Found: 1949 Indian Super Scout

Alex Kierstein September 4, 2012 Two-Wheel Tuesday

Haters gonna hate. And if we’re talking about the small-bore vertical twins that ran Indian into an early grave (the canon line about the demise of that storied company), that hate will glow white-hot. But someone cared enough to fully restore this 1949 Indian Super Scout, and haters be damned – that lovely tank script is worth the ire of the Indian faithful alone. A closer look after the jump.

… Continue Reading

Fastback Friday: Super Clean ’68 Barracuda

There’s just something about a mid-year car like this 1968 Plymouth Barracuda that really speaks to me. We’ve got super clean paint with a bit of an “oceanic” quality to it, paired up with polished Torque-Thrusts (or clones) on white-letter BF Goodriches, and finished off with lots of nice detailing, good photos, and a “music video” after the jump. This is a pretty good way to sell a car.

… Continue Reading

Found: 1977 Austin (Mini) Mini


Ever wondered what a classic Mini would look like if you (apparently quite skillfully) chopped 8 full inches out of the wheelbase, then stitched it back together? Well, wonder no more – let this 1977 Austin Mini-Mini serve as your spirit animal foundation for flights of fevered imagination. Presented in a spunky color with some nice details, it will appeal to anyone who lives by the mantra “SIZE MATTERS” – in fact, that phrase is emblazoned on the rear deck.


… Continue Reading

Found: 1966 Toyota Stout

If you look at this 1966 Toyota Stout and feel a primal urge – a loin-tugging, reptilian brain stimulating, fight-or-flight-or-bid sensation – you’re not alone. From the upright cab to the microcar footprint, there’s something undeniably charismatic about it. And if you’re a Toyotaku with a penchant for light utility vehicles, this is game over. … Continue Reading

Found: 1949 Citroen Traction Avant

Before (and, to be honest, a bit after) the Ponton era shamelessly consigned flowing, unintegrated fenders to VW-based clones of prewar cars, the Traction Avant was like that dapper elderly ladies’ man at the nursing home. He’s outlasted all his competition and still looks pretty suave, so he’s got the run of the place. And this 1949 Citroen Traction Avant is the perfect example of that rather creepy simile.

… Continue Reading

2012 Hyundai Veloster

Don’t ever pour a few drinks into me and get me fired up about modern car design, because it’s simply unfair… for me. There are only so many synonyms for the word “suppository,” and trust me, I’ve used them all. That’s why I appreciate it when automakers take a chance in the sheetmetal department. When Nissan decided to denude the Southwest of peyote and come up with the Murano CrossCabriolet and the Juke, frankly, I applauded that someone pushed those cars past the beancounters and the sour-looking management dudes with ill-fitting toupees (there’s probably some overlap there) to hit a retailer near you. I’ve never had an occasion to wear a disguise and try both of them out, but I’ll admit that in my weaker moments the sheer absurdity of the Juke makes me swoon.

Look, anyone could pen an ugly car. I’m convinced that some of the all-time worst styling offenders were simply the product of the management handing the drafting pen to a doe-eyed young designer, with a cranium swollen with wondrous ideas and all high on endorphins for their chance to design a car that people will actually drive in the real world,  and then clubbing said designer over the head and tracing around a piece of toast. This technique led to several Chysler products.

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is not absurd. Or, at least not in the same class of bonkers as either of those Nissans, but that’s not to say it isn’t as boldly different in other respects. First of all, there’s the asymmetry. Two doors on one side, and one on the other. Obsessive-compulsives may want to avert their eyes, or at least step back and forth through a doorway 35 times before looking closely at this car. In the same vein, grammarians should just ignore the word “coupe” entirely. It’s not worth an aneurism to protest; the world’s moved on, “hella” is rapidly approaching acceptance into the OED, and I have an owl so your argument is invalid.

It only takes a glance to realize the Veloster is different, but how different? Read on to find out.

Car Stereo: Get Down With Lalo Schifrin

Alex Kierstein August 29, 2011 Aural Pleasure

This post isn’t about Steve McQueen at all–not his man-bits, his cars, or his favorite burger condiment. Alright, maybe in a roundabout way, because you can’t separate the man from the film, but let’s take a second and talk about another major player in Bullitt: Lalo Schifrin. Schifrin is never on screen. He doesn’t lose seven hubcaps during a car chase, or order a hit on any stool pidgeon. He does, however, lend the entire movie–virtually every scene, and particularly the epic car chase that put Bullitt on the map for car enthusiasts–its distinctive gravity. But while it’s the Bullitt soundtrack that brought Schifrin to my attention, dive into Schifrin’s catalog of movie scores and you’ll be amazed. Not every one’s a car film, but then again, even THX 1138 included a pair of Lola T70s.

… Continue Reading

Matchbox Mania: The Germans Invade England Edition

Alex Kierstein July 8, 2011 In General

I was semi-facetiously saying yesterday that all of my diecast cars came from Taiwan, but flipping over this silver Merc led to a surprise – it’s a Corgi, and just like the Queen’s ludicrous little dogs, it was born in that great island nation known for bad food and worse teeth. Not only that, this Englander is German. No, it’s not some elaborate result of a tin Double Cross System, it’s just a Mercedes-Benz 240D, W115 chassis code. Having marathoned across the southern California wastes in a slightly newer 240D, I can say that I have a counter-intuitive admiration for these heavy, underpowered panzers. What’s not pictured in this image is the little plastic-molded tow ball adhered to the back of it, which I’m sure was intended to inform young subjects of Great Britain that a 65-horsepower OM616 diesel was plenty to haul a caravan around. Which clearly is a lesson that stuck, judging by how apoplectic Top Gear gets when the subject turns to them.

Matchbox Mania: Whiteletter Snakebite (Whitesnake?) Edition

Alex Kierstein July 7, 2011 In General

So far, all my Matchbox cars have hailed from Italy (via Taiwan), but today’s contender is a hybrid in the primal automotive sense of the word. It’s a Hot Wheels Classic Cobra, devoid of any mention of the words AC or Shelby for reasons apparent to anyone who’s ever read the words “Carroll Shelby” and “lawsuit” in the same sentence. And despite the fact that it looks like it was once a star on the popular web series “Will it Blend?” this Cobra suffered only at my pudgy little hands, which apparently decided upon destroying all the paint. Let’s hope it wasn’t lead-based, although that would explain a few things.

… Continue Reading

Matchbox Mania: Tomica Fiat X1/9 Survivor

Alex Kierstein June 29, 2011 In General

Yesterday we saw my Fiat-Abarth 131, which by any objective measure is a toy worthy of admiration. The funny thing is, I don’t remember playing with it as a child. But I do remember this orange 1977 Tomica Fiat X1/9. In fact, it was my favorite matchbox car, and that might explain its slightly less beat-up appearance. The doors open, but I suppose that Tomica figured that no one wanted to peer under the engine cover at the horrors lurking within, as the engine cover is fixed in place. It’s one of the more detailed ones I have, with an impressively tiny injection-molded interior and a minuscule “X1/9” in relief on the decklid. Unlike the real thing, it hasn’t fallen victim to pervasive tin-rot as soon as it was exposed to air … it’s survived 33 years, solid as ever. A survivor!