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2017 Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise


2017 Woodward Dream Cruise

In Motor City, the practice for years was to cruise in your best car with your best girl up and down, up and down Woodward Avenue, waiting to see and be seen by the rest of the Motor City cruisers and their girls (or their boys). Flashing chrome, blacked-out grilles, white-walls, redlines, and the occaisional spontaneous drag race.

Flash forward to the 1970's and the Arab Oil Embargo. Burning gas just to see and be seen was determined to be anti-social behavior and cruising was outlawed. But you can never slam the door shut on a way of life, and to relieve the pressure of the inevitable backlash, cruising was allowed for one weekend a year. And this became the world-renowned "Woodward Dream Cruise," a week-long festival of the automobile.

1st installment. Bookmark this spot to get the rest!

1975 Bricklin and 1989 Corsica

Only at Woodward: a 1975 Bricklin and a 1990 Chevy Corsica square off

Parades and meetings take place early in the week, but the main event is Saturday, when everyone either cruises up and down Woodward or parks on the side and watches, or both.

Here are some of the best of the cruisers:

Drag Race Cars

Cars modified for drag racing are usually only seen on drag strips and on trailers. Not at Woodward.

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Drag Car

This 1959 Corvette makes a great street/strip car and looks wonderful on Woodward.

1964 Dodge 440 Hardtop Drag Car

1964 Dodge 440. 440 was a Dodge model that led to more than a little confusion as it came with a slant-six, 318, 383 or 426 Hemi. 1965 saw the introduction of the Dodge 440 engine and the Dodge 440 automobile was replaced by the Polara.

1971 Ford Mustang Mach I Drag Car

This 1971 Ford Mustang Mach I is equipped with the Super Cobra Jet 429.


You can't have a Dream Cruise without hotrods.

1932 Ford Coupe hotrod

The prototypical street rod: 1932 Ford "Duece."




Best of the 2017 NY Auto Show


For reasons that are unclear it is in Manhattan, where only foreign-nationals and the insane drive cars, that the most important American auto show takes place each year. Chicago is bigger, but that's a consumer's show. Detroit stormed the scene in 1989 and has staked out an important place. And LA is possibly trendier, and certainly makes more sense, but it doesn't see the important new vehicle premiers that New York does. Perhaps it all comes down to timing: late Winter is early enough before Fall model introductions to show the new stuff without interfering with production schedules, and it gives the press enough time to pick their favorites and follow up with in-depth coverage of the important new iron, aluminum or carbon fiber.


A recent report from Bloomberg compared horsepower and acceleration of cars from 1976 to the present. The dates were a little cherry-picked, but the results were very optimistic with both fuel mileage, horsepower and acceleration just about doubled.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Coupe

As part of that trend, Mercedes-AMG is still stuffing crazy powered V8 engines into small vehicles (just not the SLC roadster), its latest shoehorn being the GLC63. All-wheel-drive, 469 horsepower (or 503 in the GLC63 S Coupe), massive brakes and tires are just a few of the special tweaks this real AMG gets.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

If you like 503 horsepower small SUV's you'll love this 603 horsepower station wagon. Feel free to take it to your local bodyshop for a woodgrain side applique.

2017 Audi RS 3

With a 400 horsepower turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, the RS 3 is America's first Audi RS compact sedan. Audi has previously been much more stingy to the US with its RS-badged cars, letting us have all of the S-badged lesser variants. If you care to stop as well as you go, carbon ceramic brakes will be an option. The RS 3 will become available soon as a 2017 model.

2018 Audi RS 5

Big brother to the RS 3, this RS 5 Coupe (convertibles and sportbacks will not be offered) will feature a 450 horsepower 2.9 V6. Featuring twin turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing, Audi's Quattro system will ensure good traction.

2018 Audi TT RS

Finally, in its smallest package, Audi puts the 400 horsepower 5-cylinder into the TT RS. Only available as a coupe, Quattro all-wheel-drive, a seven-speed dual-clutch (automatic) transmission, and magnetic-ride adjustable suspension are all standard. Carbon ceramic brakes are optional.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Track Hawk

If you want to buy American and you want to totally embarrass that $100,000 Mercedes SUV, look no further than the 707 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. While previous Jeep SRT versions have been detuned (probably to keep the all-wheel-drive alive), this one arrives with every horsepower hellcat-power alive and scratching. A supercharged 6.2 Hemi® V8, electronic launch control and an highly modified all-wheel-drive system result in a Jeep-reported 3.5 second zero-to-60 MPH run. We expect that to be beaten on sticky drag strips where owners not concerned with FCA warranty claim balance sheets will pound this Jeep a little harder.

Since you will need a lot of help to stop this cat (bird? cat? what the hell is it?) from its reported 180 MPH top speed, it comes with 15.75-inch front brake rotors. 

2018 Porsche 911 GT3

500 horsepower doesn't sound like a lot these days, but this Porsche makes it from only six naturally aspirated cylinders. Whereas every single other engine in this performance vehicle list is pressurized by a supercharger or between one and four turbochargers, this mouth-breathing Porsche relies on the weight of Earth's atmosphere, alone. As it weighs 3116 pounds, it carries more than one pound less per horsepower than the 707 horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

2018 Dodge Challenger Demon

Now we're getting somewhere: 840 horsepower (technically only 808 without the track-only race computer, included with the "Demon Crate" at extra cost), a quarter-mile time of under 10 seconds (again, with the "Demon Crate" option), and a ban from NHRA sanctioned drag strips, the Dodge Challenger Demon is a pure halo car. Being almost useless on the street, it will serve only to attract thrill seekers to FCA showrooms where they can purchase lesser SRT cars that will bring them much more everyday pleasure without the cost or pain (Demon comes without back seat, front passenger seat, radio, trunk carpet, etc).

As far as marketing, the only thing better than the NHRA ban for being too fast was the obviously engineered call for a complete ban from Automotive News! (Come on, the guy that wrote the editorial looks like Walter Mitty, and not from the movie.) The news coverage on the car is off the line (pun intended) and will result in far more interested parties than the 3300 units FCA will manufacture for the 2018 model year.

Basically a souped up Hellcat, the Demon uses a larger supercharged with more boost, larger injectors, an extra fuel pump and stronger internals. Even a one-trick pony might have plenty up its sleeves (hooves) and the Demon includes a number of firsts in a production car, including a transmission brake, drag-mode launch assist that can squelch wheel-hop, street-legal drag tires, SRT Power Chiller that redirects air conditioned air to the intercooler, and "much, much more!" Look for the Demon in collectors' garages and at the track.

2017 Bugatti Chiron has 1479 horsepower

Of course, a story about horsepower can't leave out the new Bugatti Chiron, even though the New York Auto Show was not the first event for this 1479 horsepower ultra-car. Four turbochargers and 16-cylinders makes this the most massive power statement in a road-legal automobile.


2018 Jaguar F-Type

 One of the most stylish rides at the New York Auto Show, the Jaguar F-Type, gets a refresh to its style inside and out, and a new entry-level model with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. This same Ford-derived engine as in the XE, its horsepower is bumped to 296 for the F-Type. (No information on whether other Jaguars and Land Rovers with this engine will receive the extra power.) LED headlights replace xenon.

2018 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

The new 2018 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet completes the E-Class lineup with plenty of class. It will be available with 4MATIC all-wheel-drive for the first time.

2018 Acura TLX A-Spec

For 2018 the Acura TLX gets a refreshed design and loses the last vestiges of the "Acura Beak" that plagued Acuras for almost a decade. Called the Acura Shield, it looked like a high school shop class had a welding outfit, some galvanized sheet metal and no supervision. With its refreshed, clean grille, now details like the eight LED headlight units can draw attention.

This particular model is an A-Spec, with 19-inch wheels and lots of blacked-out trim is a particularly handsome example. Larger tires and more agressive suspension are part of the A-Spec, which is only offered with the V6 engines. The 4 and 6-cylinder engines are the same at 206 and 290 horsepower, respectively.

2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400

Another luxury sport sedan with a refresh is the Infiniti Q50. The differences are subtle, including continuing the front grille down through the bumper, smoothing out the sides and differentiating the different trim levels.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Land Rover now has as many sport utility models as Ford. The Land Rover Range Rover Velar (Most of the vehicles price is for badges: they're charged by the letter.) is based on the Jaguar F-Pace, itself derived from the Jaguar XE, making it the most car-like Land Rover, yet. It's not a cute-ute, though, with an available towing capacity of up to 5500 pounds and ground clearance of 8.4 inches (up to 9.88 inches with optional air suspension) and as much as 380 horsepower.

Named for a prototype Land Rover from the sixties that launched the Range Rover luxury sport utility brand, it is aiming to be the most stylish and hip member of the family.

2018 Lincoln Navigator

And finally, you can't be stylin' any more than in a Navigator. The original Hip Hop Bling car, the 2018 Navigator is beautiful, though not nearly as wild as the concept from last year's New York Auto Show. No seven foot long gull-wing doors. No cool terraced power running boards. It does have a 450 horsepower 3.5 twin-turbo V6 with a ten-speed automatic transmission, a super luxurious interior and all the usual bells and whistles, including an optional 30-way power driver's seat.


2018 Buick Regal TourX

2018 Buick Regal Sportback

In these hipster days, nothing's cooler than a station wagon. Buick has decided to buck the sedan hegemony; the new 2018 Regal will come only as a wagon or a hatchback. Of course, GM isn't cool enough to call them that; they're referred to as the TourX and Sportback, respectively.

2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

I told you, wagons are cool, now. You just can't call them that. Porsche's wagon is called the Panamera Sport Turismo. Crap! Family Truckster might still not be taken. 330, 440, 469 or 550 horsepower are available in this Stuttgart family car.

2018 Toyota C-HR

It started life as the Scion C-HR, but when its mother passed on in childbirth, mama Toyota adopted it. The C-HR was conceived as the quintessential Scion: edgy, cool and hip. With its new "Toyota" badge and a 144 horsepower 4-cylinder, this may be the odd duck on the dealership lot.

Cadillac Minolta IMSA Race Car

Cadillacs are cool. Racecars are cool. This is a Cadillac Konica Minolta IMSA Racecar.


This Toyota FT-4X Concept is super cool. As a hint of a possible replacement for the niche-market FT Cruiser, this concept has it all: removable body panels, two-way cargo door (liftgate or dual side opening), a Go-Pro camera mounted in the driver's side rearview mirror, a cooling and a warming box. Inside it has large, colorful, simple controls, and a charming lack of electronics and "connected features." 

North Hall Dungeon

If you wander from the main hall, walking down an incredibly long hall filled with racecars and other car show detritus, you eventually reach the North Hall. This is where the awkward kids are exiled.

North Hall Auto Show

Fiat is represented, with their 124 Spider Abarth, 500, 500L and 500X.

Toy Pacifica

 Also down here is Chrysler, with the cutest kiddie car Pacifica that will never be produced.

Mitsubishi Land

Almost at the end of North Dungeon you find Mitsubishi, huddled in a corner crying softly. We'll have to see when their merger with Nissan/Renault will provide them with fresh product. Surprisingly, their new Eclipse Cross didn't show up.


2016 New York Auto Show Part I



Even this guy hates the skit!

It all starts on Wednesday morning with breakfast and a bad skit by The Nielsen Company (Big Brother who sees what you're watching on TV and now the internet) giving out awards for Auto Ads. Mad Men stereotype? Check. Bad puns? Check. Dodge ended up beating out the others, including Mercedes, Toyota and Volkswagen with its ad from Super Bowl 2015, Wisdom.


ambience shot1

After that, it's almost non-stop (every 45 minutes) press conferences, premiers and reveals. So... here's what was revealed:

Acura MDX

2017 Acura MDX

I can tell you exactly how long ago the last all-new MDX was: one assistant ago. The 2014 MDX was new, and now a refreshed 2017 model is coming with a new Sport Hybrid optional powertrain. Said to increase fuel mileage 7 MPG, the new powertrain will also add 35-horsepower and only be available as All-Wheel-Drive. A non-hybrid MDX with AWD will still be offered, unlike in the RLX, where non-hybrids are front-wheel-drive, only. Safety equipment increases. Automatic switching high beam headlights,  lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, and autonomous emergency braking will be standard across the board. These technologies, called collectively "AcuraWatch" (not available in "Sport" or "Edition"), depend use radar and cameras in tandem to take the next step towards a self-driving car. A surround view camera is a new feature available on higher models. MDX Sport Hybrid will also get an exclusive Active Sport Suspension, Acura's first use of adjustable shocks outside of the NSX. Most notably, the refreshed MDX gets rid of the Acura Beak altogether, going for a shield-shaped grille with no ability to crack open nuts or eat crackers. Like gold packages, wire-wheels, huge fins and body cladding, it will not be missed. Other tidbits: a 6-passenger Advance model with 2nd-row bucket seats will be offered. An electronic parking brake replaces the foot pedal.


acura nsx gt3

Not allowing the excitement with their new super car to die down, Acura also unveiled a GT3 version set to start racing in 2017.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

As the oft-delayed new Alfa Romeo Giulia gets closer to stateside, they unveiled the non-Quadrifolgio version. With a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 276 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic, this model represents the real threat to BMW (or at least Jaguar). The 505-horsepower, 6-speed manual Quadrifoglio will be a niche piece for a select few hard-core enthusiasts. The standard model will come in base and Ti trims, with rear or all-wheel-drive. The model is not standard equipment–she's extra.

Audi R8 Spyder

2017 Audi R8 Spyder unveiled at New York Auto Show 2016

2017 Audi R8 Spyder (yes, it's spelled this way!) Audi unveiled their R8 Spyder V10. The Coupe has been out for a while, having been introduced at the 2015 New York Auto Show and in dealerships right about now. With 540 horsepower (15 more than 2015 from this engine shared with the Lamborghini Huracán) this car will move! But, unfortunately, the V10 Plus will remain a Coupe-only option with its 610 horsepower. The R8 will remain a cloth-topped convertible due to weight concerns: no metal folding roof. Other tidbits: the base V8 will not be offered anymore and neither will a manual transmission.

Buick Encore

2017 Buick Encore

The 2017 Buick Encore gets a refresh, greater availability of of the direct injection 1.4 turbo 153-horsepower engine (138-horsepower port-injected 1.4 is still standard), more standard features, and a new IntelliLink system with an 8-inch color display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

The ZL1 is a storied name in Camaro history. The ZL1 isn't quite as well-known (or overused) as Z28. In the Z28's case, the "Z" prefix is simply part of Chevrolet's system for designating an option package, as opposed to a free-flowing option. With the original ZL1, though, it designated the engine: an all-aluminum 427 cubic inch race engine. These engines could make over 500 horsepower once tweaked properly. The new ZL1 is not a misuse of the original designation. The 6.2 supercharged V8 with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing produces 640 horsepower, only 10 less than the in the Corvette Z06 and 60 more than in the 2015 Camaro ZL1. The new ZL1, built on the Alpha platform, promises to be much lighter as well, with a stiffer more poised chassis. As before, the ZL1 will be offered as a coupe or convertible. it will still be offered with manual and automatic transmissions, but now it will come with a seven-speed manual or an optional ten-speed automatic.

Chevrolet Sonic

2017 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

The Sonic gets aggressive new looks for 2017. Mechanically its unchanged, with either a 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder or a 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder, both with 138 horsepower. Transmissions are still 6-speed, manual or automatic and fuel mileage is predicted to stay the same. New features include an available power driver's seat, keyless ignition and door unlocking, heated steering wheel and a 7-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A rear backup camera is now standard and rear park assist sonar warning is an option. Otherwise, it still offers collision warning (but no automatic braking), lane departure warning, and has 10 standard airbags.

Other Classics

Since 1900, the New York Auto Show has been held annually, so we decided to give you some of the classics at the show!

1937 Packard

1937 Packard

Detroit Electric

1928 Detroit Electric

1979 BMW M1

1979 BMW M1


2016 Chicago Auto Show Part 2

Welcome Back!

IMG_3253 (2) IMG_4227 [caption id="attachment_3113" align="alignnone" width="1500"]IMG_4244 Genesis Vision G Concept

Genesis has a Vision that will declare them as their own make. Since they split off from Hyundai, this is the first concept they've debuted. IMG_4028 Debuted in Detroit, Kia's Telluride concept makes a return for the people of Chicago.IMG_3976 Mercedes Sprinter Extreme Concept

Mercedes is bringing style back to dump trucks! the Sprinter Extreme is a badass concept that looks to be prepared for anything. IMG_3243 Showing off the complete skeleton, Lexus made this cut away display to show the reinforcement modifications they've made to their coupe chassis. IMG_6726 Like Toyota, Jeep had a terrain track set up so that guests could experience the incredible climbing capabilities of the Trail Rated lineup. IMG_2858 With a stylish new face-lift, the Hyundai Santa Fe lineup is now ready for 2017IMG_3307 Jeep PatriotIMG_2977 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

IMG_3994 (2) IMG_4222 IMG_6735 A 3 wheeled motorcycle that will blow the paint off an Elio, the Polaris Slingshot! Polaris claims that the tripod is all about the experience of driving it. IMG_6585 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible


2016 Chicago Auto Show Part 1

The Windy City Welcomes You!

opening' Fog machines whirred and spotlights sent beams of presentation. Nissan prepared everyone at their party with food, music, and the perfect atmosphere to debut the Armada! IMG_2545 Nissan swears that the day of full sized SUV's are far from over. The Armada is equipped with a 390-horsepower 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 engine IMG_3540 Chevrolet released the 1LE package for the new Camaro, and for the first time, you can get the package with a V6 engine. IMG_6776 Mazda MX-5  Speedster concept IMG_3246 Even Chewbacca showed up for the Chicago Auto Show! Wow... That's just amazing. IMG_2766 Nissan wanted to show off their capabilities at making a functional concept vehicle. So they took an extreme route and put the Pathfinder Winter Warrior up to show the snow conquering ability of tank treads! IMG_3170 The Infiniti Q50 has a new 208-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, the first 4 banger in an Infiniti Sports sedan, as well as 300-horsepower and 400-horsepower versions of a 3.0-liter twin turbocharged V6. IMG_3996 Toyota was ready to show off their new Rav4  to everyone they possibly could. A whole course was set up to provide an example of the complete redesign and every single improvement they tirelessly etched into the vehicles capabilities. IMG_3384 Toyota put a rocking bridge to set example of hill descent control. On this part of the ride they would climb up the bridge, then release the gas and brakes. The software will provide 3 seconds of staying in place then it will start rolling back. A safety feature that we find to be extremely useful. IMG_4342 Bentley Continental GT, showed off at the Super Car Gallery! IMG_4191 Mitsubishi threw out one of their last lines to get anyone to notice them at CAS2016. While 2017 is the plan for everyone else, they put on display the 2015 Lancer Evolution Final Edition. It's not every day that we can witness the end of the legendary Evolution's life. IMG_3418 Until next time! Part 2 will be up soon!  


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