Author Archive | Eric Peters

Elon Muskian Welfare

Welfare used to be about government cheese. Today’s it’s about grafting thousands of dollars to rich people so as to “encourage” them to drive around in electric cars. Few seem to mind because electrics are the cablinasians of the car world; affirmative action/diversity hires whose merits must not be questioned – and their deficits never mentioned. Well, […]

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No More California Dreamin’

It’s ironic that the state which birthed and came to define the car culture – cruising on Friday nights, the Beach Boys, Ronnie and the Daytonas – has become the state most hostile toward them. No more little GTOs really looking fine or little Deuce coupes. Hell, no more Hyundais  . . . unless they’re battery […]

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Can We Fix Law Enforcement

It’s fine to talk theory – what would be ideal. But while working toward that, what about practical changes that don’t require a sea change evolution in consciousness? For example, what can be done – in practical terms –   about law enforcement? That there is a problem is as obvious as Caitlyn Jenner’s Adam’s apple. The big problem – […]

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The Torture of the VW CEO

Volkswagen AG executive Oliver Schmidt is due to be sentenced this week for “cheating” Uncle. He faces seven years in federal prison and up to $400,000 in fines. His professional life is, of course, kaput. He will never work again. Starbucks, perhaps. And his personal life is probably ruined, too. Not many wives stand by […]

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Can the Gov’t Make Your Car Safe?

Do state-mandated “safety” inspections ensure a “safe” car? On the day of the inspection, sure. The tires are ok, the brakes check out. Fine. But what about next week? And six months down the road? Aye, there’s the rub. Literally. Things like tires and brakes – and windshield wipers and suspension components – wear out over time […]

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Chancing It

It is increasingly tempting to just go for it. Scratch that. It is increasingly reasonable to just go for it. Traffic stops are not what they once were. The fines have become disproportionate, abusive – hundreds of dollars for crimes-agains-no-one such as “speeding” and not having various government stickers, all of them up to date. Many people cannot afford […]

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What Happened to My Profession?

Car journalist were – once upon a time – car guys. They were not Safety Nags, indistinguishable from Ralph Nader or Joan Claybrook. Today, they are indistinguishable. Might as well be Ralph. Or Joan. Keith Crain, for example. He is the editor of Automotive News – which isn’t really. It would be more accurate to style it, Automotive […]

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Cowboys, Truckers, and Us

Being a trucker – especially an owner-operator – used to be a lot like being a cowboy was back in the 1800s. On your own timetable, beholden to none – so long as the cows (or the cargo) got where they needed to be on time. Independent, free. Which, naturally, is why both avocations had to […]

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No More Electric Gravy?

There must be a rube in the House. A recent Republican who does not understand how the game is played – much less why it is being played the way it is played. He and perhaps some of his fellows not-yet-initiated publicly wondered why the federal government is underwriting the sale of luxury-performance cars that happen to […]

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The K-Car

Lee Iaccoca gets blame – or credit – for the 1981-1989 Dodge Aires and Plymouth Reliant K-cars, but unlike the minivan, this one’s really not his fault. He simply took the ball and ran with it. Though Iaccoca touted the virtue of K-cars aggressively once on board as Chrysler’s newly installed chairman (after having been […]

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Cop Says ‘Suspicion Is a Misdemeanor’

Here’s a video taken of another “hero” law enforcer who makes up “the law” on the spot! A guy is filming the publicly visible exterior of a police station from a public sidewalk – which is (for the moment) abundantly legal – when he is approached by two confrontational “heroes” who – of course – demand his ID, Soviet-style. Not […]

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The Worst Things About Old Cars

There’s a new reason for buying an old car. It’s not nostalgia, it’s not a love for classic lines – though those still come along for the ride. It’s a desire to drive something without all the stuff new cars come with. To be free of the hassle, expense and Big Brotherism of new cars – which for many […]

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A Tesla Owner Speaks

I’ve been accused of being unfair to Tesla, that I am infected by personal animosity toward Musk (true; I loathe rent seekers) and a general dislike of electric cars (not true; I merely dislike the way subsidies have distorted the market for them). Well, here’s some owner testimony for you. This guy bought a new Model S – […]

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Automotive Anomalies

The ’60s Twilight Zone TV series specialized in the thought experiment – the what if? And the what the hell, too. It’s becoming like this on the road – and in our cars. Bizarre and contradictory exhortations; injunctions to not do this – while that (as bad or even worse) is treated with inexplicable leniency. Let’s take a trip into the […]

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How the Left Makes Electric Cars Inevitable

By making “IC” cars impossible – legislatively – electric cars are to be made inevitable. In this way, the practical and functional deficits of EVs become irrelevances. Just as the Fourth and Fifth Amendments are irrelevant as a practical and functional matter. The commonalities – the tactics – are interesting. Naturally, they emanate from the same […]

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Experience the Brand

New York City is probably the least car-friendly place in the United States. Its streets are perpetually gridlocked and garage fees cost more than rent in other parts of the country. Most people who live in the city don’t even own cars and regard them as an occasionally necessary nuisance. Mostly, they hail a cab. Or […]

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‘No Scheduled Maintenance Needed!’

One way that car companies attract business is by advertising that their vehicles are low-maintenance and – sometimes – no maintenance. This sounds too good to be true and – as is usually the case with such things – it is. Because entropy. Things always wear out. Nothing lasts forever, certainly not mechanical things. You can increase service intervals and reduce maintenance, but no maintenance […]

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Obama’s Auto Time Bomb

In just seven years’ time – unless Trump does something before his four years are up – the average fuel efficiency of the average car will have to almost double. From 35.5 MPG (now) to 54.5 MPG by 2025. So reads the fuel economy fatwa issued by Trump’s predecessor. No matter how much it costs, no matter […]

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Where’s Ralph Nader?

Ralph Nader made his name “exposing” the design defects (as he styled them) of the Chevy Corvair. Leaving aside the fact that what he styled a “defect” was really more a difference – the Corvair was rear-engined and nose-light and so handled differently than the overwhelmingly front-engined and ass-light American cars that drivers of the time were […]

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