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Old Favorites: The Wartburg
Aug23

Old Favorites: The Wartburg

After returning from one of her periodic forays back in the early ‘80s into the German Democratic Republic—a.k.a. East Germany—at the wheel of her Volvo 343, my mother mystified me at first by complaining about the number of warthogs she had encountered on the roads of the workers’ paradise. They traveled in convoys, she said, and were all over the place, and moving at high speed, too. Only Trabants could slow them down. At the mention of the GDR’s iconic crapmobile, it dawned on me that she was referring not to bristly African piggies but to East Germany’s other automotive icon, the Wartburg, named after the ancient castle that dominates the town of Eisenach (birthplace of J. S. Bach).  They were less famous abroad than the Trabis, but were much better cars, all around, coveted by the citizens of the little dictatorship, and .  Alas, they were still East German, made by and for committees, and, like their pocket homeland, were doomed after ’89.

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First Drive: 2013 Chevrolet Spark
Aug22

First Drive: 2013 Chevrolet Spark

The hassles of urban life often conflict with car ownership; finding and affording a parking spot, and the ability to make monthly payments are chief among them.  Assuming no financial obligation, however, cars best-suited for the city are light, chuckable, and fit in tight parking spaces.  Enter the 2013 Chevrolet Spark: General Motors’ answer to the likes of the Smart Fortwo, Scion iQ and Fiat 500.  On Tuesday, Techshake had the chance to put Chevy’s newest minicar through its paces in New York City, its natural environment.

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Review: 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport (w/ Video)
Aug17

Review: 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport (w/ Video)

Lexus automobiles have a [deserved] reputation for being tuned for comfort and isolation than for performance, sport, or even fun.  They are typically among the quietest on the road, and they’re able to gobble up mile after mile of highway driving, coddling their driver and passengers in buttery-soft leather, numb steering, and soft brakes.  There are many people for whom that description holds appeal.

For the subset of the general population repulsed at the idea of experiencing complete isolation in one’s luxury automobile, Lexus has begun to branch out a bit from its softness.  There’s the IS-F (a car we love), IS 350 F Sport, LFA supercar, and now the GS 350 F Sport.

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Woodward or Pebble: Where Will You Be This Weekend?
Aug15

Woodward or Pebble: Where Will You Be This Weekend?

From the middle of May to the end of August, it seems like there’s a classic car show almost every weekend in cities around the United States.  The summer months offer the ideal conditions for displaying preserved antiques and turn-key treasures outdoors — save for the occasional torrential downpour that sends showgoers running.

This coming weekend marks the pinnacle of summer car show season, albeit in two starkly different vicinities.

Pursuers of exquisite automotive pieces will flock to Monterey, Calif., a swanky enclave along the California coast, for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  The weekend itself embodies a life filled with the finer things, from Delahayes to Duesenbergs, combined with schmoozing celebrities and free-flowing food and drink.  It’s the ultimate weekend for those who choose to live well.

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Land Rover Reveals Lighter, Sleeker 2013 Range Rover
Aug15

Land Rover Reveals Lighter, Sleeker 2013 Range Rover

With the imminent arrival of stricter emission and fuel mileage regulations, the engineers tasked with developing the 2013 Range Rover faced a formidable challenge in honing and refining their creation. With the release of several leaked images on the Internet, Land Rover has decided to formally unveil the finished product of their hard work and effort:  the 2013 Range Rover SUV.

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