Recent Posts

QOTD: Which 1970s Personal Luxury Coupe Would You Buy?

My piece on the Oldsmobile Toronado XS yesterday revealed a high level of appreciation for personal luxury coupes from Curbivores – a lot of us are Brougham fans here, after all – but elicited a rather lukewarm response to the Toronado itself. So, tell me: what personal luxury coupe from the 1970s would you want instead? Read the rest of this entry »


Car Show: The Red Door Meet – Eclectic Car Show in Portland

At my last job, every Sunday night there was always a bunch of enthusiasts’ cars cruising up and down the street in front of my office. There was obviously some sort of semi organized event going on nearby, and since I was always working, I couldn’t see any of it.

I’m changing jobs this week, and found myself with a free Sunday night. I decided to see what all these crazy car guys were up to every Sunday night. It turns out I worked a block away from “The Red Door Meet” one of the largest weekly car meets in the country. Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1978 Volvo 242 L – Unfulfilled Potential


I grew up on the backseat of a 1979 Volvo 242 DL. My parents had an Alfa Romeo Alfasud just before I started remembering things, so the Volvo is the one I remember. Later my mom started driving the 242 daily, while my dad got a 1977 245 L van. When they split up, my mom kept driving the 242 and my dad got a pristine 1984 740 GLE. Then my mom got a Fiat 127 and a first generation Mazda 626, and then back to a Volvo 360 four door diesel. Then she went with two Nissan Sunnys, a Renault Megane and finally a Fiat Punto before she stopped driving. My dad, meanwhile, replaced the 740 GLE with the holy grail of performance Volvos: a 1995 850 T-5R station wagon in dark green with every of the few available options ticked. At 20 I figured I’d better get on the Volvo train too.

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Neighborhood Outtake: 1988 Toyota Land Cruiser (J60) – The Timeless Icon

These older Land Cruisers have a very loyal following. There’s a number of them around, including at least this one and likely another in my immediate neighborhood. This is a 1988 (thanks to Carfax), of the J60 generation, whose run paralleled the decade of the 80s. Will there be a 2017 Land Cruiser in the driveway in 2047? Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Reviews & Commentary: 1977 Ford Pinto – Sabrina Duncan, Your New Company Car Has Arrived

Once upon a time, there was a phenomenally popular TV show called Charlie’s Angels, about three very attractive female sleuths who worked at the L.A.-based Charles Townsend Detective Agency.  For the inaugural season, two of the Angels drove Ford Mustang IIs, while the third drove a 1977 Ford Pinto.  How did one poor Angel get stuck with the non-sexy subcompact?  Well for 1977, Ford had made a series of updates to the Pinto, which they were looking to show off.  So, naturally they included the freshened filly in the deal with producer Aaron Spelling to fill his show with an array of Blue Oval products.  There’s no question Ford Motor Company struck product placement gold with Charlie’s Angels—but how good was the updated Pinto?

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Project Beater B: Goes Cruising

Every year in Lethbridge the big local car club, the Street Wheelers, puts on a whole weekend filled with automotive related activities. The highlight might just be a controlled cruise involving hundreds of special interest vehicles that takes on a party like atmosphere. Out for the night of cruising are hot rods, muscle cars, exotics, sports cars and trucks. The perfect event to debut the Beater B.

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Neighborhood Outtake: BMW 2002 – Evergreen

Continuing my random survey of CCs in a six-block radius of home, here’s an old favorite. This green 2002 has been living in the drive way of a house two blocks away for as long as I can remember. And it gets driven, as I see it on the streets and this day it was parked curbside. But despite living in the open, its condition has not deteriorated inall thta time. Someone takes care of their baby. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Vintage Ads: How To Make Big Bucks

If you can remember comic books, you’ll probably recall some of the preposterous ads that ran on inside covers and spare pages. Some, like the one above, promised sure-fire schemes for making a buck. This one suggests that a kid could start his own fully awesome car and (especially) van customizing business by merely sending away for a free booklet. Did any CC’ers ever try this out? I presume you’d have just received a catalog of junky tools for sale and a mimeographed sheet of instructions on airbrushing.

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Speechless Outtake: Conversion Project – F Body Pick up


I first saw this picture of this “interesting” truck on a forum I belonged to years ago. I’ve been looking for it for years…finally found it.


Curbside Classic: 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado XS — Cruising California

I’ve driven from San Francisco to Bakersfield, from Los Angeles to San Diego, I’ve even done the Pacific Coast Highway. For years, I’ve dreamt of doing a Great American Road Trip, sketching routes in my free moments. And yet, if you told me I could only explore one state, I’d still pick California. There are so many places I’ve yet to see: Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Mount Tamalpais. Exquisite desert scenery, breathtaking coastlines, awe-inspiring national parks. Dreaming of traversing these wide open spaces makes me appreciate personal luxury coupes like this 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado XS even more. These cars were built for the American landscape, designed to lope along highways and devour miles. Read the rest of this entry »


Chevrolet Impala RIP? Looks Like The End of the Road For An American Classic

The big American  sedan is a dying breed. An article in autonews today suggests very strongly that 2018 is likely the last year for the big Chevy, due to plummeting sales. Only some 31k have been sold during the first half of 2017, meaning the average Chevy dealer has a customer for one every two months. The market for all sedans is of course in decline, but the big ones are showing the worst drops. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Capsule: 2005 Buick Park Avenue Special Edition – But Really, How Special?

Upon its official promotion to a full model line in 1991, the all-new Buick Park Avenue was warmly received for its combination of traditional Buick virtues with contemporary elegance and refinement. Did it steal many BMW buyers?… No, hell no. Yet at the very least, the 1991-1996 Park Avenue restored Buick’s flagship to competitiveness and prominence in the full-size luxury segment.

Its successor, the 1997-2005 Park Avenue, did not achieve the same level of notoriety or praise, and with little fanfare besides these final 3,000 Special Editions, was quietly discontinued after nine long years of production.

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Wordless Carwash Outtake: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS – Lord Vadar, Your Car Is Ready (And Clean)


Dash-Cam Outtake: 1997 Chevrolet Lumina – Moving Along

My faithful dash-cam captures another CC. This time it’s the glorified Chevy Lumina, howling a pensioner (who else?). Read the rest of this entry »


Car Show Classics: AMC Rambler Club at Melbourne’s Federation Square

Once a month there is a car club display at Federation Square on Flinders Street in the middle of Melbourne, opposite the landmark railway station.  12 months ago the AMC Rambler Club showed off a range of members’ cars to the public, and you might be surprised to find out just how rare some of them are!

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