Recent Posts

An Unusual Threesome: 1957 Plymouth Fury, C-46, and Ford Thames Truck

I don’t know the origin of this rendering, but the artist has eclectic taste. The ’57 Fury is of course a classic, but the choice of the plane and truck are a bit out of the ordinary. No, that’s not a DC-3; it’s a civilian version of the Curtiss C-46, a larger two-engine plane designed as a pressurized passenger plane shortly before the war. It ended up as the military C-46, unpressurized, and with a number of issues that the ATC dubbed “The Flying Coffin”.

And then there’s the British Ford Thames truck.

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Curbside Classic: ’77-’75 Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste – Skin Deep Sportiness

It was the mid ’90s and our immediate Supervisor had just bought a 3000GT (Dodge Stealth, GTO in Japan), Mitsubishi’s excess-for-its-own-sake sports model. At the office my pals looked at the purchase with envy, while gals scoffed at it in terms too foul to share.

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CC Fiction / In-Motion Classic: 1979 Chevrolet Malibu Classic – Family First


(first posted 10/6/2016)      “Damn,” cursed Charles under his breath as he saw the flash of light from the traffic camera in his rear view mirror.  This was a knee-jerk reaction, even though tickets resulting from traffic cameras had been outlawed in Chicago just the month before.  It was to be his first day as a porter in the posh Michigan Avenue hotel where he had recently scored a job, and he was now doing his best to avoid being late.

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Vintage Road Tests: Car And Driver’s 1987 New Car Issues – Reviewing One Small Sedan From Japan And One From America


(first posted 10/6/2016)     1987 was a big year for small cars, so Car and Driver devoted a lot of ink to the newest offerings in the fall 1986 new car issues.  In the October issue covering the ’87 domestic news, Car and Driver took a look at the revamped Nissan Stanza, while in the November issue featuring new cars from Japan, the editors tested the all-new Plymouth Sundance Turbo.  Just like buyers, Car and Driver seemed to be toggling between Japan and the U.S. in search of compelling small cars to challenge the likes of Toyota and Honda.  So while this was not a direct comparison test, reading both articles (and counterpoints) provide some interesting and unexpected insights into the state of the small car art, circa 1987.

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CC Capsule : 1988 Toyota Corona Coupé (T160) 2.0 GT-R – Identity Crisis

Here we go for another JDM parallel universe oddball, this time in two-door form: the curious case of the Celica notchback that got facelifted and rebranded as a Corona. Was that sufficient to really turn it into a Corona, whatever that actually means? In hindsight, probably not.

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Craigslist Classic: 1954 Austin Champ – The Other British “Jeep”

Here’s a vehicle that’s never seen on the pages of CC but will finally have its day of fame here, thanks to one being for sale here in Eugene, no less. We’ve had numerous articles on the other British “Jeep”, the Land Rover, but unknown to me—and perhaps you—there was another one, the Austin Champ.

Why is it so relatively rare and almost unknown, compared to the LR? Because of a common issue that has plagued so many military vehicles—it was too expensive; costing twice as much as the LR. Why? For one thing, it had a fully independent suspension front and rear utilizing double wishbones, designed no less than by Alec Issigonis. There were some others too.

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Vintage Ad: 1964 Rambler American – “The Luxury Six For The Man Who Wants Something Better” – What?

This ad had me totally stumped, for about 20 seconds. “The Luxury Six For The man Who Wants Something Better”? By 1964, the American was the furthest thing from that, as its image had wilted to a rock-bottom cheapskate-mobile. And it still came standard with the last flathead six on the market.

But then I realized this was not intended for American consumption; it’s from Australia. And yes, the American was a “luxury six” down there. Hopefully it at least had the optional ohv version of the six.


Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1986 or 1987 Toyota 4Runner Turbo – Red Hot In Carmel

Cohort poster JC’s shots are all from Carmel, CA, a very exclusive and expensive little enclave. So it’s not surprising that the cars he shoots are almost invariably very expensive exotics and classics. Add this 4Runner to the list; this is the Holy Grail of gen1 4Runners, which have had a strong following almost forever and have recently become seriously collectible and expensive. But the very rare Turbo version is in a league of its own, and the perfectly restore one here is something we might expect T87 to find in the streets of Tokyo.

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School Safety Patrols – Civic Responsibility and Pedestrian Protection

In an earlier post about school buses, the subject of School Safety Patrols – commonly known as “Patrols” or “Patrollers” – came up. Given that Patrols were a fixture of my mid/late 20th Century youth as well as their clear connection to automobile culture, it was interesting to me that this topic had not been addressed by another CC article.

So let’s cross that potential topic off the list. We were all kids once, and most of us went to one manner of school or another, so there’s a good chance that there are school safety patrols existing somewhere in our pasts.  If not that, then I will note that my research for this article has turned up an amazing number of photographs and videos that contain all sorts of good car-spotting; and even a few trucks and buses and some petroliana. There’s something here for everyone.

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Housekeeping: Still Trying To Track Down The Gremlins

Yes, we were down for some hours today, and some posts are still throwing 404 errors. David Saunders has been hard at work in the evenings after work to make the necessary repairs and try to figure out what started all this.  Probably an automatic update to a plugin, or something like that. Please be patient, and if we’re down, check back later, as there may be a few outages during the repair process.


Future CC: 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon – Born A Classic


(first posted 10/5/2016)  For us Curbavores, it’s always a satisfying moment to spot an older car that has since become a rare sight on the road. However, it’s infrequently the situation where this rare find is a car only several years old. With just 2,139 examples produced over four model years, the 2011-2014 Cadillac CTS-V sport wagon is undoubtedly one of General Motors’ rarest vehicles of the past decade, and a car already destined to become a collector’s classic.

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Automotive History: The Small Ford Flathead V8 (V8-60), Part Three – The Simca Years


(first posted 10/5/2016)     In 1955, flathead V8s were no longer powering North American cars. The creator of this legendary engine, Ford, had moved on to more modern designs. Side-valves were on their way out in most places. OHVs (sometimes via OHC) were becoming the norm, as flatheads displayed rather limited efficiency. But one company stuck with flathead V8s, as it had inherited a revamped V8-60 from Ford in a brand new body shell. That company, Simca, would build our small V8 into the ‘60s.

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Curbside Classic: 1978 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado – The Biggest, Baddest Brougham Of Them All

09-09-2012 158 (1280x872)

(first posted 4/15/2013)     As most of you know, the big, floaty Coupe de Ville, Sedan de Ville and Fleetwood Brougham went on a crash diet for the 1977 model year. While still nice luxury cars in their own right (and much better road cars), the downsizing left only one Cadillac model with truly uncompromising dimensions: The Fleetwood Eldorado. Read the rest of this entry »


Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: Chrysler LeBaron (K) Spotted Resting In Budapest

Roshake found this LeBaron resting in a courtyard in Budapest. These LeBarons have become quite rare in my part of the world; it’s been years. It was the first of many dress-ups of the K-Car, and as such, something of a pioneer.

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CC Capsule: 2002 Fiat Multipla – Muffin Top

I don’t know what it was like before the Edsel came out. Nor did I witness the launch of the Citroën Ami 6, the Austin Allegro or the VW 411/412. Those all came out before I did, so they were just a fact of life, a questionable piece of automotive history that could not be helped. But I do remember how prettier the world was before the Fiat Multipla.

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