If You’re Into That Kind Of Thing


I’m going to reveal something about myself here that you may judge me for. I like to grind my own beans for my coffee in the morning. I know it’s pretentious, I know most people can’t taste the difference. It’s not for everyone, but I like it. It’s something I enjoy doing. There’s a certain comfort I take from the methodical nature of making coffee the old fashioned way. It adds another dimension to the rhythm of my morning routine: the fact that before I walk out the door, I’ve made something with my hands. The tactility of it all. And the coffee’s pretty good too. The reason I bring this up is not to try and convert you to the Church Of Coffee Bean Grinding (praise be), but rather to talk about this. The 1955 Plymouth Belvedere.  Continue reading


I Am The Egg-Van


I don’t think I can properly convey how desirable this beige, people-carrying hunk of pill-shaped sex is. Toyota, right now, is a company so bureaucratic Bong Joon Ho is about one new subcompact crossover away from making a movie about it. Yeah, they’ve got the 86, but that’s half a Subaru and getting old. The new Supra, which is being co-developed alongside BMW, sounds promising, but every time they try to convince us the new Camry is worth anything near what they paid for the rights to that Freddy Mercury song I die a little inside. But let’s take a minute to travel back to a magical era full of hope and funny designs on paper cups. This is a 1997 Toyota Previa with All Trac. Continue reading

Pizza And Beer


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!


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


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!


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


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


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


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


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