I think it’s safe to say that the Morgan 3 Wheeler has had one of the largest lust-to-power ratios of any vehicle on the road in the last few years. It’s also a vehicle that I’ve sought to film since I first saw this very car near my hometown two years ago. And when I finally got the opportunity to spend some time with the car and its fascinating owner a few weeks ago during the production of the film you see above, I realized that there was so much about the 3 Wheeler that is so fascinating, yet so unknown.
So while sharing with the world the emotional perspective of 3 Wheeler ownership with the video featuring Morgan driver Michael Hardyman in the video above remains my main objective, I’ve also decided to compile some of the facts that I learned during my experience with a vehicle that is so magnificent and bespoke, yet remains at the same time so lustfully simple. And while my brief collection may not bring you as close to the Morgan 3 Wheeler as Hardyman’s nearly 11,000 miles have brought him to his, it should shed some more light on this mysterious and trivia-laden (yet surprisingly easy to attain) three-wheeled creation. Read more about Real Drivers: Morgan 3 Wheeler
HittingRedline prides itself on variety, variety not only in manufacturers (which can be seen by the vastly different types of vehicles featured on the site), but in age - the passion for cars is not dependent on a vehicle's status as an antique, and I find that the automotive sub-culture of new car modifications is as fascinating as that for vintage vehicles. And Marty Irion with his 2012 Beetle Turbo is one of the best examples of the passion and eye for clean design that is so essential in creating a true enthusiast's car.
Astute viewers will notice that this film has been up for some time on the YouTube channel, and that it was shot last August. But while it was released in November, this piece on Michael Murphy's 1985 drag-prepped 5.0 Mustang was one that will stand out to me for a long time and one that will stick with me for every car I work on and own. Murphy's philosophy toward cars and toward project vehicles was one of the most genuinely inspiring that I've heard, and whether you're a Ford fan or not, it's worth hearing Murphy talk about his 5.0, its journey, and the work that goes into every tenth that he has taken off each time slip.
My first encounter with this particular E12 was about a year ago, at the close of the 2012 Hemmings Cruise-In season. The car was spectacular then, as it is now, and a stunning testament to the first modern 5-series BMW - all the refined mechanics and smoothness of the later E28 with the vintage elements characteristic of the earlier E3 and E9. And from the moment I first met the car's owner Jon de Jesus, through to the later sightings of the car at shows across New England, I had wanted to organize a shoot - and now, a year later, that shoot became a reality.
The Ruf manufacturer is a brand often misunderstood by even die-hard Porsche enthusiasts. Often mistaken for a tuning company (technically speaking, it's not), and often mispronounced as "rough" (the pronunciation "roof" is correct), the company has nevertheless remained true to its small market share in the production of high-end, Porsche chassis-based supercars. Ruf has also held the public's attention in this process since early models like the CTR "Yellowbird" captured the interest of those who thought an '80s 911 Turbo was too safe and mundane.
This tradition of cranked-to-eleven Porsches has continued up through today, and is highlighted below as Lyman Orton tells the story of his 2001 Ruf RGT Cabriolet. In his history of the model, you can correct some misconceptions about the Ruf brand and of course hear the beautiful Turbo-derived flat six howling through the hills of Vermont. Enjoy the video, and keep an eye out for more film releases in the near future. Read more about Real Drivers: Ruf RGT Cabriolet
It's no secret that I'm a fan of the BMW E24, especially given the fact that I drove 600 miles to buy one a few months ago. But while the regular 635CSi is itself an impressive car, it's the legendary M6 that rests so fondly in the memories of car enthusiasts, and of all the M6s, the early Euro cars are easily the most desirable of all BMW-produced variants.
Carmine Cole's M635CSi is one of those early European cars - imported from Germany to Miami, FL in late 1984 as a 1985 model, his car managed to retain a few of its most famous Euro components through the DOT inspection, remaining un-catalyzed and un-sidemarker-adorned, as well as retaining the much more shapely European bumpers over the altogether more bench-like American version. It also has the distinctively more resounding engine note courtesy of independent throttle bodies and the aforementioned freely-flowing exhaust.
Nick Parente's 1991 BMW 325ix has been featured (or at least used as a camera car) in a number of Hitting Redline videos, and from the moment he purchased the car in July, I knew the video on it would be something special. The Alpine White E30 had, at that point, been a scattered assortment of scratches, dings, and fading paint. Upon closer inspection, it had been the victim of a minor front-end collision, and needed a top end rebuild and exhaust work before one could consider it driveable. Despite these flaws, Nick began work on the car almost immediately.
The restoration that resulted is an incredible example of devotion to a specific idea that, in the process, created a car worth several films. And, coincidentally, there will be several; keep an eye out for more videos on Nick's E30 throughout the winter, as he and I have some already in the works. For now, though, enjoy the film.
The Honda Civic is a car rife with controversy. While many in the premium car world cast them off as vehicles for the "chrome wheels and big bumpers" crowd, cars from the '90s and '00s were extremely capable and well-designed in every respect, and the earliest '80s examples were incredibly innovative. But their light weight and high-revving Honda powerplants also make them fun to drive, and in Ian Wright's 1995 EG Hatchback, those qualities have been amplified to create a unique and fun car. Click here for more details about this car.
Jonathan Bigelow's 1966 Volvo Amazon is a car that I had been eager to film since the fall of 2011, not only because you rarely see them, but because of the story behind it. This car has been imported from one country to another, travelling first from Sweden to Norway, and much later from Norway's capital to the United States. The stories of maintaining, imported, and enjoying this vintage car were fascinating, and although not all of them made the final cut, it was a great experience making this film. Enjoy, and look forward to more Real Drivers videos (probably with more driving) in the future.
This past Sunday was a fantastic, mild spring day in Vermont, a great time to enjoy Route 100 on the way to Mount Snow to film Brent Rabideau's 2005 Subaru Legacy GT. The 270-horsepower, 350 lb-ft, Stage 2-tuned beast was a blast to see, ride in, and, most notably, hear. As usual, enjoy the video and look forward to more in the near future.