Monday
Jul292013

1933 Packard

By Vern Parker

Before the garage fire was extinguished the dashboard, upholstery, paneling, convertible top, wiring, glass and steering wheel of the car inside were damaged or destroyed.

A lesser car would probably have been dispatched to the junk yard but this 1933 Packard 8 Coupe Roadster, at the time less than 30 years old, survived, was restored and has now found a home in Alexandria, Va. The fire occurred decades ago but Scott Leaf, a pediatric dentist, bought the restored Packard in February, 2013. “I like cars from the 1930s,” he exclaims. The exquisite style from that era captivates him.

Early this year Leaf saw the restored car for sale in Florida. He learned that the 320-cubic-inch, L-head, straight-eight cylinder engine had been rebuilt in July, 2008 when the wiring had been replaced.

 

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Monday
Jul222013

2013 Lexus LS460L AWD: So Fine!

By Ted Orme

I know I overused that word in the last review of the Toyota Avalon, but there simply is no better description of the 2013 Lexus LS460L. The LS has been and still is the automotive definition of “fine.” And now the company has added more aggressive style and performance in an attempt to regain its mojo and grab a bigger share of U.S. ultra-luxury car sales.

I remember the snorts and snide asides from legacy luxury brand execs back in 1989 when Toyota, that humble maker of bulletproof quality family cars, had the audacity to challenge them with the original Lexus LS400. It didn’t take long for those grins to turn to frowns as affluent buyers flocked to a new luxury darling that set a new standard of large, creamy automotive indulgence for far less money.

But this is nothing if not a dynamic industry. Fortunes wax and wane. After a couple of decades of high praise and record sales the Lexus flagship sedan was beginning to flag with a growing reputation for being too staid and frumpy. The company responded last year with the sporty GS sedan, which got a lot of favorable buff book press. Now comes the revamped – but not quite all-new – 2013 Lexus LS.

 

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Monday
Jul222013

1968 Plymouth Barracuda

By Vern Parker

According to Jim Colville his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda was never sold as a new car. He surmises that his car may have been used as a demonstrator or perhaps as a salesman's car.

Records indicate that when it first was sold and registered in 1969 it had been driven 9,000 miles and was sold as a used car. As a new car the base price was $2,842.

During the next decade and a half the sleek Barracuda changed hands a few times before Colville saw that it was offered for sale in Rockville, Maryland. He bought it and drove it home to Virginia.

 

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Sunday
Jul142013

1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass

By Vern Parker

Early in 1977 Gary Sutherlin and his wife, Janet, decided to replace their 1971 Chevrolet Nova with a more substantial family car for her to drive their children to where children go in Endicott, New York.

In March the young couple went to Gardner Motors, an Oldsmobile dealership in Binghamton, N.Y. near their home and ordered a new 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass S colonade coupe.

They knew what they wanted and what they didn't want as well as what they could afford. Salesman Tommy Kost accommodated them and ordered an Oldsmobile with about two dozen options including:

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Tuesday
Jul092013

1956 Cadillac Sedan

By Vern Parker

Only the two-door hardtop models of the 1956 Cadillac sold at the dealerships went for less than the four-doors. Regardless, any Cadillac in 1956 was still a Cadillac which translated into desirability.

Records show that one of those 1956 four-door Cadillacs was sold to a man who lived in Flint, Michigan, about 30 miles from the factory where the car was assembled. The base price for the Cadillac, with few extras was $4,296. A total of 26,660 of the ten window sedans were manufactured.

The buyer was pleased with the hand-crank operated windows and the E-Z-Eye tinted glass. Upon taking ownership of the car a complete set of heavy duty plastic seat covers were installed.

 

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