Monthly Archives: January 2011

It’s Not The Sail Fawns…

The geese have erupted into their usual flapping and screeching over reports that yet another study shows (supposedly) that using sail fawns while driving contributes to distracted driving – and accidents. But as much as I hate sail fawns and the constant needless gabbling at all times and in all places, they aren’t the real…

1983–1988 Hurst Olds/442

Oldsmobile had a long and distinguished history – and suffered a slow, painful death. The process of mortification began in the early 1980s, when General Motors gutted the formerly independent engineering departments of each of its seven car divisions. Management eliminated the Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile-built engines that had made each of these divisions’ cars…

More Digitized Idiot Proofing on Deck for 2014

Is Detroit responsible for making sure you don’t back-up over your child? What if you don’t have a child? Better yet, what if you know to drive?  Well, it doesn’t matter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is demanding that all new cars be fitted with back-up cameras by 2014 so as to add another…

In the Rearview Mirror: 1977-81 Z28 Camaro

The smart athlete retires gracefully, at his peak – before he starts to slip and give off that “has-been” stink. To their credit, that’s what Chevrolet managers did when they discontinued the Z28 version of the popular Camaro sport coupe after the 1974 model year. True high-performance engines such as the 1970–1971 Z28’s solid lifter-equipped…

Because It’s “The Law”….

Most states now have mandatory”buckle up” seat belt laws. But – strangely, when you think about it – no state requires that a motorcyclist wear more than a helmet. So, on the one hand, you can’t legally ride around unbuckled inside an air bag-equipped 4,000 lb. steel cocoon. But you can legally ride a 170 mph sport bike wearing…

Let’s Look at Leasing

Leasing a vehicle is a lot like renting an apartment. You pay a monthly fee to use it – but you don’t own it and aren’t making payments toward ownership. You have no equity stake in the deal. A leased vehicle remains the property of the lessor – the company that issued the lease. As…

2011 Mini Cooper Countryman

Everyone (well, almost everyone) likes the Mini Cooper – the reincarnated, updated version of the micro-car Brit car of the 1960s. The problem has been that not everyone can use the Mini – which up to now came with just two doors and room for two only (or at least, realistically). So for 2011, the…

In the Rearview Mirror: 1987 Renault Alliance GTA

The death rattle of American Motors Corp. came in the early 1980s, with the “alliance” between the tubercular American automaker and French automaker Renault. Renault, a big player in Europe, hoped to gain access to AMC’s U.S. dealer network; AMC for its part simply needed cash — fast. There was no money on hand to…

The Chiiiiiiiiiilllllllllldren

School Zone JPEG

Maybe this bugs you, too? There’s a “school zone” ahead and – clearly, obviously – there are no kids about. But the DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! flashing lights are on anyhow – probably because they’re on autopilot and set to go off at a certain time each day even if school is closed or it’s…