Mike Lovell: Blue Collar, Blue Chip Collection

‘It’s my happy place . . .’ –Mike Lovell Mike Lovell’s dad, Ellis, saved his son’s elementary school notebooks from his native Cleveland; in them the Phoenix resident and businessman scribbled “’69 Camaro SS396” hundreds of times after he saw one for the first time. This was the third year for Chevrolet’s response to the Ford Mustang released four and a half years prior. Today, and almost every day, Lovell ogles his own ’69 Camaro as part of what he understatedly calls his “blue collar collection” of vintage and contemporary cars and motorcycles –– a 10,000-square-foot standalone dream car barn […]

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GreatGarages: Lincoln at 100

The first vote Henry Leland cast was for Abraham Lincoln in 1864; more than five decades later, he named his car for his hero. That great automotive marque, Lincoln, is 100 this year. Leland was one of the founders of Cadillac, which joined General Motors in 1909; he stayed on in an executive position until 1917, when he and the company’s president, William Durant, squabbled. In August of that year, Leland and son Wilfred founded the Lincoln Motor Company, making Liberty V-12 engines for World War I, then Lincoln cars. The company had a tough road transitioning to a peacetime […]

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One Cool Car Collection: The Fountainhead Museum, Fairbanks, Alaska

Hot for rare classics? Check your anti-freeze and motor north to Alaska. Hosting 30,000 visitors a year, the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum in Fairbanks is three museums: pre-WWII American-made vehicles, including four one-offs; vintage fashions; and artifacts and documents celebrating the pioneering automotive spirit of the 49th state. The museum’s 102 cars include horseless carriages, roadsters and racers, beginning with a 1898 Hay Motor Vehicle Stanhope Phaeton through a 1917 Owen Magnetic, 1934 Packard 1408 Series dual windshield touring Phaeton and, the youngest car, a 1938 Southwest Chrome Special Elto Midget Racer. Other rare automobiles include a 1906 Compound, the […]

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GreatGarages- The Jeep: 80 and Still Battle Tough

If the Higgins Boat won the war at the beachheads, and the Allied air forces above, the Jeep drove home the victory. Although many know the super-civilianized versions in today’s actual and virtual car showrooms, the Jeep was originally designed and built to go to war, wherever it was called to service and for whatever task it was asked to do. “When war broke out in Europe and Asia in 1940, the U.S. military realized it was going to be a war of machines: The Nazi Blitzkrieg showed that. So they asked U.S. manufacturers to come up with a vehicle […]

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Win a 427 Cobra from the Cobra Experience

Drive home a dream Snake this summer from the Cobra Experience in Martinez, California. The 25,000-square-foot facility showcases approximately 23–29 Shelby-related cars including the history-making Shelby Cobra, GT-40, Daytona Coupe and GT350. Carroll Shelby, the Texas-born Le Mans-winning driver and entrepreneur campaigned the cars to historic success from 1962 to 1968 from his Shelby American company in Southern California. Just off Highway 4, Martinez is 30 minutes east of San Francisco; also here is the John Muir National Historic Site, the great naturalist’s home from 1880 until his death in 1914. The Serb family opened the Cobra Experience in November […]

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GreatGarages: Gunther & Maggie’s Newport Car Museum

“Sell them or share them.” That’s what Maggie Buerman said to her husband Gunther about five years ago while they were participating in the other family passion: sailboat racing in their 12-meter New Zealand. “She said: ‘If you’re not going to sell some of these cars, then we need to share them with the public.’ So that’s what we did,” he recalls. They selected the 50 cars they loved to drive and on June 1, 2017, they opened the Newport Car Museum, in a 114,000-square-foot former missile plant on 17 acres in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The former owner of the […]

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GreatGarages: Dennis Hirschbrunner Builds a Fire Truck Museum in Columbus, Nebraska

Dennis Hirschbrunner’s family have been fighting fires for more than a century in the country’s heartland. Today, in a 105-year-old building in downtown Columbus, Nebraska, he’s celebrating that personal legacy and everyone who fights fires nationwide. Since its founding in 1856 at the confluence of the Loup and Platte rivers, Columbus has been a shipping center both by water and Union Pacific tracks. With 23,000 inhabitants, the city is 90 miles north of the state capital, Lincoln, and 95 miles west of Omaha, where Union Pacific is based as well as Berkshire Hathaway, founded by city native and resident, Warren […]

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Stephen Grisanti: ‘Il mio sogno,’ ‘My Dream’:

Stephen Grisanti will take any route to find the right car: He’ll even place a want ad. Two of the many classic Porsches he has stewarded in his lifetime, his 1959 356A and first 914-6, he found along that road. Today, the businessman, car-care writer and collector has four Porsches and five Harley-Davidsons, including a rare 1959 hog from his birth year to match the 356A. “Every one of my cars still has the engine and transmission that it left the Porsche factory in,” he says. “I have the certificate of authenticity I have framed on my garage wall for […]

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Dan Withers: A Builder Builds a Car Collection

Dan Withers’ memorable classics are classic memories, too. When he was 4 in Pittsburgh, his mom, June, saw a local ad placed by a man who wanted someone to transport a 1956 Cadillac hardtop to Phoenix. She arranged with the owner to make the journey so that she and the family could leave what was then a sooty rust-belt city. Her mother-in-law lived in Phoenix and often spoke of blue skies and year-long sun. Dan’s dad was in Korea, serving with post-war troops. Dan Withers never forgot that Caddy. Today, the retired founder of D.L. Withers Construction looks down from […]

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Steve Sunshine’s Cars: a Passion, a Scream, Bliss

As Steve Sunshine tells it, all of his children have exhaust pipes. “Cars are a passion, an addiction, a disease,” says the New York native, Scottsdale resident ––and car lover wherever he is. “They are an incurable, wonderful disease that will make you happy, make you crazy, make you scream, sometimes all at once.” In the seat, it’s man versus machine. “It’s being in control, making the perfect gear change, kicking the rear end loose in a corner and steering with your right foot. No electronics, no radios, nothing. Just me and the car. Ah, blissful.” He has nine cars […]

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GreatGarages- The Mini/MINI Celebrates the Big 60

Devotees love their MINIs in many ways. A frequent thought is that they’re just so cute and lovable. But that wasn’t the normal take in 1959, when Alec Issigonis designed the first Mini for British Motor Corporation (BMC), later part of British Leyland. The eminently pragmatic Turkish/ Greek mechanical engineer and racer had spent his formative years at British manufacturers, Humber, Morris, Alvis and then Morris again. He was an often crusty man of considerable achievement; he did not design cute or lovable things. “When the wraps came off the first Mini, 60 years ago this year, there was never […]

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The Saratoga Auto Museum in New York State: Victory for Classics

‘I have the Satisfaction to present Your Excellency with the Convention of Saratoga, By which His Excellency Lieutenant General Burgoyne, has Surrendered Himself & his whole Army into my Hands.” –Maj. General Horatio Gates to the president of Congress, October 18, 1777 A day before, Gates had taken, in fashion, the sword of ‘Gentleman John’ Burgoyne, accepting the surrender of his 5,700 regulars. More than just a morale-builder for the revolutionary Americans, as those at Princeton and Trenton had been within the past year, victory at Saratoga was a turning-point battle in the War of Independence. Before he turned coat, […]

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GreatGarages- The ‘Z’ Hits 50, with Speed and Style

‘Love Cars, Love People, Love Life.’ –Mr. ‘K’ A revelation, a huge hit, a company game changer, a winner out of the gate: Merging affordability, styling, driving dynamics, balance, reliability and lots of character, the Datsun 240Z enjoyed thumbs-up at its debut at the October 1969 New York Auto Show. In the first year, 40,000 were sold. And, during the first decade, a record-setting 520,000 units found welcoming garages. Whether you loved ’Vettes, muscle cars or exotics, you knew immediately that the Z-car from Japan was special. And, in its 50-year run –– albeit with a six-year production hiatus –– […]

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Centennial for Citroën

Citroën is 100 this year, and fans of the innovative French marque are celebrating. In April, members of ACE, Arizona Citroën Enthusiasts, founded by Scottsdale’s Dominique Legeai in 2015, celebrated the event at the first Camelback Car Show in Phoenix, with about a dozen representatives of the marque showcased. The 32 members of ACE casually meet to enjoy and maintain the Citroën name. In 1919, inventor André-Gustave Citroën (1878–1935) produced the Type A from his Paris factory. Approximately 30,000 of these were built, and the new marque was publicized by their successful use as taxis. Following the Trèfle (Cloverleaf) cars […]

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Bentley Motors: A Century of Class

‘To build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class.’ –W. O. Bentley Bentley Motors is 100 in 2019: Auto lovers worldwide are celebrating a century of the marque’s elegant, powerful motorcars. Company founder, engineer, entrepreneur, Walter Owen ‘W.O.’ Bentley (1888–1971) apprenticed at the Great Northern Railway Locomotive Works in Doncaster, northern England, when he was 16 and still riding a bicycle. In his first job with the National Motor Cab Company, he supervised the service and overhaul of 400 taxis. All the while, he and two brothers successfully raced motorcycles. In 1912 he and one brother, […]

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Apollo 11 at 50: One Small Step for an Astronaut, One Giant Leap for Corvettes

‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because that will be easy but because it will be hard . . .’ –John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962, Rice University Corvettes and Apollo 11 link up like “Blast” and “Off.” Answering the slain president’s bold challenge, Commander Neil Armstrong, in a 25-layer haute-couture space suit, descended the ladder of the Lunar Module, “Eagle” July 20, 1969, more than 238,000 miles from Earth. Fifty years ago, 550 million people tuned in live to the black-and-white feed, including an emotionally moved television anchor. We all watched in wonder, with […]

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June 6, D-Day 75: On Wings, Tires and Tracks to Victory

What is our aim? Victory, Victory at all costs . . . –Winston Churchill, May 13, 1940 Victory came five years later, but among the costs were fear, vomit, blood and death. PFC Harry F. Swartz was on Omaha Beach that cool overcast morning 75 years ago when Allied forces landed on the French coast to vanquish Nazi barbarism. As part of Operation Overlord, this was the most heavily defended of the five adjacent beachheads attacked by British, American and Canadian forces and combatants of other nationalities. “You would remember them,” Swartz says of his comrades, with the 2nd Infantry […]

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AACA in Hershey, Pa.:100 Years of Sweet Vehicles

In Hershey, Pennsylvania, enjoy a Kiss and embrace some great cars. The AACA Museum Inc. opened in June 2003 in the city known for its chocolate factory. The collection features more than 100 cars, motorcycles, automobilia, antique buses in the Museum of Bus Transportation Collection and the Cammack Tucker Gallery, the world’s largest public display of automobiles and artifacts celebrating Preston Tucker’s “Car of Tomorrow.” The predecessor of the automobile is also celebrated in the “Roads to Rails” model train display, built with countryside scenes reminiscent of ’30s, ’40s and ’50s America. In 1993, the museum founders began planning, fund-raising […]

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Jerry Smith’s Cool Cars at San Tan Hot Rods

Hot for hot rods: That’s Jerry Smith. His San Tan Auto Body and San Tan Hot Rods & Restorations on the west edge of Queen Creek, Arizona, offers body-off restorations to minor repairs on hot rods and classics and just about any vehicle you bring to him and his team. Smith, 74, has worked on cars for neighbor Ken Roberts, whose collection was recently featured as a Highline Autos Great-Garage. “We do body, mechanical and paint work,” he says. “No job is too small or too large.” The two-year-old restoration shop, on the southeast corner of Power Road and San Tan […]

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The Antique Car Museum at Grovewood Village: Edwin’s Surrey, an Eldo and an Edsel

“America: the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.” –Thomas Wolfe Remember Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic? Not tasteless financially, Mr. Grove’s drink outsold Coca-Cola in the late 1880s, so you won’t remember unless you drank decades of the hotly demanded tonic. The Antique Car Museum in Asheville, North Carolina, does recall. One of its 23 classic vintage vehicles is a two-horse surrey (circa 1900) by Henry Hooker & Co., New Haven, Connecticut. The pre-car belonged to Edwin Wiley Grove, who made his way in the pharmaceutical business hawking the Coke-beating elixir. Grove’s surrey […]

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Ken Roberts – King Farouk Meets James Dean in a Garage with a Jaguar Hearse

Queen Creek’s Ken Roberts will pick you up in his Jaguar XKE hearse and you can chat about James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder, the one that became the 24-year-old actor’s coffin September 30, 1955, at a California intersection. And Egypt’s King Farouk: He loved cars, too. Roberts and wife Glenda enjoy their eclectic car collection in the far East Valley, near the San Tan Mountains.. They are both retired, he from oil and gas exploration for energy companies, she from assisting him build their successful business. His car journey began in native Seattle. There, he graduated from Ballard High School, […]

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The National WWII Museum

Vehicles that Served Those Who Served They hadn’t come here to fear. They hadn’t come to die. They had come to win. – Stephen Ambrose   Men served. Women served. Vehicles served them. Winning the war was willpower, heart and smarts, leadership and being in the right. But it was also the right technology: the Norden bomb site, Radar, degaussing, atomic power and increasingly sophisticated vehicles that proved their mettle in the most challenging times. A number of these people and materials movers are among the thousands of artifacts showcased at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, designed by […]

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Michael Furman: Cars and Cameras

For Michael Furman, great cars are always moving, especially when standing still. Through his uniquely artful lens, a Bugatti and a Horch from the ’30s dramatically display their power and beauty, a ‘40s Delahaye models its voluptuous curves, a Cunningham bulges power and even a well-patinaed Austin-Healey offers a “Grace” that brings tears. The celebrated automotive photographer will discuss “A Career with Cars and Cameras” during Monterey Car Week at The Inn at Spanish Bay, 1 p.m., as part of the Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum Thursday, August 23. Reservations are required, although admission is free. “I’ll be talking a […]

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Land Rover: Supple Septuagenarian SUV

‘Together, we’ve broken world records, endured intense heat, bitter cold and traversed some of the world’s most awe-inspiring, remote landscapes. –Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes Land Rover is 70 this year – affirming, with youthful vigor, that “70 is the new 20.” Unveiled at the Amsterdam Motor Show April 30, 1948, as Land Rover Series I, the marque evolved in its first 22 years from a Second World War-inspired four-wheel-drive to the Range Rover in 1970, which pioneered today’s luxury SUV niche. King George VI received the 100th production car. During the second year of production, 16,000 of Series I were […]

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