"something of an extraordinary nature will turn up..."

Mr. Micawber in Dickens' David Copperfield

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Archive for the ‘American cars’ category

February 7th, 2013

…it’s Hélica! Between 1913 and 1925, Frenchman Marcel Leyat built some 30 propeller-driven automobiles. He called them “Hélica,” from the French for propeller, but they also acquired the nickname “plane without wings.” Through this weekend, six examples are on display at Rétromobile, Europe’s premier old car event, at Paris Expo at the Porte de Versailles.….
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October 11th, 2012

Three years ago I devoted a post to buying a car at Hershey for less than $3,000. I found the pickings were pretty slim, and that the only one I’d have been able to drive home was a Studebaker Lark for which the owner was asking $3,800. Yesterday in 2012’s Car Corral, however, I was….
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August 5th, 2011

Yesterday was exactly seven months since the last Mercury was made. The thought was brought home to me recently, after my Infiniti I30 was dangerously damaged by a deer. While the insurance deliberations were evolving, I had the use of a rental car. The only vehicle available at my local agent was a spanking new….
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July 25th, 2011

Time was when any town worth its salt had a dirt track race course. Aspiring young drivers, especially those who would never become Ralph dePalma or Russ Snowberger, could buy a junkyard special, probably a Ford or Chevy coupe, weld in a roll cage and go Saturday night racing, with and against their friends. Jalopy….
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April 23rd, 2011

New York’s International Automobile Show is the last on the North American circuit and a moveable feast, in that it always opens on Easter weekend. The scribblers of the motoring press get in a couple of days early, so they can write and blog about it before the good citizens form their own opinions. There….
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March 30th, 2011

Frank McMullen has been fascinated with Model A Fords since he was five years old. He built most of the Hubley diecast kits, and religiously watched The Waltons on television, drawn by the distinctive exhaust note of the Model As on the show. Somehow, though, real Model As always eluded him, the available ones being….
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March 23rd, 2011

Veteran CarPorters know I’m fond of Gravely tractors. In fact, my first post about Gravelys back in 2005 generated the most comments of any since the beginning of the CarPort. It’s no surprise, then, that when I learned the Gravely Tractor Club of America was holding its annual show in Connecticut I made plans to….
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March 16th, 2011

In 1922, the Maxwell Motor Company began an advertising campaign touting “The Good Maxwell.” Does that mean that prior Maxwells were bad? Unfortunately, some of them were. It had not always been so. Jonathan Maxwell was a pal of Benjamin Briscoe, and Briscoe convinced J.P. Morgan to invest in their new car company. The jaunty….
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March 9th, 2011

In April 1979, General Motors introduced a new line of compact cars. Designated “X-bodies,” an early use of a corporate code name in automotive marketing (the predecessor X-body, the Chevrolet Nova and corporate siblings, had not used the X-word in public), the line included the Chevrolet Citation, Pontiac Phoenix, Oldsmobile Omega and Buick Skylark. The….
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February 25th, 2011

Long ago I noticed that people enamored of cars often harbor another transportation interest. For many it is airplanes and I’ve met a few who dote on ships. Probably that largest dual constituency, however, favors cars and trains. One manifestation of this appears in elaborate model railroad layouts. Dennis David, the CarPort’s northwest Connecticut correspondent,….
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Serendipity: n. An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
“They were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”
Horace Walpole, The Three Princes of Serendip
© 2004-2017 Kit Foster
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