If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is what was the first car I ever drove, and what my lousy teen-years Bondo beater was like, and how my parents and my spinster aunt with the cat glasses were set up for daily drivers, and all that Holden Caulfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. Kidding. But really, my kid, who you’ve probably seen on this website before, has already made my signature car, a 1979 FIAT Spider, the big star of one story of his. I’m in there between the lines. (Welcome to Jalopnik Father’s Day, where we are celebrating the wonderful dads of the Jalopnik staff. This is a story from Clayton Collins, dad of Jalopnik Reviews Editor Andrew Collins.) And I got a cameo just this week in his Jeep Rubicon review. That ride-along was like an early Father’s Day gift. I hear that one’s been popular, so somebody tell Andrew he needs to … [Read more...] about Drive With Your Kid
Good morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know. 1st Gear: This Will DEFINITELY Work Major automakers are still reeling from the sudden realization they’ve collectively succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome, after they buddied up with President Donald Trump to alter fuel economy standards set by his predecessor. Since Trump went waaaay further than the automakers could’ve ever conceived, the industry’s lobbyists who vied for the changes in the first place are begging—goddamn pleading—with Trump to, please, pump the brakes. “Climate change is real,” they helplessly bellowed in a letter this week to the White House, according to Bloomberg: Automakers urged the White House to cooperate with California officials in a coming rewrite of vehicle efficiency standards, saying “climate change is real.” The plea came in a … [Read more...] about ‘Climate Change Is Real’, Automakers Declare To Trump
CLEVELAND - The computer in the spotter car shouted "Hide!" and repo agent Derek Lewis knew that meant to keep driving like nothing happened. He'd just found another wanted vehicle. He was about to ruin someone's day. Best not to draw attention.It helped that he wasn't in a tow truck, the stereotypical image of a repo man. Lewis drove a beat-up Ford Crown Victoria sedan. It had four small cameras mounted on the trunk and a laptop bolted to the dash. The high-speed cameras captured every passing license plate. The computer contained a growing list of hundreds of thousands of vehicles with seriously late loans. The system could spot a repossession in an instant. Even better, it could keep tabs on a car long before the loan went bad.Now, Lewis had a live hit in a parking lot. He glanced at his laptop. The plate matched a blue 2006 BMW 325xi. He twisted in his seat. "It's right there," he said.Technology has made the repo man ruthlessly efficient, allowing this familiar angel of financial … [Read more...] about Riding with the repo man: as auto loan defaults rise, car repossessions skyrocket
A phone that could only have been lost through the intervention of some kind of malevolent, omnipotent force leads us to today’s question. We’re not concerned with missing cellular devices, of course, no matter how much this author now loathes O’Hare airport — no, there’s a good chance many of you have had the same thing occur with a prized, or perhaps not so prized vehicle. Which of you have known the pain of seeing your vehicle on the side of a milk carton? We’ll broaden this question to include all types of disappearances. Anything that inspired sweat beads and heart palpitations, regardless of how long or short the duration, applies. Perhaps your vehicle was spirited away by slim jim-wielding thieves or, if the car in question was a 1980s FWD Chrysler, screwdriver-wielding thieves. Maybe you parked in the wrong spot and ended up searching the impound lot in a dishevelled state, or perhaps the repo man finally caught up to you. As we saw on … [Read more...] about QOTD: Missing in Action?
History is truly the discipline of keeping an accurate record of events and stories. Muscle car people are often history buffs. Some revel in racing history, some are fascinated with factory assembly processes, some obsess over owner history, and some delight in digging up new information. Dean Klein is the quintessential history buff/muscle car aficionado. His historical penchant often drives him to uncover lesser-known stories of 1960s and 1970s muscle cars. Dean is making sure that no one forgets the Bill Thomas Race Cars story.In the early 1960s, Bill Thomas rose to prominence via his involvement as a research and development specialist with General Motors’ racing program. He designed and built the Cheetah as GM’s response to the Shelby Cobra. He worked with Chevrolet in the development of various powertrain and chassis combinations for Stock and Super Stock racers. He was also contracted by Chevrolet in late 1966 to perform big-block conversions on the West Coast for … [Read more...] about Early History of Bill Thomas 427 Big-Block Conversions for Nickey Chevrolet Lives in This 1967 Camaro