Realrides Of WNY

RealRides of WNY - Volkswagen Golf VR6

This Volkswagen Golf VR6 was what you moved up to when the hot-hatch GTI was no longer floating your boat. The Golf Mark III VR6 was sold from 1992-98. It got its name from the engine — VW’s VR6, which is a V-6 with a cylinder angle of only 15 degrees which allows the use of just one cylinder head (see illustration), and it was designed specifically for front-wheel-drive vehicles. Bein

RealRides of WNY - 1972 Cadillac Eldorado

The brochure called the 1972 Cadillac Eldorado the world’s most elegant personal car. What made it so? For starters (again, from the brochure)things like a massive new grille, the fact that it was the only luxury car to come standard with both front-wheel-drive and an 8.2-litre V-8 engine (the world’s largest production engine, Cadillac reminded us), and something called lamp monitors.

RealRides of WNY - 1986 Olds 442

Some of you may be surprised to find out that there even was such a thing as a 1986 Olds 442. I know I was when I came across this nice example a couple of weeks ago for sale in Tonawanda. I was also surprised to see that somewhere along the way it changed from “4-4-2” to “442.” The dashes were there at its inception in 1963, and stayed until 1973 or so. Bean counters must

RealRides of WNY - 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco

This Blues Brother replica started life as a regular ol’ 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco — probably some family’s car years ago. Now it makes the rounds of local car shows with its owner, Mike from Hamburg (a.k.a. Elwood), who also hires it out for just about any kind of event you can think of. The original movie car was a 1974 model (not all that much different from this one) and 12 of

RealRides of WNY - 1987 Dodge Shelby Charger GLH-S

My sources tell me that this 1987 Dodge Shelby Charger GLH-S is one of only about 500 produced. To find it parked in the streets of Buffalo’s Old First Ward last winter was really a surprise. I know that a 175-hp engine doesn’t seem like much these days, even being an intercooled turbo (especially in today’s world of 800+hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demons), but in a small car it can

RealRides of WNY - 1967 Pontiac GTO

This 1967 Pontiac GTO, seen recently in the Town of Lockport, is from the second year of what ended up being a two-year styling cycle. GM’s intermediates proved to be very popular in the mid-1960s; the two-door hardtops were especially handsome with their extended roof sail panels which blended into the trunk area. Like the rims? We learned from the brochure, “The Rally II wheels cost

RealRides of WNY - 1958 Ford Custom 300

This 1958 Ford Custom 300, seen a few weeks ago in Niagara Falls, was a slight restyle of the successful 1957 model (really, only the grille/headlight area and the taillight pods & side trim were changed). Apparently that was enough for some, as Ford proudly announced in their 1958 brochure: “Latest fashion news… Paris agog over ’58 Ford styling.” Surprisingly (Lol), t

RealRides of WNY - 1955 Vauxhall Cresta

In my almost 49 years of driving, I do believe this is the first time I’ve ever come across a 1955 Vauxhall Cresta. Vauxhall was GM’s British brand — think of it as the British version of another former GM brand, Opel. Former, I say, as earlier this year the French car maker Groupe PSA (Peugeot-Citroën-DS) agreed to buy the Opel/Vauxhall brands from GM. The Cresta, although

RealRides of WNY - 1959 Chrysler Windsor

Took a ride to South Wales a short while back to check out this beautiful 1959 Chrysler Windsor, owned by RealRide readers Pete & Bonnie Mistretta. Over the years it’s been a real champion, winning two Best of Show awards. The Windsor, the brochure reminded us, was “…a blend of grace and economy that masters the miles with noble ease!” This one has a 383 cu. in. V-8 an

RealRides of WNY - 1931 Chevrolet pickup

This 1931 Chevy pickup, seen a couple of Saturdays ago at the Charity for HART Interfaith Car Show in Wheatfield, I am told is an actual old barn find, and it didn’t take much to get it up and running again. According to that year’s brochure, it had a load space 66 inches long and 45 inches wide. How, you might be wondering, does that compare with today’s Silverado? A 2017 four-d