Recent Posts

Curbside Outtake: 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix – Soldiering On

A 1963 Grand Prix not-so-quietly slipped into the bay across from me this morning as I was satiating the Commodore’s thirst for 93 Octane on my way to a supplier meeting in Chicago.

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Car Show Classics: Paris Retromobile

I was recently at the annual Retromobile show in Paris.  For those who have never been, it is one of the largest shows in Europe.

  • 550 exhibitors
  • 65,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space
  • 500 cars on show
  • Over 100 clubs in attendance
  • Circa 120,000 visitors

This year was quite special due to the weather conditions.  “Big” snow storm (12cm) basically paralysed the city and there were over 740km (450 miles) of traffic jams in the Paris region!  Flights were cancelled, trains were late and it was general chaos.  By the way, there are an estimated 15.5 million car “trips” per day on average in the Paris region.

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CC Junkyard: Bishops Bridge Many Years Ago

A recent CC clue on the OB CAC Bedford bus looked familiar. Sure enough, among some photos I’d scanned earlier, there it was in all its dilapidated streamlined glory. While an invitation to climb aboard might seem futile in the state pictured here, it should be noted this was taken a long time ago and the old bus was one of two vehicles earmarked for collection by enthusiasts. So let’s take a walking tour for a last look at some less fortunate internees of the junkyard.

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Bus Stop Classics: 1941 White Postal Service Bus – Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Flat Tire…

What a beauty – this is a 1941 White 700 Series Transit coach, modified as a Suburban model, and outfitted as a mobile postal sorting facility. If you haven’t heard of these Highway Postal Buses, they have quite the interesting history – let’s take a quick look…

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COAL: 2012 Chevrolet Volt: An Enjoyable Time, Cut Short

2012 Chevrolet Volt side view

The replacement for the Kia came about because of a confluence of factors: my interest in having a technically-advanced electric drive vehicle, the desire of GM to sell me said vehicle to get them out into the public, and my ability to sell the Kia without losing my shirt. This all resulted in a car that I liked very much, but events out of my control (literally) meant that it didn’t spend as long in my garage as I would have liked.

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CC Cinema: A Cable Car Trip Down San Francisco’s Market Street Just Days Before It Was Devastated In the 1906 Earthquake and Fire

I’ve been perusing a lot of very early street scene videos at night, but this one is the best so far. It’s a ride down San Francisco’s Market Street on a cable car, shot just a few days before the devastating earthquake on April 18, 1906 (various versions of this film on YouTube have incorrect dates). What makes so interesting (along with the timing) is the mix of traffic, including quite a few automobiles, and the utter lack of any traffic controls. It’s a dance that border on chaos, yet seems to work well enough.

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CC Capsule: 1973 Chrysler Newport Custom – A Real Car for a Real Man

My great uncle William was short, stout, and bald, and always chomped a cigar. He wore slacks and a dress shirt and suspenders and, when he was outside, a fedora. Forever he will be the kind of man I think of who drove a full-sized 1970s Chrysler. Because he did, one much like this 1973 Newport Custom. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Flashback: 1974 – Classic Car Auctions The Way They Used To Be


Jon7190 has taken us several trips to the classic car auctions in Scottsdale, and promises a few more looks soon.  Jon’s sharing at some of the things seen there made me remember my days at one of the very earliest classic car auctions.

The Kruse classic car auction at Auburn, Indiana could well be the granddaddy of them all.  As I understand the history, the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg club had been holding its annual national meets in Auburn, Indiana for many years.  The small city of Auburn was, of course, the location headquarters of the company.  That tradition continues today.

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Car Show Classics: It’s All About MG (And Much More), Part 1

A couple of weeks ago I attended another meeting of Five Club, the premier Israeli classic cars’ club, for a meeting that celebrated one of its members’ MGB. The car had reached end of restoration, after emigrating from the US over to Israel. Naturally, the owner is also a member of the Israeli MG club, so most (if not all) Israeli MGs turned out in force to pay their respects. I took photos.

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Long Term Ownership Report and Future CC Road Trip: 2014 Volkswagen Passat – All In The Family

For a while I’ve been wondering about when would be a good time to prepare a long term report on the VW Passat we purchased new in September 2014.

We’ve put a hair under 35,000 miles on it during our ownership.  We’ve become sporadic in our driving as it will sometimes sit in the garage without seeing daylight for a week.  The first month of ownership saw nearly 3,000 miles, yet only 6,000 miles have been added in the last twelve months.  That’s just the way it’s been going.

This past weekend was one of those sporadic times, with a roundtrip of just under 600 miles.  While making this trip, I realized my experiences were a nice encapsulation of the bulk of our ownership experience.

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QOTD: What Was Your Best Automotive Repair Diagnosis?

Some here at CC are accomplished mechanics, whether as professionals or as hobbyists.  Others of us, while mechanically inclined souls, are no threat to those who keep our cars running for a living.  I place myself in the second category.  From a clueless teenager who was shocked to find a clip on the back side of a screw which attached a piece of trim to the body of my ’67 Ford I have progressed to the place where I consider myself a reasonably competent twister of wrenches on basic repairs.  I suspect many readers here inhabit this space along with me, or perhaps will with more practice.

We had a recent discussion here about an ’89 Thunderbird.  This car resonated with me because I owned another car with a similar powertrain – a Fox body 1986 Mercury Marquis station wagon.  Beyond the fact that I liked the car a lot, it reminds me of one of my great triumphs as a diagnostician of automotive ills.

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How My Dream Car Killed My Dream Car

(first posted 8/22/2011)
Author’s Note: This is a re-imagining of a piece that ran on TTAC last year. I’ve expanded the dialog
and added many more pictures, which I strongly encourage readers click on for a richer experience.
An expanded collection with even larger photos can be freely downloaded here.


Memory can be a funny thing: an ally or an enemy. Any modern American likely grew up with cars, and can summon countless tales of good and woe. Childhood vacations that required an I-70 burn through Kansas winters, causing the POS ‘83 Vanagon’s fuel lines to freeze. Dad pumping bottle after bottle of Heet into the damned thing to no avail. Making our way to Oregon during the freakish Wyoming blizzard of ’85, seeing countless vehicles of all sizes rolled in the median, while the family cat is sleeping peacefully on Mom’s lap…

Mom. The cancer had spread to her brain. Through ten years she had fought, remission after remission, till those damned words: The Brain. Where memory lives. The realm of dreams…

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Road & Track Vintage Review: Dodge Colt GT 2-Liter – Torqueflite For The Win

(Another one from the R&T 1975 Buyer’s Guide, which are really just reprints from 1974 issues)

There wasn’t a whole lot to distinguish this Dodge Colt (Mitsubishi Galant) from the other Japanese competition, as in Datsun 610 and Toyota Corona. But it had rather unique feature: a US-designed Chrysler Torqueflite automatic, rather than the Borg Warner previously used, and also used by other Japanese and European makers. Did it make a difference? You bet. Read the rest of this entry »


Affordable Classic: Dragging It Home – 1961 Pontiac Laurentian

In the last installment I had purchased a 1961 Pontiac Laurentian but still needed to haul it home. A few days later I secured a twenty foot rental trailer and hooked it up to the Ford truck. Rod and I again made the journey north through the southern Alberta prairie landscape. This time we got a little eye candy along the route.

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Rental Car Review: 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS – Having Your Cake And Eating It, Too

The Chevrolet Camaro has long enjoyed a reputation for great value and high performance but, well, nobody’s ever accused it of being refined. After all, the Camaro has always been about great spec numbers and a rumbling V8. If you wanted a polished ride and fancy features, you could pay extra for one of those foreign cars thankyouverymuch. Well, the Camaro now rides on a platform shared with Cadillac and, while it still offers a ridiculous amount of V8 power at an affordable price, it’s now comfortable enough to chauffeur your mother-in-law around in. In the front seat, that is. Read the rest of this entry »