Q. I'm beginning to have trouble driving at night, probably because of advancing age. Any tips to make night driving safer for folks like me? --J.C. (via Internet)
A. Don't "over-drive" headlights.  Look as far ahead as you can see. If something looks like a hazard, lower speed until you're sure it's not one. Headlights that are clean and properly aligned are important for identifying potential hazards. Keep the windshield clean. Wipers that leave streaks or chatter across the windshield decrease visibility and should be replaced. Make sure other drivers can see you. Keep headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals clean.

Q. I couldn't believe my eyes after seeing an article in the October, 2016, issue of Sports Car Market magazine about a 1949 Aston Martin sports car sold at a June, 2016, auction in England for $891,319. The car looks like it belongs in a junkyard. I wouldn't give $100 for it. -- F.K. (via Internet)

A. This Aston Martin fits perfectly in today's sky crazy collector car market. No old Aston Martin is cheap, and the one you mention is very special, although in terrible shape. The car, a 1949 Aston Martin DB race team car, was a Le Mans 24-hour race finisher and, most importantly, started Aston Martin's famous series of DB cars, including the one in the early James Bond movies. Sports Car Market magazine said Aston Martin got rid of the car in 1949 or 1950 after it did well in several major races. The car then was used for a decade of club racing before being left in a garden for years. It was stolen in 2002, and it took 13 years for the police to recover it. And so on. The auction company is quoted as saying this DB "is an outstanding survivor" and a "landmark in (Aston Martin's) glittering history." Sports Car Market concluded: "This was a one-off, never-repeatable opportunity, which makes the price paid look rather irrelevant, doesn't it?" I guess it depends on your point of view.

Q. Car buyers are abandoning sedans and opting for other types of vehicles. Why? Today's sedans couldn't be better. -- D.M. (via Internet)  

A. An increasing number of people are bypassing sedans for crossovers, midsized sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks because they offer more utility and deliver greater fuel efficiency. Lower gas prices also help their popularity.

Q. What wild car would you pick to drive strictly for kicks on summer weekends?  -- E.S. (via Internet)

A. The 1973-6  Lancia Stratos, which was a major success in world rallies in the 1970s. (Most Americans aren't familiar with the great overseas rallies.)This thoroughbred Italian car had a mid-engine Ferrari V-6. It only developed 190 horsepower, but the Stratos was fast (0-60 m.p.h. in 5.9 seconds) because it just weighed 1,918 pounds. (Later turbocharged versions reportedly generated more than 250 horsepower.) The Stratos handled extremely well. It was tractable and fairly comfortable as a road car, but really was built for flat-out competition. Its Bertone body had an aggressive, distinctive wedge shape. Its price new was approximately $12,000, but it's now valued at $496,200 to $850,000. That is, if you can find one in decent condition. Only about 500 were built.

Back to Q & A main section