Psst! Wanna by a car?

My Favorite Web Sites - Winchester Star - 11/8/01
 by Martin Zombeck

This is a bi-weekly column providing an annotated list of Web sites that may be of interest to the community. Each column will list sites that belong to a particular category: search engines, art, online newspapers and magazines, health and medicine, history, business and economics, etc. or sites relevant to a particular season, for example, skiing or gardening. Most sites will be non-commercial. To make it easier to access the sites, each bi-weekly column will be posted on the Town of Winchester's Web site so that the sites can be accessed and bookmarked without having to be typed. Previous columns will be archived at the Winchester site, also.

"Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners". - E. Joseph Cossman.

Be a smart buyer! Many of the Web sites below provide comprehensive vehicle reviews and prices for new and used vehicles - ideal for comparison shopping. The US government sites below provide several useful online publications giving tips on car purchases and repairs. If your understanding of the innards of a car is next to zero, one of the sites below covers the basics with colorful graphics, animations, and photos. Learn about rack and pinion gears and helical gears. Never again be mystified by your mechanic's description of what's wrong with your car and why it costs a small fortune to repair. Want to get the "skinny" on the latest supercars? Interested in the 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish? The automobile connoisseur's magazine is on-line.

Vehicle reviews, resources for evaluating, selling and buying vehicles, and prices on new and used vehicles.

Kelley Blue Book
Blue Book value of the car you own now; used car retail values, advice on buying or selling a car. Trade-in and retail values on used street and dirt bikes, ATVs, scooters, mopeds and sidecars and used personal watercraft and snowmobiles.

Car Talk
The home page of NPR's quantum mechanics, Tom and Ray Magliozzi. It's not all fun and games. Their site includes actual car information. It also features an online loan calculator - "Got to pay for that new jalopy some how, right?"

Federal Consumer Information Center
Select "cars" from the menu. On-line versions of US Government publications on buying a new or used car, how to get a great deal on a new car, and more.

Taking the scare out of auto repair
Presented by the Federal Trade Commission, the National Association of Attorneys General and the American Automobile Association. Tips on having your car repaired.

American Automobile Association
AAA Web site.

How Stuff Works
Learn the basics of engines, engine systems, brakes, transmissions, car computers, and much, much more.

Current traffic conditions
Now that you've got that new car, find out if you can get anywhere. However, "The shortest distance between two points is under construction." - Noelie Altito. Current roadway conditions are provided and for the masochist, live traffic videos of Storrow and Memorial Drives, Route 93, Tobin Bridge, and other major roadways.

SUV Cartoons
No offense intended.

On-line magazines

Consumer Reports
The on-line version of Consumer Reports. Select "Cars & trucks" from the menu. Car and truck ratings and information is available to site subscribers ($24 yearly fee) only.

Road & Track
The Web site of the on-line version of the magazine Road & Track.

Car and Driver
The Web site of the on-line version of the magazine Car and Driver.

When he is not updating the Town of Winchester Web site (, Martin Zombeck can be found at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is a physicist. E-mail: