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CC Capsule: 1935 MG Magnette NA Roadster — Archetypal British Roadster

This is going to be a short one. I recovered these photos recently, after having forgotten about them for about four years. In the summer of 2012, I went to the town of Harogate in Yorkshire (on a ferry, via Belgium) to take part in the International Citroen Car Club Rally (ICCCR), a global Citrofest held every four years. Quite apart from the numerous Citroens I photographed on this occasion, a few other interesting CCs lurked in the town itself. Such as this rare pre-war 6-cyl. MG. Read the rest of this entry »

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Automotive History: Paul Bracq – Neither A Knife Nor A Potato; Part Two

Yesterday, in the first part of this series we took you through Paul Bracq’s beginnings with Philippe Charbonneaux and his ten years at Daimler-Benz. Today, we look at the rest of his career.

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Car Show Classic: 1983-95 Alfa Romeo 33 – Sudsy, But Not Enough For Some

Death, taxes and compact Alfa Romeo hatchbacks: three constants in life, at least since 1981. While readers outside of Europe may not be familiar with Alfas like the 145, 146, 147, MiTo, Giulietta and the featured 33, they have helped keep the lights on at the Turin automaker. Each of these models are descendants of the critically acclaimed Alfasud. Such a legacy can be a dreadful burden and the 33 in particular bears the brunt of some outsized expectations. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Wednesday Afternoon Massacre: Ford To Eliminate All Sedans From Its Lineup

Back in January, my retrospective on the current generation Fusion pondered the idea of the vehicle being Ford’s last midsize. Today Ford confirmed that they plan to eliminate every car from their lineup save the Mustang and one variant of the Focus. Ladies and gentleman, the sedan apocalypse is truly upon us.

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QOTD: Why Wasn’t the BMW 2002 Touring Hatchback Sold in the US? Would It Have Been Popular?

Speaking of relatively unusual BMWs, this shot of an 1802 Touring posted at the Cohort by Martin Reiss made me wonder: why wasn’t the hatchback Touring body imported to the US?

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Car Show Classic: 2013 Historic Commercial Vehicle Club Show – Fire Engines

Who doesn’t love a fire engine?  There were a few former fire engines at the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club’s show at the Sandown Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, so lets take a look starting with this 1970 International Acco C1600 that will be unfamiliar to anyone outside Australia.

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Automotive History: Paul Bracq – Neither A Knife Nor A Potato; Part One

Very few individuals in automotive history have been the primary hand in shaping the entire passenger car range for a major manufacturer. Paul Bracq managed to accomplish this, not once but twice.

In this two-part series we take a look at his career, focusing on a number of his more famous shapes as well as shedding light on some of his lesser-known work.

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CC Capsule: 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo – Exotic Destinations

What’s in a name?  Often times plenty.  It’s why many actors, musicians and other persons of note have been known to the world by names other than those they were given.  Have you ever met an attractive person, and at the first exchange of names discovered that theirs is one that probably hasn’t been common or popular since early in the last century?  I admire folks that rock such names with confidence.

It’s kind of like the same thing with cars.  The right model name can conjure up images of power, youth, and / or freedom.  Just imagine if “Special Falcon” had been chosen by Ford over “Mustang” for its affordable sporty car.  No doubt, the car itself would still have been a smash hit simply based on its own qualities, but would it have been as big a success if it had been called something else?

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Curbside Classic: BMW 524td – An Austrian Stroker Powering America (not a post about the governator)

Three is a series, right (even if it pertains to the 5-series)? So here we go, with my latest installment of  super rare 5-series BMWs or based on 5-series super rare automobiles. Welcome to the stage, E28 524td!

For quite some time now I have been suspecting that some person close to the place where I’m getting my hair cut is really into E28s. Over the past 12 months I have seen parked in the street not only a 528i, but also a 535i and alas, even a 525i. But how could I be prepared for this?

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Kurbside Classic: 1983 Grumman KubVan – Tiny, FWD, VW Diesel Powered, And Very Rare

CC 117 039 800

(first posted 5/4/2013. One of my better finds)     The early eighties was the most revolutionary and unique time in the American automobile industry ever. Thanks to exploding oil and fuel prices, and with the expectation that the increases would continue indefinitely, for the only time ever Americans embraced radical downsizing with a fervor. It was as if the US was finally joining the rest of the world. Of course, it didn’t last; as soon as oil prices started dropping, everyone quickly forgot the whole episode, and the truck/SUV boom soon exploded. But for a few short years, it was out with the big, in with the small. The little relics from that era are becoming hard to find: K-Car limousines, Chevy Sprints, Diesel Rabbits. (of course, we’ve found all of those). But there are others that I’d forgotten ever existed, like this tiny FWD diesel KubVan. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Capsule: 2009 Cadillac CTS – Turn The Boat Around

I was extremely excited to see this second-generation Cadillac CTS in my local shopping mall parking lot, even following it so I could get some photos. Those of you in North America may be wondering why such a common car is such a noteworthy sighting. It’s simple: the CTS wasn’t sold here. However, it very nearly was. The CTS’ cancelled launch in Australia was probably one of the most belated launch cancellations in automotive history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Automotive History: Since The 1975 Granada Was The Worst Malaise-Mobile, What Was The Best (Or Maybe Just Better)?

A while back, Paul wrote a very enlightening article about the 250 six powered 1975 Ford Granada winning the dunce cap award for having Ford Model A levels of power per cubic inch as well as a few other dubious distinctions.  Cars with such attributes simply don’t come about every day.

But the premise of Paul’s article prompted me to be curious about the opposite; what was the best of this era?  Nothing is as clear-cut for good as the Granada was for ridiculous, and this question could be likened to asking who had the least bothersome case of small pox.  Any determination of what is “best” is a dicey proposition.

Let’s break this down by make for better enlightenment, of which there is a considerable amount.

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CC Outtake: 1975 Plymouth Gran Fury Brougham – One Of A Kind In The Holy Land

Stepping out of the nearby park, heading home after a nice afternoon of “let’s take the kid out and have him exhaust himself so he will sleep well enough not to wake us up in the middle of the night”, the kid, wife and I stumbled upon this maroon yacht, that was like something from a different planet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1985 Renault Alliance Convertible – Ton Camembert à la Open Air


Believe it or not, there was a time when the French automobile industry was the most technologically advanced in the world, the largest producer of automobiles in the world, and the largest exporter of cars to the United States. That of course, was circa-1900, and my, did things change in the ensuing years.

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CC Music: My Magical Motoring Musical Memory Tour

Is there anything more intertwined with driving than music on the radio?  Whether it’s Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55” or the Beach Boys’ “Little Deuce Coupe”, there is something for almost everyone.  Since I learned to drive, there are several songs, albums, and/or artists that are forever inexorably connected in my mind to various distinct periods in my life and the drives during which I listened to them; when I hear them now my mind always goes back to those times… Read the rest of this entry »