Tuesday
Nov262013

1951 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Convertible

By Vern Parker

When Baltimore Orioles fans left the stadium in 1951 they only had to walk a couple of blocks to find Frederick Cascio's Sinclair service station. Usually parked beside the station was his brand new 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe convertible.

The service station owner had just purchased the thistle gray convertible at the Anderson Chevrolet dealership in Baltimore. The original window sticker shows accessories that include:

* AM radio..................$84.95.

* Heater/defroster..........69.95.

* Fender guards.............36.50.

* Oil filter......................18.50.

 

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Tuesday
Nov262013

2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD: Where’s the WOW?

By Ted Orme

Curiously, the Acura brand, despite many excellent models over the years, has never achieved the exalted status of parent Honda. The 2014 Acura MDX offers a clue as to why. Billed as an all-new, third generation redo, the popular three-row SUV gets a new engine, platform and numerous upgrades and improvements. Yet it still doesn’t look or feel all that new or enticing.

It’s a conservative “if it ain’t broke it don’t need fixin'’” approach to Acura’s most popular model that adds evolutionary refinement but lacks that revolutionary “wow” factor that clearly sets you out in front of the competition.

At first look, it’s hard to tell the old from the new. The 2014 MDX gets a slightly slimmer, softer shape. Overall height is lowered by 1.5 inches and width is down by 1.3 inches, but the wheelbase is extended by 2.8 inches and vehicle length by 2.0 inches. This gives you a little more parking lot maneuverability with no real loss of room or comfort inside. But it doesn’t tease you into the showroom.

 

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Monday
Nov112013

2014 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD: Spirited Family Crossover

By Cathy Nikkel Orme

The silvery blue Grand Touring Mazda CX-9 arrived just in time for a short trip to Chadd’s Ford, PA where daughter Katy and I intended to take in the Wyeth Riverside Museum and the annual Chadds Ford Great Pumpkin Carve. An artistic enclave, Chadds Ford offers a primo Jack ’O Lantern display. We packed a lot of photographic equipment into the seven-seat SUV crossover. 

When hoping for “the shot,” photographers tend to take everything but the kitchen sink with them. We were equipping two photographers and taking a weekend worth of luggage. 

No problem. With the three-row seating in the CX9. Just flop the back seats down and you can load a safari-sized load of cameras, lenses, tripods and luggage, leaving comfortable seating for five.

 

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Wednesday
Nov062013

1928 Ford Model A Special Coupe

By Vern Parker

Kevin Shields hasn't always lived in Florida. There was a time in 1968 when he resided just east of Washington, D.C. In Cheverly, Maryland.

It was there that the teenager bought a Model A Ford which was old even then. However, the age of the car did not deter the high school student.

Life progressed and soon the old Ford was replaced with a newer vehicle. His first car might have been gone but it was definitely not forgotten as well as all the good times in it that he remembered.

More than 40 years had passed when one evening in January 2012 Shields was at his computer seeing what he could see. Much to his surprise he saw for sale a 1928 Ford Model A Special Coupe with a vinyl covered top. Shields reports that only 500 such models were manufactured.

 

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Monday
Nov042013

Chevrolet Impala, then and now

By Ted Orme

Now that I’ve graduated to the age of living history, this 2014 Chevrolet Impala review gives me the opportunity to relate one of my fondest memories: the day I urged (conned) my father into trading his humble ’56 Chevy 210 for the all-new, just launched, first-ever 1958 Impala.

I had just gotten my driver’s license that June and, somehow, by fall the transmission in that 210 was going bad. I went with Pop to the local Chevy dealer to see about repairs, which turned out to be expensive. “Let’s take a look at the new models,” I suggested, which had just gone on sale three days earlier. He was willing because it turns out he didn’t like that dowdy 210 anymore than I did. We slipped in the showroom and there it was: a gleaming jet black devil that instantly cast a siren song spell on both of us.

Speaking of the devil, his name that day was Teddy, and he was in Pop’s ear egging on this orderly accountant to commit the most impulsive, irrational act of his life. “I can’t afford a $3,200 car unless I take some money out of your college fund,” he pleaded, weakly. “No problem, Dad. I’ll work hard and earn a scholarship,” said the “C” student. Long story short, we drove that dream car right off the showroom floor.

Monday morning I took Pop to the bus stop and took the Impala to school, where this skinny, four-eyed kid was Prom King for a Day. That weekend, I was at the drag strip earning an “A Stock Automatic” trophy in what turned out to be a very fast new big-block 348 cu in (5,700 cc) Turbo-Thrust V-8 cranking out 250 horsepower with the standard four barrel carburetor. Even with a two-speed Powerglide automatic, those bias ply tires wouldn’t stop smoking until you took your foot off the gas, which may be why they only lasted 7,000 miles.

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