As William Stopford stated in his 2005-2012 Acura RL article, the RL’s successor, the RLX, has not improved upon the RL’s microscopic sales figures. In fact, since going on sale in the U.S. in early 2013, the RLX has sold less than 13,000 units total here in the states. Seeing an RLX in the wild is largely a semi-annual sight, though I’ve probably seen more of the RLX than most, having actually been behind the wheel of one.
Repair & Maintenance: Exercises In Practicality For An Aging Van That Is Approaching Yard Ornament Status
For those who have been hanging out around here for a while, it’s no secret I have had a long-term love/hate relationship with this Ford van. Perhaps one of its positives is providing a periodic well of usefulness for writing an article when I have no street finds to share.
I’ve recently been suffering from mild and frightful urges to actually like this stupid thing. Maybe seeing it withering beneath two ailing elm trees is part of the reason, much like people feel sorry for a dog after they’ve kicked it in the gut a handful of times.
There’s a new arrival or visitor in my neighborhood. And it’s from outer space. It certainly isn’t from this world, where aerodynamic plastic-clad fish-mobiles with bulging eyes and wavy sides noiselessly swim the streets. No, this burbling extra-terrestrial visitor, still covered in space-dust, is clearly from another world, and there’s little doubt that its home planet is not round, but square. How else to account for its shape? Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s an activity: name a mid-sized luxury sedan sold in North America during the 2005-12 period other than the pictured Acura RL. Did you think of one? Good. If you said anything other than the Volvo S80, then you named a car more popular with American buyers. Read the rest of this entry »
Wanderlust (/’wändərˌləst/) — A strong desire to travel.
In my 24 years of life, I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled a lot, both with family and friends. However, I’ve never travelled outside of North America, and I’ve never taken a vacation by myself. Yet this recently changed. I guess you can say my wanderlust kicked in, and I rather impulsively took a solo trip to Europe to clear my head of my busy work and personal life, take in new cultures, journey back to my ancestral roots in Alsace and Bavaria, and fulfill my nearly lifelong dream of visiting BMW Welt.
Automotive History: Factory Four Speed Transmission Behind a Slant Six? Yup, For a Couple of Years Anyway
I’ve long had a fixation on the lack of four speed transmissions being available on American compacts in the 1960s. The standard three speed manual transmission was a relic from the pre-war era when cars had slow-revving engines, very high (numeric) geared rear axles, and highway speeds were very modest. Driving conditions were different, but most of all, driver expectations were different.
In the 1950s, when the great import and sports car boom were under way, things changed quickly. Highway speeds increased, which meant that rear axle ratios were lowered numerically, effectively increasing the gaps between gears, especially between second and third. With a big lazy V8, or for buyers looking for minimal motoring function, the three speed was adequate enough. But the compacts’ brief was to compete against the imports, which almost invariably had four speed transmissions.
Of course the true import-fighter Corvair had an optional four speed, as of the spring of 1960. And I knew that the Falcon was available with the UK-sourced four speed behind their six from mid-year 1962 through 1964. But a four speed behind the Chrysler slant six on their Dart and Valiant? I was never aware of that, until yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »
(first posted 8/18/2013. I’m re-running it as a preview of a rather unusual dual-rear-axle FWD car home-made conversion I found the other day, but rather different from the Toronado).
The other day we saw a trailer with a full set of Oldsmobile Toronado wheels but sadly its suspension didn’t match the rims. This time I suspect the axles match the rims and this find promises an extra large dose of Toronado …
The highly-acclaimed musical “Hamilton” is currently playing at the CIBC Theatre (previously known as the “Bank Of America Theatre” for about five minutes, and then as the “PrivateBank Theatre” as seen above, as recently as earlier this week) downtown in Chicago’s Loop district. I’ve walked past this venue for the past year or so while on my way to work, and also occasionally on weekends. At most any given time, there are at least a few people posed either in front of the entrance doors or under the marquee for a picture as a memento of either having seen the show or just being there.
QOTD? Why Would Someone Be Repairing Their Tahoe in the Train Station Parking Lot? Where’s the Most Unusual Place You’ve Repaired a Car?
CC Cohort Ralf K shot this the other day in Tukwila, WA. He asks: “WTF, major repair job at train station parking lot? Somebody doesn’t have AAA?”
So where’s the most unusual or awkward place you’ve repaired a car? Read the rest of this entry »
When I came across these two pictures posted by stephenpellegrino1 at the Cohort, they reminded me of a picture of similar-vintage big Chrysler Corp. sedan that CC’s Jim Cavanaugh once owned in the late 70s. The driveway and house even reminds me a bit of Jim’s house. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve shown you quite a few vans over the years here, original and…not. Quite a few of the latter, actually, as Eugene is a van kind of town, given quite a few folks’ tendencies to see their vans as a blank canvas for their creativity. This is a bit of an odd one, as the amount of work put into it to get a couple of inches of more height in the back seems a questionable return on effort. But then who’s keeping track of that sort of thing in this set? Read the rest of this entry »
How often do you see an Amphicar? In a desert? I caught this one at a traffic light, and the owner was kind enough to pose for a quick snapshot. He tells me there are about 500 of them still left, which is not bad out of a total production of 4000, from 1961-1967! It obviously carries a valid boat registration, and the Nevada road plate reads “MY BOAT”. Read the rest of this entry »
As Chrysler bounced back from the brink of doom in the early 1980s, the company needed to expand its lineup beyond frugal transportation like the K-car. Minivans, sport coupes and convertibles helped to satisfy this goal, and another market niche beckoned as well. Young adults who had grown to appreciate compact (largely imported) cars were aging into a more settled product, yet retaining their preferences for tight handling and good economy. Thus, the 1980s sport sedan market was born. Our featured car was Chrysler’s entry in this market segment – envisioned as a sedan with American traits but with an international feel.
(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 »