Virtual Car Show

WHM x AutomotiveMap Virtual Car Show: May 2, 2020

Two new cars go up against all the past winners to see who is the Best of Show.

Photo courtesy of @themusclecarhouse/Instagram

As the world gets back to its regular routine, or what some are calling, "the new normal", one thing is abundantly clear. Our love for cars hasn't changed. This week will be the last Virtual Car Show as stay at home orders are being lifted and the weather is getting better.

This week, we pit two new entries up against the winners of all the Virtual Car Shows of the past for the title of "Best in Show". Scroll down to see them all then cast your vote at the bottom.

The winner will be announced on May 7 on AutomotiveMap's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds.

See all the Virtual Car Shows here.

2018 Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE

Photo courtesy of @themusclecarhouse/Instagram

Ben Wilson purchased this Camaro new just a few years ago and he hasn't modified it since then. Why? In his own words, "This is THE best American Muscle track car. My family would argue it is better than the [Ford Mustang] GT500, GT350R, and the Dodge Demon."

2018 McLaren 720S

Photo courtesy of Post Oak Motor Cars

In the words of Tim "The Toolman" Taylor, "More power!" This 2018 McLaren 720S has gotten the Hennessey Performance HPE900 Performance upgrade giving it 890 rwhp - up from the 710 bhp it comes with out of the factory.

Its already race-like prowess is further enhanced by the 720S Performance Package, MSO defined cargo fiber steering wheel, MSO defined carbon fiber steering wheel paddles, silver brake calipers, 5 twin-spoke lightweight forged wheels, HomeLink system, vehicle lift, secondary interior components in carbon fiber, power steering column, electric and heated memory seats, sports exhaust, and a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system. It wears a Pearl White exterior and black interior.

The car is available for sale at Post Oak Motor Cars and has a price tag of $304,950.

Note: This model was voted Best in Show for its April 18 appearance. See all the cars it competed against here.

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Photo courtesy of Richard Mundine

Owner Richard Mundine has always loved Mustangs. He had many Mustangs growing up but never a Shelby. When I found Ruby, he knew he had to have her.

Mundine loves to show off Ruby at car shows that benefit charities all across the Houston area. "Her name is Ruby and handles great. [I] enjoy meeting other car enthusiasts that have the same passion as I do. I'm so grateful I get to enjoy her with my family."

Since he bought the car he he's modified it a bit: Catless straight pipes, American racing headers, E85 custom tune, MGW short throw shifter, Tremec six-Speed manual transmission, custom paint job on strut brace and radiator cover, painted-on stripes.

1956 Ford F100

Photo courtesy of Christopher Koehn

Collector Christopher Koehn purchased this Ford F100 from Arizona in 2018. He, and it, now reside in Rosenberg, Texas. He says it has been a lifelong dream to own a F100 - he's loved it since he was in high school.

When he purchased it, he had been looking for one for several years. After laying eyes on this one, he knew that it had to be his.

Despite being modified, the model is still 100 percent Ford truck. It has a 351 Windsor engine with Edelbrock power package bored and stroked to a 414, Heidts Superide IFS Mustang II front end with four-link rear suspension, front and rear fully adjustable coil overs, Wilwood disc brakes, a four-speed TCI StreetFighter C4 transmission, fresh wood in the bed, air conditioning, power steering, and 20-inch Ridler wheels in Blue Flame Metallic.

Note: This model was voted Best in Show for its March 28 appearance. See all the cars it competed against here.

1968 Ford Mustang California Special

Photo courtesy of Jeff LeBeau

Owner Jeff LeBeau had a 1965 and 2011 coupe and wanted to add another 60s model Mustang to his garage. He purchased this one online in 2018 for $30,000. The car has been mostly restored and received a few modifications along the way including the front disc brakes and aluminum radiator. LeBeau's Mustang wears its original Candy Apple Red paint job and has its original 289 engine and C4 transmission.

Note: This model was voted Best in Show for its April 25 appearance. See all the cars it competed against here.

1941 Ford Pickup

Photo courtesy of Charlie Throop

Owner Charlie Throop from Fulshear, Texas, bought this 1941 Ford pickup online in 2017. Though he claims he paid too much for it, he had to have it because of its great looks and ease of ingress/egress. Plus, he says that it fits everything he needs.

Since he's owned it, Throop has added a Ford Boss 302 engine, a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, bucket seats, air conditioning, and new wiring and carpet. He also had the battery relocated to the truck's bed.

Bumbera's Performance in Sealy, Texas fixed the truck's frame and Trendsetter's Upholstery & Trim in Katy sewed the seats.

Note: This model was voted Best in Show for its March 21 appearance. See all the cars it competed against here.

1966 Ford Mustang

Photo courtesy of Juan Garcia

Like many, it was Juan Garcia's childhood dream to own a 1966 Ford Mustang. His dad, a Chevy guy, got him into classic cars when Garcia was still a boy. The elder Garcia has owned a 1966 Chevrolet Impala and a 1972 Chevrolet Corvette.

In 2016, Juan paid $8,000 for the '66 Mustang, purchasing it from the Mustangs Only restoration shop. He told AutomotiveMap the story:

"Jim Hangley, former owner of Mustangs Only, acquired the 1966 Ford Mustang I now own, from a man in Culver City, California. Jim dedicated more than 30 years of his life restoring classic Mustangs. In May 2016, Jim died from pancreatic cancer. Tracy Fietz, his wife, sold me the 1966 Ford Mustang in August 2016 ... and she recited to me the work that needed to be done to the Mustang from a handwritten note Jim left in the glove compartment. Had it not been for Jim and Tracy's passion for Mustangs, I wouldn't have my 1966 Ford mustang today."

Since he has owned the car, he's given it new brakes; refurbished the transmission; added fresh exhaust manifolds, dual tail exhaust pipes, mufflers, and GT fog lights. There's also a new radiator, shocks, four-barrel carburetor, radial tires, wires and hoses, interior carpet, and new welded panels under the driver and passenger seats.

Note: This model was voted Best in Show for its April 11 appearance. See all the cars it competed against here.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Photo courtesy of West Houston Muscle

Owner Bill Mehling of Richmond, Texas purchased the car used online for $27,000. He tells the story:

"I was ready for a hobby car and always thought the '69 Mach1 was the best looking car ever! It looked great in pictures, but the car was in Minnesota. I had a pro car inspector check it out for me. He supplied a report and dozens of additional pictures. Turned out that the entire undercarriage was new and as clean as the motor! He gave it a thumbs up and the deal was done."

Mehling has modified the car a bit since it arrived in Texas. It has had its interior refreshed with new seat covers, seat foam, door panels, and interior trim pieces. He had air conditioning re-installed (the car was originally equipped with it but had its parts removed).

Note: This model was voted Best in Show for its April 4 appearance. See all the cars it competed against here.


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New SUV

New Jeep Compass Coming Soon

The Compass gets a major update for 2022.

Stellantis/Jeep

The Chicago Auto Show is happening now, which means we've already seen a few new models and concepts. Just yesterday, Jeep introduced the new 2022 Compass compact SUV. It gets a new design inside and out, updated tech, and a load of new available driver aids. The Compass' refresh comes as new models from Ford, Subaru and others could cut into Jeep's off-road dominance.

As it was in previous model years, the new Compass is powered by a 2.4-liter "Tigershark" four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. It's good for up to 31 mpg on the highway in 2WD models and can deliver a max towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds in 4WD models. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for Compass Sport and Latitude 4X2 models, while all others get a nine-speed automatic transmission that can handle the 20:1 crawl ratio setting in the Trailhawk model.

An all-new Latitude LUX trim joins the Compass lineup for 2022 as well. It features leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a seven-inch full-color gauge cluster, and the larger 10.1-inch screen.


2022 Jeep Compass The new Compass is more upscale than its predecessor.Stellantis/Jeep


The Compass comes with a class-leading 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, but higher trims get an even larger 10.1-inch unit. It offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and runs Uconnect 5, a colorful, responsive infotainment system with advanced features and tech.

Several new safety features make an appearance, but most are added-cost options. The highway assist system offers a semi-autonomous driving feature, which Jeep says will become available later. Other tech includes traffic sign recognition, standard pedestrian/cyclist automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and a long list of more traditional advanced driver aids like blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.

The Compass lineup for 2022 includes five trims: Sport, Latitude, Latitude LUX, Limited, and Trailhawk. Pricing for the new Compass starts at $26,490, including a $1,495 destination charge. At the top of the lineup, the Trailhawk and Limited models both start at $32,890. It's expected to start arriving on dealers' lots in fall 2021.


2022 Jeep Compass New color schemes highlight the Compass' interior.Stellantis/Jeep

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Ford Bronco Production Officially Begins

The Ford Bronco is finally ready for primetime.

Ford

The time is finally here. After years of speculation and several months of pandemic-related delays, the Ford Bronco is starting to roll off the assembly line. The SUV marks the first new Bronco model in Ford's lineup in 15 years, not counting the Bronco Sport, and is one of the most hyped and sought-after vehicles to hit the market in quite some time. Ford's announcement that production has begun will be accompanied by a special YouTube presentation that Ford says will include interviews with the Bronco team and with reservation holders at the automaker's new Modification Center.


2021 Ford Bronco Ford added 2,700 jobs to support Bronco production.Ford


Bronco production has driven Ford to invest $750 million into its Michigan Assembly Plant, and the automaker says it has added 2,700 jobs to support the rollout. Ford's push to begin production can't come soon enough. Over 125,000 Bronco orders have been placed, and multiple delays have pushed the vehicle's arrival back, meaning there is considerable demand for the off-road legend.

Ford is ready to capitalize on the craze and will offer several ways to customize the new vehicle. At its 1.7 million square-foot Modification Center, The Blue Oval will factory-install several optional modifications that include equipment such as a front bumper safari bar, graphics packages, roof racks, and more. That's on top of more than 200 factory-backed accessories that can be installed at the dealer, either at or after the time of purchase.


2021 Ford Bronco Delays and production difficulties have pushed the Bronco back.Ford


If you are hoping to get behind the wheel of a new Bronco, it could be a while. Even buyers that have been in line for a while now might not see their new vehicle until late 2021 or 2022, and the vehicle's official rollout will almost certainly re-spike demand. Even so, many feel it's worth the wait, and Ford's vehicle configuration tool is live, so go check it out for yourself.

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