Today’s QOTD is a bit of fun … if you’re willing to tell the truth about your age, that is. The question is simple: what’s the best-looking car from the year you were born? I’m a relatively young pup, although a quick survey of the TTAC masthead reveals I am squarely in the older half of our group. As the calendar year 1980 marks the beginning of my trips around the sun, I’ll focus my efforts there. The BMW 6 Series was then, as now, one of the greatest-looking coupes money could buy. Shark-nosed and sleek, this quad-eyed bullet was a scalpel for the road. This measure was not a stretch given 1980 was certainly in the depths of what is now known as the Malaise Era, but the straight-six produced near-as-makes-no-difference 200 horsepower and was hooked to a Getrag manual. The mighty M6 wouldn’t appear for another couple of years. Your author has always been partial to big coupes, laying down his own money on a 1989 Lincoln Mark VII fifteen years … [Read more...] about QOTD: The Best Car, the Best Year?
Today is the start of a series of related Question of the Day posts. Each Wednesday QOTD for the next few weeks will be dedicated to selecting vehicles for a different section of an ideal Special Crapwagon Garage you’ll be compiling. Up for Part I in the series are hatchback and liftback vehicles. Start your brains. The reason we’re focusing on building a crapwagon garage is simple: It’s what we always end up talking about in the comments. An article on a new truck gets us chatting old trucks. And a new Golf has us chatting about the quality item which was the MkIV Golf. Right now I hear you asking, “But Corey, what makes for a crapwagon? What does that mean?” Glad you asked; there are rules. A crapwagon must be a vehicle which is relatively easy to find and purchase using an internet. All vehicles in the crapwagon garage must have been sold as new, in the North American market. Said vehicles must be obtainable to the casual crapwagon collector … [Read more...] about QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part I: The Hatchbacks)
We had a 1970s movie-car QOTD last week, and that was so much fun we’re doing it again! So, here we go: in the beginning of Smokey and the Bandit, when Big Enos challenges The Bandit to fetch 400 cases of that Colorado Kool-Aid, a wad of cash of unspecified thickness gets handed over for expenses, including a “speedy car.” As we all know, The Bandit headed straight to the nearest Pontiac showroom and bought himself a brand-new 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. In the film, that car seemed to be the fastest imaginable motor vehicle (thanks to the magic of engine swaps, stunt drivers, and special effects). In reality, however, the ’77 Trans Am was kind of a bloated Malaise Era slug, and The Bandit probably had a lot of better escape-the-smokeys car choices available. So, in his shoes and with a ’77 Trans Am-sized stack of C-notes, what car would you have bought for that run to Texarkana and back? Now, the list price of a 1977 Firebird Trans Am was $5,456, but … [Read more...] about QOTD: You’re the Bandit. Do You Buy a Trans Am or Something Else?
In last Wednesday’s Question of the Day post, we asked you to build the perfect manufacturer lineup. As you responded and built your hodgepodge lists of desirable present day cars from various manufacturers, capitalist and commenter Dal20402 had something else on his mind: profitability. Propulsion, platforms, and product planning are on the agenda today. What combination is the most profitable? The basis of all vehicles is, of course, the platform residing underneath all the pretty (or ugly, if it’s a Toyota) metal. Companies like Volkswagen have perfected the art of the modular platform, which is easily scalable up or down depending on the required usage. How many platforms does a full-line manufacturer need these days? With platforms established, thoughts turn to the metal rectangle under the hood; whether that means battery or engine is up to you. In this age of EVs, small displacements and turbocharging, how many different types of propulsion do you need? Or … [Read more...] about QOTD: What’s the Optimal Manufacturing Mix for Profitability?
Yesterday, Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500 in a snazzy new Chevy. For this race season, GM has selected the Camaro ZL1 nameplate to represent the brand in NASCAR.Of course, it’s been ages since any stock car bore more than a passing resemblance to its showroom counterpart. After all, rear-drive V8 Toyota Camry sedans are in notably short supply at my local dealer. The scourge of stage racing and a dwindling fan base are topics best left to another day.This brings us to our QOTD for today – does a manufacturer’s investment into racing have any bearing on your buying decisions?The production Camaro ZL1 is a superb beast, cranking 650 horses out of its supercharged V8. Two-door, rear-drive, and with a trunkload of bad-ass, it cuts the proper figure for NASCAR in this author’s opinion. I may have been excited last year upon learning Chevy was bringing the Camaro name to Cup-level NASCAR, only to weep upon viewing the number selected for its blue flanks. … [Read more...] about QOTD: Win on Sunday, Sell on What Day?
In my QOTD post two weeks ago, I asked you to share the story of the most unreliable vehicle you’d ever owned. Most of you were quick to point out that I should’ve turned that into several different Questions of the Day, so you could specify different types of unreliable vehicles. The sheer number of comments (over 240 of them) showed me that the B&B love to share a bad story.I see no reason not to return to form this week, and ask you about your worst childhood automotive memory. Mine involved a GMC Safari — in a situation which was nowhere near as decadent as above.Tossing this question idea to the TTAC staff on the Slack channel last week triggered immediate memories: Seats in the way-back, hot vinyl on legs, or perhaps an experience with a third-degree burn from a solid metal seat belt buckle. Mostly, I realized through this quick survey that my worst story wasn’t that bad. Anyway, it sticks in my mind so you’re gonna hear about it.The … [Read more...] about QOTD: What’s Your Worst Childhood Automotive Memory?
Today’s an easy one: what, in your opinion, is the best car movie ever made?We’ll even let you choose your own yardstick. Your selection can be a film that’s totally based in the car genre or it could simply have a phenomenal car chase at some point during its running time. Maybe it’s a unique take on the industry, or some sort of documentary based on real life events.You know I’m going to toss Days of Thunder out there for consideration, if for nothing else than the beach scene where the two lads lay waste to a couple of rental cars. I remember watching this flick as a 10-year old, sitting on the hood of dad’s old Chevy Blazer at B&L Drive-In Theatre in Boyd’s Cove, Newfoundland. Being an impressionable young boy, it’s arguable my infatuation with cars was cemented in that gravel parking lot.More recently, the documentary A Faster Horse provided the world with what I think is one of the best conversations about managing a team ever … [Read more...] about QOTD: What’s the Best Car Movie (or Auto Industry Flick) You’ve Ever Seen?
Back in December, Matthew Guy penned an interesting QOTD post soliciting your picks for the most outrageous new car introduction. In the case of the new-for-1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Bob Lutz drove Chrysler’s new (and important) SUV up a set of stairs at Cobo Hall and through a plate glass window. History revealed the hype to be justified: the Grand Cherokee became an instant success, finding its way into suburban middle-class driveways across America.Sometimes, though, the new product doesn’t live up to the manufacturer’s hype before introduction. Let’s talk disappointment.Hold on, that’s not the disappointing bit — it’s the thing that created the subsequent disappointment years later. As your heart rate settles back down, let me explain. Honda wanted to bring a new sporty car to the market for 2011.The idea behind said new vehicle was very promising, and very simple. Honda wanted to resurrect the ever-desirable CR-X (1984-1991) … [Read more...] about QOTD: Which Cars Failed to Meet the OEM’s Hype?
It’s NAIAS week in Detroit, signaling a parade of press conferences and more shrimp than what’s found in all the North Atlantic. While buzzwords this year are “mobility” and “disruption,” the Detroit Three still found time to show us new versions of machines in my favorite segment, the full-sized pickup truck market.Chevy showed off a new Silverado with an octet of trims, Ram dropped its new non-Freightliner pickup, and Ford promised an oil burner for the F-150.Now we’ve seen them all, here’s my question to you: if forced to choose one, what would you select?And, no, you can’t say “none of the above.” This is not a first-year civics course at community college. Nor can you jump on the Nissan or Toyota bandwagon. Those two trucks are capable contenders but they’re not the focus of today’s QOTD.Jeez. I think that’s the first time in my five-and-a-half years of writing here I’ve ever deployed my Dad … [Read more...] about QOTD: Is This Truck For You?
Have you driven a Ford, lately? I haven’t — but Ford has nonetheless been on my mind. Last week, my QOTD inquired about the upcoming Bronco, and whether Ford would mess up the established Bronco formula. The majority of you seem to think they will. That same day, we ran a post about the cancellation of a Fusion redesign.And that’s left me with even more Ford questions, and fears about future Fusion fates. Let’s discuss.The program in question was called CD542N and its goal was the creation of the next Fusion, supposedly hitting lots in 2020. We’ve heard some recent murmurs (unsupported by Ford) that Fusion production would move from Mexico to China — the coffin nails seem to be piling up. At stake are the Fusion, its international variant (known as Mondeo), and Lincoln’s MKZ. The Fusion and MKZ aren’t spring chickens, having entered their sixth model year in 2018. The Mondeo variants (sedan, liftback, wagon) are a year younger, … [Read more...] about QOTD: Can You Crystal Ball Future Ford Fusion Fortunes?