By on September 16, 2016

Porsche 924 Turbo (931)

There are few better ways to get instant recognition as a connoisseur of cars than to drive a classic. People will applaud your discerning taste, your unique choice in an age of appliance automobiles. Good for you!

You’ve decided to get something German because you like your 1970s classic to run. And you’d like a sports car, which pretty much makes Porsche your default choice. Few models now generate the collective automotive “OOoooo!” of the air-cooled 911. It’s so cool, it’s backwards!

But then you find out what classic 911s cost. If you’ve been living under a rock recently, prices for classic and rare 911s are through the roof. One of the last great air-cooled models just sold at RM Sotheby’s London Auction for £1,848,000. I’ll save you some quick math: that’s $2,460,242 USD at time of writing.

As you wipe the coffee from your screen, allow me to suggest it doesn’t have to be this way. You, too, can have an obscure, classic Porsche for only around 1/1000th the price of an air-cooled 911.

(Read More…)

By on September 6, 2016

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune front quarter, Image: © 2016 Chris Tonn/The Truth About Cars

The youthful squealing could be heard down the long driveway and through several panes of glass. When I told my daughters that I’d be picking them up from the babysitter’s house in something different, they had no idea what chariot would ferry them to softball and cheerleading practice that eventing.

My girls aren’t gearheads by most definitions. While I’m not necessarily brainwashing their preteen skulls with minutiae and data about every car on the road, I’m not letting them become numb to the wonder that is the modern car. My youngest, soon to be eight, ran screaming from the door: “BEETLE!” That’s the power of an iconic brand.

However, I’m thinking the girls reacted most viscerally to the searing yellow paint.

(Read More…)

By on July 2, 2016

2017 Dodge Viper Snakeskin Edition GTC was inspired by the origi

It’s a great day for an automaker when it can say it sold an entire year’s worth of vehicles in less than a week. Things get less impressive when it’s the final model year of a niche vehicle.

Still, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is putting on its bragging pants and grabbing the megaphone after it sold every special-edition version of the 2017 Dodge Viper in a matter of days. So great was the response, FCA plans to offer one last version of the 25-year-old nameplate. (Read More…)

By on May 17, 2016

Rolls-Royce Zenith Edition

Like a Dreadnought-class battleship, the current generation of the hulking and insanely lavish Rolls-Royce Phantom is being mothballed, but it gets one final hurrah.

The folks behind the Spirit of Ecstasy are busy building — sorry, “crafting” — the ultimate Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé vehicles before those models slip the surly bonds of earth.

Just 50 will be made, and Rolls is naming the bespoke collection after those big 1970s televisions you saw in the back pages of National Geographic. (Read More…)

By on May 10, 2016

2016 Ram 1500 Stinger Yellow Sport

Remember the Dodge Ram Rumble Bee? Well, it just spawned a litter of yellow offspring.

The folks at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles clearly felt enough time had gone by without a special edition Ram, so they conceived the 1500 Stinger Yellow Sport. The Rumble Bee decals you ordered online aren’t a good match, however. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2016

Scion tC Release Series 10.0

If you’ve been holding out on buying a Scion tC until the right special edition came along, this is your last opportunity.

Scion’s parent, Toyota, took the youth-oriented brand behind the woodshed last month, making the upcoming Release Series 10.0 version of the tC coupe an aerodynamic swan song. (Read More…)

By on November 17, 2015

00 - 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee in Colorado  junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

The value of a first-generation Grand Cherokee that’s even slightly rough crashed hard quite a few years ago and has remained just a hair above scrap value ever since, so junkyards here in SUV-crazed Colorado tend to be packed with these trucks. XJ Cherokees are plentiful as well, but I tend to notice them more than the bigger and more Chryslerated Grands.

This ’97, however, is one of the (presumably) super-rare Orvis Editions, and so I broke out the camera when I saw it in a Denver yard last week. (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2015

BTTF_Toyota_Tacoma_01_3B45BB2CAD023A24F91B24728E558AD92077F118

Toyota unleashed Wednesday its version of Marty McFly’s dream truck based on a 2016 Toyota Tacoma for one day only. The truck added a special paint scheme and … wait, one day only? 

The trucks went on display Oct. 21 in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas before presumably bursting into flames.

At least Toyota detailed how it built the 1985-esque truck for the one day we’ll ever get to see the truck.

(Read More…)

By on October 8, 2015

2015 Lancer Evolution Final Edition

Mitsubishi announced Wednesday it would make available 1,600 “Final Edition” Lancer Evolution cars to commemorate the departure of the long-running sports sedan.

The cars will be based on Evolution GSR and include the same 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 303 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with all-wheel drive and will start at $37,995.

Mitsubishi will include numbered badges on the cars, a black roof, dark chrome wheels and how much are they asking again?

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2014

08 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, GM was a major sponsor of US Olympic athletes at the 1984 Summer Olympics (which were boycotted by most of the Warsaw Pact as payback for Jimmy Carter and friends boycotting the ’80 Olympics over Part XXIV in the War In Afghanistan), which meant that you could buy an Olympic Edition Buick Century that year. I moved to Southern California while the ’84 Olympics were going on, but all I remember about them was my friend who made the national news by drunk-driving over tens of thousands of orange cones set up for the bicycle-road-race event in Orange County (delaying the start of the event and earning five years of weekend orange-vest-freeway-cleanup duty)… and the sight of all these Olympic Centuries being driven around by low-level employees of the Games. Here’s one that managed to stay on the street for nearly 30 years, before washing up in an Oakland self-service yard. (Read More…)

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