2019 Honda Civic 1.5T Touring

Civic comes in 3 shapes, a big player in small car market …

Honda’s Civic is a mainstay in the small car market. Why? It has been around for years, remains affordable and comes in three body styles, sedan, coupe and hatchback.

All of those traits make it unusual. And for the past few years Honda designers have been trying to create a bit more visual excitement with Civics that feature sharp creases and angles that frankly, always make me think of a kid’s Transformer toy. Some love it, others, not so much. I find the nose appealing, the profile acceptable and the rear end rather garish. Continue reading 2019 Honda Civic 1.5T Touring

Die-cast: NEO’s 1964 Dodge 330 sedan

Affordable Dodge sedan stirs memories …

My uncle Clarence Winston (Wink for short) Savage had a beautiful dark metallic blue 1964 Plymouth Belvedere that I just loved as a kid. He could make that car’s tires bark several times between his house and ours, a half block away. He was a hot foot, one of the things I liked about him.

The Fury was Plymouth’s B-body coupe and sedan, while Dodge went with a more mundane name, the 330. So, when I spied NEO’s new 1964 Dodge 330 I was happy to review it for Scale Auto DC, just to see how it measured up to my memories of the oh-so-similar Plymouth Belvedere, which was a 4-door. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1964 Dodge 330 sedan

Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti Chiron

Wow, even in 1/18 scale this Bugatti rocks …

The Bugatti Chiron, where to begin?

Starting price is $2.6 million in round numbers, and the first 200 made sold out immediately, even before the first car was delivered. It’s possible we need a new term that’s greater than Supercar. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti Chiron

2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 1.6 Turbo

GT-Line’s turbo makes this the Soul you want  …

This may be overstating it some, but if ever there were a modern-day Volkswagen Beetle in both spirit and style, it would be Kia’s sweet Soul.

Consider that 11 years into its run the styling has been updated in tweaks to nose and tail, but the basic shape has stayed the same with its boxy looks offering a bit of swagger with its roof that tilts slightly downward in back. Somehow the look is sporty and fun, as opposed to the boring boxes on wheels, such as Scion’s XB and Nissan’s freakish Cube, that have come and gone, not to be missed. And this time around the headlights are thin slits with a light bar up front that sort of reminds of a Chevy Camaro nose. Fun! Continue reading 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 1.6 Turbo

2019 Honda Passport AWD Elite

Dandy new Passport hauls a lot of gear …

A loaded-down road trip to Minnesota was the perfect test for Honda’s latest crossover/SUV, the midsize Passport.

You may recall Passport as a midsize SUV offered earlier by Honda until 2002. It was a revamped version of Isuzu’s Rodeo (Remember Isuzu?). This is a whole new beast and a dandy one at that. Continue reading 2019 Honda Passport AWD Elite

Die-cast: WhiteBox 1962 VW Karmann Ghia

This Karmann Ghia is low cost too …

Volkswagen’s Karmann Ghia was a looker, but inexpensive, making it a perfect collectible car, if not for its propensity to rust. But in the model car collecting world we don’t have to worry about such mundane matters.

So collecting a 1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia now is easy. Ghia’s were the cute rounded thing that so many of our buddies drove in their teens, or early 20s. They were, like the Beetle, reliable and inexpensive, but way sportier looking. Dare we say sexy? Continue reading Die-cast: WhiteBox 1962 VW Karmann Ghia

2020 Nissan Z370 50th Anniversary edition

Latest Z car a beauty, and a bargain …

Sports cars used to be more plentiful, but as we Americans have become larger, so have our cars, crossovers and trucks. Rare is the sporty or sports car, and rarer yet, one we could afford.

But in 1970 Nissan introduced its Datsun 240Z, a long-nosed low-slung sports car with quick handling and a modest price. That same formula is working for 2020 as Nissan launches its 50th Anniversary edition of the Z car, now a Z370. Continue reading 2020 Nissan Z370 50th Anniversary edition

2019 Chevolet Equinox AWD Premier

Chevy’s Equinox easy as a Moon Pie to like …

When you’re driving to the home of the Moon Pie, you need something that boasts American pride and craftsmanship, and that’s what I got from Chevy for a rare trip to Chattanooga, Tenn.

Up rolled a Cajun Red 2019 Chevrolet Equinox and I promptly packed it down for a roughly 1,600-mile roundtrip to Moon Pie central. The gooey s’mores-like treat was a bonus I hadn’t counted on. My goal was hanging with a couple thousand of my plastic modeling friends for the International Plastic Modelers Society’s national convention in Nooga. Continue reading 2019 Chevolet Equinox AWD Premier

2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport

Small Caddy offers sexy looks & luxury …

There was a day when a Cadillac HAD to be as big as a cruise ship and loaded down with enough chrome to make a knight on horseback feel inadequate.

No more. Cadillac has decided that affordable luxury with interesting styling is the way to get post-Boomer buyers to park their lattes and espressos in Cadillac cup holders. Witness the new XT4, the smallest Caddy SUV, just a notch below its fairly petit XT5. The XT4 is svelte and sexy with beautifully sculpted front and rear lights and a handsome grille that give it a more distinctive look than many SUVs. Continue reading 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport

2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4

Gladiator: Finally, a midsize pickup with style …

You’ll either want a Jeep Gladiator pickup, or you won’t.

What I mean is the long-awaited Jeep pickup is an image vehicle as much as it is a pickup. That’s not to say it doesn’t function well as a pickup, it certainly does. But it looks like a Jeep, and that’s really all that matters.

Case in point, my sister-in-law declared it an “ugly thing” while another female rider, who loves and owns Jeeps, said it looked “fantastic.” Continue reading 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4

Die-cast: Replicarz 1972 McLaren M16 (Revson)

Revson’s Indy 500 pole car another Replicarz gem …

Peter Revson was a wealthy playboy type, but a talented racer. McLaren was a noted and successful race car maker. Their link-up in 1971 was historic and launched a successful era for both at the Indianapolis 500.

Revson, the heir to the Revlon cosmetics fortune had tried his hand at F1 racing in Europe, but to no success, so returned to the United States. He hooked up with Brabham in 1969 for the Indy 500 and barely made the show, starting last but finishing fifth. He was onto something. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz 1972 McLaren M16 (Revson)

Fueling collector fever with just two wheels

Making the cash/time continueum work

Imagine two pie charts next to each other. In one is all the money that you allot for the fun stuff you do. Unlike the government, you need to stay on budget so if you want to do more fun stuff, you to take funds away from the stuff you currently do. With me so far? OK, now for the other pie chart. In this one is the amount of time you spend doing your fun stuff so if going to a car show took up 20% of your time and like me want to take up flying, which will take 20% of your time, you’re done going to car shows for a while. It’s a simple concept. You’re on a strict financial and time budget. Where am I going with this? Well I tried the car restoration/collecting thing and it was a disaster so I’ve turned to motorcycles.

It’s like the car thing utilizing about half the time, money, and space

I’ve been riding motorcycles since the middle 70’s when I bought a 1975 Honda 125 to commute to school. I’ve owned a couple that I wish I hadn’t sold (and where have you heard that before?) like a 1978 Kawasaki KZ 900 and 1981 Kawasaki ZR 1000. Both of them in good shape are worth a fair amount of money because they were the fastest bikes of their time. I flip bikes and currently have two, a 2007 Suzuki Hayabusa and 1981 Honda CX 500. The Busa was a trail blazer when it debuted in 1999. Out of the box it was capable of going 200 mph and was the fastest bike on the planet. It has almost a cult-like following. Right now they don’t really appreciate in value but I think they will someday. I’ve learned to do most of the work on it myself while I rely on a local bike shop for the big stuff. Over the winter I had it dyno-tuned and it is faster than snot for having 57,000 miles on it.

The Honda is a different story. A good friend of mine had it sitting in his garage for a long time and I was always after him to help bring it out of its long sleep. Then one day I got a text from him asking if I wanted the bike because his wife wanted it out of the garage. I love her. The CX were developed by Honda in the late 70’s and featured technologies not found in that era such as liquid cooling, electric-only starting, shaft drive, and dual CV-type carbs. The item that is most recognized is the crankshaft configuration aligned longitudinally with the axis of the bike sort of like a Moto Guzzi. When I rev the engine, it feels torquey even though the transmission spins contrawise. There was also a turbo version of this bike which was manufactured into the 80’s. Honda made thousands of these and they are a very affordable first bike to learn how to work on.

honda cx500, cafe racer

I wanted nothing to do with the bike’s traditional design and went straight for the cafe racer look. I had to clean the old gas out of the tank, rebuild the carbs, replace the front fork seals, get new tires, and bleed the brakes. I like yellow and painted it with a rattle can. I cut the seat down and then fiberglassed the tail, ditched the old tail lights, bought a bikini cowl for the front, and installed a new handlebar and mirrors. I had a friend of mine do the vynyl graphics. I don’t have more than $600 into the bike and if I wanted to flip it for around $2,000 but it’s a fun bike and think I’ll hang into it for a while. So now I have two bikes in my garage taking up about the same space as a Nash Metropolitan.

Take this as far as you want to within your time/cash continuum

I would love to own a Ducati which is why this Paul Smart 1000 LE caught my eye. I mean, this is a rolling piece of art that wants to go fast. The engine is air-cooled, fuel injected, electronic ignition 1000DS (dual spark) 90-degree v-twin engine 992cc, two-valves, a quoted 92bhp at 8,000rpm. Ducati only made 2,000 of these which is why it was sold for $19,500. It has just 800 original miles on it. I would add another 800 miles pretty quick on it if I could afford it.

An American original

There were a bunch of motorcycle manufacturers in the US in the early years one of them being Vincent. These bikes were legendary for their speed in their battle with Harley-Davidson. My grandpa had one. That’s where i got the motorcycle bug from.

While it’s not numbers matching this Vincent Rapide is still a fantastic bike and the restorer spent a lot of time on it, especially the chrome parts. If I were to purchase this bike and ride it the bike would only go out on sunny days where there was zero chance of rain. Getting the chrome to shine this well takes a ton of work as does keeping it that way. Up for auction at $52,000 is really a deal because it probably would take about three times that amount to restore it.

A hometown favorite

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a Made-In-Milwaukee Harley-Davidson. HD bikes from the early years can be a great investment like this 1945 Harley Davidson Knucklehead. This example looks frozen in time. Older Restoration with mostly original parts.  Numbers Match. Original Engine, Frame, Carburetor, Tins etc Less than a 1000 of these bike were produced in 1945!

What’s great about this bike is that all you would need to do is put gas in it and go. It would be a real head turner in a parade or bike night. Auction price was set at $35,000 and it was sold.

The grandad of big Japanese bikes

Before there bikes like my Busa, there was the Honda CB 750 which turns 50 this year. Introduced in January it is described as the first superbike. It waa the first bike from a mainstream manufacturer featuring an electric start and disc brakes needed to slow down what was the fastest bike of its time running the quarter-mile in around 12 seconds with a top speed of 120 mph. All this fun came for just $1,495. Sales quickly outpaced Honda’s projections and the bike remained in production until 2003.

Early production models can command a decent investment, the prototypes, which only two of the four are known to survive even more. Just last year one sold for around $224,000.

But you don’t have to spend that kind of money to get in the game. Most of them are very affordable like this 1977 Honda CB 750 which sold for just $2,500. What you get for just a bit more than the original list price is a bike that has so many ways to go. You could go crazy with a full restoration or like I did with my CX500, turn it into a Cafe Racer.

There are tons of performance parts for the bike from carbs to exhaust. What I love about the Cafe Racer craze is that every bike becomes an extension of the owner. The bike is super-easy to work on but if you get stuck it has very active owner forums like Honda Twins so don’t feel intimidated or bashful. I’ve gone to the CX 500 forum a bunch of times and always found them helpful.

So there you have it, lot’s of options that don’t have to make you worry how you’re going to pay for your kid’s education or missing a mortgage payment. Best of all, even owning several bikes will all fit in even the smallest of garages.

 

2020 Kia Telluride SX AWD

Kia Telluride a perfect people mover, a slam dunk …

Kia’s first big SUV is a perfect game, a hail Mary touchdown pass, a buzzer beater, whatever superlative sports metaphor you’d choose, the Telluride is all that.

It’s harder to write a glowing review than one that picks a few nits, yet I found none to pick in this review of Kia’s new Telluride SX AWD. That’s the top level model, but there are four trims, so one should fit in most folks’ budget. Continue reading 2020 Kia Telluride SX AWD

Ran When Parked

Interesting Automobiles

LNB Shop

Best Shop on Earth

Classic Recollections

Every car has a story!

The Dodge Kid

Life with a 1970 Challenger R/T

Peake Ram Fiat

Chrysler - Dodge - Jeep - Ram - Fiat

ORANGE TRACK DIECAST

A PLACE FOR ALL HOT WHEELS FANATICS

Motor Sports NewsWire

Worldwide Press Release Distribution

Dynamic Drive

A Queer Connoisseur's Consumption of Vintage Automobilia

Smokey the Jeep

The adventures and evolution of a lifelong dream

Women AUTO Know

Master of Your Personal Automotive Universe

Bimmer Repair

We Only Repair The Ultimate Driving Machine

Mustang Maniac

The home to Classic Mustang Restorations

320mph

Muscle Cars and Hot Rods

Lone Star Classic Cars

Buy. Sell. Trade. Consign.

Wheeler Motors Headlines

Where you get some wheely good information!

Classic Fast

If it's fast, I'm writing about it.

The Best CAR Blog Ever

Yes it is!! All about Cars and More Cars..Just Cars!

sonzay CAR_tography

the history of cars according to one man

Here All Week

An entertainment from Dick Stein's Little Studio

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: