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Archive for the ‘Car Minded’ Category

A Jacked-Up Jag and Other Auto Atrocities

September 1st, 2014

jacked up jag

I only saw it for a moment.

While driving out of town and heading north toward my favorite lake, I turned my head, because something odd caught my attention. In a parking lot on the other side of the highway sat what appeared to be an older Jaguar.

In itself, that observation was nothing spectacular. But this Jag was different, because its body sat a good 6 feet above the suspension and tires.

Someone had taken that little Jag and turned it into a monster truck. As a guy who appreciates Jaguars and other non-monster types of vehicles, I don’t understand modifications that take a car and turn it into something it was never meant to be.

We may not understand the motives behind such auto atrocities, but we can stand back, laugh, and silently criticize the cars that no one else will ever want. I will say this, though:

Each of the cars pictured below must have taken a labor of love to create. While these aren’t my taste, at least someone had fun making them.

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Bostonian Back-to-School Cars, By College

August 29th, 2014

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

It’s time to welcome the new and returning students of Boston. All 250,000 of them. In Boston, the first week of September is a very important (and crazy busy) time of year. It’s the beginning of true orientation for new arrivals (and reorientation for returning students) as everyone settles into their new locations and prepares for the year to come. One thing many students may find useful in the Boston area (or anywhere, really) is a car. So why not pick a car that will accommodate the needs of your school, your neighborhood and your future career (if you’re thinking longish-term investments)?

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat

The Best Cars of the ’90s (and One from the ’80s)

August 29th, 2014

BMW E39 M5

Car designers were on their game in the 1960s, but it seems they took a two-decade vacation in the ’70s and ’80s. I’m pretty sure interns used a straight edge and T-square to churn out car designs back then.

Not until the 1990s did the real designers, and their curvalicious designs, come back, along with some quality and performance that turned the ’90s into a golden age for motoring.

That might sound funny, especially being only 15 years removed from the turn of the century, but keep reading for proof that the ’90s provided the jump-start car designers needed to propel motoring into the 21st century.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

The Most Exclusive Used Car in America?

August 28th, 2014

Land_cruiser_series_70

A couple of days ago, CarGurus posted a link on its Facebook page to an article listing the top 10 cars we can’t buy in the United States.

It wasn’t a bad list and featured the usual suspects from Seat, Citroen, Holden and Land Rover. The list neglected to mention a true international classic, though, which has soldiered on since 1984 and is still sold new. This vehicle has been marketed and sold around the world, with the exclusion of a few countries in North and South America.

It’ll never be sold new here in the States, but it is possible used versions could be imported.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , ,

Has the Corvette Finally Arrived as a Supercar?

August 27th, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

In all my years on this planet, never, not once, have I done a double head turn to check out a Corvette.

Corvettes just aren’t my thing. I see them on almost every outing, whether they be models from the early ’60s on the way to a classic car show, models from the ’80s and ’90s being driven by aging gearheads or later models piloted by post-midlife-crisis 50-somethings.

Corvettes are nearly as common as Hondas around here, and their design has never left me with the desire to exert the necessary energy to look twice. In fact, I usually try to look away as soon as possible, because I’m completely turned off by the Corvette and everything it represents.

So earlier this week, when my heart gave an extra jump as I turned a corner and saw a sexy red supercar parallel parked downtown, I quickly turned my head to look again, then knew my lifetime streak was over.

I had looked twice at a Corvette.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Exotic Cars, General Chat , , ,

The Case for Extended Warranties on Used Cars

August 26th, 2014
Audi Q7 interior

Caution: Don’t use the cupholders

Buying a used Audi seemed like a great idea at the time.

I found the 2008 Q7 on a dealer’s lot and used the CarGurus price analysis tool to determine that the car was a good value. I was smitten with the Audi’s color, strong stance, room for 7 people and pre-installed roof racks. The car was everything I needed, and I was able to negotiate a price significantly lower than the asking amount.

With 88,000 miles on the clock, I figured I had some time before things started going wrong. I was correct in that now I have 98,000 miles and a repair bill that is making me second-guess my choice.

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Wanna Go Yenko? There’s an Auction for That

August 25th, 2014

1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro

Assuming you have no connection with an apparently successful but now convicted group of criminals, you could become the proud new owner of a rare American muscle car.

A group of extraordinary cars seized by U.S. Marshals are being brought to auction and sold to anyone who meets these two criteria:

  1. Can arrange financing before the sale and pay cash at the auction, along with having a $10,000 cashier’s check on hand before bidding.
  2. Can certify that the car isn’t being purchased with the intent of being returned to the convicted.

Is this you? Then get yourself to New Jersey and start bidding on one of these classics.

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Cars That Will Be a Big Help on Moving Day

August 22nd, 2014

2008 Toyota 4Runner

September 1 is quickly approaching, and if you’re familiar with Boston’s seasons, you know what that means. The city’s population will see a 20% swing in one day as everyone’s lease begins. The streets will be jammed with moving vans, students and parents will desperately try to move large pieces of furniture into dorms and apartments, and everyone will wish that their lease began sometime last week. And with this frustration comes the most wonderful time of the year: Allston Christmas. So, you’ll need a vehicle to move your stuff into your new apartment or pick to up that abandoned recliner you could really use off the sidewalk (I mean, it’s really nice, who would just throw that away)?

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Car Lists, Car Minded, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

The Negotiation Tactic No One Should Ever Use

August 22nd, 2014

2014_volkswagen_jetta

I’m sitting in a car dealership listening to people buy cars.

I’m here because my car is in for service, and the normal waiting area is under construction, as is the rest of the dealership. For that reason the sales, negotiations and business sides of the car buying process are unfolding before me.

It’s fascinating, because I want to High Five some people and High Five others right in the face.

To the left of me sits an older couple, negotiating for a Volkswagen Tiguan. In front of me is what appears to be a single young woman, perhaps in her late 20s. To the right is another single woman, probably in her 50s and buying a Jetta. Guess which one I want to slap?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Finally, an Easy Recall Lookup Tool!

August 21st, 2014

VIN locationsThere’s a 30 percent chance that the used car you’re driving has never had a defect repaired.

Automakers issue recalls on cars almost as often as they produce new models, so odds are good that your car has been recalled at some point. Thirty percent of recalled cars are never repaired, which isn’t a big deal if the recall is minor and involves something like a floor mat or trunk hinge. The missed repair could be devastating if the recall is for something more serious, like the recent GM ignition switch debacle.

Used car shoppers, until now, had to conduct difficult research to determine whether or not a car was recalled and repaired. As of this week, there’s an easy online tool that anyone can use to find out quickly whether or not recall repairs have been made on used cars.

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