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Archive for the ‘Domestic Cars’ Category

The Upside of GM Recalls

June 25th, 2014

GM-recall

There’s a silver lining in every bad situation.

Sometimes you just have to look on the bright side.

After the rain comes a rainbow.

Every rose has its thorn.

Ridiculous clichés aside, there’s always an upside to even the lowest of situations. The General Motors ignition recall is certainly a low point for the world’s largest automaker, but some people are enjoying the benefits of said recall.

Who could possibly benefit from the disaster and tragedy of one of the biggest and most controversial recalls in history?

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Anyone Else Ready for the Tesla Model X?

June 19th, 2014

Tesla Model X

It all started with a tiny squeak behind the fireplace.

Some investigation on my part led to the discovery of a baby mouse in the venting system, which in turn led to the removal of handfuls of insulation, which in turn led to the discovery of a perfectly folded newspaper dated September 1988.

I thought maybe I had discovered a hidden stash of money long forgotten by a previous owner, but all I found was a 26-year-old sports section. After the disappointment subsided I headed to the garage to look deep into its abyss to find some tools, so I could fix the damage I did in my quest to remove said mouse and prevent others from entering my abode.

It was there that I made my great discovery. A discovery that could potentially set me up for a future of gas-free motoring.

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Owning Electric Cars Could Get Easier

June 12th, 2014

Tesla Supercharger

The biggest challenge in owning an electric car is getting it recharged. Charging a battery takes a lot longer than filling a gas tank, and there are far fewer places to recharge than refuel.

For the people who use electric cars just to commute from home to work and back, recharging every night at home is enough.

For people who want to use their electric vehicles as replacements for gas-powered cars, EVs just haven’t proven useful enough to convince people to jump ship.

Elon Musk, the infamous Tesla CEO, wants to change that.

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Trailer Towing: The Great Evil

June 9th, 2014

2003 Chevrolet Suburban 2500

It’s boat season.

This is the time of year when swimsuits emerge and boats wake from a long winter’s nap. It’s a beautiful season of water skiing, boat food and kids chattering like baby birds as they are towed through the water on inflatable tubes.

It’s a beautiful season, but there is one huge problem. For me, boat season also means trailer-towing season.

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Cars for Your Vision Board

June 6th, 2014

audi_q7

Not even a year ago I received a text that changed my future.

The note, which was accompanied by a photo, said, “This is what we need for when we have all four kids. No way are we getting a minivan.”

The picture was of a white Audi Q7.

Naturally, I nearly spit my lemonade out my nose, because the Q7 was about as attainable as a rocket ship. Which, essentially, is what I said in reply. Not long after it was suggested that we make a vision board, a poster consisting of pictures of everything we want in life.

The Q7 made it onto that board.

Just weeks later, a perfect used Q7 cropped up. It was the right color, had roof racks for our paddle boards, had fairly low mileage and most of all, was priced very affordably. That Q7 was the first thing crossed off our vision board.

It’s been replaced with another car, but before we get to that, let’s take a look at cars you should put on your vision board. Be ready, though—you might find one sooner than you think!

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Comparison Shopping: Ford Versus Ferrari?

June 4th, 2014

1992_ferrari_348

Here’s a dilemma that doesn’t come up often: Would you get an old Ferrari or a new Ford?

An article on Top Gear raised that general question, and while things are a little different over in Europe, it applies here as well. The Ferrari in question is the 348, a midengine, rear-wheel-drive V8 2-seater built between 1988 and 1995. Fewer than 9,000 were built, which might make you think the car has appreciated in value over time.

Not so much.

It’s not cheap by any means, but here in the U.S. a 348 can be found for around $35,000. In the UK, prices are generally about 25,000 pounds, which is the number Top Gear used for comparison.

On our turf, we’ll stick with the $35K number. For that you’ll get a 25-year old car, a potential maintenance nightmare and a striking looker that’ll send your friends and neighbors head over heels. Is it worth getting one over a comparably priced new car like a Mustang GT?

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Shopping for the One That Got Away

May 27th, 2014

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

We all have one we wish we would have kept.

Mine was an ’84 Toyota Pickup. My fiancée’s was a ’74 Porsche 911. My dad had two: a 1967 Mercury Cougar and a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado.

I was a mere baby when he had the Cougar, so hardly remember the car. I was a young teen when he had the Olds and have fond memories of helping with the restoration. (And by “helping,” I mean “standing in the garage and handing him tools.”)

The Toronado’s 385-hp, 425-cubic-inch V8 engine was rebuilt, the interior reupholstered in ivory leather, and the exterior painted Crystal Green. The finished product was stunning.

After all the restoration, Dad sold the car for $5,000.

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Holy Hellcat, the Horsepower Wars Just Got Real

May 23rd, 2014

Dodge Challenger Hellcat

This whole horsepower thing is officially out of control.

Before I really get into things, I’d like to point out a great irony: Automakers across the world are vying to create the most powerful street-legal cars ever available, with horsepower numbers and 0-60 times once reserved for only the most exclusive supercars. Five hundred horsepower was once the realm of fantasy but can now be had in just about any suburban garage across America.

At the same time, automakers are trying to sell the most fuel efficient hybrid and electric cars to econo-loving environmentalists. It’s the very definition of a double standard, yet we all seem to accept it.

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Tesla Moves Ahead While Keeping an Eye Out for a Ghost

May 22nd, 2014

Fisker Karma

Tesla has reached its tipping point.

How do I know this? I can feel it. I can sense it. I credit my finely tuned sense of the automotive industry.

Well, that and I’m hearing about Tesla everywhere. In the news, in blogs, on drives with friends and coworkers, and while working in my front yard. Tesla has infiltrated the auto world, and things are looking great for the California automaker.

Unless Fisker’s rebirth poses as much of a problem as its new owner promises.

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These Cars Should Have Flopped

May 16th, 2014
2002-ford-thunderbird

This one probably should have been on the list too

Yesterday we learned that the Cadillac ELR is in the process of becoming one of the biggest flops in automotive history.

That’s quite the honor for General Motors and another notch for a company that has a history of creating flops. To be fair, the General also has the quite the history of creating smashing successes, but today we’re focused on flops. More specifically, let’s look at cars that should have been flops, but somehow managed to live much longer than they should have.

This’ll be fun.

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