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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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
North American International Auto Show, Part II: Double punch

North American International Auto Show, Part II: Double punch

Although the new Ford GT and Acura NSX were arguably the belles of this debutante ball, they weren’t the only headliners at the 2015 North American International Auto Show–or NAIAS, or even more colloquially, The Detroit Show–a 200 mph Cadillac sedan was hardly to be missed, nor the Audi Q7, more concepts–from Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Hyundai […]

January 24, 2015 | By | Reply More
Ethanol is the new bad boy, but who’s to blame?

Ethanol is the new bad boy, but who’s to blame?

Ethanol, once the golden fuel of the sustainability/global warmists, ethanol has fallen out of favor of late. It’s expensive, has assorted negative ecological and human welfare impact, and even its “greenhouse gas” cred is dubious. So environmentalists, who were original proponents of ethanol-as-fuel, now must find a boogeyman for a little prophylactic blameshifting. Up against […]

January 5, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 3.6 Performance review: Like the sedan never was

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 3.6 Performance review: Like the sedan never was

You know that feeling when you’ve been perfectly pleased with the way things have been, and then something changes…and it’s like the former never existed. That’s what we thought when we saw the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe. We had been wholly satisfied—enthralled even—with the 2013 Cadillac ATS sedan. We liked the way it looked, the […]

December 31, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 BMW M235i Coupe review: Answering the ‘why’

2015 BMW M235i Coupe review: Answering the ‘why’

The world doesn’t understand cars like this. Oh, there’s a relatively small coterie of hardcore enthusiasts who understand the 2015 BMW M235i, but most will look at the compact coupe—a two-seater for all practical purposes—and see a small car with a big price tag and say “Why?” We’ll tell you why. Our driving notes start […]

December 29, 2014 | By | Reply More
Metrosexual? Nope. Next-gen 2016 Cadillac CTS-V hits 200 mph with 640 hp supercharged V-8

Metrosexual? Nope. Next-gen 2016 Cadillac CTS-V hits 200 mph with 640 hp supercharged V-8

Cadillac has taken a lot of heat about moving its headquarters to Manhattan and otherwise metrosexualizing the brand, but perhaps announcing that the next-generation Cadillac CTS-V will have a top speed of 200 mph is new Cadillac chief Johann de Nysschen having a Giuliani moment . Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, the super sedans […]

December 24, 2014 | By | Reply More
2016 Kia Sorento SXL 2.0T AWD first drive review: Upping the notch

2016 Kia Sorento SXL 2.0T AWD first drive review: Upping the notch

Think of the new 2016 Kia Sorento as the Korean carmaker notching up its game. Well, yes, again. But for the third generation of Kia’s crossover, it means bigger, stronger and a lineup of three engines, and it’s improved in just about every way. It’s something that shows up behind the wheel. The 2016 Kia […]

December 18, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Chrysler 200C review: Even with a four-cylinder still a winner

2015 Chrysler 200C review: Even with a four-cylinder still a winner

Automotive journalists, as a group, are power mad. Not that we want to take over the world or anything like that, at least not this week. But given the choice, we move towards the muscle. Our first two reviews of the 2015 Chrysler 200 were of the Chrysler 200S and the Chrysler 200C AWD, both […]

December 15, 2014 | By | Reply More
Ferrari leaving Italy? Say it ain’t so

Ferrari leaving Italy? Say it ain’t so

Would a Ferrari made anywhere but Italy still be a Ferrari? It’s a question that won’t have to be answered. While Jeep, Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s booming all-American icon, sees manufacturing spread overseas, Ferrari production as well as its tax residence will remain in Italy. Chrysler remains headequartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan and Fiat in Turin, […]

December 12, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door review: Manual, not labor

2015 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door review: Manual, not labor

It’s one thing to be able to talk the talk and yet another to walk the walk, but better yet, Mazda has been able to zoom the zoom. We said so in our reviews (here and here) of the 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i. But the Mazda3 i, by its designation, has the smaller engine of […]

December 6, 2014 | By | Reply More
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