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.
As a returning salvo in a price war among electric cars, Mitsubishi has lowered the price of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV elecrtric microcar by $6,130 while simultaneously making previously optional equipment standard. Last year’s $29,125 base price for the i-MiEV was lowered to $22,995. The company helpfully points out that a federal tax credit of $7,500 [...]
If ever a next generation model from Ford needed a new name and didn’t get one, it would have to be the 2013 Ford Fusion. Park a new generation Fusion alongside the previous iteration and it would be hard to pick the later car as the successor to the earlier, they’re that different. What had [...]
The Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is anything but an ordinary car, so when it came time for a public introduction, why not the flight deck of an Italian aircraft carrier? And why not have the ship, the Nave Cavour, tied up at Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed port? Of course. Consider the car. The Lamborghini Veneno Roadster [...]
The Chrysler Group is leveraging its link with Fiat to add a new small commercial van to its Ram lineup of trucks. Already having announced the Fiat Ducato-based Ram ProMaster as a replacement for the Ram Van—which hasn’t been around for years anyway—Fiat announced today that a new small van derived from the European-market Fiat [...]
In a stunt worthy of a Joie Chitwood thrill show, a suspected drug dealer launched his girlfriend’s car on top of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home. According to a report on WAFB-TV’s website, the driver missed a sharp curve while being chased by Baton Rouge police. The car then went over an embankment and up [...]
Yes, they did. They really did. They really crash tested a perfectly good 2014 Maserati Ghibli into a hard object, just to see what would happen. It’s all in the name of science, of course. And the good news is the Ghibli came out with an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “Top Safety Pick” rating [...]
NISMO-rama! Nissan intros two NISMO production models, two NISMO concepts at two different auto shows
NISMO is short Nissan Motorsports, though you’ll seldom hear the company refer to it as that. More likely you’ll hear what NISMO does, and that’s project the company’s extensive racing and high performance presence around the globe and even into cyberland, the latter with the NISMO GT Academy, where aspiring video racers win a racing [...]
Summer’s gone. And with it, at least for most of the country, it’s time to put the convertible top and start a fire in the woodstove. Well, we’ve done the latter, but we put the top down on our test 2014 Ford Mustang Convertible one more time. And with the temperature hovering in the low [...]
With the addition of the Lexus “spindle grille,” the 2014 Lexus CT 200, Lexus’ hybrid five-door sedan becomes the final model to adopt the unique if not universally adored styling element. But the hourglass-shaped grille makes it one of the Lexus family. Introduced at the Guangzhou Motor Show premiere in China, it’s part—though a particularly [...]
While Volkswagen introduced XL1, the world’s most fuel efficient production automobile, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it saved an event thriftier car for the Tokyo show. The newcomer, coming from under the wraps at the Tokyo Motor Show, is the Volkswagen twin up! Despite the annoying lowercase/punctuation mark name, the twin up! shows how relatively [...]