Monthly Archives: August 2010

Memorable muscle car engines

Classic-era muscle cars were known as much for their engines as their names. A big part of the attraction was popping the hood to reveal the rock star powerplant beneath – usually dressed up in chrome plated rocker covers, with a wild-looking dual snorkel or open element air cleaner and cool-looking metal foil stickers announcing…

2011 Buick Regal

Buick is now the best-selling American car… in China. But in America, Buick is struggling to regain its footing. The traditional (read: older) Buick buyer can’t support the brand’s future. In a few years, most will be driving wheelchairs. And younger buyers haven’t been shopping Buicks in decades. Not since the ’80s, at least –…

15 Percent Ethanol “Gas” May be Here by Fall…

If it was built before the 1980s, your vehicle was designed to burn gasoline – and nothing else. That’s what was sold back then, so it’s what the engineers assumed when they designed the engines. Gaskets and seals were made to handle gas, not alcohol. Air-fuel ratios, ignition timing and so on were set assuming…

2010 Dodge Journey

Minivans started out as utilitarian, family-intended vehicles. They were clunky-looking, pretty slow – and swathed in hard plastics. But on the upside, they were inexpensive, easy to clean – and so perfect for carting kids around. Today, most minivans are more like luxury motor coaches – with captain’s chairs, leather and wood trim, all sorts…

Roll-up windows work just fine for me!

I have two “modern” vehicles – a ’98 and a 2002 Nissan Frontier pick-up. Both basically identical except one is 4WD (manual control, part-time) and one (the ’02) has intermittent wipers. The trucks have the standard four cylinder engine (sufficient for me), AC and heat, disc/drum brakes and a basic AM/FM stereo with two speakers.…

2010 Porsche Boxster

Why do Porsches continue to sell? You can get exotic car performance in a modern car for much less than exotic car money. A slightly tweaked Mitsubishu EVO will do 12 second quarter miles. It costs less than $35k, brand new. A $60,000 Corvette is as quick – and fast – as a six-figure 911.…

Run Amok Cops; Don’t Tase Me, Bro’!

When I was a young editorial writer at The Washington Times back in the early 1990s, I had the good luck to work in the same office as Sam Francis. Sam had a talent for making devastating observations in pithy, everyman language that contrasted with the egghead-speak of so many faux intellectuals. One such was…

2011 Chevy Malibu

Things have gotten easier on GM-inclined, mid-sized family sedan buyers since the recent “retirement” of Pontiac and Saturn. Where once there were at least three separate GM models to look at, now there’s just one – the Chevy Malibu. And the Malibu’s only direct competition – if you’re looking to stay with a domestic-brand car…

Another “Family Values” Republican Comes out of the Closet

Ken Mehlman, President Bush’s campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay. Hello, ‘Frisco! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys9xn60IBXA&feature=related Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview. He agreed to answer a reporter’s questions, he said, because, now…