THE WEEKLY DRIVER https://www.theweeklydriver.com THE WEEKLY DRIVER PODCAST IS AN EXTENSION OF THEWEEKLYDRIVER.COM, ONLINE SINCE 2004 Fri, 11 May 2018 17:01:32 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 THE WEEKLY DRIVER PODCAST IS AN EXTENSION OF THEWEEKLYDRIVER.COM, ONLINE SINCE 2004 James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean episodic James Raia and Bruce Aldrich james@jamesraia.com james@jamesraia.com (James Raia and Bruce Aldrich) © Copyright 2017 The Weekly Driver. All rights reserved. THE WEEKLY DRIVER PODCAST IS AN EXTENSION OF THEWEEKLYDRIVER.COM, ONLINE SINCE 2004 THE WEEKLY DRIVER https://www.theweeklydriver.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/ddriver1400.jpg https://www.theweeklydriver.com james@jamesraia.com The Weekly Driver features the new car reviews of syndicated automotive journalist James Raia as well as other automotive content — industry news to videos to regular guest contributors’ reviews. The Weekly Driver column began in 2003 as a weekly feature for a Canadian syndicate, CityExpress.com The name transitioned into the current web site, and the weekly new car reviews are now featured on this site as well as several other sites. Highlights of content on this site are available via RSS feeds, and complete reviews are available for electronic and print syndication and reprinting with permission. A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 35 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004. An author and contributor to many print and online publications, James is also editor and publisher of JamesRaia.com An avid endurance sports athlete, alpine skier and automotive enthusiast, Bruce is editor and publisher of IMTahoeLive.com and TahoeTruckeeOutdoor.com. TV-G Episode 36, New sales for old cars, vintage car passion https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/05/episode-36-lending-tree/ Wed, 09 May 2018 05:40:01 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29762 Lending Tree, a leading online exchange based in Charlotte, N.C., connects consumers with banks, credit institutions and other lenders to negotiate the best deals. It also releases studies to provide pertinent statistics to customers. A recent study, tabulated with thousands of transactions, details the top 50 metropolitan areas whose car buyers purchased the oldest used cars. The national average age for a used car purchase is six years old. Jen Jones, an autos writer for Lending Tree, is our first guest on episode No. 36 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Responding to co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia, Jones provides insight into the survey. She explains why it was done, what the results mean and the surprises Lending Tree discovered while analyzing used car buying preferences. In the second half of the episode, Aldrich and Raia revisit the recent Pacific Coast Dream Machines, the eccentric automotive show in Half Moon Bay, California. Raia interviews Zane Buck and Eva Waves. Buck and his friend Dante DiLallo and the young men's fathers visited the show to not only look at other vintage vehicles but to exhibit Buck's classic Packard. Waves and her family and friends were relaxing near the family's camper van, a vintage Volkswagen Westfalia. She also explain's the Westfalia's interesting background. Like all vintage vehicle owners, Buck and Waves have stories to tell about how they acquired their respective used cars and their reasons for attending Pacific Coast Dream Machines. In addition to its availability on this website, the Weekly Driver Podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher and Podtail All episodes of our podcasts are also archived on this website, TheWeeklyDriver.com. We welcome your comments and episode suggestions. Please also consider forwarding episode links to family, friends and colleagues. The Weekly Driver Podcast gets support from www.americanmuscle.com. Lending Tree, a leading online exchange based in Charlotte, N.C., connects consumers with banks, credit institutions and other lenders to negotiate the best deals. It also releases studies to provide pertinent statistics to customers. -
A recent study, tabulated with thousands of transactions, details the top 50 metropolitan areas whose car buyers purchased the oldest used cars. The national average age for a used car purchase is six years old.



Jen Jones, an autos writer for Lending Tree, is our first guest on episode No. 36 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Responding to co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia, Jones provides insight into the survey. She explains why it was done, what the results mean and the surprises Lending Tree discovered while analyzing used car buying preferences.

In the second half of the episode, Aldrich and Raia revisit the recent Pacific Coast Dream Machines, the eccentric automotive show in Half Moon Bay, California. Raia interviews Zane Buck and Eva Waves.

Buck and his friend Dante DiLallo and the young men's fathers visited the show to not only look at other vintage vehicles but to exhibit Buck's classic Packard. Waves and her family and friends were relaxing near the family's camper van, a vintage Volkswagen Westfalia. She also explain's the Westfalia's interesting background.



Like all vintage vehicle owners, Buck and Waves have stories to tell about how they acquired their respective used cars and their reasons for attending Pacific Coast Dream Machines.

In addition to its availability on this website, the Weekly Driver Podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher and Podtail

All episodes of our podcasts are also archived on this website, TheWeeklyDriver.com.

We welcome your comments and episode suggestions. Please also consider forwarding episode links to family, friends and colleagues.

The Weekly Driver Podcast gets support from www.americanmuscle.com.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 27:09
Episode 35, Honda drives into the future with Clarity https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/04/episode-35-honda-drives-into-the-future-with-clarity/ Tue, 01 May 2018 00:31:27 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29736 William Lai of Fremont, California, and Chris White of West Sacramento, California, are among early adopters to the Honda Clarity. Lai, who has owned three electrics cars, drives the all-electric variety. Walker drives the hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell. The Honda Claity is currently only available in California and Oregon. A pioneer in the alternative fuel vehicles (the original Insight debuted in 2000, a few months before the Toyota Prius) Honda has also equipped its new vehicles with Honda Sensing. It’s the carmaker’s “intelligent suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies designed to alert you to things you might miss while driving.” In Episode 35 of The Weekly Driver podcast below, hosts Bruce Alert and James Raia discuss with Lai and White their experiences with their new cars. Specifically, the two guests detail one component of Honda Sensing, the Collision Mitigation Braking System. It “applies brake pressure when an unavoidable collision is determined.” Lai and White believe the system stopped potential catastrophe before it occurred. The two Clarity drivers also provide insight into their driving habits and how the Clarity fits into their respective lifestyles. White, director of communications at the California Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento, was the first person in Northern California to have the Clarity. Lai leased the electric trim after changing his mind from his intial interest in the Chevrolet Bolt. In addition to its availability on this website, the Weekly Driver Podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher and Podtail All episodes of our podcasts are also archived on this website, TheWeeklyDriver.com. We welcome your comments and episode suggestions. Please also consider forwarding episode links to family, friends and colleagues. William Lai of Fremont, California, and Chris White of West Sacramento, California, are among early adopters to the Honda Clarity. Lai, who has owned three electrics cars, drives the all-electric variety. Walker drives the hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel...
The Honda Claity is currently only available in California and Oregon.



A pioneer in the alternative fuel vehicles (the original Insight debuted in 2000, a few months before the Toyota Prius) Honda has also equipped its new vehicles with Honda Sensing. It’s the carmaker’s “intelligent suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies designed to alert you to things you might miss while driving.”

In Episode 35 of The Weekly Driver podcast below, hosts Bruce Alert and James Raia discuss with Lai and White their experiences with their new cars.

Specifically, the two guests detail one component of Honda Sensing, the Collision Mitigation Braking System. It “applies brake pressure when an unavoidable collision is determined.”



Lai and White believe the system stopped potential catastrophe before it occurred. The two Clarity drivers also provide insight into their driving habits and how the Clarity fits into their respective lifestyles.

White, director of communications at the California Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento, was the first person in Northern California to have the Clarity. Lai leased the electric trim after changing his mind from his intial interest in the Chevrolet Bolt.

In addition to its availability on this website, the Weekly Driver Podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher and Podtail

All episodes of our podcasts are also archived on this website, TheWeeklyDriver.com.

We welcome your comments and episode suggestions. Please also consider forwarding episode links to family, friends and colleagues.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 29:45
Episode 34, Journalist Ryan Brutt: Will travel for barn finds https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/04/episode-34-ryan/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 22:17:26 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29687 Ryan Brutt is a writer and photographer who exudes enthusiasm about muscle cars. His interest is overtly apparent in his new book, Muscle Car Barn Finds. It details the art of automotive scavenger hunts. Brutt, self-described as an Automotive Archaeologist, lives in Chicago. The contributing rider to Hot Rod Magazine is our guest on Episode 34 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the book and Brutt’s trials and tribulations as he travels through several states on his mission to discover hundreds of often abandoned rarities. Consider Brutt’s premise: You’re driving along a country road in Alabama and something bright orange in nearby field attracts your attention. It’s parked near an old barn and partly covered in mildew. You pull into what remains of the driveway in the abandoned lot and your hunch is correct. It’s a 1966 Mustang Fastback. It looks neglected. But a good washing later, it’s presentable, and another vintage muscle car has a new life. The same scenario could involve a station wagon in Michigan, a Mercedes-Benz in Florida or a long-forgotten pick-up truck in Texas. They’re all known by the automotive colloquialism, Barn Finds. It’s the sub-set of muscle car barn finds Brutt honors in his new book of the same name. Sub-titled “Rusty Road Runners, Abandoned AMXs and Camaros and More!” (Motorbooks, $35), the 160-page hardback details the author’s treks to uncover muscle car enthusiasts’ dream machines. “These old warriors aren’t dead, just resting,” reads a segment of the book’s promotional material. “A drive in the country or through a small-town back street will reveal them lurking under tarps, hidden behind garage doors and stashed behind fences from prying eyes.” While traveling in eastern Tennessee, Brutt finds what he had long heard about but couldn’t believe until it appeared through some roadside hedges. Past a few roads of project cars in various shapes, sizes and degrees of disarray, a storage shed was home to an array of first-generation Corvettes. “In all my travels, I had never seen such a collection of really early Corvettes,” he writes. “There were three rows of them with three or four cars per row.” Brutt also details a no-so-pleasing occasion when he faced the wrath of a husband and wife, who, let’s say, didn’t exactly provide a warm welcome. In addition to its availability on this website, the Weekly Driver Podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher and  Podtail All episodes of our podcasts are also archived on this website, TheWeeklyDriver.com. We welcome your comments and suggestions for future episodes. Please also consider forwarding the episode links to family, friends and colleagues. **** Muscle Car Barn Finds is available on Amazon.com. Support TheWeeklyDriver.com by visiting the online shopping site from the banner below. It's ideal for all of your needs — books to automotive parts, electronics to last-minute gifts. We'll earn a small commission on your purchase(s). You’ll pay the same price as clicking directly to Amazon. Ryan Brutt is a writer and photographer who exudes enthusiasm about muscle cars. His interest is overtly apparent in his new book, Muscle Car Barn Finds. It details the art of automotive scavenger hunts. - Brutt,
Brutt, self-described as an Automotive Archaeologist, lives in Chicago. The contributing rider to Hot Rod Magazine is our guest on Episode 34 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the book and Brutt’s trials and tribulations as he travels through several states on his mission to discover hundreds of often abandoned rarities.

Consider Brutt’s premise: You’re driving along a country road in Alabama and something bright orange in nearby field attracts your attention. It’s parked near an old barn and partly covered in mildew. You pull into what remains of the driveway in the abandoned lot and your hunch is correct.

It’s a 1966 Mustang Fastback. It looks neglected. But a good washing later, it’s presentable, and another vintage muscle car has a new life. The same scenario could involve a station wagon in Michigan, a Mercedes-Benz in Florida or a long-forgotten pick-up truck in Texas.

They’re all known by the automotive colloquialism, Barn Finds. It’s the sub-set of muscle car barn finds Brutt honors in his new book of the same name.

Sub-titled “Rusty Road Runners, Abandoned AMXs and Camaros and More!” (Motorbooks, $35), the 160-page hardback details the author’s treks to uncover muscle car enthusiasts’ dream machines.

“These old warriors aren’t dead, just resting,” reads a segment of the book’s promotional material. “A drive in the country or through a small-town back street will reveal them lurking under tarps, hidden behind garage doors and stashed behind fences from prying eyes.”

While traveling in eastern Tennessee, Brutt finds what he had long heard about but couldn’t believe until it appeared through some roadside hedges. Past a few roads of project cars in various shapes, sizes and degrees of disarray, a storage shed was home to an array of first-generation Corvettes.

“In all my travels, I had never seen such a collection of really early Corvettes,” he writes. “There were three rows of them with three or four cars per row.”

Brutt also details a no-so-pleasing occasion when he faced the wrath of a husband and wife, who, let’s say, didn’t exactly provide a warm welcome.

In addition to its availability on this website, the Weekly Driver Podcast is also available on iTunes, Stitcher and  Podtail

All episodes of our podcasts are also archived on this website, TheWeeklyDriver.com.

We welcome your comments and suggestions for future episodes. Please also consider forwarding the episode links to family, friends and colleagues.

****

Muscle Car Barn Finds is available on Amazon.com. Support TheWeeklyDriver.com by visiting the online shopping site from the banner below. It's ideal for all of your needs — books to automotive parts, electronics to last-minute gifts. We'll earn a small commission on your purchase(s). You’ll pay the same price as clicking directly to Amazon.



]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean
Episode 33, Ethiopia to Sacramento: An Uber Success Story https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/04/episode-33-ethiopia-to-sacramento-an-uber-success-story/ Fri, 13 Apr 2018 22:48:01 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29649 Mulugeta Gebrewahid moved to Sacramento about seven years fago rom his native Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to be closer to his older brother. Known by friends and co-workers as Mule G (Moo-Lay G), the former warehouseman is a husband and father of seven children. He's active in the Sacramento community via the congregation at Faith Presbyterian Church. Mule is university educated, but he was unable to acquire a job in his engineering field in the United States, so he worked for several years in a warehouse. About four years ago, via the recommendation of a friend, Mule began driving for Uber. He tells his story in episode 33 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. With his outgoing personality and business savvy, Mule is ideally suited for his job. He enjoys meeting and talking with his customers. Because there’s a wider customer base for riding-sharing programs in larger metropolitan areas, Mule spends several days a week driving in San Francisco. He shares an apartment near San Francisco International Airport with friends. During this episode, Mule discusses a wide range of subjects: driving on the often chaotic streets of San Francisco to his wide range of customers and how Uber has changed during his tenure with the company. He enthusiastically shares some the unusual circumstances of the rides he’s provided. Mule also openly discusses his frustration with not being able to find employment to match his education. And he discusses his appreciation for his transition from a near minimum wage, often exhausting physical labor job, to supporting his family and as an independent businessman driving for Uber. He hopes to one day find employment using his university education. The Weekly Driver Podcast receives support from AmericanTrucks.com. Every episode of the podcast is archived on TheWeeklyDriver.com/podcast. We welcome comments and suggestions for our show. We also encourage listeners to share episode links on their social media platforms.     Mulugeta Gebrewahid moved to Sacramento about seven years fago rom his native Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to be closer to his older brother. Known by friends and co-workers as Mule G (Moo-Lay G), the former warehouseman is a husband and father of seven chil...
Mule is university educated, but he was unable to acquire a job in his engineering field in the United States, so he worked for several years in a warehouse. About four years ago, via the recommendation of a friend, Mule began driving for Uber. He tells his story in episode 33 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.



With his outgoing personality and business savvy, Mule is ideally suited for his job. He enjoys meeting and talking with his customers. Because there’s a wider customer base for riding-sharing programs in larger metropolitan areas, Mule spends several days a week driving in San Francisco. He shares an apartment near San Francisco International Airport with friends.

During this episode, Mule discusses a wide range of subjects: driving on the often chaotic streets of San Francisco to his wide range of customers and how Uber has changed during his tenure with the company. He enthusiastically shares some the unusual circumstances of the rides he’s provided.

Mule also openly discusses his frustration with not being able to find employment to match his education. And he discusses his appreciation for his transition from a near minimum wage, often exhausting physical labor job, to supporting his family and as an independent businessman driving for Uber. He hopes to one day find employment using his university education.

The Weekly Driver Podcast receives support from AmericanTrucks.com.

Every episode of the podcast is archived on TheWeeklyDriver.com/podcast. We welcome comments and suggestions for our show. We also encourage listeners to share episode links on their social media platforms.

 

 ]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 27:46
Episode 32, Coolest show on earth for all things engines https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/04/episode-32/ Sat, 07 Apr 2018 00:40:39 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29591 The Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show is a daylong festival of engines. Rare and sentimental cars, trucks, aircraft, law enforcement vehicles, tractors, busses, military machines and motorcycles, they're all showcased. Add lives band, food and beverage vendors to its moniker as “the coolest show earth,” ideally defines the upcoming 28th annual event scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m April 29 at Half Moon Bay Airport. The six-hour gathering is a “massive celebration of mechanical ingenuity, power and style.” And it’s the best bargain and with proceeds benefitting the Coastside Adult Day Health Center in Half Moon Bay. In Episode 32 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the show with event chairman Chad Hooker. As Hooker explains and event literature describes, Pacific Coast Dream Machines is “a whimsical, fascinating, amusing, curious and absolutely unique show-and-tell spectacle featuring 2,000 magnificent driving, flying and working machines from the 20th and 21st centuries. “The world's coolest cars of every era and style, model-T fire engines, vintage busses, custom motorcycles, tricked out trucks, sleek streamliners, one-of-a-kind antique engines and tractors and historic military aircraft will be among the mesmerizing displays.” Vehicles on display will include: antique horseless carriages and Ford Model T's, fanciful touring and luxury cars, powerful sports cars, custom cars and street rods, muscle cars, vintage and modern era high-performance race cars. And quirky art and pedal cars, modified street machines with cutting edge styles, exotic high-performance cars, stylish European cars, ultra cool low-riders, sporty compacts, modified imports with flashy graphics, fashionable hip-hop urban show cars, homebuilt kit cars and super-charged turbo cars. Plus, there are “green” technology/alternative fuel vehicles, streamliners, dragsters, funny cars, gassers and jet cars. Among the attractions this year are Bob Senz’ Big Cacklefest. It will honor the show founder and a mass synchronized firing-up of the engines of all the magnificent machines on display at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. It's one of the west coast's biggest, baddest gatherings of the world's coolest cars. Spectators will get a rare up-close look of hundreds of aviation wonders, headlined by legendary vintage warbirds like the B-25 Bomber and C-47 Skytrain plus stylish homebuilts, classics from the ‘40s and ‘50s, sport and ultralight aircraft. To show a car, truck, motorcycle, aircraft or another machine, the registration fee is $40 ($50 for entries postmarked after April 15) and includes a dash plaque and admission for two people. Spectator admission is $25 in advance ($30 at the gate) for adults (age 18-64), $15 in advance ($20 at the gate) for ages 11-17 and 65+, Free for kids age 10 and under (with paying adult). Purchase tickets here. Parking at the event is included in the admission. There is a designated area for bicycle parking at the south end of the airport/Mezza Luna gate. Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 N. Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay CA 94019 is located on Highway 1, about 20 miles south of San Francisco and 5 miles north of Highway 92. For event information, call the info-line at 650-726-2328 or visit the website www.miramarevents.com/dreammachines The Weekly Driver Podcast is supported by AmericanTrucks.com. All back issues of the podcast are archived, here: The Weekly Driver Podcast We welcome comments and episode suggestions. Please forward this episode to friends, family and colleagues. The Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show is a daylong festival of engines. Rare and sentimental cars, trucks, aircraft, law enforcement vehicles, tractors, busses, military machines and motorcycles, they're all showcased. - Add lives band,
Add lives band, food and beverage vendors to its moniker as “the coolest show earth,” ideally defines the upcoming 28th annual event scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m April 29 at Half Moon Bay Airport.

The six-hour gathering is a “massive celebration of mechanical ingenuity, power and style.” And it’s the best bargain and with proceeds benefitting the Coastside Adult Day Health Center in Half Moon Bay.



In Episode 32 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the show with event chairman Chad Hooker.

As Hooker explains and event literature describes, Pacific Coast Dream Machines is “a whimsical, fascinating, amusing, curious and absolutely unique show-and-tell spectacle featuring 2,000 magnificent driving, flying and working machines from the 20th and 21st centuries.

“The world's coolest cars of every era and style, model-T fire engines, vintage busses, custom motorcycles, tricked out trucks, sleek streamliners, one-of-a-kind antique engines and tractors and historic military aircraft will be among the mesmerizing displays.”

Vehicles on display will include: antique horseless carriages and Ford Model T's, fanciful touring and luxury cars, powerful sports cars, custom cars and street rods, muscle cars, vintage and modern era high-performance race cars.

And quirky art and pedal cars, modified street machines with cutting edge styles, exotic high-performance cars, stylish European cars, ultra cool low-riders, sporty compacts, modified imports with flashy graphics, fashionable hip-hop urban show cars, homebuilt kit cars and super-charged turbo cars.

Plus, there are “green” technology/alternative fuel vehicles, streamliners, dragsters, funny cars, gassers and jet cars.

Among the attractions this year are Bob Senz’ Big Cacklefest. It will honor the show founder and a mass synchronized firing-up of the engines of all the magnificent machines on display at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

It's one of the west coast's biggest, baddest gatherings of the world's coolest cars. Spectators will get a rare up-close look of hundreds of aviation wonders, headlined by legendary vintage warbirds like the B-25 Bomber and C-47 Skytrain plus stylish homebuilts, classics from the ‘40s and ‘50s, sport and ultralight aircraft.

To show a car, truck, motorcycle, aircraft or another machine, the registration fee is $40 ($50 for entries postmarked after April 15) and includes a dash plaque and admission for two people.

Spectator admission is $25 in advance ($30 at the gate) for adults (age 18-64), $15 in advance ($20 at the gate) for ages 11-17 and 65+, Free for kids age 10 and under (with paying adult). Purchase tickets here.

Parking at the event is included in the admission. There is a designated area for bicycle parking at the south end of the airport/Mezza Luna gate.

Half Moon Bay Airport, 9850 N. Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay CA 94019 is located on Highway 1, about 20 miles south of San Francisco and 5 miles north of Highway 92.

For event information, call the info-line at 650-726-2328 or visit the website www.miramarevents.com/dreammachines

The Weekly Driver Podcast is supported by AmericanTrucks.com.

All back issues of the podcast are archived, here: The Weekly Driver Podcast

We welcome comments and episode suggestions. Please forward this episode to friends, family and colleagues.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 31:18
Episode 31, Hyundai Ioniq, Pacific Coast Dream Machines https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/04/episode-31-hyundai-ioniq-pacific-coast-dream-machines/ Mon, 02 Apr 2018 19:49:34 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29561 The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq is the first "green car" that can infiltrate the dominance of the Toyota Prius. The Ioniq is available in three modes — a traditional hybrid, full-electric and plug-in hybrid. The entry-level Ioniq plug-in hybrid Blue Line model is rated at 57 miles per gallon in city driving, 59 miles per gallon for highway treks. Its rating is several miles per gallon higher than the best mileage in the Prius lineup. In electric mode, the Ioniq has a 27-mile range. The efficient little machine can travel nearly 700 miles using gas only. Bruce Aldrich and I discuss the Ioniq in Episode 31 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Will the public buy the vehicle? How do its specs match up against the Prius? What else does the now two-year-old nameplate have to offer? In this episode, we also discuss one of the country’s unique industry shows, Pacific Coast Dream Machines. The year’s show is scheduled April 29 at the Half Moon Bay Airport, about 20 miles south of San Francisco. Now in its 28th year, Pacific Coast Dream Machines is “a massive celebration of mechanical ingenuity, power and style,” according to an event press release. The description fits. This year's show will be the entire topic of Episode 32 of podcast, and we'll also do live podcast interviews from the show. The recent death of a woman in Tempe, Ariz., who was hit by a Volvo SUV used as an autonomous Uber vehicle remains in the news. Arizona and California have now stopped testing robot vehicles. Bruce and I discuss the dramatic video that shows the accident and how the various companies involved in the tragedy have reacted. As always, we appreciate you listening to our podcast. In addition to its weekly distribution on TheWeeklyDrive.com, the podcast is available for free on all major podcast platforms, including iTunes. All previous episodes are available here: The Weekly Driver Podcast. Please forward this episode to friends, family and colleagues. We welcome your comments. The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq is the first "green car" that can infiltrate the dominance of the Toyota Prius. The Ioniq is available in three modes — a traditional hybrid, full-electric and plug-in hybrid. - The entry-level Ioniq plug-in hybrid Blue Line mod...
The entry-level Ioniq plug-in hybrid Blue Line model is rated at 57 miles per gallon in city driving, 59 miles per gallon for highway treks.

Its rating is several miles per gallon higher than the best mileage in the Prius lineup. In electric mode, the Ioniq has a 27-mile range. The efficient little machine can travel nearly 700 miles using gas only.



Bruce Aldrich and I discuss the Ioniq in Episode 31 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Will the public buy the vehicle? How do its specs match up against the Prius? What else does the now two-year-old nameplate have to offer?

In this episode, we also discuss one of the country’s unique industry shows, Pacific Coast Dream Machines. The year’s show is scheduled April 29 at the Half Moon Bay Airport, about 20 miles south of San Francisco.

Now in its 28th year, Pacific Coast Dream Machines is “a massive celebration of mechanical ingenuity, power and style,” according to an event press release. The description fits. This year's show will be the entire topic of Episode 32 of podcast, and we'll also do live podcast interviews from the show.



The recent death of a woman in Tempe, Ariz., who was hit by a Volvo SUV used as an autonomous Uber vehicle remains in the news. Arizona and California have now stopped testing robot vehicles.

Bruce and I discuss the dramatic video that shows the accident and how the various companies involved in the tragedy have reacted.

As always, we appreciate you listening to our podcast. In addition to its weekly distribution on TheWeeklyDrive.com, the podcast is available for free on all major podcast platforms, including iTunes.

All previous episodes are available here: The Weekly Driver Podcast.

Please forward this episode to friends, family and colleagues. We welcome your comments.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 30:09
Episode 30, The strange case of death by Uber in Arizona https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/03/episode-30-the-strange-case-of-death-by-uber-in-arizona/ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 00:12:35 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29513 Nearly two weeks after a woman was killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle while walking her bicycle across the street at night and outside of a crosswalk in Tempe, Ariz., much is still unknown about the accident. What is known is that the Governor of Arizona has ended the state's autonomous vehicle testing program. The auto-parts maker that supplied the radar and camera on the Volvo SUV that killed the woman has stated they had disabled the standard collision-avoidance technology in the vehicle. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been investigating the case since. The local police chief initially called the incident "unavoidable." But opinions changed after the release of a crash video, which depicts internal and external views of the Uber vehicle. It also shows the car's safety driver looking down away from the road as a pedestrian suddenly emerges into the headlights. Bruce Aldrich and I discuss the tragedy in Episode #30 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Bruce adds thoughtful insight into the situation, particularly his opinion on the future of autonomous driving. Also in Episode #30, we discuss the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser and my experience driving the large SUV about 425 miles during a round-trip excursion from Sacramento to Fresno. The Land Cruiser is a gas sucker, but it's a beautiful, well-appointed small apartment on four wheels. The Weekly Driver Podcast is available for download on all major podcast formats. Please distribute this episode to friends via email and post it to your social media accounts. We would like to acknowledge our continuing upport from AmericanMuscle.com. And we look forward to hearing from our readers and listeners about our podcast. Future topic ideas are always welcomed. All previous episodes of the podcast are available here, The Weekly Driver Podcast Nearly two weeks after a woman was killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle while walking her bicycle across the street at night and outside of a crosswalk in Tempe, Ariz., much is still unknown about the accident. -
What is known is that the Governor of Arizona has ended the state's autonomous vehicle testing program.



The auto-parts maker that supplied the radar and camera on the Volvo SUV that killed the woman has stated they had disabled the standard collision-avoidance technology in the vehicle.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been investigating the case since.

The local police chief initially called the incident "unavoidable." But opinions changed after the release of a crash video, which depicts internal and external views of the Uber vehicle. It also shows the car's safety driver looking down away from the road as a pedestrian suddenly emerges into the headlights.

Bruce Aldrich and I discuss the tragedy in Episode #30 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Bruce adds thoughtful insight into the situation, particularly his opinion on the future of autonomous driving.

Also in Episode #30, we discuss the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser and my experience driving the large SUV about 425 miles during a round-trip excursion from Sacramento to Fresno. The Land Cruiser is a gas sucker, but it's a beautiful, well-appointed small apartment on four wheels.

The Weekly Driver Podcast is available for download on all major podcast formats. Please distribute this episode to friends via email and post it to your social media accounts.

We would like to acknowledge our continuing upport from AmericanMuscle.com.

And we look forward to hearing from our readers and listeners about our podcast. Future topic ideas are always welcomed.

All previous episodes of the podcast are available here, The Weekly Driver Podcast]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 22:56
Episode 29, Stunning new Lexus, bad tires and RV woes https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/03/episode-29-stunning-new-lexus-bad-tires-and-rv-woes/ Sat, 17 Mar 2018 18:25:35 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29467 The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is arguably the most attractive car made in the past several years. It turns heads in parking lots and gets stared at on the open road. Strangers point at it and give a thumb's up. The new Lexus belongs on the list of the 100 most attractive cars ever made. It would be among the few modern-day vehicles on the subjective selections automotive publications publish about every 10 years. Bruce Aldrich, co-host of The Weekly Driver Podcast, and I shared driving duties in the new Lexus from Sacramento to the Delta hamlet of Courtland and back last week. We were on assignment at Hemly Cider, the craft cider maker. We discuss the new top-of-the-line Lexus in Episode #29 of our podcast. Succinctly stated, the LC 500 is beautifully crafted inside and out. It's automobile design at its finest. Also in this episode: I write a weekly automotive column for Bay Area News Group in San Francisco region. I get e-mail letters from time to time and in recent weeks, a few emails were of particular interest. The new Lexus has run-flat tires. The timing was ideal because one reader of my column suggested I always include information of the type of tires included on new cars. The reader expressed her frustration with bad experiences with run-flat tires — their expense and lousy longevity. A recent column I wrote about the RV industry and its continuing problems was well-received and several readers e-mailed detailing their issues with sub-par manufacturing and difficulty getting satisfactory repairs. Thank you for listening to our podcast. All previous episodes are archived and available here . . . The Weekly Driver Podcast. If you like what we do, please forward the link to family, friends and colleagues and repost the podcast link to your social media outlets. The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is arguably the most attractive car made in the past several years. It turns heads in parking lots and gets stared at on the open road. Strangers point at it and give a thumb's up. -
The new Lexus belongs on the list of the 100 most attractive cars ever made. It would be among the few modern-day vehicles on the subjective selections automotive publications publish about every 10 years.



Bruce Aldrich, co-host of The Weekly Driver Podcast, and I shared driving duties in the new Lexus from Sacramento to the Delta hamlet of Courtland and back last week. We were on assignment at Hemly Cider, the craft cider maker.

We discuss the new top-of-the-line Lexus in Episode #29 of our podcast. Succinctly stated, the LC 500 is beautifully crafted inside and out. It's automobile design at its finest.

Also in this episode: I write a weekly automotive column for Bay Area News Group in San Francisco region. I get e-mail letters from time to time and in recent weeks, a few emails were of particular interest.

The new Lexus has run-flat tires. The timing was ideal because one reader of my column suggested I always include information of the type of tires included on new cars. The reader expressed her frustration with bad experiences with run-flat tires — their expense and lousy longevity.

A recent column I wrote about the RV industry and its continuing problems was well-received and several readers e-mailed detailing their issues with sub-par manufacturing and difficulty getting satisfactory repairs.

Thank you for listening to our podcast. All previous episodes are archived and available here . . . The Weekly Driver Podcast.

If you like what we do, please forward the link to family, friends and colleagues and repost the podcast link to your social media outlets.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 23:35
Episode 28, Rats eating cars, winter driving, Genesis shines https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/03/episode-28-rats-eating-cars-winter-driving-genesis-shines/ Fri, 09 Mar 2018 02:46:20 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29419 If you live near a river and your vehicle is parked outside and near trees, there's likely one more reason to be concerned about its welfare — rats. Owners of cars from several manufacturers are increasingly reporting that rodents are eating their vehicles from the inside out. Reports in several states by owners of Honda and Toyota vehicles, as well as other carmakers' models, are claiming rats are devouring the wiring in their cars and causing major costly repairs.  The problem, owners claim, is that "green car" concerns have resulted in manufacturers using soy-based engine wiring and coverings. Several lawsuits have been filed, with Honda and Toyota stating the litigations have no merit. But several years ago, Honda introduced a rodent-deterrent tape to help with the issue. Toyota has not further commented. The soy alternative used by car companies is an eco-friendly alternative to wrapping wires and car parts in plastic. Hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the rodent problems in cars below in Episode #28 of The Weekly Driver Podcast Also in this episode, we discuss: * Winter driving can be frightening. We detail guidelines and commonsense practices while driving in inclement weather as well as the benefits of vehicles with four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. * Bruce and his with Alene recently returned from their third time renting an RV. Bruce talks about getting more experience behind the wheel in the increasingly popular way to travel on vacation. * Genesis, new luxury brand began as a Hyundai Genesis, has been praised since its debut 2017 models. Now, the Genesis has received another top honor. It's rated as the top overall pick by Consumer Reports. Genesis has accelerated past Audi followed by BMW, Lexus and Porsche in the top 5. The remainder of the top 10 in order: Subaru, Kia, Tesla, Honda and Toyota. We invite you to listen to previous episodes here: The Weekly Driver Podcast And we welcome your comments and hope you subscribe. If you live near a river and your vehicle is parked outside and near trees, there's likely one more reason to be concerned about its welfare — rats. Owners of cars from several manufacturers are increasingly reporting that rodents are eating their vehi...
Reports in several states by owners of Honda and Toyota vehicles, as well as other carmakers' models, are claiming rats are devouring the wiring in their cars and causing major costly repairs.  The problem, owners claim, is that "green car" concerns have resulted in manufacturers using soy-based engine wiring and coverings.



Several lawsuits have been filed, with Honda and Toyota stating the litigations have no merit. But several years ago, Honda introduced a rodent-deterrent tape to help with the issue. Toyota has not further commented.

The soy alternative used by car companies is an eco-friendly alternative to wrapping wires and car parts in plastic.

Hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the rodent problems in cars below in Episode #28 of The Weekly Driver Podcast

Also in this episode, we discuss:

* Winter driving can be frightening. We detail guidelines and commonsense practices while driving in inclement weather as well as the benefits of vehicles with four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

* Bruce and his with Alene recently returned from their third time renting an RV. Bruce talks about getting more experience behind the wheel in the increasingly popular way to travel on vacation.

* Genesis, new luxury brand began as a Hyundai Genesis, has been praised since its debut 2017 models. Now, the Genesis has received another top honor. It's rated as the top overall pick by Consumer Reports. Genesis has accelerated past Audi followed by BMW, Lexus and Porsche in the top 5. The remainder of the top 10 in order: Subaru, Kia, Tesla, Honda and Toyota.

We invite you to listen to previous episodes here: The Weekly Driver Podcast

And we welcome your comments and hope you subscribe.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 22:59
Episode 27, The legacy of one family’s 1986 Chrysler Lebaron https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/02/episode-27-karen/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 22:48:36 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29328 Thirty-two years ago, Karen Saylor's parents drove into a downtown Sacramento, California, car dealership and drove away in a new 1986 turbocharged Chrysler Lebaron convertible. Like the legacies of many family cars, Karen Saylor fondly recalls going shopping with mother with the Lebaron’s convertible top down. She remembers trips to the Monterey Peninsula when mother and daughter had their hair blowing in the wind. A neighbor in East Sacramento, Saylor is our guest on episode #27 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. She recalls a lot about how much cars meant to her parents and to her husband with whom she owned several Ford Thunderbirds. The Lebaron has a lot of history and Saylor is happy to share it. Saylor’s parents are deceased as is her husband. The T-birds are gone, but the Chrysler Lebaron remains. It’s beautiful, and it’s homage to the craftsmanship of the cars of the era. While an SUV is now Saylor’s daily driver, she still drives the Lebaron. It always attracts attention. It’s in fine shape and has been driven only 48,000 miles in 32 years or about 1,500 miles per year. It has all of its original documentation and service records. Saylor has decided it’s time to sell the Lebaron. She's asking $5,000. If interested, please contact theweeklydriver.com at james@jamesraia.com and I will forward the information to the car’s owner. Thirty-two years ago, Karen Saylor's parents drove into a downtown Sacramento, California, car dealership and drove away in a new 1986 turbocharged Chrysler Lebaron convertible. - Like the legacies of many family cars,
Like the legacies of many family cars, Karen Saylor fondly recalls going shopping with mother with the Lebaron’s convertible top down. She remembers trips to the Monterey Peninsula when mother and daughter had their hair blowing in the wind.





A neighbor in East Sacramento, Saylor is our guest on episode #27 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. She recalls a lot about how much cars meant to her parents and to her husband with whom she owned several Ford Thunderbirds. The Lebaron has a lot of history and Saylor is happy to share it.

Saylor’s parents are deceased as is her husband. The T-birds are gone, but the Chrysler Lebaron remains. It’s beautiful, and it’s homage to the craftsmanship of the cars of the era.



While an SUV is now Saylor’s daily driver, she still drives the Lebaron. It always attracts attention. It’s in fine shape and has been driven only 48,000 miles in 32 years or about 1,500 miles per year. It has all of its original documentation and service records.

Saylor has decided it’s time to sell the Lebaron. She's asking $5,000. If interested, please contact theweeklydriver.com at james@jamesraia.com and I will forward the information to the car’s owner.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 23:05
Episode 26, picky buyer looks for 6 months, buys 2018 VW Atlas https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/02/episode-26-picky-buyer-looks-6-months-buys-2018-vw-atlas/ Sat, 17 Feb 2018 01:34:55 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29304 Several months ago, Chris Wood decided it was time for a new vehicle. He has a family, including four grandchildren, a 50-pound dog and a 5,000-pound ski boat and equipment to haul. He had $50,000 to spend, but he was faced with a lingering dilemma. Wood, 63, of Pleasanton, a retired Silicon Valley computer salesman, looked for six months but couldn't find a new sports utility vehicle that fit his criteria and could match the quality his previous vehicle, a 1999 Ford Explorer. “I had it for 19 years; I serviced it all the time,” said Wood. “I put in transmissions and took care a lot of the things and kept it running. My dad gave me enough confidence introducing me to everything. He showed me how to rebuild a carburetor on a lawn mower so could learn how to do things myself." With his long, satisfying experience with Ford, Wood could have purchased another Explorer. But for 2018 he said the carmaker charges $600 for upgraded white paint. The basic white paint option was eliminated. “I just had an aversion to paying $600 for paint,” he said. Wood looked for used vehicles, but finding a well-built trailer hitch proved futile. Third-row seating was important and a cargo area large enough for a dog cage. He didn’t want a white interior. Dodge, Honda and Toyota choices were eliminated for various reasons, including not wanting the expense and impractical issues of leather seats. “I really wanted an upscale cloth interior,” said Wood. “Maybe I’m the only guy on the planet who likes a cloth interior. I would have paid a leather price for a cloth interior. It’s comfortable. The 19-year-old cloth interior of my Ford Explorer was in great shape the day I sold it. Plus you can’t find five-year-old leather that looks good, in my opinion.” Wood recently purchased a 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, a debut SUV and his first VW. He provided a list of 16 pros and seven cons after driving the vehicle for 1,500 miles. He meticulously studies the owner’s manual and has about two-dozen colored tabs on various sections. He has other sections marked in red for more tabs after additional reading. Among the features Wood appreciates in his new Atlas is the standard trailer hitch and better position than after-market options. The transmission shift points are good for daily driving. The rear seat tilt with a child’s seat installed is superior. Wood is also impressed with the infotainment system, the 360-degree camera, the large navigation screen, the logical and easy-to-understand changes and settings and the automatic engine start-stop function. Expensive accessories, including the $600 side rail and the cost of installation as well and the $300 cargo cover, $320 roof rails and $300 ski rack are cons. Wood doesn’t appreciate the manufacturer's obsession with warning proclamations throughout the owner's manual. He suggests a section for owners who to do their own maintenance and repair. "Give me a break," Wood noted. "Let Darwin's laws prevail." Like many car enthusiasts, Wood’s fascination with cars began with a family vehicle from his youth. His mother and father saved their money and purchased a 1966 Buick Skylark demo model. His family took two cross-country trips in the Skylark, pulling a camper-trailer. “I tend to be pretty analytical,” Wood said. “My wife and I bought an RV a couple of years ago. We looked for a year for it. We thought about it and really studied and analyzed it. How are we going to use it? What do our friends say who've owned RVs?" With his new purchase, Wood is 95 percent satisfied. "It's an excellent vehicle," he said. "I just want people to know about it." Several months ago, Chris Wood decided it was time for a new vehicle. He has a family, including four grandchildren, a 50-pound dog and a 5,000-pound ski boat and equipment to haul. He had $50,000 to spend, but he was faced with a lingering dilemma.
Wood, 63, of Pleasanton, a retired Silicon Valley computer salesman, looked for six months but couldn't find a new sports utility vehicle that fit his criteria and could match the quality his previous vehicle, a 1999 Ford Explorer.



“I had it for 19 years; I serviced it all the time,” said Wood. “I put in transmissions and took care a lot of the things and kept it running. My dad gave me enough confidence introducing me to everything. He showed me how to rebuild a carburetor on a lawn mower so could learn how to do things myself."

With his long, satisfying experience with Ford, Wood could have purchased another Explorer. But for 2018 he said the carmaker charges $600 for upgraded white paint. The basic white paint option was eliminated. “I just had an aversion to paying $600 for paint,” he said.

Wood looked for used vehicles, but finding a well-built trailer hitch proved futile. Third-row seating was important and a cargo area large enough for a dog cage. He didn’t want a white interior. Dodge, Honda and Toyota choices were eliminated for various reasons, including not wanting the expense and impractical issues of leather seats.



“I really wanted an upscale cloth interior,” said Wood. “Maybe I’m the only guy on the planet who likes a cloth interior. I would have paid a leather price for a cloth interior. It’s comfortable. The 19-year-old cloth interior of my Ford Explorer was in great shape the day I sold it. Plus you can’t find five-year-old leather that looks good, in my opinion.”

Wood recently purchased a 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, a debut SUV and his first VW. He provided a list of 16 pros and seven cons after driving the vehicle for 1,500 miles. He meticulously studies the owner’s manual and has about two-dozen colored tabs on various sections. He has other sections marked in red for more tabs after additional reading.

Among the features Wood appreciates in his new Atlas is the standard trailer hitch and better position than after-market options. The transmission shift points are good for daily driving. The rear seat tilt with a child’s seat installed is superior.

Wood is also impressed with the infotainment system, the 360-degree camera, the large navigation screen, the logical and easy-to-understand changes and settings and the automatic engine start-stop function.

Expensive accessories, including the $600 side rail and the cost of installation as well and the $300 cargo cover, $320 roof rails and $300 ski rack are cons. Wood doesn’t appreciate the manufacturer's obsession with warning proclamations throughout the owner's manual. He suggests a section for owners who to do their own maintenance and repair.

"Give me a break," Wood noted. "Let Darwin's laws prevail."

Like many car enthusiasts, Wood’s fascination with cars began with a family vehicle from his youth. His mother and father saved their money and purchased a 1966 Buick Skylark demo model. His family took two cross-country trips in the Skylark, pulling a camper-trailer.

“I tend to be pretty analytical,” Wood said. “My wife and I bought an RV a couple of years ago. We looked for a year for it. We thought about it and really studied and analyzed it. How are we going to use it? What do our friends say who've owned RVs?"

With his new purchase, Wood is 95 percent satisfied.

"It's an excellent vehicle," he said. "I just want people to know about it."]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean
Episode 25, RV expert believes industry needs major repairs https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/02/episode-25-rv-expert-believes-industry-needs-major-repairs/ Mon, 05 Feb 2018 05:01:40 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29249 Chuck Woodbury, editor and publisher of the RVTravel.com, the industry's largest and most prestigious online publication, is a full-time RVer and an industry advocate. But Woodbury says RV buyers must beware. The RV industry, with record sales in 2017, needs to better protect the best interests of buyers. Woodbury, an author, internationally renowned RV industry expert and the host of the best-selling Better Business Bureau DVD, “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” is the guest on episode 25 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. "There's no international organization anymore that looks out for the interest of RVers," says Woodury. "There's nobody back in Washington, D.C., or in state legislatures lobbying for lemon laws for RVers. The only lobbying that's going on is against lemon laws. The dealers and the manufacturers do not want lemon laws. It means they have to build better RVs pr take them back and they don't want to do that." According to Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) in Reston, Va., wholesale shipments increased 17.2 percent in 2017 from the previous year. Motorhome shipments increased 14.4 percent last year from 2016 totals. But while industry sales highlight the industry's boom, it's also fostered growing concerns of decreasing manufacturing quality. "To me, it's a huge problem," says Woodbury, who frequently receives letters from readers of his website and RV Travel Newsletter about catastrophic issues. "I am probably the only voice out there who is trying to get the companies to do something more to improve their products." Woodbury, who's traveled throughout the world as an RVer for more than 30 years, believes manufacturers and dealers entice potential buyers with increasingly advanced equipment and furnishing and with low long-term financing. But it's rarely in the best interests of customers. "Many of manufacturers today do not even to do a final inspection before the RVs off to dealers," Woodbury warns. "It's up to the dealers to find problems. Some dealers will go and look through their inventory find problems. Other dealers just look the other way." Further troublesome is a lack of qualified assistance for RVers whose vehicles need repair. "There's a huge shortage of RV technicians, says Woodbury. "Generally, the dealers don't pay very well, so it can be very difficult to get an RV fixed. We hear horror stories all the time about people buying RVs riddled with defects. It can take months to get an RV repaired. I feel sorry for people who have paid $100,000 or $200,000 or a new RV and they can't use it." In addition to discussing the industry’s shortcomings, Woodbury also discusses new trends in RV industry, the increase of different groups buying RVs and other changes in the RV community. Chuck Woodbury, editor and publisher of the RVTravel.com, the industry's largest and most prestigious online publication, is a full-time RVer and an industry advocate. But Woodbury says RV buyers must beware. - The RV industry, RVTravel.com, the industry's largest and most prestigious online publication, is a full-time RVer and an industry advocate. But Woodbury says RV buyers must beware.

The RV industry, with record sales in 2017, needs to better protect the best interests of buyers.



Woodbury, an author, internationally renowned RV industry expert and the host of the best-selling Better Business Bureau DVD, “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” is the guest on episode 25 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.

"There's no international organization anymore that looks out for the interest of RVers," says Woodury. "There's nobody back in Washington, D.C., or in state legislatures lobbying for lemon laws for RVers. The only lobbying that's going on is against lemon laws. The dealers and the manufacturers do not want lemon laws. It means they have to build better RVs pr take them back and they don't want to do that."

According to Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) in Reston, Va., wholesale shipments increased 17.2 percent in 2017 from the previous year. Motorhome shipments increased 14.4 percent last year from 2016 totals.

But while industry sales highlight the industry's boom, it's also fostered growing concerns of decreasing manufacturing quality.

"To me, it's a huge problem," says Woodbury, who frequently receives letters from readers of his website and RV Travel Newsletter about catastrophic issues. "I am probably the only voice out there who is trying to get the companies to do something more to improve their products."

Woodbury, who's traveled throughout the world as an RVer for more than 30 years, believes manufacturers and dealers entice potential buyers with increasingly advanced equipment and furnishing and with low long-term financing. But it's rarely in the best interests of customers.

"Many of manufacturers today do not even to do a final inspection before the RVs off to dealers," Woodbury warns. "It's up to the dealers to find problems. Some dealers will go and look through their inventory find problems. Other dealers just look the other way."

Further troublesome is a lack of qualified assistance for RVers whose vehicles need repair.

"There's a huge shortage of RV technicians, says Woodbury. "Generally, the dealers don't pay very well, so it can be very difficult to get an RV fixed. We hear horror stories all the time about people buying RVs riddled with defects. It can take months to get an RV repaired. I feel sorry for people who have paid $100,000 or $200,000 or a new RV and they can't use it."

In addition to discussing the industry’s shortcomings, Woodbury also discusses new trends in RV industry, the increase of different groups buying RVs and other changes in the RV community.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 33:53
Episode 24, Eric Wohlberg: cycling champion, vintage Buick driver https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/01/episode-24-eric-wohlberg-cycling-champion-vintage-buick-driver/ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 19:40:29 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29230 Eric Wohlberg spent more than a decade traveling around the world to compete on two wheels. He participated in three Summer Olympics for Canada and won multiple cycling national individual time trial titles and stage races. But Wohlberg, 53, of San Jose, in his sixth year as a director for the Rally Cycling Team, now prefers four-wheel transportation. He often travels to the team's camp and its races in the United States and his native country while driving one of his two vintage cars. Since 1990, Wohlberg has owned a 1965 Mustang Fastback. For his 50th birthday, he purchased a 1964 Buick LeSabre estate station wagon. “I think every man over the age 50 should be driving a Buick of some sort,” Wohlberg said recently during the team’s recent pre-season training camp along beachfront property in Oxnard. “It’s a rite of passage.” “Right now, that wagon is driving down property values. The place where it’s parked in front of is for sale, so that house is probably going for $15,000 or $20,000 less. I am sure the owner will be happy when it’s not there.” Wohlberg’s interest in vintage cars and their repairs dates to his youth. He was raised on a wheat farm in Saskatchewan where his family had to be self-sufficient. His father led the way. “If something broke, you had to fix it; that’s all there is to it,” said Wohlberg. “I just had that same farm-boy mentality. If something breaks, you do your best to fix it. Sometimes it might break a little worse when you are trying to fix it. But that’s how it goes. It’s a never-say-die attitude.” Wohlberg is humble. While not equipped at his home to do total rebuilds, but he knows his cars well and does most of the repairs. Monterey Auto Week, the yearly international pilgrimage in August to all things automotive is among Wohlberg’s favorite weeks of the year. He camps on the beach in the station wagon with his girlfriend and absorbs the car culture. “It’s amazing the attention my car gets down there,” Wohlberg said. “Once all the Lamborghinis and Ferraris are judged, I can score 9 1/2s and 10s with my station wagon. With my Mustang, people always want to know if it’s for sale. I’ve had a couple of offers for the wagon. It’s a beautiful wagon and they’re kind of coming back into style." Wohlberg’s description ideally defines the term, “beauty in the eye of the beholder.” The engine compartment is a collection of mismatched parts, the fodder of creative mechanics. The exterior is weathered. The interior is old and worn. The driver’s seat floor mat bears the image of a road runner. A religious figurine rest in the center of the dash, accompanied by a plastic toy rifle. What's not to like? “It’s a fun old car; it’s a little rough," Wohlbeg said. "It’s a 50 or maybe even a 100-footer. But it gets the job done. I can haul a lot of stuff in it. I beat it up; it’s perfect for the foul weather on highways 101 and 880.” Eric Wohlberg spent more than a decade traveling around the world to compete on two wheels. He participated in three Summer Olympics for Canada and won multiple cycling national individual time trial titles and stage races. - But Wohlberg, 53,
But Wohlberg, 53, of San Jose, in his sixth year as a director for the Rally Cycling Team, now prefers four-wheel transportation. He often travels to the team's camp and its races in the United States and his native country while driving one of his two vintage cars.



Since 1990, Wohlberg has owned a 1965 Mustang Fastback. For his 50th birthday, he purchased a 1964 Buick LeSabre estate station wagon.

“I think every man over the age 50 should be driving a Buick of some sort,” Wohlberg said recently during the team’s recent pre-season training camp along beachfront property in Oxnard. “It’s a rite of passage.”



“Right now, that wagon is driving down property values. The place where it’s parked in front of is for sale, so that house is probably going for $15,000 or $20,000 less. I am sure the owner will be happy when it’s not there.”

Wohlberg’s interest in vintage cars and their repairs dates to his youth. He was raised on a wheat farm in Saskatchewan where his family had to be self-sufficient. His father led the way.



“If something broke, you had to fix it; that’s all there is to it,” said Wohlberg. “I just had that same farm-boy mentality. If something breaks, you do your best to fix it. Sometimes it might break a little worse when you are trying to fix it. But that’s how it goes. It’s a never-say-die attitude.”

Wohlberg is humble. While not equipped at his home to do total rebuilds, but he knows his cars well and does most of the repairs.

Monterey Auto Week, the yearly international pilgrimage in August to all things automotive is among Wohlberg’s favorite weeks of the year. He camps on the beach in the station wagon with his girlfriend and absorbs the car culture.

“It’s amazing the attention my car gets down there,” Wohlberg said. “Once all the Lamborghinis and Ferraris are judged, I can score 9 1/2s and 10s with my station wagon. With my Mustang, people always want to know if it’s for sale. I’ve had a couple of offers for the wagon. It’s a beautiful wagon and they’re kind of coming back into style."

Wohlberg’s description ideally defines the term, “beauty in the eye of the beholder.”

The engine compartment is a collection of mismatched parts, the fodder of creative mechanics. The exterior is weathered. The interior is old and worn. The driver’s seat floor mat bears the image of a road runner. A religious figurine rest in the center of the dash, accompanied by a plastic toy rifle. What's not to like?

“It’s a fun old car; it’s a little rough," Wohlbeg said. "It’s a 50 or maybe even a 100-footer. But it gets the job done. I can haul a lot of stuff in it. I beat it up; it’s perfect for the foul weather on highways 101 and 880.”]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 22:37
Episode 23, Going mobile at CES with electric bikes, scooters https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/01/episode-23-going-mobile-ces-electric-bikes-scooters/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 02:43:00 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29200 Autonomous cars, trucks and helicopters, drones and virtual reality technology are at the center of the current whirlwind of technology innovation. But personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs) are also increasingly abundant. They're compact, often foldable and easily transportable in boats, planes, automobiles and RVs. They’re the scooters, simple bicycles and mopeds of yesteryear gone electric and grouped under the umbrella term “personal transporters.” And they're used as complementary transportation for travelers or stand-alone vehicles for leisure treks and short commutes. More than a dozen domestic and international PLEV companies, and at least two with agreements with Ford Motor Company, showcased their new machines at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Here are three examples of new mobility options, simple to futuristic-looking: Headquartered in Fremont and manufactured in Ann Arbor, Mich., GenZe electric bikes (www.genze.com) include three ride modes, travel as much as 50 miles per charge and have a removable battery for portable recharging. Bike lane and public transit friendly, GenZe electric bikes are legal transportation where conventional bicycles are legal. The e-bikes have a maximum speed of 18 miles per hour and include a 345 watt-hour lithium-ion battery. A display shows riders their current speed and battery charge level. Prices range from $1,599 to $1,899 and the bikes weight 46 pounds. GenZe also has a lineup of electric scooters, starting at $2,999. Available since last June, GenZe recently collaborated with Motivate International, the operator of the Bay Area’s regional bike share system, and Ford’s GoBike program. A fleet of 250 GenZe bikes will be added in April to the current e-bike network in San Francisco. Riders can locate GenZe e-Bikes using the Ford GoBike application. Renting and returning the e-bikes from any location in San Francisco is available using Clipper smart card or mobile phone. Marketed as offering clean, sustainable and silent transportation for city dwellers, Ujet (www.ujet.com) debuted its lineup of electric scooters at CES. The futuristic design includes spoke-free wheels, a stealth frame, elaborate technology an weighs 31 pounds all in an easy-to-use foldable system. Manufactured in Germany and headquartered Luxembourg, the Ujet is high-tech but easily transportable. The scooter includes a built-in HD dash camera, two USB ports as well as Bluetooth and GPS connectivity. The scooter can be paired with a smartphone using a telematics app, with wifi and 4G connectivity. The Ujet scooter can mount two separate batteries. The smaller battery has a 43-mile range, the larger battery has a 93-mile range. The top speed is 28 miles per hour. Eco, normal and sport driving modes are offered, and the Ujet has a payload of 275 pounds. Costs range from $8,900-$9,900. Technology makes the Ujet impressively user-friendly. The Android or iOS applications provide instructions for available parking. The app also monitors the scooter’s performance, including battery level, mileage and saved carbon dioxide emissions. With a range of up to 50 miles, dual suspension and an array of retro designs, the Ojo electric scooter packs a lot into its stealthy aluminum frame. Headquartered in Oxnard, Ojo scooters (www.ojoelectric.com) have a rigid construction for ride stabilization and a top speed of 20 miles per hour. An add-on battery doubles the range. There's a dashboard touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity to use with two embedded speakers. There’s also a built-in power cord that plugs into a standard wall outlet and recharges in five hours. The scooter costs $1,999. Ford and Ojo representatives met a recent trade show, with the result a global licensing arrangement. The carmaker is at the forefront of mobility solutions, and one of its goals is having the owners of its vehicles traveling with an Ojo in the trunk. Autonomous cars, trucks and helicopters, drones and virtual reality technology are at the center of the current whirlwind of technology innovation. But personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs) are also increasingly abundant. They're compact,
They’re the scooters, simple bicycles and mopeds of yesteryear gone electric and grouped under the umbrella term “personal transporters.” And they're used as complementary transportation for travelers or stand-alone vehicles for leisure treks and short commutes.



More than a dozen domestic and international PLEV companies, and at least two with agreements with Ford Motor Company, showcased their new machines at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Here are three examples of new mobility options, simple to futuristic-looking:

Headquartered in Fremont and manufactured in Ann Arbor, Mich., GenZe electric bikes (www.genze.com) include three ride modes, travel as much as 50 miles per charge and have a removable battery for portable recharging.



Bike lane and public transit friendly, GenZe electric bikes are legal transportation where conventional bicycles are legal. The e-bikes have a maximum speed of 18 miles per hour and include a 345 watt-hour lithium-ion battery. A display shows riders their current speed and battery charge level. Prices range from $1,599 to $1,899 and the bikes weight 46 pounds. GenZe also has a lineup of electric scooters, starting at $2,999.

Available since last June, GenZe recently collaborated with Motivate International, the operator of the Bay Area’s regional bike share system, and Ford’s GoBike program. A fleet of 250 GenZe bikes will be added in April to the current e-bike network in San Francisco.

Riders can locate GenZe e-Bikes using the Ford GoBike application. Renting and returning the e-bikes from any location in San Francisco is available using Clipper smart card or mobile phone.



Marketed as offering clean, sustainable and silent transportation for city dwellers, Ujet (www.ujet.com) debuted its lineup of electric scooters at CES. The futuristic design includes spoke-free wheels, a stealth frame, elaborate technology an weighs 31 pounds all in an easy-to-use foldable system.

Manufactured in Germany and headquartered Luxembourg, the Ujet is high-tech but easily transportable. The scooter includes a built-in HD dash camera, two USB ports as well as Bluetooth and GPS connectivity. The scooter can be paired with a smartphone using a telematics app, with wifi and 4G connectivity.

The Ujet scooter can mount two separate batteries. The smaller battery has a 43-mile range, the larger battery has a 93-mile range. The top speed is 28 miles per hour. Eco, normal and sport driving modes are offered, and the Ujet has a payload of 275 pounds. Costs range from $8,900-$9,900.

Technology makes the Ujet impressively user-friendly. The Android or iOS applications provide instructions for available parking. The app also monitors the scooter’s performance, including battery level, mileage and saved carbon dioxide emissions.

With a range of up to 50 miles, dual suspension and an array of retro designs, the Ojo electric scooter packs a lot into its stealthy aluminum frame.

Headquartered in Oxnard, Ojo scooters (www.ojoelectric.com) have a rigid construction for ride stabilization and a top speed of 20 miles per hour. An add-on battery doubles the range. There's a dashboard touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity to ...]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 23:59
Episode 22, Famed climber Alex Honnold prefers life in a van https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/01/episode-22-famed-climber-alex-honnold-prefers-life-van/ Sat, 13 Jan 2018 22:28:39 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29187 Last summer, Alex Honnold became the first free solo climber to ascend El Capitan in Yosemite. The accomplishment resulted in international acclaim. Honnold appeared on magazine covers, as a guest on late night talk shows, and he continues to be a speaker in demand at trade shows and corporate meetings. Despite his celebrity, Honnold prefers a simple life. He owns and shares a home in Las Vegas with his girlfriend. It’s a short distance from casino mecca. Another view from his front door highlights a favorite location, the varied, step climbing available at Red Rocks Canyon.   But for six months a year, Honnold spends his life on the road in a RAM ProMaster cargo van. It’s equipped with a three-burner stove, and a horizontally positioned mattress across the back of the van. It has all the equipment necessary for the athlete often described as the world’s best mountain climber. The RAM van is Honnold’s third mobile home. He “destroyed” his family’s van during his early nomadic lifestyle. He lived in a Ford Econoline van for years while honing his climbing skills. His current road companion on wheels is parked in the driveway at the end of a street in suburban Las Vegas. Like his climbing proficiency, Honnold is expertly skilled in space management. He describes the middle of the van as a “living room.” The cabinets and draws are packed with essentials. There's a fingerboard across the inside top of the side door. It's where Honnold stretches and strengthens his fingers. The van and its simplicity are just as Honnold likes it. In episode 22 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia visit Alex Honnold at his home in Las Vegas. We revisit his climbing history, his life in Las Vegas and Honnold's favorite lifestyle — life on the road in a van. Last summer, Alex Honnold became the first free solo climber to ascend El Capitan in Yosemite. The accomplishment resulted in international acclaim. Honnold appeared on magazine covers, as a guest on late night talk shows,
Despite his celebrity, Honnold prefers a simple life. He owns and shares a home in Las Vegas with his girlfriend. It’s a short distance from casino mecca. Another view from his front door highlights a favorite location, the varied, step climbing available at Red Rocks Canyon.

 





But for six months a year, Honnold spends his life on the road in a RAM ProMaster cargo van. It’s equipped with a three-burner stove, and a horizontally positioned mattress across the back of the van. It has all the equipment necessary for the athlete often described as the world’s best mountain climber.

The RAM van is Honnold’s third mobile home. He “destroyed” his family’s van during his early nomadic lifestyle. He lived in a Ford Econoline van for years while honing his climbing skills. His current road companion on wheels is parked in the driveway at the end of a street in suburban Las Vegas.

Like his climbing proficiency, Honnold is expertly skilled in space management. He describes the middle of the van as a “living room.” The cabinets and draws are packed with essentials. There's a fingerboard across the inside top of the side door. It's where Honnold stretches and strengthens his fingers. The van and its simplicity are just as Honnold likes it.

In episode 22 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia visit Alex Honnold at his home in Las Vegas. We revisit his climbing history, his life in Las Vegas and Honnold's favorite lifestyle — life on the road in a van.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 24:25
Episode 21, Rags to riches: The restoration of a rare Porsche 356 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2018/01/episode-21-rags-riches-restoration-rare-porsche-356/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 06:04:11 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29165 Leigh Rutledge, a real estate executive in Sacramento, California, owns a rare Porsche — a 1956 Porsche 356 Cabriolet. The car was made in the year Rutledge was born, and the model also corresponds to the month and year she was born. In Episode 21 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss with Rutledge her 27-year ownership of the unique Porsche. The car has had a hard-to-believe legacy. Rutledge purchased the Porsche in 1990 after noticing it for sale on a 3x5 index card. But the Porsche wasn't much more than a collection of parts. The restoration began as a series of catastrophes, from unscrupulous “experts” to financial missteps. But through the care and concern of several friends as well as her husband, Bill Hambrick (he’s also a vintage Porsche owner), Rutledge persevered. She now has one of what may be 20 known examples of the Cabriolet remaining. Through the years, Rutledge has entered various car shows, and her Porsche has won every time. More than 350 vehicles were entered in one event. Rutledge doesn’t drive her Porsche often, but when she does, it always attracts attention. About 1 1/2 years ago, Rutledge was contacted by a wannabe owner in Germany. The discussion didn’t advance past pleasantries. Rutledge and Hambrick often attend Porsche functions in one of their vintage cars. But they’ve never driven their respective Porsches to the same event. Rutledge said the husband-wife team has discussed the possibilities, and their mini rally could happen this year. Listen to our episode as Rutledge details the trials and tribulations of her Porsche ownership. She talks about rare parts and rave reviews. She shares the appreciation she has for the friend who is largely responsible for its restoration. And she also reveals what her 1956 Porsche 356 Cabriolet is likely worth. Thank you for listening to our podcast. We welcome your comments. Leigh Rutledge, a real estate executive in Sacramento, California, owns a rare Porsche — a 1956 Porsche 356 Cabriolet. - The car was made in the year Rutledge was born, and the model also corresponds to the month and year she was born. -
The car was made in the year Rutledge was born, and the model also corresponds to the month and year she was born.

In Episode 21 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss with Rutledge her 27-year ownership of the unique Porsche. The car has had a hard-to-believe legacy.





Rutledge purchased the Porsche in 1990 after noticing it for sale on a 3x5 index card. But the Porsche wasn't much more than a collection of parts. The restoration began as a series of catastrophes, from unscrupulous “experts” to financial missteps.

But through the care and concern of several friends as well as her husband, Bill Hambrick (he’s also a vintage Porsche owner), Rutledge persevered. She now has one of what may be 20 known examples of the Cabriolet remaining.

Through the years, Rutledge has entered various car shows, and her Porsche has won every time. More than 350 vehicles were entered in one event.

Rutledge doesn’t drive her Porsche often, but when she does, it always attracts attention. About 1 1/2 years ago, Rutledge was contacted by a wannabe owner in Germany. The discussion didn’t advance past pleasantries.

Rutledge and Hambrick often attend Porsche functions in one of their vintage cars. But they’ve never driven their respective Porsches to the same event. Rutledge said the husband-wife team has discussed the possibilities, and their mini rally could happen this year.

Listen to our episode as Rutledge details the trials and tribulations of her Porsche ownership. She talks about rare parts and rave reviews. She shares the appreciation she has for the friend who is largely responsible for its restoration.

And she also reveals what her 1956 Porsche 356 Cabriolet is likely worth.

Thank you for listening to our podcast. We welcome your comments.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 29:27
Episode 20, 2017 year-end observations, goodbye to 21 cars https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/12/episode-20-year-end-observations/ Fri, 29 Dec 2017 20:05:15 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29146 Every year, cars come and go. In 2018, nearly two dozen vehicles available in 2017 won't be available as new models. Some of the cars, like the Chevrolet Spark, have been failing for years. Some of the other departing vehicles, like the Honda Accord coupe, come as surprises. In Episode 20 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia bid farewell to the departing vehicles. Some we'll miss. But for others, good riddance. With the new year upon us, we also look back on some of the popular topics in the auto industry during 2017. What exactly will happen beginning January 1 with the new marijuana laws beging is anyone's guess. How will law enforcement officials handle motorists who have had to much to smoke? No one was in the news more than Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla. We chat about his ongoing plans for the fastest production vehicle ever made as well as the delays in his long-promised everyman's Tesla. Paul Elio, the owner of the fledgling three-wheel Elio, spent much of the year fending off criticism about his yet-to-be manufactured vehicle. Elio has massive debt, lots of broken promises and a few pending lawsuits. He's also facing the likelihood his much-touted vehicle with its $7,400 price, 84 miles per gallon and 100 miles per hour estimates, will never be made. Also in Episode 20, we share some of our "pet peeves." We answer the question why every car couldn't have rear window windshield wipers. And Bruce explains that drivers not using their blinkers is a not a new story and that it's perhaps me just getting old We hope you enjoy the episode and we welcome your comments. Every year, cars come and go. In 2018, nearly two dozen vehicles available in 2017 won't be available as new models. Some of the cars, like the Chevrolet Spark, have been failing for years. Some of the other departing vehicles, Honda Accord coupe, come as surprises.

In Episode 20 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia bid farewell to the departing vehicles. Some we'll miss. But for others, good riddance.



With the new year upon us, we also look back on some of the popular topics in the auto industry during 2017.

What exactly will happen beginning January 1 with the new marijuana laws beging is anyone's guess. How will law enforcement officials handle motorists who have had to much to smoke?

No one was in the news more than Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla. We chat about his ongoing plans for the fastest production vehicle ever made as well as the delays in his long-promised everyman's Tesla.

Paul Elio, the owner of the fledgling three-wheel Elio, spent much of the year fending off criticism about his yet-to-be manufactured vehicle.

Elio has massive debt, lots of broken promises and a few pending lawsuits. He's also facing the likelihood his much-touted vehicle with its $7,400 price, 84 miles per gallon and 100 miles per hour estimates, will never be made.

Also in Episode 20, we share some of our "pet peeves." We answer the question why every car couldn't have rear window windshield wipers. And Bruce explains that drivers not using their blinkers is a not a new story and that it's perhaps me just getting old

We hope you enjoy the episode and we welcome your comments.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 29:33
Episode 19, IIHS: Crash Test Dummies to Autonomous Driving https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/12/episode-19-iihs-crash-test-dummies-autonomous-driving-2/ Sun, 24 Dec 2017 00:02:09 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29101 Sean O'Malley and David Aylor represent the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in Arlington, Virginia. Established in 1959, the IIHS is a non-profit organization that works to reduce motor vehicle deaths, crashes, injuries and property damage. O'Malley, the senior test coordinator, and Aylor, the manager of active testing, work with colleagues to conduct research and produce ratings for mainstream passenger vehicles. The organization also researches and produces ratings for consumer products such as child car booster seats. Additionally, the IIHS researches road design and traffic regulations. In this episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast, co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the changing world of cars and trucks and how the organization views advancing technology. O'Malley and Aylor detail how the organization rates vehicles, its relationship with automobile manufacturers and the future of autonomous driving. "Basically, our goal is to reduce the losses on our highways, from deaths to injuries and property damage," O'Malley. "Through our research and crash testing our goal is to give consumers useful information on different technologies and road design. "But I think most people recognize us form the ratings and out crash test dummies." For more information, visit: www.iihs.org We hope you enjoy this episode and we'd appreciate your feedback. Sean O'Malley and David Aylor represent the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in Arlington, Virginia. Established in 1959, the IIHS is a non-profit organization that works to reduce motor vehicle deaths, crashes,
O'Malley, the senior test coordinator, and Aylor, the manager of active testing, work with colleagues to conduct research and produce ratings for mainstream passenger vehicles. The organization also researches and produces ratings for consumer products such as child car booster seats.



Additionally, the IIHS researches road design and traffic regulations.

In this episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast, co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the changing world of cars and trucks and how the organization views advancing technology.

O'Malley and Aylor detail how the organization rates vehicles, its relationship with automobile manufacturers and the future of autonomous driving.

"Basically, our goal is to reduce the losses on our highways, from deaths to injuries and property damage," O'Malley. "Through our research and crash testing our goal is to give consumers useful information on different technologies and road design.

"But I think most people recognize us form the ratings and out crash test dummies."

For more information, visit: www.iihs.org

We hope you enjoy this episode and we'd appreciate your feedback.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 23:53
Episode 18, California Automobile Museum curator Carly Starr https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/12/episode-18-california-automobile-museum-curator-carly-starr/ Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:15:55 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=29030 Carly Starr is the curator of the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento. She has incredible knowledge of the cars and trucks in the unheralded museum as well as its diverse outreach programs throughout the year. The museum, located at 2200 Front St., opened in May 1987. It has more than 150 classic cars, race cars, trucks and rotating displays of different generations of vehicles from various regional clubs. The California Automobile Museum is also unique among car museums. It selectively buys and sells vintage cars and trucks. During a recent visit to the museum, co-host Bruce Aldrich and I visited the museum, chatted with an outgoing docent and then interviewed Starr for The Weekly Driver Podcast. (Visit the episode at the bottom of this post.) Starr’s detailed information and passion for the museum and cars is impressive, particularly since she admittedly said he had little knowledge of the automotive industry when he began her job about five years ago. A graduate of UCLA with a bachelor's degree in history, Starr's career has included marketing, administration and specialty museum training. She was also a docent at the California State Railroad Museum. We discussed the history of the 72,000 square-foot museum, its ownership legacy and its recent upgrades after extensive roof damage. Starr also shared some of the museum's plans for special events and the vehicles she hopes will soon join the museum's collection. We talked a lot about cars, including the museum’s original donation and how the museum works in conjunction with the Sacramento community for special exhibits, parades and school visits. The museum's automotive treasures are varied and include: a 1933 Lincoln KB once owned by Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini, Gov. Jerry Brown’s 1974 Plymouth Satellite, and a 1987 Lamborghini Contact 5000SQV previously owned by Malcolm Forbes. Visit the museum’s website: www.calautomuseum.org for museum hours of operation, membership details and special attractions. Carly Starr is the curator of the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento. She has incredible knowledge of the cars and trucks in the unheralded museum as well as its diverse outreach programs throughout the year. - The museum,
The museum, located at 2200 Front St., opened in May 1987. It has more than 150 classic cars, race cars, trucks and rotating displays of different generations of vehicles from various regional clubs.

The California Automobile Museum is also unique among car museums. It selectively buys and sells vintage cars and trucks.





During a recent visit to the museum, co-host Bruce Aldrich and I visited the museum, chatted with an outgoing docent and then interviewed Starr for The Weekly Driver Podcast. (Visit the episode at the bottom of this post.)

Starr’s detailed information and passion for the museum and cars is impressive, particularly since she admittedly said he had little knowledge of the automotive industry when he began her job about five years ago.

A graduate of UCLA with a bachelor's degree in history, Starr's career has included marketing, administration and specialty museum training. She was also a docent at the California State Railroad Museum.

We discussed the history of the 72,000 square-foot museum, its ownership legacy and its recent upgrades after extensive roof damage. Starr also shared some of the museum's plans for special events and the vehicles she hopes will soon join the museum's collection.

We talked a lot about cars, including the museum’s original donation and how the museum works in conjunction with the Sacramento community for special exhibits, parades and school visits.

The museum's automotive treasures are varied and include: a 1933 Lincoln KB once owned by Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini, Gov. Jerry Brown’s 1974 Plymouth Satellite, and a 1987 Lamborghini Contact 5000SQV previously owned by Malcolm Forbes.

Visit the museum’s website: www.calautomuseum.org for museum hours of operation, membership details and special attractions.]]>
James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean 31:21
Episode 17, The Weekly Driver Podcast’s Best Cars of 2017 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/12/episode-17-the-weekly-driver-podcasts-best-cars-of-2017/ Tue, 05 Dec 2017 05:57:21 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-17-the-weekly-driver-podcasts-best-cars-of-2017-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 The Weekly Driver Podcast presents its 2017 best cars of year. It's the 11th annual compilation, previously published only on the TheWeeklyDriver.com. I reviewed 38 cars and trucks in 2017, and we choose the vehicles of the year based on value, safety, fuel efficiency, versatility and comfort. We only select cars or trucks we've driven. Co-host Bruce Aldrich and I hash it out in episode 17. The Weekly Driver Podcast presents its 2017 best cars of year. It's the 11th annual compilation, previously published only on the TheWeeklyDriver.com. I reviewed 38 cars and trucks in 2017, and we choose the vehicles of the year based on value, James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 16, LA Auto Show Day 3: Tips for the public, Volvo, meet Blinker https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/12/episode-16-la-auto-show-day-3-tips-for-the-public-volvo-meet-blinker-com/ Fri, 01 Dec 2017 19:29:27 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-16-la-auto-show-day-3-tips-for-the-public-volvo-meet-blinkercom-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Rod Buscher was in the car dealership business for 30 years. Now, he's the CEO of Blinker, the application that simplifies the car-buying and car-selling process. In Episode 16, we interview Buscher during the LA Auto Show. Also, we provide an overview of the show for its public viewing days, Dec. 1-10. And we discuss the fly-and-buy program offered by Volvo. Rod Buscher was in the car dealership business for 30 years. Now, he's the CEO of Blinker.com, the application that simplifies the car-buying and car-selling ... Rod Buscher was in the car dealership business for 30 years. Now, he's the CEO of Blinker.com, the application that simplifies the car-buying and car-selling process. In Episode 16, we interview Buscher during the LA Auto Show. Also, we provide an overview of the show for its public viewing days, Dec. 1-10. And we discuss the fly-and-buy program offered by Volvo. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 15, LA Auto Show, Day 2: Honda Goes More Green, Wacky Concept https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/11/episode-15-la-auto-show-day-2-honda-goes-more-green-wacky-concept/ Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:38:08 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-15-la-auto-show-day-2-honda-goes-more-green-wacky-concept-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Honda has invested a lot of money into its green cars effort, including the Clarity. It's the carmaker's entree into hydrogen cars. In Episode 14, we discuss the Clarity with a Honda representative. We explore the other sights and sounds during our second day of visiting the 2017 LA Auto Show, including a look at a wacky concept called Red Square. Honda has invested a lot of money into its green cars effort, including the Clarity. It's the carmaker's entree into hydrogen cars. In Episode 14, ... Honda has invested a lot of money into its green cars effort, including the Clarity. It's the carmaker's entree into hydrogen cars. In Episode 14, we discuss the Clarity with a Honda representative. We explore the other sights and sounds during our second day of visiting the 2017 LA Auto Show, including a look at a wacky concept called Red Square. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 14, LA Auto Show, Day 1: Electric Bikes, Trucks and Amazon Mayhem https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/11/episode-14-la-auto-show-day-1-electric-bikes-trucks-and-amazon-mayhem/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 04:24:05 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/automobility-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 The first day of the LA Auto Show was the debut of AutoMobilty — all things tech orientd in the automotive industry. In this episode, The Weekly Driver interviews Jenninfer Parke, co-founder of the start-up app, Fair, where a certified used vehicle takes 10 minutes to negotiate. We also interview Jeff Holland from Bollinger Motors, an all-electric truck company; We discuss the new season of The Grand Tour om Amazon Prime; and we chat with John King, owner of the electric bike company, Phantom Bikes. The first day of the LA Auto Show was the debut of AutoMobilty — all things tech orientd in the automotive industry. In this episode, ... The first day of the LA Auto Show was the debut of AutoMobilty — all things tech orientd in the automotive industry. In this episode, The Weekly Driver interviews Jenninfer Parke, co-founder of the start-up app, Fair, where a certified used vehicle takes 10 minutes to negotiate. We also interview Jeff Holland from Bollinger Motors, an all-electric truck company; We discuss the new season of The Grand Tour om Amazon Prime; and we chat with John King, owner of the electric bike company, Phantom Bikes. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 13, Tesla’s Woes, Farewell Danica Patrick https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/11/episode-13-teslas-woes-farewell-danica-patrick/ Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:44:24 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-13-teslas-woes-farewell-danica-patrick-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Elon Musk recently announced two new off-the-hook vehicles despite Tesla's massive debt and abrupt company layoffs. What's up with that? And Danica Patrick had an emotional announcement that she's rietiring after the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500. We give our opinions on the polarizing luminaries. Elon Musk recently announced two new off-the-hook vehicles despite Tesla's massive debt and abrupt company layoffs. What's up with that? And Danica Patrick had an ... Elon Musk recently announced two new off-the-hook vehicles despite Tesla's massive debt and abrupt company layoffs. What's up with that? And Danica Patrick had an emotional announcement that she's rietiring after the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500. We give our opinions on the polarizing luminaries. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 12, Drag racer Henry Giselle Roberson https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/11/episode-12-drag-racer-henry-giselle-roberson/ Wed, 15 Nov 2017 05:49:53 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-12-drag-race-henry-giselle-roberson-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Henry Giselle Roberson, 31, of North Highlands, California, has been drag racing for more than half his life. His father, age 75, began racing on the streets of San Francisco. The younger Roberson is following his father's path, competing on tracks from Arizona to Oregon. Henry Giselle Roberson, 31, of North Highlands, California, has been drag racing for more than half his life. His father, age 75, began racing on ... Henry Giselle Roberson, 31, of North Highlands, California, has been drag racing for more than half his life. His father, age 75, began racing on the streets of San Francisco. The younger Roberson is following his father's path, competing on tracks from Arizona to Oregon. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 11, Mecum Auction Debuts In Las Vegas https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/11/episode-11-mecum-auction-debuts-in-las-vegas/ Wed, 08 Nov 2017 06:30:11 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/mecum-auction-11-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Mecum Auctions is the largest automotive auction house in the United States. Mecum will conduct 14 auctions throughout the United States in 2017, including the inaugural event in Las Vegas, Nov. 16-18. In Episode 11, co-host James Raia interviews John Kraman, a television brodcaster and analyst with Mecum, about the new auction as well as his 60-year passion for automobiles. Mecum Auctions is the largest automotive auction house in the United States. Mecum will conduct 14 auctions throughout the United States in 2017, including the ... Mecum Auctions is the largest automotive auction house in the United States. Mecum will conduct 14 auctions throughout the United States in 2017, including the inaugural event in Las Vegas, Nov. 16-18. In Episode 11, co-host James Raia interviews John Kraman, a television brodcaster and analyst with Mecum, about the new auction as well as his 60-year passion for automobiles. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 10, RV travel defines open-road freedom https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/11/episode-10-rv-travel-defines-open-road-freedom/ Thu, 02 Nov 2017 04:15:28 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-10-rv-travel-defines-open-road-freedom-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Once an industry dominated by retirees and fair-weather travelers, the recreational vehicle lifestyle is surging in popularity — particularly for younger vacationers. Last year, 430,000 recreational vehicles of all kinds were sold, according to the RV Industry Association (RVIA). That total represented a 15 percent increase in sales from 2016, and it continued a several-year upward trend. Lower credit rates and lower gas prices are among the reasons for the increase in the travel option. The advancement in technology — smartphones, to 4G data connections — also represents another major reason for RV's lifestyle boon, particularly among younger travelers. In fact, more than half of RV buyers in 2016 were younger than age 45, according to RVIA. In Episode #10 of The Weekly Driver podcast, Bruce discusses the trip and what he and his wife learned during their second RV vacation. What did Bruce and Alene discover on their more than 2,000-mile journey across several states? Where did they stay? Did they always have reservations or did just decide each day to travel carefree and stop serendipitously? How was the weather and did it present any problems? How did driving a 27-foot RV differ from driving a passenger vehicle? How did the economics of the trip compare to flying and stay in hotels? Bruce took detailed calculations during the trip, from daily miles traveled to miles per gallon. Where there any surprises along the way? What were the campsites like during the trip? Bruce provides all of the details in Episode 10 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.     Save Save Save Save Save Once an industry dominated by retirees and fair-weather travelers, the recreational vehicle lifestyle is surging in popularity — particularly for younger vacationers. - Last year, 430,000 recreational vehicles of all kinds were sold,
Once an industry dominated by retirees and fair-weather travelers, the recreational vehicle lifestyle is surging in popularity — particularly for younger vacationers.

Last year, 430,000 recreational vehicles of all kinds were sold, according to the RV Industry Association (RVIA).

That total represented a 15 percent increase in sales from 2016, and it continued a several-year upward trend. Lower credit rates and lower gas prices are among the reasons for the increase in the travel option.



The advancement in technology — smartphones, to 4G data connections — also represents another major reason for RV's lifestyle boon, particularly among younger travelers.

In fact, more than half of RV buyers in 2016 were younger than age 45, according to RVIA.



In Episode #10 of The Weekly Driver podcast, Bruce discusses the trip and what he and his wife learned during their second RV vacation.

What did Bruce and Alene discover on their more than 2,000-mile journey across several states? Where did they stay? Did they always have reservations or did just decide each day to travel carefree and stop serendipitously?

How was the weather and did it present any problems? How did driving a 27-foot RV differ from driving a passenger vehicle? How did the economics of the trip compare to flying and stay in hotels?

Bruce took detailed calculations during the trip, from daily miles traveled to miles per gallon. Where there any surprises along the way? What were the campsites like during the trip?

Bruce provides all of the details in Episode 10 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save]]>
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Episode 9, The Pros & Cons of Convertibles https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/10/episode-9-the-pros-cons-of-convertibles/ Mon, 23 Oct 2017 20:43:11 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episide-9-the-pros-cons-of-convertibles-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Convertibles are an acquired taste. Driving on a country road on a warm afternoon in a sports car with the top down is the among the best joys of driving. The fresh air, or using the automotive terminology, "maximum ventilation," can take all your troubles away. But convertible tops, particularly fabric tops, have limitations, including deterioration, poor break-in protection and reduced cargo space. We discuss the pros and cons of convertibles in Episode No. 9. Modern-day convertibles, of course, are far superior to the early varieties. The ragtop quality is top grade. Electric systems have replaced awkward manual requirements to lower or raise tops. Push a level above the dashboard on a 2017 Volkswagen Beetle and the top lowers or rises in 13 seconds. And the system can operate with the car traveling as fast as 31 mph. Hardtop convertibles offer the best of both car types. The Volkswagen Eos, a hardtop sedan made from 2006-2015, overpriced and underappreciated. Its hardtop was particularly efficient. It discreetly folded flat just above the rear seats. And when the top was up, the Eos was as quiet as a sedan. Of course, there are variations on the theme. Vintage Mercedes-Benz coupes had detachable hardtops. A recent Fiat 500C Abarth I reviewed wasn’t a true convertible. It’s top rolled by like a can sardines. The side pillars remain in place. Arguably, the most famous convertible in the Jaguar XKE. The mid-60 editions are often cited as the most beautiful cars ever made. It’s an opinion hard to dispute.   Convertibles are an acquired taste. Driving on a country road on a warm afternoon in a sports car with the top down is the among the best joys of driving. The fresh air, or using the automotive terminology, "maximum ventilation,
But convertible tops, particularly fabric tops, have limitations, including deterioration, poor break-in protection and reduced cargo space. We discuss the pros and cons of convertibles in Episode No. 9.



Modern-day convertibles, of course, are far superior to the early varieties. The ragtop quality is top grade. Electric systems have replaced awkward manual requirements to lower or raise tops. Push a level above the dashboard on a 2017 Volkswagen Beetle and the top lowers or rises in 13 seconds. And the system can operate with the car traveling as fast as 31 mph.

Hardtop convertibles offer the best of both car types. The Volkswagen Eos, a hardtop sedan made from 2006-2015, overpriced and underappreciated. Its hardtop was particularly efficient. It discreetly folded flat just above the rear seats. And when the top was up, the Eos was as quiet as a sedan.



Of course, there are variations on the theme. Vintage Mercedes-Benz coupes had detachable hardtops. A recent Fiat 500C Abarth I reviewed wasn’t a true convertible. It’s top rolled by like a can sardines. The side pillars remain in place.

Arguably, the most famous convertible in the Jaguar XKE. The mid-60 editions are often cited as the most beautiful cars ever made. It’s an opinion hard to dispute.

 ]]>
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Episode 8, Transmission Shifts https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/10/episode-8-transmission-shifts/ Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:45:18 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-8-manual-vs-automatic-transmissions-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 The Weekly Driver Podcast gets support from AmericanMuscle.com, your late model Mustang and F-150 Authority. Bringing you the hottest products and top-notch customer service for over a decade. No one makes it easier to modify your ride. Visit AmericanMuscle.com today for all things Mustang and F-150.   Driving purists still appreciate shifting gears in their vehicles. But manual transmissions are rare these days. Automotive industry data companies estimate about only about three percent of new vehicles sold in the United States are equipped with manual transmissions. In this episode, we discuss the reasons behind the shift in transmissions, and we list the cars still available with manual transmissions. The Weekly Driver Podcast gets support from AmericanMuscle.com, your late model Mustang and F-150 Authority. Bringing you the hottest products and top-notch customer service for over a decade. No one makes it easier to modify your ride. The Weekly Driver Podcast gets support from AmericanMuscle.com, your late model Mustang and F-150 Authority. Bringing you the hottest products and top-notch customer service for over a decade. No one makes it easier to modify your ride. Visit AmericanMuscle.com today for all things Mustang and F-150.
 
Driving purists still appreciate shifting gears in their vehicles. But manual transmissions are rare these days. Automotive industry data companies estimate about only about three percent of new vehicles sold in the United States are equipped with manual transmissions. In this episode, we discuss the reasons behind the shift in transmissions, and we list the cars still available with manual transmissions.]]>
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Episode 7, Bruce Aldrich and his 1959 VW Bug https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/10/episode-7-bruce-aldrich-1959-vw-bug/ Sun, 08 Oct 2017 20:40:43 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-7-bruce-aldrich-and-1959-volkswagen-bug-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Every family has a car story. Bruce Aldrich, the co-host of The Weekly Driver Podcast, inherited a 1959 Volkswagen Bug from his father who bought it new. Bruce has more than a 50-year history with the car. He's the guest on this week's episode, discussing the legacy of the historic Bug and how it influenced his upbringing and his close relationship with his father and family. Every family has a car story. Bruce Aldrich, the co-host of The Weekly Driver Podcast, inherited a 1959 Volkswagen Bug from his father who bought ... Every family has a car story. Bruce Aldrich, the co-host of The Weekly Driver Podcast, inherited a 1959 Volkswagen Bug from his father who bought it new. Bruce has more than a 50-year history with the car. He's the guest on this week's episode, discussing the legacy of the historic Bug and how it influenced his upbringing and his close relationship with his father and family. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 6, Fantasy Cars We Want https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/10/episode-6-fantasy-cars-want/ Mon, 02 Oct 2017 02:58:40 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episoode-6-fantasy-cars-we-want-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 If you could buy any car, what would you choose? A Ferrari? Aston Martin? Bugatti? Rolls Royce? Lamborghini? Or how about something more elegant — and powerful — like a Bentley Mulsanne? The Weekly Driver Podcast recently discussed best new cars for less than $25,000. In this issue, we both pick four new fantasy cars. And our respective No. 1 picks were the same — the 2017 Bentley Bentayga. If you could buy any car, what would you choose? A Ferrari? Aston Martin? Bugatti? Rolls Royce? Lamborghini? Or how about something more elegant — and powerful — like a Bentley Mulsanne? The Weekly Driver Podcast recently discussed best new cars for le... If you could buy any car, what would you choose? A Ferrari? Aston Martin? Bugatti? Rolls Royce? Lamborghini? Or how about something more elegant — and powerful — like a Bentley Mulsanne? The Weekly Driver Podcast recently discussed best new cars for less than $25,000. In this issue, we both pick four new fantasy cars. And our respective No. 1 picks were the same — the 2017 Bentley Bentayga.]]> James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 5, Best Cars Under $25,000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/09/episode-5-best-cars-25000/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:33:21 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/episode-5-best-cars-under-25000-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Perhaps the most competitive price point in the car industry is the available of quality cars — sedans, sports cars, sport utility vehicles and crossovers — for less than $25,000. It's particularly impressive since the average price of a new car in the United States in recent years has hovered around $32,000. Competition is increasingly intense. Whether you're considering a luxury vehicle or a moderately priced car, there's an abundance of choices as carmakers try to outdo each other.   In Episode 5 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, co-hosts James Raia and Bruce Aldrich share our respective lists of vehicles we like, all for less than $25,000. Bruce is particularly fond of the 2017 Toyota Camry for its overall styling, driving and fuel efficiency. James is equally impressed with the Honda Civic Hatchback. Its overall quality, cargo area and resale value is hard to beat. Bruce and James also reveal short lists of vehicles also with price tags of less than $25,000 they can't recommend. List to the podcast below: Competition in the automotive industry is increasingly intense. Many manufacturers — Honda to Toyota, Hyundai to Volkswagen — have a variety of options for those ... Competition in the automotive industry is increasingly intense. Many manufacturers — Honda to Toyota, Hyundai to Volkswagen — have a variety of options for those in the market for a new vehicle priced less than $25,000. In Episode 5, we review a healthy list of new vehicles, many of which have been reviewed on theweeklydriver.com, that we recommend. We also have a smaller, dubious list of new vehicles for less than $25,000 that we don't recommend. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean The Weekly Driver Podcast, Episode 4, Ferrari owner Bill Finkbeiner https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/09/weekly-driver-podcast-episode-4-ferrari-owner-bill-finkbeiner/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:19:41 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=28630 Automotive legend Enzo Ferrari began his legacy under the brand name Auto Avio Costruzioni in 1940. Seven years later, the Ferrari brand debuted with the 125S with a 1.5-liter V12 engine. The exotic Italian supercar with its famous black prancing horse, yellow background and Italian flag logo forever changed the automotive industry. Bill Finkbeiner, a landscape contractor and car collector in Auburn, California, has owned a Ferrari for nearly 40 years. He's our guest on Episode 4 of The Weekly Driver podcast. Finkbeiner purchased a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2x2 on Feb. 18, 1979, Enzo Ferrari's 80th birthday. It was the first mass-produced four-seat Ferrari. The Weekly Driver Podcast co-hosts Bruce Aldrich (tahoetruckeeoutdoor.com) and James Raia (theweeklydriver.com) talk with Bill about his ownership of his rare and underappreciated sports car. We also discuss with Bill his knowledge of the iconic brand and its vast global appeal. Enduring through ownership changes, enormous success in Formula One racing and unmatched status at vintage car auctions, Ferrari is considered the most influential carmaker. It’s involved in nearly every avenue of high-end racing and exotic consumer cars. Ferrari brand merchandise is a world phenomenon. Retail Ferrari stores are located 29 countries, Azerbaijan to Ukraine and Kuwait to three locations in the United States — Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Ferrari currently manufacturers about a dozen vehicles, including the 488 GTB, 488 Spider, California T and other legendary models. While sales haven’t increased every year since 2000, the brand’s overall popularity has impressively improved. Ferrari sold 4,070 units in 2000 and 7,664 in 2015. Ferrari celebrated its 70th anniversary in August with the renowned brand featured in many events through the Monterey Peninsula during Monterey Auto Week. The Weekly Driver Podcast welcomes your comments. Email: co-host james@jamesraia.com, automotive columnist for Bay Area News Group and Gulfshore Business in Naples, Florida and the editor and publisher of TheWeeklyDriver.com. Listen to the podcast below:   Automotive legend Enzo Ferrari began his legacy under the brand name Auto Avio Costruzioni in 1940. Seven years later, the Ferrari brand debuted with the 125S with a 1.5-liter V12 engine. - The exotic Italian supercar with its famous black prancing ho...
The exotic Italian supercar with its famous black prancing horse, yellow background and Italian flag logo forever changed the automotive industry.



Bill Finkbeiner, a landscape contractor and car collector in Auburn, California, has owned a Ferrari for nearly 40 years. He's our guest on Episode 4 of The Weekly Driver podcast.

Finkbeiner purchased a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2x2 on Feb. 18, 1979, Enzo Ferrari's 80th birthday. It was the first mass-produced four-seat Ferrari.

The Weekly Driver Podcast co-hosts Bruce Aldrich (tahoetruckeeoutdoor.com) and James Raia (theweeklydriver.com) talk with Bill about his ownership of his rare and underappreciated sports car. We also discuss with Bill his knowledge of the iconic brand and its vast global appeal.

Enduring through ownership changes, enormous success in Formula One racing and unmatched status at vintage car auctions, Ferrari is considered the most influential carmaker. It’s involved in nearly every avenue of high-end racing and exotic consumer cars.

Ferrari brand merchandise is a world phenomenon. Retail Ferrari stores are located 29 countries, Azerbaijan to Ukraine and Kuwait to three locations in the United States — Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Ferrari currently manufacturers about a dozen vehicles, including the 488 GTB, 488 Spider, California T and other legendary models. While sales haven’t increased every year since 2000, the brand’s overall popularity has impressively improved. Ferrari sold 4,070 units in 2000 and 7,664 in 2015.

Ferrari celebrated its 70th anniversary in August with the renowned brand featured in many events through the Monterey Peninsula during Monterey Auto Week.

The Weekly Driver Podcast welcomes your comments. Email: co-host james@jamesraia.com, automotive columnist for Bay Area News Group and Gulfshore Business in Naples, Florida and the editor and publisher of TheWeeklyDriver.com.

Listen to the podcast below:



 ]]>
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Episode 3, Hybrid Hype https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/09/weekly-driver-podcast-episode-3-hybrid-hype/ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 23:27:20 +0000 https://www.theweeklydriver.com/?p=28608 The 2000 Toyota Prius was the first nationally available hybrid vehicle in the United States. A few months earlier, Honda introduced the Insight, the so-called "Peanut Car." But it's never made much of an impact in its original edition or the current generation that debuted in recent years. Double click below to listen to the latest edition: But in the nearly 18 years since alternative fuel vehicles — gas/electric, electric only, natural gas, etc. — have been manufactured, has the technology made a difference? Environmental and green car advocates are likely to say "yes." And every major manufacturer has at least one alternative fuel vehicle in its lineup. BMW to Mitsubishi and Ford to Lexus, manufacturers promote hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles with enthusiastic marketing plans. Even Cadillac had a hybrid Escalade trim for a few years.  It's the massive SUV the size of a small apartment and its hybrid edition had EPA mileage estimates of 20 mpg in city driving and 23 mpg on the highway. Few were sold and production stopped in 2013. But there are interesting and impressive hybrids on the marketplace, although neither has changed the automotive landscape to any significant degree. A few months ago, The Weekly Driver reviewed the 2017 Lincoln MKZ. It's the first sedan I've driven with the same price for the gas and hybrid models, about $36,000. The vehicles' hybrid model has an EPA estimate of 41 mpg in city driving and 38 on the highway. It will be on my top-10 cars of the year list in December. Last May, I drove the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime round-trip during the Tour of California bike race. I covered 1,600 miles in 10 days and averaged 58.2 mpg. It's a hybrid I'd recommend without reservation. Tesla, the high-performance all-electric car, has attracted a lot of attention. But until its affordable model is readily available, Telsa is still a novelty car for elitists. And then there's the new Chevy Bolt, the spacious sedan with a 238-mile range. Will it make a difference in consumers' buying habits? So far, the general public hasn't adapted to "green car" technology, with only about 3 percent of new cars sold annually classified as alternative fuel vehicles. Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich (www.tahoetruckeoutdoor.com) and James Raia (www.theweeklydriver.com) discuss alternative fuel vehicles on this episode of The Weeekly Driver Podcast. We welcome your comments. Contact the podcast via email, james@jamesraia.com. The 2000 Toyota Prius was the first nationally available hybrid vehicle in the United States. A few months earlier, Honda introduced the Insight, the so-called "Peanut Car." But it's never made much of an impact in its original edition or the current g...
Double click below to listen to the latest edition:

But in the nearly 18 years since alternative fuel vehicles — gas/electric, electric only, natural gas, etc. — have been manufactured, has the technology made a difference? Environmental and green car advocates are likely to say "yes." And every major manufacturer has at least one alternative fuel vehicle in its lineup.



BMW to Mitsubishi and Ford to Lexus, manufacturers promote hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles with enthusiastic marketing plans. Even Cadillac had a hybrid Escalade trim for a few years.  It's the massive SUV the size of a small apartment and its hybrid edition had EPA mileage estimates of 20 mpg in city driving and 23 mpg on the highway. Few were sold and production stopped in 2013.

But there are interesting and impressive hybrids on the marketplace, although neither has changed the automotive landscape to any significant degree.

A few months ago, The Weekly Driver reviewed the 2017 Lincoln MKZ. It's the first sedan I've driven with the same price for the gas and hybrid models, about $36,000. The vehicles' hybrid model has an EPA estimate of 41 mpg in city driving and 38 on the highway. It will be on my top-10 cars of the year list in December.

Last May, I drove the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime round-trip during the Tour of California bike race. I covered 1,600 miles in 10 days and averaged 58.2 mpg. It's a hybrid I'd recommend without reservation.

Tesla, the high-performance all-electric car, has attracted a lot of attention. But until its affordable model is readily available, Telsa is still a novelty car for elitists. And then there's the new Chevy Bolt, the spacious sedan with a 238-mile range. Will it make a difference in consumers' buying habits?

So far, the general public hasn't adapted to "green car" technology, with only about 3 percent of new cars sold annually classified as alternative fuel vehicles.

Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich (www.tahoetruckeoutdoor.com) and James Raia (www.theweeklydriver.com) discuss alternative fuel vehicles on this episode of The Weeekly Driver Podcast. We welcome your comments. Contact the podcast via email, james@jamesraia.com.]]>
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Episode 2, Cars We’ve Owned https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/09/episode-2-cars-weve-owned/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 19:36:57 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/the-weekly-driver-episode-2-cars-weve-owned-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Every family has had cars, some long gone, some inherited by children or found in grandpa's garage decades later. A vehicle's pedigree is at least half the fun of discussing family cars. It could be something rare or a just a favorite old station wagon the family took on trips when you were a child. The memories remain throughout our lives. We discuss our first cars and other vehicles we've owned through the years. We also discuss our families’ cars, old Volkswagen models to Ford Falcons, tough old Buick sedans to a few "lemons" we've owned and wouldn't mind owning again. Every family has had cars, some long gone, some inherited by children or found in grandpa's garage decades later. A vehicle's pedigree is at least ... Every family has had cars, some long gone, some inherited by children or found in grandpa's garage decades later. A vehicle's pedigree is at least half the fun of discussing family cars. It could be something rare or a just a favorite old station wagon the family took on trips when you were a child. The memories remain throughout our lives. We discuss our first cars and other vehicles we've owned through the years. We also discuss our families’ cars, old Volkswagen models to Ford Falcons, tough old Buick sedans to a few "lemons" we've owned and wouldn't mind owning again. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean Episode 1, Monterey Auto Week https://www.theweeklydriver.com/2017/09/episode-1-monterey-auto-week/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 19:11:28 +0000 http://theweeklydriver.podbean.com/the-weekly-driver-episode-1-monterey-auto-week-24b00f90dd1700f333f1ee8f1a4eedd1 Welcome to the debut of The Weekly Driver podcast. Co-hosted by James Raia and Bruce Aldrich, the weekly podcast is an extension of the website, theweeklydriver.com The latter has been published since 2004 and features new car reviews and articles on automotive trends. In Episode 1, we discuss visiting four events we attended during Monterey Auto Week. We were hosted by Lisa Guthrie at The Santa Lucia Preserve and attended a private event she began seven years ago called the Concours & Cocktails. Welcome to the debut of The Weekly Driver podcast. Co-hosted by James Raia and Bruce Aldrich, the weekly podcast is an extension of the website, ... Welcome to the debut of The Weekly Driver podcast. Co-hosted by James Raia and Bruce Aldrich, the weekly podcast is an extension of the website, theweeklydriver.com The latter has been published since 2004 and features new car reviews and articles on automotive trends. In Episode 1, we discuss visiting four events we attended during Monterey Auto Week. We were hosted by Lisa Guthrie at The Santa Lucia Preserve and attended a private event she began seven years ago called the Concours & Cocktails. James Raia and Bruce Aldrich clean