Category archives: Features

Driven: 2017 Dodge Durango R/T

Hemi-powered 2017 Dodge Durango R/T has stealthy, street-fighter look in its monotone color | Larry Edsall photo
Hemi-powered 2017 Dodge Durango R/T has stealthy, street-fighter look in its monotone color | Larry Edsall photo

The look of the 2017 Dodge Durango R/T is stealthily sinister, especially in monotone Granite Metallic exterior paint and riding on matching wheels — 20-inch machine-cast aluminum wheels done in a low-gloss Granite Crystal finish.

Not only do the wheels match the body color, but they have an open 10-spoke design that showcases the nearly 14-inch diameter vented disc brakes up front, with only slightly smaller 13s in the rear. Continue reading

Rick’s picks at Mecum’s 30th annual Spring Classic

Just a few of the 1,400 or so cars available this week at Mecum's Indy auction | Rick Carey photos
Just a few of the 1,400 or so cars available this week at Mecum’s Indy auction | Rick Carey photos

In the 12-decade history of the automobile, 3 decades is but a quarter. Even in collector car auction history, it is not even half. Still, by any reasonable or relative benchmark, the three-decade history of Mecum Auctions’ Spring Classic is worth considering. Continue reading

Klairmont Kollection: Chicago’s hidden gem

Klairmont Kollection features 300 cars in its Chicago 'museum' | Photos by Larry Nutson
Klairmont Kollection features 300 cars in its Chicago ‘museum’ | Photos by Larry Nutson

Love affairs develop in various ways. Like many loves, a love affair with the automobile can start with an interest and grow to a passion.

Illinois native Larry Klairmont’s interest in cars was already evident as a 5-year-old with a fondness for hood ornaments. Following Wold War II, Klairmont founded Imperial Dry Cleaners and it grew to become of the nation’s largest dry cleaning chains. While running his business, Klairmont began buying a car here and a car there. Continue reading

Greystone Mansion presents the Hollywood of concours

This youngster is enthusiastic about Ferraris displayed at the Greystone concours d'elegance | Photos by Howard Koby
This youngster is enthusiastic about Ferraris displayed at the Greystone concours d’elegance | Photos by Howard Koby

An 18-acre slab of real estate called the Greystone Mansion estate is the epitome of Beverly Hills opulence and elegance and is tucked away in the lushly landscaped hills of the “rich and famous” with a magnificent panoramic view of the city of Los Angeles. Built by Ned Doheny, heir to one of the country’s great oil empires, the estate was the location last weekendfor the 8th annual Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 2015 Lamborghini Huracan

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2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 620-2 2 Super Trofeo factory race car

Since I began writing predominantly about classic cars, I’ve lost some of my interest in newer models. Each year, the advancements in technology are cool, but I’ve become more interested in the stories behind each vintage car that add to its provenance.

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Rewind: 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner

(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.)

The Plymouth Roadrunner was adorned with logos and badges featuring the Roadrunner cartoon character, and in 1969 Plymouth aired a commercial depicting the iconic character and Wiley Coyote endless efforts to catch the bird.

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Driven: 2017 Genesis G90

The G90 is the flagship of Hyundai's luxury Genesis lineup | Larry Edsall photos
The G90 is the flagship of Hyundai’s luxury Genesis lineup | Larry Edsall photos

Once upon a time, Hyundai’s public relations department bragged about the fact that the company’s compact economy sedan, I recall it as the Elanta but it may have been the Excel, was the most-stolen car in America. What the PR team didn’t point out was that the car was being stolen not because thieves wanted to drive it, but because it had a quality radio that was extremely easy to pop out and sell on the black market.

Not long thereafter, Hyundai invited a group of American automotive writers to visit South Korea, where the next-generation Sonata was going into production. Continue reading

Delightful delivery: BMW Performance Center

Andy Reid and his Z3 during their homecoming visit to BMW's South Carolina facilities | BMW photo
Andy Reid and his Z3 during their homecoming visit to BMW’s South Carolina facilities

Buying a new BMW is always a pretty special experience. To some it is a chance to move up to the next level of BMW performance cars and to others it is the realization of a dream come true.

There are many ways to buy your first, or perhaps it’s your next new BMW vehicle. You can go to the dealer and buy the one in stock that you like most. If you have a bit more money and time you can opt for a European delivery, order your car and turn it into a vacation at the same time.

There is also a third option that falls somewhere in between. Continue reading

Tour Auto 2017: Rapid transit across the French countryside

a 1956 Panhard Monopole leads the way during this segment of the 2017 Tour Auto in France | Dirk de Jager photos
A 1956 Panhard Monopole leads the way during this segment of the 2017 Tour Auto in France | Dirk de Jager photos

Don’t be fooled by the name of the Tour Auto. This is not a mere retrospective tour for the faint of heart. Usually, classic sports car rallies are designed to enjoy the scenery, to absorb the nostalgia of travel through the old cities, and even have coffee breaks built into their schedules.

But in its 26th running, Tour Auto keeps to the spirit of the original Tour de France, a cross-country race for sports cars staged from 1951 through 1986.

Yes, legal speed limits on the roads remain, but Tour Auto includes very competitive timed stages, some held at four race tracks along the 2,500 kilometer route, others on certain sections of the public roads. Continue reading

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