Posts by: Jim Corbran


MOST CONCEPTS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN IDEAS … concept cars that (of course!) never saw production by Jim Corbran I don’t know about you, but when I attend a large, annual auto show I always nose around to see if there are any concept cars on the floor.My dictionary tells me that the word concept means “…an abstract idea; a general notion.” Back in my younger days I

RealRides of WNY - 1957 Buick Roadmaster

Was on my way home from a Tonawanda car show two weeks ago when this 1957 Buick Roadmaster Riviera pulled up to the same intersection. Got the camera out just as it was pulling away. Sixty years ago, Buick was calling the Roadmaster “…the finest travel fine-car money can buy.” Although it sounds like it was written by someone to whom English is a second language, I think I get t

RealRides of WNY - 1979 VW

This 1979 VW Beetle is notable for two reasons: it marked the final year of the old-style Beetle’s sales in North America, and it was the final production year world-wide for the convertible model. VW sedan sales ended in America with the 1976 models (although they would still carry on in some other countries until 2003). The new front-drive, water-cooled Rabbit/Golf pretty much put the fina

RealRides of WNY - 1953 Buick Roadmaster

This 1953 Buick Roadmaster is in the midst of what looks like a full-on custom treatment at a Tonawanda garage. From here it looks like it’ll be wearing the taillights (and maybe bumper) from a 1956 Packard Clipper — whose ear end features were very popular with customizers in the late 1950s-to-early 1960s. I’m hoping to go back from time-to-time to see how this one’s comin

RealRides of WNY - 1965 Ford Galaxie 500

This 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 was just a one lower than Ford’s LTD, which was advertised as being quieter than a Rolls-Royce. Looking at the dual exhausts sticking out the back of this example, I don’t imagine this one’s all that quiet. It’s not often these days that you run across a four-door hardtop that’s looks to be in as great a shape as this one

RealRides of WNY - 1968 Pontiac GTO

This 1968 Pontiac GTO is wearing what Pontiac called in its brochure “…the most fantastic bumper since the invention of the bumper.” They went on to point out how it wouldn’t chip, fade, or corrode; it was made of a urethane foam-based material that bore the brand name Endura, and it spelled the beginning of the end of the chrome bumper. Pontiac also touted the GTO’s


THEY’RE EVERYWHERE, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE! … the 2017 Ford Escape by Jim Corbran On my way to my sister’s house over the weekend I couldn’t help but take note of the number of Ford Escapes on the road these days. It really hit home when I arrived and found three of them parked at or around her house.The Escape was Ford’s original compact crossover, introduced for

RealRides of WNY - 1976 Cadillac Seville

A lot of eyebrows were raised when GM’s luxury division introduced its first compact car in 1975 — and a lot of checks were written as buyers scooped them up. This 1976 Cadillac Seville, seen last week in Tonawanda, is from the car’s sophomore year, when sales almost tripled to just under 44,000 units. Many of the raised eyebrows were due to the fact that the Seville cost about t


WOULD YOU LIKE CHAPS WITH THAT? — the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup concept by Jim Corbran I’m now officially declaring the state of the conventional automobile to be totally confused. Maybe even… doomed.I had a hard enough time wrapping my mind around a Bentley Bentayga SUV (MSRP starting… STARTING!... from $229,100). The waters were further muddied with the Maserati Le

RealRides of WNY - 1972 AMC Matador

When RealRides reader Jan Bernas of Tonawanda wrote in about featuring her 1972 AMC Matador on our page, I never expected to find such a fine example — nor did I expect that I’d be meeting the car’s original owner! That’s right, Jan bought the Matador brand new from Sheridan-Amherst Motors; it looks so great because it’s always been garaged between the times it’