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Archive for the ‘Classic & Vintage Cars’ Category

The Worst Idea of 2014

January 8th, 2014

1969 Opel GT

We’re only 8 days into the new year, and already they worst idea of the year has surfaced.

This idea will surely outlast all other bad automotive ideas to come during the remaining 357 days of this year. Nothing good or productive or profitable can possibly come from this idea, and I’m left shaking my head at the very thought of it.

The idea probably won’t ever see the light of day, but even sitting in the dark, behind closed doors, it’s truly awful.

What could be so abhorrent that the very possibility makes me wonder if third graders are running car companies now?

Opel coming to America.

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Restore or Not Restore: The 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS

January 7th, 2014

1967 Ferrari 330 GTS

When a long-forgotten rare and classic car is found and brought into the public eye, it usually doesn’t take long for it to be restored and sold again in tip-top shape.

A recent find, though, brings up an interesting conundrum. A 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, in its original state, has been found in a Pennsylvania garage. It’s rare to find a Ferrari of this vintage in any condition, but it’s nearly unheard of to find one of just 99 examples built that is in its completely original shape.

Well, original save for a small engine fire.

Even considering the fire, the car might be worth more if left untouched.

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Could Volvo Storm Back from Obscurity?

December 12th, 2013

Volvo Concept Coupe

The small blue Volvo pulled out in front of me in heavy traffic. I was doing about 40 miles per hour and had to slow to about 15 to avoid hitting it. I don’t think a collision would’ve hurt me much—it probably would have been more like a bug splattering on the windshield.

The Volvo was s-m-a-l-l.

I have no idea what model the old car was, but I swear its driver was none other than Mr. Bean. Or maybe Mr. Bean’s dad, because he had gray hair and much larger ears.

For all I know the car was a Volvo 66, of which only a handful exist. One of them has been seen running around the Seattle area, so perhaps I should have had more respect for the slow-moving dwarf-car directly in front of me. Instead I jerked into the neighboring lane, passed it and carried on with my quest to arrive at the nearest Starbucks in a timely matter.

I thought about that little Volvo yesterday after reading a little bit about the future of the brand. Volvo doesn’t get a lot of time on these pages, but that could change with some of the concepts lurking just around the corner.

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For Almost $300K, a Used Aston Martin V8 Vantage or Two New Ones?

December 10th, 2013

1988_Aston-Martin-V8-Vantage

I enjoy dreaming about exotic cars as much as the next guy. Normally used ones, especially 1988 models, are at least somewhat affordable, if affordable means roughly the same price as a new Mercedes-Benz or BMW.

The guys over at CarThrottle found a real gem of a used car, an ’88 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, but it’s priced at nearly 300 grand. What’s so great about it to justify such a high price?

Aside from looking like a Ford Mustang from some angles, I honestly don’t know.

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Return of a Cult Classic?

November 27th, 2013

New Volkswagen Scirocco

The ’87 Scirocco wouldn’t make it up the hill.

The car had sat for a few months, and a friend and I wanted to get it out and see what it could do. It had the 16-valve, 123-horsepower engine and could really move when being flogged through the city streets using the 5-speed manual transmission.

The car was temperamental and often overheated, but generally speaking it provided somewhat reliable and fun transportation. On the days he chose to drive it, the car would get my friend to work and back, but it would never have been trusted on any kind of road trip or even a quick day trip.

Everything was mostly fine with the car.

Until we encountered the hill.

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10 Cars That Changed the Game

November 22nd, 2013
2015 Porsche Macan

Photo courtesy of Forbes

Every so often a car comes around that changes the face of a brand, a style or even the industry. Henry Ford did it best with the Model T, not only revolutionizing the auto industry, but also changing the way we manufacture goods forever. No car has changed the world quite so much as the Model T, but automakers are showing off their newest innovations right now in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Guangzou, China, all hoping that their latest and greatest cars could become game changers for their companies or even the industry as a whole.

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Cars with Enough Personality for Big Papi

November 1st, 2013
Lamborghini Veneno

Photo courtesy VW Vortex

It’s that time of year again. Last night the streets of America were filled with beards, baseball bats and World Series rings, as the Boston Red Sox went door to door seeking gifts of candy from gratuitous strangers. Well, the night may not have played out quite like that in the rest of the country, but that was certainly the scene on the streets of New England.

This week’s World Series finale got us thinking. The Red Sox are a lovable team because of the personality they bring to baseball. Their stadium is the oldest in the league, their history one of the most prolific, and with the exception of a few years (we’re looking at you, 2011), the Sox tend to field a team of talented “characters” (think Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, etc.). All of this gels together to give the Red Sox a distinct personality—a personality that makes them one of baseball’s most lovable teams.

If personality can make a baseball team loved (or hated, in the case of the New York Yankees), what can it do for a car? The answer is quite a lot—many an otherwise awful car has been saved by the personality it projects. Conversely, many excellent or innovative cars have been easily dismissed for having the wrong sort of personality (the classic example being the Pontiac Aztek). So, on this day after Halloween, when every parent in New England has a full year until they have to chauffer around some of the biggest personalities in baseball again, we ask the question, “What cars have big enough personalities to match the likes of David Ortiz, Johnny Gomes and Koji Uehara?”

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Infiniti and Aston Martin: Manly Cars or Not?

October 25th, 2013

Infiniti Essence concept

If someone were to ask me what my favorite car is, I’d say, without hesitation, the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. This, in fact, happened last night as I sat on the couch with my girlfriend, a fellow car geek.

I showed her a picture of the Infiniti Essence concept, which I happen to think is one of the sexiest concepts to ever hit the circuit, and her response was one of complete non-interest. I asked what she thought of it, and she said, “Well, I’m sure you like it. It’s your kind of car.”

“My kind of car? What do you mean?”

“You know… not a car a real man would drive. That car is for sissies.”

Whoa.

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The Chevy Corvair: Classic or Forgotten?

October 23rd, 2013

1964 Chevrolet Corvair

Who can name the Chevrolet from the 1960s that was, and is, the only American-designed, mass-produced passenger car to feature a rear-mounted air-cooled engine?

You might guess from the photo above that the answer is the Corvair.

I’m thinking about the Corvair because earlier this week I pulled into the parking lot of a Chinese restaurant with a special lady friend who noticed the car and said, “Wow, what car is that?”

It was dark out, and my first response was, “It looks like a mix between a Mustang and a Plymouth.”

It wasn’t until a close inspection of the car that we both said, in unison, “Ohhhh, a Corvair…”

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Let’s Get Inspired by NFL Player and His Car

October 17th, 2013

Alfred Morris' Mazda 626

I like warm cockles.

I don’t mean the small edible clams native to sheltered beaches throughout the world, I mean the ones in my heart. The ones that feel good when I read a happy story.

I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but an NFL player has warmed the cockles of my heart by buying his dream car. More specifically, he has upgraded his humble car into his dream, which is something so many of us should do… not strive so much for extravagance, but appreciate what we have right now.

That’s what Alfred Morris has done, with some diamond-studded extravagance thrown in for good measure.

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