Some car projects become much more than just an exercise in coaxing an engine to life or cleaning a pile of corrosion underneath a stuck thermostat. Sometimes there’s a personal side to it- a call to duty that makes the effort much more important than just the process of replacing parts. I drove down to Escondido, California – just north of San Diego – back in 1979 to write a Cruisin’ USA story for the February, 1980 issue of Car Craft. It was at that cruise that I met a trio of young guys – Matt Collins, Doug Eisberg, and Craig Campman and I was accepted as part of the circle of friends. Decades later, it was a shock when Doug called me to let me know that our friend Matt had suffered a heart attack that took his life. Matt had assumed control over Collins Motors’ used car lot from his dad and had also assembled an enviable collection of cars and parts that, unfortunately, his family and friends now had to help disperse. Matt’s favorite was … [Read more...] about Camaro Resurrection: Bringing a Car Back to Life after Sitting for 20 Years
Cars imported to usa
In our last installment, our Sierra was found by one of TTAC’s Best and Brightest. Now our brown-hued “Salesman’s Spaceship” gets lost in shipping space for a few weeks, crossing a very large pond. Don’t worry little British Ford, America will be very, very kind to you.Captain Mike Solo’s European USAF adventure is now over, but Citizen Solo (actually he’s in the Air Force Reserves, but Citizen Solo sounds epic) might go back to the land of small meal portions and super trick road courses built around quaint German towns. Not so for my Sierra. A more clever man than I would insert a Bertel Schmitt-ish Euro-Asian Corporate Marriage reference, but I am too lost in Ford’s cutting edge past to think about most anything else.And yes, that low mile, super clean Peugeot 205 GTI (1.6L*) belongs to our Captain Solo…and it will be Texas bound along with the Sierra. More on that later, as we are here to celebrate the insanity … [Read more...] about TTAC Project Car: Coming to America!
Hi Steve,What would be the most reliable car I can purchase for about $7000-8000? And what would be the upper limit on mileage that I would even consider? Steve writes:I grew up in the food import business. So to me, the answer to this question is a lot like asking my Dad, “What is the best cake I can get for $70?”He would probably tell you that it depends on your ingredients, your cooking methods, your recipe, and what parts of the ingredients matter to you the most.The ingredients when it comes to a used car is… the prior owner.Like a pitcher in baseball who has an overwhelming influence over the outcome of the game, the prior owner’s maintenance habits and driving style has the greatest impact on the longevity of the vehicle when you’re shopping at this lower price range.The cooking methods are… your own driving style and maintenance regimen. The way you cook those ingredients once you get them determines a lot of that long-term … [Read more...] about New Or Used? : The Most Reliable Car In The USA Is A ….
Volkswagen has agreed to buy back nearly 500,000 diesel cars from model years 2009 through 2015 that ran afoul of U.S. emissions laws as part of a sweeping settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.While details won’t be finalized until this summer, it is clear that owners of Volkswagen- and Audi-brand 2.0-liter diesel cars will receive “substantial compensation,” whether through a buyback or the reported option to have their cars brought into compliance in combination with a cash payout. Volkswagen also will be forced to make investments that “promote green automotive initiatives,” according to USA Today. No actions have been decided upon for owners of Audi, Porsche, or Volkswagen vehicles with larger 3.0-liter V-6 TDI engines. Those cars were included in a second, separate EPA violation two months after the initial violation for the 482,000 2.0-liter models.Earlier reports of Volkswagen owners receiving cash buyouts of … [Read more...] about VW Agrees to Buy Back 482,000 Diesel Cars, Other Details Still Hazy
It happened. TTAC finally has their very own Ford Sierra.It’s true: the UK-spec Ford Sierra I promised to TTAC readers has arrived. Well actually two Brits, as our man Captain Mike Solo imported both his Peugeot 205 1.6 GTI and my Ford Sierra Ghia at the same time. And while I eagerly awaited the Sierra’s arrival in Houston, I could not meet the ship at the port. The precious cargo went up to an official military delivery area in Dallas, about 4-5 hours away.If you think getting the car from Europe to USA was tough, try making the journey from Houston to Dallas. … [Read more...] about TTAC Project Car: Home and Dry!
The Dodge Dart is the hero in town in Albuquerque NM* You can see all my USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *After detailing the history and highlights of the Old Route 66 from Oklahoma to New Mexico, we now pause in New Mexico to analyse the vehicle landscape in Albuquerque and Gallup. This, a special feature on ethnic car buyers’ preferences and state-wide sales data below. Ford F-250 in Gallup NMFirst a bit of trivia about New Mexico: this state is the 5th most extensive (121,589 sq mi or 315,194 km2), the 36th most populous (2.1 million inhabitants) and the 6th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Inhabited by indigenous peoples of the Americas for centuries before European exploration, New Mexico then belonged to the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, then part of Mexico, a U.S. territory before finally becoming the 47th state in 1912. During World War II, … [Read more...] about Coast to Coast 2014: New Mexico
Volkswagen USA released an advertisement on YouTube today entitled “Luv Bug,” and it uses the ever-popular growing family angle to appeal to the customer.Click through to watch this interesting take on in-car entertainment, and see if you spot what’s wrong.The minute-long spot depicts a couple who has trouble anticipating what happens as you add to the head count of your family. From New Beetle to Jetta, Tiguan, and then (to the point) the Atlas, more children mean you need more room. Apparently, extolling the virtues of having sex in various Volkswagen vehicles (but not the Atlas) was very important to the marketing team at Volkswagen.The ad became a quick topic of discussion on TTAC’s internal Slack chat. Tim Cain didn’t like the lack of planning:“I don’t like how they wait until the baby is approximately six months old to upsize. She should be pregnant. It’s when the baby is rear-facing that space is at a … [Read more...] about Volkswagen’s Car Sex Commercial is Unsettling in an Unusual Way
First, we heard about the Mazda CX-8.Then the Mazda CX-8 was spotted on the streets of Chicago, Illinois. Which is in the United States.And then Mazda confirmed that the CX-8 would most definitely not be exported from Japan. As the CX-4 was a China-oriented model, the CX-8 would be geared towards a Japanese market for which the CX-9 is just too big. But then we heard the Mazda CX-8 might be exported from Japan, but only to Australia.And now, with official imagery, it’s not difficult to understand why Mazda USA has no need for the CX-8. It looks almost exactly like a CX-9 with six fewer inches of length, five fewer inches of width, and a marginally lower roofline.Americans do not need a smaller Mazda CX-9.There’s reason to believe Mazda could use more utility vehicles in North America. Aye, couldn’t every automaker?Mazda has quickly become more reliant on its CX lineup for U.S. sales, earning 54 r drcent of its first-half sales from the CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9 … [Read more...] about And Now It’s Obvious Why the Mazda CX-8 Won’t Be Imported to America
Capitalism is just fine with me, but I have to say I was put off just a little by the glut of corporate cross-marketing tie-ins yesterday to Oct. 21, 2015, the date in the future to which Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel in the second Back To The Future movie.Not that I have anything against the BTTF franchise: the trilogy is clever, charming and obviously inspires passionate fandom. Christopher Lloyd is crazy gifted in a Jonathan Winters manner and I have no objection to him making a few bucks appearing in ads with Michael J. Fox. Fox has a family to support, too.I’m not naive and many of yesterday’s marketing efforts, from Nike’s self lacing shoes, to USA Today’s headline about Marty’s arrest only reflect product placement deals in the original films.Maybe it was just the glut, the shear volume of BTTF references and spinoffs, that got to me. Either that or I didn’t realize that I had an opportunity to exploit the situation with my own BTTF post. … [Read more...] about The Morning After: ‘Back To The Future II’ DeLorean Time Machine
Over the past weekend, you’ve probably seen the summaries of press releases interspersed with some topical discussion reports of an MTV study on millennials’ attitudes towards cars on outlets from USA Today to Jalopnik to even MTV’s own website. Well, I was present at the press conference where MTV executives presented the results and was left with much more to write about, from how the survey was conducted to the recommendations that were presented to both manufacturers and dealers about how to court millennial customers.First off, this study involved 3,610 millennials ranging from the ages of 18-34, 400 Generation Xers, and 403 baby boomers. A large amount of those people took online surveys for the project. To generate some of the qualitative information, like what millennials wanted out of a car and the buying experience, the study used focus groups, one-on-one interviews, virtual travelogues, car-creation groups, deal-alongs, as well as expert and car dealer … [Read more...] about NADA Conference 2015: Here’s the Background Behind That MTV Study on Millennials and Cars