Recent Posts

New Car Review: 2018 BMW X2 – Why You Shouldn’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

As a lifelong BMW fan, the enthusiast in me finds it somewhat discouraging that BMWs have given up some of their unmatchable handling feel for increasingly levels of comfort, and that CUVs SAVs now account for a substantial percentage of BMW sales. Yet as a realist, I fully understand that automakers like BMW must adapt to market conditions and consumer preferences in order to survive, thus more comfortable vehicles and more CUVs.

Like anyone or anything important to me, I usually jump to defend BMW in the face of  unjust criticism. However, when BMW introduced the X2 earlier this year, I couldn’t find many kind words to say about it, and quite frankly groaned at the addition of another front-wheel drive-based BMW that looks very similar to a number of crossovers out there. But would driving one for four days change my perspective?

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Cohort Wordless Outtake: Dadd and Son

Posted at the Cohort by Simon White


Curbside Classic: 1990 VW LT 4×4 Westfalia Camper – The Vanagon Syncro’s Gnarly Globe-Trotting Big Brother


(first posted 6/20/2012. Since I’m out working on my van, this one comes to mind)    The VW Vanagon, especially the Syncro AWD version, represents an ideal that no other vehicle can quite match: the maximum amount of utility, interior living space and vagabonding capability in the smallest practical package, a vehicle that can be driven to the store as well as a remote hidden lake. Its multi-functionality might well be compared to a Swiss Army knife; no wonder it has such a cult following. But for some jobs, something a bit bigger and gnarlier is called for: a Leatherman, for instance. Or even a machete. And here’s the automotive equivalent: the VW LT 4×4. Everything to make the world a smaller place, all wrapped up in one tidy box. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Outtake: Jeep Wagoneer Pick-up – Something Is Off Here

It’s been quite a while since I posted here – The stress of everyday life has a way of wreaking havoc in my spare time. Plus, it has to be said, I had not come across an interesting classic for some time. But the other day, I stumbled upon a widely familiar (well, familiar here at CC) yet oddly different classic, so I made time to share it with you. Read the rest of this entry »


Cohort Outtake: 1965 VW Beetle – Got Patina?

I like me some honest patina, but this one that Tim Finn found in Portlandia is just a wee bit more than I prefer. I’m also not a fan of the headlight treatment, but presumably, this is more about being technically legal than anything else. It’s a survivor and it runs, so let’s give it credit for that.

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COAL: 1995 Plymouth Voyager LE – The Magic Wagon

Note: These pictures are of the actual car

One day after arriving at work, a co-worker met me in the parking lot for the walk to the office.  He saw my 1986 Dodge Caravan and told me that he had a 1995 Plymouth Voyager.  Over the next several months, we compared notes on the two vans.  His primary driving was to work and his annual trip to Sanibel Island Florida for a vacation.

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Curbside Drama: Billy Takes His Nova To The Races

(first posted 11/1/2012)   Billy was washing his ’79 Nova at the Sloppy Dog Car Wash and grinning from ear to ear.  “I’ve got a big night tonight!”, he was thinking,  “Me, the Nova, and Tina.  Gonna be a barn-burning good time!”

The agenda was to go to the carnival out by the dragstrip.  Billy had signed up to participate in the drag races, and he was positive the Nova would kick some serious ass.  Having a winning night in the Nova would be a terrific way to impress a new lady friend.

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Auto-Biography: Mack MC/MR Series – Gladiator

I’m sure most of you recognize the truck above. Most commonly, it was (and most of the time still is) your local garbage truck. This design of Mack is as ubiquitous as early 2000’s Civics are in a high school parking lot. Well… they used to be anyway. Most are being replaced by the next generation of truck called the Granite Series. Read the rest of this entry »


Trackside Classic: Run What You Brung

The Renault R12 has been covered here a few times, both in its original French version as well as Dacia and Latin American variants. But did you know that at least one was raced here in the US? I took this photo – of an appropriately numbered car – at an Under 2.5 Liter SCCA TransAm race at Laguna Seca in the early ’70’s.

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Bus Stop Classics: Marcopolo Paradiso 1800 DD G7 – One Big Bus

We’ve previously looked at buses from North America, Asia, and Europe – let’s broaden our aperture a little and review a coach from South America – specifically, one of the biggest and most popular buses on that continent – the Marcopolo Paradiso 1800 DD G7 – it’s one big bus… Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1971 International Scout 800B – Orange Oddball

I’ve always had a soft spot for International Scouts.  My parents had one when I was little, and it was replaced with another after my mother rolled it.  I’d had an opportunity to get one, so I grabbed it. Read the rest of this entry »


QOTD: To Paddle, Or Not To Paddle – Do You Ever Use Paddle Shifters?

In a world where manuals are a dying breed, so called “semi-automatic” transmissions have long become most automakers’ popular alternatives or even replacements for manuals. Often better known by various automaker branding such as Steptronic, Geartronic, or Sportronic, these transmissions seek to offer the best of both worlds by giving drivers the ability to “shift-it-yourself” without a clutch pedal, either through the gearshift selector itself, or more recently, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. But are these really proper substitutes for true manual transmissions? The general opinion, one that I personally share, is “no”.

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CC TV: Car Chases – Daytona Versus Firenza In Hunter

This has to be one of the best car chases I’ve ever seen in a TV show. I say that not just because it’s filmed in some hilly Los Angeles neighborhoods, and not just because of the gorgeous Stepfanie Kramer, and not just because of the impressive driving and stunts. No, this has to be one of the best car chases I’ve ever seen because the villains are wringing the crap out of an Oldsmobile Firenza. A little baby blue J-Car sedan in a high-octane car chase. Brilliant. Read the rest of this entry »


Car Show Classics: The Oval At 2018 Historic Winton, Part One

As I mentioned in my first post from this race meeting, the cars on display were fantastic, with some real rarities on show including some that I only noticed when looking through the photos weeks afterward!  Cars of all varieties, trucks, tractors, caravans and even speed boats were all featured on the oval area on the inside of the turn 5 sweeper.  Let’s have a look around…

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Fieldside Classic: Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 – AWD Tractor, Dump Truck, Flatbed Truck And Tool Carrier

Right after the Second World War, German engineer Albert Friedrich started with the development of a multi-purpose vehicle for farmers. What he had in mind was a hybrid between a capable farm tractor, a family car and a small truck. His work resulted in an absolute and undisputed off-road legend, the Universal-Motor-Gerät (a Gerät is a device, a machine, an apparatus).

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