Saturday
Mar212015

1937 LaSalle Sport Coupe

By Vern Parker

In late May of 1937 a physician in South Royalton, Vermont purchased a stylish new 1937 LaSalle Sport Coupe.

The car he selected was the lowest priced LaSalle which was advertised with a base price of $995 and was one of 5,801 similar models manufactured.

General Motors created LaSalle as a “companion” car to Cadillac to fill a price gap that existed between Cadillac and Buick. The life of the LaSalle brand lasted 14 model years, from 1927 to 1940.

 

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Wednesday
Feb252015

1986 Chevrolet El Camino

By Vern Parker

In 1957 the powers that be at the Chevrolet division of General Motors witnessed the success that rival Ford was experiencing with their car/truck Ranchero and decided to respond with the Chevrolet El Camino.

The El Camino was a handsome passenger car styled vehicle with a pickup truck type bed with a tailgate.

The attractive El Camino was introduced in 1959 and proved to be popular with motorists wanting passenger car comfort along with the versatility of a pickup truck.

Years later the continuing appeal of an El Camino was not lost on Randy Denchfield, a roofing contractor in Maryland. Large trucks were necessary for large tasks, however, he found the El Camino ideal for tasks not needing an excessive amount of hauling capability.

Besides, he says, the El Camino looked cool and drove like a car. Consequently, he purchased a black El Camino and drove it for several years. He thoroughly enjoyed his El Camino but it seemed to be a magnet for other vehicles on the road.

After surviving a number of collisions and being totaled by his insurance company he reluctantly realized the time had come to replace his El Camino.

 

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Tuesday
Feb102015

1962 Ferrari 250 GTE

By Vern Parker

There weren't many Ferrari automobiles on the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee a half century ago for young Stewart Bartley to admire. However, he accompanied his father to many car shows to see the latest cars on display.

In 1966 an action movie was shown in a Knoxville theater. The pre-teenage Bartley went to see “Grand Prix”, the film starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint and Yves Montand. The movie had many scenes of racing and race cars and that is when Bartley says he became infatuated with the Ferrari brand.

Decades passed and by 2006 Bartley had moved to Virginia. That is where he saw an advertisement offering a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE for sale. The description of the car in the ad sounded good and the pictures looked good. Unfortunately, the Ferrari was in Paris, not Texas, but France.

Nevertheless, with assistance from friends, Bartley pursued his four passenger Ferrari dream car. The deal for the Ferrari was finally completed in late September in 2006. It was shipped to the port of Baltimore. After it was unloaded in mid-December, the sleek car was taken to a Ferrari dealership where, unfortunately, the three-liter V-12 engine required rebuilding. “The condition of the engine was disappointing,” Bartley says.

 

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Friday
Feb062015

1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible

By Vern Parker

Brian MacDonald was a 17-year-old junior in high school when he purchased his first car – a slightly used 1971 Oldsmobile. He was unaware at the time that it was going to be the first of five Oldsmobiles that he would come to own at one time or another.

Years later MacDonald's work took him to an American embassy in Africa. While assigned there he met another American and happened to mention his fondness for Oldsmobiles.

His new found acquaintance said that he had a 1964 Oldsmobile/Cutlass convertible waiting for him back in the United States.

That remark sparked MacDonald's curiosity. “I asked him what sort of shape it was in, and he told me it had been fully restored.”

 

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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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