Thursday
Jan042018

2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD: A Fine Blend for Fun and Family

By Ted Orme

If you read my recent Street Dreams review of the 2017 Mazda CX-5 you know I’m a big fan of a brand I own. In fact, it wouldn’t be all that unfair to say, “That guy is in the bag for Mazda.” So here I go again, being as fair as I can, with another gushing review of the latest great Mazda: the 2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD.

Like the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE AWD I recently reviewed, the CX-9 is a three-row midsize crossover SUV with the same pinched third row and cargo capacity shortcomings, which I countered by leaving the third row seat folded down in both models. But the difference in these two competitors boils down to one thing: the CX-9 is more fun to drive – a trait that endears Mazda to its loyal following across the line.

 

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Wednesday
Dec272017

1940 Mercury Convertible Sedan

By Vern Parker

Ford Motor Company no longer produces Mercurys, however, one of the first ones continues rolling on after close to 80 years.

This tale involves Clem Clement and the 1940 Mercury Convertible Sedan that he bought twice.  In the spring of 1956 the car was parked on a side street in Hoboken, New Jersey.  "It was worn out, abused and tired," he says.  The top had been replaced with a painter's canvas.

With youthful logic the unemployed student with no money thought buying the car was a great idea.

He left a note with a monetary offer on the windshield, not expecting a response.  A fortnight had passed when the call came informing Clement that he was the new owner of the 1940 Mercury.

 

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Thursday
Nov302017

2017 Toyota Highlander SE AWD: A van for all seasons

By Ted Orme

The classic cars filling this site are seldom used as everyday drivers. For that most of us exercise our more pragmatic side. You know, a vehicle that always starts and runs us through our daily routines without drama and in all kinds of weather.

I’ve got one for you: the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE AWD, a worthy combination of comfort, versatility and drivability. Classified as a three-row crossover “family vehicle,” a condemning nomenclature for “enthusiasts,” the Highlander is what I would call a do-it-all van for all seasons.

I’ve got to add a qualifier up front, however. Although enlarged somewhat in 2014, the midsize Highlander is still smaller than most of its three-row competition. The third row in the Highlander is a pinch that should only hold small people or kids. And storage behind the third row is a meager 14 cubic feet, just enough for a few grocery bags. But with the seats stowed cargo volume grows to 83.7 cubic feet – plenty big enough for all kinds of stuff.

So the easy solution for me was to forget about the third row until pressed into service. I much prefer the smaller size and more nimble handling of the Highlander as opposed to big maladroit three-seaters that are hard to maneuver or park in cities. I could be very happy with a four or five-seat Highlander (two captain’s chairs in the second row of the SE and higher trims and a three- person bench seat in other models).

 

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Saturday
Nov112017

1981 Chrysler Cordoba

By Vern Parker

Ryland Tedeton's attraction to cars manufactured by Chrysler was nurtured by his father who favored Chrysler vehicles.

Over the years Tedeton has had his fair share of Chrysler products.  However, he is always alert for attractive, low mileage antique Chryslers for sale

About a decade ago he was looking through a publication devoted to the sale of antique cars when he spotted an ad for a 1981 Chrysler Cordoba.

After telephoning the owner he learned the original owner of the car had been the owner's neighbor.  Upon the death of the first owner the car had spent several years in a garage  before being sold to the neighbor who now was offering it for sale.

 

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Saturday
Nov112017

2018 Volvo XC60: Dropping the Hammer on the Competition

By: Brian Armstead

With such a wide array of Crossover and Sport Utility Vehicles now on the market, wily auto manufacturers are in a pitched battle to infuse their ‘Utes with the latest comfort, convenience and safety technology.

Volvo is no different.  Once on the brink of extinction, the renowned Swedish brand was purchased by Chinese auto giant Geely, which wisely pumped cash into Volvo to resuscitate it, while allowing Volvo to do what it does best -- build superb cars with tons of luxury and safety.  The result has been a string of hits for Volvo, including the XC90, S90, V90 Cross Country and the 2018 XC60.

Let’s start outside with the all-new XC60 where surprisingly, Volvo’s are now known for sensuous, sleek styling.  Up front, “Thor’s Hammer” Daytime Running Lamps with LED technology are a “smashing” styling hit. Loosely based on the shape of Thor’s Hammer from Norse mythology, these lights make quite a statement that carries into the side styling.  Along the sides, the profile sports a high character line that accentuates the height of the XC60.  Deeply sculpted concave lower door panels angle down toward symmetrical, convex rocker panels.  Add an upper hatch lip spoiler and gorgeous, optional 20” diamond-cut alloy wheels, and the XC60 is a bonafide head turner.  At the rear, high mounted taillights and dual rifled tailpipes round out another impressive design from Volvo.  Remember folks, Volvo was formerly known for safety and boring styling.  Still a safety icon, Volvo’s new styling themes are super impressive.

 

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