The four-wheel-drive Honda Civic “Wagovan” was very popular in Colorado, and you still see them on the street around here. The front-wheel-drive version, however, is quite rare throughout North America. It was a very sensible family hauler, with its high-30s highway fuel economy and big-for-its-size cargo space, but it couldn’t compete with Chrysler’s minivans. Here’s a rare example that I spotted last week in a Denver self-service yard. (Read More…)
Tag: station wagon
It’s the end of our commercial week and there’s a hybrid staring you down. No, the Prius v isn’t really a commercial vehicle, but there is a good reason it’s jammed in to this week of cargo haulers: 44 miles per gallon around town. Our own Michael Karesh snagged considerable seat time at a launch event last June, but pricing hadn’t been released at that time. So how much does it cost and what’s it like to live with for a week? And most importantly, is it any good at hauling cargo instead of kids?
Volkswagen will apparently debut a “concept” version of the Passat Alltrack, a European model that shares little with our Americanized Passat sedan.
Subaru will revise their 2013 Legacy with an all-new 2.5L FB boxer engine. The 2.5GT model, with its turbocharged 2.5L engine, will die a quiet death as Subaru axes their antiquated SOHC flat-four range.
Here’s a car that you still see frequently in Colorado, both on the street and in the junkyard. You see Tercel 4WD wagons on the street here because they’re cheap, sensible winter cars and they tend to keep grinding out the hundreds of thousands of miles in their Tercelian slow-motion fashion… and you see them in the junkyard because they’re not worth enough to fix when something major finally fails. (Read More…)
Fans of the station wagon rejoice – Chevrolet has a new product for those of you seeking an alternative to the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, in the form of the Chevrolet Cruze station wagon.
I just spent two days in California (returning to find my Civic completely buried by the Denver snowstorm I thought I’d dodged), visiting family and 24 Hours of LeMons co-conspirators. Time was short, but there’s always time to visit the junkyard! Colorado junkyards are good for finding long-forgotten four-wheel-drive cars, but you can’t beat the San Francisco Bay Area for doomed classic Detroit iron. (Read More…)
Denver really is an alternate universe when it comes to the typical inventory in a self-service junkyard (compared to California, where my formative junkyard years were spent). You won’t find many BMW E30s or Volvo 240s, both of which inhabit California yards to the extent that they clog The Crusher’s jaws, but you will find every oddball four-wheel-drive car built in the 1970s and 1980s. I found this ’89 Corolla All-Trac wagon a couple months back and thought, “Man, these things must be a one-in-a-million find, even in Colorado!” Not so, as it turns out; at another yard maybe ten miles away, here’s one more. (Read More…)
Until I spotted this 1979 Chevy Monza wagon in The Crusher’s waiting room last year, I had forgotten that GM slapped Monza and Sunbird badges on the (Monza ancestor) Chevy Vega wagon at the tail end of the 1970s. Then, last week, I discovered this Sunbird Safari at another Denver self-service yard. Such history to be uncovered in the junkyards of Denver! (Read More…)
Editor’s note: be aware that the images are extremely large, in order to show off TTAC’s rare opportunity for amazing photo shoot locations.
What makes a flagship? It’s a question that gets to the heart of one’s philosophy as a car reviewer, and no better example exists to explore the issue than Hyundai. Here in the US, Hyundai’s unquestionable flagships are the large, rear-drive Genesis and Equus, well-equipped traditional luxury bruisers at a value price. And though these plush-but-understated cars sell well enough in these economically uncertain times (and they certainly help Hyundai embarrass the likes of Cadillac, which still lacks a true, large, rear-drive flagship barge), they don’t completely fit with the brand values that Hyundai has ridden to prominence across the globe. They’re not wildly efficient, they lack Hyundai’s dramatic “fluidic sculpture” design language, and they’re dreadfully conventional in light of Hyundai’s professed mission to promote “New Thinking, New Possibilities” in the automotive space. Indeed, they’re almost the last throwbacks to Hyundai’s old image of slightly stodgy cars that simply beat the competition hollow on value.
But if we look past the undeniable market logic to offering the Genesis and Equus in the US, it becomes clear that Hyundai has another flagship that almost perfectly captures the reasons the Korean brand has become such a force in the global car business in recent years. Though it might not be the right flagship for the US market, the Hyundai i40cw is far closer to representing the platonic ideal of Hyundai’s brand than any other car the brand offers. And as such it’s also just a damn good car.
The other day, I got a text message with a photo of a junked vintage Detroit wagon from Alex Vendler, creator of the CBR1000-powered Geo Metro Gnome and the upcoming Hayabusa-powered Toyota Starlet. Alex is a Hollywood cinematographer in his day job, so I figured he should be able to shoot some decent junkyard photos. “Shoot more!” I demanded. And he did. (Read More…)
You didn’t start seeing Subarus in large numbers in North America until the third-gen Leone showed up. Even so, most of these quarter-century-old veterans are gone now, even in regions they once dominated (e.g. New England, Colorado). I found this more-80s-than-Wang Chung example in a Denver self-service yard a few weeks back, and I had no choice but to document this soon-to-be-rare piece of Subaru history. (Read More…)
Some cars that show up in junkyards were moving under their own power just days before their final tow-truck ride… and others spent decades in a field somewhere, waiting for the price of scrap steel to make hauling-away worthwhile. This Colt, which I found close to the ’83 Cordia in a California self-serve yard, is the latter type. (Read More…)
With luxury brands from Bentley to Maserati building “on-road SUVs” in search of ever-greater profits, Jaguar’s decision to build a traditional station wagon is something of a Connolly leather glove’d slap in the face of the luxury game. That’s right, this isn’t some wobbly, lozenge-shaped crossover, or some garish, blinged-out SUV; it’s just a clean, simple Jag-wagon. Or “XF Sportbrake,” as Auto Motor und Sport insists on calling it. And though it may not be the most practical wagon, with its cargo area apparently styled for slim looks rather than capacity, it will be available with AWD, along with the rest of the XF line. Oh yeah, and a 510 HP XFR wagon should be an option as well… you know, for the journalists. All of which sounds like news to be very thankful for this Thanksgiving. Remember: this could have been a crossover!