(first posted 2/11/2011) Having the distinction of being the most built car ever (over 21 million), the Volkswagen rightfully gets a lot of CC attention. In this chapter of the VW story, we look at a rare 1946 model, and how the odds of it ever seeing the light of day (especially in Eugene) were stacked against it. The Volkswagen should rightfully have been called the Cockroach instead of Beetle. Read the rest of this entry »
In 2012 my life was still in the middle of a long stream of changes. The last (and certainly the most happiest event I’ve lived) was the birth of my only daughter. At that time me and my wife had been driving a 2009 VW Voyage Comfortline (see COAL here), a car that turned out to be way below my expectations, especially in terms of quality. So, then with a bigger family, we started wondering if that was something to be changed in the car department. The chosen vehicle was probably the best I’ve ever owned, and the first and only with a number of features, including being familiar to the North American public.
We all have particular cars which we associate with times in our lives, whether it be specific memories or just generalized associations with daily life of those years. Personally, my early childhood was very happy and carefree, and naturally seeing cars of this era are often triggers of fond memories of this simpler time in my life. The second generation (1991-1995) “AS” Chrysler minivans are one such prominent car, being as omnipresent as sippy cups, Disney VHS tapes, Raffi sing-alongs, and my snazzy Kettcar tricycle — I guess I was always destined to drive German!
Back in the Spring, when, according to the Good Book, “kings go off to war”, I hauled the Esposita out to the local VW car show. She tolerates this annual religious pilgrimage with good humor, possibly because I keep the AC functioning on her car during our ungodly hot summers, and we spent a delightful, to me, morning prowling the V-dub heaps as I re-lived my youthful faded glory that mainly exists in my mind.
My sister Ruth sent this shot to me the other day via text, asking me if I could identify what’s in the bed. Since she lives in Alaska, that should have made it easier. But my phone wouldn’t let me expand the image she sent, at least not for some 10-15 minutes (maybe the extra data for the full size view was held up). Although it was obviously something furry, I couldn’t quite make it out and was stumped. So then she sent me another image: Read the rest of this entry »
(first posted 8/22/2013) High school: some say it was the best years of their life. Maybe for the prom queen. Intense and confusing, but the memories certainly are indelible. Finding this 1972 Corona Coupe parked in front of a local high school (Churchill) unleashed a barge-load of them. As did the old yearbooks my sister recently sent me, after clearing out our parent’s house. So you’re going to have to indulge me a bit (what else is new?), but this CC is going to be a tad heavy on personal high school history, and a wee bit light on the Corona’s. But it’s not every day you run into an old flame from forty years ago, sitting in front of a high school, no less. And Facebook had nothing to do with it. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s always fun looking at familiar brands’ websites for different markets, isn’t it? Before the days of the internet, we had to rely on the occasional news piece in our domestic magazines or an annual compilation book like the Deutsche Autokatalog. Now, thanks to the wonders of the internet, we can simply Google, say, “Toyota Japan” and see what the world’s largest automaker sells in their homeland. In this series, we’ll take a brief look at present-day cars not sold in the North American market and you can decide whether you are missing out. First, the Toyota Mark X. Read the rest of this entry »
Here is something out of the ordinary. I don’t see Hans Glas’ Goggomobils very often, and it seems most of those are the Australian market-only Dart. And there is more than meets the eye too.
One of the many things I love about Chicago is that admission to the Lincoln Park Zoo costs absolutely nothing. Of course, donations are welcome, but it is one of only a handful of free zoos in the entire United States. In fact, I went there just the weekend before last. There are so many creatures to see and observe, all beautiful and unique in their own ways. After making a beeline for the penguins (my favorites), I usually walk the short distance to the Kovler Lion House to see the big cats. Though the Lincoln Park Zoo doesn’t have any cougars, I’ve always been fascinated by large felines. Their combination of power, balance, ferocity, elegance, and grace has always intrigued me. In my mind, the very first Mercury Cougar embodies all of these qualities, in one way or another.
(first posted 8/21/2013) I’ve given it some thought over the years, and there’s only one truck that I’ve seriously considered as a replacement for my ’66 F-100, and this is it. In fact, it’s almost a perfect update on the Ford, with the benefits of modern technology. Don’t laugh, but I’ll take mine with the 2.7 liter four cylinder. It’s got more (net) horsepower (150) than the Ford (129), and a pretty healthy dose of torque. It’s not like I’m planning on pulling 10,000 pound trailers down the road. Oh wait; I actually have done that with the Ford… Read the rest of this entry »
Roadsters in the old days had low-cut doors with no roll up windows. As does this Ford pickup, for one reason or another. But since it’s still sporting its roof, it’s only half-way there to being a genuine roadster. Read the rest of this entry »
(first posted 11/18/2014. Posted by request of Lennon L., who asked for a ’59 Imperial CC on his birthday)
The wild 1957-60 Imperials and their slightly toned down 1961-63 successors have received their fair share of criticism here for their wacky collection of styling features – tailfins, rocket pod taillights, free-standing headlights, “toilet seat” trunk lids – assembled in varying combinations over the years under Virgil Exner. The criticism is justified, since Imperials had some of the most far-out, excessive styling of a far-out, excessive era. A lot is necessary to surpass the famously over-the-top excess of a 1959 Cadillac, and the contemporary Imperial had more than enough, although in relatively obscurity since Imperial sales were so low. Seeing a well preserved example in the metal for the first time prompted some different thoughts about these over half century old luxury cars, though, thoughts that were far more favorable.
A wild mixture of brands and models from all over the globe, preferably the ones I remember vividly. That’s my kind of classic car show alright. This year’s edition of the Auto Motor Classic Day, held on September 10, was certainly one of those shows. Enjoy the tour.
While the 450SEL was fun, it wasn’t intended to be a long term keeper. I was driving past a small, one man used car lot several times a month. And one day, he had something that caught my eye.
Jim Cavanaugh’s recent CC on a 1964 Dodge Custom 880 pointed out that the 880 was the last relic of Chrysler Design Chief Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look”. By 1965, Chrysler’s full size cars were completely made over under the direction of its new design head Elwood Engel. The same happened in 1966 to the mid-sized cars. That left the ’66 Dart and Valiant as the last living relics of the Exner era. And it’s still on mostly full display, even if the front end was been fully Engelasized. Read the rest of this entry »