If there was one car that did the most to cement BMW’s reputation in North America, it was the 2002.
Actually, scratch that. There is one car that made BMW’s reputation, and it’s the pretty-much-legendary 2002. This still-affordable and very plentiful 2-door sport sedan transformed staid BMW into an affordable performance brand.
The 2002 family tree
The roots of the 2002 go back to the early 1960s, when BMW was struggling. For 1962, the company produced a compact 4-door sedan Read More
The Datsun B-210 was the right car at the right time. In mid-1973, the OPEC embargo had Americans lining up around the block for gas. The beastly muscle cars of the late 1960s were too thirsty, and the latest replacements from Detroit were strangled and listless.
As if on cue, Datsun kicked off the 1974 model year with an affordable small car that boasted up to 50 mpg. The B-210 was an instant hit. It seemed perfectly designed to compete Read More
The year was 1990, and the venue was Laguna Seca raceway. I was there to get some open track time in an MGB. My run group that day included a deep crimson Maserati Biturbo, and I spent several hours studying every detail of the taillights and rear end.
That happened because passing wasn’t allowed in the corners and the damn slug had just barely enough power to outpull a stock MG on the straights.
That experience sums up the essence Read More
Everyone has a Z-car story. If you didn’t own one yourself, you knew someone who did. Datsun (later Nissan) built an affordable 2-seat fastback sports car with respectable power and handling — and enthusiasts bought them in large numbers.
However, the evolution of the Z-car is a cautionary tale for automakers because Nissan was too quick to listen to focus groups of sedan buyers.
By 1974, the single-year 260Z came with a 2+2 version that destroyed the roofline. By the Read More
As a rule, it’s the overlooked cars that make the best Affordable Classics. That’s certainly the case with the Porsche 924. The more-developed 944 that came along later has completely overshadowed Porsche’s first water-cooled car.
It’s well past time to take another look and find the appeal and the value in one of the last affordable Porsches.
An inauspicious beginning
When the 924 arrived for the 1977 model year, it replaced the lackluster 914 2.0 and the 912E as Read More
Editor’s note: Jeff Zurschmeide, frequent contributor to SCM, is taking over Keith’s Blog with week with his report on last weekend’s Portland Swap Meet and PIR Auto Swap Meet:
By Jeff Zurschmeide
April in Portland means two things: rain and the Portland Swap Meet. Both are as inevitable as the sunrise, but you have to take it on faith that the sun is really up there somewhere above the clouds. However, it’s the swap meet that signals thousands of Read More
The auto industry has always been about newer and better, mostly because they want to sell everyone a new car every year. However, the Volkswagen Beetle stands in stark defiance of that idea. With only comparatively minor changes, the original Beetle was produced and loved worldwide for 57 years.
With production of the new Beetle closing down in 2019, it’s time to take another look at the little air-cooled people carrier that defined its own market — and that continues Read More