Save The Manuals… And A Struggling Buff Book

Car & Driver’s endearingly awkward Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman took to the interwebs today, with a “viral-style” video imploring enthusiasts to “save the manuals.” And though Alterman can’t help but sell the faux-sincerity, the message is brain-hurtingly mangled by his attempt to be the Old Spice Guy of the car world.

Read more
Pennsylvania Drivers Admonished To Check For Penile Secretions

Drivers tooling around East College Avenue that runs past the Penn State campus showed symptoms of distracted driving after an encounter with an electronic road sign. It flashed the common “Stay Safe PA,” followed by a highly uncommon “Check for Smegma.”

To those not in the know, Centre Daily provided the needed trivia:

Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: The Kids Aren't Alright Edition
A lot has changed since 1978… and not all of it for the better. One undeniable trend: young folks just aren’t that into the cars anymore. Automo…
Read more
Ask The Best And Brightest: What Car Do You Remember Best?
At this risk of stating the supremely obvious, we’re not enjoying a lighter-than-usual workload today in order to remember cars. The sacrifices of Amer…
Read more
Holy Moses! Even Brazil Beats USA!

Brazil beats America! Over at well-known Brazilian communications giant Globo, they are reporting that little ole Brazil has overcome big ole USA in car production and has taken 5th place worldwide. Can this be true? It depends on how you look at the numbers…

Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: Progress, Or Something Like It Edition
We love us some data here at TTAC, and since we’re already looking at a grip of sales data today, we thought we’d add this excellent infographic…
Read more
SUA? Toyota Does The Smart Thing

Toyota is still smarting from a heavy decking it has received from Congress, the NHTSA, lawyers, and the press. Toyota’s answer? Let’s get SMART!

Read more
Ford Foretells Fabulous Fourtune, Disses Displacement

The V6 wars may show no signs of stopping. However, Ford is quietly making contingency plans for a future conflict: The war of the four-bangers. Start hoarding your big bore brutes and head for the hills. Ford may want to take them away.

Ford will use the upcoming SAE World Congress, to be held from April 13-15 in Detroit, to showcase its engine-building prowess. Ford will demonstrate to the world’s most eminent confab of piston-heads that there is a replacement for displacement.

Read more
Toyota's Recall-Recompense Rotating Out Of Control – Or Not – Yes, It Does

A few days ago, we reported that Toyota had caved in to demands of the Commerce Bureau and the Consumer Protection Committee of China’s Zhejiang Province. Under the agreement, Toyota will reimburse Zhejiang customers for losses sustained from the RAV4 recall. Toyota will send people to pick up and deliver the affected vehicles, and will provide a loaner while the car is in the shop. The whole thing was started by New York’s AG Andrew Cuomo who strong-armed Toyota into supplying similar services to recall-affected residents of the Empire State. The Zhejiang-accord had The Nikkei [sub] worried: “Such an agreement could lead to demands for similar deals from customers in not only other provinces, but also other countries.” It didn’t take long.

Read more
Chinese Cat Fight: Driver Roughs Up Reporter During Traffic Stop

The city of Guiyang, in China’s southern Guizhou province, decided to crack down on drivers who flaunt the law. Guiyang’s Channel Five TV thought it’s a good idea to do a Chinese COPS-type reality show, called “Rule of Law Frontline.” A cat fight of epic proportions brought the program national attention.

Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: Obama Motors Edition
The first thing I thought when I stumbled across these pictures on Flickr while searching for a photo for the previous post, was that they must be photoshopp…
Read more
News Flash: Unintended Acceleration Can Happen To Anyone!

Paul Niedermeyer is not alone. Well, it’s a little different this time. Here’s exhibit one: the pedal assembly from my 1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7. Far from your average Reagan-era Yank Tank (and kudos if you spot all three modifications) the Cougar sat around for a year while I was hunting for parts, waiting for arrival and installing them.

Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: HUMMER Goes Green Edition

Artist Jeremy Dean goes “Back To Futurama,” with this “horse-drawn testament to the collapse of the auto-industry.” [via animalnewyork.com, HT Richard Chen]

Read more
Incredible Transformer Motorcycle

Umm, what’s that strange looking motorcycle up ahead?

Read more
Braking News: Runaway Prius Saved By CHP – Video
Shame On You, Rhonda Smith
One of the most important lessons to come out of the last two days of congressional hearings on the Toyota recalls is that blaming individuals for unintended…
Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: The UAW Is Looking Out For You Edition
UAW members protest a Modesto, CA Toyota dealer, as part of the union’s wider effort to punish Toyota for its decision to shut down the NUMMI factory i…
Read more
Outrage! NHTSA, Republicans And Gore Family Revealed As Closet Prius Drivers

Everybody promised this would not be a repeat of the Japan bashing of the 80s. But when the DetN starts outing lawmakers and administrators in DC for driving Toyotas, then it’s open season. Let them dawgs out …

“The vaunted Toyota Prius is everywhere in Washington,” reports the breathless Detroit News after exhaustive traffic analysis.

Read more
European Car Sales, January 2010: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

Europe’s ACEA, the Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles, better known as the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, has finally gotten around to tallying new car sales in Europe for the month of January. Europe as defined by the ACEA consists of the EU states, plus the three EFTA holdouts, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

First, the good news: January new passenger car registrations in Europe increased by 12.9 percent. With the exception of Germany (-4.3 percent,) the larger markets are all sputtering along nicely: France (+14.3 percent), Spain (+18.1 percent), the UK (+29.8 percent) and Italy (+30.2 percent). In total, 1,058,868 new cars were registered in Europe.

On the market share front, the Volkswagen Group maintains to be the king of the European hill with a 20.6 percent share. Next up are PSA (14 percent) and Renault (10.7 percent). The French are getting frisky: Renault added an impressive 3.1 percent to its January market share, PSA 0.6 percent. Now for the bad news:

Read more
Driving In An (Unexpected) Winter Wonderland

I live near Boston, but on February first, I drove down to Northern Virginia, outside of DC, to my sister’s, to get out of the cold and the snow for the month. Don’t laugh. As I write, the second big snow is in progress, and the driving has been interesting–and fun.

Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: Flaunt Or Reprimand Daily Edition
The rubber always hits the road sooner or later…
Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: Another Brick In The Wall Edition
The Standard Of The World meets cold reality, as the prominent Detroit-area Cadillac dealer, Dalgleish Cadillac, calls it a night. The Detroit News, which eu…
Read more
Martin Luther King, Freedom, And The Automobile

[Editor’s Note: The following was originally printed 13 years ago in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. It was written by Alexander “Sasha” Volokh of the highly excellent Volokh Conspiracy blog. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.]

The private car is unpopular these days. When it isn’t blamed for congestion, it’s blamed for pollution. And, invariably, the proposed solutions are restrictions on driving, increased taxes for public transit and other punitive programs or regulations.

But the trouble with seeing driving as the enemy is that it’s too easy to lose sight of its benefits.

Read more
UAW Puts Black Lake Retreat Up For Sale
The Detroit News reports that the UAW has put its infamous Black Lake retreat on the market, as the “symbol of the union’s success” has be…
Read more
Honda Going Back To The Basics?

Honda has been getting flack on these pages for some time now for succumbing to size and weight bloating, a criticism that carries a special sting for an automaker that clawed its way into the mainstream by offering inexpensive, efficient models. And it seems that a little bashing may have helped. Automotive News [sub] reports that Honda has “torn up” its old product plan, and is refocusing on less expensive, more fuel-efficient offerings.Honda CEO Takanobu Ito explains:

We are taking more time to rethink the new Civic and all our models. We had to revisit our development work and planning to comply with the change in the environment

And Ito isn’t referring to changes in the polar icecap either, but rather to the post-credit crisis consumer environment. Prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Ito says Honda was developing a V8, an RWD platform and a larger successor to the Civic. Now it seems that the financial crisis that has been blamed for everything from declining sales to the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler is yielding the kind of results that a decade of plenty couldn’t.

Read more
UPDATE: Supportthebigthree.com Run by Toyota Supplier

After our post on the “ 1000-DAY BIG THREE PLAN” to save the domestic automakers, TTAC commentators have been wondering about the man behind the website supportthebigthree.com. I’ve just got off the blower with site founder Sid Taylor who, it turns out, is the CEO of an automotive supplier named Set Enterprises. Scanning the site, it turns out the campaigner who would have Americans buy only Chrysler, Ford and GM products has a contract with Toyota. When asked about the apparent contradiction, Mr. Turner said the money involved is so small as to render the contract meaningless. “If I didn’t have Toyota it wouldn’t have any impact on my business.” Besides . . .

Read more
Porn Star Savannah Stern Trades Mercedes CLK350 for Her Parents' Chevrolet Trailblazer
Eagle-eyed, infinitely patient TTAC editor Jeff Puthuff spotted this story in the LA Times: “Less than two years ago, Stern earned close to $150,000…
Read more
Skynet? No, Skypatrol
Cruising through this morning’s autoblogoshpere, I clicked on an Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) report on telematics. In case you d…
Read more
Chrysler Isn't Cool for Cats
I can’t say that I’ve seen everything. But sometimes I feel as if I have. For example, the morning after we publish Bob Elton’s piece on Ch…
Read more
Sign Of The Times: Camry Tops "Most American Vehicle" List

Cars.com tackles the tough question of domestic content in its latest “American Made Index,” and comes away with a surprising result: Toyota’s Camry is the most “American” car on the market. Of course, making these distinctions in a global industry is fraught with difficulty. Though percentage of domestic parts content is tracked by the NHTSA for American Automobile Labeling Act compliance ( PDF), those numbers count US and Canadian parts as being “domestic”. So Cars.com has created its own list which requires US assembly, at least 75 percent US-sourced parts content, and factors in sales numbers because “they correlate to the number of U.S. autoworkers employed to build any given model and to build the parts that go into those same cars.” Taking out vehicles that are being canceled with no clear replacement, the following vehicles make up their top ten “most American” automobiles.

Read more
Happy Fourth of July From TTAC
Photo courtesy David Holzman
Read more
Sign Of The Times: Merch Edition
Sign Of The Times: Merch Edition
Read more
Sign of the Times: Badvertising Edition

What do you do when your £50,000 ($82,000) Range Rover requires, in the span of 42,000 miles, the following repairs?

  • Six front ball joints;
  • Four front arm bushes [bushings?];
  • One new seat base;
  • Front and rear [near side?] struts;
  • Air conditioning system;
  • Anti-roll bar bushes; and
  • A “full” suspension unit

Read more
I Was a Communist Car Czar
I Was A Communist Car Czar
Read more
Some TTAC Stats

The Truth About Cars has come a long way since it had zero readers and zero page views. In the last however many years, we’ve gradually gathered a group of the autoblogosphere’s best and brightest. It is your patronage and engaged, informed and passionate commentary that has kept us honest, and made this site a success. As we prepare for a seminal moment in both the history of this url and the automotive industry, I’d like to offer you some stats on our current status. Not to toot our own horn; but as a thank you to all our “stakeholders.” The readers, writers, editors, investors and techies dedicated to telling the truth about cars. (Not to mention our advertisers.) Suffice it to say, those of us on this side of the WordPress platform will continue to do our level best to stay true to the TTAC brand: providing no-holds-barred automotive news, rants and reviews. [ Tweeting all the way.] At the risk of sounding ghoulish, the best is yet to come.

Read more
Sign of the Times: Understated Edition

Folsom, CA (Yuppie-burb of Sacramento) is in my neck of the woods. I was browsing the online car ads of my local struggling newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, and was struck by the number of trucks for sale.

We’ve got more trucks than ever before . . . ” Yes, over 1,000 is quite a lot. (Get it?)

Read more
Autobahn Chapels in Germany: A Divine Cure for Road Rage?

In California, weary road warriors who need a place to temporarily rest have few options if they’re traveling outside the reaches of its sprawling cities. The drive between the capital and L.A. is especially dreary: miles and miles of industrial farms, oleander and eucalyptus trees. Worse, rest stops are barely-maintained, glorified pit toilets. You’ll never forget the stench of an I-5 rest stop toilet hut.

Read more
Color Me Gone

But as one door closes, another opens. With Pontiac dead, Automotive News [sub] reports that GM will use its NUMMI capacity for some other Corolla-based GM product. Because, as one Pontiac spokesman puts it, “there’s really nothing wrong with the Vibe. Its only problem right now is that it is a Pontiac.”

G8 Gt slow motion burn out

Read more
Ask The Best And Brightest: Can It Be Darkest Before the Dawn?

Or, more specifically, what in the NSFW is going on at Suzuki? To this industry observer the last year or so has seemed like one giant shakeout, with the hand of Darwin separating the wheat from the Sebrings. Certain automakers appear to have been grabbed by said hand and dragged screaming down a swirling trough of declining sales, dealerships and revenue. TTAC has foreseen the demise of certain automakers for years, but it started looking like even the marginal firms (as compared to just the downright dysfunctional) were caught in the inexorable downward spiral, never to return. Take Suzuki. The firm lost 60 dealers in ’08 as sales tanked and floorplanning credit dried up. Even as late as last month, Automotive News [sub] reported the demise of major Suzuki dealers as every possible trend seemed to be pulling the plucky brand underwater. And several TTAC contributors have labeled Suzuki as a “marginal player” doomed to expire at the hand of Car Sales Suckapocalypse. But something happened. Suzuki’s either experiencing the mother of all dead cat bounces, or maybe, just maybe, the hand of Darwin screwed one up.

Read more
And Yet More Ways To Cash In On The Economic Downturn
And Yet More Ways To Cash In On The Economic Downturn
Read more
Lower Gas Prices Don't Inspire More Driving

Apologists for business-as-usual in the car game often took to blaming unnaturally high gas prices for last year’s trends towards smaller car sales and fewer vehicle miles traveled. When gas prices go back down, went the argument, Americans will go right back to buying thirsty SUVs and Crossovers and driving more miles. Not true, it seems. The New York Times reports that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) has declined for 14 months in a row now, despite the fact that gas prices are now hovering at about half of their peak levels from last June. “When the decline in American driving was first identified in late 2007, fuel prices were beginning to increase. The prevailing wisdom at the time was that the drop was due to increased fuel prices,” says Doug Hecox of the Federal Highway Administration which monitors traffic on America’s roads. The FHA estimates that VMT has declined by 115 billion miles in the period between November 2007 and December 2008.

Read more
CNN: Americans Are Giving Up Their Cars

No, not that! Anything but that! Oh, hang on; if you’re an environmentalist, that’s a good thing, right? Less carbon in the atmos. Less congestion. (Bonus! The remaining drivers can zip about faster!) But the majority party isn’t against cars per se, are they? They just want smaller, cleaner cars. And OK, yes, lots of busses and trains and people riding them (presumably), which would, ideally, mean less cars. But we can’t really have less cars ’cause then Detroit would go out of business and working class people would get the shaft (again). I know! Maybe we could have less smaller, cleaner cars—as long as all of them were built in Detroit. By union workers. But what about the people who work for the transplants? Um . . .

Read more
Chrysler Joins Clock Cutting Craze

What do you do when you’re out of time? Get rid of all your clocks! GM has already taken the humiliating measure of cutting clock maintenance from the RenCen budget, and Chrysler is now following suit. William Wolf of Chrysler Paint, Pilot and Facility Operations notes over at Chrysler Blog that “every little bit helps.” But Wolf wasn’t satisfied with the mere $10K in savings that cutting clocks yielded. Eliminating rooftop parking to save plowing costs will save over $300K, while halving the number of fluorescent bulbs at the Auburn Hills Chrysler Technical Center will yield $400K. And despite the bitter Michigan winter, Chrysler has dropped the temperature at the CTC by four degrees, saving $70K annually. And yet, somehow, not everyone’s happy.

Read more
Chrysler's New Viability Plan: Cheap Flash-Based Games
Chrysler's New Viability Plan: Cheap Flash-Based Games
Read more
Fuel Efficiency Still A Consumer Concern

According to a study by the Consumer Federation of America (PDF), relatively low gas prices haven’t done much to change consumer trends towards more fuel-efficient vehicles. This revelation comes amid claims that small car demand was artificially inflated by high gas prices and increased truck production from General Motors. The survey asked respondents to rate the importance of gas prices, global warming and US dependence on Middle East oil over the next five years, with 76 percent reporting “great concern” for gas prices and energy independence.

Read more
Toyota U.S. Production Cuts. Why Not?
Toyota is declining to provide details on its next round of U.S. production cuts. Automotive News illustrates the automaker’s newfound inscrutability…
Read more
"I Didn't Get Out of Bed Early on a Sunday and Come All the Way Down Here in Snow for Nothing"
"I didn't get out of bed early on a Sunday and come all the way down here in snow for nothing"
Read more
NOW How Much Would You Pay? Corvette Z06 $65k, Jeep Commander $26.7k
  • Beachy Asphalt only works to keep the dirt road below it dry, and it is the dry dirt that holds up the asphalt surface to make a smooth road surface. Once the asphalt cracks or a spring wells up and the dirt gets wet, all bets are off. It is usually due to a spring that perennial potholes form. They are very hard to get rid of.
  • JamesG I’m the owner of the featured car that’s currently on EBay. Thanks for such a nice write up on these cars. Mine happens to be in excellent condition and the photos don’t do it justice. The HT4100 isn’t as bad as some made them out to be and they can go 200k miles with proper maintenance. I also own a 79 w/the analog fuel injected 5.7 350 which should have been used through 1985 but ever-increasing CAFE regulations called for more economical power plants which made GM shelve this great motor.
  • Jeff S Adam on Rare Classic Cars recently bought a pristine 71 Kenosha Cadillac.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY-G2dExgXE&ab_channel=RareClassicCars%26AutomotiveHistory
  • Jeff S Wouldn't most of the large suvs in NYC be livery vehicles? If so that would be hurting those who make their living by driving for hire.
  • EBFlex Yes their mass transit is great if you want to be beat within an inch of your life or pushed onto the tracks by some random psycho.