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Petrolicious Tells The Story Of ‘Bring A Trailer’: Video 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Bring A Trailer, classic cars, Kurt, used cars, video, Vintage Cars on 11 28th, 2012

When it comes to time-suck websites for gear heads, there are none finer than Bring A Trailer, where enthusiasts can browse for cars that are out of the mainstream (in some cases, far out of the mainstream) or reminisce about a the joys and sorrows of a particular obscure model. You won’t find a 2010 Mustang GT on the site, but you may very well find a one-of-a-kind four-wheel-drive Mustang prototype. If your tastes run to vintage European rides, you may even want to consider bookmarking Bring A Trailer as your home page.

Autoblog uncovered this Petrolicious video, which tells the story of how Randy Nonnenberg and Gentry Underwood founded the site, which serves as both a shopping mall and meeting place for enthusiasts of all types. If you’ve never visited the site, be forewarned: there is no such thing as a “quick visit” to Bring A Trailer.

As for those of us who visit the site on a regular basis, it’s only a matter of time before the right car comes up. We suppose it’s like playing the slots in Vegas; you can pull the handle a thousand times and get nothing, but pull it the right time and you hit a jackpot. Our jackpot is likely to come in the form of a vintage Porsche 911, unearthed by the guys at Bring A Trailer.

Bring A Trailer Find: Fiat X1/9 Survivor 9
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Bertone, classic cars, Fiat, Fiat X1/9, Find of the week, Vintage Cars on 03 9th, 2011

Image: Bring A Trailer

Fiat’s mid-engined, rear drive X1/9 sport coupe was one of the cars I lusted after in my newly-licensed years. Back then, they were cheap and they were plentiful, and they took to corners like Charlie Sheen takes to porn stars. On the down side, they were also about as reliable as Charlie Sheen, and just as prone to breakdowns. I hate to harp on Fiat, which is now born again in the United States with vastly improved products and quality control, but the old jokes about “Fix It Again, Tony” were pretty much on the money. That explained why so many relatively clean examples could be found for fire sale prices; most had a “minor electrical problem” or “needed a tune up”, which was really code for “this four-wheeled spawn of satan has drained my bank account, so it’s time to ruin someone else’s life”.

Image: Bring A Trailer

I’ve moved on to other cars, but this particular Fiat (actually, Bertone) X1/9, found on Bring A Trailer, really caught my eye. It’s only got 7,433 miles on the clock, and the reason why is what keeps us car guys combing through old barns, estate sales and even storage locker liquidations. The car was one of fifty 1987 X1/9s still in port storage when the importer (Malcolm Bricklin’s International Automobile Importers) closed its doors. The car then sat for over twenty years before being purchased by its current owner, who did a light restoration by changing all fluids, hoses, brake lines, reservoirs and brake pads. The single non-stock part is an upgraded stereo, since the original car probably came with an AM/FM/Cassette deck.

Image: Bring A Trailer

The price, at $12,750, is a bit steep for my own trip down memory lane. Sure, the cars handled well, but they lacked power and parts won’t be easy to find at Pep Boys (and trust me, sooner or later you’ll need parts). On the flip side, it’s probably the only affordable mid-engine Italian sports car you’ll ever find, and it is eligible for vintage road rallying. Sure, a Ferrari 308 makes a better sound, but they’re not exactly rare; Bertone X1/9s, on the other hand, now have an element of exclusivity about them. If you can’t live without this one, hit up Bring A Trailer.

Mercedes’ Super Bowl Ad Is The Stuff Of Nightmares 7
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 230SL, 300SL, Automotive, Mercedes Benz, Super Bowl Ads, video, Vintage Cars on 02 7th, 2011

No matter what the car's thinking, it isn't good.

I’ve got to give a nod to Mercedes’ Super Bowl ad, which seems to have gotten lost in the hype surrounding the other ads and Christina Aguilera’s butchering of the national anthem. It was cool to see Mercedes roll out some vintage iron in honor of their 125th birthday, like the SL (230, I think) that had Janis Joplin tuned in on the radio or the 300 SL that was rounding up sheep. The Patent Motorwagen being passed by their latest concept was also a cool visual, but the idea of sentient motor vehicles is the stuff of nightmares if you ask me. Video below.

If you don’t believe me, try reading the Stephen King short story “Trucks”, or his full length novel on the subject, “Christine”. If movies are more your taste, you could always rent “Maximum Overdrive”, although I wouldn’t sentence anyone to sitting through that bomb. If you can find it, the 1970’s TV movie “Killdozer” is yet another example why cars and trucks that think for themselves are a bad thing. Like Diddy, the best you could possibly hope for is wandering around a parking lot of abandoned vehicles, their tanks empty and their electronic brains filled with malice. Is that really something you want to do in your bathrobe, before your first cup of coffee?