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Curbside Classic: 1966 Chevrolet Suburban – Finding The “Sport” In SUV

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(first posted 5/12/2013)    Suburbans are jacks of all trades, capable of playing so many varied roles. One like this taught me the valuable lessons of the limits of vehicle dynamics on winding country roads that others might have had in sports cars. Does that not define the name sport utility vehicle? Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville – Flamboyant Survivor

(first posted 9/26/2017)        The 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville has gotten its share of attention on CC and at the Cohort, and in Classic Car magazines.  In fact I have seen our featured car at local car shows in past years, so I have seen it up close before.  Those photos are at the Cohort.  You can go and take a peek – I will wait here . . .  Now that you are back, having discovered that this car and its owner live within five minutes of me, led to an opportunity to discover more history about this fine example. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vintage Snapshots: A Brief Visit To Parking Lots Of The Past

Here is a brief gallery of parking lots around America. Decades vary, locations too, and of course, the vehicles. A few of these came with information, either in date or location. A few didn’t provide any, and some are my guesses. Yet, let’s see what commenters can bring up on these, correct the record if necessary, and let’s do a visit down memory lane. Let’s start with the opening image, which is somewhere in New Mexico, circa 1954.

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CC Capsule: 1998 Toyota Estima Lucida Eluceo – Humpty Dumpty On A Diet

We’ve had a lot of CC posts about the Previa. Could we just squeeze in one more? I’m inclined to say yes, provided it’s a little one. A little post, but also a little Previa, i.e. the narrower and shorter JDM variant.

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Automotive History – The History of Whitewall Tires, Part 2: 1920s and 1930s

1922 Duesenberg Ad

In Part 1 of this series, I covered the early history of the whitewall tire, led by the B.F. Goodrich Silvertown tire. Whitewall tires were largely confined to the replacement market for the first few decades of the twentieth century, rarely offered as original equipment and therefore almost never seen in any carmaker’s advertisements. For Part 2, we are going to look at when automakers started featuring whitewall tires in their ads and offering them as factory options, which greatly increased their popularity.

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Curbside Musings: 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible – Out Of Sight

1968 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. Andersonville, Chicago, Illinois. Sunday, May 28, 2023. Memorial Day weekend.

I had been sitting on these pictures of this ’68 Galaxie 500 convertible since this past Memorial Day weekend, unsure of what exactly I wanted to say about it.  It’s an impressive car and was in beautiful shape, but it wasn’t until a recent trip to the local thrift store that I found my inspiration.  Browsing the two-for-a-dollar CD section at Green Element Resale, I stumbled across a handful of great finds, including The Best Of War…And More.  Thankfully, there was also a selection of plastic CD racks for sale among the donated merchandise, the occasional purchase of which helps me keep things organized, 1990s-style.  I’m old school. Read the rest of this entry »

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Portlandia Outtake: 1983 Chevrolet Cavalier Wagon – The Rare Two-Headlight Not-Quite-Deadly Sin Version

(first posted 9/26/2017)       I found myself the other day in Curbsidelandia Ultimate Edition, otherwise known as Portland. It was a short trip, and I only managed to squeeze in a brief 15 minute walk-and-shoot, although I saw all kinds of marvelous CCs from the car. If I ever feel the need for new fodder, I do know where to go.

One of my Holy Grails has been a 1982 Cavalier; the one with the ultra-wheezy carburated 1.8 L four. I needed it to give it its highly deserved Deadly Sin award, and eventually I gave up and used one posted at the Cohort. The results (and 197 comments) are here.  When I saw this two-headlight Cavalier wagon, my hopes raised..just a bit. But only a bit, as I was 90% certain it would be an ’83, as the ’82s were so crappy they’ve all long been junked. My hopes were not raised in vain, although I think I’m using that expression a bit differently than usual. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1986 Pontiac Parisienne – A Long Way From The Champs-Élysées

(first posted 9/25/2017)     When I was an eight year old kid and during my professor father’s year-long sabbatical from the university, our family took a trip overseas.  Our ultimate destination was a nine-month stay in Dad’s native Liberia, but on the way to and from western Africa, we visited five cities in Europe, including Paris – which was our very first stop.  Upon our arrival to and subsequent departure from Charles De Gaulle Airport, one of my first, distinct memories was of all five of us piling into a ’70s-era Peugeot 504 taxi after the driver (the sixth person in that car) loaded our luggage into the trunk.  Our destination was a place whose name my older brother translated to us as the “King Hotel” (which might actually have been something like the “Hôtel Du Roi”).

My face was soon flush with what felt like a million pin-pricks of embarrassment as my mother (a Midwestern farmer’s daughter of German and Irish descent, who looks a little like Petula Clark) proceeded to ask the driver, “You take American dolla?” in a most inauthentic-sounding, American Ebonics accent that I had never heard come out of her mouth before that day.  I thought to myself, Who is this woman, and why is she speaking English that way to a Frenchman who might have had issues understanding her even in her normal dialect?  At that moment, my mom’s voice sounded, to me, about as French as… a Pontiac Parisienne from the mid-1980s.

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Vintage Carrier Snapshots: An Assortment Of Early ’70s Fords

Let’s take a look at this vintage carrier, loaded with a good assortment of Dearborn products. There was no information about this image’s location, but those hills seem to say California to me. The Western Pacific Railroad pole in the foreground seems to support that idea.

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Cohort Pic(k) Of The Day: 1969 Chrysler Newport Custom – Fuselage Goodness

Just one image for today for this 1969 Chrysler Newport Custom, courtesy of canadiancatgreen at the Cohort. And while I would like a few more shots, one image is good enough to highlight these fuselage wonders. As one vintage review said it, the Newport was ‘quite a lot of car’ (link further below). And in the case of the Custom 4-door, that ‘lot of car’ amounted to 18,401 units for that year. How many survive to this day?

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Automotive History – The History of Whitewall Tires, Part 1: The Teens and Twenties

Whitewall tires are an interesting historical oddity, peaking in popularity between the 1950s and 1970s. As popular as they once were, I have not found an accurate, comprehensive online history of whitewall tires, so once again it falls upon CC to set the record straight.

The roots of whitewall tires go back much farther than most people realize, almost to the dawn of the horseless carriage era. Over the next several installments I’ll study the rise and fall of this styling phenomenon, but today we’ll start with the early origins of whitewall tires.

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Curbside Classic: 1989 Jaguar XJ-S – Cat O’ Nine Lives

Can it be that we’ve not had a fully-fledged CC on the Jaguar XJ-S? We can’t have that! It may have its issues and its detractors, but this big old cat saw its maker through extremely troubled times, surviving in the range for over two decades. So if only for that reason, it deserves a deeper look.

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Car Show Classic: 2003 VW Type 1 Beetle: Last of the Mohicans

2003 VW Beetle Type 1 und mit fraulein. Ist gut ja?

 

(first posted 9/21/2017)          Back in the Spring, when, according to the Good Book, “kings go off to war”, I hauled the Esposita out to the local VW car show.  She tolerates this annual religious pilgrimage with good humor, possibly because I keep the AC functioning on her car during our ungodly hot summers, and we spent a delightful, to me, morning prowling the V-dub heaps as I re-lived my youthful faded glory that mainly exists in my mind.

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Vintage Snapshots: The Driveway As A Playground – A Gallery

I’d like to think that many of us share fond memories of playing around the family car, either in the driveway or in the car itself. I did spend many fond hours in the garage, with the family car often being part of those fun games. With that in mind, let’s look at some vintage shots of kids having fun near the family car. Some are playing in the car, some around it, some nearby. No matter. The point was to spend a fun time in the open.

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Vintage Road & Track Review: 1978 Mercury Zephyr-Ford Fairmont – A Boxy New Dawn

Everything remains the same until it doesn’t. Detroit’s Brougham era had gone undisturbed for a good number of years, guided by the wider and longer mantra. And while Detroit had a few products that bucked that trend, it was mostly business as usual. Then, it all was upended in a few years. Without that context, it’s hard to understand the automotive press’ excitement with Ford’s new 1978 Mercury Zephyr/Ford Fairmont duo. But excitement there was, for a car that was as plain and honest as could be.

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