Jeff Stork

2013 Buick Regal GS: Six-Speed Son of Saab

The last time I drove the Buick Regal GS Sport Sedan, I found it to be the most engaging Buick since the Grand National, although thoroughly different in character. Recently I spent a week behind the wheel of a 2013 model with the six-speed manual transmission and came to a slightly different revelation. It’s not the return of the Grand National, it’s the Son of Saab. [...]

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo: More Trick, Less Chick

I wasn’t thinking of my long lost GTIs when VW called to offer me a chance to drive the new Beetle Turbo. Frankly, I wasn’t much of a fan of the “New Beetle”, finding it longer on promise than on substance and just too “chicky” for me. The bud vase was too gay even for me, and the whole thing just seemed too cutesy. I don’t care if the ’73 Super Beetle had one giant gauge: I hated the damn thing. Besides, the interior was a sea of unhappy plastics. [...]

2012 Buick Regal GS: Paint It Black

I joined Buick during the glory days of the turbo 3.8-litre (the Grand National was announced the year I started). Every male under 30 and quite a few of the women at Home Office bought one — myself included — and proceeded to spend a Michigan winter going diagonally, coping with the awesome power and serious lack of traction that black beauty provided. We loved it dearly, but it was hardly a balanced automobile. The motoring press loved it as much as we did. Tony Assenza from Car and Driver Magazine road-tested the legendary GNX in April of 1987 and wrote of it, “In a world of sleek shapes and refined manners, the GNX is an ax-wielding barbarian laying waste to everything in its path.” [...]

2012 Infiniti FX35 AWD Special Edition: Tell Jaguar Not to Bother

Jaguar has been making news of late, developing a mid-sized luxury SUV, and I admit I have been amused by the notion. From my Jaguar days, I know that an astronomically high percentage of Jaguar customers also own a Land Rover, so that would seem to take up the slack. But further reading reveals that Jaguar has a different flavor in mind — a crossover utility with both a very sporty character and a very richly detailed interior. [...]

2012 GMC Terrain: A Butch Boy for the Soccer Mom Set

I have a long history with mid-sized GMC utilities. I had a first year four door Jimmy back in 1993, another Jimmy in 2000 and a 360-based Envoy in 2002. All were mid-sized utilities which were based on a truck frame and powered by some version of a six cylinder engine. The GMC Terrain replaced the Envoy in 2009 as a crossover vehicle based on the GM Theta platform, and while I’ve had extensive experience with the Theta derived Cadillac SRX, I’d never actually driven the Terrain. [...]

2012 Chevrolet Volt: Another Perspective

I’ve always been one fascinated by the next big revolution in automotive propulsion. In the early 1960s, I was mesmerized by the Chrysler Turbine Car — a gorgeous creation that hummed softly while slurping down fuel like it was free and emitting large quantities of nitrous oxides. Smooth operation, but emissions and fuel economy were both serious problems later shared by the rotary engine as it struggled and ultimately failed to go mainstream in the 70s. [...]