Fun fact: Barbie’s awesome wardrobe wasn’t what made her cool. Her sweet dream house didn’t make her cool, her friend Ken didn’t make her cool, and her absurd, unattainable, and potentially psychologically debilitating body proportions certainly didn’t make her cool either. What made Barbie cool was her hot pink convertible. A quick Google search indicates that Barbie has owned a wide range of convertibles in her lifetime, all of which were hot pink. Yes, she went through the regrettable VW Beetle phase, and it looks like at one point she was driving around in a Suzuki Cappuccino, but she also had one with a distinctly Aston Martin grill – if pressed, we’d guess it’s a one-off Vanquish, customized by Mattel.
Well, here we are in the peak months of summer. Believe it or not, we only have 9 weeks remaining where the days are longer than the nights. That’s not a ton time left. It might be time for you to grab your friends and family and spend your summer how it should be spent: hiking, fishing, boating, camping, swimming, relaxing, and, of course, driving. You’re going to want a vehicle for the season to accommodate all of your summer adventures.
With Independence Day this weekend, we thought it would be an ideal time to take a look at some of the most “American” cars on sale today. Sure, it would be easy to throw together a list of muscle cars and pickup trucks, but, like it or not, the United States isn’t the birthplace of the V8 engine or 4-wheel-drive (that would be France and the Netherlands, respectively), and anyway, that would have been too easy. Instead, when trying to define American culture, we’ve been drawn to the wide breadth of automobiles that have helped define our car culture. After being born from a nation’s version of youngest-child-style frustration (our revolution), the U.S. was initially kept afloat by—and then thrived because of—our penchant to innovate.
Hard work pays off. With luck, you’ll get out of a job what you put into it. If you’re a hardworking person, you’ll likely receive an opportunity to move up in the world. So maybe you’re moving on to something new, or you’re replacing someone who has left a position above you. Either way, moving up can be pretty awesome. So with your newly accepted promotion, you’ll want to spend your more generous new wages appropriately. So why not buy a new car, something that will really show the world your hard work has paid off (literally). People often say “you should dress for the job you want.” So why not drive a car for the job you want?
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and if you still haven’t gotten Mom that gift to show her you appreciate all those years she lost out to raising the fine individual you have become, you might want to look into some quick gift ideas. So head to the flower shop, pick up a nice heartfelt card from the convenience store down on the corner, or head over to a used-car lot and pick her up something nice. If you really wanted to show Mom how much you appreciated your childhood, maybe you should get her a car that takes her back to a time before she had kids. Get her something sporty, something fun, something that will remind her of her more carefree days.
John “Bugsy” Lawlor and the New England Motor Press Association gave one of New England’s worst winters ever an emphatic boot this past weekend. Having assembled an impressive fleet of new cars and trucks, not to mention a mouth-watering buffet, Lawlor and his Automotion crew hosted a large and varied group of auto journalists for NEMPA’s 2015 Winter Vehicle Awards testing.
Roads were relatively clear but very wet, and withering grey remnants of this year’s record-setting snowfall lingered just beyond the pavement. But having the opportunity to put a large and varied assortment of cars through its paces refreshed everyone’s perspective and attitude. We all learned a ton and had a blast, and we now eagerly look forward to ditching snow tires, opening car windows and roofs wide, and hitting the back roads in something speedy and nimble.
The list of cars available for testing included everything from hot compact all-wheel-drive hatches to full-size trucks, with a number of muscle and sports cars tossed in for good measure. My co-workers and I did our best to sample as wide a range as possible, though we’ll confess that some of our choices were driven by parking-lot logistics. NEMPA’s Winter Vehicle Awards winners won’t get announced until springtime, but here are some thoughts on the cars we drove.
Yes, we’ve wished for better fuel economy and better interior quality over the years, but the Wrangler is one of the vehicles you just don’t mess with. It has its shortcomings, like all cars, but they are all overlooked and accepted as quirks by the most fervent of fans.
One influential website, though, has committed an act of blasphemy and included the Wrangler on a list that no buyer wants to see a potential car on: The Worst Values on the Market.
We thought we would follow up our Today’s Most Popular Cars From the 1980s list with its logical sequel: ’90s cars. We looked at our data again and determined which ’90s cars garnered the most interest from CarGurus shoppers. We have to say, this list surprises us a bit less. The ’80s list featured a good number of discontinued cars, but only one car no longer in production made this one. Nineties cars are probably a bit more practical than some of the nearly ancient ’80s models (cars on this list are likely at least 11 years younger), and most of these cars haven’t quite reached collector status.
Do you know what Boston-area people are really sick of right now? Snow. There has been lots and lots of snow the past month. Too much snow—and this isn’t your everyday winter fatigue talking. We have a very good reason to be done with snow here in Boston. New England suburbs and cities are cramped enough without 7+ feet of snow. Snow currently occupies every parking space in city, traffic couldn’t be worse, and the MBTA (public transportation for the Greater Boston area) will not be able to operate at full capacity for close to a month. Bostonians are taking it on the chin, and there’s only so much more this we can take.
As time goes on and we look back at decades past, the ’80s become a weirder time for everyone. It was a pretty good time for cars, though, to be honest. Cars from the ’80s are still holding up to this day, and finding these 30-plus-year-old vehicles is becoming more desirable for some people. A lot of cars from the ’80s still move off sales lots pretty quickly. Not too surprising when these American classics are becoming increasingly rare and desirable. Many have long been discontinued, and that rarity has only increased their value.