Monday
Sep012014

2015 Hyundai Genesis RWD 5.0: Look Out Lexus!

By Ted Orme

Just after the debut of the first 1990 Lexus LS400 I was in Germany on a Mercedes-Benz introduction, the new SL roadster as I recall. I remember distinctly the contempt a MB engineer had for this latest Japanese “adventure.” He scoffed at the idea of Toyota challenging Deutschland luxury carmakers. “No history, no tradition, no passion,” he snorted.

Well, it didn’t take long for that attitude to change. In ten short years the Lexus brand had grabbed nearly 18 percent of the U.S. luxury market and had become synonymous with the rich and privileged; thus the expression “Lexus lanes” for express toll ways.

About that same time, I also remember a skilled Toyota auto engineer telling me that what he feared most were the Koreans. “They work so hard,” he said. Sure enough, after carving out a growing share of the small and mid-size markets, Hyundai, synonymous with value and economy, took aim at the entry level luxury segment with the 2009 Genesis.

 

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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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