Pick of the Day: 1973 Volkswagen Thing

The VW Thing has the same chassis and mechanical parts as a Beetle
The VW Thing has the same chassis and mechanical parts as a Beetle

Say you want a classic car that you can show and take to events, but also drive on the beach. That could be a classic Jeep or a dune buggy, or this one from Germany, which was marketed when new as the Car That Does Everything: the Volkswagen Type 181 Thing.

The Pick of the Day is a 1973 Volkswagen Thing, a fun car that can do a lot of what a vintage Jeep does, and based on the tried-and-true VW Beetle chassis and mechanical parts. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S

The Mazda Cosmo sports unique styling that sets it apart
The rotary-engine Mazda Cosmo sports unique styling that sets it apart

One of the fun things to watch in today’s mercurial collector car market is when certain old cars rise from obscurity and gain in value as collectors and investors latch onto them. Recent winners in the collector car lottery range from certain antiques from the earliest days of motoring to postwar classics from Ferrari and Porsche.

Japanese collector cars hit their stride a few years back, led by such limited-edition sports cars as the Toyota 2000GT and the Nissan Skyline GT-R. But as the overall market has cooled, Rising Sun classics settled down from their high prices, although Japanese Home Market cars that were not imported to the U.S. still draw plenty of interest from younger enthusiasts. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1994 Dodge Viper RT/10

The Dodge Viper is a low-mileage survivor said to be in excellent condition
The Dodge Viper is a low-mileage survivor said to be in excellent condition

Now that we know Dodge Viper production ends after this model year, the Pick of the Day goes back to the roots of the V10-powered roadster with one of the first-gen models in low-mileage survivor condition.

This 1994 Dodge Viper RT/10 has been driven only 13,090 miles in its 23 years by just two owners, according to the dealer in Hailey, Idaho, advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1927 Ford Model T Speedster

The Model T has been fitted with a sporty Speedster body
The Model T has been fitted with a sporty Speedster body

Buying a classic car is really not the most logical decision, and there are a lot of people out there who should think twice when considering buying one. Those people would be happier in a modern sporty car, such as a Dodge Challenger or Porsche Boxster.

Then there are those of us who live and breath classic cars, where every difficulty is merely a challenge to be overcome, and the higher the level of difficulty a collector car presents, the more we enjoy it. It is as if we welcome the potential for adversity, or actually look for it in the cars we buy. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

The Mustang Boss 351 is said to be thoroughly and correctly restored
The Mustang Boss 351 is said to be thoroughly and correctly restored

Now that we know Mustangs are the most-searched-for collector cars in the U.S., here’s a roaring example of the Ford pony car as pure muscle.

The Pick of the Day is a 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 coupe, the beneficiary of a ground-up restoration and powered by its correct Cleveland 351cid, four-valve V8 with Toploader four-speed manual transmission. All the ingredients needed for a hot trip down the quarter mile, on a straight-ahead back road or, if unlucky, to traffic court. 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: 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