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 Lincoln Navigator 4×4 Reserve car review: Something old, something new, and something really big

2015 Lincoln Navigator 4×4 Reserve car review: Something old, something new, and something really big

Something old, something new is the ultimate description of the 2015 Lincoln Navigator. Lincoln’s big SUV gets a much needed cosmetic makeover with an updating of assorted features, plus a new twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 engine, but still it’s tradition all the way. Let’s talk tradition later, however. Let’s look at the new because there’s a […]

August 30, 2015 | By | Reply More
Dodge Barracuda convertible, next Charger, super Grand Cherokee shown to dealers in Vegas

Dodge Barracuda convertible, next Charger, super Grand Cherokee shown to dealers in Vegas

Performance enthusiasts of the brand that used to wear the Pentastar have been crying for the Barracuda to return ever since the revival of the Dodge Challenger. According to a report in the automotive trade publication Automotive News, they may get their wish, although details are still sketchy. However, at a closed-to-the-media dealer meeting in […]

August 27, 2015 | By | Reply More
Ford Focus ST gets more power from warranty-approved mountune tuner kit

Ford Focus ST gets more power from warranty-approved mountune tuner kit

Aftermarket tuner parts typically have done three things, increase power, invalidate the warranty, and void emissions compliance. Unless of course if they have no effect, in which case why bother? Now, however, Ford is offering a tuning kit that will increase performance of the Ford Focus ST to 275 horsepower and torque to 296 lb/ft […]

August 25, 2015 | By | Reply More
2016 Chevrolet Camaro prices released…and Chevy lets you ‘visualize’ your next Camaro

2016 Chevrolet Camaro prices released…and Chevy lets you ‘visualize’ your next Camaro

Ready to see your 2016 Chevrolet Camaro now? Chevrolet has an online “visualizer” that will allow users to select options and accessories installed on a 2016 Camaro. The visualizer can show a Camaro in ten standard exterior colors and five interior colors, plus accessories including wheels, ground effects, stripe packages and interior accents. When we […]

August 25, 2015 | By | Reply More
1956 Lancia Aurelia Spyder: Golden

1956 Lancia Aurelia Spyder: Golden

When the roll is called up yonder for great cars that no one ever thinks about anymore, surely the Lancia Aurelia Spyder’s name will be written in gold. No one really thought very much about it in 1956 when it was new, despite it being Lancia’s icebreaker for reentry into the U.S. market. The Italian […]

August 20, 2015 | By | Reply More
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T review: No foolin’

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T review: No foolin’

OK, we fooled you. Though not really. The car driven and photographed for this review is actually a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T, not a 2016 model year, as in the title. The truth is that it really doesn’t matter. It hasn’t changed. Indeed, even the base price remains at $24,950. And outside […]

August 19, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD 2.0 EcoBoost review: Still cool

2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD 2.0 EcoBoost review: Still cool

When we first drove the 2015 Ford Edge, we were impressed with all the cool ideas that Ford engineers and designers and product planners put into the second generation of its midsize crossover. But when we got one at home and spent more time in it…we were even more impressed. Our loaner was a 2015 […]

August 18, 2015 | By | Reply More
Volkswagen thinks small again with new EA211 1.4-liter TSI engine

Volkswagen thinks small again with new EA211 1.4-liter TSI engine

A print ad from the 1960’s for the VW Beetle famously said “Think small.” Now with a new 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct injection engine, dubbed EA211 Volkswagen is reprising that theme, and for much the same reason: fuel economy. The new engine will first see duty in the Volkswagen Jetta as a replacement for the […]

August 7, 2015 | By | Reply More
2016 Hyundai Elantra GT review: Is the touring really grand?

2016 Hyundai Elantra GT review: Is the touring really grand?

The letters “G” and “T” are among the most abused in the automotive moniker mien, specifically when they’re joined to form “GT.” That, of course, stands for “grand touring,” which evokes images of European motorcars of the ‘Thirties with long hoods, short cabins. Or maybe a sleek Euro coupe from the Sixties, with a V-12, […]

August 1, 2015 | By | Reply More
GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado lead latest round in light-duty diesel applications, but not the only action

GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado lead latest round in light-duty diesel applications, but not the only action

The GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup trucks will be available with an all-new 2.8-liter Duramax diesel for the 2016 model year when they goes on sale this fall. They’re part of a new wave of light-duty pickups available with diesel engines, including the full-size Nissan Titan, all new for 2016, and the Ram […]

July 30, 2015 | By | Reply More
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