Author: Paul Duchene

Paul grew up in England and has been riding, driving (and mostly writing about) cars and motorcycles since 1958, when he bought a 1939 James Autocycle for $5. He’s written for daily newspapers and magazines for 40 years, including the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, and has owned upwards of 200 cars and 30 motorcycles, most of which survived to be sold. His daily driver is a 1984 Cadillac Seville in Palomino Firemist, but on sunny days you’ll find him grinning over the windshield of a 1968 Siata Spring.

Guest Blog: 2016 Portland Urban Safari

The idea of the 8th Portland Urban Safari brought to mind the Monty Python sketch, “Climbing the North Face of the Uxbridge Road,” where four intrepid lads claw their way horizontally up a suburban London high street, roped together and driving pitons between sidewalk slabs. But the drive through Portland, […]

1945 NSU Kettenkrad

Considerable care is necessary on steep slopes. The driver is flanked by the tracks and sits ahead of the engine; he’s not likely to escape if the vehicle flips {vsig}2008-12_2262{/vsig} The Kettenkrad was typical of vehicles designed and manufactured for the German Wehrmacht during WWII-innovative, well made, and generally superior […]

Who’s a Mister Softee, Then?

At first glance I’d have to say very well sold indeed, but what price can you put on fun? Maybe it’s a bargain {vsig}2008-5_2167{/vsig} This month’s “American Profile” is going to take a tiptoe amongst the automotive daisies, the puff and fluff of the market. Along with the heavy hitters […]

Fraud Case Deposits Dealer in Prison

Brotman would sell expensive cars for clients and keep the proceeds, or else he’d give the cars to other people to settle other debts, the court was told Over a year ago, the inaugural SCM weekly Insider Newsletter headlined the indictment of classic car dealer Peter Brotman on federal charges […]

1973 Citroën DS23 IE Cabriolet

Citroën wouldn’t sell Chapron any separate chassis, so he was reduced to buying complete cars and dismantling them   {vsig}2006-6_1937{/vsig} The Citroёn DS19 was launched on an unsuspecting world in 1955 and continued to be France’s car of choice well into the 1970s. There were many interpretations of the theme, […]

1974 Gaz-13 Chaika Limousine

I suspect this car falls into the same class of collectible as hearses-you can’t get away from the Dark Side   {vsig}2006-5_1929{/vsig} This Russian Gaz-13 “Chaika” limousine is number 2,511 of only 3,719 built between 1959 and 1981. The Chaika-which means Gull-was favored by Kremlin officials, Soviet heads of state, […]

1953 General Motors “Parade of Progress” Tour Bus

One of twelve built by General Motors, this self-contained display and transport vehicle was created in 1940 by the GM design staff under Harley Earl’s direction. The Futurliner has opening sides, interior and exterior floodlights, a retractable stage, distinctive center cockpit driving position and dual-wheel front and rear axles. The […]

1960 Volkswagen Split-Window Pickup

1960 Volkswagen Split-Window PickupVolkswagen pickups were worked to death and their lifespan was shorter than that of a Roman slave {vsig}2006-3_1917{/vsig} Unquestionably among the most innovative designs of its day, the Volkswagen “dropside” pickup stretched the definition of full-service utility vehicles. Production of the pickup was started in 1952, and […]

1951 Land Rover Series I

In the end, who cares about their pug-like looks. They work and they can’t be killed   {vsig}2006-2_1911{/vsig} Land Rover is one of the most charismatic names in the motoring world, with a rich history around the globe. Its beginnings were humble-it was designed as a utility vehicle and mobile […]

1956 Mercedes-Benz 220S Sedan “Zippo”

In 1953, Mercedes-Benz introduced the line of mid-sized automobiles that would be its mainstay for nearly a decade. Built using unit-body principles, they were lightweight yet strong and utilized a front sub-frame for mounting the engine. These “ponton” or “roundie” models received a number of motors, from 48-hp diesels in […]