By on May 7, 2019

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:

(Read More…)

By on July 22, 2018

Hyundai’s Veloster may be the first to wear the N badge and we’ve already explained it won’t be the last. However, the plot has thickened slightly. The new division won’t be limited to peppering existing models with enhanced powertrains and sport-inspired accessories, it’s eventually going to have its own halo car.

Thomas Schemera, who was appointed head of Hyundai’s new high performance and motorsport division earlier this year, is claiming that the Veloster N is only “the first phase of N vehicles.” But he isn’t talking about the future N-Line, which is to be comprised of gently tweaked Hyundai cars. Apparently, the group is developing a halo performance model to show off what the sporting division can really do.  (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2018

Hyundai Veloster N

Hyundai’s Veloster has gone from an oddball offering drivers a reasonably good time on a budget to something that can compete with the Volkswagen GTI and Civic Si. It’s no longer the hot hatch you settled on to save money; it’s a legitimate alternative.

Outfitted properly, the updated Hyundai can hold its own in the hot hatch segment. However, it does not appear to shame any of the veteran entrants. The GTI remains the total package while other models offer their own unique advantages. But the Veloster, specifically the R-Spec with the 1.6-liter turbo, remains in the mix with a leaner price tag.

This changes when the Hyundai’s N sub-brand arrives in the U.S. market.  (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2018

1996 BMW 318ti in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe most affordable BMW in the United States, during the middle years of the E36 platform, was the 318ti. A four-cylinder hatchback, it sold for about two-thirds the price of a six-cylinder 328 sedan or coupe.

In 1996, buyers could get a version with a huge canvas-covered sunroof, known as the California Edition, and that’s what I have found in a Denver-area self-service wrecking yard. (Read More…)

By on January 29, 2018

Image: 1991 Ford Fiesta RSIn 1991, customers had a couple of hatchback options from the Blue Oval in the United States, in either the compact or subcompact segments. At the bottom of the barrel (in all ways) was the Mazda-designed Festiva, and positioned above it was the Mazda-based Escort.

Across the pond, Europeans received a Ford which was actually a Ford — the Fiesta.

(Read More…)

By on December 18, 2017

Image: 1997 Peugeot 106 GTIAs we all know, our neighbors to the north keep things warm and tropical. Additionally, they have less government, and fewer regulations. This lack of regulation is what makes today’s Peugeot possible.

It’s a very tidy 106 GTI, from 1997.

(Read More…)

By on November 30, 2017

Image: 1990 Renault 5 GT TurboAh, bygone French cars. Citroen, Peugeot, and Renault all abandoned the American market by the early 1990s, leaving behind mostly memories of poor reliability and shoddy trim on underpowered little cars. But those in the know are aware of the other side of the coin. It’s the side where France was (is?) great at producing hot hatchbacks. French style and engineering came together to compete with the founder of the breed, the Volkswagen GTI.

For those people, today is a special day. Presenting the Renault 5 GT Turbo:

(Read More…)

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