Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1957 Vanwall Special

Britain’s Vanwall was dominant F1 racer, briefly …Replicarz 1957 Vanwall Special

Vanwall, the name alone sounds intriguing when attached to a green monopasto racer that somewhat resembles a racing cigar. Vanwall is the team name for one of Britain’s first Formula One race teams, the first to win the F1 Constructor’s Championship, in the first year it was offered, 1958. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1957 Vanwall Special

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD LT Crew

Isn’t this really the best-selling pickup? …2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Here’s an argument you won’t hear often: General Motors makes the best-selling pickup in North America.

No, that’s been Ford’s mantra for nearly 40 years now, but only because Ford sells all its pickups via a single brand, Ford, while General Motors sells its pickup as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Combined, the GM pickups rule. Continue reading 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD LT Crew

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1940 & ’41 Indy 500 Maseratis

Latest 1/43 scale Maserati racers are a colorful duo … Replicarz Maserati

The late 1930s and early 1940s saw race cars developing quickly into what we would consider modern racers and Wilbur Shaw and his Boyle Special, a Maserati 8CTF, led the way at the Indianapolis 500, but others followed quickly.

In 1939 Shaw won the 500 in his Maserati with its 365-horsepower 3.0-liter straight-8 supercharged engine, and to put an exclamation point on it, repeated the win in 1940 and darned near did it again in 1941, the last 500 before WWII. But it didn’t take his competitors long to figure out Italy’s horsey Maserati grand prix cars with their lightweight aluminum bodies could conquer Indy. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1940 & ’41 Indy 500 Maseratis

2019 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription

XC90 keeps boxy, safe  family haulers tradition alive …2019 Volvo XC90

Give Volvo credit for staying true to its roots all these years. It remains the maker of boxy family hauling machines that are long on safety. Too bad for Volvo that the rest of the automotive world has caught onto the safety gig.

Well, actually the rest of the automotive world is increasingly intent on building big boxy vehicles too, call it the SUV-ing of America, and I suspect, eventually, the rest of the world. Continue reading 2019 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription

2018 Lexus LS 500 AWD

Lexus LS500 impressive and loaded … 2018 Lexus LS 500 AWD

OMG, the Lexus LS 500 is one of the most impressive luxury sedans I’ve ever driven. That’s high praise, but this car is worthy.

Starting at $79,215, including delivery, one would expect nothing less than superfine, but loaded with 11 options and packages this goes all the way to stellar. Think competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

Also think big bank loan, cash in the 401k and hope great-aunt Harriet hasn’t forgotten you in her will. Continue reading 2018 Lexus LS 500 AWD

2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate

 Hyundai Veloster a semi-hot hatch, and affordable … 2019 Hyundai Veloster

Fewer and fewer sporty coupes are available for drivers who enjoy driving, and there are fewer yet that are both snazzy looking and affordable.

Hyundai’s revamped Veloster is a good one though and meets all of the above requirements. Continue reading 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate

2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Avalon Hybrid  put premium on quiet, comfy and mpg … 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Comfort, beauty, interior quiet, and room coupled with great gas mileage arrives in the form of Toyota’s new Avalon Hybrid sedan.

Gone are the days where funky looking hatchbacks reminiscent of Woody Allen’s pod in Sleeper are the only vehicles available as hybrids. For the 2019 model year Toyota relaunches its full-size sedan, the Avalon, in hybrid mode. The result is noteworthy. Continue reading 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

2018 Lexus LC 500h

Beauty goes to the bone with Lexus LC 500h …lex2a

Beauty should be more than skin deep when a car crosses the $100 grand threshold and beauty goes clear to the bone with the Lexus LC 500h. This is the hybrid version of the luxury car maker’s grand tourer (GT).

I’d tested the V8 powered 2+2 screamer during the summer and was wowed by its looks, power, handling and interior design and comfort. All the good stuff remains. In fact, not much is different in this hybrid version, save the hybrid system itself and the fact it’s mated to a 3.5-liter V6. Continue reading 2018 Lexus LC 500h

2018 Chrysler 300S

Chrysler 300S defines modern American iron … 

2018 Chrysler 300S
Photo by Robby DeGraff

Looking for the modern definition of American iron?

Search no further than Chrysler’s 300 full-size luxury sedan. It is handsome, strong-jawed American iron with an attitude and the horsepower to kick the you-know-what out of any other large sedan, and that’s just in its basic trim. Continue reading 2018 Chrysler 300S

Wrangler/Corvette Mashup

He wanted to build what?

jeep wrangler, chevy corvetteThe Jeep Wrangler and Chevy Corvette couldn’t be farther apart in automotive categories yet Chris DeSpears from Milwaukee had the idea to bring them together in a really fun build.

He picked up a 2003 Z06 C5  Vette a couple of years ago as a donor car that somebody had wacked and was originally looking for a Factory 5 wide body Shelby Cobra kit to mate it with only to find out that they are no longer made so he went to his Plan B. Continue reading Wrangler/Corvette Mashup

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn

VW Golf GTI is one rockin’ little hatchback …2018 VW Golf GTI

Nimble handling, turbo power and sporty ride are nearly forgotten in the auto world now that SUVs and crossovers rule the roads.

But Volkswagen has a long memory and it mastered handling years ago. With turbochargers added to VW’s economical 4-cylinder engines it now has power licked too.

Add to that a good ride, affordable pricing and good gas mileage and what you’re defining is VW’s Golf GTI. I drove its upscale Autobahn edition, and even that lists at a reasonable $35,965, including delivery. Continue reading 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn

2018 Hyundai Kona SEL

Hyundai’s new Kona a cute value-minded crossover … 2018 Hyundai Kona

Kona’s cute, it’s inexpensive, it drives great, and like all vehicles that folks want to buy these days, it’s a crossover.

Frankly, it had me at cute, but the rest is like frosting on a gluten-free homemade cupcake. Continue reading 2018 Hyundai Kona SEL

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

Corolla Hatch a practical sharp looker … 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Back in the day I owned a Toyota Corolla, but then again, nearly everyone did at the time. The Corolla was to the 1980s what the Chevy Nova was to the 1970s, namely an inexpensive reliable car.

While much has changed in the ensuing 35 or so years, the Corolla remains its steady self, still offering high value to another generation of first-time car buyers. However, while a modest sedan still leads the Corolla lineup, a new hatchback has just been launched as a 2019 model, replacing the Corolla iM, a former Scion hatchback. Continue reading 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

2019 Subaru Ascent Touring

Subaru’s new Ascent  nails 7-passenger crossover market … 2019 Subaru Ascent

Subaru took a couple years off from the minivan/larger crossover market in an effort to get it right. The strategy worked, its new 2019 Ascent nails it.

Rarely does a vehicle deliver fully what it promises and at a reasonable price. Ascent offers room for seven or eight passengers, a comfortable and useful interior, good power and handling, plus Subaru’s noted all-wheel-drive. Pricing starts at $32,970. Yes, you read that right. Continue reading 2019 Subaru Ascent Touring

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