Tag: questions

By on March 17, 2014

Big_Lebowski_Torino_Crash-550pxBefore the Clint Eastwood film (but after the cheezoid TV show), the most well-known Ford Gran Torino in cinema history was the beater ’73 sedan driven by Jeff Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski. This film, which took quite a while to go from box-office dud to sacred document of the Lebowski Jihad, was released in 1998 and was set in late 1990 or early 1991 (a period during which I was also in Southern California and living a fairly Dude-ish lifestyle myself). The choice of a ’73 Gran Torino by the Coen Brothers makes some interesting statements for those who obsess about movie cars, and Monday is always the best day to discuss such things. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2014

03 - Taqueria Painting - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOne of the things I miss most about living in the San Francisco Bay Area— OK, maybe the thing I miss the most— is the proper Mission-style burrito. Here in Denver, the Midwestern-influenced salty/bland flavors, brown rice, and incorrect shape of the Chipotle-style burrito dominates, and so whenever I head back to Northern California to shoot some junkyard cars, I try to hit the taqueria that got me hooked on Mission-style Burritos in the first place: Ramiro & Sons Taqueria in my hometown of Alameda, California. Inside this place (whose burritos, good as they are, don’t quite measure up to what you’ll get in the actual Mission District about five miles due east and on the other side of the Bay; this place is my personal favorite), you’ll find a painting on the wall that’s been hanging there since 1984, and that painting depicts a yellow two-door hardtop of some sort parked in front. For 30 years now, I’ve puzzled over that painting, trying to figure out what kind of car I’m seeing. (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2013

It can be murder out there!

I am always hesitant to write a “how to” article. I learned a long time ago that no matter how good I am at something, there is always someone better right around the corner. For every bad-ass black belt you meet, there is a Chuck Norris looking to teach him some humility. Still, when I know something it’s hard to keep it under my hat so I am going to risk drawing your ire in order to start a conversation. Let’s keep it congenial, mkay?

(Read More…)

By on August 11, 2012

The concept behind the Year of Your Birth Rally is simple: you must drive a vehicle with a model year the same as your own. Nick Pon, Assistant Perp of the 24 Hours of LeMons, created the idea and swears he’s going to organize such a rally someday. He was born in 1980, which means he has a vast array of terrible-yet-great Malaise Era machinery to choose from. I was born in 1966, which means I could drive my ’66 Dodge A100… or a ’66 Beaumont. What would you drive? (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2012

After my idea for a DUI Telepresence Crown Victoria Racing series failed to attract the shadowy Eastern European investors I’d hoped to line up, I got to thinking about spec racing. Everybody in a spec racing series runs the same kind of car, which makes parts easy to get and (in theory, though sure as hell not in practice) puts the focus on driver skill rather than vehicle price. There’s Spec Miata and Spec E30 and Spec Neon and all the rest, but it’s sort of boring watching those races. Spec racing needs better cars, and we’re going to pick the best one right now! (Read More…)

By on June 6, 2012

Old-timers will tell you that the Golden Age of the Sleeper ran from the end of World War II through the late 1960s, when you could take, say, a Grandma-spec ’61 Lancer wagon and stuff the engine compartment full of Max Wedge 413 power. I think the old-timers are as wrong about that as they are about the superiority of film cameras over digital cameras; the current era of computerized engine controls, big turbochargers, and tougher drivetrain components means you can get ridiculous power (and handling) out of quotidian transportation appliances. So, looking at the current lineup of snore-inducing machinery that nobody would ever in a million years suspect of being quick, which new car would provide the best balance of potential performance and invisibility? A Kia Rio with a huge turbocharger and the finest suspension upgrades that cubic yards of cash can buy? (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2012


After writing my earlier post on the Isuzu Statesman Deville, I got to thinking about all the oddball vehicles that have resulted from badge engineering exercises over the years. Some badge-engineered cars end up being successful for the parent company (e.g., the Colt), but most just confuse vehicle shoppers. The Plymouth Cricket. The Isuzu Hombre. The Mercury Mountaineer. The list is long, but I think the Plymouth Arrow Truck gets my vote for the most senseless act of brand-diluting badge engineering in American automotive history. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2010

A quiet Sunday. Time to fire up Google and put in “Toyota AND [cause OR reason].” We come up with ample explanations why Toyota is not called Toyoda.  Or why Peiping turned into Peking, and then into Beijing. What about the causes of sudden acceleration? Let’s see what we find. (If you have other things to do on a  Sunday: We find a lot of questions and no answers.) (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Re: A Primer On SLAB Culture

    bill mcgee - I see , practically every day , cars with these long , ” dog killer ” wire wheels and I certainly have never , to my knowledge seen any law enforcement...
  • Re: New York 2014: 2015 Kia Sedona Revealed

    Drzhivago138 - Again, how so? I’m not calling you out on your observations, I’m just asking you to elaborate. You’re not getting penalized for...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1963 Dodge Dart

    CJinSD - The Australian Hemi-6 was a development of a still-born truck engine program called the D-engine. When it was determined that the US truck market didn’t need...
  • Re: QOTD: At What Price Connectivity?

    Unlimited Headroom - Well, age of a vehicular device has nothing to do with ‘connectivity’R 30;to the road and heart… as I feel very connected to my...
  • Re: Lexus Reveals Its Most Important Product Since The LS400

    davefromcalgary - Yeesh. The body height vs. window height is just appalling.
  • Re: New York 2014: 2015 Kia Sedona Revealed

    rudiger - To this day, the 2002-06 Mazda MPV was just about the perfect minivan. It was large enough to carry most cargo (human and otherwise), but still small...
  • Re: A Primer On SLAB Culture

    Kenmore - If I were a drug dealer I’d hate these custom car tribes. All that money so misspent.
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1963 Dodge Dart

    CJinSD - >You’re dead wrong there ~ from the 1950′s through the late 1960′s 4 I6′s were sold for every one V-8 . You were not there or you’d remember this . -Nate< I...
  • Re: New PSA Boss Tavares Prepares To Rebuild Company

    Viquitor - I don’t think PSA will vanish – or at the very least I hope it doesn’t happen, depreciation on my C3 would be even worse. But...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1963 Dodge Dart

    GoesLikeStink - The brakes went on my 65 Dart wagon a couple of years ago. Luckily I knew the emergency brake was mechanical with a cable. Also I has a hurst 4 speed so I...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India