Slide Show

“Gas Hogs”?

gas hogs lead

It’s taken as gospel that pre-modern cars, especially those made in America, and particularly those with big V8s, were “gas hogs.” But were they, really? And are new cars as fuel-efficient as advertised? The answer may surprise you. Modern cars have, in general, smaller engines. These are tasked with moving cars that are, in general, heavier than…

2016 Hyundai Veloster

'16 Veloster road 1

The problem with two-doors is it’s hard to take more than one person along for the ride. Even if the car has four seats. Getting to them – and out of them – is a chore, even if you’re young and nimble. Hyundai decided to split the difference by adding a third door to create…

Your Bike… and Winter

bedding down

Machinery that doesn’t get used for a long time often doesn’t work when you need to use it. Motorcycles fall into this category. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to live in southern California or Florida, the arrival of winter usually means extended garage time for the bikes. You’d think not being…

Take Your Pick of the “Isms”

Il Duce

Is this con really going to sell… again? The neo-con intellectual Francis Fukuyama claimed the “end of history” after the fall of the Soviet Union. The ascendance – in perpetuity – of authoritarian democracy (there can be no other kind) as the new order of the ages. But based on last night’s political happenings, it appears…

Manual Transmissions: Tomorrow’s 8-Tracks?

manual RIP

There are two things pushing the manual transmission off the stage – or at least, off to the sidelines: First, there is government pressure – lots of it – that’s got the car companies sweating nights to figure out ways to make what they make use less gas while still delivering what car buyers (most of…

2016 Nissan Maxima

'16 Maxima lead

Toyota’s got the Avalon … for people who want a larger, nicer Camry. That’s more or less the role the Maxima has played lately in Nissan’s lineup. In theory, it’s the car for people who want something a bit more than the Altima offers, especially performance and style-wise … but not quite as much as…

Cheap Gas… Big Problems

as prices lead

Some happy news: Gas is officially cheaper than it’s ever been. In my area – southwest Virginia – it is about $1.59 per gallon as of Feb. 7. Of this, about 60 cents (18.4 cents federal, 36 cents state)  is taxes, so the actual gas costs about $1 right now. Back in 1967, the low water…

2016 Mazda Miata

'16 Miata lead

If it had an accessible power point, it’d be the perfect car. That’s my only beef. No place to plug in the radar detector. Which is as necessary in this car as a dozen juice box holders are in a minivan. Well, no good – that is, accessible – place. It took thumbing through the owner’s…

It’s Alive… For The Moment!

Franken Harley 2

Cue Borat voice… great success! The ’80 Hardley appears to be functional. Possibly, ridable. Probably for not very long. But, still. I gimped the electrics to a state of “well, it works” … battlefield medicine, so to speak. The bike’s wiring harness was cut and re-routed and shorted out to such a Byzantine extent I…