Pizza And Beer

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You know that one friend who, after imbibing enough of one substance or another, becomes a completely different person? It’s a more common phenomenon than you might think. My personal version of it is called “Adventure Mike” and I won’t mince words: Adventure Mike is a hoot and a half. He’s a really great time. The life of the party. He’s also, incidentally, going to put me in prison one day. Adventure Mike once ended the night with thirteen more dollars than he started with and a new leather jacket. Normal Mike (who I like to call Mike Classic) has no idea where the money or the jacket came from. You see where this is going: that was a metaphor, and this is a 1979 Fiat 124 Spider 2000. Continue reading

Great News!

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There are these crackers that are sold in Europe called TUC crackers or TUC biscuits or something and they’re ruining my life. Not because they’re bad. The opposite, actually. They’re awesome. They’re like Ritz but better. TUC has perfected the ratio between salt and cracker flawlessly, and they won’t give them to us. TUC doesn’t operate in the US, in part because we have Ritz. But Ritz is merely a cracker. TUC, to Americans, is a forbidden way of life. I can only enjoy them in my memory. It’s my personal version of Rick Sanchez’s Szechuan sauce. Anyway, here’s a car. This is a 1977 Dacia 1300. Continue reading

Death And Taxis

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Gunshots rung out one warm summer’s day at a pool room in Chicago. The year was 1923, and by the end of the afternoon about a dozen men had been taken in for questioning. One man, Frank Sexton, lay dead as a doornail. The next night, a bomb went off in the home of Morris Markin, a prominent businessman and Russian immigrant. Markin’s okay, but now he’s spooked. And his next move would eventually lead to one of the most iconic cars the world has ever seen. This is a 1976 Checker Marathon.
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The Dream Of The Nineties Is Alive!

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Yes, I know. This is the second red, off-roady type vehicle we’ve done in as many weeks. But trust me when I say this is a very special piece of Forgotten Metal. So forgotten, in fact, that this car- this very car– is the only one of it’s kind on the entire East Coast. This car gives me the same feeling I assume I’d get if I were given permission to set fire to the Wheel of Fortune. I hate that show. But I love this car. This is a 1991 Volkswagen Golf Country.  Continue reading

Life Sucks, Then You Die

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Two-door SUVs are a fickle group. Europeans seem to like them, but we red-blooded, down-home country folk of the good old US of A could never quite wrap our noggins around the concept. They’re the Marmite of the car world in that way. SUVs with less than four doors have enjoyed a long and diverse history in America, but never a particularly successful one. Yet, much like the makers of Marmite, manufacturers from both at home and abroad keep trying to sell them to us, in spite of overwhelming evidence to suggest we’d be more interested in paying for a mud bath with Newt Gingrich. This is a 1988 Dodge Ramcharger.  Continue reading

Stranger Things

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There’s something strange about finding yourself north of 250th street. It feels like that scene in The Royal Tennenbaums where they say they live on 375th street. Like magical realism. People live in houses up here. Real, honest-to-God houses, with driveways and everything. In a similar way, it’s funny to see a van this old out in the wild. Vans are utilitarian objects: tools that serve a purpose and are then disposed of. I don’t know if the owner of this car is keeping it running in earnest or if they just drive it ironically. Who knows? We’re in uncharted territory for many New Yorkers. This is a 1969 ChevyVan. Continue reading

Southern Gothic

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Much like a bumblebee’s ability to fly and the movie Cowboys And Aliens, this car works brilliantly in spite of the fact that it really shouldn’t. Let me explain: Porsche has a reputation for building extremely luxurious and ludicrously capable sports cars (though in recent years, they’ve expanded the brand). But behind the pomp and circumstance, the brand is a little stodgy. Their pièce de résistance, the 911, has been around since 1963, and has been through six successive generations. But if you line them all up next to one another, you’d be hard pressed to say the designers were were clocking into work at all. The 911’s design hasn’t advanced in years, and for reasons we’ll get into in a minute, the car’s engineers are no better. But this particular 911 is something different entirely. This is a 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa.  Continue reading

Philosophy And Pickup Trucks

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This is a pickup truck. But it’s also a line in the sand. And that’s because loyalty is a funny thing. Pledging your support to a single idea through thick and thin is an inherently illogical thing to do. And yet so many of us cling to loyalty, like sloths on our favorite branch of the virtue tree. William Bennett writes in his Book of Virtues that “real loyalty endures inconvenience, withstands temptation, and does not cringe under assault. Yet the trust that genuine loyalty tends to generate can pervade our whole lives.” All rationality supports our choosing the best option available to us regardless of our preconceived notions or personal preferences. I still go to the deli that’s a little further away from my apartment than the one that’s closer and more reputable. This truck is like that deli. This is a 1970 Ford F-100 Sport Custom. Continue reading

Ramblin’ Man

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If you look at the vast majority of marketing materials today, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ll be unceremoniously shipped off to Timbuktu at the age of 41. The youth are the demographic that gets all the attention- and that’s fine. Millennials have given the world all kinds of great things: from apps that summon personal chauffeurs to your door to shops that sell only cookie dough. But recently, the 18 to 40 demographic has made a terrible mistake. The tastemakers have made something in poor taste. And this car can explain why. This is a 1965 Rambler Classic 770 Cross Country.  Continue reading

Forgotten Places: Cadillac House

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Saying that Cadillac has a bit of an image problem is like saying The Young Pope is “a bit” verbose. But before we delve too deeply into marketing jargon or brands, I feel it’s necessary to say that Cadillac’s cars– the big, two-ton rolling things that the company actually sells- are actually quite good at the moment. Arguably the best lineup they’ve ever had, actually. They just don’t sell. And it’s not as if the brand hasn’t been trying. Their management has international experience in the hopes of capturing some of that BMW (or rather, Infiniti) magic. They’ve moved their corporate headquarters out of Detroit and into Manhattan in an effort to distance themselves physically and ideologically from their corporate overlords at General Motors. They’ve even changed their logo. And yet, Escalades and CT6s sit off to the side of the luxury-car party, hands-in-pockets, incessantly checking their phones until it’s an acceptable time to leave. To find out why, I went downtown to visit Cadillac’s latest brand exercise. Welcome, everyone, to Cadillac House. Continue reading