Tag: QOTD

By on January 26, 2017

Honda Accord on fire, Image: By Shah rukh khan (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’d like to think I was hurrying because I had a date, but an honest reassessment of my frantic reassembly of my first car was likely spurred by a need to get to work. I’m sure that after my misadventure, my fuel-soaked clothing and fouled undershorts conspired to keep me from working at the donut shop for a day or so.

Those of us not privileged enough to afford a mechanic have all done it: the cheap, likely unsafe repair meant only to get a car back on the road until time and/or funds allow a proper fix. Some call it a kludge, others redneck or ghetto engineering — depending on which stereotype you find more distasteful — but it’s all part of owning a car on a budget.

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By on January 25, 2017

Lincoln Blackwood

We’re forever hearing the tap-tapping of superior keyboards around here and elsewhere on the wild and crazy interwebz, condemning those who drive CUVs for not having a real SUV, and those who have SUVs for not having trucks. And if you have a truck and don’t use it for these paramount truck activities, then you should be in a small sedan. End of discussion.

But since this is (North) America and freedom of choice abounds, I want us all to play a trucky little game for today’s Question of the Day.

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By on January 24, 2017

1989_toyota_tercel_

We were all young once. Hell, some of us never grew up.

Assuming that you visit this site out of a life-long interest in cars, you probably spent your adolescent years pining after anything with four wheels and a working engine. Ideally, there’d be a car body, transmission, axles and suspension connecting those key components, but you’d have accepted almost anything.

Eventually, we all got our hands on something. A loaner sedan from our parents or, if we were lucky, a tired castoff from the family fleet that we could call our own. Those of us with enough cash enjoyed the thrill of spending every last cent of the cheapest roadworthy vehicle that was able to could cough to life at the back of a shady used car lot (which even moderately shady people kept their distance from).

Young and stupid, but blessed with that pre-adulthood spirit of spontaneity (remember spontaneity?), more than a few of us pulled a prank on our friends or siblings, especially if the vehicle tampering targeted us first. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2017

Aftermath of the demo derby Focus, Image: © 2013 Matthew Guy

Gearheads like ourselves are particularly susceptible to the siren song a car, especially if our own Id deems it to be a ZOMG good deal. This is the deep and perilous financial rabbit hole into which most of us fall.

All of this was on prominent display this weekend at the annual Barrett Jackson classic car auction this past weekend in the Arizona desert. I stood across from a guy who, wild-eyed and armed with a bidder’s number, was bound and determined to win the 1964 Austin-Healey in front of us on the block. He was successful, and I wish him well, Lucas electrics and all.

I wager most of us reading TTAC have a story of getting waaaay too wrapped up in the auctioneer’s patter or throwing caution to the wind on a particularly sketchy Craigslist ad … including our esteemed Managing Ed.

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By on January 20, 2017

2001-2004 Ford Escape

About a quarter century ago, my father’s wife declared that she was tired of her 7-Series Bimmer and that she just wanted “a nice, basic car, like a Saturn.”

“Okay,” I replied, “sounds like a good idea. What options do you need?”

“Nothing special… just the standard things, the basic things.”

“Okay, what are those?”

“Power locks… power windows… A/C where you just pick the temperature number… tilt wheel… leather upholstery… a nice stereo… I want the mirror that gets dark where there are headlights behind you… the remote entry button thing… I don’t want hubcaps… cruise control… it should have some kind of theft alarm…”

“Let me stop you right there,” I said, “I don’t think you’re Saturn material.” Sure enough, her next car was a loaded Audi 100. The funny thing is that most of the things that she considered to be “standard equipment” back in ’92 actually are standard equipment in 2017. But the question remains: When it comes to equipment, how low can you go?

(Read More…)

By on January 19, 2017

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT – Image: Mitsubishi“People keep asking if we’re going to go away,” Mitsubishi Motors North America COO Don Swearingen told reporters earlier this month.

“We’re not.”

Seemingly anticipating yesterday’s TTAC QOTD — Does Mitsubishi Need To Exist? — Swearingen was defending Mitsubishi’s approach to the North American market following the automaker’s partial takeover by its Nissan compatriot.

Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn claimed the Mitsubishi chairmanship in October after spending $2.3 billion in exchange for 34 percent of the company’s automobile manufacturing business.

Three months later, The Detroit Bureau reports, Mitsubishi North America’s Swearingen said, “We are separate companies and will remain competitors.” (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2017

1997-honda-accord-art-carI’m of the opinion that a true auto enthusiast is never content with the status of their fleet. A wandering eye is constantly looking for the next toy, the next project, the next opportunity to flip for a profit. I’m no different — I’m figuratively digging in the couch cushions every time a funky car pops up on eBay or Craigslist.

But those cushions are bare. Two kids tend to consume every spare penny. I’m trying to put away cash for a potential cheap toy, but the classics I really want have ballooned in value well beyond a reasonable figure. I’m thinking I can scrape together about five thousand dollars to buy a new toy for the garage.

(Read More…)

By on January 18, 2017

Mitsubishi Motors Lancer collage - Images: Mitsubishi

Thinking back to just over a decade ago, Mitsubishi was still in the full-line automaker business. For most needs, there existed an option at your Mitsubishi dealer, which then was a place with functioning lighting and definitely not a former Pizza Hut or Carl’s Jr.

But that’s all changed now, and it has me wondering — is there really a point to Mitsubishi, you know, being a thing?

(Read More…)

By on January 16, 2017

At the 2015 Palm Beach Auction, driver Herb – on his birthday – got to drive “Herbie” across the block. Image: Barrett-Jackson

This week, the deep-pocketed guys and girls of the car collecting world will descend upon the state of Arizona for the annual collector car auctions. From the televised glitz of Barrett-Jackson to the white-gloved stratosphere of RM Sotheby’s, there is something on the docket to fit everyone’s taste.

For years, I’d watch the events on television or follow the sale prices online with a certain amount of apoplexy. “They paid how much? For that?!?” I’d routinely fume, reliably waking my spouse and buying myself yet another night in the guest room.

A couple of years ago, though, I had a minor revelation.

(Read More…)

By on January 12, 2017

1990-toyota-corolla-blue-front-quarter

This Monday, I sat among a herd of journalists and executives waiting for the Honda Odyssey press reveal to begin. While nominally I was there to cover the event on behalf of this fine publication, I was also considering my next family car purchase.

Jack wrote at length yesterday about the relatively recent phenomenon of at once coddling and ignoring the spawn relegated to the stern of the family vehicle. While I don’t intend to completely answer the questions raised, I’d like to consider what might affect our choice of family conveyance.

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2017

2018 Lexus LS at NAIAS Front, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

On Monday at NAIAS, something interesting happened at the corner of Predator Maw and Sporty Junction: Lexus revealed a new 2018 LS500.

As a fan of the LS model since inception, I was interested. And as far as I can tell, this is the first LS that breaks with a few traditions dating back to its introduction for model year 1990. In no particular order, I’m going to come up with a list, and I’m going to create this list without any judgment, contrary to normal lists around here or created by anyone with real opinions. (Hey, I could end up on the front page of a major search engine’s automotive page!)

With calm, collected thought, I’ll run through them quickly before I get to our Question Of The Day. Come along.

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By on January 10, 2017

2018 LS500 at NAIAS

Ask anyone who was there, and attendees of this year’s North American International Auto Show will likely describe an event lacking luster. Depleted of energy. Devoid of the excitement that normally comes from splashy, much-anticipated launches.

Could it be that the Consumer Electronics Show held a week earlier in sunny Las Vegas sapped some of the life out of Detroit? Consider this: the top-selling midsize car in the U.S. — the Toyota Camry — suffered through an underwhelming unveiling that should have had people talking. At least, more than the number who did.

What were radio news segments talking about on the way to this year’s show? Highlights of the just-wrapped-up CES. Oh, that Chrysler Portal. My, what a car that Faraday Future FF 91 is. A taste of the future, the tech geeks gushed. So, where does this leave traditional auto shows? What becomes of Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago? What about Geneva? Paris? (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2017

naias 2017TTAC has an intrepid team on the ground at this year’s North American International Auto Show who’ll be bringing you reports from the buffet lines OEM press conferences throughout Media Preview Day. We’ve seen a few debuts already: the grille-of-your-dreams Ford F-150, the not-a-four-door-coupe Kia Stinger, and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-its-changes Mercedes GLA.

Even in this day and age of instant communication and information leaks, the manufacturers still sometimes manage to keep a surprise or two in their back pockets. The Ford GT and Buick Avista spring immediately to mind. This year, I’m hoping for a surprise announcement on a decades-old rumour.

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2017

2002 Dodge Razor Concept, Image: Zombieite/Flickr

Brace yourself. Detroit is coming. Car blogs will be bursting with news and hot takes from frosty southeast Michigan as the North American International Auto Show opens on Monday. Every utterance from any executive will be tweeted, every statement will be parsed, and every press release will be copied and pasted.

Naturally, TTAC will be there in force. And while the numerous reveals of production-ready cars will be the highlight for most, I’m personally looking forward to the concepts. The weird, the funky, or even the batshit crazy — those far-from-production ideas are what make the major auto shows great.

(Read More…)

By on January 4, 2017

Super Car Garage

A new year dawns and a lot of people are making resolutions about what they’d like to do or not do, depending on whether you’re talking about going to the gym or smoking. So, while most of those resolutions will come to naught — like they have for the past All Of The Years — I was thinking about something else that will never happen.

Follow me on a little flight of fantasy, and let’s see where we end up. (Read More…)

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