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24

Vintage Snapshots: Can You ID the Imports On Main Street USA?

In the Buick-themed vintage snapshots the other day, it was noted in the comments on how few imports there were to be seen. So I just wasted a lovely hour perusing Dave Gelinas’ “Main Street USA” collection to find some imports. And I found some. Now you get to ID them.

This first one is not surprising, as it is in front of the Art Theatre in Akron, OH.

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26

Cohort Outtake: When Was the Last Time You Saw a Nissan Pulsar With the Sportback?

I’ve been looking for years, but no luck. There’s still a few of these Pulsar coupes around, but none with the optional Sportback. But JWFlynn found this one in Malden, MA. Obviously, not a lot of the Sportbacks were sold. And it wasn’t exactly an original idea by Nissan either.

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14

Neighborhood Outtakes: VW T1 Daily Driver and a Few Other CCs On This Stretch of Adams Avenue

I come by this block of Adams Street regularly, as it’s on the way to a cluster of my rentals. And the folks who live on this end of the block are loyal CC drivers; the exact composition has changed over the years, but there’s always some goodies here. This elderly VW bus is a more recent arrival, and is in regular use. That of course applies to the Westfalia T3 just down the block.

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46

Future CC Outtake: 2018 Nissan Kicks – The Crossover Revolution Will Definitely Be Televised, With The Kicks Leading The Charge

Sometimes, true value can be hard to find. Very rarely does one product consistently stand out as a great deal. But it does happen from time to time. Even in the hyper competitive TV market this is happening; critics can’t stop raving about the quality and price of the TCL 6-Series, an HDTV from a little known but quickly growing Chinese company. The Nissan Kicks seems to be making similar waves on the internet. And it may even be a better value than its television counterpart.

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102

Automotive History: Some Unusual Or Unexpected Police Cars From The United States And Canada

www.policemag.com

 

The police vehicle.  It’s something we’ve talked about here sporadically and while most people don’t want to encounter one under self-detrimental circumstances, they serve a highly beneficial purpose and are always welcome during times of distress.

A recent outtake by Edward Snitkoff discussing the 2020 Ford Explorer prompted thought about those atypical police offerings from times past.  The police have used everything imaginable, but let’s focus on cars purpose built by the manufacturer (there is an exception or two) and aren’t the typical full-sized sedans that seemed to be the law enforcement stereotype until recently – although, there are a few full-sized sedans but by a brand you might not have anticipated.

To keep it all manageable, we’ll look at the time period of 1959 to roughly 1990 – truly the sweet spot for what we like around here.  This list is not intended to be comprehensive or all-encompassing.

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92

QOTD: Which Colonnade Would You Have Bought With A Blank Check?

I was not at all a likely candidate to buy a GM Colonnade-mobile in their time. I was 19 when they came out, and had just been given a ’63 Corvair Monza four door by my brother, who was leaving the country, and was already becoming pretty anti-GM; well, anti_Big Three, actually. But I was pretty blown away when these came out; I did not see this design direction coming, especially the four door sedan, which I rather liked for its airiness. As to the “foreign intrigue”, I’m still looking for that. About as all-American as it gets.

Frankly, I was a bit confused by the regular semi-fastback coupes; I had a hard time seeing how they made sense. And the formal coupes were way too…broughamy for me. So it would have to be a sedan, and although I also rather like the first year Cutlass Salon, the over-the-top Grand Am wins out for sheer visual impact. It’s only a question as to whether it would be a ’74, as pictured here, or the ’73.

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71

Curbside Classic: 1963 Mercury Marauder – Peppered with Plundering Promise

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(first posted 3/5/2013)     Pete Estes was a very annoying man.  Pete, a short, rotund individual my Grandpa Albert’s age, had skipped school the day basic etiquette was taught.

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36

Road & Track Vintage Road Test: 1976 Lamborghini Countach – “Fastest Car We’ve Ever Tested”

 

We’re now entering the era when “The Fastest Car(s) In The World” became increasingly common on the covers of R&T, C&D and Motor  Trend. It was the news stand click bait of its time. And as we move forward through the years of my huge stack of R&Ts yet to be scanned and uploaded, there’s a concomitant reduction in the testing of ordinary cars. Which explains why I became less and less interested in car magazines as time went on. The lure of cars that could go 200+ mph just didn’t mean a whole lot to me anymore.

But in 1976, the newish Countach was still able to get my juices going. And it did get going. Its projected top speed was 192 mph, @8,000 rpm. R&T didn’t get theirs quite up to that, but they claimed to have seen a brief moment at 7,000rpm, which translates to 163mph. Actually, there’s a discrepancy in the stats, as they show 23.3 mph/1000rpm in 5th gear, but that calculates to 186mph. Oh well, you get the idea. It was really fast, especially for 1976.  Oh, and of course, with an 8,000 rpm power peak, this was not exactly a US certified car; the Countach wouldn’t get blessed by the EPA and NHTSA until 1982 or so, thanks to fuel injection and other modern emission control technology.

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26

Curbside Classic Lite: 1981 Honda Prelude – A Prelude to Greater Things To Come

The Prelude was a highly pragmatic move on Honda’s part to expand into the then large and lucrative sporty coupe market. The Celica was making hay and Nissan’s latest 200SX (Silvia) was catching on too. Honda took the longer wheelbase platform of the yet-to-be released the gen2 Civic sedan and wagon, messed around a bit (a bit too little) with the suspension pieces and settings, threw in the Accord’s 1750 cc CVCC four and transmission, and wrapped it in a body that was looked exactly like what it was: a cross between the Accord and the Civic, where the clay model was set in front of a misting fan.

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17

CC Global: 2018 Opel Blitz Treffen – The Opel Commercial Vehicles Of Yore And Some Classic Sedans To Boot

Last Sunday I decided to book a last minute travel to the 2018 Opel Blitz Treffen, held on June 15, 16 and 17. Circa 40 minutes later I arrived at the scene, a camping site in the southeast of the Netherlands. A treffen is a gathering, a place where people meet. Usually to let the good times roll.

Frankly, I was a bit too late to the party, as many Blitz owners had already left or were getting ready to leave. Especially the ones from Germany, many of them had a long road trip ahead in their old vehicle. Never mind, plenty of classic Opels were still present to pose for a photo shoot.

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82

Curbside Classic: 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme – The Jennifer Of Cars

In the mid-1970s, about 60,000 US baby girls were named Jennifer each year – a staggering 4% of all girls.  Parents flocked to the name for good reason – it was fresh, sophisticated-sounding, and (since it was nearly unheard-of just 20 years before), was seen as unique.  But over time, the name Jennifer became a victim of its own ubiquity, its freshness diluted by overuse.  Just a few decades later, the number of babies named Jennifer had diminished by 90 percent and was falling fast.

During the same period, an equally staggering 4% of US new car sales were Oldsmobile Cutlasses.  Consumers flocked to the car for good reason – it was fresh, sophisticated-looking, and (with a new, formal design), was seen as unique.  But over time, the Oldsmobile brand became a victim of its own ubiquity, its appeal diluted by mismanagement.  Just a few decades later, Oldsmobile had rolled out its last car.

Is this a coincidence?  Yes, of course… but it’s an interesting coincidence.  Both are reflections of people’s choices and aspirations in 1970s, and if this white Cutlass needed a name, I’d call it Jennifer.

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49

CC On The Go Outtake: TR6 and VW Beetle – How Narrow You Are!

It’s not so readily apparent in this shot, but as I was following these two oldsters in traffic, I most of all noticed how narrow they were compared to the other cars in traffic. This was really obvious when the TR6 pulled alongside the Mercedes SL (or SLK) up ahead of it. The Mercedes roadster looked about twice as wide.

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26

CC Outtake: 1992 Suzuki Swift GS Four Door Sedan – Any Others Still Around?

This car caught my eye simply because I didn’t know what it was. I drive past this lot every day during my work commute and finally pulled in to see what it was and I was surprised to see a Suzuki badge on there. Even though I was a kid in the 1990’s, I was pretty astute automotive wise. I was the kid who could name make and model of nearly every car that drove by. I digress but my point being that I have zero recollection of there being Suzuki automobiles on the roads back then.

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62

Cohort Classic: GAZ 13 Chaika – Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

GAZ Chayka f

(first posted 3/7/2013)    That the Russians were big fans of Packard’s designs is indisputable. The famous ZIS-110 was a heavily cribbed 1942 Packard Super (the story of Packard sending its body dies for the 180 to Russia has long been debunked). Its successor, the ZIL-111 drew its inspiration from the same 1955 Packard as does this Chaika, a “smaller” limo for the less well connected party bosses. Somehow, to me they do look more “Russian” than a Cadillac clone would have, or am I just under the spell of these cars? So when DeeTwoAr posted some very detailed shots of a Chaika at the Cohort, they quickly found their way here. Read the rest of this entry »

48

Vintage Snapshots: Buicks – In Their Best Decade

Let’s go back and rummage around in Dave Gelinas’ collection of vintage slides, most of the Kodachromes. This time we’ll go through his Buick collection, and relive a time when Buicks were very common, especially with the kind of folks who could afford Kodachrome, which wasn’t exactly cheap. But in perusing his collection, I’m always impressed just how common Buicks were in the mid-late 50s. Well, they were the number three selling brand in ’55 and ’56, and typically a close number fourth behind Plymouth before those two years.

A Buick Special was the default car to buy for something a bit nicer and more prestigious than a Chevy, Ford or Plymouth without costing much more, and then one could climb the Buick ladder all the way into Cadillac territory. Buick had been the backbone of GM ever since GM was created, and it stayed that way for a mighty long time. But the 50s were Buick’s best decade ever.

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