Category Archives: Story Time!

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.

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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.

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1985 BMW 323i Baur Top Cabriolet: No Sleep ‘Til Hopkins

Baur_AsFound

“Foot on the pedal, never ever false metal.
Engine running hotter than a boiling kettle.”

The wisdom of driving a 30-year-old BMW across some of the more desolate areas of America first came into question as we watched Sparks, Nevada fade from the rearview mirror, casually but rhythmically vibrating in time with the four bent wheels. Continue reading


Rental Car Review: 2003 Mazda Protege5

Shelby GT350H Collection

“What’s the fastest car in the world? A rental car, of course!”

That old chestnut, the object example of truth lovingly wrapped in a cliché. We all know people who have purchased cars previously the property of a rental or loaner fleets. And not ironically, either; this wasn’t some vane nod toward empathy – like adopting an abused baby harp seal because you feel bad – or merely thumbing their nose at the Goddess of Nice Used Cars. They saw no problem in purchasing an automobile that had likely never known an easy day in its life.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Camaro SS or a Dodge Avenger, an Audi A6 or a Kia Rio, a Nissan Quest or a Lincoln MK-whatever. Nobody has ever been nice to a rental car. Continue reading


Mercedes-Benz 280SE 4.5, briefly

W108 280SE 4.5

The San Francisco, California, public auto auction is not normally the place to discover a classic Mercedes sedan. Generally run across the block are tatty donation cars like battered Ford Escorts, crispy Nissans imported from rusty states, or smoke-belching Saab parts cars that will not pass the state’s Draconian emissions inspection.

Occasionally something interesting gets consigned, like a clean Porsche 914 or 1980s Maserati Quattroporte, but the reserve is always full retail. My friend Jake and I would always keep our eyes open for the rough gems, but more routinely found the generic garden boulders. Continue reading


1977 Fiat 132: The Cars of our Fathers…..

1977 Fiat 132 - 2

So My dad died about three weeks ago. In his honor, I’ve been trying to write something witty, something solemn, and even something really, really long. But ultimately I decided that first and foremost this is a blog about cars, and he liked cars, and even instilled in me that passion. So instead of eulogizing him and writing some long, drawn-out diatribe about the guy he was, I’ll write about one of his cars: the Fiat 132. It was the first car he ever let me attempt to move (almost taking out a family friend/one of dad’s colleagues in the process) and is to me one of the cars that stands out most in my memory as “Dad’s car”.

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