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Jonathon Ramsey

Associate Editor (email | google+) Subscribe to RSS

No matter how many new boxes the court system, the human resource department, the college admissions office and the census come up with, we know that people are wildly ill-defined by their specs. And no matter how delightfully we atomize everything with wheels, cars – the most enjoyable ones, at least – are just as impossible-to-pin down as the humanoids who pilot them. That’s the world of transportation that interests me. Sure, it’s handy to pencil in some of the details, but we don’t drive details – we drive cars, camions, bi-, moto- and tricycles, Robins and roadsters, Gumperts and Gmunds and Goggomobils and anything with a motor and a “Go!” button. Where the spec sheets end and the high mountain road begins, that’s the story worth telling.

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    Official: Wolfgang Dürheimer retakes the reins at Bentley and Bugatti
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    Wolfgang Dürheimer is still in play, with Bentley Motors announcing that he will return to the Chairman and CEO slot of the English company and French division Bugatti on June 1, 2014. He'll probably remember those chairs from the last time he filled them, since he was promoted to both ...

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    Study: NTSB offers NHTSA advice on semi truck safety
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    Based on studies conducted last year, the National Transportation Safety Board has sent seven recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "to improve the safety of tractor-trailers." The suggestions range from changing actual physical components on tractor-trailers, like ...

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    Read This: Did hard feelings between GM and Delphi contribute to ignition-switch woes?
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    The Detroit News has lodged another exhibit in the attempt to reconstruct how General Motors used an ignition switch part that might not have met the company's own standards, citing acrimonious relations between it and parts supplier Delphi just after the turn of the millennium. The short story ...

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    Study: J.D. Power customer survey of dealers counts Cadillac, Buick as big winners
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    Cadillac and Buick have taken the trophies in J.D. Power's latest Customer Service Index Study examining satisfaction with dealer service. Surveying more than 90,000 owners and lessees of 2009-2013 model-year cars, the study found that those with pre-paid maintenance packages were ten percent ...

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    Report: Toyota retires robots in favor of humans to improve automaking process
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    Mitsuru Kawai is overseeing a return to the old ways at Toyota factories throughout Japan. Having spent 50 years at the Japanese automaker, Kawai remembers when manual skills were prized at the company and "experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything." Company CEO ...

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    Video: Watch Formula Drift Championship leader Chris Forsberg drift a 1975 Datsun 280Z
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    Chris Forsberg won the Formula Drift Championship in 2009, was in the catbird seat to win it last year until the final race of the season and started this year's season with a win at Long Beach. That is how he can be provide the example for Clarion USA's tagline, "Dream like a champion." In this ...

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    Video: Morgan celebrates 100 years of going its own way
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    Morgan is really pretty good at making nifty little videos that showcase the nifty little car company it is. The English fashioner of wood-framed automobiles and three-wheeled jitneys has done it again in commemoration of more than 100 years building cars at its factory in ...

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    Report: Ford planning Falcon GT final edition for Australia
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    To ring out the end of the Ford Performance Vehicle division in Australia, the demise of Ford production Down Under, and to celebrate the history of iconic racing Falcons of yore, The Blue Oval is building a limited run of 550 FPV GT-F sedans, based on the current Falcon GT. The F, depressingly ...

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    Video: Watch this British motorcyclist tumble down a 40-foot hill
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    The image above is a frame from English motorcyclist Jack Sanderson's helmet cam. After a bit of impatience while riding a seven-mile stretch of the A537 called Cat and Fiddle, 21-year-old Sanderson learned why it's one of the most dangerous roads in all of Europe. He took a corner too fast, ...

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    Report: Marussia production car hopes dead, F1 team gets new owners
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    Russian media outlet R-Sport reports that sports car maker Marussia Motors has stopped making road cars and its employees in Moscow have "left the company en masse and joined a government-run technical institute." That suggests there won't be an evolution of the Cosworth-powered B2, the firm's ...

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    Official: Bentley shows plug-in hybrid concept ahead of Beijing, will power SUV in 2017
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    From its more mainstream, popular origins in the original Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, the hybrid powertrain has worked its way up to the the corner office, the big chair, the top slot in the corporation. Bentley has announced that it will introduce a plug-in hybrid option on its SUV due in ...

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    Video: Sci-fi movie Jinn features car designer, Firebird-bodied Camaro
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    If you're an automotive engineer being tormented by an immortal being made of fire, then wouldn't you think it best to have a custom coupe called the FireBreather for your getaway car? That's the FireBreather in the image above, adorned by the red wings that once fronted the Pontiac Firebird, ...

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    Video: Modified Trabant takes on Nissan GT-R in 1/4-mile battle
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    The little yellow guy in the right lane above with the "Flitzer" license plate looks like a Trabant 601 wagon and it's called a Trabant, but it's got little to do with the impoverished East German runabout that did its part to drive Communist ideals further into the ground. You'd almost be ...

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    Report: Next Mercedes SL due in 2019, will share platform with SLK
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    Planning to reduce its platform count to just four, Mercedes-Benz will put the next generation SL on the same Modular Sports Architecture (MSA) as the upcoming SLK. Right now they are the only two cars planned to use MSA, with the firm's other rear-wheel-drive cars going on the Modular Rear ...

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    Official: Automobile Magazine releases 2014 All-Stars List
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    You never know exactly when it's going to come, but you know that it's going to come, and the Automobile Magazine list of All-Stars is here. Six of the cars that were on the 2013 list have survived into 2014, just two have made the leap from the 2012 roundup, and there are three common names with ...

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    Official: Monowheel Ryno bike hitting the streets mid-April [w/video]
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    It was 2011 that the Ryno electric unicycle began making news. Three years later, the news is that the one-wheeled commuter transport vehicle is shipping: head to the Ryno Motors site and you can pick one up for $5,295. If you're the type that always has to try the extra toppings, then you can ...

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    Report: Despite shuttering local assembly, Holden gunning for top spot in Oz by 2020
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    Little more than a month after leaving the top slot at Volkswagen of India to become managing director of Holden, Australian outlets are reporting that Gerry Dorizas said he wants Holden to be number one in Oz market share by 2020. Dorizas says he believes it can be done with better and more ...

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    Read This: Colorado company making American Ute dreams come true
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    Randy Reese is the Colorado dreamcatcher for those who still light votive candles at the altar of Our Lady of El Camino. He fulfills his role by importing the bodies of Australian utes, like the one pictured above, and installing them on the chassis' of fully US-compliant cars like the Pontiac ...

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    Video: This is what Microsoft's latest Windows In The Car looks like
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    Following Apple's unveiling of CarPlay at this year's Geneva Motor Show, Microsoft used its recent Build developer conference to reveal how it plans to allow the integration of its smartphones with automobiles. Instead of automakers using Microsoft programming to create their own infotainment ...

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    Video: Saturday Night Live lampoons GM CEO Mary Barra's testimony before Congress
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    A whole lotta spotlights are being turned on General Motors because of the automaker's recent recall issues. Following John Stewart's skewering of the Chevrolet Cobalt issue, Saturday Night Live is the latest to wonder - in its parodic way - "WTF?" Last weekend's episode opened with a skit that ...

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