Midnight Oil Auto Blog

New York City Hosts 2014 New York International Auto Show

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New York International Auto ShowRide along with Best Ride Midnight Oil Auto blog to the Big Apple as we cover the New York International Auto Show for 2014.  The show runs from April 18, to April 27, 2014.
You can see all the new cars and be a part of the action here: Best Ride Midnight Oil Auto Blog covers the New York International Auto Show.

Take me to the show!

 

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Ford Mustang 50 Years Old & Better than Ever

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Mustang Header.jpg&MaxW=630With the introduction of the 2015 Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition, Ford has kicked-off a nationwide celebration with Mustang lovers gathering at multiple locations in humble adoration of the original “Pony” car. As Ford executives unveiled the official commemorative car, at the 2014 New York International Auto Show in Manhattan, New York, USA, and visitors to the Empire State Building were treated to a 2015 Mustang parked on the 86th floor of this historic landmark, members from the Mustang Club of America (MCA) communed together from every continent forming at least two independent motorized wagon trains in a celebration of their own. It is a celebration that marks the past, embraces the present, and looks forward to the future of the Mustang. With all pomp and circumstance laid aside, this could very well be the best Mustang yet.

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Cars We Remember John Deere, 383 Chevy and Chevy Chevette

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The Chevy Chevette came to market in late 1975 as a 1976 model. (GM photo)

Reader seeks information on John Deere, 383 Chevy and Chevy Chevette

Q: Hi Greg, I’ve got three questions for you that I hope you can answer. I see your column every week and enjoy it much.  First:  Did John Deere ever build a car or truck?  Second: What is the formula for building a 383 cu. inch stroker Chevy small block (parts needed)?  Third: When did the Chevy Chevette come out? Thank you very much, Dwayne E. Brooks, Marion, Ohio.

A: Dwayne, no problem at all. Here we go and I apologize to BestRide.com readers if I get too technical with the 383 question. (And there’s way more tech I could have explained).

1: John Deere to my knowledge never built a car or truck. However, International Harvester (IH) did build pickup trucks and large heavy duty trucks under the IH brand, then IHC and present day Navistar International. Navistar continues to build medium- and heavy-duty trucks, school buses, and engines under the International brand name.

As for popularity, the IH Trucks from four-door pickup to sport utility IH Scout (see photo) were most recognizable on the nation’s highways.

Now, for a story of a tractor manufacturer that did build a car!  It has to do with Lamborghini, today recognized as one of the fastest and most expensive sports cars in the world. Founder Ferruccio Lamborghini was the leading tractor manufacturer in Italy, and it all started when Lamborghini bought a Ferrari back in 1962.

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Used Cars: 5 Great Retro-Rides for Under $15k

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2014 Camaro Z28 *NOT available for under $15k

2014 Camaro Z28 *NOT available for under $15k

When I build a motorcycle for myself, I like to build it to look old but to run like brand new. I like a ton of chrome and black with a bobbed rear fender and no front fender at all, but I also like a fuel injected v-twin beneath me so that I know when I am ready to roll it will be ready, too. American automakers are building cars that are a lot like that. It seems that each domestic automaker has at least one model that has its roots in another era. They are inspired by 1960s and 1970s muscle cars and every year they seem to take on more nostalgic characteristics but they run better than those old cars ever could. They are fun to drive, they have loads of curb appeal, and they make a great first car because of their overall “heft.” Here is a short list of some great retro-rides that can be purchased for less than $15k if you take advantage of used car websites like BestRide.com.

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New York Auto Show: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai-Sonata-2What is it?

The 2015 Toyota Camry has some fancier duds and a few more sprinkles on its otherwise dowdy flanks. It’s the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, however, that continues to make midsize family sedans ever more desirable.

Why should you care?

The previous Sonata was a design standout, with a fresh, almost “four-door coupe” profile that dispelled everything awful about Hyundai and the old Sonata with one breath. The new Sonata takes that theme further, with some of the most padded seats we’ve felt in a mass-market, non-luxury car.

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New York Auto Show: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa-Romeo-4CWhat is it?

The Alfa Romeo 4C is an entry-level Ferrari in the very realest sense of the phrase. This Italian two-seat sports car uses a carbon fiber monocoque frame supported with aluminum subframes, fiberglass body panels and everything stripped down to the thinnest and strongest of bones. It should be no surprise that Fiat also owns Maserati and Ferrari, and clearly, their investment in Alfa Romeo will pay off if they can deliver on their decade-old promise of returning to the U.S. market.

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New York Auto Show: 2015 Nissan Murano

Nissan-Murano-2What is it?

The Nissan Murano enters its third generation as a radically restyled midsize SUV. Like the 2003 original, the Murano cuts an original shape that doesn’t resemble a thing on the road. While it looks big, the Murano is a traditional two-row SUV and smaller than the three-row Pathfinder. When we hear the phrase “boomerang lights” during a press conference, you know there’s something wild going on.

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2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE

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2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE
Base Price: $38,700
Price as tested: $43,825

The 2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE is our test drive this week, and up front I’ll admit this car surprised the heck out of me. Fusion Energi works on electric, gas or a combination of both and for a full week, I put over 500 miles on the odometer and still had a quarter tank of fuel left.

For the record, 2014 Ford Fusion Energi is a five-passenger plug-in hybrid sedan that comes in two trim levels, SE and Titanium, with both utilizing CVT transmissions.

With Fusion Energi, Ford delivers a true hybrid plug in vehicle that combines the best passenger comfort, electric/gasoline performance and mid-size dimensions that outpaces the competition.

Utilizing a 2.0-Liter Atkinson-Cycle inline-4 Energi Plug-In Hybrid Engine that develops a total of 188 horses, the Energi can run completely on electric for 21 miles and deliver 100 MPGe electricity only rating. When in combination with the inline-4, the combined EPA rating comes in at 43 combined.

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2015 Dodge Challenger Debuts at NYIAS

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2015 ShakerWhile every major automaker is moving forward and going more modern, it seems that Dodge is moving forward by going backwards — retrospective, that is. The refreshed 2015 Dodge Challenger takes an additional hint of inspiration from those legendary muscle cars of old; specifically the 1971 Challenger Scat-Pack and Shaker trim options. Rumors abounded that Dodge would unveil the mythical supercharged Hellcat during the 2014 New York International Auto Show (taking place right now through April 28). As media days wind down in the city that never sleeps the rumored unveiling of the illusive creature remains just a rumor and nothing more. However, there has been some excitement with at least two trim levels to take you down memory lane.

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New York Auto Show: 2016 Audi A3 TDI Sportback

Audi-A3-TDI-Sportback-1What is it?

This is a car for people in the know. You either like diesel-powered German hatchbacks with higher than average service costs or you don’t. The 2016 A3 TDI Sportback is a brand-new version of the last 2013 A3 TDI, an expensive Volkswagen Golf that’s fun to drive and gets more than 40 mpg on the highway. The 2016 model is the same thing in a fresh wrapper with lots of new technology and even better fuel economy.

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New York Auto Show: Land Rover Discovery Concept

Land-Rover-Discovery-ConceptWhat is it?

The Discovery Concept is a thinly veiled preview of the upcoming Discovery Sport, a new entry-level, compact Rover that should replace the oldie LR2. It also indicates where the next LR4 (sold overseas as the Discovery, with the four indicating the vehicle’s fourth generation) will head. Land Rover is trimming weight and expanding its all-SUV lineup, so be prepared for a rush of fresh 4x4s in the next few model years.

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