Jim’s Blog: When Was the Last Classic Built?

I hear a lot of car people lament that the last classic car was built in 1973. I don’t agree.

“Classic” is technically defined as “Serving as a standard of excellence: of recognized value.” There’s nothing there to limit production years on cars. I think that comes from the definition of “antique” as it relates to state DMV definitions, which vary depending on where you live. But to me, sticking a year cutoff on the term misses the point completely. Read More

Jim’s Blog: How Old Are Your Tires?

Most of us know that gas has an expiration date. We typically say that oil should be changed at least twice a year. But when’s the last time you considered the age of your tires?

If you’re lucky, you might put a couple thousand miles per year on your classic. Unless you’re doing burnouts the whole time, it’s unlikely you’ll end up putting much wear on those tires, and that brings us to a situation that you maybe haven’t thought Read More

Jim’s Blog: Car Spotting at Portland Transmission

Here in Portland, car season kicks off with a pair of huge swap meets in early April. About a month later, on the Saturday before Mothers’ Day, the city’s car people wake up all their classics and head out for the inner east side of town, where all gather for the annual Portland Transmission show.

This is a free event that tends to sprawl out from its epicenter at the Portland Transmission Warehouse, taking over blocks and blocks of street Read More

Jim’s Blog: Are Engine Swaps OK?

Small block, big block, and LS Chevrolet V8s tend to find their way into all kinds of classic cars. Should they?

I’m all about making a vintage car more drivable — from steering and brake upgrades all the way through the addition of modern fuel injection. All of these things can make a classic car more usable in today’s busy traffic world. But what about that engine?

I’ve been talking with ACC columnist Jay Harden about this at length Read More