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Curbside Outtake: The Big, Wide, Long Home Built Chevy Van

This home made Chevy van camper caught my eye in Arcata, CA on a recent trip down the coast. It’s big and long, and surprisingly well-built for a home brew job. As the next picture shows, the builder actually changed the angle of the front doors so they would close flush with the widened body.

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Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: It’s A…A…A…An Aston Martin, Obviously!

Aston Martin DBX shot by Nathan Williams

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Curbside Classic: 1990 Chevrolet C/K 1500 – A Little Sheetmetal Surgery

1990 Chevrolet C/K 1500 pickup. Irving Park, Chicago, Illinois. Thursday, August 19, 2021.

I’m something of a popular culture junkie.  Perhaps not to the extent that I subscribe to any websites, blogs, or the like, but when I’m surfing the internet in my spare time, I often find myself drawn to stories about recognizable figures I find interesting.  My default setting is to want to think the best of people, so my intent in reading such stories usually isn’t to find fault or something tragic to discuss with my friends or for the sake of trolling someone I don’t even know.  I’m just naturally curious about the human condition and what makes people tick, including people from backgrounds and lifestyles that are different from my own.  Often times, I have read about a celebrity or well-known figure who has undergone the knife, so to speak, to enhance their appearance.

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Cohort Outtake: Mustang LX 5.0 – Florida Highway Patrol Edition

Mustang Florida state trooper

image posted by William Rubano

(first posted 9/27/2015)    Is this a genuine Florida state police car used for PR purposes or such? Because it’s hard to imagine someone doing this faithful of an impersonation and getting away with it. I ask rhetorically, as a little bit of Googling answered my question. Read the rest of this entry »

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Top 10 Obscure Special Editions and Forgotten Limited-Run Models: AMC Edition

1979 amc spirit amx shots

(first posted 9/27/2015)    Every car company has released a special edition or limited-run model at some point. These range from mundane gold-badged anniversary editions to models that were originally intended to run for much longer but failed spectacularly. In this series, we are going to look at a wide variety of short-lived models that were launched to arrest flagging sales and/or generate interest, but have been almost entirely forgotten due to low production volumes and, in some cases, scant publicity.

To start, let’s take a look at American Motors. While some websites will treat AMC’s quirky oddball cars like the Pacer and Matador coupe as almost alien curiosities, Curbsiders are an informed and eclectic bunch and know all about such cars and their special editions. So, to clear the air: this AMC instalment will feature (gasp!) zero Pacers and Matador coupes. So, what’s in the Top 10? Read the rest of this entry »

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Classics On Parade: Watching The Classics At Monterey Roll By – Part 5

1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo

 

(all photos by JC)

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Curbside Outtake: Big Box Parking Lot Encounters – Summer Classics

Summer has long since been my favorite season of the year. I love the warm weather and the summer activities that go along with it. Spending the day on the lake, going for bicycle rides, or vacationing at the summer cottage are all activities I enjoy.  But of course, my favorite summer time activity is going for a cruise in one of my old cars.  With long cold winters here in Ontario, those of us with old cars make use of them as much as possible when the warm weather is around.  It’s interesting that the number of old cars in this area has seemingly increased as the years have gone on.  I suspect much of this has to do with many of the old cars not being original to the area. I always appreciated local cars, but I have to admit that I do also appreciate the greater numbers and varieties of classics I see on the roads these days.

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Vintage Ad: 1959 Continental Mark IV Town Car and Limousine – “Masterpieces Of Rare Beauty” – Emphasis On The “Rare”

The Mark IV Continental Town Car and Limousine by Hess & Eisenhardt was certainly a rare sight, with only 78 built. As to its beauty, that’s a subjective matter.

Here’s a full profile of one.

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Curbside Classic: 1988 Renault 21 Nevada Turbo-D – The Other Side Of The Medallion

Glad though I was to catch a Méhari or an older R4 when I went there recently, those are par for the course in southern France. Some younger cars have all but disappeared now: the Citroën GSA, the Peugeot 604, the Renault 14 or anything wearing a Talbot badge was already hard to find a decade ago, let alone today. But now, the next generation of bangers is fast disappearing. Such is the case of the 1986-94 Renault 21, especially Series 1 cars like this wagon. Attrition has really started to make these big Renaults a rare sight on their home turf nowadays. But they were never the unicorns that their American cousins were – quite the opposite.

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Museum Classics: DAF Museum Eindhoven, Part One – The Trucks

 

IMG_0155

(first posted 9/24/2015. Links to Parts 2, 3 and 4 at bottom)   DAF’s roots go back to April 1, 1928, when Hub van Doorne founded the “Commanditaire Vennootschap Hub van Doorne’s Machinefabriek en Constructiewerkplaats”. The startup capital, 10,000 Dutch guilders, was provided by the owner of beerbrewery De Valk in Eindhoven. Van Doorne’s forge and workshop were situated in an extension of the brewery’s main building. That brewery with the extension is now the DAF Museum’s accommodation. And Eindhoven is still DAF’s hometown. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vintage Review: 1976 C/D Cadillac Seville GT – How To Build A Mercedes-Killer

877CDcoverat300dpi

(first posted 9/26/2015)     As chronicled on the pages of Car and Driver, arguably America’s most irreverent and entertaining car magazine in the late 1970s, a few short years saw the first generation Seville go from being a car that could have easily been transformed into something genuinely world class (C/D showed us how!) into the diesel-powered, drooped-butt throwback machine that could in no way be reconciled with the evolving desires of luxury car buyers. Tragic for GM’s flagship brand, but these period piece articles make for entertaining reading today.

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Classics On Parade: Watching The Classics At Monterey Roll By – Part 4

1937 Delahaye 135 M Figoni & Falaschi Cabriolet

(all photos by JC)

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Vintage R&T Review: 1967 VW 1500 Beetle – Americanizing The Beetle

VW, which had made small incremental changes to the Beetle its hallmark, amped up its tortoise-pace significantly starting in 1965. That year brought much larger glass areas all-round. 1966 ushered in a whopping 25% increase in hp, thanks to the livelier and higher-revving 50 hp 1300 engine. One might have assumed that the 1300 would stick around for a few years, but no, for 1967 VW not only increased the engine to 1500 cc and gave it higher (lower numerical) gearing but also made a fairly significant change in its rear suspension, widening its track, softening the torsion bars’ spring rate, and adding a transverse spring, very similar to what Chevrolet did to the 1964 Corvair’s rear swing axle suspension.

The results were the biggest single change ever to the feel, ride and handling of the VW to date. The first time I drove one, I was almost shocked: the bump in torque and change in gearing made it feel more like…an American car!  Engine noise was more muted, and shift points came later. I remember driving a friend’s 1500 and suddenly realizing that I was still in third gear on the freeway! That would never have happened in my 1200s or my brother’s 1300. And the rear suspension changes now induced more understeer, making it feel more…American!

Presumably that was the objective. I had mixed feelings about it.

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Curbside Classic: 1979(?) Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Diesel – A GM Deadly Sin Rides Away On A Diesel Tow Truck

(submitted by CC reader Osella)  A lot happened in 1979. Michael Jackson released Off The Wall. Margaret Thatcher & the unions laid the groundwork for a very confrontational approach to tackling the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation. It was Soviet Russia’s turn to stabilise Afghanistan.

And Steely Dan hadn’t yet finished ‘Gaucho’.

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COAL: 2017 Ford C-Max – Ford v Toyota

While sitting in church on Earth Day 2018 I had an epiphany. Our sermon that day was, logically enough, on the topic of Earth Day. I will admit, my mind often wanders during this part of worship, but on this day I was unusually focused…on cars.

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