Chrysler Quietly Goes Away

January 8th, 2015

FCA-Fiat-Chrysler-101

It died a quiet and uneventful death.

You may not know this, but Chrysler as a company no longer exists. A foreign company has overtaken the smallest of America’s Big Three automakers and erased its corporate name.

Does this mean Chrysler automobiles have disappeared with it?

No.

Car shoppers will still have a few Chrysler vehicles to choose from, but those are limited to the 200, the 300, and the Town & Country. Chrysler Group LLC, the company that succeeded the original Chrysler Corporation that was formed in 1925, is now known as FCA US.

The change was official last year, but I think it’s fitting to take a moment and say goodbye to the company that Walter P. Chrysler founded 90 years ago.

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Boat Crash Claims 1,200 Jaguars – Could You Save One?

January 7th, 2015
Imagine all the Jaguars on board that may never find homes

Imagine all the Jaguars on board that may never find homes

For sale:

Brand new Jaguar sports car, zero miles, never been driven. There’s no damage, and the price is a fraction of the cost of buying the same car brand new from a dealer. You won’t find a better deal anywhere!

Act fast and get one of the 1,200 available cars.

The catch?

The cars were once on board the nearly sunk Hoegh Osaka.

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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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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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CarGurus’ Hottest Cars of 2014

January 1st, 2015

2014 Dodge Charger

With the year coming to a close, we thought it might a good time to look into the hottest cars of the year for consumers on CarGurus. So we dug into our data mines to determine exactly which vehicles were generating the most interest among our users this last year. These are not necessarily the most purchased vehicles, but rather the vehicles most inquired about by CarGurus users.

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Welcome to 2015 and a Changing Car Culture

January 1st, 2015
In 2015 and beyond, will kids still dream of owning cars?

In 2015 and beyond, will kids still dream of owning cars?

Ask a group of seventh graders if they’d rather have a new phone or a car, and roughly 76.7 percent of them will want the phone.

Okay, I made up that percentage, but according to my experience, phones have become a bigger gotta-have to kids than automobiles.

I have a seventh grader, and thanks to the gods of good upbringing, he’s already planning what he wants as his first car. (A used Toyota FJ Cruiser.) His friends, though, would rather interact with friends through technology than at a common physical location that requires transport.

That’s a sad commentary on society itself, but since this is a car blog, I’ll refrain.

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Want to Go Green? Drive With Gas!

December 31st, 2014

2013_nissan_leaf

As I become more of a proponent of electric vehicles, I forget that I was once firmly against them.

It took me a long time to hop on the EV bandwagon, because I wasn’t convinced the problems of limited range, questionable cold-weather reliability and the lack of charging infrastructure could be overcome.

As the years passed I’ve become more convinced that electric cars have a place. They certainly aren’t replacements for the family road-trip vehicle, but they are perfectly suitable vehicles for commuting back and forth to work.

My biggest problem with electric cars, though, remains unaddressed.

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Slingshot Blurs Line Between Sports Car and Motorcycle

December 30th, 2014

Polaris Slingshot

Described as a sports car, it sounds wildly unsafe.

There’s not a real windshield, no doors, no roof, no airbags, and it rides just 5 inches off the ground. It weighs under 2,000 pounds, has a weight distribution of 66/34 percent front/rear and is powered by a 2.4-liter GM engine with a 5-speed transmission sending power to the rear wheels.

Or shall I say wheel.

The Polaris Slingshot isn’t a car we’d normally cover on this blog, because it isn’t a car at all. The Slingshot is a three-wheeled motorcycle, but it’s the most car-like motorcycle ever made.

Which isn’t a good thing.

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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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