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By on November 30, 2015


GMC just announced an Ultimate trim level for the Sierra pickup truck. That follows Ford’s success with Platinum-level F-150s that can cost up to $80,000. It seems that nowadays you can’t charge too much money for an American pickup or make it so luxurious that it won’t find an eager market.

It’s tempting to say that wasn’t the case in the early Noughts as a means to explain the failure of the Lincoln Blackwood. In production for barely a year, the Blackwood was the automotive equivalent of a TV sitcom getting cancelled after just the first episode. Ford hoped to sell 10,000 Blackwoods a year, but managed to move only 3,356 for its entire production run. Read More >

By on November 30, 2015

1.6 TDI Motor ( EA 189 ):  Strömungsgleichrichter (Einbau: Bild 1 von 6)

Volkswagen will officially recall all of its illegally polluting diesel engines in Germany, German newspaper Die Welt reported Monday (via Reuters), the first step in a wave of recalls to fix 11 million cars worldwide.

Roughly 2.5 million cars in Germany will be recalled — 1.5 million Volkswagens, 500,000 Audi and 500,000 Skoda- and Seat-branded cars — with work beginning in January. Last week, the German transportation authority approved Volkswagen’s fix for 1.6-liter cars, which included an “air calming” pipe ahead of the intake’s air sensor. The company’s 1.2- and 2-liter cars may only need software fixes.

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board will review Volkswagen’s proposal submitted earlier this month for fixing 482,000 cars in the U.S. It’s unclear what those fixes may be. During congressional testimony in October, Volkswagen of America chief Michael Horn said it would be a combination of hardware and software fixes.

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By on November 30, 2015

1972 Datsun 240Z

I was turning sixteen the autumn of my junior year in high school, and if I wanted to get a job, I needed a car. Ideally, I’d have begun working at 14 and saved up myself, but I lived several miles from anywhere a teenager could reasonably expect to find gainful employment.

Dad took pity on me and offered to give me a car. Not just any car, mind you, but a pristine 1973 Datsun 240Z that he and I had done a mechanical restoration on. However, the Z had never seen snow, and I told my dad that it would be a crime to subject the Z to an Ohio winter.

So he sold it, and used the proceeds to buy me an ’85 Nissan Maxima. I’m still kicking myself.

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By on November 30, 2015

00 - 1979 MG MGB in Colorado junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

MGBs continue to show up in self-service wrecking yards, with another rubber-bumper Malaise Era example today. In my junkyard expeditions prior to today, I’ve photographed this ’67, this ’71, this ’75, this ’77, this ’77, this ’79, and this ’79 with a Toyota 20R swap, and now we’ve got today’s Denver ’79.

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By on November 29, 2015

Classic Porsche Center

Porsche announced Friday that it opened its first classic Porsche center in the Netherlands, the first among nearly 100 centers that will sell, service and make money on maintain old sports cars.

The network will eventually include a center (or centers) within North America, according to the automaker.

Porsche says that nearly 70 percent of all the cars that it has made are still on the road, and that its centers would be staffed with specially trained technicians that can identify and work on any problem. (Plus, Singer can’t make all the money on old Porsches.)

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By on November 29, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

German newspaper Bild Am Sonntag (via Reuters) reported Sunday that engineers within Volkswagen knew more than one year ago that its cars didn’t meet reported fuel consumption and even pulled a model from sale because of the deception.

Volkswagen admitted in October that 800,000 cars sold in Europe didn’t meet advertised fuel economy and that the company would pay more than $2.1 billion for the scandal.

According to Reuters, Volkswagen didn’t comment on the claim that executives knew about the cheating crisis before October, and said that the slow-selling Polo BlueMotion was pulled due to poor sales.

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By on November 28, 2015

2017 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover

Speaking to Automotive News, Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen said that the automaker’s strategy will be to price cars much lower than the Germans and eventually raise prices as the brand gains traction.

Cadillac has to heap incentives on its cars to move them off lots, he said.

“Knowing that, it seemed to be more sensible to price CT6 right and let the car gain traction,” de Nysschen told Automotive News. “We need to give the car time to establish a reputation. With a very compelling product offering and a good price, I think that’s the way to do it.”

When the 2016 Cadillac CT6 goes on sale in March, that car will cost nearly $55,000 to start — well below the BMW 7 Series, which starts at around $82,000 and the Mercedes S Class that’s around $95,000.

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By on November 28, 2015


It’s hard not to look at the newly announced Volkswagen Beetle Dune and hear at the same time that Volkswagen will be saving $2 billion by cutting unnecessary trims and variants from their lineup.

I mean, it’s like they’re not even giving the little guy a chance.

Nonetheless, Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reported Friday that Volkswagen will axe trims and variants of its cars to reduce complexity and cost from its lineup to help pay for the company’s massive emissions scandal. Bernd Osterloh, Volkswagen’s labor chief, told journalists Friday that the company has needed to trim some of its fat for a while, apparently.

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By on November 27, 2015


Most midsize sedans don’t have a happy ending.

Many get passed down as second-hand family cars, looking for their second wind from being a daily commuter only to find themselves as daily bangers in high school parking lots. Or worse.

Mid-sized sedans can be sold at used car lots as forgettable appliances; used like washing machines and put away wet like skinny jeans.

The Altima lives such a life. Read More >

By on November 27, 2015

Paul Walker’s father, acting on behalf of the late-actor’s estate, filed a lawsuit against Porsche this week for failing to include safety features, such as stability control, side impact protectors and a fuel-line cutoff that the family said could have saved the actor’s life in a crash, the Associated Press reported.

The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT lacked basic safety features to protect Walker in his fatal crash in November 2013, the wrongful death lawsuit alleges. A similar lawsuit was filed against Porsche by Walker’s widow and daughter in September. Porsche has denied wrongdoing in those lawsuits.

According to the report, Porsche said this month that the car Walker was riding in while Roger Rodas was driving — which spun out of control, hit three trees and burst into flames — had been modified and improperly maintained. Walker was “a knowledgeable and sophisticated user of the 2005 Carrera GT,” the company wrote in response to the lawsuit.

Read More >

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Doug DeMuro, United States
  • Steven Lang, United States
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