Mike Artman and Enzo Morales have been friends since high school. Both got married out of school and now have children of their own. With house payments, the cost of kids, and just the crush of remaining financially afloat these days, Mike and Enzo began to feel that life was a little stale. One day, Enzo decided he’d had enough of poseur Porches and look-at-me Mercedes that he says just “didn’t feel right.” So Enzo asked Mike to help him find a car. With one son and another on the way, common sense dictated a machine that could comfortably seat four and was a little more practical than his prior life’s 11-second 427 1969 Camaro. Once the hunt commenced, Enzo says Mike was like a Craigslist ninja—stealthily scouring the for-sale ads until he who found a rust-free, small-block 1966 Chevelle for an amazing price: $4,300. The body was rough but solid, and the drivetrain was healthy enough to survive the 90-mile trip to San Diego through L.A.’s … [Read more...] about 1964 Pontiac Wagon and 1966 Chevy Chevelle – Friends
Make new friends song
The only constant in life may be change, yet young men are still attracted to hot rods and females. Our case study, 26-year-old Aaron McClinton, works in his family’s Albany, Oregon, body shop by day, and clandestinely haunts the garages of hot rodding’s pioneers. His course was predetermined: “My grandfather started it all with his hot rod ’32 roadster, pre–World War II. He traded his ratty coupe with current tags for the neighbor kid’s pristine Deuce roadster with expired tags. My father started out working in a body shop, and has never had any other kind of job. So naturally, that’s where I’ve found myself. My parents bought their own business 18 years ago, and since I can remember, I’ve been down there learning the ropes.” Aaron inevitably crossed paths with local hot rod legends Jim Lindsay and Sid Campbell, who exposed him to the ways of the traditional build. Aaron enjoyed the view. “The more I saw, the more … [Read more...] about 1931 Ford Coupe – Torch Song
Tracey Cormier is probably a lot like you. He holds down a steady day job—in his case, he services autoclave sterilization equipment in bio-research and hospital settings to make sure they eradicate every last germ and microbe—but his true passion is messing with motorized machines of every description, and he fills his spare hours doing just that. Located in North Brookfield, Massachusetts, his winters are spent making repairs and performance modifications to snowmobiles for himself and friends. In the warmer months, he opens his home garage to motorcycles, off-road buggies, pleasure boats, and the occasional airplane engine, but at the core of it all is a burning interest in Chevrolet muscle cars and the engines that make them run fast. When he’s not on the road making repair calls at New England hospitals and research labs, the lights in his shop are burning at all hours of the night. Your author knew Tracey back in the mid-1980s when he campaigned one of the … [Read more...] about This First-Gen Camaro Blends the Old and the New
Throughout the years and from dozens of hit songs that name-drop Lexus, we have learned a lot about life and our love of cars, as well as gaining a lot of graphic insight into the opposite sex. But perhaps the most ubiquitous declaration that we’ve heard inferred in countless rap odes is about the powerful evocative sex appeal of the Lexus. Simply put, according to some of the most successful artists in modern music, driving a Lexus makes you sexier. A lot sexier. Need confirmation? Check out the naughty 2013 track “Box Chevy,” which features Rick Ross rapping incessantly about two things — but we can only mention one of them: Lexus. After initially starting his road to success in a box Chevy, Ross noticed that his sex life got a helluva lot better once he upgraded to a “blue Lexus.” The downside to that, of course, is that now the sexy Lexus is his own competition. How does slick Rick solve the dilemma? … [Read more...] about Lesson #1: Driving a Lexus Makes You Sexier. A lot Sexier.
Just back from Spain, where I’ve been driving the new 3-series saloon on those magical winding roads of Andalusia. As expected, it is a terrific car.The new one is a step-on from its predecessor, especially in cabin quality, handling and looks (leaner, sleeker, less multi-angle Bangled). The agility and balance of the new 3 – I drove both 320d and 328i – are outstanding. Ride suppleness is also excellent.My only disappointment is the engines. The 320d has more clatter and chatter than I’d expected, although it is outstanding in other areas. Especially its delicious – both driver and tax friendly – meld of power and fuel parsimony: 62.8mpg (combined cycle) meets 118g/km CO2 meets 7.6 sec 0-62mph meets 143mph top speed. Those are automatic transmission figures. That makes them even more extraordinary. Honestly, with internal combustion engines this efficient (and with city stop-start) you really wonder what is the point of pricey hybrids. As hybrid … [Read more...] about Gavin Green on 2012’s fine new F30 BMW 3-series
Welcome to New Or Used Without Borders, where the international team of TTAC answers your intercontinental car shopping questions.Robstar asks:My wife & I are about to have our first child in December. We visit Brazil (SJC, SP) typically twice per year to see my wife’s relatives. Usually each trip lasts about a month (I’m only there the last week or two). My wife has talked to me about possibly buying a car in Brazil because of our frequent travel there and our need to get around with an infant/toddler. During past visits, I drove or we took the bus together. Now that she’ll be taking an infant with her, she wants to be able to drive herself when I’m not there. We are also worried about safety using public transportation — A single mother & a baby/infant who may speak English at an inopportune time may appear to be an easy target for criminals. In any case, our current transportation options won’t work … [Read more...] about New Or Used In Brazil: Car Shopping Tips For Gringos
A few years ago, I wrote an opinion piece about Porsche vandal tuner RWB and the ethical aspects of damaging historically valuable air-cooled 911s. Some of you agreed, some of you disagreed, some of you took it very personally.This past week the article gained some traction again via a wave of FB shares, which happens often enough that the RWB article is in the all-time top 25 most popular TTAC posts. This time, however, a few of the B&B had a new question to ask: What do you think about the “Porsche 911 Re-Imagined By Singer”?Good question. As you’d suspect, I have an opinion on the subject. But the most fascinating thing about the Singer cars isn’t what they say about the company or its approach to rebuilding air-cooled Porsches; it’s what the Singer phenomenon says about Porsche itself.If you don’t know what a Singer Porsche is then look at the Internet. If you don’t have the Internet but instead are one of the truly devout Jack … [Read more...] about No Fixed Abode: Singer Song of Sixpence
Derek’s editorial yesterday on the idea that you need to look upmarket for truly awful cars nowadays ruffled quite a few feathers among the B&B. Some of you thought Derek was simply repeating the usual TTAC tropes. Others wanted to hear more about why expensive cars often fail to meet the same expectations that a Camry or CR-V easily exceed. To the first group of readers, I can only say: You’re going to hear about ethics in journalism on this site almost half as often as you heard about the Chevy Sonic when they were co-branding with Jalopnik. To the second group of readers: click the jump, okay?We can break this down into three questions:0. Why is it tougher to build a great upmarket car than it is to build a great mass-market car, if indeed that is the case?Derek went some way to answer the third question with his column; I’ll only say in addition that the prestige manufacturers are much more sensitive about the behavior of their media, ahem, partners than the … [Read more...] about So What Makes Expensive Cars So Terrible, Anyway?
In his QOTD a few days back, Doug DeMuro had this to say about his father’s decision to buy a Camry: “He wasn’t the BMW type. He wasn’t cool enough. Back then, few were.”Doug is a tad younger than I am, so his father was apparently in his forties back in the Nineties. My father wasn’t cool enough in the Nineties, either—he was cool enough when LL Cool J was still rocking a red Kangol and Don Johnson was making pastels look masculine.Before Bush 41 even took the oath, my dad had long been rolling in the deep with the boys from Bavaria. He bought a 320i and a 733i when his neighbors were still representing Cadillac. In many ways, he was a metrosexual long before the word ever had meaning—he wore Armani suits when gray flannel still dominated the workplace. He exercised religiously long before fitness was considered an indicator of success, maintaining a 5’10” and 165 pound frame that allowed him to easily beat my friends and me … [Read more...] about Bark’s Bites: Song for My Father
Greg writes:Hi Bark,I’m a 32-year-old red-blooded male, life-long car enthusiast and hopeful to be raising a few future enthusiasts in the foreseeable future. I can smell which way the wind is blowing and know that the car market is going to look very different in the future. I’m excited about electric cars, but also want a “timepiece” that’s tasteful, fun, and a bit irrational to cherish for the indefinite future.Two requirements: no torque converters, and it must be able to accommodate my 95-pound rottweiler mix, future miniature-sized humans, and my wife. So no Boxsters, unfortunately. I’m not interested in four-cylinder cars; I already daily a FoST.My train of thought is divided between a less-expensive-to-acquire BMW — like an E39 M5, E46 M3, or E90 335 — or a less-expensive to maintain Mustang GT or Camaro SS.What car would you be proudest to step out of in 20 years at your kid’s baseball … [Read more...] about Ask Bark: Which Car Will Make The Best Nostalgia Machine?