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Archive for the ‘Classic & Vintage Cars’ Category

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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2014 New York Int’l Auto Show Looks Forward and Back

April 18th, 2014

#NYIAS

The 2014 New York International Auto Show opens to the general public today, but we were lucky enough to preview it during Press Days. Featuring the debuts of more new models, redesigns and special editions of older models than we could possibly cover in a single blog post as well as huge crowds, lots of loud music and crazy lights, and a growing social media focus, carmakers threw a terrific event for the press that bodes well for the public event as well as the next year’s worth of new cars. Here are some highlights.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shows, Cars Coming Soon, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat

Remember the Mister Two?

April 9th, 2014

1996 Honda Civic De Sol

Wouldn’t car names be a lot more fun if they had some personality in them?

Instead of seemingly random letters assembled together to sound nice, what if cars had friendly, respectable names that were easy to remember? It’s so hard to keep track of car names like SRX, MKZ, RSX, BRZ and XKR, much less distinguish them from one another based on their names alone.

Sometimes those names take on nicknames among enthusiasts, and sometimes they are simply misinterpreted and passed down into family lore.

One of those cars is the infamous Mister Two.

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Cars of Ireland: The Shamrock and the Costin

March 17th, 2014

Shamrock_car

Since everyone’s Irish today, let’s take a moment and remember the cars that were built on the green isle. The first one to come to mind, and the most successful car assembled in Ireland, was the DeLorean DMC-12. Regardless of the fact that the DeLorean is also a time machine, it sold only about 8,500 copies before the company shut down.

Because we’ve covered the DeLorean on this blog again and again, that’s the only time it’ll be mentioned here today.

Yes, believe it or not, it’s possible to discuss Ireland’s car industry without mentioning the DeLorean. The country certainly isn’t known for its auto industry, which today is non-existent, but a couple of interesting little automotive gems existed there in the past.

Good luck finding one today, though.

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Renegade? That’s Not a Renegade

March 5th, 2014

Renegade? That's not a Renegade...

Oh, how the Renegade has fallen.

Picture a Jeep Wrangler Renegade in your mind, and you’ll likely see an American-made, brutish, square-shaped, dirt-covered, rock-hopping jacked-up SUV on oversize tires.

That’s the Renegade of the past, which was actually an option package offered for the Wrangler from 1991 to ’94.

The Renegade of the future is a FIAT with a 7-slot grille.

There’s not anything wrong with that, per se, it’s just not what one would expect from the Renegade name. I totally get it—there’s an economic demand to create vehicles with low price tags and high miles per gallon. Why is it necessary, though, to mess with history to make it happen?

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