Custom Cars: Does Big Money Equal Great Taste?

July 28th, 2014

1966 ferrari 365P berlinetta speciale

Sometimes you just don’t question a 12-year-old.

“Hey Dad,” my son said, “have you heard about the 3-seat Ferrari?”

Of course I told him he was wrong and that Ferrari has never built a 3-seater. A Ferrari with a bench seat wouldn’t make any sense—it would be like a pickup without a bed.

Well, the little guy proved me wrong by directing me to an article describing a rare Ferrari 3-seater, which will be up for auction next month at the Pebble Beach Concours. The 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale has earned the nickname of “Tre Posti” for its three front seats.

Then my little guy shocked me again with news of a 4-door Prancing Horse.

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Going Topless for $20k

July 25th, 2014

1957 Triumph TR3

Convertibles in the summer can seem a little cliched, but you have to figure there is a reason for that. Ignore the stereotypes of midlife crises and over-the-top luxury, convertibles are a great choice for anyone looking for a fun and stylish yet practical ride. Convertibles are truly great to drive in the summer, and you’ll feel great doing it. The last few years have produced some amazing convertibles.

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Good Cars at the Best Prices Ever

July 25th, 2014
2007 Saturn Sky

2007 Saturn Sky

Recall drama never ceases to fade.

The last few years have given us plenty of topics for conversation, with every major automaker issuing newsworthy recalls.

The biggest, and most severe, was General Motors’ recall of over 17 million cars for flaws with the ignition switch. That recall was turned into a marketing effort of sorts, with GM using the opportunity to introduce new cars to existing customers.

Now there’s some news that cars affected by the recall are some of the best buys on the used market. Keep reading for some good cars you can pick up on the cheap, thanks to one of the biggest recalls in automotive history.

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The American Car That’s Better Than a BMW?

July 24th, 2014

2014 BMW 428i

Consumer Reports has drunk the American Kool-Aid.

The magazine, influential among car shoppers who commonly consult its ratings and recommendations, has made a decision that doesn’t make any sense.

I’m not saying car shoppers should dismiss the magazine’s advice, but I will say, on this topic, mine is better.

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Buick: Still an Old Man Car?

July 23rd, 2014

2015-buick-lacrosse

“You know, we should probably check out a Buick.”

I had no idea my dad was capable of speaking such nonsense. He wasn’t even kidding.

My parents were in the process of shopping for a new car, and my dad, a lifelong proponent of foreign cars and skeptic of American cars, uttered those fateful and surprising words.

At 60 years old, my dad was just doing what many 60-year-olds do. Thankfully my mom is still 59 and hasn’t crossed over into the age of Buicks just yet. She prevented the purchase and influenced a choice that conveys a considerably younger persona.

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The New Breed of SUV: Small Utility Vehicle

July 22nd, 2014

2013 Audi Q5

SUV is an acronym for Sport Utility Vehicle, which I think has been forgotten, as the term now extends to vehicles that are neither sport nor utility.

The earliest SUVs were the first Chevrolet Suburban and military-inspired Jeep vehicles. Soon after those we had SUVs from International and Land Rover, then more from Chevy, Jeep and Ford. Those old Scouts and Broncos and Discoverys were true sport utility vehicles, with the power and capability to conquer any road, or lack thereof, put in front of them.

Today we have “compact SUVs” and “crossover SUVs,” which, in every sense of the word, are not SUVs at all.

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How to Solve This Smelly Problem?

July 21st, 2014

mouse in car

It started with a smell.

The terribly awful odor of death is unmistakable, and it came from somewhere inside my car.

After throwing a small tantrum, I emptied everything out of our Legacy, hooked up the vacuum and told myself I wouldn’t stop until I found “the problem.” I vacuumed every nook and cranny, under the seats, in the glovebox… and found nothing.

The scent didn’t go away, so I dug deeper and did some research.

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Beating the Heat with Cool Cars

July 18th, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Yesterday, we were lucky enough get an invite to the New England Motor Press Association‘s annual Ragtop Ramble. The day started out at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts, where we met up with representatives from several automakers, automotive journalists and, of course, the cars we’d be driving up to the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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Own a Car that Changed the Game

July 18th, 2014

Acura NSX

Any regular schmuck can own a Camry.

A Camry is proven reliable and economical to own. There’s nothing particularly exciting about a Camry, but you can be sure it’ll always be there when you need it.

Owning a Camry tells the world you appreciate the status quo and would rather opt for comfort and knowing exactly what to expect than take a chance on innovation.

Maybe there’s a part of you that wants to live a slightly more exciting life, but you still crave the peace of knowing exactly what to expect in a vehicle.

You, my friend, need a car that changed the game when new, but today is a solid used choice.

MSN Autos posted a gallery of cars that changed the game, most of which are readily available on the used market. Some, like the Model T, are a little more difficult to find.

Read on to find out which are worth considering as your next car.

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The Problem with a Teen’s First Car

July 17th, 2014

2005 Volvo XC90 V8

I’m lucky I survived into adulthood.

I was like a baby sea turtle as a teenager. On their long journey from the nest to the ocean, seagulls snatch many little turtles up before they ever get a chance to thrive in the water. Baby sea turtles aren’t familiar with their surroundings and don’t know to be afraid. All they see is a flat beach and water on the horizon, and they try to get there as fast as they can.

Same with teenagers. Unleashed on the world with the ability to freely travel wherever they choose, they often forget, or don’t realize, that danger resides around every corner. I was reckless and aggressive as a teen driver, a truth I’m not proud of, but something that’s made me a better driver today.

With experience and technology, I hope we can greatly reduce the number of teen deaths on our roads. The problem is that safety costs a lot of money.

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