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December 18, 2014

"Autonomics: Americans Are Paying More for Cars"

Why? Mostly because they're so freakin' better than they used to be.

November 19, 2014

"Fastest car in Britain' is a grey 1967 VOLVO!"

With a custom 788 hp engine installed, it can beat a Ferrari 458.

November 12, 2014

"This Alfa Romeo Is A Ferrari For Half The Price"

I'm not in the market for even a cheap Ferrari, but in case you are . . . 

But its carbon fiber monocoque chassis, mid-engine design, and low curb weight make for a knockout combo punch.

Especially when you get back to the qualitative side of the equation.

Styling, while always in the eye of the beholder, is definitely one of the 4C’s strong suits. In our eyes, Alfa Romeo hit a home run with the car, creating a design worthy of Ferrari for a fraction of the price.

November 08, 2014

"Finally, a Trailer For Furious 7"

Michelle Rodriguez calls the trailer a "cargasm".

You better believe it.

November 05, 2014

"I Love Cars--The Greatest Invention of Mankind"

Ben Stein energetically praises cars.

Julius Caesar never had anything this good. Not even close. The emperors of China had hundreds of concubines, which sounds good when you’re young — but he never had anything like the luxury of a car. The car is what makes a man or a woman divine.

And for pennies. You can get a perfectly great car, air conditioning, power steering, great stereo, back view camera, for a few bucks a day. This is incredible.

October 17, 2014

"Watch This Drag Racer Flip Four Times Then Walk Away From The Crash"

A seatbelt apparently helped.

October 13, 2014

"21 Scams Used By Devious Car Dealers — And How To Avoid Them"

In my experience buying a new car is definitely not fun. It's better than listening to a life insurance salesman pitching whole life insurance, but that's not saying much.

Some fine examples of the ugliness are in this piece. In my most recent experience, a few weeks ago, I encountered these three:

1. A car listed as "new" on the dealer's website had 4200 miles on it, but the sales manager informed me that it could be sold as new because "it has never been titled".

2. Seconds away from closing the sale at a price listed on the dealer website and agreed to by the salesman, the sales manager told me I'd have to pay $1500 more than that price. That price, as indicated by teeny, tiny print on a second page of the website--with no asterisk on the first page--included "all applicable discounts" such as $1000 off for owning one of the manufacturer's cars and $500 off for being a veteran. 

3. Almost all the dealers near me selling the make I was interested in had added several hundred dollars of "dealer options" which were heavily marked up and included such fabulous opportunities as a "rear bumper decal" for $75. This is to say nothing about the $500 "dealer prep" charge which every dealer added in. 

That said, the experience seems to be slowly improving. I found quite helpful. The Black Book assessment of my trade-in at, among other places, was also helpful. I didn't use AAA's car buying service this time, but I had one excellent experience with them a few years back. 

Maybe in another ten or twenty years it'll be no more unpleasant than buying a refrigerator.

October 12, 2014

"10 Ways the Car Is Becoming More Than a Vehicle"

From Popular Mechanics. I've noticed that they are getting better at a rapid clip. One reason why:

In the past two decades, automakers have cut their seven-to-ten year product development lifecycles in half.

September 02, 2014

"The Future Could Work, if We Let It"

Nice piece by Farhad Manjoo about technological change in general but focusing on cars in particular

August 13, 2014

"12 Insightful Quotes About Cars From Jay Leno"

You can't argue with this one:

When you work with your hands, you learn to appreciate how easy it is to earn money talking.

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