Recent Posts

Curbside Classic: Sunbeam Tiger – The Other Cobra

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(first posted 4/9/2013)   The legend of how Carroll Shelby was inspired to create the Cobra–his idea was to stuff Ford’s new and very compact V8 into an elderly and underpowered little British roadster–is already well known. However, the fact that there was a copycat vehicle is not quite so legendary–and it probably has everything to do with the other car chosen as the beneficiary of a Ford V8 transplant. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible – Hi-ho Silver!

(first posted 6/13/2018)        Each of us who contributes to the curbside cornucopia here seems to have a specialty.  For example, Jason Shafer finds lots of unusual prewar stuff and Jim Grey finds a better than average sample of pickup trucks.  Brendan Saur kills it with 80’s and 90’s sports sedans and Paul Niedermeyer brings us a ton of cars missing their driver’s side interior door panels.  Me?  I seem to be developing the ability to track and capture classic Pontiac GTOs.  I have written up all three that have been featured on these pages (thus far) and have pictures of one or two others in my stash of cars awaiting some time and attention.

After a while you run out of things to say about a given car, even one as iconic as the GTO.  We have covered whether one with a column shift and no console was original, gloried in a fabulous all-original GTO Judge and recalled the memories of a childhood that, from a tender age, was awash with GTOs.  But there is one bit of unexplored territory that called to me on this example: its brilliant silver paint.

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Vintage Snapshots: Buicks On The Road In The 1950s – Part 2

Back when GM was a purveyor of cool-looking machines, the argument could be made that some of its children were better dressed than others. And that’s something that could be seen through the decades; Pontiac in the ’60s, Oldsmobile in the ’70s, and so on. I know it’s all a matter of likes and preferences, but most can probably choose one or two brands from each period.

All that said, Buick was certainly at a styling peak during most of the 1950s. A sign that the brand had much favour with GM’s styling VP Harley Earl. Under his tenure, the models carried a sophisticated blend of dashing looks and mild hot-rodding/sporty influences. All sharply put together to great effect.

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Cohort Classic: 1968 Imperial Crown 4-door Hardtop – Troubled Empires

Photos from the Cohort by Hyperpack.

It’s little secret that by 1968, Chrysler’s wishes for its Imperial were falling far short of its imperial ambitions. The marque’s high water point had been in ’57, early on the marque’s imperial quest. From then, as JPC’s post on a ’68 Imperial Convertible told, the whole saga was one of constant retreats until eventual capitulation.

And with ’67 being the year that the Imperial lost its stand-alone platform, one can see the non-empire was in trouble. Not that it was news by then.

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CC In Scale: Modeling and Colour, Part 2 (Featuring Some 1960s Models)

Apparently, this is the 25th article I’ve written this past year. As many of you know, I’m a retired pastor and biochemist; among my retirement hobbies is writing both fiction and poetry. I think the mental discipline of writing regular more serious posts for CC has been beneficial for my hobby writing as well. I seem to be building less and writing more. But there’s still no shortage of things to see.

Our editor Rich suggested I write another piece highlighting my use of colour. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this filled me with trepidation, but it did make me stop and think about perception. Do we all see the world in a slightly different way? What do others see that I don’t, and vice-versa?

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COAL Update (Part 2): 2023 Dodge Charger GT – In With The New

I knew the day was coming for a new car.  I am not getting any younger, and knew that I needed to do something sooner rather than later if I expected to have a car paid off by the time I decided to (really) retire.  I also knew that I was really unenthusiastic about the current crop of new cars out there, so I kept putting off getting serious about replacing something in the aging JPC fleet.  (I guess that sentence works whether we think about the aging fleet or the aging JPC).

I see the current crop of cars as reminiscent of, say, 1981.  And yes, the SEO tool says that I have started each of the previous sentences with “I”.  But unlike most of life, this little essay is all about me, after all.

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CC Capsule: 1989 Isuzu Amigo – “Hey Hombre, We’ve Created A Monster”

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(first posted 4/12/2013)   I knew there must have been a reason why I had a marked impulse to shoot this Amigo the other day – for Isuzu Spanish Names Day. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1989 Lincoln Mark VII Bill Blass Edition – Who Are You Wearing?

(first posted 6/12/2018)         It’s the big premiere. You’re on the red carpet, cameras are flashing, and the big question is who are you wearing? Versace? Gucci? Cartier? Givenchy? Valentino? — all are relevant world-renowned designer labels that consumers shell out their high-limit credit cards for, and all were at one time or another, special “Designer Series” editions of the Lincoln Continental Mark Series. But Bill Blass you say… who might that be?

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Vintage Snapshots: Parking Lots In The ’50s & ’60s

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CC Capsule: 1981 Ford Club Wagon XL – The Mystery Machine

“Oooh, a Ford van, how exciting!” Said very, very few people, if anyone, ever. Well, it’s all about context, isn’t it? In its native land, this old Club Wagon would probably not warrant much of a second look, aside from its very decent condition. And over here, on the Kanto Plane of existence, it would also be pretty hard to notice, given the local affection for Chevy 20s and Dodge Rams of a similar shape and model year.

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CC Capsule: 1976 Datsun 710 Wagon – A Trusty (And Funky) One

Every once in a while we have to go back to that dwell of styling wonkiness that was Nissan in the ’70s. It’s a story told more than a few times on CC’s pages, and not a particularly happy one. From the goodwill earned during the ’60s with offerings like the 240Z, the 510, and the Datsun Roadster to… an odd-looking and multiplying 1970s lineup that seemed inspired by Mopar products looked through the melting eyes of a Dali painting. That plus some genes from underwater and otherworldly creatures.
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COAL: Hobby Car #4 — ’66 Buick Riviera Part Two — Clackety Clack, Don’t Talk Back!

I needed to find a good set of heads.


(Last week, in Part 1, the author told of his purchase of a ’66 Riviera and its clackety engine that would eventually need more work than expected. We tune in this week for Part 2)

I was prepared to get out the phone book and start calling around looking to source a set of heads. I’d seen a head-rebuilding outfit off the freeway in Oakland. But why not start locally?

I visited my local Pick and Pull wrecking yards to see if they had any nailhead-powered vehicles. It took only a few visits before I found a wrecked ’66 Riv. The left rear quarter panel was smashed in pretty good, which is actually a very good sign; it usually means the car was up and running until that fateful moment. I looked under the hood and the motor was almost complete. My initial plan was just to take the heads, but I got to thinking that maybe I should take the entire motor.

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Curbside Classic: 1960 Studebaker Lark – South Bend’s Beater King


(first posted 4/23/2013)    In the 1970s, when I was a lad, the Studebaker Lark was my hometown’s favorite beater. If some other car was your town’s cheap-transportation choice in those days, it’s probably because you didn’t live in South Bend, as I did. These stubby Studebakers sold well in a town that was proud of its most famous company, and by the early ’70s they hadn’t been entirely used up. The Hawk, in its various guises, was the next most common Studebaker, and most of these were loved and maintained. Even an occasional gleaming Avanti prowled South Bend’s not-so-mean streets. But the Lark was the beater king. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Capsule: 1986 Oldsmobile Firenza S Coupe – J-School Graduate


(first posted 5/16/2013)    Okay, boss, here’s the copy for the Firenza brochure (I can’t believe I went to college for this *sigh*). Corporate keeps pushing these tin cans on us—don’t they even know what the Olds brand promise is? Well, this it ain’t! These badge-engineered J-cars are worse than a one-liner joke (do you like how I worked that into the first line of the copy?):

For those who take their fun—and budget—seriously. Fun, today, is more than a one-liner.”

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Vintage Dealers: New 1959 & 1960 Oldsmobiles In Indiana

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