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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Can a Kia Compete with a Mercedes-Benz?

July 31st, 2014

Mercedes-Benz_E-Class_2004

I pulled up to the bank yesterday and parked nose to nose with a Mercedes-Benz.

It was kind of weird at first glance but I only looked for a moment and didn’t give it a second glance until I passed it again, on foot, on the way into the bank.

The car was an “Anniversary Edition,” at least according to the crudely applied stickers near the front fender. That’s when I paid more attention and realized the car wasn’t a Mercedes at all.

It was a Kia.

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New Toyota Supra Comes Closer to Reality

July 30th, 2014

Toyota FT-1-concept
This is happening, people. Well, most likely.

After years of speculation, rumors and the wildest dreams of car fans everywhere, the Toyota Supra has more rumors swirling that it’s coming back.

We are living in a prime time for sports cars, as the stodgy, economically oppressed early 2000s begin to give way to the exciting 2015s. Almost halfway through this decade, we’ve seen more sports cars either resurrected or introduced than we’ve had for the last 15 years.

The new Supra, though, will be nothing like its original namesake.

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The “Barn Find” No One Can Buy

July 29th, 2014

1966_volkswagen_microbus_21_window_not_for_sale

You know you’ve dreamed about it. Like every true car guy or gal, you fantasize about driving through a city or cruising down a rural road, looking out the window and seeing a neglected classic car, forgotten, just waiting for you to take home.

“Barn finds,” as they are known, are legendary. In my town there’s an infamous numbers-matching 1963 Corvette split window that’s been decaying under some pine trees on a run-down lot since 1975. The owner has received plenty of offers, but for some reason refuses to sell.

Now, there’s another local vehicle getting the attention of car aficionados. Once again, the owners want nothing to do with it.

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

Custom Cars: Does Big Money Equal Great Taste?

July 28th, 2014

1966 ferrari 365P berlinetta speciale

Sometimes you just don’t question a 12-year-old.

“Hey Dad,” my son said, “have you heard about the 3-seat Ferrari?”

Of course I told him he was wrong and that Ferrari has never built a 3-seater. A Ferrari with a bench seat wouldn’t make any sense—it would be like a pickup without a bed.

Well, the little guy proved me wrong by directing me to an article describing a rare Ferrari 3-seater, which will be up for auction next month at the Pebble Beach Concours. The 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale has earned the nickname of “Tre Posti” for its three front seats.

Then my little guy shocked me again with news of a 4-door Prancing Horse.

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

The American Car That’s Better Than a BMW?

July 24th, 2014

2014 BMW 428i

Consumer Reports has drunk the American Kool-Aid.

The magazine, influential among car shoppers who commonly consult its ratings and recommendations, has made a decision that doesn’t make any sense.

I’m not saying car shoppers should dismiss the magazine’s advice, but I will say, on this topic, mine is better.

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Own a Car that Changed the Game

July 18th, 2014

Acura NSX

Any regular schmuck can own a Camry.

A Camry is proven reliable and economical to own. There’s nothing particularly exciting about a Camry, but you can be sure it’ll always be there when you need it.

Owning a Camry tells the world you appreciate the status quo and would rather opt for comfort and knowing exactly what to expect than take a chance on innovation.

Maybe there’s a part of you that wants to live a slightly more exciting life, but you still crave the peace of knowing exactly what to expect in a vehicle.

You, my friend, need a car that changed the game when new, but today is a solid used choice.

MSN Autos posted a gallery of cars that changed the game, most of which are readily available on the used market. Some, like the Model T, are a little more difficult to find.

Read on to find out which are worth considering as your next car.

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Piloted Parking: Way Cooler Than Self-Driving

July 16th, 2014

Audi auto parking

In my humble opinion, self-driving cars would kill the auto culture in our country. Why would we want to cede control of our cars to a computer and give up the thrill of manually shifting gears and accelerating from stoplights?

Sure, there would be fewer human-caused accidents, but how many more computer-caused accidents would happen?

I don’t want to live in a world where my car decides which route to take or how quickly I arrive. I want the thrill of getting lost if I make a mistake and the pleasure of finding my own way to a new destination.

I adamantly oppose self-driving cars.

A self-parking car, though, is an entirely different subject.

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Why You Should Go Get Lost

July 15th, 2014

Subaru off-road

“Do you want to go on an adventure?”

My wife asked that question yesterday, which was another 100-degree scorcher. Our air conditioning hadn’t been working since the severe heat set in, and we’ve been spending our days on the water instead of at home, enjoying our paddleboards and cooling off in various lakes around the region.

Our adventure yesterday involved strapping the boards to the racks on our 2013 Subaru Legacy and trying to find the back way to a secluded lake in the woods.

Armed with our GPS, our car and a passionate desire to find water, we hit the road. It was supposed to be a quick journey with a rewarding payoff. Instead we promptly got lost and had the adventure of our lives.

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The New Breed of Muscle Cars

July 14th, 2014

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT

Just because it’s available doesn’t mean it’s controllable.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the three big automakers in the United States were engaged in an epic power struggle. Building the car with the most horsepower and the best ability to smoke tires was all part of the car culture back then.

It was a time of cheap gas and power that was fun, but manageable. Heck, even a car like the ’68 Barracuda produced 300 horsepower tops.

Today, the automakers are at it again, only this time their arsenal has gone nuclear.

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Falling for Mazda and a Turbocharged Wankel

July 11th, 2014
Could a new RX-7 look like this?

Could a new RX-7 look like this?

I officially love Mazda.

I’ve slowly developed a crush on the scrappy little automaker and have been thoroughly impressed by the new Mazda3 and Mazda6. I even had a few scintillating hours with an older MazdaSpeed3.

She rocked my world, and I thought she was a one-time thing. But now I think I’ve transitioned into love.

How did this happen?

Maybe I’m just a sucker for rumors and the promise of future greatness. Maybe it’s talk of turbocharging the Wankel. Whatever the source of my newfound love affair, I dare you to read more and not fall in love, too.

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