Author Archive

Feb
23
The Phantom Thread Bristol 405 Saloon

Instead of a Rolls Royce or Bentley, Phantom Thread producers put wealthy and successful lead character Reynolds Woodcock in a Bristol 405 sedan.

The recently released period-piece drama Phantom Thread is a noteworthy film for many reasons. For starters, it was written and directed by celebrated auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, it’s been nominated for six Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Actor in a Leading Role), and it stars Oscar-winning thespian Daniel Day-Lewis in what Day-Lewis himself says is his last acting performance. For car enthusiasts, however, the film’s Bristol 405 four-door saloon is the real star.

Nov
30
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

2017 Los Angeles Auto ShowAfter unveiling its latest “King of the Hill” ZR1 Corvette at the Dubai Motor Show earlier this month, Chevrolet followed up at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show by announcing that the new-generation ZR1 will also be offered as a droptop. The ZR1 has been absent from the Corvette lineup since the C7 generation debuted for the 2014 model year.

Nov
29
2019 Jeep Wrangler

2018 Jeep Wrangler

2017 Los Angeles Auto ShowJeep officially unveiled the long-anticipated redesign of its iconic Wrangler at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Wrangler is one of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ best-selling models, but it saw its last full redesign for the 2007 model year and was overdue for a full update. 

Nov
08
Jim Rockford Firebird, Rockford Files

Though they were nowhere near as flashy as the typical “star car,” the no-nonsense Pontiac Firebirds that James Garner drove on The Rockford Files are among the best-loved TV/movie vehicles of all time.

Jim Rockford is the only TV detective with a driving move named for him. The late James Garner, who played Jim Rockford, didn’t invent the reverse 180-degree “J-turn,” but he used it so often in The Rockford Files television series that the maneuver is forever associated with the character. To execute a “Rockford,” Jim Rockford would drive about 35 mph in reverse, then let off the gas, turn the steering wheel sharply, and pull on the emergency brake. The car’s front end would swing around 180 degrees, and Rockford would be off—now driving forward.

Aug
16

Marmon showroom at 2232 S. Michigan, Chicago’s Historic Motor Row

Chicago’s Michigan Avenue has long been one of the most important streets in the city. In addition to being a major north-south thoroughfare, Michigan Avenue is home to landmarks such as the John Hancock Center skyscraper, the Chicago Water Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Millennium Park, as well as the famous Magnificent Mile shopping district.

Oct
18
2017 Infiniti Q60

2017 Infiniti Q60

Consumer Guide First Spin Coupes account for only five percent of the premium vehicle market, but they’ve also traditionally been important halo vehicles for their respective brands. That’s certainly been the case at Infiniti, where the Q60 coupe and convertible (and their G35/G37 predecessors) have typically been the most stylish and dynamic vehicles in the marque’s model lineup. After a year’s absence, the Q60 coupe returns for 2017 with a new design that shares elements of its architecture with the Infiniti Q50 sedan. We recently had the opportunity to sample the hottest version of the Q60 on a San Diego-area drive route.

Jun
20
2003 Studebaker XUV Brochure

This rendering exaggerates the length of a truck that, in prototype guise, was already very long. 

If you attended at the Chicago Auto Show back in 2003 or 2004, you might have seen a Hummer-like SUV with “Studebaker” stamped on the liftgate. Posed by some rugged-looking rocks in a small Avanti Motor Corporation display, this hulking behemoth was a Hail Mary attempt by struggling Avanti Motor to cash in on the then-booming mega-SUV market. How did such a bizarrely branded vehicle ever come to pass?

Jun
16
Adam 12 TV Show, Cars of Adam 12

The TV police patrol team of Malloy and Reed enjoyed the services of several different cars during the run of Adam 12.

If you’re a car guy of a certain age, chances are you have fond memories of the original Adam 12 TV series. The half-hour police drama ran between 1968 and 1975, following veteran LAPD patrol officer Pete Malloy (played by Martin Milner) and junior partner Jim Reed (played by Kent McCord) as they went about their job to protect and serve the citizens of Los Angeles. Cars of Adam 12.

May
16
Cars of "The Great Gatsby"

In a scene from the 2013 film, Gatsby drives Daisy in Tom’s blue car (a 1933 Auburn) while Tom drives Gatsby’s automobile (a 1932 Duesenberg) with Nick and Jordan as his passengers. Obviously, these 1930s vehicles are not right for the story, which was set in 1922. By the way, the Auburn shown here is  authentic, while the Duesenberg is a replica.

Cars were an important part of the Jazz Age and of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald mentions only two cars by make in The Great Gatsby— Nick Carraway’s Dodge and Gatsby’s Rolls-Royce. The rest are left to the reader’s imagination.

May
06
Wartburg Knight

Wartburg Knight

Foreign automakers have been selling vehicles in America since the early days of the automobile, but not all international automobiles, or their nameplates, are appropriate for U.S. buyers. Here is a fun sampling of some bizarre foreign-vehicle names.

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