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Curbside Classics: Jeep Cherokee And Wagoneer SJ – Brief Initiation Into Jeep’s 4×4 Might

(Mostly Dad related memories, with a few Jeeps thrown in)

It was the early ’80s and Dad was as usual dealing with some agribusiness start-up. What it was on that occasion I won’t exactly recall. Suffice it to say that he was in constant lookout for some business venture or another. A matter that often clashed with Mom, who herself was always trying to start some business venture or another; but hers of clerical nature. If this sounds repetitive in reading, you had no idea how it felt in real life.

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Road & Track Vintage Road Test: 1976 Lamborghini Countach – “Fastest Car We’ve Ever Tested”

(first posted 6/20/2018)    We’re now entering the era when “The Fastest Car(s) In The World” became increasingly common on the covers of R&T, C&D and Motor  Trend. It was the newsstand clickbait of its time. And as we move forward through the years of my huge stack of R&Ts yet to be scanned and uploaded, there’s a concomitant reduction in the testing of ordinary cars. Which explains why I became less and less interested in car magazines as time went on. The lure of cars that could go 200+ mph just didn’t mean a whole lot to me anymore.

But in 1976, the newish Countach was still able to get my juices going. And it did get going. Its projected top speed was 192 mph, @8,000 rpm. R&T didn’t get theirs quite up to that, but they claimed to have seen a brief moment at 7,000rpm, which translates to 163mph. Actually, there’s a discrepancy in the stats, as they show 23.3 mph/1000rpm in 5th gear, but that calculates to 186mph. Oh well, you get the idea. It was really fast, especially for 1976.  Oh, and of course, with an 8,000 rpm power peak, this was not exactly a US certified car; the Countach wouldn’t get blessed by the EPA and NHTSA until 1982 or so, thanks to fuel injection and other modern emission control technology.

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Curbside Classic: 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme – The Jennifer Of Cars

(first posted 6/20/2018)      In the mid-1970s, about 60,000 US baby girls were named Jennifer each year – a staggering 4% of all girls.  Parents flocked to the name for good reason – it was fresh, sophisticated-sounding, and (since it was nearly unheard-of just 20 years before), was seen as unique.  But over time, the name Jennifer became a victim of its own ubiquity, its freshness diluted by overuse.  Just a few decades later, the number of babies named Jennifer had diminished by 90 percent and was falling fast.

During the same period, an equally staggering 4% of US new car sales were Oldsmobile Cutlasses.  Consumers flocked to the car for good reason – it was fresh, sophisticated-looking, and (with a new, formal design), was seen as unique.  But over time, the Oldsmobile brand became a victim of its own ubiquity, its appeal diluted by mismanagement.  Just a few decades later, Oldsmobile had rolled out its last car.

Is this a coincidence?  Yes, of course… but it’s an interesting coincidence.  Both are reflections of people’s choices and aspirations in 1970s, and if this white Cutlass needed a name, I’d call it Jennifer.

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Cohort Find Of The Day: 1964 Dodge Dart GT Convertible – One Of Less Than 2,500 Built

Photos from the Cohort by Hyperpack.

About ten days ago I shared some photos from the Cohort with a bunch of junked ’63-’64 Dodge Darts on a field. What I didn’t say on that occasion was that I was saving the best for last. You know the trick; whet the appetite and get folks ready for the main course. Said main course is finally here, a remarkably well-preserved 1964 Dart GT convertible.

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Curbside Classic: 1955 Triumph TR2 – Who Is Number One?

British roadsters could not remain in the ‘30s forever, though some tried to very hard (looking at you, Morgan). Some makers were quicker than others off the mark, of course. After having bought the remains of a bankrupt Triumph, whose works had been utterly destroyed by the Luftwaffe’s many raids on Coventry, Standard elected to revive the brand pretty much from scratch. The pre-war-looking 1800 roadster and a pair of peculiarly-styled saloons were proposed initially, but then came the masterstroke, the sports car that everyone was waiting for. All hail the TR… 2?

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Curbside Travel: Like The Muppets, The Kleins Take Manhattan

My phone reminded me this morning that a year ago I was in New York City, specifically midtown Manhattan.  So now that the statute of limitations has (presumably? hopefully?) run out, the tale can be told and the pictorial evidence can be shared.  The backstory is that my daughter was invited to visit a friend of hers that had scored an internship at Macy’s corporate HQ and belatedly realized that while the friend would be working weekdays, she’d have a lot of time on her hands by herself until quitting time and happy hour.  So my younger son and I graciously agreed to drop everything, found cheap flights to JFK and an even cheaper hotel (gulp…), and thus got to enjoy an impromptu four days in New York.  I hadn’t been there in several years, and my kids had never been there although they are well seasoned world travelers so it wouldn’t be too difficult; as usual we would try to survive and enjoy things on a shoestring budget.

Bright (ok, it was very dark) and early we departed, and arrived around midday.  Since my son is the airplane buff he of course wanted to check out the old TWA Flight Center at the airport which has semi-recently been remade into a hotel.  Always looking for reasons to dilly-dally, I duly agreed and we made our way to the correct terminal via JFK’s people-mover in order to access it.  Buckle up and join us.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1964 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 – After 58 Years And 200,000 Miles Its Owner Is Still Driving It To The Store

1964 Jaguar E-Type

When was the last time you saw a daily driver Jaguar E-Type? The answer’s never for me. Heck, I rarely see a Jaguar over twenty years old of any variety on the streets, let alone a two-seater. So I did a double take, then a triple take, when I spotted this sitting in a shopping center parking lot.

The E-Type being one of the coolest cars of all time, they come pretty dearly these days with many buying them specifically so they can look good behind the wheel of such an icon. That’s certainly not the case here. The owner isn’t trying to be retro cool or have the fanciest collector car. He’s just getting groceries, as he does every week in his car, which of course makes him and his Jag way cooler.

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Cohort Classic: GAZ 13 Chaika – Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

GAZ Chayka f

(first posted 3/7/2013)    That the Russians were big fans of Packard’s designs is indisputable. The famous ZIS-110 was a heavily cribbed 1942 Packard Super (the story of Packard sending its body dies for the 180 to Russia has long been debunked). Its successor, the ZIL-111 drew its inspiration from the same 1955 Packard as does this Chaika, a “smaller” limo for the less well connected party bosses. Somehow, to me they do look more “Russian” than a Cadillac clone would have, or am I just under the spell of these cars? So when DeeTwoAr posted some very detailed shots of a Chaika at the Cohort, they quickly found their way here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic Lite: 1981 Honda Prelude – A Prelude to Greater Things To Come

(first posted 6/20/2018)       The Prelude was a highly pragmatic move on Honda’s part to expand into the then large and lucrative sporty coupe market. The Celica was making hay and Nissan’s latest 200SX (Silvia) was catching on too. Honda took the longer wheelbase platform of the yet-to-be released the gen2 Civic sedan and wagon, messed around a bit (a bit too little) with the suspension pieces and settings, threw in the Accord’s 1750 cc CVCC four and transmission, and wrapped it in a body that was looked exactly like what it was: a cross between the Accord and the Civic, where the clay model was set in front of a misting fan.

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Vintage Dealer Snapshots: Ford Dealers In The ’50s & ’60s

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CC For Sale: 1967 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Holiday Sedan – One Owner Since New, Garaged In Central America

Not many of these ’67-’70 Oldsmobile Delta 88s have appeared at CC, so I figured sharing this one for sale in Central America was a reasonable idea. A one-owner car since its purchase in 1967, that seems to have been used little and carries the damages of long-term storage.

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Curbside Classic: 1949 MG TC Midget – The Original British Invasion

MG might as well be a synonym for the word roadster. Sure, there were always MG saloons as well, but they were usually badge-engineered affairs. The marque’s real raison d’être was always to provide the Nuffield Group with a dash of open-air excitement – for a reasonable price. Until the Second World War, MGs were chiefly known in Britain and the Commonwealth. But then came the TC, and Morris Garages went global.

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COAL: Hobby Car Of A Lifetime # 5 — 1922 Dodge Hot Rod – When Hot Turns Tepid

I recently bought a copy of this book, it only took over fifty years…

 

I’d always assumed that someday, I would build a hot rod.

I’d been reading Hot Rod magazine since I was in high school. Not to mention Street Rodder, Rod Action, and Rod and Custom. During freshman year I found an auto-related book entitled, How to Fix Up Old Cars, written by Leroi “Tex” Smith. I knew who Smith was because he was a contributor to Hot Rod magazine. This book had a lot of good advice and lots of tech info presented in a basic and easy-to-understand manner.

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Storage Field Classic: Vauxhall Victor 101 Super – Almost Mine

1966 Vauxhall Victor 101 Super

(first posted 3/8/2013)    So far we’ve seen the original–and very much American influenced–Vauxhall Victor F-series, as well as the ‘FB’ follow up. This FC generation Victor; introduced in 1964 is often called “the forgotten Victor” due to its humble styling and low survival rate.

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Curbside Classic: 1995 Toyota Previa DX – How Do You Take Your Eggs?

(first posted 6/18/2018)     Although somewhat demoralizing to car enthusiasts, it is nonetheless very understandable that the majority of consumers choose cars of more basic, conventional, humble, and for lack of a better term, “boring” nature. For the fact of the matter is, cars are purely a utilitarian object of transportation for most people, which explains why even in segments that prioritize practicality above all else, vehicles that attempt to break the mold with interesting or unique features that add little practical value most often fail. The Toyota Previa was one of those such vehicles.

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