American Motors Corporation, like Studebaker, like Packard, like so many other long-gone automobile companies, breaks your heart. Sometimes I drive myself crazy with what-ifs: What if Roy Abernethy never became president of AMC? What if Packard never got tangled up with Studebaker? What if Studebaker hadn’t rolled over for the union and stockholders EVERY SINGLE TIME? But for this, but for that, could any of these marques have survived? By the same token, if different decisions had been made, would they have disappeared even earlier? If AMC hadn’t purchased Kaiser Jeep in 1970, would they have gone out of business in 1971-72? If Studebaker hadn’t suckered Packard into bailing them out and hidden their book cooking, would they have been toast by 1955? Who knows? But one thing is clear in AMC history: The 1974 Matador coupe was a costly mistake.
I’m sure a few remember this car. No, not the Cimarron in general. This exact car. I wrote it up earlier this year. At the time it was offered on Craigslist and in Middletown, CT. For a mere three grand. Well it’s back, now in New York, and the current bid is $7300.
Yes, so many expend so much vitriol on these. But I always liked them. Chalk it up to seeing one up close in 1988 at the Chicago Auto Show. In particular, the later ones like this ’86, with the composite headlamps, cladding, nice alloys and 2.8L V6. Was it still clearly a J-body GM product? Sure. But all the little refinements, especially to the nose and tail, made for a much more cohesive and upscale look, at least in your author’s opinion. Continue Reading →
My friend and fellow Cadillac nut Jayson Coombes sent me this link to another Fleetwood Brougham on ebay earlier this week.
Of course, I had to immediately investigate. It appears to be a nice, if not showroom new, with some rust creeping in on the door bottoms, but pretty solid for a forty two year old East Coast car. Claimed one owner car, which I’ve always thought a little disingenuous, since the classic car dealer wasn’t the one who bought it new. But I digress. Continue Reading →
My friend and fellow Cadillac fanatic Jayson Coombes urgently texted me a link to this triple orange (technically Andes Copper) 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman the other day, the Broughamiest Brougham that ever Broughamed. Though no Brougham nomenclature was found on this Fleetwood special edition, available only in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
This one is currently being auctioned off on Hemmings, and has met its reserve of $20,000 already. A really remarkably nice example, judging from the photos. Continue Reading →
So this afternoon I found myself over at McLaughlin Motors, shooting the breeze with my salesman friend, Brian Cox. We were talking about everything from the chip shortage to preferred vodka brands, and he mentioned, have you driven the electric XC40 version? I had not. “Well hang on, I’ll bring one around.”
And thus did I drive my first electric vehicle. I am not enamored of electric vehicles. A meme making the rounds lately on social media is when you run out of juice on I-55, you won’t be able to borrow a can of electricity to get back to your destination. Nope. You’ll need a flatbed most likely, to take you to a dealer or recharge station (which might be easy on the West coast but is somewhat more problematic in the Midwest) and hope you didn’t damage anything running it flat.
When’s the last time you saw one of these? I had actually forgotten about these trucks until I saw this one several years back, off of Brady Street in uptown Davenport, IA. The Mistubishi Mighty Max (née L200) ended its U.S. run 25 years ago. Today, few are left here in the salty Midwest, so I had to stop and investigate.
Here’s another one that, like my recent posts on the ’76 Sunbird and ’79 Accord, used to be everywhere and are now almost a memory. But this one survived. These Tauruses were all over the place when I was a kid, sedan and wagon alike. Then, seemingly one day they all disappeared at once.
And for those who grew up in the ’80s, who could possibly forget Clark Griswold’s wood-festooned Taurus in Christmas Vacation? These wagons never came with the Country Squire-style Di-Noc wood sides. The movie car was simply modified to reflect Clark’s likely replacement to the Wagon Queen Family Truckster in the original Vacation movie.
Here’s the other side of the coin from my alcohol-laced Cutlass post. And timely, as I just spotted this today over coffee on Finding Future Classic Cars.
The first one. First of a crapload of Honda Accords. Yup. Initially available as a two door liftback only, perhaps a surprise to our younger readers who associate these as midsize suburban sedans seen, well everywhere. Continue Reading →
Hey guys, here’s another one you’ll love! Or love to hate. So instead of skimming the article and reading something more to your taste, get ready to properly stretch, grit your teeth and happily complain and fight about bad old GM. Dagnabit! Consarn it! And dadgumit! Oops. Sorry. For a minute I thought I was on some second-rate site that’s been going downhill for several years. Silly me! Well, y’all know where that is ifin you’re so inclined…
I kid, I kid. Well, sort of. But never mind! Here’s another one spied on my friends, Chuck Houston and Joe Tralongo’s, site, Finding Future Classic Cars, on that ‘bookface’ website. A time capsule ’80 Cutlass Supreme.
Here’s a rare birdie. Spotted today on Seattle Craigslist, this ’76 Sunbird was corporate sibling to the Chevy Monza Towne Coupe, most of which dissolved by around 1990. I’d much prefer a Bonneville Brougham or Grand Prix LJ if we’re talking ’76 Pontiacs, but my radar locked on to this one due to its scarcity.