By on September 30, 2019

Alvis CVR(T) in Southern California wrecking yard - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsFrom 1962 through 2016, one of the continent’s most amazing junkyards operated in the Sun Valley neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles: Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking, also known as U-Pick Parts. Plenty of scenes for movies, TV shows, and music videos were filmed there, in addition to providing some great Junkyard Finds (not to mention parts for my personal cars, when I lived in Southern California in the late 1980s).

I snapped a couple of shots of an armored vehicle of some kind there, back in 2014, and now it’s time to share them. (Read More…)

By on September 27, 2019

Though this Rare Ride looks like it might’ve come from a design commissioned by a Russian businessman, it’s in fact mostly British — and just a bit American. Let’s have a look at the Invicta S1 from 2009.

(Read More…)

By on September 13, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride is the very first Bristol featured in this series. Hand-crafted in a shed somewhere in England, Bristol maintained exclusivity via an owner who only sold cars to people he liked.

Presenting the aerodynamic Beaufort cabriolet, from 1984.

(Read More…)

By on September 4, 2019

In Part I of the TVR M Series story, we covered the new model range TVR developed based upon its dual core principles of lightness and roadster. And while things progressed without major issue for the first few model years, the latter half of the M’s life was fraught with adversity, mishaps, and a case of oversharing. Prepare for government intervention!

(Read More…)

By on September 3, 2019

Recently, Rare Rides featured its first-ever TVR, a wedge from the decade or so where all of TVR’s offerings were variations on the same doorstop shape. The 2500M predated wedge design and thus maintained a more traditional British roadster shape. In Part I of this two-part series, we’ll cover the humble beginnings of TVR’s M Series cars.

(Read More…)

By on August 6, 2019

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.

(Read More…)

By on July 10, 2019

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.

(Read More…)

By on April 29, 2019

1979 MG Midget in California wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsBMC and then British Leyland churned out MG Midgets and near-identical Austin-Healey Sprites for 20 years, with the final example coming off the Abingdon line in 1980. Because project-grade Midgets still clutter garages, driveways, yards, and fields throughout the land and they’re not worth much, the clock runs out for many of them every year.

The next stop, usually, is among the Sephias and Jettas of the IMPORTS section at a self-service wrecking yard. Here’s a forlorn ’79 I spotted last week in California. (Read More…)

By on February 21, 2019

The Rare Rides series is fond of Aston Martin, and has previously featured a Lagonda, Virage, and a bespoke V8 shooting brake. Today we have a look at the closest the brand ever got to making a British Mustang.

It’s a V8 Volante from 1988.
(Read More…)

By on February 14, 2019

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.

(Read More…)

By on February 4, 2019

1992 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas Majestic in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsJaguar XJ40s are so plentiful in U-Wrench-It yards that I don’t even notice them as I wander around searching for the elusive Suzuki Equator (no luck there, yet). In fact, none of the Jags I’ve photographed prior to today’s Junkyard Find have been XJ40s, but we’ve got a one-of-121-built super-rarity here in Denver: a genuine Vanden Plas Majestic! (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2019

Long before the Ford-based retro throwback began showing up on dealer lots, Jaguar produced a contemporary and modern sedan called the S-type. Let’s check out a brown example, this one hailing from 1966.
(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2019

MG marked a return to its roadster roots after a long slumber with its 1990s F model. Wanting more, they developed it into today’s Rare Ride, a TF from 2003.
(Read More…)

By on January 22, 2019

Ever wondered what a bespoke shooting brake might look like if its donor vehicle were a long-wheelbase convertible? Wonder no more, for today’s Rare Ride is just such a vehicle, and is also an Aston Martin.

(Read More…)

By on December 26, 2018

1976 MGB in California wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
In all of my decades of visiting junkyards, one thing has remained constant: I’ll see a handful of Fiat 124 Sport Spiders and MG MGBs every year, about the same number in 2018 as I saw each year in 2001 or 1987. Here’s the latest: a red ’76 convertible in a self-service wrecking yard in California’s Central Valley. (Read More…)

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