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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Mahindra buys Pininfarina, plans upscale model

Mahindra buys Pininfarina, plans upscale model

If this were a cheesy clickbait article, it would have a title like, “Indian tractor maker buys Italian car designer and you won’t believe what…” And actually, the details are surprising, though not out of line with what crosstown rival Tata has done. Tata famously bought into the luxury car market by purchasing Jaguar/Land Rover. […]

February 8, 2016 | By | Reply More
Scion brand not completely dead as Scion models live on

Scion brand not completely dead as Scion models live on

We’re not going to cite the Mark Twain quote about “rumors of death” and “greatly exaggerated, but essentially that was the message from Toyota’s chief of American operations Bob Carter, who invited CarBuzzard to participate in a conference call with select publications regarding the “death of Scion.” CarBuzzard had broken the story in a news […]

February 3, 2016 | By | Reply More
2016 Chevrolet Equinox FWD LT review: Chevy’s most popular car, if you don’t count the truck

2016 Chevrolet Equinox FWD LT review: Chevy’s most popular car, if you don’t count the truck

Believe it or not, the Chevrolet Equinox is Chevrolet’s second biggest seller, behind only the Chevrolet Silverado pickup. Americans seem to have decided that the crossover is the vehicle of family choice, and for Chevy, the Equinox is favored. Among the home team, it lies between the smaller Chevrolet Trax and larger Chevrolet Traverse. It […]

January 29, 2016 | By | Reply More
2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4×4 Hardtop review: Wearing the hard lid

2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4×4 Hardtop review: Wearing the hard lid

The Jeep Wrangler hasn’t been fundamentally changed since the time we tested a 2013 Wrangler Sahara. There’s still the base model, the Wrangler Sport, and the hard-core Wrangler Rubicon, but the Sahara remains the luxury version, if “Sahara” can be used in the same sentence of the Wrangler in any way other than geographic. By […]

January 27, 2016 | By | Reply More
1991-1994 Mercury Capri XR2: the anti-Miata that failed

1991-1994 Mercury Capri XR2: the anti-Miata that failed

I just goes to show you how things so similar can be so different. On the surface, the Mazda Miata—introduced in the fall of 1989—and the 1991 Mercury Capri are very similar: two seat sportsters powered by Mazda four-cylinder engines. Both had pop-up headlights, and crossed the Pacific to reach American buyers. How more similar […]

January 22, 2016 | By | Reply More
2016 Mini Cooper Clubman review: The big Mini wagon

2016 Mini Cooper Clubman review: The big Mini wagon

The Mini family can be confusing, what with all the many—ha, get it?—variants that all have a strong family resemblance. Strong? It’s become a little more confusing with the introduction of the 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman, which to the uninitiated can be confused with the Mini Countryman. Actually, just like the old Clubman could. Here’s […]

January 21, 2016 | By | Reply More
2016 Kia Optima LX Turbo followup review: The kids are alright

2016 Kia Optima LX Turbo followup review: The kids are alright

That proud feeling you get when you see your kid turn out pretty good after all? That’s what the folks at Kia must be feeling when they look at the 2016 Kia Optima. From our experience with the 2016 Kia Optima LX Turbo, it’s well deserved. Not that we haven’t been impressed by Kia’s midsize […]

January 18, 2016 | By | Reply More
Is the 2016 Buick Avista concept the next Pontiac Firebird?

Is the 2016 Buick Avista concept the next Pontiac Firebird?

Could the 2016 Buick Avista concept be the next Pontiac Firebird? If Hal Needham made a movie with the Buick Avista in a starring role—a Smokey and the Bandit for the new millennium—it would have the semi full of Coors is replaced by a luxury motorhome making a run from Napa to Texas…for all the […]

January 15, 2016 | By | Reply More
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club review: Five reasons not to own the new Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club review: Five reasons not to own the new Miata

The world, seemingly, is agog about the new Miata. At least while we were driving a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club, and even after we had returned it to Mazda, people were telling us they had one, they once rode in one, knew someone who had one, or gee, they always liked the Miata. Well, […]

December 30, 2015 | By | Reply More
2016 Acura MDX AWD ADV review: The new is underneath

2016 Acura MDX AWD ADV review: The new is underneath

Mid-generational model updates typically include a new face, new taillights and a reshuffling of interior features. Not so the 2016 Acura MDX. Looking at the MDX doesn’t reveal a lot of changes. It’s still a two-box crossover with chiseled styling and the Acura beak, unchanged from the third generation MDX introduced in 2014. It’s the […]

December 24, 2015 | By | Reply More
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