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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

A Blast from the Past

On: Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 7:03AM | By: Karen Cook

A Blast from the Past test 1-1

It looks like something out of an old movie. You can picture the driver in goggles and a scarf fluttering in the wind. And some of those cool driving gloves. If you drive one, you will see the need for these fancy duds.

Mecum's Anaheim Sale Shows You Can Be a Big-time, Old-school Baller on an Itty-bitty Modern Minicar Budget

On: Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 5:19PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by Author test 2

You, I am afraid, are more than likely a dork.

What do you drive? Some middling import toss-away? An American econobox you think’s cool ‘cause it has a tea tray bolted to its decklid? Look: I’ll bet you my salary for this article if you could pick your car out of a lot filled with a thousand random machines.

I could. In a heartbeat. She’s a 19-foot-long wood-sided station wagon, low and wide, and with just enough chrome to make a Chris Craft boat builder wish they could take credit for her design. Sure, I and the gentlemen at the local Shell station are on a first-name basis, but so many people stop me just to express their admiration for her still existing while memories are all that’s left of her assembly-line sisters that $80 fill-ups are always worth it.

Now station wagons may not be your thing, but that doesn’t exclude you from the Sub-$4k Cool Old Car Club I just started. All you need is a sub-$4k vehicle in great shape inside and out—including relatively as-new performance—a budget of about ten times that (often every month) to refuel and “fiddle” with it (and an AAA card when “fiddling” doesn’t suffice, which it NEVER does). But, hey, nobody ever said supreme coolness came cheap…

You Have The Right to Remain Terrified by Mecum's Fully-kitted Ex-California Highway Patrol 2002 Camaro B4C

On: Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 5:03PM | By: Andrew W Davis

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No. It can’t be. NO! But it’s a… a Camaro! Then the unmistakable round red “takedown” light pops on and I know the California Highway Patrol has me dead to rights. And forget about fleeing. Not that I ever would, but the test Nissan Maxima I was bombing down I-5 in would be meat on the table for a car like what I found to be the first “B4C” (police) package ’02 Camaro in that neck of the woods.

First thing out of the officer’s mouth—hand to God—was, “Dang. I thought you were going to run. They say these Camaros’ll do almost 150, but without a suspect to chase we can’t exceed 100.” Then I, professional wordsmith that I am, offered an equally shocking, “Sorry to disappoint you.”

He laughed, I tried to laugh back, and he let me go. And as I watched his shark-like black-and-white police-package Z28 slide off into the night, I swore one day I’d have one just like it, lights, labels, and all. And if I was in Anaheim, CA during Mecum’s Nov. 21-23 auction, I really could’ve. But [insert excuse why here] someone beat me to it. And for a price I STILL can’t believe…

Ford Recalls 2013 Escapes

On: Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 12:44PM | By: Karen Cook

Ford Recalls 2013 Escapes test 1-1

It’s always a little frightening when you hear of a recall on the vehicle you drive. Kinda feels like Russian roulette every time you start it up. I apologize to all of you who drive a 2013 Ford Escape.

Ford has issued a recall, which will begin in January, on all 2013 Ford Escape SUVs with 1.6 liter engines. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 139,917 vehicles are capable of having the engine catch fire. These cars may “experience localized overheating of the cylinder head which may cause cracks that could allow oil to leak.” The oil can leak onto the hot engine and cause a fire.

Of those covered in the recall 9,469 are also involved in a secondary recall due to faulty fuel lines which may have been improperly installed at the plant. The same possibility exists. Fuel leaks onto the engine and catches a spark which leads to an engine fire.

As of November 18th, there have been 12 reported engine fires on these vehicles in the United States and one in Canada. No injuries have occurred. The fire tends to be contained in the engine compartment and there is ample time to exit your vehicle before the situation becomes life-threatening.

As is customary with manufacturer recalls, you will be notified if you are affected and all repairs will be done free of charge. In the first instance, Ford dealers can modify the engine shielding, cooling and control systems. For the smaller recall, the fuel line will be inspected and replaced if necessary. If you have any questions you may contact Ford directly at 1-866-436-7332.

The official recall does not begin for about 8 more weeks, on January 23rd, but you may take your vehicle to a Ford dealership any time to have it inspected and repaired. As with any vehicle defect, the sooner the better.


Toll Be or Not Toll Be

On: Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:29AM | By: Karen Cook

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I’m not good with directions. I will be the first to admit it. Google maps has made my life easier although sometimes that doesn’t get me where I want to go either. I make a lot of u-turns. I ended up on a toll road a while back which is not where I wanted to be. I had no cash and I also didn’t have one of those boxes on my car to get through a toll booth. I did have a very sympathetic toll booth operator though and she let me go on through and turn around.

F1 2013 Roundup

On: Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 1:13PM | By: Nick Bakewell

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Here we are, edging ever nearer to the end of the year, a time traditionally given over to a bit of reflection. In this case, I’d like to turn the mirror towards this year’s Formula One world championship, and see if we can’t find some nuggets of truth and happiness to extract from what was otherwise, prima facie, a rather boring season. We all know the internet loves a good list, anyway.

I'm Goin' to Disneyland! Mecum Sold Some Rare Real-deal Shelbys for as Little as $1,300 in Anaheim

On: Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 11:29AM | By: Andrew W Davis

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What does the serious Shelby collector do once he’s scratched all the usual itches? Cobras? You’ve got at least one each of the 260s, 289s, 427s, and 428s. Mustangs? You’ve got a garage full of G.T. 350s of every stripe (including at least one real-deal “R”) and a field full of G.T. 500s, open and shut, “KR” and not. Heck, you’ve even got the Holy Grail of Shelbys in your stable, a one-of-nearly-none Cobra Daytona Coupe.

Well, my friend, as Mecum’s recent auction in Anaheim shows, there’s a whole ‘nother volume in the Encyclopedia of Shelby, and—if you act right now—you can build yet another collection of that wily Texan’s wares for a relative song.

Well, that, and a MUCH bigger building…

Subaru Introduces New Legacy Concept

On: Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 1:59PM | By: Chris Weiss

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Subaru has gone on quite a concept spree this November. It showed the LEVORG concept and a couple others in Tokyo, and now it introduced the Legacy concept at the LA Auto Show. The Legacy Concept celebrates both past and present, recognizing the model's 25th anniversary while providing a glimpse at a future styling direction.

GM - General Motors Recognizes Gay Marriage

On: Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 7:54AM | By: Karen Cook

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This may seem like an odd topic to find on an auto blog, but there is more to auto news than the latest car. Being such a huge entity in the United States, the auto industry has the ability to affect the world outside its dealerships and manufacturing plants.

Recently GM announced that it will offer benefits to same sex couples whether they work in a state that recognizes their marriage or not. If you work in Detroit, which does not recognize the marriage, you can still add your partner to your insurance with a marriage license from any of the other states that do. They are the second automaker to do so. The first was Chrysler.

D.A.R.V: Baby Steps Towards the Future

On: Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 7:54AM | By: Karen Cook

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Most car manufacturers are doing research to develop those futuristic cars that can drive themselves. We have a few already that monitor the road even while the driver is in control and they have the ability to take over in an emergency. Last week at the auto show in Los Angeles, Toyota gave us a step in between. It’s not a fully autonomous car but it does provide much more interaction than anything currently on the road. And it can interact with more than just the driver.

Black Friday: Golden Opportunity?

On: Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 1:57PM | By: Karen Cook

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Black Friday is almost upon us. Until I met my husband 17 years ago, I did not take part in the annual shopping frenzy. Sure, the sale prices are good, but the crowds were just too much for me. I like my shopping on the quieter side. My husband, on the other hand, takes a different approach. He doesn’t actually buy anything on Black Friday. For him it’s more of a spectator sport. We go to the mall, get a seasonally flavored coffee, and then just sit back and watch the chaos. From this point of view, it’s actually a lot of fun.