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The Exhaust Note - A Car Magazine [Reviews, impressions, car lore]


Excellent! I think you hit it on the head, the Bisango is more of a continent cruising limosine wearing an SUV suit rather than the super SUV that it appears to be.


1912 Zephorus 2000 - The strange, the odd, and the remarkable 3

cars by @Sky-High

"No need for the hand crank. It has an electric starter."

We at The Exhaust Note are not that familiar with pre-war vehicles, but if we were certain about one thing, it would be the stereotypical cranking the engine to start it. But nothing is at it seems in this 1912 Zephorus 2000; probably the first car produced by the somewhat elusive design house.

As a result, we actually do not know that much about this particular vehicle. We do know it has one of the first electric starter mechanisms for a car. There is a crank just in case, but you start the Zephorus by putting your key into the ignition lock, turning the ignition lever, manually priming the fuel pump, opening the throttle (more on that later), and finally pressing the true ignition button.

"Yes, two pedals. No, it's not an automatic. It's the brake and your clutch."

Suffice to say driving without a gas pedal is a quite an alien experience. It’s not that you cannot regulate the throttle. There is a switch on the dashboard next to the ignition that has 4 settings, basically: off, some, more, and full throttle. You should start in “more” or with full throttle in first gear not to stall, and then can cruise in low, more or full in second - being also your top - gear.

It’s difficult to wrap your head around at first, but you get used to it. We don’t actually know the specifics of this particular vehicle, but we guess the engine has a power output of about 35 horsepower. The sense of speed is enormous, but the Zephorus 2000 cannot really go much faster than 80 km/h (50mph). So in reality, the unusual throttle control does not make it that difficult to drive safely. Well, sensibly, rather. Let’s not talk abut safety when you are sitting on a rickety, smoking 105 plus year old machine without seat belts and with sponges for brakes.

"Feels like a Great War fighter plane, doesn't it? You can see why he loved it."

The “he” is Lieutenant Jan Olieslagers, one of the Belgian Great War Flying Aces, and general dare devil and speed maniac and lover of cars. He and his brother Jules were the last known owners of this car. He is said to have bought it in 1921 after being retired from the army. Remaining involved with mechanics and flying, he died during the Second World War a national hero. His Zephorus 2000 then ended up in the hands of the Belgian State.

Now restored and shared between the War Museum and the Autoworld, it is a part of history. But its early years are unclear. We know the Zephorus was not cheap when new, with hand made light-weighed panels and hand made interior; an exciting engine and new-fangled accesories such as the electric starter, it was a luxury tourer, costing probably one to two average year incomes.

"It's a bit of a star in the collection. It sees more action that most of the pieces."

Driving the Zephorus was a truly unique and sometimes scary experience. This is not the only dark red 2000 out there. A number of surviving examples from 1912 to 1914 are in the hands of private collectors, all in the Zephorus dark red, because that was the only option. This is the only model currently in public ownership and exhibited for public viewing. This makes it all the more remarkable that this vehicle is still in working order. Olieslagers himself is claimed to have praised the reliability of the Zephorus - rare for hand-made low volume old cars - compared to his other, newer vehicles at multiple occasions.

The museum staff is proud of this old gem in perfect working order. Sure it’s not fully original with its engine completely restored, the tires changed, and the rear seats replaced by replicas. But this also means it sees more activity than the average exhibit. The Zephorus has featured in historical movie shoots, in Great War re-enactment and remembrance events, and even in a historical rally or two. Keep an eye out for it, should you visit Brussels or Flanders Fields. The poppies might not be the only red thing that catches your eyes.

Zephorus Autos [Stories + Formatting] WIP

1963 Alfrezza Potenza GT - Cars in History 4

car by @BF94387

A Sicilian design studio, BF9 Design, was responsible for the 1963 Potenza GT by Alfrezza. It is not a well known car but it oozes that raw sixties Italian flair. It’s big double headlights and the floating thin-pillared roof are the most eye-catching. Produced in limited numbers for only two years, we at The Exhaust Note are grateful to be able to drive the car and give your our impressions.

Created in 1932 - with a hiatus during the war - Alfrezza produced in small quantities a number of rather unremarkable but quintessentially Italian light sports cars. The Potenza and the coorperation with BF9 Design house was its throw at the bigger stage. Introduced on the 1963 Paris autoshow, it received positively for its styling, but with the aim of breaking through in the grand tourer market it fell short of the expectations. Production was cancelled less than two years later.

Technically, the car was not really ready for production. Notoriously hard to drive and uncomfortable for a grand tourer, its troubles started with an unreliable, loud and heavily vibrating 3.2 liter V6. Large for a European sports car at the time, it produced 200 horsepower, making Potenza at least living up to its name in terms of the figures. Weighing in at just over one ton, it was fast in a straight line. Nobody knows exactly how fast though, because over 180 km/h it becomes highly unstable.

The Italian quirkiness does not stop with the engine. From its 180mm wide special made wheels, to its headrests in the rear, which are part of the design but not actually attached to any usable rear seat, the Potenza is a classic car that looks rushed. It did result in a bit of a cult of appreciation for surviving examples.

We went to Italy to get the opportunity to drive the Potenza on home territory, on windy mountain roads. And we can confide in you that we started our drive terrified, having read up on comments of its oversteer, its lock ups on braking - especially of the rear wheels, its unstability. But by the time we exited the city and were on the open mountain roads, we had grown understanding of the cult following of the Alfrezza Potenza GT.

It is, in fact, a tourer. It might lack the size and comfort of a typical one, but the drive should be experienced as such. Going into high rev ranges and taking turns sportively, not anticipating braking sufficiently ahead, you could feel where the negative comment come from. But driving the GT sedately, the engine is neither loud nor rickety; it rumbles softly between 2 and 3 thousand rpm while you go to through the manual 4-speed. Driving with anticipation, the handling is neither unpredictable nor dangerous, but the Potenza glides along the road.

This is not a sports car. This is a Sunday lazy drive tourer. What you lack in comfort, you gain in experience as the engine rumbles lazily but with some kind of old airplane character. It is to be driven as it is to be admired for its styling; somewhat detached, as if you were glancing though a book on Italian car design, with a cigar and scotch in hand. Nothing ought to be rushed, nothing too intensely experienced, just the slow meaty rumble of the engine in the background and your slow determined movements preparing for the next upcoming corner.


Beautifully written! Thanks for taking to time to appreciate the Potenza :ok_hand:


Beautifully written, and a beautiful car!


This is what happens when your car magazine has an open invite day - Short Articles 4a

car by @chichicoofisial

And we are not even mad. We appreciate all wheeled transport here at The Exhaust Note, and it was interesting to drive around in this 2003 AHB G1-370 semi-truck - or so we heard from our two journalists that have the necessary driver qualifications to take it on the open road.

Powered by a small-angle 10731cc turbo-diesel V8 producing about 370 horsepower and well over 1000 Nm of torque, this AHB is the base model from 2003. Regardless, we found the truck running smoothly, greatly helped by its hydro-pneumatic suspension - which we found perfectly tuned - and the automatic gearbox (a six-speed, though with a low and high range for each). We can imagine the gearbox is standard for the AHBs from that period, as even cruising over the speed limit on the highway, we never used high sixth gear. Top speed is electronically limited - for everyone’s safety, especially others’ - to 120 km/h.

The cab alone weighs over 6.5 tons, so engine braking and anticipative driving are necessary. But we found the brakes more than capable. Pulling power is obviously good, though we heard from the owner than the real heavy work required the more powerful engine choices. Still, he continues to use this sixteen year old truck on a regular basis professionally. We are inclined to understand his enthousiasm and fidelity to the AHB. We’ve certainly driven cars that were harder to handle and drove less comfortably.

[note: I’m running behind in writing out my notes on a few fantastic cars that I received in the last weeks. Life has been busy in good ways recently. This article should have been part of three, but the other two didn’t get written out yet.]


Beautifully written! Love that article, thanks for giving it a try!


I thought these were extinct - Short Articles 4b

car by @Boiled_Steak

This magnificently aggressive coupe is the 2019 Aria Suzuka V6 GT. And in a time where every smaller engine is turbo-charged, the small Japanese company Aria Auto decided to built their newest iteration of the Suzuka, a line going back to 1968, around a naturally aspirated small angle V6 engine. The 3206cc powerplant may “only” put out around 300 horsepower and equal Nm of torque, but the incredible responsiveness and magnificent sound - we’re not entirely sure that the version we got would pass noise limitation tests - it makes in high revs more than makes up for that.

We are on top of that a great fan of its looks. Finished in ‘Dark Rose’ Metallic paint, the colour underlines the flowing yet powerful lines that run along the bodywork. The front and rear both have that enticing mix of angular and flowing elements that define alluring styling. The 20 inch wheels give the Suzuka a forceful and attacking stance together with the large hood and side vents, as well as the bold large rectangular exhausts.

The all-wheel drive system is set up with a mild rear wheel bias. Not enough to make go so sideways, but enough to give you the impression the car might allow you if you really tried. It makes for a fun and lively yet stable drive. And a driver’s car this, with only two seats, decently but not luxuriously equipped, and a gearbox that favours getting as close to that 8,4k red line even at normal traffic speeds.

That short gearing is the feature of the 7-speed automatic gearbox. It does have paddles on the steering wheel but it’s no racing gearbox. That said, even in pure automatic drive with the sports mode on, the drive is both lively as well as suitable for daily traffic. Fuel consumption is not very low, but remains reasonable at 8.6 l/100km (27.4 mpg) claimed - though realistically closer to 11 l/100km (21.5 mpg).

Price is hefty with just over $90.000 for the top trim model with all the options. Maintenance costs are relatively low though, helped by sensible material choices and going for relatively standard base components, from the normal automatic gearbox to the all-around 215mm tires. We tested the Aria both in traffic as well as on the track, and it performed admirably as civil grand tourer as well as a sports coupe. The brakes are probably too standard for sustained track use as well, but the times it set around the track were in the range of much high powered turbo-charged competitors.


Love the writing. It was worth the wait!


Sneak peeks at ongoing Christmas Special compilation work


when you make these, you just go around the forums looking at car brand threads right?


Strop’s corner :eyes:


No, people send me there cars and ask if I’m interested in reviewing them. Or occasionally I reach out for a specific design. Car brand threads and lore are obviously great sources of information to make the articles interesting and a good read. But the reviews an sich are based on the .car file, with some flavour added via BeamNG tests. Though that last one is not conclusive and mainly meant to add flavour.



Presenting: 48 pages of goodness:


Kadett Motor Company - 2020 Kadett Beat

Yep cat’s outta the bag. I was more than happy to provide Miros with my thoughts on the Cellia Novia, but am keen to continue the broader idea of a periodic little ramble or blurb on a selected car or topic (related to performance or Automation or Beam etc.) Call it an op-ed or something. I will leave it to Miros to decide what arrangement suits him best.

As for personas I have a range of characters available for the job, all from my parent company of which (in-character) me is obviously a part of. Each driver has a slightly different emphasis and very different personality.


This magazine lacks some kind of nice logo. This front page is, um, not well made, sorry to say it. :sweat_smile:


Considering the only tool I used to make this whole magazine was Open Office Text Editor, it could have been worse.

That said, open for suggestions.

I’m also curious about feedback on the rest of the format. Whether shorter versions of this could be a periodical thing, or whether I should stick with articles in this thread itself (which I presume is easier for people reading on mobile devices)?


So I’ve read the magazine and I can simply tell you how much I love the fact that this is the first time my car is being featured, despite the fact that it’s lacking some visuals to make it even more interesting to read.

Either way, it’s definitely worth to download and read and it is also a great christmas gift for me, and anyone else that got featured on the magazine. And I hope that everyone will eventually gets the chance to experience the same that the authors of this journal do with this beauty.

With that being said, Merry Christmas, XXX1X XX11, Forza Novia!


Suggestions in this respect? More pictures just or any ideas?

It’s of course still automation. It’s not like I can do interior pictures or so.


Can’t tell you in a specific, but I’d like to see some colors and interesting key visuals, with some kind of interesting layout. Say, adding any aesthetic value to the magazine would be pretty nice, but it will take some more time and work to make it look even better.

With that being said, I’ve been thinking about trying to redesign the magazine cover in Photoshop/Illustrator. I’ll see what I can do, and I’ll try to post it here as soon as I’m done with the cover.