Tag Archives: Oddball Cars

1977 Checker Marathon at Cops and Rodders 2018

Checker Marathon Rear 1

At one time, almost every single taxicab in New York City was the same shape. Unlike today, when you hail a checker cab and it could be a Toyota, Ford, or a Nissan, all “checker cabs” were indeed made by a company called Checker. The very last one of these finally went out of commission in 2001, twenty years after the last one rolled out of the factory. These were a hodgepodge design–they used GM engines and steering columns, but the front end interchanged with a 1956 Ford. The bodywork, however, was in-house. Not a lot of them are on the road today, but those that are always draw a good amount of attention for their tough-as-nails engineering, cavernous interiors, and retro styling (for the Seventies, anyway).
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A Blue Superbird at a Cars and Coffee (and friends)? Only at Bergen.

Pagani Huayra BC

Only at the Bergen County Cars and Coffee premiere event will you see a Pagani Huayra BC, a black Mercedes G-Class convertible (which were not technically legal in the USA), and this stunning Petty Blue Superbird in the same location. I mean, you will see this at a Concours, but not for free. And that’s the beauty of Cars and Coffee–expect the unexpected at all times. Even if you’ve been tipped off as to what’s going to be there. Continue reading A Blue Superbird at a Cars and Coffee (and friends)? Only at Bergen.

The Lincoln Mark VII Chronicles, Part VI: All Good Things Come to an End.

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Well, like all things, this story has to end. It was September 2017, and the Lincoln was running and driving with a new battery, water pump, and fuel pump. The power steering system was still leaking like a sieve and it smelled funny like always, but I did not care. The day I picked it up, I took over running a poker game at a local bar and everyone was genuinely shocked to see me pull up in the thing, especially after I’d killed it on the highway a week prior. With a whole day of driving in hot September temperatures under its belt, I was confident the Lincoln could make it on the trip it didn’t make the year prior–Radnor. Continue reading The Lincoln Mark VII Chronicles, Part VI: All Good Things Come to an End.

1983 Maserati Quattroporte III spotted in Jacksonville, FL

Maserati Quattroporte Front//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Sometimes, you should expect the unexpected. This time, Nick and I were just moments from our hotel. about to relax for a bit before a night of karting and general tomfoolery before Concours Saturday. As we turned off the main drag for the airport into our hotel parking lot, Nick grabbed my attention at the left-turn lane–it was an old Quattroporte. What we have here is a stunning example of Eighties excess, and the last hand-built Maserati sedan before they left the USA market (to return later). Enjoy the photos of this rarely-seen Italian Stallion. Continue reading 1983 Maserati Quattroporte III spotted in Jacksonville, FL

The Adorable Honda Beat at the Lane Motor Museum

Honda Beat Lane Motor Museum 4

What if someone told you they were gonna pick you up in a bright red mid-engine convertible sports car with Italian styling by Pininfarina and an engine that screams past 8,000 rpm. You would expect it to be something very impressive, a V8 Ferrari 458? a V10 Lamborghini Huracan? a V12 Pagani Zonda?

… and then this pulls up, the minuscule 3 cylinder Honda Beat!

I don’t know about you, but I’d be just as excited. I would insist on driving, though, because that’s where the fun is at. A car this light with a revvy engine and total connection with the road, I promise it’s just as much fun to drive in the real world as any Ferrari.

The Honda Beat is one of the Kei sports cars of the early 1990s. It went up against the Autozam AZ1 and the Suzuki Cappuccino. I love this genre of sports cars!

Continue reading The Adorable Honda Beat at the Lane Motor Museum

Triumph TR8 at the Bergen Cars and Coffee

Triumph TR8 Rear (1)

Triumph fans don’t like the TR7 at all. The cheese-wedge lines, safety bumpers, awkward finishing lines, and too-small wheels don’t combine to make a pretty picture. Luckily, Triumph wasn’t as dim as we all thought, and grabbed the 3.5L Buick V8 that Rover was using. They shoehorned it into the TR7 and made the TR8 a reality. It wasn’t perfect, but it was at least quick enough that no one knew it was a TR7 with a better engine. These are curiosities today, but this example was too nice to pass up.

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1973 Triumph Stag at the 2017 Radnor Hunt Concours

Triumph Stag Front//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Triumph’s TR series was excellent, until the bender hit rock bottom in 1980 with the cheese-wedge TR7. Luckily, one of their brightest spots outside of that series was the striking little Stag, released in 1970 and pulled from the lineup in 1978. They weren’t without their flaws, but the body style, looks, and driving dynamics were above par in the Seventies. Just don’t keep it too long, or you’d be seeing your mechanic more often than a home-cooked meal. While far from the best car money could buy, it was a fun car for the times and still had plenty of appeal. This particular brown example shone brightly at the Radnor Hunt Concours last fall.

Triumph Stag Interior//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Triumph Stag Rear//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

-Albert S. Davis

1974 Lincoln Continental Mark IV at the Haskell Car Show

Lincoln Mark IV Front

The Continental Mark Series is not just the Crown Prince of Lincolns. It is the undisputed king. And the grand marshal of them all in terms of sheer size and grandiose is the Mark IV, especially those with the safety bumpers from after 1974. These cars were big, bad, and in-charge, and this bright red example brings out the best of the breed, including chrome everywhere, whitewall tires, an enormous spare tire hump, and a fittingly ridiculous opera window. Continue reading 1974 Lincoln Continental Mark IV at the Haskell Car Show

Classic Mopars at the AACA Fall Meet, Hershey, PA

1971 Dodge Demon 340

I regret that I showed up late for this event. In fact, I showed up so late that I managed to miss most of the show. While I ate plenty of crow for that, I got to see most of the show leave along the exit road, and learned that at the AACA meet, always expect the unexpected. Among these Mopars featured today include the usual suspects, such as Superbirds and a Hemi car or two. However, take a good look at that 1942 DeSoto–one of the rarest years of the brand and a car almost never seen even by keen-eyed enthusiasts. My personal favorite? Take a good look at the cover photo. I have not seen many two-door late C-Body New Yorker coupes, and a black over tan example caught my eye and never gave it back. Enjoy the photos of these classic Chrysler products, and byproducts. Continue reading Classic Mopars at the AACA Fall Meet, Hershey, PA