Dear Sajeev and Steve,
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Dear Sajeev and Steve,
My grandfather was a big rally- and ice-racing fanatic during the 1950s and 1960s, running everything from a Renault Dauphine to a Corvair in every Minnesota race he could find. Eventually, he picked up a Corvette, which he loved almost as much as his Saab 93, and the trophies started to pile up. On my trip to the Midwest last month, I managed to talk him into letting me have this one for my office. (Read More…)
Dear Steve and that other Dude,
As you well know, I am a little hooked on old-school American iron, preferably of the V8, high performance wannabe-GT cum Land Yacht variety. Problem is, they are letting me down in terms of basic transportation to work. Not that my Cougar and Mark VIII are complete turds, that guy with that Piston Slap column would have my ass if it came to that. But the occasional part needs replacement, and every recent modification (defective hi-flow fuel pumps, limited slip differentials assembled rather poorly) left me stranded and car-less for many days…and, well, you see my point.
I have a working budget of anywhere from 20-40k for a vehicle that’s new or lightly used. The ideal vehicle should be well proportioned with good visibility (no buffalo butts, I didn’t go to Industrial Design school for that crap), be RWD and not be a stereotypical European money pit that’s nearly impossible to repair in my garage. The ability to tune/tweak would be a plus and being more practical than my two coupes wouldn’t hurt, either. Not that I want another tuner car that’ll leave me stranded for one reason or another. Oh, and a stick would be nice.
PS: I am not interested in Panther Love. I wish you people would stop pushing these damn things on your readers. The only ones I’d consider are the “fat panthers” from the mid-90s with all the good stuff inside. I am not interested in taking a new, reliable “skinny” one and making it fat with parts from the junkyard. Been there, done that and already won the Fox Body trophies.
I own a 2001 Nissan Maxima and a 2006 Corvette, both purchased new w/cash. I know the Maxima with 105,000+ miles has had two ATF services, which included the “dreaded ATF Flush”. So far the thing keeps running, only issue (unrelated) was a Cat replacement (99,000) and 3 O2 sensors around the same time.
The 2006 Corvette at 5 years and 42,600 miles is due for a coolant service and I see that the ATF service is 50,000 (harsh) or 100,000 (normal). So far expenses have been limited to gas, once a year oil changes and a set of tires at 26,000 due to some aggressive driving, aggressive factory camber settings and a shard of metal. It’s been spotless so far besides a squeaky roof panel which has been solved by periodic application of Super Lube to some contact points. Should I do an ATF flush for the vette? It would be a BG machine. It’s a warm weather commuter for me (42 miles round trip per day of which 26 is highway miles on which avg. speed 75 mph which is just 3 days a week).
I have taken it on 6 long trips over the years as well as weekend cruises. I do use the paddles about 30% of the time, but do not really hoon it so much the past 2 years after getting 3 speeding tickets in 6 month period…which I fought and is another subject. So please advise.
Hi Sajeev and Steve,
I’d like your take on a replacement form my 2003 Honda Accord coupe. It has a 4 cylinder and a 5 speed and has been a pretty good car. But I miss rear wheel drive. In my younger days, I’ll be 60 next year, I had a Porsche 912, a Cortina GT, various Volvos and VWs before I ended up with pick up trucks before the current Honda.
I like the Honda, I just wish it was a bit lighter and rear wheel drive. What are my options these days for a RWD car that doesn’t break the bank, gets decent fuel mileage and is dependable? I’ve been thinking a used Miata or S2000, but would prefer a coupe. I’m not really into BMW’s for various reasons. What do you two think?
As a replacement for the Honda I’d spend $15,000 to $25,000.
Truth seeking is difficult considering the controversy, misinformation and flat-out lies surrounding the Chevrolet Volt. But this is a product with set attributes, some are better or worse than our collective expectations. The performance reminds me of live music: everyone has an opinion as to how much it rocked. And the Chevrolet Volt is Jimi Hendrix on wheels: an American likely to influence popular culture for decades after leaving the limelight. But more importantly, like the influences of jazz and blues in Jimi’s work, the Volt combines Detroit’s future with memorable elements of the past. It’s true.
Apparently possessing the institutional memory of sperm, the auto media is once again trotting out the 50-year-old rumor that will never die: OMG, the new Corvette is going to be mid-engined! Or, as we are so fond of saying around here, not. The madness started earlier this week, when GM North America boss Mark Reuss blew his dog whistle by hinting that the C7 Corvette would be “completely different.” The media needed no further encouragement to trot out the mid-engine rumor once again. As Paul Niedermeyer has pointed out, the mid-engined ‘vette speculation has been an industry institution since Zora Arkus Duntov posed proudly with his CERV I concept in 1959. Besides, Corvette engineers have been emphasizing the C7′s evolutionary nature for some time. Reuss’s hints could be about something as mundane and pre-signaled as a split rear window, or as out-there as Two-Mode hybrid option. Hoping for more is, I fear, would amount to a failure to learn the lessons of history.
Photos courtesy of Cars In Depth
As a Detroiter I hate ruin porn. I particularly hate it when lazy journalists, bloggers, editors and video crews shoot photos or video, or worse, use stock footage and pics, of the Michigan Central Station and the old Packard plant. So I’m a little reluctant to share these photos that I shot just south of State Fair, east of Woodward. Ultimately, the photos were just too good, so emblematic of Detroit’s decay, that I had to share them. Also, it’s an opportunity to share some hope about the city.
One of the world’s foremost authorities on Automotive Journalism recently got their hands on a trio of Corvettes just for fun. But what unfolded was on the verge of hilarity, if not for their self-proclaimed journalistic superiority over us “punk kids with lots of servers and a desire to get free test drives.”
We don’t know for sure, but Dr. Sanjay Mehta (TTAC commentator doctorv8, awesome brother) did the deal on a 2010 Corvette ZR1 for 0% while the autoblogosphere still had it in editing. Not that the Internet is slow, he’s just that damn fast.The dude’s been keeping tabs on the inventory nightmare, calling out for GMAC’s corrective action on the Corvette Forum…almost a month ago. It’s so nice to see the two brothers speak The Truth About Cars, via different media.
To be perfectly honest, I wrote about half a post on GM’s decision to give Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a new Corvette after he was robbed of a perfect game by a bad call, before deciding not to run it. Why? Well, the story is classic Detroit: Galarraga’s victimhood is exactly the image GM would like to associate itself with (remember, everything was going fine before the credit markets collapsed), and The General owed the Tigers anyway because of owner Mike Ilitch’s decision to not charge GM for ad space on the stadium’s fountain when it was in bankruptcy (Ilitch added free Ford and Chrysler ads in the interest of fairness). In short, there was plenty of room for some trademark TTAC cynicism… and yet I couldn’t quite bring myself to twist the knife.
Chief Engineer for GM’s Corvette program Tadge Juechter probably didn’t blow any minds by pointing out that car magazines have reached the point where lying (or at least printing disingenuous information) in order to goose interest in their upcoming issues has become standard procedure. He sure did get a chuckle out of the assembled Corvette nuts though. Meanwhile, don’t hold your breath for a V6 (or mid-engine, or hybrid) Corvette… no matter what Automobile Magazine might tell you.
UPDATE: Automobile Magazine fires back after the jump.
I walked well past this Corvette before I stopped and gave it a backwards glance, suddenly remembering that it is yellow convertible week. I wavered momentarily, gauging my feelings. Yes, it was fast and pulled impressive numbers on a skid pad. But numbers alone do not make the car. And my feelings meter just wasn’t moving one way or another, so I almost moved on. Call it the Madonna of sports cars? Then it hit me: this is the most soulless sports car ever, the ultimate antithesis to the TR-6. The C4 Corvette sold its soul to the devil of numbers. And in my cartechism, that’s a Deadly Sin.
The AP [via canadianbusiness.com] reports that two separate bills to make the Corvette Kentucky’s official state car appear to be dead in the state’s legislature. State Rep. C.B. Embry Jr., R-Morgantown, suggests that the failure of these bills would be perceived as a snub by GM, who builds Corvettes in Bowling Green. Not so, say GM reps.
With or without a bill, the Corvette is an iconic American sports car, and we’re proud to build it in Kentucky. It shouldn’t be perceived as a snub, and we don’t take it as that.
But GM’s downplaying of the news hides the possible cause for what otherwise would be a win-win political proposition.
Over the weekend I penned a screed calling baby boomers to task for embracing retro style over the the values that made the revolutionary cars of their era so revolutionary [editor's note: there's nothing like having a carburetor on your 35 year-old motorcycle magically fix itself to inspire faith in old, simple machinery]. The new New Beetle was square in my crosshairs over the weekend, but it’s hardly the only example of boomer retro-madness. Another favorite for nostalgic boomers are the legendary muscle cars that marked the high-water point for Detroit thunder, and this feverish demand combined with limited original runs have run the prices of famous muscle cars into the Barrett-Jackson stratosphere. It’s also inspired a legion of knock-off and replica manufacturers, who see huge money to be made by aligning supply with demand. They, in turn, have inspired a number of huge lawsuits from the original creators of the limited-edition legends. Carroll Shelby’s prolific legal battles against creators of Cobra replicas have given him the reputation of being a guy who never met a buck he didn’t like, and now GM has joined the Shelby legacy, suing Mongoose Motorsports for daring to produced replicas of the 1963 Corvette Grand Sport roadster.
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