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This Reimagined 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Is a Family Heirloom With An Awesome History

This Reimagined 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Is a Family Heirloom With An Awesome History

Having classic Corvette nostalgia? This 1968 Chevrolet Corvette S/C lightweight is a one-off, home-built special with an amazing story behind it

The Chevrolet Corvette has established itself as the definitive American sports car. Eight generations later, the car’s legacy is running strong and we have been lucky enough to have gotten many cool versions of the “Vette”. But some people have their own version of the perfect Corvette and Richard Smith, who was a GM technician, went to great lengths to build his vision of the perfect 1968 Chevrolet Corvette. This is the story of a 1968 Corvette named “the Beast”.

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1966 Chevrolet Corvette King Rat

1966 Chevrolet Corvette King Rat

1966 Corvette King Rat: The ultimate obscure Corvette you definitely forgot about

Cars can be classified into a few different categories with regards to how known their existence is. You have the well-known, the rare, the obscure, and the mysterious. And while the Chevrolet Corvette is certainly a well-known name, even amongst non-car people, the Corvette King Rat by Keith Bell is certainly a mystery. Nevertheless, we managed to uncover some details about it.

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2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Wide-Body

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Wide-Body

The Challenger Hellcat gets a sprinkling of the Demon

The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon represents the pinnacle of muscle car madness. It’s the world’s most powerful factory-produced V-8 powered car with 840 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque. It’s faster to 60 mph than the Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari LaFerrari, and McLaren P1. It’s also limited to just 3,300 units in North America so getting your hands on one is going to be tough. Don’t be too bummed, though. Just because the Challenger Demon is a little out of your reach, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a Challenger that looks, well, a little bit like it. Dodge is here for you, gentlemen, with a new wide body kit for the Challenger SRT Hellcat that channels some of that demented Demon spirit into a muscle car that’s no stranger to ungodly power.

The new Demon-inspired body kit provides the kind of visual enhancement that helps bring out a little bit of the Hellcat’s demonic side. The wider fenders, in particular, are immediately noticeable, as is the larger-than-usual set of tires that can now be fitted into the Challenger Hellcat thanks to the extra space provided by the fenders. But the kit as a whole is more than just improving bits and pieces of the Hellcat’s own aesthetic look. Dodge even says that the kit is as much about creating room for the Hellcat to improve its own performance credentials as it is about giving it a more menacing visual appearance. Whatever it did, it’s clear that Dodge has something special in store for Challenger Hellcat owners with this new wide-body kit.

Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody.

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2015 Factory Five Racing 818 EV by 33 Machine and EV West

2015 Factory Five Racing 818 EV by 33 Machine and EV West

Factory Five Racing has been a front-runner in custom kit cars and hot rods for quite some time, building replicas of cars long since out of production. The California-based company also designed and built its own complete car called the 818 using drivetrain components from a Subaru WRX. However, for the particular car pictured above, the drivetrain takes a completely new spin on performance.

Missing is the usual Subaru Boxer engine, replaced by a AC35x2 motor fed by a 16-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery constructed of two 8-kWh sub-packs. The motor and battery unit is still connected to a WRX five-speed manual transmission that allows for reduced energy consumption and management of the motor’s output.

Speaking of output, the motor zaps out 165 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. It might not seem like much, but the entire car will weigh just under 2,000 pounds – even with its body panels attached. Its claimed top speed is 150 mph, and though its still untested, the goal is likely obtainable.

Putting this electrified beast together are two other California companies that know a thing or two about building cars and electricity. EV West is undertaking installing and calibrating the air-cooled, Hi Performance Electric Vehicle Systems-sourced electric motor while the guys at 33 Machine work to incorporate all the components within the modified Factory Five Racing tube chassis.

In a video past the jump, the naked car squirrels around a test track with all the sidewise shenanigans of a V-8-powered muscle car, but of course is completely silent while smoking its rubber.

Click past the jump to read more about 33 Machine’s 818 EV

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2014 Dodge Challenger Mopar Edition

2014 Dodge Challenger Mopar Edition

Mopar came to this year’s SEMA Show with more than 20 vehicles, but the coolest ones are those based on the 2014 Dodge Challenger.

The Mopar `14 Challenger joins an already impressive lineup that includes the Mopar ’10 Challenger, Mopar ’11 Charger, Mopar ’12 300, and Mopar ’13 Dart.

This special-edition Challenger will come only in white or black exterior colors combined with blue stripes and the recently resurrected "Shaker" hood. Mopar performed an exhaustive list of updates on the exterior, interior and the performance of the aging muscle car.

Some of the performance mods include a new exhaust, a performance suspension system with lowering springs, and another SEMA star: the Scat Packages.

The Mopar `14 Challenger will be limited to only 100 units and will be put on sale in the second quarter of 2014.

Updated 11/06/2013: This review was updated with the official details, images and specs.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Dodge Challenger.

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2014 Chevrolet Camaro RS

2014 Chevrolet Camaro RS

The 2014 Camaro RS really knocked my socks off. Its arrival was perfectly timed with some incredible track videos of the brand-new Z-28, and we hit it off right away.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. This is a V-6 engine ponycar - three words that over the years have become synonymous with soft, underpowered and uninspiring editions of the Mustang and even the previous F-body cars.

No màs.

The 2014 Camaro V-6 is hard from its $24,555 base pricing: with a creamy six-speed, 5.8-seconds to 60, and a limited-slip diff out back (unless you get the 6-cog auto).

Over the week we spent having a ball driving this potent and rear-drive machine, the improvements versus any previous Camaro V-6 are significant. With all the highest-tech equipment now in reach of the V-6 buyers, there simply is no ’wimpy’ version of this car.

Even with lots of work to do back at the office, every lunch run was a lot more fun in the 2014 Chevrolet RS.

Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Driven review for all the details.

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2013 Audi RS5 by McChip-DKR

2013 Audi RS5 by McChip-DKR

The Audi RS V-8 engine is a dreamboat. But is that stock Audi RS5’s 4.2-liter V-8 engine with 450 enough to keep pace with twin-turbo BMW’s and Mercedes-Benz super-coupes?

Many auto-bahn drivers would agree that a car like this can do much better than what Audi is offering from factory.

The German tuner McChip-DKR decided the RS5 can be further improved and is offering a tuning kit for pretty much every taste out there. In fact the new kit is offered in three different stages, so you can get the RS5 to the power level you will like - or your wallet will allow.

In stage 1 the V-8’s output was increased up to 550 horsepower, but if you need more you can also opt for a stage 3 of upgrades that will take the final output to an even cooler 600 horsepower. The only problem is that the kit is a little bit expensive and you can pay up to $36,500 for it.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 by McChip-DKR.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model - Driven

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model - Driven

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is finally out of its doldrums of quad-oval lights and messy body kits. The AMG Hammer is well and truly reborn with this latest generation of ultra-fast, luxurious and stylish new E63 models.

The E63 now wears the trendy sheetmetal to challenge even the sporty M6 and the Audi RS7. Understated appeal has always been an AMG E-Class feature, but the new styling enhancements mean that the E63 is extremely serious, attention-grabbing and highly entertaining to enjoy up close.

Despite a subtle sedan shape, even blind people know that a very special car is approaching as the E63 AMG gurgles into earshot. This engine maintains much of the previous staccato machine-gun fire noise from the last cars’ naturally-aspirated engines.

In 2014, the E63 — for the first time — gains 4Matic all-wheel-drive as standard in the U.S. to go along with this beastly twin-boosted V-8, and a cabin whose luxury and comfort are contenders for world’s best.

Click past the jump for this exclusive TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model, including a few videos of the car in action as it slams through the gears on full throttle.

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2013 Local Motors Rally Fighter

2013 Local Motors Rally Fighter

The Local Motors Rally Fighter is still going strong two years after the first deliveries of this 2000-unit purpose-built off-road racer’s production run. With 50-state compliance on lighting and emissions, the road-legal Rally Fighter runs a 6.2-liter V-8 to the giant rear wheels before reaching a tire-limited top speed of 131 mph.

Available for special orders from anywhere on the globe, the Rally Fighter is one of the most unique and exciting launch models from a new manufacturer. Outside the muddy ruts of the English countryside and the mutant Land Rovers, like the Bowler EXR-S and RallyRaid DW3, most new supercar ventures are focused on the 6-lane drag strips of central Dubai.

Local Motors takes a totally different path, with its unique engineering and prototype method leveraging the passion and skills of the internet to draw in R&D talent from across the world.

The result is a steel space frame and crash cage that looks Armageddon-proof, and suspension travel and off-road prowess to stop a 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition in its tracks. The final piece of the Rally Fighter puzzle is this: styling so otherworldly that it causes more of a stir in traffic than taking the Gravedigger monster truck to the grocery store.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2013 Local Motors Rally Fighter, including a mega image gallery, links to the new online configurator, and info on how to order your own custom version of this off-road beast.

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1986 AC Autokraft MkIV Cobra

1986 AC Autokraft MkIV Cobra

The original AC Shelby Cobra debuted back in 1961 in a joint venture between AC, a company owned by famed racecar driver Carroll Shelby, and Ford. An interesting fact is that had it not been for Chevy trying to protect its sacred Corvette model, the AC Shelby Cobra would have ended up being a Chevy-powered machine. As it ended up, Chevy turned down AC, and Ford stepped in to help power the Cobra.

The AC Shelby Cobra was a short-lived project that lasted only three generations between 1961 and 1967. AC managed to hang on for another 17 years before closing up shop in 1984. During the fire sale that took place following AC’s closing, Autokraft snatched up all of the toolings and spare parts of the failed company, which allowed it to become a parts reseller and replica car builder.

Autokraft’s replicas were so awesome and respectful to the history of the AC Cobra that the Hurlock family, the family that purchased the AC name, sold off its closely guarded rights to the name to Autokraft in 1986. This sale officially made all Autokraft Cobras the real deal, and not just the replicas of the past.

Staying true to the sequence of the original AC Shelby Cobras, Autokraft dubbed this model the AC Cobra MkIV – the prior three Cobras were dubbed MkI, MkII, and MkIII. Despite the fact that the MkIV Cobra was produced for a decade, only 480 models ever made it to the street, making this sometimes called “kit car” just about as rare as the original Shelby version.

With how rare these cars are, it is typically a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snag one up. Well, RM Auctions is making this a possibility at its Dingman Collection auction on June 9th through June 10th, 2012 in Hampton, New Hampshire.

So how does this replica car company turned legit Cobra builder stack up today?

Click past the jump to read our full review.

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2009 Yannick Sire Priapism

2009 Yannick Sire Priapism

There’s an old saying that states, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." While the millions of people that have uttered that phrase a time or two mostly do it when co-workers screw something up or when something at home goes array, Yannick Sire of Sire Performance Custom Performance in Inglewood, CA meant it on a much bigger scale. He didn’t want to provide better landscaping or execute a perfect parallel parking job; he wanted to build a car. And not just any car, he wanted to build the perfect hot rod. A few years - and some spare parts and elbow grease - later, Sire had hand built himself a car that he felt earned the name of Priapism.

Priapism is actually a medical condition that was named after the Greek god Priapus who was known for his disproportionately large and permanent erection. Go ahead and look it up; you know you want to. But whatever its name translates into, the Sire Priapism has got some balls in the form of two Chevrolet 350 small block engines producing a total of 1000 HP. Adding that power to a comfortable 2,370 lbs car gave Sire a hot rod worth getting into.

Hit the jump for details on the Yannick Sire Priapism.

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2008 Volvo Hot Rod Jakob project

2008 Volvo Hot Rod Jakob project

Volvo will unveil at the Volvo Museum in Göteborg the Jakob hot rod, a hand-built hot-rod based on the first ever Volvo to roll off the production line in 1927, the ÖV4 (the Swedish abbreviation for Open Car, 4 cylinders)

Hot Rod Jakob is far smaller than the original. It is a two-seater instead of offering space for four. And it has those typical Hot Rod attributes: large wheels, no wings and a muscular rear axle. And if you get a bit closer it is possible to see differences in terms of materials and details. The chassis is built of lightweight carbon fibre, just like today’s most advanced racing cars, not from heavy steel beams as in bygone times.

The brake discs are remarkably slim, but their huge diameter (450 mm front, 515 mm rear) guarantee that the braking surface is still going to be more than sufficient. The wheel spokes are made of aluminium instead of wood, but they are exactly the same in number. The massive tyres with their specially milled tread in the form of Volvo’s iron symbol give an assertive, modern aura, while the charming luggage compartment at the very front - in actual fact an elegant leather case - instead conjures up images of white suits, straw hats and wide skirts.

Press release after the jump.

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2007 Chevrolet Bel Air - Project X

2007 Chevrolet Bel Air - Project X

It has been the subject of more enthusiast magazine build stories than any other car and has graced the cover of Popular Hot Rodding (PHR) countless times. It even played a supporting role in “Hollywood Knights,” serving as the supercharged transportation for Tony Danza and Michelle Pfeiffer.

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1959 Chevrolet Impala

1959 Chevrolet Impala

They rocked and rolled their way into the hearts of America, more horses under the hood than a stampede of wild stallions! They were the speed merchants of the 50’s-who guzzled gas by the gallon and burned rubber by the inch, while today’s boomers were just learning how to walk!

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1970 Plymouth Baracuda Hot Rod

1970 Plymouth Baracuda Hot Rod

When it comes to a segment of the automotive aftermarket as broad and rich as street machines (which potentially covers any modified post-WWII vehicle), the use of hyperbole such as "best ever" usually results in groans of disbelief and rolled eyes. In the case of Bob Johnson’s 1971 Plymouth Cuda, however, Popular Hot Rodding Magazine believes that the term may actually apply.
The key design features of the Cuda were maintained, but the wheelbase was stretched three inches, and (...)

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