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CC Capsule: 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer – Coffee Colored and Out for Coffee

1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer b

Given that the last Wagoneers exited the Toledo factory 24 years ago now, it’s not surprising that they’re becoming fairly rare, especially here in Rustopia. And so even though we’ve extensively profiled Wagoneers (and their Cherokee bretheren) here at Curbside Classic over the years (here and here and here and here and here, and that’s just for starters), it makes good sense to keep sharing the ones we find. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cohort Outtake: Fiat 128 – Reinforcing Stereotypes

Fiat 128 on tow truck

There’s a few significant cars we’ve yet to cover properly here, and the Fiat 128 is right at the top of the list. it’s one of the most important cars in the evolution of the modern FWD small car, and was the most significant inspiration for the VW Golf/Rabbit. Its space utilization, efficiency, economy, performance, handling and braking were all absolutely at the top of its field. The 128 and the Simca 1100 revolutionized the market, and  and it forced everyone out of their slumber.

Needless to say, I’m speaking mostly about Europe, as the 128 was not quite as successful here. Like all Fiats and French cars of the times, the lack of a proper dealer network and general familiarity with these cars led to them quickly developing a rep for being…fragile. Which reinforced the Fix It Again Tony reputation. CC Cohort William Rubano caught this one in a stereotype-reinforcing situation, although give its age and circumstances, it’s not really fair to jump to any conclusions.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1986 Ford LTD Crown Victoria – The Final Ford

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“Waddya mean “The Last Ford” – Ford still makes cars.  Indeed it does.  You can buy a Focus, a Fusion, or any number of crossovers.  But if you tell someone you drive a Ford, the invariable response is “a Ford what?”  But, my young friends, ’twasn’t always so.

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CC Capsule: 1972 Chevrolet C30 Longhorn Custom Camper – Very Aptly Named Indeed

(first posted 9/4/2011)    So did these folks who commissioned a fine woodworker neighbor of ours to build them this fine custom camper seek out a Chevy Custom Camper because of its name? Actually, they know their way around Chevy pickups, because the Longhorn had an unusual aspect itself; an extra six inches in the bed, making it an eight and a half foot long. Perfect for…custom campers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Aviation History: Bolivian T-33 – The Endless Duty

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We all love to see how the american iron ( and aluminum) get their life span stretched in other parts of the world, especially here in south America. It happens with cars, trucks, trains, boats and of course with airplanes.

The South American air forces have a very limited budget to spend in all kind of stuff; when I served in the Brazilian Air Force in 1988, we often could go home sooner on Fridays, just to save money on food, not serving lunch for the soldiers. This alone can give you an idea how hard things can be when comes the time to replace a fleet of military airplanes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Outtake: A Timeless Silhouette

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Butzi’s immortal shape needs no introduction. I came across this one just the other day whilst in a bit of a rush. Still, I had to stop as the backlit winter sun captured that shape almost perfectly.

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Kurbside Classic: Olson Kurb Side – The Official CC Van

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It’s not just because of this van’s name that makes it the official CC step van. These Olson-Grumman vans are the finest ones ever made in the land, with a body made totally of aluminum. One never scraps an Olson Kurb Side, just like one never tosses out a Grumman aluminum canoe. Which sort of makes this the ultimate CC.  Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Outtake: Goodyear Eagle Stock Car Special Tire – The Most Unusual Item Left By A Tenant

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On of the “benefits” of being a landlord is all the wonderful stuff departing tenants leave behind. Need a cheap broom and dustpan? I’ve got about a dozen; just about everyone seems to leave theirs behind. Cleaning supplies? Toiletries? Food? Garbage? Books? Bicycles? Lamps? Fans? Even a refrigerator, which was put to good use since one of mine has a bad fan motor. The list is just getting started, but my shed is getting full. The best score was a 1992 Corolla that I got for almost free ($200).  It’s still running three years later.

But this summer I was the beneficiary of something a bit different, although still automotive. I’d noticed it before, a tire re-purposed into a planter. But I never really looked at it until I had to deal with it.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1979 to 1981 Dodge St. Regis – The Perfect Storm

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Throughout the 1970s, financial thunder clouds were constantly dumping over the Chrysler Corporation.  From the poorly timed introduction and sales disappointment of their new 1974 full-sized line to their increasing dependence on the aging  A-bodies to its less than stellar replacement, there was a nearly unending rain on Chrysler’s continually diminishing parade of products.  During the height of this stormy weather there was a long reverberating clap of thunder called the Dodge St. Regis.

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Curbside Classic: 1988 Acura Integra LS – A Hot Hatch For The Civic Minded

(first posted 10/12/2012)    The 1980s ushered in a seismic shift in the U.S. automobile market.  The trend that had for generations carried Detroit ever higher–longer, lower and more powerful–no longer attracted the young demographic as it once did.  Performance was still popular, but now an increasing number of emerging new car buyers preferred it in something small, nimble and of high quality. And right there–as though it had staffed its planning committees with recent Hogwarts School graduates–was Honda, with products sure to draw those new buyers into Honda showrooms all across the country.

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Wordless Outtake: Jelly Beans on Jelly Bean

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Picture is taken last summer, in Ferndale, Mi.

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Truckin': My Seasonal Job Driving A New Hino Truck

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I just spent four months working at my seasonal spring job, working as a truck driver. I was talking with Paul a few weeks ago and telling him about about my job driving a brand new Hino box truck (Hino is a division of Toyota). I sent a few photos to Paul and he mentioned that a lot of CC readers enjoy trucks and truck stories. He also suggested that I write a story about what it is like to be a truck driver here in Oregon. So here goes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Carshow Photo Report – The Royal Oak, Barrington, England

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There are many great things gifted to the world by Britain, and the British pub (or public house to use the full name) is one of the better ones. Even better when the pub is question dates back to the sixteenth century and is on the largest village green in the kingdom. Ideal for a Friday evening, casual and all welcome classic car gathering. That’s what happens on the first Friday of the month during the summer at the Roytal Oak at Barrington, Cambridgehire, and a surprising quantity and variety of cars appears. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic – 1958 Chevrolet Delray Two Door Sedan

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The full size Chevrolet line from 1958 has been well represented here at Curbside Classics. We’ve had the Biscayne 3 door, the Business coupe, the Impala and the Impala convertible.  Now I present to you a well restored and discreetly modded ’58 Delray. It’s very unlikely that many of these survive, as the Delray, which replaced the 150, was Chevrolet’s price-leader (*cough showroom bait cough*) and sold for $2101 in 1958 dollars. To put that in perspective, that’s $17,348 in today’s money. I imagine any reasonable trade or skilled haggling would have bought the final price down below the magic $1999 mark, making this car especially attractive for the frugal shopper. 79,500 of these were made, I wonder how many survive?
Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Outtake: 1966 Chrysler 300 Coupe – Faded Glory

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I found this ’66 300 behind one of the distant buildings at the Powerland Museum in Salem, OR, and it caught my attention more than the cars inside in the modest little car museum. It’s not hard to see why, but it’s a bit painful taking a closer look. This car has spent its life in the great outdoors, and that hasn’t been exactly kind to it. Read the rest of this entry »