Recent Posts

Curbside Classic: 1977 Datsun King Cab Pickup (620) – Yes, We Have Long Legs In America

(first posted 2/18/2012)     Datsun pioneered the little Japanese truck in America; more correctly, they built their business on it. In the early sixties, their cars weren’t exactly quite ready for US prime-time, given the competition. But there wasn’t any for their little trucks, toy-like though they were (early Datsun pickup history here). Datsun held the top sales spot for years, until Toyota finally edged them out. And although they grew with each generation, they were always cramped in the cab, until 1977, when Datsun unveiled their grandiosely-named King Cab. Now standard cabs are relegated to parts delivery trucks, and even then, they’re probably roomier than this King Cab.  Progress. Read the rest of this entry »


Car Show Outtake: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS350 Convertible–The Camaro for People Who Are Sick of Camaros


Only a handful of antique automobiles are celebrated in their ubiquity to the extent of the first generation Camaro. Their popularity has bred popularity like some perpetual motion machine that feeds on its own inertia.  People like them because people like them.  As a result, they tend to fade into the background for me, because even in my medium-sized town, they’re seemingly everywhere during the summer months.   Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1981 Mercury Cougar – The Only Two Door Sedan Cougar

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The original Cougar epitomized the personal luxury-sports coupe. We’ve documented how the Cougar lost its way in the later 70s, becoming a full line of mega-medium-sized cars, including even a station wagon. By 1983, the Cougar found its way again, as a coupe-only, wearing new aero-duds. But for two years only, 1981 and 1982, the Cougar was available also as a two door sedan. And you’re looking at one.  Read the rest of this entry »


CC Conundrum/QOTD: Are Car Controls Getting Too Complicated And Distracting?

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This is my great-aunt Mary’s 2005 Cadillac DeVille. Her husband, my great-uncle Joe drives a similar, slightly updated version of this car, a 2006 Cadillac DTS. At 78 and 88 years old, respectively, neither of them do much serious driving anymore. Beyond an occasional 45-minute drive up to Boston, their driving is mainly limited to local errands such as going to the gym, church, and out to dinner. But with these cars getting on in age, for the past several years now, both of them have expressed desire to replace them with a new car.

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Curbside Capsule: 1992-94 Plymouth Sundance Duster – Little Car, Big Engine

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Take a smaller than full-size car, shove a big engine in it and you have a muscle car. That was the recipe in the 1960s, when big-block V8s were wedged into intermediates like the Plymouth Satellite and Pontiac LeMans, resulting in iconic muscle cars like the Roadrunner and GTO. But what happens if you use a similar recipe and change the ingredients? Say, use a compact, front-wheel-drive platform but wedge a V6 in there. What do you call that?

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Car Show Report: The June 2015 Jefferson City Car Show – Studebakers, E-Bodies, and A Few Other Surprises


Summer is flying by and this is the first time I’ve been to the monthly car show that is all of two miles away.  Part of it has been due to traveling and Missouri Monsoon Season interfering.  Enough of the excuses; let’s look at some cars. Read the rest of this entry »


Two Door Sedan Jag Outtake: 1962 Rambler Classic Custom – The Dorkmobile

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My two-door sedan jag continues unabated. It’s now motivated me to go back through all of my own photo files to seek out every two door sedan I’ve ever shot curbside. Here’s one of my favorites; it sums up everything why these Ramblers were so loathed by kids like me at the time: They were so freaking ugly!! Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic/Auto Biography: 1994 & 1997 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight – Hooked On The Memory Of You

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(first posted 5/11/2013)   As I recall, it was a bright sunny February morning when I accompanied my grandparents (whom I affectionately called “Nana and Papa”) to Quirk Oldsmobile in Braintree, MA, where my grandfather was to purchase a new car. It was 1997 and I was just shy of four years old. I’d been into cars since the first time I saw one on my hanging mobile as an infant, but this was one of the first days I can recall my fascination with real cars, and not toys. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Outtake: 1966 Rambler Classic 550 – Still Sensibly Spectacular After 49 Years


There are some times and places where seeing a nearly 50-year-old car isn’t so surprising, like on an uncrowded country road on a mild Sunday afternoon.  But on a hot summer Thursday in downtown Washington, D.C.?  Not quite the ideal environment for a curbside car show.  Yet, here is one example that defied the odds: a beautifully preserved Rambler Classic parked right on a busy commercial street.

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Two Door Sedan Jag Outtake: The Exceedingly Rare Jaguar XJ6-2D


Yes, I’ve been on a two-door sedan jag lately. And to really enable my current habit, CC Contributor Don Andreina has sent me a photo of the ultimate two-door sedan, the extremely rare Jaguar XJ6-2D. Unfortunately someone gussied this one up with a vinyl roof and alloys, but picture this in steelies and dog dishes, and you’ll know why these have become such unicorns. Why? Sadly, because almost all of them have been butchered and converted into XJCs. What a crime. But an original XC6-2D was the closes thing Jaguar ever made to an American-style stripper two door sedan. In fact, it was a bit too much like one. Read the rest of this entry »


Which Gets the Best Fuel Economy? A Comparison of the 2015 Ram 1500 Crew Cab to Two Compact Pickups


Recently, Paul ran a series of articles comparing the acceleration of a new 2015 Toyota Camry to various exotics of yore, such as a Lamborghini Countach.  I’m taking his idea and running in the direction of fuel economy in two-wheel drive crew cab pickups.

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CC Capsule: 1974 Buick Century Regal – Grandma, What Big Eyes You Have

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I had actually thought about naming this post “Another Clapped-Out Colonnade”, given this car’s less-than-showroom condition.   However, when I gave this car a few more looks, I wanted to present a more sympathetic take on what I had considered for much of my life my least-favorite year, make and model of any GM A-body coupe of this generation.  This car is evidence that opinions can change over time.  It’s still not my favorite, but its baroque styling has grown on me.

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Curbside Classic: 1988-96 Chevrolet Beretta – Latchkey Kid

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Benign neglect. This was just one of the many manifestations of the poor parenting GM provided to its products during the 1980s and 1990s. Some children entered the world with developmental difficulties and were nurtured and experienced great personal growth, only to be cruelly kicked out of home (Fiero, Allanté). Others failed to live up to lofty expectations in the real world, and had their allowances cut as punishment (GM-10s). Older children were allowed to stay in the nest far too long because their paychecks were help keeping the lights on (A-Bodies). And finally, others received the warmth and admiration of their parents, only then to be completely and utterly ignored. The Chevrolet Beretta (and its Corsica sibling) was a one-generation wonder, sold for an overly long period of time, and left to wither on the vine until finally being axed.

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Cohort Outtake: Vauxhall Firenza Coupe – Modest; A Bit Too Much So

Vauxhall Firenza coupe

Now this is not a two-door sedan, despite being a very-low trim version. The Firenza (1970-1975) was the name given to this new coupe body style of the Vauxhall Viva HC, which was sold in Canada as the Firenza (CC here). The Firenza coupe was a rather sad and late response to the runaway success of the Ford Capri. Opel responded with the much more ambitiously-styled Manta, but Vauxhall just came up with a new roof-line, and one that was hardly very original. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Two Door Sedan Outtake: 1963 Chevy II – Like So Many Others Of Its Kind

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As I said yesterday, I’m on a two-door sedan jag (now I just need to find an actual Jaguar two-door sedan). And since today’s Montego two door is a hardtop, I’ll have to reach into my digital grab bag to find something suitable. How’s this? Fills the brief, except of course it’s not original. Good luck finding just about any old Chevy II in original condition, most of all the two door sedans and hardtops. They invariably have had a SBC-swapecotomy, like this ’63 sedan I shot in the Bay Area.  Read the rest of this entry »