Flower Power! Chrysler had a brief foray into the hippie market in the late Sixties, but it didn’t last all that long. Too bad for the rest of us, but when one of these Barracudas with the paisley top shows up, it grabs a lot of attention. They even came with inserts for the seats. Although few were made, they represent a quirky time in history when flower power wasn’t exclusive to just VWs. It’s no ‘Cuda, but this little ponycar wannabe sure can take us all for a ride. This example looked fantastic and far-out at Radnor last fall. Enjoy the photos. Continue reading Mod Top 1969 Plymouth Barracuda at the 2017 Radnor Hunt Concours
Sometimes, winter Cars and Coffee do happen. And just when I was about to leave and get some fried chicken, a Spyker suddenly stands in between me and a fried chicken food coma. Of course, when it’s a blue C8 Spyder like this one, the chicken’s going to lose, and it’s going to lose big. The craftsmanship on these cars is pure artwork from start to finish, with exposed linkages, quilted leather, and impeccable paintwork. It’s truly a treat to see one of these in the flesh and I was not expecting it. But of course, I welcome a Spyker with open arms, just as I would welcome a new pet into the family. Just watch those sharp edges! Continue reading Spyker C8 Spyder at the Morris Plains Cars and Coffee
I’ve featured other 190s here before, but to me it doesn’t matter, they’re all special in some way. While it will always be overshadowed by its more powerful brother, the smooth, sculpted lines of the 190 will always find a fan in me. Enjoy the photos of this gorgeous classic. Continue reading Mercedes-Benz 190 SL at the Concours Americana Manhasset
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
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
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
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
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.
Continue reading 1967 Pontiac GTO at the Misselwood Concours
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
Mercedes-Benz has made the SL for over 60 years, and despite the fact that some of them have been duds, the original is a timeless classic. Some people love the Gullwings, others love the Roadsters. I’m firmly in the latter camp, by virtue of the fact that the first toy car I bought with my own money selling candy as a kid was an ivory-colored 190SL Roadster. I don’t have it anymore, but the memories flood back when I see a 190 droptop in the flesh. This medium blue example drew a lot of attention at Monmouth Park Racetrack this weekend. It succeeded in keeping my attention span occupied for a good amount of time, and was my favorite foreign car at the show. Enjoy the photos of this timeless piece of artwork.
It’s quite a shock to the system to see a real Eighties Aston Martin Lagonda. Unpopular when new and a true curiosity today, these cars were packed with enough technology to make the Pentagon look Philistine in comparison of the era. Of course, that amount of 1980s technology wasn’t the best for reliability, and sales proved it. With a price approaching $90,000 at the time, these were quite a hefty purchase at the time, adn thanks to the below par reliability (even in the later fuel injected models like this one), they were not very popular. Today, they’re a bargain at the auction, but still tough to run thanks to a slow following even to this day. Continue reading Aston Martin Lagonda S3 at the Greenwich Bonhams Auction
What will always strike me about Lancia is just how good they look, even as a normal sort of car. This ’68 Fulvia sat next to a contemporary Ferrari 330 2+2, and still held its own for styling. This isn’t a supercar. It’s not even really supposed to be a sports-styled car of its era. But the eggshell white paint, tasteful minimum of chrome trim, and pert headlights and taillights accent the sharp body lines and bring out the best of the flair that the stylist of the Fulvia put in place. Of all the Italian cars in attendance at Scarsdale last week, this one was my #2, behind the silver 275 GTB (more on that next week) sitting down the street. Enjoy the photos of this offbeat Italian classic. Continue reading 1968 Lancia Fulvia Series 1 at the 2016 Scarsdale Concours