Eric Peters

Eric Peters is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities: The Cars You Love to Hate (Motor Books International) and a new book, Road Hogs.

The Electric Cars That Might Have Been

 

Mandates and subsidies have not only distorted the market for electric cars, they’ve distorted the design of electric cars. Instead of being designed to emphasize their natural strengths vs. IC-engined cars — which we’ll get into shortly — they’ve been offered up as cost-no-object economic and functional absurdities whose limitations and failings everyone is supposed to […]

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Bring Back a Real Car Truck!

 

VW’s new truck — if they build it, which hopefully they will — won’t be the first one. For a couple of years back in the early ’80s, you could buy a pick-up version of the Rabbit. It was even available with a diesel engine. Of course, neither of these vehicles are pick-ups, even though […]

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Which Brand of Taxi Do You Prefer?

 

If automated cars ever do become technically feasible — and that’s a long way off, despite the trendy imminence we read about every day — it will certainly mean the end of personal vehicle ownership, at least as far as new cars. Not because the government mandates it. Because — why bother with it? Take […]

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Auto Cop

 

An interesting unasked question has been raised by Ford’s announcement that it is developing a cop-less cop car. That is, an automated and AI cop car that would sneak itself behind the bushes and use license plate scanners, facial recognition, and other such revenue-raising technologies to automatically issue paying’ paper. All the time. Everywhere. For […]

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Snow Driving Etiquette… and Its Lack

 

Lots of advice goes out every year about how to drive in the snow. But the single most important piece of advice about snow-day driving is almost never mentioned — probably because the cardinal rule of modern advice-giving is to never tell people the truth when it might cause discomfort or offense. It is, simply: […]

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Putting a Leash on Inspector Javert

 

The War on Drugs has seen many casualties — among them the rule of law. Cops have been empowered to simply seize people’s property on the mere assertion of connection to “drug activity.” This is done prior to conviction of any crime — and in many cases, without the person even being charged with one. Another casualty-in-the-works […]

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Make in India?

 

More than 40 years ago, Japan flooded the U.S. market with inexpensive small cars — their manufacture directly subsidized by the government of Japan, their manufacturers working in close concert with the government of Japan. Meanwhile, American cars were effectively locked out of the Japanese market via stiff import tariffs, a type of tax designed […]

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Hope Is Not Lost

 

Not every kid wants an Uber. Some kids — one kid, at least — wants a 1972 VW Beetle. And now he has one. This is my young apprentice, Gage. He is going on 16 in a few months and needs wheels. Most uncommonly, these days, he wants them. The kid likes cars. He wanted […]

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Broadband Denied in Trump Country

 

Without a high-speed connection to the Internet, you might as well be teleported back to 1995 — and dial-up Internet. Which is what the Federal Communications Commission appears determined to do to about 23 million rural Americans via a bureaucratic rule change being pushed by lobbyists for large cell phone carriers such as T-Mobile that will make […]

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In the Rearview: Ferrari 365 GTB4/Daytona (1968-1973)

 

The last of a thing is often a cause for nostalgia, even regret. The new thing may be objectively superior and hard to fault by the numbers. But something’s been lost, just the same. And the thing will never be the same again. Art deco-era steam locomotives. Big-gun battleships. Boeing 707s, turbines screaming. And the […]

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