Q. How do you think people
feel about being driven in a self-driving car? -- C.B. (via Internet)
A. I can't predict the future, but a recent survey by AAA Insurance Co. found that some 75 percent of drivers said they would be afraid to be driven by an autonomous vehicle. The survey said that some 80 percent of baby boomers and 69 percent of young folks felt the same way. Some 81 percent of female survey respondents also said they would be afraid to be driven in such a car, compared with 67 percent of men.
Q. Who's more afraid of being in a car accident--a man or a woman? -- E.W. (via Internet.)
A. Auto company marketing experts have said that women, more than men, are more afraid of being in a car collision because they are fearful of suffering facial damage. See the above question.
Q. I read that the new Cadillac CT6 is a viable rival to the top-line BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This Cadillac costs less than those German autos. So I would think luxury car buyers would wait in line to snap up a CT6. -- D.L. (via Internet)
A. Cadillac once ruled the luxury car market in America, but that was decades ago. I hear that the CT6 is quite good, but haven't driven it yet. Cadillac is trying hard to regain its old prestige, which it lost because of generally poor General Motors management and stiff foreign competition. It's counting on cars such as the CT6 to get back its lost popularity, but that's no overnight task and may be impossible because now it's a different auto world.
Q. What's the best Ferrari convertible ever made? -- K.R. (via Internet)
A. Forza, a slick Ferrari magazine, says the new Ferrari 488 Spider (convertible) is the best Ferrari "drop top" it has ever driven. The price? Don't ask.
Q. A Ferrari dealer in the
northern part of the country where I live tells me that a used
late-model Ferrari that had the proper maintenance is a better buy than
a new one for somebody (like me) who doesn't insist on the latest
model--and lacks the money to buy a new one, anyway. Is that true, or
is the dealer just trying to sell me one of the used Ferraris he has in
stock? -- E.B. (via Internet)
A. Generally, the dealer is giving you good advice. For one thing, nearly all late-model Ferraris in your area of the country are driven only on nice days during warm weather weekends and thus have low mileage. Their styling is great, and they go much faster than you would want to sanely go on public roads. Ferrari maintenance is quite expensive so I'd want to see service records of a used Ferrari.
Q. What do you think of the new, restyled Hyundai Elantra? -- K.E. (via Internet)
A. Not much. Hyundai gave the new Elantra an oversized grille and eliminated its predecessor's slick overall styling. However, the new Elantra is said to be more mechanically refined.
Q. My aunt has a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair convertible in her garage that belonged to her late husband and hasn't been driven in years. She's willing to sell it to me at a low price. It's got boxes and other typical garage junk piled on top of it. I hear the rear-engine Corvair is becoming a collector's item. Your advice? -- J.C. (via Internet)
A. The Corvair is becoming an interesting collector car, with the Monza and Corsa being the sportiest and thus the most desirable models. Nearly 1 million were sold in the 1960s, and it was a favorite of college kids. The Corvair is one of the least costly collector cars. The 1965-69 models are the best with their slicker styling and Corvette-style independent rear suspension that resulted in really good handling. The 1964 has the best handling of the original 1960-64 Corvair model range because of a suspension modification. The fact that your aunt's Corvair is a convertible is a plus because many folks like convertibles. But a car that hasn't been driven for years can easily be a money pit. There's many active Corvair clubs, so contact one and see if you can have a seasoned club member look at your aunt's car. Or, better yet, have the member recommend a good Corvair mechanic to examine it. Unfortunately, there are few knowledgeable Corvair mechanics around. Even in the 1960s, mechanics at Chevy dealerships didn't want to work on a Corvair because of its unconventional (for an American car) rear-engine design, says Larry Claypool, one of the country's top Corvair experts.