Q. Does celebrity ownership of
a collector car make it more valuable? --D.W. (via Internet)
A. Only to suckers.
Q. What do you think of the upcoming driverless cars? -- E.H. (via Internet)
A. None have been offered for sale. It surprises me how well most drivers in the country's northern half do in winter, when few have taken a professional driving course. Especially when anybody, it seems, can get a driver's license. Many drivers in western states that have little rain or snow turn into lousy drivers when roads get wet or slippery because they're used to only bone-dry pavement.
Q. What causes "hazed" headlights that provide inferior visibility during night driving? -- D.M. (via Internet)
A. A major culprit of dim headlights is their plastic covers. Millions of cars have such covers, which generally don't hold up to weather and time. They become hazed and yellowed, reducing headlight output. The problem increases with the age of the lens covers. Dirty plastic covers do the same harm.
Q. Why the sudden popularity
and surge in value of the wild-looking 1956-58 Studebaker Golden Hawk?
Its value as a collector car keeps rising. Also, what about the sporty
1955 Studebaker Speedster as an investment? Nobody seems to pay much
attention to it. -- R.Z. (via Internet)
A. The Golden Hawk was largely ignored by most car fans and collectors until fairly recently. They bought 1950s cars such as 1957
Chevrolets from major automakers. Many folks weren't even born when small "Stude" stopped making cars in America in 1963. The Golden Hawk has been "discovered" because of its flashy styling, complete with fins, and potent 275-horsepower V-8. The 1955 Studebaker Speedster, from which the Golden Hawk took its sporty dashboard, is becoming become valuable and is rarer than the Golden Hawk, with only 2,215 produced. The Speedster has cleaner styling than the "Hawk." It was an auto show car that generated so much interest that Studebaker decided to produce it. But Studebaker didn't have much money, so the Speedster and Golden Hawk were derived from the striking 1953-54 Studebaker Starliner coupe. The Starliner had one of the most outstanding American auto designs of the 1950s. Grab a Speedster if you can find one in decent condition--there aren't many around.
Q. I read there's a sharp decline among people under 25 getting a driver's license and significant lack of interest in cars among those under 35 years of age. Why is that? -- S.M. (via Internet)
A. One reason is that more people are moving to highly congested urban environments, where driving and parking are hassles. Also, while a car once was a good way for younger folks to get away from home and meet friends, they now can use use social media to privately communicate from their house.