Jaguar F-Type, Where’s the Mitsubishi Mirage, Smoking Odors and Where’s your Tatra 603?

2014 buick verano nathan adlen
Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.

From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.

2014, prague, pebble, tatra, episode 4, series, tatra
Prague to Pebble, Ep. 4.

In this edition of Ask Nathan:

  • Jaguar F-Type reliability?
  • Where’s the Mitsubishi Mirage review?
  • How to kill smoking odors.
  • What happened to the Tatra 603 you drove from Prague to Pebble Beach?
2015,JAGUAR, F-TYPE, coupe, coupe r, rain, mountain pass
2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe R

This first question comes from a viewer who is a bit gun shy when it comes to purchasing a new Jaguar. She had a bad experience with the XK.

Q:Dear Nathan,

First of all, I wanted to tell all of you how much I enjoy watching your show. You make looking at cars fun, which is something I never used to look forward to. I especially like it when you pair up with Emme. She’s hysterical and I’ve even followed her exploits with the Gazelles.

Here’s my problem. I owned an XK8 about 15 years ago. I loved and couldn’t stand that car. It was beautiful to look at and nice to drive and it was unreliable. I replaced things that I’ve never replaced on a car before, like pulleys and electrical components. I could only take it for two years. Finally, I traded it in for a Lexus SC.

The Lexus never gave me a problem and it was very reliable. I hated the way it made me feel. It was like a bad relationship with a reliable man, when what I really wanted was the unreliable, handsome one! LOL!

I’ve seen the Jaguar F-Type and I am in love. It looks even better than the XK.

Nathan, is this a reliable, better car than the old XK? I want one, buy I don’t want to go back to that old reality of constant repairs.


Helpless Kitty

A: Thank you so much for such a sincere email. First of all, I know Emme will be delighted by your kind words. Here’s the good news, over the past decade, Jaguar has made serious strides in the reliability department. Their engineering and reliability have improved quite a bit.

The other bit of good news is that, according to Roman, the Jaguar F-Type is the cat’s meow (couldn’t resist). We both suggest you test one before you let it’s good looks lure you in before you get a feel for it.

Truly hope you find the car that makes you happiest.

2014 mitsubishi mirage front

Here’s an email from a young lady who is wondering where our Mitsubishi Mirage review is… and so are we.

Q: Hi Nathan!

I live in Arizona and I’m in my first year at ASU. My trusty 94 Toyota Camry is on its last legs with over 260,000 miles. My mom gave it to my brother and he gave it to me. It made it through high school, but, on the last day of school, the engine blew.

Luckily, my parents are willing to help me buy a new car soon. I’m currently driving my uncle’s old pickup truck until I get my car. It’s thirsty and huge. I’m not very happy about it.

I like the way the Mitsubishi Mirage looks. I read a few of your updates on it, but I never read a review. Have you reviewed it yet? Did Roman already make a small video that’s hard to find? I like The Fast Lane car so much, I wanted to see what you thought about it.

Are there other cars like it in the same price range that you would suggest?

Please let me know!

You guys are rock stars!


A: It’s funny how people have to relearn how to appreciate a car after outgrowing the family Camry. You’re not alone my friend and I wish I had more information about the Mitsubishi Mirage. Sadly, I have not tested one yet. I’m not sure what the holdup is with Mitsubishi, but I hope to get one soon.

For now, check out the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa Note, Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. They are all pretty good with the Ford Fiesta being one of the best for fun and the Honda Fit being the best for utility. As for a direct competitor to the price and capability of the Mitsubishi Mirage? The Chevrolet Spark is supposed to be on par.

Hope that helps!



This question refers to TFLcar’s video on used vehicles and used smoker’s cars.

Q: Hi TFL! I need your help. You mentioned in one of your videos about used cars pointers on how to spot a car that’s been smoked in. Do you have any advice for a car that’s been smoked in? I bought a Ford Explorer Sport that was owned by a smoker and it smells like an ashtray. I tried special cleaners and covered the seats, it’s better, but its still smelly.

Can you help me?



A: It takes time for most cars to naturalize smoking odors. Some cars are worse than others and, sometimes, drastic measures are needed.

Here are a few things you can do to remove some of the odors from cigarettes:

Open all of the windows, doors and trunk/hatch. Disconnect the battery and let the car air-out in your garage for a few days.
Remove and/or replace floor mats, seat covers, ash trays and trunk matting/carpeting.
Wash the interior glass with white vinegar, it helps remove the odor and the nicotine resin caked on glass
Place dryer sheets under all of the sheets for a few days, replace them every few days and keep the cycle up for a few weeks. It may help absorb some of the odor
Replace the carpet. Yep, pull the seats (which could be replaced too) and replace the carpet. The headliner can be replaced too. Sure, it’s extreme – but some people need to have that smell banished!

Anybody out there have additional pointers for this guy?




The last question refers to our 1968 Tatra 603 we drove from Prague to Pebble Beach. He wants to know about its fate.

Q:Hi Nathan,
You and Roman make the best review videos! Tell me, what happened to the Tatra you drove to California? Did you end up keeping it? Will you sell it?

Please let me know.

Thank you my friend!

C.S. New York

A: Great question! Yes, our trusty Tatra 603 made it all the way from Prague to Pebble Beach like a champ. As much as all of us would like to keep the 603, we are in the process of selling it. It will be up on Bring a Trailer soon and, perhaps (if it doesn’t sell) off to the auction block.

It’s kind of sad, but perhaps the Tatra 603 can find a better home.



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Nathan Adlen Bio Picture Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.