Author Archive: John Matras
John is a veteran auto writer, first published in Custom Rodder magazine in 1980. Since then, he has been published in all the big car magazines, including Car and Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend, Auto Week, Automobile, plus a variety of others, including but certainly not limited to Automobile Quarterly, Collectible Automobile, and Special Interest Automobiles. John’s work has also been featured in a number of consumer and general interest magazines such as Consumers Digest, Popular Science and others.
John has written four books, including a history of the Mazda RX-7 (selling for more out-of-print than it did new), buyers’ guides for Mazda, Datsun/Nissan and Volvo cars, and is co-author of 365 Cars You Must Drive with Motor Trend editor Matt Stone, and his work has been translated into Italian, Estonian, Portuguese, Russian, and Bulgarian. John is recipient of the prestigious Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, awarded by the International Motor Press Association, and the Golden Quill from the Washington Automotive Press Association.
John has three adult daughters and has been married for more that four decades to Mary Ann, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Here’s a surprise, not. The 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD 4WD Crew Cab is big. It’s big even with the “short” six-and-a-half foot bed—an eight-footer is available. The “short” bed’s wheelbase 153.7 inches. For perspective, a Chevrolet Spark is 144.7 inches one end to the other. And while we’re at it, the name is long, […]
When I was boy, a visit at Uncle Henry’s was always special. Uncle Henry, you see, had every copy of Mechanix Illustrated ever printed—or so it seemed—and ever copy of Mechanix Illustrated , in addition to Mini-clad-in-overalls-that-covered-as-little-as-possible in those days modelling some clever and undeniably useful device while simultaneously showing a lot of leg, had […]
Honda finally recognized what everyone else saw from the beginning—that the sporty Honda CR-Z hybrid is too slow—and is finally correcting the shortcoming with a factory-developed supercharging kit that will boost horsepower output to a max 197 horsepower. Back in 2011, when we first drove the Honda CR-Z, we liked it, not only the irreverent […]
We were impressed by our first drives in the Chrysler 200 series, and after spending a week in the 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD, we’re no less so now. The Chrysler 200 is, of course, the new mid-size Chrysler, a notch below the Chrysler 300 series, a replacement for the Chrysler 200 that ran from 2011 […]
The 2014 Ram 1500 with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel could be considered the first full-size pickup with a diesel engine. Or it could be considered the first diesel in a full-size pickup. That’s not a tautology. There is a difference. The latter is an engine with a truck around it. And it’s a great truck, as […]
2014 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4×4 Laramie Limited Edition EcoDiesel review: First full-size half-ton pickup with a diesel engine
A diesel in a half-ton pickup? In a heavy-duty pickup, a 2500 or F-250 or so, sure. Nothing new there. But no one has put a diesel engine in a standard full-size pickup, at least recently, at least recently until now. Behold the 2015 Ram 1500 powered by the 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel engine. And we […]
Fans of virtual racing get six new cars for Forza Motorsport 5, including what might seem the most unlikely collection of vehicles ever selected for a video racing game. The new half dozen includes the 2015 Mustang, a pair of Infiniti sedans, the Vauxhall Astra, a battery electric race car, and a Rolls-Royce. Yes, for […]
It’s said that if you wreck a vintage Ferrari, as long as you have the serial number plate you can build a new car around it. Jaguar’s about to do the same thing, though in this case, the serial numbers have only existed on paper. Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations will build a final six […]
Nature abhors a vacuum, we’re told, and regardless of nature’s opinion of household appliances, we know that car makers don’t want voids in their lineups, absences that would send market segment intenders out of dealers’ showrooms to get what they want somewhere else. So with the choice of premium compact crossover/SUV‘s expanding, Lexus had to […]
How fast is too fast? According to Britain’s automotive magazine Autocar, it will be the yet unnamed 2016 Bugatti hypercar, successor to the Bugatti Veyron of song and fable. At least, says the magazine, it will be too fast to test. Making multiple references to insider sources, Autocar claims that a top speed of 286 […]