Recent Posts

Automotive History Tidbit: The Automatic Version of the Jaguar Mk X 3.8 L Was Just As Fast As the Manual Version and Got Better Mileage

Sometimes it’s good bust popular assumptions, like the one where all older cars saddled with primitive two and three-speed automatics were always and inherently slower to accelerate, had a lower top speed, and got worse fuel mileage than their manual transmission counterparts. In the process of looking up something, I stumbled into some recaps of the first two UK magazine tests of the new 1962 Mark X, which came only with the 3.8 L XK engine, the 265 hp triple carb version as used in the XK-E. One tested an automatic, the other a manual. The results are not what I or you would have likely expected.

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Curbside Classic: 1955 Chrysler New Yorker DeLuxe – Looks Like a Hundred Million Bucks


(first posted 8/2/2013)     U. S. automotive history is full of examples of horrible timing.   Chrysler’s all new 1974 full sized cars that seemed so right during their gestation, debuted just in time for high gas prices and a nasty recession.  Chrysler did it again in 1979, but worse.  But the 1955 models were the opposite.   The meeting of this car and the year 1955 would be one of the great pairings of machine and an era until the Mustang would do it even better a decade hence.

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Design Outtake: What’s Wrong With This Firebird?

You may have noticed there’s something not quite right about this Firebird. That’s because it isn’t a Firebird but, rather, an Arcadipane Imitator. It’s a Holden Monaro dressed up with parts designed by former General Motors-Holden and Ford designer Peter Arcadipane, the man who designed the Mad Max Interceptor. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Outtake: 1970 Lincoln Mark III – Hauling the Saturday Shopping

I finally found a genuine CC Mark III, at the Bi-Mart parking lot, no less. The last one I found, which led to a proper CC write-up, was five years ago on a trailer out at the coast. And here’s this one, being used as a daily driver to haul home the weekly shopping, a dozen blocks from my house. So I’m not going to repeat myself in-depth, but stick to a few details, like the not-quite closed headlight covers, a common Mark III old-age malady. Read the rest of this entry »


In-Motion Outtake: 1996 Ford Aerostar XLT – Aeros In The Wind

While its name may have been Aerostar, Ford’s first “mini” van’s exit was anything but. Despite introducing the small and stylish Mercury Villager in 1993 and the truly Chrysler-competitive Ford Windstar in 1995, the Aerostar dragged on for a few more years, resisting total discontinuation until August 1997, some twelve years after it first went into production.

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Curbside Classic: 1988-95 Australian Ford Fairlane/LTD – Identifying The Common Lincs

To help you, our predominantly North American community, understand the Australian 1988-95 Ford Fairlane and LTD, let me describe it to you in North American Ford terms. Imagine a car that’s styled and sized like an ’88 Lincoln Continental, positioned above the equivalent to the Ford Taurus but with an interior like it, and with the rear-wheel-drive layout of a Lincoln Town Car. Add to that a Continental-sized engine and, later, an optional Ford Mustang V8 and top that off with two familiar yet defunct Ford nameplates. Voila! You have the 1988-95 Ford Fairlane and LTD. Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage R&T Road Test: 1976 Chevrolet Chevette Rally 1.6 – Not Quite Rally-Ready

Since we got the full story about the Chevette’s first appearance in Brazil yesterday, how about a look at the Americanized version, via Road and Track. They tested the top-trim model, a Rally 1.6, with the optional 60hp 1.6 L engine. But that name was typical GM marketing BS. There was nothing sporty about this car, as it was slow (0-60 in 17 seconds) and the Opel’s crisp handling and steering had been blunted by Chevrolet’s efforts to “Americanize” it. Still, R&T was fairly benign in their evaluation, as it did offer some of the benefits of a truly small car to folks who just wouldn’t touch a (better) import.

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Car Show Classics: 2013 HCVC Show – Creative Cargoes

Something I didn’t really concentrate on at the time, but came to appreciate when reviewing the photos of the 2013 Historic Commercial Vehicle Club show, was the range of different cargoes that truck owners used to ‘decorate’ their vehicles with.  It was actually very impressive, so let’s have a look, starting with the beautiful wooden barrels on this I-H AR160.

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COAL: 1988 Jaguar XJ-SC – 1 of 41 Crazy Cats

Not mine, but black with “Magnolia” interior like mine. I have true wire wheels added somewhere along the way instead of the “starfish” alloys.


Everyone who sees this assumes it is homemade, or some custom job. Which in some sense, it’s both. I’ll just go ahead and start off with some basic information.

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CC Outtake: 1954 Monarch Lucerne Convertible – Off to the Gas Station

I stopped by Mathews Memory Lane Motors today to check out their inventory of Curbside Classics. As usual I was a kid in a candy store with so many tempting old cars and absolutely no way to afford any of them. However, I am only one winning lottery ticket away from amassing a beautiful collection of cool cars, so it pays to look.

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CC Outtake: Chevrolet El Camino -“No Parts” , and the License Plates Belong to a 2004 VW Passat


This El Camino caught my attention for some obvious reasons. For the owner’s sake, I hope it doesn’t catch the attention of the police. Not for the straps that seem to be the only thing holding the cargo cap on. Who cares about that here? Or the numerous “No Parts” written on it, which suggest it came from a junkyard, perhaps?

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Curbside Classic: 1965 Jaguar 3.4S (S-Type) – Sir William’s Bastard Child

The Jaguars of the ‘60s were all great cars, to be sure, but some were greater than others. The 1963-68 “S-Type” was, in the opinion of some, the least great Sixties Jag. It had the Mark 2’s bodyshell, but not its good looks. It had the Mark X’s rear end, but not its supreme comfort. More the product of panic than mere parts-bin special, the S-Type was all but disowned by its designer and maker, Sir William Lyons.

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QOTD: Alright, What Car Is THIS?

Maybe half an hour after Daniel Stern’s QOTD went live yesterday, I ran across this at the Greeley-Weld County Airport.  We had gone there for an airshow that ended up being rained out, so we looked for the airport diner instead.  Around the corner I spotted what apparently passes for lawn art in the area so I stopped for a minute. Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe LT 4WD – God Bless America!


(First posted 12/22/2013) The siren song of the SUV was calling my name again. Oh so short was my memory of record gas prices, or what the heck, I only commuted two miles each way, on a price per pound basis, this made perfect sense!

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CC Global: The Brazilian Chevette

Back in the early 70s, the Brazilian auto industry had already shifted into second gear and was going flat out. The problematic cars of the first generation were a thing of the past and the consumers had totally embraced the domestic cars. The idea now in the minds of the automaker CEOs was as to “fill the gaps” in their catalogs with new products, and the year of 1973/74 was pivotal to consolidate that idea.

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