By on April 6, 2014

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One of these cars is not like the other. A while back I wrote about the replica Duesenberg Murphy Roadster that former GM designer Steve Pasteiner’s Advanced Automotive Technologies fabricated for someone who owned a real Duesenberg. The person who commissioned the replica wanted to be able to drive in that style without risking damage or deterioration to a seriously expensive classic car (though the replica undoubtedly cost into six figures to build). Before I provide a link to that post, though, I want you to agree not to link over there until you’ve finished reading this one because I’m going to give you a test. (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2014

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“Gimme Carter!!! Gimme Carter!!!”

“You can have him!” My brother Lewis, a lifelong conservative was watching me, a hyperactive  six year old, pointing eagerly at our home’s only TV.

“I’m voting for Reagan.”

“Pa-tau!!1 Pa-tau! To a 1st grader’s ear, the word Reagan sounded just like “Ray gun”. And for all I knew, Carter and Reagan were locked in some Star Wars parallel universe fighting each other for control of the presidency.

Lord knows that 34 years later, I would need every single ounce of that youthful imagination to get through a day long movie shoot.

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By on January 28, 2014

HPIM1628

We received an interesting email the other day here in the TTAC underwater battle station. As is frequently the case, this one was about a used car. But not just any used car.
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By on June 29, 2013

Tan Brown Model A Coupe Picture by Dave Hester

This year marks the 85th anniversary of the introduction of the Ford Model A. During the week of June 24th, over 800 of them descended on Lexington for the 2013 Model A Restorer’s Club (MARC) national meeting. Despite numerous storms that rolled through Central KY during the week, spirits were high and your humble author, a Chevrolet man through and through, learned a thing or two about the car that replaced the Model T. (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2013

Within 50 feet of getting out of my old 74 Chevy C10 I hear a familiar voice.

“Hey Steve. How are ya?”

A 6 foot 7 inch monstrosity of a man pats me hard on the back and dislodges the few cobwebs that remained from a 5 AM wake-up call.

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of the series. The first can be found here.

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By on March 25, 2013

Get any group of car enthusiasts together and they’ll eventually start arguing about which recent models will increase in value over the next twenty years. I don’t think it’s actually possible for assembled gearheads not to discuss this topic, usually somewhere in between stories about past speeding tickets and bashing the Toyota Corolla.

As a result, “investment” cars have been covered quite a bit. But here’s an interesting variation: which cars won’t increase in value? Of course, the easy answer is “most of them.” But more specifically, which recent cars are people holding on to, hoping for a value increase that just won’t come?

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By on March 12, 2013

I’ve just returned from the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance, which is among the finest annual events involving wealthy people who smoke cigars and stare longingly at the possessions of other wealthy people, smoking nicer cigars.

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By on February 20, 2013

 

1969 Chevelle SS

 

A few weeks a go I had the opportunity to watch part of the Barrett Jackson auction. I found myself captivated by the colorful commentary that went along with each sale. Every car had a story and the commentators spent a great deal of time telling us about them. They also discussed the cars’ performance, available options and recited the original production numbers, contrasted by telling us exactly how many of those cars survive today. It turns out that many of the cars I regularly used to see back in the 1970s are extremely rare today. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, however, after all, I had a hand in making them go away. (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2013

 

Yesterday, I took you on a visit to Tokyo, to the Japan Classic Car Association’s New Year Meeting, and on a tour of imported cars in Japan. If you believe the propaganda, there aren’t any imported cars in Japan. But it is not true.

The history of car imports to Japan is a history of Yanase, Japan’s premiere car importer. Yanase was founded in 1915 as an importer of Buicks and Cadillacs to Japan. One of his big customers was the Imperial Navy which “had nothing but Buicks,” as Jiro Yanase told a reporter. The Japanese Navy also put Yanase nearly out of business, in December of 1941.

During the war, Yanase kept the Buick and Cadillac signs up to attract service business. After the war, Yanase became GM’s sole importer to Japan. Soon, he became the world’s go-to man for car imports to Japan.

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By on January 27, 2013

Today, I was in Odaiba, the man-made island in Tokyo Bay. The island is known for its futuristic buildings. Today, it was home of the Japan Classic Car Association’s New Year Meeting. It celebrates the imported car. During the next days, I will show you the nicer ones. We start with the Americans, and a Dodge.

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By on January 22, 2013

I will admit that I am a Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction fanboi. I spent last week in Detroit during the NAIAS, and thus had to skip my annual trip to Scottsdale, Arizona for their auction extravaganza, one of the greatest automotive events in this country. However, amidst all the breathless reporting about Barrett-Jackson selling the original Batmobile for $4.6M, you might have missed the story of a rare fail by the auction giant. (Read More…)

By on December 25, 2012

The basement of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is the subterranean parking structure in the recurring dream of automotive enthusiasts young and old. You know—the one where you exit the department store head down, fumbling for car keys as the scenery shifts to a chiaroscuro of concrete and fluorescent lights, and out of thin air appears a collection of vehicles decadent enough to make a sheikh weep. This one, however, is quite real, and perhaps the best-kept secret known to gearheads worldwide, but experienced only by a select few. Until recently, that is.

(Read More…)

By on December 1, 2012

Chrysler Thunderbolt and Newport Show Cars in the atrium of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum

I’m an unabashed booster of Detroit area institutions so it was with some sadness that I read that the Walter P. Chrysler Museum on the Chrysler campus in Auburn Hills will be closing to the public at the end of the year. Apparently admission fees and facility rentals were not sufficient to sustain continued operations.

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By on June 8, 2012

Previous editions of Generation Why have explored one of the last glimmers of automotive affection that the “carless generation” still holds on to- the love of classic cars.

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By on May 31, 2012

Dutch classic car collector Frans van Haren paid $3.8 million for a 77 year old Mercedes 500K Spezial Roadster. The regrets came when he tried to sell the rare car of which only 58 were built. When the car was offered for sale at last year’s Techno Classica car show in Essen, Germany, the car was impounded. Van Haren can kiss the car good-bye. A German court ruled that the car goes back to the estate of its erstwhile German owner. (Read More…)

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