Category archives: Features

Bookshelf: The story of a transatlantic automotive romance

The book cover
The book cover

Through September 30, you can visit the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in northern California and see a display of some of the world’s most fascinating vehicles, those designed soon after World War II in a rare transatlantic partnership between American automakers and Italian designers and coachbuilders.

There was a similar exhibit earlier this year at the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile di Torino, a stunning showcase located in the hometown to many of those Italian automotive artists. Continue reading

Minivan? No, a Minnie Van, and some big-boy toys

This 2018 Honda Odyssey is the Minnie Van | American Honda photo
This 2018 Honda Odyssey is the Minnie Van | American Honda photo

File this under future classics, or perhaps as a way to get your young granddaughter interested in cars:

We reported in this space a few weeks ago that the Disney Junior and Disney Channels have replaced the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with Mickey and the Roadster Racers. Now, Disney-ABC and Honda have worked together to unveil the “Minnie Van,” a one-off version of the all-new 2018 Honda Odyssey with pink-polka dot trim and roof-mounted Minnie ears. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

The new Mazda CX-5 delivers sporty driving experience, rare in this compact-SUV segment | Bob Golfen
The new Mazda CX-5 delivers sporty driving experience, rare in this compact-SUV segment | Bob Golfen photos

Buyers shopping for compact SUVs have a whole lot to choose from in this highly competitive chunk of the automotive market. The trick here is for an automaker to deliver something that sets itself apart from the herd.

Mazda once again has taken its own road with the updated 2017 CX-5, which is distinctive not because of price, accommodations or utility, but because it drives and handles more like a sport sedan than an SUV. The ride might seem a bit firm and the steering might feel a trifle heavy for this segment, but the payback is an agile little ute that you can toss into corners and have fun with on a winding road. Continue reading

XK Jaguars do a lap around Great Britain, and for good reason

XK Jaguars from the 1950s set off on a lap around Great Britain | Jaguar XK Club photos
XK Jaguars from the 1950s set off on a lap around Great Britain | Jaguar XK Club photos

The goal was two-fold, as it is on so many classic car tours: have fun driving great cars, and raise money for a good cause.

In the case of the Jaguar XK Club, the tour was an 18-day Round Britain Coastal Drive, open to owners of the iconic 1950s sports cars. The goal was to raise at least £50,000 ($64,500) for Prostate Cancer UK. Continue reading

Goodwood Festival of Speed elevates Ecclestone’s F1 career

Goodwood's tall sculpture highlights Bernie Ecclestone's reign over F1 | Festival photo by Paul Melbert
Goodwood’s tall sculpture highlights Bernie Ecclestone’s F1  reign | Festival photo by Paul Melbert

Gerry Judah has created art to remember the Holocaust for Britain’s Imperial War Museum. He has done set designs for the Royal Shakespeare Company. And since 1999, he has done the huge automotive sculptures that soar above Goodwood House during the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Last week, his latest Goodwood sculpture was designed to recognize the long motorsports career of former Formula One chieftain Bernie Ecclestone. Three of the cars mounted on the lanes that spun off a circle towering some 100 feet were selected to reflect specific F1 eras ruled by Ecclestone. Those cars were a Lotus, a Ferrari and a Mercedes. Continue reading

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

Analysis: It’s become a buyer’s market, but for how long?

AS17_r0054_01
Cars such as this 1971 Pontiac Trans-Am are popular with a new generation of bidders | Auctions America photo

Monterey Car Week is coming up quickly and a lot has been happening in the classic car auction marketplace leading up to what serves as the Super Bowl of the auction year.

In recent weeks, we have had the Auctions America sale in northern Indiana, the Mecum auction at Indy, RM Sotheby’s at Santa Monica and the Barrett-Jackson Northeast sale in Connecticut.

Our analysis: If you are in the hunt for a car priced at $150,000 or less, including a lot less, this has definitely become a buyer’s market. 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

Pick of the Day: 1969 Pontiac Firebird HO

1969 Pontiac Firebird
1969 Pontiac Firebird

When you think about muscle cars and pony cars of the late 1960s, a 1969 Pontiac Firebird such as the Pick of the Day is not always one of the first cars that comes to mind, despite sharing its F-body platform with the very-popular Camaro. Listed on ClassicCars.com, this particular Firebird embodies the swagger that makes cars of this era still relevant and sought after today.

Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Northeast 2017: 2017 Ferrari 488 Spider

2017 Ferrari 488 Spider | Barrett-Jackson photo
2017 Ferrari 488 Spider | Barrett-Jackson photo

Editor’s note: This is the final in a 10-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold June 21-24 during Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast auction.

This 2017 Ferrari 488 Spider is offered during the second annual Barrett-Jackson Northeast auction with a reserve, and is seen in Corsa Red with just 77 actual miles. Continue reading