All posts by Andy Reid

Andy Reid’s first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars, “none of them normal or reasonable,” as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

Pick of the Day: 1976 Porsche 912E coupe

Porsche used it leftover 914 engines to create a new entry-level model
Porsche used it leftover 914 engines to create a new entry-level model

In 1976, Porsche had a problem: they did not have an entry-level sports car in their lineup. The 914 was being phased out and the incoming 924 was not yet ready for market. Their solution was one of the more-interesting stop-gap measures ever created.

While the mid-engine 914 was essentially history, Porsche still had a quantity of the air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engines from that car and nowhere to use them. Their master plan was to take those engines and put them into some 911s instead of their usual six-cylinder engines, thus creating a reborn, one-year generation of the previously discontinued 912. Continue reading

Elegance at Hershey lives up to its name

Cars on the lawn at the Hotel Hershey for The Elegance at Hershey concours -- and more | Andy Reid photos
Cars on the lawn at the Hotel Hershey for The Elegance at Hershey concours — and more | Andy Reid photos

The Elegance at Hershey is one of those events that collectors and spectators just love to attend. Part of this has to do with the incredible venue.

Held at the Hotel Hershey courtyard in eastern Pennsylvnia, the Elegance at Hershey provides a feeling of old world elegance. It is difficult to think of a better backdrop for viewing and enjoying classic automobiles.

This year not only were the cars better than before, but so were the seminars and the Grand Ascent hillclimb that opens the weekend. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1974 Porsche 914 1.8

The once-unappreciated Porsche 914 has a renew fan base and  values that are rising
The once-unappreciated Porsche 914 has a renew fan base and values that are rising

If you showed up at a Porsche club meeting even 20 years ago with a 914, you likely would be viewed as barely qualifying for membership. If the car was a 914/6, well that was a bit different. But with a standard four-cylinder 914, you were basically tolerated and mostly ignored.

It’s funny how the passage of time changes people’s perspectives. During the past few years, the mid-engine Porsche 914 has had quite a renaissance, becoming a bona fide collectible Porsche right alongside the 356 and the 911. In fact, the Porsche 914 was celebrated a few years back at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where 10 of these great little cars graced the field and drew good-sized crowds to see them. Continue reading

Jalopy Showdown immersed in old-school hot-rod lifestyle

In a throwback to a bygone era, jalopies race around Latimore Valley Fairgrounds track | Andy Reid photos
In a throwback to a bygone era, jalopies race around Latimore Valley Fairgrounds track | Andy Reid photos

While attending the Carlisle Import and Performance Nationals a few weeks ago, I heard about a very different kind of car show only about half-an-hour’s drive away.

After only 15 miles driving Pennsylvania back roads, a friend and I arrived at the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds, where we found a dirt oval and scores of vintage flat-head and 4-banger hot rods racing. Also taking turns on the track were riders of vintage motorcycles. Continue reading

$38 well spent: Harley-Davidson’s Steel Toe Tour

Motorcycle on the assembly line on Harley's York plant | Harley-Davidson photos
Motorcycle on the assembly line on Harley’s York plant | Harley-Davidson photos

In addition of collecting cars, I am a classic motorcycle collector. While I love my classic bikes, they are not without their issues.

A few months ago I went out to my shop to fire up one of my old bikes. I tried the Norton Commando and it would not start. Next, I tried my Triumph, same story. Finally I got on my BMW and even it would not run properly. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

Happily, there is a bike you can buy today that offers many of the things that a classic motorcycle offers both in looks and sound, yet is reliable and can be used as a daily rider with ease. That bike is the Harley-Davidson. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1979 MGB Limited Edition

The MGB Limited Edition was an effort by the British automaker to put a special spin on the long-live sports car
The MGB Limited Edition was an effort by the British automaker to put a special spin on the long-live sports car

By the mid-1970s, the MGB was getting long in the tooth. The sports car had grown heavier due to DOT crash regulations, which included awkward rubber bumpers front and rear, and slower due to EPA emissions regulations. But the British automaker had no money for a redesign or to substantially upgrade any part of the car to bring the poor MGB’s performance even up to the level from when it was introduced. Continue reading

Saab story: Swedish cars prominent at Carlisle Import show

Saabs of all shapes, sizes and vintages were among the cars shown at Carlisle's annual Import and Performance event | Andy Reid photos
Saabs of all shapes, sizes and vintages were among the cars shown at Carlisle’s annual Import and Performance event | Andy Reid photos

The annual Carlisle Import and Performance is a show that is a bit different from others on the classic car calendar. It celebrates marques that most other shows ignore.

The stars of this show are Saab, Volvo, TVR, Citroen, Renault, Fiat, Opel, Lancia, and Audi. Groups of such vehicles are on a show field that also includes Porsche, Jaguar, Triumph, MG, Datsun/Nissan, Honda, Land Rover, Toyota, BMW, and Mercedes. Basically, everyone is welcome. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1978 Porsche 928

The V8-powered Porsche 928 was the second front-engine car from the automaker
The Porsche 928 was the second front-engine car from the automaker

Porsche, one of the most storied marques in the world, has had tremendous racing success and its cars are some of the most desired and coveted. From the company’s original 356, though the 911 series, and all the way to the landmark 918 Spider, Porsches are something that just about every sports car fan sees as an integral part of a collection.

Despite this history, the company has made a few model missteps, cars that were too different from what the traditional Porsche buyer expected. But unlike most Porsche fans, and I have owned a passel of 911s, I believe that all Porsche cars are special. Some of their best cars are the ones that broke the mold of what people consider a Porsche to be. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1948 Bentley MKVI coachbuilt coupe

The Bentley is adorned with a beautiful body by the coachbuilders at James Young
The Bentley is adorned with a beautiful body by the coachbuilders at James Young

Getting a car accepted to show at a top concours d’elegance such as Pebble Beach or Amelia Island is quite a difficult endeavor to pull off. You need a coachbuilt car to start with, and you need a car from a marque that is well-respected.

Those ingredients add up to a car that can cost quite a bit of money, in the realm of many hundreds of thousands of dollars, which makes the climb to entry for these events quite steep. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1972 Chevrolet Corvette coupe

The Chevrolet Corvette is a restored, low-mileage car
The Chevrolet Corvette is a restored, low-mileage car

A popular activity for vintage sports car collectors is taking their cars on rallies and tours, often covering some of the most fun and scenic roads in the United States. To participate in such events, one needs to possess a vintage sports car, generally one from 1972 or earlier.

Ferraris, Jaguars and Porsches are often seen on these events, although they are expensive and sometime fragile, which can result in reliability issues that can consume a driver’s enjoyment of the cross-country tour. And parts for an exotic vintage car are hard to source in rural areas. Continue reading