THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #355

It’s the last show of the year, and time to get everything out of our system! First, we chat with Collins Bros Jeep President and Owner, Dennis Collins, about the new Jeep JLU and JKU Wrangler Rubicon, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye wide body, and the exciting list of cars he’s bringing to Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona. Changing lanes, automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, fills us in on the postseason slump in motorsports, the Nissan Maxima and Murano, and the all-new Ford Ranger; will the Ranger’s excessive price put another damper on the small and midsize truck category? Next, Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader, and Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, catches us up on his Ford GT and tour of the Multimatic Facility where it is being built. Switching gears, Co-founder of Cartender and freelance automotive journalist, George Kennedy III, gives us his take on the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator, and gets us pumped about Wide Open Baja, a touring service that gives us a taste of the Baja 500 and 1000 endurance races. Then, Founder and CEO, Rod Buscher, describes his revolutionary private party car trading app that also functions as a car identifier. Lastly, freelance automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, praises the new 2019 Toyota RAV4’s fresh redesign and coaxes some information about Alan’s new TV show, THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor, out of him. Don’t miss this year-end wrap up with your favorite car experts!


  • [00:00:00] MOPAR or No Car for Dennis Collins
  • [00:06:09] Eclectic Classics at Barrett-Jackson
  • [00:12:31] Nissan Maxima, Murano, and Ford Ranger
  • [00:19:52] Over Pricing to Kill Small Trucks Again?
  • [00:27:26] The Motorsports Off Season
  • [00:35:52] Touring the Ford GT Multimatic Facility
  • [00:42:13] Ford Ranger Returns as Midsize Truck
  • [00:48:12] Will the Jeep Gladiator Dominate 2019?
  • [00:54:44] Wide Open Baja
  • [01:01:57], Buy or Sell Cars Privately
  • [01:11:17] The Toyota RAV4’s New Groove
  • [01:17:58] THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor on TV!


Discover more about segments and guests below…


[00:00:00] MOPAR or No Car for Dennis Collins

Putting a Hellcat engine into a Jeep Wrangler JLU Rubicon is a lot harder than it sounds, in fact, it takes 300 hours to convert one of these bad boys! Collins Bros Jeep President and Owner, Dennis Collins, describes why the biggest challenge in this process isn’t mechanical, but lies within the computer systems. Thankfully, Jeeps are pretty strong to begin with, so they can handle a 707 HP engine. Case in point, Dennis took stock JKU and JLU Rubicons out for a five day joy ride and threw everything he could at them to no effect, these beasts were unphased. Also, sticking to his MOPAR roots, Dennis recently got one of the first Dodge Challenger Redeyes. Is ‘MOPAR or no car’ your personal credo?


[00:06:09] Eclectic Classics at Barrett-Jackson

For 37 years, Collins Bros Jeep President and Owner, Dennis Collins, has kept his nose to the ground in search of classic cars with ads in local publications like Dallas Morning News. Now, he’s finding more classics than ever with the help of his daughter, Kellsey Collins, and the website she put together, You can expect to see 23 of these barn-find beauties at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona, including a 1987 Subaru Brat, a 1985 Dodge Ramcharger, a 1990 Ford Thunderbird Supercharged Super Coupe. Do you have a rare beauty wasting away in a shed on your property? Let Dennis know at


[00:12:31] Nissan Maxima, Murano, and Ford Ranger

You don’t realize how good of a vehicle the new Ranger is until you get behind the wheel. Alan congratulates Ford on a really splendid machine. Automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, was on a ride and drive of his own for the Nissan Maxima and Murano, and says they were both great cars, but he took issue with how they were advertised. Rather than being “all new” as Nissan’s marketing would have you believe, these vehicles are just refreshes with new headlight and taillight design. Discover more about Nissan’s latest flagship updates.


[00:19:52] Over Pricing to Kill Small Trucks Again?

When you think of small to midsize trucks, you think affordability, but the new Ford Ranger could be heading into dangerous territory with a starting price in the high twenties, and a possible fully-loaded price of over $40,000. Alan and automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, discuss the pros and cons of Ford’s redesigned Ranger. Steven recently drove a beautiful, well-equipped Chevrolet Colorado, and everything about it tickled his senses, but it was nearing the $40,000 price range. We wonder if it’s more worth it to take the slight step up to a full-size pickup truck at that point. Is the small and midsize truck segment being squashed by overpricing before it even gets going again?


[00:27:26] The Motorsports Off Season

As motorsports wrapped up for 2018 automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, was hoping for more action in the off season. Aside from a race he attended last sunday, and a few testing days at the 24 Hours of Daytona for the upcoming Rolex 24 at the end of January, there is not much going on in the world of racing. In contrast, we have a lot to look forward to in 2019, like the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test race, Alex Zanardi’s appearance at the event, driving one of Bobby Ray Hall’s BMWs. Also, Steven has his eyes on a team of four very skilled women drivers who are set to race at the end of January in Rolex’s day-long race. Are you pumped for automotive sports in 2019?


[00:35:52] Touring the Ford GT Multimatic Facility

As we all know, Kelley Blue Book Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, is one of the lucky few on this planet that were able to order a new Ford GT, but that wasn’t enough prestige for him. Recently, he got to tour the Multimatic facility outside of Toronto, Ontario, where Ford GTs are made, and it was awesome! Like a kid in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, Karl got to see all kinds of different GTs being put together – no two cars exactly the same. At the end of the tour he was introduced to his very own, built and completed, supercar. Learn more about Karl’s trip to supercar heaven.


[00:42:13] Ford Ranger Returns as Midsize Truck

One thing you might notice about the new Ford Ranger is its size – it’s bigger! So much so, that they’ve had to stop referring to it as a compact truck and call it what it is, a midsize pickup. Alan and Co-founder of CarTender and freelance automotive journalist, George Kennedy III, discuss the features of the all-new Ford Ranger. A 270 HP 2.3L EcoBoost 4-Cylinder engine with 310 lb-ft of torque give this midsize beast all the power it needs, while its 10 speed automatic transmission manages that power perfectly. Find out why the Ford Ranger is a winner in Alan’s book.


[00:48:12] Will the Jeep Gladiator Dominate 2019?

Are you a weekend warrior? Do you need a truck that is business in the front, party in the back? Well, 2019 is set to be the year for you. Not only does the coming year have a new Ford Ranger in store for us, but Jeep recently announced the Gladiator, and Co-Founder of Cartender and freelance automotive journalist, George Kennedy III, thinks it will dominate the midsize truck category. Removable doors and roof? Check. Mini soundbar in the back? Check. Truck bed on a Jeep? Check. This is the truck that’s going to tap into the active lifestyle and nail it. So whether you’re just looking for a daily driver, or a trail-ready off-road beast, the Jeep Gladiator will be an awesome choice for you. There’s only one thing that has George a little worried – we still have yet to see any promotional photos of the Gladiator with the soft top down. This either means it’s an ungainly, awkward transformation, or they just need more time to perfect it. Are you excited for the Jeep Gladiator?


[00:54:44] Wide Open Baja

We’ve all heard the stories about Alan’s exploits in the Baja 500 with Jesse james many years ago, but that race isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’ve ever wanted to experience the Baja race scene without the brutal commitment, then freelance automotive journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, and U.S. News & World Report, George Kennedy III, has some news for you. Visit the desert of northwest Mexico and tear it up with Wide Open Baja, a tour company with a fleet of Subaru Forester engine powered, high-speed buggies. George recently found himself racing across the desert in one of these $100,000 machines, and had the time of his life! What’s more, when the Baja 1000 comes around Wide Open Baja pulls a few of these vehicles out of rotation to run with the best. After a year-round schedule of newbies and pros pushing these buggies to their limits, this is a real testament to their power and durability. Find yourself racing across the dunes at high speed, visit


[01:01:57] – Buy or Sell Cars Privately

The internet has affected the way we do everything, from shopping, to playing, to working. So why are we still buying and selling cars the same way? Luckily, the winds of change are blowing, and Founder and CEO, Rod Buscher, has a solution for us with and the Blinker app. Take a few pictures, write a brief description, pick a price with the assistance of their pricing guide, and you’re off! Blinker will market your car for you through the normal channels like, Car Gurus, and even Facebook. Once a buyer is found, they can message you to arrange a test drive, and find financing options as low as 3.9%. Get ready to earn $2,000 to $3,000 more for your ride than selling it alone. Learn more at


[01:11:17] The Toyota RAV4’s New Groove

Erase whatever picture of the 2019 Toyota RAV4 you have in your mind, because the 5th generation is on an all new platform and it’s packing style. Automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, recently drove the updated, #1 best selling SUV, and is very impressed! Truly not wanting to leave anyone out, Toyota has given the RAV4 five gas and four hybrid variations, the Adventure package being the version BJ Killeen experienced. With the power and technology of the Tacoma, the RAV4 Adventure has a dynamic force 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that makes 203 horses and 184 lb-ft of torque, and a generous 26 mpg city/ 35 mpg highway make this one of the most fuel efficient SUVs out there. Are you ready for the all new Toyota RAV4?


[01:17:58] THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor on TV!

You can’t go wrong with Toyota, their known for great safety, and even better style. We finish up on the new 2019 Toyota RAV4, with pricing starting at $25,500 while the most decked out trim, Limited, only bumps you up to $33,500. Hybrid models will not be out until March, but the good news is they only add $800 to the price tag of the gas versions. While there is much to love about the Toyota RAV4, automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, has a few nitpicks, like the nickel metal hydride battery, exclusively Apple CarPlay infotainment system, and lack of paddle shifters. Changing gears, BJ prys into Alan’s not-so-secret project, a TV show with the same name as this show, THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor. Get ready to travel with Alan and his crew of friends as he test drives cars and visits exotic locations. Stay tuned for more information in 2019!


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Episode Credits:

  • Program Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Dave Milligan
  • Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
  • Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
  • Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry

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This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at

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