Stretching the truth: A ’71 Volkswagen Beetle as U.S. Army staff car

California car culture expresses wit as well as beauty. One cultural subspecies, the rat rod, is perfectly suited for humor, as we see in this ’71 Beetle, in Yucca Valley, California. In distortion, the Bug reflects reality. Its parody accentuates truth. There’s plenty of the above with this faded, pockmarked peanut. Olive drab and white-stenciled, the Beetle crosses lines as a U.S.… More Stretching the truth: A ’71 Volkswagen Beetle as U.S. Army staff car

When Volkswagen Beetles and other cars were the color of bathroom tile

We took it for granted back then. Cars were the colors of bathroom tile. Yes, in 1962 for example–and this car, seen recently, ago could be a ’62 although I’m not certain–Volkswagen Beetles were offered in black, white, and red. But they were also turquoise green, Pacific blue, Gulf blue, and–ye gods!–Beryl green. The phenomenon of… More When Volkswagen Beetles and other cars were the color of bathroom tile

Lamborghini and Harley-Davidson rank among my top automobiles and motorcycles of 2014

As a freelance contributor to Automobile, Robb Report, BBC Autos, and JeanKnowsCars.com, I jumped in and out, and on an off, a lot of automobiles and motorcycles in 2014. Here are some favorites: Lamborghini Huracán Where: Marbella and the Ascari racing circuit, Spain; Gingerman Raceway, Michigan When: May, October Summary: Breathtakingly good looking, comfortable to… More Lamborghini and Harley-Davidson rank among my top automobiles and motorcycles of 2014

In second NASCAR Nationwide race, Dakoda Armstrong comes home 15th, but not unfettered, at Auto Club Speedway

On March 23, 2013, making his second-ever start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Dakoda Armstrong finished 15th in the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Q. Fifteenth position—pretty good for your second race. A. Yeah, I mean, we were better than that, but we were struggling on restarts there. I think we restarted ninth… More In second NASCAR Nationwide race, Dakoda Armstrong comes home 15th, but not unfettered, at Auto Club Speedway

How should I file this story about a wooden-bodied ’68 Scout postal vehicle?

Whenever I clean out my clip files, there’s the problem of what to do with this story from the Omaha World-Herald. I don’t have a file for wooden-bodied cars. Nor one for auto bodymen-versus-carpenters. Maybe “Puns” would be appropriate. But I’ll hold my tongue-in-groove. Dean Haden built the custom wooden body after his wife Marlys complained about… More How should I file this story about a wooden-bodied ’68 Scout postal vehicle?