Recent Posts

CC Outtake: Suddenly It’s 1990!

Or perhaps it is 1984, based on the location and timing of this spotting of two 1988-91 Ford Crown Victorias on a trailer in Arlington, Virginia.  These identically colored Crown Vics without vinyl tops appeared on a trailer in a well-hidden outdoor parking lot near Washington National Airport and the main bridge across the Potomac River into downtown Washington, one week before the widely reported appearance of movie stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in Washington for the filming of scenes for the next movie in the Wonder Woman franchise, Wonder Woman 1984.  These 1988-91 Crown Victorias are of course too new to be right in a scene set in 1984, but they are close enough by the usual standards of movie cars.

As if the appearance of two cars suited to serve as unmarked police or FBI cars or just period background cars in a movie set in the 1980s, so close to the actual filming of street scenes for such a film, were not obvious enough, the tow vehicle being marked “Lightnin Production Rentals” should make it clear.  These CCs and others are coming to a movie screen near you, possibly to chase Wonder Woman, and I am sure that we will all be happy to see them.




Curbside Classic: 1995 Toyota Previa DX – How Do You Take Your Eggs?

Although somewhat demoralizing to car enthusiasts, it is nonetheless very understandable that the majority of consumers choose cars of more basic, conventional, humble, and for lack of a better term, “boring” nature. For the fact of the matter is, cars are purely a utilitarian object of transportation for most people, which explains why even in segments that prioritize practicality above all else, vehicles that attempt to break the mold with interesting or unique features that add little practical value most often fail. The Toyota Previa was one of those such vehicles.

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A Few Shots of New York In Very Different Times


Stephen Pellegrino posted this shot by Camilo Jose Vergara shot in the South Bronx in 1970. I decided to add a couple more, to remind us how times and cities change over the span of time.

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COAL: 2003 Saab 9-3 2.0t – Scratching An Itch


(First Posted 1/19/2014)  Growing up in L.A. during the dawn of the Yuppie Era, Saabs were always visible, but a bit of an outlier compared to, for example, a BMW 3-series.  Nevertheless there were a couple in my high school parking lot, and a friend had a first-year 900 Turbo that was capable of much greater performance than almost anything else I had access to at the time. Read the rest of this entry »


Dad’s Wagon: 1984 Pontiac 6000 – Twenty Years Of Use, Abuse And Memories


(first posted 2/2/2013)     The story of dad’s wagon is the story of a loyal friend–one that was always there, but was largely unappreciated until later in life. At least that’s how I, as an adult looking back, feel about it now. But in the ’80s and ’90s, to a teenage kid growing up as a car guy it was merely a tool for a job, like dad’s saber-saw. You asked for permission to borrow it (or not), used it, and then put it back where you found it (or not). It was the most unappreciated car in the family fleet, but one so closely linked to the memory of my dad that I honestly can’t think of one without the other being there. I am truly grateful to have known and spent time with both of them while they were here.

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Auto-Biography: Gen1 Taurus – My Father Finally Takes My Advice and Treats Himself to a Nice Car

Father-son relationships can be complicated. Sons naturally want to exert their ever-growing prowess, which is a good thing when it’s channeled properly, but when it comes to telling Dad what to do, it gets tricky. Taking advice from their sons does not come easy, at least in my family.

It’s not just a matter of giving up control, but also whether it’s good and useful advice. Needless to say, we all gave my dad lots of advice, behind his back. He was especially touchy about telling him anything, because he was pretty cock-sure he knew it all better. And on a huge range of subjects that was the case, as he had an exceptional memory and was highly intelligent. But he had his blind spots, and as far as I was concerned, cars were one of his biggest ones.

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COAL: 1989 Pontiac Bonneville LE – A 3800 Kind of Love

Note: None of the pictures in this post are of the actual car

Oh, GM 3800 V6 engine, how do I love thee?  Let me count the 3800 ways.  In 1989, I was getting married and was in the market for a newer, better car.  A co-worker had a 1989 Pontiac Bonneville and told me how well he liked it.  I looked it over one day, took it for a ride, and decided that this was the next car I would get.

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Curbside Classic: 1976 Mustang II Cobra II – Ford’s Deadly Sin II

(first posted at ttac in 2010 and here on 2/10/2012)      Powered By Ford. There’s something special about those words, something iconic, something that evokes nightmares of an uniquely American scope, from our first family cross-country trips in a 1954 Ford that perpetually overheated and stalled from vapor lock (when it actually started) to the last one, Mother’s craptastic 1981 Escort (replaced by a Civic)  that could barely do seventy wheezing unsteadily along the rain-soaked I-70 straight. Powered by Ford. It’s the peeling logo hastily slapped onto the valve covers of this five-liter Mustang II, but you won’t need to raise the hood to understand what it means. The first time this pathetic lump of an engine tries to suck air through its tiny two-barrel carburetor and wheezes its feeble exhaust through its soda-straw sized tailpipe, it will be more than crystal clear. (an explanation of my specific choice of these words follows) Read the rest of this entry »


Cohort Wordless Outtake: Maybe a Country Squire Would Have Been a Better Choice

posted at the Cohort by SoCalMetro


Wordless Outtake: The Escalade Dually

Photographed in Burke, Virginia in June 2018.

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CC Global: Scania Quartet – Three Livestock Haulers And One Reefer

When transporting livestock, animal welfare and -health have become top priorities in the recent past. If the driving distance exceeds 65 km/40 miles, then the hauling company needs a license for transporting livestock and the driver must have a special certificate. There are strict regulations concerning the registration of the animals and the cleaning/disinfection of the vehicles. If the trip takes more than 8 hours, then the regulations only get more strict.

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Bus Stop Classics: A Short History of Dayton’s Trolley Buses

Mention Dayton Ohio and most folks will immediately think of the Wright Brothers and the birthplace of aviation. That’s certainly true; the city takes great pride in its aviation legacy. But Dayton is also rich in manufacturing and transportation history. Dr Charles F. Kettering called Dayton home, working first at National Cash Register (NCR) and later founding the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco). Dayton was a “GM town”, with not only Delco but the Moraine Assembly Plant that cranked out thousands of vehicles, most recently the GMC Envoy and Chevrolet Trailblazer, before closing in 2008. But what I enjoy and admire most about the city is its commitment to a unique form of public transportation mostly written off by other metropolitan areas – the trackless trolley or trolley bus.  Here’s a short history… Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1983 Chevrolet Monte Carlo – Unwanted Attention

We pick up this story after I had gotten rid of the Pontiac Acadian.  I had decided to use my ’70 Chevy pickup for the summer, and the start of university, but the engine in the truck wasn’t up to the strain of daily use.  My big idea was to find a suitable engine in a vehicle just good enough to drive for the fall and winter.   Read the rest of this entry »


Automotive History: John Z. DeLorean, The BMW Turbo And The Birth Of The DeLorean

There are coincidences and there are coincidences. According to the dictionary, the word describes a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.

At top is an illustration from the brochure of the BMW Turbo. Beneath, an illustration from a document outlining the DeLorean Safety Vehicle. This is no coincidence.

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QOTD: Ford Owners: Do You Still Remember Your Keyless Entry Code?

My 1983 Turbo Coupe came with Ford’s keyless entry system that was first used on the 1980 Thunderbird. Amazingly, the system is still available today, although better integrated into the blacked out part of the pillar. I quickly came to love it, as it was quicker and more convenient than using the key, and of course there were never any worries about locking one’s key in the car.

And I still remember my code key:

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