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Jaguar’s Legendary XKSS Comes Back to Life

"I had to build in those idiosyncracies."

by on Nov.21, 2016

Kevin Riches led the team that created the nine Jaguar XKSS continuation cars.

The fire moved quickly, and with devastating results, leaving little more than ashes and molten metal where Jaguar’s Brown’s Lane factory once stood.

The disaster that struck on February 12, 1957 nearly destroyed the British maker and ruined its plans to build 25 XKSS roadsters, basically a road-going version of the D-Type race car that had dominated Le Mans for much of the mid-decade. Only 16 had been completed, the remaining nine still in various stages of production.

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But nearly 60 years later, the remaining cars will finally be completed, thanks to the British marque’s Jaguar Classic division. It’s not the first time an automaker has tried to revive one of its historic models. There are a number of recreations and plenty of “restomods.” What Jaguar has come up with is an amazingly precise continuation, accurate down to the five different type of rivets used on the original 16 roadsters.

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What That Ticket Really Costs

Even a seat belt infraction will raise your insurance rates.

by on Jun.11, 2012

Whoops...your insurance rates are about to go up.

You see the blue lights flashing in your mirror and, looking down at the speedometer, realize you just blew a speed trap 12 mph over the limit.

If you’re lucky, the ticket you’re about to get won’t be all that expensive.  But that might soon be the least of your worries.  Even if you got that ticket on the other side of the country during a vacation it’s soon likely to land on your driving record back home.  And that means your insurance company is likely to find out about it, as well.

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“We all make mistakes, and doing so while driving will cost you. Of course, you’ll know immediately how much you owe for your ticket, but often you won’t know the impact of the ticket on your car insurance rate until you get your renewal from your insurer,” said Michelle Megna, managing editor of Insurance.com.

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Woodward Dream Cruise a Car-Geek Heaven

Our out-of-town reporter experiences his first Dream Cruise.

by on Aug.20, 2011

Is this heaven? Flame on at the Woodward Dream Cruise. Photo: Alice Hudder.

There is such a thing as car-geek heaven, and it’s in southeast Michigan.

One can only imagine the conversation between a ghostly hot-rodder and the poor kid working the counter at the Coney dog stand.

Ghost: “Is this heaven?”

Kid: “No, it’s Oakland County.”

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OK, OK, Woodward Avenue between Pontiac, Mi. and Ferndale, Mi. isn’t crawling with old muscle cars and hopped-up rat rods year-round. But once a year, the Woodward Dream Cruise brings plenty of classic cars—as well as late-model and new cars that have a performance bent—to the Detroit area, where they cruise Woodward while locals camp out and look on as if they were sitting in the prime seats at the Tigers’ Comerica Park.

They start turning out on the balmy Detroit evenings all week, as if getting into some practice before the official Dream Cruise takes place on a Saturday.  Maybe, some tell, you, it’s better to come out early if you actually want to see those muscle cars move because, by Saturday morning, Woodward is nothing but a slow-moving parking lot/car show.

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First Classic Car Auctions of ’10 Deliver Mixed Results

No fire sales, but no records, either.

by on Jan.25, 2010

The annual Barrett-Jackson Auction has spurned a classic car industry, each January, in Scotsdale.

Even the windstorm that flattened two tents, damaging 100s of classic cars waiting to go on the auction block couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm at what has become the biggest week of the year for collectors who gathered in the tony Phoenix suburb of Scotsdale, over the past week.

The weekend has been a must-attend for more than a decade, starting out with the granddaddy of Scotsdale events, the annual Barrett-Jackson Auction and now including five other events that aim to serve every possible niche of the classic car market, from muscle cars to rare and exotic imports.

Preliminary figures from the four largest events show sales of about $135 million in classic metal.  That’s almost identical to last year’s numbers for the Barrett-Jackson, Russo & Steele, Gooding and RM Auctions.  And the figures actually would’ve been higher, says David Kinney, Publisher of Hagerty’s Cars That Matter, were it not for the windstorm that brought down the two Russo & Steele tents.

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On the other hand, Kinney cautions, the auctions gaveled off more cars, this year than during the devastating January 2009, when the economy was in freefall, so buyers paid less, on average.  At the 800-pound gorilla of the auction scene, the annual Barrett-Jackson, the typical car was auctioned off for $54,814, a bit less than a 4% decline.  But at Gooding, which specializes in exotic autos, the average price slipped from $386,226, last year, to just $297,368.

“Doldrums may be a good way to describe it,” suggests McKeel Hagerty, a long-time auction observer and owner of Hagerty Insurance.  “The quality wasn’t the wall-to-wall perfect cars we would have seen in prior years.  Some of the best cars just aren’t coming to market right now.  People are waiting for the market to improve before selling.”

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