Posts By: Stewart Dean

By on April 10, 2009

I listened with some outrage and frustration to an NPR interview with Chrysler’s “president” at the NY Auto Show this AM. It was a farrago (my apologies, Robert) of clueless questions. The interviewer didn’t have any command of the history or the facts of Chrysler’s descent into disgrace. He might as well have been interviewing The Wizard of Oz about his plans for conquering the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys. (About the same reality level.) So here’s my question for TTAC’s Best and Brightest: what set of questions and/or facts should a reporter use when interviewing motor industry flacks and executives? The MSM needs to burn off the smoke and smash the mirrors. Let’s give them a hand.

By on January 14, 2009

See, this guy in Lexington, KY died of cancer around 1962, and he left a Maserati to his only remaining relative, an uncle in his ’80’s living in Louisville. Uncle hadn’t driven a stick shift in 30 years but had just bought a new Cadillac, so he goes back to the dealer and says, “Get rid of this thing for me, willya?” The Cadillac salesmen looks at the Maserati, they look at each other, and one of them says, “Hey, I bet Dr. Dean would be interested.” And that’s how my father picked up a Maserati 3500GT for about two grand.

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By on January 10, 2009

This subject came up in the comments underneath my review of the Bugatti T40. [If you haven’t come across dogboxes before, they’re explained (or at least chewed over) here.] Googling to shed some light on the debate, I came across this hair-raising video of BMW supercar with a straightcut dogbox eating up the competition, sounding like something out of Star Wars. My take is that while straight cut spur gear are weaker (in principle), they can be constructed to be enough bigger in the same space that they end up stronger (in practice). Perhaps TTAC’s Best and Brightest would care to comment?

By on January 8, 2009

I had come into the turn way too fast. The tires broke free. “Oh God, no, I am going to crash this lovely little bus.” And then I found myself in a perfectly controllable four-wheel slide, drifting through the turn at 45mph, glee in my heart. It was probably 1964, and I was driving my father’s pride and joy, a type 40 Bugatti. But not one of the stogy little sedans. This was one of two subscale body prototypes for the ultimate Bugatti, the Type 57S Atalante. The recent fuss over a barn find in England brought our Bugatti fresh to mind…

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