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McBlog: Keeping Your Cool in the Snow

McBlog: Keeping Your Cool in the Snow

Thirteen Vermont winters and a class win in the Monte Carlo rally might lend me cred as a driver in snow. However, probably even more useful, and certainly more concentrated, are a number of sessions I had over the years at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in...
McBlog: Fiat Delivers a slap in the face.

McBlog: Fiat Delivers a slap in the face.

Doug, a friend and regular at Santa Fe’s Tuesday Car Table, test drove a Fiat 500 Cabriolet that I had for a week and loved it. But considering our city’s 7000-feet altitude decided a turbo was indicated. He’d wait for the Abarth. He told Fred Vang, another Car Table...
McBlog: Why Joy Costs

McBlog: Why Joy Costs

I muse to amuse myself. Subject: What particular aspect of development in Asian cars trails European cars the most? I drive and I think. My decision: the suspension systems in Asian cars, specifically the fast improving Hyundai/Kia line-ups, are lacking in the...
McBlog: Bob Lutz and the New World Order

McBlog: Bob Lutz and the New World Order

Anyone reading or most certainly writing about cars is delighted that Bob Lutz hasn’t gone gently into that good afternoon of retirement after all. Consultant to GM renewed. (Insultant to all deserving of it, if the Lutzian manner hasn’t changed.) Bob was always the...
McBlog: Splash/Dash

McBlog: Splash/Dash

Is it just me or are there more fuel management problems than usual in racing? Take Chip Ganassi’s team at Indy’s 100th anniversary run. A one-two finish looked to be a lock with either Scott Dixon or Dario Franchitti crossing the line first. Dario had set fastest lap...
A McBlog Sidebar

A McBlog Sidebar

Buying a car, these days, can test the patience of Job, columnist Denise McCluggage noted in her latest McBlog, yet the worst of times can turn into the best of times…with a little help. Here’s a sidebar to her column. Fred Vang is a personal consultant to...

McBlog: Toyota and the Trials of Job

Held captive by disbelief we watched on TV that improbable tsunami, dark with disturbed sand, textured with the detritus of people’s lives ranging from children’s plastic sandals to grown-ups’ cars. How could this be? An uncontrollable King Kong nightmare flinging...
McBlog: Racing, The Great Authenticator

McBlog: Racing, The Great Authenticator

Sam Mitani made a point in his May Road & Track column that resonated through me like a temple gong. I’ll get to that but first you’ll welcome some background. Trust me. In the first running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1911 Ray Haroun strapped a mirror in his race...
McBlog: The Nicest Car I Ever Had

McBlog: The Nicest Car I Ever Had

“I think this is the nicest car you ever had,” my mother said to me from the passenger’s seat. Her eyes, still a snapping dark brown in her late 80s, choked off my emergent laugh though that’s the response the remark deserved. After all we were not in my Porsche, my...
McBlog: Making Fuel Economy Numbers Add Up

McBlog: Making Fuel Economy Numbers Add Up

Numbers have a specificity that is irresistible to our embattled minds. That’s why cops give you a ticket for 87 mph in a 75 mph zone and not to someone else for “unimaginably idiotic attempts to maneuver an automobile in the presence of others.” The...
McBlog: On Connecting With Transits

McBlog: On Connecting With Transits

Odd though it may seem, I am smitten with the Ford Transit Connect. First, there’s the name. Two words with individual meanings that seem rather specific. “Transit:” getting from one place to another. And “connect:” hooking up, joining. But together they seem like one...