(this was supposed to run at 1 AM; don’t know what happened) Ask half a dozen guys what “4-4-2” stood for, and you’ll probably get seven different answers. Ironically, several might be right, because the number stood for different things over the 4-4-2’s long life-span (1964-1991, although it skipped a few years in the 80s). But when it did stand for something, it always related to its engine and/or drivetrain. Its meaning changed already in its second year. And by the time this ’77 was built, there was no consistent meaning anymore; it could have anything from a 105 hp 231 (3.8L) Buick V6 to a 403 cubic inch Olds V8 under the hood. And they say numbers don’t lie. Read the rest of this entry »
Photographs can be so flattering, or reveal a world of flaws. This one clearly falls in the latter category. Read the rest of this entry »
(I ran into this old friend at a local show recently and remembered featuring it here on September 13, 2011. It is still owned and loved by the same lady. I think that a golden anniversary warrants a re-run of this story.) Let us all agree: the Ford Mustang has been written to death (one small but worthwhile contribution is the CC that can be found here). Although Curbside Classic is generally not the place for fawning over one of the most widely restored models of all time, it is our motto that Every Car Has A Story. And when the story involves a young woman who went into a Ford dealer in 1967 and drove out in the car she is still driving over forty four years later, this is our kind of story.
The US auto marketplace was never bare of fruit for the writers at MAD. From sleazy corporations, to clueless drivers, crooked mechanics, indifferent highway workers… nobody got off the hook. Not even auto “journalists”. (Was the “Load & Crash” title a sly, prescient glimpse into the digital future? I mean, did non-geeks in 1973 know what that phrase meant? Or were MAD readers of the day a sort of proto-geek?)
We spotted this emergency response-cum promotional vehicle recently at our favorite ice cream spot, which is also popular for their delicious cupcakes and other confectionaries. As a young boy in the late 1960s, I remember seeing VW Beetles around Atlanta, GA topped by fiberglas mortar & pestles promoting local Rexall Drug stores. Besides the Oscar-Meyer Wienermobile, what’s the most interesting/humorous promotional vehicle you’ve seen recently?
Curbside Classic Outtake: Late ‘60’s/Early ‘70’s Duo; Nissan Skyline GT (C10) and Mercedes 250 CE (W114) – Parking, Tokyo Style
Another Sunday Tokyo sojourn and another interesting find – actually sharp-eyed readers may recognize this location from a previous post – yes, the pristine Nissan Laurel “Givenchy” edition is still there – I stopped by about six months ago and the owner happened to be outside – I asked him if the Laurel was for sale and he gave me a “non-answer”, which in Japanese means “no” – evidently knows what he has and intends to keep it. But I snapped this shot the other day to give our non-Japanese readers a little vision of parking, Tokyo style… Read the rest of this entry »
Although no one in my immediate family has ever owned one, I’ve always had an affinity for the lovingly quirky Swedish brand. Maybe it’s my suburban Bostonian upbringing, where there’s a lot of old money, intellects, general preference of having an item with character over pure flashiness, and until recently, a lot of Saabs.
In case anyone missed the news, we are experiencing a total solar eclipse today. Depending upon where you might be in the world, it might have already happened or is yet to appear. In the Midwestern U.S., however, it is peaking right about now.
We have read many warnings about the dangers of looking directly at the sun in order to see this historic occurrence. But never fear dear readers – We here at CC have come to your rescue with a completely safe way to experience this phenomenon.
Curbside Classic: Tatra T-613 – Elvis Drank Slivovice Instead of RC Cola with His Clam Chowder and Moon-Pie
(first posted 10/17/2017) Some things in life just go together, like Abbott & Costello or George & Gracie. It seems so natural, just like sunshine and blue sky.
Other things just don’t seem as natural, like going to a nice restaurant in Boston and ordering fried green tomatoes for an appetizer or seeing a Tatra where Elvis parked his Cadillac. Read the rest of this entry »
Many classic farm tractors were also present at the Oogstdagen-event I visited recently. Here’s an impression, starting with a David Brown 770 Selectamatic from the UK. This model, with a 2.4 liter 3-cylinder diesel engine, was offered from 1965 to 1970.
For a car named after a celestial event, Mitsubishi actually used surprisingly few pictures of solar eclipses in their print ads for their eponymous car. The one from the hero shot (full ad below) is my personal favorite.
“We have no intention of copying our competitors, cookie-cutting their cars.”
-Gerald C. Meyers, President, American Motors Corporation
Jeep’s Scrambler was many things; cookie-cutter was not among them. It was a 4×4, a pickup truck and a convertible, yet was different from every competitor in every one of those categories. The Scrambler was also an enigma. Buyers, reviewers and even Jeep itself seemed unsure just what it was supposed to be. Three decades later, the easiest way to classify Scrambler is to say that it was a pickup in disguise, and not just because of the extended soft top on this particular example.
Curbside Classic: Tatra 603 – This Could Have Been The First New Post War Cadillac, Olds, Studebaker, Or?
(First posted 10/17/2013. Pictures of this 603 are from Ebay) With a little imagination (not in short supply here), this could be the 1949 Cadillac or Oldsmobile. In the mid-late thirties, radical innovations in aerodynamics, rear engines, front-wheel drive, unibody construction and other re-imaginings of the conventional car spurted forth like a geyser of creativity. The Europeans mostly led the charge, and put some of the most advanced ideas into production, like the seminal streamliner, the Tatra 77 of 1934.
But there was no shortage of creative ideas on this side of the pond either. Every American car company was either exploring new ideas, or being hounded by independent engineer/designers with theirs. The post war era might well have looked different if any of these concepts had been actually put into production. And some of you may want to shoot me for even suggesting a world without the real 1949 Cadillac. The Czechs undoubtedly feel the same way about their 603. Read the rest of this entry »
Curtis Perry, whose photography we’ve seen quite a bit in the past here, has uploaded more excellent shots. This one of a 1976 Dodge Royal Monaco wagon is a gem, in both subject and setting. When was the last time you saw one of these? And against such a backdrop.
I did manage to find a ’76 Royal Monaco in Eugene a few years back, but it was a mere two door hardtop. My take on it, whose title is “Gone, and Forgotten” is here. Quite true, as I’ve never seen it or another since. And it is rather forgotten. Read the rest of this entry »
Pity poor Lincoln: As I mentioned in my 1957 Lincoln Premiere CC, they were still selling trunk-mounted air conditioning systems into 1957, well after most other manufacturers had switched over to fully integrated cowl-mounted systems. The only other manufacturers still using trunk mounted system in 1957 were Studebaker and Packard (whose 1957 cars were just tarted up Studebakers).