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Archive for the ‘Classic Cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Valentine’s Day Special: 5 Romantic Vintage Car Ads

Originating a Western Christian feast day honoring early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day has grown into significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance. Initially popular in England and English-speaking countries in the 19th century, it spread to other countries around the world in the second half of the 20th century. Although not a public holiday, it’s become so important that many companies and retailers are spending a lot of money on advertising ahead of February 14th. Automakers have also joined this trend, and nearly every important manufacturer launches a romantic video around this date.

But the romance theme has been used for car advertising since the early days of the automobile. Although not necessarily related to Valentine’s Day, it’s a theme that goes back to the early 1900, and it has been used quite extensively in the 1960s and 1970s, especially in the United States. Modern commercials are pretty cool too, but for this year’s Valentine’s Day, I’m looking back over a handful of vintage, printed ads just to see how carmakers were approaching this theme back in the day.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Classic Beach Scenario


Valentine's Day Special: 5 Romantic Vintage Car Ads - image 768369

Pontiac’s ad for the 1964 Bonneville is as classic as it gets. Although the description doesn’t say a word about romantic walks on the beach or a getaway with your loved one in a convertible, the image suggests just that. Actually, many 1960s print ads exploit this theme with a close-up on a big, fancy car and a background showing the sun setting above the sea, a sandy beach, palm trees, and a well-dressed, middle-aged couple. Unless the car is a Volkswagen Microbus and the fancy couple is replaced by young people in bathing suits that are carrying surfing boards.

The Love Bug


Valentine's Day Special: 5 Romantic Vintage Car Ads - image 768370

Volkswagen’s “Love Bug” is arguably among the most iconic car commercials ever released on print. The image with the two Beetles almost side by side and the drivers sticking their heads out the window to kiss has inspired many ads since then, including one for the modern Mini Cooper. Although image itself is romantic, the text is rather cheesy. Sentences like “a sweetheart of a deal,” “lovely racing type wheels,” and “cute black trim” shouldn’t be on a car poster (unless it’s a Nissan Figaro), but I guess it was a good way to get to the younger audience back in the 1960s. But “Love Bug” wasn’t just a title for an ad. It was an actual limited edition version of the Beetle inspired by the 1969 “Herbie: The Love Bug” film. Oh, did I mention that these cars were available in “red hot red” and “luscious lime green?”

Falling in Love with a Volvo


Valentine's Day Special: 5 Romantic Vintage Car Ads - image 768366

While the previous ads are more about spending time as a couple, Volvo’s commercial for the 1977 GT is a love story between a man and his Swedish coupe. There are no subliminal messages and no romantic landscapes, just a guy washing his Volvo GT in front of the garage. And the story about how he fell in love with the GT while servicing his other Volvo at the dealerships. Sure, not many people trade in a 35,000-mile vehicle to get a brand-new one just like that, but I can definitely see it happen. An ad for single men on Valentine’s Day I guess?

The Buick Love Story


Valentine's Day Special: 5 Romantic Vintage Car Ads - image 768367

This ad is not only the oldest, dating back to 1939, but it’s also the most serious in this list. It takes a couple of minutes to read it, which makes it way too time consuming for the 21st century. I don’t know if this was the norm 80 years ago and if this commercial had notable results, but it’s definitely different. More than half of the poster tells the story of a traveling salesman trying to convince an attractive woman to take a ride in his fancy car. At the end of the rather lengthy dialogue, during which the man mentions all of the car’s features, he finds out that the farmer’s daughter is actually driving the same Buick. It all end with the woman asking him to “race to town.” Not likely to happen in the real world, but bringing a woman in a discussion that would usually take place between two gearheads turns it into a love story. Sort of.

Forget about them Italian Supercars


Valentine's Day Special: 5 Romantic Vintage Car Ads - image 768368

And we’re down to my last ad, which is not only the cheesiest, but it also comes from a Japanese automaker we don’t hear much about these days. I’m talking about Daihatsu, a company known for its utility vehicles, kei cars, and innovative technologies. This ad is about he Hijet, a really small MPV that made big waves in Asia and Europe between the 1970s and the late 1990s. Very small MPV are difficult to promote because they’re not exactly spacious and use really small engines, but Daihatsu found a funny way to make it stand out by dubbing it a “little babe-magnet” and calling out gearheads to forget Italian racers if they want to find a date. The “picks up five times more women than a Lamborghini” punchline is clever and funny at the same time. Okay, so it’s not exactly romantic, but it’s the kind of ad that single man can relate to.

Any other vintage ads I should have included on this list? Make sure you drop them in the comments box below.

PostHeaderIcon FCA’s New “Reloaded by Creators” Service is Your Chance To Own a Classic Fiat or Alfa Romeo

Jaguar’s decision to complete the D-Type’s original production run isn’t the only significant thing to come out of the Retromobile show in Paris. Turns out, Fiat Chrysler Automobile also announced a similar initiative called “Reloaded by Creators.” The new sales service was created in part because FCA is now opening its books to sell a limited number of carefully selected classic cars, purchased by the service, and restored to their original condition. The proceeds generated by the sale of these classics will go to new “scouting activities” that will strengthen FCA’s own historic collection.


FCA's New "Reloaded by Creators" Service is Your Chance To Own a Classic Fiat or Alfa Romeo - image 766916
“FCA says that the Reloaded by Creators service will also set the stage for avid fans and collectors of classic Alfa Romeos, Fiats, Lancias, and Abarths to have opportunities at owning a collectible vehicle from any of these brands”

FCA says that the Reloaded by Creators service will also set the stage for avid fans and collectors of classic Alfa Romeos, Fiats, Lancias, and Abarths to have opportunities at owning a collectible vehicle from any of these brands. Off the bat, there are five models that are being offered, including a 1991 Alfa Spider Spider, a 1973 Lancia Fulvia Coupe Montecarlo, a 1981 Pininfarina Spiderueropa, a 1989 Alfa Romeo SZ, and a 1959 Lancia Appia Coupe.

Of these give models, FCA describes the first three — the Alfa Spider, Lancia Fulvia, and Pininfarina Spiderueropa — as “ultimate classics,” a term the automaker uses for the “last versions of their series to be built.” They’re also the most “complete in terms of engineering and design.” Meanwhile, the other two models for sale — the Alfa Romeo SZ and the Lancia Appia Coupe — are described as “unusual custom cars that not everyone will know about.” Take those words for what they’re worth.

Neither FCA nor its new Reloaded by Creators program have indicated the sale price of any of these classics. It did say that all five cars come complete with certificates of authenticity.

In case you’re interested in any of the five FCA classics, a brief description of each model can be found below.

1991 Alfa Romeo Spider


FCA's New "Reloaded by Creators" Service is Your Chance To Own a Classic Fiat or Alfa Romeo - image 766912

Arguably the most famous Alfa Romeo convertible in history, the Spider is, without question, a crown jewel of any Alfa Romeo collector. This particular model belongs to the last version of the Spider to be built, which also happens to be the last series that Battista Pininfarina worked on in person. The model FCA is selling has been in its possession for almost 30 years, and was used for “technical tests” over the years.

1989 Alfa Romeo SZ


FCA's New "Reloaded by Creators" Service is Your Chance To Own a Classic Fiat or Alfa Romeo - image 766914

If the 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider isn’t your thing, you can opt to get the 1989 Alfa Romeo SZ. This model exclusively wore the Alfa Red color and was limited to just 1,000 units. The model in question also wears the date “15 September 1989,” which presumably was the date it was built. It also traces its roots to the Balocco race circuit where it was used for “testing and experiments.”

1973 Lancia Fulvia Coupe Montecarlo


FCA's New "Reloaded by Creators" Service is Your Chance To Own a Classic Fiat or Alfa Romeo - image 766904

The Lancia Fulvia Coupe Montecarlo traces its roots to the Fulvia Coupe, which was launched in 1965 on a shortened version of the Fulvia sedan chassis. The Montecarlo special edition was created to celebrate Lancia’s victory in the 1972 Montecarlo Rally behind the effort of drivers Sandro Munari and Mario Manucci. This specific model doesn’t have the most powerful of engines — it only has a 90-horsepower 1.3-liter unit — but it still has its original black registration plates. That has to count for something.

1959 Lancia Appia Coupe


FCA's New "Reloaded by Creators" Service is Your Chance To Own a Classic Fiat or Alfa Romeo - image 766900

The 2+2 coupé was designed by Pininfarina. It also holds the distinction of being one of the few models that were built on a chassis that Lancia used for its custom-built vehicles. While it’s not the same model, the Appia Coupe also has a special place in the annals of Italian cinema as the model driven by Sylva Koscina in Luigi Zampa’s film “The Traffic Policeman.” I’ve never heard of that movie, but I’m sure it was good enough to have the Appia Coupe in it.

1981 Spidereuropa Pininfarina


FCA's New "Reloaded by Creators" Service is Your Chance To Own a Classic Fiat or Alfa Romeo - image 766909

We all know the current Fiat 124 Spider, but back when it was still in its first incarnation, it gave birth to the Pininfarina Spidereuropa. This particular is one of the first models of the Spidereuropa to be built by Pininfarina as a last ode to the OG 124 Sport Spider. It only has 10,000 kilometers in its odometer, a relatively small mileage considering its age and history.

References


maker logos - image 750373

Read more FCA news.

PostHeaderIcon A Classic Jaguar is Being Brought Back To Life

While it’s not exactly as famous as the Jaguar E-Type — no Jag is — the D-Type is still regarded as one of the most iconic Jaguars in history. Only 75 D-Type units were built in the late 1950s after Jaguar initially planned to build 100 units. Apparently, Jag’s failure to reach its intended goal has gnawed at the company for years. Well, Jag’s finally doing something to address that by announcing plans to build the last 25 units of the D-Type. This is not a drill, folks. Jaguar really is going to build the last 25 units of the iconic race car, completing what it should’ve done 60 years ago.


A Classic Jaguar is Being Brought Back To Life - image 766436
“The D-Type won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three years in a row, from 1955 to 1957”

Raise your hands if you saw this one coming? I’m well aware of the existence of JLR Classic Works and the kinds of projects it’s worked on over the years. This is the same JLR division that built six Lightweight E-Type models back in 2014. It’s also the same company that produced nine units of the Jag XKSS in 2016, rebuilt early Range Rovers, and rebuild the E-Type Series 1. In some ways, this isn’t a surprising move from Jaguar.

But I still can’t wrap my head around Jaguar’s plan to complete the production run of the D-Type 60 years after it was supposed to. There’s something unnerving about it, especially when you consider that the D-Type’s provenance — it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three years in a row, from 1955 to 1957 — has helped elevate the race car’s price in the safe zone of nine figures. In fact, the same D-Type that won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans actually went for a staggering $21.78 million.

The opportunity to complete the planned production run, though, was too good to pass up. “Completing its planned production run in Coventry, is one of those once-in-a-lifetime projects that our world-class experts at Jaguar Land Rover Classic are proud to fulfill,” Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said.


A Classic Jaguar is Being Brought Back To Life - image 766440
“The same D-Type that won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans actually went for a staggering $21.78 million.”

It’s unclear how Jaguar Classic plans to proceed with the development of the 25 remaining D-Types. Are they going to be built using period-specific parts, or is Jaguar Classic going to adopt a more modern approach to their production? This is one of many questions that we need answers too, though we do know now that the people who will be tasked to recreate the D-Types will have access to the company’s original engineering drawings and records so that the vehicles will be as authentic as possible. Interested buyers will get a chance to choose between a short D-Type nose or the long-nose version of the original model.

Regardless of what happens with this build, you can expect this “new” old D-Types to e the toast of the town when they make their debut in the future. A lot of people are already losing their minds over this, and we still know next-to-nothing about it. Imagine the kind of reaction Jaguar will get when the last 25 D-Types are finally built.

References

Jaguar D-Type


1954 - 1957 Jaguar D-Type - image 653772

Read our full review on the 1954-1957 Jaguar D-Type.

PostHeaderIcon We Found a Bunch of Cool Classic Cars at the Chicago Auto Show

When you’re a full-blown gearhead, each auto show, no matter how small, is a reason to celebrate the wonderful world of cars. However, when an event such as the Chicago Auto Show comes right after Detroit, the year’s first major show, things aren’t that exciting. Although there are a few cool cars worth mentioning, such as the Volkswagen Arteon, trucks from Ram and Toyota TRD, and a race-spec Hyundai i30 N, Chicago was packed with cars we’ve seen before and not-so-impressive limited-edition models. Fortunately, this year’s event also included a big display of vintage vehicles.

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It’s always cool to see so many classic cars in one spot. I don’t about you, but it takes me back in time to an era when automobile design was more about the looks than the aerodynamics. It also reminds me of the good old days when big-displacement engines were the norm. Not that I’m against eco-friendly and fuel-efficient drivetrains, but big fins, spacious interiors, and big V-8 engines make a great combination. And there’s plenty of that in Chicago, especially in the Klairmont Kollection that’s on display here.


We Found a Bunch of Cool Classic Cars at the Chicago Auto Show - image 766868
“Created by Gary Fioto, this thing looked as if it came from another world back in the 1950s”

Make sure you don’t miss it if you like big luxury cars from the 1930s to the 1960s and be on the lookout for a few unique vehicles, such as the 1955 Ford Beatnik Bubble Top. Created by Gary Fioto, this thing looked as if it came from another world back in the 1950s thanks to its lexan bubble roof, sculpted fenders and wheel covers, aggressive fins, and the big engine popping through the hood. The one-off Ford is estimated to worth around $300,000 and you probably won’t get to see it anywhere else anytime soon.


We Found a Bunch of Cool Classic Cars at the Chicago Auto Show - image 766892
“Then there's the incredible Rolls-Royce Phantom III Aero Coupe, a massive two-door that puts the iconic Bugatti Atlantic to shame”

Then there’s the incredible Rolls-Royce Phantom III Aero Coupe, a massive two-door that puts the iconic Bugatti Atlantic to shame. Built in 1937 with a unique body, it features a massive 7.3-liter V-12 engine rated at 165 horsepower. It’s equipped with independent front suspension and semi-elliptic rear springs, centralized chassis lubrication system, automatic shock absorbers with over-riding hand controls, and servo-operated brakes, which made it pretty high-tech back in the day. And it’s worth close to $1 million nowadays!


We Found a Bunch of Cool Classic Cars at the Chicago Auto Show - image 766855
“If you're into wagons, make sure you check out the 12-seat Cadillac Broadmoor Skyview”

If you’re into wagons, make sure you check out the 12-seat Cadillac Broadmoor Skyview, but there’s also a finely restored Lincoln Continental from the 1940s. You’ll also find a Batmobile, a 1970 Ford Mustang convertible, and a big batch of old police cars. It definitely makes a trip to the Chicago Auto Show worthwhile. Check out the gallery for more photos.

References


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Mopar Expert David Wise & The Last HEMI ‘Cuda At Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

How much would you pay for the last HEMI ’Cuda?


PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Mopar Expert David Wise & The Last HEMI ‘Cuda At Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

How much would you pay for the last HEMI ’Cuda?


PostHeaderIcon Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist

You know, I’m not that old, but I am old enough to appreciate the occasional throwback or reboot. You know, something that recalls a pleasant memory from my earlier days, but with a modern twist on top. Just so long as it’s done right, though – don’t wanna go around ruining peoples’ childhoods, now. Of course, Hollywood is all over that, injecting old franchises with new money to see what pops out the other end. But what if rather than digging up old TV shows and movies, we applied that modernization gloss to cars instead? Well, that’s exactly what Budget Direct did with the following seven renderings.

Included is a classic compact, a gullwing that takes us back to the future, a classy muscle machine, the grandfather to Jaguar Land Rover, a Czech beauty, a slippery pony car, and a Swedish revival. Each of these machines carries with it a long history and more than a little nostalgia, but didn’t quite make to the modern era. But that’s about to end, because we’re bringin’ ’em back, baby.

Which is your favorite? Care to share an automotive memory with us? Feel free to post it in the comments below as we remember the times…

Continue reading for the full story.

AMC Gremlin


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761871

Initially put into production in 1970 and billed as “the first American-built import,” the American Motors Gremlin combined diminutive subcompact dimensions with an unarguably eccentric two-door hatchback bodystyle, creating one of the quirkiest models of its time. These days, small and weird is as popular as ever, so maybe a modern Gremlin would actually make sense… FCA, we’re looking at you.

DeLorean DMC-12


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761872

Popularized by Marty McFly and Doc Brown in the timeless flickBack to the Future, the DeLorean DMC-12 will forever be one of those classic, instantly recognizable models. With its spacey gullwing doors, boxy cab-back proportions, and rear-engine powertrain, the DeLorean only lasted a few years before getting the axe, with just over 8,500 units produced between 1981 and 1983. That said, we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it brought back to the now.

Oldsmobile Cutlass


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761873

While greener gearheads out there might not know it, the Cutlass was immensely popular back in the ’70s, so much so that by the ’80s, Oldsmobile decided to make it an entire sub-brand. Although Oldsmobile eventually bit the dust in 2004, we think a fresh take on the formula would work well in 2018 – lots of luxury inside, plus a decent kick waiting under the hood as well. What’s not to love?

Rover 75


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761874

The Brits are getting in on the action too, carrying the old Rover Marque with this sleek and stylish four-door executive model. Originally put into production in 1998, the Rover 75 lasted all the way until 2005, when Rover went defunct.

Tatra JK 2500


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761875

If you’ve never heard the name Tatra before, I’ll just give you a brief rundown. Founded way back in 1850 in what’s now known as the Czech Republic, Tatra first started with horse-drawn vehicles and railroad cars before it eventually went on to create passenger road cars. In the ’50s, it made a gorgeous little air-cooled V-8 GT car, and now, we want it back. Plus a radiator, please.

Plymouth Barracuda


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761876

More muscle cars too, please! The last few years have offered a bumper crop in torque-tastic RWD drag machines, and we say the more the merrier. With modernized versions of other classic American iron already roaming the streets, why not toss a new ’Cuda into the mix as well? Don’t forget the ultra-wide rear rubber and Hemi graphics in the sides.

Saab Phoenix


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761877

Saab unfortunately went under in 2012, but before it did, the Swedish brand brought all kinds of funky and cool models. The very last concept it created was called the Phoenix, which was a silver 2+2 coupe introduced in 2011 at the Geneva Motor Show. We woulda loved to have seen it make it to production, and now with this rendering, we have an idea what that might have looked like.

References


1977 AMC Gremlin - image 683265

Read our full review on the 1977 AMC Gremlin.


1970 - 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda - image 569395

Read our full review on the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda.

PostHeaderIcon Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist

You know, I’m not that old, but I am old enough to appreciate the occasional throwback or reboot. You know, something that recalls a pleasant memory from my earlier days, but with a modern twist on top. Just so long as it’s done right, though – don’t wanna go around ruining peoples’ childhoods, now. Of course, Hollywood is all over that, injecting old franchises with new money to see what pops out the other end. But what if rather than digging up old TV shows and movies, we applied that modernization gloss to cars instead? Well, that’s exactly what Budget Direct did with the following seven renderings.

Included is a classic compact, a gullwing that takes us back to the future, a classy muscle machine, the grandfather to Jaguar Land Rover, a Czech beauty, a slippery pony car, and a Swedish revival. Each of these machines carries with it a long history and more than a little nostalgia, but didn’t quite make to the modern era. But that’s about to end, because we’re bringin’ ’em back, baby.

Which is your favorite? Care to share an automotive memory with us? Feel free to post it in the comments below as we remember the times…

Continue reading for the full story.

AMC Gremlin


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761871

Initially put into production in 1970 and billed as “the first American-built import,” the American Motors Gremlin combined diminutive subcompact dimensions with an unarguably eccentric two-door hatchback bodystyle, creating one of the quirkiest models of its time. These days, small and weird is as popular as ever, so maybe a modern Gremlin would actually make sense… FCA, we’re looking at you.

DeLorean DMC-12


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761872

Popularized by Marty McFly and Doc Brown in the timeless flickBack to the Future, the DeLorean DMC-12 will forever be one of those classic, instantly recognizable models. With its spacey gullwing doors, boxy cab-back proportions, and rear-engine powertrain, the DeLorean only lasted a few years before getting the axe, with just over 8,500 units produced between 1981 and 1983. That said, we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it brought back to the now.

Oldsmobile Cutlass


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761873

While greener gearheads out there might not know it, the Cutlass was immensely popular back in the ’70s, so much so that by the ’80s, Oldsmobile decided to make it an entire sub-brand. Although Oldsmobile eventually bit the dust in 2004, we think a fresh take on the formula would work well in 2018 – lots of luxury inside, plus a decent kick waiting under the hood as well. What’s not to love?

Rover 75


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761874

The Brits are getting in on the action too, carrying the old Rover Marque with this sleek and stylish four-door executive model. Originally put into production in 1998, the Rover 75 lasted all the way until 2005, when Rover went defunct.

Tatra JK 2500


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761875

If you’ve never heard the name Tatra before, I’ll just give you a brief rundown. Founded way back in 1850 in what’s now known as the Czech Republic, Tatra first started with horse-drawn vehicles and railroad cars before it eventually went on to create passenger road cars. In the ’50s, it made a gorgeous little air-cooled V-8 GT car, and now, we want it back. Plus a radiator, please.

Plymouth Barracuda


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761876

More muscle cars too, please! The last few years have offered a bumper crop in torque-tastic RWD drag machines, and we say the more the merrier. With modernized versions of other classic American iron already roaming the streets, why not toss a new ’Cuda into the mix as well? Don’t forget the ultra-wide rear rubber and Hemi graphics in the sides.

Saab Phoenix


Budget Direct Renders 7 Discontinued Models With A Modern Twist - image 761877

Saab unfortunately went under in 2012, but before it did, the Swedish brand brought all kinds of funky and cool models. The very last concept it created was called the Phoenix, which was a silver 2+2 coupe introduced in 2011 at the Geneva Motor Show. We woulda loved to have seen it make it to production, and now with this rendering, we have an idea what that might have looked like.

References


1977 AMC Gremlin - image 683265

Read our full review on the 1977 AMC Gremlin.


1970 - 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda - image 569395

Read our full review on the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda.

PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Porsche 911 Magazine Shows Some Incredible Stories Behind Porsche’s History

The Porsche 911 video magazine really is something else. It’s essentially an episodic web series that talks about Porsche. Each episode runs nine minutes and 11 seconds long because, well, that shows up as 9:11 on the time bar. Beyond the cute allusion to the 911 name, the episodes are rich in stories about the German automaker and everything about it.

Volume 5, or episode 5, of the 911 Magazine is no exception. The episode carries the theme, “Dreams,” and is divided into five different sub-episodes, beginning with Patrick Dempsey taking a trip to the island of Sylt in northern Germany with a 911 Carrera. The episode mostly features Dempsey taking in the scenery of the island and enjoying the picturesque sights with one of the finest Porsche 911 models ever built. From there, the episode dives into the racing success of the Porsche 956, the creation of the most improbable Porsche in history, a Porsche drifting in the snow, and an inside look at the TraumWerk, Hans-Peter Porsche’s incredible toy museum.

The third and fifth sub-episodes are the best ones of Volume 5. The former talks about the story of two twins — Knut and Falk Reimann — who lived in the communist-run GDR and, against all odds, managed to build their own homemade Porsche with some assistance from no less than Ferry Porsche himself. The latter is a treat to watch itself as it features Hans-Peter Porsche showcasing one of the most expansive and incredible toy collections in the world. Take the time to watch this episode of the 911 Magazine. You’re not going to regret it.


References


maker logos - image 744848

Read more Porsche news.


Video of the Day: Ford GT Meets the Arctic Circle - image 755824

Read more car video news.

PostHeaderIcon See You Never: Cars We Don’t Want To See Come Back

The auto industry has had its share of iconic cars. From iconic classics like the Aston Martin DB5 and the Ferrari 250 GTO to timeless beauties like the Mazda MX-5 and Porsche 911, there are no shortages of cars that we can kneel before and proudly say that we did. But for every model like the BMW 3 Series that capture our hearts and imaginations, there are also models like the Pontiac Aztec and the Studebaker Wagonaire that force us to question our lots in life. These cars are the stinkers of the auto industry, and whether you like it or not, we’ve come up with a list of them that we never, under any circumstances, want to see make a comeback.

I know what you’re thinking. Why are we subjecting you to this kind of horror on Thanksgiving week? Well, appreciating the history of the industry will only be magnified if you know its underbelly, the dark and desolate place where the worst models in history reside, never to be seen again. Our hope here is that when you take a gander and look at the cars on this list, you’ll come out of it with a better appreciation of all the success stories that the industry has seen throughout its history. So buckle up, ladies and gentlemen. We’re going to test your tolerance with this list; here’s to hoping you all come out unscathed on the other side.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Pontiac Aztek


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I suppose we can start with the two models that I already mentioned. The Pontiac Aztek should really belong in a class of its own. Hideous in every way, the Aztek received the reaction it deserved from the get-go. It was lambasted for having one of the most awkward designs of any car released this century. It also didn’t help the SUV’s cause that it arrived amidst a lot of hype, only to fall flat on its face before it was able to show off what it can do. There is some irony to the SUV because it was actually competent at what it does. But its decrepit design ultimately torpedoed any shot of it being relevant in a positive way. It says a lot about the Aztek’s fortunes that it only gained popularity when it was used as Walter White’s ride-of-choice in Breaking Bad. That show premiered in 2008, three years after production of the SUV ended in 2005.

Studebaker Wagonaire


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The Studebaker Wagonaire really shouldn’t be on this list because it has actually had a renaissance among young people these days. But even that shouldn’t take away from the initial reception behind the Wagonaire. Not only was it a sight for sore eyes when it debuted in 1963, but the indignation surrounding the model was further put in the spotlight by the fact that one of its supposed main features – the retractable roof – ended up being its fatal flaw.
Complaints of water leaks from the roof ultimately doomed the Wagonaire and three years after debuting, Studebaker as a company ended up folding. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Dodge Coronet


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The Dodge Coronet is another car that looked like a good idea on paper. But that idea never translated to the real thing as the Coronet was panned for its awkward styling. Sure, a lot of cars from the 50’s shared that design philosophy, but the Coronet stands out for having one too many body panels sticking out from all sorts of directions. To be fair, the Coronet did reinvent itself in the 60’s and 70’s, earning some nostalgia points in the process. But the design failures of the original version is why it’s on this list.

Chrysler Sebring


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This is a car that could’ve fared better if it had a more conducive environment around it. But the Sebring suffered from circumstances beyond its control, including the state of Chrysler from the late 1990’s to the 2000’s. It didn’t help that the model suffered through quality issues throughout its life, ultimately becoming the poster-boy for everything that was wrong with Chrysler before the Detroit recession. Unlike the Wagonaire and Coronet, there’s nothing redeeming about the Sebring that should compel Chrysler of even thinking about bringing it back. Remember, the Sebring became the 200 in 2010 and nothing came out of that model either.

Yugo


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It says a lot about a car’s notoriety that history doesn’t even bother to remember its real name. We all know the Yugo for that one name, but it’s actually a modified version of the Zastava Koral, a car that traces its origin in Yugoslavia. Somehow, the model found its way into the US as the Yugo where it was promoted on the promise of being a cheap alternative to what were already cheap cars, to begin with. Needless to say, the strategy bombed completely as the Yugo suffered from so many quality issues. Whether it was poor performance, poor build quality, or the many safety defects it had, the Yugo became so reviled that it was, at one point, described as the “Mona Lisa of bad cars.”

Chevrolet Lumina APV


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If you’re a car that’s compared to a hand-held vacuum cleaner, I don’t think those comparisons are of the favorable nature. The Chevrolet Lumina APV really had good intentions. It was billed as a more stylish alternative to the wildly popular Dodge Caravan from the early 1990’s. But even the best of intentions fall flat on its face. That was the fate of the Lumina APV. It was horrible in a number of different ways, including its design, which earned it the nickname “Dustbuster” after the popular hand-held vacuum cleaner. It was also criticized for having an awkward driving position and terrible handling. Worst of all, we actually got a triple dose of horror with this model with the respective releases of the Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette variants.

Aston Martin Cygnet


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The Aston Martin Cygnet is without question the most hated Aston Martin of all time. The thing is, it wasn’t really an Aston Martin; it was a Scion IQ that featured a “bespoke” paint finish and fancy leather seats. That’s it. We should count ourselves lucky that the Cygnet never really made it in the US because if it did, I firmly believe that Aston Martin’s reputation would’ve been completely ruined. It’s hard enough for me to wrap my head around the thought of Aston Martin making a small city car, but to do it so cheaply by simply replacing the badges of a Scion IQ? It’s no wonder that the Cygnet flamed out so quickly. Had it lasted any longer, it would’ve been an insult to everything that Aston Martin once stood for.

AMC Gremlin


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Sometimes, the name says it all. That’s the case with the AMC Gremlin, a car so reviled that it makes the Yugo look like a Porsche. Ok, that’s not entirely true because, for whatever reason, the Gremlin actually had sales success in the 1970s. Unfortunately, a lot of people learned quickly how much of a sunk cost the car was. It lacked refinement in every which way, a product of the money-saving schemes that a lot of companies were doing back then. Incidentally, the 70’s also happened to be the decade when everybody was more consumed with taking drugs than creating solid cars. I’m not sure if that comparison is important, but it does seem like it is.

Ford Pinto


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If there was ever a car that has accumulated the most mentions among the worst cars in history, it’s the Ford Pinto. It’s actually incredible to see the Pinto make all these lists given that the model actually sold well during its lifetime. But its reputation was permanently ruined when it a defect in the car’s fuel tank design was discovered. As it turned out, this defect could cause the car to catch fire if it was rear-ended. Worse, Ford executives reportedly knew about the design defect and decided to do nothing about it after calculating that paying off lawsuits from disgruntled owners was cheaper than re-engineering the car entirely. That revelation is now called the “Pinto memo,” and it’s one of the biggest reasons why the Pinto was named one of the worst cars in history by Time Magazine, CNN, Forbes, and even Autoblog.

Chevrolet HHR


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The Chevrolet HHR is a good example of what happens when car designers get too drunk on nostalgia. Developed as a retro-styled, five-door station wagon, the HHR looked like a cartoon car driven exclusively by super-villains. But as bad as it looked, the car’s design wasn’t even the worst thing about it. The HHR will live infamy as one of the most recalled cars in US history. That’s not a joke. In about six years in the market, Chevrolet managed to sell around one million units of the HHR. Unfortunately, it also suffered through more than six million recall notices. Six million! I honestly don’t know if I should cry or laugh. What I do know is that the HHR is never coming back.

Mitsuoka Orochi


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The Mitsuoka Orochi is the only “supercar” on this list. If you haven’t seen it yet, then prepare yourselves for some nightmares in the coming days. The Orochi was first introduced as a concept in 2001, and it didn’t take long for everybody to turn its back on it. Simply put, it looks like a fish; an ugly one at that. Don’t believe me? Check out the photo below, though I am compelled to tell you that you’ve been warned.

PostHeaderIcon Oh, Canada: 8 Cars That Trace Their Roots To The Great White North

Most of us think of Canada as our friendly neighbors up north, and while that holds true for the most part – Canadians are really friendly – the Great White North also has a rich automotive history of its own. Ok, not as rich as ours, but rich enough to be given a list of some cars that trace their roots up there. The fact is that Canada’s automotive history goes all the way back to around the same time that cars became a thing here in the US. We just don’t know about most of them because there’s enough to worry about as far as our own American brands are concerned.

That’s one of the reasons why this list is being made. Canada is more than just a land of moose and maple leaf syrup. It’s also home to a rich automotive tradition that deserves to have the spotlight fixed in its direction, for however long it’s supposed to last. Some of the names and models on this list will be completely foreign to some of you, but that’s precisely the point. It’s time to give them the recognition they deserve for playing a part in creating and shaping the history of the Canadian auto industry. Oh, and stick until the end because there are some surprises along the way.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Volvo 122

The first car on this list actually has its roots in Sweden, but its story is unique for a number of different ways. Some of you will probably remember the Volvo 122, which made it to north America through Halifax, Nova Scotia where Volvo established a production facility. The first car it built there? The 122 sedan, or as it’s called in other markets, the Amazon. Today, the 122 is regarded as one of the best models Volvo ever made. In Canada though, it was referred to as the Volvo Canadian, and soon enough, the fascination between car and country took hold. That relationship has stood strong despite the fact that the last 122 left the production plant in Halifax in 1998. Make no mistake, Nova Scotia is proud of its industrial identity, and one of the biggest reasons of its pride is because of the 122.

McLaughlin-Buick

Ever heard of McLaughlin? You can be excused if you haven’t because the company’s history dates all the way back to 1869. Yep. 1869! It first started as a carriage company but as the automotive history evolved in the early 20th century, McLaughlin soon became involved, together with then-independent company Buick, in the creation of what we now know as General Motors. Owing to its Canadian roots, McLaughlin was eventually absorbed into General Motors Canada where it sold models in Canada under the McLaughlin-Buick name until 1942. Beyond its fabled history, McLaughlin was a popular luxury brand back in its heyday, and no less than the Prince of Wales purchased one of his own in 1936. Three years later, McLaughlin once again got involved with the Royal Family when a pair of 1939 Phaetons were built exclusively for the Royal tour. It’s hard to come by any existing McLaughlin-Buicks today that are in working condition, but one was put up for sale a little more than a year ago on the Bring a Trailer website.

Lada Niva

To be clear, the Lada Niva wasn’t produced in Canada, nor was it born there. But I’m including it because it’s one of those cars that has became a staple for Canadians who wanted to get their chops off on the off-road. Just as important, buying a Niva here in the US is about as rare as scoring a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Over the years, the Russian-built Niva has been called many things, but the one underlying theme about it that has transcended time is its toughness and ruggedness. Simply put, the Niva is indestructible and it has been since it was launched in Canada in 1977 as a compact hatchback. It’s hard to imagine, but the Niva is actually still in production to this day and even more incredible, it’s looks have barely changed in 40 years. Go to Canada now and you’re likely to find a Niva on the streets there. That’s a testament to the car’s status as pound-for-pound being one of the toughest cars to kill.

Mercury M-100

Just so you know, the next two items on this list are pick-ups that some of you might be familiar with. The first of these two models is the Mercury M-100, which is essentially a Ford F-Series pick-up that was badged as a Mercury model specifically for the Canadian market. Why exactly did Ford do this? Well, the answer goes back to 1946 when Ford of Canada decided to split its dealership networks into Ford and Lincoln/Mercury. It didn’t have any issues offering pick-ups in their Ford dealerships but the split meant that Lincoln/Mercury dealers lost out on pick-up truck sales. The solution? Use a Ford F-Series, take off its Ford badge, and replace it with a Mercury badge. The result is the M-100, a pick-up that was in production from 1946 to 1968. It didn’t last as long as Ford’s F-Series, which soldiers on to this day, but it did leave an important mark in the history of Canadian pick-ups. And, if for nothing else, seeing a Mercury nameplate on a Ford model resonated for some people.

Fargo

Ford wasn’t the only American automaker that had to make the decision of splitting its dealership network in Canada. So, Chrysler did what Ford did and split its Chrysler-Plymouth dealerships. On top of that, Chrysler also dusted off Fargo, a truck brand that it took ownership of in 1928, six years after its original owners went under. The brand itself didn’t fare well under Chrysler stewardship, barely lasting a decade before it was discontinued in the US for good. That, of course, didn’t stop Chrysler from transporting the name to Canada where it became its official pick-up trucks in the north. The Fargo trucks were simply rebadged Dodge trucks that were sold in the US, but the strategy of replacing the nameplate with Fargo turned out to be a stroke of good fortune for the American automaker as the brand lasted in Canada for another three decades before departing the market in 1972.

Frontenac

Ford’s history in Canada is actually steeped in rich history, provided you know where to look. A good example of that history is Frontenac, a stand-alone brand that Ford decided to bring to Canada just so its Mercury-Meteor dealerships had a compact car to sell. Unlike Mercury, Frontenac was created as a separate division. Frontenac models that were sold in Canada were rebadged models of the Ford Falcon, albeit with a different grille, tail lights, and external trim. Regardless of what made it what it was, Frontenacs eventually became the second-best-selling compact car in Canada in the one year that it existed. Wait, what? Yes, Frontenacs lasted only a year despite the fact it sold almost 10,000 units in that short time. It’s unclear why Ford decided to ditch it prematurely – it was replaced by the Mercury Comet – but it did make its mark in the Canadian market, however long it lasted.

Acadian Canso

By now, you’re probably noticing a trend here. An American automaker can’t sell a certain model in Canada so, instead, it decides to make a new one for that market, essentially making it a substitute car for the real thing. The Acadian Canso somewhat fits that mold because it was born from the Auto Pact (APTA) that was enacted in Canada at that time. The law had certain provisions, including one that called for the prohibition of sales of certain US-made cars so as they don’t compete against models being offered in Canada. For its part, GM somehow circumvented that rule by offering certain makes of car that were not only made in Canada, but sold there as well. That’s where the Acadian Canso fits into all of this. It was largely based on the Chevy II, but to make it more “original,” GM decided to use styling cues from Pontiac in the car’s design. In any case, the Canso proved to be a top-seller in Canada during the time it was sold there. Even today, the Canso’s reputation has held strong to the point that they’ve become collectibles in their own right. Adding weight to that sentiment is the fact that five years ago, Barrett-Jackson actually auctioned off a 1966 model for $73,700.

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Wait a second. Why is the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon included in this list? The answer actually isn’t in the car itself as it is in the place where it’s built. For that, we can turn to the Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s production facility in Brampton, Ontario, Canada for the answer. Yes, the Challenger SRT Demon may be as all-American as it gets for a performance car, but it’s roots – same as that of every single Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Chrysler 300 that’s been built since 2008 – is tied into the suburban city located in the Greater Toronto Area. It may not seem like a relevant detail today, but just as the other cars on this list have been identified for their ties in Canada, so to will the Challenger SRT Demon when we revisit this list 50 years from now.

Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

PostHeaderIcon A Day Well Spent at Concorso Italiano 2017

As I approached the entrance gate at the 2017 Concorso Italiano, I thought how fortunate I was to find this annual event so near to home.
I took a moment to reflect on its importance to me, and probably to mostly other attendees too.
What does Concorso bring each and every year?
Plenty!
We all know it brings droves of Italian Automobiles.
But Concorso brings automotive glamor too.
Cars are immaculately prepared by their owners, and in arrive in show condition.
There are so many of them, usually numbering around a thousand.
There are some extremely rare cars in the mix.
Concorso brings us the individual story of these rare cars, often told by the owners themselves as the cars traverse and pause on the automotive stage during the day, while the owners relate their background.

Let’s see how the day went…

There is glamor and aesthetics in these beautiful automobiles.
Concorso says there are all things Italian at the show.
Motorcycles, boats, fashion, food, and art grace the fairways along with the cars.
Lo stile di vita Italiano!


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I made the Kode Zero one of my first targets of the day.
The one-off was designed by Ken Okuyama, the lead designer of Ferrari’s supercar the Enzo when he was at Pininfarina.
I found it quickly, and immediately had an affinity for it.

“Founder of Ken Okuyama Design, his Kode Zero utilizes a carbon fiber monocoque powered by a mid-mounted V12.”

After receiving the prestigious Hall of Fame award “La Bella Macchina” at Concorso Italiano last year, Ken returned to Concorso this season bringing his one-off, the Kode Zero.
Founder of Ken Okuyama Design, his Kode Zero utilizes a carbon fiber monocoque powered by a mid-mounted V12.


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With those credentials, I was curious about his approach and methodology when creating new designs.
Ken was standing next to his car available for the moment, so I asked him, “When you are making a new design, do you use a particular process, for example, aesthetic principals that architects might use, or do you think about certain geometric shapes, or does the computer assist you?”

“None of these,” Ken replied.
“The guidelines that I use are three – simplicity, modern, and timeless.
Then my arm simply goes into motion creating the lines for the design.”

I answered, “Oh, I think I know what you mean.
It’s a bit like when I am preparing a meal in the kitchen, and using the recipe book is taking too much time.
My subconscious takes over and I just do it?”


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He agreed, laughing, “Yes, yes, that’s it!
Just get the thinking out of it!”

Later, on stage he described the “timeless” aspect of what he strives for as “potent”, meaning that the design should last for a very long time.
Ken’s Kode Zero, by the way, is a real knock-out!

“The roadster shows off some less conventional styling, like the top of the engine through and slightly above the bonnet, and gaps between the front fenders and the bonnet exposing some suspension”

Ken also brought along another one of his designs, the Kode 57 Enji.
The roadster shows off some less conventional styling, like the top of the engine through and slightly above the bonnet, and gaps between the front fenders and the bonnet exposing some suspension. Power is by a 6-liter V12 exceeding 600 hp, and this car is buyable now.


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Lamborghini was nearby, with owner’s cars located across a long, rolling slope of the fairways.
So I set off for them, always one of my favorite stops.
The layout helped show off their exotic lines, their always exciting bright pastel colors, usually in metallic paint, and their vertically opening doors flung high in the air.
It has been 50 years since Lamborghini first introduced vertically opening doors on the Marzal prototype.
Looking through several adjacent Lamborghinis with their doors open high gave perspective, and I thought of giant bird’s wings flapping. There was a large flock of Lamborghinis on display including a 2016 Aventador Centenario, with 6.5-liter mid-engine V12, and all-wheel-drive.
Only 20 coupes and 20 roadsters were produced.

“Lamborghini first introduced vertically opening doors on the Marzal prototype”

A new recognition, the Valentino Balboni Award, was introduced and presented on stage by Balboni, the former long-time Lamborghini factory test car driver.
After presenting the award on stage, Balboni told about the time Mike Wallace, of the 60 Minutes TV show fame, came to evaluate Lamborghini in 1987.
Balboni took Wallace for a ride, needless to say at highly advanced speeds.


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A couple days after the test ride, it was time for Wallace to leave Italy, and Balboni drove Wallace to the airport.
Exiting the car, Wallace exclaimed, “This is the happiest day of my life!!”
Balboni, “Oh yes?
Why is that?”
Wallace, “Because I’m getting out of Italy, ALIVE!!!”

A friend of mine in the DeTomaso Pantera car club had told me about his ride with Balboni at an event featuring the opportunity in some sort of charity situation.
He explained that Balboni put that Lamborghini through some pretty uncommon maneuvers at great speed.
So I can well understand about white-knuckles, pale face, and all that.


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I have no doubts about Balboni’s prowess with supercars.
We seem to cross paths every year or so.
A few seasons back at an automotive event I asked Balboni a question about using the brakes when entering corners at high speed.
To my amazement, he expanded my question into other areas of a car, and described the total experience of high speed braking, touching on factors that I had not even considered.
I think that when it comes to supercars, he has been there – done that, many, many times.
The man is quite the resource.


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Tom Tjaarda passed in June.
Commentary said that he would always be with us at Concorso.
A member of the Concorso Italiano Hall of Fame, Tjaarda had designed the DeTomaso Pantera (1971-1992), and worked at Pininfarina where he designed two production Ferraris, the 330GT and the 365 California Spyder, as well as the Fiat 124.
Tjaarda earned a degree in architecture at the University of Michigan, but spent fifty years designing cars, mostly in Italy.
The Pantera is a bit of a cult car and has quite aggressive looks.
Enthusiasts love to modify it, and often do great work in so doing, such as adding 500 cu. in.- plus engines.
As usual, there quite a large turnout of sexy Panteras at Concorso.

“The Pantera is a bit of a cult car and has quite aggressive looks”

Not all cars at Concorso are Italian, and one such was the Mulholland Speedster.
A large, multiple award-winning roadster, owned by Bruce Wanta of Bellevue Washington, the build by Troy Ladd’s Hollywood Hot Rods exceeded six years. Starting point was a 1936 Packard.
0926


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One of Alpha Romeo’s most eye-catching entries at the show was a 2008 Alpha Romeo 8C Competizione (2008-2010).
Only 500 units produced, with 90 to the USA, the model is based on the Maserati Quattroporte platform with a carbon-fiber body.
The car was assembled at Ferrari, and is powered by a 450 hp Ferrari 4.7-liter V8, with a sequential 6-speed F1-type transmission.

Of course, Ferrari had a large presence at Concorso including two models less often seen.
The first was the 288 GTO, a rear-mid-engine, twin-turbo, 2.8-liter V8 (1984-1987), only 272 produced.
The other, an F40 (1987-1992), a mid-engine, twin turbo, 2.9-liter V8, 1,311 produced.
Ferrari’s latest was on display too, the 488 GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta), and a blue 488 Spider (2015 – present).
The new model is a twin-turbocharged evolution of the 458 Italia.
Also on the lawn was the LaFerrari hybrid (2013 – present).


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After all is said and done, one question begs.
How little remaining space does even a golf course have after the Concorso Italiano rolls in?

PostHeaderIcon Which Sports Car Should Be Revived?

Between 2016 and 2020 the list of supercars will include the Ford GT, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, the Aston Man
Valkyrie,
and at least one new car from Ferrari. But what are sports cars fans with smaller wallets supposed to do? We have some great cars like the Miata and BMW is bringing a Z4 replacement soon, but so many great cars don’t exist anymore. Especially in the “affordable” range.

So we started talking in the office about what sports cars we want to see revived, and we settled on a pair of classic sports cars and one car that is officially dead, but not out of showrooms yet. The Porsche 944, Honda S2000, and the Dodge Viper are all in our dream garage of dead cars we want to return. Keep reading to find out why!

PostHeaderIcon Which Sports Car Should Be Revived?

Between 2016 and 2020 the list of supercars will include the Ford GT, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, the Aston Man
Valkyrie,
and at least one new car from Ferrari. But what are sports cars fans with smaller wallets supposed to do? We have some great cars like the Miata and BMW is bringing a Z4 replacement soon, but so many great cars don’t exist anymore. Especially in the “affordable” range.

So we started talking in the office about what sports cars we want to see revived, and we settled on a pair of classic sports cars and one car that is officially dead, but not out of showrooms yet. The Porsche 944, Honda S2000, and the Dodge Viper are all in our dream garage of dead cars we want to return. Keep reading to find out why!

PostHeaderIcon 10 Great Cars Nobody Cares About

It is the year 2017. The crusade on the car as we know it is in full swing. As a result, our roads are filled with crimes against humanity such as the Toyota Prius. Furthermore, the United Kingdom decided to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 [1]. Germany is also considering a similar plan [2]. Many major cities, predominantly in Europe, are going car-free in places.

As a result, this makes the world a very dull place for those of us who love cars. The majority of the population cares less about acceleration or handling and more about gas mileage and stupidly overly complicated infotainment systems. Hence why more people drive about in Honda Civics and Toyota Priuses than cars that are somewhat interesting, such as the BMW 3 Series or a Saab of some sort. As a result, many exciting cars are overlooked by the majority of the population, even by us car enthusiasts. So, here is a list of 10 superb cars that time has forgotten.

PostHeaderIcon Monterey Car Week Once Again Brings The Goods In 2017

I’ll admit it – I’m pretty spoiled when it comes to car stuff. Of course, that’s the sort of thing you’d expect given my line of work. When unicorns and exotic metal become the routine, it’s easy to lose your perspective.
But even with my drastically skewed sense of what four-wheeled “normalcy” is supposed to be, Monterey Car Week manages to impress. For starters, there’s the sheer scope of it. Think seven days of events and practically endless things to do, ranging from shows, to auctions, to racing, to cruises. There’s excess of every kind when it comes passion-inspiring rides to enjoy. Then there’s the backdrop. The California central coast is without a doubt one of the most spectacular places on Earth, with jaw-dropping scenery and rich history at every turn. But probably the best thing about MCW is the superiority of the cars on hand. Not only is the quantity over the top, but so is the quality, a rare combination to which I have yet to find an equal in all my auto-themed adventures. I’ve been covering this thing for several years now, but 2017 still managed to bring the goods in a big way.

If you’ve been thinking about going, but you’re still on the fence, then we hope this will convince you to get out there in 2018. If you wanna go, but haven’t had a chance, then we hope our account of the action will assuage your longing – for now, at least.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

PostHeaderIcon Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza

While there may have been 188 units of the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 built for road use, it was initially designed as a race car. The “2300” in the car’s name was a reference to the 2.3-liter straight-eight engine that was hidden under its long hood. The 8C was built in several different series’ in its first few years of production, with some (the 188 road cars) serving as luxury vehicles and the rest serving as dedicated race cars. By now, you’ve probably noticed that the model here also sports the “Monza” name. This name was given to the shortened, two-seater GP cars after an early model emerged victorious during the 1931 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Throughout the car’s production, it was rather successful on the track, including four consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the consecutive wins at Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, and back-to-back wins at the 24 Hours of Spa. On top of that, the car also led to the development and introduction of the Monoposto Tipo B, which, as you may or may not know, dominated Grand Prix racing with 46 wins between 1932 and 1935.

The model you see here has had several owners, but was raced quite a bit between 1934 and 1948, securing 7th in Class at the Klausen Hillclimb in 1934, 3rd Overall at the Circuito di San Remo in 1947, 2nd Overall and 1st in Class at the Sassi-Superga Hillclimb in 194, and 1st in Class at the Cantania-Etna Hillclimb in 1948, among others. It is Chassis No. 2311218 and was sold new in Italy back in the 1930s. And while it changed hands on a somewhat regular basis, it’s racing DNA kept in on the track even recently as the owner prior to this auction used it to participate in Euro and US. Tours – this isn’t a car you just lock away in a dark garage.

This Monza recently went up for auction at the Gooding & Company Auction during Monterey Car Week, exchanging hands for more than $10 million. It’s only fitting that we do a full review of such an amazing car, so keep reading to take a closer look at it.

Updated 08/24/2017: We added a series of images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

Note: Official images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Brian Henniker.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza.

PostHeaderIcon Dodge Coronet Super Bee

The Dodge Coronet was first introduced in 1949 as one of the company’s first post-war body style. Production spanned over four generations until it was discontinued in 1959. The nameplate returned in 1965 on the B-body platform, shared with the Plymouth Belvedere and Road Runner and the Dodge Charger among other Mopar vehicles. The sixth and seventh generations followed in 1971 and 1975, but the Coronet was discontinued for good in 1976. Arguably the most iconic version of the Coronet was that produced between 1968 and 1970 when the nameplate was also involved in Detroit’s muscle car wars.

After three years on the market, the fifth-generation Coronet was redesigned in 1968, as was the Dodge Charger, which shared the B-body platform. The facelift brought a more aggressive design, new appearance packages, and upgraded engines. Dodge even introduced a station wagon version of the Coronet 500, but the star of the lineup was obviously the range-topping Super Bee trim. This version was produced from1968 through 1971 model years only and was Dodge’s version of the successful Plymouth Road Runner.

Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Coronet Super Bee.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction – Preview

While there are seemingly innumerable car auctions taking place up and down California’s central coast for Monterey Car Week, Gooding & Company is the only auction located next to the flagship Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event. As such, the quality of the automobiles headed to the block is staggering, with record-breaking lots and world-class collector vehicles offered as the norm. This year, nearly 140 individual vehicles are slated to go under the hammer, with several potentially topping the eight-figure mark.

This is the place where the deepest of pockets show their worth, the auction where white-gloved treatment is expected and granted. Antiques and classics are in abundance, while more modern supercars and racers round it out. We’ll be on hand to watch it all go down, but before we arrive on the scene, we’ve broken down some of the more interesting (not to mention expensive) lots on offer in the following preview article.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction – Preview

RM Sotheby’s holds a variety of high-end auctions around the world, with venues including London, Maranello, and Paris. Now that August is in full swing, RM Sotheby’s heads to California for Monterey Car Week, setting some of the world’s finest collectible automobiles up on the block, complemented by the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. This year, the highly celebrated auction house is ramping up the excitement with yet another impressive lineup. The big headliners for 2017 include 13 highly desirable Ferraris, from a 1961 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, to a 2011 599 GTO. However, a variety of other popular makes are obviously included as well, with oddities, antiques, classics, and supercars all up for grabs. This is the cream of the crop, all the good stuff and no filler. The only question is – can your bank account bring one home?

We’ll be on the scene to check out the action, but before we arrive, we’ve picked through the lots and found some of the more interesting vehicles on offer, compiling them all right here for your reading enjoyment. Check them out, and let us know which cars you wanna see more of in the comments below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction.

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