Author Archives: Reed Hitchcock

CHOTW: 1997 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas

XJ6VDP - 7

In an effort to get the bad taste of last week’s 1997 Camry (which did, incidentally, come with the most entertaining CraigsList ad I’ve read in quite a while) out of my mouth, I decided to go hunting for a proper Car Geek’s car for Cheap Heap of the Week. I present to you this 1997 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas available on eBay in Bloomington, California with a Buy it Now price of just $1,100 – and yes, according to the seller, it starts, runs, and drives.  Heck, the air conditioning even works!

Continue reading


1974 Triumph Spitfire 1500: Still Attainable… For Now

spitfire-2

In a world where sketchy Fiat 850 Spiders are selling for nearly US$10 Grand, there are few classic European roadsters that can still be bought for that amount in anything but “fixer-upper” condition. The Triumph Spitfire stands out as an anomaly, and although far from powerful, a subtly upgraded Spitfire like THIS car available on CraigsList in Southern California for $8,500 makes a great case for driving a slow car fast. Add good looks and an open top, and the case just gets stronger.

Continue reading


1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II: British Elegance for Pence on the Pound

1980 SS2 - 1

First things first: let’s get the inevitable Grey Poupon jokes out of the way.  “Pardon me, but…” yadda, yadda, and so on. Great. There. Now, let’s take a real look at this beautiful old world luxury yacht automobile available HERE on CraigsList in San Diego, California, with an asking price of just $8,600.

Continue reading


Of Mad Men and Their Machines

DEDjr

I visited an old friend last night – and before you start asking me about social distancing, mask-wearing, and all that, it wasn’t that kind of visit. David E. Davis, Jr. actually died in 2011, but his was one of the voices that instilled in me the passion for cars and the desire to write about them professionally. Davis was a Car Geek, a racer, an Ad man, and a motoring journalist. HE was also a quintessential “renaissance man”. His book “Thus Spake David E.” is a collection of his editorials and articles from throughout his career, and they are some of the best automotive and life reading out there. There is the obvious automotive content, but beyond that are stories about women, whiskey, camaraderie, adventure, the outdoors, and style. As a pre-teen Car Geek, I wanted to BE David E., or at least to know him.

Continue reading


Car Geekery During COVID-19

IMG_6634Like most people *everywhere*, there is a good chance that due to the Coronavirus health crisis you find yourself these days with a little more time on your hands and a lot fewer places to go. I’m not a profoundly social person, but even I have found the inability to engage in even the most basic of interactions outside the home a little frustrating – and I have no doubt I am wearing thin on my family. Thank goodness for carry-out beer pickup from my favorite local. But I digress. If you’re reading this, there’s a better than fair chance that you’re a Car Geek like us. With that in mind, I decided to lay out some ways to actively engage in full-on Car Geekery whilst adhering to all applicable stay at home, social distancing, and whatever other rules apply to your locality.  Interested? Read on!

Continue reading


Fleet Update: Turning Japanese

IMG_4205

Anyone who has spent any time perusing TTS can tell that we are generally partial to German cars – or at least European, as I do like the occasional Italian.. That said, we are also geeks for engineering and technology. I recall all too well when my father – Mister PhD in mechanical engineering – went from being a tried-and-true Mercedes guy (The Best or Nothing) to a Lexus guy. Price played a small part, as we were shopping a W126 300SE against an LS400 because the V8 Mercedes were substantially more expensive, but it was really about the quality of the machine. The Japanese took a great formula and made it their own, and the industry never looked the same again. I can still hear him saying “there is really no comparison.” At the time I was heartbroken, but as I’ve gotten older (and wiser?) I understand it – and him – a little better.

Continue reading