Tag: Ford

By on November 11, 2015

Ford Oakville Assembly Plant. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

The United Auto Workers in its latest proposed contract with Ford will protect workers from discrimination based on those workers’ gender identities or expressions, a potentially sweeping measure for a normally conservative industry.

According to the contract, the proposed agreement would protect any employee regardless of “race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, union activity, religion, or … any employee with disabilities.”

The UAW’s contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles included for the first time language that covered gender identity for those workers. (Read More…)

By on November 11, 2015


Ford fanboys (this one included) will finally get the Wrangler-fighting sport utility they’ve been yearning for since the demise of the Blue Oval’s two-door SUV in the mid ’90s.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford is looking to get back into the newly re-energized midsize truck game with its global Ranger, and that truck brings with it a sport utility based on the same architecture. It’s widely believed that SUV will be none other than Bronco.

(Read More…)

By on November 11, 2015

00 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird in California Junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, someone must be hoarding a big stash of Thunderbirds from the mid-1960s through early 1970s, because I’ve been seeing disconcerting quantities of these cars in East Bay self-service wrecking yards going back at least five years (not to mention the 35 Thunderbirds from the 1970 and 1971 model years that I saw at auction before that).

Mostly they’re so rough that I don’t photograph them (though I did shoot this ’65 Landau about a year ago), which suggests that the T-Bird Hoarder is purging hopeless parts cars, one at a time. Here’s another ’65 Thunderbird Landau, seen in Oakland back in September. (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2015


Rank-and-file Ford workers may get their first glimpses Monday at a newly proposed contract between the automaker and the United Auto Workers union, the Detroit News reported.

According to the report, Ford workers may be offered a $10,000 signing bonus to approve the contract; a $1,750 annual bonus payout, similar to one in the proposed General Motors contract; a $70,000 early retirement buyout for senior workers; a $9 billion investment plan for Ford factories; and, pay increases for veteran Tier 1 and newer Tier 2 workers.  (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2015


Ford and the United Auto Workers union announced Friday they’d reached a tentative agreement which, if ratified, will become the rules of work for Ford’s 52,000 unionized employees for the next four years.

(Read More…)

By on November 6, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum

I was driving along the other day and I realized something: the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is currently the most popular vehicle in North America.

Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration. For instance, I am told that the bicycle is quite popular. But on a list of today’s most popular vehicles, the Highlander Hybrid is right up there with the bicycle, and the wheelchair, and that Ford pickup that sells more units in an afternoon than Ferrari sells globally in an entire calendar year.

It is very obvious to see why the Highlander Hybrid is so popular. For one thing, it’s a normal family SUV with three-row seating, which is incredibly hot right now; so hot that I am quite certain it is not actually possible to rear children in today’s society without a three-row SUV. If you showed up at a child’s birthday party in a Toyota Camry, and you had forgotten to dress your child, and you had brought the wrong child, and your child was vomiting all over everything in sight, people would not call attention to your child-related issues. They would ask: Why don’t you have a three-row SUV?

(Read More…)

By on November 4, 2015


As I travel this great nation of ours on a weekly basis, I am often asked the same question by people I meet. Whether it’s a stranger in an adjoining seats on a planes, a fellow patron dining solo at a restaurant, or even a new colleague whom I haven’t met, they all ask me the same thing:

“So, where do you call home?”

When I reply that I reside squarely in the middle of the Bluegrass in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I can tell immediately if my interrogator has ever been there simply by the way that he responds. If he has never visited our great state, he’ll likely crack some sort of joke about missing teeth or southern diphthongs. But, if he has, he’ll nearly always reply, “Oh, it’s so gorgeous there. You must love it.”

To which I reply: “Yes. Yes, I do.”

However, even relatively frequent visitors to my home state — or even perhaps you, the frequent visitor to TTAC — are often unaware of the severity of the winters in Kentucky. I live only eighty miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. We get nearly exactly the same weather as our bordering neighbors to the north, only instead of the the snow that Buckeyes tend to get, we regularly get sheets of ice on our roads. As you can imagine, this can make driving a 444 horsepower, rear-wheel-drive pony car a bit treacherous.

And, as such, as I pulled out my iPad to make my rather oppressive payment on my Boss 302 Mustang, I wondered to myself: How often do I actually drive this thing? Do I drive it enough to keep paying such a large sum to own it? And how much will I really be driving it over the next four wintry months?

The answers to my questions led me to an ultimate answer that I didn’t expect, and I certainly didn’t like.

(Read More…)

By on November 2, 2015

2000 Ford SVT Lightning

Eleven years ago, I married a remarkably tolerant woman. She’s not particularly into cars, but she humors me when I prattle on about the merits of whatever awesome car caught my eye that day. Or when I decide I need to take an epic, one day, out-and-back trip to Maryland to buy a race car that’s never turned a wheel under it’s own power in the three years I’ve owned it. But she has her own automotive tastes, and for sake of marital harmony, I do my best to listen.

As a country girl, trucks weigh heavily in her list.

One peculiar truck that caught her eye about fifteen years ago was the Ford SVT Lightning. I think the bit-player role it took in the first “The Fast and the Furious” film (as Harry’s shop truck) may have done it for her. That, or she’s conflating her lust for Vin Diesel’s bulging biceps with the sweet melody of whistling supercharger and burbling V-8.

(Read More…)

By on November 2, 2015

00 - 2000 Jaguar S-Tyle in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Not long ago, we had a Lincoln LS Junkyard Find, and, of course, that means that we need to take a look at the Jaguar counterpart to this mostly-forgotten Jag-O-Lincoln: the S-Type.

It’s no sweat finding a junkyard S-Type these days, particularly when you look in a high-inventory-turnover San Francisco Bay Area yard, and so here’s a not-very-hooptie example I saw last month. (Read More…)

By on October 30, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 1.14.47 PM

I recently had the chance to test out the “new” Volkswagen Passat, which is so new that the designers were explaining to a whole group of journalists how the position of the rear reflectors has changed compared to the outgoing model.

Actually, I kind of like the new Passat. It was impressive in a lot of ways, right down to the new touchscreen, which finally sees Volkswagen catching up to some of the technology and features rival models have been using for roughly five years. As I was driving it, I couldn’t help but think to myself: I like a good touchscreen.

What I don’t like is a knob.

It seems that these are our only choices in today’s infotainment world: a touchscreen or a knob. Some cars have touchscreens. Some cars have knobs. And given that basically every new car has an infotainment system, this is an important choice. Do you want to control your screen by touching it, like a smartphone? Or by moving around a controller located on the center console, like a computer?

(Read More…)

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