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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry




Lake Mirror Classic 2009; Saab Sonnet GT4

On: Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 10:16AM | By: John Welch


Saab Sonnet III GT4 test 2

The 2009 Lake Mirror Classic Car Show presents an interesting mix of classics, imports, super cars, and even race cars every year. This yellow Saab Sonnet is one such race car.

Its unassuming looks, encouraged by its unassuming tractor/passenger car roots belie its abilities. This car started life as a run-of-the-mill sedan, but quickly blossomed into the thouroghbred you see here . . .


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...


 

Red Light Cameras: Show Me The Money

On: Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 3:16PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Intersection With Camera test 2

I have not put much thought into the whole “red light camera” topic until my town decided to place these autonomous ticket printing machines up in strategic places that will Make Money. Make no mistake about it that when a town decides to use an independent company that has incentives to write tickets without the discretion of a police officer at the scene to take in the whole situation and use his judgment, they are in it to make money. I must say that in no way do I advocate reckless driving or breaking the laws, but If Big Brother is going to start writing tickets from an armchair in Arizona for your front tires being over the white line then I must protect myself.


Webber Wins Brazil; Button, Brawn Win Championship

On: Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 1:16PM | By: John Welch


Webber Wins Brazil; Button, Brawn Win Championship test 1-1

Mark Webber and Red Bull were able to pull out a victory in Sao Paulo, but Jenson Button managed to finish ahead of Sebastian Vettle and teammate Rubens Barrichello to secure the 2009 Driver's Championship. Brawn GP was able to take the constructor's championship, with one race remaining in Abu Dubai.

The week leading up to the eventual win was a busy one; a recap of all the dramatic happenings here . . .


Lake Mirror Classic 2009

On: Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 9:01AM | By: John Welch


Lake Mirror Classic 2009 test 1-1

Annually, the City of Lakeland and a few corporate sponsers put on a little car show at Lake Mirror, in down town Lakeland. Little like 500 cars and 30,000 spectators little. In other words, not so little. In fact, kind of a big deal. The Auto Shopper attended the Lake Mirror Classic of course, and we took some pretty decent notes . . .


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

On: Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 3:38PM | By: John Welch


ALMS test 2

Last weekend's Sports Car finales were the bee's knees.

"Just why was Buell so great?!"

And I break my "no GM reporting" oath, mostly to rub it in everyone's face.


BMW M3 Test At The Nurburing; New CSL?

On: Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 1:43PM | By: John Welch


BMW M3 Test At The Nurburing; New CSL? test 1-1

Car companies currently have an unhealthy obsession with the Nurburing. Everything from Trailblazers to GTRs are tested there, and now manufacturers are dueling for the fastest 'production car' laptime. It's a drug, that dern Nurburing, and the auto industry is selling their VCRs and golf clubs just to get a taste.

What about companies who are ahead of the curve? Companies who have been testing at the Nurburing for thirty years? Companies like BMW . . . oh, they still test on the Nurburing, and photo-spys were able to capture their most recent visit to the "GreenHell" . . .


Buh Bye, Buell, MV Agusta Next On The Chopping Block

On: Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 5:14PM | By: John Welch


Buh Bye, Buell, MV Agusta Next On The Chopping Block test 1-1

I consider myself at least slightly knowledgeable when it comes to motorcycles. Regarding Harley-Davidson's sales figures however, a working knowledge of the paralever isn't really necessary. Harley is in trouble, severe trouble. Their sales have tanked, probably because of the economy, but I like to think it's because their bikes are horrible: heavy, under-powered, louder than hell, smelly, ridden mostly by accountants who should have bought a Goldwing . .

As is always the case with bloated conglomerates, the interesting product is the first to get the ax (Pontiac G8 anyone??! . . still burns me up). To this end, Harley does not disappoint. Buell, this is your swansong . . .


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 . . .