Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Film Review: Hell or High Water

Crafted by the same writer as the movie Sicario this film has a similar location in the American Southwest though involves a different set of troubles.

Instead of the grey areas created by the drug trade washing over the Mexican/American boarder, here we have the grey areas created by the banking industry and those white Americans who have been left behind by the progress of time and innovation.

These are Trump's voters as the main characters on both sides of your traditional good guy/bad guy divide don't care for authority or they way they've been told things should be.  Both the police and the Texas men trying to steal their way to the saving of their mother's home from foreclosure are relics of a bygone era and overlooked by their government and society--but not their families, friends and communities whose bonds remain those that bind.

The film itself ends up feeling like one of those cowboy films where the first cars show up and appear so jarring compared to the more manual world they invade.  You can just sense things are going to end badly for the cowboy as his time has come and gone.  Its the same way here.  The protagonists are doomed from the start as leftovers from another time.

Jeff Bridges is great as a crass, vulgar and extremely un-politically correct police officer chasing down the bank robbing brothers portrayed by Chris Pine and Ben Foster.  Foster is again brilliant.  I don't know if I've seen him in a role yet that I haven't loved.  Chris Pine of course plays the handsome, "better" of the two brothers and puts in a fine performance, with his best work present when he doesn't have to share the screen with Foster who seems to suck the air out of every scene for his own.

I don't know if it "revitalizes" the Western as much of the story could be considered familiar but its the dialogue, performances and attacks on modern rural America that make it worth seeing.  It won't win much if anything at the upcoming Oscars, but that doesn't matter, you will remember it long after the glitzier, shallower works that will win the awards.

Scale of 1-10?  A solid 8

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hardbody's Are Tough...But Not That Tough....

My goodness...this driver is lucky to be alive.

The Hardbody involved has a small lift but the pilot must be brainless.  Heading out on a small jetty into what looks like 15-20 foot waves is moronic.  The waves, broken by the rocks jetty are still plenty strong enough to toss the truck around like a toy.  The Coast Guard comes in at the end to rescue the driver and the world appears to be less one more Hardbody...RIP...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

CRG-I Do Borrow Nissan Altima and Sarah Cattaneo Finish 5th in Season Debut

A real solid result against some top competition at the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at Daytona yesterday.  The car itself has a long history in sportscar racing and is originally the Skullcandy Altima that raced all over the country for the past few years.

The CRG-I Do Borrow effort switched from a Honda Civic last year to this Altima and have been doing quite well.  Ahead of Cattaneo's 5th place finish were three Porsche Caymans and the winning JCW Mini.  In fact, the Altima turned the fastest lap of the race at 103.6 mph but didn't have the consistency to put it on the podium this time.  Looking forward to more solid finishes out of this effort in '17 at the rest of the IMSA schedule.

If anyone can provide a link to this team's webpage or even Facebook page it would be appreciated as I can't find anything but the individual driver's personal pages...

BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona '17 results...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Holy Crap Are These Bumpers Expensive!

Listen, I'm all for the expansion of aftermarket products for Nissans...really I am.  I've bought my fair share of front and rear bumpers from the aftermarket for my Xterra and Frontier and all have held up well whether from Shrockworks or my favorite builder BTF Fabrication.

That said...and while the product offerings for the new Nissan Titan are a bit more limited...the prices on these bumpers is insane...$2200 before shipping (sure to be another couple hundred) for a front bumper??  And its not even a winch bumper... And near $1700 for a rear bumper?  That is crazy talk.

You see Addictive Desert Designs advertisements in all your typical offroad magazines and at SEMA this past year but I can't help but thinking their prices are a reflection of their speed to market, minimal competition at this point and high marketing expenses given that equivalent bumpers go for 1/2 or even 1/2 of these prices.

I'm sure the quality is substantial...but is it near $3000 for a front bumper good?  No shot.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Extra Large Fuel Tank Replacement for New Nissan Titan XD

One of the early complaints about the Nissan Titan Diesel XD has been the size of its fuel tank.  At only 26 gallons the Titan XD's range is a bit shorter than that which many drivers want.

The aftermarket has an answer...but at a price.  I suppose putting a larger tank in the stock version would have added a fair amount of weight and when you are trying to eke out every last mpg you can, limiting the amount of dead weight you carry around is one way to do it.

Transferflow which has offered extended range gas tanks products for numerous other trucks as well as bed mounted gas containers for fueling your construction vehicles or other equipment now offers a 50 gallon replacement for the stock Titan XD tank.  Designed to fit into the same space as the stock version, the Transferflow unit nearly doubles the capacity and range of the Titan XD.  At $1654 though this upgrade doesn't come cheap...and that's before you either perform or pay for the labor necessary to remove the old and install the new version.

It is good to see the Titan supported in this way as the aftermarket continues to build for this truck and this should meet the fueling needs of any long road or heavy duty hauler so that they aren't pulling off the highway every other hour to refuel.

Transferflow Titan XD Gas Tank...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reminder...Raana Horan Still Kicks Ass in His Nissan Titan in New Zealand

Its been a while since I checked in on Raana...but he is still on the other side of the planet and still running strong.  This past '16 season Raana finished first in his class for the year and accumulated the third most points of any racer in the ORANZ (Off Road Association of New Zealand) series.  The Nissan Titan he runs is more of a tube frame vehicle and not a Titan as you can buy off the lot and the engine is a supercharged VK56.  Raana has been racing and winning in New Zealand with this truck for the better part of a decade now, showing that the engine can be a long term powerhouse winner.  If you want to follow along with Raana and his team Big Black Motorsport you can see them here: Big Black Motorsport FB page...

and you can check out the ORANZ homepage here:  ORANZ Homepage...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

McNeil Racing Fiberglass Fenders for 2016+ Nissan Titan

These are some of the first and likely best looking fiberglass fenders and bedsides being produced for the new Nissan Titan.  Now I don't know if it makes a difference between whether it is a Titan XD or just the regular Titan as the site doesn't say.

It looks like McNeil was the fabricator behind these for the Titan at SEMA this year.  The price is in line with what prior Titan fiberglass has been going for and McNeil is well known in the industry as putting out some of the best stuff around.  With lift kits starting to be available and Titan sales starting to pick up on a monthly basis, hopefully this is just a start of aftermarket support.

McNeil Racing Fiberglass for 2016+ Nissan Titans...