Friday
Apr182014

2014 Lexus IS350 AWD Sedan – A Good Fit

A good car is kind of like a good suit. You just feel right in it. It consistently satisfies and makes you happy every time you put it on. The all-new 2014 Lexus IS350 AWD sedan is such a car.

Aside from a bold new look, which I will comment on later, my delight with the IS350 started in the driver’s seat. It is the most comfortable I have experienced since a late 80’s Peugeot 505 sent me to a junk yard in an unsuccessful search for a 505 front bucket I could convert to a desk chair. But that’s where the similarity ends with the 505.

The IS cabin is all high tech modern with top quality materials exquisitely fitted and well designed. There’s plenty of power to cruise effortlessly or play road games with paddle shifters while loading extra G forces on an improved and more rigid chassis and well balanced suspension. And with the wheelbase extended 2.7 inches and overall length up by 3.4 inches, there’s extra legroom front and back. For my average frame, it’s just the right fit.

 

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Monday
Apr142014

1960 Mack B-61T

By Vern Parker

Although this handsome new B-61T Mack was sold to the Marietta Transport Company in Atlanta, Georgia on August 26, 1960 the current owner, Harry Scott, didn't own it until he purchased it in 2006.

Scott wasn't looking for a Mack that evening as he scrolled on his computer through the list of vehicles for sale on Ebay. That is when he stumbled across this Mack. The seller was only 25 miles away.

Following a telephone conversation it wasn't long before the transaction was consummated and the truck was at a new home. Scott had bought the Mack without hearing the Thermodyne 672-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine run. He was confident, however, because it had recently been rebuilt and the odometer had been reset to zero miles.

 

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Wednesday
Apr022014

2014 Mazda3i 4-Door Grand Touring 2.0L Manual: New Class Leader

By Ted Orme

Hot on the heels of the 2014 Kia Forte LX I recently reviewed came one of its primary competitors, the all-new 2014 Mazda3i 4-door Grand Touring. I was eager to see how they matched up, and how Mazda had improved the 3 over last year’s model that I rented on a Western vacation.

I can’t really declare a winner here because the matchup wasn’t even Steven. Engine size, power and efficiency were comparable, but the Mazda3i in Grand Touring trim had about $5 grand more in standard equipment and options and a 6-speed manual transmission that added more sport than the Forte’s automatic.  What I can do is sympathize with folks shopping for an excellent compact sedan because there are so many great choices out there.

The third generation Mazda 3, now totally divorced from Ford, has made a quantum leap in styling, comfort, performance and efficiency, for which it has received glowing praise from the auto press. It has been dubbed the gold standard of the compact class for those who really like to drive.

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Wednesday
Apr022014

1968 Plymouth GTX

By Vern Parker

In 1928 Walter P. Chrysler, the CEO of the Chrysler Corporation, introduced the Plymouth line of vehicles to compete with other low-priced cars including Ford and Chevrolet.

After 40 years some economical Plymouth models were still available as direct competition to Ford and Chevrolet. However, the muscle car era had arrived and muscular models were being offered by virtually every automaker including Plymouth.

One of those powerful Plymouths was a GTX model that had been specifically ordered equipped to the customers wishes. The customer evidently wanted a no frills muscle car that could get off the line very quickly.

 

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Monday
Mar312014

1988 Lincoln Town Car

By Vern Parker

Life was good for Heather York in 2002. She had recently graduated from college, married and had two young children.

Then one day as she was driving home in her mid-sized car she was struck from behind by another car and pushed into the vehicle in front of her. When the dust settled the only part of her car left undamaged was the area surrounding the driver's seat.

When she began shopping for a replacement car for her daily commute to work she found cars that had a lot of protective iron around the passenger compartment to be appealing.

Since she would not be driving a great distance fuel economy was not as important to her as was safety.

She discovered a 14-year-old, low-mileage Lincoln Town Car, in relatively good condition, that the owner thought needed a new transmission. “It's huge,” York recalls thinking at the time.

In the autumn of 2002 she bought the 18-foot, 3-inch-long Lincoln for $1,000 and took it to a mechanic who made some minor adjustments to the automatic transmission which was all that was required to return the car to good health.

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