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Ranking the Border Crossings Along the Pan-American Highway

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Background: Since 2007, I have been taking bus trips along the Pan-American Highway. I have done 12,000 miles of it so far, which is approximately 88% of the road that stretches from the Arctic Ocean to the tip of South America. I have two segments left. This summer, I will travel by van along the Dalton Highway from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Next year, I will finish with a bus trip from Lima, Peru, through Ecuador, to the frontier town of Turbo, Colombia (along the edge of the Darien Gap).

While I prepare for my Alaska trip, I thought I would share with you my experiences at the border crossings. Oftentimes, the border crossing is the most exciting, and dangerous, part of the journey. It certainly gives you insight about each country’s culture, governance, and character. 

I will rank the border crossings I used, from least to most “challenging”.

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The Psychology Behind the Elder Yanukovych’s Car Collection

Jim Yu February 26, 2014 All Things Hoon, Museum Tour

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Disclaimer: I never took a psychology course, but I have watched two episodes of Dr. Phil and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

No doubt many of your jaws dropped to the floor last weekend when you saw the elder Yanukovych’s Soviet-era car collection and the younger Yanukovych’s more contemporary car collection. What prompted the father and son to gather their cars? And what do these cars say about them?

Let’s start with the father. And as with all pop psychology, let’s look at his childhood. He grew up in extreme poverty. He was barefoot and was often picked on. His mom died when he was two. His dad, a locomotive driver, died when he was twelve.

Perhaps because he looked up to his father, Yanukovych got into the transportation field. He managed one large transport company after another, until he got into politics. Though he was Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2002 to 2004, it is suspected that he did not accumulate his vast wealth through graft and corruption until 2010, when he became president.

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Review: Fiat 500e Electric

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If I were in the market for an electric car, I would definitely get this Fiat 500-based runabout. It is quick, easy-to-park, practical, good looking, and relatively inexpensive. But at the end of the day, the limited range means we (my wife and I) are most likely going to opt for the gasoline powered Fiat 500 Turbo. I must emphasize how close that decision is– it is a near toss-up.

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Review: 2013 Chrysler 200 S Limited

Jim Yu December 19, 2013 Reviews, Road Test Reviews

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Conclusion No. 1: The Chrysler 200 is the Missing Link

Conclusion No. 2: I kind of like it.

Before I was handed the key to this 200, I assumed that the car was just a Sebring with new body panels. I had my biases and pre-conceived notions. But after a day or two behind the wheel, I really warmed up to this car. (I can’t say the same for the Sebring I rented for a week about four years ago.) The 200 is by no means perfect, but it is a perfectly competent car that not only serves its purpose as a slightly upscale means of getting to your cube job every day, but also as an evolutionary link between the woeful Sebring sedan and the much anticipated 2015 new-from-the-ground-up Chrysler 200. Make the jump to see why the 200 is a marked improvement over the Sebring.

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Driving the Cadillac CTS-V at Sonoma Raceway

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Last week, I attended a half-day Cadillac V-Series Performance Lab at Sonoma Raceway (formerly known as Sears Point and Infineon). The free, but invitation-only, event gave participants the chance to drive the CTS-V sedan, wagon, and coupe on the track and provided them with tips on driving as well as primers on the technology crammed inside the hi-po Caddies. We finished the half-day with some time behind the wheel of the newish ATS sedan. Make the jump to see if I crashed and burned on Lap 3. … Continue Reading

A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey – Lamborghini Urraco

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When the upper middle management at Hooniverse asked for turkeys, I immediately thought of the Lamborghini Urraco. Why? Because of the 2005 Top Gear UK challenge of 10,000 pound Italian supercars (which I have embedded at the end of this post). James May chose a black Urraco in the episode and delivered my favorite line ever: Philistines! 

To be fair, a neglected 30 year old Italian car is going to have problems. So I dug up a September 1975 review of a new Urraco, originally published in Motor magazine. What’s the verdict? Make the jump to find out. … Continue Reading

A Heartwarming And Heartbreaking Tale of A Car Collector

Jim Yu October 31, 2013 Featured, For Sale

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Every one of us has daydreamed about amassing a vast collection of cars that interest us. Today, we have an inspiring and cautionary tale of a man who did just that, several times over. It is an incredible story.

A little bit of background first: a couple of weeks ago, Tim Odell brought to our attention a Craigslist ad out of Miami in which a man was trying to sell his collection of 15 cars for $25,000. It had all of us scratching our heads, and yearning for more details. Make the jump for Bruce’s story, in his own words. Enjoy. 

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Chrysler TC by Maserati Chief Program Manager Interview

Jim Yu October 15, 2013 Cars You Should Know

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The Chrysler TC by Maserati is, in a word, controversial. After reading about it in a book about 1980s and 1990s Maseratis, I just had to find out more. Who better to ask then the Chief Program Manager for the Italo-American machine? Make the jump for my interview with Bob Davis. … Continue Reading

V.I.S.I.T.– Mexican Audi A1

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I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a long day’s drive from the Mexican border. Cars with Mexican plates are few and far between here, and this tiny Audi is about as rare as it gets. Make the jump to see what I spotted in a random Best Western parking lot.

… Continue Reading

WTCC Lada Sport Racers

Jim Yu September 11, 2013 Motorsports, Racing

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For the second year, the World Touring Car Championship came to Sonoma Raceway. Last year, Lada Sport did not make it to California. This year, it is one of two manufacturers (the other is Honda) at the race.

As a wise man once said, “Lada Sport” is an oxymoron. So how did Lada do last Sunday? Make the jump to find out! … Continue Reading

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