Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

Assembled here are the best Oppositelock posts from Friday through Sunday. Today we've got badge engineering, a pregnancy announcement, mounting a tire without a machine and more.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

Winter 2013-2014 has been the 100 proof sort of winter that can impair one's judgement; the sort of winter that requires so many layers of pants to perform a timing belt replacement on your 24V Alfa Romeo V6 outdoors, that you start to question your homo erectus ancestors' choices in mates – you couldn't find someone with hairier legs?

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

My wife and I are expecting our first child (a boy) any day now and are naturally very excited about it. Our last name is Carr, so when we were trying I kept thinking about ways that I could leverage that when we announced it to friends and family. One day it dawned on me that I could make a window sticker for our new "Carr". I do some graphic design at work so I slapped this together one Saturday afternoon.

I am self-admittedly one of those people who has a stubborn streak of irrelevant stupidity concerning problem solving. What I mean by saying such a thing is that I will try whatever I can to avoid having someone fix an issue for me. This happens in my personal life as well as in the random, stupid instances which cannot be readily controlled. There are exceptions to this idea because I try very hard to only allow myself to be impacted by this mindset. The last thing I want to do is irritate another person because of my own lack of internal reasoning. Case in point? Car tires. Specifically, one car tire.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

After reading the zero (Read: 50) mile Defender report, I recalled my experiences in a 2007 Defender a friend had brought after brief off-roading in his 120 Series Land Cruiser Prado seemed to expensive as rocks flew all around it, dust made a mess of its leather seats and wood panels. Something more down-to-earth and simple was required so a hunt was carried out to find a good and [reasonably] priced Defender.

Regarded as one of the finest hot hatchbacks ever produced, the 2009 edition of the Renault Sport Clio is one special car. It's powered by a sweet sounding normally aspirated 2.0l engine generating 197bhp. Furthermore, this edition of the Clio pushed most of the motoring press into an absolute frenzy of gushing upon its release. CAR Magazine called it 'the 911 GT3 of hot hatches', and the normally composed Chris Harris went even further saying 'If I had to take the essence of a car with me to my grave I'd probably have this thing crushed up'. Big praise indeed then. Also check out the Best of Europe: Ginetta G40R.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

From its beginnings, the Volkswagen Phaeton was a car that got people talking. When it launched in 2003 for the 2004 model year, the car-buying public was stirred by what it saw: a full-size luxury sedan proffered by a non-luxury brand. In the U.S., the Phaeton was offered with two engines: a 335hp V8 and 420hp (later 444hp) W12. In Europe, a V6, V6 turbodiesel, V8, V10 turbodiesel, and W12 were available. Volkswagen took a decidedly ambitious leap, adding a $100,000 12-cylinder luxury flagship to an otherwise non-luxury lineup.

Recently, I've really been into classic Japanese cars. As a car guy, this sometimes leads to awkward conversations. Random Car Guy: "So, you like cars? What's your dream car? Mustang? Camaro?" Me: "Well, not really. Um. I mean, I'm kinda into cars that most people don't like. Like, most people think they are ugly. And slow. And poorly built. But they aren't! I mean, uh, did you see the game last weekend?" This is a tough conversation for anybody. Fortunately, I'm here to give any fellow classic JDM-lover like me the ammunition they need to stand up against even the toughest critics.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

In the last few years, E30 M3 prices have been skyrocketing. Now even run down high mileage examples are regularly fetching more than 15 to 20k with pristine low mileage examples sometimes bringing in more than 60 grand. If the prices keep on rising at this rate, the E30 M3 will have disappeared into the realm of unaffordable dreams before I am even old enough for a drivers license… So I set out to find an eighties homologation car which I might still be able to afford someday. After countless hours (minutes) of research I stumbled upon a craigslist ad for a Mercedes 190E Cosworth at the amazing price of 7500$. At first I thought it was probably just a scam, but after seeing plenty more listings at similar prices I realized that this was the norm.

Reddit is one of the Internet's most popular imageboards. Founded in 2005, the site now boasts more than 5 million users. Reddit is divided into sections called "Subreddits". There are several major subs that comprise a majority of the site traffic, but there's also plenty of fascinating smaller subs with a more specific focus. Reddit has a very strong gearhead presence. In fact, many of the stories on Jalopnik have originated from Reddit posts. I'm aware that some Jalops already browse Reddit on a regular basis, but I'd like to introduce some of the interesting/popular automotive subreddits.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

What goes together better than cool cars and good music? That's what I thought. Nothing. So it's only natural that a band or artist would, at some point, put a cool car on the front of their record. Here are some of the best album covers to be graced with an automobile.






Do you secretly work for GM? Because if you don't then they definitely owe you a commission. I saw the ad, I laughed, and then like every other time I see a commercial for a hybrid or plug in I tuned it out and went back to my daily life. But then I saw a post on Jalopnik about the car, and then another, and then another and then a post about a different ad that somehow found its way back to talking about the ELR again. So I watched the ad, and then I watched it again because it makes me laugh and because Neil McDonough is the man. And then I went to Cadillac's website to look a bit more into the ELR and then that's when it got interesting.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

Before you click that Oppo logo thinking, "I'm not on here to read about half-assed GM luxury from 2000-whenever even if it does have a manual transmission?" stop! Stop in the name of (insert thing/deity/humanist effort here). I thought the same thing as you—who the hell cares about a V6 first generation CTS? Well, I've come to like them through the power of the wonderful world wide web. And I'll make you like it, too.

For this year's World Drivers' Championship, there are twenty-two contenders. Though some may realistically be eliminated by the time free practice begins in Australia next week, none are there without the confidence (or arrogance, or even delusions) of a would-be champion in what is regarded by some as the highest level of auto racing.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

Today at the air museum we had a special program dedicated to women in aviation. One speaker was Mary Feik, who I can safely say is the single most badass woman I've ever met. She might even be the most badass women ever.




I've seen a lot of misinformation and a lot of things misunderstood. I've followed the preseason testing very closely. While I do not know everything I feel like I've got a good grasp on the outlook as we head in to the first race of the season.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

A year ago, I decided to buy one. A 1995 Corvette with a ZF6 manual gearbox. I never really cared about, nor knew about its reputation. All I saw was a car that had pretty good specs on paper, that was apparently reliable and pretty cheap. Quickly, I noticed, mostly here, that lots of people don't seem to like the C4, but I have yet to understand why that is. I will try to go over this and make an honest list of how this car is and how it has evolved.

How is it, that in 2014, the majority of midrange aftermarket audio options still look like props from a bootleg Star Trek movie? I don't want my dash to mimic a late-80s discotheque. I don't want an overdesigned Michael Bay Transformer orgy of angular silver trim and knobs and buttons.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

Here at home, I sit on a stack of old Car and Driver magazines large enough to equip every bathroom in my neighborhood with at least two and-maybe-a-half issues of car-related reading material. I accumulated most of those magazines during my childhood years — starting around age seven, every year for Christmas an uncle of mine would buy a new subscription for me, and that continued for a number of years up until it became easier to hand out actual money instead of giving gifts. I believe my subscription finally ran its course at the end of 2006 or 2007.

I like to think of myself as quite a polite and positive bloke. I don't believe I dish out criticism where it's not deserved, and equally I think I offer praise where it is deserved. Recently I had my say on Koenigsegg, and some of you agreed with me and some of you didn't. Now it is the turn of both Bentley, and Fast Lane Daily to face my criticism.

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

You really want a cool car but can't afford one, right? So you're waiting for some Toyobaru Twins to show up on the used lots. The only problem is there aren't enough new ones to ensure enough used ones to go around. And, oh yeah, even an Accord "would bend this thing over the sink and take what it wanted without pity" (Baruth's words, not mine). But what if I told you that you can get a Cadillac ATS with practically the same engine complete with turbo power, proven European refinement and it actually manages to be lighter than either the ATS or the Lexus IS and BMW 3-series competition, all for potentially less than $15 grand?

The Best of the Rest

Travelling the Natchez Trace in a 9-7X and a Baby Window Sticker

Newton photographed the 550 Spyder at CCC Manhattan. GRawesome took photos at an SVRA event. JawzX2 did some ice-racing on a bike. Louros installed a new steering wheel in his Mini and tested out a new lens. NinetyQ shared more photos from the Chicago Auto Show. Twinturbobmw attended C&C in Portland. J. David Buerk visited Katie's C&C. Jbh's buddy picked up a new WRX. Anima went to a drift event at Zandvoort. Bird shot black and white film at a drift event. Jqj213 took pictures at the Ideal Classic Car Show. BJohnson11's team completed their FSAE car. UGo Hawkeyes found the #28 Cummins Diesel Special at CONEXPO. Djmanila visited the NHRA museum. SCR bought a Mustang and Joe_Limon picked up an Outback. Roflcopter worked on the engine for his Z. The Swedish Bandit woke up his Firebird from it's hibernation and shared some photos of it. lmounce began lowering his Firebird. Bandit disassembled his carburetor and rebuilt it. Decay installed some more bits on his FR-S. JayhawkJake washed his car. Bugattatra bought a Legacy GT.

As always, If I've missed something and you would like me to include it, let me know.

Fun Discussions

There were several posts that asked questions and sparked some good discussion between Friday and Sunday. Take a peek and chime in on some of those listed below:

Just the #tips

Honorable Mentions

These posts have already been shared with Jalopnik directly but deserve to be mentioned again because they were first posted on Oppositelock:

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