Features

First, They Came For The Station Wagons…

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First they came for the station wagons… . Well, what actually happened was they became uncool – and then people stopped buying them. This kind of thing happens regularly in the car business. People’s tastes – as much as their needs – change. Minivans were the next to be yesterday’s rides. They replaced station wagons…

FrankenHarley

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For about a month now, I have been trying – like Dr. Frankenstein – to breath life into something inert: The cobbled-together corpse of what was – once – a 1980 Harley Davidson Sportster. The derelict ironhead had been been left outside like a yard gnome for about four years. Its owner – my neighbor’s son –…

“Aggressive” Driving

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Traffic is a problem in the United States, but not solely because there are too many cars and not enough road. A large part of the problem has to do with what’s called throughput. How efficiently – or not – do the number of cars pass through the available network of roads? U.S. highways (and especially…

Car Smells – And Tastes

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What can your car tell you just by the way it smells – or tastes? A lot, actually. Let’s put on our chef hats and see what’s cooking… * Car smells like maple syrup –  Almost always, this is a sign the cooling system’s sprung a leak. The chemicals in engine coolant give off a…

Not All New Car News Is Bad News!

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Some of the news is good news. It’s not all shrapnel-spewing air bags, annoying buckle-up buzzers and engines that shut themselves (and the AC) off at stoplights to “save gas.” Here are some new features you’ll find in new cars that won’t make your teeth ache: * In-car WiFi –  Did you know you no longer…

2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat

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I have been waiting for you… It took 45 years, but the moment has finally arrived. A real muscle car is once again available. Scary. Dangerous – in the hands of a fool or a novice. A car that’s got more engine than traction and you’d damned well better respect that. 707 supercharged horsepower through just…

Car Lingo

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How much do you know about cars? It’s not just trivia, either. Knowing some things about cars – or at least, some car lingo – can help you come across as more car-savvy, even if you’re not a gearhead. And that can help you avoid getting ripped off by a bad apple car salesman or…

The Old Car Hobby… Literally

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Old car shows are getting old. Not just the cars, either. I’ve been going to car shows since I was a teenager in the ’80s and what’s changed is that now there are almost no teenagers (or even 20-somethings) at the car shows I attend. The typical owner/attendee is a guy like me in his…

Blue Haze: Mazda RX8 (2001-2011)

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Some of the greatest ideas never get fleshed out and remain… great ideas. Mazda’s rotary engine, for instance. And the car that was built around it. The RX8. Well, it began with the RX-7 – which first came to market in 1978. It was the heir-apparent of the Japanese (home market) 1967-’72 Cosmo – Mazda’s…

What They’re Not Telling You About New Cars

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Did you know that some (and soon, probably many) new cars don’t rely entirely on an alternator to generate the electricity needed to run accessories and – critical thing – keep the battery charged? And that these are not hybrid cars? BMW and Mazda were the first to graft hybrid-esque regenerative braking technology onto non-hybrid…