The Truth About Cars » Chevrolet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 07 Jul 2015 10:12:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Chevrolet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Classic http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/junkyard-find-1988-chevrolet-caprice-classic/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/junkyard-find-1988-chevrolet-caprice-classic/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 11:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1107577 The third-gen Chevy Caprice, made for the 1977 through 1990 model years, was the last of the traditional box Caprices. Those of us who came of driving age during the Late Malaise Era came to fear the rear-view-mirror sight of the grille of this car, the early Panther Ford LTD, and the Dodge Diplomat, due […]

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00 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The third-gen Chevy Caprice, made for the 1977 through 1990 model years, was the last of the traditional box Caprices. Those of us who came of driving age during the Late Malaise Era came to fear the rear-view-mirror sight of the grille of this car, the early Panther Ford LTD, and the Dodge Diplomat, due to their popularity among police departments in the 1980s. You don’t see many box Caprices these days, but enough were made that they appear in self-service wrecking yards now and then. Here’s a very governmental-looking example I saw in Denver a couple months ago.
01 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Made in Texas by Texans! Sajeev would approve, but his loyalty to the Blue Oval is stronger than his love of Texan-made automobiles.

13 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Carburetors were almost gone by this time, but the Caprice still had a good ol’ Quadrajet on its 305-cubic-inch V8. In 1989, the Caprice got electronic fuel injection (instead of the Holley double-pumper that should have been installed to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall).

14 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

GM had toned down all the heraldic crests and related gingerbread on the Caprice by the late 1980s, probably because police departments and rental-car companies don’t care about such things, but you still got a few fleur-de-lis scattered about the car.

04 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

85 mph speedometers were no longer mandated by US law in 1988, but we can assume that GM had a few hundred thousand of these things in their warehouses and wanted to use them up.

PCH-SVO_vs_XR4Ti-Merkur-4

The Merkur XR4Ti also had an 85 mph speedometer, but it was presented with a certain amount of winking and nudging.

As you can see in this “Hearbeat of America” add from 1988, the Caprice wasn’t getting much emphasis in Chevrolet’s marketing in 1988.

Not the most expensive luxury car, but the most preferred.

00 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Chevrolet Adds Cell Phone Cooling Mat, Welcome To The Beginning of the End http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chevrolet-adds-cell-phone-cooling-mat-welcome-future/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chevrolet-adds-cell-phone-cooling-mat-welcome-future/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1106249 So, the world is coming to an end. Smartphone users who just can’t handle the thought of their iDroidberrys shutting off because they get a little overheated, GM has a solution for you. The automaker announced a feature in upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Malibus and Impalas that will cool the phone while charging on the wireless mat before […]

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Engineers added a cold air vent to certain Chevrolets for the 2016 model year to help keep smart phones wirelessly charging in the car from overheating.  The industry-first feature will be available in 2016 Chevrolet Impala, Malibu, Volt and Cruze models equipped with wireless charging and Chevrolet MyLink. The Active Phone Cooling feature works when the car’s heating, ventilation and cooling system is on.

So, the world is coming to an end.

Smartphone users who just can’t handle the thought of their iDroidberrys shutting off because they get a little overheated, GM has a solution for you. The automaker announced a feature in upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Malibus and Impalas that will cool the phone while charging on the wireless mat before it turns itself into a hot brick of glass, plastic and metal.

Finally, engineers at GM got my letter.

According to GM, the vent will only operate when the vehicle’s heating or cooling system is on. The system works by placing an air vent on the mat, because that makes the most sense.

The feature will also be installed in Chevrolet Cruze and Volt models equipped with the wireless charging mat. For those of us who don’t spring for the wireless charging feature — or don’t plan on buying a Chevrolet soon — we’ll have to continue living in the Mesozoic Era with our nuclear-hot iPhone 6 Pluses.

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Sales of EVs, Hybrids Slumping After Gas Prices Dip http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/sales-evs-hybrids-slumping-gas-prices-dip/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/sales-evs-hybrids-slumping-gas-prices-dip/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1105913 Sales figures from automakers this week show slumping sales of electric vehicles and hybrids nationwide as gas prices drop and tax incentives dry up. According to the Detroit News, sales from EV makers such as Nissan and Chevrolet have slowed down significantly — more than 30 percent for the Volt and 12 percent for the Leaf […]

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Atlanta Police Nissan Leaf

Sales figures from automakers this week show slumping sales of electric vehicles and hybrids nationwide as gas prices drop and tax incentives dry up.

According to the Detroit News, sales from EV makers such as Nissan and Chevrolet have slowed down significantly — more than 30 percent for the Volt and 12 percent for the Leaf — last month, and both models may end up down significantly for the sales year.

Hybrid carmakers such as Ford and Honda are also reporting slow sales for their cars. Ford reported that its hybrid sales were down 29 percent over the last five months, and Honda reported a 15-percent drop in June.

Industry analysts say the slowdown could be a result of the lowest gas prices in five years, and a adjustment of states’ EV incentives. Recently, the California Air Resources Board unveiled a tiered incentive program that would adjust rebates based on income. A study showed that more than one in four EV buyers in California earned more than $200,000 a year, but still received the full benefit during the second quarter of 2015. More than three-quarters of EV buyers made more than $99,000. Georgia will end its incentives.

None of this has slowed down automakers’ production of EVs, however.

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Junkyard Find: 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/junkyard-find-1993-chevrolet-lumina-euro/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/junkyard-find-1993-chevrolet-lumina-euro/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1098393 By the 1980s, Japanese carmakers had established themselves as making the most reliable vehicles in the minds of plenty of American car shoppers. Meanwhile, the Europeans had conquered much of the sporty/sophisticated market by that time. General Motors responded by stamping out millions of plastic badges with the magical letters “E-U-R-O” molded in (as well […]

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02- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

By the 1980s, Japanese carmakers had established themselves as making the most reliable vehicles in the minds of plenty of American car shoppers. Meanwhile, the Europeans had conquered much of the sporty/sophisticated market by that time. General Motors responded by stamping out millions of plastic badges with the magical letters “E-U-R-O” molded in (as well as by doing stuff like putting pushrod front-drive V8s in bodies flown over from Italy). You could get a Chevy Celebrity Eurosport, and— a few years later— a Chevy Lumina Euro. I’ve been overlooking these cars in junkyards for many years, but now I realize that they have a certain historical significance. Here’s one I spotted in Denver.
10- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

You’d think that the Lumina Euro would have come standard with big brakes, stiff suspension, manual transmission, maybe some cool-looking fog lights. Nope. This one has a 140-horse pushrod V6, column-shift automatic, and a not-quite-Audi-grade faux-velour-covered front split-bench seat.

08- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

If it’s a 20-year-old W-body, it’s rolling on at least one space-saver spare tire. That’s the law.

07- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

These weren’t particularly bad cars and several cubic miles of them were sold, but the EURO badging thing is just embarrassing. Instead, they should have offered the Lumina North America, with stereo optimized for Lynyrd Skynyrd and factory-installed Cherry Bomb mufflers.


There are two kinds of cars: the cars you love to drive… and the cars you need to drive.

07- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20- 1993 Chevrolet Lumina Euro Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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2016 Chevrolet Cruze Gets Standard Turbo Mill, Diesel Will Continue http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-chevrolet-cruze-gets-standard-turbo-mill-diesel-will-continue/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-chevrolet-cruze-gets-standard-turbo-mill-diesel-will-continue/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099673 After all the hubbub caused by the Alfa Romeo Giulia reveal yesterday, the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze got lost in the melee. But, it’s here, and it’ll be packing a 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder mill as standard. Even a new diesel lump will make its way to production for 2017. What else does the Cruze have […]

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2016 Chevrolet Cruze Front 3/4

After all the hubbub caused by the Alfa Romeo Giulia reveal yesterday, the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze got lost in the melee. But, it’s here, and it’ll be packing a 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder mill as standard. Even a new diesel lump will make its way to production for 2017.

What else does the Cruze have up its sleeve?

Well, for starters, it’ll have a bigger sleeve. The Cruze will grow a bit going into 2016, as is typical with almost any new generation of car that isn’t named Miata. The wheelbase is stretched from 105.7 inches to 106.3. Overall length grows from 181 inches to 183.7. However, the Cruze gets ever so slightly shorter and narrower for its second generation.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze rear 3/4The Cruze goes on a diet for 2016. Curb weight has been slashed by approximately 250 lbs, though GM was reluctant to publish final numbers yesterday. Let’s hope that makes the Cruze feel like a much more nimble compact versus the outgoing model, which always drove a bit heavy.

For the first time, Cruze will receive an all-aluminum 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder Ecotec engine as standard, producing 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. GM says the all-new engine will be good for an estimated 40 mpg on the highway with the ability to send you to 60 mph in eight seconds. Expect a decent city fuel economy number to be published thanks to stop/start. (Whether you’ll want to use stop/start is another story.) Power will be delivered to the front wheels by way of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Outside North America, the Cruze will also be available with a 1.5L naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with 113 hp and 108 lb-ft of torque mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Both engines can use regular 87 octane.

A year after its 2016 launch, the Cruze will welcome a new 1.6L diesel mill to the engine family, though exact specs were not disclosed.

Instead of the dumpy, angular front end of the current Cruze, a smoother, more aerodynamic design is applied to the new generation car along with a windshield featuring a more raked profile. This contributes to a fairly low cD of 0.29. For comparison, the Volt has a cD of 0.28. The design also brings Cruze in line with the new 2016 Malibu and current Chevrolet Impala. Expect the next generation Chevrolet Trax to follow suit.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze InteriorInside, Cruze receives a new interior befitting its exterior duds, complete with a new version of Chevrolet MyLink on a seven-inch screen. An upgrade to an eight-inch screen will be available. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto arrive later in the Cruze’s lifecycle. Space has also increased for improved comfort for those of us gifted with height.

In addition to extra entertainment tech, Chevrolet will offer a full suite of safety technologies on Cruze, such as Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert.

The 2016 model will go on sale early next year with five different trim levels: L, LS, LT, Premier and RS. GM says the latter is “more expressive”, which should read “more show, no additional go.”

2016 Chevrolet Cruze Front 3/4 2016 Chevrolet Cruze rear 3/4 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Grille 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Badge 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Premier Badge 2016 Chevrolet Cruze steering wheel 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Technology 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Interior 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Rear seat

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Chart Of The Day: May 2015 Was The Best Month Yet For GM’s Subcompact Crossovers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-may-2015-best-month-yet-gms-subcompact-crossovers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-may-2015-best-month-yet-gms-subcompact-crossovers/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095353 During a month in which American Honda reported the brand’s first 6,381 HR-V sales, a month in which Subaru and Mitsubishi reported record XV Crosstrek and Outlander Sport sales, a month in which Jeep sold another 4,416 Renegades, GM’s smallest crossovers combined for their highest sales total thus far, as well. 11,107 Buick Encores and […]

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Encore Trax sales chart

During a month in which American Honda reported the brand’s first 6,381 HR-V sales, a month in which Subaru and Mitsubishi reported record XV Crosstrek and Outlander Sport sales, a month in which Jeep sold another 4,416 Renegades, GM’s smallest crossovers combined for their highest sales total thus far, as well.

11,107 Buick Encores and Chevrolet Traxes (Traxi? Trai?) were sold in the United States in May 2015.

This required the biggest of six months so far for the Chevrolet Trax. Encore volume increased 28%, year-over-year, and crested the 5,000-unit mark for the third consecutive month and just the third time since the little Buick arrived at the beginning of 2013.

General Motors sold 102,547 SUV and crossovers in the U.S. in May 2015. The Encore and Trax accounted for 11% of those sales. In other words, significantly more than the just-launched Honda HR-V; not nearly as many as the Chevrolet Equinox. With 29,456 May sales, the Equinox ranks second among SUVs and crossovers overall.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar.

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GM Releases Official Images of 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/gm-releases-official-images-of-2016-chevrolet-camaro-convertible/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/gm-releases-official-images-of-2016-chevrolet-camaro-convertible/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:10:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1098985 Inevitably, this is the new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, sporting a slew of changes that do not include improved visibility over the current model. Unfortunately, this is the only manufacturer-provided image of the new Camaro Convertible showing its top in the closed position, making it difficult to judge if Chevrolet has improved the number one complaint of […]

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2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

Inevitably, this is the new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, sporting a slew of changes that do not include improved visibility over the current model.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

Unfortunately, this is the only manufacturer-provided image of the new Camaro Convertible showing its top in the closed position, making it difficult to judge if Chevrolet has improved the number one complaint of every owner and automotive journalist to jump behind the wheel of their pony car. However, there are a number of changes to note.

Firstly, the top is now fully automatic, lacking a manual locking latch. You can also open and close the top at speeds up to 30 mph and remotely operate the top with the provided key fob (while stationary, of course). It drops 200 lbs versus the outgoing ‘vert, which should make it a better handler like the coupe we covered previously.

GM says it’ll begin deliveries in early 2016.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

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2016 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Planned For US Market Arrival http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-chevrolet-cruze-hatchback-planned-for-us-market-arrival/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-chevrolet-cruze-hatchback-planned-for-us-market-arrival/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 17:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097233 A hatchback version of the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze was shown to dealers at the brand’s national meeting in Vegas last week, with plans to sell it in North America. The Cruze hatch — like the current model pictured above — is already available in a handful of countries, Automotive News reports, the lack of which […]

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Chevrolet-Cruze-5-door-272226-medium

A hatchback version of the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze was shown to dealers at the brand’s national meeting in Vegas last week, with plans to sell it in North America.

The Cruze hatch — like the current model pictured above — is already available in a handful of countries, Automotive News reports, the lack of which in the U.S. is considered “a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake” per General Motors product boss Mark Reuss.

Though no date of arrival has been announced thus far, speculation points to sales beginning after the Q1 2016 introduction of the 2016 Cruze sedan, set to be revealed later this week. The hatch would do battle against the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra GT, and Volkswagen Golf.

Speaking of the sedan variant, below is the amazingly twee press release, written entirely in Emoji; GM says the secret decoder ring will come Tuesday afternoon for those unskilled in the texting language.

The Tweest Press Release Ever - 2016 Chevrolet Cruze

(Photo credit: Chevrolet)

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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2WD LT Crew Cab Reader Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2015-chevrolet-silverado-2wd-lt-crew-cab-reader-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2015-chevrolet-silverado-2wd-lt-crew-cab-reader-review/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 16:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097249 Just a couple of months ago, GM quietly announced their factory 5 year/100k mile powertrain warranty was going to henceforth be downgraded to a 60k mile powertrain warranty because their cars are all fine now and customers don’t care about long-term warranties. About 48 hours after this was announced, my wife found herself limping along […]

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2015 Chevy Silverado 2WD LT Crew Cab

Just a couple of months ago, GM quietly announced their factory 5 year/100k mile powertrain warranty was going to henceforth be downgraded to a 60k mile powertrain warranty because their cars are all fine now and customers don’t care about long-term warranties.

About 48 hours after this was announced, my wife found herself limping along the side of a major road in our 2010 Malibu with 90k miles on the odometer, engine revving, but little transmission of power taking place between the engine and the wheels.

I told her to keep on limping directly to the service center at our local Chevy dealer. My beautiful wife, brilliant in so many ways, bee-lined for the first “service” sign she saw, which happened to be the Ford dealer directly across the street from the Chevy dealer. After parking the car, she was told “wrong brand”, and tried to put the Malibu into reverse – a request the vehicle denied. We therefore had to arrange for GM to embarrassingly tow our still new-looking Malibu from the Ford lot across the street, under our valuable 100k warranty, for the 6-speed GM-Daewoo automatic was well and truly shot for the 2nd time in our 90k miles of ownership (1st rebuild took place at 27k).

2015 Chevy Silverado 2WD LT Crew CabWhen the dealer handed me the keys to the loaner – a 2015 Silverado LT 2WD Crew Cab with 850 miles on the odometer – first impressions weren’t so great. For starters, the massive chrome face on this truck is hideous. This truck needs a facelift, or a bag on it’s head. From all other angles, it is okay, and even conservatively handsome.

I climbed inside (even though I’m 6-foot-4) and things mostly got better. The steering wheel is made of high quality materials and feels perfect in my hands, the seats are wide and comfortable and the fabric nice, storage space everywhere, legibly clean gauges, acres of space both front and back, and even a three across front bench option if I fold up the wide and versatile console. Yet some downsides exist: the lowest-bidder outsourced keyfob is insultingly cheap and clickety-clacks with a hollow thin plastic resonance against the even-cheaper plastic covering the lower steering column while you drive. No one paying more than $15,000 for a car should ever have to put up with that. Also, the graphics on the MyLink interface upon startup look like they were developed by a Chinese iPad knockoff manufacturer (probably were). Bluetooth audio streaming worked wonderfully, but the (must have been) base sound system was muddy and full of too much bass. The overall impression, however, aside from these rather small niggling things, is massive versatility and space, and stout construction. 

2015 Chevy Silverado 2WD LT Crew Cab

Strangely, the Silverado cranked disconcertingly long on cold start ups – about twice as long as warm starts. This may not indicate a problem, but GM can’t afford to give me any reason for quality concerns, given the reason I’m driving this beast in the first place. However, once it kicked over, things became quite likeable. Driving this long, powerful, stout vehicle felt like piloting a road train. The ride had a typical unloaded truck jitter. However, it was immensely quiet.  Steering and brakes were accurate, and the long wheelbase made for a secure sense of tracking, despite being an unloaded truck. The view over the hood was commanding and expansive.

I got into a trucking mood and put this thing to work….hauling a massive credenza from the in-laws, picking up a 10-piece patio furniture set purchased on Craigslist (all of which fit into the bed), hauling ~1000 lbs of top soil for the garden, taking my son to his first t-ball practice, and then the family out to an affordable cheeseburger dinner that night with my wife snuggled up next to me on the bench seat (for about 3 sweet minutes until she had enough). It was pure ‘Merica, and it was pure awesome. 

Transmission shifts were mostly imperceptible, and not once did the transmission break the entire time I had the truck! And as the saying goes, GM sells you an engine and throws in everything else for free. The 5.3 liters of pushrod V8 power gets 355 horses and 383 lb-ft of torque out of regular horse piss 87 octane, ensuring when you stomp on the pedal this massive load of metal moves with unreal authority. I got into it over and over just to hear the combination of the motor’s growl and my kids’ (3 and 5) squealing laughter from the back seat. They loved this truck, and the kid in me really liked it, too. Reported 0-60 times of a little over 6 seconds seem real, and not that long ago, that was muscle car territory. It seems crazy – it is crazy – for such a large, agricultural vehicle to move like that. You see, people, trucks are fun! 

2015 Chevy Silverado 2WD LT Crew CabThanks to (imperceptible) cylinder deactivation, the Silverado frequently fell into 4-cylinder mode while cruising. This certainly contributed to the most mind-blowing thing of all – a recorded 18.5 mpg throughout the 300+ miles I drove the truck through my daily routine of commuting/school runs, hauling/Home Depot runs, and only one short highway jaunt to the airport (~30 miles total). I was astounded that this 239.57 inch (20 foot long!) truck, with this huge interior, 355+hp V8, and haul-everything capabilities was pulling in that kind of mileage. Having your cake and eating it, this is what it’s like. Comparatively, the Malibu does under 25 mpg on the same route – without furniture/dirt hauling, obviously. To a family man & home owner, it doesn’t seem worth saving a little on gas and getting a little better handling that a normal car provides. You really have to love driving through turns to give up on having 2x the motor, more than 2x the capabilities, and a transaction price not all that far off a nicely equipped midsize sedan once you take the gratuitous $10k+ off of a Silverado that your local dealer will likely give you ($40k MSRP on the one I drove). It’s the classic American equation: a lot of Mexican-made metal for the money. 

So give me a 150k transmission warranty and put a bag on it’s head and I’ll take one. Or put this motor and steering wheel into the handsome new F-150, and I’ll take that instead. 

This review was submitted by reader Nicholas Naylor (NN).

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Low-Mileage Venom GT, Penguin-Owned Ferrari Set To Hit Auction Block http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/low-mileage-venom-gt-penguin-owned-ferrari-set-to-hit-auction-block/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/low-mileage-venom-gt-penguin-owned-ferrari-set-to-hit-auction-block/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 17:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1096609 Should you happen to be in Cheswick, Penn. next Sunday, you could be the new owner of a 2014 Hennessey Venom GT, or a Ferrari once owned by a Penguin. Constantine & Pletcher owner and auctioneer Dan Pletcher says to TTAC he was putting together a single, nationwide auction with a handful of consignors, with […]

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2014 Hennessey Venom

Should you happen to be in Cheswick, Penn. next Sunday, you could be the new owner of a 2014 Hennessey Venom GT, or a Ferrari once owned by a Penguin.

Constantine & Pletcher owner and auctioneer Dan Pletcher says to TTAC he was putting together a single, nationwide auction with a handful of consignors, with the Venom GT — whose owner was said not to be happy with the vehicle — having been in his sights for a couple of months. He adds this may be the first time a Venom as new as the one put up by the owner is hitting the public auction block.

The Venom — one of 20 produced in 2014 — participated in the Concept Lawn exhibition at last year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is the only white model in the United States, and has only 745 miles on the odometer. Pletcher conservatively expects the exotic will leave the block for anywhere between $700,000 and $900,000.

Another vehicle of interest is the 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia once owned by Pittsburgh Penguin centerman Eugeni Malkin. Pletcher explained how this celebrity-owned Ferrari arrived in his auction house:

[The Ferrari] came through a friend of mine in the auto auction business that deals with [Malkin’s] agent. The Pittsburgh market is not really the best market for selling higher-end sportscars and performance cars… our roads are not the best for these type of vehicles.

Instead of placing the Ferrari on the showroom floor, Pletcher and the parties involved decided to add the car to the auction. He believes the Italia would fetch between a conservative estimate of $190,000 and $225,000 once the final bid is accepted, though the bidding could end much higher based on Malkin’s star power.

Three other cars set to join the Venom GT and 458 Italia include a numbers-matching 1957 Ford Thunderbird E-Code — referencing the roadster’s 270-horsepower 312-cubic inch V8 with dual four-barrel carb and automatic transmission — a numbers-matching 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS convertible, and a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air with only 9,000 miles on the odometer. The trio are from a collection of 30 cars Pletcher plans to sell over the next two years.

The auction will be held in Cheswick, Penn. June 28 beginning at noon Eastern.

(Photo credit: Constantine & Pletcher)

2014 Hennessey Venom 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia 1957 Ford Thunderbird E-Code 1968 Chevrolet Camaro 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

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Small Screen, Big Car: The Hawaii Five-O Mercury Marquis and the Supernatural Impala http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/small-screen-big-car-hawaii-five-o-mercury-marquis-supernatural-impala/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/small-screen-big-car-hawaii-five-o-mercury-marquis-supernatural-impala/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1083865 Smoke and mirrors – but sometimes also steel. In the odd world of movies and television, things are not always what they seem: the fake blower on the Mad Max Pursuit Special, the digital tire smoke from the Merc’ 6.9 in Ronin. It’s always a bit disappointing when you meet a hero car to learn […]

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Impala vs Marquis

Smoke and mirrors – but sometimes also steel. In the odd world of movies and television, things are not always what they seem: the fake blower on the Mad Max Pursuit Special, the digital tire smoke from the Merc’ 6.9 in Ronin.

It’s always a bit disappointing when you meet a hero car to learn that, behind the polish, it’s all hat and no cattle. But not with these two beasts. These are the real deal: guts, dents, motor, and chrome. One’s a modern hearthrob, the other’s a lantern-jawed archetype that even today outshines its modern co-stars.

One Ford product, one vehicle cranked out by the General. Black paint, V8 rumble, and more character than the small screen can contain. Here are their stories.
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Supernatural‘s been filming in my hometown for close-on ten years now. The show’s premise is pretty straightforward: the trials and tribulations of a pair of demon-fighting brothers as they wander around America in a 1967 Impala, putting evil back in the ground. Dukes of Hazzard meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer: justa good ol’ boys, never meaning no harm; beats all you ever saw, punched the Devil in the jaw, and gave Death a dead arm.

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Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s goofy, sometimes it’s overdramatic, and sometimes the show’s genuinely funny. The fanbase is large and loyal, and there’s a lot of love for the Impala, which is sort of a third Winchester brother on the show. It’s a constant companion, rumbling into a new town with a trunk filled with salt, crucifixes, and wooden stakes. They call it Baby, as that’s so often what Dean Winchester – played by Jensen Ackles – fondly calls his lead sled.

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As is usual in filming, there are multiple copies of this thing, all suited up identically in shabby black. Of the seven, one’s a buck cut up into movable sections for filming (not used much any more with the compact nature of modern cameras), a couple are stunt cars with extra pedals to lock up the rear brakes, and a couple are stand-ins for positioning shots. And one main one.

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A 1967 Chevrolet Impala hardtop sedan is a pretty rare car in its own right; people preserved more coupes and convertibles than sedans, and over the years many of these things rusted away unloved. It landed the role essentially out of the necessity for a musclecar large enough to have a cameraman riding around in the back seat while filming. The LA-shot pilot used a couple of ex-cop machines and a star was born.

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Part of the Supernatural Impala’s charm is its slightly menacing air and garage-project look. It doesn’t wear huge Chip Foose style rims, nor is it factory-trim prim and proper. The doors creak when you open them. There’s a line-lock strapped to the gearshift stalk. And then there’s what’s under the skin.

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Six of the Impalas are just props. One of them is something else: a fully-built car that’s used for closeups and star work. The work is partially Ackles’ doing – rumor has it he’s hoping to keep the car after the show wraps, so he’s pushed for a few upgrades. More than a few actually.

Under that huge hood is a fully-built big-block Chevy V8, a 502 cubic-inch monster that idles like a bowling ball in an industrial dryer and barks like a Hellhound when you prod the throttle. The suspension is a complete Hotchkiss set up, and the car actually handles and brakes reasonably well. When the crew needed to set up a few establishing shots for a season’s traveling, they strapped cameras to the Impala and spent a week aimlessly roaming around the canyon roads and deserts of BC’s interior. “Most fun two weeks of my life,” says the car’s long-time caretaker.

The Impala is at least as potent in person as it is on screen, even if the demon-fighting apparatus in its trunk is just a prop. Supernatural? No – it’s the real deal.

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In far rougher shape, but no less impressive, is the 1974 Mercury Marquis from Hawaii Five-O. This was Detective Steve McGarrett’s (as played by Jack Lord) car in the original series for six seasons. It continues to feature in the modern remake, functioning as the link between the two shows.

Unlike the Impala, there was only ever one Marquis. While a ’67 coupe was used in the pilot episode, and a ’68 Park Lane sedan filled in for the first six seasons, the black ’74 that saw out Five-O‘s run didn’t have a stunt double to take the punches. Like the original Ectomobile, it was the only car used, and that meant week after week of damage and repair. Often-times the mechanic, Mike Sakamoto, would be welding it back together into the wee hours of the morning.

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The old girl’s in pretty sad condition. That salt-filled Hawaiian air is easy on the skin but rusty murder on old Detroit iron like this. Open the door and a small shower of iron oxide hisses down – it’s a miracle that a forty-year-old unrestored car survives like this.

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Yet survive it does. The owner, John Nordlum, puts the key in the ignition and cranks the engine. The starter whirrs creakily, there’s a weak tuff-tuff-tuff of an old engine coughing to life, and then she fires. The Ford 460ci V8 sets up a beat, and once again McGarrett’s car glides off the set, and out onto patrol on the streets of Honolulu.

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Nordlum was Jack Lord’s body double, and later Tom Selleck’s double on Magnum PI (which mostly used the same crew as Five-O). He was given the Marquis at the end of shooting the series, a gift from Jack Lord. Notoriously a forceful personality, Lord steamrollered any studio objections, and Nordlum got the keys.

The Marquis rumbles around the block without a catch in its step, though the body rolls like an ill-ballasted ship through the corners. There’s creaks and rattles aplenty, and even the shifter is liver-spotted with patina. But she still runs and drives, even after all these years. “We can’t get crew that’s lasted as long as that car,” Nordlum laughs, “It’s got a life of its own.”

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Perhaps either the show or some eager fan will foot the restoration bill for the Marquis. Perhaps the Impala will end up in Ackles’ personal garage, to be trotted out now and then for a blitz around the block.

That’s the hope anyway – sure, both have been immortalized through the lens of a camera already, but each is not just a ephemeral fantasy. There is solidity here, realness beyond the showbiz glitz. It’s something to be honored and preserved.

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General Motors Repurposes Chevrolet Volt Batteries For Energy Storage http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-repurposes-chevrolet-volt-batteries-for-energy-storage/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-repurposes-chevrolet-volt-batteries-for-energy-storage/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 15:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1094633 Having already recycled battery covers into animal habitats, General Motors is turning its efforts toward the Chevrolet Volt’s batteries themselves. General Motors battery life cycle boss Pablo Valencia says the packs used in the PHEV can still be of use in storage applications once its days providing energy to the vehicle draws to an end, […]

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Having already recycled battery covers into animal habitats, General Motors is turning its efforts toward the Chevrolet Volt’s batteries themselves.

General Motors battery life cycle boss Pablo Valencia says the packs used in the PHEV can still be of use in storage applications once its days providing energy to the vehicle draws to an end, “delivering waste reduction and economic benefits on an industrial scale” in repurposing.

To demonstrate this, five packs from the first-gen Volt are working in concert with a 74-kilowatt solar array and two wind turbines — each good for 2 kW — to generate power at GM’s Enterprise Data Center at the Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Mich. The packs can also provide emergency power for four hours in the event of a power outage, while the full setup can deliver up to 100 MWh of energy — the equivalent of the amount used by 12 average households — annually to the data center, with excess sent to the proving ground’s grid.

Though supply of Volt packs remains low for now, GM says it’s working with partners to “validate and test systems for other commercial and non-commercial uses.” Valencia adds the repurposing of packs for energy storage would be perfect for commercial use, providing “full functionality” from the packs while also reducing upfront costs in implementing the system.

[Photo credit: Chevrolet]

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Junkyard Find: 1976 Chevrolet Nova http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/junkyard-find-1976-chevrolet-nova/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/junkyard-find-1976-chevrolet-nova/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 12:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1085809 I see many Corolla-based, NUMMI-built Novas in my junkyard travels, but the earlier rear-wheel-drive X-body Nova has become a fairly rare sight in self-service wrecking yards during the last decade or so. Other than a handful of factory-performance versions, 1970s Novas were disposable, cheap transportation appliances, and so the ones that haven’t been crushed by […]

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06 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

I see many Corolla-based, NUMMI-built Novas in my junkyard travels, but the earlier rear-wheel-drive X-body Nova has become a fairly rare sight in self-service wrecking yards during the last decade or so. Other than a handful of factory-performance versions, 1970s Novas were disposable, cheap transportation appliances, and so the ones that haven’t been crushed by now tend to be nicely restored and/or drag racers. Still, I find a few; we’ve seen this ’77 two-door, this rare ’73 hatchback, this ’79 Oldsmobile Omega (one of GM’s many adventures in X-body badge engineering), and this ’78 Cadillac Seville Elegante (one of GM’s many adventures in Cadillac brand dilution) so far, and now we’ve got this ’76 in California.
05 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

I’ve owned one of these cars (a 250-powered two-door purchased for $100, or maybe it was $50), and it was a total hooptie that wasn’t much fun to drive but always ran. You can make them dangerously quick with a small-block Chevy equipped with cheapo bolt-on performance parts, of course.

01 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

This one was called “CHEVY RYDER,” or maybe it was owned by someone who called himself by that name. I’m guessing that Mr. CHEVY RYDER now drives the BONE-MERO.

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The engine is gone from this car, but we can assume that it had a badass hood scoop of some sort.

02 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

It’s possible that CHEVY RYDER had a whole fleet of X-bodies and stripped the interior and powertrain out of this one before transplanting its parts into a nice one.


Apparently there is at least one of these cars in Israel.


The earlier version of the Nova was a much better automobile than O.J. Simpson.

06 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1976 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Confirmed: Isuzu N-Series Will Be Sold by Chevrolet in U.S. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/confirmed-isuzu-n-series-will-be-sold-by-chevrolet-in-u-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/confirmed-isuzu-n-series-will-be-sold-by-chevrolet-in-u-s/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 16:18:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092825 As previously rumored, General Motors and Isuzu confirmed today they’ve “reached an agreement on a U.S. commercial vehicle collaboration” that sees low cab forward trucks making their way to our shores with bowties. Six new models will be available in the U.S. – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500 and 5500 HD – all based on […]

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As previously rumored, General Motors and Isuzu confirmed today they’ve “reached an agreement on a U.S. commercial vehicle collaboration” that sees low cab forward trucks making their way to our shores with bowties.

Six new models will be available in the U.S. – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500 and 5500 HD – all based on the Isuzu N-Series.

According to a release from GM, two cabs (regular and crew), three engines (GM 6.0L V8 gas, Isuzu 3.0L turbodiesel and 5.2L turbodiesel) and varying chassis lengths from 109 to 212 inches will be available. The two companies will “explore the use of GM commercial vehicle components” for the trucks and GM will continue its supply of 6.0L V8 gasoline engines and six-speed automatic transmissions to Isuzu. Chevrolet-badged V8 gas models will be assembled in Charlotte, Michigan.

GM has sourced trucks from Isuzu in the past but exited the medium-duty segment in 2009. Isuzu previously sold passenger vehicles in the U.S. but abandoned the market in January 2009 after trimming its lineup down to GM-sourced SUVs and midsize pickups.

The new trucks will go on sale at participating dealers next year.

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General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092625 General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu. Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as […]

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Chevrolet Kodiak

General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu.

Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as of this writing, but what is known is the automaker will import 80 percent of Isuzu’s trucks from Japan, assembling the rest in the United States via an Isuzu partner facility. The Japanese-made trucks will come with diesel power, while the American-made variants will be fitted with gasoline engines.

The import deal is the latest development in the renewed partnership between GM and Isuzu, following a September 2014 announcement the duo would jointly develop a mid-size pickup for markets outside of North America. Their previous 35-year-long capital alliance came to an end in 2006 amid financial troubles for the Detroit automaker.

The deal is also a new development for GM itself, which discontinued the Kodiak and GMC Topkick after negotiations to sell the medium-duty division to Isuzu and Navistar collapsed in 2009. As early as 2010, the automaker has looked for ways to return to the vacated market, either in Class 5/6 or 4/5.

[Photo credit: Frank Deandro/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Cobra vs. Camaro: A Brief Recap Of The Modern Era http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/cobra-vs-camaro-brief-recap-modern-era/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/cobra-vs-camaro-brief-recap-modern-era/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 16:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1087329 As a child, I was told that it was impolite to mention religion or politics at the dinner table, because such discussions tended to elicit irreconcilable differences between guests who would otherwise be perfectly compatible. Many years later, as an itinerant observer of the Midwestern street racing scene, I learned that there was a dinner […]

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As a child, I was told that it was impolite to mention religion or politics at the dinner table, because such discussions tended to elicit irreconcilable differences between guests who would otherwise be perfectly compatible. Many years later, as an itinerant observer of the Midwestern street racing scene, I learned that there was a dinner topic that combined the worst aspects of religiosity and partisanship in its prospective combatants, and that topic was known to all and sundry as “Ford vs. Chevy”. It’s the third rail of car-guy discourse, and you’ll touch it at your peril. People take this stuff seriously; the bowtie and the blue oval were common tattoos back in the days before every size-12 Millennial female womens-studies graduate and her bewildered, low-testosterone life partner routinely got full ink sleeves as a way to ensure that they were exactly as different as everyone else.

It’s no surprise, then, that when I posted a reasonably popular article on the R&T website about driving a new-in-box 1995 Mustang Cobra R on a racetrack for the first time, my casual use of the phrase “Z28-killer” to describe said 5.8L, 300-horsepower ponycar caused hundreds of Facebook commenters to lose their collective minds. In short order, I was roughly e-Educated on the fourth-gen F-body’s clear and present superiority by people whose collective amnesia regarding things like Optispark wouldn’t be out of place in a Fifties-era Moose Lodge discussion of Executive Order 9066. Some of these people threatened my life. Worse still, they’re wrong. The ’95 Cobra would smoke a stock ’95 Z28 around a road course. Duh.

But that was just one battle in a long ponycar campaign that has raged since before most of us were born, and with additional violence since the “Cobra” name was first put on a Mustang. What follows, therefore, is a highly opinionated recap of this war without end. We’ll pick a winner for each battle, and we’ll skip the Sixties and Seventies – this isn’t Collectible Automobile – starting instead with the Year Of Our Lord 1993.


Round One: 1993 “Fox” Cobra vs. 1993 Z28
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“The mood is BMW”, C/D enthused regarding the 1993 Cobra, but the mood – and the rear discs, a long-overdue upgrade over the prehistoric drums on the “5.0” GT – didn’t make up for the massive deficit in power and pace between this and the new-for-1993 Camaro Z28. It wasn’t the first Cobra on this platform – that would be the 132-horsepower 1979 Cobra Turbo – and it wasn’t the first “special vehicle” on this platform – that would be the legendary Mustang SVO, also a four-cylinder turbo – but it was the debut vehicle for the re-imagined Special Vehicle Team. Had it arrived in 1992 to face the automatic-only 5.7 Z28, it would have been a superstar. Against the LT1 fourth-gen, however, it was an also-ran. A very limited-production Cobra R added big brakes and bespoke suspension but had no additional power, making it easy meat for the Chevrolet anywhere but the autocross course. Advantage: Camaro

Round Two: 1994 Cobra 5.0 vs. 1994 Z28

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The “mod motor” was well established in full-size Fords when the “SN95″ Mustangs reached showrooms for the 1994 model year, but the first two years of SN95 production used the beloved five-point-oh for reasons that were never clear to me even though I was an employee of Ford Credit at the time. The Cobra, too, used what was basically a carryover engine from the previous year, mildly bumped to 240 horsepower. It wasn’t enough and the extra weight of the new platform didn’t help at all. C/D confirmed that yet again the Cobra couldn’t run with a stock Z28.

The Cobra R, on the other hand, had the ability to run thirteens in private hands and a suspension that was well beyond anything that General Motors could offer. I enjoyed the heck out of the one I drove last month, I’ll tell you. Still, it cost twice as much as a plain Z28, making it more of a Corvette competitor. Advantage: Camaro

Round Three: 1996 Cobra 32v vs. 1996 Camaro SS

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I was a Ford salesman when the 32-valve Cobra appeared. It seemed like the perfect weapon to avenge three years’ worth of humiliation at the hands of the fourth-gen Camaro, and the optional “Mystic” color-flipping paint was just the icing on the cake. (I blush to admit that I wanted a Mystic Cobra so badly back then that I ended up buying a MusicMan JP6 Mystic Dream earlier this year just out of nostalgia for the car.) Unfortunately for Ford fanatics, Chevrolet had the pumped-up SS – and when C/D performed an unusually thorough comparison between it and the Cobra using champion drivers at a drag strip, an SCCA-Solo-II-style autocross course, and Michigan’s Grattan Raceway, the Camaro smoked the Mustang on all three fronts. Oh, the humiliation! But the margin of victory was much closer than it had been in 1994, so if you liked the Mustang’s superior driving position, park-ability, and quality control, you could put the Cobra in your garage and not feel too guilty about it. Advantage: Camaro

Round Four: 2001 New Edge Cobra vs. 2001 Camaro SS LS1

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The Mustang was revamped into the so-called “New Edge” for 1999. The Cobra got an independent rear suspension and a 320-horsepower version of the 32v 4.6. Unfortunately for Ford, the engine didn’t make the advertised power and in the resulting kerfluffle the Cobra was discontinued for 2000. When it returned in 2001, it was able to match the Camaro SS in all performance categories despite the Camaro’s upgrade to a Corvette-sourced LS1 aluminum small-block. The price difference was about ten percent in the Chevrolet’s favor, but the addition of IRS emphasized the Mustang’s real-world superiority. A 385-horse big-bore variant, the Cobra R, was priced against the Corvette but couldn’t match it for pace. Advantage: Tie game.

Round Five: 2004 Terminator Cobra vs….

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The supercharged SVT Cobra, nicknamed “Terminator” during development, ran a 12.9-second quarter-mile. And it handled, after a fashion. And it looked bad-ass. It was arguably the best Mustang since the original Shelby GT350. The Camaro SS, preparing to depart the market without a successor, had nothing for it. Advantage: Cobra, by a knockout.

Round Six: 2013 Shelby GT500 vs 2013 Camaro ZL1

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To my immense dismay, the successor to the Terminator Cobra was badged as a Shelby for reasons of pure and simple marketing. The first iron-block GT500 was a pretty good car and if you’re interested in watching low-res footage of spectator-shoe heel-and-toe you can watch my old video of one at MSR Houston. The 662-horsepower “Trinity” Cobra, however, was a high-water mark in ponycar history, a nearly perfect blend of power and poise and charisma. It impressed me beyond all words – okay, I came up with a few words – and, along with its Boss 302 sibling, put an exclamation point on the end of the retro-Mustang era.

The Camaro ZL1 was the HHR to the Shelby’s PT Cruiser. More refinement, more visual drama, delivery to market about four years after the car that inspired it. Our friends at Car and Driver preferred it to the GT500, citing its superior composure on track and more comfortable ride while sniffing that the Mustang was “over-the-top brutish”. Since that is precisely what is required in a big-bore ponycar, that over-the-top brutality, I have no trouble calling this one Advantage: Cobra.

Round Seven: ?????

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What does the future hold for the Cobra vs. Camaro rivalry? Will there be a counterpart to the GT350? Will both manufacturers field another supercharged V-8, or will Chevrolet attempt to build a sort of hybrid of the Z/28 and ZL1 that competes directly with the new Shelby? Will the lighter and smaller 2016 Camaro play the role of Fox-body to the 2015 Mustang’s third-gen Camaro, using a weight and dimensional advantage to capture reviewers’ hearts? I have no crystal ball, but I can offer one piece of advice: Don’t be in a hurry to buy a ponycar, because ever since 1979 there’s always been a better one around the corner.

Unless, that is, you have an order slot for a GT350.

You can go ahead and get that. And if you’d like to see how it compares to a 1995 Cobra R around a racetrack, you know how to reach me, right?

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GM Designer Bryan Nesbitt New Buick Global Design Boss http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/gm-designer-bryan-nesbitt-new-buick-global-design-boss/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/gm-designer-bryan-nesbitt-new-buick-global-design-boss/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 17:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1085505 Longtime General Motors designer Bryan Nesbitt is now Buick’s global design boss as part of the automaker’s shuffling of chief designers. Nesbitt enters the role as he returns from a four-year stint heading design for both GM China and GM’s international operations division, Automotive News reports. He joined the automaker in 2001 following the introduction […]

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New Chevy Malibu Delivers Estimated 38 MPG Highway

Longtime General Motors designer Bryan Nesbitt is now Buick’s global design boss as part of the automaker’s shuffling of chief designers.

Nesbitt enters the role as he returns from a four-year stint heading design for both GM China and GM’s international operations division, Automotive News reports. He joined the automaker in 2001 following the introduction of one of his major hits, the Chrysler PT Cruiser, in 2000. Since then, he has led design teams involving the 2007 Saturn Aura, 2008 Buick Enclave, 2013 Cadillac ATS and 2014 Escalade.

Nesbitt replaces Buick and Cadillac global design chief Andrew Smith, who has held the roles since September 2013; Smith will continue on as Cadillac’s executive global designer. Meanwhile, Nesbitt will be replaced at GM China with Chevrolet’s truck design head Ken Parkinson, who shared the brand’s overall design duties with car design boss John Cafaro; Cafaro will now helm both halves.

The changes in design leadership were made to “emphasize” each of GM’s global brands, according to a representative, and took effect June 1.

[Photo credit: General Motors]

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Danger Girl Bids Farewell To The Old New Camaro http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/danger-girl-bids-farewell-old-new-camaro/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/danger-girl-bids-farewell-old-new-camaro/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1080601 “You don’t have to meet me inside the airport,” I said, as Danger Girl led me by the hand to the baggage claim area of the Albuquerque Sunport. “I’m not a ten-year-old.” “I just didn’t want you to get lost.” “Lost?” My attention was briefly diverted by a curvaceous Latina in some sort of slutty-jumpsuit […]

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“You don’t have to meet me inside the airport,” I said, as Danger Girl led me by the hand to the baggage claim area of the Albuquerque Sunport. “I’m not a ten-year-old.”

“I just didn’t want you to get lost.”

“Lost?” My attention was briefly diverted by a curvaceous Latina in some sort of slutty-jumpsuit made from translucent fabric. “This is, like, the fourth-smallest commercial airport in North America.”

“Lost,” DG clarified, following my glance to the young lady who was now obliviously bending over to fix her sandal, “like that.”

“Oh.”


“I’m still angry about what happened last week, you know,” she said, tossing my luggage into the cargo compartment of her newest rental car. “I didn’t get credit for that rental.”

“So?”

“So, it was the rental that was going to put me over the top for my next free rental day.”

“Wait. You’re angry because you didn’t get credit for stealing a Challenger?”

“Because I would have gotten a free rental certificate.”

“But you didn’t pay for the Challenger!” I sputtered. “It was a free rental day all by itself.”

“Not the same,” DG declared, in a this conversation is over voice. “And this new rental car is broken. It’s really slow. I would never buy a Kia.”

“This,” I exhaled, already worn to a frazzle by seven days in which I drove over two thousand miles and flew over nine thousand, “is a Fiat 500L.

“It looks like a Kia,” DG proclaimed. “And it’s broken. See?” She floored the accelerator down Central Avenue. A homeless person leapt to safety from his perch on the curb.

“No, I think that’s about how fast they are supposed to be.”

“Well, it’s no wonder that you never see Kias out there. I call it the Poky Little Puppy. Did you read that book?”

“Recently?”

“No, as a kid, like everyone else. This is a Poky Little Fucking Puppy. I’m going to get another car from the rental agency.” Sure enough, the next morning she returned in a V6 Camaro.

camaro5

“How much did they charge you?” I asked.

“How much did they charge me?” The disbelief in her voice was palpable.

“Yes. How much did they charge you to change cars.”

“Nothing. It would have been twenty-five dollars for a Mustang. But the Camaros and Challengers are free. The airport lot is full of them. Because people in ABQ think that a cheap Camaro with tiny wheels is just the fucking pinnacle of human achievement out there, the best you can get. Hey, is that a Nova up there? I used to have a Nova. Let’s go look at it.” And she pinned the accelerator to its stop. Some sort of sizable lizard passed under the wheels with a sodden thump. “This one has balls. Definitely faster than a Tahoe. Hey, here we are. I really like that Nova. But what I want, I’ve decided, is not a Nova, but instead the Lexus RC-F. I cannot be impressed by that Nova, or this Camaro, after having ridden in the Lexus RC-F.”

“They are not,” I responded, “even remotely close to the same price.”

“But I can afford either, so it’s like they are the same price. And the Camaro that was $75,000 was super sucky.”

“You mean the Z/28.”

“Yes. It’s no Lexus RC-F.”

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“To me,” Danger Girl continued, “the Camaro has always been a girl’s car compared to the Mustang. And it doesn’t look like an old Camaro at all. The Challenger looks just like an old Challenger. And why does this have a screen in the dash there’s no backup camera? Is this the same car your friend Patrick, whom I met at that party at Alex Roy’s place, crashed?”

“He crashed the new one.”

“He couldn’t have been going very fast. This is slower than my old 1970 Monte Carlo. Uh-oh.” Ahead of, a white 2004-ish Escalade and a black 2004-ish Escalade were blocking both lanes of the street for what seemed like no reason.

“Should you honk or something?”

“We’ll get shot,” DG reminded me. “This is downtown Albuquerque.” In a moment, the two Escalades drove away and began playfully swerving at each other. “Both of those people,” my companion told me, “live in trailers. But they have Escalades.”

“Well, those are older Escalades.”

“It still makes me want to vote something that is more Republican than the Republicans.”

“Like, the take-Escalades-away-from-poor-people party?”

“Those people,” she replied with a trace of scorn, “could not get elected in New Mexico.”

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We stopped at a motorcycle shop where DG expressed interest in a red-white-and-blue Honda CBR500. The salesman told her, “That’s a lot of bike for a lady just starting out.”

“I had a Harley Softail when I was a teenager,” she snapped.

“Well then… let me show you the CB1000.” Afterwards, having purchased no motorcycles and having damaged only one on the showroom floor (I backed into the mirror of a new Honda CTX1300, causing the housing to snap off and fall) we cruised out to the far side of town and I thought long and hard about the virtues of this erstwhile New Camaro. Nominally speaking, the 2012-on V6es with their new integrated headers can be massaged via bolt-ons into a 13.9-second quarter mile, right there with the Ferrari Testarossa and the Porsche 964 and my Accord V6. In practice, however, these are kind of poky little puppies, emitting a horrible thrashing noise as the automatic takes its sweet time grabbing a lower gear and causing the entire interior to vibrate its brittle grey 1989-Cavalier plastic. The 2011-on Mustang was much nicer inside even if it lacked the sharply-creased exterior drama that still makes this low-rent rental look muscular and menacing despite the tall sidewalls and asthmatic exhaust.

Yet the execution of this fifth-generation car is depressingly Fiero-2M4-esque. To begin with, anything the Camaro can do, the Pontiac G8 could do better. It’s been a long time since coupes were lighter than their sedan relatives, and you can blame things like side-impact regulations for that, but the Camaro’s weight gain was always particularly egregious and it imbues even the big-motor variants with a sort of lackadaisical inertia at all times. The outgoing Mustang was no sports car but it sure as hell seemed like one when driven back to back with a Camaro.

If the insurance companies permit such a thing, a 2015 Camaro will be a great car for an adventurous teenager in 2025 or thereabouts. To a generation raised in the rear seat of Highlanders and Pilots, this will seem like quite the balls-out adventure-mobile, and for kids who grew up in the shadow of the monster Sequoia (the Toyota, not the tree), this coupe won’t seem terribly oversized.

New-car buyers will want to wait for the sixth-gen car, which should be like the ’89 Fiero GT to the current model’s ’84 Indy Pace Car. New GM might still be late to the party whenever possible (see HHR, Chevrolet and SRX, Cadillac) but it no longer terminates model lifespans right when the vehicle involved slouches into acceptability. My guess is the next ponycar conflict will closely resemble its Nineties predecessor: the Camaro will be faster and more capable, and the Mustang will be more usable and more popular.

On the way to the airport at oh-dark-thirty, DG was all smiles. “With this rental, I’ll finally get that free day that they cheated me out of before,” she assured me. “And I’ll have some free upgrades, too.”

“You could rent a Porsche,” I suggested, “or a Mercedes.”

“What I really want,” she replied, “is to rent a Lexus RC-F. But, if you’ve noticed, you will see that nobody ever has an RC-F to rent. Or any Lexus.” As we arrived at the return area, and the Camaro’s door closed with a sickly rattle, and the trunk popped up unevenly on the thick stamped hinges, DG’s brow briefly crinkled. “Why do you think that is?”

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Chevrolet Bolt Trademark Application Active Once Again http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chevrolet-bolt-trademark-application-active-once-again/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chevrolet-bolt-trademark-application-active-once-again/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 14:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1081033 Last week, we reported on the second suspension of Chevrolet’s trademark application for the Bolt nameplate. Said application is now active once again. According to Chevrolet spokeswoman Annalisa Bluhm, who contacted us this morning regarding the trademarking process for its low-cost, 200-mile EV: Chevrolet has been working closely with the USPT on Bolt trademark. Our […]

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2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – front ex

Last week, we reported on the second suspension of Chevrolet’s trademark application for the Bolt nameplate. Said application is now active once again.

According to Chevrolet spokeswoman Annalisa Bluhm, who contacted us this morning regarding the trademarking process for its low-cost, 200-mile EV:

Chevrolet has been working closely with the USPT on Bolt trademark. Our legal staff has consent from Yamaha to use the Bolt name. According to our legal team, our USPT application is back to active status.

The most recent suspension came about when a custom sleeper cab company in Indiana applied to protect its name, Bolt Custom Trucks. Though the email addressed only the first suspension by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — Yamaha had reserved Bolt for motorcycles and related parts prior to the brand’s application — it would appear the second suspension involving the builder was resolved, as well.

[Photo credit: Chevrolet]

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QOTD: If Two-Lane Blacktop Were Made Today, What Two Cars Would Star? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/question-of-the-day-if-two-lane-blacktop-were-made-today-what-two-cars-would-star/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/question-of-the-day-if-two-lane-blacktop-were-made-today-what-two-cars-would-star/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 12:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1080521 During April, the management of the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in Denver allowed me to select and introduce four car movies, and the final one was the 1971 road-trip classic, Two-Lane Blacktop. In the bar before the film rolled (and during my introduction in the theater, and in the parking lot afterward), a debate raged, triggered […]

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QOTD-TwoLaneBlacktopCars-Both

During April, the management of the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in Denver allowed me to select and introduce four car movies, and the final one was the 1971 road-trip classic, Two-Lane Blacktop. In the bar before the film rolled (and during my introduction in the theater, and in the parking lot afterward), a debate raged, triggered by a question I’d dropped: What are the 2015 equivalents to the full-race 1955 Chevrolet 150 two-door and brand-new 1970 Pontiac GTO that starred in the film?

In order to answer this question, you need to fast-forward through 44 years’ worth of cultural evolution of the characters portrayed in the film by Warren Oates, James Taylor, and Dennis Wilson (simply finding the lineal descendents of the cars — what, the ’15 Impala and whatever replaced the performance-oriented mid-sized Pontiacs in GM’s lineup after Pontiac’s demise? — just seems inadequate for the depth of this movie). What would the 21st-century counterparts to The Driver, The Mechanic, and GTO drive?
QOTD-TwoLaneBlacktopCars-Chevy

The 1955 Chevrolet 150 two-door sedan was, when new, one of the cheapest “real” Detroit cars you could buy. The list price for the six-cylinder was just $1,685, a mere $190 more than the miserably toy-like 1955 Volkswagen Beetle and its 36-horse engine. Sure, the ’55 Ford Mainline Business Coupe listed at just $1,606 and the ’55 Plymouth Plaza Business Coupe for $1,614, and real-world resale values on such stripped-down, 16-year-old bottom-of-the-line transportation appliances were low, low, low, but the Chevy had the most available (and cheap) aftermarket speed parts and the easiest big-block engine-swap potential in 1971. On top of all that, the ’55 Chevy had built up a fair amount of cool by 1971, especially compared to its same-era counterparts, so that factor needs to be placed on the scale as well.

QOTD-TwoLaneBlacktopCars-Brochure

So, for Wilson and Taylor’s ’55 Chevy (which was also Bob Falfa’s car in American Grafitti), we need an older lightweight car that’s considered somewhat cool, has plentiful aftermarket speed-parts support, is very popular among 21st-century drag racers (particularly the outlaw street-racer variety), can be obtained fairly cheaply, and is extremely quick when set up properly. I think the third-gen GM F-body and any sort of Fox Ford qualify, but my personal choice for this car is the 1992-1995 Honda Civic hatchback. Yes, I’m biased, but so many 19-year-olds have tried to buy (or steal) my EG Civic since I’ve owned it, and I’ve watched so many sketchy-looking EGs with gigantic turbos run 10- or 11-second quarter-mile passes (and nuke their engines in spectacular fashion attempting to do so) that I think this car has become the ’55 Chevy of our time (actual ’55 Chevrolets, even four-door examples, have been priced out of reach of mere mortals for quite some time now). Your opinion probably differs, especially if you suffer from DSM Delusional Disorder.

QOTD-TwoLaneBlacktopCars- GTO Brochure

As for the 1970 GTO (not a Judge, in spite of its 455 engine and yellow paint) driven by Warren Oates’ character (named, simply, “GTO”), we need a brand-new car that’s a fairly expensive sporty model with lots of power, a halfway-decent checklist of luxury options, and – most important of all – the sort of flashiness preferred by a more-money-than-sense California weirdo, trapped in a rapid downward spiral with a trunk full of booze and pills and launched on a pointless cross-country drive. Infiniti Q60? BMW 3 Series? Having reviewed the Chevy SS, I think it almost qualifies as the 2015 counterpart to GTO’s GTO, but it ends up being a little bit too stodgy for a guy who shrieks “COLOR ME GONE, BABY!” at some bemused hitchhiker as he stomps on the gas. I’m going with the Cadillac CTS-V here, partly because it’s an appropriately show-offy GM product with a monster V8 under the hood and partly because you’d have (in Dennis Wilson’s words) a “real street-sweeper here if you put a little work into it.” In stock form, the CTS-V couldn’t hope to out-drag-race a car set up and operated by the 2015 equivalent of The Mechanic and The Driver (though it would have the advantage in a New Mexico-to-Washington DC highway race, just as a new GTO would over a stripped-down big-block ’55 Chevy with drag-race gears in 1971), but the street-sweeper potential is just about limitless.

TwoLaneBlacktop-800x450

So, what are your choices for these two cars? I suggest not looking at inflation-adjusted values for new ’70 GTOs and 15-year-old ’55 Chevrolets when making your comparisons, because you’ll just get depressed.

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General Motors Bolt Trademark Application Suspended Again http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-bolt-trademark-application-suspended-again/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-bolt-trademark-application-suspended-again/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 19:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1078146 For the second time since applying for the name, General Motors has seen its trademark application suspended for the Chevrolet Bolt. The application for the Bolt nameplate was originally suspended by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when it was learned Yamaha already held the trademark for its motorcycles and related parts, AutoGuide reports. GM […]

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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.

The application for the Bolt nameplate was originally suspended by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when it was learned Yamaha already held the trademark for its motorcycles and related parts, AutoGuide reports. GM and Yamaha came to terms to allow the former to use the name for its EV, only for the second suspension to occur soon after.

The cause behind the recent snag comes from Bolt Custom Trucks in Fort Wayne, Ind. The custom sleeper cab builder applied to protect the name before GM, with owner Brian Callan not being aware his company’s application was now in the way of the automaker being able to call its EV “Bolt.”

Whatever name it does end up wearing, the low-cost EV is set to hit showrooms 16 months from now barring delays. Even with said potential delays, the Bolt is expected to leave the assembly line ahead of its competitor, the Tesla Model 3, entering showrooms with a $30,000 starting price and a 200-mile range.

[Source: Chevrolet]

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Junkyard Find: 1981 Chevrolet Citation, Rock Salt Sandblasting Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/junkyard-find-1981-chevrolet-citation-rock-salt-sandblasting-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/junkyard-find-1981-chevrolet-citation-rock-salt-sandblasting-edition/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 12:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1074762 This is the third week in Themed Junkyard Find Week Madness. We started with 21st Century Junkyard Find Week, then had Volkswagen Junkyard Find Week, and now we’ve staggered right into Rusty Junkyard Find Week. Next week, I might return to ordinary jumbled-up Junkyard Finds, or I might subject you to an entire month of […]

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Incredibly Rusty Chevrolet Citation - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

This is the third week in Themed Junkyard Find Week Madness. We started with 21st Century Junkyard Find Week, then had Volkswagen Junkyard Find Week, and now we’ve staggered right into Rusty Junkyard Find Week. Next week, I might return to ordinary jumbled-up Junkyard Finds, or I might subject you to an entire month of Chrysler LH Junkyard Finds.

For now, though, let’s finish up our third Themed Junkyard Find Week with a case of genuinely puzzling rust.
Incredibly Rusty Chevrolet Citation Detail 1 - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Unlike most of the interesting cars I shoot in junkyards, this ’81 Chevy Citation is represented here by just a single photograph. I was visiting the yard just before closing time, to grab a Dodge D100 pickup fuel gauge for my get-it-done-today A100 instrument-cluster rebuild project, walked past this Citation, and shot a single cellphone photo.

Incredibly Rusty Chevrolet Citation Detail 2 - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

So, we’ll look at details from that single photo, like conspiracy theorists studying a single frame of the Zapruder Film. This car had some rust all over, but the vertical surfaces of the right side of the body had terrifying and weirdly localized rust. How? Why? There’s no evidence of a fire burning off a patch of paint, so perhaps the car spent several years lying on its right side in the manure pond of a western Kansas pig farm?

Let’s time-travel back to 1979, when “the first Chevy of the 80s” hadn’t yet hit the streets in large numbers and existed mostly in the minds of Americans who were hoping that the gloom of the previous decade would be washed away by a car that showed that the days of bad Chevrolets were over.


Well, long-term-wise, that didn’t work out so well, with the Citation merely ushering in a decade of brand-damaging disasters and puzzling attempts to compete with German luxury marques. Today, we laugh at the Citation, though there was a time when they were as commonplace as are Malibus today.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt On Sale In California, Google, Apple Systems Coming This Summer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-chevrolet-volt-on-sale-in-california-google-apple-systems-coming-this-summer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-chevrolet-volt-on-sale-in-california-google-apple-systems-coming-this-summer/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 20:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077578 California consumers will be the first to buy the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, which will have Google’s and Apple’s infotainment systems beginning this summer. The second-gen PHEV is available for ordering in California starting Thursday, Inside EVs reports, with deliveries set for August. Oregon and the Northeast will join in late August with delivery in early […]

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2016 Chevrolet Volt

California consumers will be the first to buy the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, which will have Google’s and Apple’s infotainment systems beginning this summer.

The second-gen PHEV is available for ordering in California starting Thursday, Inside EVs reports, with deliveries set for August. Oregon and the Northeast will join in late August with delivery in early October, while the rest of the nation can put their orders in beginning October 1 for deliveries starting in November. Price of admission begins at $33,995 MSRP.

When those Volts are delivered, they will be among the first in Chevrolet’s lineup to have Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay systems, Autoblog notes. Joining the Volt will this summer will be the 2016 Cruze, Camaro, Spark and Malibu equipped with MyLink and seven-inch touchscreen. Overall, 14 2016 models will have the systems across all trims.

The decision to offer both systems came down to providing consumers choice, GM’s connected-vehicle experience chief Alicia Boler-Davis said, adding “no two customers are alike, and we cannot expect a single solution that works for every driver in every situation.”

The announcement follows Hyundai’s move to introduce Android Auto to the 2015 Sonata Tuesday, with CarPlay to follow later.

[Source: Chevrolet]

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Can It Really Be True? Chevrolet SS Sales Increased In April 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/can-really-true-chevrolet-ss-sales-increased-april-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/can-really-true-chevrolet-ss-sales-increased-april-2015/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1073026 General Motors sold more Chevrolet SS sedans in April 2015 than they did in April 2014. Albeit only 16 more, to be precise. 5.7% more. Yet not in any of the previous five months in which the SS could produce a year-over-year increase did it manage to do so. (October 2014 sales jumped 11,400% from […]

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2015 Chevrolet SS

General Motors sold more Chevrolet SS sedans in April 2015 than they did in April 2014.

Albeit only 16 more, to be precise. 5.7% more.

Yet not in any of the previous five months in which the SS could produce a year-over-year increase did it manage to do so. (October 2014 sales jumped 11,400% from one reported sale in October 2013 to 115.)

Moreover, the SS’s April 2015 sales total was the second-highest level ever for the Aussie-built sedan.

Are we finally seeing an SS recovery, or is this just a blip on the Dodge Charger SRT’s radar?

After SS volume tumbled to just 313 units in the fourth-quarter of 2014, a 25% year-over-year drop and a 64% decline compared with the SS’s strongest quarter from early 2014, sales have now increased in four consecutive periods on a month-to-month basis.

From just 93 sales in December 2014, monthly SS volume has climbed to 115, 215, 264, and 299 units in the following four months. Year-over-year, of course, first-quarter sales in 2015 slid 31%. But the signs of momentum, however slight and inconsequential, are still present.

2015 Chevrolet SS front

If General Motors was able to sustain this level of volume, Chevrolet would be selling 3,600 SSs in America each year. But after the SS was selling at its best level so far – during the first-half of 2014 – GM proved unable to sustain interest. Inventory ballooned, and with little marketing support and outrageous Hellcats from Dodge stealing thunder, SS sales in the second-half of 2014 were less than half what they were in the first-half.

Keep in mind, based on first-half figures, Chevrolet was on pace to sell more than 3,000 SSs in America last year; not a lot, but a lot more than the 2,479 they ended up selling.

If a lack of manual availability was blamed for part of the decline last year, did the arrival of a manual transmission provide this April 2015 boost? It seems doubtful. Even if we account for the notion that the manual-trans SS sedans may be moving faster or are simply being handed directly into owners’ hands, the fact that Cars.com shows only 1% of current inventory being made up by DIY shifters is telling.

As for the SS’s position in the sales rundown, in April it was still outsold by uncommon vehicles like the Smart Fortwo, BMW i3, Audi A8, Volvo V60 Cross Country, Porsche Boxster, and the Mini Cooper Convertible. The SS accounts for 0.35% of Chevrolet car volume this year, just 0.13% of total Chevrolet volume, and only 0.09% of the new GM vehicles sold.

Rarity isn’t a death knell. You don’t expect to see Mercedes-AMG GT coupes scattered about your local Wal-Mart parking lot or Jaguar F-Types lined up outside elementary schools in the suburbs. But oddly, GM hasn’t really used the SS as a marketing tool to elevate the image of the Chevrolet brand. And why would they? They have the Chevrolet Corvette to fill that role.

They sold nearly 3,500 of those in April alone.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

The post Can It Really Be True? Chevrolet SS Sales Increased In April 2015 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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GM Putting $2,000 on Hood of 2015 Camaro Z/28 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/gm-putting-2000-on-hood-of-2015-camaro-z28/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/gm-putting-2000-on-hood-of-2015-camaro-z28/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 14:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1072658 Just after the 2016 Camaro was introduced at Belle Isle last weekend, General Motors upped incentives on the current generation car. The best part? The General has placed the highest incentive amount directly on the hood scoop of the 2015 Camaro Z/28. According to CarsDirect, General Motors has combined two incentive offers: a $1,000 rebate that applies […]

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2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Just after the 2016 Camaro was introduced at Belle Isle last weekend, General Motors upped incentives on the current generation car.

The best part? The General has placed the highest incentive amount directly on the hood scoop of the 2015 Camaro Z/28.

According to CarsDirect, General Motors has combined two incentive offers: a $1,000 rebate that applies to all Camaros and an additional $1,000 specifically for Z/28. If you are leasing a non-GM vehicle, an additional $500 can be applied.

The car shopping website says the rebate might be due to the Z/28’s availability – currently there are more units in the wild than its supercharged brother, the ZL1 – and limited appeal due to being a manual-only affair with few creature comforts.

While Camaro has typically outsold Ford Mustang since 2010, this year the bowtied offering is struggling to keep up with the blue oval pony car.

The post GM Putting $2,000 on Hood of 2015 Camaro Z/28 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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