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The Good Oil: The most American car of the year
And the most American car of the year is…
Surprisingly, the most American car of the year is not a Plymouth Superbird with a gun rack across the rear parcel shelf.
Instead a handful of General Motors crossover models and — of course — the Ford F-150 have come out on top in a study that looks at just how American your average American-built car is.
The Made in America Auto Index was produced by the American University’s Kogod School of Business, which despite sounding like something Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise crew might have come across in a far-off galaxy, is based in Washington DC.
This is the index’s fourth year and, in addition to the omnipresent F-150 pick-up, three models we don’t see down this way — the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia — scored top marks for their ability to inspire a Jimi Hendrix Star Spangled Banner moment.
Rather than simply tot up the amount of bald eagle window stickers and cup holder sizes though, the Kogod Index uses a mix of statistics and points to assemble its list. The index uses the American Automobile Labelling Act 1994, which requires carmakers to include information about the US and Canadian mix of parts used in manufacture, as well as the country of assembly and country of origin for the engine and transmission.
But it also allocates marks for whether the carmaker in question has its global headquarters in the US, whether the focus model is screwed together in the US and where parts are sourced.
It’s not as xenophobic an exercise as it sounds, as foreign manufacturers building cars in the US are eligible for points as they’re using American labour and — potentially — parts suppliers. This year the Honda Accord proved the most American non-American model.
With 338 vehicles listed, 56 models tied for last place on a total of one point. Scope perhaps for Fiat to produce the Fiat 500 Rawhide Edition next year?
That’s Miura like it, Lamborghini
Picture / Supplied
We can’t flip a page of the Good Oil desk diary these days without encountering an anniversary of some vehicle model or other. This year the Porsche Boxster is celebrating its 20th birthday, the Volkswagen Golf GTI its 40th, the Honda S800 its half century and BMW as a whole is blowing out 100 candles in 2016. And those are just a handful off the top of our head.
Add to the list of birthday wishes the Lamborghini Miura, the absolute originator in terms of supercar outrageousness and desirability, which is turning 50 this year. And to celebrate the occasion, Automobili Lamborghini has taken to 50 modern Aventadors with the spray paint, creating homages to the grandfather of the V12 Lambo.
The Aventador Miura Homage has been created by Lamborghini’s Ad Personam studio and utilises some of the exterior colour options and specifications of the original Miura.
It reminds us that you just don’t see many supercars with two-tone paintjobs. The Aventador Miura Homage stands out with one colour for the upper body and a contrasting colour for the lower.
Back when it debuted in 1966, the original Miura was immediately available in a multitude of colours. For the homage, Lamborghini has selected six solid and metallic colourways that can be specified by owners.
Even the names of the paint shades speak of the Italian Riviera, smoky casinos and Michael Caine in a turtle-neck sweater; Rosso Arancio Miura, Verde Scandal, Blu Tahiti.
The exotic monikers continue inside with cabin-trim options listed as full Nero Ade or Terra Emilia. The Miura Homage also features 20”/21” Dione alloy wheels in either matt silver or – for extra subtlety – matt gold, along with Miura badging, 50th anniversary stitching in the cabin, as well as a limited-edition plate reminding the owner that this is a rather special beast.
So if you want a two-tone paint job for your supercar, this is a very roundabout – yet exclusive – way of ensuring a standout car that stands out even more. There’s no denying the Aventador Miura Homage models look great. Put us down for one immedia ... oh. They’ve already all been sold.
Move over Ken Block. Here comes Terry Grant
Terry Grant at Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Sure, a stunt show involving skids, wheelies and precision driving is a lot of fun.
But these days it’s also a bit old hat. After all, gymkhana guru Ken Block has taken the idea of stunt driving and run with it to mass social-media-baiting effect; each stunt sequence video upping the spectacle factor and resulting in global fame for the lanky cap-wearing human billboard.
But then in drives the unassuming Terry Grant; a stunt driver with multiple world records to his name, who entertained crowds at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
As if doing multiple donuts isn’t disorientating enough, midway through a multi-spin spectacular, Grant’s party trick involves casually stepping out of his still-rotating car and then heading off into the crowd in search of a punter’s cellphone, with which to record the remainder of his stunt.
Here at The Good Oil we get motion sick watching Deadliest Catch, so Grant’s self-orientation skills in the thick of a smoky, squealy donut are worth cheering for. You can view the stunt by heading to the Goodwood Road & Racing channel on YouTube.
764 UNITS of Lamborghini Miura built
1973 YEAR Miura production ended
260 KILOWATTS Peak power of the first (P400 model) Miura
5 COGS All Miuras featured a five-speed manual gearbox