Recent Posts

Curbside Classic: 1956 Studebaker President – Sadly Squared Up

(first published 4/20/2012)   Here we have another question of where to go between extremes. Normally it’s the retreat from extremes of excess when we think of cars from the 1950s. But when it came to where to move the ungainly Studebaker standard sedans of 1953, this was the boxy result.

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CC Outtake: Cavalier Convertible – All That Glitters Is Not Gold

(first published 3/14/2012)   Cavaliers: of course they’re rugged and long lasting. How else did I come about having at least a dozen in my files? The only one I don’t have, and am still looking for, is the first year (’82) with the 1.8 engine. Like most GM cars, they did get better after a decade (or two) to iron out the worst bugs. But the 1982 with the OHV 1.8 was truly a stinker. And when I find one, I’ll do it justice. BTW, I actually saw a ’82 Cimarron with the 1.8 in traffic one day, but I was walking. Now that’s a rare find. Anyway, I will share with you the most exotic of my Cavaliers, a gold-on-black convertible. Maybe someone will tell me the year; I can’t be bothered right now. Actually, the convertible roof makes this car look better. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1932 Chevrolet Confederate – Hark! What Rung on Yonder Ladder Cracks?


It is said competition brings out the best in people.  After our recent visit with a 1932 Ford (here), it seems only natural to examine and scrutinize the formidable competition from Chevrolet.  Adversarial relationships begin with distinct events, and this is the oldest Chevrolet covered here so far. Here’s what happened.

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Wordless Outtake: 1969 and 1968 – Too Long For One Photo




eBay Find: 1991 Alfa Romeo 164 – Craigslist? On my eBay?


I’ve always preferred eBay to Craigslist. Call me paranoid, but there’s something about the unpolished, plain-site look of Craigslist that just make me look at absolutely anything within it with considerable doubt. Things like the “Personals” section and the horror stories that are a Google search away do nothing to reassure either; eBay could be an Apple store by comparison. But on this particular listing, with the blurry image you see above headlining it, I felt as though some of the soul from the list of Craig got lost and somehow ended up on the Bay of e.

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Cohort Outtake: 1987-1989 Mustang 5.0 – A Once Very Common Sight

Mustang 1987m - 1989 LX 5.0

How the time flies. These were everywhere back in the day, but that day is now almost thirty years ago. Good luck trying to find an unmolested one, like nifticus did. It’s even got the period-correct bra. I can just hear the growl of its twin exhausts. And feel the shifter for the T-5 transmission slide into first. And smell a bit of burning rubber on a brisk take-off. What do you see, hear and feel?


Curbside Classic: 1972 Volvo 144E – Volvo’s Blueprint For The Next Thirty Years

(first published 3/27/2012)   The Volvo 140 series was introduced in 1966 as a ’67 model. This car, with continuous updating over the years, finally ended production in 1993 as the 240. The 140 was much more modern than the 122/Amazon it would eventually replace, and cemented Volvo’s reputation for the next thirty years as safe, reliable…and boxy. Read the rest of this entry »


Cohort Capsule: Plymouth Trail Duster – Refusing To Hit The ‘Ol Dusty Trail

trailduster 6

Today, Plymouth is remembered for a number of notable cars: the Barracuda pony/muscle car, the Voyager minivan, the Reliant K car, and the high finned Fury, to name a few. But among its most forgotten models is the Trail Duster SUV. Yes, Plymouth sold an SUV, and what’s more is that it was not during the SUV craze of the 1990s, but from 1974-1981. While quite rare on today’s roads, there are still a few of these Plymouth SUVs out there that haven’t departed for good yet, like this tan 1977-78 spotted by Joseph Dennis and this red 1979-1980 example spotted by SoCalMetro.

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CC For Sale: 1980 Fiat Brava (131) With 559,355 Miles – The Original Engine Is Smoking Though

Fiat 1980 Brava

Somebody (Constant Reader) heard me thinking about this high mileage Fiat, as just the other day I was wondering whether it was still racking up the miles for owner Gil Cormaci. His goal was to make it to 600k miles, but the Fiat’s engine has finally succumbed, despite all the babying it’s gotten over the years. He’s decided 559k miles was close enough, so if you’re looking for a Fiat 131 Brava project car, here’s your big moment. Read the rest of this entry »


There’s A Little Mouse On The Tracks

Caption Topolino

Don’t ask me where I found this image, but it caught my eye. I’ve always harbored fantasies about driving on the rails, and what better car to do it in than Fiat’s iconic Topolino?


Curbside Classic: 1996 Nissan 200SX SE – Have We Met?

(first published 4/10/2012)    Although at least two new cars were for sale at the time, 1995 was a lousy year for Nissan.  What once was a company that produced (relatively) confident, robust cars introduced a new, minimized Maxima and this, a Japanese take on name debasement: the 200SX. Read the rest of this entry »


Comment Classic: Wally Schirra’s Son Washes His Dad’s Maserati For The Last Time

Caption Why Couldn't I Have Been Walter Shirra's son

(It’s wonderful how comments appear years later that put a picture we’ve posted into context. This was originally titled “Why Couldn’t I Have Been Wally Schirra’s Son?“, a lament on the lack of cool cars I had to wash as a kid. Well, it turns out Wally’s son wasn’t all that lucky either, in terms of the Maserati. Two years later, the following comment was left by FRLIII):

It’s a ’63 3500 GT – Superleggera body. I was the lucky kid who’s dad bought the Maser from Wally Schirra the day this picture was taken. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Compare and Contrast: 1965 MGB and 2006 MG TF 135 – Roadsters Ancient And Modern?

MGB_MGF_1Spring is coming, and so your thoughts are turning to a sports car, obviously. May be there’s one waiting in the garage for The Great Awakening, or may be you’re now taking the first steps into the sports car/CC experience. But which to choose? A roadster? Ancient or modern? Let’s look at two of the options. Read the rest of this entry »


Pranked: In the College Parking Lot, 1986


Engineering school, 1986: Somebody pranked one of my classmates by wrapping his MGB with the innards of a cassette tape. I found it hilarious enough then to photograph it. But what’s compelling about the photos now is all the cars that surround it. Read the rest of this entry »


Automotive Histories: What’s In A Borrowed Name?


During the 1970s, Holden had three core models, all manufactured locally: Gemini, Torana and the full-size Holden, varyingly known as Kingswood, Belmont, Premier, Monaro and Statesman. Following the 1970s, though, Holden decided to fill their model line-up with imported models. They didn’t just add models from the global portfolio, though: they also imported names.

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