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 Ford Mustang 1-4 Coupe Premium review: Well grounded at speed

2015 Ford Mustang 1-4 Coupe Premium review: Well grounded at speed

  Perhaps it’s not the way one should begin a review of the 2015 Ford Mustang, but it is a lot about the car and the technology of the times. Open the hood of the 2015 Mustang I-4 Coupe powered by the 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder and to be seen, in addition to the engine, the […]

February 24, 2015 | By | Reply More
New in-dash Porsche ‘radio navigation’ unit solves a #firstworldproblem

New in-dash Porsche ‘radio navigation’ unit solves a #firstworldproblem

Call it a first world problem. You own an older Porsche, old enough that it didn’t have the option of in-dash GPS navigation. And a Garmin suction cupped to the windshield is so gauche. What will you do? Whatever shall you do? Porsche has the answer, a “radio navigation” unit that plugss into the standard […]

February 23, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Lincoln MKC review: More than an Escape

2015 Lincoln MKC review: More than an Escape

It would be easy to write off the new 2015 Lincoln MKC as a Ford Escape in pearls. It’s what Ford has done before, taking a model for the masses, adding a veneer of luxury touches and then sending it off to Lincoln-Mercury dealers with a kiss and a wave and best wishes. And the […]

February 19, 2015 | By | Reply More
Rolls-Royce will build an SUV; Yes, you read that right, a Rolls SUV

Rolls-Royce will build an SUV; Yes, you read that right, a Rolls SUV

Rolls-Royce will build an SUV. Not that they’d say it quite like that. Rolls-Royce wouldn’t even issue a press release.  Instead, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes the chairman and chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars issued an “open letter.” And rather than an SUV, the new vehicle will be a “car that offers the luxury of a […]

February 18, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Chicago Auto Show: All that matters (and some that doesn’t) Part I

2015 Chicago Auto Show: All that matters (and some that doesn’t) Part I

More people attend the Chicago Auto Show than any other show in the U.S., including the “big three,” the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Los Angeles Auto Show and the New York International Auto Show, and it’s in Chicago’s bright, fresh and roomy McCormick Place. So why doesn’t it get more respect? […]

February 17, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Volkswagen Golf R first drive review: “Most” and “powerful” gets our attention

2015 Volkswagen Golf R first drive review: “Most” and “powerful” gets our attention

Putting “most” and “powerful” in the same sentence has a way of getting our attention. So when Volkswagen announced that the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R would be the most powerful VW Golf ever, we were all ears. Which is a visual not easily forgotten, but when one has a good cliché, one goes with it. […]

February 10, 2015 | By | Reply More
Fiat and Alfa Romeo chart their future in the U.S. with new models

Fiat and Alfa Romeo chart their future in the U.S. with new models

Fiat and Alfa Romeo, thanks to the “merger” of Chrysler and Fiat (now FCA, for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), are making their return to the United States, and Italian automobile enthusiasts are, well, enthusiastic. It’s not that Italian cars haven’t been available in the U.S., but those for sale here have had big numbers on their […]

February 4, 2015 | By | Reply More
2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid review: Clean, green and seldom seen

2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid review: Clean, green and seldom seen

Why would anyone buy the 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid? Don’t get us wrong. Despite the whipping boy status assigned it by so many auto critics, we like the MKZ and appreciate how it has, to use a term for when someone’s opinion has changed to be more like yours, grown over the past few years. […]

January 30, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Infiniti QX70 S review: One more time, with black shiny bits

2015 Infiniti QX70 S review: One more time, with black shiny bits

The 2015 Infinity QX70 is one of those vehicles that automotive bluenoses will turn up and sniff, saying that there’s no purpose for a something that’s sort of a coupe but has four doors—or for a four-door that’s not roomy as a sedan—particularly ground clearance and overall layout more of an SUV while it has […]

January 29, 2015 | By | Reply More
2014 Ram Promaster 1500 review: The box the boxes came in

2014 Ram Promaster 1500 review: The box the boxes came in

And now for something completely different. At least different from what most people—including us—drive from day to day, except for plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen and such who need to take their office on the road, and assorted delivery services. This different drive is the 2014 Ram ProMaster. It’s a new breed of van—at least […]

January 25, 2015 | By | Reply More
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