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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Say Goodbye to the Porsche Boxster

January 6th, 2015

2015 Porsche Cayman S

In 1996, Porsche introduced the world to its new entry-level roadster, the Boxster. Every year since, the little Porsche has provided driving thrills to hundreds of thousands of happy motorists.

In recent years, talk of another entry-level Porsche has rounded the interwebs to the dismay of true Porsche enthusiasts. The car, to be called the 718 and slot beneath the ever-expanding Boxster/Cayman lineup, never got off the ground.

Now, though, there’s some news that the 718 may make production after all, but it would mean the demise of the Boxster.

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Does Snow Change Your Travel Plans?

January 5th, 2015
How much snow is too much?

How much snow is too much?

There was a debate at my house last night involving safety and weather-related travel, and I declared myself the winner, but now I’m not so sure.

My wife, of course, had a good case.

Here’s the situation: On Saturday we had made plans to go out Sunday evening and buy a day bed from a woman who listed it for sale on Craigslist. It was a great bed and priced at just $75. A steal! The problem didn’t arise until later, when Sunday brought about 10 inches of snow and many miles of unplowed roads. I argued that, even with our all-wheel-drive vehicle, making the trip wasn’t worth the safety risk. My lovely wife, on the other hand, said she’d never changed travel plans because of weather and wanted to go get the bed.

Why did I begin to question myself? Because I saw an F1 driver racing his car in the snow. If he could do that, I surely could lumber slowly through a mild snowstorm.

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

Gas Now at $1.99: Credit the Electrics?

January 2nd, 2015

Gas below $2/gallon!

Well look at this, friends: Gas prices are now below $2 per gallon.

Back in 2010, we could have looked ahead to 2015 and wondered how close we’d be to $5 per gallon or more.

Last time we paid this low a price for gasoline, Bill Clinton ran the country, and music came on shiny round discs.

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it seems accurate as far as I can remember.

Gas selling at $1.99 per gallon in my area brings back memories of listening to Vanilla Ice, rolling in my 5.0 and putting $10 in my tank to nearly fill it.

Should gas really be this cheap, or should the government step in and increase prices to encourage people to drive more efficient vehicles?

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World’s Weirdest, and Coolest, Vehicle Conversion?

December 29th, 2014

stretchla

So you think you know someone. You can be married to a woman and share life’s most intimate moments, and then, one random Sunday morning, she can say this:

“You should look up my friend Otmar and his zip-together Volkswagen bus.”

Ummm…. what?

I replied, “Who is this friend you speak of and why have I never heard about said zip-together bus?”

She said he’s a long-time family friend and that she has physically laid eyes on this bus. I promptly asked Google for more information and found what I believe to be the weirdest, and possibly coolest, conversion project I’ve ever heard of: The Stretchla.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Classic & Vintage Cars, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, Gas for your car..., General Chat

What Car Would You Lease for $199 Per Month?

December 26th, 2014

1997 Honda CR-V

My brother didn’t get a new car for Christmas. He didn’t ask for one, but it would have been pretty cool if someone had given him a car yesterday with a big red bow on top.

Since it didn’t happen, it’s probably time he makes the investment on his own. My brother is newly employed as a teacher, so he can’t afford to finance a new $30,000-plus vehicle. What he can afford is a cheap lease, which he took the opportunity to ask me about at our family gathering yesterday.

My brother’s current car is a 1997 Honda CR-V that has provided almost 240,000 miles of service. It was a fine car for a college student, but it’s not a fine car for a newly employed teacher.

So here’s the challenge: What new car can be leased on a budget of around $199 per month?

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Merry Christmas! Here’s Your Brand New Alpha Romeo 4C!

December 25th, 2014

alfa_romeo_4C_spider_side

Today is a special day indeed. It’s a day when we can take a break from work and spend time with family and friends while showering them with love in the only acceptable way: with gifts that have drained our bank accounts and maxed out our credit cards.

If you happen to have some room left on credit or some cash to spend on a late gift, allow me to suggest the new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.

This is the car that hails the re-entry of Alfa into the U.S. market. Until now, the Spider version of the 4C has been mostly disguised, but it’s been caught in the raw during filming of a new TV commercial.

Keep reading to see more of the latest Italian sports car that Santa’s elves need to start building right away.

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The Blood of BMW Flows Through Hyundai’s Veins

December 23rd, 2014

Hyundai performance

Here’s some pretty huge news coming out of South Korea:

Hyundai has wooed a longtime BMW engineer to head up a new performance division.

This isn’t just any BMW engineer, either. It’s not like Hyundai was content hiring away some guy who stepped on board with BMW last year and is making his way up the career ladder by heading over to Hyundai. Nope. This is Albert Biermann, former vice president of engineering at BMW’s M Division. Biermann has been at BMW since 1983. This is the guy who helped bring us every generation of M car including the latest M3, M4, M5 and M6.

And in April, he’ll work at Hyundai.

Did I mention this was huge?

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60,000 Classic American Cars, and Three Good Ones

December 19th, 2014

Cuban cars

The cars of Cuba are somewhat legendary in the United States, because the vehicles that roamed the roads there in the 1950s are the same ones being driven today. Since we’re not allowed to go there, very few of us have seen them in person, yet we know they exist.

Does that mean American collectors should start salivating over the prospect of virtually untouched classics if Cuba and the U.S. become friends again?

Probably not. The 1959 Cuban revolution essentially put an end to imports of American cars, so Cubans have had to make do for the last 55 years with what they had, or buy Soviet-era imports. That means no new parts, no new cars and lots of Chevrolets and Buicks running with Soviet-made engines.

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Volvo’s New Plan: Bad for the Buyer?

December 17th, 2014

2016 Volvo XC90

By trying to be different, Volvo is enacting a plan that many have already tried.

In the past I’ve been in full agreement with the concept behind Volvo’s plan. It probably is time that the way we purchase cars begins to change. The thing is, the change suggested could actually end up hurting consumers financially.

News is making the rounds this week about Volvo’s new marketing plan, which cuts out most auto-show participation and introduces online car buying to customers. The theory of shoppers being able to build their ideal cars online, then order with the push of a button, makes sense. But is the convenience really a good thing?

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Win $90 Million, Buy a… Subaru!?

December 12th, 2014
Even the Forester is someone's dream car

Even the Forester is someone’s dream car

If you won a $90 million jackpot, would you stay loyal to your car brand?

With the odds of winning the Powerball at about 1 in 175 million, most of us will never have to worry about the trouble of picking out a new car after winning big.

Should the gods of wealth ever grace me with some big bucks, I’ll look away from Audi and purchase a Porsche 911 Turbo. Probably a 1988 version! And a new Aston Martin would look pretty good parked next to it, though that might come across as too greedy.

A lady right here in my home state won the $90 million Powerball just after Thanksgiving and treated herself to perhaps the most popular car on the roads here: a Subaru Forester.

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