Tag: QOTD

By on March 27, 2020

1977 Chrysler New Yorker in Denver junkyard, grille - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

I don’t profess to be a filmmaker, but were I to one day find myself behind the camera, I’m pretty confident I’d come up with something better than 75 percent of the mediocrity I see on Netflix. And you can bet there’d be a car component. No fast cutting during the action sequences, either.

As I sit here watching the detective in The Valhalla Murders pilot her grey Tiguan across the bleak and snowy Icelandic landscape, I think about the on- and off-road duels that haven’t yet made it to the big screen… and wonder which matchup I’d prefer to see first. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2020

Ford F-150

Last year’s debut of a wonderfully throwback engine was just the early Christmas present many traditional truck fans needed. Sporting an iron block, pushrods, and 7.3 liters of displacement, Ford’s new heavy duty V8 felt like the 1970s were still upon us.

Rumor has it Mathew Guy has a blueprint of one adorning his bedroom ceiling.

While a delightful addition to the world of all things American and big, the engine carrying the codename Godzilla leads us to ponder how long it can all last. (Read More…)

By on March 25, 2020

1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera Brougham emblem in California junkyard - © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About CarsLast Wednesday we recounted the cars of our youth — specifically, the first car we could recall which really impressed. Though few of you could top my example of the superbly fresh and fun Dodge Neon, everyone put in a good effort.

Today we’ll flip the question, and consider the first vehicle we recall as a disappointment to our youthful car enthusiast selves.

(Read More…)

By on March 24, 2020

“I’m a lawyer from Denver, Colorado, Mike… I probably can’t hit a thing.” – William Holden, The Bridges at Toko-Ri

Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you planned. Sometimes, despite erring on the side of caution and always treading the right path through life, fate deals a cruel blow. It’s just the way it is.

A man who did everything right can find himself dying in a muddy ditch, far from home. Other times, it’s an automotive brand laying in that ditch — a victim of circumstance, world events, changing societal trends, financial incompetence, or hasty cost-cutting. Whatever came before no longer matters.

Still, some deaths are worse than others. Which automotive demise was least charitable to the deceased? (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

There are a few manufacturers selling vehicles in this country that seemingly don’t want everyone to drive something painted a dull shade of grey or white. Large, teutonic sedans from Ingolstadt or Munich all seem to be on the greyscale (when was the last time you saw an A6 or 5 Series in any sort of bright color?), but even these manufacturers let loose with their sportier offerings. The natty Turbo Blue found on a TT RS is particularly eye-popping.

What’s your take? Given the option, if you were to buy a new car today, would it blend with the pavement — or would it be visible from space?

(Read More…)

By on March 20, 2020

In this time of stress, fear, and uncertainty, please forgive the gendered headline, online Millennials. It applies to all genders.

Having said that, this week’s release of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, a bread-and-butter product for the Korean brand, got this author thinking about design. Specifically, the decisions taken by design teams between major styling revamps. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2020

Today we take a little trip down memory lane and consider the cars which impressed us most in our youth. And not the part of youth which contains a driver’s license and costly insurance, but the more formative experiences before that. Let’s talk foundational cool cars.

(Read More…)

By on March 17, 2020

Self-isolation and social distancing — it’s all the rage these days, though your author hopped on that bandwagon long before it was cool. Lonely nights lead to fewer viruses, the thinking went. A strategy that’s panned out over time.

As you digest that completely unnecessary and frankly uncomfortable information, you may as well ponder something that’s crossed my mind repeatedly over the past few days. Perhaps you can come up with an answer. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2020

Spending imaginary money and theorizing an answer to a ridiculous question is always a good bit of fun and diversion. We’ve asked in the past how you’d allocate 29 cylinders and how you would spend the average price of a new vehicle in America.

Today, we’re kicking it a nickel. Edmunds has estimated the average transaction price for pickup trucks in 2019 was $49,543 — the highest on record. Given that amount of scratch, what vehicle would you take home?

(Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

1978 Mercury Zephyr Z7 in California wrecking yard, gearshift - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

You had to expect it. This QOTD, that is, not the reason for it.

As yours truly basks in the smugness of having stocked up on at least a month’s worth of food, toilet paper, and disinfectant two and a half weeks ago, thus sidestepping the panic-buying hordes picking supermarket shelves bare like buzzards on still-fresh roadkill, his self-satisfaction is nonetheless tempered with an edge of dread.

Frankly, I’m freaked out. Prepared and informed, yes, but worried all the same. For many of us, there could be plenty of days — and maybe even weeks — ahead where we’re not allowed to leave our homes. Your author’s prime minister already finds himself in just such a situation.

How would you pass that time? (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2020

No, this has nothing to do with the goings-on in your bedroom, but it does have everything to do with your garage.

To say the full-size pickup segment is a cash cow would be an understatement. Ultra-lux trims and specialty editions have led to obese ATPs and decadent margins, and few would disagree that we’re living in the golden age of the pickup. Still, not everyone’s getting what they really want — perhaps even you. (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2020

The virus that’s on everyone’s lips is having an incredible economic impact throughout the world. Auto shows have thus far been disrupted by the virus outbreak, too, and I’ve begun wondering: At the end of the day, do they actually matter?

(Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

Image: Ford

We’ve talked in the past about models that left a bad first impression, then grew into themselves over successive years and generations — eventually earning our respect, and perhaps even our desire. My choice in that exercise was the Mercedes-Benz CLS, a model that aged like Robert Downey Jr. over its 20-year lifespan.

For the uninformed among us, that’s a good thing.

That particular change in perception was the result of fastidious German designers. This time around, let’s find examples where it isn’t the model that’s changed — it’s us. In short order, our initial disdain turned into something altogether different. Same car, same generation, but a different view. (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2020

It’ll not have escaped anyone’s notice that car manufacturers are well into the second cycle of engine downsizing. We’ve seen this story play out in the past, both in the Malaise Era and then in the ’80s when TURBO graphics were applied to every single flat surface (and probably some curved ones).

Last week, you lot provided some excellent creative answers to our 29 Cylinders Later game (electric cars and rotaries!). Here’s today’s question: is there anything out there you’d like to buy in today’s new car market that has more doors than cylinders?

(Read More…)

By on March 6, 2020

GM

Shedding models is a hot pastime at General Motors these days. As the automaker embarks on an electric product push, it was CEO Mary Barra’s axe that cleared the way… by chopping waning ICE-powered nameplates. With the recent loss of the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CT6, it seems the cull is nearly complete.

Lineup pared, GM now promises electric models in every segment and at every price point — a strategy made possible (and more importantly, profitable) by a modular electric vehicle platform juiced by cutting-edge Ultium battery tech.

With economies of scale supposedly on its side, which corner of the market should GM not ignore? (Read More…)

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