Wednesday, January 23, 2013

51st annual Pittsburgh World of Wheels

It's that time of year again kiddies. The start of the car show season in Pittsburgh. The 51st annual Pittsburgh World of Wheels begins this Friday, January 25th. We'll be covering the event in detail in case you can't make it. This year, hot rod legend Gene Winfield will be on hand performing a chop on a one lucky person's car.

There will also be a display of Batmobiles, the Munster Koach along with Butch Patrick, The ZZ Top Eliminator, Herbie the Love Bug, and much more. There is a special BeetleMania display with some of the finest Volkswagens in the city on display. The annual 1961 Extreme display of traditional hot rods, customs, rat rod and more. Drag City USA featuring nostalgia race cars. And two popular events, the Builder of the Year (Chuck Lombardo and California Street Rods) and the charity pinstripe auction benefiting the Autism Society.

So come on down to the David L Lawrence Convention Center this weekend. You won't regret it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How much for that Batmobile?

If you've ever wanted to be Bruce Wayne and play Batman, the first thing you need aside from a cape and mask is a Batmobile. But Batmobiles just don't grow on trees. And the real deal very rarely shows up for sale in your local auto trader. But last night that all changed. For the last few weeks it's been reported all over the net that George Barris was going to bring Batmobile #1. The original car built for the Batman TV series to the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction. And he sure didn't fail to bring the circus with him.

Built from the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which Barris purchased for $1 from Ford Motor Co. , was transformed in a matter of weeks to the cost of $15,000 to play the part in the upcoming Batman TV series in 1966. As Barris put it, the car would go POW! with rocket launchers, BAM! with a chain slicer, ZAP! with an oil slick. All gadgets that would make even James Bond envious. The car eventually led to a handful of fiberglass back up cars being built as the Futura based car had a habit of breaking down on the set. After the show, Barris retained ownership of the car. But enough about that.

The folks at Barrett Jackson said this was a deal three years in the making. And they didn't fail to hype up the car once it was consigned. The Batmobile was definitely the star of the show. There were crowd surrounding the car while it was on display and flock of groupies followed the car and King George as it made its way to the auction block. The crowd on the block was just as impressive at over 20 deep. Craig Jackson and Steve Davis actually had to cut Barris off or he would have talked about the Batmobile for hours. When the bidding started it quickly rose to $1 million, then $2 million before stalling at $2.6 million. The reserve was lifted and bidding again took off. $3 million, $4 million. Two bidders, sitting one in front of the other still were going at it, when they decided to flip a coin for who would win. The winner, Rick Champagne was the winning bidder at $4.2 million dollars. Speed's cameras captured the whole soap opera, and quickly interviewed Champagne who told viewers he's been a buyer at Barrett Jackson for 15 years and he came with all intentions of buying the Batmobile for his collection. He joked that he plans to tear down a wall and park it in his living room.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year, New Look

Since it's 2013 and since AAN started in 2007,  the overall look of the site hasn't changed too much. We kind of liked the carbon fiber look with the black and gray fonts. But since it's a new year, I decided it was time for a change. Give us some feedback on what you think of the new site.

2014 Corvette Stingray specs

Here's the preliminary specs on the new C7 Corvette. 

Source: General Motors

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Preliminary Specifications

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Body styles / driveline:
2-door hatchback coupe with removable roof panel; rear-wheel drive
composite and carbon-fiber body panels, hydroformed aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components
Manufacturing location:
Bowling Green, Ky.


LT1 6.2L V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc):
376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm):
4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material:
cast aluminum
Cylinder head material:
cast aluminum
overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery:
direct injection
Compression ratio:
Horsepower / kW:
450 / 335 (est.)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm):
450 / 610 (est.)

seven-speed manual with Active Rev Match
six-speed paddle-shift automatic

Chassis / Suspension
short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock absorber
short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock absorber
Active handling:
Magnetic Selective Ride Control (avail. with Z51)
Traction control:
StabiliTrak, electronic stability control

front and rear power-assisted discs with four-piston fixed front and rear calipers (slotted rotors with Z51)
Rotor diameter (in / mm):
front: 12.6 / 320 (13.6 / 345 with Z51)
rear: 13.3 / 338

Wheels / Tires
Wheel size:
front: 18-inch x 8.5-inch (Stingray)
front: 19-inch x 8.5-inch (with Z51)
rear: 19-inch x 10-inch (Stingray)
rear: 20-inch x 10-inch (with Z51)
Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat
front: P245/40R18 (Stingray)
front: P245/35R19(with Z51)
rear: P285/35R19 (Stingray)
rear: P285/30R20(with Z51)

Wheelbase (in / mm):
106.7 / 2710
Overall length (in / mm):
177 / 4495
Overall width (in / mm):
73.9 / 1877
Overall height (in / mm):
48.6 / 1235
Weight distribution (% front / rear):
50 / 50

2014 Corvette Stingray details

Here's all the details you wanted to know about the new 2014 Corvette Stingray. This will be the first of several posts we'll have dedicated to the C7. Right now, the base Stingray will have an estimated 450 horse power with 450 lb. ft of torque. No word yet on a new Z06 or ZR1. However, expect those numbers to be significantly higher.

Most impressive on the new C7 will be the extensive use of carbon fiber for body panels and interior pieces. Even more impressive is the use of magnesium for other pieces like the seat frames.  Rather than the conventional 6 speed we have seen in the Corvette for the last three generations. The C7 will come with an all new 7 speed manual. This new transmission is automatically controlled to match engine speeds and anticipates gear changes. This is supposed to make even a novice manual driver seem like a pro. An optional 6 speed automatic with paddle shifters will also be available.

Matted to this new transmission will be a 6.2 liter LT1 V8. Fuel mileage hasn't been released yet, but Chevrolet promises to exceed the 26 mpg the current C6 is rated at.

Source: GM

Press Release:

Return of the Stingray: The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette

DETROIT – Chevrolet is redefining modern performance with today’s debut of the all-new Corvette Stingray. And only a Corvette with the perfect balance of technology, design and performance can wear the iconic Stingray designation.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower (335 kW) and 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm). It is also the most capable standard model ever, able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1g in cornering grip. It is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.

“Like the ’63 Sting Ray, the best Corvettes embodied performance leadership, delivering cutting-edge technologies, breathtaking design and awe-inspiring driving experiences,” said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. “The all-new Corvette goes farther than ever, thanks to today’s advancements in design, technology and engineering.”

The all-new Corvette Stingray shares only two parts with the previous generation Corvette. It incorporates an all-new frame structure and chassis, a new powertrain and supporting technologies, as well as completely new exterior and interior designs. Highlights include:
·         An interior that includes real carbon fiber, aluminum and hand-wrapped leather materials, two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support – and dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens
·         Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to the fit the driver’s environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time
·         An all-new 6.2L LT1 V-8 engine combines advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system that delivers more power while using less fuel
·         Lightweight materials, including a carbon fiber hood and removable roof panel; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame help shift weight rearward for an optimal 50/50 weight balance that supports a world-class power-to-weight ratio
·         A sculptured exterior features advanced high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability
·         Track-capable Z51 Performance Package including: an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, integral brake, differential and transmission cooling, as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability.

“Stingray is one of the hallowed names in automotive history,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “We knew we couldn’t use the Stingray name unless the new car truly lived up to the legacy. The result is a new Corvette Stingray that breaks from tradition, while remaining instantly recognizable as a Corvette the world over.”

The new Corvette Stingray will be built at GM’s Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant, which underwent a $131-million upgrade, including approximately $52 million for a new body shop to manufacture the aluminum frame in-house for the first time.  

“We believe the Corvette represents the future of modern performance cars because it delivers more power, more driving excitement and better fuel efficiency,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “The result is better performance by every measure. The 2014 Corvette delivers the fastest acceleration, the most cornering grip, the most track capability, the best braking performance and what we expect to be the best fuel economy ever for a standard Corvette.”

The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale in the third quarter of 2013.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevroletis now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Here it is! The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

We'll post up all the glorious details in the morning. But for right now, here is the all new 7 generation Chevrolet Corvette!

Photo source: General Motors.