Danny Chang's review of car designs

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lancer Ralliart FTW for the weekend!

A sweet sportback for my trip to SLO town his weekend

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Funniest listing ever...from down unda

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Mazda 121 shades, 1988 model manual, opposite of MX5.

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Member idhollywoodbigshot ( Feedback Score Of 79 )

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Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Item specifics - Automobiles


Used: An item that has been used previously. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See all condition definitions... Read more



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1.3 litre



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Mar 2011

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Right-Hand Drive



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If you thought muscle cars were a thing of the past, think again. This Mazda is probably one of Japan's most formidable street machines. In fact, Subaru were lucky that these little boxes were produced before the first WRX, because it gave Subaru something to strive for.

On first glance you may just think that this is just another Japanese girly car, aimed at practicality and economy. You're right. But what Mazda put into these was a level of technology matched only by Casio calculators from the 1970s.

Not only does this car look sporty and powerful, it also has aerodynamics equivalent to a garden shed, enabling it to reach speeds well beyond 100,000 metres per hour. In fact, with a tail wind these things can go even faster, but a cross wind presents problems, especially after the car ends up on its roof.

Aside from the factory styled aerodynamics, this car is fitted with aftermarket speed dimples, known as 'dents'. Like a golf ball's dimples, the dents allow the 121 to travel even further when hit by a 9 iron.

One of the major problems you will have owning this car is that everyone wants to race you from the traffic lights. Even trucks. I know this because everyone takes off really quickly and when I catch up to them at the next set of lights, they pretend they weren't trying. In this 121, you have to be really careful with the throttle control as too much acceleration is likely to cause wheelspin, whereas anything below 3,000 RPM is likely to cause stalling. Driving in the wet is a real problem as far as traction goes, especially on wet grass or oiled steel plates. This truly is a driver's car (because no passengers are likely to get in it).

Although it appears massive, the exhaust is the original 3cm job. Mazda had to go up a size from the drinking straw used on the Mazda 1000s because of the radical cam timing used in the 121. When they put together the first B13 motor it was a twin cam job, but it was so powerful that the exhaust cam ended up getting blown out the exhaust and the inlet cam often ran away in fear of the pistons. So they stayed with a single cam version and threw out 8 valves in order to lighten the car up even further. The motor produces almost as much power as four high quality split system air conditioners, which when coupled to the advanced five speed transmission and front wheel drive provides enough power to charge a mobile phone.

Mazda tried desperately to dress down the 121, including the fitment of 13” wheels just to take away that guard filling look of the bigger 14” rims. They didn't compromise on width though, this car has tyres as wide as a shopping trolley with a rubber compound to match. Without such huge road hugging bags, this car would not be able to handle the race tuned suspension that it is fitted with, in fact it may even have a small sway bar somewhere. Mazda also kept the bumper bars a different colour to the car, because with such curvy styling some may not have been able to tell where the car started and ended. Ford's Australian Taurus from the mid 90's is a classic example of a car which has no front and no back. The seats in that car can swivel 360° so that it can be driven in either direction. Mazda didn't want the same problem with the 121, so they put a slight angle in the roof of the car where it meets the front windscreen.

To give you some idea of the way this car performs, let me relate a recent road incident I was involved in:

I was traveling along the freeway minding my own business, when suddenly a Mercedes ML63 AMG came up beside me and the middle aged driver nodded at me with his leather jacket and Armani sunnies on. It was on. I was in third gear getting ready for a steep climb up the hill so I thought I'd give the big AMG a head start. Off we went. I planted my foot to the floor and the scenery started to blast past me (admittedly it was painted on the side of a garden supplies pantech). I think I saw the same AMG about an hour later, pulled over outside a cafe with the driver reading the Financial Review and sipping on a soy latte. I blew the horn and accelerated in a cloud of tyre smoke, which may have been attributed to the container of baby powder I had run over.

That was the closest race I've had in the 121, in fact for a few seconds, I could almost read the rear number plate of the AMG. I learned from that incident that losers should never give winners a head start, so now I just drive off before lights even turn green. Sure, I've caused a few taxis to peel their retreads off trying to avoid me, but the satisfaction of winning the race to the other side of the intersection is worth it.

This 121 isn't just built for speed. It is also built for practicality. The rear seats fold down providing enough room for a stampede of rats to be carried in comfort. You could even fit a fridge in if you could buy one small enough. I've even picked up a few models in the 121, including a ship in a bottle. It doesn't have a towbar purely because scientists haven't come up with a material strong enough to withstand the forces encountered when the clutch is dropped. The car is so powerful that they even had to leave out back doors because they were afraid the car would pull apart at the seams like my last pair of trackie dacks.

Parking is simple in this car. In fact, it is so light that it can be parked on top of a Subaru Liberty if the Subaru is fitted with Rhino racks. Some people even take their 121 into the shopping centre with them and save on putting $2 into an Aldi trolley. Once when I went to Newtown for dinner, there were so few parking spots that I put the 121 on a Marickville bus for only $1.20 and picked it up later.

It has a turbo button which can be handy sometimes, especially when the guy next to you on the Yamaha R1 wants to drag you. It has to be used with caution because depending on your body weight, you could brake the backrest of the seat under acceleration. I liken it to nitrous oxide, but without the reality. It works by having the air conditioning on most of the time, but when you need an added burst of power, just turn it off and away you go. I reckon you pull an extra half a kilowatt out of the beast with the turbo boost feature.

You may also notice that this model is the 'Shades' series. The Shades was Mazda's codename for the Small Hatch And Definitely Enough Speed project, where they attempted to set a world record by mass producing the worlds best selling flat pack car. Ikea would have taken on the Shades project, but the engineers could not make fasteners strong enough to keep all the panels together, so they abandoned that aspect of the project and Mazda produced the 121 from recycled CRT computer monitors instead, maintaining

the classic lines.

If you're after that discreet look where nobody notices you, this isn't the car for you. It's like riding a Ducati 998 up to a motocross track when you park this thing somewhere. People will stare, some will even want to touch it, some may be jealous. But like fame, after a while you get used to it (apparently). The best thing I've found for avoiding attention when driving this beast around, is to park next to a car with similar formidable characteristics, like a Daihatsu Charade.

For those interested in the minor details, the car is registered in NSW until next March, almost a year away. For a cat, that would be like having almost seven years worth of rego.

It doesn't have power steering because as you can see from the colour, it was built for only the toughest of drivers.

It is not fuel injected, but still manages to run on the smell of an oily rag; provided the oily rag is left in the fuel tank and covered in 20L of unleaded petrol.

Everything works as it should, even the brakes slow you down.

Mechanically it is fine, there is no rust and the tyres are near new.

With GT Falcons and HK Monaros going for many of thousands of dollars, this may just be your chance to buy on of Japan's true muscle cars before there are less than 4.3 million of them left.


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Thursday, May 20, 2010

CTS Wagon!!!



Danny H Chang
Sent from iPhone please excuse typos & smugness

Posted via email from eBay Motors on posterous...shh, don't tell our PR guys

Saturday, May 8, 2010




Danny H Chang
Sent from iPhone please excuse typos & smugness

Posted via email from eBay Motors on posterous...shh, don't tell our PR guys

Lamborghini gallardo