Rare Rides: A Pristine AMC Pacer Wagon From 1978

Our most recent late-Seventies Rare Ride from AMC was a delightfully brougham Matador Barcelona from 1978. Today’s Rare Ride shared showroom space with the Matador that very same year, but had its eye on a slightly different customer. It’s a base model Pacer DL, complete with wood paneling.

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Rare Rides: Aston Martin's Incredibly Rare 2017 Lagonda Taraf

Sometimes, motorcars of high specification end up off-limits to some markets due to issues relatively outside the manufacturer’s control: funding, distribution, or perhaps regulation. Aston Marton took a different approach with the Lagonda Taraf, and intentionally limited their super sedan to just one market.

Maybe that was for the best.

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Rare Rides: A 1987 Dodge Raider, Lil' Red Montero Sibling

Today’s Rare Ride is the rarely seen Dodge version of Mitsubishi’s most famous off-road SUV. It’s a Raider, from 1987.

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Rare Rides: An Original 1988 Toyota MR2 - the Supercharged One

The mid-engine MR2 started out strong in the Eighties, but ended its life in the new century with a quiet, blob-shaped whimper. Today we take a look at the best of type — it’s a first generation supercharged model, in Ticket Me Red.

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Rare Rides: The Fanciest Mondeo - a 2007 Jaguar X-Type Sportwagon

The Rare Rides series has touched on Jaguars multiple times previously. But perhaps those beautiful and powerful sporting vehicles lacked something the true car enthusiast always requires: cargo capacity.

Presenting the very rare Jaguar X-Type Sportwagon.

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Rare Rides: A 240SX From 1992, Where Stock Is Wonderful

Along the winding road of automotive history, certain vehicles become targets for the sort of owners who want to put a personal touch on their ride. Stance, stickers, and now, sick clouds. Once a car becomes popular with said crowd, unmodified examples become few and far between.

The 240SX was such a car, and most were chopped up long ago. However, a few slipped through the net and managed to remain original. Presenting a stock 240SX, from 1992.

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Rare Rides: A 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV 6 - Black and Tan

Rare Rides has featured Alfa Romeos from the Seventies (including this car’s sibling) and the Nineties, but never any from that most powdery of decades: the Eighties. That changes today, with an angular and excellently preserved GTV6.

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Rare Rides: A Subaru XT Turbo 4WD From 1985

Subaru started its first full decade in North America in the Seventies, where it sold the microscopic rear-engined 360. By the Eighties the company had found its niche among crunchy granola types and professors with four-wheel drive wagons like the GL. But Subaru wanted more; specifically customers with more money. Enter the XT.

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Rare Rides: The Very Rare Morgan Aero 8 America, From 2007

Morgan is a carmaker for traditionalists who wear tweeds, enjoy wooden car frames, and shun modern technology. Its customers’ tobacco pipes are firmly pointed toward the past.

Seems like today’s Rare Ride is not for them. Presenting the 2007 Aero 8.

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Rare Rides: A Prototype Rover P6 From 1966

The P6 was an important leap forward in style and modernity for the small and independent Rover Motors. And today’s Rare Ride subject is particularly important because of its prototype status. It’s an early example of the most powerful P6 which became Rover’s flagship.

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Rare Rides: The 1978 Ford Fiesta, a German Car

Ford has executed an on-then-off strategy with regard to its Fiesta offering in the North American market. Currently in off mode, your local Ford dealer encourages you to look at the sporty and capable [s]first-ever third-world offering[/s] EcoSport instead.

But today we’re stepping back in time to 1978 to take a look at the genesis of Fiesta. The Fiestasis, if you will.

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Rare Rides: Storm the Roads With a 1994 Lister

Rare Rides broached the subject of Lister once before, with the Le Mans — a little-known and heavily modified version of the Jaguar XJS. Today’s Rare Ride is what most think of when they hear the Lister name: the Storm.

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Rare Rides: The 1986 Ford Escort EXP, for Driving Enjoyment

Rare Rides featured an EXP once before, in the form of a tidy first-generation example painted in blazing orange. Today’s EXP is a much more modern looking second generation, in two-tone grey and black.

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Rare Rides: There's a 1991 Citron BX 14 in Maine

Citroën’s on-and-off history with North American importation make almost all of them rarities, and perfect for this series. Thus far, we’ve seen Citroëns in the form of Traction Avant, XM, and CX. Today’s front-drive Frenchy is a sporty BX hatchback from 1991.

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Rare Rides: A Citron Van From 1972 Says HY

We’ve lately had some fun Citroën times here at Rare Rides, with the most recent entry being a custom-built and luxurious ID19 coupe. Today’s Rare Ride is not quite as luxurious, and there’s certainly nothing bespoke about it. But it is interesting, and it also looks like a corrugated shed on wheels.

Say hello to HY.

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Rare Rides: An All-wheel Drive Chevrolet Astro RV From 1991

The Rare Rides series has touched on recreational vehicles twice in the past, when it featured a BMW-powered Vixen, and the custom fiberglass hodgepodge which was the MSV.

Today’s RV is smaller than either of those, but it can also fit into normal parking spaces. It’s the 1991 Provan Tiger GT.

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Rare Rides: Discovering the Honda Crossroad of 1993

Throughout the 1980s, and into the middle of the nineties, Honda reassured themselves that the sports utility vehicle craze was just a fad. The company spent years refusing to develop their own SUVs of any caliber, and instead turned to other companies (eventually) to fill gaps in the model lineup.

Honda did rebadging work to various extents, and then sold the borrowed SUVs around the world. Today’s Rare Ride is one such offering, though it’s more obscure then all of its stablemates down at Honda Rebadge Corral. Let’s check out a Honda Crossroad, from 1993.

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Rare Rides: The 1982 Plymouth TC3, Sporty Liftback Time

Today’s Rare Ride is the much sportier (but mostly the same) liftback version of the Horizon that everyone forgot. It’s a Plymouth TC3, from 1982.

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Rare Rides: A Very Rare 1969 Sunbeam Alpine GT, Barracuda Lite?

Earlier this year, we took a look at the unique fastback style worn by the original Plymouth Barracuda. A few years after the Barracuda, British manufacturer Sunbeam decided to make their own miniaturized version. Don’t fear the Rapier.

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Rare Rides: The 1985 MG Metro 6R4, a BL Rally Car Experiment

Ever wanted a rally car from 1985 which is brand new and pieced together from an old hatchback? Well now’s your chance. Let’s take a look at the MG Metro 6R4.

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Rare Rides: A 1974 Toyota Corona 2000 GT

Today’s Rare Ride is a case of forbidden fruit. Though North American consumers could buy something similar, this Rare Ride was never on domestic shores as new.

It’s the Toyota Corona 2000 GT, from 1974.

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Rare Rides: A Pristine 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon, Shift-It-Yourself Edition

Hearing the Cutlass name inspires visions of 442, of color-key rally wheels, or perhaps thoughts of tacky aftermarket ruination and glittery paint.

This grey fastback sedan doesn’t often come to mind, but perhaps it should. Presenting the 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. Likely, Olds called it Salon because you can fit big hair into it.

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Rare Rides: The SUV Oddity Which is a 1998 Laforza

Which SUV looked like a 1995 Range Rover at its debut in 1984, but was less reliable and more expensive?

Why, it’s a Laforza of course.

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Rare Rides: A Suzuki SC100, Delightfully Tiny

Rear-engine, rear-drive cars are few and far between, limited mostly to excellent things like the Porsche 911, and terrible things like the VW Karmann Ghia and Chevrolet Corvair. But there’s another car with an “RR” configuration that’s a bit more obscure. Presenting the Suzuki SC100.

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Rare Rides: Ultimate Americana Via the 1970 AMC Rebel, The Machine

With Independence Day nearly upon us, it seems fitting that Rare Rides take a look at a car wearing its red, white, and blue theme very proudly. It’s a rare version of the AMC Rebel: The Machine. Get your sparklers ready.

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Rare Rides: A 1990 UMM Alter II, Lots of Lime

What would you call a car designed in France out of parts from a Jeep, then built in Portugal by a company which previously ceased to exist?

UMM.

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Rare Rides: A Vintage Zagato-bodied Ferrari 330 From 1967
Italian design house Zagato was featured here recently, when Rare Rides took a look at a reworked Ferrari 348 from 1990. Opinions were mixed, but most found the effort dated and overworked. Today we have a look at another polarizing Zagato Ferrari, this time from the sixties. It’s a 330 GTC from 1967, and it’s quite a looker.
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Rare Rides: The 1981 AMC Concord Keeps It on the D/L

Vehicles from plucky AMC are always welcome here at Rare Rides. Thus far, the series has featured a Metropolitan, a concept Van, a Matador Barcelona, and a very tasty Sundancer. The latter is a cousin of today’s relentlessly beige Concord two-door sedan.

Ready for some malaise?

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Rare Rides: A Gigantic 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car Williamsburg Edition

The end of the Seventies was a time of quiet reflection. A time where Americans pondered things like fuel prices, polyester suits, and what a large sedan should be. As the reality of automotive downsizing moved ever closer to realization, one or two of the large sedan dinosaurs had a last hurrah. Today’s Rare Ride is one such example.

It’s a 1979 Lincoln Town car; more specifically the extra-luxurious Williamsburg Edition.

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Rare Rides: This Midas Gold From 1998 Is Grey

Every once in a while, a car surfaces from the vast internet that truly deserves the title of “obscure.” It happened previously with a beautiful Gordon Keeble, and now Rare Rides is proud to present another very obscure British two-door.

It’s a Midas Gold, obviously.

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Rare Rides: The 1979 Ford Pinto European Sports Sedan Is None of Those Things

In an interesting case of historical marketing, this very yellow Rare Ride seems to have adjectives applied to it which are, in fact, false. Today we have a look at a 1979 Ford Pinto European Sports Sedan.

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Rare Rides: The 1994 Mercury Capri - Miata's Serious Competitor

The Rare Rides series has featured two Capri-adjacent vehicles in past: This car’s immediate predecessor, the ASC McLaren Capri, and its contemporary competitor, the Lotus Elan. Let’s find out how much better the final Capri was than either of those two (or not).

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Rare Rides: The Extremely Sporty Yugo GVX From 1988

Everyone’s heard of Yugo — the Yugoslavian brand that tried to shift cheap cars on North American shores in the late Eighties and early Nineties. Their terrible overall quality and general disposable nature means there are very few left today in any sort of presentable condition for Rare Rides. Today’s red beauty is an exception, and it may just be the rarest of the breed.

Let’s check out the super sporty GVX version, from 1988.

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Rare Rides: A GAZ-21 Volga - Russian Decadence From 1967

With an unusual combination of Fifties American car styling and Sixties Russian build quality, today’s GAZ-21 has everything the discerning Communist motorist needs.

Let’s talk Volga.

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Rare Rides: A 1981 Triumph TR8 That's Both Beige and Brand New

You read the title correctly. There’s a Triumph TR8 for sale in the urbane and international city of Tampa, which is in Florida. Miraculously, the sporty convertible has traveled just 90 miles since 1981.

It’s beige, malaise, and showroom fresh, so let’s have a look.

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Rare Rides: The Gran Turismo Dream - a 1990 Mazda Eunos Cosmo

Today’s Rare Ride is a sporting luxury coupe with a complex rotary engine. It’s a car which was destined for America, but never quite made it.

It is, of course, the Eunos Cosmo. By Mazda.

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Rare Rides: The Double-breasted 1983 Lincoln Continental Mark VI Bill Blass

A short while ago, we ran a QOTD post about special branded editions, gauging our readers’ desire to see them return in 2019. Today’s Rare Ride is one of the special designer brand editions of yesteryear (the Eighties), which represented luxury, taste, and wealth.

Grab your wide-lapel blazer. It’s time for Bill Blass and the Lincoln Mark VI.

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Rare Rides: This Chevrolet Beauville Is a Quigley 4×4 From 1989

In The Current Year, new car lots are filled with family-friendly adventure vehicles. They’ve got lots of seats, lots of cladding, and some sort of system to drive all four wheels (even if it’s a lousy system like on the CR-V). But our Rare Ride comes from a time when family 4×4 options were much fewer in number. 1989 was a very different time for the adventuresome family buyer.

Enter Quigley, and the Chevrolet Beauville.

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Rare Rides: The Very Rare Ferrari 348 Zagato Elaborazione, a Mouthful From 1990

By our count, Rare Rides has discussed Italian coach builder Zagato’s works on exactly two occasions. Both those times, boxy red coupes filled the screens of our millions of dear readers.

Today, Zagato surfaces once more, this time on a car which is certainly not boxy or red. It’s a very yellow Ferrari 348, with additional Zagato passion and flair.

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Rare Rides: A Studebaker Wagonaire From 1964 - Aka the Earliest GMC Envoy XUV

Sometimes car companies have radical ideas that don’t really pan out when it comes time to persuade consumers to part with their money. Today’s Studebaker Wagonaire is such a vehicle. It falls into the unique convertible-wagon-truck grouping, in which the only other member is a GMC Envoy from 40 years later.

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Rare Rides: An International Truck Experience With the 2008 MXT

The Rare Rides series doesn’t often venture into Tough Trucks land, but when it does, it goes all the way. Before you is the International MXT, a practical pickup from the semi truck people.

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Rare Rides: The 1978 Innocenti Mini Is Both De Tomaso and Bertone

Rare Rides returns again to De Tomaso, shortly after it covered the obscure Guarà Barchetta. This time, the subject vehicle is a British-designed Mini, rebodied by Bertone, then sported up by De Tomaso. Quite a pedigree.

Presenting the 1978 Innocenti Mini De Tomaso:

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Rare Rides: A Beige Plymouth Champ - American Malaise From 1980

Rare Rides has featured a couple of Plymouths before, both of which were sporty and boasted two doors. Today’s Plymouth also has two doors, but is perhaps not quite as performance oriented as its brethren on these pages.

Hailing from 1980, it’s a super Malaisey Champ hatchback.

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Rare Rides: The Ultimate 8 Series BMW Is the Alpina B12 of 1992

Rare Rides featured an Alpina once before: the performance tuner’s take on the late-Eighties 6 Series — the B7. Today’s Alpina is a B12, which is literally five more. And more is better, right?

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Rare Rides: This 1987 Fiat Is Ritmo, Abarth, 130, and TC

Today’s Rare Ride wears a lot of different badges. The most important ones are Fiat, Ritmo, and Abarth. Come and check out the sportiest version of the final evolution of Fiat’s replacement for the long-lived 128.

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Rare Rides: A Very Rare De Tomaso Guar Barchetta From 1995

The Rare Rides series has broached the subject of De Tomaso a few times before. The luxurious Longchamp coupe was accompanied by the Qvale-branded Mangusta, and the tangentially related Chrysler TC.

But today’s De Tomaso takes the cake for rarity over any of those previous Rare Rides. It’s a Guarà Barchetta, from 1995.

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Rare Rides: Patrol the Desert in This 1989 Nissan Safari

The Patrol has forever been Nissan’s answer to the Toyota Land Cruiser, as both brands compete for rough and tumble SUV customers. Today’s Rare Ride represents just how many creature comforts can be added to a go-anywhere truck.

Presenting the Nissan Safari from 1989.

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Rare Rides: A 1977 Datsun F-10 - It's Sporty Beige Wagon Time

The Rare Rides series has featured just two magnificent Datsuns in prior entries. The first was a 720 King Cab pickup truck, followed recently by the unfortunate looking 200SX coupe. Today’s entry is arguably rarer than either of those, as even local Datsun enthusiast and TTAC contributor Chris Tonn was surprised to see it.

Say hello to the F-10 wagon from 1977.

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Rare Rides: A Microscopic American Motors Metropolitan From 1962

Recently, we featured a grandiose convertible Hudson once owned by actor and car enthusiast Steve McQueen. Today’s Rare Ride came originally from Nash, the other company which combined with Hudson to form American Motors.

Let’s get Metropolitan.

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Rare Rides: Hop in a 1955 Studebaker Conestoga Wagon

Today’s Rare Ride is a peachy two-door wagon from a company in South Bend, Indiana that would cease to exist about a decade later.

It’s a Studebaker Champion Conestoga, from 1955.

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Rare Rides: A Very Tiny Toyota 800 Sports Coupe From 1968

What coupe is 140 inches long, bright red, and was never sold in North America? It’s this Toyota Sports 800, from 1968.

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Rare Rides: The 1993 Toyota Caldina Wagon, Featuring Four-wheel Drive and Five Sunroofs

It may look like someone blended together the wagon versions of the Toyota Corolla and the Subaru Legacy, but today’s Rare Ride is something rarely (or never) seen on North American shores. Presenting the 1993 Toyota Caldina, with Sky Canopy.

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Rare Rides: The 1989 Nissan S-Cargo - It's Van Time

Today Rare Rides takes a look at another one of Nissan’s special Pike cars from the turn of the Nineties. This tiny van is definitely the oddball of the Pike family. It’s an S-Cargo, from 1989.

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Rare Rides: The Saab 9-4x - One Last Gasp From 2011

Would you like a luxury CUV that’s based on a Cadillac, but contains many unique and unobtainium parts? So many rare parts, in fact, that an owner might be scared to put it on the road? Well then, here’s a Saab for you — it’s a 9-4X, from 2011.

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Rare Rides: A Very Brown Talbot Tagora From 1982

Today’s Rare Ride is the European luxury sedan you’ve never heard of. Plush, brown, and boxy, it’s the Talbot Tagora from 1982.

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Rare Rides: A 2003 Mazda Roadster Coupe That's Not for Americans

Mazda has always been fond of making special edition trims of the MX-5 Miata. In 2003, the engineers in Hiroshima decided to put together something a bit more unique than the usual colored trim/new wheel design combo. Presenting the 2003 Roadster Coupe.

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Rare Rides: A Hudson Commodore Brougham From 1950, Complete With Celebrity Ownership

Today’s Rare Ride hails from a time when American cars were glamorous — and often painted pink and bright green. It was a time when Brougham meant real luxury, and not just a vinyl roof accompanied by the faint glow of an opera lamp. Even with a tame white and brown color scheme, today’s convertible is big and bold, with the added panache of a prior celebrity owner.

Presenting the Hudson Commodore Brougham, from 1950.

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Rare Rides: A Pristine 1997 Toyota Paseo of the Cabriolet Variety

Today’s Rare Ride is the rarest version of an already rare economy car. It’s a sporty and simple Toyota Paseo cabriolet, hailing from 1997.

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Rare Rides: A Georgia-made Coupe From 2001 - the Panoz Esperante

What luxury sports car combines a multitude of components from other manufacturers with a custom-fabricated body all its own? It’s the Panoz Esperante, naturally.

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Rare Rides: The 1991 Lotus Elan, With Power by Isuzu

The Rare Rides series has featured a couple Lotus-related items before. The first was this Isuzu I-Mark RS, which was an Isuzu with some Lotus badges on it. Then came the Elite, which was a real Lotus. Today we take a look at the Elan, which mixes it up with Lotus badges and an Isuzu engine.

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  • Beachy Asphalt only works to keep the dirt road below it dry, and it is the dry dirt that holds up the asphalt surface to make a smooth road surface. Once the asphalt cracks or a spring wells up and the dirt gets wet, all bets are off. It is usually due to a spring that perennial potholes form. They are very hard to get rid of.
  • JamesG I’m the owner of the featured car that’s currently on EBay. Thanks for such a nice write up on these cars. Mine happens to be in excellent condition and the photos don’t do it justice. The HT4100 isn’t as bad as some made them out to be and they can go 200k miles with proper maintenance. I also own a 79 w/the analog fuel injected 5.7 350 which should have been used through 1985 but ever-increasing CAFE regulations called for more economical power plants which made GM shelve this great motor.
  • Jeff S Adam on Rare Classic Cars recently bought a pristine 71 Kenosha Cadillac.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY-G2dExgXE&ab_channel=RareClassicCars%26AutomotiveHistory
  • Jeff S Wouldn't most of the large suvs in NYC be livery vehicles? If so that would be hurting those who make their living by driving for hire.
  • EBFlex Yes their mass transit is great if you want to be beat within an inch of your life or pushed onto the tracks by some random psycho.