Category archives: Features

Driven: 2017 Kia Niro

2017 Kia Niro is a compact hybrid crossover | Larry Edsall photos
2017 Kia Niro is a compact hybrid crossover | Larry Edsall photos

O.K., so the television commercials featuring Melissa McCarthy saving the whales, the ice cap, the rhinos, and hugging the trees are hilariously entertaining, and the background music — Bonnie Tyler’s I Need a Hero — adds a dramatic pulse to the production.

And I know that Kia spells the name of its new hybrid crossover Niro, not Nero, but it sure sounds like it rhymes not only with Tyler’s Hero lyric but is pronounced just like the name of the last-in-his-line emperor who had his own mother executed and who supposedly fiddled while Rome burned? Continue reading

Were these the five best cars in The Twilight Zone?

Image courtesy imdb.com
Image courtesy imdb.com

According to the Historic Vehicle Association, May 11 is National Twilight Zone Day. To get you ready for the big celebration, the HVA has selected its five favorite cars featured in Rod Serling’s “sometimes creepy and always mind-bending” science-fiction television series, which aired from 1959 to 1964 and still can be found in syndication.

Here they are, with text from imcdb.org, a website devoted to vehicles seen in movies and on television: Continue reading

Rewind: 1978 Toyota Corolla


(Editor’s note: Vintage television commercials can be as classic as the cars they promoted back in the day. This is one in an ongoing series of such vintage car commercials we’ve found on YouTube.)

In an effort to give people their “money’s worth,” Toyota launched a series of commercials promoting the 1978 Toyota Corolla. The ad encourages consumers to “buy it” if they find a better built, lower cost car than a Toyota.

Continue reading

After 50 years (but only 8,500 miles), a hero’s Corvette is going to auction

First father, then son have meticulously maintained this car since new | Mecum Auctions photos by David Newhardt
First father, then son have meticulously maintained this car since new | Mecum Auctions photos by David Newhardt

Like many who were drafted into military service and sent to fight in Vietnam, and who were fortunate enough to come home, Keith Richard Litavsky returned and bought the car of his dreams, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette: Marina Blue with Bright Blue interior, and a 427-cubic-inch, 435-horsepower V8 linked to an M21 four-speed manual transmission.

Fifty years later, the car has been driven only 8,533 miles, a figure that may tick up slightly as it is driven across the block at Dana Mecum’s Original Spring Classic auction, May 16-21 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Continue reading

Mayday! What’s the scariest car you’ve driven? Here’s mine

Geo Metro LSi convertible was a sub-compact that didn't instill confidence in its driver | GM file photo
Geo Metro LSi convertible was a sub-compact that didn’t instill confidence in its driver | GM file photos

The question was posted recently on Petrolicious’ Facebook page: “What is the Scariest Car You’ve Ever Driven?”

As you might expect, people responding listed cars including the Porsche Turbo, Dodge Viper GTS, Ferrari F430, Shelby 427 Cobra, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, and the list kept going with such high-performance memories. Continue reading

More than parts, NPD has 200+ classics in its collection

Remember these slick Indy Pace Car Mustangs?  This one has only traveled 56 miles since new | Jim McCraw photos
Remember these slick Indy Pace Car Mustangs? This one has only traveled 56 miles since new | Jim McCraw photos

With 207 cars and trucks already in place, and more on the way, the NPD Collection in Ocala, Florida, must be among the largest private classic car collections on Earth.

Put together by the father and son team of Jim and Rick Schmidt, the collection traces its roots back to Jim’s basement in Cleveland in 1976. The company he started there, National Parts Depot, is one of the world’s premier producers of reproduction parts for classic American cars and trucks, a company that started making parts for the 1955-57 classic Ford Thunderbirds, branched out from there to Mustangs, and now covers just about every American classic car make and model you can think of. Continue reading

Cars fit in nicely at vintage & handmade marketplace

For the first time, vintage and classic cars were invited to join vendors at Front Porch Pickins market | Larry Edsall photos
For the first time, vintage and classic cars were invited to join vendors at Front Porch Pickins market | Larry Edsall photos

Since 2013, Desiree Byrne’s Phoenix-based Front Porch Pickins and Street Market LLC has been staging periodic weekend vintage and handmade markets. The most recent, held in Tumbleweed Park in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, Arizona, included — for the first time — a vintage and classic car show.

“Everything vintage is what Front Porch Pickins is about,” Byrne’s mother, Lori Cooper, explained in the breaks she got between checking in the arriving cars. “So classic cars go hand-in-hand with the theme,” she said. Continue reading

The Petersen salutes the All-American Racer, Dan Gurney

At Bonneville in 1950, Ted Bear (far left), engine-builder Raymond Torres, driver Dan Gurney and '29 Ford roadster-owner Skip Hudson
At Bonneville in 1950, Ted Bear (far left), engine-builder Raymond Torres, driver Dan Gurney (waving) and ’29 Ford roadster-owner Skip Hudson

Daniel Sexton Gurney’s father retired from a career in the aural glories of opera and moved his family to the wind-pushed murmurs of the citrus-covered foothills of Riverside, California. Tall, slender, handsome Dan was immediately became known as the prototypical California kid — and would be for the next 60 years (and counting). Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1950 Chrysler Town & Country

5770056-1950-chrysler-town-country-std copy
1950 Chrysler Town & Country

Built during a time when styling drove the industry, the Pick of the Day, a 1950 Chrysler Town & Country, comes adorned with decorative wood paneling. Despite the elegance reflected with the styling and its ties to an affluent community in Road Island, I can’t help but think of surf, sun and sand.

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Driven: 2017 Lincoln MKZ

Lincoln MKZ has been redesigned for the 2017 model year | Larry Edsall photos
Lincoln MKZ has been redesigned for the 2017 model year | Larry Edsall photos

You’ve just spent $53,405 on a luxurious sedan. You proudly drive it home and park it in your driveway. Except in the case of a 2017 Lincoln MKZ like the one I’ve been driving this week, you back it into the driveway, and back it as closely as possible to your garage door. Continue reading