Recent Posts

Cohort Outtake: The Very Wide (and Rare) Chevy Superior Camper Van – Superior In Width If Not In Looks

CC Cohort Owen Smith has found a unicorn, a very wide one at that. In the early 70s, Superior sold these widened Chevy vans, which kept the dash and steering wheel in their original position, primarily for ambulance and shuttle-bus use. I’ve never seen the camper version, and neither has Google.  So feast your eyes on one of the best finds ever here at CC, even if it’s not exactly the most attractive.

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Automotive, Architectural, and Small Town History and Reminiscing: The Cars, Structures, and History Of My Southern Illinois Hometown

For many people the implication from the title of this piece might present a daunting proposition.  In my case, growing up in a town of around 400 inhabitants simplifies things immensely.

There is a lot to share and the amount of information I’ve uncovered is simply too much to be used here, which is a bit unfortunate.  So before we get started, a few pieces of information are critical.

  1. Upon starting this I realized an obligation to provide some historical perspective to give you a better flavor of the place.
  2. Keep in mind the town has deteriorated significantly since I moved away a quarter century ago.  It had been in decline for quite a while prior to that, as you shall see.
  3. If you’ve ever been curious about the dynamics of small-town America, this is your big opportunity.

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Curbside Classic: 1989 Pontiac Bonneville LE – The Many Lives Of The ’80s Bonneville

3-20-2013 008 (800x506)

(first posted 3/11/2014)    Some car models have very linear lives. Take the Lincoln Town Car. All throughout its long life, from Continental option package in 1969 through the final Panther models in 2011, it was a full-sized, RWD, V8 luxury car. So, too, the Chevrolet Camaro. It was always a stylish, sporty two-door, available in show horse-six-cylinder or race horse-V8 models. The Pontiac Bonneville is a different story. It started as a limited edition, top of the line, fuel-injected convertible in 1957, followed with specially-trimmed coupe and convertible models (with fuel injection now optional) for ’58. After that, it became the top-shelf big Pontiac, and was consistently offered in coupe, sedan and wagon models for some time–but not permanently.

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Vintage Snapshot: How Folks Went Camping in 1967 – Wildcatting



CC Outtake: A Scene From Car-rier & Ives

Have you ever looked at something and had it remind you of something else?  Of course you have.  Howabout this snow-capped Buick?  It made me think of Currier & Ives.

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Pumpside Classic: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Our local Valero station recently rebranded to a Unocal 76 station. Some new paint, new logos, but same old pumps, however with new images on the (scratched) screens. The image caught my eye, but something seemed wrong.

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Loaner Review: 2017 Acura TLX V6 – Progress?

When I had to take our TSX wagon to the dealer for a passenger side airbag igniter recall last week, I was given this 2017 TLX as a loaner. Not surprising, since dealers often keep cars they can’t get rid of as loaners. And the TLX certainly hasn’t been a hot seller, although it is their best selling sedan. Since the TLX is a direct evolution of the TSX, I figured it was a chance to see how much had changed. Not much, and partially not for the better.

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Curbside Classic: 1984 Nissan 200SX Turbo – Unused, Unloved, Unlocked

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(first posted 7/1/2014)   What do you do when you own one of the more whimsical artifacts from the bad old days of Datsun’s renaming?  Apparently, you just ignore it and let it rot.  And when passersby let you know of its obscure historical relevance, you let them take photos.  Good thing I’m around to remind owners of thirty-year old S12-chassis Nissans what they have.

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Ad Outtake: The 1986 Formula Holdens – One Big Family


For many years, Holden was best known for… the Holden. Well, it wore names like Kingswood and Premier and Belmont, and it came in sedan, coupe, wagon and ute styles, but there was “a Holden” much as there was “a Chevy”. Then the late 1960s brought the compact Torana, and then a few years later the even smaller Gemini was introduced. But it was the 1980s where the floodgates well and truly opened and suddenly Holden had a sprawling lineup of captive imports and rebadged products, much as Chevrolet came to have during the same decade. Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Snapshot: The Camaro Family – QOTD: What Was Your First Kiddie Hauler?

I love this picture, as it really takes me back. Things were so different, in so many ways. Like that new mom’s exposed midriff. How many new moms would dare do that in 2018? Ok; enough of my relentless obesity crisis harping, although it does sometimes make one wonder if someone put something into the water…maybe corn syrup?

But it does all rather explain how a young family (what’s that?) got by with a Camaro (I’m quite sure the big Chevy belongs to the proud grandparents, who were being visited). Of course for how much longer is another question.

Speaking of questions, how about those of you that have had kids tell us what was the first car you hauled them in?

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2020 Volkswagen Passat – Car and Driver’s Preview Tells You All You Need To Know About The State Of The Sedan In 2018

As the sun sets on the current generation Passat, Volkswagen decided to let Car and Driver fool around with an early iteration of the next gen model. I’m sure the automaker was thrilled with the outcome: the auto mag just straight up didn’t like it. Why? VW didn’t do enough to distinguish it from its predecessor. In the fight for scraps left over from shoppers who don’t want a Camry, Accord, or Altima, it seems the Germans already lost round one. And the situation that Wolfsburg faces with its passenger car lineup isn’t at all different from the problems Hyundai, GM, and others will have to deal with down the line.

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Vintage Review: 1973 Chevrolet Caprice Estate – In A Giant Clam!

For those of you familiar with the alternative/new wave rock band The B-52’s and their iconic first hit, “Rock Lobster” from the late 1970s, one of the memorable peaks in that idiosyncratic song is lead singer Fred Schneider belting out the lyrics: “He was in a jam.  In a giant clam!”  And somehow that refrain seems fitting for this car, Chevrolet’s version of GM’s mammoth 1970s “clamshell” tailgate full-size wagons.  Courtesy of Road Test Magazine, we can take a glimpse at what life would have been like, circa 1973, in a giant clam.

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The Folly Of Predictions: 2025 US Market Predictions Made in 2008 – Plus 2008 & 2018 Actuals – The Guesses and the Reality

Don’t ask why, but I stumbled into this chart used in a post by my son at the other site from 2011. It showed predictions of the US market in 2025 as part of the EPA’s work in revising its proposed 2017-2015 fuel efficiency standards. These predictions were made by the DOE and the research firm CSM. It shows actual 2008 sales and predicted 2025 sales by manufacturer. Even a quick glance shows how far off they were, from a 2018 vantage point. Of course 2025 is still seven years away; anything could happen.

It made me curious as to just how far off their predictions were from 2018 sales, so I wasted 45 minutes creating a spread sheet. But in addition to debunking these estimates, it does show meaningful information on how these companies have fared over the past ten years, in absolute and relative terms:

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Cohort Outtake: 1974 Pinto Wagon – Where Have All The Pintos Gone?

We have a new poster at the Cohort, kevin_xyxl, and he’s just uploaded a raft of really great finds in New York, of all places. I just had to share this one, as it’s a particularly fine Pinto with those none-too common color-keyed wheel covers. It just needs a fake Mercedes grille and three-pointed start on the hood to make it really convincing.

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CC For Sale: 2001 Isuzu Rodeo – “Lots Of Great Engine Repairs”

Here’s something a bit out of the ordinary for your collection. These Rodeos were common enough a few years back, but they seem to mostly have departed. Perhaps its rarity explains the lofty price its owner is trying to get.

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