2019 RAM 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4×4

RAM redefines the growing posh pickup market …2019 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab

Imagine the poshest luxury sedan interior, then imagine it in a pickup, and not just any pickup, but a big ol’ crew cab pickup.

The 2019 RAM, made by Fiat Chrysler and formerly known as a Dodge Ram, is a luxury pickup along the lines of a Cadillac or Lexus luxury sedan. It’s the fanciest pickup I’ve ever driven, and I’ve driven quite a few. Continue reading 2019 RAM 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4×4

Die-cast: Brumm 1970 Le Mans Porsche 917K

Brumm racing models are a super value …Brumm Porsche 917K

Picture a blue and orange Gulf liveried racer and you’ll likely conjure up either a Ford GT40 or Porsche 917.

Both were iconic racers in the late 1960s and early ’70s and now Porsche is fast approaching its 50th anniversary of the 917’s win at Le Mans. Porsche’s first overall win at the famous French racetrack occurred during the summer of 1970. Continue reading Die-cast: Brumm 1970 Le Mans Porsche 917K

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta R-Line

VW Jetta offers high value, driving fun … 2019 VW Jetta

With all the trucks, SUVs and crossovers crowding showrooms these days it’s refreshing to come across a sporty sedan like Volkswagen’s Jetta, that also represents high value.

Jetta was restyled for 2019 and mostly that’s all good news. First, it continues the lean European look that VW has mastered over the past decade, second, the starting price is phenomenal, and third, the tested R-Line model (intended to be a bit racier), is an absolute blast to drive. Continue reading 2019 Volkswagen Jetta R-Line

Die-cast: Replicarz 1974 Shadow Can-Am racer

Black Shadow proved dominant in final Can-Am season … Replicarz 1974 Shadow Can-Am racer

Can-Am racing in the late 1960s and early 1970s was breathtaking, and each season seemed to produce a dominant car with massive engines and power. What’s not to like, right?

McLarens dominated the early years with their Kiwi Orange bodies, the M1B, M6A, and M8A. Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme were frequently the men to beat.  But by 1970 other teams were starting to challenge McLaren, the likes of Lola, Chaparral and Shadow. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1974 Shadow Can-Am racer

So long newspaper life, but wait, there’s more!

A few of my earliest Milwaukee Sentinel columns. Ignore that sketch of the young punk reviewer!

The times, and location of car columns, is a changin’ ….

There comes a time to say goodbye to parts of our lives.

Since 1984 my byline has appeared in the Milwaukee Sentinel, and later the Journal Sentinel, first on feature stories, then business stories and since at least 1989 on a car review column, Savage on wheels. On Jan. 21 my last column appeared in the Sunday Cars section.

We had a lot of fun in those early Sentinel years. Just for grins I tested a military version of the Hummer during the Gulf War, drove the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, tested a watercraft on Lac La Belle, a Duck at the Wisconsin Dells, and drove a one-horse open sleigh at Old World Wisconsin. I even got to fulfill a childhood dream by taking a 3-day Skip Barber racing class at Road America, and while the Andretti clan didn’t have anything to worry about, I had a blast, and got faster each day.

By my estimate I’ve driven more than 1,500 cars and trucks for my reviews, although never a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Yet I did get to drive a Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Lotus, along with numerous Jaguars, Audis, Mercedes, Lexus, and Jeeps, even off road. Heck, some brands I tested in that stretch are long gone — Plymouth, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, Scion, Suzuki. Looks like brands starting with P and S are doomed!

Don’t ask which car was my favorite, I can’t pick just one.

I left the paper 18+ years ago for a magazine career at Kalmbach Media and there was no reason the Journal Sentinel had to let me keep writing the column. But the editors did, and I’m eternally grateful.

So this is just an online thank you note to everyone who has supported me at the newspaper, and all my faithful readers for 30+ years who have been critiquing (mentally and via email) my reviews, my annual Zoomie awards, and stories from the Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee auto shows. It was a great ride. Thanks so much.

But wait, there’s more … While bidding goodbye to my newspaper home of 35 years, this is not goodbye for Savage on wheels. There’s still my website, AND, some good news will be coming shortly from another trusted Milwaukee media outlet that plans to carry my weekly car and truck reviews. So stay tuned!

 

2019 Nissan Rogue SV AWD

Rogue feels refined, oozes value, and now it’s orange …2019 Nissan Rogue SV AWD

Barely a year had passed since I tested Nissan’s revamped Rogue, one of the best-selling small crossovers on the market, and particularly popular in the Milwaukee area.

This is Nissan’s No. 1 seller and it’s obvious why. It looks refined, drives fine and is economical. As I said previously, what Rogue doesn’t do is stand out in any major way. However, the test vehicle was a bright Monarch Orange, a metallic burnt orange that did stand out, at least in the parking lot’s sea of gray, white and black vehicles. Continue reading 2019 Nissan Rogue SV AWD

2019 Subaru Forester Limited

New Forester offers better ride, power, value …2019 Subaru Forester Limited

Full disclosure, a few years ago our family owned the previous generation Subaru Forester. It was light and lively, but its ride was a bit stiff for us Boomers.

Subaru’s 2019 Forester solves that, plus moves Subaru into the automotive mainstream by offering a heated steering wheel. Bingo! Continue reading 2019 Subaru Forester Limited

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