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.
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 […]
So when Infiniti says its Q50 is an all-new model, they’re right. But to say it has no predecessor is, well, let’s say that when the brand changed its nomenclature from G and M and QX and such to simple Q’s and QX’s, the midsize G37 sedan disappeared and the midsize Q50 arrived. It just […]
Cadillac broached a new product class with the 2014 Cadillac ELR, and it hit the market with a profound…cricket chirp. It’s not that there was anything wrong with Cadillac’s extended range electric vehicle. It’s just that there wasn’t enough right. Cadillac is wagering that the 2016 Cadillac ELR will fix that. With new technology and […]
As the Rolling Stones said, you can’t always get what you want. But if it’s a manual transmission in a midsize sedan you can. It’s just that the selection is very small, only three models from three carmakers. And of them, not all trim levels, the manual restricted to the base model as a way […]
Rolls-Royce has outed its SUV. Again. After recently announcing that it will build a new class of vehicle for the company, Rolls has released photos of the first engineering mule “which will be seen on public roads this week.” Called Project Cullinan, it’s for an all-new Rolls-Royce vehicle, something Rolls calls a “high-sided, all-terrain motor […]
Some cars lend themselves to special or limited editions, usually “high personality” that are already special to their owners. Consider the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which already—even before the cars are showing up at dealerships and under high demand—had showed a special edition, called the Special Edition, a Launch Edition and a Miata Club edition. It’s […]
When we first drove the BMW X5 xDrive35d, it was, well, a first-drive. And while BMW is generous with seat time on its press introductions, there’s nothing like spending quality time on our home turf to get to know a vehicle better. And so the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35d. The X5 is BMW’s large sport-utility […]
More New York International Auto Show stuff. For Part 1, go here. Infiniti QX50: It’s one heck of an update. Infiniti added 3.2 inches to the wheelbase of the QX50, meaning that they had to blend everything in while coming up with a new front bumper and lower front fascia and Infiniti-style double-arch front grille, […]
It’s a hard show for a car to get noticed, even for carmakers bringing out their latest at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, whether it’s the Cadillac CT6, Cadillac’s new range topper built to take on the world’s automotive power brokers. Can you say Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series? And Lincoln is back […]
He should have least give the kid a beer. At least then the kid could say, “Hey, y’all, hold my beer and watch this.” A kid is lucky, we think, that the stunt a dad played with his son, pulling the kid’s tooth with his Camaro, ended successfully. And so successfully that a video of […]