Recent Posts

Curbside Classic: 1991 Nissan Sunny B122 Pickup – Keep Those Flares, They’ll Come Back In Style

Fashion and cars have a lot in common. A lot of fashion trends get recycled every 20 years or so. Flared trousers were in back in 1970-75, and they came back in the ‘90s. The punks of the late ‘70s took the ‘50s bikers/rockers look and turned it up to 11. Likewise, cars that were made for long stretches also saw their popularity increase after a couple of decades: the Beetle, the Mini, the 2CV… Did Nissan try to do this (subconsciously?) with the Sunny B-series pickup?

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Rental Review: 2017 RAM 1500 Promaster Cargo 136″ WB Low Roof – U-Haul Traded In My Transit

Back in 2015, I wrote about my experience with a virtually new U-Haul Ford Transit 250 Van that I had occasion to rent for the day.  I fully expect that you remember how impressed I was with it and in case you don’t, I have conveniently included the link above for you.  This week, I again had such an opportunity.  However, when I pulled up to my local U-Haul affiliate, I realized that the Transits were gone and along with a row of new but old-style GMC Savana vans, they also had several RAM (the brand formerly known as the truck part of Dodge) Promasters.  And I now find myself authoring a series…

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COAL: 1996 Nissan Maxima – No, I Haven’t Driven a Ford Lately

1996 Nissan Maxima

My 1996 Nissan Maxima


Detroit. The Motor City. Motown. Caropolis. (OK, I just made this last one up). It is 1995, and I am realizing one of my life-long dreams of living and working in the heart of the automotive universe. Greektown! Greenfield Village! The financial mismanagement! OK, I’m jumping ahead.

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Curbside Classic: 1968 Chevmobile Impala – Hybrid Of A Different Sort

(first posted 2/29/2012)     Hybrids are very big in Eugene, but some are just plain huge. The Prius has become the official car of Eugene, having dethroned Subaru. But here’s a hybrid of a different color: instead of a marriage of two drive systems, it’s a cross between two brands, the engine of one transplanted into another. Back in the day, when these were popular, the goal was speed, not better mileage (well, usually). And the resulting names of these cross-species hybrids were more colorful than Prius or Insight: Fordillac, Studillac, Fordick, Fordolet. Well, here’s a new one: a Chevmobile. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Outtake: Suzuki Swift Semi Convertible – Fun in the Sun?

Some photos have come up in an Israeli cars’ forum, specifically this thread. I thought it was funny enough to share with you. Read the rest of this entry »


Car Show Outtakes: Ruby’s Diner, Redondo Beach

This past summer I got to re-visit one of my old hangouts, Ruby’s Diner, at the back side of the Redondo Beach Pier. The car show crowd at Ruby’s tends to pack up and leave rather early, but I was fortunate enough to catch these cool rides minutes before their owners departed.  Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Photos: Norwegian Woods (Part 2: Group Pics)

More lovely vintage pics from Norway found on VW Vortex. Here, we have some interesting street and road snaps, which I think all more or less date back to 1960. Can anyone ID the pre-war cars in this picture? You have three minutes… tick-tock, tick-tock…

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Bus Stop Classic: GM PD 4104 – The Best and Most Influential Bus Ever Built


(original pictures and some text by Paul N.)   Over the past several months, we’ve reviewed several different motor coach manufacturers that went toe-to-toe with General Motors in the intercity bus market of the 1950’s – ACF Brill, Beck, Fitzjohn, Aerocoacoach.  All fought the good fight, but ended up on the canvas. OK, enough boxing metaphors – let’s look at the bus that vanquished all of these challengers, and set the template for all buses to come. All hail the GM PD 4104 Highway Traveler. Read the rest of this entry »


COAL (COJL) – 2005 Smart ForTwo Passion – A Friend Till the End

Thus far in the COJL series I’ve profiled a selection of mostly ‘fun cars’ which my spouse John had for the time we were together. However, during that time he also had one everyday vehicle which served him well for all the unglamorous tasks of everyday life for more than a decade. That was his 2005 Smart ForTwo Passion.

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Vintage Photos: Norwegian Blues (Part 1: Solo Cars)

0. 1950 Chevrolet Custom coupe


These lovely snaps come from the VW Vortex forum, which has a near 500-page thread of vintage car pics. They were posted by an Oslo-based member under the pseudonym Galrot. What I particularly like about these is how eclectic they are. In countries with no national automaker(s), that’s to be expected.

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CC Outtake: 1978-80 Chrysler Scorpion – The Welcome Wagon

Moving to a new neighborhood is always fun. You become acquainted with an unfamiliar pocket of town, learning its shortcuts, discovering its unique architecture and identifying convenient new places to shop and dine. For us enthusiasts, there’s also the promise of finding intriguing new vehicles adjacent our new abode. I only moved a fortnight ago and I’ve already spotted my first neighborhood Curbside Classic. Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Car Spotting: Suddenly, It’s 1965 (Or Thereabouts)!!!

Human nature is such that if you find something good, you tend to gorge yourself on it.  Such has been the case with, a veritable honey hole of information about my birthplace of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, with many accompanying pictures that often tend to contain then near-new automobiles.

Let’s take a look at the latest harvest, such as this 1960 Oldsmobile convertible.

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Curbside Classic: 1978 Ford F-250 SuperCab – A Superior Cab Leads To Everlasting Supremacy

How did Ford become the perpetual number one selling pickup truck? Well, there’s several reasons, but in my mind by far the biggest single one was Ford’s extended SuperCab. It arrived in 1974, and it’s no coincidence that 1976 was Chevy’s last year at the top. And when did Chevy finally get an extended cab? 1988. And what took them so long? Meanwhile, the F-Series pulled into an insurmountable lead. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1974 MG Midget Mark IV – A Tiny Car At The Tiny Tap

On a balmy, May night about four years ago, I found myself back in my old Tampa neighborhood of Hyde Park.  I had lived maybe four blocks from the Tiny Tap Tavern when I was in my early twenties in the late 1990’s while I attended the University of South Florida, finishing my degree after a year-long hiatus.  I had spent many nights and many quarters at the Tiny Tap, loading up the jukebox and learning to shoot pool when I wasn’t attending class, studying, tearing it up at night in the historic Ybor City district, or working my early morning job as a greenskeeper at a local golf course.

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Ford Has Some Better Ideas; Or Not: Aurora II Country Squire And Magic Cruiser Wagon Concepts

(first posted 3/6/2012)     You don’t stay number one in wagon sales by standing still. Ford’s Magic Tailgate was not the end of Ford’s magical thinking. Here’s their Magic Cruiser shown at car shows in 1966. How great is that? And in 1969, Ford had another better idea yet: Read the rest of this entry »