1941 Cadillac

By Vern Parker

Prior to World War II most American automobile manufacturers were not particularly interested in making their products streamlined or fuel efficient.  Producing luxury cars in that era meant making them heavy for a smooth ride and spacious for passenger comfort.

Cadillac introduced a series 62 model in 1941.  One of the fastback four-door sedan models left the factory wearing a two-tone coat of paint labeled Fair Oaks over El Centro separated by Ivory pinstriping.

The handsome Cadillac was sent to the Scott-Smith Cadillac dealership in Philadelphia.  With a base price of $1,495  the car was snatched up by a local resident and for the next several decades the Cadillac was to be seen in and around the Philadelphia area.


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Jeep Celebrates 75 … and so do I



944 Willys-Overland “Jeep” MB, 1945 Willys-Overland Jeep CJ-2A, 1949 Willys-Overland Jeep Station Wagon, 1963 Jeep Wagoneer, 1984 Jeep Cherokee, 1987 Jeep Wrangler and 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee PHOTO BY JEEP

By Ted Orme

I’ve always had a great affinity for Jeeps. I was less than a month old when the first Jeep rolled off the Willys-Overland assembly line on July 15, 1941. As we both celebrate our 75th year, it’s time to again pay tribute to a true American icon and hero, the Jeep that is.

Whether the name derived from a character in the Popeye comic strip, Eugene the Jeep, or was a slurred designation GP (for Government Purposes or General Purpose) – the two main theories – the name Jeep stuck and evolved into a long line of CJ and Wrangler series that still dominate the Rubicon Trail.

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1991 Jeep Wrangler

By Vern Parker

From the time Scott Stephens was a teenager he has been attracted to the rough and ready go anywhere Jeeps. The familiar seven vertical slots of the Jeep grille captivated him.   His first Jeep was worn out before he became the owner, however he kept it running for a couple of years.

Years later the time had come for him to get himself a brand new Jeep.

Passing by a local Jeep dealer's lot he saw what he wanted, a basic model Wrangler wearing a coat of Radiant Fire paint.

The red Jeep was equipped with a single extra cost option -- a $200 back seat.  The odometer showed the Jeep had been driven only 10 miles.  Stephens bought the Jeep on July 10, 1991 and drove it to his Fairfax, Virginia home.

Stephens was pleased that under the hood of his new Jeep was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.  He thought that engine would be more economical to operate than a six-cylinder engine.  He now says that assumption was a false impression.


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1933 Ford

By Vern Parker

After the American motoring public enthusiastically greeted Ford's new V-8 engine in 1932 the following year the automaker redesigned the entire line of cars.

The most popular model of the various 1933 Fords offered was the standard two-door sedan which had a base price of $450.  A total of 106,387 such cars were manufactured.  The fresh new design coupled with a new V-8 engine proved irresistible to many prospective buyers.

Somewhere along the line an unknown party bought one of those 1933 standard two-door sedans and had it professionally restored before selling it to a Rockport, Texas man.

Soon thereafter the Texan reportedly found another car, the car of his dreams, and relegated the 1933 Ford to the back of his garage.  Years later the car was advertised for sale.

That is where Scott Leaf answered the ad and after a few months of negotiating he became the new owner in October 2015.  He had the Ford shipped to his Virginia home where it arrived in November 2015.  He had purchased the 82-year-old dark blue car with black fenders sight unseen but all had went well.


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20I6 Lexus IS 300 AWD: Perfect antidote for lazy writer.

By Ted Orme

I’ve always suspected that the enemy in retirement is contentment…it makes you lazy. That’s been my condition these past several months, thus my absence from Street Dreams. But I’m also aware that an auto writer can become a forgotten has been in short order, and I’m not conceding to that just yet. It was time to get back in the saddle.

So I rang up our friendly test car supplier and put in a request for just about anything in their sizable garage. As luck would have it, they sent along a 2016 Lexus IS 300 AWD, a small, luxurious, fun-to-drive sporty sedan that was the perfect antidote for my lethargy.

I tested a third-generation 2014 IS 300 AWD sports sedan and found it seductive and, like a tailor-made suit, a perfect fit for drivers looking for a well-balanced blend of power, handling and comfort. My primary complaint then and now is that gaping, garish cheese grater spindle grille and all those overwrought scallops, creases and upswept “character” lines.


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