Recent Posts

Vintage Review: BMW 507



Here’s another one of R&T’s lovely articles, of classic and special cars. Read the rest of this entry »


Top 10 Obscure Special Editions and Forgotten Limited-Run Models: Buick Edition, Part II

1979 buick turbocharging ad

The above advertisement provides a clue as to two of the vehicles in the second part of our Top 10 list of obscure limited-run Buicks. While the early Regal turbos are nowhere near as collectible as the later Grand Nationals, they don’t quite qualify as obscure. The turbo Riviera pictured? Well, they were never as popular as the regular V8, but Buick did offer the S-Type (later, T-Type) Riviera throughout the entire run of the 1979-85 Riviera, one of the most popular generations of Buick’s personal luxury coupe. So, let’s take a look at the much less popular 1979-80 Century Turbo Coupe and 1978-80 LeSabre Sport Coupe, as well as three other obscure models from Flint, Michigan. Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1999 Saab 9-3, Doomed Despite Distinction

1999 Saab 9-3 (3)

In the fall of 1998, there was an ad in the Wall Street Journal for a brand new Saab 9-3 lease, for $289/month, with zero down.  The ad was for a 5-door with leather and a sunroof!  I remember being so excited that I called up a friend and told him about it, and we both went to the local Saab dealer (VOB Saab in Rockville, MD) and snatched up brand new Saab leases.  His was dark blue, mine this Green Silver Pearl Metallic.  Never having gotten over my first Saab I was ecstatic about the chance to own such a nice car for not much more than my 1997 Nissan Maxima. Read the rest of this entry »


QOTD: What Car Had The Airiest Greenhouse? And The Least? | source: Bertone

In today’s superb post on Bertone and the Mazda Luce, I re-encountered a car I had forgotten about, Marcello Gandini’s 1967 Fiat 125 Executive concept (Bertone). It reflected what may well be the high point in automotive visibility, what with its huge and airy greenhouse. Obviously, it looks a bit extreme from today’s vantage point; in 1967 designers were pushing the limits of how glassy cars could be, given the technological changes that made it possible. In the early-mid 1950s, cars still had quite small windows. And Gandini in particular was a fan of glass, at the time. Read the rest of this entry »


Houston Hipster Trio: Metropolitan, Ambassador, Hawk

Nashes cover

It’s a bit special when one can find three running representatives of long-dead makes in the same place; all the more so if they are contemporaries of each other. It was as if I’d stumbled into some alternate universe where the era had become uncertain, kind of like the Gotham City of the Batman flicks. So gaze ye on this conglomeration of late ’50s design excess, spotted at the 1940 Air Terminal museum at Houston’s Hobby airport on September 19, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1963 GMC Pickup – The Very Model Of A Modern V6 Truck Engine

(first posted 6/30/2012)   It’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but the years 1960-1961 were undoubtedly GM’s most creative and adventuresome ever: rear-engine Corvair; aluminum V8, the Tempest with half-a-V8 four and swing axles, the Buick 90° (three-quarters-V8) V6, Greenbrier van and Rampside Corvair. And there was another: the GMC truck V6 engine, which appeared in 1960. And unlike the Buick V6, this was a proper one indeed: 60 degree cylinder angle for even firing pulses, and a compact block assuring a short and stiff crankshaft. It was quite the bombshell; never mind its V12 “twin-six” version (post here).  Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Review: Lamborghini Countach S



Continuing with our vintage reviews, this one is of course the cover story from R&Ts’ December 1978 issue. I’ve included some of my own photos inside Read the rest of this entry »


Automotive History: Mazda, Bertone And The Alfa That Wasn’t


The body of the 1966 Mazda Luce is a masterpiece of sophistication and simplicity. In this extended piece, I look at a relationship between carmaker and carrozzeria that has never been sufficiently explained and try to address something people have been telling me for as long as I can remember – the Luce was a rejected Alfa Romeo proposal.

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COAL: 1987 Jeep Cherokee Laredo – What If…

Jeep 1

You may have noticed in my past COALs that I had a propensity to learn things the hard way and make less than stellar decisions when purchasing vehicles. That trend would end with this Jeep. While I somehow have no pictures to prove it, I did buy a decent; problem-free vehicle and didn’t do anything to mess it up. This was the first time I undertook a rigorous and patient car search and picked a winner. It had everything I wanted; 2 door, 4.0 litre engine, 5 speed tranny and of course 4wd. It’s too bad I couldn’t keep it, I would sell it within 8 months.

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QOTD: What Defines a “New” Generation of a Car?

IMG_8456(2003-2005 and 2006-2008 Honda Pilots; an undisputed facelift situation)

Recently, some varying opinions in the comment thread regarding car generations raised a very good point: Exactly which qualities distinguish a new generation of a car from merely a mid-cycle refresh?

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Car Show Classics: 1971 & ’74 Chevrolet Vegas – Two Vegas For The Price of One (Free Admission Ticket)

1177 - 1971 and 1974 Chevrolet Vegas CC
For a week this past August, I was back home in Flint, Michigan for the annual Back To The Bricks car festival.  It’s a completely free, family-friendly celebration of all things car-related, and it takes place in the downtown area of the birthplace city of mammoth, global corporation, General Motors.  My camera shutter finger usually goes like the Energizer Bunny the entire time of the festival, and so it usually takes me about a month or so to edit all those photos, but it only adds to the excitement of rediscovering something I saw, really liked, and almost forgot about.  This pair of Vegas was one such sighting.  Despite having spotted these examples in a car show setting, I’m giving them a free pass to CC because, well, they’re Vegas.  When’s the last time you saw one?

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CC Outtake: Volvo 245 Wagon Circle Track Racer – The Official Race Car Of Eugene

CC 262 018 1200

Since I have crowned the Volvo 240 series as the Official CC of Eugene, it’s only fitting that I encounter a racing car version of it. What could be more perfect than to take an old Volvo wagon, strip it down, and take it racing on a dirt track on a warm summer night? But it has to be kept stock, in terms of the drive train and such. Red block for the win! Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1967-69 Lancia Flavia Coupe — Rare Classical Artefact

1 Curbside

A Lancia of any era and model is not a common sight in the U.S. The Lancia Beta of 1972-84 was the first and only Lancia marketed heavily in the U.S., and although it was fairly successful in initial sales, a reputation for rust and reliability issues ended Lancia’s largest foray into the U.S. market. Enthusiasts of European cars and sports cars have always held Lancias in high regard, though, and over the decades some classic Lancias have made their way across the Atlantic. Concours events are where they should be found, so imagine my surprise when I drove past a local garage’s lot and found a Lancia Flavia from the 1960s standing by the curb.

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QOTD: How Long Does The Sedan Have Left?


Picture this: It’s 11:30 pm on a Saturday night and you flip on NBC. You just happen to tune in during the opening credits sequence of Saturday Night Live, which shows the cast members milling about in NYC while the announcer introduces them by name. These pre-shot sequences vary, but often show the comedians walking around Manhattan or hanging out at a bar. Other times they’ll be shot just stepping out of a cab, ready to enjoy a night on the town. At some point in the near future it is guaranteed they will no longer be exiting from a Ford Crown Victoria, but what you see above: a Nissan NV200. Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Review: Pontiac Grand Am CA



Here’s another article from June 1978 R&T posted here– the Grand Am Ad in that issue interested some of you, so I hope this article will do as well. Read the rest of this entry »