Category archives: Features

Retromobile remains the king of all shows

The ultimate Bugatti Atlantique with the ultimate childs car: A Bugatti Baby | Dirk De Jager photos
The ultimate Bugatti Atlantique with the ultimate childs car: A Bugatti Baby | Dirk De Jager photos

For a seasoned, die-hard classic car guy, Paris in February means only one thing: Strolling through the city of lights in the cold, snow or no snow, for the granddaddy of indoor collector car fairs — Retromobile.

Billed as a trade show, it attracts people from all over the world to visit the high-profile dealers, special exhibits, manufacturers displays, autojumble, club stands and so on and on and on. Continue reading

We drive friendly Fiats at the Bondurant school

TFF_8300
Fiat 500 Abarth used at Bondurant school | photos by Charles Siritho and Nicole James

Dodge Vipers line the entrance of the Bob Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona. They seem ready to strike at any moment. Meanwhile, menacing Dodge Hellcats stare you down. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Untitled design (21)
1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Special Edition

Imagine buying a new muscle car – something iconic and inherently cool – only to hardly ever drive it and leave it largely untouched. For me, that would be torture and I don’t know how long I’d last before the desire to not only drive the car but modify it would become overwhelming. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Ford Escape SE

2017 Ford Escape is company's second-best seller | Ford photos
2017 Ford Escape is company’s second-best seller | Ford photos

The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling automotive apparatus in the United States for going on 3 1/2 decades. That comes as no surprise. However, I was surprised to learn that Ford’s second-best seller is its compact crossover utility, the Escape.

I might have thought it would be the Mustang, or even the Focus. Turns out, it’s the Escape. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1998 Bentley Continental R coupe

The Bentley Continental Turbo R is capable of exceptional performance
The Bentley Continental Turbo R is capable of exceptional performance

One of my favorite things about the collector car hobby is finding a car that was once very expensive and buying it at the bottom of its depreciation cycle. I have done this quite few times, and in every case, I ended up driving a great car that increased in value over my ownership so that when I sold it, I had essentially owned it for free.

Lately, I have been looking closely at the Bentley Continental R coupe built from 1991 until 2002. Over that period, Bentley built only 1,236 of them, and when new, they cost northward of $300,000. Continue reading

‘Motoring thru Time’ presents history on a roll in Phoenix

A 1955 Buick and a 1955 Chevy hooked up with vintage travel trailers | Bob Golfen photos
A 1955 Buick and a 1955 Chevy hooked up with vintage travel trailers | Bob Golfen photos

The city of Phoenix grew up around the automobile, sprawling out across the broad desert valley where ancient Native American tribes had created farming communities linked to canals. Now, the links are highways, and the Phoenix metro area is home to about 4.6 million people.

Phoenix also is one of the few cities in the country to support its own vintage-car celebration, “Motoring Thru Time: Where the transportation past meets the future,” hosted every February by the city’s Parks and Recreation department. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Audi S3

Audi S3 offers power, magnetic suspension in a compact and affordable vehicle | Larry Edsall photos
Audi S3 offers power, magnetic suspension in a compact and affordable vehicle | Larry Edsall photos

Maybe it was the Glacier White Metallic paint that made the 2017 Audi S3 I’ve been driving look like a big egg as it rolled down the road. However, there was nothing either Humpty or Dumpty about this powerful and sporty — and still affordable — entry-level Audi sedan. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 2001 Hummer H1

5540464-2001-am-general-hummer-h1-std
2001 Hummer H1

Recently, my good friend got a new car. It seems as though he buys cars every other week, but his latest purchase is particularly special and unique. To him, it wasn’t just another Fox-body Mustang, it was the car he had on a poster in his room growing up,  right down to the same color.

Continue reading

A Malibu morning at Fireball Tim’s Wheels & Waves

An immaculate 1957 Chevrolet at the Sunday morning gathering of cars in Malibu | Larry Crane photos
An immaculate 1957 Chevrolet at the Sunday morning gathering of cars in Malibu | Larry Crane photos

Sunday morning in Malibu. Down the hill through dense fog and into a lovely English light-box sky — flat white — like the expensive light created in a photographer’s studio. Reflections are pure. Color is represented in its truest form without the brilliant flare that changes the F-stop in your retina and gives you a darker version.

It is a fantastic time and place to photograph cars — anywhere is a great place to look at and talk about cars with knowledgeable aficionados. The brick-paved carpark in front of the Malibu Kitchen in the 7:00 a.m. chill of a Pacific beach winter morning is as authentic a European recreation as we get to experience locally. Continue reading

Driven: USAC sprint car, with bonus laps in a real Indy racer

Larry Crane at the wheel of an Edmonds print car on the high banks at Winchester, Indiana
Larry Crane at the wheel of an Edmunds print car on the high banks at Winchester, Indiana

‘Engage the dogs by squeezing the lock lever against the shifter and pulling it back. As soon as the push truck makes contact, watch the oil-pressure gauge. When the needle moves, hit the ignition switch and brace your neck for the acceleration.”

I did. It did. And we did. Continue reading