Triumph’s Joan Rivers

When Karmann face-lifted the Triumph TR4 in 1968, there were still some arthritic old bones behind the TR6’s wide smile and smooth skin

The age of the biplane fighter lasted from roughly 1915 to 1941, by which time the last of the fabric-covered, fixed-gear aircraft like the Gloster Gladiator and Fiat CR42 were looking quite antique. The Triumph TR6 was the Gloster Gladiator of sports cars: If not absolutely the last traditional Read More

Ferrari 400: Sensible Italian Shoes?

Buy a Ferrari 400 with needs and you may as well start thinking about ways to improve on Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme

The mid 1970s were cruel to the entire auto industry, and the Italian exotics were particularly hard hit. Punitive taxes, fuel shortages, and a general reluctance to consume conspicuously put Maserati and Lamborghini on the ropes. Even Ferrari wasn’t immune.

Worse still, class warfare turned into open warfare when Read More

Worth the Weight

The Lotus Elan will forever be remembered as the ride of latex catsuit-
wearing Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in the BBC spy show “The Avengers”

Colin Chapman’s fanaticism about keeping weight off makes the average supermodel’s interest in the same subject seem merely casual. The results he achieved without materials like carbon fiber and the extensive use of aluminum were simply amazing, even if they were gained at the expense of Read More

1969-71 Jaguar Series II E-types

Series II E-types aren’t quite the stylistic betrayal we’ve been led to believe. And they are an affordable way into the Jaguar mystique

If the Series I E-type is the prom queen, the Marcia Brady of E-types, then the Series II is Jan Brady-less glamorous and forever living in the shadow of her older sibling. A pity really, as the Series II is the most user-friendly of E-types.

The Jaguar Read More

Major Charm, Minor Problems

It still conjures up Ealing Comedy images of Miss Marple meandering absent-mindedly through rustic English villages at 25 mph

The whole “people’s car” thing never went over particularly well in the upwardly mobile post-war U.S. Cars like the Crosley, Citroën 2CV, and VW Beetle screamed austerity at a time when the U.S. was sick of it. It was no different with the Morris Minor, which like the BMC Mini a generation later, Read More

The Last Real Jaguar Sedan

The DOHC six was proven technology, and even the collection of boobs and Marxists assembling cars for British Leyland in the 1970s couldn’t screw it up

In the opinion of many, the Series I E-type of 1961-67 was the high-water mark for Jaguar. Thereafter, the company irretrievably jumped the shark in 1968 with the Series II E-type, before sinking under British Leyland and then Ford ownership.

But founder Sir William Lyons Read More

Tin Lizzie: 100 and Counting

Model Ts can be quite fun in an agricultural way; simply knowing how to start and run one is a tribute to our great-grandparents

The difference between the world today and the world into which the Ford Model T was born 100 years ago couldn’t be more stark. In 1908, the U.S. auto industry was in its infancy and Ford was on its way to becoming an international titan and undisputed industry Read More

When Buick Went South

In GS form, with two four-barrel Carter carburetors, the Riviera put out a mighty 360 hp and generated an equally hefty 475 ft-lb of torque

Legend has it that the 1963 Riviera (originally supposed to be a revival of the LaSalle marque) was the result of a trip that Bill Mitchell took to Europe in 1960. Particularly impressed with a Ferrari 250 PF coupe and a custom-bodied Rolls-Royce with styling that he Read More

A Ferrari for Everyman (or Woman)

The Lamborghini Countach may have had the dorm room poster market, but the 308 got screen time with “Magnum, P.I.”

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The great automotive die-off of the 1970s claimed muscle cars, full-sized American convertibles, and traditional British sports cars. Italian exotics came perilously close to being on that list. In addition to U.S. emission and bumper regulations, in Europe escalating fuel prices and shortages, along with punitive taxes, were threatening Maserati, Read More

Credit-Card Specials in Monterey

The DB7 led directly to the current top-notch Astons, and it’s a huge amount of swagger and eyeball for $50,000

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Finding an affordable classic in Monterey seems about as likely as grabbing the “early-bird special” at Alain Ducasse’s newest restaurant. This is after all Monterey, and for five days in August, even the meanest Econo Lodge becomes the $300/night “Hotel Costa Plenté.”

Nevertheless, there were some interesting $50,000-and-under cars Read More

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