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
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
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
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
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
The values of certain cars in the classic car hobby don’t always make a lot of sense.
Take, for instance, the Triumph TR4. The most valuable TR4 roadsters are the later TR4A cars that have independent rear suspension. On the surface, this would make sense as you would think that having IRS would be an improvement over the earlier live-axle models. Continue reading
Buying a new BMW is always a pretty special experience. To some it is a chance to move up to the next level of BMW performance cars and to others it is the realization of a dream come true.
There are many ways to buy your first, or perhaps it’s your next new BMW vehicle. You can go to the dealer and buy the one in stock that you like most. If you have a bit more money and time you can opt for a European delivery, order your car and turn it into a vacation at the same time.
There is also a third option that falls somewhere in between. Continue reading
The Alfa Romeo Spider had one of the longest running product lifespans of any sports car. Introduced in 1966 as the Duetto, it was immortalized by Dustin Hoffman, who drove it in the movie The Graduate.
As time passed, the car lost much of its stunning looks while struggling to comply with federal crash regulations, such as receiving larger and uglier non-integrated bumpers to comply with federal rules. Continue reading
When Chevrolet introduced the third-generation Camaro in 1982, it was a serious upgrade compared with the car it replaced. The second-generation Camaro was introduced in 1970, and with each passing year, it grew heavier, slower and more cobbled together. It was a car that needed a makeover, and the 1982 model accomplished this by bringing back some modicum of engine performance, terrific handling and a great modern look.
Italian sports cars have a certain intangible something that those from other countries are lacking. It is not so much the engineering or the style as it is the way in which all the parts are put together, and which makes them so much more than the sum of those parts. Somewhere during the assembly process, Italian cars seem to get a sort of soul, which makes them very special.
The cost of entry for these cars can be very expensive, and well-heeled collectors line up for the opportunity to buy the best examples of rare Italian cars, and for very serious money. Continue reading