What's That Car Word Mean? 'Brougham' Edition

If you're not a gearhead, listening to car people talk can be really puzzling. You could easily eavesdrop on a couple of gearheads and hear them talking about how they're going to drop the Celebrity's tranny so they can pull the head off the Iron Duke*. And none of that statement is illegal. » 6/19/14 11:00pm 6/19/14 11:00pm

Say Goodbye To The Cars And Car Companies We Lost Last Year

The FJ Cruiser is dead? I didn't realize, but I should have known. I would have held a proper ceremony. Damn it Toyota! Damn it to hell! » 3/07/14 12:30pm 3/07/14 12:30pm

Why The VW Beetle Is A Universal Standard Of Weight And Measure

The sheer volume of things that are measured in terms of the classic VW Beetle is staggering. From whale hearts to heavy artillery, one object is used more often than any other to give a perspective of size and weight. The Beetle's role as a standard unit of measurement is an unsung achievement. Let's take care of… » 2/07/14 4:20pm 2/07/14 4:20pm

These Car Badge Mashups Will Screw With Your Brain

I'm sure someone out there has done these types of things before, but who cares? They're still pretty fun, and surprisingly disorienting. And by "things" I mean taking well-known automotive logos and changing the names to other well-known brands. » 11/12/13 4:00pm 11/12/13 4:00pm

Your Guide To Being A Japanese VIP

A Big Wig. A Head Honcho. Man On Top. All of these have nothing on being a Very Important Person. But in the Far East, a VIP means something very different. But what does being a VIP have to do with cars? And how does Japan figure into this? It's time for another part in our ongoing series – allow me to explain.
» 8/10/13 12:20pm 8/10/13 12:20pm

What Exactly Is Horsepower, Anyway?

Like almost any automotive publication, we use the term "horsepower" all the time. It's one of those words that seems so straightforward. What is horsepower? Why, it's the power of a horse! What does that mean? Physical power? Political? Sexual? What horse? How is it measured? Let's find out, with pictures! » 7/30/13 12:46pm 7/30/13 12:46pm

This Is What Makes A Vehicle Unstoppable Off-Road

So you've got a huge truck with big tires and truck nuts hangin' off the hitch. You figure it must be the bee's knees when it comes to off-roading. That tiny Suzuki Samurai's got nothing on your Goliath, right? Not so fast. Let's break down what really makes a car capable when the going gets tough. » 6/13/13 2:13pm 6/13/13 2:13pm

Your Guide To Europe's Weirdest Car Culture: Raggare

Why are people in Sweden waving Confederate flags and driving old muscle cars? It's all part of a unique little subculture in Sweden, called Raggare, and they're just about as far removed as possible from donks. What's their deal with America? As part of our semi-ongoing series, allow me to explain. » 6/08/13 12:28pm 6/08/13 12:28pm

This 1833 Letter Is The Very First Instance Of Calling Bullshit On An…

It's almost reassuring to know that since the absolute earliest days of human motorized travel, there have been people writing about cars, and people calling bullshit on what's written about cars. These exchanges should seem incredibly familiar to most of our readers even if they happened nearly 200 years ago. The… » 3/20/13 2:00pm 3/20/13 2:00pm

The First Automobile Of Any Type Was Built By This Flemish Priest In…

The pre-history of automobiles is really pretty murky. As much as Mercedes-Benz likes to claim the invention of the motor car, the truth is much more complicated, with many different inventors adding parts to what eventually became the car. Most people would point to Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot's 1769/1771 artillery… » 3/11/13 2:00pm 3/11/13 2:00pm

Meet Bertha Benz, The Woman Who Took The First Real Drive

As Google's doodle reminded me, today is International Women's Day. It's kind of alarming how much I rely on something called a "Google Doodle" to know what's going on. So, in honor of women, I'd like to talk about one woman who's been a hero of mine for many years: Bertha Benz, the first person to take a real road… » 3/08/13 3:45pm 3/08/13 3:45pm

The Spark Plug Started Out As A Really Dangerous Toy

Once you realize that pretty much everything around you, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant, has a story behind it, the world becomes much more interesting. Your car is packed full of parts with good stories behind them (the tragic tale of Sir Nathan Airfilter comes to mind) but the one I'd like to talk… » 3/05/13 2:00pm 3/05/13 2:00pm

What Do We Call Extra Windshield Pillars?

People who are interested in cars enjoy calling parts of a car by their proper names. "Wheel," for example, has such a more refined sound than "roundy roller-maker, what's under the get-inside part." You can usually tell when someone is interested in cars by their use of proper terms, such as the names for the parts… » 1/21/13 1:40pm 1/21/13 1:40pm

How A $50 Bet Sparked America's First Cross-Country Road Trip

What's the craziest thing you've ever done on a bet? Shaved your head? Snuck into a party when you weren't on the guest list? Played Russian Roulette with some enforcers from a Mexican drug cartel? (I would advise against the last one, personally. Things tend to go south a lot faster than you might expect.) » 1/20/13 12:00pm 1/20/13 12:00pm

Your Guide To The World’s Most Hated Car Culture: Donks

What is this huge old car with giant wheels and a Spongebob paint job? That's what we call a donk, the most hated kind of car in the world right now. Why do people hate them so much? Allow me to explain. » 1/11/13 4:30pm 1/11/13 4:30pm

Thank A Swede For Your Toasty Ass

We mentioned that the most exciting new feature of the new Silverado was the heated cloth seats (automatically heated, not gastro-manually Dutch oven-style of seat heating), and that got me thinking about heated seats. Specifically, who had them first? » 12/13/12 3:00pm 12/13/12 3:00pm

This Early Steam Car Used Mechanical Feet To Move

The history of cars goes way back before Benz's motorwagen, despite what the marketing folks at Mercedes-Benz want you to believe. One of my favorite periods in automobile development was in the early 1800s, when steam technology was just starting to mature, and rail locomotives and road-going steam vehicles were… » 11/27/12 4:00pm 11/27/12 4:00pm

This Is The Best-Named Option In The History Of Motoring

In general, cars today are qualitatively pretty damn great. They're generally faster, more efficient, safer, more comfortable, and just about everything better than how they once were. But they're also so goddamn serious about it. » 11/20/12 12:00pm 11/20/12 12:00pm