Quick Look: 1973 Imperial LeBaron Coupe

I’ve always loved Imperials. That finest Mopar of them all, they lived as a separate marque a la Cadillac and Lincoln from 1955 to 1975. Though starting in the early ’70s, Chrysler Corporation started sneaking ‘Chrysler’ onto the cars and into advertising, perhaps to brace loyal customers for the inevitable.

Imperials were always rare, plush, giant cars, but by the early 1970s, they were especially scarce, at least when compared to contemporary Cadillacs and Lincolns. After 1975, the Imperial marque was a done deal (unless you count the bustle-back, rebodied Cordoba or EEK restyled, Fifth Avenue-based 1990-93 model). Perhaps the rarest of the rare was the Fuselage body 1969-73 two-door hardtop. With most likely the biggest quarter panels, ever. They’re just about my favorite Imperial. But I’ve only ever seen one in the metal. This one.

Continue Reading →

Weekly Roundup: Don’t Count On Keeping Your Home Edition

I have a confession to make: I almost never read the “conservative media”. And why should I? Traditional conservative, or “tradcon”, publications are worse than useless. They’re the “Washington Generals of politics”, so to speak, preaching a bizarre gospel of corporate personhood and ever-decreasing taxation to a statistically insignificant demographic of drywall contractors and YouTube grifters. Their “conservative” positions are merely the “liberal” positions of twenty years ago, and they are adjusted on an annual basis. Today’s Koch-Brothers-funded mouthpieces are solidly to the left of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign platform. In two decades, they’ll be advocating a Green New Deal.

Which is just another way of saying that magazines and websites like National Review are utterly irrelevant. They are literally allowing the Washington Post to beat them to a comprehensive dismantling of Rachel Maddow. The only place where the Buckley crowd is out in front with a policy position is with regards to immigration — the Democrats want it to be both unlimited and socialized, but the conservatives want it to be unlimited, subsidized, and untaxed.

No, I’m afraid that if you want to see where public opinion is going, you have to read the far left wing — publications like Jacobin and The Nation. Anything you see in there is usually no more than five years away from being mainstreamed, ten years away from being compulsory, and twenty years away from being strongly advocated by National Review. And what is The Nation saying lately? Here’s a hint: you might want to hold off on that kitchen remodel.

Continue Reading →

Just A Quick Note…

As I type this, some amazing food is cooking in my folks’ kitchen, and in just a bit it will be time for a cocktail. The temperature is remarkably nice for northwest Illinois on this Christmas afternoon. I washed the car in the driveway yesterday, something that has never happened before on Christmas Eve.

Wishing all the readers and contributors a very Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, or Wednesday afternoon, as the case may be. And thanks to Jack, for indulging my yakking about old land yachts, right here on RG. Cheers!

(Last) Weekly Roundup: Can’t Stunt On ‘Em Edition

Brother Bark and I spent fifteen years helping to blur, or perhaps smudge, the boundary between the Internet and real life. Around the turn of the century he and I trolled a succession of local-music boards to the point where we had a half-dozen or so people swearing on the lives of their weedmen they would dox us and beat us up — so I invited all the players to a charity boxing match, at which point they all said they had to play gigs that weekend. The funny part was that at least one of them probably could have thumped me without much difficulty — the fellow just didn’t want to take the risk. So then Bark invited all the Internet Tough Guys to his gig — and they all showed up, slapped him on the back, and told him he was great.

My favorite story comes from an old-school BMX board back in ’03 or thereabouts where another rider and I clowned a self-important and hugely unpleasant participant by finding him at an event, removing the stupid vanity front license plate from his used Mercedes-Benz, and reinstalling it behind his stupid vanity rear license plate. I then photoshopped the plate onto a nearly identical vehicle at a used-car lot 2,500 miles away and put that picture on the message board. He filed a series of police reports and spent a week braying about how justice would be done. As I recall, he’d gotten as far as his local FBI office before someone took pity on him and told him where to find his “stolen” plate. To his credit — or maybe my discredit — the dude ended up kinda changing his ways and becoming a tireless volunteer on behalf of disadvantaged young riders before suffering a stroke and leaving the sport in 2016.

A few years later, I got tired of an “anonymous” fellow on VWVortex trying to cyberbully me so I cracked open my favorite Kevin Mitnick book and worked my way all the way to the desk phone at his job. “Hey man, I’m going to give you an opportunity to put your words into practice,” I said.

“How did you get this number?” he asked, voice shaking. Then he apologized for being such a jerk, told me he was actually a really meek person when he wasn’t online, and asked me to give him a chance to mend his ways. A few days later, he sent me a private message on the Vortex board thanking me for not humiliating him any further. We had no further interactions, he laid off his bullying behavior, and we lived happily ever after for about twelve years.

But that’s not the way he remembers it.

Continue Reading →

1965 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight: Maximum Mitchell

When Bill Mitchell took over GM Design in the late ’50s, his presence was felt almost immediately in the new GM cars, particularly in the 1961 models. Simple, clean elegant lines were his forte, when compared to the brash, wild and bechromed chariots favored by his predecessor, the unforgettable Harley Earl.

Continue Reading →

The Volvo Duett: Most Practical Volvo Ever!

Note: Today’s post is from none other than Ingvar Hallstrom, whom some of you may remember from TTAC. Republished, and slightly revised, with his permission. Enjoy. -TK

To understand the Swedes’ love for the station-wagon, one has to go back to the war, the Second World War. Much of Sweden’s economy was built upon the fact that the country hadn’t been ravished by the war. While other countries built tanks and gunships, the Swedes developed cars for the glorious post war society they were sure would be built upon the rubble and ruins of Europe. Swedes were not going to spend their post-war years squeezed into tiny bubble cars. And in addition to proper family-sized cars, a roomy station wagon was called for.

The Volvo PV444 was presented in 1944, with deliveries started in 1947.

Continue Reading →

At The Movies: “Parasite”

Well, this is a bit embarrassing. After making a better Cadillac than General Motors in the form of the Genesis G90, the Koreans have now gone ahead and made a better movie than Hollywood can. “Parasite” isn’t just a perfect antidote to the cultural poison of capeshit and Diverse Ghostbusters — it’s a forceful reminder that the most compelling art examines the human condition, not the superhuman. It is also a masterclass in how to create a film in which not a single frame is wasted.

WARNING: Spoilers for the first half of “Parasite” ahead, not much more than what you would get from watching the trailer.

Continue Reading →