Wednesday
Jul082009

1965 Cadillac Coupe deVille 

By Vern Parker

 

General Motors in 1965 manufactured a total of 43,345 Cadillac Coupe deVilles. One of them, virtually unused, was on display in 2004 at the gathering of antique cars for sale in Hershey, Pa.

 

That is when and where Dennis Smith first saw the 18-foot, 8-inch-long Cadillac but he determined the asking price was excessive.

 

Two years later, in May 2006, Smith was attending another antique car auction, this time in Carlisle, Pa. Imagine his surprise when he saw the same six-passenger Aspen White Cadillac with the stacked headlights he had seen two years earlier. This time the price was right and Smith became the third owner of the 4,480-pound Cadillac.

 

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Sunday
Jul052009

Appeal of Pickups Can Be Elusive

By Frank A. Aukofer

I have been writing about motor vehicles for nearly half a century, and I have yet to figure out the pickup truck.

It's a uniquely American phenomenon, especially in the giant size that buyers prefer. The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling truck in the United States — recessions notwithstanding—for more than 30 years, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Dodge Ram, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan (soon to become a Dodge Ram under an assumed name).

Together, even in the downturn of 2008, they sold 1,556,254 trucks, or 11.8 percent of the entire market.

Their legions of owners and aspiring owners love their pickups, regardless of any rational argument. A friend who installs sprinkler systems had a honking big Ford F-350 with a diesel engine, said it was killing him in the high fuel prices of the summer of 2008, so he decided to trade it. He said he took a huge beating on the trade-in.

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Sunday
Jul052009

2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid

By Nick Yost

Toyota’s hybrid-powered vehicles have become pretty commonplace since the Japanese manufacturer introduced the first Prius to United States motorists back in July of 2000.

Nevertheless, I remain fascinated each time I get behind the wheel of one by the way such an extraordinarily complicated power supply translates to such a routine driving experience.

Consider the 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid I recently put through its paces.

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Friday
Jun122009

1965 Triumph Spitfire 4Mk2

By Vern Parker

Hank Seiff ended up with the 1965 Triumph Spitfire 4Mk2 that was purchased for his sons.

In 1990, as older son Josh approached driving age, the plan was to find a fixer-upper car that could become a father/son project. “I figured sweat equity would make him a safer driver,” Seiff says.

A long-idle Spitfire was found about 20 miles away. It didn't run but at $400 the price was right. When new the list price was $2,249.

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Friday
Jun122009

2009 Ford Flex

By Nick Yost

It's sometimes perplexing when you go Ford Flexing.

People see this large, angular crossover vehicle and they smile. Then, they say something like “Nice looking,” or “Cute,” or simply “Cool.”

How cool can it be for goodness sake? We're looking at two boxes, a great big one for the passengers and a smaller one in front for the engine and allied equipment. Add four wheels and that's about it.

Sure, it's got a Mini-like two-tone paint job, some creases on the hood and some character marks – I believe they call them strakes – along the sides. But that's about it.

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