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Friday
Aug222014

Has Anyone Seen Our Road Repair Money?

By Al Vinikour 

Most of the country has had a pretty severe winter (except Miami) and usually about this time several events occur. The first is a joyous one for tire shops who are so swamped with business because of damaged or ruined tires that bad roads have caused for their customers; or state legislators and governors are crying crocodile tears over how poor their roads are and how much repairing it’s going to take to update our infrastructure. Generally there’s a call for a “special tax” to be used for road repair only.” I’m surprised that Quincy Jones hasn’t gathered another group of his recording industry friends like he did for “We are the world” and do the same thing for highway taxes. Put into song it would be something, “We are the roads, we are the highways, we are the pot-holed tire eating lanes you have to travel…” I can just see Diana Ross (I mean MISS Ross) swaying back and forth with a film clip of a Pirelli low-profile all-weather tire being blown up from hitting a pothole in the road, the driver losing control and the Jaguar XL-S careening into the on-coming lane where it’s hit by an 18-wheel Freightliner towing a 53-ft. trailer, killing all aboard including the driver of the rig. But…I digress. 

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Friday
Aug082014

Open Wide…!

By Al Vinikour 

As an automotive journalist, industry observer and all-around nudge, I’m constantly looking for things to comment on (read, “complain about”). Recent events have given me all kinds of new material. This column will be on how far rear doors open. For all you Mensa applicants, another way of putting it would be to wonder how close to 90◦ that door is going to open. 

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Friday
Jul252014

Built for Comfort

By Al Vinikour

As usually happens during the summer months, there have been bunch of car shows ranging from high-performance models to classics. Generally, the only time I pay attention to things like that is to find out where the shows are being held so I can make sure I don’t go that way. I hate crowds. But when there are literally thousands of classic and antique cars that show up in a city for an event, such as the world-famous Woodward Dream Cruise, it’s hard to avoid seeing these vehicles up close and personal.

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Friday
Jul112014

I Hate Sunroofs!

By Al Vinikour

Apparently, Al has family in Transylvania.As regular readers of my diatribes have probably determined, I’m filled with more hate than a Super Bowl filled with Detroit Lions season ticket holders. However, there are some things I find more hateful than others, and one of them is a car’s sunroof. Call it what you want — a sunroof, moonroof or even a Marsroof — I hate them!

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Friday
Jun272014

The World Was His Drift Pad

By Al Vinikour

Drifting was once something you did for fun, or to get near your friend's sister. It wasn't motor sport, but it was nauseating.Every year about this time, I wax nostalgic about my upbringing in the great state of Indiana. And why do I go through this exercise? I don’t know. Actually I’m just making this up because I thought it would create a good lead. However, there is a point to this story. I go to a lot of automotive press events and attended one where the manufacturer had an area set aside to test a vehicle’s prowess in “drifting,” a process where cars glide, turn circles, run backwards and display other tricks to highlight its nimbleness.

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