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.
The second generation Lexus GX 460, which debuted for the 2010 model year, was due for a mid-generational refresh in 2014, and as Lexus has committed to its “spindle” grille as a brand trademark, how better to set the new model apart. Still, deep down there’s not a lot of change since last year, or […]
Shades of the United Autoworkers Union not allowing “foreign” cars—in an increasingly internationalization of the auto industry a truly difficult thing to define—in any of its parking lots: Fiat wrapped non-Fiat cars owned by employees parked outside its factories in clear plastic with the message that the driver is breaking the company’s heart. “To see […]
Let’s see, this or a new Prius. Well, let’s see. At 10 mpg at worst about about $3.50/gallon, if your daily commute is 20 miles, that’s $7/day. On the other hand, let’s say the Prius gets, for ease of calculation, 40 mpg, that means a day’s travel is $1.75. So compared to driving the Prius, […]
“Spotters” have been an integral part of off-roading. Cresting a hill or picking a way over obstacles is difficult when the hood is in the way seeing what’s there. The spotter, standing along the trail, points just where to go, how fast and how much to turn the wheel. But spotters will soon be on […]
Dodge has announced that a new generation of the long-overdue-for-an-update Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger will be introduced at the New York International Auto Show next week, and other than a couple of teaser photos, not much has been revealed. Not that there are fundamental elements of the classic American muscle cars that need changing. […]
There’s a new bag in town. TRW has a new idea in airbags and it’s going into production. The ceiling-mounted airbag will deploy from the windshield header to protect the front passenger instead of the conventional dash-mounted bag. One of the problems with the conventional passenger-side front airbag goes back to the first concept of […]
One of the arguments against electric cars—in addition range and other operational concerns—has been infrastructure. One or two electric cars is fine, the contention is, but what about if everyone does it? Putting aside the likelihood that everyone isn’t going to do it, well, what would happen if they did? There’s the matter of overall […]
Remember the Kia Sedona? Unless you were among the buyers of the 25,000 Sedona minivans that Kia sold in 2012, probably not. The plain Jane Sedona was something of a sideshow for Kia, enough to keep around but not sexy enough to take any kind of priority over the booming sales of the Optima and […]
We drove the fourth generation when it was introduced as a 2013 model but haven’t had the opportunity since then to get behind the wheel of Toyota’s smallest SUV for a week long drive. That drought just ended with a week spent in a 2014 Toyota RAV4 XLE. The XLE is the midlevel trim of […]
Buzzard-in-Chief John Matras and Buzzardette BJ Killeen have an email conversation about the new Chrysler 200. JM: When we saw the Chrysler 200 intro at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we were ready to jump in and drive it off the stage. You called it “smoking hot,” BJ Killeen. Well, we’ve had […]