Recent Posts
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Curbside Classic: Ford Classic 350 – Centurion Vehicles Creates A Frankenstein Suburban Fighter

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What happens to a dream deferred?

(first posted 1/3/2013)    That question, asked by the great poet Langston Hughes, was meant to reflect on the experiences of African Americans in early twentieth century America. But it applies to our featured vehicle today, and the company that created it.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Vintage Photography: Poland in the Early 1980s

I came across a series of photographs of life in Poland in the early 1980s by Chris Niedenthal at vintage.es. Not many have cars in them, but there’s a few gems, like this one at a used car market in Poznan.  Is it a surprise that the Grand Prix, with Illinois plates, is getting all the attention? Read the rest of this entry »

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COAL: 1984 VW Rabbit Diesel: Volkswagen (and Heath) Does It Again!

The only picture I have of the 84′ Rabbit. Wonder why?

 

Aw the ’84 Rabbit, where do I begin?  Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

After the failure of the 1951 Ford F-1 to live up to my hopes and dreams as the perfect modern family car, I turned once again to VW.  Now don’t shake your head and mutter, “What a maroon, this guy is an idiot”, hear me out.  Perhaps you recall the huge successes that were my ‘77 Westfalia and ‘79 Rabbit.  Do you remember how that Rabbit threw down 58 mpgs on the freeway?  Do you recall how the Westy had a portable potty allowing for relief at 55?  And since diesel was still running through my blood it was time, time to find the only car that could possibly top the first Rabbit, another one, a better one, one with AC!

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Cohort Outtake: Toyota HiAce 4×4 Crew Cab Pickup – I Could Replace Both My xB and F100 With This

I sometimes wonder if my automotive life would be a bit simpler if I could find one vehicle that could replace my two main drivers; the 2005 xB and the ’66 F-100. They both fill specific needs, and quite different ones, but I have toyed with the idea of a single replacement. And pondered what that would look like. Seeing this HiAce crew cab posted at the Cohort by runningonfumes makes me think that this could theoretically be a solution, if I were to really go down that route. Of course, there would be some compromises. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1994 Lexus ES 300 – A Drinkable Prosecco Among Pricier Champagnes

Lexus. An automotive brand that instantly conjures images of classical music, golf courses, and a tower of champagne coupes resting on its hood. Lexus. An automotive brand that instantly ignites heated debates over everything from its spindle grille to whether or not it’s even a “true” luxury brand. On the one hand you have proponents who rave about Lexus’ high-quality fit-and-finish, plethora of features, low cost of ownership, and the ever important premium dealership experience. Yet on the other hand, you have the opponents who write-off Lexus as little more as a fancy Toyota with little more than a premium price tag to vouch for its luxury ambitions.

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Cohort Vintage Snapshot: Moving to College, 1974 – Including the 7 Up Machine

Ralf K just posted this old snapshot titled “Moving to college, 1974”. The only additional text is: “rowing shell on car, 7 Up machine on trailer”.  Ok. So was this his plan for paying for college?

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Curbside Classic: 1975 Triumph Stag: A Handsome Failure

(first posted 8/11/2012)     Remember the Triumph Stag? You could be forgiven if you don’t, since a perfect storm of limited production, the propensity to rust in North American climes and an engine prone to overheating did in the few that landed on our shores. I don’t recall ever seeing one in person, but thanks to our down under Cohort contributor Bryce, we can revisit these attractive drop tops that looked good on paper but failed a bit in execution. Let’s take a closer look.

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CC Road Trip: A Rental 2016 Hyundai Grand i10 in Volkswagen Country

This past week I spent with friends outside Port Elizabeth in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. My teenage years happened there and I miss the smell of the red dust roads and citrus orchards. This year I flew and hired a car instead of driving the 750 kms, as done the last two years. The idea was to hire a VW Polo and visit the factory where they are assembled in Uitenhage, 35kms north of Port Elizabeth, and do the factory tour. Neither of these ideas panned out; but the trip did yield a number of automotive finds along the way.

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In Motion Classic: 1969 Dodge Monaco Hardtop Sedan – Max the Manure Baron’s Monaco?

While stopping at a rural railroad crossing a the small crowd was forming. This land barge was standing out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Future Classic Outtake: 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn – A Grand Floridian

I’m not a big fan of Rolls-Royces, and have never been. They’re far too stodgy and stuffy for my tastes, their baroque design language hasn’t changed in decades, and most tend to look like a brick on wheels. If there is one Rolls that I can at least begin to warm up to, it is the “small” Rolls, the Ghost, and now its Wraith coupe and Dawn convertible offshoots. With a bit more fluidity in their sheetmetal and a tiny bit more athleticism in their proportions, I guess I wouldn’t mind spending a little time in one of these as the driver, and not merely a chauffeured passenger.

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Curbside Classic: 1976-80 Holden LX & UC Torana/Sunbird – Think Of It As Australia’s Chevy Nova

The similarities between the Torana and the Chevy Nova are plentiful. Both slotted in under larger models and yet they were not the smallest of their respective model ranges. Both had a history of performance editions, most of which were gone by the late 1970s. Both received handsome redesigns for the mid-1970s, and both were available in sedan, coupe and hatchback bodies. And both the Nova and Torana were axed in 1979 to make way for front-wheel-drive replacements. Read the rest of this entry »

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QOTD: Do I Buy a (cough cough) “New” Car?

The subtitle of this might be: Or, In Which the Author Recognizes Her Needs May Have Shifted But Isn’t Sure Whether She Should Pull an Irv Gordon…. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cohort Outtake: 1980-83 Lincoln Continental Mark VI – Dark Green Makes Everything Better

Photos courtesy of Canadian Cat Green

The slow-selling Lincoln Continental Mark VI has already been discussed at length here, here and here, coming under fire for its ungainly proportions. Quite simply, Lincoln tried to use as many design cues as possible from its stately, decadently outsized Mark V on a much smaller platform. The end result was a car that, to many, looked too tall, narrow and with overhangs much too long. But color choice has a habit of either enhancing a car’s attractiveness or further exposing its flaws. In my opinion, this Mark VI – in what appears to be Dark Pine Metallic –  looks very appealing indeed.

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Vintage Snapshots: The Streets of San Francisco, 1960s

Today we travel to San Francisco of the 1960s, via vintage.es.  Nothing is more iconic than its cable cars, and here’s one heading down to Fisherman’s Pier, while a ’63 Chevy wagon struggles up the hill. Hope it’s not a six with Powerglide. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two Wheeler Classics: 2017 Autotron Oldtimer Show Motorcycles, Mopeds And Bicycles

This event, held on January 14 and 15, was the first classic two wheeler show I ever visited. And I enjoyed it very much, it was an eyeopener. I learned  about moped and motorcycle brands I had never heard of before, some of them even came from my own country.

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