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: 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

The Karmann Ghia coupe wears a fresh orange paint job
The Karmann Ghia coupe wears a fresh orange paint job

The sporty Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is a hand-built German GT car that is reliable and easy to work on, and usually available at an affordable price.

The Pick of the Day is a 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia coupe that represents the final design for these iconic and stylish cars, still brimming with Italian-design panache even though they gained U.S.-mandated impact bumpers and enlarged taillights. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1975 Citroen 2CV

The little Citroen 2CV is an instant smile getter everywhere it goes
The little Citroen 2CV is an instant smile getter everywhere it goes

I always think of the Citroen 2CV (or “Deux Chevaux”) as a French Volkswagen beetle. These cars have the same simplicity and utility as the beetle’s but with a French flair. The build quality is not at all the same as that of the beetle, but the Citroen is an iconic car that generates more smiles per mile than almost any car I can think of.

The Pick of the Day is a 1977 Citroen 2CV, a desirable late model car with rare front disc brakes. The Wood Park, Ohio, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com says the car was painted one year ago and has had a recent general overhaul, including new brakes, new wheels and tires, and new chrome headlights, the car is in beautiful condition, and it runs and drives well, the seller says.

The Citroen has a roll-back convertible top
The Citroen has a roll-back convertible top

These cars are a wonderful entry point to French collector cars, and they are the simplest cars in the world on which to work. You can remove the two-cylinder engine by yourself, not with a lift but simply by picking it up

Parts availability is excellent and Citroens have a strong club community and put on a number of great meets each year.

The feeling while driving these cars is unlike any other car I have ever driven. They are softly suspended to the point that speed bumps are barely detectable. This is probably due to part of the one of their oddest original-design specs, that the 2CV be able to carry a dozen eggs across a farmer’s plowed field without breaking any.  The 2CV also needed to carry four adults in comfort, something that, amazingly, the tiny 2CV does easily.

At any car show, these funny cars tend to attract kids and adults more than other cars with many times their value. The 2CVs are fun to drive and handle well despite more body lean than any other car on the planet.

The engine is in there somewhere
The engine is in there somewhere

The engine is no speed demon but it is capable of getting the car to 65 miles per hour and delivering amazing fuel economy at the same time.

The Citroen is offered at the market-correct price of only $19,950, which would be a good value for a 2CV in this good a condition. Ownership of a 2CV entitles you to be part of a fun and interesting car community. Their club meets feature amazing food, by the way.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Pick of the Day: 1952 Nash Ambassador coupe

The Nash Ambassador was restyled by Italian designers at Pininfarina
The Nash Ambassador was restyled by Italian designers at Pininfarina

Italian design house Pininfarina is known mainly for amazing Ferrari and Alfa Romeo designs, but the company also did extensive work with British and American auto manufacturers.

The Pick of the Day is one of those American Pininfarina designs, a 1952 Nash Ambassador Airflyte coupe said to have been owned by the same family for 48 years. Continue reading

A must-see event: The annual AACA Fall Meet at Hershey

Wet weather is not deterrent at Hershey, where this 1919 Buick was on display | Andy Reid photos
Wet weather is not deterrent at Hershey, where this 1919 Buick was on display | Andy Reid photos

If you are at all into cars and have not attended the Hershey swap meet, auctions, and Antique Automobile Club of America Fall Meet show, then you are simply missing the boat. No matter where your interest in classic cars may be, there is something to see at Hershey, and this is best exemplified by the show that ends the week-long event.

I have been going to Hershey car week for five years, which makes me a newbie at the event, and every year I see cars at the show that I have never seen and sometimes never even heard of. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

The Mercedes-Benz 230SL appears to be in decent driver-quality condition
The Mercedes-Benz 230SL appears to be in decent driver-quality condition

In the 1960s, Mercedes-Benz was in a period of transition. The cars from the German company were starting to change their focus, and the automaker was working hard to deliver the type of sporting car that buyers in the United States were looking for. Enter the Pagoda roof W113 roadster, the 230SL. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Ford Thunderbird

The Ford Thunderbird embodies the look of mid-century Jet Age design
The Ford Thunderbird embodies the look of mid-century Jet Age design

The Ford Thunderbird has gone through many iterations during its design and market focus. The original two-seater ’55-’57 cars were very much personal-luxury GTs, and the second and third generations were more family-car oriented, flashy yet able to carry four people.

While I am recently converted fan of the first-generation T’birds, I have never been fond of the so-called square birds or the bullet birds that came after. Strangely, the Thunderbirds that I like the best are the Jet Age-inspired fifth generation Thunderbirds that came after. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1941 Cadillac Series 61

The fastback styling of the 1941 Cadillac inspired  designers for such classics as the Bentley Continental
The fastback styling of the 1941 Cadillac inspired designers for such classics as the Bentley Continental R

Of all pre- and early post-war American cars, the Sedanette cars from Cadillac and Buick are some of the finest automobile designs of any era. You can see the design language all through the acclaimed Bentley Continental R fastbacks of the 1950s.

The bonus is that they cost a fraction of what the Bentley does, and they offer exclusivity and elegance along with the low operating costs of an American classic. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

The Volkswagen Cabriolet is a preserved survivor with  only 14,000 miles on its odometer
The Volkswagen Cabriolet is a preserved survivor with only 14,000 miles on its odometer

Model year 1979 marked the end of importation for the beloved VW Beetle. After being produced in Germany continuously since 1946, this was it for the U.S.-legal version.

It also was the end of an era, and Volkswagen celebrated by offering the Cabriolet as it’s single Beetle offering for ‘79. These cars were still handmade by the Karmann factory, and fit and finish were superb.

The interior looks to be in decent condition
The interior looks to be in decent condition

The Pick of the Day is a silver-over-black 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet in time-warp condition with only 14,000 miles showing on its odometer. The VW is offered by a private seller in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, who has owned the car since the 1990s, buying it with 12,000 miles and driving it sparingly ever since.

The car has been consistently garage kept, the seller says in the listing on ClassicCars.com, and the photos show a car that appears to be in very good driver condition.

The final edition Beetle Cabriolet was based on the Super Beetle, which offered improved suspension and more storage, as well as a bit more performance. These last cars also offered fuel injection, which makes the car more drivable and easier to maintain.

The convertible tops are masterpieces of craftsmanship, equal to the top on a Rolls-Royce Corniche. That makes it both a nice open car and a very civilized closed car when the top is up. With this century’s Beetle now in its second generation, the market for the original, rear-engine cars is likely to continue their popularity.

A final-edition Beetle Cabriolet makes a perfect first-time classic car that delivers fun and affordable ownership in equal proportions. Every part is available and just about anyone can work them with a decent set of tools and John Muir’s How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive guide to maintenance and repair “for the ‘compleat’ idiot.”

During the past decade, VW convertibles have done well at auction, and low-mileage cars like this one tend to sell for serious money at such auctions as Barrett-Jackson and Mecum. The asking price for this VW is a reasonable $14,500 or best offer, and it looks like a good deal for such a low-mileage example.

According to Jay Leno, every classic car collection should have at least one Volkswagen, and this car would be a good candidate to fill that Beetle-sized hole.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Eye Candy: 100th Gathering of the Faithful

The Gathering of the Faithful was held for the 100th time | Andy Reid photos
The Gathering of the Faithful was held for the 100th time | Andy Reid photos

Since the 1960s the New England MGT Registry has held an event called the Gathering of the Faithful.

I first read about this event in Road & Track when I was a kid. This was in 1980 and the issue I was reading was from 1973. It documented a road trip a journalist took in a MG TC to attend the Gathering. I was hooked and have wanted to attend ever since, but was not willing to do so until I actually owned a T series MG. Continue reading