After a long day of watching race cars tear around Laguna Seca and shooting some amazing cars in the paddock, Nick and I headed back to Carmel as the customary Pacific fog began to roll in. Luckily, I got some pictures of this very well-kept Buick wagon which was making rounds over on Ocean Avenue in the early portion of the evening. The driver seemed to be happy just to have the car outside that evening. We stopped shooting cars as the lighting got worse, but luckily, this car arrived before that happened.
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This is a big moment for American auto industry, one that can mark a turning point toward success or a continued trend of let downs in the luxury market. Obviously the big comparison is with the BMW 3 series, and I have been very unimpressed with the comparisons done by large publications so far (favoritism and bias run rampant over objectivism and sense). So, I went out and drove the ATS and BMW 3 series back to back to see what I thought from the driver seat. I’m not going to string you along, I liked the Cadillac better, and I will explain why in the paragraphs that follow. Read the rest of this entry »
I have yet to meet an owner of a Mazdaspeed3 (MS3) who didn’t legitimately love their car. Something about the car seems to inspire people, they always have that “I know something you don’t” smirk on their face. Mazdas have always had a good sporting dynamic to them, but the enthusiasm that owners seem to have about this car goes beyond that. I have always known about the MS3, but somehow, while I’ve been out driving all sorts of fun cars over the years, it has eluded me. So recently, I decided it was time I take one out for a spin to see what these owners are so smug about. Read the rest of this entry »
The new Dart is the first car to market that is truly a joint effort between Fiat and Chrysler. The chassis and mechanicals come straight from the European Alfa Romeo Giulietta, while the exterior, interior, and Tigershark engines are all American. This is a critical product for Chrysler, one that will serve as a first impression for their alliance with Fiat, and the things to come. I went in to find out for myself if this new car marked a positive beginning for “Second Half America”, or a fumbled, Frankenstein-like creation from two companies caught in their own financial struggles. In many ways I felt a lot was riding on this drive when I stepped into this hot blue Dart. Read the rest of this entry »
My family and I had this Mercedes C180 Estate for two weeks during our recent trip to Germany. Here in America we have the Mercedes C class, but we do not have the wagon version nor the C180 model, so it was cool to try something a bit different. I have driven a few previous generation C classes over the years, however this was my first experience with the current generation, and this car was fitted with many of Mercedes’ newer gizmos and gadgets. So all in all this C180 offered many new things for me as an American driver, including driving in Germany for the first time. Read the rest of this entry »
Ten years ago if someone had told me that Hyundai would soon be making sports and luxury cars I would have laughed in their face. Hyundai was basically the poster child for offensively cheap cars that people would only buy because they couldn’t afford a Honda or Toyota. Over the next decade though, Hyundai would make one hell of an effort toward improvement, becoming one of the best real values on the market. I have been a huge fan of Hyundai in recent years, applauding their innovation and commitment to quality in their drive up market. The Genesis Coupe you see here is one of the cars that helped vastly step their game up, a fast sports car from a company with little racing history. It couldn’t possibly be that good, could it? Read the rest of this entry »
That is a silly title, I know, but it does beg the question as to why I would put those three specific cars together at all? The answer lies in how they all have a similar reason for their existence, to be a number. Each was meant to achieve some specific measure of performance that would define the car to the world. While all three have been successful in achieving their tangible goals they have all wound up becoming relics of a more regimented and boring existence. They all cater to an increasingly soulless and superficial world where people judge everything from a bunch of numbers on sheet of paper or a computer screen, and not so much from actual experiences. Read the rest of this entry »
Ferraris really are their own breed. There are other cars out there that may offer similar, or better, performance, but none can match the allure, the prestige, and the pedigree of a true prancing horse. Obviously most Ferraris are far too expensive for most people to afford, but there are a few that have dropped into the realm of possibility for those who cannot write off six figures for a car. This is the Ferrari 456, a member of the Gran Turismo lineage that stretches back to the legendary 250 GT. When it was introduced for the 1992 model year, the 456 was the first worthy Ferrari GT car since the 365 cars ended production in the 1970s. It was a breath of fresh air after the dreadful 400/412 line finally was put out of its misery after 15 years of production. Now they can be had for a reasonable price. Read the rest of this entry »
Porsche claims the top speed of their GT3 RS 4.0 is 193mph, but this owner posted a video of him cranking his 4.0 up to 331km/h (205mph) on the Autobahn. So there you have it, the greatest modern 911 to date will crack 200mph without the help of a turbocharger. Fantastic stuff.
Ah, Mercedes-Benz. Just the name brings up thoughts of expensive country clubs, upper-class attitudes, and feelings of being in the 1%. Their flagship sedan, the S-Class, has always been a leader in its market since the 1970s, and despite the high entry price, still sells itself better than the competition. The previous-generation W220 was the one that brought this fantastically flashy flagship into the 21st century, and now some of the most powerful ones (namely, those with some sort of forced induction) can be had for a fraction of their original value. For reasons that shall be discussed later, we’re going to focus on the S55 and S600, as the S65 is significantly harder to find even today. Read the rest of this entry »
I have never really been the Rolls Royce type as far as my outlook on both cars and life are concerned. I don’t like snooty, I’m better than you attitudes, and I don’t like relying on other people for getting around. Traditionally, Rolls Royces were the absolute embodiment stuck up, high society who were above having to drive themselves places. Maybe that is why I never really liked the Phantom, especially after I drove it. It is built more for the person riding in the back than for the person at the wheel, and to me that is all wrong. With the Rolls Ghost though, BMW has had more influence in the design, so the result is a car that is both knocked for sharing parts with lesser machines, but is also much better to drive. Read the rest of this entry »