Recent Posts
31

What If: Chopped Top Mark VI – Or, How To Make The Mark Sleeker Without Really Trying

1981 Lincoln Continental Mark VI-07

OK you guys, I have tried, with little effect, to educate you on the merits of the 1980-83 Continental Mark VI. For instance, it is based upon the 1980-89 Town Car that everyone loves, that it got better than the 10-12 mpg of the lusher, larger Continental Mark V, that there were some snazzy Designer Editions, and so on. But it all comes down to its awkward proportions, doesn’t it. Okay! Okay, how about this: I took a couple brochure pictures, chopped the top, and…voila!

Read the rest of this entry »

13

The 2014 CC Auburn Meetup: Bespoke in Black and White

Auburn_1

I love both old cars and old cameras, and when I’m among the former, I usually bring one of the latter loaded with film. I made no exception on our visit to the museums in Auburn, Indiana, earlier this month. I got a number of delightful black-and-white photos that day with one of my old film cameras, including the snout of this Auburn 654, which rests upstairs in the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg museum. Read the rest of this entry »

90

Airstream Funeral Coach: A Hearse Made Worse

airstreamhearse_700

Looking back, it’s amazing that (1) somebody thought this was a good idea, and (2) a major manufacturer actually produced it. Meet the Airstream Funeral Coach, which was designed to make the funeral procession a more efficient enterprise. Airstream built these things in the early-mid 1980s, complete with seating for 13 mourners and many of the amenities of a traditional motor home. (If the commentariat can supply more specific information about these, it would be much appreciated. There’s a dearth of info online.) Read the rest of this entry »

44

Curbside Classic: 1964 BMW 1800 Neue Klasse – The Car That Saved And Made BMW

(first posted 1/3/12)     Risky business. That defines the car business, and never more succinctly so than in the case of this car. Rarely has a desperate last-minute gamble paid of so handsomely as the “Neue Klasse” BMW. The recent attempts to resuscitate Saab only brings that point home. Only in their wildest dreams (or hallucinations) could they have imagined turning their business around so quickly and definitively as this bold gamble of a car did for BMW. But  having the guts and money to back the risk taking is only part of the equation. Most of all, it’s a matter of being at the right time with the right product, and having the smarts to recognize it. In 1962, the seemingly impossible wasn’t. Today? Good luck. Read the rest of this entry »

29

CC Outtake: What Yacht through Yonder Window Breaks?

2-14-2013 035

Last year I was driving near my childhood home, and while cruising down an alley spotted this rather rare clamshell 1973 Chevrolet Impala station wagon. When’s the last time you saw one?

Read the rest of this entry »

85

Car Show Classic: 1959 Pontiac Catalina–Options? I Hate Options.

050

Tempus fugit.  The classic Pontiac arrowhead hasn’t graced a motor vehicle in roughly five years now. Considering its ignominious end, it may be unbelievable to some that Pontiac was perhaps the most successful American automotive brand from 1959 to 1970.  Sure, it might have technically ranked third in sales, but Chevrolet and Ford have historically run on their own inertia, like boulders rolling down a hill.  Pontiac, on the other hand, excelled for a number of reasons, but it all really started with the “Wide-Track” advertising campaign and this jet-age Catalina.

Read the rest of this entry »

59

Curbside Classic: 1964 Rambler Classic 770 – Miss LuAnn’s Ride

(first posted 5/5/2012)

LuAnn was a modest, quiet, and unassuming woman.

During the late 1980’s, she was in her mid-60’s.  LuAnn had had a sad, rough life.   Widowed at an early age, she was left to raise her only son whom had various issues that would never allow him to live on his own or work outside the home.  She was rail thin and gaunt.  Time had not been kind to her. Read the rest of this entry »

36

Hearse Week Outtake: Coolest. Hearse. Ever.

 

maude8

Remember the 1971 movie Harold and Maude? Silly question. If you saw it, you’ve never forgotten it. And if you’re a Car Guy like me, you consider its star not Bud Cort or Ruth Gordon, but the hearse that Harold fabricated from a beautiful black XK-E that had been a gift from his mother. Sadly, when the hearse was sent off a cliff in the movie it was no special effect–they really did send the hearse over the edge to its demise. Read the rest of this entry »

15

Curbside Capsule: 1977 Porsche 911S – 18 Years Chasing The One That Finally Didn’t Get Away!

1977 Porsche 911S white

We’ve all experienced it: There’s a nice classic car in town, but you only ever see it when your phone/camera is in your other trousers. In my case, this 1977 Porsche 911S–owned by a local school teacher, I believe–has been in town for about 18 years, but it’s only now that I’ve managed to catch it curbside while my phone was with me! To celebrate finally ending those 18 years of not managing to photograph it, I thought it only fair to share the long-awaited pristine Porsche pics with the wider CC audience.

Read the rest of this entry »

83

CC Capsule: 1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC – A 5.0 Mustang for Well-Heeled Grownups

1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC c

Ford tried to position its Lincoln Mark VII LSC to compete against the hottest German coupes,  BMW’s 6-series and M-B’s 500-series. It had to be a clever ruse, as the LSC’s $25,000-ish sticker was way, way south of either of those Deutsche supercoupes. Nothing like comparing yourself to a car you can’t really compete with to raise your brand’s cachet. That’s not to say that the LSC wasn’t a plenty desirable car in 1988. It’s just that it was better framed as a 5.0 Mustang for wealthy adults. Read the rest of this entry »

18

Seasonal Outtake: Pumpkin Hauler

IH Halloween truck 2 1200

This old International truck from the forties isn’t a static display truck at the entrance to this farm; it actually hauled the pumpkins from the field, and I’ve seen (and shot) it in several locations around this farm. But there’s no question that its patina has an autumnal cast to it, and it certainly makes for a noticeable and welcoming “sign”. Read the rest of this entry »

55

Carshow Classic: 1981 Triumph Acclaim CD – A Triumph, To Any Acclaim?

1981 Trimph Acclaim CD-4

1981 was a tough year in Britain. There were riots in many cities that summer, against government policies, or more accurately the perceived lack of effect—or even negative effect—of government policies in the face of economic woes. The Thatcher government appeared to be losing the fight to lead Britain’s recovery from the 1970s, and pro-active objection and even civil unrest seemed valid options.

In parallel, by 1977 to 1978, the truth about the state of British Leyland and its options for the future in its contemporary state started to hit home. By 1979, BL, and those who chose to understand it, had come to a series of conclusions about its future and its preparedness and the economic and political realities of the 1980s. The company was not big and strong enough, financially, in engineering capability, in production volume or product wise, to survive and prosper alone in its current form.

Read the rest of this entry »

56

QOTD: 1997 Ford F-250 Seven Lug Wheels – Marketing BS or Engineering Brilliance?

Ford F250 1997 wheel 2

(Submitted by Keith B.)      So seriously, what the heck is the story here? Wheel bolt patterns for passenger cars and light trucks have been pretty consistent over the past sixty years or so. 4 lug, 5 lug, and 8 lug are especially popular configurations. 6 bolt patterns seem to have become increasingly popular in recent years as well; I think the first vehicles I noticed them on were compact Japanese pickups (Nissan, Toyota, etc). GM also went to a 6 lug on their half ton trucks sometime in the 80’s I believe. But 7 lug wheels? Read the rest of this entry »

8

CC Mini Project: Piston Powered Shop Towel Holder

Paper Towel Holder

Last time on CC Mini Projects we built a Rambler hub cap clock. This time we will try something a little more practical for our garage decorations.

I did not have a great place to store my shop towel in the garage. In the middle of a project I would often leave it on the floor next to the tools which inevitably led to it getting misplaced right when I needed it most. I had a couple pistons of unknown origin that I had liberated from a dumpster a few years ago. Why not use them to create a paper towel holder?

Read the rest of this entry »

64

Automotive History: A Tale of Two White Wagons

Two wagons f-horz 2

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 »