Category archives: Features

Driven: 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch diesel

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty diesel with King Ranch trim package | Larry Edsall photos
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty diesel with King Ranch trim package | Larry Edsall photos

I’m in love. Head-over-heels in love. With a truck.

But this isn’t just any truck. It’s a 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab, trimmed out with the King Ranch package and empowered by a whopping and turbocharged 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel-fueled V8.

Oh, and it’s a 4×4, so not only can it pull an RV or boat or horse trailer or, for that matter, a small village (or anything else weighing up to 15,000 pounds), it can go pretty much anywhere you can fit a vehicle that’s nearly 21 feet in length, almost 9 feet wide with its big and lighted power-folding mirrors extended, and is almost as tall as an NBA center. Continue reading

Bookshelf: Winning on the track, and in business

A Champion's Path. Cover
Book cover

Automakers love to talk about technology transfer from the race track to the roadway. And with good reason. What better way to validate the latest in hard- or software than by putting it to the test in the hot, high-pressure and ultra-competitive environment of the race to the checkered flag?

But technology isn’t the only thing that can transfer from raceway to roadway. Continue reading

The King’s collection: Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing

Don Garlits built the first truly successful rear-engined dragster in 1971 after a huge explosion in his last front-engined car | Jim McCraw photos
Don Garlits built the first truly successful rear-engined dragster in 1971 after a huge explosion in his last front-engined car | Jim McCraw photos

Don Garlits is the undisputed king of drag racing. Now 85, he has won 17 championships, won almost 150 races, and built, tuned and driven about 60 different race cars since he started racing in 1950.

He is known around the world as “Big Daddy,” and about 40 of his race cars have been called “Swamp Rat,” because Garlits was born and raised in Florida. Continue reading

Dream of a lifetime fulfilled: A visit to Jay Leno’s garage

The garage has both a new Shelby GT350 Mustang and a classic version | Nicole James photos
The garage has both vintage and new Shelby GT350 Mustangs | Nicole James photos

For as long as I can remember, I have said, “I want a car collection like Jay Leno’s.” This response typically came after listing dozens of cars I’d declared as my all-time, must-have favorites that really, one could only dream of owning.

Well, unless you were Jay Leno. Continue reading

Seeing Red: The Petersen’s tribute to 70 years of Ferrari

Part of the 'Seeing Red' exhibition of Ferraris at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Larry Crane photos
Part of the ‘Seeing Red’ exhibition of Ferraris at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Larry Crane photos

Red, because Ferrari continues to honor the 1906 Federation International de l’Automobile decision to establish national racing colors to facilitate a spectator recognizing racers from his country — Italian participating cars would be red.

While there have been many manufacturers who spent vast amounts of money modifying production cars to improve racetrack performance, Ferrari in its early days made very minor modifications to make its racing sports cars street worthy. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1960 Ford Thunderbird

Pick of the Day
Pick of the Day, 1960 Ford Thunderbird

The first-generation two-seat Ford Thunderbird is always a favorite among classic and collector car owners, which sometimes leaves the second generation largely overlooked. I’ve recently taken notice of them and can’t get over the funky futuristic styling, most notably the taillights.

Continue reading

Rewind: It’s Cheap and Ugly, the 1968 Subaru 360


(Editor’s note: Vintage television commercials can be as classic as the cars they promoted back in the day. This is one in an ongoing series of such vintage car commercials we’ve found on YouTube.)

In 1968, Subaru of America was formed and with it came the little Subaru 360. Of course, because it was “cheap and ugly,” the “little Subaru” was featured in a series of ads highlighting its features — 66 miles per gallon, port of entry cost of $1,297, easy to fix and maintain, and the little Subaru can go everywhere a big car can and places it can’t.

Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Dodge Durango R/T

Hemi-powered 2017 Dodge Durango R/T has stealthy, street-fighter look in its monotone color | Larry Edsall photo
Hemi-powered 2017 Dodge Durango R/T has stealthy, street-fighter look in its monotone color | Larry Edsall photo

The look of the 2017 Dodge Durango R/T is stealthily sinister, especially in monotone Granite Metallic exterior paint and riding on matching wheels — 20-inch machine-cast aluminum wheels done in a low-gloss Granite Crystal finish.

Not only do the wheels match the body color, but they have an open 10-spoke design that showcases the nearly 14-inch diameter vented disc brakes up front, with only slightly smaller 13s in the rear. Continue reading

Rick’s picks at Mecum’s 30th annual Spring Classic

Just a few of the 1,400 or so cars available this week at Mecum's Indy auction | Rick Carey photos
Just a few of the 1,400 or so cars available this week at Mecum’s Indy auction | Rick Carey photos

In the 12-decade history of the automobile, 3 decades is but a quarter. Even in collector car auction history, it is not even half. Still, by any reasonable or relative benchmark, the three-decade history of Mecum Auctions’ Spring Classic is worth considering. Continue reading

Klairmont Kollection: Chicago’s hidden gem

Klairmont Kollection features 300 cars in its Chicago 'museum' | Photos by Larry Nutson
Klairmont Kollection features 300 cars in its Chicago ‘museum’ | Photos by Larry Nutson

Love affairs develop in various ways. Like many loves, a love affair with the automobile can start with an interest and grow to a passion.

Illinois native Larry Klairmont’s interest in cars was already evident as a 5-year-old with a fondness for hood ornaments. Following Wold War II, Klairmont founded Imperial Dry Cleaners and it grew to become of the nation’s largest dry cleaning chains. While running his business, Klairmont began buying a car here and a car there. Continue reading