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Retro Mania: “Old” Cars Rock!

America’s thirst for cars of significance continues unabated. Long tired of copycat, cookie cutter, uninspiring models, consumers are demanding – and receiving – cars that are, quite frankly, retro. Yes, America’s automakers are reaching back in time to build a bunch of models based on popular models from yesteryear. Let’s take a look at the “Big 3” automakers and their current crop of retro cars as well as “future” models soon to be released.

Defined, retro cars are vehicles that take their styling cues from cars built a generation or two ago. No, these vehicles aren’t carbon copies of earlier models, rather each retro car borrows much of their look from earlier models.

Although American automakers dominate the retro market, the Volkswagen New Beetle was one of the first cars to reach back as it went forward. Based on the VW Golf platform, the circular shaped New Beetle hearkens back to the flower child era with its current rendition of the people’s car. Fortunately, VW had the presence of mind to include its famed “flower holder” in with the dash, to evoke memory of the earlier model.

Ford pushed the retro market forward with its introduction of the Thunderbird in 2002. Borrowing heavily from early sixties era TBirds, the car has had mixed success as Ford sold a very limited number of the model for a few years and then discontinued it after the 2005 model year, citing poor sales. In 2004, Ford introduced a retro version of the Mustang, based on the ’67 Mustang fastback. Unlike the TBird, the Mustang has been a huge success and Ford can barely keep up with production. No word if a retro Pinto is being planned by FoMoCo.

Chrysler got in the retro craze with its introduction of the 2000 PT Cruiser. Based on 1950s era panel vans, the PT Cruiser sits on the now defunct Neon platform, but sales have been strong for Chrysler. The Dodge Challenger, another Chrysler product, is the car many are waiting to see if and when it debuts as an ’09 model. Borrowing cues from the ’71 model is part of the fun of this car: a hemi engine coupled with a fantastic interior will certainly help move sales. For the record, the current Dodge Charger isn’t retro – it has four doors – but I am mentioning it because it is one cool car!

Chevrolet went retro with the SSR, a “truck” based on 1950s era pick ups. Word has it that the slow selling SSR – hey, K for THAT thing – is on its last legs. Fortunately, the HHR [Heritage High Roof] will keep Chevy in the retro business as this new for 2006 model takes its styling cues from the ’49 Suburban. Some would say the PT Cruiser!

Are we likely to see more retro cars in the future? Maybe, but probably not a Caddy replete with fins or a Chevy Vega. America’s love with old models is strong, but selective, and the automakers must be certain that consumers really want a particular retro car before putting it into production. Oh, by the way, the ’09 Chevy Camaro concept is one hot looking car!

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Warning to the Elderly: Don’t Take Psychoactive Medications and Drive

There have been a lot of researches that show that older drivers have the second highest risk for motor vehicle collisions of any age group, after adolescents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, older adults are nine times more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than drivers aged 25 to 69. In 2000, older adults made up 9% of the resident population, but accounted for 13% of all traffic fatalities and 17% of all pedestrian fatalities. Accidents involving older drivers can cause injury to both the older driver and other drivers and pedestrians.

Generally. most senior drivers are good, safe drivers. They know their limitations and do their best to follow the rules of the road. But even the best and the safest drivers can have accidents when there are factors that impair their judgment or senses. Impaired vision, poor hearing and flexibility, limited range of motion, reduced reaction time, and medications are some of the factors which can lead to fatal car accidents.

Many elderly drivers take several medications to treat certain medical conditions, including those that are specifically for psychiatric care. Those medications may interact with each other causing drowsiness or confusion. There are a lot of older people, especially those who live alone, who use psychoactive medications with or without the doctor’s prescription. Psychoactive medications may place older drivers at increased risk for potentially fatal vehicular accidents.

Psychoactive medications are drugs that, when prescribed and used prudently, can reduce or eliminate the suffering caused by psychological conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, psychosis, and bipolar affective disorder.

A research was conducted on a population-based matched case-control study of older drivers who were involved in injurious crashes from 1987 to 1988. The 234 cases and 447 controls were members of a large Seattle-based health maintenance organization. Use of antidepressants medications and opioid analgesics by older drivers was associated with increased risk for injurious motor vehicle collisions. Compared with non-users, current users of cyclic antidepressants had a 2.3% higher chances of encountering an accident, or what is termed as adjusted relative risk (RR). Opioid analgesic use was also associated with an elevated crash risk. No evidence was found of a dose-related effect with either class of the drug. Current use of benzodiazepines or sedating antihistamines had little association with increased risk for injurious collisions.

Moreover, benzodiazepines are among the psychoactive medications that are widely prescribed for people over the age of 65 years. Their use has been associated with a number of adverse outcomes including cognitive impairment, an increased risk of falls and hip fractures, especially in people with coexisting medical illness, and car accidents.

The risks are greater with long-acting agents and during the first few weeks after drug initiation. In spite of the risks, there is evidence that benzodiazepines may be overprescribed to elderly people. Among the problems identified are the overprescription of long-acting benzodiazepines, high rates of benzodiazepine use in combination with other psychoactive drugs and the prescribing of benzodiazepines for long-term use.

While the automobile is a powerful tool for independence and mobility, it is also potentially dangerous. As we grow old, our ability to drive safely may be limited by many factors. It’s important to recognize these risk factors and minimize them if possible before car accident occurs. More importantly, all drivers should be aware of safe driving habits, regardless of age.


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Great Parts For The Racing Enthusiast!

You are on your final lap of what has been an adventurous race filled with mayhem, mishaps, and a near misstep that could have cost you dearly. The two top drivers are within reach as you navigate the track’s final turn. Do you risk it? Will you swing over to the left lane and pass them both or settle for a strong third place finish instead? Certainly, this “close, but no cigar” finish would be a moral victory for some drivers, but not for you. Suddenly, you swing your wheels to the left, press the pedal to the metal and pass driver #2 and edge just ahead of driver #1 as the checkered flag waves down before you. You win the race by mere inches because of the confidence you have in your car.

Oh, were we all so confident in our rides! You may not be a race car driver, but if you value performance then you know that keeping your car well maintained is essential toward ensuring a safe and fun ride every time. Importantly, upgrading your car to include premium performance parts is a necessity, so let’s take a look at what racing enthusiasts the world over are doing to achieve maximum control.

What good is a performance car if it doesn’t “speak” performance? Specifically, the tone of your vehicle’s exhaust system should tell everyone that your car has the power to go along with its performance. That is why choosy drivers are selecting performance Remus exhaust systems for their rides. A Remus exhaust system is imported from Germany and can be found on many Mercedes, Mini, Volkswagen, and BMW cars. In America, Jeep and Ford owners have learned that the stainless steel and aluminum components that go into every Remus exhaust system can ensure a long life, better performance, and a great tone. Remus backs up their product with an unlimited 3 year warranty.

A great set of shocks on every vehicle is necessary and all the more so if you put your car through the paces. Every single turn and every single lift in the road can be navigated with confidence if your car has the right shocks or struts to ensure maximum control. KYB has been the original equipment shock for more manufacturers worldwide then any other brand for many years now. Enthusiasts select KYB performance shocks for maximum damping and greater tolerances every time. No brand can possibly match KYB in popularity and for offering the best bang for the buck.

A Turbonetics intercooler can give your ride more power and torque without an adverse impact on engine endurance. As a bolt on turbo system, Turbonetics can quickly provide more power, use less fuel, and is available on a variety of gasoline and diesel applications. Drivers of the Toyota Supra, select full size Chevy pick ups, and owners of the Subaru Impreza have all learned that a Turbonetics turbocooler can maximize power and performance quickly without a big time loss in downtime.

Yes, you may never compete in a NASCAR race or qualify for the Indy 500, however that doesn’t mean you can’t maximize your ride’s performance. Install high quality and cost effective car parts from the Race Pages wholesale store today to achieve that race car edge.

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Get The Most Out Of Your Auto Insurance

There are many different tips available with regard to saving money on your car insurance. Before you sign up with an insurance company, you should make sure they offer any discounts you are interested in so you can be sure to get the best deal possible on your car insurance. Other tips like this are written in this article. If you are interested in saving money on your car insurance, then please read on.

When working with the adjuster on a claim, remember that the burden of proof is not on you, it’s on the insurance company. If there is a dispute over coverage, it is their responsibility to prove why it isn’t covered. There are a few policies where this doesn’t apply so make sure to check that when signing up for coverage.

Check both the crash rating and the theft rating of any new car you are interested in purchasing. Car insurance companies charge more for policies on cars they feel are at a higher risk of being stolen, or that have a bad crash rating compared to other cars with much better ratings.

When you are adding a new driver to your car insurance policy, you may want to consider getting estimates through other companies to find out if you are getting the best rate. One company may offer you a better rate than you would get through the company that you have been using for years.

Drive the speed limit, or at least don’t get caught speeding. Speeding tickets and other traffic violations not only add up to an eventual loss of your license, they increase the cost of your auto insurance. Drive safely and you’ll be in fewer accidents and pay out less for repairs, too.

Do not try to claim your car is worth more than it really is. It’s tempting to think that in case of an accident you might end up with a check larger enough to go out and buy that luxury car you’ve always wanted. It doesn’t work though because insurance companies only pay the fair market worth of your car, not what you claimed it was worth.

Find out whether you live in an at-fault or a no-fault state and understand the difference. If you live in a no-fault state, your insurance company is responsible for paying your medical bills and lost wages up to the amount of insurance you purchased. So if you are underinsured and become injured in an accident, there could be too little or no reimbursement to you, even if the accident was the other driver’s fault.

If possible, pay for your auto insurance in one lump sum. When you pay your insurance premiums monthly or quarterly, insurance providers can charge you an administration fee and interest on the money that you owe. The interest rate is also likely to be much higher than the interest rate you could get on a personal loan.

There are many ways to save money on your car insurance. Be sure to check the insurance company out that you are interested in before buying a policy with them so you can be sure they honor the discounts you are interested in. This way you will get the most discounts available.


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