Pink DeSoto Firedome will light up a display case …
Pink was a hot color in the 1950s. Think Florida, think flamingos, think the Latin influence of Cuba and Desi and Lucy. Two-tone cars also were all the rage as the nation climbed out of the gloomy war years into the bustling 1950s.
So, a two-tone pink and metallic rosy dark pink 1956 DeSoto Firedome 4-door Seville seems to perfectly reflect the mid-1950s’ look and feel in the automotive world. To that end, NEO has cranked out a beautifully finished and detailed 1/43 model of the DeSoto, aglitter with chrome trim. Continue reading Diecast: NEO’s 1956 DeSoto Firedome
Hyundai’s Santa Fe should be on your test drive list …
If you’re in the market for a compact crossover there’d better be a good reason you haven’t test driven a Hyundai Santa Fe yet. You’d be crazy not to.
The 5-passenger Santa Fe, formerly the Santa Fe Sport, practically sets the bar for this crossover segment for everything perhaps except handling. Mazda’s CX-5 excels there. Continue reading 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T FWD
New G70 luxury sport sedan
delivers kick-butt performance, value …
Hyundai cranks up the heat on Japanese and European luxury sport sedan makers with its new “entry level” Genesis G70. It’s long on performance and luxury, but modestly short on price.
OK, the tested pearly “Casablanca White” AWD 3.3T model equipped with Prestige and Elite packages, logs in at $50,995. A bit beyond many pocketbooks, but compare that with BMW’s 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz’s C Class, Audi’s A4 or a Lexus IS and you’ll think you’ve stumbled on a bargain that will allow you to leave some additional coin in your 401(k). Continue reading 2019 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Prestige
Brumm’s latest among its greatest 1/43 releases …
Italy’s Brumm excels at making sharp-looking vintage racers in 1/43 scale at an affordable price.
These are fine collectables because they come handsomely packaged, easily stackable, and nicely detailed, often for less than $45. Last issue we told you of the 50th Anniversary release of a slightly weathered Porsche 917K in that price range.
Now Brumm delivers two 1950s Formula 1 racers, a Mercedes and Ferrari driven by world champs Alberto Ascari and Juan Manual Fangio. Unique to these releases is the figure of Ascari at the wheel of his 1953 Ferrari 500F2. Continue reading Die-cast: Brumm Mercedes W196 and Ferrari 500F2
Optima Turbo is comfy, fast, high-value sport sedan for families …
If you prefer driving a car rather than a truck or crossover and have been searching for the perfect sport sedan that will fit your budget, yet carry five folks comfortably, look no further.
Kia’s Optima SX Turbo wants to be your playmate. It’s standing next to other makers’ sedans, jumping up and down and yelling, “Pick me, pick me.” And you should. Continue reading 2019 Kia Optima SX Turbo
The Judge was Pontiac’s ultimate torque master …
By 1970 the muscle car craze had reached its peak and the Big 3 were mining niches in the muscle car vain with special models to maximize revenue These niche muscle machines were aimed directly at the most extreme torque-loving buyers.
Into this world came Pontiac’s 1970 GTO Judge for the 1970 model year offering a choice of two 400-cid V8s ready to grind the tires off this performance-based Pontiac. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO 1970 Pontiac GTO, The Judge
Mazda CX-5 delivers looks, power and sports sedan handling …
Mazda may have dumped its zoom-zoom tagline, but the Japanese car maker hasn’t eliminated it from its vehicles, witness the CX-5 compact crossover.
While most car makers are happy to offer decent power, meh handling and a useful interior, Mazda doubles down on excellent power, sports sedan handling and ride, plus AWD, luxury interior and an exterior that garners attention. Continue reading 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD
Volvo V60 brings style to station wagons …
Something strange happened as I was testing Volvo’s new wagon, the V60. People waved and gave me an approving thumbs up. A young man yelled to me at the gas station, “awesome car.”
I remind you, this was a wagon. Is it possible we’ve started to tire of minivans and look-alike crossovers? One can hope. One also may hope that more car makers decide to give their cars enough style to make us look, and linger a moment. Continue reading 2019 Volvo V60 T6 AWD Inscription
New 1/43 Indy Winner a colorful replica of Ruttman’s racer …
If you’re an Indy 500 nut like me you’ll recognize Troy Ruttman’s name, otherwise he might be a mystery, or vague memory to you.
There’s a reason for that. Ruttman won the 1952 Indianapolis 500, but never won another IndyCar race during his long career. He raced from 1948 to 1964. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1952 Indy 500 Winner, Agajanian Special
Well-rounded Honda Pilot a stellar SUV …
Not that long ago Honda’s Pilot was a boxy ol’ thing that frankly was as stylish as a shoe box jacked up on 20-inch wheels.
But like its chief rival, Toyota, Honda seems to have suddenly gotten the word that blah styling doesn’t help you stand out in a crowded market. Brilliant! Continue reading 2019 Honda Pilot AWD Elite
Gladiator is more than just a Wrangler with a bed
That would have been the easy thing for Jeep to do, just slap a pickup bed on the back of a Wrangler Unlimited and it would have been out years ago. But that’s not the way, thankfully, they decided to move. While the two Jeeps look the same, there is a lot new on the Gladiator. Its frame is an additional 31 inches longer while the wheelbase is 19.4 inches longer. The longer wheelbase and the bed’s positioning center aft of the rear axle centerline enables for better weight distribution and a more comfortable and composed ride when carrying cargo.
Continue reading First Drive: Jeep Gladiator
Altima’s engine main difference from Maxima …
Outside of engines there’s not much difference between Nissan’s Maxima, tested a few weeks back, and the latest version of Nissan’s Altima.
The sedans are nearly identical in size now, the Altima actually having a longer wheelbase than Maxima, which used to be the larger of the two. Overall length is just a hair from identical and weight is similar too. Continue reading 2019 Nissan Altima Edition One
Tacoma TRD Pro the ultimate Bro Truck …
A 20-something friend assures me Toyota’s Tacoma TRD Pro is a Bro Truck, or what us older guys would have called a boy toy. I know that has other connotations, but you get my drift.
This Voodoo Blue TRD model, complete with 4-wheel-drive and in double cab layout is aimed directly at young guys with some coin in their pocket and a need to prove their manhood. It’s menacing looking, but shiny enough to get other folks attention. And that TRD, which stands for Toyota Racing Development, indicates it’s a mean dude that will kick butt off-road. One assumes that machismo also rubs off on its owner. Continue reading 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4WD Double Cab
Practical RAV4 muscles up its exterior …
There’s no denying that Toyota has done well with its RAV4, one of the first small SUV/crossovers on the market, and it continues to be among the most popular in its segment.
For 2019 Toyota restyles the RAV4 to give it a more chiseled nose that easily calls to mind Jeep styling, plus is a throwback to its own boxy FJ Cruisers of years past. From the outside the new RAV looks fabulous, exuding more personality than ever before.
The RAV is practical too in that it historically holds its value and lasts an eternity. Continue reading 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure AWD
AMC Eagle wagon beat crossover trend by decades …
History seems to show us that the innovators, the forward thinkers are not always rewarded with success.
Consider the move over the past 25 years to AWD vehicles and crossovers in particular. Then consider the American Motors Eagle wagon. It was an early crossover to be sure, based on the Concord sedan, but with AWD, a higher ride height and enough room in back for loads of luggage. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1981 AMC Eagle wagon