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COAL: 1968 VW 1300 – My First Car; What Were The Odds?

VW 1300, Alsace France

The beetle and myself somewhere in Alsace, France

After missing out on a beautiful Ford Taunus 12 M I was using the classified ad to scout for prospects. A 1968 VW 1300 in my price range showed up somewhere in the Black Forest. It looked good to me and drove alright. None the less I asked the owner if she would be willing to have it checked out by a mechanic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Carshow Photo Report – Market Hill, Cambridge, May 2016

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A street market has been held in Cambridge since the times of the Saxons, perhaps 1200 years ago. Logically, as this part of the city and of England is almost universally flat and in parts below sea level, the market is held on an area called Market Hill., and it has changed much over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Motion Classic: 1976 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – Carpe Diem

010 - 1976 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray CC

I imagine that the driver of this C3 is doing exactly what I wish I could be doing on many summer days during the workweek – tooling around the Windy City in a classic Corvette with the t-tops off and the a/c and stereo on.  After the Chicago winter, and then what feels like maybe three fleeting weeks of spring, we’re thrust into summer without warning.  It’s only a matter of time before the Fourth of July passes, and before you know it, you’re halfway through the month and seeing ads for fall clothing and children’s back-to-school sales.  The driver of this car was doing things correctly on this July afternoon.  He was seizing the day.

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Vintage Review: 1974 Peugeot 504D – Doctor Diesel’s Pug Patient

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Although Mercedes-Benz was a pioneer and world leader in automotive diesels, starting with their 260D in 1936, Peugeot was also an early advocate of diesel power and sold a good number of diesel-powered cars around the world. So was the Peugeot diesel an unsung hero?  How competitive was Peugeot’s oil-burner as the U.S. diesel craze exploded in the wake of the Arab Oil Embargo?  Let’s go back to 1974 and have a look at Road Test Magazine’s reviews, covering both the initial drive test as well as a 50,000 mile teardown report for a Peugeot 504D.

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Car Show Photo Report – Peking-Paris Motor Challenge 2016 Participants in Nizhny Novgorod – Part I

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While the 60th Anniversary of Volga GAZ-21 that took place on July 1, 2016 had been an interesting car show in its own right, it was almost overshadowed by the terrific event which took place the next day, when the motorcade of the 6th Peking to Paris Motor Challenge arrived at the city’s Victory Park, on the right bank of Volga river. No sane CC lover could miss such an opportunity to see over 100 classics built from 1915 to 1975 within one day ! Read the rest of this entry »

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COAL NFL Edition: Pro Football Player With $3.5 Million Contract Still Driving 1991 Mazda 626 He Bought For $2

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We’ve all seen and heard about the profligate car buying habits of so many professional football players, but this story really goes against the grain. Dallas Cowboys running back Alfred Morris bought this 1991 Mazda 626 when he was in college from his then-pastor for $2. And despite being on his second multi-million dollar contract with the NFL since 2012, he refuses to buy a new car and replace his baby, which he has named “The Bentley”. As he told 5PointsBlue:  “It’s always going to be my baby and I’m going to drive it ’til she dies.” Morris, who comes from humble beginnings, added that he drives the Mazda as a way to remind himself to stay grounded.  Read the rest of this entry »

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COAL: 1990 Plymouth Laser – Badass Babysitter

 

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Picture this: It’s the summer of 1997. You’re five years old and about to begin kindergarten in suburban Michigan. Your mother is driving you to school in a 1985 Plymouth Voyager, brown, with maroon velour seats and seemingly acres of fake wood paneling slathered along the sharp, right-angled sheetmetal of her dorky little minivan. While the Cool Moms in the ‘booshie’ part of town drive two-tone Ford Explorers, this is all she has, working nights as a nurse at the city hospital. Your dad, working nine-to-five for The State in his musty government cubicle, desires nothing more than his navy blue ‘86 Toyota Camry to shuttle him back and forth to the office each day.

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CC Outtake: Mystery Car, Dismembered

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As with last week’s mystery car, the whole thing is shown here, well kind of.  Can you tell what this used to be?  Are the two halves even from the same car?  I’ve made the click-through picture extra-large this time to help spot those crucial details.  No doubt somebody will know…

 

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Curbside Fiction: The Inverse Passenger

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This is an ongoing CC Serial; the last installment can be found here.

Louis Broderick was lying in a hospital bed, the mental fog thicker than ever.  All concept of time had been lost; he had no idea if he had been there six days or six weeks.  He was coherent enough to notice the leaves were beginning to fall from the trees, giving him the cloudy idea the amount of time he been incapacitated was considerable.

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Vintage Reviews: 1970 and 1971 Peugeot 504 – Dialing The Right Number For New Orleans

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504 is the area code needed to reach New Orleans.  Based on my childhood recollections, 504 was also the number Peugeot used effectively to reach New Orleans import car buyers.  Praise from period buff books reinforced the choice: the quirky, charming French car offered a number of attributes that made it well-suited for ardent Francophiles. Read the rest of this entry »

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CC Outtake/QOTD: Curbside Lawn Ornament – What Front Clip Would You Have On Your Front Yard?

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The focus is a bit soft, as I only slowed down to shoot this ’49 Ford front clip lawn decoration. The flags were commemorating something to do with the “419” number on the Ford; I want to say some Navy ship. Could it be to do with the USS Wainwright (DD419)? I only got a momentary glance at it. And the yellow flag? Someone will know. Read the rest of this entry »

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Car Show Classic: 1961 Buick Electra – How Would You Like Your Four Door Hardtop, Sir? With Four Windows Or With Six?

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As we continue our slo-mo four door hardtop jag, it is time to move from some of the early versions to this body style’s heyday.  By 1961 the four door hardtop was here to stay.  And at Buick, it was available to every Buick buyer – unless that Buick buyer cheaped out and bought a compact Special, but that is another topic for another day.  But for the Buick buyer looking at the high end Electra, he got the choice of two, count ’em, TWO four door hardtops.

General Motors was indeed at the peak of its size and influence in 1961.  Aside from all the work GM was doing to bring out four new compacts in 1960-61,  its full sized line was all-new as well.  Has any auto maker offered two separate and distinct four door hardtops in a given model line since the General Motors C body of 1961-64?

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Skinner Butte Outtakes: Air Heads and Pot Heads

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It was another splendid summer late afternoon walk to Skinner Butte; this has been the nicest summer in recent memory: cool, fresh and brilliant clear air. So what would greet Lil’ Man and and me as we arrived at the top? The smell of pot wafting from numerous cars, which were a diverse melange. Here’s a Monte Carlo, next to a Prius, next to a Jeep next to a VW T2 bus. Recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon, but technically it’s not legal to smoke in public, hence the popularity of this spot for the purpose. But there was more than pot heads here today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cohort Outtake: 1977-78 Plymouth Colt – Pristine Pony

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The Curbside Classic Cohort has an absolute wealth of amazing finds and it’s very, very easy to spend a very, very long time looking through it. But of all the treasures therein, this innocuous econobox stands out as one of the most remarkable finds (thanks, Nifty43). When did you last see a 1970s Japanese economy car in this condition? Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1976 Peugeot 504 – One Continent’s French Mercedes and COTY Is Another Continent’s Most Rugged Vehicle Is Another Continent’s POS

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(first posted 1/4/2013; revised 7/19/2016)

Putting the Peugeot 504 into proper perspective presents a particular challenge. It’s a vehicle with (at least) three distinct personalities or reputations. I could easily write up three different articles on it, but that might not go over so well here in America, where there are still folks trying to get over CPTS (Chronic Peugeot Fatigue Syndrome) or PTSD (Peugeot Traumatic Stress Disorder). That probably gives you a good clue as to how at least some Americans remember the 504. One thing is certain, it’s not easy to stereotype the 504, at least not from a global perspective.. Read the rest of this entry »