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Archive for the ‘Classic & Vintage Cars’ Category

Forget Kit Cars, Here Come the Repli-Mods

June 17th, 2016

limited-edition-50th-anniversary-shelby-427-cobra-14

If you could flip through the annals of automotive history and bring back a modern version of any car within their pages, which car would you choose?

That’s a question that may receive an answer in the coming years as a new kit-car law could spawn an entire automotive sub-industry.

The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 allows manufacturers to apply for an exemption from NHTSA safety and crash-test standards for up to 325 “replica motor vehicles” each year. These modified replicas, or repli-mods, would still have to meet current-year emissions standards, which will require modern EPA-certified production engines and emissions controls.

The reality of buying a modernized classic could be just around the corner. Here are some we’d love to see.

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What’s Past Is Prologue: Looking Back on the Origins of Today’s Tech

June 7th, 2016

1962 Oldsmobile Cutlass Jetfire Advertisement

In The Tempest, William Shakespeare once wrote, “what’s past is prologue.” The quotation implies that one’s history can dictate his or her future actions. It’s written outside the United States National Archives Building, and I had a particularly intelligent and entertaining professor who reflected on it often. Looking at the auto industry, it’s clear that the sentiment extends beyond Shakespeare’s verse.

New automotive technologies emerge every year. We covered some of them last week. Some, like the airbag or the seat belt, have ushered in a new era of motoring, changing the landscape forever. Others fall flat—despite Saab’s creative thinking with the 9000 Prometheus, steering via joystick never really got off the ground (the Prometheus didn’t even make it to production). What I find most interesting is looking back on these advancements and seeing how they’ve impacted cars today, despite their often lackluster starts.

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The Carroll Shelby Cars You Forgot Exist

June 6th, 2016

1999_Shelby_Series_1

Carroll Shelby died just over four years ago, but he left a legacy that continues to this day.

Best known for his work on the Shelby Cobra and an association with Ford that resulted in high-performance Shelby Mustangs in the late 1960s and 2000s, Shelby forged a path for himself that also included some lesser known automobiles.

Some of the other projects that bore his name happened in the 1980s and were questionable at best.

We can’t deny, however, that Carroll Shelby changed the face of the automotive landscape and set the bar for high-powered muscle cars to this day.

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Your Favorite Car: Modern or Vintage?

May 6th, 2016

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS and SLS AMG

Cars have gotten so good in recent years that a new base model can be better than an older top-of-the-line performance model. Engineers have managed to coax much more horsepower out of smaller, more efficient engines while also increasing vehicle size and improving ride and handling.

Comparing new cars to vintage cars isn’t really feasible for buyers looking for the latest in safety and technology features. For buyers who want fun performance without the frills, though, it might be worth going back a few years (or decades) to find a model that was once considered the best an automaker had to offer.

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Dream Cars of the Not-So-Super Rich

April 29th, 2016
If the Ferrari 488 is too rich for your blood...

If the Ferrari 488 is too rich for your blood…

Most of us dream of one day hitting it big and being able to afford the car of our dreams.

Traditionally we’ve lusted after the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, and Aston Martin. Today’s dream cars still include those brands, but they also include newer models from Tesla, Ford, Lexus, and Nissan.

Most people won’t ever be able to afford a new Ford GT, Nissan GT-R, or Ferrari 488, but there are plenty of dream cars available to satisfy the need for speed at a much more reasonable cost.

A friend comes to mind who recently purchased a couple of cars he’d wanted for a long time. He didn’t sell his company to Google, didn’t inherit tens of millions of dollars, and hasn’t become rich off an IPO. He did, however, work hard for many years and is now enjoying a comfortable, if not extravagant, income.

Keep reading for the cars he purchased, along with a few other choices that prove you don’t have to be among the super-rich to own a car of your dreams.

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Happy Earth Day: 6 Cars to Take You Around the World

April 22nd, 2016

1990 Suzuki Samurai

The automotive world is currently in a state of flux. The business giants of Europe, Asia, and (perhaps most of all) Detroit may have made their billions off the internal combustion engine, but now, in order to stay relevant in a changing social and geologic climate, they are tasked with finding clean alternatives to petrol-powered products. Henry Ford may have put the world on wheels, but now automotive magnates are becoming responsible for helping keep the world healthy.

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If a Chicken Screams in New York City, Does Anyone Notice?

March 31st, 2016

Trans Am Worldwide's Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am

In a low, good-ole-boy grumble, the representative for Trans Am Worldwide told me that the Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am on display at the New York International Auto Show was already sold to a customer in Dubai. “You know, all of those guys have Ferraris and Lamborghinis. If you want to get noticed, you drive something like this. Our cars are popular there.”

Signed personally by Burt Reynolds, star of the iconic “Smokey & the Bandit” trilogy, the Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am starts life the same way every vehicle built by Trans Am Worldwide does. With a fifth-generation Chevy Camaro SS. Officially licensed to build the cars, the company undertakes a significant styling conversion and offers the 7T7 Trans Am in a variety of color combinations as well as with varying degrees of equipment and performance.

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Yes, These Cars Still Exist!

March 25th, 2016

2016_ford_expedition

Sometimes the past has a sneaky way of catching up with you.

You’ll be motoring around, singing a happy song, when you notice something you haven’t seen since 1999. Except instead of looking how it did in 1999, it looks strangely modern. This is what happened to me recently when I got passed on the highway by a brand new Ford Expedition, complete with a temporary dealer license plate.

The last new Expedition I can recall seeing was from the late 1990s or early 2000s and it hadn’t occurred to me that Ford still makes them. Here we are, two decades after the Expedition was first introduced, and it’s still chugging down the production line.

But the old Ford isn’t the only car to remain in existenc long after some of us have forgotten it.

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DeLorean DMC-12 Will Go Back Into Production

February 16th, 2016

1982_delorean_dmc-12

I wanted to see if I could get all the way through a blog about the DeLorean without any mention of Back to the Future or time machines.

It turns out the infamous stainless car and the timeless motion picture go together like shoes and self-tying laces, so the reference might as well be made right up front.

You might wonder why we are bringing up a mediocre car that’s only famous because of the movie and was only produced in the early 1980s, before the automaker closed down the assembly line for good.

Well, it’s because DeLorean is back, and that long-dead assembly line will roll once again.

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Jerry Seinfeld Sends $10 Million Worth of Porsches to the Auction Block

January 22nd, 2016

seinfeld-collection-porsche

Remember when we said that Barack Obama might be the coolest car guy ever? Well, he’s not.

In that same article we mentioned that Jerry Seinfeld could be making a case for himself with his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Little did we know that Mr. Seinfeld is one of the world’s most exclusive Porsche collectors and owns one of the rarest stables of Porsches known to exist, including the very first 911.

That automatically ranks Seinfeld in the upper echelon of car guys, no questions asked. Three of his rarest vehicles will go on sale at auction in March, and are expected to fetch a staggering sum.

Here are the cars going up for sale:

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