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Lamborghini LM002

Published by on May 14, 2014 in Automotive Articles Leave a comment

Lamborghini produces outstanding and futuristic supercars, but the SUV niche was a little forgotten by the Italian automaker. The first military car (a SUV) manufactured by Lamborghini was called “Cheetah” and was released in 1977. This vehicle was designed with the hope of selling it to the US military. The first prototype was equipped with a rear mounted Chrysler V8 engine, but was destroyed by the US military during the testing period.

That’s why Lamborghini was forced to develop the LM001, a similar version of the Cheetah which was equipped with an AMC V8 engine. The next attempt Lamborghini made in order to manufacture a functional SUV resulted in the LM002. The Lamborghini LM002 was manufactured by Lamborghini between 1986 and 1993 and is a mixture of a four-door pickup, a luxury car, an off-road “monster” and a Countach version having a wood-leather cockpit. The first Lamborghini LM002 was available on the US market at a “spicy” price of $120,000 (same price tag as the Countach). Nowadays, a LM002 is still expensive (at the 2010 RM Auctions a model from 1989 was sold for $77,000), but remains the “king” of the tanklike status.

Lamborghini LM002

When you get inside the Lamborghini LM002 you might think that you are in a Countach, because the only difference is the big windshield. The material that covers the SUV’s interior is aromatic leather giving you the sensation that you are in a very expensive handbag. The cabin is not so spacious for a SUV. You really feel squeezed into the driver seat and the three spoke Nardi steering wheel actually touches your knees. The instrumental panel is placed closely to the steering wheel and the engraved knob reveals a five speed pattern along with a dogleg similar to the one used for the Countach. Other luxury features that equip the Lamborghini LM002 include the tinted power windows, the air conditioning and the premium stereo package mounted in the roof console.

Lamborghini LM002 Interior

Under the hood everything is designed to impress you. The Lamborghini LM002 hides a L804 7.2 liters V12 engine perfect for those interested in more power at the time and is able to achieve 7000 rpm producing around 455 horsepower. That impresses even now pedestrians sitting near the Lamborghini LM002 and makes them flinch when the engine starts. The LM002 features a large air cleaner placed on top of the six Weber carburetors and an oversized radiator. The car is also equipped with a giant fuel tank of 76.6 gallons of gasoline. Even if the Lamborghini LM002 is heavy, it goes from zero to 60 mph in only 7.7 seconds and achieves a high speed of 118 mph. It’s really impressive for this giant car and these numbers are incredible in comparison to the nowadays truck standards.

In addition to this, the Lamborghini LM002 is equipped with a ZF S5-24/3 five speeds manual gearbox having a two-speed transfer case. The chassis is tubular and the suspension is independent having coil springs provided with telescopic shock absorbers. This LM002 uses Pirelli Scorpion tires that were specially ordered by Lamborghini for this model and have a run-flat tread design. Because of these tires, the Lamborghini LM002 could be driven in the desert heat, making this model a great candidate for becoming a purchase item for the rich Saudi sheiks.

Its enormous fuel consumption, incredible excess and strange compromises are forgotten because of its impressive performance and rarity. The Lamborghini LM002 is an amazing “monster” SUV that’s remarkable because of its power and luxury. It’s definitely a must-have masterpiece if you are a Lamborghini or sports car collector.

Buy A Used Car

Published by on Apr 16, 2014 in Automotive Articles Leave a comment

If you want to buy a used car you need to take some precautions as it will probably be your second largest purchase you will ever make, after a house. Most of us borrow money from a bank, a credit union or other financial institutions. For this reason, it would be best to do some shopping around before making a final decision.

First of all you need to decide how much money are you willing to pay for the car and don’t go over your pre-established maximum. In addition to the actual value of the car, you need to think about the sales tax, the insurance and registration costs as well as mechanical inspection. Also, an extended warranty contract could do a world of good.

Second of all you, being a second hand car, it will probably come with a couple of flaws. This shouldn’t come as a surprise for you but you should however avoid at all costs the cars that have major body or mechanical issues. For this reason you must ask the current owner about the vehicle’s accident record, history of ownership as well as service records. If the seller of the car is answering your questions without hesitating and if he is co-operative, it means that the car should be in a pretty good shape and he is not hiding anything.

Used Car Lot

When you start looking for used cars you must read the odometer and keep in mind that the average distance per year ranges from 22,000 to 25,000 miles. Also, the odometer must correspond with the actual shape and condition of the car. Look at the upholstery, pedal rubbers and carpeting – if they look worn out, it means that the car is pretty used. Check the body of the car by taking a closer look along the sides in order to spot any possible ripples, dents or repainting signs.

Don’t forget about the rust. Check the bottom of all the doors, the lower body panels and the wheel openings as these are prime locations. Paint cracks or blisters are a sign of rusting under the paint or even worse than that – rust perforation from the other side of the panel. Remember to take a closer look at the tires and see if the treads are worn out. If they are, it means that you will have to pay a couple of hundreds of dollars for a new set.

If you want to buy a used car that is in good condition you must also check if the doors, hood and trunk close snugly. For this reason you must try the car’s door lock mechanism as well as the window regulator to see if they work as they should. Verify if the vehicle has damp carpets or a damp smell inside and if it does, it means there is some sort of a leak. If you press down each of the car’s corners and it keeps bouncing, it means that the shock absorbers need to be changed. If the power unit is cold you must remove the radiator cap and check the condition and the level of the coolant. Never remove the radiator cap while the power unit is still warm.

Buy A Used Car

If you have checked out all of the above and you find the car to be promising, you need to take it out for a test drive. A silent, residential area or any other type of open space is the best environment for test driving a car. Avoid cars that don’t start immediately or don’t idle smoothly. Check all the warning lights and the engine gauges to see if they all work. In addition, verify the state of the switches, buttons and all of the other accessories. Also, make sure that you check the park brake and see if the warning light will come on.

Once you get on the road with it, listen for unusual noises. You also need to make a couple of sharp turns running at low speeds. The steering of the vehicle should not stiffen up and bind. If the car is equipped with power steering, there shouldn’t be any squeaks or a sudden increase of the steering effort. Make a couple of emergency stops and make sure that they feel firm and not spongy. One of the most important things to do is to verify the transmission of the gearbox and see if the car will get in all of the gears. The cars fitted with manual transmissions should change the gear without any grind. Those that have automatic gearboxes should not have excessive engine speeds between the gears. You need to know that for the vast majority of the cars out there, the play in the steering wheel should be less than 2 inches.

Once you have found the car, you need to sign all the necessary paperwork. The dealer “conditional sale agreement” is a binding and legal document and should specify all the conditions of the sale, including: full purchase price, full description of the car, payment terms, trade-in allowance (if applicable), any guarantee or warranty agreed upon and repairs agreed upon by both parties involved.

Don’t forget to have the car checked thoroughly by a mechanic.

Photo credits: Shankar S and Todd Lapin

Used Car Warranties

Published by on Apr 9, 2014 in Automotive Articles Leave a comment

Many people consider that if they purchase a used car warranty, they will feel much safer about the risks they take when they decide to buy a used car. If that’s your opinion as well, I advise you to buy such a warranty only after you have a clear idea of what coverage is offered. The content of these documents varies widely, but usually there are two main types of coverage that you should expect to be offered: mechanical breakdown coverage and comprehensive coverage. No matter the used car warranty you decide to buy, it still should cover most of the major car parts: the engine, the electrical system, the suspension and the gearbox. What you shouldn’t expect the warranty to include is protection against paint or bodywork damage, against light problems and even oil leaks. That’s because these problems are usually considered to be the result of “wear and tear”.

If you are interested in the price of a used car warranty, you should know that the cost varies depending on the type of used car you own and on how much coverage you want to buy. To reduce the cost you can choose to be responsible for paying a part of every repair bill. It’s kind of like the deductible you can set high in order to pay less for your car insurance. For example, if you agree to an excess of £100 for a BMW used car comprehensive warranty, you will reduce the cost from £620 a year to £499.

Used Car Warranties

To find a suitable used car warranty, you should visit a franchised dealer. By extending the warranty offered by the car manufacturer once it expires, you will benefit from the same coverage you are already used to. The warranty differs depending on the car’s manufacturer, so you should read the terms carefully. You should follow the same rules when you buy a used car from an independent dealer. Another source of used car warranties can be an independent provider. Some examples of companies that do business in this field are Warranty Direct and Warrantywise. There are also providers that offer only breakdown coverage which is not exactly the same with a full used car warranty. What’s also good to know is that all these providers allow you to transfer the warranty to a buyer if you decide to sell the car while the warranty still applies. The transfer will most likely suppose paying a fee of £10 to £50.

In principle, you can purchase a used car warranty for all types of used cars, but for some cars the process may prove more difficult than for others. For example, there aren’t many providers of used car warranties that offer coverage for used performance cars or for used cars that are being used in activities that involve driving schools and taxi driving.

To be able to buy such a warranty you will have to provide a MoT test certificate and also documents that prove the car has been repaired by a registered garage. All these documents need to be current (maximum a year old). Another reason used car warranty providers give for not offering policies for certain cars is related to the age and mileage of the car you own. If your car exceeds the limits these providers establish, it’s very likely that they won’t agree to cover your car. For example, some providers refuse to offer warranties for used cars that have more than 60,000 miles on board or are older than 6 years. However, the best providers in the field offer unlimited mileage policies.

It is a difficult job to appraise a classic car, because there are many factors to take into consideration and above all you need to make sure that the car is genuine. But once you’ve established that you can use some classic car books that will guide you to a price tag that will seem fair to both the buyer and the seller. A good catalog to look through is Kelley Blue Book Classic Car guide.

Some of the factors that influence a classic car’s book value are the exterior look, the mechanical condition and the interior cleanliness. A classic car with an original body that hasn’t been repaired, but restored will be sold for a higher price tag. Rust and dents are drawbacks and will lower the price.
Kelley Blue Book Classic Car

The mechanical condition is essential as well, because if the engine and the transmission are perfectly functional the price will reflect the situation going up to its highest value. Smaller problems like a fluid leak or brakes and suspension that need a little work won’t influence very much negatively the price you are hoping to get for your car. And last but not least you should make sure you don’t have stained upholstery or a dirty interior, because buyers care about all these details and that’s natural. The seats should also be in the best condition possible, because the overall look even if it may seem unimportant to you will influence the classic car’s book value.

One of the most representative classic car books is the Kelley Blue Book. The concept was introduced by Les Kelley in the 1920s when many people took into consideration his evaluations of cars because of their accuracy. Nowadays, if you are interested you can get the genuine Kelley Blue Book Classic Car catalogue from the Kelly Blue Book Company by accessing their website In this book’s pages you will find accurate appraisals for cars older than the 1980’s.
Classic car opt1 Classic Car Blue Book Values: Kelley Blue Book Classic Car

Kelley Blue Book Classic Car

As the time passed some other websites were developed containing information about classic car blue book values. Sometimes this alternative proves to be a great option, because there are companies specialized in appraising such cars, but their services usually cost more than we can afford. There are available NADA guides that contain up to date prices for many types of vehicles including antique and classic cars. Moreover, Hemmings, another serious company focused on classic cars, considered that a search tool related to classic car pricing will be a good idea. As a result buyers are now able to find out which are the lowest, average and highest prices one would pay for a certain antique or classic car.


Another authority in the field when it comes to classic car book values is the Gold Book, considered by many an authority when it comes to finding out the right price for classic or collectible cars. The database available is huge containing valuable information about cars manufactured from 1886 to 2003. A simple search based on the make, the model and the year will provide you with a full history of the car along with its financial status. The information provided will include details about the period when the car was manufactured, the model, the body type, the engine displacement and type, the car’s designation (M – for cars defined by the Milestone Car Society; C – for cars taken into account by the Classic Car Club of America; H – for a car certified as a collectible; S – for cars attracting special interested but not yet declared as collectibles). The loan value is also returned as a search result along with the value of the car depending on its condition.

Classic Car Blue Book

Published by on Apr 7, 2014 in Automotive Articles Leave a comment

If you are the owner of a classic car and you interested in its market value, then a classic car blue book is all you need as long as your car is older than the late 1980s. The only necessary piece of information needed for this process is related to the place where you can find one of these books. All it takes is an opportunity to contact the Kelly Blue Book Company and from there your only task is to begin looking up the values you are interested in.

Classic Car Blue Book

So, the first task is to find one of these classic car blue books. All you need to do is to access the Kelly Blue Book website, located at There are also some other websites that might include online pricing of classic cars, but if you want the original blue book you should consider the company’s website, where you can’t get online classic car pricing but you can order the classic car blue book.

After your browser loads the Internet page, you can use the search engine available on the website in order to get directly to the section dedicated to the ordering process of a classic car blue book. All you need to do is to locate the search function in the right hand corner and type “classic car” before launching the search. A page of results will be displayed, but the first result that says “Official Kelley Blue Book Early Model Guides” is the one you are interested in. Clicking on the link will take you to another web page where you will be able to choose one of the three different types of Kelley Blue Books: the used car book, the older car and the early model book.

Classic Car Blue Book

After choosing one of those options you should click on the link that says “Learn More” in order to fill a form with some personal information. You can choose to order the Blue Book online and you will be contacted by email or you can call the 1-800 number displayed on the page and use the phone option. In both cases you need to order the “Early Model” guide.

If you feel like the ordering and waiting process are not worth the trouble you can try finding the blue book value of your classic car on other websites. Some examples would be NADA or Edmunds. You can even check a local bookstore that might have an edition of the Early Model Blue Book available. The NADA website helps you find the value of your classic car online or in a printed format. You can choose one of the sections you are interested in (classic cars, exotic cars or collector cars) and then choose the make, the year and you will automatically get a list of models and their estimated values. But you should keep in mind that the NADA evaluations aren’t the same as those considered by a licensed dealer. That’s because the dealer’s value will be lower due to the repairs and the reconditioning process, even in the case of classic cars.

And believe it or not, banks are also a source of classic cars blue book values, because the personnel usually need the guides for the purpose of determining the value of a loan. That’s because, usually, the lender will loan you an amount that represents a certain percentage of the sale value of the car. Therefore, you can call the bank you work with and ask them to find you that necessary piece of information regarding the value of a certain classic car.