A few weeks back we reviewed the Transportation Products Twin Coach TC 25/29 bus – a medium sized coach designed for shuttle, para-transit, and cross-town work. That coach didn’t quite succeed in the marketplace, primarily due to offering just one powertrain option. About the same time as Transportation Products was filing for bankruptcy in the mid-1970’s, another manufacturer, Eldorado, entered the “midi” sized market with their own coach – the Transmark RE. Read the rest of this entry »
In late 2017 after the FB (for those that have been reading, you know what FB is) met its fate with a semi truck, I was in need of something that I could use a replacement. I was in my last leg of college, and had my 2017 Outback as my only daily driver. I had to have something that had at least a 5,000 pound towing capacity, and because I always had a second car alongside the Outback, I did not worry. Now that the Outback was my only primary car, I decided to do some rethinking. I thought that it might be time to do some growing up, and go down to one car besides my older Volvos. It sounded like a good idea at the time, after all I was graduating college soon, and had a job lined up, so I did not really need another car.
(first posted 9/25/2014) At about 6:30 Saturday night, I looked up from resetting the trip odometer after filling the gas tank. And this grill was coming toward me. Stacked headlamps and spare lines. Way too much grill for a Mercedes 250SE coupe, but even farther from Lincoln, once champion of the chrome grid face. It kept moving, sleek and tailored. Then I remembered reading about the Facel Vega. I think I’ve seen one or two in pictures, never at a show or a museum. Or a gas station. Read the rest of this entry »
Vintage Trucks of the Day: Corbitt Conventionals – One of the Last of the Cottage Industry Truck Makers
Let’s take a quick look at a few vintage snapshots of a truck brand that may not be familiar to some of you. Corbitt, based in Henderson, NC, was one of those classic small manufacturers of the kind that have long disappeared. Richard Corbitt started building powered buggies way back in 1912, and switched to trucks as the field got crowded. He built trucks and some buses on a small scale (he never had more than 300 employees), and his assembly line consisted of a few trucks in progress hitched together with chains and pulled forward by whatever was the lead truck at the time.
Here’s a few conventionals from mostly the immediate post-war era. Corbitt also built some very wild COE trucks, but we’ll save those for tomorrow.
Has there ever been a US president more closely associated with a particular car than John F. Kennedy and the fourth generation Lincoln Continental? Both have since become icons of the 1960s. Now you can own an actual piece of Camelot, as two Lincoln Continentals associated with Kennedy are coming up for auction at Bonhams (and no, not that Lincoln: The limousine he was riding in when he was shot remains firmly in possession of the Henry Ford Museum).
Earlier this week, I had written about a 1:24 scale model of a 1969 Ford Capri 1600 GT XLR I had recently purchased. I remain thoroughly impressed by manufacturer Welly’s attention to detail, which I think is remarkable considering the low price I paid for it. I’m not the ultimate connoisseur, but I have a number of scale models of cars that have been important to me displayed in my living space as part of the overall decor. Though the accounts of my Capri ownership experience were fictional, much of the rest of that essay was factual, including my long-time love for a beautiful, imported car I had grown up thinking was a “Mercury” Capri.
I’ll have you know that a 1976 Ford Granada, Ghia or not, is not exactly my cup of tea (at least the domestic version, the Euro one I love). Nevertheless, I couldn’t let a top spec car like this just get crushed without giving it one last day in the sun and hopefully be able to muster up some enthusiasm for it. Also, it reminded me of Key Lime Pie, which I love, so I was drawn to it somehow anyway and that’s as good a start as I can hope for. Read the rest of this entry »
The place: Dearborn, Michigan. The date: March 1, 1994. “We here in the Ford organization (that we like to think of as a big family) are on the verge of something big. Ever since Chrysler introduced the minivan over a decade ago, the entire world auto industry has thrown everything we had at them, but people being people, they have continued to buy Voyagers, Caravans and Town & Countries in serious numbers.
“We have given the public some pretty good products, much more capable of carrying loads and hauling trailers, but the public has voted with its wallets and purses and our Aerostar has not gotten the job done. But that changes this month. We have listened to you, America. We have paid attention and are on the cusp of offering you the minivan you have told us you want. Let this be notice to Chrysler Corporation: America will no longer have to choose between getting a great, family-friendly minivan and taking risks on quality. Why? Because Quality is still Job-1 here at the Ford Motor Company. Just watch – once our new Windstar hits showrooms the car-buying world will have the best minivan ever!”
(first posted 9/24/2014) It took some doing, but I was able to locate a first-generation Ford Probe in desirable GT trim, if not quite-so-desirable condition. Even when roads were teaming with Ford’s front-drive specialty coupe, versions with the 2.2 turbo were uncommon, so locating this one took some accomplishing. Yes, familiar readers, this curbside find is white but in Ford’s case, as top-of-the-line GTs were heavily promoted in the snowy shade, I’ll give myself a bit of a break. I’d have preferred to find one in a dark hue, but I’ll take what I can get.
Craigslist Classic: 1990 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Brougham – I Got It At Gustafson Oldsmobile!
(first posted 9/24/2014) I’ve done my ode to the 1985-90 C-body Olds Ninety-Eight already, but I had to share this find, as it is a real time capsule, exceptionally sharp, and you could buy it right now if you wanted to! Yes folks, this fine luxury sedan is sitting in Cedar Rapids, IA at this very moment, waiting for a caring new owner.
These flowers bloomed recently in my back yard, with a little help. It’s curbside because the “flowers” were all found on the side of the road, over a period of weeks. The “stems” are an old garden hose we were pitching and the “leaves” are jig-cut from an old green plastic bin. The pot is the only thing I actually bought, and drilled holes in the bottom.
You learn something every day (that’s the whole point of CC, of course). At the 1960 Rambler post the other day, Stumack left a comment with a picture of Chevrolet’s fleet option, which deleted the standard grille for…a cheap piece of expanded steel, as can be seen on this ’57 LCF.
Another in a series of my reviews that appeared in the online version of African Americans On Wheels, a now defunct automotive magazine that was included as an insert in the Sunday newspapers of major cities. Read the rest of this entry »
Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1958 Cadillac Sixty Special in Prestwick Gray at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
I’m old enough to remember the hubbub back when Mercedes introduced their “Baby-Benz”, the 190E (W201) in 1982, and the doubters that weren’t sure if it could be a “real” Mercedes. Of course that was over here in the US, where we were mainly used to relatively large and luxurious offerings, at least in the most recent decade or so. Even (especially?) the four-cylinder aspect came in for scrutiny, never mind that Mercedes has a long history of offering more utilitarian as well as smaller-engined wares in conjunction with the “Executive Express” class of cars that we are used to. Over the years though the 190E acquitted itself well and eventually became the now well respected C-Class.
However when it came time for Mercedes to again go smaller, this time with its new A-Class back in 1997, North America wasn’t part of the plan. In fact three whole generations of A-Class would debut before we were deemed worthy with the fourth generation launched a couple of years ago. Read the rest of this entry »