This year, Lincoln was a featured marque at Pebble Beach. Back in 1950, the US Secret Service took delivery of a brand-new presidential limousine, this 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan. This year, that very automobile was featured at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. I think it’s fantastic to see these overlooked early 1950s Lincolns in general, but to see this one is a treat. It’s a living piece of American history. In fact, it was used until shortly after Kennedy was sworn in, making this one of the few Presidential cars to be used by three presidents (in this case, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy). And here, on the lawn of the 18th hole, it looked truly majestic. Amazingly, the car was not armored and the glass for the bubble roof (added during the Eisenhower administration) is Plexiglas. Enjoy the photos. Read the rest of this entry »
The song “We No Speak Americano”, by Yolanda Be Cool, goes quite well with the Fiat Abarth. It has a fun, silly nature to its character, and is unmistakably Italian. For those who don’t already know, the Abarth is the hot and heavy version of the Fiat 500, a small city car with and extra dose of… Potenza! During the last few months the Abarth has landed in our showrooms, and I was itching to go try one out. There was lots of hype about the car, so the early shipments were sold out on arrival, but finally, after a few months of waiting, I got my chance to get behind the wheel of one.
Cadillac’s changed. What was once a lineup filled with “luxury” cars more numerous than the “talent” in the Jets’ current roster has now become a brand obsessed with success. I’m not complaining, because at this point in the brand’s history, it has to evolve or die (the latter of which Lincoln, its immortal rival, seems obsessed with at this point). The Seville and the Deville formed the staple products of Cadillac’s offerings for more than 30 years when in 2011, Cadillac finally stopped building both of them. No, don’t light a candle for them. I asked myself this question after taking the wheel: Did Cadillac build a stopgap car, or a car with staying power that can carry the Wreath and Crest into the next few years with pride? I took the wheel of this bright red Premium AWD to find out the answer.
Back in the 1970s, Cadillac and Lincoln were facing an onslaught of luxury imports. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar were all moving in on their sales and they needed to adapt to the newbies, which were just as luxurious (if not more) for a decent price, with better economy and reliability. Both brands went to the drawing board, and within two years of each other debuted a new, smaller model which was designed to give an owner the same experience as the bigger cars, but with a nod to better economy and practicality. Read the rest of this entry »
The Ford Mustang is a true American icon. There isn’t much else to say about it. However, the Mustang has not always been a perfect car (nor will it ever be). Over the years, it has gone from an affordable sporty car, to a pathetic little economy car posing as a sports coupe, to a small, boxy, yet rather quick little ponycar, to a retro-styled sports coupe which has plenty going for it. The base model, however, has always been the one that most enthusiasts tend to laugh off as a rental car special and a fake sporty car. That all changed a few years ago when Ford put a new engine into the V6 model, something enthusiasts pined for. Read the rest of this entry »
A few months ago, I found myself in a little town in Alaska called Skagway whilst on a cruise through Alaska with my family. It’s in the middle of nowhere and only accessible by boat, yet a few cars have made it up there on the ferries, including this rather faded old GMC on a neglected side street outside of the main part of town. It may be faded, beaten, and battered, but this car is older than Alaska’s statehood. Read the rest of this entry »
GM has had a spotty history with smaller cars over the past 35 years or so. Its 1970s attempt, the Vega, was plagued with reliability issues stemming from an underdeveloped engine block and corrosion problems. The 1980s were no better, when the Citation (and its X-car brothers) became best remembered for massive recalls and a class-action lawsuit which ruined Chevy’s reputation for reliability (beyond its tarnished state). The Cavalier and Cobalt over the past years have been remembered as cheap transportation with little more than basic frills (although the Cobalt at least went fast with its SS turbo). However, the new Cruze, which has been on the market for a few years now, has quickly become a success, even outselling all of its competitors last month (and not for the first time). I’ve driven a few of them over the past 12 months and would like to share some thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »
An extremely rare spot on Woodward Ave this weekend. Only around 1900 C10 generation Skyline GT-Rs were produced worldwide, and only a small handful of them have found their way to the US. This car took me completely by surprise, but I recognized it as soon as I saw it and kind of just stood there dumbfounded because I had never seen one before. He came back the other way on Woodward a few minutes later and I was able to get these two shots. I never saw him go by again that night so I’, glad I got these pics. Hopefully I will find it parked at some point, and can do a real quality photo shoot. Till then, I’m just happy to have seen it at all. Great car.
Ever since Pontiac was killed off as a result of the financial crisis, GM has not had a proper American sedan to compete with the successful Dodge Charger. The Pontiac G8 had been in this segment, but it came out right as many people became wary of buying GM products, due to their economic uncertainty at the time. A replacement for it has not yet been seen, although there has been talk of it coming back as the Chevrolet Caprice. I think this would be a great seller now, if GM’s lineup were structured properly, because they have basically recovered at this point and have been doing great things. Read the rest of this entry »
When you drive a lot of modern cars it is cool to also try out some of the older cars that preceded them. Doing this allows you to appreciate where everything in the newer cars has come from over time. My friend Nick C is very into older BMWs, and he has a pretty unique 1979 E21 3 Series Alpina Clone. It has been a bit of a project for him, but once he got the car running right he agreed to let me take it out for a spin. Read the rest of this entry »
Auburn boat-tail speedsters like this one are among some of the world’s most collectible prewar American convertibles, owing to their extremely low production, high price tag, and (for the era) blistering performance. This flawless black example showed up to the Pebble Beach Concours this summer, and I was fortunate enough to grab a few pictures of it. This one in particular is a 1936 Model 852, the final year of production for not only this car, but the Auburn name as a whole. It is a breathtaking car, and with only 1850 sold during 1936, this 100mph-plus roadster was a treat on the street in its day, and still is today. Read the rest of this entry »
Nick and I saw this little Saab station wagon while walking around Greenwich on the first day of the 2011 Concours (June 4th). Strangely, this is a two-door station wagon that until a few years before it was replaced was capable of seating seven people. To be honest, I’d rather not try that today. Still, it’s a nice example and a reminder of what Saab used to be about.
Spotted by: Nick and Al