Q. How does Tesla keep going? It hasn't made a profit yet despite its various highly publicized enterprises. Should I buy its stock? -- J.K. (via Internet)
A. For one thing, Tesla is heavily dependent on government handouts in the United States and abroad. Buy its stock? Do you feel lucky?

Q. What is a Bristol? I know Jay Leno has a classic version of one because he featured it on his auto television show. -- M.K. (via Internet)

A. Leno seemingly has nearly one of everything when it comes to cars, including a 1950s Bristol. The Bristol is an understated but handsome Upper-British-Class auto that has come in a variety of body styles. Bristols were made by a subsidiary of the Bristol Aeroplane Co., which built pursuit planes and bombers during World War II. The British government didn't want Bristol to go out of business when the war ended, so it helped it diversify as an automaker in 1947. That's fortunate because Bristol has made really good aircraft-inspired autos. The sexiest is the 1953-56 Type 404, a short-wheelbase, two-seat coupe that is nearly impossible to find for sale in America. The last I heard, Bristol still makes a small number of cars.

Q. Why do mainly foreign automakers offer so many car models without proper names--just identifying them with  letters and numbers? -- L.F. (via Internet)

A. Many foreign automakers have used such model designations for decades--although not this many. For instance, Mercedes-Benz will offer the GLA, CLS, SLC, SL, GLC, GLE and GLS.  Volvo will offer the S40, XC40, V40, XC60, V60, S60, XC90, S90 and V90. Is your head spinning yet? 

Q. Is it wise to take out a 7-8-year car loan? By doing that, I can afford a higher-line car that I couldn't afford if I only took out a 3-4-year loan.-- J.K. (via Internet)  

A. The longer the loan, the more the finance companies love you. Besides, are you really going to keep a new vehicle for more than 4-5 years?

Q.  My aunt wants to sell her late-model car, which she has driven only about 20,000 miles. She has just used it for short trips such as  to her store and church. The car has been garaged and looks as if it's in good shape. -- J.C. (via Internet)

A. Beware of cars driven only short distances because they're never given a chance to fully warm up, and that often leads to mechanical problems.

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