How to Choose a Vehicle That’s Right for You

choose carIt takes a while before people can finally close in on the vehicle they both want and need and the experts can completely understand why.

They may be no real estate property or shares of stock but cars are an investment of their own and not to mention a commitment. They do not come cheap even if a number are considered more affordable than others, that and the fact that they have to be given proper, adequate and regular maintenance.

It’s therefore no longer surprising that many people can take so much time before they can finally decide and purchase a car. To help you with such endeavor, our car expert friends have gladly dished some tips for us. Read on.

  • Prioritize your needs. – It’s necessary to begin this list with this tip. After all, why buy a vehicle that cannot serve the purpose or which it has been acquired? It’s not uncommon for people to have their eyes and hearts set on a particular model or brand but above all that, needs have to be prioritizes. For instance, the number of passengers it needs to hold, the type of roads it will be exposed to, leg space, cargo space, fuel economy and so on and so forth.
  • Acknowledge your budget. – The reasons are obvious. Choosing a car is massively governed by two things, the first we’ve discussed previously and then the money. How much can and are you willing to spend?
  • Choose one: new or pre-loved. – This ultimately depends on one’s preferences and budget and both options have their own pros and cons and costs.
  • Identify your lifestyle. – We all come from various walks of life. We vary in careers and hobbies and day to day activities. All these and more combined will point to a certain type of lifestyle and one that our chosen cars must be able to complement well. For example, someone who loves to hike and camp may want to get a car that can travel up and down the mountain and its rocky slopes as well as be able to carry a lot of load.
  • Think long term. – Car experts also want people to realize that because vehicles can span a certain number of years, we must also purchase with that in mind especially since we’ll have to spend on maintenance throughout those years of owning it regardless of how often we use it.

Showstopper Spotlight: The Custom 1970 Camaro

1970_chevy_camaro_rsIt’s not every day that we encounter something grand and impressive enough to be considered a showstopper but the attendees of the annual SEMA Las Vegas show were in for a treat when Chevrolet unveiled its Custom 1970 Camaro RS. Not only did it steal the spotlight but it definitely stole everybody’s hearts.

As Jim Campbell, Chevrolet USA’s Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, notes in an official press release statement, the hyper blue metallic 1970 Camaro fulfills the brand’s aim to “endlessly fuel the dreams of enthusiasts with endless possibilities be it in a classic resto-mod concept Camaro, a vintage truck or street rod”.

The two-door coupe muscle car was fitted with the LT4 crate engine, the most powerful from General Motors to date with its staggering 650 horsepower, 650 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 155 mph. With so much power, manufacturers had to install Z06-based brakes at both ends of the coupe behind the aluminum wheels for maximum safety and optimal stopping control.

The Custom 1970 Camaro comes with a four-link setup, a wet-sump kit, a T-56 Super Magnum six-speed manual gearbox, aluminum cylinder heads, aluminum pistons, titanium intake valves, independent and overhauled front suspension, coil-overs at both the front and the rear, complementing air conditioning, front-end accessory drive kits

The 1970 Camaro was given a hyper blue metallic finish, a color that it only shares with the Gen 6 Camaros featured together at the SEMA show. To further amp its visual and give it a modern flare, white cross body stripes were added alongside LED headlights and taillights, and 19 inch polished aluminum wheels.

Once inside the vehicle, one can immediately notice the black stock cabin that features custom-trimmed leather seats reminiscent of a third-generation Camaro. There too can be found a six-point roll cage, as well as a custom instrument panel wrapped in the same custom-trimmed leather that comes with new gauges to work perfectly with the updated electronic systems.

The annual SEMA shows may have churned out unique machines year after year but in this case, the Custom 1970 Camaro RS managed to steal the spotlight from everyone else and without any difficulty. In fact, it was unveiled in 2015 and yet people still clamor over it. That in itself says a lot. Add to it the accolade of being the perfect marriage between old and new, classic and modern. It’s definitely hard to forget. More at

Tire and Wheel Care Tips

tire careA lot of people put so much emphasis on engines when it comes to car care and maintenance. Not surprising as it pumps out power after all. But that doesn’t mean that we can just overlook the other parts of a vehicle. They may serve varying purposes and work differently but they’re all important nonetheless. Perhaps two of the most overlooked would have to be the tires and wheels, so today here are some tips.

Now, let’s first establish that overlooking tire and wheel care is not only silly but also dangerous. These two suffer from intense wear and tear as they are directly in contact with the road. They need regular maintenance and upkeep, even way more than your engine does. Got it? Now on to the tips.

  • Know how to store your wheels. Before putting them away, make sure to clean, wash and dry them first to avoid rust and deteriorating their finish.
  • Ensure that your tires have the right pressure. A poorly or inadequately inflated tire poses safety threats and consumes more fuel as it works up the engine more because of its higher rolling resistance. Also remember that the right pressure isn’t the one on the tires. That number constitutes the maximum force that they can handle. Check the car manual for the appropriate digits.
  • Regularly have your wheel realigned. Misaligned wheels cause uneven wear on the tires and age them faster which can be very costly. Driving also becomes rough and dangerous as the car could stir in a different direction, brakes won’t latch on as strongly and vibrations could be felt in the steering wheel.
  • Wash wheels and tires at least once every four weeks. That’s a month tops. This is because brake dust accumulates over time and settles on the metal. As the wheel heat up and cool off when driving, brake dust, road salt, dirt and grime can get baked into the metal thus hardening itself into the coating. Eventually, this corrodes the wheels, makes them look ugly and ages them faster.
  • Be mindful when buying cleaning and polishing products. Some products in the market may contain components that are too acidic which causes the rims to dull out in the long run after continued use. Read product reviews prior to every purchase and read up on that manual for crying out loud. Manufacturers have the do’s and don’ts in there.

Is the 1967 Mercury Cougar a Good Vintage Vehicle?

1967-chevy-camaroWhen choosing the car of the year, Motor Trend, the leading automobile magazine for decades, requires for the machine to “have that multiplex combination of engineering, styling and market timing that when perfectly enjoined together create progress sufficient to set an industry trend.” One of the few vehicles that earned such accolade was the 1967 Mercury Cougar. But how good was it really to deserve such praise?

It is important to take note that the ‘60s was the golden age of muscle cars. Manufacturers have taken their A game when it comes to designing and releasing models during the decade so it’s safe to say that competition was pretty tough.

At the time, Ford’s Mustang was already a massive commercial success. Mercury wanted to ride the wave by creating a muscle car that would tailor and cater to the side of luxury and class but still with the macho appeal of a sports car. With that, it created its very own plush pony car.

In terms of visual appeal, the 1967 Mercury Cougar is a total scene stealer. Its signature “electric shaver”, to the divided grille treatment that concealed both its headlights and T-Bird sequential taillights, not only set it apart from other cars but also proved to be its most striking element. It made it distinct.  Its wheelbase even clocked at 111 inches making it 3 inches longer than the Mustang.

The interiors were just as grand as its exteriors. It came with a simulated wood-grained dashboard, a T-type center automatic transmission shifter, an overhead console, black-faced competition instruments and toggle switches, a two pod dash layout and console along the steering wheel as well as vinyl or leather upholstery.

For a smoother and softer ride, manufacturers gave it softer suspension bushings. The upper control A-arm at the front was mounted over with coil springs while the rear was given leaf springs.

The 1967 Mercury Cougar was released in two models: the base and the XR-7 with the latter being the more prominent and sought after among collectors due to its two-door notchback hardtop and a performance package called the “GT”.

Where power is concerned,  the vehicle does not disappoint. It came with either the 200 horsepower 289 cu in two-barrel V8 engine or the 335 horsepower 390 cu in four-barrel V8 engine.

So is the 1967 Mercury Cougar a good vintage vehicle? It’s not because its’ more than that. It’s great.
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Surefire Signs of Engine Trouble

engine troubleWhen something’s wrong under the hood, it’s definitely trouble. But how do we know the difference between an engine gone haywire and our faulty assumptions? We asked the expert team at Classic Car Labs to orient us about the topic and they gave us the following telltale signs that we’ve got an engine trouble. Read up. It might just save you someday.

  • Overheating

When the engine overheats or even heats up unusually fast than it used to then pay attention. The weather is one thing but we assume that we’re all accustomed to how our cars work by now. Oftentimes, this is as simple as forgetting to add enough water or replacing the coolant. Sometimes it’s the effect of a leak or an already faulty cooling system.

  • Smoke

Regardless of color and smell, smoke is an absolute red flag to a busted engine. It can anywhere be from a clogged air filter, a malfunctioning emission system, a blown head gasket, worn valves, a cracked cylinder head, the ignition timing could be off or something is leaking. It can be one thing or many things at once but all are serious.

  • Noise

A very common issue among many car owners is the knocking sound that they hear coming from the engine. Of all the items in this list, this is perhaps the most daunting as it can be very expensive to fix and sometimes will require having to bid goodbye to the engine altogether as the camshaft is no longer working in time with the pistons.

  • Shaking

Most cars have a soft purr to them, so soft that sometimes you barely notice it when you go for a spin. So when the engine shakes violently then it’s an obvious sign that something could be wrong. Now what could it be? Many things to be honest and it can range from simple to severe. Sometimes it is as simple as having to change worn out spark plugs and cracked or loose hoses. Other times it can be much worse and a little expensive to fix such as the motor mounts, fuel intake system and the timing belt.

Engines are a huge part of our vehicles and they no doubt play an important tool when it comes to their functionality. So when something looks amiss, call in the experts or bring your machine to a shop immediately says Classic Car Labs. We ought to prevent things from getting worse.

Famous Fictional Vehicles

harry-potter-angliaWe all love a good story as much as we turn heads for that eye-catching vehicle down the street. But have you ever wondered which machines from the fictional realm drove the real world insane and got all of us bent hoping they’d be brought to life by some act of magic (or science)? If you did then here’s ClassicCarLabs’ list of everyone’s top favorites.

  • Flying Ford Anglia (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

We’ve all dreamt of a flying car but one that has the ability to be invisible and survive a killer tree? Now that’s hot! The light blue Flying Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe in the phenomenal blockbuster Harry Potter franchise stole hearts not only of avid Potterheads but car aficionados alike.

The small economy compact car was built in response to the energy crisis after the 1956 closure of the Suez Canal. It rode on a 90.5-inch wheelbase, was powered by a 997 cc inline-four engine, was capable of a top speed of 75 to77 miles per hour and had gas mileage of up to 43 miles per gallon. But that’s real life, in the books and movies it’s enchanted to fit a maximum of 8 people, 6 trunks and 2 owls.

  • Herbie (The Love Bug)

A car that drives by itself? That’s the dream! But one that’s got the heart of a racing champion and a trusted friend? Even better! Herbie has been a prominent character in five major Disney films before its last appearance in the big screen in 2005. What makes it endearing is that it’s able to feel emotions and has characteristics only exhibited by humans.

The 1963 Volkswagen Beetle is distinguished by red, white and blue racing stripes from front to back bumper, a racing-style number “53” on the front luggage compartment lid, doors, and engine lid, and a yellow-on-black ’63 California license plate with the lettering “OFP 857”.

  • The Mystery Machine (Scooby Doo)

This vehicle may seem like too simple compared to the first two on this list but for the millenials who grew up and spent most of their childhood in the 90s, it’s “the it” car. It’s spacious, it’s cool and it brings you places where you solve mysteries and kick (criminal) butt! also notes of its other useful, practical and pro-detective features. For instance, it comfortably fits tables, chairs and benches at the back. The walls are lined with various computer equipment and paraphernalia with a matching antenna that goes on top of the roof. It even feels like the perfect “I need this” genie as it always manages to have the necessary items that the Mystery Inc team needs like ropes, lanterns, ladders and the like.

Remember These When Buying a 1967 Mercury Cougar

Known as one of the best muscle cars the world has ever laid eyes on, the 1967 Mercury Cougar is high on everyone’s “must have” list especially if you’re the avid collector and automobile aficionado.

Initially released in the September of 1996, it was tagged as a spin-off of the ever popular Mustang but was built with a 3 inch longer wheelbase. Its 2-door hardtop coupe body with its distinct split grille vertical bars that concealed the headlamps and taillights known as the “electric shaver” made it a certified head turner.

Power-wise, the 1967 Mercury Cougar came with a manual 3-speed gearbox. Manufacturers made it available in two models as the “base” with a 200 horsepower 289 cubic inch two-barrel V8 engine and the “XR-7” with a 335 horsepower 390 cubic inch four-barrel V8 engine. They even gave it deep-foam bucket seats for good measure. All these earned the vehicle the acknowledgement as the 1967 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

Back in 1996, the Cougar sold for around $2,000. At present, the vehicle can fetch a price between $9,300 to $23,600 or more depending on its condition, mileage and other upgrades if any. If you’re planning to get one for yourself, we’ve got a few words of advice.

1967_mercury_cougarBeware of misleading ads. You know sales talk and merchants do it unconsciously or not. It’s not at all bad but what you should be guarded about are misleading and fraudulent ones. Information and details should be direct and straightforward. There should be detailed information about ownership and usage history, total mileage run and the likes. Be inquisitive too. Don’t be afraid to spat questions.

Don’t tolerate rust. The same is true for other damages and signs of wear and tear. A spot may be treatable but not an entire roof or floor. Many people think that flipping a vintage car is easy but it’s very costly up to a point where it becomes more expansive than had you bought one in good condition in the first place.

Know the pricing. When canvassing for available 1967 Mercury Cougar models in the market, make sure that you have an idea as to how pricing can differ. Comparing digits is a must especially if you want to make the most out of your cash and to also maximize the spending power of your dollar or pound. Research goes a long way.

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