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.

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2015 Kia K900 V-8 VIP follow-up review: A closer look

2015 Kia K900 V-8 VIP follow-up review: A closer look

This is our third look at the 2015 Kia K900 V-8—fourth if you count the brief exposure we had while experiencing Kia’s free-meal promotion program—which makes this a follow-up to the one-day K900 first drive and another K900 evaluation that left us so impressed. And looking forward to spending more time in the K900 for […]

November 22, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Honda Fit EX review: Two, two, two cars in one

2015 Honda Fit EX review: Two, two, two cars in one

With a two car household, it’s possible to own vehicles that can serve different purposes. For example, a compact fuel miser can be paired with another that’s big enough to take on Costco, IKEA and the farmers’ market without breathing hard. But with only one car, the task becomes more difficult. Of course, those who […]

November 20, 2014 | By | Reply More
Is your E-15 GMO-free? And does it matter?

Is your E-15 GMO-free? And does it matter?

Perhaps you’ve seen the above meme floating about Facebook, warning about the hazard of using E15 gasoline made with GMO corn in your pre-2012 automobile. According to the meme, the GMO-corn E15 will “DAMAGE YOUR CAR AND VOID YOUR WARRANTY.” As is quite often the case with breathless alarms on the internet, that’s only a […]

November 10, 2014 | By | Reply More
Mazda MX-5 Global Cup race series to begin 2016: Just like Formula 1

Mazda MX-5 Global Cup race series to begin 2016: Just like Formula 1

Question: What do the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari have in common? Answer: They all compete in a global racing series. At least the latter three do right now in a race series called Formula 1. The Miata will…but not until the 2016 race season, however. Plans are being made now for […]

November 6, 2014 | By | Reply More
1969 Datsun 2000 Sport classic review: The sports car from Yokohama-on-Thames

1969 Datsun 2000 Sport classic review: The sports car from Yokohama-on-Thames

One of the best traditional British sports cars was the Datsun 2000 Sports. British, perhaps, as sushi and chips, but British nonetheless. Not in manufacture, of course, but in spirit it was every inch the equal to the MGB. In performance, it beats the B hands down, and as for racing, SCCA Regionals have had […]

November 3, 2014 | By | Reply More
2014 Lexus IS-F review: If you only knew

2014 Lexus IS-F review: If you only knew

In the week we spent driving the 2014 Lexus IS-F it’s we heard repeatedly, “A V-8? In that?” If they only knew. But if the cross section of people we met are representative, very few indeed have any idea that beneath  that discreet exterior lies a 416 horsepower five-liter V-8, this in a four-door compact […]

November 2, 2014 | By | Reply More
Buzz On/Buzz Off: The Chevy Guy

Buzz On/Buzz Off: The Chevy Guy

Dave Boldt: I’m Not Wilde About Rikk In the spirit of full disclosure, know that I watched but five innings of the World Series’ game seven – and they weren’t the last five innings. With the score 3-2 in favor of the Giants, I was again reminded why I rarely (make that never) pay close […]

October 31, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Toyota Tundra CrewMax SR5 4×4 w/ TRD Off-Road review: Thumping good

2015 Toyota Tundra CrewMax SR5 4×4 w/ TRD Off-Road review: Thumping good

If we wanted to, we could have counted the great thumping exhaust pulses from our test 2014 Toyota Tundra SR5 CrewMax. That’s not so much because of it being a Toyota V-8, though that’s where they start. Instead it’s the TRD dual exhaust system. At idle and low revs, the exhaust comes out in lumps […]

October 30, 2014 | By | Reply More
Bikes and booze: Alcohol-related bicycle fatalities a significant problem, says safety group

Bikes and booze: Alcohol-related bicycle fatalities a significant problem, says safety group

Boozy bicyclists are an increasing problem, according to one highway safety group. The number of intoxicated bicycle rider fatalities is “trending upwards,” says the Governors Highway Safety Association. While overall motor vehicle fatalities increased just one percent between 2010 and 2012, the number of bicycle riders is up a whopping 16 percent. According to a […]

October 27, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Nissan Versa Sedan SV review: ‘My First New Car’

2015 Nissan Versa Sedan SV review: ‘My First New Car’

Not everybody loves hatchbacks. We can understand that. Even if it makes more sense for a one-car apartmenthold—those who have a household are more likely to have just one car—to have the versatility a hatch, some just prefer a sedan. In that case, we’ll de-note the Nissan Versa Note and present the 2015 Nissan Versa […]

October 27, 2014 | By | Reply More
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