Maybe We Should Restore One of These

November 26th, 2014

1965 Jaguar E-Type Series I 4.2 Roadster

Handing my son an iPhone is never a good idea.

That’s mostly true because he’ll spend hours downloading and playing car racing games. His latest game involves buying rundown classic cars, racing them, and earning money to spend on restoration. It’s a cool concept, and the game has introduced him to classics he wouldn’t otherwise have known, including the ’67 Chevy Impala and ’72 Mercedes-Benz 280SL.

One car, though, he knows very well. The 1965 Jaguar E-Type has been a favorite since he first saw one at about 6 years old. Seeing it in the game for $129,000 sparked an interest in a real-life search for what the E-Type commands in today’s market.

Which is the other reason handing my son an iPhone isn’t a good idea.

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Meet the Pickup Trucks Getting Close to 30 MPG

November 25th, 2014

2015 Ford F-150, front-view

News of a truck that gets the same fuel economy as a family sedan, and is capable of pulling 12,000 pounds of trailer, would change the game for American pickups.

Of course, we’ll never get the two of those things together. With trucks, fuel economy and towing capacity are an either/or proposition.

Trucks capable of close to 30 miles per gallon on the highway are now here, and we have trucks that can pull 12,000 pounds, but we will never have a truck that pulls 12,000 pounds while getting anything more than about 9 miles per gallon.

Ford’s new 2015 F-150 solves half the puzzle by getting an impressive 26 mpg on the highway.

With a catch, of course.

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The $50,000 Red Delorean

November 24th, 2014

red-delorean-dmc-12

Rich guys will pay anything to relive their childhoods.

The Delorean DMC-12 has a rich history, not because of its performance or a long production life, but because of its place in pop culture courtesy of Doc Brown and Marty McFly.

The DMC-12 is a sports car that was manufactured by the Delorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981 and 1982 in Northern Ireland. I think virtually everyone who’s even remotely into cars knows its story, but the DMC-12 is the only model Delorean ever produced. The DMC-12 featured gull-wing doors with a fiberglass underbody to which those famous brushed stainless steel panels were affixed.

Despite having just 130 hp in U.S. models, the Delorean today remains one of the most collectible models from the 1980s. One “barn find” model just sold for nearly $50,000. From the picture above, I’m sure you can guess what makes it even more rare than a typical Delorean.

That’s right: It’s red.

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10 Best Cars to Tackle Winter: 2014 Edition

November 21st, 2014

2014 Jeep Wrangler

The words of House Stark will tell you that preparing for winter is imperative. And assuming you’ve seen a few winters in your time, you’ll know that one of the biggest adjustments you’ll need to make is winter driving. You’ll need to add some time to your commute allowance, check your antifreeze, grab some flares and road salt, and throw on some snow tires. But if you’re looking for a new vehicle to bring to battle with winter, we have some suggestions. Cars for skiing are great, but these vehicles will do you good in the everyday winter struggle.

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These Three Unsafe Minivans Will Surprise You

November 21st, 2014

2014 Nissan Quest crash test

You assume you’re safe. You’re surrounded by acres of sheet metal and protected by a sturdy steel frame. You’re riding higher than most other vehicles and under the impression that you’re nearly invincible.

Your most valuable possessions, including your new 60-inch television, your sporting equipment, yesterday’s leftovers and probably even your children, are along for the ride. You might smile to yourself, because you think you’re riding in one of the safest vehicles on the road.

But if you’re driving one of three popular minivans, you’re not.

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America Arrives With the Cadillac ATS-V and Mustang Shelby GT350

November 20th, 2014

Cadillac ATS-V

To the list of things that make me happy, I’d like to add:

  1. The sound of the new Mustang Shelby 350GT
  2. The Cadillac ATS-V

Yes, this is the first time a Cadillac has ever made it onto this exclusive list. Usually the mere mention of the word “Cadillac” causes me to shrug and think of all the ways I’d like to customize my Audi.

The ATS-V, though, has managed to awaken something in my soul and has become a car I simply must experience.

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Say Goodbye to the Chevy SS

November 19th, 2014

2014 Chevrolet SS

Get it while you can, because the Chevy SS is going and going fast.

Like the beautiful and amazing GM V8 super sedans before it, the Chevy SS appears to be on the one-way track to discontinued-ville. The previous cars, the Pontiac GTO and Pontiac G8 GXP were ferocious and well-built cars, but didn’t last more than a couple of model years.

Personally, I kick myself, because I had the chance to buy a new GXP just after news of Pontiac’s coming extinction broke. A nearby dealer had one left and contacted me with a heckuva good deal, but I passed. Now, those used GXPs can go for close to 40 grand because there are so few on the market.

There are only 6 in CarGurus’ used listings as of this writing, and 3 them are flagged as overpriced. And they’ll probably sell.

The same thing could happen to the Chevy SS.

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Are New Hydrogen Cars Better Than Electrics?

November 18th, 2014

Honda FCV concept

If cars ran on water, the price of H2O would probably jump to $4 per gallon, and filling our tanks wouldn’t be any less expensive than using gasoline. The good part, though, would be that we’d have an unending supply, and we could drive forever without polluting our environment.

Cars powered by water won’t ever happen, but cars powered by hydrogen, which emit only water, are happening already.

Much like electric cars, hydrogen-powered cars aren’t very practical, because there is no refueling infrastructure in place. Unlike electric cars, fueling up involves filling a tank with compressed gas, which can take a matter of minutes rather than hours.

Toyota and Honda are both big proponents of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, but owning one certainly won’t be cheap.

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Scion’s Comeback Effort Looks Like an Old Toyota

November 17th, 2014

2014_scion_im_concept_la_auto_show

Let me be clear: I don’t think Toyota needs the Scion brand.

The initial intent in creating Scion was to appeal to a younger crowd at a lower price point with small but exciting vehicles. It worked for a little while but Scion has slowly been dying in recent years.

The cars, with the exception of the great FR-S (which should have been a Toyota) are lifeless and dull.

Regardless of this humble car blogger’s opinion, Scion trudges on and will introduce a new vehicle at the LA Auto Show this week.

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10 Super Cars for Super Skiers

November 14th, 2014

2013 Subaru Impreza

The snow is starting to fall in the mountains, so it may be time for you skiers and snowboarders to start making arrangements to get out to the resorts. Perfect ski conditions do not make for perfect driving conditions, unfortunately, so it’s important to drive up to the mountains in a capable car. We all know that one person who’s been stuck in the snow, driving a front-wheel-drive Honda Fit up a snowy hill backward in a futile attempt to get more traction. Don’t be that person. Bring an appropriately equipped vehicle to the mountains with you. Nothing spoils a ski trip like not making it to the mountain.

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