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Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski April 13, 2018 Mystery Car

The Monday closest to April 19th is known as Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, and I guess in Maine, too, as it was once part of Massachusetts. There are parades and the prestigious Boston Marathon is held. To be honest, it’s a good time to get out of state because you can go all the touristy places that are typically filled with tourists, except they’re not because everyone is working. I’ll be in New York City and New Jersey this weekend. 

The Patriots’ Day has absolutely nothing to do with today’s mystery car. I just wanted to brag that I have a day off and you probably don’t. That said, I wouldn’t want to drive today’s mystery car from Boston to New York city – it would be quite a misery. As usual, make and model, perhaps chassis configuration. 

Hit the jump to see what was last week’s mystery car. Some of you came close but no one really got it right. Geez, you people just aren’t that good with new cars. 

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Yakima racks now available at Toyota dealerships

Traveling light isn’t something many people do these days. With two kids and a wife who likes to bring everything where ever we go, I am the guy with the roof pack, bike rack, and the cargo area filled to the roof. But I am not the only one, far from it. Here in downtown Boston, roof packs are not only popular among skiers but many others who use their vehicle as temporary storage. Because now days we drive to places where we bike, as opposed to just going for a bike ride, and because our cars are filled with other crap, bikes racks are equally popular in the summer. Then there are those people who surf, kayak, or canoe. 

Point is, to move all this stuff around it’s best to strap it down onto the car. For years Yakima has been making all kind of roof and hitch mounted racks. Recently they even started making roof-top tents and cute little trailers. Chances are that if you use it, they can strap it down and move it.

But fitting the exact component to your vehicle is still the tricky part. For instance, the original roof pack I wanted did fit nicely on my 4Runner… until I tried to open the hatch. The spoiler thingy of top of the hatch that houses the rear wiper wouldn’t clear the pack. But if I had higher after-market cross-bars, it would work fine. Crazy, right? How many people actually know this?

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Spied! V8-powered AWD Dodge Challenger!

Despite its age, the sales of the Dodge Challenger are great. It frequently outsells its main competitors, the Mustang and Camaro. Combine those sales with the even higher sales of its sedan cousin, the Dodge Charger, and we’re talking about a lot of cars. Contributing to the Challenger’s popularity is the availability of an all-wheel-drive system – it’s the only muscle car such available.

I drove the AWD Challenger several times. First at a snow-covered karting track when it launched, and later on snow-covered streets. Each time I was impressed with its traction and winter handling, despite being shod with all-season tires. Still there was one thing lacking on this muscle car; actual muscle.

The AWD Challenger and Charger (excluding the V8 Charger cop car) are only available with a V6 engine and an eight speed automatic transmission. The Pentastar V6, with its 305 horsepower, is no slouch, but it’s no V8 either. And, damn it, call me old fashion, but I do believe that a proper muscle car must have a damn V8 under its hood.

And now, the V8 all-wheel-drive Challenger may be a thing…

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Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski April 6, 2018 Mystery Car

When the esteemed-ish Rob Emslie was running the Mystery Car section he would typically start off with some obscure fact or anniversary. Unfortunately I don’t have such powers. The cars he would post were often older, classics of you will. The part he would spotlight was always exclusive to that vehicle, or perhaps he’d trick you with a part commonly seen on a different but the one he’s highlighting. But I’m not that clever. Make and model, please. 

Last week’s Mystery Car was solved rather quickly, answer after the jump. 

Image: ©2018 Redusernab/Kamil Kaluski, All Rights Reserved

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Redusernab Asks: 200,000 miles for $20,000?

It used to be that 100,000 miles was the life mileage expectation of a passenger vehicles. Times have changed. Most vehicles are better designed and better built now than they were thirty years ago. But still, 200,000 miles and almost twenty years is a lot and a lot can happen in that time. Maintenance history, region of where the vehicle lived, number of owners and mechanics, it all can keep a car looking great or destroy it. 

Recently in a very targeted advertisement on Facebook, because they know what I think, showed me a for-sale link to a. This Gelandewagen has collected 200,253 miles in its 16 years and six owners. Because everyone want to look rich and because the G-class hasn’t changed much in forty years, the asking price for this vehicle is $23,250. That money can buy one of many new vehicles, some of which are 5-passenger 4x4s like the G.

It is difficult to find many people to say nice things about high mileage German luxury cars, with most rear-engined Porsches and some diesel-power Benzs being the exceptions. So, a purchase of a 200,000 mile gasoline G500 has some risks built into it. The question we are asking today is – what is the most amount of money you are willing to pay for non-overhauled, mostly original, 200,000 mile vehicle and what would that vehicle be?

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars with roll down rear windows

There was a time when cars had large windows. A time when there was no need for blind-spot sensors because they were so small. And there were many vehicles that allowed all windows to be rolled down. This was especially common with full-size SUVs and station wagons. This was because years ago they all had tailgates and not hatches like they all do today. 

But there were a few non-wagon, non-utility cars that also had roll down rear windows, such as the above Honda Del Sol. Today we are looking for those cars with roll down rear windows. 

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • No body-on-frame vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks. There are too many of them, too easy. 
  • No station wagons, same reasons. 
  • Concept cars are allowed, why not?
  • Roll down rear solid panels are allowed simply because I don’t know if such thing even exists. 
  • Other non-conventional opening rear windows get partial credit. Or extra credit, depending on obscurity and/or innovation. 

Difficulty: 6.5 out of 8, enjoy the summer breeze. 

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image source: Honda

Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski March 30, 2018 Mystery Car

Hello Mystery Car fans! It’s been a while. Basically, there hasn’t been a Mystery Car post since the Rob left us last summer. That is a damn shame. But I’m about to change that with this little nugget. 

Now, posting a picture of my friend’s Integra Type R project wouldn’t be mystery. The yellow beast has only about 9000 miles on it, making is possibly the lowest mileage ITR in the country and it will surely be competed one of these years. But we’re not here to discuss that. Nope. 

You are here to identify the other car in the picture. Part of it can be seen directly to the right of the R. Challenge level here is minimal, I figured I’d start you guys off easy as we make out way into the spring and summer car shows. Make and model, please. 

Image: ©2018 Redusernab/Kamil Kaluski, All Rights Reserved

Review: 2018 MINI Cooper Countryman All4


My favorite small crossover is the Mazda CX-5. Or at least it was until I drove this new MINI Cooper Countryman, which honestly is more the size of the CX-3, but the point stands. This thing is simply just zoom-zoomier and more fun. And it’s not even the S version – this is the basic 3-cylinder 6-speed manual version.

That’s right, redone for 2017, the Countryman has a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine that send its power to all four wheels via a manual transmission. I do believe that’s one of the very few sticks on the market. And it’s got a lot more than that going for it.

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Spied! 2019 Honda CR-V in Manhattan!

We are just a few days away from the 2018 New York International Auto Show. The show is sure to be big this year and I’m making arrangements to be there at least for some of it. Automakers are announcing many new 2019 model unveilings. Honda is scheduled to show the 2019 Insight and Acura will show a new turbocharged RDX. And that is all they are saying for now. I don’t think Honda even has a press conference scheduled. 

But isn’t it weird that an updated camouflaged CR-V, or what looks to be a CR-V, was spotted by our awesome spy-photographer in the middle of Manhattan just a few days before the big auto show?

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Review: 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Touring

Could an enthusiast enjoy a Honda Accord? After all, it is the antithesis of everything that most enthusiasts want – a front-wheel-drive mid-size sedan. And now, the all-new 2018 model is further neutered because the V6 engine was dropped, leaving it with a choice of two four-cylinder engines. Yawn, snore, wake me up when the Accord Type R wagon with all-wheel-drive and seven-speed manual comes out.

Except that Honda did something different with this new Accord. It’s as if they found that magic potion they used on their cars in the 1990s and sprinkled it on the Accord.

This new Accord is a really good car but to understand what makes it a really good car, we must look at Honda’s recent history.

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