What Should Junior Drive?

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One of the most asked questions of “car” people, second to “What kind of car should I buy?” and “How much do you think x will cost to fix?” is, “What would be the best car to buy for my [new driver] kid?” And I have a standard list of cars I cut and paste and send to people, and they just go buy Camrys anyway. The tables, however, have turned, and I’m faced with a child (yes, CHILD) who is at 18 months until she can legally qualify to get a driver’s license. And who, like her dad, can’t wait.

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1991 Audi 90 Quattro 20V: But The Wife Wants A 5 Series

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Our affliction for old Audis is colored by rose-tinted glasses, and brought into high-definition clarity with 20-20 hindsight. A 5000S, Ur-S4, or Coupe Quattro? Sure, back in the day they were junk fixable only at the dealer. But today we have the power of the Internet. Compound that with the fact the horrible cars have mostly fallen off the road – or landed in Craigslist backwaters like Olathe, Kansas – and only the nicest examples show up for sale on enthusiast sites like Audifans.com. Continue reading


1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL: Resplendent in its Four Place Glory….

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We have written a lot about the Mercedes W126 S-class (you know, when we get around to writing at all!), but for me that’s largely because they are among the best luxo-barges ever produced. Modern enough to offer an excellent driving experience, and old enough that they’re not entirely bogged-down with technology certain to strand you in some catastrophic symphony of warning lights. Besides, they are so completely logical in their engineering and design – my Dad always referred to his as fitting together like a Chinese puzzle – that even incompetent hack mechanics like me can wrench on them. This pretty 1985 500SEL in Fort Worth, Texas comes with a little bonus surprise of its own. There weren’t many options available on U.S. market cars, but this car has one of the coolest ones. Find it here on eBay with a buy it now price of $9,995 or best offer.

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1989 Pontiac 6000STE AWD: A Unicorn’s Unicorn

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At TTS, we miss Pontiac. From the early days of motoring through the GTO and Firebird Trans Am – and with their attempts to transcend General Motor’s worst days of badge-engineering – Pontiac tried to build some level of excitement into their brand. The history is well-documented, but the exclamation point you should remember about Pontiac’s time as a manufacturer was the G8 sedan, a rip-snorting V8 hooligan in a decent Men’s Wearhouse suit. Continue reading


Subaru SVX: Polarizing Styling, Please

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I’ve been considering returning to a two-door as my daily hack. Almost five years ago, my grumpy lower back immediately complained about installing our newborn son and his car seat into the rear compartment of my 1991 BMW 318is. A four-door was in order, and we soon found our rusty-but-trusty 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320. Now, said munchkin is able and (usually) willing to climb into his car seat by himself. The Benz is just fine for now, but it can’t hurt to consider a replacement that might need some work before being pressed into daily service. Continue reading


1979-89 Aston Martin Lagonda: Insert Wedgy Joke Here

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I can’t really tell you why I love Aston Martin’s folded-paper land wedge. Maybe it goes back to a Road & Track magazine cover, either a regular monthly issue or one of their Exotic Car specials. Those issues appeared at a time when I was more interested in pictures than words, and I can tell you the pictures by themselves made no sense of this alien craft.

Maybe I saw one at Miller Motorcars in Greenwich, Connecticut back when they were sort of new, or at the New York Auto Show. Couldn’t tell you. All these years later, however, the Lagonda is just as cool and weird and interesting to me. Just maybe not for the same reasons. Continue reading