1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III: Like Sitting in a Swimming Pool

Another Mark III post! What can I say, I’ve always liked the personal-lux Lincolns, due to several in the family way back when. But this one trips my trigger even more than the average Mark, due to the totally fantastic aqua paint and interior.

I have a serious jones for ’60s and ’70s American land yachts painted in metallic aqua. Add an aqua interior, and I’m smitten, whether it’s a ’66 New Yorker, ’64 T-Bird or ’60 Cadillac Sixty Special.

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The Cars of Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy is among my top 10 favorite movies. That’s saying a lot, considering that I was about ten years old the first time I watched it. You’d think I’d have been more into stuff like Die Hard, Uncle Buck or Weekend at Bernie’s, given my age at the time. Sure, I liked those movies too, but this one, sans action-movie explosions and car chases, or John Candy, is quietly and competently excellent. That it is also a prime car-spotting film makes it all the better.

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: Act Fast If You Want The Big D Edition

Well, that escalated quickly. This past Tuesday morning I drove two hilariously expensive variants of the Dodge Durango — the 475-horsepower, 6.4-liter SRT and 710-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat — around Carolina Motorsports Park. The SRT is about sixty-four grand, while the Hellcat starts at eighty. These are fully-equipped, viciously quick unibody SUVs with optional features like the same “forged carbon” interior pieces one would find in a well-equipped Lamborghini Huracan. I can’t discuss the Hellcat’s driving characteristics yet, but the “plain” SRT would give a lot of smallbore club racers a run for their money around a track, doubly so if you had real tires on the thing instead of high-load-rated sport-utility rubber on there.

Just fifteen years ago, the “D”, as marque enthusiasts call it, was nothing more than a parts-bin special, basically a Dakota pickup with minivan taillights. Now it’s a credible unibody alternative to hyper-speed German speedsters from AMG and BMW M, loaded throughout with soft-touch interior materials, widescreen infotainment, and large-pizza-sized brake rotors. The Hellcat, in particular, is capable of easily slaying the BMW X5M at a $25,000 discount.

As a party trick, the biggest D really satisfies. Unfortunately, the party won’t last for long.

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1980s Maserati Biturbo Spyder: Slammed in the Weeds

(NOTE: Another post by my friend in Texas, Lee Wilcox. -TK)

Can’t really say I ever knew much about this little Maserati.  Had heard that they really looked sweet when they were slammed, and in the weeds.  Being of the generation now normally referred to as Geezers I wear my ignorance of what this means with some pride.  Today, however, while driving in a rural area, I spotted one of these that was doing just that.  My innocence is lost.  Hit the break to lose yours.

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Weekly Roundup: In Which The Author Is Revealed To Have Missed Yet Another Slim Chance To Join Guns N’ Roses Edition

True story: The man who would eventually call himself W. Axl Rose really, really, really admired Stephen Pearcy. You know, the guy who founded Ratt. Axl desperately wanted to emulate Pearcy, and he wanted his bands to sound like Ratt. Thankfully, he didn’t get his wish. Appetite For Destruction is to Ratt’s Invasion Of Your Privacy as A Love Supreme is to Sammy Davis Jr. Sings The Big Ones For Young Lovers, and I don’t just say that because the G n’ R debut LP is personally important to me. Which is not to say that there isn’t an obvious line to be drawn through the various glam-rock bands to Appetite. One benefit of hindsight is that you can see overarching trends which were overshadowed in period by the differences between the works in question. Almost nothing is really sui generis, particularly in music.

I imagine that people will still be listening to G n’R long after they forget about Ratt, the same way we’ve long since discarded the most popular jazz and rock musicians of the Fifties and Sixties in exchange for a relatively small “curated” selection of work. Led Zeppelin is a much bigger part of Seventies Rock(tm) today than they ever were in the Seventies; go read a Billboard chart if you don’t believe me. This slimming-down of Eighties Rock has already happened to some degree, which is why W. Axl can pack a stadium with almost any group of people he cares to name “Guns N’ Roses” while Stephen Pearcy is playing sports bars during the day. Legally and to some extent practically, G n” R is whatever Axl says it is.

Which leads to a question: Other than Axl, who is the longest-serving member of Guns N’ Roses? Hint, albeit a horribly obscure one: that’s his guitar pictured above.

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: November Surprise And The Day The Masks All Slipped Edition

Praise be to Pfizer, the vaccine is here. It’s 90% effective! Given that COVID-19 only appears to affect about one percent of people anyway, one wonders if perhaps this vaccine actually increases your chance of getting it. Don’t assume the math doesn’t actually work that way. This country has entered a hall of mirrors now, or perhaps it’s that horrifying sense of paranoid disconnection from reality associated with a Maureen Dowd level of marijuana edible consumption. You can’t trust anything you read. Trump said there was a vaccine coming; the media rushed to “debunk” this irresponsible claim. But there was a vaccine coming. It just wasn’t going to be ready until we had a President who doesn’t ask awkward questions about our absolute dependence on India and China for low-quality, high-profit pharmaceuticals.

If, indeed, we have that President. Your mileage might still vary. But you would’t know it from reading social media, because the past twelve days or so have witnessed an unprecedented and terrifying display of power on the part of Silicon Valley — one that should upset the Molotov-throwing Antifa soldiers as much as it worries the “Farmers For Trump”.

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1975 Volvo 164E: Gilded 140 Series

Though I’ve been somewhat avoiding FB these past few weeks, I have successfully tailored the site to mostly car-related stuff and car-related people. I still like checking out Marketplace, even if just for my own amusement. But it has paid off. Back in February, a local lady was selling four 98-02 Lincoln TC Cartier chrome center caps. They were so cheap I couldn’t resist. And recently, when I lost one in traffic, I wasn’t worried about having to go to the dealer and paying $90 for a new one. Yes, they still make them.

Anyway, recently on Marketplace I spied this 1975 Volvo 164E in relatively nearby Macomb, IL. I hadn’t seen one in years, and this one appeared remarkably decent.

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The Uncanny Valley of “Counterpart”

Something’s wrong with this world. A pandemic has killed millions; society’s reaction has been to enforce the wearing of masks, discourage people from gathering in public, and make vaccination mandatory. The pandemic was obviously man-made, and we think it was developed by our enemies, but we’re also not sure if it was perhaps released accidentally. A shadowy department of the United Nations exercises authority and deadly force seemingly at will and without repercussions. The bosses are “scientists” who hide behind technology and speak only through blank-faced, menacing interpreters.

This is the plot of a television series that was, ahem, filmed in 2017.

(Some mild spoilers after the jump, although the series final resolution won’t be discussed.)

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In Which The Washington Generals Hoist A Trophy

Like many of you, I stayed up pretty late last night. I watched the map start blue from the early votes, turn red as the polling results came in, then turn blue-ish as surprising things happened, like Wisconsin “finding” 144,000 votes that all happened to be for Mr. Biden. (Hey, it put Al Franken in the Senate, and nobody complained!) With 60% of the vote counted, Trump led Virginia by 300,000. The media called it for Biden, who then managed to obtain something like eighty percent of the remaining ballots and turn it into a win by 400,000. On the other side, the early optimism that Biden would win Ohio turned into a Trump rout.

It looks like this election will be decided in the courts, or perhaps in the streets. As of right now (the afternoon of the fourth) I’d be foolish to call it either way. It seems obvious, however, that no matter what happens, there is one group of people who have scored a major victory — and very few of my readers, to say nothing of Americans in general, will like it.

Trigger warning: politics to be openly discussed after the jump, don’t click it if a discussion like this would upset you.

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Spotter’s Guide To The November 2020 Issue Of Hagerty Drivers Club Magazine

Hagerty’s magazine just keeps getting wider, thicker, and longer. The current format isn’t perfect for those of us who like neat lines of mixed titles on a single bookshelf but it approaches the heft of the English big boys. The staff has put a lot of effort into getting the thing consistently printed well on nice paper despite a rash of unpleasant changes in the actual production business. There are fewer and fewer printers out there in the United States who can make something like this.

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