Slide Show

The Almost Muscle Car: Chevy Monza, 1975-1980

Monza 1

The ’70s (and early ’80s) were Weird Years for the car industry. The muscle car era of the ’60s was fading fast, but the fumes still lingered… what would come next? What would be in between? Chevy’s answer – well, one of them – was the Monza 2+2. Though small, it was still rear-wheel-drive. And…

Blame Nixon

'73 SD-455 GTO

The American automobile industry has loved Uncle long time now. But it was not always so – at least, not to the extent we’ve come to accept as normal. There was a time – some of you will remember it – when the car companies would actually resist government intrusions into their business, even going so…

Gas in The Tank

thanks image

We’re close… but not quite there. About three-quarters full. But still about a quarter-tank empty. I’m hoping some of you reading this will chip in, last minute – and help push us into the black before we end the month in the red. Thanks to “GuitarMan,” the pressure to buy a new computer has eased…

2015 VW Jetta

'15 jetta curb 1

VW’s Jetta sedan hasn’t got a lot of sex appeal. Nothing about it seems automotive centerfold worthy. And yet, it’s a perennial favorite – one of the most successful (in terms of sales and model longevity) cars in its class. If this seems contradictory, it’s not. Think about people you dated in high school and…

Retro Review: 1983-1984 Hurst Olds and 1985–1988 442

Hurst Olds burnout

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. They eliminated the Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile-built engines that had made each of these divisions’ cars unique, not…

The Fumes of the Founding

fumes image

Most people are not liberty-inclined. Not anymore. America has become a nation of, by and for control freaks – populated by the people I style Clovers. If they don’t like something, if they want something, if they don’t want people doing something, they will casually urge that violence be deployed to make the necessary adjustments. This has…

Neglected Maintenance

Close up of a man writing on a clipboard in a garage

If you grew up in the pre-Interwebs, pre-computer world, you’ll remember how often cars needed This or That. Which is probably why people were more aware of car maintenance in those days. You really didn’t have much choice. Today, it’s easy to neglect maintenance stuff because there’s less to do – and less often. Spark plugs…

2015 Mercedes GLA250

'15 GLA curb 1

Everyone wants to get in on the compact crossover sporty wagon action – even Mercedes, which until recently refrained from entry, preferring instead to concentrate on coupes and sedans and SUVs (all of them built on rear-wheel-drive-based layouts). But there is a lot of money to be made selling small crossovers. Ask Audi – or BMW.…

Machine Gunning a Tesla

Tesla lead

There is an episode of the TV show Top Gear involving a Prius hybrid and automatic weapons. God, I wish I could afford to do the same to a Tesla. Unfortunately, I (and thee) are too poor to afford a Tesla. But that doesn’t mean we won’t continue to be forced to “help” Elon Musk…

How Much Power Do You Need?

'15 X4 gauges

Not much, it turns out. 60 horsepower – about what a circa 1984 Aries K car’s engine produced – is sufficient for A to B getting there and back. More is certainly nice – and definitely fun – but hardly necessary. Not in the USSA, anyway. Land of “defensive driving” and checkpoints and safety abounding. Eighty is…