Classic Car Corner


Classic cars and trucks. View the entire archive.

A Sabot in the Gears?

smash technology pic

People sometimes accuse me of being a technophobe or even a Luddite because of my critiques of modern vehicles. But it’s not fear of technology that drives me. It’s cost-benefit analysis. Increasingly, the costs of all this technology are of little benefit – to me. I don’t feel the need for six (or even one) air…

The Great Pumpkin

rim

Today I took the Great Pumpkin out for a long-neglected drive. My 1976 Trans-Am. Carousel Red (orange, really; same paint code used in 1969 on the GTO Judge). Polycast “Honeycomb” wheels (they look like aluminum, but they’re actually steel with a urethane composite material molded on to create the look). 8-Track tape player. That famous…

Making Your Car (and Bike) Ethanol-Safe

cornholio

I wrote recently about the damage done to older (carburetor-fed) vehicles by the alcohol-dosed “gas” that’s pretty much replaced the real deal. See here.  Alcohol, in addition to impairing your judgment and dulling your reflexes, also (in machinery) attracts moisture, hastening rust formation inside the fuel system. Since most older (carbureted) cars and virtually all older…

Bring Back T-Tops!

Mustang T tops

Some things – bell bottom corduroys, for instance – will never make a comeback. Well, hopefully. But I’d really like to see a new car with T-tops again. Remember T-tops? The ’68 Corvette was the first production car to offer them (though the idea had been patented in 1951 by Gordon Buehrig, automotive god/he-who-designed the…

Muscle Cars Were Slow . . . Part II

burnout

I wrote a column a couple years ago (see here) that mentioned an unspeakable truth: Relative to now – classic muscle cars were slow. Back in the day, when the typical passenger car took 10 seconds (or more) to get to 60 MPH, a car that could get there in seven was faster-than-light. Today, it’s Camry Speed.…

Another One Bites The Dust

hpp lead

Some unhappy news came in the mail yesterday. A notice that my favorite car magazine – High Performance Pontiac – will be ceasing publication after the October issue. Pontiac itself, of course, ceased building – scratch that, selling – cars almost ten years ago (in 2006) and really – if you’re a purist like me…

The Toyota 222D

Here is the MR2 that Toyota built for rally racing. Even for a race car this is one of the wildest looking cars Toyota has ever built. The interior looks like a copckpit of a stunt plane. from wikipedia: While Toyota’s front-engine, rear-drive Celica rally cars proved dominant in the African Group B rallies of…

In the rearview: Pontiac Aztek

Aztek lead

Well, it wasn’t a bad idea. Then again, neither was the Titanic. The great ship ended up at the bottom of the ocean as the result of a lethal combination of bad judgment, poor timing and spectacular design defects. But at least the Titanic was beautiful, sleek and fast. People still mourn her loss. Pontiac’s…

Ethanol Assault

debris1

Remember those ’80s-era PSAs that warned, “this is your brain on drugs” – cue video of an egg frying in a pan? Well, here’s your old car’s engine on ethanol. I don’t have a video – just these pictures – which show what ethanol-blend fuel did to a plastic component inside the carburetor that feeds…