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July 22, 2008


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Joe McGuire

100% agree. Front plate holders are an afterthought on most cars. In the case of your MacGyvered solution, it even somewhat impinges on the performance of the cooling of the car to some (maybe small?) degree.

Other peeves:

1) Why is GM the only one (at least as I have discovered) that has "automatic" lights on their cars? I've driven GM vehicles for virtually all of my going-on-20 years being licensed, so when I bought a Mazda, it was somewhat of a surprise. Probably some silly patent thing. Sure, on the earlier cars it was sometimes problematic, but even on my old '94 GTP it worked a charm. I don't think I ever once touched the switch for the headlights in the many years I owned that car.

2) Speaking of patents, don't foreign automakers know that there is this thing called variable speed wipers? Not just off, too slow, fast and holy heck, the wipers are going to fly off. Well, at least Mazda and the in-laws Toyotas do not have this wonderful feature.

3) Sun-visors that will extend to the middle of the windshield. So plainly obvious. I think I've seen all of one car with this amazing feature.

4) Why does it take an engineer to replace a headlight? Why do I have to unbolt a strut-bar to take out a battery? It's been said a million times, and it will be said a further million: Someone should force these engineers to do these basic forms of maintenance to the vehicles with tools the average person may have in their "toolbox." Seriously, it takes me nearly half an hour to change the low beam light in my Protege5, given that there is all of 4 inches between the back of the plug and the windshield washer fluid reservoir. I should check to see if Snap-On has that special tool in yet for just that purpose.

5) Not a pet-peeve, really, but we desperately need some sort of homing device that sends tennis balls up the exhaust of cars with freakishly large coffee-can mufflers.


Graeme brought the Challenger to the Burlington/Mapleview Cruise a week or so ago. I was indeed impressed with both; yes the car and Graeme.
GM 'launched' the '10 Camaro yesterday (21/08), but not much has yet appeared in the press about it (?)
I love 'em both and can't wait to see them side by side:)

Brian Williams

Chuckle. No front plate is required in Newfoundland and Labrador, or even available - we are issued one, single, solitary plate and that goes on the rump of the car.

John Betmanis

I bet there's not a car enthusiast among us who likes front license plates. They spoil the looks of just about any car and the stylists seldom provide a neat place to mount them. I thought there was something in the works to eliminate front plates in Ontario. It would certainly save a lot of money; but I bet Fantino & Co. need them for lidar revenue. I wonder how much engine cooling is lost by mounting the plate in front of the grille on the Challenger? A few years ago I saw a neat front license plate mounting on a Miata at an autox. It was inside the grille opening, but hinged to fold flat by pulling a cable. That way the driver could fold it down when overheating and back up when approaching a cop.

Jim Kenzie

Looks like Ontario, B.C., Manitoba and New Brunswick are the only provinces that DO require a front plate. All the others, and the Territories, do not, nor do some 20 states in the US. Wonder why traffic is so different in those jurisdictions?...


Just to address one of Mr. McGuire's comments above, my Mazdaspeed3 has automatic headlights, and I'm not entirely convinced that they're a virtue.

He mentions that he never had to touch the switch in his car. This suggests to me that he doesn't turn them on in inclement weather.

Perhaps GM's system is different, but in my Mazda the system relies solely on the light sensor. It's my opinion that any time you need to use your wipers, you should have your lights on. There are times in heavy rain when it can be difficult to see traffic ahead and tail lights make a big difference. Having the automatic headlights in my Mazda, I've found on a couple occasions that I've forgotten to manually turn them on in the rain. Perhaps this bit of convenience could just be further contributing to the general inattentiveness of drivers these days.

If you do have automatic headlights, please don't depend on them to know at all times whether the lights should be on or off.

Phil Ridge

The reason we have license plates in the front of the vehicle is because the authorities require some metal at the front of all that plastic so that their radar guns work better.


Hi Jim: we bought a new 2008 challenger 500 (orange). We received our plaque from Chrysler this week; we had thought they would tell us the production number of our car. We called the dealer to find out - they had no idea. Is there a easy way to find this out? (The car is everything they said it was and more) Thanks. (CAN'T STOP SMILING GREAT CAR) BRIAN



Glad you like the car! I'll see what I can find out about the production number.

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