Tag: 1940s

By on May 11, 2020

Rare Rides has featured a classic Jeep previously, with the Kaiser-Jeep-produced Jeepster Commando. While that model was eventually succeeded by the Jeep Cherokee, today’s Rare Ride was predecessor to the Wagoneer.

Let’s learn about a seven-seat SUV from 1948: the Willys Overland Station Wagon.

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By on December 23, 2019

Today we take a look at a stylish grey Alfa Romeo that is the only example of its type. With coachwork from one of the greatest names in the business, it’s Fifties artwork that moves.

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By on October 18, 2019

In Part I of this two-part edition of Rare Rides, we learned about historic manufacturer Talbot and the ups and downs the performance and luxury car brand experienced due to outside forces. Today we take a closer look at the car which generated this story — a very rare T26 Grand Sport coupe.

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By on October 17, 2019

Talbot’s history was a difficult one, fraught with adversity. Yet during the company’s earlier iterations it produced beautiful, luxurious cars like today’s Rare Ride. It’s a T26 Grand Sport coupe, from 1954.

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By on May 4, 2013

08 - Washington Island Farm Trucks - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI was born in Minnesota, my wife is from Wisconsin, and I have a job that ships me to the Upper Midwest several times per year. For all these reasons, I find myself in Door County every summer, eating cheese curds, drinking Spotted Cow, and going to vintage tractor shows. Last year, on my way to becoming a card-carrying Bitters Club member on Washington Island, I spotted these old General Motors survivors sitting in a field. (Read More…)

By on March 28, 2013

I visit Sears Point aka Sonoma Raceway a couple times a year as part of my gig as Chief Justice of the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court. That means I do a lot of roaming around the facility, in search of vantage points to shoot photos of the action. Last weekend, while covering the fourth annual Sears Pointless race, I stumbled on a parking area outside a line of race shops just on the other side of the wall near Turn 10. Inside these shops were all manner of high-buck machines, but the get-to-it-someday stuff sitting outside was pretty interesting. (Read More…)

By on December 7, 2012

I found a nice assortment of truck door signs of the 1930s through 1960s at this old-school wrecking yard north of Denver last year, and I just had to shoot a few more at this yard south of Denver last week, while picking up my ’41 Plymouth project. The Colorado sun is hard on paint, but I was able to find some legible old signs. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2012

When I first visited the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard earlier this year, I was keeping my eyes open for early postwar Plymouth sedans. I’ve always liked the look of those cars, with their sailing-ship hood ornaments and suicide doors. This yard has endless 1946-1950 Dodges, plus lots of Frazers, Willys, Kaisers, but not much in the way of Plymouths. However, if I expanded my search there to include late prewar Plymouths, this car jumps right out. (Read More…)

By on August 24, 2012

Since I’m now shopping for some sort of postwar American sedan for a foolish road-racer project and the ’51 Nash Airflyte in the Brain-Melting Colorado Yard isn’t for sale, I decided to pay more attention to the large selection of Kaiser-Frazer products parked nearby. How about a car with an optional factory color so impressive that the manufacturer installed badges with that color’s name on the fenders? (Read More…)

By on August 18, 2012

After I visited the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard last month, I couldn’t stop thinking about the car project I’ve been wanting to build more than any other (including even a Zaporozhets with a Tatra V8 swap, and that’s saying something) in recent years: a 1940-1954 American sedan with well-aged patina, 21st-century Detroit V8, manual transmission, and modern suspension and brakes. So, last weekend I returned to the largest assortment of cars from that era that I’ve ever seen, to get some ideas. While wandering around, looking at Kaiser Virginians and Buick Specials, I glanced up and saw the scene in the above photograph. (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2012

As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado is a hotbed of recreational hearse activity. This means that today’s Junkyard Find— spotted at the Brain Melting Colorado Junkyard— might be able to find someone willing to brave the rust and get this super-rare hearse back among the living. (Read More…)

By on July 13, 2012

That AMC Matador Barcelona we saw last week was quite a Junkyard Find, but it represents approximately 0.01% of the staggeringly tempting potential Hell Projects in this particular Colorado yard. Located not far from Pikes Peak (which I couldn’t see because of all the wildfire smoke), this not-open-to-the-public junkyard/open-air automotive museum is owned by a man with an eye for interesting Detroit iron and all the land he needs to store what he finds. After all my years of junkyard crawling, I think this may well be the Greatest Yard of Them All, and that includes the now-defunct Seven Sons yard and this 70-year-old yard north of Denver. Let’s take a little tour, shall we? (Read More…)

By on December 21, 2011

It’s always good to have friends with way crazier more ambitious vehicular projects than one’s own not-making-much-forward-progress Hell Projects. Rich, captain of the Rocket Surgery Racing mid-VW-engined Renault 4CV, has a snake pit cornucopia of such projects at his place, not far from Chez Murilee in Denver. Rich, last seen by TTAC readers helping me Nader-ize the brakes on my van, has big racing plans for 2012… and for that he needs a flatbed truck that can haul a race car and tow a camping trailer. Oh, and it also has to be a beautiful vintage machine, yet capable of prodigious load capacity. The original plan was to use the ’47 Ford pickup he bought at the amazing Seven Sons Auto Wrecking auction last winter, but then this fine vehicle danced into his field of vision. (Read More…)

By on June 14, 2011


The street-parked old cars I photograph in my Denver neighborhood live at one mile elevation, give or take a few feet. Drive about 100 miles southwest from here, however, and you’ll end up in Leadville, which stands at two miles above sea level. Last weekend, I ventured out to Leadville and found this painfully original 1947 Dodge brush fire truck parked downtown. (Read More…)

By on June 10, 2011


Most of my junkyard-prowling experience has taken place at the modern-day self-service yards, where the inventory turns over fast, prices are standardized, and 90% of the cars on the yard tend to be 15 to 20 years old. Now that I’m in a constant search for parts for a 45-year-old Dodge van, I’ve been venturing out to the more traditional wrecking yards, where you haggle for every part and the inventory sits for decades while each and every salable part gets picked. A couple weeks back, I went on a quest for A100 parts at a breathtakingly vintage junkyard located about halfway between Denver and Cheyenne. (Read More…)

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