Greg Zyla: To buy new or used, that's the question Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:40:12 +0000 By Greg Zyla More Content Now I do own a collector car, by the way, a 1967 Chevelle SS 396, but I'd sure love your opinion as you write about everything. Thanks, George L., Evanston, Ill.
A: George, first you've got a great [...]]]>
Auto Bits: New laws emerge as technology impacts cars and driving Mon, 10 Mar 2014 01:01:00 +0000 Greg Zyla: The AMC French connection Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11:10:05 +0000 By Greg Zyla More Content Now I want to also say that AMC was once a partner with Renault before it was sold to Chrysler. Some of the Renault cars were good, others not so good. Just wanted to write you a letter [...]]]> Auto Bits: Simple oil change can save costly engine repairs Mon, 03 Mar 2014 02:01:00 +0000 The sticker on your car's windshield serves as a constant reminder that every car eventually has to be taken to get its oil changed. Go too long and a bright red indicator light will also start demanding attention. If you're ever tempted to ask if all of those oil changes are really necessary, consider the important work oil performs for your engine.
- Keep your motor running: Motor oil lubricates and cools the moving parts in your car's engine. Without clean oil, your [...]]]>
Auto Bits: Car shopping made easy Mon, 24 Feb 2014 02:01:00 +0000 For those looking to buy a new automobile, here are a few things to consider before you step on to a car lot:
- Figure out what you can afford: Buying a new car can be one of the biggest purchases most people ever make. Some experts suggest capping your car payment at no more than 20 percent of your monthly take-home pay. You can keep the cost down by looking for dealer sales and other savings options.
- Narrow down your choices: Although a sporty two-seater might be [...]]]>
Greg Zyla: Customized 1953 Mercury Convertible Mon, 17 Feb 2014 11:19:40 +0000 By Greg Zyla More Content Now It also has air conditioning, power steering, 1993 Thunderbird bucket seats and hood with 130 louvers. My Merc also features a 1955 Pontiac grill, 1956 Buick side trim and 1956 Packard taillights. I then added Mercury Turnpike Cruiser skirts and a few other things.
My car is finished in a white pearl with pin [...]]]>
Auto Bits: Top technologies for older drivers Mon, 17 Feb 2014 02:01:00 +0000 Once you are inside a new vehicle, you probably ask yourself a lot of questions. Where will I put my sunglasses? Is the trunk big enough for my groceries? What does this button do?
Chances are your new vehicle will feature some new technologies, many of which can make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable. To be safe on the road, it's important to learn how these technologies work in your current vehicle or a new one.
The Top Technologies for Mature Drivers guide is [...]]]>
Greg Zyla: The legendary 1969 Dodge Charger 500 and Daytona Mon, 10 Feb 2014 12:00:40 +0000 By Greg Zyla More Content Now A: Al, I'd be glad to. Specifically, the 1969 Charger 500 was purpose built to compete on the NASCAR tracks and go after the Ford and Mercury domination. Dodge designers decided it was time to strike back aerodynamically and make several changes. They took the 1969 Charger, added a [...]]]> Auto Bits: Three easy DIY tips to maintain your vehicle Mon, 10 Feb 2014 02:01:00 +0000 We all know about the basic maintenance you should be doing, such as getting your oil changed and checking the belts and hoses for wear. But did you know there are other aspects of your vehicle you can easily maintain that will extend the life of your vehicle?
- Spark plugs: The role of the spark plug is to ignite fuel in the cylinders. Spark plugs that aren't working to their full capacity can reduce gas mileage or cause damage to other parts of the vehicle. If you choose [...]]]>
Silvio Calabi: Jeep Grand Cherokee is more than the sum of its parts Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:48:03 +0000 By Silvio Calabi More Content Now (New Englanders like to think they invented — or at least discovered — winter. So far as I know, though, neither Jeep nor Subaru were present when the [...]]]> A look at the 2008 Pontiac Solstice SCCA-SSB Mon, 20 Jan 2014 18:12:24 +0000
Q: Hello, Greg. I really enjoy your columns in our newspaper. Keep up the good work!

Plowing 101: Tips for removing snow quickly and efficiently Mon, 13 Jan 2014 18:31:21 +0000
If you live in America's snowbelt, you know how back-breaking clearing all that snow can be. Using a shovel or snow blower can be time-consuming and strenuous, prompting many people to acquire a snowplow to keep driveways and other areas safe. If you're a newbie to plowing, the experts at Agri-Cover urge you to keep a few tips in mind:

Favorite snow machines for 2014 Tue, 07 Jan 2014 12:23:48 +0000
What with the holidays, 40-some inches of white stuff dumped by three snowfalls and one full-bore nor’easter blizzard, plus a couple of days of freezing rain followed by below-zero temperatures, we’ve been driving the Infiniti QX70 for going on three weeks now. Fresh cars just haven’t been able to get up to the western shore of Maine’s Penobscot Bay.

Six steps to getting the best deal on a used car Mon, 06 Jan 2014 18:16:23 +0000
While buying used can net you the best deal on a car purchase, it also requires you to do your homework to make sure you truly are getting good value from your purchase. Here are six steps to help you rest assured that your used car purchase is a good one:

Diesel rides in demand for 2014 Fri, 03 Jan 2014 18:28:47 +0000
Not that long ago, finding a diesel car or truck - a truck with fewer than 18 wheels, anyway - on an American highway was about as rare as an icy road in July. Not so today. The era of dirty, smelly and noisy diesel vehicles has gone the way of the 8-track tape player, clearing a path for high-profile and increasingly popular diesel sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks.

On the Rambler-Metropolitan and Kaiser '49 Virginians Wed, 18 Dec 2013 18:26:44 +0000 Q: Enjoyed your article on the Metropolitan in the Washington Times-Reporter (Washington, Ill). But I did notice a few errors ... maybe a slip of the word processor!

Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aires K-Car saved Chrysler Thu, 14 Nov 2013 12:20:51 +0000
Q: Greg, I’d like to know about the Plymouth and Dodge K-Cars that came out in 1981. How good were these cars, and would you say that the K-Car saved Chrysler Corporation from going bankrupt? Thanks, Miles L., retired in Florida.

How to utilize your garage space Tue, 12 Nov 2013 18:27:20 +0000
More and more, people are using garages as space to actually live in. It isn't just extra room anymore. Since the 1950s, most garages in North America are of the "attached" variety, meaning that they are part of the actual main home and not a separate building on the property. From music studios to man caves, art spaces to playrooms, garages are quickly becoming more integral parts of the family home. They are heated [...]]]>
The Mercury that surprised the automotive world Fri, 08 Nov 2013 12:28:03 +0000
Q: Greg, I've always been a fan of Mercury, and wish Ford would have kept the brand name in its car lineup. As a child, my mom and dad had a 1950 Mercury, which my dad later told me was the best selling Mercury to date. Through the fifties, sixties and seventies, Mercury was a winner at the dealership showroom. Do you recall the 1950 Mercury? Thanks for your columns on the cars of yesteryear. Charles Dalton, email from [...]]]>
Towing safety tips Wed, 06 Nov 2013 12:33:05 +0000
Whether you're bringing your boat and RV to the lake or your ATV and snowmobiles across town, getting them to your destination quickly and safely is a top priority. Towing is the easiest and most efficient means of transporting your big toys and equipment from one place to another, but are you towing the right way? Towing incorrectly can not only damage your vehicle and the expensive items you're hauling, it can [...]]]>
Best fall driving practices Tue, 22 Oct 2013 18:25:28 +0000
Fall is often associated with such pleasantries as back to school, beautiful foliage, a spooky Halloween and Thanksgiving feasts. What is often lost and forgotten are the safety hazards associated with the season while out on the roads.

NASCAR and the T-Bird 430 and Olds 88 Wed, 16 Oct 2013 12:34:49 +0000
Q: Hello, Greg, in your column about the T-Bird and the big engines, you mention the 430-inch V-8. Thunderbird raced this engine in 1959, and it was available in a street version and the (Holman-Moody) NASCAR version for racing. The 1958 Thunderbirds had four coil springs, which was a poor setup for the NASCAR racecars. Ford raced the '59 T-Birds in 1959 (with a better Holman-Moody suspension), and then moved over to [...]]]>
Seniors and driving Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:24:12 +0000
The U.S. population age 65 and older is estimated to increase from 47 million in 2015 to 72 million in 2030, according to U.S. Census data, meaning more senior drivers will be on the roads. This also means that more adult children may need to have difficult conversations with their aging parents about driving.

How to keep your baby safe in the car Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:26:00 +0000
The first days at home with a new baby are full of visits from family and friends, shared joy and special time alone bonding as a family. But soon you'll need to leave the house for trips to the grocery store, doctor's office or even road trips, which requires figuring out how to safely transport your child in the car. Here are some tips to help ensure your travels with children are not only safe, but enjoyable. [...]]]>
Chevy badges and models during the 1950s Wed, 25 Sep 2013 12:35:21 +0000
Q: Greg, I enjoy the articles about the cars in the '50s and '60s, and would like some clarification on Chevy models. I know it all ended up as Biscayne, BelAir and Impala for the full-size Chevys in the late '50s, but when did the Bel Air come out and what other models were noteworthy leading up to the final three I mentioned. Thanks much, Hank. L., Massachusetts.

Why buying a new car might be cheaper than you think Mon, 23 Sep 2013 18:27:42 +0000
As your car ages and the miles pile up, it's important to consider your options before you're left on the side of the road wondering why you didn't upgrade sooner. While buying a new car might seem like the pricier way to go, just think of the costs you pay to keep your old car running - trips to the shop for repairs can certainly start to add up and often come without warning.

Tips on making smart tire choices Wed, 18 Sep 2013 12:15:11 +0000
Tires certainly look simple - black and round - but they are highly engineered technical wonders designed to work in concert with a vehicle's braking and steering systems. However, knowing which type of tire to get can be kind of tricky. For instance, there are high-performance (HP) tires, as well as ultra high-performance (UHP). How different are they and how can you tell which one will work better for you? [...]]]>
Metropolitan owner needs information Mon, 16 Sep 2013 12:17:17 +0000
Q: Hello, Greg and thanks for reading my letter. I own a 1962 Metropolitan that I just purchased. Can you please explain the history, as I met you at a car show recently and you seemed to know a lot on the history of the car. I thought it was a 6-cylinder, but it is a 4-cylinder as you noted. Thanks again, I'm retired and just got involved in the antique car hobby, as you know. Tom L., retired and happy in Athens, Pa.

Vintage racing booming in all classes Wed, 11 Sep 2013 12:17:54 +0000
Q: Greg, I see that vintage racing is booming everywhere, as it unites both collector cars and racing all in one. We have some pretty big events for the cars of yesteryear from West Coast to East Coast, and I'd like your thoughts on this aspect of the collector hobby. I really enjoy your columns very much. Thanks, Bud L., Pennsylvania.

Buy new or used? Mon, 09 Sep 2013 18:26:29 +0000
Conventional wisdom says that a new car will always cost you more than a used one. Why? There's a higher price tag and you have to face the depreciation that comes when you drive off the dealer's lot. Previously, if you were looking to save money, used vehicles were thought to be the best option. However, as supply may not be meeting demand, conventional wisdom may not hold true.

Maintenance tips to keep your car running longer Wed, 04 Sep 2013 18:29:34 +0000
To prolong the life of your vehicle, it is important to provide the basic routine care it requires. Though automobiles are a complex system of interconnected parts, basic car maintenance doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some simple tips to keep your car running longer and more efficiently:

Pushbutton transmissions Wed, 04 Sep 2013 18:29:33 +0000
Q: Greg, I enjoyed your column on the Chevy powerglide and engines. Currently, I have a 50th anniversary Corvette. I know the first one in 1953 had a straight six "Blue Flame" engine and a two speed slush box of some type. Perhaps you could cover the early Corvette engine and transmissions, because it sure didn't have much performance the first couple years.

348 and 409 question, and collector car insurance Wed, 28 Aug 2013 07:00:41 +0000
Q: Greg, I enjoyed your articles on the 409 Chevy. How can you tell the difference between a 409 and a 348 engine from the outside? Thanks, Bob M., email from Illinois.

How to avoid a speeding ticket Mon, 26 Aug 2013 11:39:54 +0000
Want to know how to avoid a speeding ticket? Easy - don't speed. But even the most law-abiding drivers with flawless records can make mistakes and find themselves pulled over. In fact, 34 million people in the United States receive speeding tickets each year, according to the National Motorists Association.

5 tips before hitting the road Wed, 21 Aug 2013 06:11:11 +0000
Millions of Americans are expected to take a summer vacation this year. If you're one of those hitting the road to reach your final destination, here are a few reminders to help ensure you're road-trip-ready.

Al Capone's 1931 Dodge? Mon, 19 Aug 2013 10:21:42 +0000
Q: Greg, I bought a collector car in Burlington, Iowa, in 1997 and I thought the owner was kidding when she told me it was once owned by Al Capone and bought for his bookkeeper in 1931 before he went to prison.

Ram 3500 makes sow’s purse out of silk ear Wed, 14 Aug 2013 07:00:57 +0000
Nationwide, pickup-truck sales have rebounded from the pit of 1.1 million units in 2009 to 1.66 million last year; and pickups are now the No. 4 market segment, making up 11.2 percent of all vehicle sales. This isn’t likely to drop, either (at least until gas hits $5 a gallon again), as the average pickup on the road is 12 years old now and apparently there’s pent-up demand.

How your smartphone can help you care for your car Mon, 12 Aug 2013 12:47:59 +0000
If you can resist the temptation to reach for it while you're behind the wheel, your smartphone can be a great asset as you care for your vehicle. A smartphone can give you instructions for maintenance procedures while you are under the hood, help you find a part that needs fixing and get you to a trusted mechanic quicker and easier than ever before.

Hyundai’s hybrid got the help it needed Wed, 07 Aug 2013 07:00:24 +0000
Last August, we complained bitterly about this car, scolding Hyundai for its double whammy of disagreeable driving characteristics and disappointing fuel economy. (One may offset the other, more or less, but when both are bad, forget it.) Oh, what a difference a model year can make — and how gratifying it is when a carmaker listens and then takes action.

Tips for safe vacation travel Mon, 05 Aug 2013 07:00:13 +0000
Americans will travel 1,045 miles on average to reach their destinations, according to the recent Hankook Tire Quarterly Gauge Index. Before leaving for a trip, however, only 48 percent of Americans check their vehicle's tires for proper tread depth or tire damage. Drivers should monitor their tire pressure and tread and look for tire damage such as bruises, tears or punctures at least once a month. [...]]]>
Kaiser, Chrysler and Packard memories Tue, 30 Jul 2013 14:09:16 +0000 Q: Greg, your recent articles were special for me on the Kaiser-Frazer. My grandpa's brother opened a Kaiser-Frazer dealership in the little town of Harrington, Wash. He managed to sell a Kaiser to his son-in-law, and then a Frazer to his brother. It was in that 1947 Frazer that I learned to drive on the highway.

Back-to-school road trip tips Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:00:45 +0000
Whether you're a parent driving your college-age student to school or you're heading out on your first solo road trip back to campus, you can make sure your trip is stress-free and prevent unnecessary breakdowns on the road.

How to save money on summer road trips Mon, 22 Jul 2013 07:00:21 +0000
Whether you're driving across the country on your annual family road trip or taking a weekend to enjoy the open road, there are plenty of ways to save on the cost of fuel. Here are some easy tips that will help you save money at the pump and stretch the fuel in your gas tank.

Jaguar Roadsters forever Wed, 17 Jul 2013 07:00:07 +0000 Q: Greg, I have always loved Jaguars, especially the E-Types that were built in the 1960s and 1970s. Now I hear Jaguar is ready to bring a new roadster out, called the F-Type. Can you give us your opinions of the Jaguar Roadsters? 

Tips for driving with dogs Mon, 15 Jul 2013 15:47:58 +0000
Distracted driving is a growing concern, and a loose pet in the car certainly numbers among the potential hazards that can take your eyes - and mind - off the road and lead to accidents. To stay safe on the road when Fido is with you, remember these tips:

Five fast fixes for your summer car Mon, 08 Jul 2013 07:00:53 +0000
Make sure your car is in tip-top shape to withstand hot summer days and long road trips. Summer driving requires your car to run differently, and there are some adjustments and inspections that are important to ensure your vehicle lasts season to season. Follow these fast fixes and inspections to avoid roadside headaches and cruise through summer.

More on the World War II years and the’49 Chrysler Windsor Wed, 03 Jul 2013 07:00:28 +0000
Q: Greg, could you please identify the years that the car manufacturers did not build cars during World War II? I know they built many war-needed items, as you mentioned in your columns, but maybe you could explain in detail this time in manufacturing. My dad had a new design 1949 Chrysler Windsor which I know was all-new, and I loved that car. Thanks much. Bob L., Michigan. [...]]]>
Squeeze more savings out of the gas pump this summer Mon, 01 Jul 2013 07:00:55 +0000
With the summer driving season in full force, drivers are looking for ways to alleviate the pain at the pump. Some simple steps can make a big difference in your fuel economy so you can save money and get the most out of every gallon.

Secrets of what's driving American travelers this season Wed, 29 May 2013 07:15:31 +0000
Now that warm weather is here, drivers will be hitting the road in earnest. In fact, according to Hankook Tire's latest Quarterly Gauge Index, 56 percent of Americans are planning to take a road trip that involves driving 50 miles or more. On average, they estimate they will drive 1,025 miles. What is it about spring - besides the obvious pleasurable weather - that has so many people hitting the [...]]]>
Honda’s Accord coupe is handsome and swift Mon, 27 May 2013 07:12:48 +0000
There’s something pleasantly old-school about this car, and this is a bit odd since it’s a crispy new, redesigned (although familiar) model from a maker known for engineering brilliance — that is, Honda. No, we don’t have to crank the engine by hand (a pushbutton does that), but there is a third pedal under the dash and the only switches on the deck around the gearshift lever are [...]]]>
Six rules to help keep your teen driver safe Fri, 24 May 2013 14:14:35 +0000
If you worry about the kind of car your teen will drive, you're not alone - especially in this age of distractions behind the wheel. In a survey commissioned by USAA, 81 percent of parents put reliability first when choosing a vehicle for their teens, followed by a high safety rating. The good news is that teens also want cars with the latest safety features. Here are features parents and teens should look for in a [...]]]>
A tribute to Dick Dale and some top car songs Fri, 24 May 2013 14:11:29 +0000
Q: Hello, Greg! I remember many years ago you wrote an article about car songs and the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean that I saw in a car magazine. It had to do with the best car songs, and I’d love if you could touch on some of these great car songs again. I remember you mentioned a performer by the name of Dick Dale in that article, and would love to learn more. Janet S., Illinois.