Monday
Dec312012

1955 Corvette

By Vern Parker

It was 60 years ago when the first Corvette rolled out of the General Motors factory in Flint, Mich. It was the first of 300 fiberglass-bodied Corvettes built in 1953.

In order to expand production capabilities for the upcoming 1954 model year the entire Corvette operation was moved to St. Louis. The good news was that 3,640 Corvettes were built in 1954. The bad news was that only about 2,500 were sold. Not very many buyers, it seems, wanted a sports car with a six-cylinder engine, side curtains in lieu of roll-up glass windows and no outside door handles.

For the 1955 model year Chevrolet offered a 265-cubic-inch, 195-horsepower Turbo-Fire V-8 engine or a 235.5-cubic-inch, 155-horsepower Blue Flame six-cylinder engine. All but a handful of the 700 buyers that year chose the V-8 engine.

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Monday
Dec032012

2013 Ford Escape SE EcoBoost

By Ted Orme

I love what’s happening to small cars and crossovers. The competition is ferocious and the spread between best and worst is getting increasingly thin. So your choice can be narrowed to what turns you on most: style, sporty performance, fuel economy, the latest trick technology, whatever. 

My pick of the litter in the compact crossover utility segment is the all-new 2013 Ford Escape. And it’s a hellova litter to pick from. The Escape goes up against the hot new Honda CR-V and revised Mazda CX-5, and soon to hit the market all-new Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue next year. Other worthy contenders include the Chevy Equinox, Kia Sportage and VW Tiguan. 

Why favor the Escape in this exceptional group? Call it love at first sight. Let’s face it, a first look is what puts that initial grin or frown on you face, and the Escape wins the style competition going away. Compared to its frumpy, two-box predecessor first introduced for 2001 and only mildly updated since, the sleek, front-wheel-drive 2013 Escape SE EcoBoost I test drove is a chiseled, aerodynamic sculpture.

 

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Monday
Nov262012

1963 Porsche 356

By Vern Parker

Not very many, if any, Porsche sports cars crossed the path of young Lonnie Patch who was busy growing up in Montana.

“I saw my first one,” she recalls, “when I was a student at Montana State University in Bozeman.”

She thought it was cute.

Years later she was married and living in Falls Church, Va., where she witnessed a few more Porsches on the local roads.

In October 2002 she saw an ad offering for sale a 1963 Porsche model 356. She and her husband went to investigate.

She observed, “It's cute.”

He said, “It's got rust.”

They went home.

 

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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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