Q. Why are large sums of money
for the late actor Steve McQueen's personal items? -- E.H.
A. McQueen is regarded in car buff circles as a super-macho car and auto racing lover. And he had the money to own some great cars. That said, the people who have bought McQueen's possessions such as his sunglasses (not his cars) for silly amounts have more money than brains. Or they have serious inferiority complexes.
Q. Will Cadillac regain the American popularity it enjoyed in the 1950s and 1960s? -- M.S. (via Internet)
A. That's doubtful. For one thing, Caddy has too much competition. It keeps promising a brighter future, which never comes.
Q. Why are so many people passing up perfectly good attractive sedans of all types to buy so-called car-based "crossover" vehicles, many of which look like ungainly versions of sedans? I think station wagons look better. -- P.S. (via Internet)
A. Call it a "herd mentality." Even prestigious, upscale foreign automakers either offer or are coming out with so-called crossovers to remain competitive. Crossovers don't offer much more utility that the comparably sized sedans on which they're based. But automakers go where the money is.
Q. What Chevy Camaro you've
and reviewed provided the most fun? -- E.H. (via Internet)
A. It was the 1969 Camaro Z-28, a disguised race car you could buy off the showroom floor. It really took off when the engine was revved above 3,000 r.p.m. It had heavy steering at low speeds, as did race cars of its era. Current high-performance Camaros are much easier to drive, but are far more complicated and have a ridiculous amount of power for road use. Few average guys can afford a 1969 Z-28 because they cost approximately $55,000 to $95,000. If looking for one, make sure it's a genuine Z-28, not a modified Camaro made to look like one.
Q. Do you think Alfa Romeo will be a success in America? -- F.K. ( via Internet)
A. Unlikely. Most Americans know little or nothing about Alfa Romeo, and it's expensive.
Q. What are a few of the most overlooked, affordable sporty cars of the 1960s that I can buy, enjoy driving for a few years and then sell for a profit? -- D.W. (via Internet)
A. The 1968-69 American Motors AMX, 1963-65 Buick Riviera and 1963-64 Studebaker Avanti with a supercharged Studebaker V-8--and 1965-69 Avanti II with a Corvette engine. The higher-quality Avanti II was custom-built in limited numbers after the Studebaker version was dropped because Studebaker closed operations in America. Both cars look the same, but the Studebaker version is worth more because it was the original.