Avanti II-The First Continuation Car

The hurdle many owners encounter is a big one-any money spent on a restoration is just being thrown down a rat hole

The Avanti may be one of the most polarizing designs ever created. Those who love it really love it and those who don’t appreciate it loathe it. But among the former, at least six intrepid souls have been passionate enough about Raymond Loewy and Tom Kellogg’s creation to keep the Read More

1974-77 Plastic (Not So) Fantastic ‘Vettes

1975 was the nadir. The base motor was down to 165 hp-the lowest since Chevy abandoned the Blue Flame Six in 1955

The 1970s included some great years for the Corvette-Corvette fans still get slightly dizzy at the mention of the L88 and L71 engine options. Unfortunately, those were the other ’70s, the pre-disco, Vietnam-era early ’70s that were really more like a brief encore to the ’60s. The real ’70s, the Read More

1976-81 Triumph TR7

It had the misfortune of being built in British Leyland’s Liverpool plant, better known for producing continuous labor strife than automobiles

The Triumph TR7 was perhaps the ultimate product of the 1970s, a period referred to as “the decade that quality control forgot.” Abysmal production quality, labor strife, bad management and controversial styling all conspired to render the TR7-although a surprisingly decent seller-a tragic footnote in the last days of the British Read More

1962-67 Triumph Spitfire MK I & MK II

When pushed, the back wheels on early cars go through wild camber changes and tuck under, resulting in an unscheduled trip into the weeds

Triumph’s diminutive Spitfire sports car was named for the Battle of Britain-winning fighter plane the Supermarine Spitfire and showed up in the nick of time for another life-and-death struggle.
By the late 1950s, when the Spitfire was conceived, a different battle of Britain was going on. Instead Read More

1967-75 Lotus Europa

Europas seem to come two ways-completely done or completely done-in. There’s little point in messing with the latter

Colin Chapman and Lotus led the giant-slaying revolution of rear- and mid-engine race cars, so it’s not surprising that Lotus was among the first to bring a mid-engine production sports car to market in 1967. The car was christened the Europa in a nod to Britain’s European Common Market ambitions and the fact that Read More

1966-70 Datsun 1600/2000 Sports

While the Brits were still making do with finicky overdrive units, the Datsun 2000 had a five-speed gearbox designed by Porsche

For a long time after WWII, Japanese products were viewed by American consumers merely as cheap copies of Western goods.
Conventional wisdom held that a Nikon was a cheap copy of a Leica, a Seiko was a Rolex knock-off, and the Datsun Sports 1500 was a second-rate MGB. None of this Read More

1967-69 MGC

The MGC was the first in a string of half-baked ideas that turned the British motor industry into a historic-preservation trust

Few cars have taken more of a beating right out of the box than the MGC. Already incensed by BMC’s premeditated murder of the Austin-Healey 3000 in favor of the C, journalists were out for blood.
And they drew plenty: “clumsy,” “nose-heavy,” and “not particularly nimble” were among the kinder Read More

1966 Jaguar XKE Series 1 2+2

The rear seats won’t accommodate anyone bigger than munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz”

What was an E-type owner to do when little Nigel and Fiona came along? Grace, pace, and space was how the marketing blokes in Coventry described the new “family” E-type 2+2 coupe that bowed as a 1966 model.
It was trotted out in an attempt to broaden the E-type’s market beyond confirmed bachelors and those well-heeled enough to Read More

1969-73 Opel GT

Over 70,000 GTs were peddled in the U.S. from 1968 to 1973.

The history of captive imports is a tale of ill-starred orphans. If you recall the Plymouth Cricket (née Hillman Avenger), Plymouth Fire Arrow, (aka Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste), or the Ford Sierra sold here as the Merkur XR4ti (complete with pronunciation guide), you need to get out more.

Captive imports were usually marketed in the U.S. until a competing domestic Read More

1966-67 Oldsmobile Toronado

How can muscle car collectors overlook anything this big?

The 1966 Toronado was America’s first front-wheel drive car since the Cord 810, 30 years earlier. It was certainly Oldsmobile’s (and possibly GM’s) last stylistic tour de force. The post-1967 years became increasingly unfriendly to this type of individuality as committees, legislators, and focus groups took over American automotive design.
The project that eventually became the Toronado had a long gestation period Read More

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