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12

Cohort Outtake: 1963 Valiant – Another Canadian Plodge

shot and posted at the Cohort by canadiancatgreen

Mix-and-matching Mopar A-Body front ends and main body sections is an old sport, and quite possibly someone in the US has done this very thing.  But Chrysler of Canada got a head start, having been building “Plodges” for decades. Here’s one I haven’t seen before: it’s a Canadian Valiant, but for us south of the border, it’s a Dart sporting a Valiant front clip. Read the rest of this entry »

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Racetrack Classics: The Vanished Speedways (and Film Locations) of Southern California

 

Photo: lapl.org

Los Angeles and its environs are a veritable graveyard of vanished racetracks. [One, which we’ll meet later, was very near and dear to my heart. –ed.] Author Harold L. Osmer counts more than 100 tracks from 1900-present, almost all gone now. Some highlights follow. In roughly chronological order, we begin with the Agricultural Park (later, Exposition Park) track adjacent to USC, near today’s Figueroa and Exposition Boulevards. Ag Park was first used for horse, dog, and even camel races, and from at least 1903, some of LA’s first cycling and automobile contests.

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10

Bus Stop Classics: Proterra All-Electric Urban Transit Bus – The Clean and Quiet Shape of Things to Come

While I always enjoy looking back at some of the classic motor coaches from the Golden Age of bus transportation, its also good to look forward to see where mass transit may be heading.  A few months ago we reviewed current and future trends in bus propulsion technology; CNG, Hydrogen, and Battery Electric.  We concluded that battery-electric would likely become the dominant player. Here’s an example supporting that view – the Proterra battery-electric urban transit coach. Read the rest of this entry »

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COAL: 1993 Ford Mustang LX 2.3 – Drag Racing Duty

The first time I saw it, it was parked down the street in the neighbor’s driveway:  A very plain, white, Fox-bodied Mustang.  This car was not a hatchback, it was a coupe, AKA a notchback or “notch” in Mustang parlance.  Drag racers prefer these Mustangs because they weigh a little less than the hatchbacks (less glass) and they seem to be slightly more structurally sound in the back (smaller opening). Read the rest of this entry »

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Automotive History: The Many Faces of the GM H-Body

Vega_hatchback

(first posted 1/28/2013)      The Chevrolet Vega’s genesis goes back to the fall of 1959, a point in time up to which the compact car market was primarily served by imports such as the Volkswagen Beetle and a few domestics, including the Studebaker Lark and Rambler American. The Big Three saw an opportunity and jumped into the market in 1960 with the Chevrolet Corvair, Ford Falcon and Plymouth Valiant, all of which saw some levels of success.

By the end of the decade, the Studebaker and Rambler marques were effectively gone from the US Market, and cars like the Chevrolet Nova, Ford Maverick and AMC Hornet, while deemed “compacts,” were really only small versions of traditional mid-size cars designed to seat six. Powertrains may have started with thrifty four and six-cylinder engines, but V8 engines were also on tap. These were certainly not the compacts of a decade previous, and it was becoming evident that there was a new opportunity in the true subcompact car space.

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37

CC Capsule: 1990 Ford Aerostar – Where’s The Rust?

I found this gem in a parking lot earlier this week as I was heading inside for an appointment. The owner was not present, so I could not ask any questions. Moreover, it was gone after I came out to leave. However from the photos I captured, this vehicle is in mighty fine condition having lived in Southern Ontario through our harsh winters. Read the rest of this entry »

34

CC Outtakes: Two Ford C-Series Trucks Still Hard at Work

CC’s full write-up (by Ian Williams) on these trucks is titled “The Almost-Immortal Ford C-Series“.  And to prove the point, I’ve shot two of them recently within a few blocks of my house. This one is in the service of a tree service. Read the rest of this entry »

54

Curbside Classic: 2004-08 Pontiac Grand Prix – The Final Lap

Has there ever been a car more mercilessly attacked from every angle than the 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix? It’s not a surprise it became fleet fodder, ending the 42-year old Grand Prix nameplate on a rather ignoble note but paving the way for a far superior successor.

To tell the story of the final Grand Prix, it’s best to look at those that saw to its demise.

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26

CC Outtake: Scrooge McDuck’s Lincoln

The University of Oregon Ducks athletic teams have cultivated a high profile, and Oregon Duck colors (yellow and green) can be seen on all sorts of vehicles, often fully repainted to drive to the games. This Lincoln is a bit more subtle, but makes its point nevertheless. These are far from my favorite cars, so from my point of view, this can only be an improvement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cohort Classic: 1978 Opel Rekord 2.0S (And Olympia/Rekord History) – Near The End Of An Unbroken Rekord

Opel Rekord 1978 fq

(First posted 6/28/2013. Revised and expanded 4/26/2017)     The Opel Rekord can be best compared to the traditional full-sized Chevrolet, in terms of the role they both played in their respective continents. Yes, there were bigger Opels, but they’re more like an Oldsmobile, Buick or Cadillac. The Rekord was mostly a conservative car, which evolved steadily though its nine generations, but never forgot what its purpose was: to provide decent and reliable transportation, at a favorable price point. It often had a bit of flair, thanks to stylistic influence from Detroit, and always at least some genuinely good qualities. But it was rarely exceptional, and that may well explain why this generation (E1&E2) was the last to carry that storied name.  Let’s do a quick mini-history of all those Olympias and Rekords that preceded it. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Walk & Talk Photo Album: Some Spring Cleaning Of My Photo Archives

Spring is here in full-throttle mode.  The blossoms are gone from the trees and the leaves aren’t yet fully mature.  It’s a wonderful time of the year, with the days getting steadily warmer.

It’s also time for cleaning, some purging of excess from my photo archives.  Let’s start with this amazing 1966 Chrysler 300.

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45

Vintage Reviews: 1987 Acura Legend, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Cressida – Wouldn’t You Really Rather Have A Buick…From Japan?

Japanese car makers had spent the 1970s gaining market share primarily at the low-end of the U.S. market, unleashing an onslaught of high quality, well-priced, economy-oriented products—in contrast, their larger, more expensive products were relatively slow sellers.  However, by the 1980s, the leading Japanese brands had more effectively set their sights upmarket, with an increasing array of attractive, luxurious and powerful offerings targeting affluent buyers.  Brands like Buick, which had been immune to the first waves of the Japanese small car invasion, were suddenly in the crosshairs.  In Consumer Guide Auto Test ’87, the editors evaluated key players in the growing crop of premium Japanese cars: the Acura Legend, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Cressida.  How would these “upper-middle” interlopers be received by pragmatic testers in suburban Chicago?

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Curbside Classic: 1999 Plymouth Prowler – If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It

“If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It” – Walt Disney

No matter the make or type of vehicle, seeing an exotic concept car go into production with minimal changes is invariably a proud and exciting moment for any car lover. It’s one thing for a production car to feature influence from a concept, but when the concept is essentially put into production form as is, that’s taking it to a whole new level. As for the latter, a prime example is the Plymouth Prowler.

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35

MAD Outtake: Cycling Through the 70s

Image: MAD Magazine

Not everyone at CC hates cyclists. Some of us just enjoy laughing at them from time to time. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Capsule: 2013 Mitsuoka Galue III Limousine – A Darker Shade Of Weird

I know what you’re going to say: “Oh no! Not another Mitsuoka Galue!” Too much of a good (?) thing could be hard to stomach, and I would hate to put off any of you from loving the oddest Japanese car marque in history. But this is the limousine version, guys! Exclusive, elusive, expensive, excessive and even stranger than the “normal” Galue, which I’ve covered in CC a few months ago. So let’s take a good look at the best Mitsuoka has to offer.

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