February 2, 2015 |
A spectator could learn an incredible amount of minutiae about the new Cadillac Escalade simply by swiping through an iPad display at Saturday's opening of the 2015 Philadelphia Auto Show. There were statistics on how much all that gleaming metal weighs, how fast the sinewy SUV accelerates, even the type of stitches used to make the steering wheel covers. But not a single word about how much gasoline it burns. "That was a marketing decision," explained a Cadillac representative who identified himself only by his first name, Chad.
February 1, 2015 |
Pizzazz and performance will offer their usual allure as the Philadelphia Auto Show opens Saturday at the Convention Center for its nine-day run. Acres of autos - about 700 vehicles from 40 brands - are on display, including "concept cars" and exotic Ferraris and Lamborghinis that ordinary drivers rarely get to touch. But many show-goers will be wowed this year by developments less visible than shiny sheet metal or powerful, fuel-efficient engines under the hood. Sophisticated safety systems and integrated "infotainment" controls designed to lessen driver distraction are increasingly front and center at the car show.
February 1, 2015 |
Is "U" for Uber? Or undercover? The Pennsylvania Utility Commission, in permitting ride-share operators like Uber and Lyft in most of Pennsylvania, has required the hail-by-app cars to be marked, so they are easily identifiable. But in Philadelphia, where ride-share drivers operate in defiance of a ban by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, Uber cars will not display a placard with the letter "U," as they will elsewhere in the state. Lyft says its cars were marked with glow-in-the-dark mustaches when the service launched in Philadelphia at 6 p.m. Friday.
January 31, 2015 |
The Berwyn location of Volvo dealer Keystone Motors, last remodeled 15 years ago, was ready for a tune-up. That was clear from customer surveys, co-owner Irv Stein said. Keystone, which also has a Volvo dealership in Doylestown, started planning a significant remodeling project that would have disrupted business for two or three months. Then Volvo came out with a corporate program to make Volvo dealerships look alike, Stein said this week. "You don't have to do it, but there is money tied to it. If you don't do it, you're giving away a large portion of the cost of doing the building," Stein said.
January 27, 2015 |
Two Philadelphia police officers were injured by suspected drunk drivers in separate crashes over the weekend. One officer was injured early Sunday when his parked police vehicle was rear-ended by a car on North 52d Street near Market Street in West Philadelphia. The accident followed a similar one early Saturday in which an officer was injured when a vehicle slammed into his squad car on Broad Street near Tioga Street in North Philadelphia. The officer, assigned to a construction detail Saturday, was blocking traffic with his vehicle at 1:40 a.m. when it was struck by a 2004 Nissan traveling south on Broad Street.
January 26, 2015 |
"Let's head back to Montana next summer," said my fly-fishing buddy Tom. We had spent a week the previous summer on the beautiful Madison River, and in nearby Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, with our good friend Jim. While not catching a ton of fish, we had a fly fisherman's dream week. "I'm in. Let me talk to Jim," I responded, with visions of 20-inch trout rising to my dry fly filling my head. Jim said yes immediately, and to make the idea more palatable on the home front, we decided to ask our wives to go along.
January 22, 2015 |
VENISE HODGES was driving her Ford Explorer one day about 20 years ago when it suddenly quit on her. "Pop the hood," said her nephew, Rell Hodges, who was riding with her. Rell got under the hood, did some quick adjustments and the car started up again. He was 7. Hardly an amazing feat for the Hodges family. Many family members seemed to have a knack for auto mechanics from an early age. "We have a fascination for things that move on wheels," Venise said. It all started with her father, Cephel Hodges, a master self-taught mechanic who might not have passed on actual instructions to his family, but apparently there was something he delivered through the genes.
January 20, 2015 |
Rain and ice caused a pileup of a dozen vehicles Sunday that damaged a fire engine on a New Jersey Turnpike overpass Sunday. The trouble began when firefighters and an EMS crew responded to a one-car accident on Route 42 in Bellmawr, Fire Chief Jim Burleigh said. The responders blocked the road with a fire engine to protect workers at the scene, Burleigh said. As the EMS crew worked to treat the driver involved in the accident, another car slid on the ice and hit the fire engine.
January 12, 2015 |
Fifteen years ago, two Philadelphians with a shared affinity for classic cars, world affairs, and Cuba formed a quirky nonprofit that some now say was prescient. Their group, TailLight Diplomacy, sprung from the notion that the estimated 50,000, pre-1960, Detroit-built "Yanktanks" - the vintage cars still rolling in Cuba - could unite car enthusiasts from America and the island nation for groundbreaking exchanges. Founders Rick Shnitzler and John Dowlin corresponded with Cuban officials.
January 10, 2015 |
A Philadelphia police officer was injured during a traffic stop Thursday in Strawberry Mansion when the motorist he had pulled over tried to grab his gun and then drove into him while making his getaway, police said. As the car sped from the scene, Joseph Kochmer, 32, a five-year veteran of the force, fired one shot at the vehicle, but it did not strike the driver, police said. The incident began at 11:38 a.m., when Kochmer and his partner stopped a Chevrolet Impala with an Ohio license plate at 32d Street and Susquehanna Avenue.