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Archive for the ‘Classic & Vintage Cars’ Category

The Best Cars of the ’90s (and One from the ’80s)

August 29th, 2014

BMW E39 M5

Car designers were on their game in the 1960s, but it seems they took a two-decade vacation in the ’70s and ’80s. I’m pretty sure interns used a straight edge and T-square to churn out car designs back then.

Not until the 1990s did the real designers, and their curvalicious designs, come back, along with some quality and performance that turned the ’90s into a golden age for motoring.

That might sound funny, especially being only 15 years removed from the turn of the century, but keep reading for proof that the ’90s provided the jump-start car designers needed to propel motoring into the 21st century.

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The Most Exclusive Used Car in America?

August 28th, 2014

Land_cruiser_series_70

A couple of days ago, CarGurus posted a link on its Facebook page to an article listing the top 10 cars we can’t buy in the United States.

It wasn’t a bad list and featured the usual suspects from Seat, Citroen, Holden and Land Rover. The list neglected to mention a true international classic, though, which has soldiered on since 1984 and is still sold new. This vehicle has been marketed and sold around the world, with the exclusion of a few countries in North and South America.

It’ll never be sold new here in the States, but it is possible used versions could be imported.

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Wanna Go Yenko? There’s an Auction for That

August 25th, 2014

1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro

Assuming you have no connection with an apparently successful but now convicted group of criminals, you could become the proud new owner of a rare American muscle car.

A group of extraordinary cars seized by U.S. Marshals are being brought to auction and sold to anyone who meets these two criteria:

  1. Can arrange financing before the sale and pay cash at the auction, along with having a $10,000 cashier’s check on hand before bidding.
  2. Can certify that the car isn’t being purchased with the intent of being returned to the convicted.

Is this you? Then get yourself to New Jersey and start bidding on one of these classics.

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Appreciating Classic Cars: Now’s the Time to Buy?

August 18th, 2014

Maserati MC12 Corsa

If you have a Maserati MC12 Corsa to sell, you should advertise it where potential buyers hang out.

Check your garage, loyal readers, because if you have one, you’re in luck. The Corsa is the racing version of the road-going MC12, and only 50 Corsas were ever produced.

Produced back in 2004 and 2005, the car boasts a Ferrari Enzo V12 engine that makes 620 horsepower and jumps from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds. The car is based on the Enzo, however it’s slower and bigger than its more attractive cousin.

It’s kind of like an Enzo in a fat suit, to be honest. Regardless, the car is incredibly rare and valuable, especially in Corsa trim.

So where might potential buyers of this expensive machine hang out?

The Pebble Beach Concours, of course.

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Go Find Yourself a Summer Targa!

August 5th, 2014

1967 Porsche 911 Soft Window Targa

It was the car built out of fear.

Concerned that convertibles could be banned in the U.S. for safety reasons, Porsche came up with a body style that would feel like a convertible but have the rigidity and rollover safety of a coupe.

The Porsche 911 Targa was born in 1967 with a fixed rollover hoop and a removable plastic rear window. It was revolutionary and led the way to a future of mostly topless motoring.

Of course, the convertible never was outlawed here and remains the overwhelming choice for wind-in-the-hair driving. That’s probably why the Targa has had a bumpy road here, though to this day Porsche hasn’t given up on it.

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The Greatest New Used Car Ever?

August 4th, 2014

1985 Honda Civic 500000th

I’d be shocked if this car remains available.

Yesterday I caught wind of a brand new Honda Civic, which in itself isn’t that big of a deal. However, this one’s special because it’s a 1985. Also, the seller claims that it’s the 500,000th Civic to roll off the assembly line. And it has 0 miles on the odometer.

Could this be too good to be true?

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New Toyota Supra Comes Closer to Reality

July 30th, 2014

Toyota FT-1-concept
This is happening, people. Well, most likely.

After years of speculation, rumors and the wildest dreams of car fans everywhere, the Toyota Supra has more rumors swirling that it’s coming back.

We are living in a prime time for sports cars, as the stodgy, economically oppressed early 2000s begin to give way to the exciting 2015s. Almost halfway through this decade, we’ve seen more sports cars either resurrected or introduced than we’ve had for the last 15 years.

The new Supra, though, will be nothing like its original namesake.

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The “Barn Find” No One Can Buy

July 29th, 2014

1966_volkswagen_microbus_21_window_not_for_sale

You know you’ve dreamed about it. Like every true car guy or gal, you fantasize about driving through a city or cruising down a rural road, looking out the window and seeing a neglected classic car, forgotten, just waiting for you to take home.

“Barn finds,” as they are known, are legendary. In my town there’s an infamous numbers-matching 1963 Corvette split window that’s been decaying under some pine trees on a run-down lot since 1975. The owner has received plenty of offers, but for some reason refuses to sell.

Now, there’s another local vehicle getting the attention of car aficionados. Once again, the owners want nothing to do with it.

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Custom Cars: Does Big Money Equal Great Taste?

July 28th, 2014

1966 ferrari 365P berlinetta speciale

Sometimes you just don’t question a 12-year-old.

“Hey Dad,” my son said, “have you heard about the 3-seat Ferrari?”

Of course I told him he was wrong and that Ferrari has never built a 3-seater. A Ferrari with a bench seat wouldn’t make any sense—it would be like a pickup without a bed.

Well, the little guy proved me wrong by directing me to an article describing a rare Ferrari 3-seater, which will be up for auction next month at the Pebble Beach Concours. The 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale has earned the nickname of “Tre Posti” for its three front seats.

Then my little guy shocked me again with news of a 4-door Prancing Horse.

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The New Breed of Muscle Cars

July 14th, 2014

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT

Just because it’s available doesn’t mean it’s controllable.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the three big automakers in the United States were engaged in an epic power struggle. Building the car with the most horsepower and the best ability to smoke tires was all part of the car culture back then.

It was a time of cheap gas and power that was fun, but manageable. Heck, even a car like the ’68 Barracuda produced 300 horsepower tops.

Today, the automakers are at it again, only this time their arsenal has gone nuclear.

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