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.
Everyone knew the Honda Ridgeline was dead. The sales of the unitbody pickup with the peculiar profile had been somewhat underwhelming in a booming segment of the motor vehicle market. It had arrived for 2005, hit is peak sales of just over 50,000 units in its second year, but by 2014 had sunk to just […]
The tale the road less traveled of the Subaru RX Coupe begins in the early ’80s. Subaru had earned a reputation for building reliable if funky four-wheel drive automobiles, characterized by the advertising tag line, “Inexpensive and built to stay that way.” Not exciting, and sort of like a plaid flannel shirt: L.L. Bean without […]
Not long ago CarBuzzard published an article about how bees sometimes take a liking to a particular car and select it as new location for a hive. Those swarms, however, are nothing like the fury of a hive upset when you’re drunk and run your Geo Tracker into a telephone pole in Laurel County, Kentucky, […]
The exhaust note of the 2017 Accord Coupe says it all. It’s not too loud, too aggressive, or too intrusive. Rather it’s sweet, smooth and subtle, and while perhaps our 2017 Honda Accord EX-L test vehicle isn’t a righteous hardcore sports coupe, it’s smart, sporty and proper transportation for two, and the occasional additional small […]
Last year, when Kia introduced the K900, it was with a V-8 engine only. Kia wanted to make the proper first impression, and a V-6 wouldn’t have done that, at least not by counting cylinders. And we’ll have to admit, our first take on V-8-powered K900 was surprise, not just from the significant jump in […]
CarBuzzard isn’t The Onion, that satirical website that posts ludicrous stories that all too frequently get taken seriously. This is a real story and they’re really serious about it, it being a Brabus Sport Package for the smart fortwo coupe and Cabrio. Really. Here’s what the Brabus Sport Package from the celebrated Mercedes tuner Brabus […]
The original XC90 was virgin territory for Volvo in 2002. Volvo was a company that had entertained owners with decades of station wagons but had steadfastly resisted the siren call of the SUV and crossover. Volvo needn’t have worried, other than to think, what took us so long? The XC90 was an instant hit, becoming […]
Grand routier. It has that certain sound even on paper, without even being spoken. There can be no doubt that it is French, nor of its meaning, even for someone who doesn’t know the language and even if there is no direct translation into English. This was a great road car of France. This was […]
A dilemma some car shoppers face is whether to buy a particular car model and stay at a lower trim level, resisting the premium trim and optional luxury features because they make a car too expensive. Or to buy that same model and load it up, getting all the extra features that they wouldn’t on […]
The United States is deservedly recognized as the pickup truck capital of the world, with the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Colorado the top selling models on the U.S. market while pickups in the rest of the world are niche players. But that doesn’t mean the open bed haulers aren’t, well, interesting. Mahindra Imperio: Back in […]
Remember that game we played when we were kids, Mother May I? One child would tell the others what kinds of steps they could take. Well, the Hyundai Tucson just got one giant step. Just like the Tucson did for the 2010 model year, the 2016 Hyundai Tucson takes a big stride in the first […]
We’ve seen some unusual product placement efforts in the past, but Fiat has outdone about all of them with a Fiat 500 not only being chased by a half dozen or so police cars but also show on live television that yes, it’s not a clown car. California is probably the only place in the […]