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‘The Big Book of Tiny Cars’ Celebrates the Smallest Automobiles

Photo credit: Motorbooks

Photo credit: Motorbooks

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Small cars are currently out of vogue. In a market dominated by ever-growing SUVs, major automakers like Ford, Fiat, VW, and Mercedes (through its hapless Smart subsidiary) are giving up on the category—at least in the U.S. market. Even Minis no longer live up to their name, with the smallest one cresting 3000 pounds. But once a car category departs the commonplace, interest tends to pick up among enthusiasts and collectors. How else to explain the current fascination with personal luxury coupes of the ’70s and ’80s?

To slake our growing thirst for subcompacts, British automotive writer Russell Hayes has written a new book about them, The Big Book of Tiny Cars: A Century of Diminutive Automotive Oddities (Motorbooks, $40), that will be available electronically on Nov. 30. The hardcover

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Big Automotive Chip Shortage Is No Surprise

“Car Makers Collide With Global Chip Shortage” (Page One, Feb. 13) correctly identifies the auto industry’s current supply-chain woes as a self-inflicted wound. From the electronics-manufacturing industry’s point of view, automotive is mostly a low-volume, high-mix customer segment, and it requires buffering through component distributors. Instead, the auto makers’ extreme focus on cost optimization and lean manufacturing meant eliminating these valuable supply-chain partners. The focus on lean should have been balanced with a pragmatic view on the extreme cost of idled automotive production lines. To shut down production lines for $80,000 vehicles because of a missing $2 microcontroller is catastrophic.

Products like semiconductors that have longer lead times and large production lot sizes need distribution for efficient buffering between the manufacturers and end customers. Semiconductors have extremely long and complex production cycles that can range from 10 to 26 weeks. Once a production cycle

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Basic Rebuilt Dodge 440 makes big power and torque

We all know the 440 big-block is the largest-displacement V-8 engine built by Chrysler, and when it comes to a combination of torque, power, and drivability, the 440 ranks as one of the best engines ever built. Instead of utilizing a high compression ratio or aggressive cam grind for its muscle, the 440 relies on sheer size, making great power from an idle with enough torque to get even the heaviest trucks and motorhomes moving quickly. And while the Mopar 440 does several things very well, we’ve always felt that with a few tweaks the engine was capable of well over the 375 horsepower rating it got from the factory. Even the highest-performing factory 440, the 390-horsepower Six-Pack (or Six-Barrel) version, had a relatively mild hydraulic flat-tappet camshaft and non-adjustable rocker arms, ensuring years of smooth, maintenance-free operation. Even better, 440s are still available in scrap yards, from core suppliers,

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Watch Every Car Commercial From Super Bowl LV, 2021’s Big Game

Let’s put our differences aside for a minute because whether you’re rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, we can all come together to appreciate a quality Super Bowl commercial. Especially if it includes cars. That’s why we’ve gathered every automotive ad from 2021’s Big Game for your viewing pleasure and put them right here in one place—we’ll continually update this post with the latest as they’re released, too. Enjoy!

Ford | “Finish Strong: Extended Version”

Ford is using its airtime to continue its #FinishStrong campaign, pushing for unity as “we’re so close” to emerging from the global coronavirus pandemic. There’s nary an F-150 or Mustang Mach-E—or any other Ford vehicle, for that matter—featured prominently anywhere.

General Motors | “No Way Norway” With Will Ferrell, Kenan Thompson, Awkwafina

Will Ferrell refuses to let Norway take the crown in electric vehicle sales (per

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