Archive for ‘Cars’

April 2, 2019

Beep Beep

Abarth | I was scootering between site visits today and when I was filling the Tigers tank up I spied this little pearl of a racer. Red Scorpion on its hood and a little extra oomph in its diminutive engine. Standing next to it I couldn’t imagine being able to get in it without my head poking through the sun roof and elbows sticking out of the windows.

February 14, 2019

“Helen, I think we took a wrong return at Aylesbury.”

No. 1 Corinthian Arch – this year is the 60th birthday of the classic small British car: the Mini. So the blog will periodically dip into the history of the coolest vehicle ever devised. It beats the Beetle, dashes the Deux Chevaux, sinks the Cinquecento. I like this photo for the black and white photojournalist look as well as the Arch at Stowe where my wife live IN for a summer back in the mid-nineties.

December 19, 2018

… or Bust!

Mini Me – latest update from my cousin Keith Wallace and his Mini project. Engine in, wheels on, steering and suspension fitted. I’m recommending red body with white roof like a mid-sixties Monte Carlo rally in Cooper regalia.

October 8, 2018

Classic Car

White -The late thirties saw the creation of what is sometimes considered the most beautiful of American cars: The Cord 812. The visual brainchild of noted automobile designer Gordon Buehrig; its sleek lines, emphasized by flip-up headlights, hidden hinges, and the classic wraparound ‘coffin’ grill, had looks that heralded a bright future. Cutting his teeth as head bodywork designer for Duesenberg he stated that a large influence on his design ethos was architect Le Corbusier’s book “Towards a New Architecture”.

October 7, 2018

Wailing

General Motors – Pontiac designer Bill Mitchell created a devilish muscle car for the ’74 Car Show circuit. The Firebird Banshee was the concept and the creative team behind the aerodynamic body accompanied it with an inspired custom 500cc Honda.

September 6, 2018

Dueling Banjos

The Bandit – 70’s actor Burt Reynolds passed away today at the age of 82. His breakout role in ’72 was in the acclaimed John Boorman film Deliverance, pictured above. His other notable character was Bo “Bandit” Darville in Smokey & the Bandit, a goofy car chase film set across middle America involving truckers, police, bikers and a high power Pontiac Grand Am.

July 28, 2018

Shaken not Stirred

Sean – A DB5, 007, and the Alps as a backdrop. Trifecta of style.

July 17, 2018

Put t’ kettle on!

You only get an Ooh! Derby in the sixties; Foden PVD6 double decker, Austin Morris 1100, and a Triumph 3TA Twenty One give period traffic to this Midland town. Billboards with Carreras Buckingham cigarettes, possibly a Horlicks poster, and some dextrose item ‘For Energy’. And of course the Cuppa splashed along the bus.

June 21, 2018

L’orange

Deux Chevaux – like some giant upturned orange wheelbarrow this Citröen 2CV was parked up near Morries Place last weekend. Developed in France after the 2nd World War as an economical family transport it was spare in detail but complete in purpose. Over 9 million of these cars and their variants were manufactured over 42 years. It’s up there in motoring history with the Ford Model T, VW’s Beetle, Fiat’s 500, and BMC’s Mini.

February 15, 2018

Speed and Looks

Auto Show – pleasant evening wandering the ginormous exhibition halls of McCormick Place for the annual car show. Plenty to ogle at, sit in, inspect, consider. Here’s a small selection of some very nice items: Porsche 911 Carrera T (370); Ford GT (647); Ford Bullitt edition Mustang (475); and Stingray (750-ish). Horse power in parentheses.

January 28, 2018

Snow Recovery

Winter is Here. As January draws to a close we’ve had a couple of unseasonably warmer days here in Chicago. Don’t let that fool you! It’s forecast to snow later this week and plunging temperatures are anticipated again. Here’s a classic image of an AA officer coming to the help of a broken-down Hillman Minx.

January 25, 2018

Phil the Hitman

The Driver – today is primo stunt driver Bill Hickman’s Birthday. Born in 1921 he is most known as the assassins getaway driver in Bullitt. Driving a ’68 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum R/T through the streets of San Francisco whilst being chased by Steve McQueen in his Highland Green ’68 Ford Mustang 390 GT . Here is Bill keeping an eye in the rearview mirror for Frank Bullitt. Considered one of the greatest car chases in moviedom it could never be achieved in this day and age as modern action scenes are created with unreal CGI tomfoolery. The second greatest chase is in William Friedkin’s 1971 The French Connection which was also helmed by Hickman.

Hickman was friend and driving master to James Dean. Being was first on the scene to Deans fateful crash in his 550 Spyder, and sadly the one who was at his side when he died.

November 4, 2017

Speedster

White Lotus – spied on my site visit drive yesterday in Wilmette. A small mid-engined sports car from the British racing car company Lotus. Very low profile with a 4 cylinder 1.5 l Renault engine offering nippy speed for a lightweight chassis. 

October 24, 2017

Thirty Three and a Third

Vinyl LP – fun graphics in cheery colors and swift illustrative gestures for the period cover artwork on a 1960 record. 

October 23, 2017

What would you rather Bee or a Wasp?

Sunshine Yellow – sublime automobile parked at Twin Lakes WI. 350 Chevy Camaro. RS package with Soft top, hidden-headlights, Hurst 4 speed shifter, big V8 engine. Originally developed and sold as a strong reactive competition against the Ford Mustang. I prefer these muscle cars.