Karl on Cars

Let's Talk Cars, Motorcycles and Other Life-Changing Events

2019 Ford GT: Fully Wrapped with Paint Protection Film

A freshly-wrapped Ford GT at Envious Detailing in Orange, California

I’ve discovered the beauty of Paint Protection Film, or PPF, over the past 2 years. As a means to protect paint on specialized cars, like my 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series, paint protection film can eliminate damage from small rocks or flying debris, and even greatly lessen damage from larger items that may impact your vehicle.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Paint Protection Film Door
Properly adding paint protection film to any car requires care and precision.

Paint protection film also helps avoid the inevitable dings and scratches that occur on every vehicle, even if it sits in a supposedly safe area and isn’t driven regularly. How many times has a belt buckle or a button on a pair of jeans rubbed against a parked car in a garage or at a show?

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Paint Protection Film Wheel Well
Paint protection film wraps around body panels to ensure complete coverage

I try to be very careful with my Ford GT Carbon Series, but I know it’s going to be subjected to everything from excited cars fans at the local Cars & Coffee to my family members walking past it in our cramped 3-car garage. Knowing it has PPF helps me relax, a little, when I consider these circumstances. And while a Ford GT is an obvious candidate for this kind of protection, it makes sense for any specialized vehicle with potential long-term value or appreciation.

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Ford GT Beauty Shots Series 1

2019 Ford GT Palomar Mountain
A drive up Mount Palomar and lucky timing resulted in this

If the image above looks familiar, it’s also the (current) header on my website. This shot came at the end of a drive up Mount Palomar in San Diego County, which was actually my first serious drive in my 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series. I’ll chronicle that experience soon, but it was a gloomy day to be in Ford’s supercar…until I reached the summit and broke through the clouds. Then it was epic.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series
My Ford GT on Ortega Highway, with some saturated color thrown in

Anyway, when you have a car with stunning design at the level of the new Ford GT it’s impossible to publish too many photographs. So like a super-sized version of Instagram, I’m going to start doing a regular series of posts that simply show off the New Ford GT’s amazing body lines. The photo above shows my Ford GT in Track Mode with the rear wing deployed. Also a bit of color saturation to emphasize its Liquid Blue.

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The New Ford GT: How to Fully Appreciate Its Capabilities

New Ford GT Black Orange Comparison Shoot

The new Ford GT is more capable than most drivers will ever know

I’ve driven a new Ford GT on multiple occasions, including its press introduction in April of 2017 and during the Kelley Blue Book Ford GT comparison test in May of 2018. During that comparison test we took all three generations of Ford GT to Lake Elsinore on Ortega Highway in South Orange County.

New Ford GT Overlook Roadhouse Comparison Shoot

Our shooting location took us out along Ortega Highway for 2 days in a row

Ortega Highway, also known as State Route 74, is like many roadways in Southern California. It’s a twisting two-lane ribbon of pavement that could, theoretically, offer an amazing sports car (or motorcycle) experience. I say theoretically because Ortega Highway, like most California roads, is overrun with traffic congestion most of the day. And night. But after the final day of shooting the Ford GT comparison I drove the new Ford GT back to Irvine on Ortega Highway, and the roadway was uncharacteristically useful…

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Ford GT: A Comparison of Three Generations

Ford GT Generations Lookout Comparison Test

Bringing together three generations of Ford GT is a rare opportunity

In May of 2017 Kelley Blue Book performed a comparison of the three generations of Ford GT, meaning the original Ford GT40, the second-generation 2005-2006 Ford GT, and the new Ford GT. I arranged the comparison test using the black-and-orange West Coast Ford GT press car, plus my 2005 Midnight Blue Ford GT and a Gulf livery Superformance Ford GT40 from their local offices here in Irvine, California.

This wasn’t the most original idea — it’s been done a couple times by other publications — but just because something has been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done again, and better.

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Two-Wheel Tuesday: 1990 Honda RC30

Honda RC30 by cars
The 1990 Honda RC30 was a limited-product race bike for the street

For this edition of Two-Wheeled Tuesday I’m going to talk about one of the few vehicle’s I’ve let go that I wish I still had. The 1990 Honda RC30 was a very special motorcycle indeed. First, it was only offered for one year in the U.S., and only 300 RC30s were sold that year. This means finding a Honda RC30 for sale, in any shape, is challenging.

Honda RC30 Rock Store
Every time I took my RC30 to the Rock Store it got quite a reaction

If you are lucky enough to find an RC30 for sale you’re likely to find one that’s been heavily modified. These bikes were so capable in stock form that many owners used them as club racers, with all the modifications that come with that duty. My Honda RC30 had less than 10,000 miles and was completely original. I had guys tell me to swap out the bike’s exhaust canister. Not for performance, but to keep it somewhere safe. “If that gets damaged you’ll never find another one.”

Honda RC30 Tank
Every aspect of the Honda RC30 was unique, even its fuel tank design

All Honda RC30s were built at Honda’s race shop (versus a traditional assembly line) and everything from the 750cc V4 engine’s titanium connecting rods to the “Big Bang” 360-degree firing order was done for maximum performance. There were simply no compromises in this motorcycle’s quest for power and performance.

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Ford GT: It Looks Good in So Many Shades of Blue

New-Ford-GT-Liquid-Blue-European-Shoot

You simply can’t go wrong with a Ford GT in blue, any shade of blue

Blue is one of my favorite colors for cars. Just about any shade of blue on just about any car is okay by me, and from the looks of how many Ford GT buyers are picking this shade I’m not alone in my preference.

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S Front Miami Blue

A Porsche 911 Turbo S in Miami Blue further proves my point about blue cars

After much consternation I chose Liquid Blue for my Ford GT. I almost went with a custom color, Petty Blue, but with so many other people picking custom blue colors from the medium, non-metallic Porsche blue family (Mexico, Miami, Riviera) I figured everyone would assume I’d also picked one of those. Paying for a custom color only to have it confused with other customer colors didn’t appeal to me.

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Flash Back Friday: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE

2018-Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon-Lake-Elsinore-Front

The 2018 Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon looks almost as good as a Ford GT

My 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is actually the third Dodge Challenger I’ve owned. As featured a few weeks ago, I had a 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye when I was in college in Colorado. That car was pretty cool, but as fun as it was to drive I always wanted a big-block Dodge Challenger, preferably a 440 or 426 Hemi version from 1970 or 1971.

1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye Front

The Challenger’s body damage was not extreme, but every panel had a noticeable flaw

About 13 years after selling my 1973 Dodge Challenger Rally I found another Challenger while browsing eBay. This was an all-original, one-owner car with every single feature I wanted. First, it was a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE, which immediately makes it a relatively rare and well-equipped car. There were plenty of Dodge Challenger R/Ts produced, and a fair amount of Dodge Challenger SEs were made, too. But there are very few original Challengers that featured both packages in one car.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT SE Front Sunset

My 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE had every factory feature I wanted

Though I didn’t know it at the time, this car was also a Chrysler executive ordered car, which is why it was so loaded with features. When I saw the eBay listing I was thrilled to see this Challenger’s list of factory features: 440 engine, air conditioning, AM/FM radio, rear defrost, rim-blow steering wheel, chrome trim (mirrors and windows) and hood pins. And, best of all, it was painted my favorite vintage Challenger color: Plum Crazy Purple.

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2019 Ford GT Carbon Series World Debut at SEMA

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series at SEMA

The 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series debuted at SEMA in Leadfoot Gray

I reported on the new 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series when it debuted in Leadfoot Gray at the SEMA show. For that story I simply used the Ford GT press photos, but I was on the SEMA show floor when they pulled the wraps off the Carbon Series, and I captured both photos and video during the process.

 

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The Dodge Challenger: America’s Porsche 911?

Dodge Challenger Porsche 911 Auto Show Girl

These two models share timeless styling that hasn’t changed, and hopefully never does

Few cars posses a style that can hold up over a single decade, let alone multiple decades. One of those cars is the Porsche 911. The 911 has certainly evolved since its introduction in 1963, but the sports car’s basic profile and proportions remain unchanged after more than 50 years. I’d argue that at this point Porsche can’t change the 911 without risking a massive revolt from the car’s dedicated fanbase.

Porsche 911 Vintage Show Monterey

The Porsche 911’s basic shape and proportions have aged gracefully

I’d make the same argument about the Dodge Challenger. Unlike the Porsche 911, the Dodge Challenger doesn’t have 5 decades of uninterrupted production. Dodge’s muscle car was only in production for 5 years before it vanished for 35 years (and no, the Mitsubishi “Challenger” from the 1980s doesn’t count…).

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Two-Wheeled Tuesday: Triumph X75 Hurricane

1975 Triumph Trident 1973 Triumph Hurricane

The 1975 Triumph Trident and 1973 Triumph Hurricane are two of my favorite bikes

For a long time, the Triumph X75 Hurricane was my ultimate dream motorcycle. As previously noted, I grew up in a house full of classic British motorcycles. Sure, 1960s and 1970s BSAs and Triumphs weren’t quite as “classic” in the 1980s. They were mostly thought of as old, leaky, unreliable has-beens compared to the more advanced Japanese motorcycles of the day.

1973 Triumph Hurricane Dodge Challenger

The Hurricane’s fiberglass bodywork flowed from its tank to the side panels

But any enthusiast with foresight knew, even back then, these bikes told a compelling emotional story flush with timeless design elements and an engaging man-machine interface. And within the massive spectrum of classic British two-wheelers there were bikes like the Vincent Black Shadow, the Norton Commando and the Triumph X75 Hurricane. I appreciate all legendary British motorcycles, but I personally loved the Triumph X75 Hurricane.

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