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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2014 Toyota Avalon Limited review: Comfortable transportation

2014 Toyota Avalon Limited review: Comfortable transportation

Oh, that’s cold. And we’re not talking about the temperature when we were testing the 2014 Toyota Avalon Limited but the response of a retirement-eligible grandmother to Toyota’s flagship sedan. Putting her behind the wheel of the Avalon elicited this response, and we quote: “Lord this car is boring. And it wallows. I feel like […]

April 21, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Honda Fit EX-L Navi first drive review: Refitted

2015 Honda Fit EX-L Navi first drive review: Refitted

We’ve said it before, but he Honda Fit has a name that just seems to, well, fit. Is there another subcompact that packs so much utility into a give length of wheelbase? We can’t think of one. The Fit, with its reconfigurable rear seat, can fit everything from bicycles to big boxes from big box […]

April 20, 2014 | By | Reply More
Chevy touts Transformer Camaro ‘Bumblebee’ on Mustang’s birthday

Chevy touts Transformer Camaro ‘Bumblebee’ on Mustang’s birthday

We now interrupt the Mustang’s 50th Anniversary with rilly emportent news: Bumblebee is back. In case you were wondering whether Bumblebee, the Camaro that, well, transforms into a Transformer was jacking up Obama’s unemployment numbers, he’s back—or perhaps it is it’s back—to star in yet another sequel in the Transformer series that’s a merchandizing bonanza […]

April 17, 2014 | By | Reply More
2014 Lexus GX 460 Luxury review: Refreshing

2014 Lexus GX 460 Luxury review: Refreshing

The second generation Lexus GX 460, which debuted for the 2010 model year, was due for a mid-generational  refresh in 2014, and as Lexus has committed to its “spindle” grille as a brand trademark, how better to set the new model apart. Still, deep down there’s not a lot of change since last year, or […]

April 13, 2014 | By | Reply More
Fiat ‘encourages’ worker support by putting non-Fiat cars in plastic bags

Fiat ‘encourages’ worker support by putting non-Fiat cars in plastic bags

Shades of the United Autoworkers Union not allowing “foreign” cars—in an increasingly internationalization of the auto industry a truly difficult thing to define—in any of its parking lots: Fiat wrapped non-Fiat cars owned by employees parked outside its factories in clear plastic with the message that the driver is breaking the company’s heart. “To see […]

April 11, 2014 | By | Reply More
A Cadillac on Craigslist: Saving you money, rolling in style

A Cadillac on Craigslist: Saving you money, rolling in style

Let’s see, this or a new Prius. Well, let’s see. At 10 mpg at worst about about $3.50/gallon, if your daily commute is 20 miles, that’s $7/day. On the other hand, let’s say the Prius gets, for ease of calculation, 40 mpg, that means a day’s travel is $1.75. So compared to driving the Prius, […]

April 10, 2014 | By | Reply More
Land Rover’s concept Transparent Hood gives drivers X-ray vision

Land Rover’s concept Transparent Hood gives drivers X-ray vision

“Spotters” have been an integral part of off-roading. Cresting a hill or picking a way over obstacles is difficult when the hood is in the way seeing what’s there. The spotter, standing along the trail, points just where to go, how fast and how much to turn the wheel. But spotters will soon be on […]

April 10, 2014 | By | Reply More
Dodge ups the performance ante with new Charger, Challenger, Scat Pack kits

Dodge ups the performance ante with new Charger, Challenger, Scat Pack kits

Dodge has announced that a new generation of the long-overdue-for-an-update Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger will be introduced at the New York International Auto Show next week, and other than a couple of teaser photos, not much has been revealed. Not that there are fundamental elements of the classic American muscle cars that need changing. […]

April 8, 2014 | By | Reply More
New bag in town: New ceiling-mounted airbag goes into production

New bag in town: New ceiling-mounted airbag goes into production

There’s a new bag in town. TRW has a new idea in airbags and it’s going into production. The ceiling-mounted airbag will deploy from the windshield header to protect the front passenger instead of the conventional dash-mounted bag. One of the problems with the conventional passenger-side front airbag goes back to the first concept of […]

April 7, 2014 | By | Reply More
‘My Electric Avenue’ has Brit neighbours charged up over electric car test of infrastructure

‘My Electric Avenue’ has Brit neighbours charged up over electric car test of infrastructure

One of the arguments against electric cars—in addition range and other operational concerns—has been infrastructure. One or two electric cars is fine, the contention is, but what about if everyone does it? Putting aside the likelihood that everyone isn’t going to do it, well, what would happen if they did? There’s the matter of overall […]

April 5, 2014 | By | Reply More
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