Posts By: Paul Niedermeyer

By on October 31, 2010

Plenty of ’69 – ’69 Mustangs around, but the seventies’ B-Body Mopars are might scarce, except for the restored garage queen Chargers and the like. This Plymouth wagon particularly caught my eye, because it’s the closest thing I’ve seen to ’73 Coronet wagon that replaced my mother’s ’65 Coronet. (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2010

The news that Norman Foster has finished building a Dymaxion replica had me checking to see if there are any good films of the Dymaxion in action. The pickings are slim, but this clip, without voice over but well chosen music, is pretty much it. One doesn’t really need that typical pedantic news reel voice over from the thirties anyway, to appreciate the Dymaxion’s qualities, including picking up a speeding ticket. (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2010

Some of you may have seen this already, but if not, it’s scarier than anything you’ll see trick or treating at your front door tonight. An 84 year old woman somehow got on the I-95 near Philadelphia going the wrong way, in the fast lane at that. She caused several wrecks by vehicles dodging her, but no fatalities.

It’s a perfect reenactment of when I came closer to death than just about ever, on the 101 in the Bay Area, at night no less: (Read More…)

By on October 30, 2010

Where have all the old hearses gone? There was a time when these body haulers were a common alternative to the VW bus (conveniently displayed in the back) if you wanted to hit the road as a group, or just collect a group as you rolled along. Plenty of stretch-out room, and gas was cheap. Throw some mattresses in the back, and scrounge some cans of left-over paint to redecorate the outside. Go somewhere, do something. Riding around in a hearse was a perfect way to express one’s youthful immortality. Have kids stopped being immortal?

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2010

(Update: well, I like stumping you, but not that much. Does this bigger picture help?)

The ’92 Tempo Coupe’s “grille” stumped you clue-nailing maniac aces. That sure doesn’t happen often. As a consolation, here’s a Clue for our Saturday CC, which I normally don’t do. All that glitters is not silver, ore something like that.

By on October 29, 2010


I’ve always had a thing about long front overhangs, and not in a positive way. My idea of proper front end proportions runs more to this. On the other end of the scale, this big-nosed 1981 Cadillac Eldorado Pierre Cardin (for sale at Hemmings) is pretty impressive just for the sheer audacity of extending the already longish stock Eldo nose. So now, in addition to just raving over this driveway ramp scraper, can you top it?

Keep in mind, what we’re looking for is the greatest disproportionate overhang in front of the wheels in relation to the rest of the “hood area” behind the front wheels. And the most unbalanced, ugly and useless. AND: I’ve just decided that mid and rear-engined cars don’t qualify. Sorry

Submit a link, or just the name and model, and I’ll fish it out and we’ll post them, either here on a new post this weekend. Happy hunting. (Updated with submission pics below).

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2010

We take our modern, reliable and comfortable cars (and lives) for granted. How would your teenage daughter take to spending a road trip like this? If you’re old enough, you’ll relate to that look of profound boredom: no iPhone, DVD player, not even music of any sort. Not even a window! How did they/we do it (he asks rhetorically, remembering all too well)?

carrosantigos has collected a series of typically superb old LIFE magazine photos shot on Hwy 30 in 1948. It’s a stark reminder of how far we’ve come; well, except those that have been left behind.

via hemmings.com

By on October 29, 2010

It’s a slow news Friday, and I have way too many of these random street scenes, so let’s keep busy for a while identifying and praising these old timers. We’ll start with a real easy one I just shot a few hours ago, and increase the challenge factor. And BTW, one or more of these cars is a future CC, so fear not if you feel it’s getting short shrift today. (Read More…)

By on October 28, 2010

Mention the word Tempo to a German car nut, and something very different than the Ford Tempo will likely come to mind. It’s easy to forget that in the fifties, much of Germany was in a very different state of development. And the Tempo played a role of motorizing the lowest level of transport still used by small farmers, tradesmen and business owners: the horse and wagon. With between 10 and 15 hp on tap, it was faster than the one horsepower wagon. But why would Tempo take one to the Avus high speed track to set a world endurance speed record? I guess it’s all in the name. (Read More…)

By on October 28, 2010

From the blooming tree in the photo, it’s obvious that I didn’t just shoot this Tempo recently. But then it wasn’t just this past spring either; it was a year and a half ago. Why have I been temporizing? Few cars leave me feeling more conflicted than the Tempo: is it a Deadly Sin or a Greatest Hit? But I find myself in a temporary state of equanimity today, so let’s see if we can’t put the Tempo into proper perspective. Tempus fugit; it’s now or never. (Read More…)

By on October 27, 2010

The Turbo Sprint’s rosy-pink intake orifice certainly got everyone’s attention, if not the kind that helped them guess what it was attached to. But one person stayed focused; thirty-three guessed it was from a Suzuki Swift Turbo. Since the two are identical except for badging, he gets the win.

Since you’re all so hot on body cavity openings, here’s another, although it is a bit less suggestive.

By on October 26, 2010

Although the finished product works well enough, it’s also becoming increasingly apparent that the Volt missed two key project goals. GM’s oft-stated promise that the Volt would achieve 50 mpg in CS mode is history. The fact that GM felt the need to optimize the fuel consumption of the Volt by using premium (required, not just recommended) indicates how rather inefficiently its serial-predominant hybrid system works. It’s not a matter of ragging on about that; it’s just a surprise to those of us who argued endlessly which system (serial or parallel) was more efficient.

And now another long held Volt assumption is deflated. Based on GM statements made during the Volt’s long development, the universal understanding was that the Volt would use 8 Kwh of its 16 Kwh battery pack to achieve its 40 mile AER goal. It now turns out that 10.4 Kwh will be utilized. Sounds like small potatoes, but there are three not insignificant consequences as a result: (Read More…)

By on October 26, 2010

The Volt is GM’s current answer to CAFE mandates and a hedge against high oil prices. In the mid eighties, the answer to the same challenge was the Chevy Sprint. The two couldn’t be more more different.

(Read More…)

By on October 25, 2010

The 240SX kept the guessing going for a while, but DenverMike nailed it. Congratulations! On to the next clue.

By on October 25, 2010

My initial self-appointed assignment was to come up with a comprehensive cost analysis of the Volt in comparison to the Prius and other vehicles. I first took this on two and a half years ago, and the results from that gazing-into-the crystal-ball exercise are actually still remarkably accurate, except for the Volt failing to meet its then-promised 50mpg fuel economy. The task, given the infinite variables, is essentially impossible, and thankfully, I was forwarded a link to this Electric Car Calculator. It’s far from perfect, given that it doesn’t account for depreciation, finance costs, leasing, maintenance, etc. What it does do is allow you to input your driving regime, both weekdays and weekends, electric and gas costs, and come up with a comparison for overall fuel costs with your choice of another vehicle; a good start: (Read More…)

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