Rare Rides: The 1996 Toyota Classic, Truck-based Throwback

Today’s Rare Ride is brought to you by a Tweet that featured today’s subject and was the exact moment your author became aware of its existence. Released in the Nineties prior to the American retro styling craze, the Classic was a limited edition sedan sold only to Japanese customers. Curious yet?

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Rare Rides Icons: The AMC Matador, Medium, Large, and Personal (Part IV)

We finish up our Rare Rides Icons coverage of the AMC Matador today by spending some time abroad. The Matador maintained a few different passports as it donned new branding and nameplates for its various international adventures. And unlike many domestic cars of the period, AMC saw sales success when its midsize arrived in other markets.

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Time for a New Toyota Celica?

Toyota may have a new Celica in the works, according to gr86.org. While filing a trademark for Celica at this point in time seems to be rights retention more than anything, there is a trademark limitation of three years. After that time, Toyota would be required to re-apply to retain their rights to the iconic name.

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Ace of Base: 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Express 4×2

A couple of liberties are taken with this one, as the Ram 1500 Classic technically has a trim one step below the Express model. With pricing, rates, and residuals being what they are though – well, it’s safe to say this version of the new old Ram pickup embodies a great deal of appeal to buyers in the Ace of Base wheelhouse.

In fact, this heartily equipped pickup is cheaper than a good many milquetoast crossovers. It’s almost as if Reid Bigland himself wants you to exercise your patriotism and park a truck in your driveway.

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QOTD: What's the Rarest Car You've Spotted in the Wild?

Last Labor Day weekend, when snow was a hazy memory and the warm days seemed as if they’d last forever, I spent some time in a small cottage about three hours northwest of Montreal.

The nearest village, accessible by twisty backroads with an asphalt surface strangely superior to most Montreal highways, contained exactly what you’d expect for a tiny hamlet in a remote, low-rent section of the Laurentian Mountains. General store. Liquor store. Bank. Post office. Poutine store. Okay, that last one’s not true, as this place ascribed to the BYOC rule (Bring Your Own Curds).

Walking back to my car after picking up supplies, which in this case consisted of beer, more beer, and an extra-large bottle white wine for the fairer sex, I saw it. “What the hell are you doing here?” I muttered under my breath.

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QOTD: Which Forbidden Classic Would You Import?

It’s the last week of the year, which means it’s time for end-of-year or new-year listicles. Time to recount all the celebrities who’ve passed, or to predict what will happen in the coming year. It’s a convenient time, certainly, as the turning of the calendar page allows one to mentally erase the past in favor of a potentially brighter future.

For guys like me, though, the lists of legally importable 25-year-old cars are the ones I’ll read the most. Heck, I wrote one last year.

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Want to Buy a Classic Porsche? Here Are 10 Limited Edition 924s That Aren't Selling for Bonkers Prices

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.

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The Original BMW "M3" - 1982 BMW 635CSi Observer Coupe

Mercedes-Benz has four convertibles now. As does Audi, with a fifth in a new R8 Spyder not far off. BMW has five ‘verts you can buy. And if you count the various configurations of Porsches from which you can choose, the German sportscar maker has nine — nine! — convertibles. (Heck, there are seven different versions of the 911 now with large sections of roof missing!)

But the story was quite different in 1982.

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World's Cleanest VW Beetle Sells at Auction; Buyer Even Gets Original Oil

If there was ever a hermetically sealed time capsule of a car, this is it. And we can thank an old, religious Italian man who hated driving for keeping it so fresh.

A beyond pristine 1974 Volkswagen Beetle, once a common sight on roadways everywhere, just sold at Silverstone Auctions in Denmark for a price that would make an original buyer choke on their Tab. Did they get a good deal? It depends on how much value you put on “perfect.”

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First-Ever Honda N600 Gets Restored in New Video Series

As a relative newcomer to the car-building scene, Honda doesn’t quite have the heritage of classics piling up in a dusty warehouse like most other automakers. They do have a legion of rabid fans, however, including one restorer who specializes in very early Honda cars — and found the very first N600 built for the U.S. market.

Honda partnered with that restorer, Tim Mings, and today released the first of a series of videos and features on the restoration of this very special classic on the website Serial One.

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Piston Slap: Scootin' Around A Classic Car Valuation?

Cheryl writes:

I have a 1982 Chevrolet Chevette Scooter and I’m trying to determine its value. It has manual transmission and no A/C. Is there a source you recommend I contact?

Thank you for your help!

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Porsche Wants To Get in On Some of That Classic Porsche Action

Porsche announced Friday that it opened its first classic Porsche center in the Netherlands, the first among nearly 100 centers that will sell, service and [s]make money on[/s] maintain old sports cars.

The network will eventually include a center (or centers) within North America, according to the automaker.

Porsche says that nearly 70 percent of all the cars that it has made are still on the road, and that its centers would be staffed with specially trained technicians that can identify and work on any problem. (Plus, Singer can’t make all the money on old Porsches.)

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New or Used: Red Rover, Red Rover. Should Tim Get A Land Rover?

Tim writes:

Tim from Hooniverse here, looking to see what you and the B&B have to suggest.

I’m writing for recommendations to replace my ’69 Wagoneer as the Family Dirtwagon. The Wagoneer’s great as a 46-year-old classic, but it’s a 46-year-old classic, and is a little too old, project-y and fragile for what I need. We’re talking about the fourth car in the fleet, aside my wife’s Mazda5 (6MT FTW!), my ’64 Falcon and the ’62 Ranchero LeMons racer.

What’s it need to do?

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In Pictures: Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

I bet you didn’t know the longest continually running vintage car race and show in the nation is held in Yinzerville. That’s right. Every summer since 1983, Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park becomes the scene of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The course consists of a 2.33 mile stretch of road inside the park that challenges drivers with its twenty three turns, walls, telephone poles and other common features of an ordinary road.

This event routinely draws drivers, spectators and car buffs from all over North America and Europe, with this year’s attendance being 200,000 over the week of events. The Vintage Grand Prix raises money for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School and, since its inception, has raised $3.9 million dollars for these charities. Your humble correspondent just happened to be in the area a few Sundays ago and made an unplanned stop at the event.

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You Don't Need a Mill' to Run a Mille: The Joy of Budget Classic Car Rallying

Today, the Mille Miglia begins – indeed, as you read this, it’s probably already done so. The entry list is available online, a roll-call of million-dollar coach-built rolling-artwork. And also stuff like a Borgward Isabella, which should make Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky giddy, as he’s covering the event thanks to Jaguar.

Bucket list stuff, surely, but far beyond the reach of us ordinary morlocks. The shimmering golden fleece of the Adriatic, the reflected glow of Brescian honor and the echoing footsteps of heroes: heady stuff indeed, but a little outside my personal pocketbook. There is, however, an alternative.

Thus, I find myself in a 1967 MGB with an auxiliary fuel pump duct-taped to its air-cleaner, firing so much fuel into the rearmost carburetor you have to keep the revs above 4000 rpm lest the fuel overwhelm the float, go spurting out the side, hiss, and evaporate alarmingly close to the exhaust manifold. The din is deafening. The brakes are Neville Chamberlain levels of ineffective. Traffic is building and we’re up to our oxsters in LED-swathed crossovers driven by inattentive morons, in a car with all the safety equipment of a penny-farthing.

In short, I’m having the time of my life.

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  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.
  • FreedMike How about the “Aztek” package? Wait, this car already has that…Said it before and I’ll say it again: they need to restyle the hind end on this car, stat.
  • Johnster "Vale" is the [s]cheap[/s] lower-priced performance version with black trim and stiff suspension."Mist" is the "DeLuxe" version with a bit more chrome and trim. (Sort of like the "Decor Package" option.)"Magentic" is the full-on Brougham treatment (in its current state) with more chrome trim than the "Mist" and all sorts of gimmicky electronic features inside. (Sadly, it will not include simulated landau irons or a vinyl covered roof, even as an option.)"Aurora" is the Oldsmobile of Cadillacs (sort of like the old Cadillac Calais). No, that's not right. It's the top-of-the-line model, sort of a "Grand Touring" version, with not as much chrome as the "Magentic" but all of the gimmicky electronic features and a stiffer suspension.
  • Drew8MR Why can't CARB leave hobbyists alone? Maybe lay off the low hanging fruit and go after the gross polluters. Bring back the rolling exemption.