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Scenes from the Servicd Station Maybe you imagine the Consumer Guide Automotive/Collectible Automobile Magazine corporate headquarters to be a tidy, organized place. And to a large extent, you’d be correct.

Columbo's Peugeot, Columbo's car

Columbo’s car got a fair amount of screen time. Do you know the make and model of the rumpled detective’s convertible?

by Jack Stewart

For most of Seventies, NBC broadcast a group of mysteries under the umbrella title of The NBC Mystery Movie. Starting in 1971, the original series rotated Columbo, McMillan and Wife, and McCloud in the same weekly time slot. At the peak of the series, there were NBC Mystery Movies on both Sunday and Wednesday evenings. The three original mysteries were the most popular (Columbo in particular), but there were 14 shows associated with the series before it ended in 1977: Columbo, McCloud, McMillan and Wife, Banacek, Snoop Sisters, Cool Million, Hec Ramsey, Madigan, Faraday and Company, Tenafly, Amy Prentiss, McCoy, Lanigan’s Rabbi, and Quincy, M.E. A few of the shows prominently featured interesting cars. Here are our favorites:



Everybody loves a good mystery. Well, here are five of them from the days of Beatlemania for you automotive Agatha Christies to crack.

How many of you will know them all? As Inspector Clouseau would have said (A Shot in the Dark, 1964, 102 mins.), “I suspect everyone . . . and I suspect no one.”

Scroll all the way down for the answers.

Be sure to check out the Mystery Cars of 1952 and 1975, as well. And be sure to let us know how well you did. The place to leave comments is down below.


Japan’s Mitsubishi Lancer did double duty as America’s Dodge Colt

Here we’re taking the Mystery Cars quiz from Truman Era to the (Gerald) Ford years. If you missed it, check out the Mystery Cars of 1952. and the Mystery Cars of 1964. Scoring? Same as last time; we expect most car folks to pick off at least one. Serious car lovers should nail two or three, and the big-time car spotters will claim four or five. Tell us how you did.


Mystery Cars of 1952

Below please find five relatively obscure 1952 vehicles for you to identify. Scoring? Let’s say that we expect most car folks to pick off at least one. Serious car lovers should nail two or three, and the big-time car spotters will claim four or five. Tell us how you did. Also, if there’s a model year you’d like to see us feature for the quiz, let us know. Answers below.

Too easy? Try the Fake Model Name quiz.

1988 Volvo 780 Bertone

1988 Volvo 780 Bertone

Let’s get one thing straight right away: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo WAS a personal-luxury car. I have received at least a dozen emails and instant messages on this issue, mostly from car guys who insist that a personal-luxury car must come from a luxury brand. Not the case. For anyone who would like to spend time learning about the origins of the term, Wikipedia has a nice entry on the topic.


The Cars of American Graffiti

American Graffiti is a classic coming-of-age comedy film that follows its cast through one end-of-summer night in 1962. This was technically the early Sixties, but culturally, 1962 can be considered the end of the Fifties era. Change was coming quickly, both for America itself and the main characters of American Graffiti. The plot of the movie centers around recent high-school graduates Steve Bolander (Ron Howard) and Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss), who are set to enjoy one last night in their hometown before boarding an eastbound flight to college the next morning. Although the era was ending, this movie celebrates the Fifties in full flower.

Cutaway Vega

1972 Chevrolet Vega

Why are car ads so superficial? Sure, we all want to see what a car looks like outside, but what’s hiding there just underneath that shiny sheet metal?

Healey Tickford

1952 Healey Tickford Saloon

Note: The following story was excerpted from the August 2008 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine

By Don Sikora II

Donald Healey is famous for the Austin-Healey, but he had an active life long before he teamed up with Austin. Healey flew for the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. Between the wars he was a successful rally driver and won the 1931 Monte Carlo Rallye. Later he was director of experimental design at Triumph. During World War II he worked on armored-car design.

2020 "Virus Vettes", Virus Vettes

Regular production of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette began on February 3, 2020.

Though it pales in comparison to the many human tragedies that have been caused by the Coronavirus, there’s one more toll the pandemic has taken that’s sure to be felt by American sports-car enthusiasts: shutting down production of the landmark new Chevrolet C8 Corvette just as it was getting rolling in earnest.