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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Vice President Declares Corvette Better Than Porsche

May 25th, 2015

2015 Corvette Z06

Happy Memorial Day! We’re now in the final stretch of a long weekend that marks the unofficial start of summer. This is also the weekend when we’re encouraged to take a break from work and remember the ancestors who paved the way for us to enjoy life in the United States.

This is also the time of year when people graduate from high schools and colleges across our great nation.

Sometimes these two annual rights of passage converge, and we see America-infused commencement speeches from high-profile celebrities and politicians. There were none bigger this month than the speech delivered by Vice President Joe Biden, who made a shocking claim about the superiority of America.

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

Why Toyota Shouldn’t Build a New Sports Car

May 22nd, 2015

Toyota sports car concept

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think Toyota should build an inexpensive sports car.

If you know anything about me, you know I’m a freak about sports cars. I clamor for rear-wheel-drive, manual-shift, great-handling coupes and roadsters. I was thrilled when the Subaru BRZ came out, and I’ve gushed about the new Porsche Boxster and basically all iterations of the classic 911.

My brother-in-law races Miatas, and my father-in-law raced Porsches in his younger years.

I love sports cars and everything they represent.

There have been rumors that Toyota would build a sub-$20,000 RWD sports car, but, believe it or not, I don’t think it should.

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Are Car Dealers the Cheapest for Car Maintenance?

May 21st, 2015

car_dealer_service

I’ve grown up believing that the service department of a car dealership is the most expensive place to get your car repaired or serviced. I attribute that to my Dad, who taught me at a young age to always take my car to an independent repair shop to get the best price.

I carried that belief into adulthood, and only now am I starting to realize that’s not always the best approach.

To be fair to my Dad, maybe that was true 20 years ago. Maybe dealerships have realized they need to be competitive with other shops to keep customers coming back. Whatever the case, it’s time to give car dealerships another look for service.

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Car Minded, Car Parts, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Surprise! A Corvette Split Window and a ’67 Shelby GT500

May 18th, 2015

1967 Shelby GT500

There are some things you don’t expect to see when you seclude yourself deep in the woods for the weekend. Those things are:

  1. A cell-phone signal
  2. Air conditioning
  3. A perfect 1967 Ford Mustang GT500

This last weekend, deep in the forest of North Idaho and near the pristine shores of the expansive Lake Pend Oreille, my family and I saw all three. Plus, as an added bonus, a 1963 Corvette Stingray Split Window.

You’ve surprised me, Idaho.

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

Toyota’s Partnerships: Good for Toyota, Good for the Industry

May 15th, 2015

2018 Toyota Supra

Toyota is one of the world’s largest automakers, but at least one of its coolest cars is the result of a partnership with another automaker.

Automotive partnerships don’t always work. One failure that comes to mind immediately is the Chrysler TC by Maserati.

I guess “failure” might be a little harsh, because the car does have its own club and plenty of fans. Those people see the car as misunderstood and elegant, while the rest of the world sees a Chrysler K-car with a spit-shine.

The TC lasted only three model years and cost close to $40,000 when new. That high price bought a Maserati body with a Chrysler engine, pretty much the worst from each partner at the time.

Toyota seems to have the partnership thing figured out, though, with at least three marriages to other major automakers. Will they fare better than the Chrysler-Maserati tie-up?

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Today’s Mistake Equals Tomorrow’s Collectible

May 13th, 2015

2015 Lexus RC 350

Today we’re going to cover a spread of two and a half decades on a single page. Specifically we are going to discuss two cars that are 25 years apart and have absolutely nothing in common except a certain attribute that can make even the most forgettable car something special.

One of these cars remains in production, though even the automaker admits it probably shouldn’t. The other car hasn’t been on a production line since the Bush administration. The first one.

What is it that links this 2015 Lexus to a 1990 Volkswagen?

Rarity.

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

The Great Controversy: Oil-Change Intervals

May 12th, 2015

oil change intervals

I’m writing this from a waiting room inside the service department of an auto dealership. I can’t say I like it here.

All the chairs are placed in a semi-circle and face a wall-mounted television, which is currently tuned to a show starring three angry judges who like to yell at people. The volume is too high. I don’t even have a television at home, so this is a bit of a shock to me.

The gentleman in the chair directly next to me has a giant sack of dealership butter popcorn, which he’s slurping and spilling all over his chest with every dive into the bag.

I don’t like it here.

I’m getting a simple oil change on a 2013 Subaru Legacy, and I really would love to come less often.

I use full synthetic oil and have it changed every 5,000 miles. Should I cut back to every 7,500 miles or more and save myself from the despair of the waiting room?

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Car Minded, Car Safety, Foreign Cars, General Chat , ,

New Mercedes-Benz G-Class Raises the Question of Car Color

May 7th, 2015

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Despite how it might look, this is not a post about the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Very few of us will ever test-drive or purchase Merc’s veritable luxury performance off-roader, and even fewer will step foot into a G63 AMG or G65 AMG.

However, the new G-Series has caught my attention not because of the G63’s mind-numbing 5.4-second zero-to-60 time or the G65’s 621 horsepower, but because the color choices are as ridiculous as the car itself. Orange, lime green, magenta, and bright yellow complement the traditional choices.

I bring this up because just yesterday a friend asked, after reading our article about look-alike cars, why more color choices aren’t offered on new cars to set them apart. Here’s what she asked:

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2016 Mazda Miata: Saving Manuals and Inspiring FIAT

May 5th, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata pic-4558201182130151607

Could Mazda singlehandedly save the manual transmission *and* make FIAT exciting again?

Those might seem like two completely unrelated things, but the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has the potential to do both. It’s a tall order from an automaker that ranks 15th in size by production worldwide, but sometimes it’s the smaller guys who rise up to make the biggest impact.

Car enthusiasts in the U.S. are painfully aware of the slow demise of the manual transmission. They are also aware that driving a FIAT basically means you’ve given up on attaining any type of thrill from driving.

But fear not, friends, because the Miata is here to save the day.

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Be Like Floyd: Mayweather and His Car Dealer

May 1st, 2015

Floyd Mayweather Mercedes Ferrari

When a ridiculously rich and famous athlete wakes up at 3 a.m. with the sudden urge to call his dealer, it’s normally not the kind that sells cars.

The online media has exploded with stories about tomorrow’s bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, with one of the biggest stories being, oddly enough, the cars of Mr. Mayweather.

When you or I wake up in the middle of the night from a dream in which we owned, say, a Bugatti Veyron, we shake our heads at the unlikelihood of it and go back to sleep. When Floyd Mayweather wakes up and wants a Bugatti, he calls his dealer and has a new Veyron in the garage by breakfast. That in itself is incredible, but it’s not the real story here.

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