Category archives: Pick of the Day

Pick of the Day: 1951 Pontiac Chieftain (and trailer)

1951 Pontiac Chieftain convertible comes with a trailer
1951 Pontiac Chieftain convertible comes with a trailer

If $59,000 sounds like a lot to pay for a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain convertible, this Pick of the Day also comes with a 2016-model-year Hull 18-foot tilt-bed trailer with protective bulkhead, four-wheel electric brakes and a 9,000-pound load capacity.

On the other hand, $59,000 might be a bargain price for this show-stopping convertible with its straight-8 engine and automatic transmission in Butter Cream Yellow paint with a tan/brown leather interior, the interior redone just two years ago. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1949 Volkswagen Beetle

The early Volkswagen shows the original unadorned original styling of the Beetle
The early Volkswagen shows the original unadorned original styling of the Beetle

Here’s the kind of thing that makes VW fanatics flip out, an accurately restored Type 1 from the first year they were brought into the U.S.

New York dealer Max Hoffman, the automotive impresario who also was the early importer of such European brands as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, believed that the American public would accept the odd-duck Volkswagen despite its minimalistic size, accommodations and performance. Hoffman was right, in spades. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1931 Franklin Model 153 sedan

The Franklin wears a traditional radiator shell despite its engine being air-cooled
The Franklin wears a traditional radiator shell despite its engine being air-cooled

See the radiator shell on the front of this Franklin sedan? It’s a fake – there is no radiator. The Franklin Automobile Co. exclusively built air-cooled vehicles, and before the early 1920s, you could tell by the front bodywork that there was no radiator up there.

Ah, but the pressure to conform became too great, and the Syracuse, New York, automaker started outfitting its cars to look like everybody else’s, with a typical radiator shell even though there was no radiator. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1984 Ferrari Mondial QV Cabriolet

The Ferrari Mondial is a mid-engine, four-seat convertible
The Ferrari Mondial is a mid-engine, four-seat convertible

Ferrari 308 prices have fallen back a bit, although at the current $40,000-$50,000 mark, they are still beyond the means of many prospective collectors. But there is an affordability light at the end of the Ferrari tunnel, and that is the Ferrari Mondial.

The Mondial was Ferrari’s replacement for the 308 GT4 and in my personal experience, one of the nicest-driving mid-engine Ferrari road cars ever. While many people do not care for the styling, I see it as a perfect 1980s time capsule, with elements of the 308 and the later Testarossa combined into a good-looking package. Mondail also is comfortable for long trips, is fun to drive, is fast enough to be entertaining and is a real-deal Ferrari from the Enzo era. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1950 Hudson Pacemaker Brougham

The Hudson Pacemaker was a  unibody car with 'step down' design
The Hudson Pacemaker is an innovative unibody car with ‘step down’ design

If not for the Fabulous Hudson Hornet race car, which was reborn in the animated movie Cars, Hudson would be a largely forgotten brand outside of hardcore enthusiasts. The financial turmoil at the Hudson Auto Museum in Shipshewana, Indiana, reported yesterday on ClassicCars.com, seems to highlight the fate of this once-great car company.

The Pick of the Day is a 1950 Hudson Pacemaker Brougham, a two-door coupe in green metallic paint that shows the forward thinking of the automaker after World War II. An early unibody car with “step-down” design that made the interior roomier and the center of gravity lower, Hudsons made their mark in NASCAR and other racing venues in the early part of the 1950s. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1970 Mercury Cougar

1970 Mercury Cougar was gift from Ford to civil rights leader Whitney J. Young Jr.
1970 Mercury Cougar was gift from Ford to civil rights leader Whitney J. Young Jr.

But this isn’t just any 1970 Mercury Cougar. It formerly was owned by civil rights leader Whitney J. Young Jr., a gift from the Ford Motor Company and owned by the Young family until sold five years ago at  Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO clone

The Camaro is powered by a 427cid V8
The Camaro is powered by a 427cid V8

Ever since I wrote about the 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1 COPO coupe at Mecum’s upcoming Denver auction, I’ve been thinking about ’69 Camaros with big-block engines. The authentic ZL1 is the featured highlight of the auction, expected to go for north of a half-million dollars.

The COPO Camaro is a legendary creature, a back-door effort by gearhead insiders at GM to defy the corporation’s racing ban and create a handful of cars with outlandish performance capabilities. Just 69 COPO Camaros were built in 1969, with only a few remaining in original condition. Continue reading

Rare ’69 Camaro ZL1 highlights Mecum’s Denver auction

The Camaro ZL1 has its original aluminum 427 V8 and four speed | Mecum Auctions
The Camaro ZL1 has its original aluminum 427 V8 and four speed | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum expects 1,000 collector cars to cross the block July 20-22 during its third annual Denver auction at the Colorado Convention Center, where the docket features an array of muscle cars, sports cars and classics.

Leading the list is a bright-orange 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe, No. 30 of 69 produced that year. It also is one of the few surviving examples with its original all-aluminum 427cid ZL1 V8 linked with the factory four-speed manual transmission. Original equipment also includes heavy-duty suspension, brakes and other performance components. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1988 Yugo GV

The Yugo GV was originally sold when new for less than $4,000
The Yugo GV originally sold when new for less than $4,000

OK, when was the last time you saw one of these anywhere, much less for sale and in apparently decent condition?

The Pick of the Day is a “rare for a reason” 1988 Yugo GV hatchback, a tiny critter derived from the ubiquitous Fiat 128 and built in Yugoslavia, which doesn’t exist anymore. The same for 99 percent of these cars, which tended to disintegrate on American highways. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1947 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette

The Buick looks correct in its original paint hue and wide whitewalls
The Buick looks correct in its original paint hue and wide whitewalls

For some reason, Buicks are among the best values across the classic American car market. Why this is the case continually baffles me. Buick introduced many revolutionary firsts in the U.S. auto industry, including the overhear-valve engine, the straight-8 engine, the synchromesh manual transmission and the dynaflow automatic transmission.

Buick was innovative throughout its history, but somehow people have forgotten this. Heck, the first concept car built in this country, Harley J. Earl’s innovative 1938 Y-Job, was a Buick. Continue reading