Friday
May152015

2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E – Safe Swede with Mojo

By Ted Orme 

What’s the first thing you think of with Volvo? Safety, of course. In fact, the company’s stated goal is to eliminate driving-related fatalities by the end of the decade. So it’s no surprise that the 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E with Platinum package I recently tested is packed with a complete suite of advanced safety technology – collision and pedestrian/cyclist warning, adaptive cruise control, distance warning, automatic brakes, lane keeping, blind spot warning, cross traffic alert, etc, etc.

 But the big surprise is under the hood. There operates one of the sweetest mass-produced four-cylinder engines I have ever driven. The new cutting-edge 2.0-liter T6 Drive-E engine features turbocharging and supercharging that produce 302 horsepower at 5,700 rpm, and 295 lb-ft of torque at 1,800-5,500 rpm.

 As Volvo explains, “Using the supercharger to fill in the bottom end gives the engine a big, naturally aspirated feel. The mechanically linked compressor starts to function immediately at low revs, while the turbocharger kicks in when the airflow builds up.” In other words, boost whenever you need it.

 

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Thursday
May142015

1964 Ford Falcon Sprint Convertible

By Vern Parker

In the late 1950s all three of the major American automakers decided the time had come for a smaller than full sized car to be offered. Chrysler's offering was the Plymouth Valiant while General Motors introduced the air cooled, rear-engine Corvair. Ford produced the Falcon which came in many different forms.

Ford motor vehicles have appealed to Tom Andrews ever since he acquired his first one in Youngstown, Ohio, a 1966 Fairlane model. He drove that first Ford five years before moving on.

In 2011 Andrews was living in Indian Harbor Beach on the east coast of Florida. It was there that he learned of a 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible coupe that was for sale further south in Florida.

 

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Thursday
May072015

1973 Land Rover

By Vern Parker

Rough and tough, go anywhere Land Rovers have been prominently featured in countless motion picture films where the action took place where no other vehicle could go.

Such was also true in real life military actions.

During the 1970s and 1980s there was not much demand in metropolitan Washington, D.C. for a vehicle that knew no bounds. However, that fact did not deter Marty Miller from acquiring a slightly used 1973 Model 88 Land Rover. It was blue with a white top.

At that time he practiced his salesmanship and convinced his bride, Elaine, to go camping in the Land Rover. It was a short lived event. Their family soon outgrew the cozy vehicle and it was sold but the memory of it lingered on.

The year 2014 was almost history when Miller saw for sale on eBay a 1973 Land Rover Model 88 virtually identical to his first one except this one was red with a white top.

 

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Wednesday
Apr292015

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan SE Can’t Match My Mazda CX-5

By Ted Orme

Well, I’m back in the saddle after taking some time off from opining on new cars to put some miles on my own new car, a 2015 Mazda CX-5. As luck would have it, the first new test car on a renewed schedule was a direct competitor to the CX-5, the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan SE. So I’ll start this string of reviews with a comparo.

Even though its apples to apples – both are four-cylinder compact crossovers that compete in a hot selling and growing segment, it should be noted that the CX-5 has been a favorite of auto scribes since its introduction in 2013. The Tiguan, on the other hand, has been around since 2009 and is in its last year before a second generation Tiguan debuts as a significantly updated and improved 2016 model.

Still, the current Tiguan represents the Teutonic version preferred by some. I test drove a mid-trim SE with Appearance 4Motion, which sweetens the base model S and SE with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; silver roof rails; extra chrome trim; front fog- and cornering lights; keyless access with push-button start; a huge panoramic, power sunroof, and all-wheel drive. Total MSRP, including $865 destination charge, rings in at $34,100.

Right away, Tiguan has a “value” problem. My comparably equipped (but no sunroof) mid-trim CX-5 Touring AWD stickered at $27,420, and I got a better deal than that thanks to friends in high places. Going upscale, the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD with better electronics and navigation can boost the price into the low-$30s. But the similarly equipped Tiguan SEL AWD and top  R-Line AWD model can bump the sticker price to the upper $30’s, and can top $40K. Now you’re into Audi SUV territory.

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Thursday
Apr232015

1967 Volkswagen Bus

By Vern Parker

Robert Storck says that for as long as his wife Misty can remember she has been intrigued by the size and shape of the early Microbus Volkswagens and she hasn't been reluctant about sharing her opinions of the bus with him.

Volkswagen manufactured a wide variety of bus models all based on the same basic platform As he delved into the background of the buses Storck soon found himself acquiring an attraction to them equal to that of his wife.

Next came the search for a solid rust-free VW which led to many disappointments as most of the one for sale were halfway rusted away or were worn out.. Eventually Storck saw an advertisement offering for sale a 1967 VW Westfalia camper located in Bluffton, S.C.

Other than photographs of the vehicle and t

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