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78

Curbside Classic: 1997 Mercury Mountaineer – Exploring Higher Elevations

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(first posted 10/28/2014)     If the ’80s was the decade of the minivan, and the ’00s the decade of the crossover, then the ’90s was certainly the decade of the SUV. After several years without a four-door competitor to the hot-selling XJ Jeep Cherokee, Ford was finally ready to go toe-to-toe with Jeep with its 1990 Explorer. The Explorer was an instant hit, but Jeep would counterattack with the larger and more luxurious Grand Cherokee in 1993. Ford would fire back with an updated Explorer for ’95. Offering more room and a less utilitarian interior than its predecessor, the 1995 Explorer was appealing to more buyers than ever (as evidenced by its massive sales increase to nearly 400,000 vehicles that year). At that time, the Explorer’s success was seemingly unstoppable. The only way to go from there was up.

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13

CC Goes to the Auction: Part Three – The Others

In the last two installments I detailed out what cars I was initially interested in from the two auction sites. This time around, we will explore a selection of others that hold some interest as well. Let’s explore the rest of the yards for the treasures within.

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20

Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: Lazy Daze Class C RV On Chevy G30 HD Chassis – Why Didn’t All Big Vans Have Tilt Hoods?

Looking at this Lazy Daze Class C RV posted by So Cal Metro, it suddenly occurred to me: why didn’t all the full size vans have full tilt front ends, like on this Chevy Van G30 HD chassis?

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7

CC Capsule: 1979 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 – All Kittied Up With Nowhere To Go

Ah, the old Land Cruiser. Talk about a legend. Of all the first-generation 4x4s, this is one of the most iconic (alongside the Jeep and the Land Rover, obviously). But now that these have become collector’s items, the temptation to over-restore them is rampant. Case in point with this one.

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23

Vinatge Car Carrier of the Day: Reo Hauling Air Shipped 1955 Hillmans and Sunbeams – Why?

This is a bit of a headscratcher: Rootes Co. cars (Hillmans and Sunbeams) being loaded or unloaded (the latter, I assume) from a Seaboard & Western Lockheed Constellation in California. Were they such hot sellers that they had to pay air freight to get them from the East Coast to their eager California customers? Or?

Nice International L or R Series COE too.

Here’s another view:

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38

COAL: 1997 Chevrolet Malibu – Generic with a Capital G

My first two COAL posts focused on recent “collector” cars and, as I thought about my next post, I started to review old digital pictures from cars past.  It was then that I saw pictures of this car and realized I had completely forgotten I had ever owned it.  Which pretty much explains my experience with the utterly generic 1997 Chevrolet Malibu that served as our family’s second/commuter car during the early 2000’s.

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56

CC Biography: Ian Fleming – The Man Who Loved Thunderbirds

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(first posted 10/23/2014)    “I like a car I can leave out in the street all night and which will start at once in the morning and still go a hundred miles an hour when you want it to and yet give a fairly comfortable ride. I can’t be bothered with a car that needs tuning, or one that will give me a lot of trouble and expenditure.”

Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, was a genuine curbside classicist. Here is some of that story. Read the rest of this entry »

36

CC Goes to the Auction: Part Two – Potential Projects

In the previous installment we looked at some of the candidates to be my next daily driver, but this time around we move onto the project cars which are more interesting to me. There was quite a selection so I actually had a hard time deciding which one to bid on. There were just so many semi-worthy clunkers that could be given a second chance.

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24

In-Motion Outtake: 1967 Pontiac Grand Prix Convertible – A Rare Bird In Flight

1967 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible. Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois. Sunday, October 11, 2020.

If you’re like me, “Grand Prix” and “convertible” are things you usually don’t think of at the same time.  When I spotted this one earlier this month, I had no idea just what a rare car it was.  In this storied nameplate’s forty-seven model years spanning 1962 and 2008 and the various guises and roles it played within Pontiac’s lineup, 1967 was the only year the Grand Prix was offered as a convertible.  Just 5,856 soft-tops were sold that year, alongside 37,125 hardtop coupes, accounting for just under 14% of total GP production.

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12

Classic CARmentary: 1999 BMW 328i Sedan

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 »

17

COAL: 2009 Ford Mondeo 2.0 Titanium Wagon

So with the 2007 Diesel Focus totaled and a new job much closer to home, it was time to change cars again. In Denmark diesel cars are taxed harder than gasoline cars but diesel is cheaper, so if you drive longer, a diesel makes more sense and if you only have a short commute, get a gasoline car. 

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47

Curbside Classic: 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine – Who Would Have Bought a Green Over Green Limo?

Poking around the little back streets and alleys of Springfield, Eugene’s sister city, I stumbled into a rather surprising find, which you see here as I first saw it: a 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine sporting a rather unexpected paint job. But then it was 1958, a time when folks were snapping up pink, green, blue and yellow kitchens and bathrooms. So while it may look a bit odd to our gray and stainless steel trained sensibilities, this was probably very chic in 1958. In some circles, anyway.

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101

Curbside Classic: 2003 Ford Thunderbird – Going Overtime

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(first posted 10/25/2014)    In 1997, Ford decided that its time and resources would be much better spent designing and developing a gigantic SUV that you could buy with a 6.8L V10 and that coupes that weren’t named “Mustang” weren’t really worth the effort anymore. Presented with this news we all thought that the good old phoenix would rise no more. But we weren’t counting on one small thing: Retro.

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26

CC Goes to the Auction: Part One – Daily Drive Fodder

I have never bought a car at auction up to this point, which strikes me as an oversight on any car enthusiast’s bucket list that should checked off sooner or later. I also had an empty garage, so when a friend gave me the heads up on an auction I was both eager and in a position to bid. Initially my plan was to snag myself both a daily driver and a project vehicle for over the winter. But importantly I did not want to win more than that, as I would not be popular at home winning too many vehicles. As these things often go, it did not completely go as planned, but let’s have a look at the contenders for my bargain seeking dollars.

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38

CC Driver’s Ed Video: Harold Smith And The Smith System Of No-Accident Driving – Saving Us From Ourselves

During the summer of 1992, I was 15 years old.  One would think that my fondest memories would involve first or second loves and long days hanging out with my neighborhood pals, but I was a slightly awkward teenager; and as a result, my mind’s eye now focuses on happy memories of driver’s education class.  I may have been the only one who truly enjoyed it.  The teacher showed endless, ancient 16mm films that had been endlessly spliced.  The warm, gentle ticking of the projector lulled many of my classmates into a peaceful slumber, but my focus was glued on the endless variety of antique cars that populated each new gem.  Unfortunately, my instructor never introduced us to the simple logic of the Smith System, which I discovered on my own much later.

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