By on June 19, 2019

In the Wednesday QOTD last week, we began our considerations of the truck and SUV models from the nineties which aged most gracefully. American offerings were the first up for discussion, and the majority of you chimed in to agree with my assessment of the GMT 400 trucks as some of the best-aged designs. There were so many great GMT variations from which to choose!

Today we move on to Europe, which may be more challenging.

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By on June 17, 2019

With the official start of summer just around the bend, your corner car meet is about to get a lot more crowded. Sure, you folks who are #blessed to live in warm climes have Cars & Coffee year-round but the rest of us plebes can only enjoy our precious metal once the calendar flips into the hottest months.

Import shows, classic muscle, modern performance — what’s your favorite type of car to see at a show?

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By on June 12, 2019

Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed 1990s car design on Wednesday’s Question of the Day entry. We spent three weeks talking about the good and three weeks talking about the bad. But those discussions were limited to body styles other than trucks — and by extension, SUVs. Great news! The Dacia Sandero restriction is now off the table.

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By on June 11, 2019

1981 Cadillac Fleetwood in Colorado wrecking yard, V8-6-4 engine - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Without fire, society as we know it could not exist. The combustion of flammable fuels is what warms most of our homes, cooks much of our food (perhaps indirectly), and drives the bulk of our many modes of transportation. Long ago, people considered fire one of the essential elements, like air and water.

A beautiful thing to behold, yet fire’s destructive power remains ever-present in the back of our minds. Uncontrolled fire takes lives, scorches homes, and can lower the value of your vehicle to zero. Maybe this has happened to you. Read More >

By on June 5, 2019

Today’s Question of the Day is a continuation of the styling theme we’ve had of late. The discussion centers around cars of the 1990s that aged poorly. First, we accepted submissions from America, followed up last week by Europe.

Today, we head east and consider Asia.

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By on June 4, 2019

tesla model x, Image: Tesla Motors

The downside of liking something is the fact that other people like it, too. You don’t have to be a friendless, shut-in misanthrope to prefer the company of a select type of person, and quite often too many of that other type of person loiters around the thing you love.

There’s that band you like but would never see live because of the crowd it draws. You know it’ll sour the experience. There’s the team you quietly root for, all the time wishing their fans weren’t such obnoxious jerkoffs.

It’s the same with automotive brands and particular car models — if you’re a car owner (or aspiring owner), your name might be unavoidably connected with a population of owners who give the thing a bad name.  Read More >

By on May 31, 2019

gm

For many people past a certain age, the word “Cadillac” still inspires visions of finned Sedan de Ville Broughams of the ’70s and ’80s, usually driven by the aging wife of an even older retired businessman. Your author used to lust after these square-rigged sedans as a child, marvelling at that soft panel between the taillight housings and body and wondering how long it would be before the vinyl top started to flake.

The same goes for Lincoln. Yes, old images and the stigma they create cannot be washed away by an early morning’s rain. They stay ingrained, and automakers must move heaven and earth to erase these deep-rooted impressions.

Now that Cadillac’s new(est) face is almost completely exposed, one must ask: do you like what you see, or are there a few key suggestions you’d like to impart? Read More >

By on May 30, 2019

gm

Chevrolet dusted off another historic nameplate on Wednesday, resurrecting the Trailblazer name after a decade-long (U.S.) absence and applying it to a tweener crossover bound for the narrow ground between the subcompact Trax and compact Equinox. V8 and inline-six motivation will not be part of this package.

While GM’s reuse of the Trailblazer name isn’t likely to anger as many diehard Bowtie fans as the reborn 2019 Blazer, the emergence of yet another Chevy-badged crossover makes one wonder about just how well-stocked a lineup can be. Read More >

By on May 29, 2019

Lately, we’ve featured a succession of posts relating to automotive style in the Nineties here at Question of the Day. We started out discussing the best of the best from America, Europe, and Asia. Then, last week, we moved on to the Worst Ever awards from America. Many of you said I was nuts for disliking the refreshed Lincoln Mark VIII. While I still don’t like the VIII post-’96, I’ll agree the Buick Skylark for 1992 would’ve been a better selection. There, happy?

Let’s see if I can get my European selection to be a bit more agreeable to all you connoisseurs of things Nineties.

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By on May 21, 2019

Image: General Motors

Driving away after sealing a deal at the local dealership or bargaining a fair price in someone’s driveway can be a great feeling. You’ve got what you wanted, for a sum approaching your target price, and now you’re in the driver’s seat. It’s time to appreciate what you have.

That warm, blissful feeling sometimes wears off in a hurry.

Minor annoyances and irksome issues missed during the initial shakedown cruise often rear their ugly head. While it’s probably not a deal-breaking issue, it’s something that diminishes the driving/owning experience just enough to bring you back down to earth. And, as time goes on, this peculiarity calls further attention to itself.

What’s your current car’s biggest annoyance? Read More >

By on May 17, 2019

Original Venice Crew Shelby GT350 On Track

Easy, now — this isn’t what you think. Contrary to the beliefs of the Millennial journo-fronted social media swarm coalescing over this headline, the question we’re answering today has nothing to do with people, and everything to do with another diverse element of society: cars.

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to vehicles hailing from different countries, each built with different purposes and different customers in mind. And any two of these vehicles could face off against each other on the track.

Is it wrong to assume there’s a very unlikely race you’ve always wanted to see? Read More >

By on May 16, 2019

Image: Nissan

As you read earlier this week, the state of Illinois wants motorists to pay up. Big time. A new proposal that stands a good chance of passing into law not only more than doubles the state’s gas tax, it would also hit electric vehicle drivers with an annual $1,000 fee — a bill for adding wear and tear to the state’s roads and bridges while depriving state coffers of sweet, sweet gas tax revenue.

Some EV drivers are not what you’d call “happy” about it. But are you? Read More >

By on May 15, 2019

Image: 1996 Toyota Camry CoupeThe past couple of Wednesday editions of Question of the Day have been full-on Nineties design in their subject matter. First, we considered American marques, before moving on last week to the European set. This week we’ll do it once more, talking about Asian car designs from the Nineties that still hold up today.

Break out your soap bar memories.

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By on May 14, 2019

Last night, as I drove to the spot where I run in the woods like a creepy person with something to hide, a silver Chevy Spark drove past. The owner of this sub-subcompact model, which has so far managed to avoid Mary Barra’s axe, had outfitted his pint-sized ride with fairly presentable aftermarket wheels. You know the ones: black spokes, chrome outer rim. Not obnoxiously oversized, either.

This driver was motoring with precision and purpose, making good use of his 98 horses. It got me thinking. Clearly, this was all the car the driver could afford (base Canadian MSRP: $9,995 before destination), but he wanted to make it special. Just a little bit better. He wanted to put a personal stamp on his econobox; make it something he could be proud of.

And you know what? That’s great. It made me a little nostalgic of my first car purchase, but it also got me me thinking about the car that didn’t make the cut. Read More >

By on May 8, 2019

In a QOTD post last week, we walked down Nineties memory lane. The topics of discussion were the vehicle designs we still found stylish in The Current Year. In that post, conversation was restricted to domestic brand offerings.

Today, we go foreign.

Read More >

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