Two-seater delivers attitude, power, performance – at a high cost
Perfect timing! I had just driven the raciest version of Fiat’s tiny 500, the Abarth, when an even racier MINI Cooper Coupe, the John Cooper Works, or JCW, edition slotted into the test garage.
The Coupe is MINI’s new model, with no back seat and a lowered roofline that gives it a distinctive profile, and some might say, a more buglike appearance. Bathed in Midnight black paint with a red racing stripe – reversed on the red roof with a black racing stripe – the JCW was hot. Women loved it! Even my car-neutral wife commented on its great looks, and THAT’s rare!
This is one of my favorite cars, the Chevy Corvair. The compact automobile was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for the 1960–1969 model years. It was the only American-made,mass-produced passenger car to feature a rear-mounted air-cooled engine.
It was General Motors’ response to the growing popularity of small, lightweight imported cars such as the original VW Beetle, as well as to compete with domestic-built compact cars, the Rambler American and Studebaker Lark. The “compact” term was coined by George W. Romney as a euphemism for small cars with a wheelbase of 110 inches (2,794 mm) or less. You didn’t think I’d leave that out, would you?
Corvair variants included a two-door coupe and a convertible, a four-door sedan, and four-door station wagon configurations, and also the more powerful Monza model; and a passenger van, commercial van, and pickup derivatives. My favorite, if I could only have one would be a Monza convertible. The best thing about collecting these cars is that they have to cost a ton of money to acquire on. I found plenty of decent ones for around $10K.
The promo models are also reasonably prices. I found this 60 on Joe Wheat’s site for $70 keeping in mind it is not perfect but not in bad shape for being over 50 years old.
I really like this convertible but to acquire this one costs quite a bit more at $275. Again, like the real cars, the more you pay, the better shape the car is in. I had a promo model a long time ago and writing this blog entry reminds me I should start looking at getting another one.
Do you have a promo model or the real deal to share? We would love to see them.
It’s one of those cars most guys lust over, a Ferrari. Nothing else seems to mater when one drives by. The power is beyond words. The handling is perfect.
And when the 458 is cruising around town, it’s downright sedate…(you might even think you were in a *gasp* luxury sedan.) Hit the gas on the highway, though, and it comes to life like no other Ferrari in history. My opportunity came with a Groupon and for just 99 bucks. I could not resist. One more item off my bucket list.
Cute and powerful, but overpriced and a rough rider
A co-worker put it perfectly after seeing my black and white Fiat 500 Abarth, it’s the Beanie Baby of cars – Cute with a capital C.
I like small cars, appreciate their efficiency, their fun factor and generally their lower cost. The Fiat 500 is cute, almost to a fault. At its base Pop trim level it’s a fun sub-compact that starts at an extremely attractive $15,500.
The Abarth (Fiat tells us that’s pronounced AH-bar) is its racy version. Think of its 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged engine as a Mini-Hemi, seeing as how Fiat and Chrysler are now linked up. Continue reading 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth→
AMC’s AMX was an automotive rarity, a two-seat muscle car on a short wheelbase that most folks at the time agreed handled more like a sports car.
American Motors’ Javelin had just come out a few months earlier when AMC unveiled the AMX for 1968 ½ in February of that year. Auto World’s 1:18 version is a “frost” white 1969 AMX Hurst SS version, the rarest of the rare.
Sporty, useful, practical, some hatchbacks have it all
Hatchbacks are fantastic and Hyundai’s latest entry the Elantra GT proves the point.
Sporty, useful, practical and bordering on fun to drive a hatchback often gives you more for your money than any other car design on the market. Think of crossovers as hatchbacks on steroids and you get the picture for useful and practical, but without the sporty. Continue reading 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT→