One Black Coffee

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Let it never be said that French car engineers do not know what they’re doing. As we’ve seen, the French have been responsible for some of the most clever small cars ever made. They are also responsible for, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful man-made things, in the form of the Citroen DS, which pulled a Jenna Louise Coleman in that it was both heart-stoppingly pretty and a force for good in the world.  Here’s what I’m talking about: big Citroens. This is a 1981 Citroen CX Pallas D. Continue reading

Stranger Things

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There’s something strange about finding yourself north of 250th street. It feels like that scene in The Royal Tennenbaums where they say they live on 375th street. Like magical realism. People live in houses up here. Real, honest-to-God houses, with driveways and everything. In a similar way, it’s funny to see a van this old out in the wild. Vans are utilitarian objects: tools that serve a purpose and are then disposed of. I don’t know if the owner of this car is keeping it running in earnest or if they just drive it ironically. Who knows? We’re in uncharted territory for many New Yorkers. This is a 1969 ChevyVan. Continue reading

Southern Gothic

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Much like a bumblebee’s ability to fly and the movie Cowboys And Aliens, this car works brilliantly in spite of the fact that it really shouldn’t. Let me explain: Porsche has a reputation for building extremely luxurious and ludicrously capable sports cars (though in recent years, they’ve expanded the brand). But behind the pomp and circumstance, the brand is a little stodgy. Their pièce de résistance, the 911, has been around since 1963, and has been through six successive generations. But if you line them all up next to one another, you’d be hard pressed to say the designers were were clocking into work at all. The 911’s design hasn’t advanced in years, and for reasons we’ll get into in a minute, the car’s engineers are no better. But this particular 911 is something different entirely. This is a 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa.  Continue reading

Philosophy And Pickup Trucks

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This is a pickup truck. But it’s also a line in the sand. And that’s because loyalty is a funny thing. Pledging your support to a single idea through thick and thin is an inherently illogical thing to do. And yet so many of us cling to loyalty, like sloths on our favorite branch of the virtue tree. William Bennett writes in his Book of Virtues that “real loyalty endures inconvenience, withstands temptation, and does not cringe under assault. Yet the trust that genuine loyalty tends to generate can pervade our whole lives.” All rationality supports our choosing the best option available to us regardless of our preconceived notions or personal preferences. I still go to the deli that’s a little further away from my apartment than the one that’s closer and more reputable. This truck is like that deli. This is a 1970 Ford F100 Sport Custom. Continue reading