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CC For Sale: 2000 Lincoln Town Wagon – Town Sedan or Country Car?

CC reader Stainsey Stainselstein sent me a link to this Lincoln Town Wagon. So what would a Lincoln wagon have been called? Town Sedan? And if it had Di-Noc? Town Squire? Country Car? Read the rest of this entry »

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COAL Hunting: Beware Of Wildlife

Happy Thanksgiving! For this installment of COAL hunting via Facebook, you might want to call your local snake charmer. And if you are headed to the Toyota website, take some Advil first. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cohort Outtake: 1953 Chevrolet Suburban With Vintage Trailer Spotted on the Blue Ridge Parkway

On the heels of the 1953 International Travelall, how about we admire a same-aged Chevy Suburban, spotted at a rest area of the Blue Ridge Parkway, pulling a vintage trailer, no less. What a great catch. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vintage Review: 1979 Buick Century Turbo Coupe – This Wild Turkey Tried To Fly

Today, as Americans prepare to gobble up turkey in celebration of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to take a look at an automotive fowl.  This 1979 Car and Driver review provides the perfect taste of turbocharged turkey.

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QOTD: Which Car Commercial Do You Remember For Its Ridiculousness?

Ah the power of advertising…

Like just about anything in life, advertising that is clear, concise, and straight to the point is likely to offend no one. While it may accomplish its basic mission, advertising that is dry and strictly informative is also unlikely to stir emotion, discussion, and memorability of either the ad or the product. And while sometimes a product is truly spectacular enough that it sells itself, as often the case, some creative advertising must come into place to generate excitement and opinion of it. As Don Draper always said, “If you don’t like what they’re saying, change the conversation”.

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Automotive History: A Tale of Two White Wagons

Two wagons f-horz 2

(first posted 10/28/2014)       There were those who considered Vernon O’Neal a cumbersome and plodding businessman; far more people admired his Texas pluck, which manifested itself in his cheeky exuberance to shake things up. His instincts had paid off quite well; he owned the biggest-by-volume mortuary/ambulance service in the city, which included an all-white fleet of professional vehicles–white, since he believed that while death should be treated seriously, it should not be thought of as something depressing. His newest vehicular acquisition was an Aspen White 1964 Miller-Meteor Cadillac hearse, purchased just three months earlier at a national funeral directors’ convention in Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Capsule: 1987 Toyota Corolla – The Working Woman’s Hard-Working Car of Choice Retires to Eugene

To properly understand the Corolla, and why it has perpetually been so successful, one needs to spend a couple of hours driving the freeways of Los Angeles. You will see innumerable Corollas from new to 20 years old or so, being driven by working women; in particular, immigrant working women. The kind of women who clean houses and offices, provide care-giving to kids, the disabled and old folks, cook, sew clothes, make things, sell things, and do so many of the other essential jobs that keeps life flowing for the folks that don’t drive Corollas. They may well drive several hours each day to and from their workplace, and they are often the primary or sole providers for their children.

These women are practical and thrifty, and they absolutely need the most reliable and economical transportation that exists. And they found it, starting back in the 1980s, in the form of the Corolla, like this first generation FWD version. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Outtake: 1967 Dodge Polara Wagon – Back The Attack Against Stuffy-Looking Wagons!

Seen a Dodge C-body wagon lately?  Likely not; Dodge only built 8,900 of these in 1967 between the Polara and Monaco models.

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William “Bill” L. Mitchell, GM’s Second VP of Styling – An Automobile Quarterly Profile by Strother MacMinn

 

A short while ago, in a recent CC post the thought was raised that we are now living in a time of boring automotive sameness, now  trapped in the equivalent of the “styling doldrums” so to speak, awaiting a new direction similar to the beginning of the 1960’s when the advanced clean lines of the 1961 Lincoln Continental  lead the way into a new styling language.

It is likely worthwhile to briefly look back to what actually makes styling trends, and that is usually a visionary artist leading the stylistic direction that a corporate bureaucracy will follow in order to make profits.  The styling of a product stirs the imagination of a customer’s emotional side and often matters more than the engineering excellence of the product in opening up the customers wallet for purchase.  In this case the inherent beauty has a way of exciting the soul and emotions of a customer in a way that mechanical parts don’t excite for most people.  Styling beauty can evoke emotion, then desire.

So let’s look at the history of one of the great American automotive styling legends, William L. Mitchell, “the” Bill Mitchell (1912-1988 born in Cleveland, Ohio) to glimpse and maybe to learn how his spark of artistic genius developed, and to see what might be necessary for a new styling direction to develop. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Outtake: The Century Continental Roadster

I found this beauty of an A body parked on the street in front of my office in Wilmington, Delaware today. It was at that moment that I knew I had been away from Curbside Classic for too long. I knew what had to be done; I had to share the moment with the folks that would appreciate it the most. Read the rest of this entry »

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Missed Out? 2003-05 Suzuki Twin – Cute ForTwo

The Japanese domestic market is just full of endless surprises. The other day, I saw a Mazda I’d never heard of before (the Verisa). Afterwards, while crawling down the Wikipedia rabbit hole, I came across this: the kei-class Suzuki Twin. You may think this is just another kei car but there are two very unique things about this. Firstly, look at it. It’s stupidly adorable (or adorably stupid). Secondly, it was the first Japanese kei-class hybrid. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Couch Potato–1948 Davis Divan

Detroit. Kenosha. South Bend. Van Nuys? Maybe the latter doesn’t seem like a car-making town, but it was. For a brief two years, Van Nuys, CA, was home to the Davis, a three-wheeled automobile-cum-sofa. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wordless Outtake: Some Bling With Your Blazer

Found October 2016, Lebanon, Missouri

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Curbside Classic: 2001 Plymouth Neon LX – “Hi” Turns To “Hello”

Chrysler made quite an entrance in the North American compact market with its original 1995-1999 Neon, a car sold under both the Dodge and Plymouth brands, and one that loudly announced its presence with the simple greeting of “Hi.”.

Boasting expressive cab-forward styling, an expansive cabin, and favorable driving dynamics, Chrysler played upon the Neon’s youthful image with playful marketing, fun exterior colors, and numerous decor packages. The Neon proved popular and sold quite well, making it the first profitable compact American car of the 1990s. Youth and playfulness, however, only last so long. Much like its target clientele, the Neon matured quite a bit for its second generation, released as a 2000 model.

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CC Standup: A Carburetor Walks Into a Bar…


A carburetor walks into a bar, hops up on a stool, says “Gimme a beer and a shot of whiskey!”, and proceeds to put a shaft, a lever, a plate, and a bimetallic spring on the bar. Read the rest of this entry »