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Sotheby's Australia Presents An Eclectic Octet At Its "Important Collectors' Motor Cars By Public Tender" Event

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 10:15AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

As I mentioned in my companion article, things at the Sotheby’s Australia’s Oct. 13-17 “Important Collectors’ Motor Cars” event in Sydney are a little bit different from what most of you are used to, in keeping with the usual way of doing business for this “largest Australian-owned, internationally operated fine art auction house”.

Put simply it’s a “sealed-bid” event wherein bidders “tender” (submit) their maximum offer on each desired lot directly to the auction house which then tallies the entries and notifies the “winner.” In fact, there is no actual auction “event,” and apart from several available “preview” days, there is no “in-person” component to the sale at all. [See my feature on the public tender process itself HERE for more info.]

Though if you think the process is strange, wait until you get a load of the very varied vehicles on offer....

"Motor Cars By Public Tender": Australian For "Auto Auction"

On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 9:15AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Though seemingly tame at first blush compared to the live “under-the-lights” pressure-cooker-style of auction most of us are used to, in many ways a sale "by public tender”—like Sotheby’s Australia’s “Important Collectors’ Motor Cars” event in Sydney—can be even more nerve-racking for buyer and seller alike.

Normally—if that’s even the right word to use—it’s pretty straight-forward. If you just keep on bidding until everyone else quits, the car—or whatever—is yours.

But where’s the mystery—and gentility—in that?...

The Hidden Emissions Warranty

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 4:51PM | By: Peter C Sessler

The Hidden Emissions Warranty test 2

Every car sold in U.S.A. comes with a well-known "bumper -to-bumper" warranty that covers practically every component of the car. The typical warranty these days for most American cars is 36 months/36,000 miles. Some offer even longer warranties, notably the high-line manufacturers such as Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, etc.

Not so well known is the emissions warranty, which covers certain components for 8 years/80,000 miles. This warranty, mandated by the government, is there to make sure that the pollution-related equipment lasts for at least the eight years so that the cars remain clean. Otherwise, the manufacturer is obliged to repair the parts or system for free. In other words, it's the manufacturer's responsibility to make sure the emission system works.

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #5

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 3:04PM | By: Peter C Sessler

General Automotive Frequently Asked Questions #5 test 1-1

Q.  I've seen several "miracle" oil additives at the auto parts store and I wonder if they work or not. They all make the same sort of claims that they protect the engine from heat and friction and make the engine last longer. What do you think?
A. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) sent out a bulletin saying that the claims made by one of the largest additive makers were false, or at least misleading, back in 1990s, and another additive maker was fined for misleading claims. My feeling is they aren't worth the money. When I did research on synthetic oils, I found that many of these additives consist of the same basic ingredients found in synthetics. When it's time to change the oil, down the drain they go. Engines last a long time these days even if you use conventional oil and change it every 3000 miles. I know of cars with over 200,000 miles on them with their owners changing oil every 4,000-5,000 miles. Synthetics are much better, but more expensive. So don't waste your money on the additives.


2012 Nissan NV: Delivering Something New

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 1:30PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2012 Nissan NV: Delivering Something New test 2

Here's a question you may not have pondered in a long time, if ever: When was the last time you actually saw a new commercial van? You know, a non-descript box on wheels that is used for transporting miscellaneous cargo.

Tough to remember, eh?

Well, that's probably because, aside from the big Ford E-series or the Chevrolet Express that have changed about as much as the love between Yankees and Red Sox fans over the years, there have been no new entrants into the commercial van segment since about the time of Babe Ruth. Well, all that is about to change (the van stuff, not the Sox/Yanks hatred). New for 2012, Nissan will introduce the NV—aptly named, because it stands for "Nissan Van".

Nissan Juke R: GT-R-Inspired Small Crossover

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:31PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Juke R: GT-R-Inspired Small Crossover test 2

The worst news we've heard today: Nissan built a hardcore, sport version of the awkward Juke crossover. The best news we've heard today: "the car is not for production." The Juke R is merely a concept that Nissan designed to test the public reaction to a sported-out Juke.

While the sporty body kit and rear spoiler make the Juke look way more odd (something we didn't necessarily believe was possible), the one thing we can't argue with is the massive power upgrade. The Juke R trades its 188-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder for a 530-hp twin-turbo V-6 popped out from under the hood of the GT-R. I'm not sure if a crossover ever really needed Godzilla power, but it sure is a beefy upgrade.

Wanderlust Glory At Overland Expo 2012

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:26AM | By: Chris Salamone

Wanderlust Glory At Overland Expo 2012 test 2

Occasionally, an event so exciting, so dramatic, and bizarrely authentic graces the average auto enthusiast’s agenda. As a result, months of planning and preparation go into a single quasi-religious-type migration. For some, that trip might be to the Concours, and for others it could be Indy. But not all gearheads are sated by mere spectator events alone.

Queue: Aaron Copland’s Rodeo.

The Overland Expo, or OX as it’s affectionately called, is an adventurers' carnival: a three-day feast of workshops, exhibitions, and camping, topped off with a travel film festival. Fortunately for us, OX 2012 has been slotted for May 18 -20, leaving ample time to refine our adventuremobiles and work a nice crease into our safari hats.

Nissan Leaf Widens The Gap With Chevy Volt

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 10:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Leaf Widens The Gap With Chevy Volt test 2

Though September proved to be a better month-over-month for the Chevy Volt, Nissan handily outsold Chevy and increased its overall sales lead. Nissan has now sold nearly double the number of Leafs as Chevy has Volts.

Nissan Leaf sales dropped in September, but still performed admirably at 1,031 units (versus 1,362 in August). Chevy, on the other hand, more than doubled month-over-month sales, leaping to 723 from 302 in August.

Chevy still lagged well beyond Nissan in total sales for the month, and Nissan widened its sales lead. Year-to-date sales are now at 7,199 Leaf models to 3,895 Volt models.

1985 Ford Mustang GT

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 9:07AM | By: Peter C Sessler

1985 Ford Mustang GT test 2

The 1985 Mustang GT was significant in the long life of Mustangs—especially the high performance models, which in this case happen to be the GT models. You have to consider what came before the 1985 Mustang GT.

Performance Mustangs since 1974, at best, only looked like performance models. Yes, there were the Cobra II models, and let’s not forget the King Cobra models, but they could not perform. Even the “hot” 4.2-liter V-8 models of 1980-1981 were rated at only 119hp (120hp for 1981). Now that is really pathetic for a car that twelve years earlier was pumping out 375hp with the Boss 429 model. Still, you have to start somewhere.

And so, by 1985, Ford was taking small steps to regain the performance image—in fact and in looks.

North American Car And Truck Of The Year Nominees

On: Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 4:59PM | By: David Walter

North American Car And Truck Of The Year Nominees test 2

The nominees for the North American Car and Truck of the Year were announced today. The list this year consists of 24 total vehicles—17 cars and seven trucks. Both winners will undoubtedly flaunt their prestigious award with millions of dollars’ worth of advertising, and why not? It certainly sounds good—“the North American Car (or Truck) of the Year”—but what does it mean?

That the winning vehicles were the absolute greatest and best car and truck of the entire year? Possibly.

About 50 U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists serve as judges for the “NACTOY.” Qualified people, for sure. “So why are you second guessing?” you may be wondering. Well, check out the list of nominees and we’ll meet back up afterwards.

The Chevrolet Mako Shark II

On: Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 3:55PM | By: Peter C Sessler

The Chevrolet Mako Shark II test 2

In the 1960s, the neatest car around was the Mako Shark II. The Mako Shark II, which debuted in April 1965, was a Chevrolet Concept car which was destined to become the latest model Corvette—which it finally did, in 1968.