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CC Mini-Meet-Up In Eugene on Friday Night – Jim Klein Comes to Curbsidelandia

Jim Klein is on one of his manic road trips, which is going to include Eugene. He left Colorado yesterday in a snow storm, and is headed to LA. And he’s told me he’ll be here Thursday night for two nights before making the long trek back to Colorado.

So if any of you Eugenians have nothing better to do on a summer Friday night, head on over to Sam Bond’s Garage and look for us, starting about 6:30 or 7. We’ll most likely be outside, either in front or out back, unless the weather chases us inside, as we’re heading into a showery couple of days.

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CC-Automotive History: Crosley – The Rise and Fall Of The Crosley Automobile

tan Crosley sedan photos by Fred Oliver

(a superb article first posted 11/1/2011. Updated with new/additional images 6/19/19)    If you are reading this in the year 2061, I hope that the spirit of entrepreneurship is still alive and vibrant in America. I hope that the “can do” dynamic that defined our earlier years as a nation can still lead dreamers to pursue their passion despite the seemingly insurmountable odds against success. On that hope hangs today’s tale. Inventor, tinkerer, tycoon – all of these labels easily attach themselves to Powel Crosley, the founder of the car that is the focus of our story. That his eponymous car failed in the market is indisputable. After just eleven model years, the Crosley disappeared and was soon rendered a footnote in automotive history. But while it lasted, the car gave the buying public a real, if unorthodox, choice in basic, subcompact transportation.

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Parking Garage Outtake: Las Vegas Never Fails To Surprise…

Four nights ago I was in Minneapolis, MN.  Three nights ago I was was in Murdo, SD.  Two nights ago I was at home in Fort Collins, CO.  Yesterday (Sunday) my daughter and I left the house at 6am and three hours later found ourselves in a snow storm atop Vail Pass on I-70 westbound.  By 6pm we had pulled up to our hotel in Las Vegas and were then sweltering in 95 degree heat as we took the bags out of the trunk.  And tonight we will be in Santa Monica, CA.  However, while I was surprised by the snow storm two days into summer I was even more surprised at what I saw as we pulled into the parking garage in Las Vegas…

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Curbside Classic Visits The 2019 New York International Auto Show, Part 5: Hyundai, Kia, And Genesis

Good news everyone! It seems like Hyundai Motor Company is doing pretty well these days. That wasn’t the case several months ago. Perhaps Hyundai’s deal to put the Veloster into Fortnite contributed to the brand’s minor turnaround. Okay, that didn’t actually happen, but someday it might. Basically, Hyundai doesn’t need to pull a Keanu Reeves right now because they’ve got fresh crossovers. And that’s what the people want.

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Curbside Classic: 1968 Chevrolet El Camino SS 396 – Business Up Front…

This past week found me back in the beautiful, American Midwestern city of Omaha, Nebraska for business travel.  Twenty-Nineteen marks my ninth, consecutive year of spending time in that city, and each time, I’ve found something new to like or love about it.  During this trip, the College World Series (of baseball) was being held downtown at TD Ameritrade Park, which brought many tourists and energy into what is already a somewhat bustling, urban center.  (Believe it.)  I didn’t know about these sports events prior to booking this trip, and I’m not necessarily a sports fan, but I’m not at all anti-sports, either.  I liked that there was a big deal like this one happening at the time, as a kind of “landmark” for my memory banks.

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Curbside Classic: 1950 Cadillac Series 61 Coupe – The Ultimate Curbside Classic

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(first posted at CC on 5/9/2011)

The Cadillac’s CTS-V is the fastest production sedan in the land, thanks to an engine transplant from the Corvette ZR-1. But what about a genuine all-Caddy production racer? Something you could take to Le Mans, and challenge Europe’s finest exotics or just down to the local drag strip, and blow away every production car in its day. You’d have to turn the clock back sixty-plus years, when Cadillac’s new V8 was the hottest engine in the land. But if you were serious about racing with it, like Briggs Cunningham did at Le Mans in 1950, or the original owner of this car, you’d have to make sure you request it to be built as this one, with the very rare manual transmission. That, combined with the fact that this car lives outside (and has the patina to prove it), has a rare factory tri-power induction system, and gets driven regularly makes this hot rod Caddy the ultimate Curbside Classic. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Global: 2017 Scania Tractor And 2017 Vogelzang Semi-Trailer – Clean Tanker For Dirty Liquids

The cheerful and spotless appearance of this combination doesn’t quite reflect what it’s hauling. Liquid manure, mainly. Of course any other form of liquids that go way beyond dishwater can be transported in its big tank, like wastewater and sludge. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rental Review: 2019 Chevrolet Traverse LT – The Texas-Sized Crossover

2019 Chevrolet Traverse

I decided to rent a car for my drive to see family in Houston, about seven hours away, rather than driving my own. I get a corporate discount through my employer if I book with Hertz, but the $25-a-day Malibu-or-similar deal wasn’t available this time. However, the next best thing was, surprisingly, the Pathfinder-or-similar class, which is to say a largish three-row crossover. If you’ve ever driven the antiquated penalty box that is the current Nissan Pathfinder, you’ll know why I silently prayed that I didn’t get one. I was rewarded with an email from Hertz the morning of the rental, letting me know that I’d been preassigned a white 2019 Chevrolet Traverse LT FWD, the specimen you see above.

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CC Cinema: 1962 Lincoln Continental and Ford Thunderbird Wixom Assembly Line

The artificial intelligence at YouTube is getting to know me pretty well, because it keeps feeding me cool videos like this gem. It is a vintage film shot by Ford in 1962 at the Wixom, MI assembly plant where the Lincoln Continental (arguably the last great American luxury car) and its platform-mate Ford Thunderbird were assembled. Over the course of six and a half minutes, it roughly follows the assembly process of these fine cars, starting with stampings coming into the plant all the way to finished vehicles being loaded onto rail cars at the end.

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COAL: 1988 Cadillac Brougham – Last Christmas at Clark Street

On Monday December 14th 1987, one of many black Cadillac Broughams rolled down the Clark Street assembly line just as many Cadillac automobiles had before it. Boombox radios blasting stations like WCSX and WLLZ competed with the symphony of machinery as workers did their part to turn a jumble of individual pieces of chrome and plastic into a Brougham that would burble down the American highway. But this was one of the last Broughams to be built in Detroit – by Friday December 18th , the Clark Street Assembly plant would be shut down for good, with the last Fleetwood built body stamped out a few days before on Wednesday the 16th. Some of the workers found jobs at other GM plants, others were not so fortunate – and the Brougham found a new home in Texas at Arlington, at least until 1996.

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Curbside Classic: 1961 VW Transporter – A Rolling, Hard-Working, Living-History Mobile

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(first posted 4/25/2013)    This is why I live in Eugene: So that I can run into an ancient VW Transporter with a heavy load of wood at the lumberyard, just a half-dozen parking spaces over from the 1986 Caprice Brougham del’Patina. No wonder I look forward to picking up supplies while Alec stays behind and does the heavy lifting. Both of these vehicles are poster-children for the essence of CC: old original cars and trucks dripping with patina and still earning their keep. And why exactly do I have such powerful feelings for them? Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Outtakes: Alley of CCs Including the First Curbside ’58 Edsel and a Bonus ’59 Edsel

Finding genuine CCs that we haven’t covered here is not getting any easier. It helps to change up the walking routine, as in: “let’s go down this alley”.  Good call, as there was a whole fleet of CCs including one that has never been found in genuine CC condition. Yes, I think you can tell already which one, thanks to its drooping chin.

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NYC Photo Archive: 1,000,000 Photos Online. Here’s a Sample.

Some of you may remember my previous posts of photos taken of street scenes in Newark, N.J. and New York City.  Well, I have recently discovered a photo source that tops everything else when it comes to photographs of this type.  It seems that the City of New York has undertaken a project of tremendous scope, digitizing all the historical photographs and images that have been hiding in their files for so many years, thus making them available to the public.

This is truly Gotham’s attic, with everything from Civil War military parades to personal checks written out and signed by Joe DiMaggio.  I put together a collection of screen shots from the collection (focusing on cars), just to give CC readers a taste of what is available.  Let’s take a look:

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Curbside Outtake:  Volvo Seats – Give Your Backside a Well Deserved Treat

Isn’t it interesting that as we get older, our perspective evolves regarding what makes a car “great.”  I can remember as a teenager and into my twenties (late 1960’s to 70’s), it was all about acceleration – 0 to 60.  I lusted for a 428 Cobra Jet Mustang or Torino, though I never was able to own one.  In my later twenties and thirties,  I matured a little and went for sports cars – this time I was able to buy a 1977 Nissan JDM Fairlady – a 240Z.  I still wish I had that car.  Then came marriage and a family and a string of sedans and minivans.  We’ve owned a Toyota Estima/Previa for twenty years – currently on our third one, though with the kids now grown, it will soon be replaced.  Several years ago in my late fifties, acceleration, sportiness, practicality, were still automotive virtues I desired, but another one was now at the top of the list – comfort for my ever expanding backside.  With that in mind, I took a trip down to the nearby Volvo dealership… Read the rest of this entry »

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COAL: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland – Just Right

2015 Grand Cherokee

My 2016 Chevrolet Cruze was a great deal in terms of the out-the-door price, and it did exactly what it needed to do. But I didn’t love or even possess affection for it the way that I thought I would. In retrospect, I don’t think it projected the maturity that most of my other cars had, especially in that ostentatious Kinetic Blue color. Finally, I decided I wanted something that sat higher off the ground. Read the rest of this entry »