Affordable Classics

Plenty of Fun — But No Adoration

A few years ago, while sitting in my cubicle at General Motors world headquarters in Detroit, MI, I began my search for a classic car — an affordable one. Despite my being in the Motor City, I determined I wanted something from Europe — preferably English or Italian — with a […]

The Rick Astley of Z-Cars

Everyone has a Z-car story. If you didn’t own one yourself, you knew someone who did. Datsun (later Nissan) built an affordable 2-seat fastback sports car with respectable power and handling — and enthusiasts bought them in large numbers. However, the evolution of the Z-car is a cautionary tale for […]

The Overlooked Porsche — So Far

As a rule, it’s the overlooked cars that make the best Affordable Classics. That’s certainly the case with the Porsche 924. The more-developed 944 that came along later has completely overshadowed Porsche’s first water-cooled car. It’s well past time to take another look and find the appeal and the value […]

Folle Petite Voiture!*

Ihad a friend who was cursed with the nickname “Swamp Gas.” Folks called him that because “swamp gas was the only explanation for something that weird.” Which brings me to the Citroën 2CV. Yup, that odd little French car that also answers to “deux chevaux.” From the land of stinky […]

Is It or Isn’t It?

Any car is a rolling exercise in compromise: horsepower vs. economy, stability vs. agility, interior space vs. exterior volume, bilge capacity vs. sinkability. Whoa. What? That last is only a problem with the most glaring example of compromise in automotive design ever — the Amphicar 770. It has been called […]

An Open Window to Fun

No window of opportunity stays open forever, but in the case of the Triumph TR6, it has been open a long time. Long thought to be undervalued amaong those who expected it would follow the Big Healey’s valuation path upwards over the past decade and a half, TR6 prices haven’t […]

Bringing Back Performance

Aman named Rob Van Winkle once sang, “Rollin’ in my five-point-oh, with my ragtop down so my hair can blow.” Although Vanilla Ice was a self-proclaimed lyrical poet, the pop song “Ice, Ice Baby” doesn’t quite reach the poetic depths of say, Bob Dylan. The irony is that Ice had […]

A Survivor Worth Exploring

Muscle cars dominated my Southern California high-school parking lot at the end of the 1960s. There were Mustangs, Camaros and even the odd Road Runner. Then there were my friends, tweed caps and all, with our Sprites, TR3s and MGAs. There was even a Mini. We were too young for […]

A Type 1 Collectible

The auto industry has always been about newer and better, mostly because they want to sell everyone a new car every year. However, the Volkswagen Beetle stands in stark defiance of that idea. With only comparatively minor changes, the original Beetle was produced and loved worldwide for 57 years. With […]

This Dino Was a Deal

When is a Ferrari not a Ferrari? Generally speaking, when it’s a Dino. These vehicles were created because Ferrari needed to build a production V6 in sufficient numbers to homologate the engine for racing in the mid-1960s. However, Ferrari didn’t want to offer a downsized engine in its own road-going […]