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.

1911 Indy 500 winning Marmon Wasp

Sneak Peak Photos of Replicarz 1:18 Marmon Wasp

No secret, I’m an Indy 500 nut job. Love the cars, love the history, love all the wild crazy designs over the years. I also love die-cast models of historic Indy racers.

Marmon Wasp by Replicarz
The Wasp engine will be wired to match the original 1911 racer.

Don’t want to brag here, but I’ve got some sneak peak shots of the Replicarz 1:18 Marmon Wasp model that should be released in the next several months.The Wasp, with its distinctive yellow color and pointed tail (wonder how it got the “wasp” nickname?), was the only single-seat car in the inaugural 1911 Indianapolis 500. And Ray Harroun, a Marmon test driver and racer, won that rough and tumble first race for the Indianapolis-based car maker. Continue reading 1911 Indy 500 winning Marmon Wasp

2013 Scion FR-S

Spiffy sportster rekindles Toyota’s sport coupe tradition

Finally, a new sports coupe from Toyota, albeit offered through its entry-level youngster brand, Scion.

2013 Scion FR-SI’ve missed the Toyota Celica for years now, and I’m not alone, so with the 2013 Scion FR-S, Toyota again has a low-cost sports coupe that looks great and will provide much entertainment for those of us who prefer cars to look sporty and handle likewise. Plus this is a near identical cousin (if that were possible) to Subaru’s new BRZ. They both even have three letters as their name.

Toyota and Subaru worked together on this sports coupe, with really only the sheet metal reflecting their differing visions of what a cool coupe should look like. Both look pretty sexy and I can assure you even some Audi owners were gawking at the Scion, trying to guess its heritage. Continue reading 2013 Scion FR-S

Diecast: Indy 500 Roadsters (Bryan, Marshman)

Replicarz brings back historic Indy 500 models

One racer dominated the Indy Car scene on pavement and dirt during the 1950s. He was a three-time Indy Car champ and winner of the 1958 Indy 500. His name? Jimmy Bryan.

Replicarz Indy 500 laydown roadstrs
Replicarz brings back the Indy 500 laydown roadsters with Bobby Marshman’s 1961 rookie car (back) and Jimmy Bryan’s 1958 Indy winner.

By 1961 sadly Bryan was dead from an odd dirt track accident and there was a young group of hard chargers, including Bobby Marshman who made his mark by finishing seventh in the 1961 Indy 500, winning top rookie honors along with Parnelli Jones.Good news for Indy Car fans, Replicarz has created Bryan’s 1958 Indy winner and Marshman’s flamboyant orange and chrome 1961 Indy racer in 1:18 scale. These are both laydown roadsters, originally designed by George Salih, with his car winning the 1957 and ’58 Indy races. Continue reading Diecast: Indy 500 Roadsters (Bryan, Marshman)

2012 Hyundai Equus Signature

Full-size luxury has a new name – Equus – and plenty of ponies

Hyundai’s full-size Equus is a fine luxury car with one major drawback, the Hyundai name.

Unlike Honda and its Acura line or Toyota’s Lexus or Nissan’s Infiniti, Hyundai has chosen to simply offer its luxury liner as an extension of its standard line. Thus the Hyundai Equus Signature edition that I tested proudly wears its parent company’s name along with a $59,650 price tag. Continue reading 2012 Hyundai Equus Signature

2012 Nissan Murano SV AWD

Luxurious crossover, quiet comfortable family mover

A lot of time has passed since I last tested Nissan’s fine Murano crossover, yet it remains a solid, quiet, comfortable family mover.Nissan Murano exterior

While many folks buy this in front-drive form, Nissan says, I had the next to top level SL model with AWD. That means it goes for nearly $41 grand, which seems high, until you consider many other crossovers with luxury leanings.

The tested dark metallic blue Murano started at $38,000 and ended up $40,855 with mainly a navigation system upgrade adding to the price. If price is a concern, start shopping at the S level, which begins at $29,960 for front-drive and $31,560 for AWD. There are four trim levels, the top, LE, going for $40,560 with AWD. Continue reading 2012 Nissan Murano SV AWD

Diecast: CMC Ferrari 250 California

CMC’s Ferrari detail excels, including first working trunk latch

There are few, if any, models in the die-cast world as finely made as those produced by CMC. And while pricey, they are well worth the cost for serious, selective collectors.Ferrari 250 California convertible

Consider that the new 1:18 Ferrari 250 California is hand-assembled from 1,634 individual parts including wire-spoked wheels with aluminum rims, each spoke hand-mounted with a single nipple and each tire has a valve stem. Wiring and other under-hood detailing is exquisite and realistic looking, as is the car’s underside. No corners are cut here, thus the premium price tag. Continue reading Diecast: CMC Ferrari 250 California

2013 Acura ILX Premium

A handsome winner that slots below TSX

Acura created one of the finest entry-level sport sedans with its TSX a few years back, but now introduces another winner to slot in just under the TSX.2013 Acura ILX

For 2013 Acura rolls out the ever so slightly smaller ILX to fill the entry slot as TSX has crept up to a $31,010 base price. The new ILX wedges in at a more approachable $25,900, yet is only about 6 inches shorter overall and rides on just a 1.4-inch shorter wheelbase. In reality, this is the size that cars like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Mazda 626 used to occupy before the Japanese car makers grew them to fit U.S. mid-market appetites. Continue reading 2013 Acura ILX Premium