Realrides Of WNY

RealRides of WNY - 1989 Ford Festiva L

It’s not often you see a 1989 Ford Festiva L on the road anymore. It’s even rarer to find one that the owner got as cheaply as this one. Hamburg’s Brian McLaughlin paid the princely sum of one dollar for this econocar back in 2012 — the price of turning in the plates belonging to the previous owner. Five years later, this little four-cylinder four-speed — also sold ar

RealRides of WNY - 1953 Ford Customline

This 1953 Ford Customline Tudor was from the mid-range of Ford’s lineup, between the cheaper Mainline and the more expensive Crestline. The front fender badge tells us this one came equipped with Ford’s 239.4 cu. in. V-8, which put out 110 hp. The lack of a Fordomatic badge on the trunk means this one probably has the venerable three-on-the-tree switching its gears manually. The brochu

RealRides of WNY - 1960 Pontiac Catalina

GM’s Wide-Track division had hit full stride by the time this 1960 Pontiac Catalina left the factory. Gone were the days when Pontiacs were driven by people who could afford more than a Chevrolet, but who weren’t too interested in driving a car which made a statement. Pontiac turned a corner with the introduction of the 1959 models, and never looked back. Well, at least not until the 1

RealRides of WNY - 1977 Olds Toronado

Looking at this 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham, it would appear that stylists took a 180° turn from the first-generation models, which when introduced for MY 1966 were unlike anything else coming out of Detroit. The Toronado was the first mass-produced American car with front-wheel-drive since the Cord of the 1930s. The swoopy-looking first generation cars gave way to this more boxy look be

RealRides of WNY - 1951 Chevy pickup

This 1951 Chevy pickup was built during the fifth year of an eight-year styling cycle — Chevy’s first of the post-war era. There weren’t many outward differences from those first ‘47s right on through to the ‘53s, but a major front end change (and a one-piece windshield) really distinguished the ‘54s from the rest. You can tell this is a ‘51 because it was

RealRides of WNY - 1972 Citroën D Special

Now tell me, how often do you come across a dark green car with a red top? Sounds strange, but it’s rather striking in person. Ran across this one, a nifty 1972 Citroën D Special, at last summer’s car show at the Buffalo History Museum. We first encountered it with its hydropneumatic suspension in the full up mode, which gives it a totally different look from its normal cruising a

RealRides of WNY - 1988 Mazda RX-7

This 1988 Mazda RX-7 is from the Hiroshima manufacturer’s Wankel Rotary Engine period. There was a time when the Wankel was thought to be the next big thing — very compact and lower weight. They have no pistons, but instead use a triangular-shaped rotor which spins inside a epitrochoid-shaped housing where intake, compression, ignition, and exhaust all take place. Unfortunately, there

RealRides of WNY - vintage Fiat 500

Here’s one of those RealRides which was seen by a former WNYer last year on a trip to Italy. That’s my brother Dennis in the photo below and my brother-in-law Tony in the top photo. They came across this nifty little Fiat 500 while in Rome, ironically parked next to a current model (cute-but-not-quite-as-cute) Fiat 500. The original 500, produced from 1957-75, came in a few derivatives

RealRides of WNY - 1970 Jaguar XK-E

Saw this sharp 1970 Jaguar XK-E over on Buffalo’s West Side during a recent bicycle ride. For some reason the powers-that-be in Coventry marketed it as the XK-E on this side of the pond and the E-Type everywhere else — although the E-Type badge remained on the luggage compartment lid everywhere. This yellow example is a Series 2, which was produced from 1968-71, and has the 4.2L inline

RealRides of WNY - 1971 VW Super Beetle

When this 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle was new, it was the first year VW shoppers could choose between the standard Beetle (officially the VW 1200) and the Super Beetle. The differences? Not a whole lot on the outside, although the Super Beetle is about three inches longer, and its trunk lid doesn’t open as deep into the bumper area as the 1200’s. The biggest differences were in the fr