Lyn Vogel

By on August 17, 2009

There’s a big difference between myself and Lotus founder Colin Chapman. When I change a flat tire, I find that I have two lug nuts left over. Chapman could create fully functioning sports/racing cars out of the detritus found in the average kitchen junk drawer. One-handed. While sipping tea. The Lotus Seven—later Super 7—is perhaps the best-known and longest-lasting example of his Frankensteinian genius. Debuting in 1957 and running on to 1973 (when Caterham Cars grabbed the baton), the 7 has undergone decades of continuous development. Yet is essentially the same vehicle that Chapman created. And none the worse for it.

By on January 9, 2007

maserati.jpgI would really like automakers to cease, desist, and forevermore quit trying to sell me a swayback mare by suggesting it’s actually the Pegasus-winged and My Little Pony-hued reincarnation of Secretariat. Market-speak speakers ought to be hung by their Gucci belts until they learn this lesson. Segment-buster? Lifestyle? Brand frickety DNA? Look, I understand it’s show business not show pleasure, but does everything have to be hyped down to its subatomic particles? Furthermore, there’s no need to yet once again place each of your obscenely-paid executives on stage reading bad jokes off a teleprompter with all the finesse of a teenager asking a girl out on a first date. Stop. Please. I’m losing the will to live.

By on January 8, 2007

img_0906_1.jpgI don’t mean to be [too] snarky, but why is it that whenever Bill Gates deigns to bless the little people with his e-presence, all I can do is stare at his hair? Does he cut it himself? Or is that what happens when you start racking up the billions: you let your looks go to seed and no one dares tell you your hair looks like something an amphetamine crazed Cuts 2000 trainee literally whipped-up on a bad day? I suppose there’s a no degree of separation thing here, as Bill appeared at the NAIAS (IPPI) to tell Alan (who works for Billy) that his Ford products are great and will soon be even greater with Microsoft’s electronics on board. MS WORD! These guys are denial.

By on January 7, 2007

img_0916_1.jpgGreetings sports fans and all ships at sea! It’s time once again for a frolic amid The Land of New Car Introductions at the North American International Auto Show’s Press Preview Days. Or, as it’s more commonly known to us professional journalists: Free Food, Booze, and Press Kits You Can Unload on eBay Day. Yes, I’m excited to return to the city of Detroit (motto: When Hell Freezes Over) to take part in this three-day extravaganza of extravagance. Hacks from all over the world are joining me to witness the world's largest automakers' blitz of glitz, where the car’s the star and they've got whozits and whatzits galore. I’ll have an Amstel Light, please.

By on December 15, 2006

2007_civic_si_sedan_106.jpgHonda salesman? More like “order taker.” The new Civic Si sedan is guaranteed to sell itself, no “product specialist” needed. After all, the stock version is already a hit. Honda can legitimately claim they’re moving them by the boatload– even if they’re assembled on Ohio acreage. And Si coupes have always done well– even when they haven’t been well done. So, offering a four door variant with a sprinkle of go-faster and look-sharper for a few more bucks is a no-brainer. Say, is that a commission check in your pocket or are you just happy you’re not selling Isuzus?

By on October 20, 2006

3-005_1.jpgI remember the day my Dad brought home a brand new ’66 Barracuda. While such an auspicious automotive occasion would make any Sting Ray-riding nine-year-old pop a wheelie, the ‘Cuda arrived on the same day The Green Hornet made its TV debut. Both productions proved equally fantastic. Plymouth’s fastback was an effort to sex-up their Valiant sedan with the equivalent of a low-cut party dress. Trouble was, the girl underneath was someone you could only really appreciate for her personality. How times have changed. To wit: the Mazdaspeed 3, an example of what today’s boffins can do with a basic economy car.

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