Top Gear Car Review: Ford Shelby Mustang GT500

“They say his mere presence at the Camsur Watersports Complex, which is 180 kilometers from the Province of Albay, induced fear in the Mayon Volcano that it eased its magma pressure. All we know is… he’s called THE aSTIG.

We have recently featured the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 from the 2009 Manila Auto Salon here at
2008 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 at the 2009 Manila Auto Salon

And I have mentioned that “I’ve seen the Ford GT500 at Santa Rosa going towards Tagaytay, and though it has already passed you, you can still hear it as it fades away in the distance.”

That has gotten people wondering, just how good is the GT500 from the eyes of the experts? Well ask no more. Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear crew have reviewed this baby, and it’s here for your viewing pleasure. And if you were looking to get one for yourself, at least now you know what it’s capable of. Enjoy!

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The Upcoming Sports Car Builder of the Philippines – BAR Custom Built Cars

For those of you lucky enough to have been to the 2009 Auto Summit held at Festival Mall in Alabang, you have seen the Custom Fiberglass Car by Autovision and BAR Custom Built Cars in its glorious prototype state. If not, don’t fret as you can also see it online here at
BAR Prototype at the 2009 Auto Summit

This custom-built vehicle has stirred a lot of criticism and has gained a lot of attention. From comments about the sandpaper-like exotic paint finish, to praises about its design, this ride has become something to look forward to in the automotive industry.

So what has Brendan Aurelio of BAR (Brendan Aurelio Racing), creator of this awesome ride, been doing with this baby lately? Making the car a whole lot better of course! Here’s a sneak peek of what it looks like in its current state:
BAR Prototype in Yellow

Brendan say she actually tried an electric blue paintjob before this, but it looked sad during the night. But now, it looks real flashy in yellow, and screams “Look at me! Yes, go ahead and drool!”

Here’s a video of the car in running order, pre-paint:

This car is completely hand-made. Brendan started from scratch with a tube chassis weighing only 570kg, which was covered with a lightweight full fiberglass bodyshell. A Honda B16A Engine was mounted on a midship format for optimum traction to the rear wheels. Total weight: a mere 623kg; power-to-weight ratio: 254 bhp per ton!

You can look forward to seeing the new and improved BAR Prototype in the upcoming TRANSPORTSHOW on April 21 to 25, 2010. See you there!

What do you think of this ride? Do you think Pinoys are stepping up the plate? You think we can now start building our very own performance sports cars on the international arena? Share your views.

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Dong Feng Hummer H1 comes in a Variety of Colors for the Civilian Market

Previously, we’ve shown you that the Chinese Hummer H1 called the Dong Feng EQ2050 Series – High Utility Mobile Vehicle (HUM-Vee) is already on sale in the Philippines.

Now, we’re just showing you that apart from having different configurations, it doesn’t just come in camo or olive drab paint, but it also comes in a variety of tasty colors. Are we getting your imagination going now? Do you see yourself rolling the streets in one?

Dong Feng Hummer H1

Dong Feng Hummer H1 Yellow

If you were to have one for yourself, what color would you want it to be? And how would you want to customize it and personalize it to suit your taste?

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Kookie Ramirez drives the Ferrari F575 Maranello at the Subic International Raceway

Ferarri F575M Maranello
Pinoy living racing legend Kookie Ramirez is shown here driving the Ferarri F575 Maranello around the Subic International Raceway, with Marc Soong of Land Rover Philippines riding shotgun and taking the video.

Watching him drive so smoothly makes it seem as if he’s going slow, when in fact it is fast. I’ve heard Pocholo Ramirez once say during my childhood days: “He who can drive smoothly can go faster.” That is so true. The more relaxed you are at high speed, the better you can perform as you don’t feel as if you’re pushing yourself to the limit. And by taking the proper racing line, you feel less G forces pulling you from side to side.

If you were given the chance to be Kookie Ramirez’ passenger even for just one lap, would you take it?

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CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car: Engine Inspection

This the third part of an ongoing series on how to buy a used car. On the second part, we discussed exterior inspection.

Inside the Engine Bay

Inside the Engine Bay

Open the hood and snoop around in the engine bay. Check if there are any signs of caked oil and grease around the seams of the valve cover, distributor, and headers. If there are, be wary. Repairs can be as simple as replacing the seals, all the way to a costly overhaul.

Inspect the belts and hoses for cracks, and frayed sides.

How’s the Lube?

Pull the dipstick and wipe the oil with a rag before putting it back in. Then pull it out and inspect the oil. If it’s sludgy, or dirty, you either have a lazy owner, or a vehicle with problems. If it has water beads, you might want to reconsider as this may have been a flooded vehicle. However, be awareif you see fresh, clean oil. Scammers may put in fresh oil before an inspection to temporarily hide any defects.

Is the Battery battered?

Check the battery and its connections for signs of corrosion. A clean battery is a healthy battery.


Now when you’re inspcting a vehicle equipped with a Limited-Slip Differential (LSD), you’ll be able to check if the LSD is working by jacking up the entire rear end, if it’s a rear-wheel-drive; or the front end, if it’s a front-wheel-drive. If you rotate one wheel, and the opposite wheel rotates the same direction, it means the LSD is working. If it doesn’t, then there is a problem as it’s merely acting as an Open Differential.

CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car is an ongoing series. Stay tuned for future updates.

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How To: Exhaust Flame Thrower Kit

Honda Civic Flame Kit
Start the new year with a bang and make your own fireworks through your very own car! Have you ever wondered how those cars from The Fast and The Furious make flames com out of their exhaust system? It’s called an Exhaust Flame Thrower Kit.

If the installation is done correctly, the end result will be like this:

Cool huh? If you can get this to work with your econo car, people will start to think what kind of engine tuning you’ve done to it. It will also keep tailgaters from getting too close, afraid that you might blow them up. Lol!

How does it work?

The exhaust flame thrower kit burns the remaining unburnt fuel that your engine disposes through the exhaust pipe. What you do is drill a hole through the exhaust pipe, and then thread a spark plug through the hole. Then you have a wire which runs from the engine bay to a separate coil which powers the spark plug, which then ignites the unburnt fuel and produces the flames coming out of the exhaust pipes.

How far from the exhaust tip should you put the spark plug? Changing the distance between 6 to 18 inches from the exhaust tip changes the flame length, intensity, and color. There’s no particular formula for this as it really depends on what engine you run, how it’s tuned, and the exhaust diameter.

Will it work on my car?

Generally speaking, there is an exhaust flame thrower kit for any gasoline-engined vehicle with a distributor or coil. However, it used to be impossible to get this to work with a fuel injected vehicle.

If you’re mechanically and electrically inclined, then you can purchase the parts and do the installation yourself. Here’s how to DIY a Carb Engine Exhaust Flamethrower System.

But if you run a fuel injected engine, it’s a bit more complicated to DIY the installation, as you will be unable to force the engine to dump excess unburnt fuel onto the exhaust pipes.

But don’t fret, as there’s an Exhaust Flamethrower Kit you can purchase which has all the required gear, including a control module which will produces the unburnt fuel by momentarily interrupting the engine’s ignition system.

Just note that doing this will accelerate engine wear as you’re pumping excessive raw fuel through the engine which washes down the cylinder walls and also contaminates your oil. It will also eventually destroy your catalytic converter. Make sure you do an oil change more often.

I hope this helps. Be safe! And don’t burn any pedestrians.

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Land Rover Philippines 60th year event held at Eton City Santa Rosa Laguna

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CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car: Exterior Inspection

This the second part of an ongoing series on how to buy a used car. In the first part, we discussed pre-inspection.

Skyline R32 Exterior

Inspect Paint and Body Alignment

Visually inspect the exterior of the car for any body dings and/or paint damage. Check the alignment of the bumpers, doors, hood, trunk, tail lights, and headlights to see if the gaps are consistent all around. Misaligned panels may show history of an accident. You may knock on misaligned sheetmetal to check for signs of body filler being used. See if the sound is consistent with the rest of the body.

Watch Out For Rust

Look for signs of rust, especially if the owner’s residence is located near the ocean. Saltwater causes rust, and even one-year-old vehicles are no exception. Also check the plastic rubber moldings and seals.

Check Everything That Moves

As you go around, operate anything that moves. The doors should shut snugly, windows should open and close fully, the hood, trunk, and gas door/cap should open and close without problems. Again, inconsistencies may show signs of a previous accident. Check the rubber weatherstrips as well. Damage may cause leaks into the cabin.


Make sure all lights function. Park lights, signal lights, hazards, headlight high and low beams, brakelights, reverse lights, and plate number illuminators. If there are additional accessories such as fog lights and retracting radio antennas, make sure to check on these as well.

Check Underneath

Be prepared to get down and dirty. Inspect the underside with a flashlight. CHeck the tires’ tread depth and check for uneven wear. Check the steering and axle rubber boots if they’re torn or damaged. While you’re under, it will be good if you can check for signs of oil leaking under the engine. Areas with caked-on dirt such as muffler and chassis frames may hide rust underneath. Poke at them with a pen. If it doesn’t puncture, it should be good.

The Suspension

When you get up, check the suspension by vigorously shaking the vehicle on all corners to simulate the vehicle going through rough road conditions. Squeaks indicate the suspension bushings need replacement. And if the suspension feels too soft or soggy, and bounces more than ounce, the shocks/dampers need replacement.

Take Notes

Take note of the tires installed at the time of inspection. If you decide to come back and purchase the vehicle, unethical sellers may replace these with older pieces.

CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car is an ongoing series. On the next series, we’ll discuss Engine Inspection.

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CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car: Pre-Inspection

Transformers Used Car Scene
Let’s face it. You wouldn’t always be buying a brand-new car. At some point in your life, you will have to settle for a used car. Whether it be that R34 Skyline or Hachi Roku you always wanted, or that old-school classic you wanted to restore, or you just can’t afford a brand-new car just yet, you will end up buying yourself a used car.

Bring a Friend

When inspecting a used car before purchase, it always help to tag along a mechanic or specialist if you are not that well versed with automobiles. The tip you’ll spend on the mechanic will be well worth the investment and will go a long way if you become the next owner of the used vehicle you’re looking to purchase.

And even if you are knowledgeable about cars, it would never hurt to bring along a buddy who can inspect the vehicle with you. You may not see everything when you’re alone.

Remember: A car will probably be the second most expensive purchase you’re ever going to make in your life, besides a house.

Do Your Homework

It will always be a good idea to do some research on the vehicle you’re looking to purchase. Knowing the factory specifications will come in handy once you’re doing your inspection. At the very least, find out what engine it came with, and whether it’s a front or rear-whee-drive vehicle.

Begin Cold

When you begin your inspection, it’s best to start with a cold vehicle. It will make it easier to look around, and will give you the chance to start it and get it heated up yourself.

CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car is an ongoing series. On the next series, we’ll discuss Exterior Inspection.

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Pinoy Mechanic Marlou Acedera wins the Castrol Power 1 ASEAN Mechanic Contest

Marlou Acedera is a simple mechanic who works in a local motorcycle dealership in Metro Manila. But now, he is known as the region’s top mechanic, having bested opponents across Southeast Asia in the recent Castrol Power 1 ASEAN Mechanic Contest.

The contest involved two rounds involving motorcycle engine assembly, checking the electricals, and troubleshooting and repair of a motorcycle of motorcycle problems within a certain timeframe. And Marlou has come out triumphant over opponents from Thailand, Indoniesa, and Vietnam, where the population of motorcycles are up to ten times more than that of the Philippines.

Marlou brings home a cash prize of $1,000.00, and won the opportunity to be part of the San Carlo HOnda Gresini Team Pit Crew in the Malaysian Leg of the MotoGP series.

Congratulations to Marlou Acedera!

Marlou Acedera wins Castrol Power 1 ASEAN Mechanic Contest
Marlou Acedera (Front Row, Rightmost)

Source: Top Gear Philippines

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