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.
For fans of the Volkswagen GTI, there’s hardly a spot better than Lake Worthersee in Austria for the annual conclave of owners and enthusiasts of Volkswagen’s sporty sedan. Going strong for 34 years and with attendance hitting 200,000, the event has become a place for Volkswagen to treat the faithful with a new GTI special, […]
The advertising tag line for a jelly maker goes, “With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good.” Well, with a face like the 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport, it must to be great. Or else. The Lexus spindle grille is, well, controversial, and that on the NX 200t is the largest yet, […]
Where are all the Hummers? The Hummer dealerships, with their distinctive simulated corrugated galvanized steel roofs are gone, converted to other purposes. On the other hand, Hummer vehicles, the Hummer H2 and H3, didn’t simply evanesce when GM pulled the plug on the simulated military vehicles. To some extent, they’ve kept on rolling. And according […]
Renault-Nissan Alliance announced that Daimler AG will work together with Nissan on developing a Mercedes-Benz-badged pickup truck based on the world-market Nissan NP300 Navara/Frontier pickup. The new Mercedes pick-‘em-up won’t be a Nissan with a three-pointed star on its grille, but rather, we’re told, it will “share some of the architecture with the all-new Nissan […]
In its press releases, Toyota called it the “ultimate Celica.” It certainly was. With 200 turbocharged horsepower under the hood, all-wheel drive, a curvaceous body and traditional Toyota quality and reliability, it was in the running for the best compact sports coupe of its day. It was, of course, the 1990 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo, […]
Let’s get on thing straight, the 2015 Honda CR-V isn’t an SUV. It’s an SUV. In other words, no, it’s not a “sport-utility vehicle.” Rather, it’s “suburban-utility vehicle.” What better to hustle the kids off to daycare, dash to the office, run past the supermarket, zip in to the dry cleaners, pick up the kids, […]
Think you got an unfair parking ticket? No matter what yours is, it doesn’t top what happened to this woman. Lynne Zaris came out from a restaurant in the District of Columbia where she had been dining to find her car in a crime scene. A gunman had fatally shot a security guard at the […]
It was when four of us riding at, ah, highway speed on the Interstate that I had an epiphany of sorts. I broke into the conversation, probably rudely interrupting someone in mid-sentence, and said, “This is really quiet!” The “this” was a 2016 Kia Sorento SX AWD and the conversation was among two couples out […]
Sometime we will have to stop explaining how it’s a really good car in spite of being a Hyundai, and change that over to it’s a really good car because it’s a Hyundai. And the reason we’ll have to do that is because of cars like the 2015 Hyundai Elantra. Simply put, our test Elantra […]
You won’t find “configurator” in the Oxford Dictionary. Or Cambridge. Or Miriam-Webster. We know. We looked. But you will see it on automobile consumer websites. Usually it’s just color and wheels, mainly because that’s all the “configuration” that can be done to most cars. Not so, however, with Rolls-Royce and the Dodge Viper. You can […]