Author: Rob Sass

A Cheap, Fast, Fun Porsche with a Catch

The 996 is the pit bull of 911s — but not in a dispositional or aesthetic sense. However, like the odd pit bull that inexplicably snaps, the 996 can be a car that’s perfectly fine — until it’s not fine. An infamous bearing The source of the Porsche 996’s reputation […]

Is the TR8 Lemon Due for Some Sugar?

The last volume-produced traditional British roadster was the Triumph TR6. Even in 1969 when it was introduced, it was obsolete. Magazines such as Road & Track clamored for better, newer sports cars with modern engines, chassis and unibody construction—cars that would finally dispense with antiquated features like lever-action shocks and […]

The Safety Car that Didn’t Sell

By 1973, things looked very bad indeed for the types of cars that most of us care about. Fuel shortages, insurance rates, nutty safety and bumper regulations— plus a hearty helping of general gloom and malaise all but killed performance cars. Subaru importer Malcolm Bricklin thought he could exploit a […]

A Well-Sorted MGB is a Great Start to Collecting

Much like Morgan fans remain to this day, the MG faithful of the 1950s were committed masochists. Fans of the T-Series cars were positively aghast when the envelope-bodied MGA replaced the TF. When the inevitable wheel of progress hit Abingdon-on-Thames once again in 1962, the faithful were horrified to find […]

A Fiat or a Ferrari?

The foibles of “production” car racing and homologation rules have given rise to some rather interesting machinery over the years. Nutty Plymouth Superbirds and road-going Ford GT40s are at one end of the spectrum, and Ferrari’s first V6 engine is at the other. Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari envisioned the V6 as […]

James Bond’s Car of the 1970s

Some companies can lock one label into the consumer’s mind. This is especially true in the auto industry. Volvos are safe, Subarus are sensible, Saabs are odd and Lotuses are lightweights. Lotus mastermind Colin Chapman’s philosophy seemed to consist of omitting, thinning and paring—until the car collapsed on itself—and then […]

Monterey’s $2.3m Bargain

These cars, which are at home on the road or track, are very affordable in relation to Ferrari racers from the same era Normally my life revolves around cars that “ran when parked.” Volvo 122s with hardly any rust, Fiat 850 Spiders that are mostly complete, and even BMW 2002s […]

1982-85 Bentley Mulsanne Turbo

After reaching its zenith in the 1920s and 1930s, the Bentley began a long, slow decline in the 1950s. By the 1970s, the once-proud marque was reduced to a badge-engineered Rolls-Royce afterthought. Finally realizing that this was an atrocious squandering of the heritage of a storied brand, managers in Crewe […]

BMW M6: Still Hot After All These Years

{vsig}2010-9_2521{/vsig}For BMW enthusiasts, the E-24 generation 6-series is one of the marque’s most beloved models, introduced in 1976 to replace the outgoing 3.0 CS and CSL. In 1983, BMW unveiled the ultimate specification of the series, the M635CSi. Specially outfitted by the “M” division with the 3.4-liter DOCH six-cylinder engine […]

1950-1967 Volkswagen Microbus

During the 1950s, the people charged with the task of selling imported cars were often more in tune with what the market wanted than the manufacturers. Witness the string of successes that U.S.-based BMW and Porsche importer Max Hoffman had with the Porsche Speedster, BMW 2002 and Bavaria. In the […]