Karl on Cars

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

Month: June 2019

Flash Back Friday: 1989 Dodge Shadow Shelby CSX

1989 Dodge Shadow CSX Bandimere Speedway Website

I purchased this 32,000-mile 1989 Shelby CSX in 1993 for just $5,500.

Last week’s Flash Back Friday featured my 1987 Dodge Shadow Shelby CSX, which might have you thinking I’ve made a typo above and I’m just double-posting about the same car. But no, my 1989 Shelby CSX was an entirely different car. Sure, they shared the same starting point (a Dodge Shadow) and they used the same basic drivetrain (an intercooled, turbocharged 2.2-liter inline-4 mated to a 5-speed manual transmission) but that’s where the similarities ended.

1989 Dodge Shadow CSX Plymouth GTX Bandimere Speedway

The CSX and GTX made a great pair during Club Clash events at Bandimere Speedway

It’s worth noting that Shelby also offered a 1988 version of this car, but where the first year (1987) CSX was a black-and-gray model offered with an intercooled 2.2-liter to consumers, the 1988 Shelby CSX-T was missing the intercooler and was only offered to Thrifty (thus the “T” in the name) rental car agencies as a throwback to the 1966 Shelby GT350H rental car Mustang. The 1988 engine was still rated at the same 175 horsepower as the 1987 model, and 1000 were produced each year.

1989 Dodge Shadow CSX Bandimere Speedway Profile

The 1989 Shelby CSX had more aggressive bodywork than the earlier versions

The 1989 Shelby CSX featured several upgrades from the ’87-’88 versions. First, the intercooler returned to the turbocharged 2.2-liter engine, ensuring more power under a wider range of ambient temperature. Second, the engine featured an entirely new “variable-nozzle turbo” technology. The 1989 Shelby CSX is officially called the “CSX-VNT” though I never heard anyone refer to it that way the entire 4 years I owned mine. This was also the rarest of the three Shelby CSX model years, with only 500 produced.

Read More

Driving the New Ford GT at the Press Launch

New Ford GT Red and Silver Press Launch

Driving the new Ford GT on the track confirmed its rumored capabilities…

After arriving at Utah Motorsports Campus in my 2005 Ford GT, and shooting some photos of it with a new Frozen White Ford GT, it was time to drive. The morning weather was still being typical Springtime in the Rockies, which meant bright sunlight one minute and overcast skies with light snow flurries the next. Both generations of Ford GT liked the cool temperatures, but it made things a bit nerve-wracking when driving the cars on the track.

The weather during the afternoon street drive was mercifully sunny and stable. The deserted roads east of Tooele provided the perfect driving conditions to explore our Liquid Red Ford GT press car. The GT lived up to its billing as a lightweight, barely-street-legal race car. The most compelling aspect was the immediate throttle response provided by the pre-boosted 3.5-liter V6 when placing the GT in “Sport” mode. Feedback through the Ford GT’s steering wheel and seat-of-pants was also pretty amazing, providing a level of confidence few cars offer at any price.

Read More

New Ford GT: Race Car for the Street Status Confirmed

New Ford GT 2005 Ford GT Utah Karl Brauer

Having both generations of Ford GT to experience during the press launch provided great perspective

When the new Ford GT press launch was over I had almost everything I needed to understand the GT’s capabilities and purpose. I say “almost” because there was an additional dimension to the GT’s engineering brilliance I had yet to explore, but I didn’t know this at the time…

Sure, I’d driven it on the street pretty aggressively, and I’d driven it on the track even more aggressively. But it was my first experience in Ford’s half-million dollar supercar on a track I’d never driven. To say I left plenty of reserve in my approach as I piloted the new Ford GT in both locations is an understatement.

Read More

Two-Wheel Tuesday: Motorcycles are Cool, too

1975 Triumph Trident T160 Karl Bandana

I mastered my non-corporate look about 30 years ago. This photo is from 1990

At a recent press event I used a bandana on my head after driving on the track with a helmet. Normally I would wear a traditional hat in that situation, but I didn’t have one with me. The only head covering in my bag was a bandana, which I’ve used to protect my scalp from sun and wind for over 30 years. I usually wear something over my head after wearing a helmet, both to protect my scalp from the elements and to protect my appearance from helmet hair.

Karl Brauer Bandana

A “bandana-wearing-Karl-Brauer” caused quite a stir at a recent press event…

However, this was the first time I’d worn a bandana at a press event, and it sent the other automotive journalists into quite a tizzy. “Dude, when are we gonna start rappin’?” “Yo man, where’s the smack down?” “Karl? I didn’t recognize you! You need to get a tattoo now.” Get a tattoo?…

1971 BSA Firebird Scrambler Karl Brauer

The classic British bike bug bit early; I was riding them all through college

Anyway, these and several similar comments were made in good fun, though it reminded me I’ve been doing the corporate thing so long none of my current industry colleagues have an awareness of my motorcycling past — and all the “hooligan-ism” that goes along with it.

Karl Brauer Talking Motorcycles Bandana

Check out the ultra-cool Honda RC30 at this motorcycle gathering in Denver in 1993

Read More

Finally, I Get to Drive the New Ford GT

New Ford GT Press Launch Karl Brauer First Drive

My first time driving the new Ford GT left quite an impression

After driving 700 miles to Salt Lake city (through rain, snow flurries and hail) in my 2005 Ford GT I checked into my hotel and went to bed. The next day I hit the car wash before meeting Doug DeMuro and shooting a video of my car. This was part of a 2005 Ford GT versus 2017 Ford GT comparison Doug was creating for his YouTube channel. After spending a few hours shooting with Doug we traveled to the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah for the new Ford GT’s press launch opening dinner. A few feet from our table an original GT40 was parked next to a new Ford GT, setting the stage for a celebration of Ford’s multi-generational supercar.

New Ford GT Competition GT40

An original Ford GT40 sat next to a new Ford GT Competition Series during dinner

Read More

Flash Back Friday: 1987 Dodge Shadow Shelby CSX

1987 Shelby CSX Daytona Speedway

A road trip to Daytona Beach, Florida, was quick and painless in the Shelby CSX

In the spring of 1989, about a year after I graduated high school, I remained a die hard big block, V8 muscle car advocate. At that point my experiences in 440-powered Mopars had defined my automotive enthusiasm, which meant I was a big believer in the “no replacement for displacement” mantra. Then my dad commented he was going to the Dodge dealership in Boulder to look at a used Dodge Shadow. I distinctly remember telling him, “If you have to buy one of those, at least get a turbo version.” In my head imagined an underpowered compact car, struggling to maintain 55 mph on westbound Interstate 70 as it plodded from my hometown of Golden to the scenic overlooks on Lookout Mountain.

1987 Shelby CSX Profile

The Shelby CSX also took me to Spokane, Washington

A few hours later my dad returned and asked if I’d help him retrieve his new (slightly used) Dodge Shadow. I asked if it was a turbo version and he said, “yes” so I figured it would be interesting to see what he got. When we arrived at the dealership he pointed to a 2-door, black-and-gray Dodge Shadow with alloy wheels, a power-bulge hood and a blue pinstripe. It looked…cool! With notable exasperation I asked, “That’s what you bought?!”

Read More

Old Ford GT Crashes New Ford GT Press Launch

2005 Ford GT versus New Ford GT

Driving my 2005 Ford GT to the new Ford GT press launch was a unique opportunity

In late April 2017 the much-anticipated new Ford GT was finally going to be available for automotive journalists to drive at its global press launch. Up until that point the only experience most folks, even industry insiders, had with the new Ford GT involved staring at it behind roped off sections of Ford’s auto show displays. I was fortunate enough to actually sit in the new GT at the 2017 Detroit Auto a few months earlier, but that was only for a few glorious, stationary minutes.

2005 Ford GT Utah State Line

The first half of my drive to the Ford GT press launch was trouble free

When I received notice of the new Ford GT press launch at Utah Motorsports Campus, about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City, I immediately knew how I was getting to the event. As I’ve stated many times, the 2005-2006 Ford GT is one of the best long-distance supercars ever created. It’s quick, it’s comfortable, and its easy going nature places almost no physical demands on the driver. It will even clear 24-plus mpg if you keep it in sixth gear, as 2,000 rpm translates to 80 mph. Plus I was pretty sure I’d be the only journalist showing up to the new Ford GT press launch in his own Ford GT

Read More

Sparco Race Accessories for Your New Ford GT

The new Ford GT is closely tied to a successful race car that’s already won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And like most high-performance street cars with a racing pedigree, Ford is encouraging buyers of the new Ford GT to exercise it at closed course race facilities. Among these encouraging factors is a complete set of race accessories designed and engineered by Sparco.

Read More

My Other Car: A 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

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

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

It may seem like my world revolves around the Ford GT, but I also own a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. In fact, it was almost 2 years ago when I committed to buying a Dodge Demon after driving it at the press introduction. When I made that commitment I knew buying a Demon would pretty much nuke my ability to keep my 2005 Ford GT and get a new Ford GT. There was simply no way to keep all three cars — the math wouldn’t work no matter how creatively I wrote the equation.

Read More

New Ford GT Celebrated at Society of Automotive Engineers Event

New Ford GT SAE Le Mans Race Car

In April 2017 SAE celebrated the technical aspects of the new Ford GT

On April 5, 2017 the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) held an event in Detroit to celebrate the design and engineering aspects of the new Ford GT. The event was attended by members of SAE, Larry Holt of Multimatic (the company building new Ford GTs) and Ford GT team members, including Raj Nair.

Read More

Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén