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83

Curbside Classic: Alfa Romeo 75 (Milano) – Alfa Romeo’s Swansong

75-Milano side view
(first posted 7/23/2015)     This site has looked at the 75 in various Outtakes but this car really deserves its own CC. I owned one of these in the perfectly-balanced two-liter Twin Spark configuration, and it is by far the best car I have ever driven. I dream of one day owning a 3-liter V6 as a second car (but first I need a first car). So this forms the basis of my opinion of this car. Proceed with caution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Outtake: Volvos, Then And Now

 

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Vintage Ads: 1980 Mark VI and Eldorado Glamour Coupes and Seville Glamour Sedanne – Room For A V16 Up There

I’ve seen pictures of the Eldorado Glamour Coupe and Seville Glamour Sedanne before (below), but I did not know that American Custom Coachworks in Beverly Hills also offered a Mark VI Glamour Coupe. Pretty ironic, given how weak-chested all these cars were in 1980. But if you want to make folks think there’s a hot-blooded V16 under the hood, you had three to chose from.

And there’s no question that the Mark VI’s overhang ratio is improved. But they might have given it something a wee bit bigger than those little 14″ tires and cheap-looking wire wheel covers.

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Cohort Outtake: 1983 Citroen CX24 IE Safari – Was This The Best Estate Car?

The sight of this Citroen CX Safari on the Cohort, posted by Nathan Williams, reminds me of an arguably irrefutable fact. That for the European buyer from the late 1970s to the very early 1990s, the best estate car available was the Citroen CX Safari, also known as the Break.

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eBay Junkers: Mini-Edsel (’58 Goggomobil) & Spiderman Special (’61 Imperial)

When I first saw this poor, weathered little thing for sale on eBay, it brought me back to a time long ago when I made a unique automotive discovery . . .

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Curbside Classic: 2000-2008 Jaguar S-Type – A Modern Classic

“It’s JUST A FORD!” they wailed. Ford assumed control of Jaguar in 1989 and there were dire pronouncements that Jags would devolve into Tauruses with leather seats and a thin schmear of burl walnut. While some cross pollination with Dearborn was inevitable, the pundits were a mile off. Rather than corrupting Jaguar, the Ford partnership kept the marque from going the way of Alvis, Triumph, Riley, Wolseley and so many others. 

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Driveway Outtake: The Old Hippie Bus

There’s several of these genuine old hippie buses to be seen in driveways in my part of town. Eventually they got tired of living in them and bought a house. But the buses are still parked in the driveway. This is a sweet ol Advanced Design Chevy.

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Curbside Classic: 1983 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta – The Gold-Trimmed Camaro With An Italian Name

LR

 

(first posted 7/22/2015)    Chevrolet’s 3rd generation Camaro needs little introduction, having been produced for 11 model years, with over 1.5 million cars made.  However, this car is one of the lesser-remembered Camaros, the luxury-oriented Berlinetta.  Yes, the Camaro had a luxury model, and this is it.

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Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1969 Dodge Coronet 440 Sedan – Grandpa Joe’s 440

Mike Hayes continues to find some of the most genuine curbside classics, like this dinged-up ’69 Dodge Coronet sedan. These were most commonly seen as taxis and police cars; who would want to spend their hard earned money in exciting 1969 for this? Aunt Mildred, or Grandpa Joe, perhaps. Despite its bulging hips, these were pretty dull in their day. But here it is, to brighten up our day all these decades later.

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Automotive History: 2001 Pontiac Aztek – Accurately Predicts the Future. Then Fails.

In 2001, a vehicle that was both too strange and ugly to be loved by almost anyone, while also providing the unknowing world with a peek into the future of automotive trends, was released to the car-buying public. It was the Pontiac Aztek. It more or less predicted what would later become the single largest segment in the automotive landscape, and failed spectacularly while doing so.

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Vintage Ad: 1993 Buick Roadmaster Estate LS by CarCraft – The LWB Roadmaster

Yes, those dear little children deserve some extra leg room in the back seat, so CarCraft added a healthy 16″ of stretch to accommodate them.  It’s too bad that these didn’t have forward facing third seats like their glorious clam shell predecessors, because this would make getting in and out of that third seat so much easier.

But who said this is for the kids?

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COAL: 1988 Mazda 323 GTX – Mom’s Rally Car

1988 Mazda 323 GTX

Mom cars.  The phrase itself conjures up images of bland practicality, sparingly-chosen options, and insipid family transportation.  But when I was a teenager in the late 1980s, my mom broke that mold, and purchased a car so rare that it hasn’t yet been covered among Curbside Classic’s thousands of articles.  Nine years later, I bought this car from my parents, and kept it for another six years.  It was my favorite car – undoubtedly the most unique car I’ll ever own – and the thought of driving it still makes me smile.  Please allow me to introduce you to my Mazda 323 GTX.

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Curbside Classic: 1976 Ford Courier – The Second Toughest Old Mini-Pickup?

(first posted 7/18/2012)    Really old Toyota pickups are as common here as …back-yard chickens. In fact, they’ve become an icon of the whole genre, and it’s a status symbol to have an ancient Hi-Lux in your driveway, even if it’s only used twice a year to haul some compost for the garden or a batch of fresh chicken litter. It’s a bit like keeping back-yard chickens around after they’ve stopped laying eggs; in fact, there are now “retirement homes” for unproductive cluckers.

Now the Toyotas have earned their seemingly infinite low-stress retirement, but the question is: what if I can’t find a suitably-old Hi-Lux? Am I going to be a social outcast? No, the answer is to dig up an old Ford Courier. Given how many there are still around, and the rude health they seem to enjoy, the question is only: were the Mazda-built Couriers any less durable than the Toyotas? Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1994 Honda Prelude 2.2 VTEC – A Prelude Of Better Things To Come?

DSC03599 (Custom)

(first posted 7/21/2015)     I’m probably not the first guy to wax lyrical about how wonderful the end of the ’80s and the beginning of the ’90s were to Honda. Generally speaking, back then Japanese car makers were on a roll, but in particular this era was Honda´s “high-water mark”, and that reflected in almost every new model launched: the 5th generation Civic, the 4th generation Accord, the NSX, the 2nd generation Legend, and the car I want to talk about today, the 4th generation of the Prelude, a far more sophisticated and ambitious model than its predecessor. And a car I once owned.

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Dumpside Outtake: The Two Cheapskate Neighborhood Landlords Finally Meet

It had to happen sooner or later, as we only live seven blocks from each other on the same street. I’ve been aware of him for some fifteen years or so, as I watched him renovate a couple of moved houses in the neighborhood shortly after I finished mine. And I know he owns some other rentals around here too.

And of course I’ve noticed his work truck, a 1970 Suburban. I shot it back in 2010 when I first did a CC on it at the old site. I’ve seen him coming and going to his rentals, just like I do. I assumed he knew of me my by my old truck, as I knew him by his old truck.

We finally met at the yard waste recycling dump. I pulled in next to him and introduced myself. Hi there other cheap-ass neighborhood landlord!  

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