Test Driven: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead, Al’s Take

It's not the most pretty of convertibles, but it is certainly quite imposing. This car screams, "I'm rich. Get out of the way."

Rolls-Royce has been the last word in high-end luxury automobiles since its inception before World War I.  I’ve always gone beserk upon laying eyes on anything they’ve made, from the breathtaking Silver Cloud to the modern, yet still classic Phantom sedan.  But, I never knew that I would have an opportunity to drive one, let alone two, until I went to Monterey for the Concours last month.  I have seen the light, and it is bright and shining. Continue reading Test Driven: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead, Al’s Take


The most vulgar object in existence

This is a model Lamborghini Aventador made of carbon fiber and diamonds. It costs 3.5 million euros which is funny because the actual Aventador car itself costs only around 300,000 euros, so you could have 11 or 12 real ones for the price of this model. Models are for people who cannot afford the real thing. Something like this is just absurdly ostentatious, and if you ask me whoever buys it should have all their assets seized on the spot and should be forced to check into a mental institution. Look I’m not against spending money in crazy ways, I’m even a little elitist at times myself, but there is a line and this sort of thing way over-steps it.


Porsche 356/2 at the Concours D’Elegance

This is a display of Porsche's simplicity and beauty at its finest. I love these cars.

I’ve been a fan of the Porsche 356 since I was at least 9 years old, after seeing one in a buyer’s guide.  This particular example is a 1949 356/2 Coupe, one of the first 50 built, handmade in Gmünd, Austria in 1949.  In this particular color, it looks positively breathtaking.  This one is owned by Ferry Porsche’s son, Hans-Peter Porsche.  It won Best in Class this year, in the Postwar Sports Closed Class, at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours. Enjoy the photos.

-Al Continue reading Porsche 356/2 at the Concours D’Elegance

Obscure Autos: BMW 507

Back in the Fifties, most of the European automakers were attempting to get back on their feet after World War II pushed most of the continent to nearly the Stone Age.  BMW, for example, had few cars in their lineup that really got people into showrooms during the late Fifties, so they designed a halo car.  The 507 may not have been the success it was supposed to be, but it was so influential that its design is still being seen today. Continue reading Obscure Autos: BMW 507

Why does GM think Americans don’t want the best?

Buick Regal GS

The Buick Regal GS will be coming out soon, and I have to say it is terrible. You see, the Regal is based on the same chassis as the Vauxhall/Opel Insignia in Europe. The problem is that in Europe GM went all out with the VXR version of the Insignia, where as it has been half assed for us here in the states.     Continue reading Why does GM think Americans don’t want the best?

Explaining the Death and Rebirth of the Wagon

The CTS-V wagon, or the ultimate way of getting the kids to school.

Wagons have a pretty colored history here in America.  For ages and ages, they were the ride of choice for the American mom, with long wheelbases, huge interior room, smooth styling, and excellent visibility.  However, starting before the beginning of the SUV craze, wagons somehow became uncool among America’s mainstream car buyers. Continue reading Explaining the Death and Rebirth of the Wagon

Test Driven: 2005 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas

Very classy looking car, from the Leaper up front to the chrome trim at the rear.
Jaguar’s been having an interesting decade since 2001.  The XJ’s been redesigned twice, they’ve attempted to branch into the low-price luxury car market (without success), and Ford sold them to Tata Motors of India.  So, while all that’s been going on, how have the cars that they made in the middle of the last decade aged? Continue reading Test Driven: 2005 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas

The 2011 Pacific Grove Rally

We were amongst the crowd at the launch of the Pacific Grove Rally this year during Concours Weekend in the Monterey area. This is a very fun event, one that is refreshingly informal (and free) during that weekend. The cars are a mixed bunch too with everything from vintage Rolls Royces to your average Mustang.   Continue reading The 2011 Pacific Grove Rally

Obscure Auto: Chrysler Turbine

In the 1960s, automakers were experimenting with all sorts of things.  Some wanted to use space-age materials for interior design, while others became obsessed with the racetrack.  Some tried hard to coax more power out of their engines, and others experimented with all-new theories–some worked (such as the independent rear suspension on the Corvette), and others did not (the “For Desert Only” switch on Ramblers).  Chrysler, meanwhile, worked tirelessly to blow everybody out of the water with their newest idea–a turbine-powered car. Continue reading Obscure Auto: Chrysler Turbine

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