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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Good, Bad & Ugly

1990 Honda Accord Nears Million Mile Mark

On: Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 10:45AM | By: Chris Salamone

1990 Honda Accord Nears Million Mile Mark  test 2

A man from Norway, Maine (yes, such a place-name exists and the pictures demonstrate why) is taking his 1990 Honda Accord above and beyond any insignificant six digit limit speculatively put on the odometer. Joe LoCicero intends to break the 1-million mark by September 2011. Seeing Joe’s initiative, Honda has taken this opportunity to put out a press release showcasing the reliability of Honda automobiles. As we say in the schoolyard, or the occasional jailhouse, the proof is in the pudding.

Since he purchased the vehicle in 1996, Joe has racked up an average of 62,500 miles a year. Yes, that’s nearly 5 times greater than most people. Around the 300,000 mile mark on his odometer, Joe began taking detailed records of his maintenance and vehicle achievements—including 661 photos of his odometer. Yikes.

World's Largest Gathering Of Smart Fans: Another Reason To Avoid Italy This August

On: Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 11:29AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

I kid. It’s not like smart (damn lowercase) did something horrible to me or mine at some point, it’s just that I find it hard to resist putting into words what the design of their ridiculous-looking pseudo-cars screams out in pictures.

But here is where it ends. Well, if I am kidnapped and flown to “the seaside resort of Riccione on the Adriatic coast” (Italy) between August 4th and 7th then (and only then) will I feel like perhaps starting the beginning of the ending procedure.

Why? Because “More than 4000 smart enthusiasts from 22 countries, some with individually designed vehicles, are expected in Riccione where they will celebrate their passion for smart cars together and connect with designers, tuners, and industry experts.”

God help them.

Bugatti FAIL: Driver Donuts Into A Divider

On: Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 10:15AM | By: Chris Weiss

Bugatti FAIL: Driver Donuts Into a Divider  test 2

You'd think Bugatti owners would be a little smarter as a group. First, there aren't that many of them. Second, a price tag of more than $1 million usually has a way of weeding out the riff raff—you have to be at least kind of smart to earn yourself that much money just to spend on a car.

Yet, by all indications, Bugatti owners are some of the dumbest car owners on the planet. Within less than two years, the small pool has had Darwin Award candidates like this guy and this kid. Dumb, dumb, dumb. And now there's a new Bugatti jackass to add to the list. In an attempt to show off his supercar's donuting prowess, this guy careens right off the track, over the grass, and into a divider.

Popular Mechanics Picks The Most Deserved Fails In Car History

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 4:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Popular Mechanics Picks The Most Deserved Fails In Car History  test 2

When I first read Popular Mechanics article title "10 Cars That Deserved to Fail," I immediately started thinking about some of the most notorious failures in automotive history. The explosively terrible and embarrassing Ford Pinto. The not-buying-it-no-matter-how-cheap-it-is Yugo GV. And so on.

Indeed, both those models showed up not far down the list. It would be hard to write any list of "car fails" without including them. What's more interesting about the list is some of the more recent, more subtle car failures that I probably would never have thought of.


Classic Car Cultist: International Scout II

On: Wed, May 4, 2011 at 4:47PM | By: Chris Salamone

International Scout II  test 2

 Oh… you’ve never heard of the International Harvester Scout II? Well, I’ll bet you’ve seen it in one of the 34 movies and shows starring this epic American off-roader, such as Desperado, Avalanche, Milk, Dallas, and, of course, Swamp Thing. The Scout II may not be your absolute favorite hero machine, but as far as credibility is concerned, Swamp Thing is commonly accepted as the authoritative standard for cult classic films and this car is the perfect automotive pairing to swamp monsters and hokey script writing. But, the Scout II offers much more than just a funky aesthetic.

The International Harvester Scout was one of the seminal production civilian off-road SUVs, meant to compete with early Jeep models. Scouts were produced as two-door trucks with inventive options such as a half cab pickup or removable hard and soft tops. Considering that IH spent a total of 24 months in R&D for the entire vehicle (engine and manufacturing), the Scout was and remains to be an incredible achievement.

The Unfortunate Case of The Nissan Juke

On: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 11:34AM | By: Chris Salamone

2011 Nissan Juke test 2

The Nissan Juke is a vehicle your brain can’t comprehend, much like a bizarrely disturbing scene from a Phillip K. Dick novel. Although you may try to rationalize the Juke, the shape, size, and downright strange design do not ascribe to any popular notions of functional carmaking—excluding the hilarious Suzuki X-90 which hardly qualifies as popular… or functional. Although the Juke comes with loads of interior gadgets, a smooth Continuously Variable Transmission, and lots of personalization packages, the car’s functionality and aesthetics fall short.

Classic Car Cultist: VW Type 181

On: Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 12:40PM | By: Chris Salamone

1974 Thing test 2

Produced by Volkswagen from 1969 to 1983, the Type 181 “Kurierwagen” remains a modern day cult classic throughout the world. This lightweight utilitarian vehicle traces its roots from the Type 1 Beetle and later the World War II Kübelwagen. Depending on location, the vehicle was also known as the Trekker in the UK, the Thing in the US, and the Safari in Mexico. Just looking at the 181, it’s easy to see what separates this automobile from the rest of the pack.

The 181’s popularity is most likely a direct result of the car’s zany styling and aesthetics. Exterior characteristics include angular edges, removable doors and windows, and a folding windshield. The interior follows a similar spirit with flat bench seats and painted steel door panels. With the right mix of a totally unique look and humorous drive feel roaring around with 55 horsepower, the 181 is an all in all perfect car to collect a cult-like following.

Classic Car Cultist: AMC Gremlin

On: Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 1:32PM | By: Chris Salamone

AMC Gremlin test 2

Some cars pass through dealerships and change hands a few times only to disappear into the annals of automotive history. Other cars become instant collector items. These vehicles have long-term value from the moment they are manufactured. The AMC Gremlin does not fall into either category. Produced from 1970-1978, the Gremlin has slowly earned its place within the hearts and minds of classic car enthusiasts and now carries a somewhat cult-like following. Evidence of the car’s popularity is found in the numerous TV and movie spots which add character depth by throwing in an oddball 1970s Gremlin to spice up the show, consider the HBO hit series True Blood or the Adam Sandler flick The Wedding Singer. The vehicle features a chopped Kammback-type rear end intended to improve aerodynamics and gas mileage. ‘Kamm Tails’ are found in many modern cars as well, including the current Toyota Prius. From the honorable distinction as America’s First Subcompact to the addition of a throaty 5.0L V8 the AMC Gremlin is finally being appreciated as a classic car.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Off-Season Road Race News

On: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 4:59PM | By: John Welch

GRRRRRRrrrugly test 2

The advancement of electronic locomotion knows no bounds apparently, as several sports car teams and companies pledge to include some form of energy recovery system on their 2011 racing machines. This includes all of Formula 1, which will see the return of KERS after a one-year hiatus. Two new GT2 cars coming in 2011, the Ferrari 458 GT2 and the reinvention of the Porsche 911 RSR. Though similar to its 2010 sibling, the RSR is fresh as a daisy under the skin.

Finally, what do you consider ugly? Does pure function override decidedly homely appearance for you? Would you prefer your LEDs with or without pontoon fenders? Audi has released images and important data regarding their new R18; we just aren't sure we wanted them to.

Rich Man's Rage: BMW Drivers Are The Angriest In Britain

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

Rich Man's Rage: BMW Drivers Are The Angriest In Britain  test 1-1

No offense to all the good, decent folk that drive BMWs, but I've always gotten the idea that BMW drivers as a greater group are some of the douchiest on the road. This may be an unfair stereotype, but it seems to me that all too many 6 Series and X5 drivers are the type of newly-made yuppies that just need to make a point about their freshly garnered socioeconomic status. And the quickest ticket to do that for someone that really doesn't care that much about cars is to buy a BMW. While there are certainly BMW models that convey a sense of taste and automotive connoisseurship, the average BMW has always struck me as the status symbol for those that don't really take cars seriously. Get a kidney grille to show your wealth and forget it.

Long story short, the type of people that consider a car a status symbol are exactly the entitled types I'd expect to see acting like reckless jackbags that own the road and flipping people off just for driving more pedestrian vehicles like Corollas and Malibus.  In fact, to get an idea of just the type of uber-tool I'm thinking of, take a look at the asshat Bimmer driver in the video below.

A recent survey in Britain found that maybe there's more than just unfair stereotyping there. The survey conducted by GoCompare, a Wales-based insurance research company, found that BMW drivers were the most reckless, angriest, dreaded drivers on the left side of the road.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: 997 Farewell Tour

On: Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 12:08PM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: 997 Farewell Tour test 1-1

The 996 Porsche 911 was considered by some to be a departure from the 911 norm. Not in a good way. The flat-six was water-cooled, total blasphemy to some, and the sinewy Coke bottle shape had lost its curves. To go with its newfound slab-sidedness, the 996 headlight came to a point, and the interior contained an amount of buttons unbecoming a Stuttgart thoroughbred. Porsche listened to its customers and addressed all of these issues (save the lack of air-cooling and the 'buttons' thing) in 2005, with the introduction of the 997 model 911.

A return to round headlamps, slippery curves, and a slimmer frontal area had Porsche loyalists rejoicing, and everyone else left slack-jawed. The new 911 was faster, sleeker, and much better looking, despite the radiators and the nav system. It has spawned countless variations and received thousands of improvements over its life cycle. Eventually no one will remember the annoying thumb controls that accompanied the first 997s to feature the PDK dual-clutch tranny. They will however recall the meteoric rise in horsepower that several models received, or the improved understeer control delivered by the Carrera and Turbo AWD variants.

The 997 is ancient by modern sports car cycle standards; though due to be replaced it isn't going down without a fight. The last three models added to the 997 line (so, that’s what, 85 variations now? Let's see what I can name off the top of my head: Carrera, CarreraS, Targa, Targa 4S, Carrera Cabriolet, GT3, GT3 RS, GT3 RSR, Turbo, Turbo Cabriolet, GT2, 911SC . . . I'm running out of space here . . . ) are all doozzies! The Speedster, the newest GT3 RS, and the GT2 RS are all the highest examples of the breed, all murderous in their intent. Hop inside the post for details on all three rear-engine menaces . . .