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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Classics

Classic Car Cultist: International Scout II

On: Wed, May 4, 2011 at 4:47PM | By: Chris Salamone

International Scout II  test 2

 Oh… you’ve never heard of the International Harvester Scout II? Well, I’ll bet you’ve seen it in one of the 34 movies and shows starring this epic American off-roader, such as Desperado, Avalanche, Milk, Dallas, and, of course, Swamp Thing. The Scout II may not be your absolute favorite hero machine, but as far as credibility is concerned, Swamp Thing is commonly accepted as the authoritative standard for cult classic films and this car is the perfect automotive pairing to swamp monsters and hokey script writing. But, the Scout II offers much more than just a funky aesthetic.

The International Harvester Scout was one of the seminal production civilian off-road SUVs, meant to compete with early Jeep models. Scouts were produced as two-door trucks with inventive options such as a half cab pickup or removable hard and soft tops. Considering that IH spent a total of 24 months in R&D for the entire vehicle (engine and manufacturing), the Scout was and remains to be an incredible achievement.

Tally-ho! Earth's First Hybrid Goes For A Spin

On: Wed, May 4, 2011 at 1:37PM | By: Chris Salamone

Porsche Semper Vivus test 2

Over the years Porsche has stood out as a company which not only produces exceptional vehicles, but as a company that also turns a profit with regularity. But the claims to fame don’t stop there. In 1900 Porsche manufactured the first functional hybrid car ever built: the Semper Vivus. Take that Prius! Yes, a full one hundred years before Toyota rolled out with the Prius the Semper Vivus roamed the concrete jungles of yesterday, err… minus the concrete. Recently Porsche decided to remind the world of their EV achievement by taking the Semper Vivus out for a spin.

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts Of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Mon, May 2, 2011 at 5:49PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

the very limited Corvette Grand Sport. test 2

Every once in a while a car company gets it right. They mix the right blend of power, beauty, and mystique into the pot and come out with something that elicits an image of several engineers in lab coats smoking cigars and patting each other on the back as they stand at the end of the production line when the first model rolls off. In 1996 those crafty Chevy engineers had every right to celebrate when they made the very limited Corvette Grand Sport.

Even though there were only 1000 models made (810 coupes and 190 convertibles), the Grand Sport was a car that got worldwide attention. The C4 Corvette (fourth generation) was in its final model year, but after being around for 12 years (1984-1996), it seems Chevy wanted it to go out with a bang instead of a whimper.

Jaguar Celebrates The E-Type's 50th... With Fox?

On: Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 1:34PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Megan Fox at the E-Type's 50th test 2

Though I’m sure there are more than a few folks out there that would like to spend their 50th birthday with American “actress” Megan Fox, she seems an odd choice for a hallowed English automaker to choose as the upscale “booth-bunny” for an event that celebrated the golden anniversary of its most famous model.

[What, was every English hottie busy that day, guys?]

But choose her they did for the “Jaguar E-Type 50th Anniversary Celebration,” an event that the company held near this year’s New York International Auto Show to remind us that the E-Type was introduced to the “North American media and public” 50 years ago at the 1961 NY show.

Sounds simple enough, right? Get an old Jag, a new Jag, some banners, maybe some cake and, bingo-bongo, you’ve got a party. Which is what they did… Sort of.


The Kind Of Chicago Muscle You WANT To Meet

On: Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 11:02AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Nickey sticker on 69 Corvette test 2

You may not know an L78 from an SR-71, but if you know anything about classic American muscle cars you know the Nickey name. [Oh. No? It's the one with the big red backwards "K" in its logo. Yep, them. Let's continue...]

Though perhaps not as big a name-brand as Yenko, those Chicago boys at Nickey Chevrolet (the dealer) knew as much as anyone about how to transform the classic ill-handling, poor-stopping, overpowered muscle cars into something positively lethal. Not surprisingly, very few authentic Nickey Chevrolets (the cars this time) have survived, so to find one in even passable shape is something in the muscle car world akin to a miracle.

Well, move over Lourdes—the holy water place, not the spawn of Madonna—for Mecum Auctions is set to, well, auction seven Nickey-enhanced Chevrolets from the collection of noted muscle car guru Mike Guarise as part of its Original Spring Classic Auction extravaganza happening May 17-22 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in—you guessed it—Indianapolis, IN.

Classic Car Cultist: The Judge

On: Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 1:38PM | By: Chris Salamone

1969 Pontiac GTO, The Judge test 2

All rise, the Judge is in session. In 1969 Pontiac launched a new model type for the stout, muscle bearing GTO, aptly named ‘The Judge’. The vehicle’s name came from a comedy routine called “Here Comes the Judge” in Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In TV show. In its developmental phase, the Judge was supposed to be a cheap, stripped down version of the GTO to compete with the Plymouth Road Runner. Ha! We all know that plan was thrown out the window.

Instead Pontiac created the ultimate street performance car with an equally potent image. The Judge package initially cost $332 more than the standard GTO but included a Ram Air III engine, a Hurst shifter, decals, wide tires, Rally II wheels, and (of course) a spoiler.

Classic Car Cultist: VW Type 181

On: Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 12:40PM | By: Chris Salamone

1974 Thing test 2

Produced by Volkswagen from 1969 to 1983, the Type 181 “Kurierwagen” remains a modern day cult classic throughout the world. This lightweight utilitarian vehicle traces its roots from the Type 1 Beetle and later the World War II Kübelwagen. Depending on location, the vehicle was also known as the Trekker in the UK, the Thing in the US, and the Safari in Mexico. Just looking at the 181, it’s easy to see what separates this automobile from the rest of the pack.

The 181’s popularity is most likely a direct result of the car’s zany styling and aesthetics. Exterior characteristics include angular edges, removable doors and windows, and a folding windshield. The interior follows a similar spirit with flat bench seats and painted steel door panels. With the right mix of a totally unique look and humorous drive feel roaring around with 55 horsepower, the 181 is an all in all perfect car to collect a cult-like following.

The Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance, a Primer

On: Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 10:19AM | By: Chris Salamone

Mormon Meteor test 2

Sound the horns. This year’s Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance is the 16thannual show and is scheduled to run March 11-13. The event’s host hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, was rated by readers of Conde Nast Traveler No. 5 for best resorts in North America and No. 31 for best beach hotels on planet earth from readers of Travel and Leisure Magazine. In addition to world-class amenities, staying at The Ritz also includes a hefty price tag. But considering the grandeur of the show, The Ritz Carlton is a perfect fit for such an over-the-top event. This year’s lineup includes several historically significant vehicles and Indy 500 Winner Bobby Rahal as the 2011 Honoree.   

Classic Car Cultist: AMC Gremlin

On: Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 1:32PM | By: Chris Salamone

AMC Gremlin test 2

Some cars pass through dealerships and change hands a few times only to disappear into the annals of automotive history. Other cars become instant collector items. These vehicles have long-term value from the moment they are manufactured. The AMC Gremlin does not fall into either category. Produced from 1970-1978, the Gremlin has slowly earned its place within the hearts and minds of classic car enthusiasts and now carries a somewhat cult-like following. Evidence of the car’s popularity is found in the numerous TV and movie spots which add character depth by throwing in an oddball 1970s Gremlin to spice up the show, consider the HBO hit series True Blood or the Adam Sandler flick The Wedding Singer. The vehicle features a chopped Kammback-type rear end intended to improve aerodynamics and gas mileage. ‘Kamm Tails’ are found in many modern cars as well, including the current Toyota Prius. From the honorable distinction as America’s First Subcompact to the addition of a throaty 5.0L V8 the AMC Gremlin is finally being appreciated as a classic car.

Snortin' Norton Returns To Keen US Market

On: Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Salamone

Norton Commando 961 SE  test 2

 In 1902 the first Norton motorcycle, aka ‘the Engerette’, was unleashed out of a Birmingham, England factory and sport motorcycling changed forever. Nortons dominated world road racing for decades to come. After generations of UK ownership, the brand changed guard to a US company based in Oregon. Recently, however, after fifteen years of US ownership, Norton is once again secured under the British flag by CEO Stuart Garner. For the last two years orders for the newly produced 961 Commandos have vastly exceeded the company’s expectations. Perhaps more interesting, buyer interest is equally robust for the US market. As of February 15th only three of the fifty US allotted 961 SEs were still available for purchase.

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 12:23PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Acura NSX test 2

When it comes to exciting cars of yesteryear, few cars are as underappreciated as the legendary Acura NSX. Whether it was being mistaken for a Ferrari or taking knocks for not having enough power as other cars in its price class, the NSX does not get nearly the credit it deserved. But with a little more insight, we might just be able to get the NSX the credit it absolutely deserves.  

In the mid-1980s, after years of research, Honda decided to throw its hat into the performance car ring. Using the Ferrari 348 as a benchmark to beat, Honda set out on its journey and quickly decided that instead of trying to find a designer better than those talented Italians, they would just go out and pay the very best Italian on the market to create the shape of their halo car. And so, in 1984, Honda employed the services of none other than the legendary Pininfarina to pen a prototype deemed the HP-X or Honda Pininfarina Xperimental which evolved six years later onto show room floors as the NSX, or New Sportscar Xperimental. Honda took note of some exotic cars' penchant for breaking down and being temperamental when it came to driving their very wealthy owners around for any length of time or any lengthy distance. The goal of the NSX was to be every bit an exotic that its Italian competitors were, but to excel where they were weak, and at a price point much lower than even the cheapest prancing horse or raging bull. And from its first appearance in 1991 to its final bow in 2005, the NSX achieved all of its goals in spades.