Category archives: Driven

Driven (briefly): Larry drives NSX, duo of diesels

(Editor’s note: Our staff recently did a series of brief drives — either around 30 miles on pavement or on a short but challenging off-road course — in several cars during the media day at the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle awards program held in the Phoenix area. Here are Larry Edsall’s impressions of three of the cars he drove during that program.) Continue reading

Driven again: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has seat heaters to keep you warm with the top down | Larry Edsall photos
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has seat heaters to keep you warm with the top down | Larry Edsall photos

This was my second experience with the newest-generation Mazda Miata, the 2016 MX-5 Grand Touring version. Earlier this year, I drove one from Phoenix to Las Vegas and back, exploring the spectacular scenery along the Lake Mead National Recreation Area’s Northshore Drive and within the Valley of Fire State Park.

This time, I borrowed another Miata for a week amid Michigan’s autumn leaves. October is the month I miss most since moving from Michigan to Phoenix. October in Michigan is full of sunny days, crispy cool nights and awesome colors. Continue reading

Driven: 1932 Graham Blue Streak, while exploring Nicola Bulgari’s uncommon love for the common car

A drive in his 1932 Graham Blue Streak provides some insights into Nicola Bulgar's love for American cars | Nick Kurczewski photos
A drive in his 1932 Graham Blue Streak provides some insights into Nicola Bulgar’s love for American cars | Nick Kurczewski photos

What do fish scales, ladies’ stockings, and Borax soap have to do with classic cars? For the obsessively restored vehicles at the N.B. Center for American Automotive Heritage in Allentown, Pennsylvania, they’re all just part of doing the job right. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Genesis G80

2017 Genesis G80 is one of two models that are part of Hyundai's new stand-alone luxury lineup | Larry Edsall photos
2017 Genesis G80 is one of two models that are part of Hyundai’s new stand-alone luxury lineup | Larry Edsall photos

Once simply the most luxurious of Hyundai cars, Genesis has become its own brand. For the 2017 model year, the “luxurious Genesis G90 flagship” and the “mid-luxury Genesis G80” come with the “Genesis Experience,” which Hyundai says includes an industry-best warranty with three years of 36,000 miles of:

Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT

The Outlander Sport was redesigned for 2016 | Mitsubishi photos
The Outlander Sport was redesigned for 2016 | Mitsubishi photos

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a good little SUV. Not a great one, mind you, but for someone who wants a stylish compact wagon that’s a bit different from the run of the mill, the Outlander Sport is not a bad way to go.

Outlander Sport is the smaller SUV of two Outlander models. It competes with utes such as the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. Recently restyled, the Outlander Sport has a sharply modern look that sets it apart in this hot portion of the new-car market. Continue reading

Driven: 2015 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Nissan Maxima has been upgraded with more-dramatic styling, larger interior and improved driving dynamics | Bob Golfen photo
Nissan Maxima has been upgraded with more-dramatic styling, larger interior and improved driving dynamics | Bob Golfen photo

The winding, tree-lined roads in and around Monterey and Pebble Beach, California, are like a carnival ride for people who want to hunker down and drive. Indeed, the legendary road race near Pebble Beach Lodge started in the same year as the famed Concours d’Elegance that marked its 66th anniversary this year.

I was driving those same roads recently as I helped cover the Monterey Car Week car shows and auctions for ClassicCars.com. The 2016 Maxima loaned to me by Nissan seemed at first like an unlikely craft for such fun duty, being a fairly large sedan loaded up with luxury features, but the Japanese automaker’s promise of a “4-door sports car” turned out to be not so far off the mark. Continue reading

Driven: Charging the Hill in a 1973 Alfa Romeo Berlina.

Typical Alfa body roll -- stable but neutral handling up the hill | Photo by ronaldnelson.zenfolio.com
Typical Alfa body roll — but stable and neutral handling up the hill | Photo by ronaldnelson.zenfolio.com

To the unfamiliar, the state of Wisconsin is shaped like the palm of your right hand. Look at the tip of your thumb. That’s Door County, our destination for the Ephraim Hillclimb and Concours held each September. And this month we’re seeing the hill from behind the wheel of a mid-‘70s European sporting sedan.

Taking inspiration from our own Nicole James’ article on the new Alfa Romeo 4C, I thought a story on the “Old 4C” — Alfa’s venerable all-aluminum twin-cam, Hemi-headed inline four two-liter engine — would be appropriate. In this case, the vessel for that iconic motor is not the stylish GTV, but it’s four door famiglia-car cousin, the Berlina. Continue reading

Driven: 2015 Vintage Kart Co. Mini Racer

Vintage Kart of Mesa, Arizona, produces its Mini Racer in kit or turnkey form | Larry Edsall photos
Vintage Kart of Mesa, Arizona, produces its Mini Racer in kit or turnkey form | Larry Edsall photos

A cyclecar got its name from the fact that it was part motorcycle and part car. Like an early-era motorcycle, a cyclecar had a small, air-cooled engine and rode on skinny, cycle-style wheels and tires. Like an early-era motorcar, it had four wheels and the driver — and sometimes even a tandem-seated passenger — sat within bodywork and used a steering wheel and pedals to stop, to go and to turn. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

20160818_120914
2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider on Laureles Grade | Nicole James photos

Just as I thought my recent time at Montery Car Week couldn’t get any better, I found myself bombing up and down the Laureles Grade, a 10-mile stretch of mountain road near Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, sitting in a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, Italian sports car weighing less than 2,500 pounds.

Continue reading

Driven (at last to the drive-in theater): 1960 Cadillac Eldorado

We parked the Caddy next to the drive-in theater's own pink-and-blue VW Beetle | Larry Edsall photos
We parked the Caddy next to the drive-in theater’s own pink-and-blue VW Beetle | Larry Edsall photos

The plan seemed simple enough: Let’s take old cars to the drive-in movie some night, just like back in the day when the cars were new. Little did we know that it would take three years to get there.

But last week, on Wednesday night, we did, indeed, drive from Traverse City, Michigan, about 25 miles down the Honor Highway to watch a movie from the seats of a couple of classic cars at the Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre: Northern Michigan’s Only Drive-In Theater. Continue reading