Category archives: Features

After 100 years, J.D. Rockefeller’s 1917 Crane-Simplex takes a ‘Drive Home’

J.D. Rockefeller's Crane-Simplex goes back to New York 100 years later | Le May museum photos
J.D. Rockefeller’s Crane-Simplex goes back to New York 100 years later | Le May museum photos

The 1917 Crane-Simplex Model 5 formerly owned by John D. Rockefeller Sr. returns after nearly a century to its city of birth as part of the LeMay-America’s Car Museum and the North American International Auto Show’s “The Drive Home: The Heritage Run.”

One of America’s earliest luxury automakers, the Simplex Automobile Company was founded in New York City in 1907. In 1915, it was absorbed by the Crane Motor Car Company. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017: 1932 Rolls-Royce Henley Roadster

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1932 Rolls-Royce Henley Roadster | Barrett-Jackson photo

Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 14-22 during Barrett-Jackson’s 46th Scottsdale auction.

Offered with a reserve at the 46th Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson auction, this 1932 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom II Henley Roadster by Brewster and Company has undergone a recent ground-up restoration. Continue reading

Driven: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary Edition

The Jeep Wrangler feels right at home in the Arizona desert | Bob Golfen photos
The Jeep Wrangler feels right at home in the Arizona desert | Bob Golfen photos

The four-door Jeep Wrangler is such a brilliant product, combining the freedom and joy of the venerable CJ with the practicality of a crossover SUV. There are compromises in ride and convenience, but for many people, those are outweighed by the go-anywhere capability and rugged image of the Jeep.

With four doors, more-refined interiors and reasonably accommodating back seats, such Jeeps can pass as viable family transporters. The familiar two-door Wrangler would be fine for singles or couples, not so much for a foursome where the rear seat is more of an afterthought. Continue reading

New product: NOCO Genius G1100

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Genius G1100 hooked to 1977 Harley Davidson FXE Shovelhead

Picture this: It’s a beautiful weekend morning and you think to yourself, “I think I’ll go to ‘cars and coffee’ today.” You grab the keys to your occasionally driven classic, ready to arrive in style, but can’t even make it out of the driveway because the battery is dead.

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Rev up your gift giving with $20K Lamborghini audio speakers

Lamboghini-inspired audio speakers are too heavy to stuff in a stocking | H.R. Owen photos
Lamboghini-inspired audio speakers are too heavy to stuff in a stocking | H.R. Owen photos

Weighing in at nearly 120 pounds, it’s not what you might consider a last-minute stocking stuffer, but certainly there’s someone on your naughty-or-nice list who’d appreciate a Lamborghini-inspired, $20,000 audio speaker system as a holiday gift. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Kia Cadenza Limited

2017 Kia Cadenza marks second generation of the luxury sedan | Kia photos
2017 Kia Cadenza marks second generation of the luxury sedan | Kia photos

The name an automaker gives to a new vehicle can project an image for the vehicle — or of the person who would buy such a vehicle. Case in point: The Kia Cadenza.

Note that its Cadenza, not credenza, which is a piece of furniture you might have found in your grandmother’s dining room. A cadenza is a piece of music designed to be played by the virtuoso soloist. My dictionary even uses the phrases “exceptionally brilliant” and “technically brilliant” in its definition. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette ‘Fuelie’

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1963 Chevrolet Corvette split-window ‘Fuelie’ | Barrett-Jackson photos

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 14-22 during Barrett-Jackson’s 46th Scottsdale auction.

Offered without a reserve at the 46th annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction, this 1963 Chevrolet Corvette split-window Z06 tanker is one of only 199 RPO Z06 Special Performance package Corvettes produced and one of only 63 N03 Big Tank Corvettes built in 1963.

It sports a production date of February 18, 1963. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017: 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT

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1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT | Barrett-Jackson photo

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 14-22 during Barrett-Jackson’s 46th Scottsdale auction.

Offered without a reserve at the 46th annual Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson auction, this 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT is a platinum edition finished in Platinum Titanium over Tobacco Tan leather interior. 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