1965 Oldsmobile Starfire Hardtop Coupe

Back in the early 1960s, Oldsmobile wanted to build a full size sports-luxury coupe to compete with the Ford Thunderbird. They came up with the Starfire, which borrowed its name from the Lockheed F-94 airplane of the same name. Known for its tremendous speed, the F-94 was the first US production jet to come with an afterburner.

Oldsmobile’s Starfire was based on the Eighty-Eight and when it went into production in 1961, it was the most powerful and most expensive car they offered. What made this car special was its 425 cubic inch (7.0L) Rocket V8 engine, which was only used in the Starfire and the Jetstar. With a Rochester 4-barrel carburetor, the engine put out an easy 370 horsepower.

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1966 Lotus Cortina MkI

Bentley. Aston Martin. Jaguar. Lotus.

They’re all British car companies, but more importanly, they all have factory-sponsored racing teams. For decades, these companies have battled it out on the racetrack in everything from Formula 1 racing to grand touring to group racing.

What these companies would typically do is take one of their production cars and modify it to compete in a specific class of racing. There is one catch, though. Auto manufacturers are required to build a minimum number of vehicles and sell them to the public in order to classify as a production car. This practice, known as homologation, means that a small number of factory-built race cars will make it out into the real world – completely road legal. This is exactly what happened in the 1960s with the Lotus Cortina.

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1969 Mercury Cougar Convertible ‘Cool Cat’

As a seasoned attendee of SEMA, Barrett-Jackson and other car shows, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at resto-modded muscle cars. I can tell you that Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, Novas,  GTOs, Chargers, and similar cars are by far the most popular models that people restore. At these events, a car like a first-generation Mercury Cougar would be a real stand-out for the sheer novelty of being something different that you haven’t seen a hundred times before.

This 1969 Mercury Cougar convertible scores points for originality and hits a home run for being an extremely well done build. Nicknamed the “Cool Cat,” it was built by Hot Rod Express out of Blue Springs, Missouri.

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1965 Ford Mustang GTS Fastback ‘Bad Apple’

While walking around at Barrett-Jackson 2014, I spotted this ’65 Mustang Fastback nicknamed “Bad Apple.” Honestly, it looked so good I thought it was a Ringbrothers car at first glance. The shaved door handles and no side mirrors give it a really sleek, streamlined look. As it turns out, this car was actually built by Jim Green’s Performance Center in Monroe, WA.

On the one hand, this is a really nice build. The work that has gone into this car is first rate and I truly believe that it was a $200,000 build, as mentioned in the auction notes. On the other hand, this car exemplifies just how ridiculous the muscle car world has become.

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1968-1978 Lamborghini Espada

When I think about Lamborghini, I think of their most well known creations: the Countach, the Diablo, the Gallardo, and the Murcielago. But it was Lamborghini’s early cars such as the Miura and the Espada that really earned the company its stripes.

The Miura was unveiled in 1966 to great praise, largely due to its beautiful styling. Two years later, Lamborghini had another hit on its hands with the Espada. This was the company’s first 4-seater, and it went on to become their most popular car up until that time. Just over 1,200 Espadas were built during their 10-year production run.

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1966 Mercury Monterey Sedan: Ford’s Middle Child

Back in the 1900s, an Austrian psychotherapist by the name of Alfred Adler came up with an interesting idea. Adler believe that one’s birth order was a major influence on the personality of a person.

For example, Adler believed that in a family with three children, the oldest and youngest children received the most attention from the parents with the middle child often being “forgotten.” Although Adler didn’t have any scientific research to support his theory, the idea of birth order is still well-known today.

So what does all this have to do with cars? Well for a long time, the Ford Motor Company was a family of 3 brands: Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury. Ford was the original and the oldest brand with the largest offering of cars, including entry-level vehicles. Lincoln was positioned as the luxury brand, maker of the finest vehicles that Ford had to offer. Then there was Mercury, the brand caught in the middle. Continue reading