Category archives: News

‘Cars That Made America’ opens History channel’s Car Week

Actor portrays John DeLorean introducing the Pontiac GTO | History / Magilla Entertainment photos
Actor portrays John DeLorean introducing the Pontiac GTO | History / Magilla Entertainment photos

The second full week of August will be more than just Monterey Car Week and the Woodward Dream Cruise this year. The History channel plans the first of what it hopes to be an annual “Car Week,” launching August 13.

The three-night, six-hour event launches with The Cars That Made America, a program hosted by stock car racer Dale Earnhardt Jr., who also was the executive producer. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1937 Ford street rod coupe

The Ford retains the vintage details of a 57-year-old street rod build
The Ford retains the vintage details of a 57-year-old street rod build

Authenticity is important criteria for any collector car, whether it’s an all-stock classic, a vintage race car or a custom street rod. Which is what makes the Pick of the Day so appealing, a 1937 Ford coupe that was tastefully hot rodded 57 years go, and presents today as a window into how such things were done back in the street rod heyday.

“Built and painted in 1960!” declares the advertisement on ClassicCars.com placed by a dealer in Mount Vernon, Washington. The ad does not include a detailed history of the Ford, other than to note it was featured in the September 1960 issue of Rod and Custom Magazine. Continue reading

Family values memories made in a pair of Iso Grifos

Darren Frank's Iso Grifo is red; his father's was green | Frank family archives
Darren Frank’s Iso Grifo is red; his father’s was green | Frank family archives

Darren Frank was 7 years old when his father took him and his brother, Jamie, on their annual excursion to the New York Auto Show, where they were captivated by the site of a silver Iso Grifo. So captivated, it turned out, that four months later, while on a business trip to Italy, Darren’s dad went to Bresso, met Piero Rivolta, who had just taken charge of the company after his father’s death, and ordered a new Grifo.

“I was seven years old. Dad had this very, very cool car,” Frank recalls before sharing heartwarming tales of how he and his father bonded on rides and car washings. Continue reading

2CV owners show their cars (2,000 of them) in Portugal

It must be fun when a couple thousand C2Vs and their owners invade a village | Citroen photos
It must be fun when a couple thousand C2Vs and their owners invade a village | Citroen photos

The 22nd biannual 2CV World Meeting of Amicale Citroen Internationale (International Citroen Friends) took place recently in the Portuguese seaside resort of Ericeira.

The event, launched in 1975 in Finland, takes place every other year. The seventh such event also was held in the Portuguese location on the Atlantic coast, about 20 miles from Lisbon. Continue reading

Hot day, cool cars at the Concours of America

Classics were there, too, but Concours America also includes Can-Am racers and other classes | Steve Purdy photos
Classics were there, too, but Concours America also includes Can-Am racers and other classes | Steve Purdy photos

Classic and collector car enthusiasts, and folks who just appreciate the beauty, engineering and historical context of old and not-so-old cars, swarmed the fairways of the golf course surrounding the Inn at St. John’s near Plymouth, Michigan on another hot, bright summer day at the end of July. Over 300 cars basked in the sun while throngs of show-goers strolled by. This is the 39th presentation of this world-class exhibition of excellence formerly known as the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, now the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s. Continue reading

Motor City madness: A cars ‘n’ coffee of concours quality

Since Fiat Chrysler design boss Ralph Gilles was honored  as Enthusiast Of The Year, and since Vipers are finished, they brought a few to show | Jim McCraw photos
Since Fiat Chrysler designer Ralph Gilles was honored as Enthusiast Of The Year, and since Vipers are finished, they brought a few | Jim McCraw photos

The Saturday morning Cars & Coffee event that normally takes place at M1 Concourse, the new luxury garage and race track complex in Pontiac, Michigan, where a GM plant used to stand, was moved to the grounds of The Inn At St. John’s on the last weekend in July because the Concours d’Elegance of America was taking over the place for the weekend and it seemed appropriate to M1, to sponsors Car and Driver and Road & Track and the other normal sponsors of the gathering. Concourse meets Concours. Continue reading

Kenosha celebrates automotive heritage with AMC Homecoming

A 1940 Nash and an AMC Gremlin outside Nash Elementary School in Kenosha | William Hall photos
A 1940 Nash and an AMC Gremlin outside Nash Elementary School in Kenosha | William Hall photos

Kenosha, Wisconsin, is a city that has never fully recovered from the 1987 loss of its American Motors manufacturing plant. Like an amputee, scars have healed and life goes on, but not without daily reminders that something is missing.

So, it was bittersweet to see the iconic cars that represent the city’s halcyon days rumble through town during the seventh AMC Homecoming, an event that has taken place irregularly since 1998. This year’s reunion benefited the Kenosha History Center, which has a renewed mission to preserve the automotive history of the city, which once was America’s second Detroit. Continue reading

Museums: Beaulieu to fire up famed BRM V16 engine

1950 BRM will roar back to life | National Motor Museum photo by Samantha  Samantha Cook Photography
1950 BRM will roar back to life | National Motor Museum photo by Samantha Samantha Cook Photography

If you want to draw a crowd, simply start the engine of a vintage racing car. The unmuffled sound is magnetic. Crank it and they will come.

You may recall the celebration that surrounded the repair and restarting in 2014 of the engine in Malcolm Campbell’s “Blue Bird” Sunbeam 1924 speed-record car, and the crowd that gathered a year later when the car made another run on the Pendine Sands. Continue reading

Historic vehicle register added to Library of Congress website

Meyers Manx dissected on Library of Congress website | HVA / Library of Congress images
Meyers Manx dissected on Library of Congress website | HVA / Library of Congress images

At last, you can click over to the Library of Congress website and see the National Historic Vehicle Register. Well, at least four of the 19 vehicles already selected through the work of the Historic Vehicle Association are available, with the others to be added as soon as the library can get to them.

The register was launched in 2014 in a partnership between the HVA, the Department of Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record and the Library of Congress. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1980 AMC Eagle

The all-wheel-drive AMC Eagle was based on the humble Hornet wagon
The all-wheel-drive AMC Eagle was based on the humble Hornet wagon

AMC was struggling against the power of the Big 3 when it pulled out its ace-in-the-hole. That wild card came from AMC’s ownership of Jeep and its famed four-wheeling technology, which the Kenosha automaker’s engineers and stylists adapted to create the first mass-produced passenger car with full-time all-wheel drive.

The Pick of the Day is a 1980 AMC Eagle from the first model year of the bold experiment. While all-wheel-drive cars and trucks are fairly routine today, the Eagle 4X4 was revolutionary in 1980, combining as it did the trail-ready capability of a Jeep with the comfort and versatility of a car-based station wagon. Continue reading