Recent Posts

Curbside Classic: 1980 Honda Civic Wagon – Don’t Throw Your Baby Away!

2014-04-06 18.06.30

(first posted 4/21/2014)     Coming from image-conscious suburbs, it’s still a surprise each time I see cars like this in daily use (in this part of the country, at least).  Unless you’re a compulsive shopper or really into new fads, though, it’s perfectly sane to keep an old pal like this 1980 (or 81) Civic around.  After all, why throw your baby away when you don’t have to?

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Curtis Perry Gallery: Vintage Neon Signs

We’ve shared lots of Curtis Perry’s old car shots over the years. But going through his Flickr photostream makes it obvious that he photographs a whole lot more. He’s an inveterate traveler who stops to shoot all kinds of things, including vintage signs. These are a time travel to a time when national chains and their instantly recognizable logos weren’t nearly as predominant, and the majority of roadside businesses were mom and pop operations. And distinctive signage was a key part of reeling in the customers. These were mostly shot in smaller towns in Oregon and neighboring states, about a dozen years ago. Who knows how many are still up?

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Curbside Outtakes: Thin on the Ground, But Some Still Around

Anywhere else, these cars might be “thin on the ground.” But in the Pacific Northwest, there are still some around. Whether it’s because of our relative lack of road-salting, or our sky high cost of living, PNWers hold onto old cars. I drive a rust-free ’92 Honda Accord because I have to, but others here drive the same car because they can. What follows is random look at some rare cars that populate my dog-walking route. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason here, just like the crazy-ass times we are living through. Read the rest of this entry »


COAL Mini-Series: 1981 Volkswagen Westfalia Pt 1 – If Cars Could Talk

If cars could tell who’s been inside
And who’s been taking you out for a ride
Ain’t you glad (Ain’t you glad)
Mmm, ain’t you glad (Ain’t you glad)
But ain’t you glad (Glad)
Glad that cars don’t talk

If this old VW Bus could talk, it would have some stories to tell, believe you me. Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LS – Part 1 – Sometimes, Dreams Do Come True

Back when I used to actually get a newspaper, one of my favorite activities was to go through the Saturday automotive section and look at all of the ridiculously low lease deals being offered.  I would dream about how I would handle being in a situation where I had little choice but to take advantage of one of those deals.  It appeared that my “dreams” were about to come true. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Repairs: 1975-1978 Toyota Motorhome Gets Ready to Move On

This 1970’s vintage Toyota Dolphin mini-motorhome had been sitting at the curb on our walk for a couple of months. Then one day I saw it was requiring some ministrations. A tow strap was also visible below its front bumper.

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Curbside Classic: 1947 Plymouth Coupe Deluxe – Picking Up Where They Left Off

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(first posted 4/23/2014)     The first truly warm day after a harsh winter brought out a fair number of Bloomington’s classic cars a few weeks ago and the tall, narrow and round proportions of this P15 Plymouth made it impossible to ignore.  At sixty-seven years old, it falls somewhat outside our purview at CC, but it’d be wrong not to share it with you.  It’s an excellent example of very early post-war automotive design and benefits from its restorers’ great attention to detail. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Toolbox and QOTD: Here Are Some of My Tools. What’s Interesting in Your toolbox?

Stack-On toolbox

Sheltering at home today inspired me to do some tidying in my perennially messy garage. While doing so, I recalled that DougD had posted a great family history of his tools a couple of years ago. One thing led to another, and I decided to take a few pictures of some of my favorite tools, and ask, what’s interesting, unusual, or just a favorite in your toolbox? When I purchased this roll-around box in the late seventies (and brought it home in the back of my Ford Fiesta), it was probably the most expensive non-internal-combustion-powered item I’d ever bought. My friends made fun of the “Stack-On” brand, but it was probably an order of magnitude cheaper than a real Snap-on toolchest, and I still use it every day. I just checked, and in fact Stack-On is still in business and sells toolboxes and gun cabinets at big box stores nationally.

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Curbside Classic: 1965 International Travelall – The Traveler’s Travelogue

1965 International Travelall

A few years ago I was feeling secure enough in my job and doing the usual dreaming about road trip adventures that I decided it was time to start looking for an adventure-mobile. I was leaning towards a big SUV of some sort with four wheel drive. My main criteria were that it should be able to go anywhere, that my girlfriend and I could sleep in it as necessary, and that I didn’t want to spend a ton of money. Of course, I harbored fantasies of buying some classic hulk: an old Suburban or Wagoneer or maybe even something like this 1965 International Travelall. I am, after all, a classic car nut. Why else would I frequent this site? Read the rest of this entry »


QOTD: Fellow CC Readers, I Seek Your Opinion – What Should I Buy?

It’s now almost ten years – I bought my current 2012 Volvo C30 T5 in Sept 2011.  It’s been a great car – I usually get “new car syndrome” around every four years, but the Volvo has kept me entertained with its raspy 2.5 liter turbo five cylinder, 6 speed manual, and those great seats.  But it’s getting time for a timing belt/water pump/cam seals change – not a cheap fix; especially here in Japan.  I anticipate it will need a new clutch after that.  And while I’ve been lucky, I’ve found that at the 8-10 year mark, most European cars will start to nickel and dime you.  So I’m considering something new, and have pared it down to five models.  I’ll likely pull the trigger this Summer or Fall when some of these models have new versions coming out – before then, I’d be interested in your opinion… Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: #6 1988 Volvo 240 GL- The White Knight

Not long into my freshman year at the University of Arkansas, I had decided I needed something to drive to class, and not care if I got bumped into or not. This would leave my XC90 safely parked in the garage, and ready for inclement weather. What did I decide to get? Well, I had my heart set on an older Mercedes as there was a very strong Mercedes presence in Fayetteville, and you can find them for sale. After looking realistically at my budget, and the prices of used Mercedes, I came to realize I needed a different car.

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Curbside Classic: 1994 Mustang – The Car That Almost Wasn’t

(first posted 4/17/2014)     This Mustang is the car that almost wasn’t. If Ford had stuck to its original plans, a very different Mustang would have been on the market by the mid-1990s. Read the rest of this entry »


Cohort Outtake: 1956 Hudson Hollywood Heads For The Beach

1956 Hudson Hollywood

(first posted 4/18/2014)    CJCars found quite the car at the beach in Southern California; San Diego, if I’m not mistaken. It’s a 1956 Hudson Hornet Hollywood hardtop coupe, one of the “Hashes”, a Nash dressed up in Hudson drag, after the two merged. Quite the face on these; reminds me of Jack Nicholson’s evil smile as “The Joker”. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Outtake: 1988 or 1989 Mercury Tracer – Looks Familiar

1988 1989 Mercury Tracer

It’s been a while since I saw a gen1 Tracer, so let’s stop and admire this relic from the time that Ford first started using the Mazda 323 as a basis for a US car. It was something of a trial run for the gen 2 Escort and Tracer.

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Road Trip Inspired QOTD: What Was Your Most Aggravating Road Trip?

Earlier this month a coworker and I made a road trip in my assigned, employer owned 2018 Chevrolet Impala.  This trip is where the sparkle faded, the new smell went away, the bloom fell off the rose, or some such applicable euphemism.  But the aggravation is not from what you might initially think.

For reference, the Impala has right at 27,000 miles as of this writing.

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