Friday, 31 July 2015

Top Auto Failures of the past Decade

Ford Thunderbird (59,200 sold) After being on hiatus for several years, Ford introduced a new Thunderbird for 2002.
Returning to the original formula for the Thunderbird, the latest version had a two-seat coupe/convertible layout like the first-generation Thunderbird and retrofuturistic styling to match.

With sales dropping off significantly after its first model year, Ford decided to make the 2005 model year the Thunderbird's last. The last car rolled off the assembly line on July 1, 2005.
Chevrolet SSR (23,479 sold) Some people like the SSRs, but those people probably have never driven one. They are big, heavy, and cumbersome. A convertible pick up truck with two seats is a problem nobody asked for the answer to.
Cadillac XLR (13,302 sold) Cadillac's flagship sports car, the XLR was based on the Chevrolet Corvette's Y platform. The XLR featured its own unique styling, interior, and suspension, and power-retractable aluminum hardtop, along with the Cadillac Northstar engine. The XLR ended production after the 2009 model year.
Acura ZDX (5,828 sold) They made an incredibly ugly crossover with no utility. You can't fit anything or anyone in it, and its disgusting to look at. I'm pretty sure they don't remember what they were thinking either."
Lexus LS 600h L (2,055 sold) A hybrid version of the LS 460, it's supposed to compete with the 12-cylinder versions of the BMW 7-series and Audi A8, the problem is it doesn't perform as well as them, and it gets far worse fuel mileage. And it costs a ton of money.
Mitsubishi i MiEV (1,420 sold) "Meev" is a tiny little electrically powered pod. Essentially its a little electric car with very little range.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Argyle Pinks

Argyle Pinks

Australia's Argyle Diamond mine is the world's primary source (95%) of rare pink diamonds. Pink diamonds are at very least 20 times the price of an equivalent white diamond. This places them in the rarified air of most highly concentrated form of wealth on Earth.

After being cut and polished at Rio Tinto’s diamond cutting and polishing factory in Perth, exceptional pink diamonds from each year's production are sold individually at 'tenders'.

The diamonds average around a carat each (1/20 of a gram) with 40 to 50 carats in total sold each year. Of every million carats of rough diamonds produced at the Argyle mine, less than one carat is suitable for sale in one of the tenders. Prices can range from US $100,000/ct to US$1,000,000/ct and far beyond.

8.41 carat Purple-Pink Diamond

The 12.04-carat "The Martian Pink" sold for $17m in May 2012, twice it's pre-sale estimate of $ 8m.
In March 2012 a 12.76-carat pink diamond was unearthed at Argyle, the largest ever found. It was christened as the Argyle Pink Jubilee. "A diamond of this caliber is unprecedented -- it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone, and we may never see one like this again," said Argyle Pink Diamonds Manager Josephine Johnson in a statement.

Rio Tinto expects that after two months of assessment and planning, it will take ten days to cut and polish the stone.

The Argyle Siren, 1.32 ct. square radiant cut Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink, VS2

The Argyle Toki is a 1.59ct emerald cut Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamond

The Red Wonder Cross. It was designed by Oren Seren and features 11 fancy red diamonds (0.42-0.93 carats), as well as colourless and blue diamonds, set in white gold.

The Argyle Prima is a 1.20ct Pear Fancy Red diamond

The Argyle Cardinal is a 1.21ct radiant cut Fancy Red diamond

Laurence Graff set the entire first tender of Argyle pinks in this brooch

The 24.78 carat Graff Pink Diamond and a 5 carat Fancy Vivid Pink

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Corvette - America’s sports car

The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. The car has been produced through seven generations.

The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after the type of small, maneuverable warship.

The first Corvette went into production in Flint, Mich. on June 30, 1953.
The 1954 model year vehicles could be ordered in Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red and Black, or Polo White. 3,640 were built, and sold slowly.

1956 Corvette
The 1958 Corvette received quad headlamps, bumper exiting exhaust tips and a new steering wheel. The 1959–60 model years had few changes except a decreased amount of body chrome and more powerful engine offerings.
In 1961, the rear of the car was completely redesigned with the addition of a "duck tail" with four round lights. The second generation (C2) Corvette introduced the Sting Ray. Production started for the 1963 model year and ended in 1967.
The third generation Corvette was introduced for the 1968 model year and was in production until 1982. Styling changed subtly throughout the generation until 1978 for the car's 25th anniversary.

Regular fourth generation production began on January 3, 1983. Beginning in 1985, the 230 bhp (170 kW) L98 engine with tuned port fuel injection became the standard. Chevrolet released the Grand Sport (GS) version in 1996 to mark the end of production of the C4 Corvette.
Production of the C5 Corvette began in 1997 and ended with the 2004 model year. The C5 had a top speed of 181 mph (291 km/h) and was judged by the automotive press as improved in nearly every area over the previous Corvette design.
The sixth generation-C6 was produced between 2005 and 2013. The 6.0L (364 cu in) LS2 V8 produced 400 bhp giving the vehicle a 0–60 time of under 4.2 seconds. Its top speed was 190 mph (310 km/h).
The seventh generation corvette, the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z07 was officially unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show. Pricing of the Z07 is expected to be around $100,000.
The 2016 Corvete Z07 will have two engine variants. The first is a 4.5 liter twin-turbo generating up to 500 horsepower. The second will be a 6.2 liter V8 producing over 600 horsepower.

Both engines will be mated with the seven speed Tremec TR-6070 manual transmission and an eight speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.
click to enlarge photos