Posts by: Jim Corbran

RealRides of WNY (on the Road) - c1972 Land Rover

A couple of Septembers ago, the RealRidesstaff (me) found itself working — yes, you read that right! — for a weekend in the Red Hooksection of Brooklyn. While there I came across this early 1970s Land RoverSeries IIIwhich was wearing a set of Colorado plates. It wasn’t until I got home and was looking at the photos that I noticed in the background of the rear shot sits a mid-2000

RealRides of WNY - 1961 Chevrolet Impala

Some call this style 1961 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupea bubbletop, due to its rakish, airy roofline (see an actual bubbletop below, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s legendary Beatnik Banditof 1961). The bubbletop was introduced across the line of GM’s full-sized cars for model year 1961 and continued on into 1962. The term came to fruition retroactively when a more formal roofline deb

RealRides of WNY - 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL

For your perusal: a 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL. The copywriters in Stuttgart described it as “Too refined to be a sports car! Too responsive not to be!”A removable pagoda-shaped hardtop could turn it into what M-B called an instant coupe. Take that, Chevy Corvette. With a trunk that could “…accommodate your golf bag and enough luggage and miscellaneous gear for a holiday fo

RealRides of WNY - 1960 Buick LeSabre

This 1960 Buick LeSabrejust needs a little attention to bring it back to its former glory as the brand on the second-highest rung of the GM corporate “ladder of success,” wherein the "lowly" Chevy owner who aspired to drive a Cadillac would first buy a Pontiac, followed by an Oldsmobile, and finally a Buick before reaching the holy grail of Cadillac. This LeSabre was somewhat of an ano

RealRides of WNY - 1990 Chevy Beretta Indy GT

Yes, it’s a Chevy Beretta… but not just any Chevy Beretta. This is the 1990 Chevy Beretta Indy GT coupe —a one-year-only model built to commemorate the Beretta’s moment in the spotlight as the pace car for the 1990 Indianapolis 500 (the actual pace car was a convertible — a body style that never went into production). These cars were built in limited numbers (1,500 i

RealRides of WNY - 1984 Chevy C 10 Fleetside

It probably doesn’t hurt that this 1984 Chevy C 10 Fleetsidespent a good part of its life in Florida, where salt is only in the air and not spread on the roads (although that too sometimes takes a toll if they’re not washed regularly). This one’s no fancy gentlemens’ pickup like some of those 50-grand jobs you see everywhere these days, but rather was built as a working tru

RealRides of WNY - 1959 Ford Custom 300

Ford seemed to be in a quandary as to what badge to slap onto its lowest rung cars for a number of years. In 1959, Ford Custom 300seemed right, as it did the previous year. In 1957 it was just a Ford Custom, with the Custom 300 being a bit fancier. For 1955-56 those cheapies were called Mainlines, while in 1961 they went with Fairlane. Seeing that Fairlane was used as the name for a new mid-sized

RealRides of WNY - 1949 Ford coupe

Always popular with customizers, the 1949 Fordis commonly known among the automotive crowd as the shoebox, due to its shape — which was quite slab-sided when compared to other cars that year. This coupe, seen a couple of weeks ago in Perry, is wearing a pair of “dummy” spotlights and a set of bladed wheel covers — both of which look like they’re right out of a J.C. Wh

RealRides of WNY - 1966 Wolseley Hornet Mk II

If you took a look at this 1966 Wolseley Hornet Mark IIand thought it was an early BMC Mini, you’re forgiven. The Wolseley was a more upscale version of the car, basically (from the outside) the Austin/Morris Mini with longer rear quarters which contained the car’s boot (trunk) and a re-worked front end. Here’s how Wolseley captioned the photo in its brochure: it: “The Wols

RealRides of WNY - 1949 Studebaker

No, you’re not seeing things. This 1949 Studebakeractually does appear to have the rear tail fins of a 1960 Dodge Dart grafted onto its rear fenders with the Dart’s outer rear bumper ends riding below; the taillights seem to be those of a 1960 Buick. Up front, the bumpers seem to be portions of a mid-1950s Cadillac, while the hood ornament is — believe it or not — standard