Tuesday
Jan272015

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 5-Door – Thanks for the Memories

By Ted Orme

I got a real treat recently: a test drive in a 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 5-Door, the luxury SUV brand’s entry level charmer – more on that in a minute. First, I must confess I get a special kick out of driving any Range Rover. That’s because of Bill Baker. Let me explain.

Baker was the first director of corporate communications for Range Rover of North America when it set up shop in Lanham, Maryland in the mid-1980s. The fledgling operation was headed by Charlie Hughes, a bright young marketing specialist who had experience with Cadillac and Audi. The challenge was to introduce the legendary Land Rover/Range Rover brand to the U.S and, in so doing, establish a new automotive niche – adventuresome yet luxury $30,000 4x4s for the well-heeled. And they did so spectacularly.

My wife and I were among the lucky group of auto writers and spouses invited to the introduction of the Range Rover in England in 1986, an almost make believe experience that still wraps us in euphoric nostalgia. We were to get a complete schooling in the history and performance capability of this unique all-terrain vehicle. More importantly, we would get a week-long taste of the “Range Rover lifestyle.”

 

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Friday
Jan232015

Around the Block: 2015 Mazda MX-5

By Brian Armstead

Everyone has a “Bucket List.” It’s something you must do or accomplish before you kick the proverbial “bucket.” I’ve got a few items on my list, and some I’d like to accomplish but never thought I could.

What is one of those things you wonder? Well, at 6-feet. 9-inches tall, driving certain cars is out of the question. Any car from Lotus – no. Porsche’s amazing Cayman – no-no. Mazda’s MX-5 “Miata.” Triple no to that, or so I thought.

First, some background on the MX-5, the sports car formerly known as Miata. Introduced to the U.S. market at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, this inexpensive two-seat roadster recreated the classic British sports car experience – wind in hair, shifting a manual transmission, bugs in your teeth. It resurrected the passion and romance of long gone classics like the MGB, Triumph TR-6, Austin-Healy 3000 and even the tiny Bugeye Sprite. The Miata handled well, was a hoot to drive, and was cheap to maintain and insure.

 

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Thursday
Jan222015

1936 Oldsmobile Sport Coupe

By Vern Parker

By 1936 Oldsmobile had been producing a wide variety of models for the better part of four decades.

Records indicate that one of the more than 200,000 Oldsmobiles of all models manufactured in 1936 was an “F” series Sport Coupe with a rumble seat.

During the next 78 years six different owners took care of the car through good times and bad. All six owners lived in Pennsylvania.

Then, after a through restoration, the car in October 2014 was taken to an antique car show and put up for sale.

That is where Randy Denchfield first saw the beautifully restored three-window Oldsmobile Sport Coupe. Denchfield, has long been attracted to three window coupes regardless of pedigree.

 

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Saturday
Jan032015

1984 Hurst Olds

By Vern Parker

Regardless of the year or model, Oldsmobiles have held an appeal to Ken Quincy for as long as he remembers.

Several Oldsmobiles came and went into and out of his life. When the performance oriented Cutlass model was introduced in the 1960s Quincy was torn between desire and practicality. With three boys at home Quincy realized what insuring the car would cost so practicality worn out – at least temporarily.

“I've wanted one since 1969,” Quincy says. His perseverance was rewarded in the autumn of 1988 when he saw a 1984 Cutlass Calais Hurst Oldsmobile Coupe for sale in nearby Herndon, Virginia.

 

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Tuesday
Dec232014

1975 Chrysler New Yorker

By Vern Parker

One summer day in 2014 Ruben Alvarez was driving by an automotive tire shop in Stafford, Virginia where he observed a for sale sign in the windshield of a distinctive car in the shop's parking lot.

The sheer size of the 1975 Chrysler New Yorker caught his attention,. On a daily basis he drove by the shop not too far from his home, always admiring the car that came within an inch and a half of being 19 feet long.

Finally, in August, he took his teenage son, Quentin, to show him what American cars used to be like. Quentin was impressed.

The father and son examined the well worn luxury car and according to maintenance records it had been gently treated. As was typical of many cars in 1975 the rooftop of the four-door sedan was covered in vinyl.

 

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