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By on May 30, 2015

chally1

“Let me show you how this works,” Danger Girl laughed, as we descended the stairs in the airport parking garage. I call her Danger Girl because

0. I keep putting her in danger, sometimes mortal;
1. She soloed in a Cessna before she turned seventeen;
2. She has certain other dangerous habits that, this being a different kind of publication than it was in days past, cannot be discussed in the full and frank fashion with which it was once my delight to oppress our more delicate readers.

She’d told me that we were renting a Camry. I was happy about this. I like renting Camrys. But as we walked towards a line of cars that clearly included Camrys, Danger Girl took a sharp right turn towards a black Challenger in what I was pretty sure was the rental return lane. “I can take any car I want,” she informed me, “so I’m going to take this one.” I loaded our luggage into the wide, flat, Seventies-style trunk as she fired up the Pentastar and adjusted the seat. “Off we go!” she laughed, and we drove up two levels of a circular ramp and out into the warm California night.

As we entered the freeway, something occurred to me.

“Hey… aren’t you supposed to, like, tell somebody you’re taking this car?”

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By on May 30, 2015

BMW M Coupe

As should be quite clear from my previous Crapwagon ramblings, I like weird cars. My current garage, however, is quite boring, with a domestic minvan and SUV, and a rusty/immobile Miata. For the last four years, my automotive wanderlust has been mostly sated by writing for Bring A Trailer. I’ve been able to stave my funky automotive cravings by writing about the cars rather than inviting a call from a divorce attorney.

There are a few cars that make me consider that tradeoff. Near the top of the list: an E36/8 Clownshoe, otherwise known as the M Coupe. Those massive flares, the short wheelbase, and the MGB GT-aping hatch make me feel all tingly. I followed a trailered, caged M Coupe last weekend for a while (I’m assuming it was headed to a trackday at Mid Ohio) and it gave me rather dirty thoughts.

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By on May 30, 2015

2015 Lexus NX200T

123,000 of the 5.4 million new vehicle sales generated in the United States over the last four months are new vehicle nameplates which weren’t on sale at this time a year ago.

Between January and April, the Ford Transit, Acura TLX, Chevrolet Trax, Lexus NX, and 18 other new nameplates accounted for 2.3% of all new vehicle sales volume in the United States, way up from the 1.7% achieved by a smaller fleet of all-new nameplates during the same period one year earlier. Read More >

By on May 29, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – rear ext

For the second time since applying for the name, General Motors has seen its trademark application suspended for the Chevrolet Bolt.

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By on May 29, 2015

Fiat 500 Backside Badging

FCA Chairman John Elkann confirmed CEO Sergio Marchionne did email General Motors CEO Mary Barra about consolidation, though GM wasn’t the only one.

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By on May 29, 2015

2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition

FCA, Ford and Honda are adding more models to their recalls involving Takata’s airbags, the first following the supplier’s admission on the issue last week.

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By on May 29, 2015

Jaguar F-Type S AWD

A handful of European automakers are lashing out against the prospect of the United Kingdom’s “Brexit” from the European Union via referendum in 2017.

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By on May 29, 2015

04xuv1

The Envoy XUV is one of those unicorns I seem to recognize on the street immediately. As the owner of a Taurus X, I sometimes wonder how my arduous life would change had Ford went ahead with it’s transformer counterpoint to this sub-niche of vehicle. Then I realize, “Probably, I would be scrounging for more weird, rare electric roof trim garnish power regulators at the junkyard.” “Probably not much.”

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By on May 29, 2015

kozmo sports car

People who don’t take no for an answer deserve more admiration. James Glickenhaus is one of those people. James and his Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus are building exotic road cars which can be raced and done so competitively. Almost nobody does that anymore; most manufacturers just build road cars and subcontract the manufacture of racecars resembling those road cars to anonymous shops in North Carolina or southern England. But Mr. Glickenhaus has resources not available to us “normies” – funding, mainly. He has more than money, though. He has ambition, dedication, and he’s probably not the kind of person to take a no for an answer.

That’s great for him. What about you? What if you want to build your own car and you do not have millions of dollars at your disposal?

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By on May 29, 2015

2 USA commercial van sales chart April 2015 YTD

Ford Motor Company’s Transit Connect has seen the number of its direct rivals rapidly expand over the last two years. Not only must the Transit Connect fend off challenges from the Nissan NV200, now Chevrolet sells a version of the Nissan Van and FCA has imported the Fiat Doblo as the Ram ProMaster City.

Nevertheless, Ford still owns more than half the market for small commercial vans. Through the first four months of 2015, a period in which small commercial van volume in the United States has increased 58%, the Transit Connect’s market share stood at 55%. True, that’s down from 63% in the equivalent period one year ago. But a year ago, there was no such thing as a Chevrolet City Express or Ram ProMaster City. Moreover, Transit Connect volume has increased dramatically. Its 38% year-over-year improvement translates to 4,201 extra sales for Ford MoCo over just four months. Read More >

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