Category archives: Features

Classic Profile: Checkered past of 1929 Duesenberg J-183

The Duesenberg J-183 with its original Derham town car body | Courtesy of the author
The Duesenberg J-183 with its original Derham town car body | Courtesy of the author

The fascinating history of 1929 Duesenberg chassis 2201 (engine J-183) starts with the handsome town car body seen in the photo and created by Enos Derham. The Derham Body Company was one of the longest-lived American coachworks, surviving two world wars.

The company was founded by Joseph Derham as the Rosemont Carriage Works only a few miles west of Philadelphia. Enos Derham, the youngest of four brothers that followed their father into the firm, would end up running the company. They were known for their formal coachwork and bodied many great brands including Duesenberg. Interestingly, the company’s building survived, becoming the home to Chinetti & Garthwaite in the 1960s, the U.S. distributor for Ferrari. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon

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1957 Ford Ranch Wagon

There is really something to be said for a good paint job on a car. When done by a skillful professional, it can breathe much-needed fresh air into a build or give the car its own unique, long-lasting look. But because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, an unusual custom paint job sometimes can make a vehicle difficult to sell.

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Pick of the Day: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

The idea of a project car can be very alluring: you obtain a blank canvas that can be transformed into the car of your dreams, be it highly modified or bone stock. For some, the glamour is short-lived as funds dry up or attention is lost during the often years-long process of restoration. Others withstand the challenges and complete their project cars exactly as they had envisioned them.

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Bookshelf: The racing life of Augie Pabst documented

Augie Pabst at the wheel of a Maserati Tipo 61 'Birdcage' in the early 1960s | Photos courtesy of Tim Kemmis and Dalton Watson Publishing
Augie Pabst at the wheel of a Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ in the early 1960s | Photos courtesy of Tim Kemmis and Dalton Watson Publishing

August Uihlein Pabst was born with Hollywood looks and a Blue Ribbon surname. Like many of his generation, he caught the sports car bug early and aspired to go beyond his beer-baron birthright and prove himself on the meritocracy of the racetrack.

A new biography, Augie Pabst: Behind the Wheel ($79, Dalton Watson Fine Books) captures the remarkable career of the 1959 USAC and 1960 SCCA road-racing champion through the eyes of longtime friend and fellow racer Bob Birmingham. The 367-page hardcover is filled with exclusive pictures and newspaper clippings, as well as accounts of fellow drivers from the golden era of road racing. Continue reading

Jeep’s Euro division picks nine key models for 75th celebration

Nine Jeeps selected to celebrate vehicle's 75th anniversary in Europe | Jeep Europe photo
Nine Jeeps selected to celebrate vehicle’s 75th anniversary in Europe | Jeep Europe photo

The European celebration of Jeep’s 75th anniversary continues with the selection of nine “pioneering new models” that mark “fundamental stages in the history” of the brand and its role in automotive marketing. Continue reading

Classic Profile: 1903 Napier Gordon Bennett Cup race car

Restorer Frank Johnson looks over the 1903 Napier after its restoration in the 1950s | Courtesy of the author
Restorer Frank Johnson looks over the 1903 Napier after its restoration in the 1950s | Courtesy of the author

D. Napier & Son Limited of Great Britain gained notoriety for automobile manufacturing through racing, specifically their 1902 win in the Gordon Bennett Cup, a cross-country race that ran from Paris to Innsbruck, Austria. The following year, the race would have been brought to England because of the Napier victory, but because England prohibited motor racing on public roads at the time, the race was moved to Ireland. Continue reading

Larry likes these, too, at Dana Mecum’s Original Spring Auction

With lots of buildings and a couple big tents, there's still not room for every car to be under cover | Larry Edsall photos
Even with multiple buildings and a couple big tents, there’s still not room for every car to be under cover | Larry Edsall photos

Yesterday, I shared my favorite cars available this weekend at Dana Mecum’s 29th Original Spring Auction taking place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. But I also noted that I hadn’t gotten out to the tents that housed some of the vehicles. Well, I did that Wednesday morning, and I also discovered two more buildings full of other cars, of which there are some 1,800 on the grounds. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1935 Ford Model 48

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1935 Ford Model 48

In 1935, Ford made the claim that its new car, the Model 48, had “greater beauty, greater comfort and greater safety” than Ford’s previous models. The Model 48 was essentially an update of the Model 40A, but it offered more than 15 different versions with dozens of options, all variations featuring Ford’s dependable V8. Continue reading

Larry’s likes at Dana Mecum’s Original Spring Classic

Seventeen cars and an engine from the Joe McMurrey collection cross the block Friday | Larry Edsall photos
Seventeen cars from the Joe McMurrey collection, including many by Shelby, are scheduled to cross the block Friday | Larry Edsall photos

There are so many collector cars in buildings and beneath tents at the Indiana State Fairgrounds that I only had time Tuesday to look at those in the permanent structures, which meant the stars of the Mecum Auction sale and those that were crossing the block Tuesday and Wednesday. Continue reading