I had the opportunity to go home to Flint at the beginning of this month. It all started with a phone call from a close friend I’ve known since preschool who asked if I’d be interested in riding back as company on the road while she participated in a film project that was taking place. I hesitated at first, being someone who enjoys the comforts of familiar surroundings on weekends and the prospect of just relaxing locally. I didn’t think about it for too long, though. I have been sitting on a mostly unused pile of vacation days at work and hadn’t been back to my hometown but once last year during a brief, thirty-six hour stay. The idea of taking a road trip with “Cate” and all of the good conversation and hilarity that would ensue cinched it for me.
(first posted 6/27/2016) To varying degrees, all of us have likely contemplated having an older car as a daily driver. Whenever such discussions arise around here, there is always a degree of hesitancy due to the inherent downfalls that come with ownership. Like being a nudist or running for political office, having an older car is one of those things that simply isn’t for everybody.
However, Bob is swimming against the current of opinion by using this Hudson Pacemaker as a daily driver. For cars from this era, he picked a good one.
Mrs DougD and I returned from two weeks in Ireland recently. We had requested a small car, but unexpectedly received big fun in a small car. Read the rest of this entry »
I was preoccupied for the last two years, mostly with kids (well, my kids) but also with this pandemic thing that rushed over the world, as well as Israel. As things got looser, and finally COVID-19 is making signs of winding down, so did local classic car meetings begun to re-appear. Finally I found the time to head over to one of the many meetings that take place around 16:00 just about every Friday, at various central locations in Israel. Read the rest of this entry »
(first posted 8/13/2013) It’s summer, so its time to trot out some more old photos of the Not-Niedermeyers on vacation. All the ingredients are here: camping; my relaxed and cheerful pipe-smoking ascot-wearing father; Mom enjoying an after-dinner drink while the dishwasher runs; no siblings; a dog; and even a boat! The only thing not-pictured is the little pup tent my parents slept in, since the Westfalia was reserved exclusively for me.
(280Z photos from the Cohort, by Tim Finn).
My uncle had come to pick me up at LAX after my 8 hour flight from Puerto Rico, as we had agreed I was to spend a few days at his place before my 3rd college semester started. It would be good to spend some time with him before heading back to the surreal world of arts education in Southern California. My college had been founded in the early 70’s and was built under the conflicting spirit of the times, on one side the curricula was way too free, and class attendance was almost optional. On the other hand, the campus had all the charm of a ward hospital, designed to avoid ‘gatherings,’ and so -it was the idea- prevent student protests (no more Kent State revolutionary babies!). The building was a windowless concrete behemoth with dark, long, depressing corridors, and the occasional naked student doing some performance art. After a couple of visits, my uncle had referred to the place as a ‘prison’ and ‘madhouse,’ and wished to host me at his place instead. I wasn’t about to dissuade him.
(first posted 8/14/2013) The state fair is always a jubilant and optimistic peek into the future. Displaying the latest developments for home, garden, and farm, it offers an abundance of ways to improve both economy and efficiency.
(first posted 8/13/2013) No, this isn’t one of those old “how many college kids can jam into a VW” photo. It’s a factory publicity shot of a twelve-passenger high-density configuration that I just stumbled into. And I’m guessing that it was shot either in Brazil or Mexico, because that’s where these were built and sold for jitney service. In fact, T2 buses with this configuration are still being used; I saw a few of them in recent trips to Mexico. And some folks have qualms about climbing aboard a modern transit bus?
Corey Behrens, our man in Noord-Holland, uploaded some brochure-worthy pictures of a 40 years old Renault 4 F6, neatly parallel parked alongside an Amsterdam canal. A fuel-sipping fourgonnette (commercial van) in the best French FWD tradition.
The past couple of months have provided an exceptional amount of CC finds in the little corner of the world I frequent and survey. The upcoming T87 Singles Outtakes will take some doing – I’ll probably have to spread them over four or five posts rather than the usual two, as I have well over 500 photos to process. And then, one Sunday earlier this month, I happened to catch the back of a two-tone Morris Minor on a grand tree-lined parkway, and thing just kept getting better and better from there.
(first posted 6/19/2016) I knew the 1967 OHC-6 Tempest wasn’t long for my world when she could barely make it up the east bound ramp of the Verrazano Bridge heading home from a week of consulting and programming at Bell Labs. The engine was making hollow popping sounds and even on the flat Belt Parkway it wouldn’t go over 25 mph.
After nine hard years, no rust at all, a few dents, over 100,000 miles, no major repairs, original OHC timing belt, and nothing more in it than tune ups and wear items like tire and batteries and one accelerator pump, I determined even before I got home that it would not be prudent to put any money into the car.
Sorry old pal, time to put you down.
The Tempest and I had a history together, indeed longer than my first marriage, but this was business. Its replacement would be anything I could get quickly and at a reasonable cost. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, big, small, fast, slow, any color, any make, any model, domestic or foreign.
Well, maybe something with A/C. That would be nice.
I have a friend from West Texas. A mountain of a man, he stands over six feet tall and weighs about two hundred and ten pounds. He’s kind, with soft brown eyes and a sweet Southern drawl. Read the rest of this entry »
The Tracker and I arrived home dusty and dirty a couple of hours ago from our week-long EXBRO6 overlanding trip. It was a splendiferous trip, with seven days of driving though the open ranges, deserts and mountains of Eastern Oregon. CC’s dman as well as my nephew joined us this year, and we enjoyed the company as much as the scenery.
(first posted 2/13/2011): If a picture is really worth a thousand words, I might as well stop right now and just leave you with this one. It says it all. But just in case its subtlety is lost on you, or need a way to spend the next ten minutes, I will provide a translation and commentary: Read the rest of this entry »
(first posted 6/25/2016) For some the Alpine A310 is an acquired taste, for others it is ‘jolie laide’ and for others again it’s just plain ugly. But when I first laid eyes on images of this car I was hooked. More recently I have been lucky enough to encounter one in the wild, and my opinion has only been affirmed.
This extended CC looks at the origins of the idiosyncratic Alpine shape and the enduring existence of the A310. And with it comes a story touched by tragedy and still steeped in mystery.