it at a stop light. Well, after about 30 seconds of intense tire smoke, there was a gigantic clunk and the wheels stopped. Yeah, I destroyed the rear end.

$250 later and about two nights of installing the new rear end, I learned never to power-block a car again. I am sure the guy in the above video has learned an important lesson too.

When you are at a car meet and there are cops there, you can oftentimes get away with more than you can on a public street. However, if there is a crowd of people around your Mustang and you decide to power-block it, you are just one slip of your foot away from mowing down a bunch of people.

When the cops see that, regardless of it being private or public property, they will immediately place you under arrest for endangering the lives of others. That’s exactly what happened to the dude in this video. After some enticing by his “friends” he decides to light ‘em up on his Mustang and the cops literally pull him from the car and take him directly to jail, he did not pass “Go” and did not collect $200, just right to jail.

So what did we learn today, guys? Don’t power-block a car in a crowded area with cops around, that’s bad, mmmkay?


There are a lot of new car scams in the world and most of them are initiated by the new car dealer, not the buyer. A group of buyers flipped the script on several Los Angeles dealerships, by using fake identities to purchase 20 cars and were shipping them to Hong Kong and Vietnam to sell them for two to three times their U.S. value.

It was a laundry list of luxury vehicles, such as a $280,000 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia , an Audi Quattro , 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 , along with several Mercedes , Lexus , Infiniti , and BMW SUVs among others. For some reason, the thieves even threw in a Toyota Tundra .

The one that got these fraudsters busted was the Ferrari 458 Italia , as Ferrari fitted the supercar with a GPS system as standard, which Ferrari used to track the car once they found out they were defrauded. This led U.S. Customs and the California highway Patrol to conduct a full investigation and find the cars on a ship that had already pulled away from the port.

Needless to say, that ship was forced to come back and all but four of the cars were recovered. The four non-recovered cars are due to be shipped back by Vietnamese Customs.

According to the report, had the fraudsters not gone after the Ferrari, chances are they would have gotten away with this scam and made a ton of money in the process. The total amount of the vehicles seized by U.S. customs is estimated at $1.5 million, which would have pulled in around $3 million in Hong Kong and Vietnam.

We are still trying to figure out what in the world a Toyota Tundra was doing in the mix with all of these high-end luxury cars. We also wonder which thief drew the short straw and was stuck going to the Toyota dealership to pick this thing up?


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