Fine Lines

Fine Lines: Bricklin SV-1
Fine Lines November 14, 2016

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Fine Lines: Bricklin SV-1</br>Fine Lines November 14, 2016

On paper, the Bricklin SV-1 should have been a dream car, but for dealers, owners and the tiny Canadian province of New Brunswick, the car ended up being a total nightmare.
Much has been said and written about just how big a failure the Bricklin actually was, but the idea behind this GT-style sports car was actually ahead-of-its-time brilliant (hence the dream part). It was in the execution that things went south (the nightmare part).

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Fine Lines: Acura NSX
Fine Lines October 24, 2016

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Fine Lines: Acura NSX</br>Fine Lines October 24, 2016

What kind of 12-year-old Honda sells for more than $100,000? At perhaps $30,000 above the original retail, it’s the price you’ll have a to pay today for a low-miles 2005 Acura NSX. Why? Pure driving enjoyment and visceral sensation that’s next to impossible to find in newer cars. As such, this two-seater has earned the distinction of being one of the greatest sports cars in history and has also been major influence on some, if not all the high-performance vehicles that followed it.

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Fine Lines: Shelby Mustang
Fine Lines October 17, 2016

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Fine Lines: Shelby Mustang</br>Fine Lines October 17, 2016

Contrary to dreamers who think the Ford Mustang was all about performance, the simple fact is that the car was not initially intended to be anything more than a hip set of wheels for a hip new generation.
Performance wasn’t really part of the total equation . . . until Ford decided it was going racing. By then the Mustang was just along for the ride.

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Fine Lines: Split decision
Fine Lines October 10, 2016

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Fine Lines: Split decision</br>Fine Lines October 10, 2016

The 1963 Sting Ray coupe will forever be remembered as the car that changed the fortunes of the Chevrolet Corvette brand, but not without massive controversy, GM infighting and a very prominent and short-lived design feature.
In fact, without the changes made for ’63, it’s quite possible that the Corvette would have died.

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Fine Lines: Ford Torino Talladega
Fine Lines October 3, 2016

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Fine Lines: Ford Torino Talladega</br>Fine Lines October 3, 2016

Everyone wants to be a winner, or look like a winner by driving a winning car. That was the reality back in the 1960s. If automakers produced cars that won races, they sold more cars. Simple.
As most people know, the cars that compete on today’s NASCAR racing circuit have absolutely nothing in common with those sold at any Ford, GM or Toyota dealership.

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Fine Lines, Lancia Stratos
Fine Lines September 26, 2016

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Fine Lines, Lancia Stratos</br>Fine Lines September 26, 2016

How a highly successful race car could be such a poor street car (and an unpopular one at that) should come as no surprise to anyone.
Just image trying to drive a NASCAR stock car in gridlock. In winter.
And that was the Lancia Stratos’ big problem. It was a racing car adapted for the street. As a result, it took years for dealers throughout Europe to liquidate their meager allotments of the Stratos.

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Fine Lines, American Motors AMX
Fine Lines September 19, 2016

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Fine Lines, American Motors AMX</br>Fine Lines September 19, 2016

The AMX was an attempt to produce something really revolutionary and to radically change the perceptions of a stodgy American Motors Corporation. But the vehicle designed to make a big noise in the marketplace amounted to little more than a barely audible whisper.
Poor old AMC could hardly be faulted for trying. Hit head-on by the Go-Go 1960s, the company had little choice but to abandon its compact-focused, fuel-efficiency-is-king mantra and develop products with the cash- and credit-rich boomer generation in mind.

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Fine Lines, Triumph R6
Fine Lines September 12, 2016

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Fine Lines, Triumph R6</br>Fine Lines September 12, 2016

“I don’t know how the car can stand up to that kind of serious abuse,” I would often say to myself.
The vehicle in question was a 1971 mustard-yellow Triumph TR6 sports car, which was a graduation present that my friend Gord bought for himself. Fresh out of University and a full-fledged architect, Gord had replaced his long-since rusted out TR3, the one with the tiny doors and ill-fitting side-curtain windows, for this latest creation from the British Leyland conglomerate.

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Fine Lines, 1970-’81 Pontiac Firebird
Fine Lines Sept 5, 2016

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Fine Lines, 1970-’81 Pontiac Firebird</br>Fine Lines Sept 5, 2016

In the early 1970s, the absolute peak of all-out automotive muscle and attitude, the Pontiac Firebird represented not only what was fast, but was also cool and hip.
The car was boiling caldron of performance and passion, a heady mixture that kept it clearly in the sights of the bulging, baby-booming youth market, plus anyone else who doted on driving a car that was several cuts above hum-drum. In an unfortunate twist, though, one of the hottest-looking machines on the planet nearly fizzled on the launch pad.

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Fine Lines, Porsche 959
Fine Lines August 29, 2016

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Fine Lines, Porsche 959</br>Fine Lines August 29, 2016

This little-known but highly touted hyper-Porsche turned the 1980s definition of high performance completely upside down with its futuristic approach to speed, handling and computer-controlled hardware.
It was a car that was light years ahead of its time and one that would become the benchmark for all Porsches that followed. Conceived, designed and built in the 1980s to go racing in a new factory-experimental class, Porsche set out to build about 200 copies (as mandated by the rules) of the 959 for public consumption.

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