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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Car Reviews

Tampa International Auto Show Pt.2; American Companies Still Need to Execute Bean Counters

On: Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 12:41PM | By: John Welch


Tampa International Auto Show Pt.2; American Companies Still Need to Execute Bean Counters test 1-1

The first floor of the multi-tiered Tampa International Auto Show was used to showcase high-end autos and customs. Audis, Aston Martins, GLK-Convertible abortions, and so on. The real war was going on upstairs, where Chevrolet, Buick, Ford, Lincoln, Subaru, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, and several others were all positioned uncomfortably close to each other. Why uncomfortably close? Because the AutoShopper was able to compare Kia and Buick directly . . . not a good thing for Buick.

To follow, the vicious bar fight and it's grisly aftermath.


Whatever Floats Your Boat

On: Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 2:35PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Amphicar at Lake Mirror test 2

For the past 10 years the people of Lakeland have had the pleasure of hosting the Lake Mirror Classic car show at beautiful Lake Mirror. The show is one of the country's leading classic car shows and is always a firm favorite with the public. This year’s feature display showcased European cars from the art deco era. In the midst of all the beautiful cars from the brass era, pre-war, post-war, domestic sports cars, and muscle cars there are always a few cars that are of particular interest.


Tampa International Auto Show Pt.1

On: Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 10:45AM | By: John Welch


Tampa Convention Center test 2

The Tampa Convention Center hosted Motor Trend's "International Auto Show" over the weekend. It isn't Detroit or Geneva or Tokyo or any city demanding a multi-billion dollar auto extravaganza featuring concepts and glitzy umbrella girls and gorillas on jet skis. Thankfully.

Because it is so exempt from auto manufacturer excess, there is little to get in the way of an overly anal, under-funded auto reviewer such as myself from actually comparing the construction and execution of new cars with each other. Still haven't found the magic wand that allows me to actually take home and drive press-beaters, but the Tampa Auto Show afforded me the opportunity to get an accurate picture of what car companies are up to, and how they directly compare with each other.

What I found was equal parts disappointment and joy...


Web Review: Hyundai Genesis Coupe

On: Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 12:42PM | By: John Welch


Web Review: Hyundai Genesis Coupe test 1-1

Let's get the obvious out of the way; the Hyundai Genesis Coupe isn't going to win any beauty pageants any time soon. From all but the rear three-quarter view, this car is homely. The front end is reminiscent of a sad puppy, all droopy eyed and lethargic. The profile lends itself to odd angles and geometrically challenged shapes. The tail end is pleasing enough, if not generic. The rims are slovenly designed hunks of aluminum featuring fat spokes that are anything but sporty. The interior, an ill-fitting hodgepodge of plastics and fake metals, is an execution dotted with varying degrees of success.

So, that is what I don't like about the Genesis Coupe. Probably the last time I'll mention anything I don't like about it. The benefits of purchasing a Genesis Coupe far outweigh the styling issues; it doesn't even compare to a new Camaro styling-wise, but dynamically it is far superior.

With this in mind we venture over to the Hyundai website to see if optioning a Gen-Coupe is as pleasing an experience as slinging one around a skid pad has the potential to be . . .


 

ALMS Season Finale Pt.1

On: Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 12:49PM | By: John Welch


ALMS Season Finale Pt.1 test 1-1

The American Le Mans Series, week to week, is the most entertaining racing of any kind in the world. It is a thinking man's sport; the sheer number of different car makes and drivetrains and classes gives a race-dork like me hours of brain food. After having learned every nuance of new cars and teams over the 2008/9 off-season, my autotechnophile-glands were swollen and ready to burst. This year saw several changes take place in the ALMS. Using the economic downturn as an excuse, Audi pulled out of the series for the first time in nine years. Running only two events, Sebring and Petit Le Mans, the Audi team was not able to dominate the series like they had in the past. A new LMP1 contender stood up to take their place, Acura.

 


Drooling Over a Fiat

On: Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 4:32PM | By: John Welch


Drooling Over a Fiat test 1-1

If Car and Driver test drives a car once, said car may end up being sold in our country. If they test a foreign market vehicle twice, the chances of it being sold in the US are considerably better.

The car in question is the 2010 Fiat 500 Abarth. This car has been on sale for several years in the rest of the world, and now that the Chrysler take-over is all but said and done, Fiat can focus on a return to the US market. This is great news for those Gen-Y Americans who were too young to experience Fiat ownership. Though they may have a reputation for poor reliablity in this country, Fiats are as modern and well put together as Volkswagens and Hondas; they're also monumentally more exciting . . .


The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is Green

On: Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 5:35PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Honda test 2

There is light at the end of the tunnel, but no, it’s not from an oncoming Prius, Insight or Fusion Hybrid

There is much debate on which direction the automakers should go with the development of new vehicles, and this blog is no exception. Should auto manufacturers go the way of the hybrid by engineering more cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight or look at the EV (Electric Vehicle) possibilities? Both technologies have many pros and cons to consider.


15 Cars to Watch In 2010

On: Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 3:47PM | By: John Welch


15 Cars to Watch In 2010 test 1-1

Detroit Free Press columnist Mark Phelan has compiled a list of 'hot cars' to watch for 2010. He lives in Detroit, he writes for a Detroit-based newspaper, Mark Phelan should know what we should be interested in next year, right? Meh, it's hit or miss. My thoughts on his thoughts and the cars he thinks about to follow . . . also, what should be omitted from this less than authoratative list . ..


Muscle On The Cheap

On: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 9:33AM | By: Clay Ritchings


Muscle On The Cheap test 1-1

Not since 1974 have the three American pony cars shared the road together. Go to your closet and dust off your jeans jacket, because these re-tooled classics – The Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang are three modern classics that will go fast, look good, and can be parked in your barn for around $20,000.


Favorite Bikes: HODAKA COMBAT WOMBAT - Vintage Dirt bike

On: Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 11:04AM | By: Clay Ritchings


Favorite Bikes: HODAKA COMBAT WOMBAT - Vintage Dirt bike test 1-1

I was talking with my brother the other day about some of the bikes we owned as kids, and some that we wanted to own. We started reminiscing about some bikes that no longer exist but in the early 70s were the big names in dirt bikes. Back then it was not uncommon to come across bikes with names like Dirt Squirt, Wombat, Sherpa, and El Bandito, by manufacturers like Hodaka, Husqvarna, Bultaco, Montessa, and Maico while riding on the trails. We were both in agreement that the Hodaka bikes were some of the hottest rides on the trail. While we never owned a Hodaka, we had friends who did and that allowed us trail time on these cool bikes.


Woods Car Review: 1959 Saab 93 - Goin' Old School

On: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 10:26AM | By: Clay Ritchings


Woods Car Review: 1959 Saab 93 - Goin' Old School test 1-1

Growing up in southern New Jersey we had a lot of room to play as kids with over 15 acres of land backed up by hundreds of acres of fire trails and dirt roads to keep us busy all day long. I know that most people’s perceptions about NJ result from too many episodes of Sopranos, but I’m talking about the southern part of NJ that was mostly farmland, swamps and endless acres of Pine Barrens. Since this was way before video games and our TV antenna only picked up a few channels, we provided our own entertainment at the expense of a few cars.