Are autonomous cars a bad idea or am I just afraid of change?

As I write this, I'm basking in the glow of a trip down the left lane of I-95. I did a lot of things wrong. I drove too fast, I wove in and out of lanes, I didn't always leave safe following distance, but I'm in a really great mood. A self-driving car would have done a better job, but I would have had a lot less fun. » 1/15/15 5:10pm 1/15/15 5:10pm

Why do so many of us drive boring cars?

Not all of us can afford a Huayra. Not all of us can afford a 911. Not all of us could afford even a Fiesta ST. But most of us could put down the capital for an 1100 dollar Merkur. So why don't we? » 12/16/14 6:02pm 12/16/14 6:02pm

American Icons: The Chrysler Minivan

It's a boring Sunday afternoon, and you've drunk all the beer. There are no sports games on, your friends are busy, and it seems like there's nothing left to do but tune into your local PBS station. Or you go there first, you adventurous bastard you. They're showing a documentary about the turn of the century, and you… » 5/28/14 11:29am 5/28/14 11:29am

Why I'm in Love with a Toyota Corolla

With a hollow cough, the four inline cylinders turn over. The cabin fills with the halfheartedly dampened sound of 126 anemic horses humming. I release the lumpy plastic key fob and settle into the drab cloth seats. I'm searching for comfort, but deep down I know that no amount of fiddling will bring the seat to a… » 1/29/14 9:44pm 1/29/14 9:44pm

I too would like to jump in in defense of the Maryland State Trooper cars. I personally find the design quite striking, because it is not a standard white-and-stripes paint job, it is easy to distinguish on the road from city and county police, and it has a certain intimidating panache about it. It looks like nothing… » 1/21/14 11:41am 1/21/14 11:41am

Paging Jason Torchinsky: Suzuki Cab Forward Truck for Sale in California

The cabover. There's just something about that weird, intensely practical utilitarian design that stirs the Jalop soul. No nonsense, no frills, just a few passenger butts seated directly above a tiny engine, in this case, 1000cc of tiny engine. The cabover, or cab forward, or front control, or goofy hoodless truck… » 1/11/14 11:34pm 1/11/14 11:34pm

I might have to dispute the Toyota Matrix, though I know you're probably tired of seeing people disagree with you. Hear me out. My family has owned a 2003 Toyota Matrix since new, with 170k miles on the clock. It has taught two teenage boys how to drive stickshift, it has handled a daily commute, and it has swallowed… » 8/17/13 7:26pm 8/17/13 7:26pm

On the Origin of Automotive Taste: Wagon Lust and Nostalgia

The Plymouth Voyager. A 1995 model. Three rows of seats, a 3-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, and an inline-four churning out a nice, round 100 horsepower. The lower end member of the trifecta of Chrysler minivans, the Voyager was never intended to turn heads. Unexciting and forgettable by design, with no… » 6/04/13 12:52pm 6/04/13 12:52pm

I am absolutely with you on the First-gen Matrix. Having learned to drive in one (stickshift, no less) and still tooling around in it, I can say it may not be the most exciting car, but it's fantastic transportation and incredibly useful. You can fit more in there than in a lot of SUVs if you try. We've hauled lumber,… » 4/21/13 5:28pm 4/21/13 5:28pm