Category Archives: Commentary

A Peek Behind the Curtain…

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As far back as I can remember, I wanted to write for car magazines. Heck, I think I started flipping through my dad’s Car & Driver and Road & Track magazines when I was still potty training! As I got older I’d find myself taking beauty shots of the family cars, studying the specs, and even putting pen to paper from time to time. I’d go to car dealerships to get brochures about cars I liked but as a 12 year-old expat kid in Hong Kong was not likely to purchase – under the auspices of them being “for my dad.” Suffice it to say: I was addicted from a young age, and it’s only gotten worse.

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Change is in the Air…..

QM

There’s change afoot here at TTS. No, neither of us has gone transgender, and yes, it will include some more frequent posting.  This once-a-quarter pattern isn’t really working for us, although traffic has remained remarkably substantial. The internet is a fascinating place. First off, if you’re not following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, please do! You’ll find more frequent tidbits through those outlets than on the official blog, although this remains our home of homes. But all that’s not what I’m really here to talk about, either.  This is first and foremost a car blog, and as such the interesting content is about cars. So brace yourselves, folks, as there are changes coming to the TTS fleet!

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What Should Junior Drive?

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One of the most asked questions of “car” people, second to “What kind of car should I buy?” and “How much do you think x will cost to fix?” is, “What would be the best car to buy for my [new driver] kid?” And I have a standard list of cars I cut and paste and send to people, and they just go buy Camrys anyway. The tables, however, have turned, and I’m faced with a child (yes, CHILD) who is at 18 months until she can legally qualify to get a driver’s license. And who, like her dad, can’t wait.

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Five Cars You Can Buy Today that Your Neighbor Doesn’t Have

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Part of being a TTSer is coveting the strange, unusual, abnormal, underappreciated, etc. – automotively speaking. One of our favorite pastimes in the TTS offices is to peruse classified ads from the UK, mainland Europe, and even the Far East and elsewhere in search of whacky cars that whet our appetites. A particular favorite website for this colossal timewasting is Germany’s www.mobile.de. So on the tail-end of buying another car this week (details forthcoming) and then tripping on another car I’d wanted to buy only to have the seller take his sweet time getting back to me, I thought I’d distract myself by looking for fun cars that one could conceivably buy for credit card or home equity money – including shipping – and which you’d be 100% certain your neighbor wouldn’t have. Unless he or she is more interesting than you are..
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Commentary: Death Of A Manual

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There’s been a lot of chatter for a long time about the impending demise of the row-your-own manual transmission. I’m not talking about those automated manuals – with or without an actual clutch or two – with acronyms lifted from the annals of phone company documentation such as DCT, DSG, PDK, etc. No, I speak of the real, three-pedal mechanical gear changers with a friendly stick emerging from either the floor or – if you’re old – the steering column. Continue reading


Power, Poise and a Vanishing Breed: Five V8 Sedans on the Cheap

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Every time I turn around these days it seems like another manufacturer is forfeiting good old burbling big-displacement torquetastic motoring for force-fed fours and sixes. It would appear that the V8’s days are numbered, particularly in cars that us regular Joes can lay our hands on without taking out a second third mortgage. Along with the V8s, regular rear-wheel drive seems to be fading into obscurity replaced with all-wheel. Now I appreciate traction as much as anyone, especially after all the snow that we’ve been graced with this winter, but sometimes you want your back wheels pushing, your front wheels steering, and never the two shall meet. It’s definitely old school, but I guess that I am, too.
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