Recent Posts
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Curbside Classic: 1987-1992 Cadillac Brougham – No, It’s Not A Fleetwood

His & Hers Broughams at the Oakmont Fathers Day Car Show 2024 – me spinning the tunes

 

It’s summer here in the Steel City, so that means we get to drive our classic cars that have been hibernating safely all winter away from the salt trucks ‘n slippy roads filled with potholes. While the potholes don’t magically disappear with spring, it is more fun to dodge them in the Brougham than in the Escalade or my wife’s XTS.

With pressing our latest purchase into daily(ish) duty, comes the most common question from admirers at the Giant Eagle parking lot or car shows – “What year is that?! My parents/uncle/pap/gram had one that looked like it!”

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Curbside Classic: 1961-1965 Jeep FJ-3 Fleetvan – Delivered To Your Door

(first posted 7/24/2018)      The Jeep FJ-3 Fleetvan used to deliver the mail, but now it’s being delivered. But since this is as close as I’m likely to get to one of these, we’ll use this hulk as a tribute to the little Jeep van. And little it was.

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Cohort Classic: Lincoln Mark LT – A Study of Silly Pickups


(first posted 7/24/2018)       “O-kay,” someone at Ford (probably) said after the last Blackwood was sold “That…didn’t really work out did it? It was hideously expensive, we had to get the beds from Europe, and to top it all off it turns out people want to feeeeel like their truck can haul stuff about! Even if all they do is throw grocery bags in there!”
“Still, that doesn’t mean the idea itself isn’t sound. What if we give it another go?”

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Cohort Find: 1969 Chrysler Newport Custom – Elegant Fuselage

Photos from the CC Cohort by nifticus 392.

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Vintage Snapshots: Pontiacs On The Road – In The 1960s

Let’s revisit Pontiac in its heyday decade, the 1960s. On this occasion, the virtual tour covers the marque’s products in the open in various locations; on roads, driveways, and parking lots. The images are more or less in chronological order, showing the progression from the slim Pontiacs of the early ’60s to the latter full-figure ones.

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St. Vinnie’s Donation Car Sales Lot, Part 2: The Back Lot, Where The Really Mangy Dogs Await Likely Euthanasia

The vibe changes palpably when one walks through the gates into the side and back storage lot at St. Vinnie’s. This is where the cars that didn’t sell end up, or more likely the ones that were obviously never going to sell. Still, you’d like to think somebody might want to rescue this once exquisite Mercedes SEL (C126) coupe. What a come down.

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My Hobby Car Of A Lifetime #10: ’66 Ford F250 – Urban Farm Truck

Nothing is friendlier looking than an old truck! Photos by author.

 

This was my first pick up truck. All my previous truck experience had been with my dad’s ’75 Chevy StepSide.

Which I never really liked.

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CC & Vintage Review: Pontiac LeMans and Daewoo 1.5i/Cielo – Kadetts Reporting Rather Late For Duty

(first posted 7/19/2018)      Pity the pretty and poised Opel Kadett E, a crude facsimile of it years later having conditioned consumers the world over to wretch at the mere sight of it. At least GM spared Australian consumers the indignity of seeing a heritage nameplate crudely affixed to a cut-rate Korean rehash, although the insultingly inappropriate Pontiac LeMans name was used in New Zealand. Instead, Australian buyers had to wait even longer for the dubious pleasure of being able to purchase a new, Korean-built Opel Kadett E. By the time it arrived in Australia, the Daewoo 1.5i – as it was unimaginatively titled here – was based on a ten-year old design. As you can imagine, it was even less impressive than the LeMans had been in North America six years earlier. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curbside Classic: 1977-1979 Ford LTD II S – The Longest Mid-Size Car Ever or The Stripper Mark V Sedan

(first posted 7/23/2018)        By now you undoubtedly know that I’m not exactly a fan of Fords of the seventies. Most of my vitriol (so far) has been directed at the big LTD/Galaxie and the Granada, which earned CC’s award of The Most Malaise Car Ever. And the Mustang II, of course. But that’s because we’ve managed to avoid the car that best sums up Ford’s “issues”   during this period (bloat, crappy space efficiency, wallowing handling, mediocre performance, lousy fuel economy, and dated, overwrought styling). That would be the mysteriously-named LTD II. No longer.

But let’s not focus on all of those negatives. It’s 2018, the sun is shining, this is a terrific rare survivor (only 46k of these “S” sedans were ever made in three years), I’ve become mellow in my old age, and therefore I’ve found some positive qualities in this car for me to expound upon. And we’ll try to unravel the mystery of its name. But that might all be a bit more challenging than hoped for. It is a Ford from the seventies, after all.

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Vintage Snapshots: Cars & Service Vehicles In Period Livery – 1950s-1960s

Here’s a slightly different series of images from the usual; trucks, cars, and other service vehicles, all in period livery from the ’50s and ’60s. Understandably, it is a rather colorful gallery, as it can only be when livery and advertising are involved.

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St. Vinnie’s Donated Car Sales Lot – Where Tired Old Dogs Wait Hopefully For Another Shot At Life

Why do folks donate their old cars to St. Vinnie’s? Surely it’s not because there’s something wrong with them and they’re facing an expensive repair. No, it’s because our local St. Vincent dePaul chapter is extremely dynamic and has done so much good in the Eugene community in building affordable housing, among other things. I donated our ’92 Grand Caravan to them, and later saw it at a gas station and talked to its new owner who was so happy to score such a good deal for his family. That’s undoubtedly what everyone who donates their old cars hopes for, just like when they drop their dog at the pound because they can’t care for it any longer.

So let’s drop in again (we’ve done this a number of times before) and see what is looking for a caring new home. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rental Car Review: 2023 Jeep Compass Italian spec–The Big Mac of Venice

The streets of Venice are quiet at 6AM, which is a blessed relief from the daytime hell-swarm of tourists stuffing gelato cups and Coke cans into the crevices of St. Marks Square when the waste bins are full.  At this hour you can walk at peace for miles through the echoing staccato pattern of water dribbling off drainpipes and striking the cobblestones of this impossible, inspiring maze.  Gulls cackle overhead through the periodic maritime mist, and the scattered voices of locals roll out from the early morning espresso bars. Little about this place feels North American at this hour.  Until, that is, you round a bend near the Rialto Bridge and see it: A McDonald’s.  

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Curbside Musings: 1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback – Marranito

1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback. Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois. Saturday, June 29, 2024.

One of the things I love so much about living in Chicago’s north side is how many cultural experiences are easily within an arm’s reach.  Within a relatively short amount of time, and whether by foot, bus ride, or train trip from where I live, I can be in a pan-Asian district (Asia on Argyle), a formerly Swedish American enclave (Andersonville), Little Germany (Lincoln Square), or a few areas with a significant Latin American population (Rogers Park, Uptown, Buena Park).  I don’t keep banging the drum of diversity arbitrarily, as this is a significant, enriching, and satisfying part of my life experiences in this vast city, and in a broader sense, the United States.

I have my own ethnic mix that I bring and add to the collective stew.  As the son of a west African immigrant, it’s innate to me to respect others’ cultural traditions, culinary and otherwise.  I’m also part German American, and I love German cuisine (decisively excluding braunschweiger).  “From what parts of the world do your people originate, and what do you like?”  I may not absolutely love new-to-me foods at first taste, but I’m game to try almost anything.

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Curbside Big Toy: 1968 Ford LTD – Hot Wheels Edition

(first posted 10/11/2012)    When I spotted this ’68 LTD, what came to mind were my original 1968 Hot Wheels: the tail-up stance, the big rear tire sticking out past the bodywork, and the almost surreal hood scoop. Maybe the owner of this car grew up with Hot Wheels? But then, who didn’t? Read the rest of this entry »

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Bus Stop Classics: 1951-61 Mercedes-Benz (MB) Type O 6600 H Coach – Mercedes First Post-War Rear-Engined Bus

(first posted 7/21/2018)       This bus caught my eye when doing a little research on European coaches – it has an interesting look, with its low slung stance and central fog light, and as it turns out is a significant model in Mercedes long history of coach-making.  It’s a MB model O 6600 H intercity bus. Read the rest of this entry »