Recent Posts

Vintage Ad Tropes: Cars in Airports

Traveling by air today is little more than riding a Greyhound bus with wings, but that wasn’t always the case. Back in the golden age of Aviation, which ran roughly from the late 1940s to the early ’70s, flying was a more upscale experience that people got dressed in their Sunday finest for. So naturally, airplanes and all the trappings of air travel were fertile ground for yet more “luxury by association” auto ads.

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Curbside Jukebox: 1969 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible – If You Should Sail

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight convertible. Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois. Sunday, May 5, 2019.

This isn’t my first time professing my love for so-called yacht rock, and it won’t be the last.  I have a complicated relationship with the song by the Nielsen/Pearson Band after which I have subtitled this essay.  Sonically, it’s flawless as an example of this kind of soft rock that was first popular for roughly a decade, starting around the mid-’70s.  Lyrically, it could be seen either as an overture from a hopeless romantic who professes continued and undying love toward an ambivalent object or, alternately, sung from the perspective of an ex who just refuses to let go.  More on that in a second, but there are several tie-ins in my mind between “If You Should Sail”, this convertible, and the area in which I spotted it.  Loyola-Leone Beach Park in the Rogers Park neighborhood is rich with nautical flavor, with many sailboats present on nearby Lake Michigan during warm summer days.

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Curbside Classic: 1959 Pontiac Catalina Sport Coupe – Lessons In Aging

(first posted 3/27/2017)    For so many years, 1959 seemed like such a normal year.  Moreso for me than for others perhaps, because that was my birth year.  I have been writing “1959” for practically a lifetime.  Well, I guess not quite yet.  I hope.  And was it coincidence that my first CC was on a 1959 car during a 1959 theme week?.  But back to my point.  I have been noticing something lately:  When I write “1959” it doesn’t look quite so normal anymore.

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Curbside Sighting: Porsche 930 Turbo

I live in a 15 minute city and because of this, I walk a lot. It is always interesting what I see. I live about 200m from Vancouver General Hospital, and I would wager this car is owned by a doctor or some other professional.

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Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1989 Wartburg 1.3 Tourist – An Inspiration!

Roshake found and posted this Wartburg Tourist at the Cohort. For you not familiar with it, the Wartburg 353 was an East German (DDR) car of somewhat upscale ambitions; the DDR Buick to the (Chevy) Trabant. It was an evolution of the pre-war DKW F9, and had a 993 cc two-stroke triple driving the front wheels, when in 1988 it finally got a VW-sourced 1.3 L four-stroke four, and had its name changed to Wartburg 1.3. But it only lasted through 1991, shortly after unification.

And what did it inspire?

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Museum Classics: The DAF Museum’s Tatra Experience – Part Two, The Trucks

Tatra 138 6x6 - front

Welcome to the PACCAR-wing, the museum’s latest extension, where a fabulous collection of classic and more recent Tatra trucks and tractors is housing till next Sunday. It’s time for backbone tube chassis, independent swing half-axles and big, air-cooled engines!

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COAL: 2000 Chevrolet Blazer – The Fruits of Impetuosity

Next month is the thirtieth anniversary of one of the most important relationships: that of me and my driver’s license.  In that time, however, aside from a couple of my father’s hand-me-down T-Birds that were never titled in my name, I’ve owned only four daily drivers.  Two were Escorts and one is my current Focus, which I’ve been driving for over 11 years (yikes, time for something new).  Even when considering my burgeoning catalog of classics (with a small “c,” so as not to upset the CCCA), my nonchalance toward the car in which I spend the most time occasionally makes me question my status as a “car guy,” especially when I look back fondly at my favorite of a fairly crude menagerie: my 2000 Chevy Blazer.

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Junkyard Outtakes Double Feature: Toyota Edition – More Spray Foam Madness And A Security Issue

2002 Toyota Sienna

Well, here we are again with more random engineering and other (mis)adventures spotted in the junkyard over the weekend.  Today’s features both involve Toyotas, curiously the last time we did one of these it also featured a Toyota, albeit a Matrix, perhaps our hero replaced his vehicle and figured it worked before, why not again.

Our first ride hails from 2002, which is over two decades old now.  Where did the time go?  Toyota’s first Minivan (after the Van and the Previa) that was actually popular and correctly market priced, these are still seen on the roads, but are definitely filtering through the junkyards, some with quite large mileages.  Most notably perhaps, the Sienna was the first Toyota minivan with two sliding doors.  However in this case, something happened to the driver’s side one. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Outtake: A Japanese Military Jeep Getting The Groceries In Atlanta

The Mitsubishi Diamond caught my attention.

Found on the parking lot of a Sprouts groceries store in Atlanta, very recently…

I tried to identify what model it was… But I need the collective wisdom of this crowd. I know it’s a Mitsubishi vehicle, built under a Willys license. The steering wheel is on the right side, so it’s a Japanese model.

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Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1950 Chevrolet – Graffiti Edition

Jerome Solberg found this 1950 Chevy that looks more like something one might expect to see in the ’70s or ’80s. It’s a time capsule of a different sort. I hope it’s not too distressing to some of you.

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Automotive History: Ultrasonic Fuel Systems We Could’ve Had

Ultrasonic humidifiers—hang on; I promise relevance—were all the rage in the ’80s. These were great Read the rest of this entry »


COAL #5: The Lovely Herald – With Or Without Its Roof

Ever since I started reading British classic car magazines in the 70s, I loved Triumph. It seems they had it all: nice styling, open sports cars, closed sports cars, cheap sports cars, expensive sports cars, tiny sedans, medium sedans, large sedans, wagons. I went to the local Triumph dealer and got brochures for the whole range (Spitfire, Dolomite, 2500). When my father’s old rotten Peugeot 404 needed replacing, my brother and myself managed to persuade him in buying a four year old Triumph 2500 (another COAL).

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Curbside Classic: 1982 Jeep DJ-5 Dispatcher–Still Delivering The Mail After 30 Years

(first posted 12/20/2012)    During a tour of the Civil War National Military Park at Chickamauga and its many monuments and relics, just outside the south exit of the park a relic of another sort appeared unexpectedly. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1984 Chrysler Executive Limousine – The Ultimate Eighties Folly-Mobile

(first posted 4/8/2011)    The eighties were shaped by two very powerful divergent influences: the price of oil and the desire for the trappings of luxury and prestige. These two do tend to be mutually exclusive. But the human mind is an infinitely flexible organ and there are ways to bridge almost any gap with a bit of creativity and a cutting torch.

The most perfect example (the TC runs a close second) is this Chrysler Executive Limousine: a K-car seven passenger limo powered by a 93 hp four cylinder engine. You either experienced the early eighties, or you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to make sense of them. Or both. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Video: Animagraffs – How An 18th Century Sailing Battleship Works

I ran into this the other night and was totally sucked in. I’ve always had a thing for old sailing ships and been on a few, but there’s nothing like seeing it all with X-ray vision, and from all angles. They did a fine job.

And can also recommend their inside look at how a diesel locomotive works.