The Truth About Cars » roadmaster The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:45:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » roadmaster Piston Slap: Twisted Talk on Straight Eights Mon, 15 Oct 2012 12:56:34 +0000

TTAC Commentator Morea writes:

Sajeev, hope it’s not too dumb, but it really is a question I have! I wish to someday own a car with a straight eight engine.

Nothing fancy, just something to use as a weekend toy, perhaps to do some work on myself. Nothing too expensive or concours quality either. Just a car to get the feeling of running a straight eight through its rev range. It seems an American car of the early 1950s would be the best bet, but which make and model? Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac, Hudson, another? Which straight eight was best? Which model is easiest to own? Can the Best and Brightest advise me on how to get into a straight eight that won’t break the bank?

Sajeev answers:

What a fantastic question!  This is what I live for, which is a bit sad.


Even worse, the only straight-eight I want is Ford’s T-Drive concept, since it combines my love of Fox bodies and the current Piston Slap topic.  Maybe I should write about finding one of these tucked away somewhere in Dearborn, parking my ’88 Cougar next to it and they magically open a Foxy ThunderCat portal to another dimension…no Stephen King’s lawyers, don’t sue me!  

My ideal I-8 for you is the Buick “Fireball” 8. I always admired the vehicles around this mill, and it was OHV instead of the flathead designs of other manufacturers.  The Buick Eight has unquestionable curb appeal, especially for anyone who remembers the movie “Rain Man.”And that marginally depressing Steven King book. It’s not that other straight eights are bad vehicles, the Buick is just the ideal one for the average collector car buyer that isn’t infatuated with ’69 Camaros or vintage Porkers.

I think you can find a decent driver for anywhere from $5000-15,000, depending on your luck and what’s on the market. More perfect examples are more like $25,000 and beyond.   That’s not too bad, especially if you buy it below market value in a down economy.  You could easily get a cheap Buick Eight and sell it for thousands more when the economy picks up.

Now, about breaking the bank: all antique vehicles need a ton of work to keep running.  Anything that moves or has rubber can and will go bad.  Luckily there is a fair amount of restoration parts for Buicks, just not as much as Tri-Five Chevys.  Thanks to eBay, Buick parts restorers and even places like Steele Rubber Products can hook you up.

I’d rustle up about twelve grand in cash and start searching. Best of luck to you!

Send your queries to Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

]]> 30
New or Used: Kill the Yuppies Edition? Thu, 13 Oct 2011 15:42:02 +0000  

American Badass?

Anonymous writes:

Dear Sajeev and Steve,

I have the misfortune of working with a bunch of aspiring Yuppies. You know the types. The ones who believe that all American car companies make crap and the only true luxury cars come from Germany and Japan. Never mind the $1300 maintenance charge on their Audi or the fact that the Lexus ES is about as exciting as wilted corn flakes.
Long story short, I am sick and tired of hearing their crap. I want to buy the type of American car that will take these pompous, sniveling wussy boys and blow their stuck-upityness right out of their ass.
My choices are the following…
1) Corvette – preferably one with a muffler package that sounds like a roving gang of Hell’s Angels ready to roll.
2) Silverado – One with all the options. Throw in some Bigfoot tires so that I can roll over those little prissy scootmobiles.
3) Hummer H2 – Instead of a horn I would get four bullhorns and have them blare out lines from Ah-nold’s movies and Jesse Ventura’s speeches with every beep. Maybe a few fart noises too.
4) Chevette – I’m thinking if I go in dressed like this guy one day, and buy a few accessories along the way, I should be all set.
5) Adams Probe 16 – One of only three made. But built for a good purpose.
OK, I’m exaggerating with all this. But really. I want to get a luxury car that is All-American and the absolute best in it’s class. Price limit $40k. New, used, doesn’t matter. What do you recommend?
Steve Answers: Custom. Get a ride that is a true representation of all you enjoy.
As for yours truly… I would start with a 1992 Buick Roadmaster Limited. Nothing quite says ‘Imports suck!’ quite like Grandpa’s car did back in the day. Besides I happen to have one at the moment. You want it?
Modify the 350 engine to your hearts content and then throw in a nice high end Magnaflow. Spend a couple grand on upgrading the sound system and suspension. A little subtle tint in the windows. Wheels that come from a vintage Buick as well as a serious tire upgrade. Maybe also throw in some vintage aftermarket effects to accentuate your love of all things American.
My vote would be for an airbrush of a scantily clad Marilyn Monroe blowing a kiss on one side. A few images of our troops through the ages on the other side… and a collage of famous Americans (real and fictional) on the hood and rear. Oh, don’t forget a Class 3 hitch, a multi-sound horn, and a loudspeaker that will allow you to share your tunes with all of your anti-Detroit friends. Country, Western (they are two different types you know), Elvis, TV tunes… anything that is truly American through and through.
Total cost? Maybe about 10 grand and a few long-term friendships.
With the money you save, let your office mates know of all the wonderful places you plan on going for the next few years while they’re ‘paying off the note’. Think Fiji… or Belize… or maybe Greece when the next round of austerity measures are introduced.
Good luck!
Sajeev Answers: Oh yes!  I am sick and tired of hearing their crap too!  Nothing says “I hate you and everything you stand for” like a Hummer, especially one in Alpha trimmings.  Screw them! Who the hell do they think they are anyway?
Here’s my short list:Mustang GT 5.0: because of that evil live axle that the fanbois love to hate on!
Pontiac G8 GXP: cuz those jerks probably hate Outback Steakhouses too!
Corvette Z06 (C6): kicking everyone’s ass while saying “LS7-FTW!” to piss off those haters!
Last-Gen Cadillac CTS-V: see above, change to “LS6-FTW” instead.
Dodge Ram SRT-10: don’t you wish your girlfriend could oversteer like me?But honestly your best bet is a decommissioned Panther from the Bob Bondurant School, back when they ran with Ford: Cobra powertrain, big brakes, console, racing seats, roll cage and a subtle (almost-Euro like) body kit just to really burn their croissants.    You’ll scare the living shit out of them on the freeway with that Police-a-like style and really burn them because they will never catch up to you after the realize they’ve been had by an imposter!
Need help with a car buying conundrum? Email your particulars to , and let TTAC’s collective wisdom make the decision easier… or possibly much, much harder.
]]> 99
Today I Found… Eclectic Bubbleland Thu, 16 Sep 2010 19:07:56 +0000

In my Caprice Classic Capsule Review I mentioned the fact that I sold my “bubble” to a fellow who was collecting them slowly for some unspecified future use. Today, while rolling down Dublin Road south of Fisher in the industrial section of Columbus, Ohio, I saw, in the corner of my vision… bubbles.

With my crummy Droid camera and the rather impressive array of fencing and wild vegetation separating me from the actual lot in which the cars were stored, I had trouble getting good photos… but I estimate there are at least forty of these iconic wagons stored at the facility. The majority seem to be Roadmasters, but there are a few Caprices and even a couple of the “Oldsmobubble” Custom Cruisers which are my personal stylistic favorites.

Perhaps I’ll be able to track down the owner and see if I can’t get the TTAC readers a more comprehensive look at the inventory. Most of them look undriven; they are sinking into mudholes and there is grass around the tires. And yes, I do believe that I saw my purple-ish woody Caprice Classic wagon in the back corner of the lot..

]]> 43