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Published by VCStar
PDFs of the VCSCars.com section from the Ventura County Star, published every Saturday in The Star.
PDFs of the VCSCars.com section from the Ventura County Star, published every Saturday in The Star.

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Published by: VCStar on May 04, 2011
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Full Throttle
We have a hard enough time with these signals without someone who doesn’t use their turn signal. 
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Reviews | Auto  Vans Trucks | Club News | Auto Classifieds | Research | Gas Prices | Comments: John T. Garcia 805.437.0365
Car Club News
Car club events and gatherings in and around the Ventura County area.
Page G2
2015 Volkswagen Golf is Lucky 7
By G.R. Whale
Special to The Star 
olkswagen’s Golf has been around for 40 years, longer than the original Beetle predecessor was officially sold here. This 2015 marks the seventh generation of VW’s world car and, while the MkVII Golf won’t be limited by supply, owners and drivers may well consider themselves lucky to be in one.Longer, wider, lower and just a bit lighter, the Golf looks more grown up, closer to a premium hatch like Audi’s previous A3. The pure VW angular face loses the rounded Gallic aspect, there’s more taper to the sides and the fuel door matches the slope of the door lines, while the VW badge hatch release doubles hiding the backup camera. With the bi-xenon headlamps, LED running lights and 18-inch wheels it’s a handsome, understated hatchback.Nominally increased dimensions mean more room, most noticeable in breadth, though I never found any Golf lacking space. Despite the lower roofline and greater taper, the rear seat fits adults and six-footers in the center; the large moonroof slides above the roof rather than into it, but the roll-up shade isn’t really enough for days with a UV index of 10. Trunk space is about 23 cubic feet behind the back seat, 16 beneath the parcel shelf, view unobstructed and 53 behind the front seats, only a few cubic feet less than some crossovers and generally better than a Mazda 3 or Ford Focus hatch. The trunk has four bag hooks, tie-downs, a spare under the floor, a big pass-through and 40/60 folding rear seats that make a level full-length cargo floor.Front seats on this SEL carry a contradictory “sport comfort” badge but it works — comfortable enough to empty the fuel tank yet well up to containing occupants exploring the car’s agility. The driver’s seat is fully powered, the passenger’s power-recline only and both are heated. Upholstery is synthetic leather but the wheel and shifter get the real thing, soft-touch materials are generous and various storage includes big, lined door pockets with biggest-gulp or champagne bottle-size beverage
Please see
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf marks the seventh generation of VW’s world car and, while the MkVII Golf won’t be limited by supply, owners and drivers may well consider themselves lucky to be in one. The 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder engine has been replaced by a 1.8-liter turbocharged four, generating 170 horsepower at 4,500 rpm (same hp as the 2.5) and 200 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 rpm.
How’s your Carnology?
Even in this video-gaming world, there are still those who prefer playing good old-fashioned board games. For serious car nuts 11 years of age and older who think they know their automotive history, the one game to check out is Carnology. As the name suggests, the object of the game is to identify the year, make and model of cars depicted on the playing cards. The first person to pass the checkered flag wins. Each game set includes a colorful board, six really cool toy-car playing pieces, a die that you and up to five other players roll to move your pieces around the board, and 535 car photos that are divided into nine different decade brackets. Purchase Carnology for $35 directly from the manufacturer by heading to www.carnology.com.
Flexible tenting
Camping is great fun for the whole family, but you can make it more enjoyable with the Sportz SUV Tent from Napier Outdoors. The model 82000 is specifically designed to fit just about any liftgate-style vehicle, including sport utility vehicles, tall wagons and minivans, while the model 86000 Sportz Dome To Go will attach to most hatchback cars. Each tent features a fully adjustable sleeve that literally wraps around the rear opening of the vehicle for added aboveground sleeping and/or storage space. If not needed, the sleeve detaches and the opening can be zipped up, allowing either model to be used as a regular ground tent. The Sportz SUV Tent sells for $350 and the Sportz Dome To Go is priced at $290. Check out Napier’s complete line and locate your nearest dealer in the United States and Canada at www.napieroutdoors.com.
— Wheelbase Media 
Automotive Sales Manager
Marketing Specialist, Automotive
Marketing Specialist, Automotive
For more information please call:
 805.437.0436 fax: 805.437.0300
Tri-Counties Mustang Club
will host
Ponies by the Sea
at the Ventura Harbor on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.Check-in begins at 8 a.m. and awards will be given for first through third place along with Best in Show and Best Paint.Registration is $35 but will increase to $45 on the day of the show.Entry forms are available online at www.TriCountyMustangClub.com.Proceeds from the event will benefit Guide Dogs of America.For more information about the show, call Marcia at 661-713-1774. For questions about classes, call Sue at 642-0887.Email: TriCountyMustangClub@yahoo.com Website: www.TriCountyMustangClub.com
35th annual Roam’n Relics Car Show
will be held Oct. 26 on High Street in Moorpark from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.The event is open to all pre-1974 vehicles and will have food, vendors, a raffle, awards and dash plaques. There will be a $500 door prize drawing for all registered entries and the driver must be present to win.Registration is limited to the first 501 vehicles and is $30 until Sunday .Registration increases to $35 after Sunday and on the day of the event.Proceeds will benefit local charities.Interested vendors should call Brad at 433-4261.Information: 583-2965 (24-hour event hotline)Website: www.RoamnRelics.comThe
Aviation Museum of Santa Paula
will be open to the public on the first Sunday of each month at the Santa Paula Airport from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can stroll through privately owned hangars that house vintage aircraft and collections of memorabilia, vehicles and antiques. The Young Eagles program will be offering free plane rides for youth 8 to 17, thanks the generosity of local Experimental Aircraft Association member volunteers. For more information and reservations contact Neil Fowler at 647-6994.The Santa Paula Airport is at 800 Santa Maria St., between the Palm and 10th streets exit off Highway 126.Rain will cancel the event.Information: Dale Sumersille, 525-1109, 890-3203, or dale.snoopy@yahoo.comWebsite: amszp.orgClassic 1960s
Chevrolet Corvairs
will again join the
Oxnard Christmas Parade
 on Dec. 6. All owners welcome; no fee required.Information: Jack Pinard, 450-6533 or corvairjack@yahoo.com
Cruise nights
Oldies Speed Shop Morning Coffee Cruise
is held every Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Oldies Speed Shop parking lot, 4532 Telephone Road in Ventura. Free entry, free coffee and bench racing. Vehicle categories include Muscle Cars and Hot Rods.An informal Peoples’ Choice Award will be named.Information: info@oldiesspeedshop.com or 676-1284.A
Car Cruise Night
will be held on the third Saturday of every month from 4 to 10 p.m. at Rock & Roll Cafe, 2196 Tapo St., in Simi Valley. There is no charge to show or to look and there is plenty of free parking.Information: 584-2233
Museums, exhibits
Murphy Auto Museum
features a large collection of vintage automobiles, including classics of the ’30s, street rods and muscle cars on loan courtesy of local residents. The model railroad trains of the Gold Coast Modular Railroad Club are running every weekend at the museum and welcome new members.The current exhibit is Modernism at The Murphy. It features historically significant vehicles from this midcentury era as well as contemporary furniture and displays. Among the cars will be Studebaker Avantis and Lincolns from the late 1950s. Furniture and art also will be on display.The Murphy Auto Museum is at 2230 Statham Blvd. in Oxnard, one mile east of Five-Points off Oxnard Boulevard. It is open Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Admission is a suggested donation of $9 for adults and free for children 12 and under and active military.Information: 487-4333E-mail: info@murphyautomuseum.orgWebsite: murphyautomuseum.orgThe collection at the
Mullin Automotive Museum
includes some of the most coveted vehicles on the planet.Housing one of the world’s largest collections of Bugattis, the museum’s award-winning collection exemplifies the lure and undeniable grace of the French automobile, including Delages, Delahayes, Hispano Suizas, Talbot-Lagos and Voisins.The Mullin Automotive Museum is open on select days only, the next one being today . The museum also will be open Oct. 25 as well as other dates which can be found on its website. Advanced tickets are required and can be purchased through its website.The Mullin Automotive Museum is at 1421 Emerson Ave. in Oxnard.Information: 385-5400Website: www.mullinautomotivemuseum.comThe
Petersen Automotive Museum
is celebrating The World’s Greatest Sports Coupes, an exhibit that runs through Oct. 18.The museum has invited 12 of the world’s most well-known car collectors, drivers and designers to each choose what they consider the best two-seat, fixed-roof high performance car of all time for the exhibit. Included among the celebrity curators are comedian and television host Adam Carolla, Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Hall of Fame auto racer Bobby Rahal and two-time Academy Award winner John Lasseter.The museum has two exhibits which are continuing: Town Cars: Arriving In Style and Mustangs Forever: 50 Years of a Legend.The museum also offers tours of Vault — the underground storage area that houses the vehicles not currently on display including many of the collection’s “crown  jewels,” like the “Round Door” Rolls-Royce, a rare Jaguar XKSS formerly owned by Steve McQueen and a 1939 Bugatti given to the Shah of Iran as a wedding present.The Petersen Automotive Museum is at 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles. Admission prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $10 for students with ID and $5 for children ages 3 to 12. Museum members, active military with ID and children under 3 are admitted free. Vault tours are available for an additional $25, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.Parking is free for the first 30 minutes and $2 for each additional 30 minutes. One hour validation with purchase of $10 or more is available in the Museum Store or Johnny Rockets, located in the museum lobby.
Please see
Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Information: 323-930-2277Website: www.petersen.org
Club meetings this week
Southern California Falcon Club
, open to owners and enthusiasts of Ford Falcons, Comets and other classic Fords, will hold a breakfast meeting at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 at Burger Continental, 535 S. Lake Ave., in Pasadena.Information: Patrick Hall, club president, 583-4403Website: socalfalcons.comThe
Tri Valley Touring Riders
club is a laid-back group of mostly couples who ride all makes and models of motorcycles, based in Simi Valley, with no stringent rules or regulations except to ride your own ride safely and sober.The club goes on two rides a month, on the first and third Sundays of the month, and usually leave from the Chevron gas station at 2568 Sycamore Drive in Simi Valley. It meets at 8:45 a.m. to discuss the ride and leaves at 9 a.m.Website: tvtr.comThe
Model A Ford Club of Ventura County
meets at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at Carrows Restaurant, 2401 Harbor Blvd. in Ventura.Information: Marv, 647-1479; Leonard, 485-4752; or Royle, 486-0020
Red Line Corvettes,
sponsored by
Silver Star Chevrolet
, meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Los Robles Greens, 299 S. Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.Red Line Corvettes was founded in 1990 to promote interest, fellowship and to enhance the ownership experience of America’s greatest sports car. In addition to social and leisure events, Red Line Corvettes is a nonprofit organization that supports select local charities.Before each meeting, dinner is available for a nominal charge, starting at 6 p.m.Like them on Facebook at Red Line Corvette Club.Website: www.redlinecorvettes.comholders. Black lacquer trim didn’t reflect a lot of sun glare at the driver, but we suspect rings will quickly scar lacquer on the parking brake.The dash is evolutionary Volkswagen. Clean white-on-black instruments, good vents and revised multifunction display and corresponding steering wheel controls. The angled-to-driver center dash boasts a swipe-and-zoom 5.8-inch touchscreen which works well enough but the display doesn’t seem as nice as the rest of the interior; elevation showed in yards, translation from the metric world’s meters. Simple climate controls and a real headlight switch are the only ones, everything else runs through the touchscreen or wheel stalks and thumb buttons. At this price you get the impressive Fender audio system with trunk mounted subwoofer, LED ambient and reading lights and interior mirror dimming you control.Small triangular windows on the front doors help shorter drivers more than taller ones, but the spacious airy cabin remains. Visibility is excellent in all directions, though the rear window seems smaller and the rear washer check-valve drools a bit with a full reservoir and the turbo’s punchy launch.Yes turbo. The 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine has been replaced by a 1.8-liter turbocharged four. Smoother but no more aurally interesting, it generates 170 horsepower at 4,500 rpm (same hp as the 2.5) and 200 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 rpm, considerably more grunt at much lower rpm than the 2.5 … and just 7 lb-ft less than the last GTI. Despite the 4,500-rpm power peak, it pulled to 7,000 rpm left to its own thinking. Not GTI fast but a torquey little bugger that gets the job done with alacrity.SEL comes only with a six-speed automatic; the five-speed manual only on lesser trims. More than myself at first thought this might be VW’s trick DSG automated manual but it isn’t, it just works nearly as well, better in traffic. It’s one of the best six-speed automatics I’ve driven … but I’d still take a six-speed stick if they offered one.The propulsion updates have lifted EPA ratings to 26/36 (26/37 manual). I managed 30 in the city, 36 commuting to LA, averaging 33. For this performance, comfort and room, on straight gasoline, that’s more than acceptable.Mash the gas and there’s no turbo lag as the nose rises slightly and big torque puts the 225-wide tires at their adhesion limit. Electronic controls get the most available power down, and there’s no torque steer to argue with. Brakes are equally up to task, with no change in performance charging downhill in the heat.Although lighter, the structure is said to be 10 percent more rigid and feels it — solid and quiet. Suspension is similar to the previous TDI, more sporting than standard but not as crisp as a GTI, with well-damped motions, minimal body roll and the lighter-weight engine (less than 300 pounds) has helped balance. Electric-assist steering is precise, responsive and weights up nicely under cornering loads, just one the reason the Golf is at least as agile and fun to drive as the Mazda3 and Ford Focus.Golf S two-door runs from $19,000, about $1,100 more with automatic, and all Golfs are IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and have post-collision auto braking. The gasoline SEL is $27,000 with everything discussed herein except the curve-following bi-xenon headlamps.Like the original, the Golf feels bigger inside than it looks outside, gets good mileage and is above-average in driving entertainment and feels nothing like an economy car. Do you feel lucky?
(Whale, a longtime Ventura County resident, has been breaking parts for 36  years and writing about it for 28.) 
Beetle Convertible: Perfect for Fall, all, year
The Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, ideal for Fall motoring, gets the same engine conversion as the Golf, with the same benefits; though round, a convertible Beetle’s not as aero-slick as a Golf so EPA is 24/32 and I averaged 29. It also offers a diesel.The Beetle rag-top is less sporty, more country drive to the pumpkin patch. What surprises the most is the room in front, with more headroom and stretch space than most four-seat convertibles. It feels like a perfectly useful four-season car, cleverly stows the wind-blocker out of the way in the trunk, and if you leave the tonneau at home, carries quite a few good-size pumpkins.Just don’t get an orange one and invite comparisons.
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Sending all the wrong signals, with no signals
he story is an old one. People who do not use their signal lights properly annoy the heck out of the rest of us. Lately, for whatever reason, I’ve been running very low on tolerance for these folks.It’s as though my brain has suddenly hit its maximum saturation point for bad driving, unnecessary braking, random swerving and mental frustration that comes from the flagrant abuse of the little lever with the cheery little clicking sound.Exactly what kind of driver actually signals after braking for a turn? A lousy one.Yes, dear reader, I know you know the feeling. There is almost nothing that frustrates us more as drivers than people who suddenly slow down for no reason, making us think there’s either some emergency up ahead, or that they’re going to park right there in the middle of the street. When I finally see them put on their signal long after all the other traffic has scrambled to slow down, I have to fight the urge to pull over and slap them.Why I, or anyone who’s not driving instructor, would have to explain this to anyone with a license is completely beyond me. But why don’t I anyway, just so you can maybe explain it a little better to these dangerous people if and when you run across them.It’s like this: your turn signal tells the rest us all around you that you’re about to turn. Hmmm, pretty straightforward I think. But wait, there’s more. It also tells us that when you suddenly break the flow of traffic, the people around you will know you’re not bracing for some emergency, or losing control of your car, or pausing to admire the scenery, read a map or do a crossword puzzle.It says “Hey! I’m about to turn this way, so don’t drive into the back of me. Or the front of me. Or the side of me.”Signaling after you brake, or not at all, says, “I might be up to something that might kill us all, but I’m not telling you what, exactly. So, good luck with that!”Of course, I’m sure there are many intelligent people out there wondering why I’m driving so close that I’d have to slam on my brakes when the person in front of me does. The answer is: I’m not. I leave a lot of space in front of me. Not to mention the fact that many of these drivers seem to make a habit of disregarding the people behind them by hitting the brakes for no apparent reason, blocks in advance of a turn.When I first see this, I naturally brake as well, thinking -- and I know this will sound crazy -- this person wouldn’t slow down without a good reason . . . it must be an emergency. Perhaps a child is running across the street? Maybe there’s an animal on the road? Maybe there’s an accident up ahead, not just the one the guy in front of me is about to cause? Maybe they’re searching for a Gummy Bear that was dropped on the carpet? Why else would they just brake in the middle of the road? What possible reason could there be?After several blocks of enduring this, in the interest of being a responsible driver, and in the interest of everyone driving behind me, I’m forced to start guessing whether this person is really about to stop, or just doesn’t know how to drive. And that leaves me not knowing whether this is the time I have to actually stop, or just one more false alarm. And lately it feels like it has just been full of false alarms.On the up side, I have a solution (surprise, surprise).I propose drivers who can’t pass a reasonable turning test just shouldn’t be allowed to turn. Period. Turning is apparently a big responsibility, and a skill, and if people  just can’t handle that kind of power, I say make them drive straight. No rights, no lefts, no U-turns. Just straight, straight, straight. Hopefully, if we keep this up, they’ll all be 60 miles out of down by dinner with no hope of coming back.Of course, then they probably really would brake in the middle of the road. So maybe at the same time we should  just take away the brakes and steering wheels and just leave them in their seats.In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve got the perfect name for it. Why don’t we call it public transit?
(You can message Rhonda Wheeler by logging on to www.theoctanelounge.com and clicking the contact link. Wheelbase Media is a worldwide provider of automotive news and feature stories.) 
Full Throttle 
Some people might think that signaling is merely a courtesy when it’s actually a form of communication to keep you alive. With a zillion things that could go horribly wrong in an intersection like this one, why not signal and improve your odds of survival. It’s the law for a reason.
Continued from
The dash is evolutionary Volkswagen. Clean white-on-black instruments, good vents and revised multifunction display and corresponding steering wheel controls. The angled-to-driver center dash boasts a swipe-and-zoom 5.8-inch touchscreen. Simple climate controls and a real headlight switch are the only ones, everything else runs through the touchscreen or wheel stalks and thumb buttons.
2015 Volkswagen Golf SEL
1.8-liter DOHC I-4 turbo, 170 horsepower
Length/width/height (in.):
est. 3,050 pounds
MPG city/hwy/observed:
Base warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Price as tested:
Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Mini Countryman, Subaru Impreza
Please see
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