Tag Archives: American Cars

Some Highlights from Cars and Caffe at Garden State Plaza

Porsche Carrera GTs at Garden State Plaza

Cars and Caffe at Garden State Plaza was incredible yesterday. I hadn’t been before, and I didn’t really expect it to be quite as big an event as it was. There were thousands of people, and hundreds of cars, many of which were top-tier hypercars. The Holy Trinity was in attendance, as well as 2 Paganis, 4 or 5 Carrera GTs, an F50, Ben Chen’s Panda Bugatti, and Team Salamone’s incredible Avantador SV.¬†Also of note, I finally got to see my first Callaway C12 Corvette in person, after having the AutoArt model on my shelf for years.

There were some great sights and sounds throughout the day, and I was blown away with the turnout. It’s kind of crazy to see people rolling up in a cars like a Ferrari 488 and barely being noticed. The rest of the parking lot was a sea of Ferraris, McLarens, Lamborghinis, and Porsches. I will definitely plan on attending the events next year, and I urge everyone in the Tri-State Area to do the same.

Enjoy these highlights. There’s a lot more to come!

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1962 Pontiac Grand Prix “Super Duty” at the Haskell Car Show

1962 Grand Prix SD Front

People always say that the Pontiac GTO was the first muscle car to hit the streets. They’d be right, and they are right. However, it would be unfair to say it came out of nowhere. Pontiac was making some serious performance strides in the years prior to the GTO hitting the market, and it started to grow some teeth very well with the 421 big block V8 in the early Sixties. This black ’62 Grand Prix ticks all the boxes for an early full-size American land yacht running a racing engine. The obligatory “triple deuces” 3x2bbl carburetor configuration is present and accounted for, along with the four speed manual transmission, positive traction rear end, and very unusual 8-lug wheels (which were designed for better brake cooling). Top it off with some black paint and red leather, and you have a recipe for a handsome and stupid-fast cruise liner. Continue reading 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix “Super Duty” at the Haskell Car Show

1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air Convertible at the Radnor Hunt Concours

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible Front

The Chevrolet Bel Air is as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. It’s also, especially in the flashy 1957 trim, one of the most recognizable stars of the 1950s. Chevy started their action by putting out their first OHV V8 in 1955, then made waves with the chrome-slathered styling just two years later. Augmenting that with the Dagmar front bumper points, classy knockoff style wheel covers, and dual antennas, they got plenty of attention from critics, and from the American public. Sales were fantastic, and Chevy hasn’t gotten their mainstream cars to be as stylish since then. GM hit the ground running in 1957–just like the Detroit Lions, who won their final (to date) championship that year. One could say that GM styling peaked the same year their football team did (although there are plenty of examples that prove otherwise). Enjoy the photos of this true American classic. Continue reading 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air Convertible at the Radnor Hunt Concours

1976 Cadillac Fleetwood at the 2017 Misselwood Concours

1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Front 1

Sometimes, a car shows up at a Concours that you wouldn’t expect to see. Citroen 2CVs don’t usually belong, unless they’re picture perfect. Most Malaise-Era cars aren’t usually welcome unless they’ve got a prancing horse, raging bull, or a trident adorning the hood. Well, say hello to the Wreath and Crest, packing a Seventies punch at Misselwood. A Fleetwood may lack the pizazz and the outright ostentatiousness of the Eldorado in 1976 but it was still the most expensive Caddy sedan on the showroom floor that year. This example has covered under 50 thousand miles and carries all of its original paint, bodywork, and interior to this day. I’ve been a fan of the ’76 for years, thanks in no small part to the fact that just a year later, GM turned the magnificent Cadillac into a shadow of its former self. Enjoy the photos of this big, mean, red machine. Continue reading 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood at the 2017 Misselwood Concours

The Cannonball Run! (sort of) at the Greenwich Concours

Alex Roy's BMW M5

No matter what your fancy is, some of the best cars from the famous Cannonball Run were on display at the Greenwich Concours this year. Whether it’s the homage #144 Polezei BMW M5 driven by Alex Roy some years ago across America (a world record winner), the Chevy Malibu police car (my personal favorite), or the Dodge Tradesman ambulance, there was a smorgasbord in attendance. They even had Dan Gurney and Brock Yates’ Ferrari Daytona in attendance–the winner of the second race, and one of the more infamous cross-country cars still around. These cars were true crowd-pleasers, and even Nick, who normally laughs at Malaise-Era stuff, found the Dodge to be amusing (especially when the open exhaust announced the sound of a completely un-muffled small block Dodge). Enjoy the photos of these offbeat rides. Continue reading The Cannonball Run! (sort of) at the Greenwich Concours

1967 Pontiac GTO at the Misselwood Concours

1967 Pontiac GTO Front

Pontiac, before General Motors decided to kill the brand, made some of my favorite mid-priced cars. While some scorn and say that they were just Chevrolets with some extra body cladding, there was a time where that just wasn’t true. Back in the 1960s, John Z. Delorean wanted to put some pep in the General’s step–and he decided to use a time honored formula of taking a big engine and cramming it into a car smaller than normal. The new Tempest was a great candidate, being Pontiac’s newest intermediate in 1964, so it was chosen. Then, a 389 cubic inch V8 was bolted in, and the car was sent off to showrooms.
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1934 Packard 1104 Convertible at the Misselwood Concours

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This incredible Packard is one of those cars that fits exactly the style we imagine when we think of pre-war cars. It looks like it’s straight out of The Great Gatsby.

Enjoy the gallery of this classic machine!

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1976 Cadillac Eldorado Bicentennial Edition at the 2017 Greenwich Concours

Eldorado Bicentennial Front

Happy Birthday, America. You aren’t perfect, but I love you anyway. Just like this Cadillac. In 1976, the USA turned a nice, round 200 years old. Things were, to say, a bit off-kilter in the world of American cars. The muscle car era was dead and gone. Imports were starting to take the domestic companies’ lunch and dinner away. And safety mavens (or so they called themselves) had put to death the classic American big convertible. As safety regulations began to tighten more and more, less companies were inclined to build convertibles. By 1976, only one major American car company still had a convertible in their lineup, and it was Cadillac. Stubborn to the end, the Eldorado marketing team wanted to send their flagship (and it sure was a flagship, with sharp lines, king-size proportions, an incredible menu of standard equipment for the era, and a ride soft enough to keep a baby sleeping for hundreds of miles) out in style. Continue reading 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Bicentennial Edition at the 2017 Greenwich Concours

Saleen S7 Twin Turbo Competition at CF Charities

Saleen S7 Twin Turbo Competition 12

This is one of only three Saleen S7 Twin Turbos in existence equipped with the Competition Package. The boost has been turned up over the standard turbocharged S7, to the tune of 1,000hp over “just” 750hp. Supposedly, it’s capable of 248 mph (as seen on the license plate), though I doubt that’d be done with that massive rear wing in place.

This car is one of a few American hypercars in the owner’s collection, which he had on display at the CF Charities Supercar Show (which he also organizes). I’ve seen this S7 a few times before at other shows in the area, but it’s always thrilling to see it in person.

Enjoy!

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