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.

(Read More…)

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?

(Read More…)

By on June 13, 2019

Steph Willems/TTAC

On the way to meet a longtime friend for dinner last night, your author stopped off to gawk at old cars at a local cruise night event — a common occurrence when the snow isn’t flying.

Thank God for retirees with plenty of resources and lots of free time. I fear what will happen to these rides after the old guys lose their license. And, because this is TTAC and not one of those other sites, you’re not about to hear a bitter, angsty screed about Boomers and their undeserved money and opportunity, etc, etc.

Anyhow, one beauty beckoned to me from across the lot. A 1955 sedan with a badge that should prove unfamiliar to American readers urged me to take a closer look, prompting a bit of rumination about modern-day choices. (Read More…)

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.

(Read More…)

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 10, 2019

Image: Subaru

This past May long weekend was the unofficial start of summer for a good many gearheads. With cold temperatures and misery falling from the sky (mostly) behind us, it’s time for car shows, warm breezes, and — of course — road trips.

Kids and families have no shortage of attention diverting options these days, what with various tablets and devices approaching commodity-grade prices. But come on — surely someone out there still plays traditional road trip games, right? Right? Hello?

Where’d everyone go?

(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.

(Read More…)

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 June 3, 2019

FCA

One of the many joys in finding a good program on television is discovering that a vehicle of some sort plays an integral role in the story. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, the car — or truck, or SUV — is such a perfect fit that it’s as much of a character as the human actors themselves.

What’s the best one, though? As you’d expect, we’ve an opinion or two on that.

(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.

(Read More…)

By on May 23, 2019

Image: Ford

The other day, we talked up the things that annoy us about the cars we own; today, we delve into minor annoyances seen only in a few fleeting seconds. The model you don’t own, but are forced to live with on the roadway. Perhaps you’ve never even driven one.

While those other drivers may have a laundry list of gripes with their vehicle, it’s likely of no concern to you. You didn’t drop money on it. You’re just observing from afar — and not liking what you see.  (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2019

The past three Wednesday editions of our Question of the Day post centered around the most gracefully aged designs from everyone’s favorite decade: the Nineties. We discussed American vehicles, moved onto Euro rides, and most recently discussed Asia.

But what happens when we flip the question around, and think about designs that aged in the worst ways?

(Read More…)

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…)

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