On the Rambler-Metropolitan and Kaiser '49 Virginians
Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:24:50 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131218/BLOGS/312189943/-1/blogs01Q: 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 11:18:00 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131114/BLOGS/311149983/-1/blogs01 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 17:24:56 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131112/BLOGS/311129950/-1/blogs01 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 11:25:13 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131108/BLOGS/311089975/-1/blogs01 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 11:30:26 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131106/BLOGS/311069972/-1/blogs01 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 17:23:21 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131022/BLOGS/310229934/-1/blogs01 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 11:31:37 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131016/BLOGS/310169976/-1/blogs01 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 17:21:44 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131014/BLOGS/310149938/-1/blogs01 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 11:32:31 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20131007/BLOGS/310079985/-1/blogs01 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 11:33:38 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130925/BLOGS/309259978/-1/blogs01 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 17:26:50 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130923/BLOGS/309239939/-1/blogs01 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 11:13:26 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130918/BLOGS/309189965/-1/blogs01 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 11:14:44 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130916/BLOGS/309169971/-1/blogs01 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 11:15:10 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130911/BLOGS/309119978/-1/blogs01 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 17:23:06 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130909/BLOGS/309099945/-1/blogs01 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 17:25:05 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130904/BLOGS/309049941/-1/blogs01 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:
Wed, 04 Sep 2013 17:25:03 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130904/BLOGS/309049942/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:41 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130828/BLOGS/308289896/-1/blogs01 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 10:39:54 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130826/BLOGS/308269925/-1/blogs01 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 05:11:11 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130821/BLOGS/308219915/-1/blogs01 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 09:21:42 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130819/BLOGS/308199921/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:57 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130814/BLOGS/308149922/-1/blogs01 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 11:47:59 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130812/BLOGS/308129928/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:24 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130807/BLOGS/308079932/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:13 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130805/BLOGS/308059931/-1/blogs01 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 13:09:16 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130730/BLOGS/307309914/-1/blogs01Q: 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 06:00:45 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130729/BLOGS/307299911/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:21 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130722/BLOGS/307229941/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:07 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130717/BLOGS/307179927/-1/blogs01Q: 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 14:47:58 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130715/BLOGS/307159929/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:53 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130708/BLOGS/307089940/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:28 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130703/BLOGS/307039936/-1/blogs01 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 06:00:55 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130701/BLOGS/307019931/-1/blogs01 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 06:15:31 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130529/BLOGS/305299972/-1/blogs01 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 06:12:48 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130527/BLOGS/305279966/-1/blogs01 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 13:14:35 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130524/BLOGS/305249925/-1/blogs01 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 13:11:29 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130524/BLOGS/305249924/-1/blogs01 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.
]]>Don't wait until it's too late to change your wiper blades
Wed, 20 Feb 2013 19:10:00 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130220/BLOGS/302209979/-1/blogs01Clear vision is essential to safe driving, especially in the wintertime. Neglect your wiper blades, and you may find yourself in hazardous weather situations with limited vision. If you change your blades regularly, you can avoid these problems and keep your eyes clearly on the road.]]>Silvio Calabi: Ford Flex deserves more respect
Mon, 18 Feb 2013 17:11:24 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130218/BLOGS/302189961/-1/blogs01Wouldn’t you expect a cushy, eye-catching seven-passenger Ford family hauler to puff up our collective pantsuit and sell well? Me, too. But, except in California, the Flex has never achieved the success that it deserves.]]>Five must-haves for your truck
Wed, 13 Feb 2013 12:10:00 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130213/BLOGS/302139977/-1/blogs01With a new truck decorating your driveway, you've probably got plenty of ideas of how you're going to use it for towing a boat, transporting large and heavy loads and conquering rugged terrain. Or maybe you just want to feel powerful while driving it down the road. But before you get too comfortable, think about what could make your truck even better. What can you add that will help your truck last longer, handle more tasks [...]]]>Greg Zyla: The tri-powers and six packs
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 17:18:36 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130211/BLOGS/302119955/-1/blogs01Q: Greg, which American car manufacturer was the first to use a three two-barrel carb setup either as an option or standard equipment on its cars? There have been so many since the 1960s, but I don't remember which one was first. Matt H., email from Illinois.]]>Tip of the Week: Save money by bundling insurance
Wed, 06 Feb 2013 11:18:08 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130206/BLOGS/302069987/-1/blogs01Bundling insurance products with one company - and scoring cheaper premiums as a reward - isn't a new concept. But according to a recent study by J.D. Power and Associates, not only is bundling still popular among consumers, it also results in higher customer satisfaction.]]>Greg Zyla: Is my 1968 Mercury worth restoring?
Mon, 04 Feb 2013 03:14:06 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130204/BLOGS/302049934/-1/blogs01I have a 1968 Mercury Montego with a six cylinder engine and a "three on the tree" standard transmission. I believe Mercury only built 20 of these cars in 1968, so I am wondering if this car is worth restoring back to new condition? It is in pretty good shape. Please advise and thanks very much.]]>How to quit texting and driving
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 17:31:45 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130130/BLOGS/301309916/-1/blogs01Most Americans know texting and driving is dangerous but it continues to be a problem, especially for young drivers. While 97 percent of teens agree that texting and driving is dangerous, 43 percent still admitted to continuing to do it, according to a recent survey.]]>Silvio Calabi: F Sport transforms the Lexus RX 350
Mon, 28 Jan 2013 17:31:43 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130128/BLOGS/301289906/-1/blogs01About 15 years ago, when the original Lexus RX appeared, I wrote in a huff, "If you think the Hamptons are ‘the country,’ then this is your 'off-road’ vehicle." That was during the dawn of the age of deluxe sport-utility vehicles as we know them now, and I was still fixated on 4x4s as ruff-tuff rock-crawlers. Silly me.]]>Tips that can extend the life of your vehicle
Wed, 23 Jan 2013 22:07:00 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130123/BLOGS/301239921/-1/blogs01There is no truer saying than "Take care of your car and it will take care of you."]]>Silvio Calabi: Bullish on the Taurus
Mon, 21 Jan 2013 20:16:57 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130121/BLOGS/301219960/-1/blogs01There are still herds of ancient Ford Tauri from the 1980s and ‘90s roaming the American hinterlands, their once-daring, worn-bar-of-soap styling looking more and more like the automotive Lava Lamp.]]>Talking Cars: What's new with Fiat?
Fri, 18 Jan 2013 17:07:00 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130118/BLOGS/301189996/-1/blogs01There has been a lot of talk at my office about the new Fiat 500C. I remember the old Fiats from many years ago and my memories were not all good. What about the new Fiats?]]>Tip of the Week: Advice for families coping with an older driver's changing abilities
Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:13:47 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130116/BLOGS/301169979/-1/blogs01As we age, and watch our loved ones grow older, it's important to think about - and plan for - a time when we may no longer be able to drive.]]>Greg Zyla: Reader recalls Madman’ Muntz Jet automobile
Mon, 14 Jan 2013 17:17:13 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130114/BLOGS/301149950/-1/blogs01Q: Hi, Greg, and thanks for all the old-time car columns. I really enjoy them and they bring back great memories. I’m now 81 years old and remember a car called the Muntz Jet that was built in the USA. Can you give me some info on the Muntz Jet and how many years it was offered for sale? Charles K., retired and happy in Illinois.]]>Auto Bits: Six steps to getting the best deal on a used car
Mon, 07 Jan 2013 11:30:51 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20130107/BLOGS/301079986/-1/blogs01Weekly auto rail, with used-car buying tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.]]>Auto Bits: Top technical accessories for your car
Mon, 24 Dec 2012 11:25:53 +0000http://www.stjamesnews.com/article/20121224/BLOGS/312249990/-1/blogs01Weekly auto rail, with tech tips for your car, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.]]>