I’ll Build it Someday

few weeks ago, while on a walk with my daughter in my neighborhood, I caught a glimpse of a rounded metal roof peeking out from behind a fence. I stood up tall to look over and saw a ’56 Chevy 2-door post.

Half-consumed by blackberry bushes, it sat with its ’70s-era white-letter radials sunk into the dirt, its headliner draping down over its seats, and its front bumper tossed on Read More

Requiem for the Car Club?

like to think I’m not getting old, but unless I stop looking in mirrors (and change my diet to 100% Ibuprofen), I can’t help but face the fact that I am. Along with that, I suppose, comes the responsibility to bitch about how much better it was in “the old days.”

Now, let me clarify, I’m not that old. But I did enter the collector car world in the mid-1980s, and if you Read More

Making It Personal

Custom vans defined the 1970s. You can chalk that movement up to a number of factors: withdrawal from the hippie movement or the disappearance of muscle cars, a market glut of used first- and second-generation American work vans, and a burgeoning interest in light-duty trucks despite the OPEC oil crisis. It all combined to create the perfect storm for one of the more unique eras of vehicle personalization.

Van modifications were Read More

Plastic Fantastic

For an English major, I sure did lousy in Ye Olde English Literature. Byron, Keats, Milton and the rest seemed unbearably stuffy compared to my favorite authors of the period — the editors of Hot Rod, Road & Track and Car and Driver — in particular, Brock Yates.

But one poet did come up with two lines that have stayed with me: “Oh, do not ask, ‘What is Read More

Gimme a Brake

Classic-car brakes, in general, are pretty simple and generally hassle-free. Most of us don’t run our cars often enough or hard enough to warrant regular replacement of the factory components — especially with regard to OEM rear drums that only handle a small portion of the actual stopping.
That leads to a hidden issue that you might not have thought of — leaky wheel cylinders. And no, they don’t need to be pouring brake fluid down your tires before Read More

Horsepower 101

This month’s Race profile takes a look at a basic Nova drag car — the kind of understated monster that stands out to car crazies like us, bright as a neon sign, even from 100 paces. And at the same time, it’s the kind of car everyday people tend to ignore. It just goes to show that despite how big the car world seems to be, it’s still in fact a subculture — albeit a Read More

Pay Less, Get More?

All of us are guilty of it. We buy an old car or truck but secretly wish it didn’t perform like one. It is like adopting a stray pit bull and hoping it won’t bite your toddler, or drinking a case of beer and thinking you won’t have a hangover. But the truth is that vehicles of a certain age just aren’t ideal for today’s roads — or sometimes even today’s owners.

Take, for example, Read More

Old Money

Our beautiful minds are badly illogical sometimes. We buy three cases of Cactus Cooler we don’t need because it’s on sale. We remit tax dollars instead of redlining our IRAs. And we miss owning the classic Corvette of our dreams because it “costs too much.” Say what?

There’s really no such thing as paying too much for a classic Corvette, and I think I can prove it to you.

Must pay to play

People Read More

Economy-Class Super Sport

By 1970, closing time was fast approaching the muscle car era, and it was just as apparent at the time as it is now in retrospect. The Clean Air Act of 1970 and safety concerns — along with subsequently high insurance rates — gave enough hints to anyone paying attention, and the auto industry certainly was.

For 1971, performance began to be emphasized less, and when it was, it was aimed Read More

Hold on, Hold Out

Recently, I drove down to the harbor to watch a neighbor launch his wood sloop, at last finished after 28 years under construction in his shed.

I wasn’t in a Corvette, but rather a 1967 Mustang that I recently adopted. The little Ivy Green coupe exerted a magnetic pull on a college-age young man, who ambled over to ask about its engine. This somehow took me back to my own college days, when my buddies Read More

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