Rare Rides: Luxury Van Time With a 2017 Ford Transit Explorer Conversion

Today’s Rare Ride was sort of off the radar as a present day vehicular category until your author was presented with one in an ad. It’s the sort of luxurious conversion van people bought to take their grandkids on vacation in the Nineties and early 2000s, but updated for today.

Presenting the Ford Transit Explorer Conversion. It’s quite large.

Read more
Rare Rides: A Stunning Chrysler LHS From 1995, Fine Executive Luxury

Today’s Rare Ride was commonplace a couple of decades ago, but it’s one of those cars by and large ruined via neglectful owners, inattentive build quality from the factory, and BHPH lots.

Come along as we learn about the most luxurious Chrysler LH sedan of the Nineties.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1975 Jensen GT, Stylish Performance in Shooting Brake Format

Rare Rides has featured exactly one Jensen vehicle previously, in a fairly fancy and exclusive Interceptor convertible made in left-hand drive for the US market.

Today’s GT was made the very same year as the Interceptor, just before Jensen went bust.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1959 Goggomobil Dart, Tiny Roadster Sans Doors

Today’s Rare Ride is an obscure variant of an already obscure microcar. The Dart you see here was an Australian-designed and built version of the Glas Goggomobil.

Read more
Rare Rides: A Collection of Four Classic Renaults, of Fuego and 17 Gordini Varieties

Today is one of the few occasions where Rare Rides presents a curated collection of cars for your review.

A serious Francophile in Minnesota has amassed a collection of trois Renault Fuegos et un 17 Gordini. Has a more exciting sentence ever been published? I think not.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 2009 Ferrari 599 GTZ Nibbio Spyder, by Zagato

Today marks the second time we’ll feature a Ferrari 599 on Rare Rides. While our first example was a standard GTB with a very questionable color palette, today’s 599 was transformed by Italian coachbuilder Zagato into a very different-looking car.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 2009 Chevrolet HHR SS Panel, Desirability Guaranteed

Today’s Rare Ride is the rarest version of Chevrolet’s retro-styled economy car of the 2000s, and you might never have had the pleasure of seeing one in person.

Presenting the HHR SS Panel, in which you shift your own gears.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1975 Moretti 126 Minimaxi, More Than a Fiat

Today’s Rare Ride marks the second entry from small Italian car manufacturer Moretti. The first Moretti featured here was a 750 two-door sedan from the early Fifties, which was an original design to the brand.

In contrast, today’s 126 Minimaxi was made long after Moretti stopped creating its own cars.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1991 Chevrolet Lumina Z34, a Practical High-performance Coupe

In 1991, consumers could purchase one of several affordable midsize coupes of low-medium equipment, low-medium quality, and upper-middle levels of style.

Let’s talk Lumina Z34.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 1951 Pegaso Z-102 GT Berlinetta, Prototype Luxury Coupe

Today’s Rare Ride hails from a Spanish company that made some very fast sports coupes for a very short while. Let’s find out some more about Pegaso.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 2018 Range Rover Adventum Coupe, an Intense Luxury Conveyance

Today’s Rare Ride is a super luxurious two-door aftermarket Range Rover. Much like the Rolls-Royce Wraith Silver Spectre featured here recently, the Range Rover’s transformation was also designed by Niels Van Roij.

Hopefully, your eyes are prepared for luxury.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1984 Ford LTD LX, a Mustang Sedan

Though most of the Ford LTDs produced during its Fox-Body years were of the ho-hum middling variety, a few escaped the factory with extra zest and performance, and a Mustang V8.

Come along as we learn all about the power of LX.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 2008 Spyker C8 Spyder, Dramatically Dutch

Today’s Rare Ride is the premier offering from Spyker Cars, a deceased Dutch firm that was reborn at the turn of the century. Spyker made sure not to cut any corners with their all-new car.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1951 Muntz Jet, First-ever Personal Luxury

Did you ever wonder which vehicle is credited with being the very first personal luxury car? Wonder no more, as it’s today’s Rare Ride, the Muntz Jet.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 2012 Maybach 57 S Coupe by Xenatec, as Ordered by Muammar Gaddafi

Today’s Rare Ride is a custom-built version of an already-exclusive car. Originally a large sedan, Xenatec’s 57 S coupe was built only in the single digits.

And this particular example was ordered by a dictator.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1921 Detroit Electric 85A, a Very Early EV

It’s fitting that the first electric vehicle ever featured in the Rare Rides series is today’s two-door Detroit Electric. One of the earliest electric cars, the luxurious Detroit Electric was whirring around cities when many people still used horses.

Read more
New Sundancer Boat a BMW Designworks and Sea Ray Collaboration

Designworks, BMW’s California design studio, has announced their first collaboration with Sea Ray, the storied boat builder, on their new Sundancer 370 Outboard. Released to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Sundancer series, it’s a swoopy-looking departure for the iconic maritime manufacturer.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Eccentric Isdera Spyder 036i, From 1991

The name Isdera meant absolutely nothing to your author prior to today’s Rare Ride. A company originally headquartered in West Germany, it seems Isdera’s offerings were intentionally obscure and hard to purchase.

Let’s check out an 036i, whatever that means.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1972 Gilbern Invader, Obscure and Welsh

Today’s Rare Ride hails from a tiny carmaker in business for less than two decades. The Gilbern name stands out in history as one of the few companies that built cars in Wales.

Let’s check the company’s most successful model, the Invader.

Read more
Rare Rides: A Supercharged 1995 Toyota Previa, Mystical Minivan

Of all the Good Nineties Minivans, the Toyota Previa (like the Mercury Villager Nautica) stands out. Engine in the middle, driven wheels at the rear, superior build quality, and supercharging all made for a unique minivan offering never seen before or since.

But unique didn’t sell in America (still doesn’t), and the Previa taught Toyota a lesson about its customers.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Ridiculous Toyota BB Open Deck, From 2002

Today’s Rare Ride is a very interesting version of a ho-hum economy hatchback. By the time Toyota finished with their edits, said hatchback was turned into a pickup truck in similar in concept to the Chevy Avalanche.

Feeling intrigued?

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1970 International Harvester 1200 D, a Pristine Pickup

Today’s Rare Ride marks the first time the series has featured a vehicle from the defunct International Harvester brand. Though the luxury-lined Monteverdi Safari was International-adjacent, today’s truck represents the agricultural, working heritage of IH.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1933 Cadillac V-16 All-weather Phaeton

In the midst of the Great Depression, Cadillac offered a new range of ultra-expensive motorcars that featured 16-cylinder engines – a count never offered previously by a domestic automaker. One of the V-16’s most prestigious variations is today’s Rare Ride.

Presenting the extremely exclusive All-weather Phaeton sedan.

Read more
Rare Rides: Basic Brown Buick, a 1973 Century Coupe

Though its nameplate dated back to the Thirties, the Century was an all-new model for Buick in 1973. The Century promised exciting value and (optional) power and luxury in the mid-size segment.

Let’s check out this very basic three on the tree coupe.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1990 Chevrolet Astro RS, Maximum Sports Van

Rare Rides has featured a Chevy Astro van once before, in Provan Tiger GT guise where it had all-wheel drive and an onboard bathroom.

Today’s Astro version does not have a bathroom but instead focuses on the tinsel important to sports van driving enthusiasts of the Eighties and Nineties.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Very Rare 1964 Alvis Graber Super Coupe

A small British firm headquartered in Coventry, England, Alvis faded from the automotive memory of most long ago. But for over 50 years, Alvis produced quality, hand-made British cars for the moderately- to very-well heeled.

Today’s Graber Super Coupe was one of the more luxurious ones.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 2020 Rolls-Royce Wraith Silver Spectre, Affordable Shooting Brake Time

Ever wanted the luxurious accommodation of a Rolls-Royce, without the stodgy roofline and pesky cargo limitations of a coupe? Well Carat Duchatelet has just the car for you.

Presenting the Rolls-Royce Wraith Silver Spectre, your personal shooting brake.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 2008 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, With the Worst Interior Colors Ever

Today’s Rare Ride is a big, front-engine V12 Ferrari in the company’s fine grand tourer tradition. While its exterior color is nothing to write home about, its interior is absolutely a one-off.

Once you get a look at it you’ll see why.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Very Rare 1972 Intermeccanica Indra Spider

The Intermeccanica marque is a new one to Rare Rides, and even in scouring the obscure vehicles of the internet one does not come across the name often.

Intermeccanica has dabbled in a number of different automotive enterprises since its inception, and the Indra seen here is one of its more successful projects.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1992 Lotus Excel, End of an Era

Today’s Lotus Excel hails from the end of a period of transition at the famed British brand. Built for 11 years, by the end of Excel’s run the company had chosen a new direction for its cars.

Most would say the change was for the better.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Beautiful 1969 AC Frua Cabriolet

Today’s Rare Ride was in production for nine years, but never reached triple-digit figures in its sales.

Let’s check out this hand-crafted British beauty.

Read more
QOTD: Which Muscle Car is the Most Muscular?

Classic muscle cars are legendary, some blend of parts not originally meant to go together. Our question is, of all the muscle cars produced, which is the most muscular?

Read more
Replica Car Sales Ruled Okay

Low-volume manufacturers may now sell replicas of cars made at least 25 years ago. At long last, The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has completed regulations to allow specialty car makers to produce and sell completed, turnkey cars.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Incredibly Rare 1981 Monteverdi Safari, an International Delight

We’re back again with more Monteverdi today, and I’m determined the Rare Rides series will cover all of Monteverdi’s vehicular offerings. European design, American power, and Swiss attention to detail combined with very high prices to make all the company’s models Rare Rides.

We’ve covered two earlier Monteverdi offerings previously, in the 1970 High Speed 375/4 sedan, and the 1971 High Speed 375/L grand touring coupe. Today we head into luxury SUV territory with the Safari.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1994 Isuzu Trooper That's Bighorn and Irmscher

Rare Rides featured Isuzu vehicles on four previous occasions, and all of them were from the Seventies or Eighties.

Today we switch it up a bit and present an Isuzu from the Nineties. Ready for Irmscher?

Read more
Rare Rides: The Intensely Sporty 1992 Dodge Daytona IROC R/T

Rare Rides has featured a few sports coupes of the Dodge variety previously, but those Eighties cars were not as modern, refined, and sophisticated as today’s seldom seen two-door.

Presenting the Dodge Daytona IROC R/T, from 1992.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1967 Hino Contessa 1300S, Rear-engine Blip on the Radar

Hino is a well-known producer of commercial vehicles today and has been in the commercial truck market since World War II. But for a short while in the Sixties, they built their own rear-engine passenger car.

Say hello to Contessa.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 1990 Subaru Legacy Wagon, Sold Back to Subaru

Today’s Rare Ride is an example of utmost care and maintenance. It’s a 31-year-old wagon which was driven and kept in showroom condition over more than 200,000 miles.

This particular wagon was unique enough that Subaru purchased it for their collection.

Read more
Rare Rides: It's a 1977 Reliant Scimitar GTE, You Know

Today’s Rare Ride is a sporty shooting brake from the days when there were still many British manufacturers building cars like it across England.

Let’s travel back to the Seventies when everything was brown, excepting this particular Reliant.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Spectacular Original Ford Taurus From 1987

Rare Rides has covered earlier variants of the Taurus twice in prior entries, with a sparkling SHO from 1990 and the one-off Sable cabriolet from 1989.

Today we go further back in history, and look at an excellently preserved 1987 Taurus LX.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1976 Maserati Kyalami, Obscure Italian Luxury

Today’s Rare Ride is a very luxurious Maserati which flew in under the radar and was offered by the Italian firm for a short while. A four-seat coupe, it was named after a race track in Africa.

Let’s find out more about Kyalami.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4MOTION Wagon, for Low-cost Motoring

The Rare Rides series featured a Passat wagon once before, in the long ago time of 2018. It was a 1992 G60 with all-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and supercharged engine. Staying true to quirky form, today’s newer and more luxury-oriented Passat pairs its all-wheel drive grip with an eight-cylinder engine.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1986 Lands Precedent Sportswagon, Ultimate Obscure Luxury Van Time

A gray, two-tone shape crossed the screen of my phone. What followed was one of those moments where one has no idea how to identify the thing upon which they are gazing. The Facebook ad was titled “1986 Other Other,” but what was it?

Presenting the Lands Precedent Sportswagon, from 1986.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Lincoln Continental From 2002, Nicest-ever Taurus

Today we take a look at the early 2000s Lincoln Continental. A generation of Continental that didn’t know what it wanted to be, we can take comfort in the knowledge it was at least a nice Taurus.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1992 Daihatsu Leeza Spider, It's Tearing Me Apart

Oh hi, Mark. Today’s Rare Ride is a very rare version of Daihatsu’s Leeza Kei car. It’s tiny, turbocharged, and one of only 200 made.

No more The Room jokes, I promise.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 2019 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder, One of Seven

Today’s Rare Ride very likely a vehicle you’ll never see in real life. Extremely expensive and limited in production, just seven were ever made.

It’s pretty spectacular.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 1994 Fiat Coupe, as Legal Immigrant

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an imported two-door Fiat on these pages which required some paperwork to get into the country. But it is the first time it’s all been done above board.

Let’s check out this 25-year-old Italian.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 2002 Cadillac Eldorado Collector Series

They say all good things must come to an end, and so it was in 2002 with the Cadillac Eldorado. Today’s Rare Ride was the last in a long line of flagship coupes from Cadillac, and one which saw the name exit with a whimper instead of a bang.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Incredibly Rare 1981 BMW 735i Touring

Today’s Rare Ride is one of just a handful of custom-built 7 Series wagons, created by a coachbuilder who wanted flagship BMW luxury with additional cargo carrying capabilities.

Come along as we check out this large BMW wagon.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Xedos 6, a Small Luxury Mazda From 1996

While researching information for the recently featured Mazda Lantis, your author came across some other Nineties forbidden fruit from the good people at Mazda. Particularly interesting was the Xedos 6, which, like the similar-looking Millennia, was also a part of Mazda’s early Nineties luxury push.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 1971 Monteverdi High Speed 375/L, Where L Means Luxurious

Rare Rides featured a Monteverdi once before, the large and luxurious 375/4 sedan. While that limited-run model marked the culmination of the High Speed series of cars from the brand, today’s 2+2 coupe represents the brand’s mainstream product offering.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1962 Singer Vogue, the Smaller Side of British Luxury

Today’s Rare Ride is the first time a Singer vehicle has appeared on these pages. Compact and well-trimmed, the Vogue was a bit more than the standard Sixties British family car.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 1996 Infiniti J30, Luxury Sedan With a Heart of 300ZX (Part II)

In Part I of this two-parter we were introduced to the J30, Infiniti’s luxurious new sports sedan for the Nineties. Having learned from their Q45 mistakes, the brand was determined their new mid-sizer would be appealable to the American Market.

So what went wrong? Let’s find out.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 1996 Infiniti J30, Luxury Sedan With a Heart of 300ZX (Part I)

The other day while we were reviewing the daringly spectacular first generation Q45, commenter SSJeep requested coverage of Infiniti’s other rear-drive sedan from the period, the J30. I thought Rare Rides already covered Infiniti’s mid-size offering, but it turned out I was remembering an installment of Buy/Drive/Burn.

That means it’s time for J30.

Read more
Swan Song for the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider in the U.S.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is at the end of the road in the U.S. Unlike some cases, in which models are dropped with little fanfare, FCA has decided to send the 4C out in style with the roll out of the 4C Spider 33 Stradale Tributo, a salute to the ’67 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale.

Read more
Jaguar Brings the Bling With F-Type Heritage 60 Edition

Jaguar has commissioned a Sixties-inspired F-Type Heritage 60 Edition to celebrate the E-Type’s 60th anniversary. While diamonds are customary on this occasion, the automaker has instead dipped into the E-Type’s palette for its Sherwood Green tone, a color not offered since the 1960s.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Absolutely Epic 2002 Renault Avantime, a Big Sales Flop

Today’s Rare Ride is one of those that’s always been on the to-do list, but never floated to top of mind. That changed the other day, when this very tidy example was posted on Twitter.

Let’s talk about Privilege.

Read more
Rare Rides: The 1999 Maserati Quattroporte, and It's Pink

We’ve featured a Quattroporte at Rare Rides on two prior occasions: a beautiful first-generation model, and one in its more modern form which was reworked into a slinky wagon.

Today’s Nineties model is … neither of those things.

Read more
Rare Rides: Be a Pioneer in a Jeep Cherokee From 1985

Today’s Rare Ride is an early example of the Cherokee, built while AMC was still alive and well-ish. And it just so happens to be the same color and trim as the Comanche pickup featured here recently.

And it’s just about factory fresh.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Original Infiniti, a Q45 From 1991 (Part II)

In Part I of this two-parter, we discussed the birth of the Infiniti brand, and Nissan’s decision to reinvent the large luxury car with the Q45. Today we talk technology, advertising, and aftermath.

Read more
  • ToolGuy As I understand it, the Toyota Prius basically lasts forever because the engine gets a gentle duty cycle and the battery gets babied. This seems like the opposite of that.[Impressive tech, not for me, but then neither is the Prius.]
  • Dusterdude Excellent work ! Your stories are always linguistically interesting . Even if you weren’t writing about a quirky car on a long and adventuresome journey - I know your write up would still be interesting ! ( I also have a Soft spot for large cars - as my daily driver is a 2000 Chrysler Concorde )
  • MaintenanceCosts There have always been just two reasons to buy AMG cars: the menacing, hard-edged V8 warble, and the styling with subtle shapes but perfectly aggressive details. This is missing both of those things: the styling has gotten cartoonishly aggressive, and the engine will sound like a fart-can Civic. I don't understand why I should want it.
  • Inside Looking Out Wasn't George Orwell inspired by DVLA (or DMV LA)?
  • Inside Looking Out Mining become a dirty word esp if they do not follow env regulations and exploit children.