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Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Survey: Ford Mustang, Tesla Top List Of Most Desirable Cars of Average Americans

A recent survey conducted by marketing agency Digital Third Coast and automotive products company Golden Eagle revealed the average car tastes of most Americans. The survey had some predictable results, most notably the Ford Mustang staking claim as the often-stated “dream car” among most Americans. Surprisingly, though, Tesla came in second, followed by a Jeep, a Corvette, and a Camaro.

The sample size of the survey is small – only 2,000 Americans participated – relative to the study’s topic, but it did paint a seemingly accurate picture of the car tastes of most Americans. It’s not surprising that baby boomers still long to own a Chevrolet Corvette while Gen-Xer’s are still captivated by the mystique of the Chevrolet Camaro. For their part, millennials identified Tesla as their dream cars, an understandable answer considering that they’re literally coming into adulthood at the same time as Tesla is coming into its own as a legitimate automaker.

The survey also revealed that Tesla has a foothold in the Northwest, Southwest, and Pacific as the dream car among Americans living in those regions. The Mustang is well-represented by folks in the Midwest and Southeast while those living in the Mountain regions surprisingly identified the Range Rover over any kind of Jeep as their dream cars.

Tesla continues to pop up at various times in the survey, but there is a good bit of irony in the revelation that most people who identified themselves as “not knowledgeable” about cars chose the electric car maker as their dream car. It’s likely that they identify Teslas, whether it’s the Model S, Model X, or Model 3, as the cars of the future, in large part because of the company’s status as a pioneer in electrification and autonomous driving technology. These people are less captivated by the mechanical and technical intricacies of a car as they are about the possibility of going to work while the car drives them there autonomously.

On the flip side, those who identified themselves as “car experts” chose the Mustang as their dream car. Hardly a surprise there, either.

References


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Tesla Model S - image 672438

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model S.


2016 Tesla Model X - image 678035

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model X.


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 727971

Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

PostHeaderIcon Mother Nature Is Pissed And The East Coast Is Frozen

Folks living on the East Coast are enduring a three-hit combo from the weather right now, with high winds, lots of precipitation, and icy temperatures overlapping to create one helluva knockout punch. The pictures and video are dramatic, showing cars either frozen solid, or up to their bumper in water.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

A positively massive winter storm is ravaging the entire Eastern Seaboard right now, affecting folks everywhere from Florida up to New England. CBS reports that at least 21 deaths have been attributed to the storm thus far.

The storm first hit Florida a few days ago, and is currently making its way north. Along with the heavy snow and rain, the storm is bringing hurricane-force winds with gusts over 70 mph. Some places have got as much as 18 inches of snow, with even Tallahassee and south-east Georgia getting a good amount of the white stuff.

In Brant Rock, Massachusetts, storm surges are pummeling coastal towns, with massive flooding filling the streets. In Boston, flooding combined with freezing temperatures have created an astonishing scene, with rows of parked cars stuck bumper deep in ice on the frigid streets. CNN is reporting some residents are without heat, electricity, and water.

Stay safe out there, folks.







PostHeaderIcon Oregonians Go Crazy Over Self-Service Gas Stations; Facebook Trolls Come Out Of The Woodwork

As of January 1st, Oregon will now permit self-service gasoline stations in counties with 40,000 residents or less. It’s a pretty minor law change, but the reaction on social media has been enormous.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

For the past 65 years, Oregon drivers have been banned from pumping their own gasoline, as the north western state was one of just two states in the U.S. (New Jersey is the other one) with a law in place that stipulates station employees must fill the tank, rather than the customer. However, back in May of 2017, Oregon passed a new law that opens the option for self-service stations in counties with 40,000 residents or less. The law change just went into effect January 1st, prompting local CBS affiliate KTVL 10 in Medford to post a poll to their Facebook page on whether or not Oregon should allow self-serve gas stations.

“The reaction to the poll has been immense, to say the least, with some 46,000 comments 54,000 shares as of this writing.”

The reaction to the poll has been immense, to say the least, with some 46,000 comments 54,000 shares as of this writing. Several Oregonians have expressed concern over pumping their own gas, with one top comment reading:

“No! Disabled, seniors, people with young children in the car need help. Not to mention getting out of your car with transients around and not feeling safe too. This is a very bad idea. Grrr”

Or another that reads:

“I don’t even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian….. I say NO THANKS! I don’t want to smell like gasoline!”

Of course, given the vast majority of U.S. residents have pumped their own gas the entirety of their driving lives, the troll backlash has been immediate and scathing. One comment reads:

“FEAR NOT OREGON!!!!!

I’ve decided to move to Oregon to open a school to teach people how to pump their own gas. Short term business you say? HA! I will simply branch out and offer classes on such complicated things as:

1. Tying your own shoes.

2. Dressing yourself.

3. Operating a self checkout machine.

4. Dial your own phone.

5. Mow your own lawn.

6. Split your own firewood

7. How to feed yourself.

8. Make your own dinner.

9. Wash, dry and fold your own laundry. (Extra charge as these are three classes taught separately)

10. Operating a can opener, manual and electric.

11. Counting past 10.

12. Wiping your own butt.”

Or there’s this other troll comment:

“No lie, pumping your own gas is MORTIFYING and downright TERRIFYING. I witnessed my dad get viciously eaten by a pack of raptors and a T-Rex, which would have been kept at bay by a qualified gas station attendant. Think of the children, Oregon.”

Of course, we here at TopSpeed like to think we give a fair shake that takes into account all sides of a story. As far as full-service gas stations are concerned, a dedicated pump attendant does make the process a bit safer and help to create jobs. On the other hand, the whole process is as easy as filling a bucket with a hose, and just as long as you don’t do something absurdly stupid like light a cigarette or go for a long-distance fill-up shot, it’s quite safe as well.

Regardless, the law merely opens the option for self-service, and several rural Oregon stations have already come out to say they will continue to offer full service, given that’s what their patrons prefer. So really, the law change is a pretty minor issue – but hey, at least we got a few laughs out of it, right?

PUMP YOUR OWN GAS
Starting January 1st Oregonians can begin pumping their own gas in rural counties. MORE: http://bit.ly/2lnpGYP
Do you think Oregon should allow self-serve gas stations statewide?

Posted by KTVL CBS 10 News, Medford on Friday, December 29, 2017

PostHeaderIcon Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US?

The Ford Fusion has been around for 11 years, having first been introduced in 2006. It’s done well to represent Ford’s foray in the mid-size sedan segment, but with sales of midsize sedans down across the board in 2017, Ford may be thinking of cutting the Fusion completely from its lineup. There’s been no word on the status of the Fusion moving forward, but recent reports have cast serious doubts on the future of the model in the U.S.


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661263
“Sales of the Fusion have dropped 22 percent through November 2017 compared to the same period last year”

To be clear, Ford has not stopped selling the Fusion in the U.S. It’s still very much available for those who’d like to spend at least $22,000 on it. But the state of affairs among midsize sedans in the U.S. paints an alarming picture. Simply put, it hasn’t been a good year for the segment as some brands have posted year-over-year sales drops on their respective models. In Ford’s case, sales of the Fusion have dropped 22 percent through November 2017 compared to the same period last year. To date, Ford has sold 192,170 units of the Fusion compared to 246,708 units in the first 11 months of 2016.

The Fusion’s slow sales in the U.S. this year has already caused some upheaval with regards to where the sedan is going to be built moving forward. Ford confirmed as much when it announced that it’s going to stop building the Fusion in its production facility in Hermosillo, Mexico. A Ford representative quickly added fuel to the fire when he told Automotive News that the company has “no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe.”


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661257
“The Fusion’s slow sales in the U.S. this year has already caused some upheaval with regards to where the sedan is going to be built moving forward”

Assuming that’s the case, it’s going to be interesting to see how Ford is going to offer the Fusion if it’s not going to be built in Mexico and it’s not going to be exported in China. The answer is likely that Ford will stop selling the Fusion in the U.S. altogether. New CEO Jim Hackett even alluded to it in a wink-wink manner when he responded to an Automotive News question about the Fusion’s status by simply saying, “I’m giving you a hint.”

Put all these “hints” together, and it does look like we’ve seen the last of the Ford Fusion in our shores for the time being.

References

Ford Fusion


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661258

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fusion.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US?

The Ford Fusion has been around for 11 years, having first been introduced in 2006. It’s done well to represent Ford’s foray in the mid-size sedan segment, but with sales of midsize sedans down across the board in 2017, Ford may be thinking of cutting the Fusion completely from its lineup. There’s been no word on the status of the Fusion moving forward, but recent reports have cast serious doubts on the future of the model in the U.S.


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661263
“Sales of the Fusion have dropped 22 percent through November 2017 compared to the same period last year”

To be clear, Ford has not stopped selling the Fusion in the U.S. It’s still very much available for those who’d like to spend at least $22,000 on it. But the state of affairs among midsize sedans in the U.S. paints an alarming picture. Simply put, it hasn’t been a good year for the segment as some brands have posted year-over-year sales drops on their respective models. In Ford’s case, sales of the Fusion have dropped 22 percent through November 2017 compared to the same period last year. To date, Ford has sold 192,170 units of the Fusion compared to 246,708 units in the first 11 months of 2016.

The Fusion’s slow sales in the U.S. this year has already caused some upheaval with regards to where the sedan is going to be built moving forward. Ford confirmed as much when it announced that it’s going to stop building the Fusion in its production facility in Hermosillo, Mexico. A Ford representative quickly added fuel to the fire when he told Automotive News that the company has “no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe.”


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661257
“The Fusion’s slow sales in the U.S. this year has already caused some upheaval with regards to where the sedan is going to be built moving forward”

Assuming that’s the case, it’s going to be interesting to see how Ford is going to offer the Fusion if it’s not going to be built in Mexico and it’s not going to be exported in China. The answer is likely that Ford will stop selling the Fusion in the U.S. altogether. New CEO Jim Hackett even alluded to it in a wink-wink manner when he responded to an Automotive News question about the Fusion’s status by simply saying, “I’m giving you a hint.”

Put all these “hints” together, and it does look like we’ve seen the last of the Ford Fusion in our shores for the time being.

References

Ford Fusion


Is The Ford Fusion Getting Axed In The US? - image 661258

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Fusion.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon California Ranked As Having Worst Drivers In U.S.

Insurance website QuoteWizard just released its annual ranked list or Best and Worst Drivers by State for 2017, and it’s not looking good for those behind the wheel in the Golden State. Meanwhile, drivers in Rhode Island now have something to be proud of.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


California Ranked As Having Worst Drivers In U.S. - image 753950
“The QuoteWizard study looks at data points on sampled incident data from QuoteWizard users, juxtaposed with the Federal Highway Administration fatality data”

The QuoteWizard study looks at data points on sampled incident data from QuoteWizard users, juxtaposed with the Federal Highway Administration fatality data. The data is then weighted for incident totals for each state with its occurrence percentage, with the rankings based on the sum of weighted means calculated from accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, citations, and fatalities.

So then, what’s the state with the worst drivers? That would be California, which was second in 2016 but climbed to the top spot for 2017. QuoteWizard also points out that California includes half of the top 10 cities with the worst drivers in the country, with the absolute worst of the worst residing in Sacramento (although Los Angeles is mentioned as well). California drivers accumulated more tickets and more DUIs this time around, even grabbing the spot for worst standard for DUIs in the country, according to the study.

Meanwhile, the best drivers are in Rhode Island, so congrats on that, New England.

Rankings by State

Ranking (Worst) State
1 California
2 Minnesota
3 Utah
4 South Carolina
5 Washington
6 Nebraska
7 Maine
8 Virginia
9 Idaho
10 North Dakota
11 Georgia
12 Vermont
13 Kansas
14 Ohio
15 Delaware
16 New Jersey
17 Colorado
18 Oregon
19 Connecticut
20 Maryland
21 Wyoming
22 New Mexico
23 Wisconsin
24 New Hampshire
25 North Carolina
26 Louisiana
27 Iowa
28 Alabama
29 Texas
30 Missouri
31 Massachusetts
32 Indiana
33 Pennsylvania
34 Tennessee
35 Alaska
36 Alaska
37 New York
38 Montana
39 Kentucky
40 Arizona
41 Oklahoma
42 West Virginia
43 Illinois
44 South Dakota
45 Nevada
46 Arkansas
47 Michigan
48 Mississippi
49 Florida
50 Rhode Island

Generally speaking, the last few years have seen a sizable increase in the number of auto accidents and car-related deaths, despite the advent of new semi-autonomous safety technologies like automatic braking. So why is that? The study points to the fact that Americans are driving more and more on average, with the additional time on the road equating to more opportunities for accidents, plus the fact that distracted driving continues to be a major problem.

So, about those autonomous cars…

PostHeaderIcon California Ranked As Having Worst Drivers In U.S.

Insurance website QuoteWizard just released its annual ranked list or Best and Worst Drivers by State for 2017, and it’s not looking good for those behind the wheel in the Golden State. Meanwhile, drivers in Rhode Island now have something to be proud of.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


California Ranked As Having Worst Drivers In U.S. - image 753950
“The QuoteWizard study looks at data points on sampled incident data from QuoteWizard users, juxtaposed with the Federal Highway Administration fatality data”

The QuoteWizard study looks at data points on sampled incident data from QuoteWizard users, juxtaposed with the Federal Highway Administration fatality data. The data is then weighted for incident totals for each state with its occurrence percentage, with the rankings based on the sum of weighted means calculated from accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, citations, and fatalities.

So then, what’s the state with the worst drivers? That would be California, which was second in 2016 but climbed to the top spot for 2017. QuoteWizard also points out that California includes half of the top 10 cities with the worst drivers in the country, with the absolute worst of the worst residing in Sacramento (although Los Angeles is mentioned as well). California drivers accumulated more tickets and more DUIs this time around, even grabbing the spot for worst standard for DUIs in the country, according to the study.

Meanwhile, the best drivers are in Rhode Island, so congrats on that, New England.

Rankings by State

Ranking (Worst) State
1 California
2 Minnesota
3 Utah
4 South Carolina
5 Washington
6 Nebraska
7 Maine
8 Virginia
9 Idaho
10 North Dakota
11 Georgia
12 Vermont
13 Kansas
14 Ohio
15 Delaware
16 New Jersey
17 Colorado
18 Oregon
19 Connecticut
20 Maryland
21 Wyoming
22 New Mexico
23 Wisconsin
24 New Hampshire
25 North Carolina
26 Louisiana
27 Iowa
28 Alabama
29 Texas
30 Missouri
31 Massachusetts
32 Indiana
33 Pennsylvania
34 Tennessee
35 Alaska
36 Alaska
37 New York
38 Montana
39 Kentucky
40 Arizona
41 Oklahoma
42 West Virginia
43 Illinois
44 South Dakota
45 Nevada
46 Arkansas
47 Michigan
48 Mississippi
49 Florida
50 Rhode Island

Generally speaking, the last few years have seen a sizable increase in the number of auto accidents and car-related deaths, despite the advent of new semi-autonomous safety technologies like automatic braking. So why is that? The study points to the fact that Americans are driving more and more on average, with the additional time on the road equating to more opportunities for accidents, plus the fact that distracted driving continues to be a major problem.

So, about those autonomous cars…

PostHeaderIcon PSA: Don’t Blindly Use Navigation in California Wildfire Zones!

Unless you’ve bee living under a rock, it’s impossible to ignore the series of wildfires that are happening in California and not feel for those who are affected. The fire, called the Thomas Fire, has laid waste to at least 200,000 acres of land, left more than 85,000 households without power, and forced come to 100,000 people to evacuate their homes. It’s a serious disaster that has affected so many lives. Mandatory evacuations are taking place all over Los Angeles as some areas are literally wind gusts away from being affected. In the event that you live in a potential danger zone, heed our advice on this one critical aspect of your evacuation: don’t hastily follow routes that are suggested by GPS devices.

You only need to look at videos of the wildfire to understand the magnitude of the situation. There’s nothing funny about what’s happening in that area of California, so it’s important that residents of the area stay vigilant on their understanding of the wildfire and the imminent threat it poses.

Evacuating from affected areas is critical in times like this. If you’re going to do it, make sure that you’re not rushing it. Be smart and think with a clear head. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use navigation devices at all cost because they could be very useful in determining the right routes to take. But the flip side to that is there’s a chance that the roads the computer sees as having no traffic on them could be because they’re either closed or are on fire. In this case, stay alert of your surroundings. State officials have said that roadblocks are set up on a lot of the affected streets so keep an eye out for them when you’re trying to drive away from the fire.

If you do find yourself in unfamiliar roads, GPS can be your ally, especially if you don’t know your surroundings. But don’t use it as the only tool at your disposal. Use all of your applicable senses, including common sense. It might spell the difference in finding your way to safety or getting stuck in a vulnerable area.

The good news is that there haven’t been any reports of people getting stuck in areas because their GPS units led them there. Let’s hope that it stays that way. More importantly, let’s hope that this wildfire ends sooner than later. It’s been going on for a week now, and while we do appreciate and commend all the firefighters and rescue volunteers who have been on the scene trying to control the chaos, they need more help in trying to contain the situation.

Thoughts and prayers up to everybody affected. We’re thinking of you.

PostHeaderIcon Big Surprise: California Wants to Ban Internal Combustion Engines

California Assemblyman Phil Ting is putting his money where his mouth is after telling Bloomberg his plans to introduce a bill that would effectively ban vehicles powered by fossil fuels by 2040. Ting’s efforts to ban cars using internal combustion engines is similar to moves that are being done in China, France, and the United Kingdom. “Until you set a deadline, nothing gets done,” he told Bloomberg. “It’s responsible for us to set a deadline 23 years in advance.”

“Ting’s efforts to ban cars using internal combustion engines is similar to moves that are being done in China, France, and the United Kingdom”

The lawmaker indicated that he plans to introduce the bill next month when a new legislative session opens in Sacramento. Part of the bill’s goal is to accelerate similar attempts made by California officials to address a ban on cars using internal combustion engines. It’s worth noting that California is the largest market for new vehicle sales in the US, so there’s a need to discuss the issue before it becomes a bigger problem in the future.

The California Air Resources Board has had similar discussions about this issue. Even Governor Jerry Brown showed interest in replicating the measures that have been put in place in other countries, so it’s not surprising that the assemblyman is finally taking action. He’s right, too, when he said nothing will come out of all the talk unless there’s a set plan in place that everybody can follow.


Big Surprise: California Wants to Ban Internal Combustion Engines - image 751707
“Even Governor Jerry Brown showed interest in replicating the measures that have been put in place in other countries”

Now we wait to see if assemblyman Ting is a man of his word. More importantly, we’ll know too whether his constituents feel the same way. If his proposed bill gets the support it needs to pass, California becomes the first state in the US to have a detailed deadline in place that could reshape the auto industry in the country. Time to step up or step aside, assemblyman.

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Hopes to Connect O’Hare International to Downtown Chicago via High-Speed Loop

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company is going to submit a bid to fund, develop, and operate a high-speed transit system in Chicago. The decision comes in response to the local government’s request for proposals from applicants who are interested in designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining a transit system that connects Chicago O’Hare Airport to the city’s downtown area, delivering passengers between the two points in 20 minutes or less


Elon Musk Hopes to Connect O'Hare International to Downtown Chicago via High-Speed Loop - image 749324

It didn’t take long for Musk to jump at the opportunity to announce plans for a bid. That’s not surprising considering that projects like this are one of the reasons why The Boring Company was started in the first place. For those who don’t know its history, The Boring Company aims to build “fast to dig, low-cost tunnels” with the goal of solving “the problem of soul-destroying traffic” through a “large network of tunnels many levels deep below cities. These are the same words on the company’s website.

It is interesting that Musk resisted the urge to characterize the company’s bid as a “Hyperloop,” opting instead to refer to it as a “high-speed loop.” He also didn’t say if the proposal will feature an underground system or one that’s above ground. Musk did confirm that electric pods will be part of the proposal, though he added that rails may or may not be part of the proposal.

The importance of this bid should not be understated. Chicago is in need of a high-speed transit system that can cut down the travel time from O’Hare airport to the downtown area and vice versa. The travel time between those two locations currently takes up to 40 to 45 minutes. The goal of this project is to cut travel time down in half to around 20 minutes or less and services commuters “at least every 15 minutes for the majority of the day.” The city also wants the project to offer cheaper fares to its commuters, a lot of whom pay roughly $60 for a taxi ride and about $40 for Uber rides between the two locations.

The Boring Company has until January 24, 2018, to submit its bid for the future project.

References


Elon Musk Receives Official Approval for The Boring Company's First Tunnel under L.A., but it Doesn't Mean what you Think - image 729019

Read more about Hyperloop One.


So, Elon Musk Really is Serious About Making Tunnels - image 715029

Read more about The Boring Company.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Read more about Elon Musk.

PostHeaderIcon Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S.

“25” may seem like a random number in the auto industry, but ask any self-respecting collector in America the significance of this number, and they’ll tell you all about it. For those who don’t know, “25” in this context means “25 years,” as in the number of years that need to pass before a car that was not originally produced in the U.S. and was not subjected to strict U.S. guidelines for crash tests can now be legally imported and registered for road use.

The rationale behind the NHTSA’s 25-year timetable has left many collectors confused and frustrated. The word “overkill” has even been used many times by a number of collectors we talked to. But that’s the rule; it is what it is.

The good news is that every year, a batch of these forbidden fruits become ripe for the picking by virtue of them finally meeting the 25-year criteria imposed by This year, car models from 1992 finally got their “welcome to America” status. Whether there’s still interest in any of them is a different story altogether. The important thing is that they can now be registered for road use here in the U.S., giving them the opportunity to finally touch thousands of miles of roads that were previously forbidden to them.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Autozam AZ-1


Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S. - image 747301

Let’s start this list with a complete oddity. The Autozam AZ-1 is the rare car that manages to be cool and strange at the same time. It traces its roots to Mazda’s short-lived Autozam marquee, which specialised on building small cars, otherwise known as keicars in that market. In the five years that Autozam was around, it developed a full lineup of these cars, one of which was the AZ-1. It’s hard to tell what the AZ-1’s defining feature was because there’s enough of them to go around. It could be the gullwing doors. It could be its mid-engine layout. Heck, it could even be its flamboyant styling. Whatever it was, the AZ-1 was ahead of its time in a lot of different ways.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution


2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII - image 46657

Technically, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has already made its way into the U.S. market. But that didn’t happen until 2003 when the Evo VIII became available. Unfortunately, the first seven versions of the street-legal rally car remain unicorns in the American market, at least until this year when the first iteration of the Lancer Evolution turns 25 years old. It’s now legal to register the OG Evo in the U.S., and the next few years should also open the doors for succeeding versions of the all-wheel-drive hero ride when they hit their respective magic numbers.

Ford Escort RS Cosworth


Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S. - image 747300

The Ford Escort RS Bosworth sits in the same wheelhouse as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in that both trace roots to the rally racing world. Like the Lancer Evo, the Escort RS Bosworth was homologated for road use in 1992. It even received a good number of Cosworth bits and pieces, including the iconic YBT engine that has developed a cult following of its own. That engine was capable of producing 227 horsepower and together with its top-flight handling and all-wheel drive capabilities, it was able to run on any kind of surface and speed up to around 137 mph. Having been built by Ford of Europe, the Cossie never made it to the U.S., at least until this year when all 1992 models received their 25-year entry cards.

Alfa Romeo RZ


Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S. - image 747302

Alfa Romeo has produced its share of memorable cars in its history, but very few captured the hearts and wallets of people like the RZ convertible. Designed in collaboration with Zagato, the RZ featured dramatic styling that emphasized the stylistic strengths of the Italian design house. It also came with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine that produced 210 horsepower, enough power to help make it a serious performer on the road. Combine that with the car’s race car-derived hydraulic suspension and those who are willing to spend time and money to bring the RZ to the U.S. could have a car that can grab serious attention.

BMW M5 Touring


Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S. - image 747303

The BMW M5 Touring is not the sexiest car in this list. It might not even be the most prominent of its body type (more on that later). But it makes its way here because it achieved unicorn status when its sedan counterpart made its way stateside in 1992. That model went on to do well here in the U.S., but those who preferred the wagon version we’re out of luck. That all changed when the calendar flipped to 2017. Sure, it’s 25 years too late for the M5 Touring, but it’s worth noting that the car’s classic look still makes it a desirable piece of vintage BMW. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s powered by a straight-six engine that produced 311 horsepower.

Subaru Impreza WRX


Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S. - image 747304

As awesome as it is to own a 1992 BMW M5 Touring, I’m not taking it over a same-year make of the Subaru Impreza. It was back in 1992 when the first versions of the Impreza came to life, and the performance-spec WRX variants quickly became sensations to every market they were sent to. Sadly, the U.S. was shut out from getting the OG Impreza WRX, depriving us of a car that featured a number of rally-inspired technology, including an all-wheel drive system, a stiffened suspension, and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that came with 240 horsepower. 2017 is the first year that we can get our hands on the car that started the WRX legacy. Now that the opportunity is here, expect a lot of collectors to try to get their hands on one.

Maserati Ghibli


Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S. - image 747305

When Maserati introduced the third-generation Ghibli at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, it brought back a name that the Italian automaker hadn’t used since 1998. That was the last year of the second-generation Ghibli’s six-year production run, which began in 1992. The second-gen Ghibli will never upend the first-gen version in my mind, but if you’re looking for a four-door performance sedan from the early 1990’s to buy, few offer the kind of stories that the second-gen Ghibli has. Its persona non grata status in the U.S. for the past 25 years may be its defining trait, but it also came with some notable features, including a 2.0-liter V-6 engine that produced in excess of 300 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to a standard six-speed manual transmission, the second-gen Ghibli was capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds on its way to posting a top speed of 156 mph.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS (964)


Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S. - image 747316

The Porsche 911 Carrera RS (964) is a good example of a car that should be bought and registered as soon as it became eligible for road use in the U.S. It’s not as iconic as its predecessor, but it’s still the real deal. Emissions and safety regulations prevented us from enjoying it when first came out, but now that it’s been unshackled, you can get one this year in all its glory, including its 3.6-liter flat-six engine that produced 256 horsepower. In the event that you’re looking for one, you need to be quick at it because the model is already making a good case for itself as a sought-after collectible among Porsche collectors. Just last year, a 1991 Carrera RS 964 sold for around $200,000, roughly the same price you’ll have to pay for a brand new Porsche 911 Turbo. Now go imagine what the 1992 model will fetch in the same setting.

Honda NSX-R


Banned No More: Cars From The Class of 1992 That Can Now Be Registered In The U.S. - image 747317

The last two cars on this list are without question the most desirable ones to get. First up is the Honda NSX Type-R, or NSX-R for short. You’ll get varying opinions about the original NSX-R, but those opinions most likely fall under the awesome and really awesome categories. Not only is the NSX-R regarded as the model that really brought to life Honda’s Type R brand, it also set a standard for performance cars that’s still held in high regard to this day. It doesn’t have mind-blowing power numbers — “only” 276 horses from a 3.0-liter VTEC V-6 engine — by today’s supercar standards, but everything else about the NSX-R is still impressive even by today’s standards. It was 256 pounds lighter than the standard NSX. It had a cabin that came with lightweight carbon-Kevlar seats. It had forged-aluminum Enkei wheels. It even had a stiffened chassis and suspension that made it potent on the track. The NSX-R’s legacy is cemented by its current status as a sought-after collectible among car collectors. It’s next to impossible to find one of these models today carrying anything less than a six-figure price tag.

Jaguar XJ220


1992 - 1994 Jaguar XJ 220 - image 677818

It’s only fitting that the holy grail of the “batch of 1992” is one of the first modern supercars to capture the world’s attention. The Jaguar XJ220 was, at one point, the fastest production car in the world. That record-setting achievement was largely due to a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produced 550 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. With that kind of power, the XJ220 was able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 212.3 mph. The supercar’s stranglehold on the “fastest production car” title even lasted for a few years until the McLaren F1 came along and beat it. That’s not a diss on the XJ220, but a compliment to how impressive of a supercar it really was. It took the McLaren F1, arguably the most important supercar of the modern automotive era, to usurp the XJ220 as the fastest production car in the world. To say that the Jaguar XJ220 is sought after in today’s collector’s scene is a gross understatement. It’s already reaching six-figure price tags on account of its status (only 275 were made) and history, and as the years go by, those prices will only go one direction: up, up, and away.

PostHeaderIcon Renault is Scared to Enter U.S. Due to its Inability to Compete

Renault is big in Europe and Asia. Just don’t expect it to set its sights on the U.S. with aims of conquering that market. That’s not happening, says Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn. Instead, the French automaker will continue to set its sights on markets where it can be competitive. China and Russia top that list, but the company is also looking at the Brazilian market as a key region for growth. A look at the U.S. may still be in the cards in the future, but because of the level of competitiveness in the market, Renault is more than willing to sit in the sidelines and bide its time until that opportunity arises.

Don’t compete where you can’t beat them


2018 Renault Megane R.S. - image 732070
“Renault-Nissan alliance has somehow usurped both Volkswagen and Toyota as the world’s largest automaker with over 5.2 million cars sold from January to June 2017.”

Carlos Ghosn’s logic is sound, so it’s hard to sit here and criticize the man on his position. In all honesty, Renault could enter the U.S. market if it wanted to. It has an established name and a long track record of excellence. But it’s not going to stand out in the U.S. because of how competitive the market already is. So why even bother when the automaker can look at other markets to help spur its growth. The strategy has worked so far this year as the Renault-Nissan alliance has somehow usurped both Volkswagen and Toyota as the world’s largest automaker with over 5.2 million cars sold from January to June 2017. That’s 400,000 more units sold than VW and 600,000 more units sold than Toyota.

In lieu of going to the U.S., Ghosn told Automotive News that he wants Renault to be a major player in the Chinese market. That’s the top priority of the brand at the moment. The French automaker is just starting to get a foothold in what has become the world’s largest car market. There’s more potential there for Renault to grow its brand because the market itself is on the upswing.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO also pointed to Russia as a priority for Renault, even if the brand already enjoys a massive 35 percent market share in the country. The rationale in the case of Russia revolves around the local market’s steady climb back to relevance after going through the doldrums in recent years. If Renault, which already sells 1.4 million cars a year in the country – can grow its brand as the market becomes stronger, it’s looking at growing its sales volume to about 2.5 million cars per year, maybe even 3 million if the winds turn in its direction.


2017 Renault Megane Sedan - image 682265

Long-term goal of 14 million sold units per year by 2022

It’s no secret that an auto conglomerate as big as the Renault-Nissan Alliance traditionally sets lofty goals to carry out. It’s no different here as Ghosn has been on record saying that he wants combined sales of all Renault, Nissan, Infiniti, and Mitsubishi models to hit 14 million vehicles a year by the end of 2022. Identifying the biggest markets for growth plays a big part in reaching that goal. So too does streamlining production to help reduce costs.

The alliance is keen on making that happen with plans to create four shared vehicle platforms that will ultimately account for nine million vehicles. There are already two platforms that are being used, namely the A-plus platform and the C/D platform. Soon enough, the automaker will add a B platform for subcompact cars and another platform that will be used for electric cars. In addition, there are also plans for brands to increase its shared powertrain numbers. Only one-third of all cars across the alliance share the same powertrains. Ghosn wants to increase that to three-fourths of all models to help mitigate the company’s expenses. “It’s a cost issue,” he said. “Because of the huge amount of new technology coming, the r&d costs are going to go up. We need to converge and have common platforms.”

References



Read more Renault news.

PostHeaderIcon Mahindra Opens Headquarters in U.S., Wants to Sell Electric Cars

Mahindra, one of India’s oldest automobile manufacturers, opened its North American headquarters in Detroit on Monday and announced plans to sell its vehicles in the U.S. soon. According to Anand Mahindra, the company wants to develop new electric cars for the American market. However, its plans are still on the drawing board, with management debating whether the vehicles should be sold under the Mahindra badge or as SsangYong and Pininfarina. Mahindra purchased the Korean brand in 2011, and the famed Italian design house in 2015 and both are working on EVs. Should these brands come to the U.S., Pininfarina is likely to sell premium models that would compete with Tesla.

Mahindra produces a wide range of vehicles, including cars and SUVs, but most of its products are sold in Asia and developing countries. But the Indian firm is planning to expand to other markets for quite a few years, and it’s precisely why it purchased both SsangYong and Pininfarina. Under its ownership, the Italian brand began developing a family of electric cars that includes the H600 sedan and the H2 Speed Concept supercar. Crossovers are SUV are also likely in the books. Granted, it will take at least a couple of years until Mahindra brings an actual car to the U.S., but it will be interesting to follow its activity in Detroit. I have a feeling that upcoming U.S. auto shows will be used to unveil a few interesting concept cars.

References



Read more Mahindra news.


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746101

Read more electric car news.

PostHeaderIcon Donald Trump Giggles Inside as Nissan Considers New U.S. Production Facility

Nissan has been on such a roll in the U.S. that if it keeps it up, it may be forced to build a new production facility in the country. It’s a tremendous problem to have, one that could be born out of necessity as the automaker’s current facilities in Tennessee and Mississippi are maxed to capacity. Given the situation, the Japanese automaker may have no choice but to take the dive on building a new plant if it wants to meet its long-term goal of helping the mothership, Renault-Nissan, achieve its own goal of selling 14 million vehicles per year by the end of 2022.

When you’re a company like Nissan, and you’re faced with this dilemma, what do you do? It’s an issue that just about every automaker in the world would want to have. Don’t think for one second too that Nissan is sweating it because the returns have been that good for the Japanese automaker.

But the reality is Nissan’s two facilities in the U.S. don’t have the capacity to bring in new production volume at the rate the company is growing. That includes Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, regarded as the most productive auto production facility in the U.S. The Tennessee plant is where Nissan builds the Rogue SUV, now the most popular vehicle in the U.S. after usurping the Toyota Camry in that position.

The Trump factor


Donald Trump Giggles Inside as Nissan Considers New U.S. Production Facility - image 746842
“Toyota and Mazda have already announced plans to build a $1.6 billion joint facility at a yet-to-be-determined U.S. site, a move that drew praise from the president, who referred to the plan as “big stuff.””

It’s hard to tell what’s important and what’s not with the current U.S. administration, but it doesn’t hurt Nissan if it decides to build a new production plant. Certainly, U.S. president Donald Trump would welcome the development. The man has prodded Japanese automakers to build their cars in the US. He even raised the issue during a state visit to Japan, encouraging the car manufacturers to “try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over.”

Regardless if he knows that a lot of these same companies already have manufacturing facilities in the U.S., a lot of them, including Nissan, still import several models from Japan. Toyota and Mazda have already announced plans to build a $1.6 billion joint facility at a yet-to-be-determined U.S. site, a move that drew praise from the president, who referred to the plan as “big stuff.”

If Nissan goes a similar route, it could get the same pat in the back from the president, for what that’s worth.

Nissan execs are warm to the idea of a new production plant


Donald Trump Giggles Inside as Nissan Considers New U.S. Production Facility - image 746841
“Most of the company’s execs seem to think that a new plant is the right course of action.”

Ultimately, the decision to build a new production facility rests with the people who run Nissan.
To that end, most of the company’s execs seem to think that a new plant is the right course of action.

Nissan North America chairman Jose Munoz said that “at some point, we may need it,” referring to a new production facility.

Even Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and the final decision-maker, understands the necessity of a new plant in the U.S. if the conglomerate wants to meet its 2022 goal. “Local manufacturing depends on what size you’re aiming for,” Ghosn told Automotive News when asked about plans for Mitsubishi in the U.S.

“It’s possible to be a niche player in a large market without local manufacturing if you intend to be a full-fledged manufacturer, you need to decide to localize. For 100,000 cars a year in the United States, you don’t need to localize. If you say my goal is to sell 500,000 cars in the United States, local manufacturing is a must.”

He may be referring to Mitsubishi, but as far as sales volume goes, he may as well be talking about Nissan too.

References

3sp695507.Nissan $11.54 Billion

Read more Nissan news.

PostHeaderIcon Is it Really Surprising that California Wants to Ban Internal Combustion Engines?

So, once Donald Trump became president, California reminded us that it’s the home of the biggest bunch of crybabies on the planet and started screaming for secession from the United States. Of course, those of us who are informed know that California simply couldn’t survive on its own, but hey that’s just my opinion. The point is, the state has a habit of thinking it knows better (hence the emissions laws that are more strict than in the rest of the nation) and now, it’s looking to take things another step further by imposing a state-wide ban on the internal combustion engine. This, of course, comes after several other nations in the world have put out the word that they, too, will ban the ICE in coming years.

This move would put California on the same pedestal as the Netherlands, Norway, France, the U.K., India, and China, with the list to surely grow even more in the future. There’s no official word as to when any of these bans will be set in stone, but anytime between 2025 and 2040 is a good guess. This would, however, have a huge impact on automakers, and could force them to take the move to EVs even more seriously, as Cali is responsible for registering more vehicles than France in 2016 – that’s a lot of cars, folks. Members of CARB have gone on record saying that such a ban would be at least a decade out, so If you’re ready to tell California to bite you, you still have plenty of time to relocate. And, in fairness, electric cars have to be readily available and affordable to the everyday joe – otherwise, you’re leaving a lot of people without a legal mode of transportation. We used to bootleg booze… next, it’ll be gasoline.

Where’s That Strong Earthquake When you Need One?

Okay, so maybe that header is a little harsh, but for real… If California wants to impose its own liberal ways so bad, maybe it shouldn’t be a part of the continental United States or the union as a whole. It wants to pretend to be its own nation, then perhaps we should cut off all water supplies and government funding and see just how well it does on its own. That Earthquake that is set to separate a good chunk of the state from the content might even be welcomed at this point – let them float out to sea and be their own little sovereign nation for a bit.

“This move would put California on the same pedestal as the Netherlands, Norway, France, the U.K., India, and China”

And, before all of you start hating and tying me to the stake, let me just point out that I’m not hating on the independence of the state, but at the same time, it hasn’t exactly made life easy for the rest of the country in the past either. Admittedly, my issue is that I’m just a little mad because I just had to pay out an extra $300 for emissions-related parts because my car was built to be CARB compliant. Maybe I should praise the state, as that exact thing would be a thing of the past if all cars went electric, right? Hmmm, decisions decisions.

Back to the point, it seems that if the state doesn’t get its way it wants to secede with absolutely no effort to actually find common ground and come to an agreement with the rest of the country. I understand that an ICE ban from California alone could do some good for the world – considering it registers a massive number of vehicles each year, and more than France in 2016 —
but, at the same time, I have a feeling that it won’t even try to take into consideration the right time to do this, and that’s what irks me. But, what do you all think? Am I being too harsh? Does California have the right idea? Will it set the bar and lead the way for the rest of us? Let us know in the comments section below.

References


Owning an All-Electric Car in New York is About to Get Easier - image 733314

Read more emission news.


2020 BMW i3 M - image 733434

Read more electric care news.

PostHeaderIcon Storm Chaser Live Streams Insane Hurricane Harvey Footage

There’s certainly no shortage of dramatic footage coming from Hurricane Harvey, but this is, without a doubt, the scariest we’ve seen thus far. Broadcast live by Jeff Piotrowski, a professional storm chaser, Emmy Award winner, and owner of nerves of steel, the video comes from Rockport, Texas, taken right smack dab in the middle of the storm as it tore its way through the state over the weekend. Roughly 1.5 million viewers looked on as Piotrowski took refuge in an open car wash with the eyewall approaching, watching the intense wind and rain slam into the area, even tearing apart the building he was using for cover. Wind speed reportedly hit as high as 150 mph, and at one point during the stream, the building Pitrowski used to protect himself and his truck is ripped apart.

The stormchaser later posted pictures and video taken from inside the eye of the storm before braving the second eyewall and dodging debris. Luckily, Pitrowsky managed to make it out unscathed, but the footage is evidence of just how hairy things got. Granted, Piotrowski is a pro with decades of experience chasing down the nastiest that Mother Nature has to offer, but still – stay safe out there.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Storm Chaser Live Streams Insane Hurricane Harvey Footage

There’s certainly no shortage of dramatic footage coming from Hurricane Harvey, but this is, without a doubt, the scariest we’ve seen thus far. Broadcast live by Jeff Piotrowski, a professional storm chaser, Emmy Award winner, and owner of nerves of steel, the video comes from Rockport, Texas, taken right smack dab in the middle of the storm as it tore its way through the state over the weekend. Roughly 1.5 million viewers looked on as Piotrowski took refuge in an open car wash with the eyewall approaching, watching the intense wind and rain slam into the area, even tearing apart the building he was using for cover. Wind speed reportedly hit as high as 150 mph, and at one point during the stream, the building Pitrowski used to protect himself and his truck is ripped apart.

The stormchaser later posted pictures and video taken from inside the eye of the storm before braving the second eyewall and dodging debris. Luckily, Pitrowsky managed to make it out unscathed, but the footage is evidence of just how hairy things got. Granted, Piotrowski is a pro with decades of experience chasing down the nastiest that Mother Nature has to offer, but still – stay safe out there.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Reporter Flags Down Sheriff To Save Stranded Truck Driver

As we continue to look through the images and stories of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, it’s comforting to come across something like this. During a live broadcast covering the flooding, local news team KHOU reporter Brandi Smith found a trucker stranded in his cabin. Broadcasting live on a deserted highway, Smith managed to flag down a passing Sheriff that just so happened to be towing a boat, informing the officers about the trucker on the street below. Thankfully, the deputies managed to get the trucker to safety without incident.

The drama was posted to Twitter showing Smith’s efforts to help save the man. A follow-up post to Facebook shows the Sheriff deputies loading the rescue boat into the water and approaching the cab of the truck before the driver manages to crawl out the window and into the boat. Smith later confirmed the man was okay and would try to “find a hotel.”

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Petroleum Industry Feels Effects of Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is the most powerful storm to hit Texas in over half a century, wreaking havoc across the state and causing at least two fatalities. High winds and widespread flooding have devastated the Gulf Coast, and the U.S. petroleum industry is feeling the impact as a result. Many refineries have ceased production, while several ports involved in the export of oil have closed. Reuters reports that between Texas and Louisiana, refining capacity is capped at roughly 8.9 million bpd, with Texas contributing 5.6 million bpd and Louisiana contributing 3.3 million bpd. With the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, an estimated 2 million bpd has been knocked out.

As a result, crude oil futures took a dive on Monday, while gas prices soared.

Asian and European sources will likely see a bump in terms of exports, but experts say global refining margins are expected to stay strong. Meanwhile, fuel shortages are being reported in Latin America as exports from Texas drop off. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency has announced that it would respond to any major oil supply disruptions. As of this writing, it’s unclear how quickly production will return to normal levels, but as flooding spreads east towards Louisiana, it’s likely we’ll see some sort of long term impact on production.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Petroleum Industry Feels Effects of Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is the most powerful storm to hit Texas in over half a century, wreaking havoc across the state and causing at least two fatalities. High winds and widespread flooding have devastated the Gulf Coast, and the U.S. petroleum industry is feeling the impact as a result. Many refineries have ceased production, while several ports involved in the export of oil have closed. Reuters reports that between Texas and Louisiana, refining capacity is capped at roughly 8.9 million bpd, with Texas contributing 5.6 million bpd and Louisiana contributing 3.3 million bpd. With the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, an estimated 2 million bpd has been knocked out.

As a result, crude oil futures took a dive on Monday, while gas prices soared.

Asian and European sources will likely see a bump in terms of exports, but experts say global refining margins are expected to stay strong. Meanwhile, fuel shortages are being reported in Latin America as exports from Texas drop off. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency has announced that it would respond to any major oil supply disruptions. As of this writing, it’s unclear how quickly production will return to normal levels, but as flooding spreads east towards Louisiana, it’s likely we’ll see some sort of long term impact on production.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2015 Ford Mustang Premium GT Roush Edition 727 HP- Warrior Special Ops - Only one ever made
$35,100.00 (12 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jan-17-2018 18:09:16 PST
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1967 Ford Mustang fastback GT 1967 Mustang Fastback GT S Code
$50,100.00 (33 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Jan-21-2018 18:10:37 PST
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2014 BMW i8 Base Coupe 2-Door 2014 BMW I8 AWD HYBRID PURE IMPULSE NAV HUD 20'S 2K MI! #X64774 Texas Direct
$1,300.00 (14 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jan-19-2018 15:00:00 PST
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2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 1LZ S/C HUD REAR CAM 4K MILES #613401 Texas Direct Auto
$68,480.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 9:20:31 PST
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2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F150 LTD CREW 4X4 ECOBOOST PANO NAV 22'S 9K #D31861 Texas Direct Auto
$3.50 (3 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 7:56:10 PST
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1965 Ford Mustang 4 SPEED 1965 FORD MUSTANG FASTBACK 4 SPEED
$12,300.00
End Date: Sunday Jan-21-2018 6:36:53 PST
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2016 BMW M4 Base Coupe 2-Door 2016 BMW M4 EXECUTIVE 6-SPEED CARBON ROOF NAV HUD 22K #338388 Texas Direct Auto
$3,050.00 (20 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jan-19-2018 15:00:00 PST
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2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F150 PLATINUM 4X4 5.0 NAV PRO TRAILER 18K MI #B92925 Texas Direct Auto
$10,100.00 (10 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 20:04:20 PST
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