All posts by Mark Savage

Mark Savage is a writer and editor. He has written a car review column, Savage on Wheels, for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 1989 and was a business news reporter there for 16 years. He also is the editor of American Snowmobiler magazine and has written about diecast cars and slot cars for various hobby magazines. He also is an avid Indy 500 fan, attending races since 1962.

Diecast: NEO’s 1956 DeSoto Firedome

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

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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T FWD

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

2019 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Prestige

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

Die-cast: Brumm Mercedes W196 and Ferrari 500F2

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

2019 Kia Optima SX Turbo

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

Die-cast: NEO 1970 Pontiac GTO, The Judge

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

2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD

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