Out With the New

I’m about to do something I know I shouldn’t do. I’m going to ignore my own advice.

ACC’s Dodge Viper GTS ACR has been a staple in the garage since we bought it. It was minty fresh when it rolled off the enclosed carrier at ACC headquarters in 2014, bought for $42,500 with just 1,200 miles from new. After a new set of tires, I took it on several high-speed distance runs — first 200 miles to Brothers, OR, where Read More

The Upmarket Maverick

In 1959, Ford bought the rights to use the name “Comet” from ambulance and hearse builder Cotner-Bevington’s Comet Coach Company, with high hopes for a new compact car that was to be sold by Edsel dealers. But with the Edsel line euthanized barely into early 1960 production, the new upmarket complement to the Falcon that shared most of its components was sent to Mercury dealers.

That Falcon-based Comet compact was built from 1960 through 1965. In 1966, the name moved Read More

Back to the Future

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting out of my first trip to the SEMA show in Las Vegas, but the event somehow ended up being both everything and nothing I thought it would be.

Let me put it this way — I can say with some confidence that whatever it is you’ve heard about SEMA, it’s true. All of it.

The event is carried out on a scale that is virtually impossible to articulate on paper, and the Read More

Injection Perfection

The carburetor is king in the world of American muscle cars for good reason: It’s simple and effective in delivering a fuel mixture to your V8.
But carburetors are quirky, and even when professionally tuned, a carb can’t always deliver the exact fuel curve your engine needs. The weather or even changes in altitude can knock that old 4-barrel on your Camaro’s 396 out of balance even if it was in perfect tune yesterday.

Car guys have learned to Read More

What is Collectible?

I’ve been following the classic car auction scene on a daily basis for more than a decade now.

During that time, I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs in values — the most notable being the housing crash of 2008 that blew the floor out of the then-booming muscle car market and turned seven-figure Mopars into no-sale trailer queens.

Looking back at the changes that have taken place over those 11 or so years, another adjustment has popped up Read More

Life in the Fast Lane

Ispent a LOT of my teenage hours nose-down between the pages of one hot-rod magazine or another.

I read them cover to cover. Over time, I eventually grew weary of reading what seemed like the same feature article intro over and over.

I’m sure you know the one — guy reluctantly parks old car for decades to build family/house/life, but finally gets around to car of his dreams.

The only sorrier story was guy reluctantly sells old car to build Read More

Where the Bucks Stopped in Monterey

As America’s ultimate example of collector-car opulence, the Monterey Car Week auctions lean to multi-million-dollar, limited-production cars.

Monterey 2017 was a slightly lower year for sales, with some world records established on the high end. All the lower-tier cars pretty much treaded water.

In light of this, my annual look at the least-expensive American car at each Monterey Car Week auction gains more relevance. There is always a car that sells for the least amount of money.

How low did Read More

Turning it up

ACC practices what it preaches when it comes to driving our old cars. But the one thing that really leaves a lot to be desired, especially in cars from the 1960s, is steering effort — or in the sheer number of turns it takes from left lock to right lock.

A lot of factory steering boxes had four or more turns built into them. That might have been fine in the days of bias-ply rubber when more leverage was needed, Read More

Benz Bones, Mopar Soul

The Chrysler-Maserati TC of 1989–91 may have been Lee Iacocca’s pet project, but it did show Chrysler a thing or two about trans-oceanic undertakings.

But when the Crossfire was introduced at the 2001 North American Auto Show in Detroit, Chrysler wasn’t exactly calling the shots, thanks to the DaimlerChrysler merger.

While the TC was more a case of spreading out the workload between two continents (actually three, if you count the Mitsubishi V6 engine in later production), the Crossfire is Read More

Planning is Overrated

Sometimes I don’t always plan as far ahead as I should. Some may call it procrastinating, but I’m not ready to cop to that. Rather, I see planning for things at the 11th hour as a sign of extreme flexibility and a way to make every day a new adventure. My wife, however, vehemently disagrees.

However, for this year’s Shelby American Automobile Club’s National Convention, known as SAAC-42 to the faithful, I was pretty damn proud of my advance planning. Read More