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 convertible soft top. With these criteria, I crafted a short list: Triumph TR6, Jensen-Healey and MGB convertible. And I was off to the races.

The TR6, I quickly discovered, carried Read More

1958 Fiat-Abarth 750 GT Series III Double-Bubble Coupe

Offered here is an early-production Series III 750 GT. While the first owner is not known, the car was in the hands of Harris J. Sobin by the early 1970s. Sobin, an architect and University of Arizona professor, displayed the Abarth at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1992. Dissatisfied with not winning a prize, he commissioned a complete restoration, spending years gathering parts and information from sources in Italy.

This car has a correct 750 GT engine, with high-compression Read More

1961 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Flat-Floor Coupe

This rare early E-type left the factory in November 1961 finished in Gunmetal metallic with red trim.

Its late owner purchased the car from The E-type Centre, Chilcote, Staffordshire, in November 2002 (purchase receipt on file). Previously registered EMM 8, the car had been fully restored by The E-Type Centre immediately prior to delivery, as evidenced by their accompanying photographic record (perusal recommended). A bare-metal respray was carried out as part of the restoration and the following upgrades were fitted: Read More

1930 Ruxton Model C Roadster

Described as “The Most Turbulent Tale in Automotive History,” the Ruxton story of America’s first front-drive automobile is a saga worthy of a big-screen production.

The car was launched at the onset of the Great Depression. Author Jeffrey Godshall described the Ruxton as “a brilliant machine that never had a chance.”

The Ruxton journey was twisted, as they placed production under a holding company (New Era Motors) in 1929 and moved through a series of financial and legal battles, corporate Read More

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 automakers because Nissan was too quick to listen to focus groups of sedan buyers.

By 1974, the single-year 260Z came with a 2+2 version that destroyed the roofline. By the Read More

1966 McLaren M1B Group 7 Can-Am Racer

Bruce McLaren’s first sports prototype was the M1A. The team’s first self-designed car, the M1A was another simple space-frame design featuring the Oldsmobile V8 engine via a Hewland transaxle.

Frank Nichols’ Elva Cars was already building its own highly successful sports racers, and he expressed an interest in the new McLaren prototype. The result was an agreement for Trojan (Elva’s parent company) to build a production version: the McLaren-Elva, 24 of which were completed.

For 1965, the design was refined Read More