Let's Talk Cars, Motorcycles and Other Life-Changing Events

Category: Flash Back Friday Page 1 of 2

2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S Sunset

Flashback Friday: 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S

2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S St Patricks Day

My 2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S in gorgeous German Racing Green

If you’re a genuine sports car fan you already know the historical significance of the Porsche 911. Introduced in 1963, with an air-cooled “flat 6” horizontally-opposed engine located over the rear axle, the Porsche 911 is the most iconic sports car in the history of sports cars. It’s been made for the longest continuous timeframe (nope, that other sports car you’re thinking about missed model year 1983…), and the 911’s basic shape/proportions have never wavered, despite seven generations of 911 and a switch from an air-cooled to a water-cooled engine in 1999.

Porsche 911 Carerra S Driving

My 911 was one of the best-driving, most-dependable cars I’ve ever owned.

It was this combination of facts that led me to purchase a 2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S in 2014. This was about a year before the new Ford GT was shown in Detroit. I had no idea that car was coming, and I was looking for an alternative to my 2005 Ford GT, which was and always will be an amazing car. However, I wanted a more well-rounded sports car, suitable for the mean streets of Southern California. That meant only two pedals (my 2005 Ford GT answered my manual transmission needs), a comfortable ride, and, in a pinch, the ability to carry more than two people.

Flash Back Friday: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE

2018-Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon-Lake-Elsinore-Front

The 2018 Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon looks almost as good as a Ford GT

My 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is actually the third Dodge Challenger I’ve owned. As featured a few weeks ago, I had a 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye when I was in college in Colorado. That car was pretty cool, but as fun as it was to drive I always wanted a big-block Dodge Challenger, preferably a 440 or 426 Hemi version from 1970 or 1971.

1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye Front

The Challenger’s body damage was not extreme, but every panel had a noticeable flaw

About 13 years after selling my 1973 Dodge Challenger Rally I found another Challenger while browsing eBay. This was an all-original, one-owner car with every single feature I wanted. First, it was a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE, which immediately makes it a relatively rare and well-equipped car. There were plenty of Dodge Challenger R/Ts produced, and a fair amount of Dodge Challenger SEs were made, too. But there are very few original Challengers that featured both packages in one car.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT SE Front Sunset

My 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE had every factory feature I wanted

Though I didn’t know it at the time, this car was also a Chrysler executive ordered car, which is why it was so loaded with features. When I saw the eBay listing I was thrilled to see this Challenger’s list of factory features: 440 engine, air conditioning, AM/FM radio, rear defrost, rim-blow steering wheel, chrome trim (mirrors and windows) and hood pins. And, best of all, it was painted my favorite vintage Challenger color: Plum Crazy Purple.

Flash Back Friday: 1973 Saab Sonett III

Saab Sonett Willow Springs Track

The Saab Sonett III was more track capable than I’d have believed before trying it

My two older brothers influenced my car enthusiasm. They both owned multiple vehicles before they had their driver’s licenses, and by the time I got my license they were well into their lifelong odyssey of owning old, odd, eclectic models. One of those cars was a 1973 Saab Sonett III. This front-wheel drive, two-seat sports car was made from 1966 to 1974, and considered a Porsche 911 competitor at the time. Saab actually made the first Sonett in 1955, but only 6 units of the fiberglass convertible were built, utilizing a three-cylinder, two-stroke engine.

Saab Sonett Driving

With a modified engine my Saab Sonett was quicker than a Porsche Boxster

The Sonett returned in 1966 as the Sonett II. This time it was a fiberglass 2-door coupe, but it still used a two-stroke engine until 1967, when it switched to a 1.5-liter Ford-of-Europe sourced V4 engine. The Sonett was revised again in 1970, with a more effective rear hatch and flip-up headlights, plus a name change to Sonett III. This version went unchanged until 1974, though it gained the same unsightly oversized bumpers many small European cars suffered in the U.S. starting in 1973. The Saab Sonett III ended production in 1974

Saab Sonett Interior

Everything from the body to the interior was original and clean in this Saab Sonett

I drove my brother’s Saab Sonett several times when I was still a teenager. At the time I was a dedicated V8 muscle car fan, but the Sonett surprised me with how much fun a four-cylinder, front-wheel drive sports car could be. Fourteen years later, in June of 2000, I was at a Barrett-Jackson auction at the Petersen Publishing Museum where this particular red 1973 Saab Sonett was going up for auction. I didn’t plan on buying it, but I looked the Saab over closely and confirmed it was clean and original…

Flash Back Friday: 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo

1991 Dodge Stealth RT Twin Turbo

My 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo made the perfect project vehicle while working at Super Street magazine

From 1992 to 1996 I drove two turbocharged Dodge’s as my primary transportation. They were both front-wheel-drive models with four-cylinder engines, and in the fall of 1996 I graduated to a new turbo Dodge with a tad more performance — a 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo. I had loved the Dodge Stealth since it first debuted. The performance specs were impressive in the early 1990s: twin turbos, 300 horsepower, all-wheel drive and an adjustable suspension. Of course the Stealth was really just a re-bodied Mitsubishi 3000GT, and I liked both cars’ performance specs and loved their proportions. Even 27 years later I still think they look great.

1991 Dodge Stealth RT Twin Turob Rear

The 1991 Stealth R/T Twin Turbo made 300 horsepower and featured all-wheel drive

I bought my 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo from a used car dealer in Santa Monica. It had 58,000 miles and I paid $12,000. For a 5-year-old performance car with the Stealth’s technical specs I thought it was a pretty good deal. What I didn’t know at the time was that Stealth R/T Twin Turbo maintenance calls for a timing belt change around 55,000 miles. Mine hadn’t been done, and less than a week after buying it the belt let go and the pistons crashed into the valves, destroying the top of the engine.

Flash Back Friday: 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye

1873 Dodge Challenger Rallye Front Karl

I purchased my first Dodge Challenger in 1991 while I was still attending college

I grew up a car guy for several reasons, not the least of which were two older car-guy brothers. Their influence had me reading about muscle cars, with a particular focus on Mopars, before I was 15. I was well schooled in all the various Mopar muscle cars before I got my driver’s permit, and while I gravitated toward the Plymouth Superbird and GTX I also had the same fondness for E-bodies that every Mopar fan has. The Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda are two of the most iconic muscle cars ever created.

1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye Interior

My Dodge Challenger Rallye’s interior was in relatively good shape

I’ve never owned a Plymouth Barracuda, but I’ve had two original Dodge Challengers. The first one, a 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye, was purchased in 1991, during my last year in college. It was equipped about as well as that year’s Challenger could be, with a 340 V8, pistol-grip 4-speed transmission and factory air conditioning. It was also an original B5 Blue car with a black vinyl top, though when I got it the top was stripped off and the roof was painted black.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén