Monday
Aug252014

1967 MGB GT

By Vern Parker

The early versions of the MGB GT have long held an appeal for Jaime Steve. Even 25 years ago, while studying for the New York bar examination, he had above his desk a photograph of a red MGB GT for inspiration.

As the years passed Steve discovered that early MGB GT models were becoming scarce. However, he continued searching and in the spring of 2012, while electronically browsing on eBay he found a red 1967 MGB GT offered for sale in McKeesport, Pa., near Pittsburgh.

After Steve and the seller, Dan Meyers, corresponded to get any and all questions about the car answered detailed photographs were sent which convinced Steve that this was the car for him.

Records indicate that this 1967 MGB GT was built in 1966 between May 25 and June 3. Steve flew to Pittsburgh where Meyers met him and they went to see the MGB GT.

 

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Tuesday
Aug122014

1932 Packard Convertible Coupe

By Vern Parker

In 1932 the base price of a Packard standard eight convertible coupe was $2,850. A total of 3,737 such models were manufactured.

An all black one with a rumble seat was purchased by a physician in Chevy Chase, Md. He kept the luxurious Packard for 34 years before it was sold in an estate sale to a jeweler in Fredericksburg, Va.. in 1966. At that time the in-line eight-cylinder engine was not in running condition, It had spent the previous 15 years stored under cover in a barn.

The sporty roadster was returned to good health and the jeweler reportedly repainted the body of the car but left the black fenders untouched and began using it as his daily transportation. The car became a minor local landmark because it seemingly was always parked in front of the Crown Jewelry store.

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Friday
Aug012014

1988 Jaguar XJS V-12

By Vern Parker

Every successful automobile salesman is aware of the buying habits of his customers as well as their idiosyncrasies.

One such salesman at a northern Virginia Jaguar dealership was aware that every three years one of his discerning customers would trade in her extremely low mileage convertible Jaguar sports car for a new model.

He also kept the names of a few likely prospects who had shown interest in acquiring a low mileage used Jaguar.

Just like clockwork the regular customer came to buy a new 1991 Jaguar and trade in her three-year-old 1988 Jaguar XJS V-12 convertible.

 

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Thursday
Jul312014

1955 DeSoto Sportsman

By Vern Parker

Back when Willis Terrett was barely a teenager the enterprising youth had cornered the car washing market in his Maryland neighborhood. For $1.50 each he kept the cars of his neighbors sparkling clean. Of all the neighbors cars the one that captured his attention and the one he spent the most time on was a two tone 1955 DeSoto Sportsman.

Childhood memories faded and 50 years later Terrett was flying to visit relatives in California. In order to pass the time on the airplane he took along a magazine devoted to antique automobiles.

In the magazine he saw advertised for sale near Palm Springs a twin to the 1955 DeSoto that he used to wash.

 

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Wednesday
Jul302014

Mazda MX-5 Miata: Quarter Century of Pure Fun

By Ted Orme

It was just after school let out in 1989. My then 13-year-old son scored two tickets from a scalper to the sold-out Who concert at RFK Stadium. It was a much appreciated birthday present for his old rocker dad. The concert was terrific – even after passing on the reefers freely passed around. But the real sensation that day was the crowd reaction to our mode of transport, the just introduced 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster.

In the grand tradition of classic British roadsters, the MX-5 was the model of simplicity. It was small (155.4 inches long, 65.9 inches wide, 48.2 inches high, with an 89.2 inch wheelbase), lightweight (2,116 lbs.), rear-wheel drive, and affordable (with a starting price of $13,800).

It took nearly 9 seconds to hit 60 mph with the original 97.5 cubic inch, 116 horsepower four cylinder DOHC 16 valve engine. But that was plenty good enough when teamed with a quick shifting 5 speed manual transmission, 50/50 weight ratio, rigid chassis, taut independent double wishbone suspension, no fail four-wheel disc brakes, and an easily flipped down manual top that offered pure, wind-in-the-face driving fun.

 

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