Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hellcat Aerodynamics Might Just Take Your Breath Away

“If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.” ― Mario Andretti

Assuming you feel a need for speed, it may be of interest to you that Dodge has stepped up its game with the 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat. Not to be outdone by Ford's recent crop of Mustangs and Chevy's Corvette Stingray Supercar, the Hellcat boasts some serious power, reminding us of those muscle car rivalries of days gone by.

You can't really say, "Cars are fun again," because they've always been fun, but the Hellcat is certainly turning heads and making an impression.

CBS news anchor Dan Rather once quipped, "Americans will put up with anything as long as it doesn't block traffic." And you can be sure this feisty beast is not going to be blocking traffic.

Last week, posted a story by editor Michael Harding on how the Hellcat's aerodymics enable the car to surpass 200 miles per hour. That's breathtakingly fast, and there aren't a lot of places you can play at that speed. But it's nice to know if you need a little extra thrust, you've got it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why is there a time limit – in addition to a mileage limit – on motor oil?

Most vehicles carry a motor oil service-life recommendation that includes a duration of time in addition to a mileage distance. For example, your vehicle might call for an oil change every 5,000 miles or six months. It’s obvious that thousands of miles of driving will take its toll on engine oil, but less obvious is the role time plays in breaking down motor oil.

Even when you’re not driving, chemical changes take place within motor oil that lead to degradation and the need for an oil change. Oxidation is a prime culprit. The interaction between oxygen molecules and motor oil molecules naturally leads to chemical breakdown. Just as oxygen causes a cut apple to brown or exposed metal to rust, it breaks down base oils and reduces motor oil’s effectiveness. Although synthetic base-oil molecules are naturally much more resistant to oxidation than conventional base-oil molecules, they eventually succumb to oxidation’s attack. Oxidation can lead to increased oil viscosity, which negatively affects energy efficiency. It also causes the formation of harmful deposits and sludge.

Your vehicles are also subjected to temperature swings, even when not in use. Temperature swings cause condensation to form inside the engine, leading to water contamination. Not driving for extended periods – or taking short trips that don’t allow the engine to fully warm up – allows water to remain in the oil rather than evaporating and exiting through the tailpipe. Water contributes to engine corrosion.

When you do drive, contaminants form as natural byproducts of combustion. Acids lead to sludge formation and corrosion, and those acids and other contaminants continue to affect chemical changes in the oil, even while not driving.

Even though all motor oils have to eventually be changed regardless of mileage, high-quality synthetic oils – like AMSOIL synthetic motor oils – allow you to go longer between oil changes for maximum convenience and cost savings. Premium synthetic motor oils also offer increased resistance to oxidation for excellent engine protection, making them the right choice even if you don’t practice extended drain intervals. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are formulated with advanced chemicals that resist breakdown, disperse contaminants and clean internal parts to continue delivering outstanding performance and protection long after conventional oils have to be changed. Check out all AMSOIL synthetic motor oils for passenger cars/light trucks.

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil
XL Synthetic Motor Oil
OE Synthetic Motor Oil
European Car Synthetic Motor Oil

Photo credits: (c) Can Stock Photo

Monday, September 15, 2014

How Fast Does A Model T Go?

Henry Ford famously quipped that people could buy a Model T Ford in any color they wanted as long as it was black. My, how the world has changed. Black is still an option, but so is copper, silver, white, grey, orange, yellow, green, cobalt blue and aquamarine.

There are car collectors who still love their Model Ts though. One of our local car clubs here in Superior, WI did 120 miles of cruising this weekend, and a good time was had by all.

Not only have the colors of cars changed dramatically over the years, the speed at which they travel has likewise changed. It takes a lot less time to drive from New York to Boston than it did 100 years ago.

Not everyone has the same need for speed, but it's comforting to know you've got it when you need it. Here's a trivia factoid you may find interesting: When railroads began to carry passengers, there were great debates about their safety because some scientists proposed that if a train went faster than 25 miles per hour it would suck the air out of everyone's lungs and they would die.

In the event that you really were interested in knowing how fast the old Model T Fords went, you can Google it and it might lead you to a forum where Model T owners are discussing this very thing.

If you're wondering which motor oil to use for your Model T, you'll find the answer to that question somewhere else. In the event that you have a vehicle of more recent vintage, the best place to find the correct viscosity is the lookup guide on our home page of Check it out.

Friday, September 12, 2014

SEMA Feature of the Week: David Gutierrez DARK300

David Gutierrez’s 2007 Chrysler 300, dubbed DARK300, is unlike any other on the scene. Appearances at big-name car shows have earned awards at every 2014 show he’s attended, including the Los Angeles DUB Show where competition is always fierce. This is due in large part to the uniqueness of the long wheel base body, which added 6 inches and over 10 cubic feet of interior room. The modifications list is extensive, evidence to the fact that Gutierrez left no stone unturned when seeking the very best for his vision. His efforts paid off; he’s landed photo shoots for advertisements, a feature spot on Chrysler’s Facebook page and gained over 3,000 likes on Instagram in less than two hours. To top it all off, DARK300 will be seen in an upcoming feature film later this year.

Gutierrez is now preparing DARK300 for the SEMA Show as a feature vehicle for XIX Wheels, and approached AMSOIL to ensure his engine performs as well as the rest of his ride looks. We caught up with Gutierrez to get an idea of where it all began, and what it’s like to own a ride that’s about to make its Hollywood debut.

 Is this your first project/show vehicle?

This is. I’ve owned plenty of cars before this one and have always done little upgrades or modifications to make it ‘mine’, but I had my children early in life and always had other financial responsibilities to take care of first. Now that my kids are older I have more time and money to really build a car to my liking.

What drew you to the Chrysler 300 model?

When Chrysler first presented the 300 to the public I was immediately drawn to the look of the car. It seems to me to have the perfect balance of luxury and with a look of meanness to it. It is a very comfortable car to drive, whether it’s just down the street or road trip to Las Vegas!

Yours is a rare long wheel base 300. How did your partnership with Chrysler & Accubuilt come to be?

Not very many people know that this was actually an option that Chrysler offered for the 2007 and 2008 300’s. Chrysler wanted to get their foot in the door in the livery service market. To do this they needed to compete with Lincoln Town Cars and the BMW 7 series. The long wheel base gives a total of 46.2 inches of rear seat leg room, 10.2 cubic feet of additional interior space, wider rear door openings for easy entrance & exit and many other added optional features that the regular 300 doesn’t offer.

What is it about this vehicle that makes it ‘you’?

There are so many things that I've done to the car to add my own personal touch. One of the biggest I would say is my ‘Day of the Dead’ girl logo. It has been custom etched into the front emblem, the trunk wing, the door sills and many other locations on the car. It follows the ‘dark' theme that the car has, not necessarily evil but certainly leaning toward the ominous.

Is this your first time attending the SEMA show?

It is and I am very excited to be able to attend! It is a great feeling to know that others feel that something you have done is worth showing at such an important show such as SEMA.

2014 has been a good year for taking home car show awards and trophies. How many are you up to, and which one means the most to you?

At a quick glance I have been awarded over 20 trophies, plaques or certificates. One of the ones that stand out to me was from this year’s Extreme Autofest in Anaheim. The competition was very steep that day, there were many very nice looking cars and for them to award me a trophy that day was an amazing experience.

Can you tell us about the DARK300’s film debut?

My DARK300 will be in the Magnet Films release of the ABC’s of Death 2 on October 31st. It is a small part, but again for the director to personally ask for my car to be in the film is such a great feeling.

If you could select any car in the world to customize and modify to your specs, what would it be and why?

Hmmm, there are so many choices!! I think a 1931 Ford Model A would be something that I would like to work on. I would make it a Rat Rod but with my own personal touches.

Why did you choose AMSOIL? Any favorite AMSOIL product?

My whole family has been using AMSOIL products in all of our cars for as long as I can remember. I’ve never heard any complaints from them about any AMSOIL products. AMSOIL’s 100% synthetic oil has always worked great!

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that describes you?

I’d rather be looked at as the guy who’d try anything, rather than the guy who did nothing.

AMSOIL under the hood:
10W-30 Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil
Absolute Efficiency oil filter
Signature Series Multi-Vehicle ATF
Severe Gear 75W-90 Gear Lube
Anti-freeze & Engine Coolant
Dominator Coolant Boost
Synthetic Brake Fluid

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bringing It All Back Home: AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour Visits Youngstown

It was a pair of all-Ohio days for the AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour. When they rolled out of Cincinnati Monday morning they headed to the opposite corner of Ohio for a destination Tour Director Jerry Dixey calls one of his favorite places in the United States: his own back yard. Yes, Mary Ann and Jerry decided that being this close to home they ought to give The Dynamat Tour a very special memory, a Dixey Picnic.

With Jerry on the road the heavy lifting was left for Mary Ann who recruited her friend Dawn Damron. It was a beautiful drive that included a little excursion through Amish country. When they arrived at suppertime, even Jerry’s mother Barbara Dixey and brother Jack joined in the festivities which included a great meal of sloppy joes, vegetarian chili and tasty desserts. Jerry gave everyone a tour of his garages, toy boxes and house. The road warriors had a chance to see that Jerry not only enjoys talking about cars, he’s also a collector, albeit on a slightly smaller scale than some of the incredible collections he’s had the privilege of sharing over the years in other places and spaces.

A lot of folks don’t realize that before the Road Tour carved a chunk out of his life Jerry’s time was primary spent running a business called Classic Automobilia, a company that he and Mary Ann started in 1989. While the showroom is still filled with nostalgia and automobilia. Jerry even showed the Road Tourians his soap box derby collection and the many pedal cars he’s acquired over the years. Everyone enjoyed the diner-themed showroom.

Next stop: Snyder’s Antique Auto in nearby New Springfield, Ohio. Snyder’s has been in business for over 50 years. The company was started by Don Snyder Sr. who along with Jerry’s father John Dixey and a few others started the Model T Ford Club of Mahoning County. Jerry’s passion for cars is in the his blood as he grew up going to antique auto shows in his Great Grandfather’s 1926 Model T Ford station wagon that his father restored in the early 1960’s, a vehicle he still owns. Don Synder III, who now runs the company, gave everyone a tour of their facility where they supply Model T and Model A parts to folks around the world. After this they visited the car collection of Don Snyder Jr., an amazing collection of almost 100 vehicles. Don is a fan of the early lightweight factory race cars of the 60’s. They were able to see the very first Ford Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt #100 which was the last one made.

Other stops Tuesday include #1 Performance Center in Columbiana, Ohio and the collection of Norm and Cynthia Anderson in Canfield, Ohio. Tuesday’s various stops in the Youngstown area culminated in the weekly Tuesday night cruise at the Austintown Senior Center. The Mahoning Valley Old Car Club coordinates the cruise each week with Jerry’s good friends Dick and Laurie Nard handling the DJ duties. As with everywhere else they go, the Road Tour vehicles turn heads and the Road Tourian enjoy seeing the local cars. They were even ask to parade in front of the DJ stand as a group on our way out of the cruise, a great way to wrap up this special time in Jerry Dixey’s home town, Youngstown, Ohio.

Till next! Join the Road Tour and see where the cars really are.