Monday
Nov192012

1971 Mercury Marquis Brougham

By Vern Parker

Even though Ken and Shirley Wines were saddled with mortgage payments on a new house they had recently purchased the year before, the couple decided in 1971 to purchase a new car.

Wines had always favored Ford automobiles but his long-time friend Phil Keller convinced him to consider a Mercury. After a trip to the O'Brien-Rohal Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Arlington, Va., Wines and his wife were enthralled with the two-door Mercury Marquis Brougham model.

“I would have liked to have had side-marker lights and power door locks,” he says. But money was tight and the luxurious Mercury was well equipped with standard equipment.

 

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Monday
Nov052012

1952 Chrysler Saratoga 

By Vern Parker

Steve White grew up in a family where the family car was always a Chrysler. “Dad was always a Chrysler guy,” White remembers.

Once White had achieved adult status he commenced exploring automobiles built by other manufacturers.

About a year ago White saw an ad offering for sale a 1952 Chrysler Saratoga Club Coupe which he knew was Chrysler's smallest car that year with the biggest engine.

Unfortunately the car was located in the Pacific northwest, a long distance from White's home in Falls Church, Va.

 

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Monday
Nov052012

1959 Austin Healey Bug Eye Sprite 

By Vern Parker

Diminutive British Sports cars have always attracted the attention of Jaime Steve. Several of them have come and gone through his possession.

He has always remained alert for a likely car to buy. In the spring of 2012 Steve was at his computer seeing what he could see. He found several Austin Healey Bug Eye Sprites for sale but they were either in deplorable condition or vastly overpriced – or both.

Eventually he located what he sought on Craig's List. It was a reasonably priced, recently restored red Bug Eye Sprite and best of all, it was relatively close in Massachusetts, not that far from Steve's home in Alexandria, Virginia. Information and pictures were passed back and forth before Steve decided to buy the car in June, 2012. With that decision made Steve was focused on retrieving the Sprite as soon as possible.

 

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Monday
Nov052012

1937 Terraplane Super Convertible

By Vern Parker

Cars from the 1930s have always held an appeal for Jon Battle. In the summer of 1971 he decided to get a 1930s car of his own.

Battle did not want one of the more popular models. He wanted something with some character, something sporty and more importantly, something affordable.

He was living in Connecticut at the time when he saw an ad offering for sale a 1937 Terraplane Super Convertible that had just recently been shipped tack to the United States following decades in Great Britain.

Telephoning the seller he was surprised to hear him respond, “Don't call me, I'll call you.” A brief while later the seller did contact Battle and a deal was struck satisfactory to both parties.

 

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Tuesday
Oct232012

2012 Infiniti QX56 4WD Land Yacht

By Ted Orme

With the 2012 Infiniti QX56 4WD you can have your cake and eat it too. You can carry seven or eight people in the lap of luxury, or tow an 8,500 pound horse or boat trailer, or chase fish down a sandy beach, or go way beyond a pretend adventure in this lavishly equipped, 400 horsepower, 6,000 pound land yacht. 

There are tradeoffs, of course, namely, scorned fuel economy and a bloated msrp, but more on that later. Let’s just say up front that the elegant but decadent QX56 proves once again, nothing succeeds like excess.

The more humble origin of this species dates to 1997, when the original QX4, based on the Nissan Pathfinder, debuted as a midsize upscale SUV. Then came the QX56 in 2004. It was basically a gussied up Nissan Armada SUV that shared a platform with the Titan pickup truck.

A 2010 Nissan Armada Platinum Edition was my ride three years ago on my annual surf fishing trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I loved it. In a November 6, 2009 article for Street Dreams, I called the Big A “a versatile, ultra-luxurious, feature laden people and cargo hauler, top rated tow vehicle and adventure ready off-roader.”

 

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