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.
Dario Franchitti’s Indy winner a nice model at a moderate price
Greenlight Collectibles’ 1:18 casting of the 2010 Indianapolis 500 race winner’s bright red Target Chip Ganassi racer is a great display model, if Indy cars are your thing.
IndyCar racing has regained much of its popularity the last few years as a new star has emerged, Dario Franchitti. The Scotsman with an Italian name is well spoken, friendly and married to movie actress Ashley Judd. He’s a marketing bonanza. Continue reading Die-cast car: Greenlight 2010 Indy winner→
The Ferrari F430 is a champ on the track and a popular racer in the American LeMans and FIA GT championship series, and also has raced at the 24 Hours of LeMans. Plus who the heck doesn’t like a Ferrari?
So it’s natural enough that noted Italian die-cast car model maker BBR has jumped into the slot car world with an F430.
In the real world the F430 goes for upward of $225,000 in the U.S. market and its 4.3-liter V-8 cranks out an a stout 483 horses with a top speed of nearly 197 mph. No wonder these are racers.
With Hummer gone, Jeep is our resident Alpha male off-road vehicle and truth be told, it has been for 70+ years. Hummer was the upstart.
While Wrangler is Jeep’s real Type A personality, it’s more sophisticated brother, the Grand Cherokee is no shy guy. Take the Limited model for example.
Standard with a 290-horse Pentastar V6, our silver test model upped the ante with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with variable valve timing and Fuel Saver Technology aimed at eeking out an extra mpg while still giving the Jeep major grunt. Continue reading 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee→
Hyundai is trying something few carmakers have of late, offer a small entry-level car with nice styling.
No, the Accent isn’t as swoopy as the Sonata or even the Elantra, which is sandwiched between Accent and Sonata. But its lines are crisp and give the small car some flair. I drove a sparkling “marathon blue” 4-door GLS for the week and found it a great value. Here’s why.
First, it doesn’t cost you much to get into an Accent. Base price on the 4-door is $12,545 and for that you get the same 1.6-liter fuel-efficient direct-injected 4-cylinder all aluminum engine as all Accents. It delivers 138 horsepower, which is best in class, so there’s plenty of power for a light, 2,463-lb. car. Continue reading 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS→
The world needs another compact sport-utility vehicle like it needs a few more politicians, but Mazda definitely needed a new compact SUV.
It’s Tribute, which was based off Ford’s Escape, was aging and barely selling. Its CX-7 and CX-9 are larger and frankly, more expensive.
So the 2013 (already) CX-5 comes along at just the right time, for Mazda. The fact that it’s attractive, abandoning the giant gaping mouth nose styling that Mazda has fancied of late, will likely make it popular too, that and its performance. The good mojo starts with better than average gas mileage and extends to a pleasant ride, above average handling and a stylish interior. Continue reading 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD→
Let’s get this right up front, I like the looks, ride and handling of the restyled 2012 Subaru Impreza.
The small sedan’s chiseled nose and flattened wheel flares give it a much more exciting appearance than its predecessor. But the variable speed 5-speed transmission is a stumbling block. The continuously variable transmission (CVT), like so many others, makes the car’s acceleration less than stellar, plus combines with the engine to create a whine and groan that make the car sound like it’s working awfully hard to get up to normal driving speeds. Continue reading 2012 Subaru Impreza→
The Honda CR-V has been a solid compact sport-utility vehicle for years, so it should be no surprise that the restyled 2012 model remains simply that.
Naturally some changes were made. CR-V adds a few more horses (5 to be exact) under the hood, but it also rounds its styling to the point of being rather bulbous in back, and its length and height shrink a bit while the cargo space grows by 1.5 cubic feet. Pricing has continued to inch upward too. The base LX model with 2-wheel drive now starts at $22,295 and there’s a monster $810 delivery fee to get it shipped from Ohio. Lucky it doesn’t come from overseas. Continue reading 2012 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L Nav→
Lola racing cars continue to be some of the most successful racers in the world, but in the 1960s and ’70s Lola chassis were popping up in every series – and winning!
Noted Ford GT and Formula 1 car designer Eric Broadley was instrumental in the Lola T-70 sports car design. This was a semi-monocoque racer made of light steel and alloys with a Fiberglas and reinforced plaster body featuring the soft sweeping curves that made racers of that era so visually exciting. Continue reading Slot cars: Scalextric Can-Am Lolas rock→
Mechanically cars weren’t fancy in 1954. But some were drop-dead gorgeous, like the then new Corvette. This was Chevrolet’s early foray into the burgeoning sports car market. GIs returning from Europe after WW II had fallen in love with two-seat sports cars they saw overseas, mostly in England. By the 1950s they were starting to earn the income to buy such cars and Chevy was among the first to jump into the segment. Continue reading Diecast cars: Autoart ’54 Vette→
Ford’s GT40 is a legend that won the 24 Hours of LeMans four straight years, from 1966 through 1969. But there wasn’t just one GT40 design in that stretch.
The pre-1966 Mk I was probably the most beautiful, but the Mk II was the model that got Ford into the fabled LeMans’ victory lane, with Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon handling the driving.
Scalextric, which earlier created beautiful versions of the Mk I also offers the 1966 version of the Mk II, which features larger air scoops just behind the doors, plus two long scoops just behind the rear window edges on the rear deck, and one mid-deck. Continue reading Slot cars: Scalextric Ford GT40→