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By AARON COLE
Auto Columnist

Steve McQueen owned one of these cars.

(Considering the vintage of both, it may not be hard to decipher which one graced the garage of the coolest man alive and once-awesome escapee of “ze cooler.” But that’s beside the point.)

Look closer, because McQueen had his hands all over both.

One, a 1957 Jaguar XKSS, and the other, a 2012 Jaguar XKR-S, drip with more cool than melted Junior Mints. One, on display at the Utah Museum of Fine Art until Sept. 16, the other, on display at a stoplight somewhere near you — if you’re lucky.

“Speed,” showing at the UMFA, comprises 19 rare and exotic cars from throughout the country. The display, which began on June 2, requires tickets to view, which are available at smithtix.com. Read more »

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By Richard Simon
Los Angeles Times (MCT)

WASHINGTON — Everything is bigger in Texas, they say. Soon, it could be faster, too.

The Lone Star State could raise the speed limit on one stretch of highway to 85 miles per hour, the highest in the nation.

But don’t press the pedal to the metal yet.

The possibility of zooming down a 41-mile stretch of new toll road between Austin and San Antonio at 85 mph is revving up a debate about highway speeds that dates back at least to the 1970s when Congress imposed a national 55 mph speed limit (repealed in 1995). Read more »

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By Tom and Ray Magliozzi
King Features

Dear Tom and Ray:

My son is driving a 2001 Chrysler Concorde, and it’s now on its last leg. He drives fast — he just got a speeding ticket for going 96 mph! He goes to college out of state, and it’s a long, boring drive home; that’s the excuse I got for the ticket. He also told me that’s not the fastest he’s driven! He’s always in a hurry — jackrabbit starts and last-second braking. Does the way he drives affect the longevity of the engine? I’m pretty sure it does. I want him to understand how to make a car last. –Richard Read more »

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PAUL FOY
AP

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jodi Miller likes her coffee as much as anyone, but she admits to feeling guilty idling her car with a half-dozen others at a coffee shack on a residential street corner.

Miller knows Salt Lake City recently passed a law that limits “unnecessary” idling to no more than two minutes. She’s pushing the limit at Java Jo’s in the Avenues neighborhood.

“I usually turn my car off. I try to remember that but sometimes I just space it,” said Miller, waiting for a carhop to deliver coffee. “It’s hard at a drive-thru when you have to start, stop, start. When I saw this line, I thought, is it really worth coffee today?” Read more »

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By Tom and Ray Magliozzi
King Features

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am a 76-year-old woman, recently engaged to an 80-year-old man. We are truly best friends and agree on everything, except one thing. He drives a 2004 Lincoln Town Car that we affectionately call the “Pimp Mobile.” He won’t fill up the gas tank until the light comes on and it pings. I tell him this is hard on the fuel pump and that I have heard you state this. Would you please clarify this? Our future wedded bliss is in jeopardy. We both enjoy your radio show and your columns. Thanks. — Annie and Jack Read more »

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As minivans fade in popularity, Caravan continues on in spectacular fashion – As minivans fade in popularity, Caravan continues on in spectacular fashion.


By AARON COLE
Automotive Columnist

And much like every beginning, we’re stuck with just one.

Chrysler announced recently that it would draw to a close the production of its minivan, the Town & Country, leaving the only minivan Chrysler makes as the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Like the beginning, when Chrysler only made the Town & Country, American buyers only have one option nowadays to buy an American minivan. Ford doesn’t make one anymore, and General Motors gave up the ghost a while ago.

Back in its heyday, it seemed like there were more minivans than versions of the slap bracelet

Excuse me while I shed a tear for the minivan. They aren’t crocodile tears either. Read more »

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ARA

The classic American road trip is no longer just for cashless college kids; men of all ages are taking to the road for a unique vacation where driving is just as much a part of the trip as the destination itself. If you work hard every day, maybe it’s time to exchange that button-up for a casual T-shirt and gather your crew to experience the freedom and adventure of the open road. Read more »

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ARA

Everyone knows car maintenance is important, but if you’re not a gear head – someone who loves working on vehicles – the idea of doing routine car maintenance can be very intimidating.

“Whether on the set of Top Gear, at NASCAR races or just in my garage at home, I’m fortunate enough to be around cars a lot,” says Rutledge Wood, SpeedTV correspondent and host of Top Gear USA. “I love driving them, repairing them and tinkering with them. However, for a lot of people, cars can be a confusing and even intimidating piece of machinery to work on.”

To help people feel more comfortable in maintaining their vehicles, Wood offers some simple tips that can make anyone feel like a gear head. Read more »

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By Aaron Cole
For Utah Rides

I fall in love with everything I see because I’m stupid.

No one felt the way about Betamax like I did. Remember Crystal Clear Pepsi? I cried for 17 days.

Fool me into love once, shame on you. Fool me twice, call yourself a former girlfriend.

The 2012 Audi A8L isn’t your typical lover — if I can call it one. (And I will.)

The 4,500 lbs. of German steel, aluminum, leather and mahogany is so cold, calculating and comforting simultaneously, it could only be a former flame. Read more »

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By Tom and Ray Magliozzi
King Features

Dear Tom and Ray:

Say I have an electric car (one that runs on nothing but electricity) that can be charged by plugging into any outlet. But for cross-country trips or long trips outside my car’s range, I carry a 120-volt Honda generator and a gas can in the trunk with me. Could I just pull over when I need to and charge up the car? Would that work? How much charging from a gas generator would it take to charge an electric car? — John Read more »