Posts By: Jack Baruth

By on March 1, 2015

06 - 1973 Volkswagen LT28 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Last year, our own Murilee Martin found a Euro-market Volkswagen light-duty commercial van during one of his many junkyard adventures. As often happens here at TTAC, we had a brilliant contribution from one of the B&B, fictionalizing the story of the van’s final days. Then, just two days ago, the van’s last owner showed up to tell the true tale.

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By on February 27, 2015

Police Barracks Shooting

“When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.” How many times have you heard that phrase used by gun-rights advocates? It’s a catchy but glib way to characterize the role of police in American society. The courts have ruled time and time again that the police have no duty to protect an individual citizen, and you should have no expectation of that individual protection.

The problem with the deduction that comes naturally from the above statement — therefore, I had better protect myself — is that very few of us are prepared to exist in what the late Colonel Jeff Cooper called “Condition Yellow” all the time. “Yellow” means that you are mentally alert and prepared to use force in your own defense. “Condition White”, on the other hand, is what happens when you’re asleep, daydreaming, using both hands to repair an automobile or tie your mistress to the hotel bed, playing Lumineers tunes on an Adirondack-topped acoustic guitar, or making your way through the tenth “Challenging Stage” of Galaga. Chances are that you’re in “White” right now. To test for this, have someone in the same room with you, no matter how large that room is, point their finger at you and say “Bang” quietly. If you weren’t prone on the floor with your personal weapon out before they finished the word, you’re in White. Congratulations! You’re not paranoid.

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By on February 22, 2015

So here we are, one year after I took delivery of a 2014 Accord EX-L V6 six-speed coupe, eleven months after the first update, and five months after hitting the 12k mark. As fate would have it, at the same time the crew at Automobile was enjoying a free year in a car almost exactly […]

By on February 18, 2015

Lotus-Evora-400-1

The Lotus Evora is one of my favorite cars ever. The new Evora 400 makes history by eclipsing the twin-turbo Esprit V8 as the most powerful production Lotus road car to date.

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By on February 17, 2015

european-spec-2016-hyundai-tucson-side-front-view

First, there was the five-seat Santa Fe, which in GLS V6 form was the ride of choice for our very own Bark M. back in the day. Then the Santa Fe went upmarket, so Hyundai created the Tuscon. Now the Tuscon is, apparently, going upmarket. It’s like what Chrysler did with Imperial, only in reverse!

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By on February 17, 2015

Continental GT Speed

Nine years ago, I paid fifty-eight thousand dollars for a new VW Phaeton, after paying seventy-seven thousand dollars for a different VW Phaeton six months previously. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.* I was very active on a VW message board at the time and it was not uncommon for me to get random private messages from teenagers:

99VWJettaSlushbox: lol suck it u loser the FAILton is the worst VW ever

I enjoyed my Phaetons tremendously and drove them everywhere from Manhattan to VIR. However, I was virtually alone in my enthusiasm for the model. My second Phaeton, the black 2006 V8, was one of just 300 brought into the United States that year. When VW discontinued US sales before the 2007 model year, most people took that decision as conclusive proof that you can’t sell a $100,000 Volkswagen to Americans. They were correct; however, you can sell a $200,000 Volkswagen to Americans, and you can do it for a very long time.

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By on February 4, 2015

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If you’re a fan of automotive personality Matt Farah and/or his show, “The Smoking Tire”, you probably know that Matt recently bought a 1996 Lexus LS400 with 897,000 documented miles on the clock. That’s right. Do not adjust your television. That’s nearly a million.

You might also know that “The Driver”, Alex Roy, and I took the Lexus from Long Beach to Texas and beyond, finally coming to a halt in my hometown of Powell, Ohio. If you’re really up to speed on the adventures of the Million Mile Lexus, you know that it’s currently in the hands of Jalopnik contributor “Tavarish”, who drove it from Upper Arlington, Ohio to New York.

Take a minute and read the above paragraph again. I drove it to Powell; Tavarish drove it from Upper Arlington. And thereby hangs a tale.

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By on February 2, 2015

To say that the global preview for the new MX-5 was “exclusive” would be like calling the Moon “rarely visited”. Only eight North American journalists had the chance to drive one of just four available cars over the course of two days. The good news is that we each got nearly two hours in the […]

By on January 30, 2015

From now until the end of February, visitors to eight major markets in the United States will be able to rent a 2014 or 2015 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro for fifty-nine dollars a day. If you drive through an automated tollbooth with the car, you’ll be charged the actual amount of the toll charge. If […]

By on January 26, 2015

Any veteran of the Detroit Auto Show knows that you can find some pretty impressive metal in the hotels and parking lots surrounding the auto show. While a significant percentage of the media is flown to the show courtesy of GM, Ford, and a few other manufacturers, another nontrivial number of journos arrive in loaners […]

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  • Jack Baruth, United States
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