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

The Unaffordable Classic

A dead DS that has settled to the bottom of the suspension travel is likely to become part of the fossil record at precisely the spot where it died

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The introduction of the Citroën DS19 at the Paris Motor Show in 1955 had all the drama of Klaatu’s flying saucer landing in Washington, DC in the 1950s sci-fi movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” By the end of the Read More

A Beetle in a Lovely Italian Suit

The real bug with any Karmann-Ghia is rust. It’s claimed nearly all of the early cars, and it can appear anywhere on the body

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By the mid-1950s, it appeared certain that the West German economic miracle would be sustained. Luxury models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz began to reappear. Even Volkswagen began to consider something more special than the prosaic Beetle sedan.

The Italian coachbuilder Ghia had proposed designs for Read More

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