Friday, November 29, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
If you think '1977 Pontiac', there's probably a 90% chance you think of the black Trans-Am Burt Reynolds drove in Smokey and the Bandit. Admit it, that's what you thought.
Monday, November 25, 2013
I'm a big fan of the Pontiac brand, so this week I'm doing a Pontiac theme.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Rock & Roll, where the riders sit in little cars on a track that are all clearly patterned after the '57 Bel Air - the attraction's sign even has a full-scale fiberglass Bel Air front end bursting out of it. Arlen Ness, a Northern California motorcycle builder, built a bike called Ness-Stalgia that's directly inspired by the '57 Bel Air. And when you go to car shows, try counting how many '57 Bel Airs show up. They all seem to come out of the woodwork, as well as their '55 and '56 brethren. It has to be something really special to get me to photograph one at a show. And the ones that do show up are typically red, blue, or black and sitting on American Racing TorqThrust wheels. Not that that's bad, necessarily. People do it because it looks good. These things still go for big money on the collector car market and are very collectible. Heck, I loved the '57 Bel Air as a kid. I built a model of one. I painted it blue and put on the TorqThrust wheels that were optional in the box. So yeah, the '57 Bel Air is a bit stale. But do you see the '57s on the street? Rarely.
Monday, November 18, 2013
The first time I ever recall seeing a 1941 Dodge Luxury Liner was in January outside the Silicon Valley International Auto Show. They're not nearly as popular with owners today as Fords and Chevys of the same era, making them very hard to find. I commented on this in my feature on it. So naturally I stumbled upon another one in my own town a mere two days after I wrote the post.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
One of my rules for shooting cars is that nothing is worth risking your life over. Running across the Pacific Coast Highway at rush hour on a blind curve to photograph a ridiculously clean International Scout might not have been wise. But the streets of Berkeley are rarely dangerous, aside from maybe the odd rented Zipcar Prius piloted by some millenial who hates driving because it interferes with their texting. I passed by this 1972 Alfa Romeo 2000 Berlina while searching for a mid-'50s Buick that I believed lived in the area. I pulled into a driveway to turn around, and while reversing I was forced to jam the car back in gear and gun it to avoid being slammed by a Honda that had crested the hill and was sailing downhill toward me without paying attention. Close calls are scary, and it would have really ruined my day to get my Focus written off over some pictures of an old Alfa.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Veterans Day is a holiday in the United States that honors those who have served in our armed forces, both past and present. For that reason I'm featuring a military vehicle. And not just any military vehicle, but one of the workhorses of the modern military, the AM General HMMWV, or Humvee.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Regular readers here know that I'm not exactly a Mopar fanboy. By that I mean I like a lot of Chrysler products, but there are also a lot of models and model years I don't particularly favor. Much has been said about Chrysler's amusing gamble to downsize their 1962 Dodge and Plymouth models on short notice, and how it left their formerly fullsize cars roughly the size of their competitors' intermediate offerings. The end result was a line of ungainly vehicles with scaled-down styling cues meant for larger bodies. Chrysler executives fired designer Virgil Exner for the unpopular goof, even though downsizing wasn't his plan and he wasn't actually involved in the reinterpretation of his original design. Elwood Engel was brought in to "fix" things for '63, and the result was the Dodge Polara you see here.