Slight Disagreement

Some guy has opined on the Top 15 Most Beautiful Vintage Cars Ever Made, and I agree by and large, taking issue with #15 (Dodge Charger, seriously?), the rankings of the Dino 246 GT at #12 (should have been at least #3) and the Lamborghini Miura at #14 (LOL).  And then there’s the inclusion of the Ford Shelby Mustang (performance, yes;  looks, blecchhh).

My favorite (about the ’50s Corvette):  “…the best-looking car Chevrolet ever conceived”  — talk about a low bar.

It’s only 20 minutes long, so help yourselves and then add your thoughts in Comments.

The Business Of Nostalgia – Part 2

Last week we looked at Brabus Classic doing their Germanic number on restoring old Mercedes cars.  This week, we turn our gaze upon a guy (who looks suspiciously like a Teutonic version of Don Draper from Mad Men), and his company called Early 911S, which specializes in restoring Porches of the air-cooled Boxer-engine era to their ummm earlier magnificence.  Help yourself to an hour or so of watching the pros go about their business.

As I said last week, I can’t fit into any sports car, let alone the dinkies of that era, but I have to say that one of those cherry 356 numbers would look extremely good in my post-Powerball garage…

Yeah, they do the 356 (which I think is beautiful) as well as the 911 (which isn’t).

And then, of course, there’s RUF.


In my innocence, I always imagined that evolution was a Good Thing, in that v.2.0 would always be an improved version of v.1.9.9, and so on.  (Of course, that belief has been massively degraded by having to deal with software companies, but that’s for another time.)

I understand, therefore, that evolution is not necessarily an improvement, but by and large it has proven to be so — a 2021 Corvette is a much better car than its 1961 ancestor, at least mechanically speaking.  As for its shape?  I’ll let you decide:

Regardless of the shape change (ugh), I think we can agree that the 2021 model performs much better than the 1961 model, mechanically speaking, because let’s be honest, engine technology, materials and things like suspension- and brake technology are better now than they were sixty years ago.  And even the modern shape is no doubt far more efficient in terms of air management than the older one, so at least there’s that.

Now let’s talk about guns.  Here we have a situation where the technology has hardly changed at all, materials have improved somewhat, but (say) a .22 pistol’s operation and efficiency have stayed pretty much the same.

So sixty-odd years ago we had .22 pistols that looked like the High Standard and Beretta:


…which, I think we can all agree, did an excellent job of putting the boolet into its intended destination.  Modern pistols, of course, do just as good a job of that — pistols like the FN and SIG:


…but for all their improved technology and materials, they somehow end up looking like a dog’s ass.

To return to the cars for a moment, it’s as though the Corvette:

…somehow ended up looking like this:

I know, I can hear y’all now:  “The old fart’s lost it again, jabbering about the Good Ole Days.”

Yeah, maybe.

But I’d still rather own a Beretta 101 than any of the current crop of .22 hand-bricks.

And to wrap this whole train of thought up, I want somebody to explain how ideals of female beauty like this:

…have somehow evolved into this:

Same form, same basic functions between the two models… but ugh.  No thank you.

The Business Of Nostalgia – Part 1

What do you do when you realize that not everybody wants the latest ‘n greatest, with all sorts of shiny geegaws which add flash but no excitement?

Well, in the world of cars, it’s clear that there are a lot of people like me:  people who are disinterested in the nanny electronics which purport to make the driver’s life “easier” and driving more “convenient”;  except that such ease and convenience comes at the expense of driving control and enjoyment (not to mention bloated prices and happy auto manufacturers’ accountants).

And unlike me, it seems, there are a lot of people who have the money to indulge this preference (and yes, I am jealous), because you’re talking about cars which were great for the time they were made in, but which have deteriorated over the years (decades, even) and therefore just don’t work as well as they used to, or else just don’t work at all.

So how does one of these wealthy nostalgianistes (to coin an expression) go about acquiring, for example, a Mercedes 280 SL “Pagoda” model from the 1960s that isn’t a rustbucket and hasn’t been subjected to the violations of the part-time “restorers”?

Well, you’re in luck because over in Germanland, the independent performance tinkerers at Brabus have expanded their operations from just making modern Mercedes cars into performance monsters, into an entire division which restores old Mercedes models back to their showroom condition.  And here’s the story of Brabus Classics, which you should watch before moving on to the interactive part of this post, which is:

If you had the (stupid) money in the bank and the urge to own an older Mercedes car, which one would you order from these maniacs?

My choice is below the fold…

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Pure Everything

Take a couple hours out of your evening, and see what you get when you obey no rules other than the ones you set for yourself, and make absolutely no compromises, anywhere.

And all this happened in 1993.


Then came the sequel.  And a trip through Gordon’s Garage, via the T.50(s) racing car.  (You would never guess what Murray’s “daily driver” car is — but it has featured on this website before.)

By the way, you should watch the last episode especially, because it’s going to form the basis for a massive series of posts from me.