Sunday, December 31, 2023

Pagani Huayra Roadster Spotted!


Pagani Huayra Roadster

I'd like to tell you about the Pagani I spotted at a Cars and Coffee near Charlotte. First though, since it's New Year's Eve, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thanks for following along on this blog. NMS wants to wish you a great 2024, and lots of motoring adventures in the future. One motoring adventure to avoid: Don't Drink and Drive!

To wrap up 2023, I have to mention that yesterday I saw an amazing car, and I'm not sure that I've ever seen one before. For that reason, I'm going to leave out the "everyday" Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Ford GTs that were there. Yes, all of those were in multiples, but there was only this one Pagani Huayra Roadster. 

753 horsepower, similar torque.

Just the story of Mr. Horacio Pagani is interesting enough, so I'm sure you can Google him or here's a shortcut, read his story on the Pagani Automobiles website for a full history:  PAGANI HISTORY

Believe it or not, just the day before this event I was doing just that and was inspired by his life story. A few highlights include growing up in Argentina, getting to know 5-time F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio, moving to Italy and working for Lamborghini, and then starting his own company. 

One thing I learned was that as he was working for Lamborghini, he became interested in carbon fiber and using modern composites. Unfortunately, the economy was not so good at that time and the company didn't want to make the investment. What did Mr. Pagani do? He got a bank loan, bought his own autoclave to make carbon fiber, and then used it at Lamborghini! 

6.0-liter, twin turbo, Mercedes AMG V12 motor. 

As you might imagine, a Pagani car doesn't come cheap, and there aren't millions of them on the roads. From what I've read online, this particular model probably sells for north of 3 million US dollars. If that sounds like a good buy, and you've got the money, there are 5 Pagani dealers in the US. Greenwich CT, Miami FL, Dallas TX, Beverly Hills CA, and San Francisco CA. 

Carbon fiber all over the place. Way-cool mirrors!

Before Pagani built the Huayra, they had a model named the Zonda. Are they rare? With about 129 of them built, yeah, that sounds rare to me!

Italian flag colors on the mirror. 

The word "Zonda" comes from a wind that blows in Argentina, so whether that is a tribute to Mr. Pagani's home or his friendship with Juan Manuel Fangio, it fits them both. 

According to Wikipedia, the name Huayra comes from Wayra Tata, or Huayra-tata, an indigenous wind god of South America. 

Pagani Roadster badge

Sculpted air intake extends over the roof line. 

Horacio Pagani.

Pagani typical 4 exhausts configuration. 

It was a cold morning, so the Roadster had the roof on.
Somewhere I've read that these come with two roofs.

The four circles of the exhaust pipes also serve as a logo for Pagani. 

The shape of the mirrors, as well as the leather buckles really make this car unique.

Looking down on the headlights.

Passenger front lights.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Fantasy F1 Wrap-Up

Looking for F1 Fantasy insider info at the Miami race. 

The real 2023 Formula 1 season has ended, which also means that the F1 Fantasy League season is complete. Luckily for me, the game allows you to have 3 teams, so full disclosure here, I'm certainly only going to talk about the best of my 3 teams here today! Let's go to the statistics. 

In the league that I created, the NMS-Racing.Net league, well, my three teams took the bottom 3 places!     
    -Congratulations to the first-place team named ***Q***. 
    -Congrats to the second-place team named Rockplace.
    -Congrats to the third-place team Washups. 

If you're the team owner of team ***Q***, congrats, and could you let me know who you are! The online fantasy game doesn't tell me who entered. 

World-wide there were 2,413,984 competitors in F1 Fantasy online, and my best team was ranked 398,342nd place, which is into the top 17%!

There were 3,653 players named Robert, and I took 1,612th place out of those losers, so top 44%. Better than half? I'll take it!

My best Fantasy driver was now 3-time world champion Max Verstappen, which was the no-brainer of the year. Verstappen won 19 out of 22 races in reality!

Out of over 300,000 Fantasy players in the USA, my team took 50,617th place! Maybe a commemorative t-shirt or a foam big finger saying, "WE'RE NUMBER 50,617!" would be a big hit!

Amongst all the Ferrari fans, (over 700,000) I managed 89.409th place, so about top 13%. 

Look for the 2024 NMS-Racing.Net Fantasy League to start some time in February! Here's the link to learn how to get started!   fantasy formula1 how-to-play

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

What Is A Lemons Race?

A Bunch of Idiots

NMS-South and the Bunch of Idiots recently completed another 24 Hours of Lemons race, this time up at Road America in Wisconsin. The crazy people that sponsor this type of racing all across the US of A have just released their video wrap-up of the craziness that took place, so you can check it out at this link on YouTube:  LEMONS

The basic idea (and it IS very basic,) behind Lemons is a simple 3-part process:

    Part 1get a beater $500 car.

    Part 2: make it safe for racing (roll cage, race seat, fire system, and all drivers wear fire suits, helmets, etc.

    Part 3then you put gas in the car and go racing! 

That's it, no million-dollar racecars built of unobtanium or expensive carbon fiber! No TV coverage to speak of and no need to race a go-kart starting at age 5 to get good enough to "make it!" No billion-dollar sponsorships! 

OK, it helps if you can drive and play well with others, read some rules and build a SAFE car, avoid contact on track, and have a clue of how to keep your car in operating condition. And you do have to pay some entry fees and use up some tires, gas, and brake pads. But compared to just about any other get-on-a-track-and-race-against-dozens-of-other-cars, it's about as cheap and safe as it gets. We highly recommend you try it. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

NMS Hybrid Car and Hybrid Truck: Updates!

Now with just over 5,000 miles on the Ford Maverick hybrid, and 4100 miles with the Honda Accord hybrid, both vehicles are going strong. The world didn't end, nothing blew up, and we sure spent way less on gas than with our previous non-hybrid, aka: Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) cars!

Starting with the Accord, it now stands at 4100 miles, and is averaging 50 mpg. I still don't like the adaptive cruise control, so I turn off this feature, even though it has I think 4 different settings of sensitivity. One very minor complaint with the adaptive part, even though I just don't like it slowing down, is that a few times it has sensed large semi-trucks in the adjacent lane and slowed down briefly for them. I don't think either of us were crossing the lane stripes, so maybe it's just an overly sensitive "adaptive" part. This seems to happen on Interstates with a slight curve, so there's room for improvement on this feature Honda. Put me in the "not a fan" block for adaptive cruise control. 

The rest of the tech on the Honda is nice, Apple Car Play, a display that gives you live MPG and shows how much gas/electric power you're using, and of course I'm loving that the car has over 600 miles of range WITHOUT a billion-gallon gas tank! Keep in mind our previous "newest" vehicle was from way back in 2013, so all this fancy-schmancy tech is new to me! This reminds me to mention the website
where you can learn all about the new technical features of automobiles if you're over 16 years old and need to keep up. 

OK, full disclosure; there was one glitch with the Accord. Driving at highway speed on I-77 in Charlotte, all of a sudden, the dash lite up like a starship Enterprise RED ALERT, with multiple warnings about the brakes, and a big "Take Car to Dealer" warning. I pulled over to stop on an exit ramp, with the car having gone into limp-mode. After stopping, turning off the engine, and re-starting, the warnings were still there, but the car drove just fine, and the brakes worked just fine. My best guess at that moment was that this was a faulty sensor, and not really a brake issue. If the brakes had felt different or the engine didn't perform normally, I would have gone to the nearest dealer ASAP or just parked it, but with a new hybrid car, I figured it was just some glitch. Long story short, after taking it to the dealer a few days later, they found 17 fault codes, which involved the sensors not talking to each other and the ECU, and there was NO problem with the brakes! This diagnosis was covered by warranty, and there was no charge, so I was out the door and on my way. We'll watch to see if it returns. 

Over on the Ford Maverick side, for the life of the vehicle (all but 12 miles driven by us) it's averaging 40 mpg, so even better than the advertised 37mpg combined. That is in over 5,000 real world miles. In addition to the live monitoring of gas/electric use, when you come to a complete stop it will tell you what percentage of available energy you captured in braking. If nothing else, it's fun to hit 99 or 100%!

We just finished a long drive from SC to Michigan (and back) to visit the family up north, and the Maverick did great on the interstates, up and down hills in West Virginia, over the dirt and snow in Michigan, and was able to hold suitcases and Christmas gifts in the 2nd row. On the trip north the MPG for a few tanks of gas were 38 and 37 on the highway, and then 30 around town and in the snow in much colder temperatures. I'll guess that the cold weather impacts hybrid mileage. On the return trip, we were back to the advertised 36mpg on the highway. 

One fun fact, just by purchasing the Ford, I earned enough whatever-they-call-it Ford Points to buy a drop in bed mat for free! I snagged that item direct from Ford during the Black Friday sales, and they shipped it to my local dealer for free. I still have a big chunk of points, so maybe that will cover something else cool, or an oil change. 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Cars and Coffee Concord

Old and new, all kinds of cars!

On the third Saturday of the month there is a MONSTER sized Cars and Coffee up in Concord. Not to be confused with Concord Massachusetts and the Shot Heard Round the World, this event is in the parking lot of Charlotte Motor Speedway! You know, Charlotte, in North Carolina, the NASCAR center of the planet! It was a bit chilly this December, but man it was a big turnout of people and cars. And as the name implies, there really was coffee! 

Bond, James  Bond...err, I mean, Martin, Aston Martin V12 Vantage GTS. In yellow yet!

Nice row of the newest Corvette, the C8 mid-engine.

This my friends is a Volkswagen Thing. Yes, the name of the car is a "Thing." 
A few days ago, I was watching Jeopardy, and they showed a photo of one of these, and believe it or not none of the three smarty pants contestants knew what it was!
While I'd like to think that shows I'm smarter than them, I think the real answer is that I'm just older than them. 
Oh well, I'll take it! 

Lamborghini with Blew By You license plate. 

I'm not up to speed on all the models of Lambo, so I appreciate it when they put the name of the model on the seats and on the side of the body!

Here's another Lamborghini. I didn't catch the license plate, but this one really did "Blow By Me" out on I-85 on the way into Cars and Coffee. It was still sounding nice about a half mile in front of me. 
For once I didn't speed up to see what it was, and sure enough that paid off since it was parked when I got to the Speedway!

Nothing like a classic Chevy Suburban that's been lowered!

On the other hand, an even older Chevy Bel Air Nomad station wagon is mighty sweet!

I had a great time talking to the owner of this modified 1973 Toyota Celica. 
Nothing against all the Corvette, Mustang, and other modern cars at the show, but seeing something unique like this was very cool. 

Nice Rat Rod. I liked the Cleveland Press newspaper mailbox on top of the engine, which of course requires me to say, "SEND IT!"

Not sure if that's real patina or artificial patina, but it's a cool looking truck either way. 

Holden was the Australian GM. This nice car has a Whipple supercharger too. 

Another classic Chevrolet

Toyota Supra in, uh, whatever color they call this! I liked it. 

Ford GT in a classic Gulf livery. 

Huge air intakes for mid-engine

I don't have a PhD in Aerodynamics, but I believe the term for this car with all the air channels, wings, and ducts, would be what scientists call "FAST."

Volvo P1800. I didn't see The Saint around, but he drove one of these on TV back in the 1960s. 

Volvo wanted to get a sporty car into the US market, so here's one! After Roger Moore played The Saint, you might have seen him in some other roles as a guy named Bond, James Bond. 

The 1800 model was built over about 10 years, so you'd think there would be a ton of them around. 

The chrome trim on the door handle continues on the rear quarter panel. 


I liked the Superman badge on this car.

Lots of parking, lots of cars, Welcome Race Fans!

Friday, December 15, 2023

My Favorite Holidays!


Ferrari 296GTS.
Here we have the PERFECT stocking stuffer!
Note: You might need a bigger stocking!

Yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year! As 2023 winds down it's fun to reflect on where we've been and where we're going in the future. If you have family around, so much the better. Here in the USA, we have two big holidays coming up. They're SO big, they might even be celebrated around the world too! I can't wait!

These bad boys start about $372,000. 
You might have some loose change under the couch cushions. 
Maybe a LOT of couch cushions!

The first big holiday is coming up on December 25th: Racecar Gift Giving Day! If you're shopping for me, I wear a size 296GTS Ferrari! In red. Thanks!

It even looks fast from the rear view. 
Which is how most people will be seeing it. 
If you're one of those "numbers" people, it's got over 800 horsepower.

The 2nd big holiday actually kicks off the next year, because it happens on January 1st. Hard to believe, but this new year holiday has the super creative name of HAPPY NEW YEAR OF RACING DAY! It's got the words "NEW YEAR" right up front, so there's no confusion! Some people are so into this holiday that they kick off partying the night before and then start celebrating and kissing the INSTANT it turns into January 1st at midnight. Crazy, right? 

Some countries and other cultures have a different calendar, and their New Year starts on a different day, so I can only guess that they are entitled to TWO NEW YEAR OF CAR RACING DAYS per 365 days! WOW!!

Only about a week of shopping days left to go!