Thinking of luxury brands that offer driver’s cars, Rolls-Royce is probably be pretty far from the first one that comes to mind. Rolls-Royce cars are generally built for those who prefer to be driven, not for those who drive. I was reminded of this again as I rode in the supple back-seat accommodations in a Rolls-Royce Ghost sedan that whisked me away from the airport in Phoenix. I didn’t travel across the country and take a red-eye flight home to sample the Ghost; I was in Arizona to be among the first to drive the all-new 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith. A coupe, by its nature, is not going to be a chauffeur-driven car, so I was eager to see how the Ghost’s platform transitioned into not a personal-luxury coupe, but a personal ultra-luxury coupe.
Astute readers may remember the enthusiastic post written in early August detailing my search for the perfect Saab 9-3 Convertible– which turned out to be a 2006 9-3 Aero “20th Anniversary” edition in excellent condition, with just over 27,000 miles on it. Equipped with a 250 HP turbocharged 2.8 liter V6 and six-speed manual transmission, the car’s unique interior and exterior color schemes, limited-edition provenance and its attentive seller made this the right car for me.
Hey, long time no Savant! But where better than here to shine a light on the works of the American Motor Corporation, more fondly known as AMC? And I for one do remember it fondly. Of course, it helps that the company and I lived for a number of years in the same town, Southfield, Mich., where its gleaming, monolithic headquarters building still stands, surrounded by a tangle of expressways and service drives.
Almost two years ago, I was invited to attend a conference in San Francisco for my day job. While discussing potential travel plans and sightseeing attractions in the Bay Area with a coworker, she suggested that as part of my orientation to the company that was new to me at the time, I visit our facility in San Diego, since I would already be on the West Coast. Despite being on the same coast of the United States, San Diego and San Francisco are about as far apart as two cities in the same state can be, both geographically and culturally. I was focused on the geography in this case.
Reading my bio, you will see that I’m Autosavant’s Swedish car guy. I’m a habitual Saab owner, having had at least one Saab in the fleet since 1996, and for several of those years there were two of them.
If you have read my “Saab Awakening” article, you’ll know that one of the first cars I ever lusted after was a Saab convertible, back in the late 1980s; I’ve had a special place in my heart for Saab convertibles ever since. I was able to review a 2008 Saab 9-3 Aero cabrio for Autosavant, and after seeing the 2012 Independence Edition 9-3 Cabrio at the Geneva Auto Show in 2011, I ordered one for myself. While I eventually got my deposit back from the dealer after Saab halted production, I didn’t get my convertible, but I have kept my eyes open for the right one ever since.
Keeping a car fit and healthy is much like keeping any other machine in good working order. Regular maintenance and checks are an essential tool in helping keep your car running smoothly. Particularly as you head into the summer months, preparing your car for the warmer weather and potentially more extensive use means regularly maintaining your vehicle. Components can wear very easily with use, and over a longer period of time this can contribute to more significant damage to your car.