Posts By: Paul Niedermeyer

By on December 9, 2010

Yesterday’s piece  about Honda’s slippage left little doubt that its mojo ain’t quite what it used to be. But there was a time when Honda was on fire, and could do (almost) no wrong. The gen 1 Civic was like a little cherry bomb lobbed into a Weight-Watcher’s convention. Tiny, tinny, rude and crude as it was, the first Civic already embodied the unique qualities, if in somewhat embryonic form, that would revolutionize the American small car market and establish Honda’s meteoric rise. And this gen2 Civic was huge step forward; now instead of wearing a Civic like a badge of honor, one could now actually step into it and think of it as a legitimate car. How civil and civic-minded. But the best was yet to come. (Read More…)

By on December 9, 2010

Since the 1946 Continental was missing its eponymous spare tire, I meant to add this shot as evidence that the Conti’s influence is not yet finished (will it ever?). This may be a familiar sight in some parts of the country, but finding this in Eugene?? Either someone took the wrong exit and kept going for a very long time, or someone inherited grandpa’s car and couldn’t resist shocking/amusing the drab Toyota-driving locals. This gets my nomination for the most un-Eugene car to date. Oh wait…I have another contender for that crown somewhere: (Read More…)

By on December 8, 2010

Is the Clue too hard or is it too easy? Is the Clue too hard or is it too easy? Is the Clue…that’s what haunts my dreams at night (I guess things could be worse). The last two have been too hard, obviously. This one may be too easy; or not; BTW, it’s the blue roof in front of the red van we’re guessing about. But help yourself to the rest of this eclectic collection while you’re at it.

By on December 7, 2010

This car is a jaw-dropper, a true classic, and a lucky find that rivals the CC logomobile, but it’s misnamed. By all rights, it should be the Edsel American. It was Edsel Ford’s fine taste and encouragement that made the original version of this trend-setting car happen, and in the process created a car that set the template that every American personal luxury coupe/convertible has been trying to measure up to ever since. An aggressive face on a very long hood, a close-coupled body, a short rear deck, and dripping with the aura of exclusivity and sex: a timeless formula. All too few of the endless imitators got the ingredients right, or even close, as our recent Cougar CC so painfully showed. But that didn’t stopped them from trying, just like I never stopped looking for this Continental after I first saw it almost two years ago. It was well worth the effort. (Read More…)

By on December 6, 2010

Sorry; I was so engrossed in writing Tuesday’s CC that the time got totally away from. Well, it is that kind of car. I also have to apologize for turning the Marauder X-100’s vent spear ninety degrees. I assumed that because it was Mercury Week, the clue would be too easy as is. It threw you, too much so. I will try to avoid doing that again, including tonight’s bedtime clue. Good night and good luck.

By on December 4, 2010

The Cougar first arrived in 1967 as something unique and distinct: a handsome, lithe sporty coupe with a distinct hint of luxury and a dash of continental flavor. Although the 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix is often credited with creating the mid-size/mid-price personal-luxury coupe coup, the first Cougar certainly predicted the trend.

What wasn’t so predictable is how quickly the Cougar would slather on the pounds (tons?), and morph into just another bland also-ran competitor in that rapidly crowding field. And if that weren’t bad enough, the once exclusive Cougar name was sullied by four door sedans and even a station wagon. The seventies were not kind to the Cougar, and (surprise) we’re not going to be very kind to it. (Read More…)

By on December 2, 2010

Memorable (def): 1. worth remembering 2. easily remembered

Maurauder (def): one who raids for booty

In yesterday’s Cougar CC, I claimed there were only three Mercuries truly worth remembering. The Marauder X-100 wasn’t on the list, and many of you protested. Fortunately, there are two definitions for the word, and the Marauder is certainly easily remembered; more like impossible to forget. And what exactly is it memorable for? Its booty. So how could we possibly not honor that? (Read More…)

By on December 1, 2010

As is often the case, owners of the Clued CC have a substantial advantage. But when the very piece of sheet metal is sitting in the next room for handy reference, it’s almost cheating. Our last winner majo8 is restoring a ’67 XR7, so he’s highly worthy even if he was clued in.  And there were a particularly amusing and wide range of guesses. Keep up the good work!

By on November 30, 2010

I almost forgot; Mercury is dead. Is amnesia a symptom of Mercury poisoning? Was it not just about the most forgettable brand ever? Ask yourself this: how many Mercuries (not counting the German Ford Capri) over its seventy year lifespan were truly memorable? And by memorable, I don’t mean like the time the toilet backed up so bad the shit floated out the bathroom door. And down the hallway. Yes, there’s way too many Mercury memories I’d rather flush away forever. The keepers? Let’s just say that the ’67-’68 Cougar is the best one of that little bunch. Which in some respects, isn’t saying much, so maybe we’d better cover all three of the memorable Mercuries here; a CC triple play: (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2010

We had an ultra-impressive win with the Ultra Van; congratulations Joe McKinney! Send me your snail mail address if you want to claim the promised gold star. On with the next victim of our restless feet and camera. Good luck!

By on November 27, 2010

In 1959, David Peterson, a professional aircraft designer, had a dilemma: he owned a travel trailer and a boat, but couldn’t tow them both at the same time. He dreamed of putting an engine under the floor of the trailer, and towing his boat with it. When the Corvair appeared that year, he decided to act on it. He rented a large garage, tossed out the trailer, started from scratch, and four months later out rolled the first Ultra Van, weighing a mere 3,000 pounds. It was way ahead of its time then, and it still is today. Which probably explains why it was a commercial flop. (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2010

It took a while, but the VW Fastback’s trunk eventually was identified, and as I predicted, it was by an owner. Congratulations to Jimal. Now here we have something that’s obviously a bit different, and I’m afraid google images won’t be much help here either. I will tell you two things about: it is a production vehicle, and a land-based one at that, even if it does have a certain aeronautical quality to it. Whoever gets this will receive a gold star in the mail.

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