The Truth About Cars » Auto-biography http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 03 May 2016 16:30:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Small Screen, Big Car: The Hawaii Five-O Mercury Marquis and the Supernatural Impala http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/small-screen-big-car-hawaii-five-o-mercury-marquis-supernatural-impala/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/small-screen-big-car-hawaii-five-o-mercury-marquis-supernatural-impala/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1083865 Smoke and mirrors – but sometimes also steel. In the odd world of movies and television, things are not always what they seem: the fake blower on the Mad Max Pursuit Special, the digital tire smoke from the Merc’ 6.9 in Ronin. It’s always a bit disappointing when you meet a hero car to learn […]

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Smoke and mirrors – but sometimes also steel. In the odd world of movies and television, things are not always what they seem: the fake blower on the Mad Max Pursuit Special, the digital tire smoke from the Merc’ 6.9 in Ronin. It’s always a bit disappointing when you meet a hero car to learn […]

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Auto Biography: I Flunked Driver’s Ed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/auto-biography-i-flunked-drivers-ed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/auto-biography-i-flunked-drivers-ed/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 14:51:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=374175 I flunked driver’s ed. That’s no joke. It’s true. I write about and review cars and the first time that I took driver’s ed I flunked. How’s that for irony? Now I’m not like that Korean lady who spent a fortune repeatedly failing her driver’s test before finally passing on the 950th try. The next […]

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I flunked driver’s ed. That’s no joke. It’s true. I write about and review cars and the first time that I took driver’s ed I flunked. How’s that for irony? Now I’m not like that Korean lady who spent a fortune repeatedly failing her driver’s test before finally passing on the 950th try. The next […]

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Retreads, Camaros and Bumper Jacks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/retreads-camaros-and-bumper-jacks/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/retreads-camaros-and-bumper-jacks/#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=622865 Paraphrasing the Drive-By Truckers; I grew up in the south back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The dinosaurs of were the boats you see in Murlee’s amazing contributions. But at the time, the “cool” ones fit into one of three narrow categories; Camaro, Firebird or Mustang. V8s and solid rear axles enabled them to spin the […]

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Paraphrasing the Drive-By Truckers; I grew up in the south back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The dinosaurs of were the boats you see in Murlee’s amazing contributions. But at the time, the “cool” ones fit into one of three narrow categories; Camaro, Firebird or Mustang. V8s and solid rear axles enabled them to spin the […]

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Pride Before the Fall http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/pride-before-the-fall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/pride-before-the-fall/#comments Tue, 19 Nov 2013 20:38:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=656274 The ’91 GSXR 1100 was a feral beast. It had been tame once, well “mostly tame” anyhow, but the bike’s previous owner had stripped away the thin veneer that civilization had imposed upon it and restored it to its primeval form. It hadn’t taken much, really. Larger carburetors, performance cams and a full race exhaust […]

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The ’91 GSXR 1100 was a feral beast. It had been tame once, well “mostly tame” anyhow, but the bike’s previous owner had stripped away the thin veneer that civilization had imposed upon it and restored it to its primeval form. It hadn’t taken much, really. Larger carburetors, performance cams and a full race exhaust […]

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Porsche Reunion http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/porsche-reunion/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/porsche-reunion/#comments Thu, 14 Nov 2013 15:30:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=622185 “All I need is a name.” He said. This road trip was a fiasco. A week ago we had left his home in North Carolina in my Porsche 911 on a starry-eyed quest worthy of “This American Life.” We were going to find my brother’s father. For most of my life, my brother had existed […]

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“All I need is a name.” He said. This road trip was a fiasco. A week ago we had left his home in North Carolina in my Porsche 911 on a starry-eyed quest worthy of “This American Life.” We were going to find my brother’s father. For most of my life, my brother had existed […]

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Just Another Day In the Life of an MGB Owner http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/just-another-day-in-the-life-of-an-mgb-owner/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/just-another-day-in-the-life-of-an-mgb-owner/#comments Wed, 02 Nov 2011 20:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=416628 While scanning endless negatives and slides for the 1965 Impala Hell Project, I’ve run across a few images of other heaps from my past. I’m kicking myself now for letting dozens of now-interesting hoopties pass through my hands without getting any photographic record, but that’s how the pre-digital-photography era worked. My British Racing Green, chrome-bumper […]

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While scanning endless negatives and slides for the 1965 Impala Hell Project, I’ve run across a few images of other heaps from my past. I’m kicking myself now for letting dozens of now-interesting hoopties pass through my hands without getting any photographic record, but that’s how the pre-digital-photography era worked. My British Racing Green, chrome-bumper […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project, Part 11: Son of Orange County http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/1965-impala-hell-project-part-11-son-of-orange-county/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/1965-impala-hell-project-part-11-son-of-orange-county/#comments Tue, 06 Sep 2011 23:30:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=409639 In Part 10, the Hell Project Impala got Fiat scoops on the hood and hit the I-5 trail again. By late 1993, the car looked more or less the way I’d planned when I started the project and had become a surprisingly good daily driver (thanks to more modern brakes and a reliable, HEI-equipped 350 […]

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In Part 10, the Hell Project Impala got Fiat scoops on the hood and hit the I-5 trail again. By late 1993, the car looked more or less the way I’d planned when I started the project and had become a surprisingly good daily driver (thanks to more modern brakes and a reliable, HEI-equipped 350 […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project, Part 10: Fiat Hood Scoops, Endless Ribbon of Asphalt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/1965-impala-hell-project-part-10-fiat-hood-scoops-endless-ribbon-of-asphalt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/1965-impala-hell-project-part-10-fiat-hood-scoops-endless-ribbon-of-asphalt/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2011 19:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=408576 Last week, the Impala roared into 1992 with more refinements and spun quite a few digits on its Buick odometer. Late in ’92, with Bill Clinton packing up his Astroturf-enhanced El Camino and heading for the White House and the days getting shorter, I decided to celebrate my escape from the looming menace of an […]

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Last week, the Impala roared into 1992 with more refinements and spun quite a few digits on its Buick odometer. Late in ’92, with Bill Clinton packing up his Astroturf-enhanced El Camino and heading for the White House and the days getting shorter, I decided to celebrate my escape from the looming menace of an […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project, Part 9: Fastening Shoulder Belts, Bailing From Academia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/1965-impala-hell-project-part-9-fastening-shoulder-belts-bailing-from-academia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/1965-impala-hell-project-part-9-fastening-shoulder-belts-bailing-from-academia/#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2011 16:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=407188 Introduction • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5 • Part 6 • Part 7 • Part 8 • Part 9 • Part 10 Once the Impala had been modified sufficiently to function as a 1992-grade daily driver, the long-term project of converting it into an art car […]

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Introduction • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5 • Part 6 • Part 7 • Part 8 • Part 9 • Part 10 Once the Impala had been modified sufficiently to function as a 1992-grade daily driver, the long-term project of converting it into an art car […]

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Would-Be Civic Thief Thwarted By Hidden Kill Switch, $21 In Junkyard Parts Fixes Damage http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/would-be-civic-thief-thwarted-by-hidden-kill-switch-21-in-junkyard-parts-fixes-damage/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/would-be-civic-thief-thwarted-by-hidden-kill-switch-21-in-junkyard-parts-fixes-damage/#comments Sat, 13 Aug 2011 14:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=406977 Having spent most of my driving years in car-theft-prone neighborhoods in California and preferring the please-steal-me Honda Civic as my daily driver of choice, I learned many years ago that a secret starter and/or fuel-pump cutoff switch is a must-have. Such kill switches have prevented theft of my past Civics on three occasions that I […]

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Having spent most of my driving years in car-theft-prone neighborhoods in California and preferring the please-steal-me Honda Civic as my daily driver of choice, I learned many years ago that a secret starter and/or fuel-pump cutoff switch is a must-have. Such kill switches have prevented theft of my past Civics on three occasions that I […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project, Part 8: Refinements, Meeting Christo’s Umbrellas http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/1965-impala-hell-project-part-8-refinements-meeting-christos-umbrellas/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/1965-impala-hell-project-part-8-refinements-meeting-christos-umbrellas/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2011 18:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=406137 Introduction • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5 • Part 6 • Part 7 • Part 8 • Part 9 • Part 10 In the last Impala Hell Project episode, the now-disc-brake-equipped Chevy and I hit Interstate 5 for some Generation X-style road tripping. Through late 1991 […]

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Introduction • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5 • Part 6 • Part 7 • Part 8 • Part 9 • Part 10 In the last Impala Hell Project episode, the now-disc-brake-equipped Chevy and I hit Interstate 5 for some Generation X-style road tripping. Through late 1991 […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project Part 7: Disc Brakes In, Massive Slacker Couch-Surfing Expedition Enabled! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/1965-impala-hell-project-part-7-disc-brakes-in-massive-slacker-couch-surfing-expedition-enabled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/1965-impala-hell-project-part-7-disc-brakes-in-massive-slacker-couch-surfing-expedition-enabled/#comments Tue, 02 Aug 2011 23:30:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=405038 Introduction • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5 • Part 6 • Part 7 • Part 8 After installing a junkyard-centric, street-sign-based instrument panel and 20-pound “pullout sound system,” I hit the streets on my post-college-graduation job search. After all, with a newly-minted degree from the University […]

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Introduction • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5 • Part 6 • Part 7 • Part 8 After installing a junkyard-centric, street-sign-based instrument panel and 20-pound “pullout sound system,” I hit the streets on my post-college-graduation job search. After all, with a newly-minted degree from the University […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project Part 6: Gauges! Switches! Buttons! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/1965-impala-hell-project-part-6-gauges-switches-buttons/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/1965-impala-hell-project-part-6-gauges-switches-buttons/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2011 14:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=403737 When we last saw the 1965 Impala Hell Project, it was the fall of 1990 and I was installing headers, dual exhaust, and a TH350 transmission in place of the original Powerglide. The car drove pretty well with those upgrades, but the fact that the entire instrument panel (except for the oil pressure idiot light) […]

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When we last saw the 1965 Impala Hell Project, it was the fall of 1990 and I was installing headers, dual exhaust, and a TH350 transmission in place of the original Powerglide. The car drove pretty well with those upgrades, but the fact that the entire instrument panel (except for the oil pressure idiot light) […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project Part 5: Three Speeds, Two Exhaust Pipes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/1965-impala-hell-project-part-5-three-speeds-two-exhaust-pipes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/1965-impala-hell-project-part-5-three-speeds-two-exhaust-pipes/#comments Sun, 03 Jul 2011 16:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=400871 In the last episode of the Impala Hell Project story, Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990 made me choose a small-block engine instead of the big-block I’d originally planned as a worn-out 283 replacement. I was still running the factory single exhaust and two-speed Powerglide transmission at that point, so some more […]

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In the last episode of the Impala Hell Project story, Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990 made me choose a small-block engine instead of the big-block I’d originally planned as a worn-out 283 replacement. I was still running the factory single exhaust and two-speed Powerglide transmission at that point, so some more […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project Part 4: Saddam Chooses My New Engine http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/1965-impala-hell-project-part-4-saddam-chooses-my-new-engine/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/1965-impala-hell-project-part-4-saddam-chooses-my-new-engine/#comments Wed, 15 Jun 2011 21:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=398759 When I bought my Impala, I knew that its 300,000-mile 283 engine wasn’t long for the world, what with the near-nonexistent oil pressure, clouds of oil smoke under acceleration and deceleration, and fixin’-to-toss-a-rod sound effects. Still, due to thin-wallet limitations, I was determined to squeeze one last year of property-value-lowering 283 driving before obtaining a […]

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When I bought my Impala, I knew that its 300,000-mile 283 engine wasn’t long for the world, what with the near-nonexistent oil pressure, clouds of oil smoke under acceleration and deceleration, and fixin’-to-toss-a-rod sound effects. Still, due to thin-wallet limitations, I was determined to squeeze one last year of property-value-lowering 283 driving before obtaining a […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project Part 3: Lowering Property Values http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/1965-impala-hell-project-part-3-lowering-property-values/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/1965-impala-hell-project-part-3-lowering-property-values/#comments Sat, 11 Jun 2011 19:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=398210 In Part 2 of this series, I began the process of modifying my newly-obtained ’65 Impala sedan to suit my concept of a true art car. Once I’d sprayed the chrome flat black, replaced the skinny back tires with fat Radial TAs on universal slot mags, pried off most of the emblems, and torn out […]

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In Part 2 of this series, I began the process of modifying my newly-obtained ’65 Impala sedan to suit my concept of a true art car. Once I’d sprayed the chrome flat black, replaced the skinny back tires with fat Radial TAs on universal slot mags, pried off most of the emblems, and torn out […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project Part 2: The Modifications Begin http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/1965-impala-hell-project-part-2-the-modifications-begin/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/1965-impala-hell-project-part-2-the-modifications-begin/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2011 20:45:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=397067 In Part 1 of this series, I described the purchase of a 1965 Chevrolet Impala in early 1990, for use as the raw material in a complex performance/installation art piece. Within a single day of taking ownership of the car, I began the process of modifying it to suit my artistic vision. In harsh daylight, […]

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In Part 1 of this series, I described the purchase of a 1965 Chevrolet Impala in early 1990, for use as the raw material in a complex performance/installation art piece. Within a single day of taking ownership of the car, I began the process of modifying it to suit my artistic vision. In harsh daylight, […]

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1965 Impala Hell Project Part 1: So It Begins http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/1965-impala-hell-project-part-1-so-it-begins/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/1965-impala-hell-project-part-1-so-it-begins/#comments Fri, 27 May 2011 01:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=396134 As I explained in the introduction to this series last week, I’m finally tackling the story of the most significant car I’ve ever owned. This ’65 Impala went through ten years, 100,000 miles, and many conceptual shifts during its time with me, but it all started out as my attempt to make an art car […]

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As I explained in the introduction to this series last week, I’m finally tackling the story of the most significant car I’ve ever owned. This ’65 Impala went through ten years, 100,000 miles, and many conceptual shifts during its time with me, but it all started out as my attempt to make an art car […]

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Art Car to Daily Driver to Drag Racer: 10 Years of My 1965 Impala Hell Project http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/art-car-to-daily-driver-to-drag-racer-10-years-of-my-1965-impala-hell-project/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/art-car-to-daily-driver-to-drag-racer-10-years-of-my-1965-impala-hell-project/#comments Thu, 19 May 2011 21:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=395412 I put in four years and thousands of posts at Jalopnik, writing about most of my formative cars… but never once did I write the story of the car that served me longest, gave me the most miles, endured the most engine swaps, and generally laid claim to a bigger piece of my heart than […]

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I put in four years and thousands of posts at Jalopnik, writing about most of my formative cars… but never once did I write the story of the car that served me longest, gave me the most miles, endured the most engine swaps, and generally laid claim to a bigger piece of my heart than […]

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Not Exactly Hard, Sweet, and Sticky: Sammy Hagar’s First Rock Star Car Purchase http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/not-exactly-hard-sweet-and-sticky-sammy-hagars-first-rock-star-car-purchase/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/not-exactly-hard-sweet-and-sticky-sammy-hagars-first-rock-star-car-purchase/#comments Sat, 02 Apr 2011 22:30:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=389599 I ended up with a copy of Sammy Hagar’s memoir as reading material for my last air-travel adventure, and found it quite entertaining (in spite of the tedious anti-David Lee Roth/Van Halen brothers diatribes). His tales of being the son of Fontana’s town drunk are worth reading, but the only real shocker came when Hagar […]

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I ended up with a copy of Sammy Hagar’s memoir as reading material for my last air-travel adventure, and found it quite entertaining (in spite of the tedious anti-David Lee Roth/Van Halen brothers diatribes). His tales of being the son of Fontana’s town drunk are worth reading, but the only real shocker came when Hagar […]

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Welcome To The Future: Needle In a Haystack, Long Grade 8 Bolt In Denver http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/welcome-to-the-future-needle-in-a-haystack-long-grade-8-bolt-in-denver/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/welcome-to-the-future-needle-in-a-haystack-long-grade-8-bolt-in-denver/#comments Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:30:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=386931 The Home Depot-ization of all forms of hardware retailing continues unabated, as I found out this afternoon. I needed a pair of 7″ long 1/2″ Grade 8 bolts, today, so that I could get my Dodge A100 Hell Project back on the road. Easy, right? Maybe ten years ago it was. Not today. It all […]

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The Home Depot-ization of all forms of hardware retailing continues unabated, as I found out this afternoon. I needed a pair of 7″ long 1/2″ Grade 8 bolts, today, so that I could get my Dodge A100 Hell Project back on the road. Easy, right? Maybe ten years ago it was. Not today. It all […]

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2000: San Francisco Tow-Auction Cars Fill My Back Yard http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/02/2000-san-francisco-tow-auction-cars-fill-my-back-yard/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/02/2000-san-francisco-tow-auction-cars-fill-my-back-yard/#comments Wed, 02 Feb 2011 14:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=382571 Going through my old 2X2X2 35mm stereo slide pairs for posting on Cars In Depth (I’ve been messing around with twin-film-camera 3D for about 15 years now), I came across some shots of the ever-varied fleet of late-80s/early-90s Japanese subcompacts I owned during the heyday of San Francisco’s notorious City Tow car auctions. City Tow […]

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Going through my old 2X2X2 35mm stereo slide pairs for posting on Cars In Depth (I’ve been messing around with twin-film-camera 3D for about 15 years now), I came across some shots of the ever-varied fleet of late-80s/early-90s Japanese subcompacts I owned during the heyday of San Francisco’s notorious City Tow car auctions. City Tow […]

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Ratty’s Jamaican Muffler Shop and Bar: Fix It Up, Forget It! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/rattys-jamaican-muffler-shop-and-bar-fix-it-up-forget-it/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/rattys-jamaican-muffler-shop-and-bar-fix-it-up-forget-it/#comments Fri, 07 Jan 2011 02:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=379480 When the 24 Hours of LeMons HQ crew left the season-ending Miami race on New Year’s Day, we didn’t go back home. No, we got right on a plane to northern Jamaica for our corporate retreat! Of course, a LeMons corporate retreat means that we spend most of our time washing down curry goat, mannish […]

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When the 24 Hours of LeMons HQ crew left the season-ending Miami race on New Year’s Day, we didn’t go back home. No, we got right on a plane to northern Jamaica for our corporate retreat! Of course, a LeMons corporate retreat means that we spend most of our time washing down curry goat, mannish […]

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Paul Niedermeyer Says Farewell; Moves On To The Next Curbside Classic http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/paul-niedermeyer-says-farewell-moves-on-to-the-next-curbside-classic/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/paul-niedermeyer-says-farewell-moves-on-to-the-next-curbside-classic/#comments Fri, 14 May 2010 15:02:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=356473 Transitions are almost never easy, and leaving TTAC and Curbside Classics is downright painful. But for a number of reasons, that’s what needs to happen right now. Two of them are in the picture above. That’s my younger son Will, who recently turned eighteen, with his just acquired ’02 Ranger. He and I are going […]

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Transitions are almost never easy, and leaving TTAC and Curbside Classics is downright painful. But for a number of reasons, that’s what needs to happen right now. Two of them are in the picture above. That’s my younger son Will, who recently turned eighteen, with his just acquired ’02 Ranger. He and I are going […]

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Autobiography: Family Carma http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/04/autobiography-family-carma/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/04/autobiography-family-carma/#comments Sun, 04 Apr 2010 16:54:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=351511 This garage holds 45 years of automotive memories. As does the house it’s attached to. I’ll spare you the memories and stories that are being shared, relived and dredged up as the Niedermeyer clan shares a get-together at my parents’ house in Towson. But let’s take a quick look at the cars that have lived […]

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This garage holds 45 years of automotive memories. As does the house it’s attached to. I’ll spare you the memories and stories that are being shared, relived and dredged up as the Niedermeyer clan shares a get-together at my parents’ house in Towson. But let’s take a quick look at the cars that have lived […]

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