autoevolution

Vlad Radu

768  ARTICLES

Personal motto:

“From success, you learn absolutely nothing. From failure and setbacks conclusions can be drawn. That goes for your private life as well as your career.” - Nikki Lauda

Contributor
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At age five Vlad built a car cockpit out of wood, carboard and an old Trabant steering wheel under his desk and dreamed about driving the world’s most exotic cars. He grew up watching Michael Schumacher become a legendary driver, falling in love with speed and all things Ferrari in the process.

In high school, he crashed a communist-era Dacia 1310 with no brakes into a military base’s fence and almost got arrested on terrorism charges but bribed the base’s sentinel with three packs of cigarettes and only got in trouble for ruining the car.

He then decided to put his passion for cars on hold and concentrate on playing professional basketball. Due to a lack of talent, size, and a serious injury, he was forced to abandon professional sports and take a job as a video game tester. It was during this period that he discovered a passion for reading and writing after finding Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels on a park bench.

The author’s writing style was fascinating to young Vlad and he continued to read all his books while creating a blog where he wrote about controversial social issues, inspired by his favorite author.

Years later, he got back to his first passion, taking a job at a local car parts dealership. He worked his way up from the sales department to a successful regional manager position, but something was still missing.

His biggest dream was to write so, when Autoevolution approached him to become a member of the team, he quit his old job instantly, and has been passionately writing ever since.

When he’s not busy creating articles or playing with his two-year-old son, he can be found working on his old BMW 3 Series Wagon or shredding trails on a mountain bike he assembled himself.
59 Years After Its Debut, the W113 SL “Pagoda” Remains a Groundbreaking Open-Top Icon
59 Years After Its Debut, the W113 SL “Pagoda” Remains a Groundbreaking Open-Top Icon

Conceived with performance, practicality, and safety in mind, the Mercedes-Benz W113 SL revolutionized the idea of a convertible. The German manufacturer’s SL (Sport-Leicht, or Sport Light) Class was introduced in 1954 when a road-legal v...

 
1969 Cougar XR-7 Cobra Jet: A Lethal Combo Between an Upscale Convertible and a Muscle Car
1969 Cougar XR-7 Cobra Jet: A Lethal Combo Between an Upscale Convertible and a Muscle Car

Stylish, luxurious, and more than capable of shredding tires, the Cougar XR-7 Cobra Jet 428 was one of the most interesting American-built convertibles on sale in the late-1960s. The origins of the Cougar date back to the early 1960s when both ...

 
The BMW M3 E30 Convertible Was the Embodiment of 1980s Open Top Madness
The BMW M3 E30 Convertible Was the Embodiment of 1980s Open Top Madness

Conceived to homologate a brand-new race car design, the first-ever M3 was also offered as a convertible, even though such a vehicle defied common sense. During the mid-1980s, BMW was heavily involved in various forms of motorsport. One of the ...

 
A Look Back at the Original Cadillac Eldorado, One of America’s Most Iconic Convertibles
A Look Back at the Original Cadillac Eldorado, One of America’s Most Iconic Convertibles

Big, beautiful, and extremely sophisticated, the first-year Eldorado was not just Cadillac’s flagship, but an automotive piece of art. In 1952, the Cadillac Motor Car Division was celebrating its 50th anniversary. About a year earlier, Ge...

 
Canvas or Vinyl, This Is How To Clean Your Convertible’s Retractable Top Like a Pro
Canvas or Vinyl, This Is How To Clean Your Convertible’s Retractable Top Like a Pro

If you own a convertible or plan on buying one soon, you should know that its retractable top requires special care and cleaning it properly can save you tons of money in the future. For a car enthusiast, nothing enhances the senses more than d...

 
1969 Trans Am Convertible: Remembering One of the Rarest Muscle Cars From the Golden Era
1969 Trans Am Convertible: Remembering One of the Rarest Muscle Cars From the Golden Era

Introduced in 1969, the Tans Am was officially a performance and appearance package that transformed the regular Firebird into bonified tire-shredder. Almost 700 examples were built during that year and out of those, only eight were convertibles. ...

 
Bentley Azure Mark 1: The Exquisite Open Top Icon That You Can Own for Less Than $50,000
Bentley Azure Mark 1: The Exquisite Open Top Icon That You Can Own for Less Than $50,000

At the time of its release in 1995, it was one of the most expensive production cars that money could buy, but nowadays, a used example in great shape can be had for less than an entry-level BMW 430i Convertible. The summer is in full swing and...

 
Now Worth Millions, the BMW 507 Was a Commercial Failure That Almost Ruined the Brand
Now Worth Millions, the BMW 507 Was a Commercial Failure That Almost Ruined the Brand

Conceived to flourish in the U.S. market, the gorgeous roadster was way too expensive, which led to appalling sales figures and a commercial failure of epic proportions that almost buried the Bavarian company. Decades later, it became one of the ra...

 
Dodge Dakota Convertible: The Weirdly Fascinating Drop-Top Pickup Truck
Dodge Dakota Convertible: The Weirdly Fascinating Drop-Top Pickup Truck

More than three decades ago, Chrysler executives came up with the crazy idea of merging drop-top freedom with workhorse practicality. Although the resulting Dakota Convertible was never a marketing success, it was undoubtedly one of the most intrig...

 
The Saturn Sky Red Line Is a Future Classic That You Can Buy for Less Than $15,000
The Saturn Sky Red Line Is a Future Classic That You Can Buy for Less Than $15,000

If you’re looking to spice up your summer with a gorgeous two-seat roadster but you don’t have the money for a new one like the Mazda MX-5 Miata, you should seriously consider the Saturn Sky Red Line. Back in the mid-1880s when Japa...

 
Remembering the Playboy, America's First Production Convertible With a Retractable Hardtop
Remembering the Playboy, America's First Production Convertible With a Retractable Hardtop

Although it became famous thanks to Hugh Hefner’s magazine, the name Playboy was also used by a small car company that introduced an interesting little coupe with a retractable roof no less than 75 years ago. These days, the concept of a ...

 
This S85 V10-Swapped E46 by Brintech Customs Is the BMW M Fan’s Dream Come True
This S85 V10-Swapped E46 by Brintech Customs Is the BMW M Fan’s Dream Come True

The most popular M3 generation and the most outrageous engine ever fitted into a production BMW never officially crossed paths. However, thanks to the folks at Brintech Customs, these two M icons came together, and the result is one jaw-dropping ma...

 
The McLaren F1's S70/2 V12 Was BMW M’s Greatest Gift to the Automotive World
The McLaren F1's S70/2 V12 Was BMW M’s Greatest Gift to the Automotive World

When Gordon Murray decided to build the ultimate road-legal supercar for McLaren, he ended up in Germany where he convinced BMW’s Motorsport division to design one of the most impressive engines of all time. Although the S70/2 was specifi...

 
The E46 M3 GTR Transformed More Regular Folks Into BMW Fans Than Any Other M Model
The E46 M3 GTR Transformed More Regular Folks Into BMW Fans Than Any Other M Model

Initially developed to dominate the American Le Mans Series GT class, the E46 M3 GTR morphed into an outrageous, road-worthy homologation special that starred in the original Need for Speed: Most Wanted video game. Whether it’s the 3.0 CS...

 
The Story of the Blasphemous Yet Brilliant 2JZ-Swapped BMW Z3 M Coupe From South Africa
The Story of the Blasphemous Yet Brilliant 2JZ-Swapped BMW Z3 M Coupe From South Africa

For the past fifty years, BMW’s M division has given us many iconic high-performance vehicles. Arguably the most controversial was the rare Z3 M Coupe, an example of which became even more controversial when it received a turbocharged Toyota ...

 
The Crazy 2001 Hartge H50 Was Unofficially the First 3 Series With an M-Developed V8
The Crazy 2001 Hartge H50 Was Unofficially the First 3 Series With an M-Developed V8

While the first M3 came with a motorsport-derived, four-cylinder engine, all but one of the subsequent iterations were equipped with straight sixes. BMW M broke with tradition during the development of the V8-powered E90 M3, but that wasn&rsqu...

 
The Volga V12 Coupe Is a Stereotype-Defying, BMW M-Powered Custom From Mother Russia
The Volga V12 Coupe Is a Stereotype-Defying, BMW M-Powered Custom From Mother Russia

A daring combination between Soviet-era design and modern German engineering, the Volga V12 Coupe is probably the coolest custom car that ever came out of Russia. Produced in three distinct series from 1956 to 1970, the original Volga (or GAZ M...

 
The Supra or GR Yaris Are Awesome but the GT-One Was Toyota’s Most Outrageous Road Car
The Supra or GR Yaris Are Awesome but the GT-One Was Toyota’s Most Outrageous Road Car

Known all across the globe for its extremely reliable yet mundane-looking vehicles, the Japanese manufacturer once built a street-legal homologation special that continues to blow people’s minds 24 years after it was introduced. In 1994, ...

 
The Fascinating Story of Little Red, the Mythical 1967 Shelby GT500 Experimental Coupe
The Fascinating Story of Little Red, the Mythical 1967 Shelby GT500 Experimental Coupe

The only hardtop coupe GT500 built in 1967, this prototype nicknamed Little Red is an important piece of Mustang history that disappeared for decades. It resurfaced as a pile of scrap metal when few thought it would ever be found, and was ulti...

 
The S85 Was a Special BMW M V10 That Made the M5 and M6 Sound Like Formula 1 Cars
The S85 Was a Special BMW M V10 That Made the M5 and M6 Sound Like Formula 1 Cars

The only series production V10 ever developed by the Bavarians, this brilliant powerplant was inspired by one of the most epic engine configurations in the history of Formula 1. For the 1995 F1 season, the Fédération Internationale...

 

Stories by Vlad Radu