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Archive for the ‘Domestic Cars’ Category

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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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , , ,

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

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

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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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

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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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Cadillac ELR: Biggest Car Flop Ever?

May 15th, 2014

2014 Cadillac ELR

Ahhhh, karma.

It’s proving to me that maybe Americans can hope not to go down in history as the arrogant materialistic egomaniacs for which we are gaining a reputation.

Even American advertisers advertising to American consumers seem to believe all we care about is working every day of our life and ignoring our families so we can buy expensive cars.

Okay, maybe that’s a generalization, but at least one car company took that approach to sell a new model, and wouldn’t you know it, that model now looks to be on track to go down in history as one of the biggest automotive flops of all time.

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Dodge Puts on Purity Ring, Promises Return to Roots

May 7th, 2014
2013 Dodge Dart SRT

Dodge: Losing weight and gaining speed

Like many middle-aged American men, Dodge has grown fat and slow. Over the years, its passion for life and zest for thrilling speed have given way to bloated discomfort and expanding waistlines.

Why live fast and stay young and fit when you can fall into the comfort of wide seats and underpowered motivation?

Yes, the younger Dodge was strong and attractive, while the modern Dodge has pretty much given up on life. Dodge is the overweight guy who goes to Walmart in sweatpants and slippers, because he doesn’t really care anymore. He’s been married forever, has no one left to impress and would be happy in an existence of slow degradation until the end.

Sometimes all it takes is one event to inspire change. Dodge seems to have experienced that event and has vowed to “purify” itself, according to Automotive News.

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GM’s Solution to Recall: Just Buy a New Car

May 6th, 2014
2014 Buick Regal

Sorry for the trouble. Buy one of these as compensation!

Let’s say you bought a car only to find out later it has a defect that could potentially kill you.

Would your first response be heading to your nearest dealer and buying a new version of the same brand to replace your defective car?

Of course not. That’s a silly question, right? Most people would simply want the car fixed, if possible. Others might have a more extreme response and sue the carmaker in question and vow to never own said brand again.

General Motors is still in the middle of its ignition recall and has made those affected by it a very strange offer.

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