Reporting on Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is the most popular and most trusted name in general-population reviews, but how good are they with cars? The magazine and its annual car book have been both praised and critiqued for years; I did a large critique on Allpar one or two decades ago, and recently revisited it. Not to turn this …

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Chrysler resurgent: 1992-97

Recently, a Chrysler employee posted part of an internal brochure, and it reminded me of the time when Chrysler came back with a vengeance. This was not the first time, as most readers know; the company has had an absurd number of comebacks under charismatic leaders—under Walter Flanders, Walter Chrysler, Lee Iacocca, Bob Lutz, and …

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1949 Dodge cars: practical at the wrong time

see the 1949 Dodge cars

The “completely new” 1949 Dodges, like the lower Plymouths and the higher DeSotos and Chryslers, were created to the specifications of Walter Chrysler’s protegé,  K.T. Keller. K.T. was a great wartime leader for Chrysler Corporation, ordering daily miracles for the United States military; the company did an incredible job of producing anti-aircraft guns, aircraft parts …

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Speculation: How a Peugeot-style branding system could work in the USA

Peugeot SA, like Volkswagen AG, tended to reflect American automakers of the 1930s-to-1980s: similar cars were sold under different brands, varying in trim, soundproofing, convenience features, and such. Peugeot maintained four brands—Citroën, DS, and Opel being the other three. That system, in Chrysler’s case, led to extremely similar cars being sold, with varying sizes, trim …

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D-bags for washer fluid: the way it was

AMC washer bag

Today, under the hood of any car you will find at least one, and sometimes two, oddly shaped, translucent containers with built-in funnels or tubes, holding windshield washer fluid. But that was not always the way it was done. Into the 1960s, cars had plastic bags, which denizens of the time sometimes called douche bags, …

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Mopar turbos of the 1980s

The first generation of turbocharged Mopars were not part of the executives’ original plan, but they were tough, well-engineered, efficient, and, with the Turbo IV of the 1990s, innovative enough that modern turbos follow in their path. All were four-cylinders, from the same family, made in two displacements (one was mildly stroked). The more powerful …

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What is the StellPower plan?

StellPower isn’t much yet. But we hope it will be bigger and better. The plan is that, while a certain other site was grown out of one person’s spare time, over the course of over a decade, this one would start out as a joint project. The forum is integrated with the news page now; …

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