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Archive for the ‘Classic & Vintage Cars’ Category

Ten Number-One American Cars

July 4th, 2014

2015 Ford Mustang

Today marks the 238th birthday of the United States, and to celebrate this we have decided to create a list of what we believe to be the top 10 best vehicles ever developed by the American automotive industry. And let us tell you, it was not an easy task to wade through more than 120 years of car manufacturing to find the best, most American cars ever made. There are quite a few contenders, but we think we compiled a pretty good list. And needless to say, we had a difficult time ranking these, because these vehicles are all so iconic, influential and legendary. So here’s the list we decided on: a ranked list of the 10 best American Cars. While reading this list, ask yourself, “What great cars has Belgium made recently?”

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The Car You Need to Buy Right Now

July 3rd, 2014

1992 Subaru SVX 2_dr_ls_awd_coupe-pic-20483

In the early 1990s, Subaru unleashed a car it would never introduce today. It was expensive and heavy, didn’t come with a manual transmission and performed only reasonably well.

But oh man, was it awesome.

The Subaru SVX was sold during a time when the Nissan 300ZX and Mitsubishi 3000GT jockeyed for position in the entry-level sports coupe market. It was also a time of financial hardship in the United States, which made the SVX a tough sell.

Today, it’s a car you should buy immediately if you can find one.

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The Cars (and Culture) of Mille Miglia

June 13th, 2014

Mercedes_SLR_Stirling_Moss_1977

One thousand miles of no-holds-barred racing through Italian cities and countryside.

Five million spectators.

Twenty-four races.

Fifty-six people killed.

This was the Mille Miglia, a legendary road race that brought the likes of Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Bugatti to fame.

The original race lasted from 1927 until 1957, with a few years off due to war. The race was banned mostly because of a lack of safety precautions, which led to the tragic deaths of drivers and spectators.

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The Greatest BMW Ever?

June 5th, 2014

bmw 8 series

BMW created its masterpiece 25 years ago.

The flagship grand tourer topped the BMW product line and could be considered as much a supercar as a family car.

The legend of the BMW 8 Series lasted about a decade, with more than 30,000 copies built between 1988 and 1999. With a starting price of $70,000 and an available V12 sending power to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission, the car introduced features previously unseen on production cars.

The 8 Series died an untimely death, partly because new emissions standards were too cost prohibitive to meet without extensive re-engineering.

A new 8 Series may or may not ever hit the market, but what are the odds of snagging an old one?

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Two Options for a Cheaper Porsche

June 3rd, 2014

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder

The words “cheap” and “Porsche” do not go together. People looking for a Porsche generally know they’re going to have to spend a good amount of money to acquire their dream.

That’s especially true if they’re buying a new car, because the options list at a Porsche dealer would stretch roughly from Seattle to Boston if laid out flat.

Of course, there’s a huge difference between the words “cheap” and “affordable.” Porsche has created a line of affordable new cars with the Boxster and Macan, but in those cases “affordable” translates to a starting price of at least $50,000. Affordability is relative, I suppose.

Could something even cheaper be on the way?

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MG Roadster Hints at U.S. Comeback

May 29th, 2014

MG MGB Roadster

As far as cars with a convoluted past go, there aren’t many like MG Cars and the infamous MGB Roadster.

Ownership has historically been British, as MG Cars gave way to British Motor Corporation, which yielded to British Motor Holdings, which evolved to British Leyland Motor Corporation.

Production lasted, in some form or another, from 1962 to 1980 with a range of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines and even an iteration with a Buick V8 under the hood. There was a brief comeback between 1993 and 1995, which had a slightly updated body, suspension and a 3.9-liter V8. The strategy for all MG cars was simple: Create a lightweight, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car.

The cars, while not great, did have some popularity and sold well. Following decades of financial turmoil and mismanagement, though, MG struggled, quit production and has sat dormant for over 30 years. In 2005, it was purchased by Chinese company Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, with hopes of rebuilding the brand. Nearly a decade later, where does MG stand?

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Shopping for the One That Got Away

May 27th, 2014

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

We all have one we wish we would have kept.

Mine was an ’84 Toyota Pickup. My fiancée’s was a ’74 Porsche 911. My dad had two: a 1967 Mercury Cougar and a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado.

I was a mere baby when he had the Cougar, so hardly remember the car. I was a young teen when he had the Olds and have fond memories of helping with the restoration. (And by “helping,” I mean “standing in the garage and handing him tools.”)

The Toronado’s 385-hp, 425-cubic-inch V8 engine was rebuilt, the interior reupholstered in ivory leather, and the exterior painted Crystal Green. The finished product was stunning.

After all the restoration, Dad sold the car for $5,000.

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Jaguar Heading Back in Time to Recreate E-Types

May 21st, 2014

1963-Jaguar-Lightweight-E-Type

Hop into your DeLorean, kids, we’re going on a time-travel adventure.

Set your clock to February of 1963, a time when the Beatles opened for Helen Shapiro, Mickey Mantle signed a $100,000 baseball contract and Jaguar built 12 special-edition E-Type Lightweight race cars.

The E-Type is, to many people, the most beautiful car ever made. The ultra-rare Lightweight version was crafted out of aluminum, got its power from a 3.8-liter straight 6-cylinder with an aluminum block, had a stripped-out interior, no chrome trim and lighter-weight side windows. Those modifications resulted in a 250-pound weight loss and an increase in performance, especially useful around a race track.

Legend has it that Jaguar was supposed to build 18 of the rocketships, but managed only 12. The outstanding 6 were allocated chassis numbers but never built. For the next 50 years their shells sat gathering dust while Jaguar marched ahead, hence the time machine to go back and get one or somehow convince Coventry to go ahead and finish the missing 6.

Lucky for us, we can keep the time machine parked and thank our lucky stars that Jaguar is going back in time for us.

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These Cars Should Have Flopped

May 16th, 2014
2002-ford-thunderbird

This one probably should have been on the list too

Yesterday we learned that the Cadillac ELR is in the process of becoming one of the biggest flops in automotive history.

That’s quite the honor for General Motors and another notch for a company that has a history of creating flops. To be fair, the General also has the quite the history of creating smashing successes, but today we’re focused on flops. More specifically, let’s look at cars that should have been flops, but somehow managed to live much longer than they should have.

This’ll be fun.

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Anyone Else Sick of Muscle Cars?

April 23rd, 2014
Who does this impress?

Who does this impress?

I’m going out on a limb here and risking the complete revocation of my man card. I’m also risking the wrath of millions of Mustang and Camaro fanatics everywhere.

I’m sick of muscle cars.

The Mustang came out 50 years ago and captured the hearts of Americans. As a teenager in the 1990s, a ’65 Mustang was my dream car. I wanted a red convertible with the 289-cubic-inch V8 engine so badly that I worked two part-time jobs to save for one. I had dreams about that car and would have done anything to get one. Instead I met a girl and spent all the saved money on her, then settled for a black 1994 V6 Mustang.

Not the same, I know.

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