Petersen Museum: Automotive History Galore


The drab grey building housing the Petersen Museum in downtown Los Angeles isn’t very inviting, but once you get inside, you’ll be treated to a wide number of exhibits ranging from the earliest automobiles to futuristic concepts. I was lucky enough to go through a limited time tour of the Vault, a special collection of cars that are not typically on exhibit. The tours were supposed to end January 6th, but they’ve been extended to the end of January. If you’re looking for a family friendly outing this weekend, be sure to check it out! Follow the jump more info and some photos.

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How to decorate a man cave

Blow a motor? Reuse as a coffee table

Most men aren’t excited by interior design. But that’s all going to change after you see some of the crazy gearhead-approved decorations in this post. Follow the jump to see a collection of awesome and kooky home improvements that’ll leave any car nut drooling.

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What’s the safest new car for 2013?


Car safety has come a long way since Henry Ford’s first mass market Model T. Thanks to crumple zones, 3 point seat belts, cabins filled with inflatable air bags, and dozens of forgettably named electronic nannies, most new cars are safer than your grandfather’s 19′ long Cadillac. But to keep car companies on their toes, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety released a new crash test. Even luxury models that previously had perfect crash scores like the Audi A4 pictured above failed this new test. The results may surprise you, follow the jump to see 2013 models with perfect scores.

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Review: 2011 Nissan Sentra SR


My family has been a Nissan family for a long time. At the end of high school, my parents bought a base late model 2003 Nissan Sentra. An automatic transmission was the only option they added (Mom refused to drive stick). Feel hot? Crank your own damn windows. Before the Sentra, our family ran a 1997 Nissan Quest GXE purchased at a police auction. The hood had a big notch in it where someone had tried to pry it open with a crowbar. Dad had no love for these machines. Maintenance included oil changes every 5,000 miles, and “car washes” whenever it rained.  His goal was to provide point to point transportation at minimal cost and attention. The Quest felt so unloved that it finally decided to commit suicide by spilling oil and warped metal shards all over the street. I didn’t cry over the Quest, but I had many good memories associated with it. It’s probably the source of my minivan love. The Sentra is still doing well mechanically, but if that car had a soul, it’d be a tormented one. Unlike the Quest, the Sentra didn’t even have good memories to redeem itself. I hated it, and projected that hatred on all future models of the Nissan lineup. It was an anti-halo car: Drive one, and you’d never want another Nissan. When Zipcar added a 2011 Sentra SR to my parking lot, I wanted to see if my memory was remembering things worse than they had been.

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2013 Hot Hatch Renaissance: Veloster, Fiesta, Fiat 500 Abarth, Sonic RS


Back when I was in high school, a hot hatch meant one of three used cars: MKIII VW GTI, Honda Civic Si, or if you’re really lucky, an Acura Integra GS-R. Mix one part fun, one part practicality, and two parts affordability. Voila! That’s a hot hatch. While the price of entry keeps going up with each generation, the basic formula is still intact. Follow the jump for a peek of the hot hatch contenders of 2013.

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Review: 2012 Toyota Corolla LE


Auto journalists love to bash on Toyota products, but that doesn’t seem to hurt their sales numbers. On paper, the Corolla is the laughing stock of the compact class. It’s not as cheap as a Nissan, lacks the zoom-zoom handling of a Mazda, and looks downright dowdy next to a Hyundai. Yet somehow 313,009 buyers raised their hands in 2011 to park one in their driveway. Follow the jump for a quick drive and some impressions.

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2012 San Francisco Auto Show: The good, the ugly, the turkey

Spindle grille? More like snowplow grille

Before binging on turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, we made a trip out to the 2012 SF Auto Show. Located in the Moscone Center in downtown SF, this annual auto show typically gets the scraps from other better known auto shows. Nonetheless, it’s still a great event to bring family to during the holidays. Follow the jump for a rundown of the fast, the slow, and everything in between.

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Review: 2012 VW Passat 2.5 S with Appearance Package


Here in ‘merica, we like things big. Big burgers, big houses, big linebackers, big state fairs. To keep all that big moving, it’s no wonder we love our big trucks. So when Volkswagon asked what Americans wanted in a midsize family sedan, we answered “make it big”. After spending four days with a 2012 VW Passat 2.5 SE hopping between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it seems that the Germans have delivered a big car in more ways than one. Follow the jump to see how our super-sized Jetta fared on the road.

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