John's Journal: John McElroy's multimedia blog about the automotive industry

Archive for the ‘Journal Rewind’ Category

Driving Down Under

April 24th, 2008 at 6:21pm

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Australia is known for its strict driving laws. They have almost zero tolerance for drunk driving and they’ve been quick to embrace advanced technologies to help enforce the rules of the road. Here’s a little background information on the driving laws in Australia should you ever find yourself behind-the-wheel in the Commonwealth.

Modern-Day Muscle

April 21st, 2008 at 5:00pm

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When most people think of horsepower they think of muscle cars – burly, rear-wheel-drive Detroit iron with chest-thumping V8s and enough power to turn tires into plumes of smoke. But kids today are creating a performance genre that’s all their own. They’ve pioneered what’s called the “sport compact” car. They’re small, typically imported vehicles that come with four-cylinder engines. Their owners modify them to create serious power and head-turning looks.

Car-in-a-Box

April 14th, 2008 at 5:25pm

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Surely you’ve heard of kit cars. From knockoffs of the legendary AC Cobra to Ferrari replicas built on Pontiac Fiero chassis, interested buyers can find replicas of countless different vehicles. Part of the appeal of kit cars is that owners get to assemble the vehicles themselves. But kit cars don’t always have to be copies of existing models. Here’s a look at one of the tiniest cars that’s ever been sold as a kit.

Buying vs. Leasing

March 26th, 2008 at 2:18pm

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Are the doors rusting off your favorite hatchback? Does your trusty old pickup burn more oil than it does gas? If so, you’ve probably thought about treating yourself to a new set of wheels. The only problem is there are so many different vehicles to choose from on today’s new car market, picking the one that’s right for you can be difficult at best. But choosing the right car is only half the battle. The other half is deciding whether to buy or lease. Each option has its plusses and minuses; which one is right for you?

Now You’re Cooking With Gas!

March 13th, 2008 at 9:00am

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There are countless ways to cook a good meal. You can barbecue, grill, sauté, braise, blanch, bake, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, steam and even boil. But here’s an unusual method you’ve probably never tried. It’s called manifold cooking, and you don’t do it in the kitchen, instead, on the open road. With manifold cooking there are no dirty dishes to clean up and the only appliance you need is your car.

Art in Motion

February 13th, 2008 at 12:41pm

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Car culture ranges from sport compact “tuners” on one end of the spectrum to carefully restored antiques on the other. But one type of car that’s unlike any other is called an art car. Make no mistake, they’re basically regular old autos, but with a twist. Their owners have turned them into rolling sculpture. In fact, the car beneath the art doesn’t really matter since it’s only meant to be a vehicle for artistic expression (yes, pun intended).

The folks that create art cars are truly an eccentric bunch. I can’t think of anyone else that would glue dozens of action figures (or bits or broken floor tile) to their vehicle, for no particular reason. But through this unusual form of expression comes a truly unique genre of art.