Archives for posts with tag: vintage

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Ocean liners are the largest vehicles ever used for public travel. For example, The Michelangelo, the sistership of the one in the video, was as long as three football fields and weighed as about as much as 262 Jumbo Jets (747s). That many jets could carry could carry about 109,000 passengers, while the ship could carry only 1775. That left a lot of extra space for restaurants, casinos, and mechanical-horse exercise equipment (as you’ll see).

Of course, liners couldn’t compete with jets. This film was made in 1967 as the ocean liner era was coming to an end. It looks like it was an amazing way to travel.

Actually, you still can still travel that way, if you’d like. The QE2 QM2 makes the trip from New York to Southampton in seven days. Fares start at about $1,000/person for an inside stateroom.

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I spotted this 1971 Land Rover Series IIA 88 Utility on ebay yesterday. The seller states that it was treated to a $50k, frame-off restoration in 2000 at the British Northwest Land Rover Company, and has taken four Best in Class awards since that time. Better-than-new upgrades include dual gas tanks, leather seats, stainless steel exhaust, and gearing to allow 70-mph highway cruising.

This classic, soft-top Land Rover was finished in marine blue and features a 2.25-liter, four-cylinder, gasoline engine. Total mileage is just over 51,000, with 4,000 having been driven since the restoration. The condition really does look fantastic.

The vehicle is located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Bidding currently stands at $14,600 with an unmet reserve. There are about eight days left on the auction. More photos below.

Update 5/19/2013: This Land Rover sold for a high bid of $34,250.

Link trail: ebay > Wikipedia Read the rest of this entry »

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We just finished reading We Took to the Woods, by Louise Dickinson Rich. She wrote it in the 1930s while living in the backwoods of western Maine with her husband, son, and a friend of theirs. It chronicles their day-to-day lives, on the shore of a river near Umbagog Lake, in a place so remote that there was no road out.

She tells stories about preparing for “freeze-up” in the fall, when the lakes (their route to the outside world) were too icy for boats but not icy enough to support vehicles, essentially cutting them off. She tells of coming across the odd bear while picking blueberries from an endless patch. She tells of log drives and hurricanes, and how to make the best baked beans. She tells of adopting a baby skunk, who made a very civilized house pet, until he grew up and took to the woods himself.

The writing is so fresh it could have been written yesterday, yet it’s so clearly a window into another time. We liked it so much we put off reading it, because we didn’t want it to end. Read the rest of this entry »

There’s something very cool going on. All over the world small shops are taking advantage of the fruits of industrial production (like an abundance of vehicles and interchangeable parts), injecting them with fresh ideas, and rebuilding them through small-scale production. ICON in Southern California does it by turning old Land Cruisers into highly capable, high-spec wonders. Another So-Cal company, Singer, does it by reimagining the air-cooled 911.

Singer strips the car down to its frame, then cherry picks the best oem and specialty components from the model’s long history, to create the ultimate 911. They even go so far as to reshape the curves and forms of the car itself. They do what we all do when we modify our trucks: that is, build a vision of the perfect vehicle.

It’s industrial design taken back to the level of craft. That is, the design takes place, not in a remote studio, but in the same place where the thing is built. Design and manufacture are fused together. The results are extraordinary.

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My girlfriend recently tipped me off to a company in Montana called Legacy Power Wagon. They do for the original Dodge Power Wagon what Icon in Southern California does for old Land Cruisers, that is rebuild them from the ground up with new, state-of-the-art interiors and mechanicals.

For starters they swap the original 230 or 383 cu.-in. motor for a modern-day Magnum V8, stroked to 426 cu.-in. and delivering 425 hp, or for a 4-cylinder, 3.9-liter Cummins Turbo-Diesel that churns out 480 ft/lbs of torque. Add to that a long-travel suspension, disc brakes, upgraded axles with locking differentials, an Atlas transfer case with 3.8:1 low-range, and a 16,500-lb winch, and you have a pretty formidable vehicle. Not to mention that it looks as tough as a barrel of nails.

The style is pure 1940s. The performance is not — it goes like a cracked whip. Legacy’s site claims the gasoline version will snap to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds.

As you might expect for this kind of attention to detail and “legend reborn” performance, the cost of entry isn’t cheap. Expect to plunk down about $120,000 for the two-door version. What’s that? You want the 4-door version that you saw at SEMA this year? OK — prepare to write a check for about $170,000. Prices head north depending on options. Portal axles, anyone?

More photos after the jump.

Link trail: Legacy Power Wagon Read the rest of this entry »

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Here’s another nice, vintage 4×4 find: a 1969 Toyota FJ40 showing 52,000 miles on the odometer. The ad states that it’s equipped with its original 3.8l, F145, straight-six engine and an old-school, three-on-the-tree, manual transmission. Other nice, stated features include dual factory heaters and jump seats.

The ad states that this FJ40 was treated to a frame-off restoration in 2006 with minimal miles since then. The white-on-beige color scheme is classic-looking plus.

The truck is located in Colorado and is being offered by a dealer on ebay. Bidding currently stands at $14,600 with about 4 days left on the clock. There’s no “buy it now” button but the ad states they’ll sell it for $22,000.

More photos after the jump.

Update: The truck generated a high bid of $18,200 but the seller ended the auction early and cancelled all bids.

Link trail: Bring a Trailer > ebay > Photobucket

Read the rest of this entry »

Continuing on the Grand Wagoneer theme, here’s a dealer commercial for the 1973 Grand Wagoneer. The narrator enthusiastically states that the rear seat is standard, not an optional extra.

It’s funny to look back at the history of the SUV. On this full-time 4-wheel-drive system, the lock-out for the center differential was in the glove box!

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I found this vintage Jeep Grand Wagoneer ad on Pinterest. I have a soft spot for 80s-era, sun-glinting-off-the-hood car ads. The Grand Wagoneer was America’s only luxury SUV until Range Rover hit the North American market in 1987.

In my last post I mentioned the Range Rover Great Divide Expedition. Here’s a video and some more detail about what was probably the coolest 4×4 launch in North America.

Back in 1989 Range Rover had only officially been in the North American market for a couple of years and it’s reputation hadn’t been established here the way it had been in Australia and Europe. So for the launch of that year’s model, with its upgraded, 3.9-liter V8, the company’s North America subsidiary felt it needed to show potential buyers that its new, luxury SUV could climb more than just the hill to the local country club. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s a nice video of the history of Land Rover from its post-war inception all the way through the Discovery and Freelander models.

It includes footage from vehicle’s famous expedition history as well: the First Overland, London to Singapore Expedition from the mid-1950s; the British Trans-Americas Expedition from the early-1970s, the Great Divide Expedition across the Rocky Mountains in 1989, as well as clips from various Camel Trophies.