A Love Letter to the Saab from a Guy Who Gives Them a Good HomeMark Skinner loves a good Saab. He's not alone, but Skinner has taken his love to another level. He owns a car dealership in Brooklyn, and he drives a 1974 Saab 99 EMS. Sure, it's old, but you wouldn't know it from the condition it's in. Besides, it's got a great history and special features. This car caused Skinner to start collecting Saabs, and the garage he built for them is super special as well. You probably haven't even thought about the Saab line in years, but Skinner will make you a true believer. Read more about his collection at The Drive.​
A Dukes of Hazzard CybertruckThe Dukes of Hazzard went off the air in 1985 after seven seasons. Yet the iconic Dodge Charger painted orange and named the General Lee remains an immediately identifiable rolling symbol of popular culture.Kid Rock tapped into that cultural heritage when he entered the venue of his first combination rock concert and rodeo on Saturday, May 18, 2024. He rolled before the cheering crowds while singing from the open top of a Tesla Cybertruck decorated like the General Lee. You can see that entrance of the 1:17 mark of this video. The driver is none other than John Schneider, who played Bo Duke on the TV series.-viaJalopnik
What the Cars of The Breakfast Club Tell UsThe 1985 movie The Breakfast Club opens with parents dropping off students at a high school. My question was, hey, these kids are obviously in their late 20s, why aren't they driving themselves? It became clear that this was Saturday detention, and these five were all in trouble, so the parents wanted to make sure they actually attended. What I didn't realize at the time was that the scene was an introduction to the backgrounds of these detainees. What car their parents drove says a lot about their home life. Bender, who came from an abusive home, walked to the school. The others arrived in cars that were meant to broadcast a stereotype.The Autopian describes the implied stereotypes associated with each vehicle and what they are supposed to tell us about the family. Since the movie is almost 40 years old, you might not familiar with those stereotypes. They only disagree with one, which can be forgiven, because John Hughs and the crew associated with The Breakfast Club were outside of that stereotype. My parents were firmly in that world, and were driving old Toyotas in 1985, after 20 years of Volkswagens. The article at The Autopian clues us in on the cars of 1985 and the tricks of storytelling in film as well.
The Death of the American SedanIn 2016, Dodge and Chrysler announced that they would stop making sedans. In 2018, Ford stopped producing sedans. And now General Motors has announced that they will stop making Chevy Malibus, despite the fact that they sold 130,000 new Malibus last year, making it the #3 Chevy model. That means that the Big Three auto companies will no longer produce sedans, with the exception of a few high-end luxury models. What American car companies have instead are a fleet of SUV models, trucks, and crossover hatchbacks. There are plenty of reasons for pulling back on sedans. Federal regulations on fuel efficiency are more lenient for SUVs and trucks. A vehicle has to be over a certain size for small businesses to write them off as expenses. SUVs are seen as safer (although only for those inside the car). But most importantly, sedans are just not as profitable per unit as larger vehicles. Read about the demise of the American sedan at Fast Company.However, Detroit's Big Three are not the only car companies manufacturing vehicles in the US. If you prefer a normal four-door sedan to a gas-guzzling SUV or truck, there are still plenty of models available from other companies, some of them affordable. -via Metafilter(Image credit: JamesYoung8167) 
How to Decode Your Car's VIN NumberYes, I know, "VIN number" is redundant, since VIN stands for "vehicle identification number," but that's what people call it. Every vehicle built after 1981 has a VIN, which is a combination of letters and numbers, and like a social security number, it stays with the car for its entire existence -in most cases. I once bought a Frankencar that had three VINs because it was welded together from parts, but it didn't last long. From the number, the make and model of the car can be identified by government offices such as state DMVs and police, and other entities like insurance companies, banks, and auto service centers. But it's not just a number assigned to a car. Every part of the VIN has a meaning. If you know what to look for, it will tell you where the car was assembled, both the country and the specific factory. The body type and engine type is encoded, as well as its model year. There is also one digit that is purely for security, so that those who need to know can tell if a VIN has been altered. But there are many ways to detect an altered VIN, since all these numbers are registered and those who know will spot a nonsensical made-up VIN in a second. But what about you? It's your car, and you can decode your own VIN in several ways with online registries, and even find out some things about your car that you didn't know. Read about VINs and what they mean at the Conversation.(Image credit: Baranov107) 
Better Gas Up Your Rental Car, Even If It's a TeslaJoshua Lee was a loyal Hertz customer, until he rented a Tesla Model 3 during a weekend in Los Angeles. After returning the car, he noticed a $277.39 charge for refueling the car. The car is electric; there is no way to replenish the gas tank because it doesn't have one. Even if it did, that's an astonishing amount to demand. And Lee had even opted for the "Skip the Pump and Save Time" option on the rental agreement. Could the charge have been for electrical recharging? No, Lee recharged the car to 96%, which is where it was when he got the vehicle. And the fee for recharging electricity is $35, per Hertz's policy.Lee disputed the charge, but the company doesn't want to budge on it. He received an email response that appears to be AI-generated denying his claim. The Drive tells the tale of Lee's car rental woes, and then Lee came into the comments to clarify that he had also spoken to a live person several times, but they still claim the $277 charge is legitimate. Others say he was lucky that Hertz didn't have him arrested for car theft. Lee no longer considers himself a loyal Hertz customer. -via Fark(Image credit: Joshua Lee)