Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion – 1963 Ford Galaxie 500/XL Convertible

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A Long Time Ago in a 1963 Ford Galaxie X/L Far, Far Away This 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 X/L was one of our favorite cars at the 2014 Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion. When Ford introduced the Galaxie name in 1959, … Continue reading

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Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion – 1967 Pontiac LeMans

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A Prime Example of a 1967 Pontiac LeMans Ask most car guys about ’60’s Pontiacs and the first thing out of their mouth will be GTO or Firebird. But there’d be no GTOs if it weren’t for the Pontiac LeMans. … Continue reading

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Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion: 1934 Ford Pickup

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One seriously Twisted 1934 Ford Pickup At first glance, we were merely amused by the articulated bed of this 1934 Ford Pickup spotted at the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion. But the closer we looked, the more we appreciated all the … Continue reading

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2014 Belmont Shore Car Show

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Belmont Shore Car Show Offers Something for Every Palate Few car shows in Southern California offer an as rich and diverse assortment of vehicles on their menu as does the Belmont Shore Car Show. There is truly something for eveyone’s … Continue reading

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Borgward: Germany’s Tucker?

1960 Borgward Isabella Coupé Front 3/4

1960 Borgward Isabella Coupé Front 3/4

If you live in the U.S., you most likely won’t see a Borgward Isabella Coupé cruising the boulevard or on display at your local classic car show. It’s relatively rare for a car built by a manufacturer that was one of the largest automakers in Germany, second only to Volkswagen. So why did it take me 49 years to see my first one? Continue reading

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Chevrolet Camaro Convertible – GM’s Newest HotWheel

Chevrolet’s iconic pony car embraces the retro enthusiast market even further by introducing the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible.

Available in either black or tan, the drop top brings back open air fun with a stiffened platform to ensure coupe-like handling, and an upgraded sound system that will allow you to crank up the radio and maintain good sound quality as the wind whips through your hair.

Yeah, we were surprised this was all they could say about the hotly anticipated muscle car as well, but it will still feature everything you already loved about the Camaro, so an improved sound system and a rag top are really just icing on an already tasty cake.

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Built Ford Tough F-150 Round Up 2

Despite the rain, people still lined up to drive the 2011 Ford F-150 and it’s competitors at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas. It meant slower times on the drag strip, but attendees still pushed the trucks hard often causing the traction control to kick in.

Was it still a good test if the F-150s capabilities? You bet! Who hasn’t driven in the rain. Perhaps a better question would be Who hasn’t driven FAST in the rain? You know you are going to do it, but how often do you get to test drive a new vehicle under those conditions.

Real world testing on the Built For Tough F-150 Round Up 2, Texas Motor Speedway, Dallas.

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Toyota Recalls – A Good Thing

2005 Toytoa Corolla S

2005-2008 Toyota Corollas are the latest to make the Toyota recall list.

We’re near the end of August and Toyota hasn’t announced a recall ye… oops… spoke too soon. The automotive giant, once the poster child for efficiency and value, announced on August 26, 2010 that it would be recalling certain model 2005-2008 Toyota Matrix and Corolla vehicles for Electronic Control Modules that may have been manufactured improperly.

Another Toyota recall? What’s going on? Believe it or not, we think it’s actually something good—for everyone involved.

Since the reports of runaway Toyotas first garnered national media attention in November 2009, Toyota has announced a recall every subsequent month with the exception of December.  That’s every month of the year 2010, so far. Prior to the 4.2 million vehicles recalled to address floor mats and improperly constructed accelerator pedals that could lead to unintended acceleration, Toyota had not had a recall since August 25, 2009.

For those keeping score, that’s a total of 16 recalls since the start of Toyota’s woes. To put that in perspective, for the one year period prior to the Prius crash heard around the world, the world’s largest auto maker only issued a total of four recalls.

With a 400% increase in the number of recall incidents, it seems Toyota’s vehicles aren’t the only thing running away. But those numbers say much more than what their startling first impression implies. At first glance, one could argue that the reason for the substantial increase in recalls is that Toyota quality has been abandoned in favor of mass production, profit and their focus on overtaking GM as the number one automaker in the world.

Now that Toyota has achieved top dog status, it’s not surprising people would want to take the easy way out and point out the negative side of the recalls. After all, we like to take the top dog down a couple notches as much as we like to give the underdog our support—just ask Brett Favre (and you have no idea how much it kills me to say that without adding something derogatory).

So no, we won’t hop on the Toyota bashing bandwagon. Instead we’ll actually argue that four times the total number of recalls over the prior year shows Toyota’s commitment to re-establishing their reputation as one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. The recalls demonstrate Toyota is making every effort to correct past mistakes and regain the public’s confidence, and that may mean even more recalls ahead.

And so what if it does mean more recalls? Good on Toyota for going back and making things right—not just for their customers, but for themselves. To continue down the path they momentarily veered onto, could have resulted in their own need for a government bailout down the road as their vehicles developed an increasing reputation of poorer and poorer quality. The last thing anyone needs is another automotive giant with its hat out. Thank you, Toyota.

A list of all recalls from January 1, 2009 to August 26, 2010 follows, with links to the corresponding Toyota recall bulletin. In many instances, not all models are included in the recall, please read the official Toyota release after the link to see if the vehicle you are looking for is included or not.

2010-08-26 2005-2008 Matrix and Corolla Recall – Electronic Control Module
2010-07-29 2000-2004 Toyota Avalon – Steering Bracket
2010-07-29 2003-2007 Lexus LX 470 – Steering disengagement
2010-07-02 2006-2008 Lexus GS, IS and LS – Valve Springs
2010-06-25 2010 Lexus HS 250h – Compliance Issue during NHTSA testing
2010-05-21 2009- 2010 Lexus LS 460 and LS 600h L – Temporary steering wheel of center condition
2010-04-28 2003 Toyota Sequoia – Vehicle Stability Control
2010-04-19 2010 Lexus GX460 – Vehicle Stability Control
2010-04-16 1998-2010 Toyota Sienna – Corrosion on spare tire cable
2010-03-01 2007-2009 Toyota Rav4 and Avalon (Limited Service Campaign) – Oil Line replacement
2010-02-12 2010 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 – Driveshaft
2010-02-08 2010 Prius and 2010 Lexus HS 250h – ABS
2010-01-27 Toyota – Expands floor mat recall to include certain Corolla, Matrix, Highlander, Venza models
2010-01-21 2.3 million Toyota vehicles including Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Highlander, RAV4, Sequoia, Tundra
2009-11-24 2000-2003 Toyota Tundra – Rear frame cross member corrosion
2009-11-02 2007 – 2010 Camry, 2005 – 2010 Avalon, 2004 – 2009 Prius, 2005 – 2010 Tacoma, 2007 – 2010 Tundra, 2007 – 2010 ES350, 2006 – 2010 IS250 and IS350 – Floor mat
2009-08-26 2009 and 2010 model year Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and 2008 and 2009 Scion xD vehicles equipped with 1.8 liter engines – possibility that condensed moisture from the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) port may seep into the brake system vacuum port and freeze.
2009-04-24 2008 Toyota Highlander – Stainless steel exhaust clamps
2009-01-28 2006-2007 Toyota Yaris – Seatbelt pretensioner
2009-01-16 2006 through 2008 model year GS300/350, IS250/350, and LS460/460L – Fuel delivery pipe corrosion
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Rod-N-Que Classic Car Show In Lake Elsinore, CA

2010 Rod-N-Que Classic Car Show at Elsinore West Marina in Lake Elsimore, CA.

Looking to beat the heat? Cool off at the lake—Lake Elsinore that is. Elsinore West Marina is hosting a Rod-N-Que classic car show on August 25th from 5-8pm. Admission is free, and there will be BBQ, soda and cold beer available for purchase. Elsinore West Marina is located at 32700 Riverside Dr. in Lake Elsinore, CA. For more information, visit www.lakeelsinoremarina.com or call 951-678-1300.

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June 27,2010: The 28th Annual Dana Point Concours d’Elegance

Dana Point Councour's d'Elegance

Dana Point Councour's d'Elegance takes place Sunday June 27, 2010.

The 28th Annual Dana Point Concours d’Elegance will be held Sunday, June 27, 2010 on the Monarch Beach Golf Links at the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point, California. Proceeds from this year’s concours d’elegance will benefit the Ocean Institute, a new beneficiary in 2010, as well as the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag Hospital as well as other Southern California youth charities.

The event which has also been known as the ATSC Concours d’Elegance and the Newport Beach Concours d’Elegance, will be celebrating 100 years of Alfa Romeo, and 80 years of design from Pininfarina. Both have been named featured marques for the event.

In addition to world class Alfas and Pininfarina designed vehicles, the event will also be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Ferrari F-40 in the United Sates. In addition to these tow celebrated Italian marques, spectators can also expect to find flawless examples of all types of vehicles from the dawn of the automotive age to present as well as pre-1967 pony and muscle cars, Corvettes, Kustoms, hot rods and supercars. Judged entries will be limited to 215 vehicles across 38 classes. The number and type of classes may change based on the actual entries received, but there will be a wide assortment of vehicles to appreciate as well as lust after regardless of the actual classes.

Drag racing fans are also in for a treat as Don “The Snake” Prudhomme is the Honorary Chairman of this year’s event and will be exhibiting four vintage funny cars as well as the original transporter used during his racing days. Included in the display will be the only remaining Hot Wheels funny car used in the infamous “Snake vs. Mongoose” drags where Prudhomme faced off against Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen.

No matter what your automotive interests are: automotive preservationist, connoisseur of rare vintage marques, or an ordinary average gear head, the 28th Annual Dana Point Concours d’Elegance has what you are looking for. I for one cannot wait to once again covet another man’s 1959 Alpha Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce. Hey, at least it’s not his wife! See you there.

–vh

Photo Courtesy of Dana Point Concours d’Elegance

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