Recent Posts

Wanted: A New COALperson (or two)

coalman -john-chatterley

CC’s COAL (Cars Of A Lifetime) Series has become a weekend institution since quite early on. We’ve had a number of COALmen who shared with us all the cars they’ve ever owned; in the case of Jim Klein, that was no less than forty three. Our last series ran out a while back, and I don’t know about you, but I miss my weekly COAL fix. CC thrives on the multitude of voices and experiences, so it’s time to enlist the services of a new COALperson or two. It’s not about how many cars you’ve had, or how utterly unique they were;  it’s about sharing your experiences, which are always fascinating to the rest of us even if they might seem mundane to you. Read the rest of this entry »


Cohort Outtake: 1981 Ford Durango – Shoulda’, Coulda’, Did!

(first posted 11/15/2011)    Drew Wescott shot this Ford Durango in a parking lot in Madisonville, KY. He apologizes for the iPhone quality; I think it adds a nice dreamy quality. Nice clouds too; remind me of ours here. Anyway, an outfit called National Coachworks built somewhere between 80 and 350 of these Fairmont conversions in 1981 and possibly 1982. Wiki’s modest write-up is here. And yes, this Durango is keeping company with another “ute”, and it’s not exactly stock either. Read the rest of this entry »


Museum Classics: DAF Museum Eindhoven, Part One – The Trucks



DAF’s roots go back to April 1, 1928, when Hub van Doorne founded the “Commanditaire Vennootschap Hub van Doorne’s Machinefabriek en Constructiewerkplaats”. The startup capital, 10,000 Dutch guilders, was provided by the owner of beerbrewery De Valk in Eindhoven. Van Doorne’s forge and workshop were situated in an extension of the brewery’s main building. That brewery with the extension is now the DAF Museum’s accommodation. And Eindhoven is still DAF’s hometown. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Outtake: A New Yorker and Newport by Sunset


Walking to my car, I took a quick shot of this rather clean 1991 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue by sunset. It was only later that I realized there was also a Newport photobombing the picture. An odd coincidence?

Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Capsule: 2003-06 Subaru Baja – The Brat Grew Up

subaru baja 1

Car-based pickups may have enjoyed a great deal of popularity in markets like Australia and Latin America, but in North America they never really took off. Sure, GM sold the Chevrolet El Camino and GMC Sprint/Caballero for decades, as did Ford with its Ranchero, but they were always niche players. During the 1980s, Dodge had the relatively short-lived Rampage (and the one-year only Plymouth Scamp) and Volkswagen had its Rabbit Pickup, but they were one-generation wonders in North America. More recently, Honda introduced the Pilot/MDX-derived Ridgeline but despite Honda’s stubborn insistence on producing it, sales have never amounted to a hill of beans. And then there was Subaru, with its polarizing 2003 Baja. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1942 Hudson Six – Up Against the Clock


Seeing this 1942 Hudson sitting for sale next to the road caused a panic of sorts.  Painfully eager to stop and take pictures, I was up against the clock.  It was the opening day of the state fair and my daughter had an entry to deliver with the submission deadline staring us in the face.  Thinking about it, being up against the clock was the same problem faced by all the 1942 models in the United States.

Read the rest of this entry »


QOTD: What’s The Longest Your Car Battery Has Ever Lasted? And The Shortest?

CC 259 037 1200

My two recent experiences that answer my question will probably not be the longest and shortest, but will set a decent benchmark. First, the long one: I knew the end was coming, as the xB’s first start of the morning was getting progressively more lethargic. I should have acted, and sure enough, this morning when I promised my son a ride, it…died. Good thing the F-100 was out back, and quickly pressed into service. Well, this original battery is now 10½ years old, by my best estimate, based on the xB’s build date of 4/05. I was hoping to make it to eleven.  Read the rest of this entry »


Car Show Capsule: 1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage – Some Heritage Is Best Left in the Past


With the pitiful eight generation (1980-1982) Ford Thunderbird failing miserably in comparison to the success of the seventh generation, Ford wasted no time in rolling out a substantially redesigned ninth generation T-Bird for 1983. While still riding on the Fox platform, this new Thunderbird was a total-180 in terms of styling, and with sales more than doubling over the previous year, the buying public seemed to approve.

Read the rest of this entry »


CC Capsule: 1965 Chrysler New Yorker Town Sedan — The Better Last Great Chrysler?

1200 Front Quarter

Earlier this year, Paul declared the 1965 Chrysler New Yorker to be “The Last Great Chrysler” for its distinctive style, fine engineering, and solid build quality, and it is impossible to disagree with that appraisal.  Even the great can be improved upon, though, and this parking lot find in Virginia arguably does it.  It is a 1965 Chrysler New Yorker Town Sedan, a New Yorker pillared sedan with a six window layout, instead of the four door hardtop found by Paul in California.

Read the rest of this entry »


Cohort Outtake: Check It Out

Check it out

CC Cohort William Rubano caught the very essence of why cars like this exist: so that others would crane their neck to check it out. I’m checking it out too, to try to identify just exactly which of so many classic Mercedes-inspired kits or retro-mobiles this is. But my retro-memory banks seem to still be on vacation. There were so many; way too many…one of you will know.


Curbside Classic: 2001 Oldsmobile Alero GLS – Going Out in Style


It’s unfortunate that GM has a history of giving brands some of their best cars in the years right before the automaker goes ahead and discontinues that brand. They did it to Pontiac with the G8, Saab with the first new 9-5 in over a decade, and Saturn with not only the Aura, but basically its whole final-year lineup. Oldsmobile’s final years were also stricken with this rather tragic syndrome, with vehicles like the Alero showing great promise, only to die when Olds shut its doors in 2004.
Read the rest of this entry »


Cohort Outtake: Towing Fintail Might Get Towed

Mercedes 220S towing fq

I just had a chance to peruse the CC Cohort for the first time since getting back; what a motherlode of finds. But this old Mercedes 220S fintail hitched up to a twin axle trailer, posted by our intrepid Bryce, caught my eye. Well, I can see why it caught Bryce’s too, as he also tows with his even older Hillman Minx. Birds of a feather…and they both have little winglets in back. Of course, the warning sign about cars being towed if (presumably) parked here illegally only adds to the flavor of this shot. Would a tow truck try to tow this road train? Read the rest of this entry »


QOTD: Which Geographically-Named Car Most/Least Suits Its Namesake?


Montreal. Malibu. Aspen. Many cars throughout automotive history have been named for places. Such names are often evocative or, at the very least, pleasant. You can picture a ’57 Chevy Bel Air cruising through that SoCal neighborhood back in the day, even if the name was eventually relegated to a fleet special. A Chevy Monte Carlo or Chrysler Cordoba probably never drove through those locales, but the name conveys a sense of luxury and prestige.

Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Outtake: 1983-90 Toyota Tarago – A Van By Another Name

toyota tarago van

You don’t need to go all the way to Eugene, Oregon to find an old Toyota van. Here’s a 1980s Tarago I shot in Brisbane, in pristine condition. These vans wore many different names: Van in North America (boring), Tarago in Australia and New Zealand (odd, but it quickly became familiar), Space Cruiser and Model F in Europe (interesting) and finally, in Japan, TownAce and MasterAce Surf (bizarre). While it wore somewhat funky 1980s styling, at least for a van, at the end of the day it was just another forward-control commercial van that had been converted into a people carrier. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Outtake: 1987-1992 Chrysler LeBaron – A Real K-Car


While it may not be as desirable as today’s earlier Chrysler 300K, this true K-car was unquestionably one of the more beautiful variants of the 1981-1995 Chrysler K-platform. Especially in earlier years with their hidden headlights and BBS-style wheels, these final LeBaron convertibles made the best of their underpinnings.

Read the rest of this entry »