Wheelies: The Bean Town Chauffeur Edition

Thomas Menino, Boston's outgoing mayor, will have to drive himself after 20 years of using city-provided cars and drivers.

A roundup of motoring news from the web:

■ As Boston’s mayor for the last 20 years, Thomas M. Menino hasn’t had to do much of his own driving – the city provided a car and driver. Now that he is leaving office, Mayor Menino has bought a used Lexus S.U.V., one packed with all of the unfamiliar automotive gadgetry two decades can bring. (Boston Globe)

■ Ward’s released its list of 10 best engines for 2014 models, and only two have carried over from last year’s winners: the Honda Accord’s 3.5-liter V6 and the supercharged 3-liter V6 available in the Audi S5. The two incumbents were joined by engines available in the BMW 535d, Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Fiat 500e, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Porsche Cayman and Volkswagen Jetta. (WardsAuto)

■ Brent Dewar, a 30-year veteran of General Motors who retired in 2010 as senior vice president for global Chevrolet, has been named the new chief operating officer for Nascar. In addition to working on social media initiatives and helping introduce the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, Mr. Dewar also presided over G.M.'s motorsports program during his tenure at the company. (USA Today)

■ The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether auto dealers banded together to make TrueCar.com, the car-shopping website, less effective at driving down car prices. Initially the site allowed dealers to see one another’s prices and undercut rivals by offering lower prices to potential buyers. But after dealer complaints caused TrueCar.com to make changes to the way its website operated, bidding became less competitive. (Reuters)

■ A two-year experiment by researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that giving New York City businesses financial incentives to receive deliveries at night did more to relieve truck-related traffic than raising tolls during peak driving times. José Holguín-Veras, the professor who led the research, said the system worked well in New York and could help ease congestion in other cities as well. (USA Today)

■ An enterprising filmmaker used clichéd luxury car advertising techniques to produce a video aimed at selling his dilapidated 1996 Nissan Maxima on Craigslist. Luke Aker of Orlando, Fla., promoted his used car as being “fully loaded with an engine, wheels, tires and an automatic transmission: a thrilling combination that has lasted over a decade.” (Agency Spy)

■ Norwood Jewell, a recent nominee to vice president positions in the United Automobile Workers union’s General Motors and Chrysler Group departments, said this week that he would like to dispense with the union’s current two-tier wage system for hourly employees. Under the current system, entry-level workers – who make up about 16 percent of G.M.'s 51,000-strong hourly wage work force – make $16 to $19 per hour, about half of what veteran hourly employees make. (Detroit News)

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