Recent Posts
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COAL: 1995 Caprice Wagon – The Holy LT1 Grail

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From the past few COALs I had learned a few things: 1) I was in love with the B body design 2) I missed the LT1 performance of my 9C1  3) I liked the white non-descript color of my 9C1  4) the utility of the B body wagon was essential  5) I liked cushy brougham interiors  6) I liked the big fold away heated side view mirrors of the 95-96 B bodies.

I was passively searching for a replacement for my last COAL because nobody wanted to ride in it anymore and came upon the following:

1) 1995 Chevrolet Caprice wagon with big, fold-away heated  side view mirrors

2) Cranberry red cloth interior with power windows, locks, seats and antenna

3) Bright white exterior with no fake wood (a huge bonus for me)

4) Station wagon with third-row seat

5) 5.7 liter LT1 V8 with 260 HP

6) Definitely a B-body

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CC Global: A Trip to The Honduran DMV

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The DMV. Forever in the list of places you only want to go if there’s a zombie apocalypse going on and the only other option is to run towards them shouting “What about me!? What about me!?” sadly for us we’re forced to go if we want to drive our cherished chariots or, in my case last month, because you have to fight a ticket. No rest for the weary.

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Curbside Classic: The Incredible 12 Second Quarter Mile 75 MPG Steam-Injected 1978 Mercury Bobcat

(first posted 12/22/2011)  My gig is to wander the streets of Eugene and hopefully stumble onto something worthy of your attention. Sometimes, my wildest expectations are exceeded, and then exceeded again. Walking down Willamette Street, I see the distinctive rear hatch of what I take to be a Pinto. Nice enough. But no, this is a Mercury Bobcat; quite a find in this day and age. I start snapping away. And then the owner shows up and tops it all: he’s converted this Bobcat to a steam injection system of his own invention, and it’s going to pull twelves in the quarter mile and get 75 mpg. Incredible! Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Vinyl: Car-spotting in Finland.

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I picked up this beauty at a record fair last year. Finntrio’s music isn’t as glum as the cover, sort of a sprightly folk sound that’s not really to my taste. Anyway, guessing the car on the front cover isn’t so hard; it’s trying to figure out all the cars on the back cover that’s a more – ahem – goliath task. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: Suzuki X-90 – Barbie Would Drive One Of These

(first posted 10/7/2011)   The weather is way too beautiful in North Georgia to stay inside these days. Even if I have no particular place to go, I will go there anyway just to spot cars. My lack of focus was rewarded today when I spotted a rare and exotic bird indeed: A local glass shop owner (who is a confirmed Suzuki Man) had parked his pride and joy X-90 out front in place of his normal Samurai. This happily coincided with me having my trusty Kodak at the ready. He was pleasant and friendly, and the car itself had some stories to tell (just like it promises in the banner up above).

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CC Tech: Why Gasoline Engines Intrinsically Make More Torque and Power Than Diesel Engines

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If I haven’t learned something new each day here, it’s been a waste. A couple of days ago, at the V5 diesel post, I got into a spirited debate about diesel versus gas engines. The issue was that every naturally-aspirated (non-turbo) car diesel engine I’ve ever encountered has a lower torque output than a comparable gas engine. I and some other commenters found stats on numerous car and truck engines, all with the same result, like these two compared above.

Others insisted that diesel engines intrinsically make more torque due to their higher compression and because diesel fuel has 12-15% more hydrocarbons per volume than gasoline, and other aspects too. Well, that all sounds good in theory, and I almost had the right rebuttal in hand, but was missing one key detail. I little research found the answer, and it explains perfectly why gas engines make more torque. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Outtake: Reverse Bloat

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I should be completely honest with you: There are a couple of reasons why you don’t see much from me in the way of images. For one, I live in a country where if someone finds you taking pictures of a car they will really think you’re up to something. And, speaking from experience, “I’m taking it because I want to write about it for the internet” is NOT an acceptable reply. Second, my only camera is my phone, and it certainly is not the last word in image capture. It’s more what my fellow demographic will call a “Potatophone” Still, I thought this was worthy of sharing.

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CC Outtake: 1954 Cadillac Series 60 Special – The Joys of Long Term Ownership

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Coming back from Best Buy, my mom and I passed the Container Store near the North & Clybourn CTA Red Line stop. I spotted this Cadillac (turned out to be a 1954) from the sidewalk, and immedately freaked out. Mom held my bags as I approached the car. The window was down, so I talked to the driver, thanking him for the opportunity to photography his sweet ride. I asked him what year the car was (I had thought it was a 1957, for whatever reason), and he told me it was a ’54. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Capsule: Buick Roadmeister Estate Wagen — In Berlin By Christmas

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I have seen the future, and this Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon’s will be in Berlin or somewhere else outside of the U.S.  A German diplomatic license plate adorns this Roadmaster, and its owner not only went to the trouble of buying a 20-year-old station wagon, but also made the effort to track down one in prime condition: no rust, no dents, all trim pieces present, straight and clean with slightly faded paint and a few stickers on its plastiwood, all of which should respond well to a good cleaning.  Such cars are not easily found, and this effort by a German diplomat living in the U.S. for a limited term says unequivocally that he or she is a fan of American cars.  It also strongly suggests that the owner will take the car to Germany or a foreign capital, making it another American classic moving overseas.

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CC Outtake: Toyota Previa Taxis Still At It In Eugene

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A couple of years ago I had a little Outtake series of the Taxis of Eugene. And a Previa was of course one of them. At one time, Oregon Taxi had large fleet of these, and nothing else. They bought them used, and kept running them. The numbers a re dwindling now, which given that they’re between 15 and 25 years old, should not be a surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1977 Chevrolet Malibu Classic – Everyone Needs Some Love, And A Home

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What a difference five years makes. In 2010, I found and wrote up an almost identical red Malibu Classic Coupe, and called it a Deadly Sin. Not today. What’s changed? Quite a bit; but for starters, I was homeless once, like this Malibu. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: Innocenti Turbo De Tomaso – The Anglo-Italo-Japanese Mini

(first posted 11/24/11)    A turbocharged Japanese drive train combined with Italian styling on a British chassis. Sounds quite tempting doesn’t it? How about if I add the name De Tomaso into the mix too? Fantastic! And now add in Innocenti? And Daihatsu? So maybe now I’ve lost you. Our feature little cross-cultural car is a 1982 Innocenti Turbo De Tomaso. Rather a mouthful with that name but an interesting car nonetheless.

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Future Classics: The 2015 New England International Auto Show – The Curbside Classics For Future Generations

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Given my tremendous enthusiasm for just about anything automotive related, it’s needless to say that attending the New England International Auto Show is an annual tradition I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve gone just about every year since 1997 and let me tell you, this year was one of the best.

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Car Show Classics: Tales of the Extraordinary from Motorclassica

1923 Delage CO2 Hispano Suiza Special

As hinted last time there were some amazing cars at Motorclassica. I don’t think anyone would guess that the clue was a 1923 Delage CO2, but quite an unusual example as it has been fitted with an 18.5 litre (approx 1150ci) Hispano Suiza aeroplane engine as used in WWI fighter planes.

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CC Outtake: Two Veterans From The 80s – Opposites Attract

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True confessions: I’ve been without a camera for about two months. After I lost the latest of my numerous Lumix compact cameras, I decided I was tired of having them repeatedly go bad on me, because of getting dust into their lens and image sensors. I used to be able to take them apart and blow them clean, but not the latest ones. So I decided to finally get a smart phone; I’m not exactly what you call an early adopter. I’ll always have a camera handy. It took me a while until I figured out the best (cheap)  service provider for me (Ting), and bought a like-new iPhone 5s for $200 on Swappy.com. Today I got it fired up, so I decided to hop on my bike and do some shooting, given thta the sun came out in full force.

One of the first thing I ran into was this nice 80s combo; two of the most opposite cars of that era. Read the rest of this entry »