All posts by Nick Kurczewski

Nick Kurczewski has covered all the automotive world has to offer while living and working on both sides of the Atlantic. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he began his career in New York City before spending nearly five years in Paris, France, before returning stateside. He has driven a Zamboni, hit 197 miles per hour on the autobahn, diced with traffic on the streets of Mumbai, and has driven the world's oldest Citroen 2CV. If it has wheels and a great story, he wants to drive.

Cousins: Camaros, Firebirds seize spotlight at AACA museum

AACA Museum celebrates 50th birthday of GM's F-body cousins -- Camaro and Firebird | Photos by Nick Kurczewski
AACA Museum celebrates 50th birthday of GM’s F-body cousins — Camaro and Firebird | Photos by Nick Kurczewski

With the introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro in 1966, followed one year later by its mechanical twin cousin, the Pontiac Firebird, an all-out performance battle was officially launched between General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. Targeted squarely at the Mustang, Ford’s runaway sales hero that had been launched for the 1964½ model year, the GM duo had a tremendously difficult task ahead of them: unseat the very vehicle that inspired the term “pony car.” Continue reading

Garage-find classics rule at this AACA museum exhibit

1913 Empire went into a barn after farmer's sons rolled it over | Nick Kurczewski photos
1913 Empire went into a barn after farmer’s sons rolled it over | Nick Kurczewski photos

To restore or not to restore, that’s the question many classic car owners face at least once during the lifetime of a vehicle. Do you keep the car’s original patina and celebrate the imperfections that come with old age? Or, is the better choice to undertake a complete restoration and make the car sparkle like it was new again?

In the case of the AACA Museum’s new showcase exhibit, “Garage Finds: Unrestored Treasures that Survived Time,” that difficult decision has already been made for you. Of the more than 40 cars on display, many are veritable time-warp examples, vehicles that have miraculously escaped the wraith of rust-inducing winters and fender-bashing shopping carts. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster/GT C Roadster

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster comes highly recommended | Mercedes-AMG photos
2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster comes highly recommended | Mercedes-AMG photos

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is fast, expensive, and sexy. I could stop right there, because that summarizes this brand-new Mercedes-Benz better than anything else.

The hood stretches a veritable mile in front of the cockpit. The rump is nicely rounded. The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V- delivers a whopping 469-horsepower, or 550 hp in the range-topping GT C Roadster model. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 McLaren 570 GT

Merlin and the McLaren | Nick Kurczewski photos
Merlin and the McLaren | Nick Kurczewski photos

McLaren wants to prove it has a softer side, even if a howling mid-engine supercar seems an ironic choice when trying to drive the point home.

As the British sports car company’s least expensive offering, the 570 GT also has been dialed in to provide a quieter and more comfortable driving experience. Even the cargo bay has been reconfigured to accommodate a moderate amount of luggage. The glass hatch swings open to reveal the “touring deck” which, we admit, sounds classier than simply “trunk” or “luggage bay.”

You might still be dubious. How can a car with 562 horsepower, room for only two onboard, and a starting price of nearly $200,000 qualify as a calmer, more practical means to get around? Continue reading

Retromobile is French for classic car indulgence

A 1931 Harris Leon Laisne Type R restoration project near the Peugeot stand at Retromobile 2016 | Dirk de Jager photo
A 1931 Harris Leon Laisne Type R restoration project near the Peugeot stand at Retromobile 2016 | Dirk de Jager photo

What happens when you combine Paris, arguably the most beautiful city in the world, with some of the rarest and most elegant automotive creations of all time? The answer is Retromobile, the annual classic car exhibition held annually right in the middle of the French capital city. Continue reading

Driven: 1942 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Club Sedan

1942 Oldsmobile was the first car equipped with GM's revolutionary Hydra-Matic transmission | Nick Kurczewski photos
1942 Oldsmobile was the first car equipped with GM’s revolutionary Hydra-Matic transmission | Nick Kurczewski photos

For automotive purists, now might be the time to look away. That’s because standing right in front of you is the car that helped bring automatic shifting to the masses. While the sleek Art Deco exterior of this 1942 Oldsmobile is striking, it’s what connects car’s inline8-cylinder engine to the rear wheels that makes this truly an historic automobile. Continue reading

Driven: 1950 Chrysler Town & Country Newport

1950 Chrysler Town & Country Newport is part of the Bulgari collection | Nick Kurczewski photos
1950 Chrysler Town & Country Newport is part of the Bulgari collection | Nick Kurczewski photos

The 1950 Town & Country Newport coupe was the swan song for Chrysler’s wonderful wood-sided luxury cars. As some of the most expensive models in Chrysler’s lineup, these “woodies” were often the car of choice for celebrities and movie stars.

Yet, even the brightest name on the biggest marquee eventually fades away. By the time 1950 rolled around, the Town & Country’s time in the spotlight was drawing to a close. Ironically, despite being in its last year, Chrysler opted to roll out an entirely new variant. Continue reading

Driven: 1931 Franklin Series 15 convertible coupe

1931 Franklin provides air-cooled power, and driving experience as well   Nick Kurczewski photos
1931 Franklin provides air-cooled power, and driving experience as well | Nick Kurczewski photos

A dreary and grey morning forecast called for anything but top-down driving in a nearly 86-year-old convertible. Little did we realize this 1931 Franklin was once a champion of foul weather.

According to its previous owner, many decades ago it deftly navigated through rain and deep puddles that literally sunk lesser automobiles. All things considered, however, we weren’t complaining when the skies cleared and the sun broke through the clouds just in time for our test drive. Continue reading

Driven: 1970 Buick Electra 225 Custom Limited Sport Coupe

1970 Buick Electra 225 is a muscle machine minus the machismo | Nick Kurczewski photos
1970 Buick Electra 225 is a muscle machine minus the machismo | Nick Kurczewski photos

Who doesn’t love the power and drama of a good, old-fashioned American muscle car? The genre always suggests images of wild racing stripes, ram air hood intakes, fat tires, and an engine bay bursting with a massive V8 engine.

So why are we so smitten with this big brown Buick? It’s definitely no Road Runner when it comes to visual impact – sorry, there is no SubLime green or Go ManGo paint job to be found here. Continue reading

Toyota hides its treasures in plain sight

Some of the wonderful preserved cars on display in the Toyota museum | Nick Kurczewski
Some of the wonderful preserved cars on display in the Toyota museum | Nick Kurczewski

You could drive by Toyota’s automotive treasure chest a million times and never know it was there. Snug in an industrial estate in Torrance, California, surrounded by innocuous boxy buildings with huge “Self-storage” signs on the front, the Toyota USA Automobile Museum could double as a secret headquarters for a James Bond villain. Continue reading