Whoa! What’s that blur?
I call this the “CC effect”. I mean, only yesterday I posted this VW Beetle, caught while waiting for the bus. Well, today, while actually on the bus itself, I managed to play cat and mouse with this very worked Volkswagen Type 2 Pickup Truck. It was the combination of a very slow T2 acceleration, together with the typical stop\start bus ride, which led to the two running more or less side by side. Read the rest of this entry »
Some time around 1955 as the campaign for country-wide construction of prefab concrete apartment blocks (‘Khruschev barracks’ as they became known ) picked up pace, the government leaders held close discussions about the future of Soviet city planning. One of the contested topics was whether the city should account for a proliferation of personal cars. Unfortunately, a rather short-sighted opinion prevailed. According to which, the people should mainly rely on public transportation, and in case they need a passenger car, stick with rental vehicles and taxis as needed. That would greatly simplify the infrastructure and cut costs, since there will be no need to accommodate wider roads with much heavier traffic, parking spaces and other infrastructure. Most properties would not have a single parking space, just a narrow access lane for emergency services and occasional taxis.
Despite all this the private car ownership continued to grow steadily, until positively exploding once AutoVAZ started baking Ladas in previously unseen volumes. So the main problem for the freshly minted proud (and that was not a figure of speech, people were indeed proud) owners of all these mobile treasures was where to keep them. In other words, they needed garages. Read the rest of this entry »
CC reader Teddy has been a prolific Cohort poster, not surprising since he lives in Curbsidelandia Grande. This mean looking customized ’57 Dodge is in his latest batch, and I couldn’t pass it up. But my search for the rest of the shots of its side and rear was fruitless. Did you only take this one, Teddy? I was rather hoping to see the rest of it. But that front end goes a long way in making up for it.
In early 1978 I was a regular customer of the local Avis in Manhattan and knew most of their fleet intimately. My partner Steve was still driving the Valiant he got while at Grumman, my partner Jack had his 1974 Impala, and my partner Jim had – well I don’t recall what Jim had – maybe a Mercury or something.
We had been in business about 18 months and by all measurements were doing well, but Jack, our finance and office manager made sure the quarterly accounting statements always showed a promising and growing business and that we had the finances to bring on new people and to weather any potential bad business periods.
There were no bad business periods.
One evening as we were meeting in the Ridgewood NJ office, Jack’s pre-printed agenda turned to “Other business”.
“I think we can all get company cars” Jack announced. “We can afford this and none of us are exactly driving around in nice cars. Plaut doesn’t even have a car.”
(first posted 11/13/2012) The term “Horsepower War” was coined in the early-to-mid ’50s, when luxury brands like Cadillac, Chrysler and Lincoln battled to outdo each other by rapidly escalating the horsepower ratings of their large V8 engines. Want a tri-power intake on your Caddy? No problem. Much of that activity subsided during the 1958-1961 era as the torch was passed to full-sized cars, with new, high-performance engines, from lower-tier brands. By 1964, the torch had been handed over to mid-size and compact cars, but there was a prophet in the wilderness, named Rebel, that had predicted the trend almost a decade earlier. Read the rest of this entry »
[Not mine, but the correct and rare triple white]
My Pop was born in 1925. That made him a member of the so-called “Greatest Generation”. Folks from that era loved, and aspired to, big American cars, and Pop was no exception. He was a GM man all his life. This car got old, and he went to trade it in on a 2002 Monte Carlo, and the dealer offered a lowball on the trade. That’s where I swooped in.
I do love me an old pickup truck, and this one is a gem; I mean a GMC. And not just any old GMC, but a 3/4 ton, 4×4, four-speed manual, hi-low transfer case, with an 8′ Stepside bed and the legendary GMC 60 degree V6. Does it get any better than this? Read the rest of this entry »
For some the Alpine A310 is an acquired taste, for others it is ‘jolie laide’ and for others again it’s just plain ugly. But when I first laid eyes on images of this car I was hooked. More recently I have been lucky enough to encounter one in the wild, and my opinion has only been affirmed.
This extended CC looks at the origins of the idiosyncratic Alpine shape and the enduring existence of the A310. And with it comes a story touched by tragedy and still steeped in mystery.
(first posted 11/21/2012) While there’s no doubt summer’s over, I still have quite a cache of car show pics to keep you entertained throughout the long winter ahead. To wit: How about a colorful 1956 Lincoln Premiere hardtop?
CC Lane Motor Museum Basement Outtake: Tatra T-613 Ambulance – The Gurney Sits Directly Above The Rear Air-Cooled V8
The Lane Motor Museum has the largest collection of Tatras (although sadly no T-77), and I promise a good look at them as soon as I can find a few free hours. But down in the bowels of the basement, we spotted this T-613 Ambulance, from the 1980s. Given that the 613 has a rear-mounted 3.5 liter air-cooled V8, a rear-loading ambulance might not seem like the best task for this chassis. But then, it was the only chassis available at the time that could also be fast too, so the body was made tall, and the gurney rests right up over the engine. At least the patient can be distracted by the blower howl and other mechanical noise of the engine on the way to the hospital. Read the rest of this entry »
CC Road Trip: Hinged Accelerator Pedals, Advice About Growing Old, And Observations About Driving An Old Ford Long Distances
When Paul mentioned a CC Meetup in Nashville, Tennessee, Mrs. Jason was able to put my biggest uncertainty to rest. It was her recommendation I take the Galaxie.
After my last real road trip just over a year ago to Tupelo, Mississippi, and the resultant suicide of my water pump, I was a bit hesitant. But life is short and I should have more fun with my car. So I aired up the tires, grabbed my spare parts and tools, and got fresh gasoline. That was pretty much the extent of my preparation. Sometimes throwing caution to the wind is somewhat uplifting.
These fraternal twins rolled off the assembly line in Arlington, Texas, in 1980 with healthy self-confidence and immediate acceptance. They were stylish, square-jawed, sporty, and good-looking in a way that made many of their peers and competitors, both domestic and foreign, envious. They were as popular as the Wrigley Doublemint Twins, and unlike their shunned, hunchbacked Cutlass Salon cousins (the less-attractive ones in the Oldsmobile family), Americans couldn’t get enough of the Supreme and Supreme Brougham. They had won the mainstream personal luxury contest, hands down.
However, the paths of these two cars diverged almost immediately.
I saw this obviously imported van in the yard at Bert’s Two Guys and a Dog Garage, and went back later to check it out: