Recent Posts

QOTD: Does Brown Do It For You?

One automotive paint color seems to be more polarizing than any other. You either love brown cars or you hate them. Which camp do you fall in? Read the rest of this entry »


Concept Classic: Studebaker Sceptre – The Thunderbird From South Bend

Studebaker Sceptre fq

(First posted 4/16/2013.  This post includes some excellent commentary and insight into the situation at Studebaker regarding the Sceptre and other plans during these final years from Studebaker historian Rob Moore. It is at the end of this post, below.)

If things had gone right, the Thunderbird “Flairbird” might have had a competitor from South Bend. In 1962, Brooks Stevens was given the commission to design several prototypes for the next generation of Studebakers. One of them is this sporty-personal coupe, named Sceptre, intended to replace Gran Turisimo Hawk. Except for a few details, like the big logo on the middle of the hood, it’s certainly a credible contender. Read the rest of this entry »


Wordless Outtake: 2008 Smart ForTwo & 1991 Cadillac Coupe DeVille – Two Doors, Four Wheels…

Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Sunday, February 22, 2015.


Future CC Drive Report And COCAC (Company Owned Car of A Career): 2018 Chevrolet Impala – A Tale Of Four Impalas

A while back I wrote about my long-term experiences with a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado that had been assigned to me at work.  The article ended with my disclosure of having been promoted and the resultant assignment of a 2008 Chevrolet Impala.

The last sentence of the first comment, by editor Jim Klein, was highly prescient:

May your new-to-you Impala perform as well, although I have every confidence that if it doesn’t, you will wheeler-dealer it off in short order.

It makes for a terrific lead-in to what did ultimately happen as that Impala stuck with me for only about two weeks.

Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Clairvoyant: 1962-63 Olds Jetfire — With Turbo Rocket Fluid!

Our youngish readers might find it hard to believe that in the early 1960s the idea of a turbocharged production car was only slightly less fantastic than that of a pocket-size wireless flip phone. But in 1962, General Motors (Yes, there was a time when GM was a real innovator) rolled out not one but two such production passenger vehicles: the Corvair Monza Spyder, and the Oldsmobile Jetfire, America’s first turbocharged volume-production cars. Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1980 Suzuki GS450: Technically A “MOAL”, Or Who Needs Four Wheels?


(first posted 2/12/2013)      As with many young men, eventually the roving eye turns to that two-wheeled conveyance, the motorcycle.  Mine was no different.  Being at college 185 miles away from home had a big advantage: my mother was not in the immediate vicinity to put the kibosh on the plan! Read the rest of this entry »


CC Vintage: Old Truck Ads by the Old Masters

I happened to find my way to, and decided to take an extended break at the truck stop there, as it was cold and rainy outside (winter has arrived early here this year, there’s already skiing on Mt. Hood). I’ve perused many of their car art collection, but hadn’t really delved into the truck section, which is like getting lost in a good-sized museum wing.

Back in the late 40s and early 50s, a good number of these paintings and renderings for ads were signed by the artist, and I’m going to share some with you. There’s also a few that were not signed, but I felt were quite worthy. Needless to say, advertising was in a very different state of consciousness back then. Most of these probably had just a line or so underneath them, as the picture was what was compelling, then and now.

This first one, of Advance Design 1950 Chevrolets, is by Peter Helck, whose name we’ll see again here. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Outtake: Ford Maverick – Goodbye Old Paint, Hello New Paint

I’m ambivalent about art cars. Sometimes I feel it’s a waste to cover a perfectly decent-looking car in elaborate paint designs. But when it’s a Ford Maverick I simply say, “Sure, whatever. Go for it.” Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1988 Mercedes Benz 300SEL – Does Size Really Matter?

(White 300SEL shots are of my younger son’s former car, which met an untimely death by his hands, but not before I had a chance to drive it. A story for another time. – PN)

When we last left off, the dark blue 300D turbodiesel had been sold to a local surveyor friend. I had not identified a replacement “rescue” COAL yet, but I had in mind to find some type of W126 Mercedes S-Class. I really liked these, and by 2002 or so when I was looking, they had been out of production for over 10 years, and some cheap ones could be found.

Read the rest of this entry »


CC Capsule: 2007 Iran Khodro Samand – Persian Rugged

It took me a few moments to realize, as I was on a large square in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, that I had no idea what this car was. Like most of you I’m sure, running into a completely unknown saloon is not something that happens everyday. No manufacturer’s name, just this “Samand LX”… It didn’t look Russian. Nor did it sound Chinese or feel Eastern European. Could it be Indian? It was a mystery inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma. But then I thought: “Hmm… Iranian!”

Read the rest of this entry »


Concept QOTD: Is It A Big Golf Cart or Something To Drive To The Golf Course?

The setting is GM’s Design Center, almost certainly. The Chevy concept is a clay (or possibly fiberglass), based on the rigid supports visible under the body. Its rear quarter evokes the Chevy II. The front end evokes the Brazilian C10 pickup. It’s wearing ’62 Chevrolet wheel covers. The rest is up to us to speculate on. Read the rest of this entry »


CCs For Sale: 1979 Diesel Rabbit & 1983 Camaro – Someone Is Selling Off Their Very Disparate Collection

These two relics from around the same time period used to sit in a driveway across the street from where they are now, sporting FOR SALE signs. One wonders how they came to own such two disparate cars. Is there something they share in common, to make someone want to have them in the first place. Or maybe they just like a bit of variety in their automotive life. Or did. Read the rest of this entry »


Bus Stop Classics: Pittsburgh Transit Expressway System (Skybus) – The Steel City’s Aborted Highway in the Sky

Pittsburgh has a rich mass transit history; inclines, trolleys, buses, light rail, etc. It was also home town to one of twentieth century’s largest electronics and appliance makers – the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. These two interests merged in the mid-1960’s to introduce an innovative new form of mass transit – the Pittsburgh “Skybus”. But good fortune wouldn’t smile on the Skybus, and after an eternity of studies, panels, and commissions, it died a quiet death…let’s take a quick look at this large-scale, driverless “people-mover”… Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 2000 Toyota Avalon XL – Graying and Widening

Toyota Avalon sedan

We were very happy with our Camry (described a couple of weeks ago) and kept it to the end of its lease (a first for me). As it came time to turn it in, we were looking for something bigger and more “grown-up.” Perhaps too grown up, as it turns out.

Read the rest of this entry »


CC Ad Watch: VW “Rain” Commercial – Let’s Forget About Diesels and Get Back To Feeling Groovy

VW released a new commercial today to support their “People First” warranty, and there’s not a lot of details about their new extended six-year/72,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. But there is a lot of feel-good hippie vibe legacy, which has always been an instrumental part of VW’s American legacy. Read the rest of this entry »