The Lincoln Continental of the 1960s was basically the perfect executive car. It looked stately with its iconic 3-box shape and the “suicide doors” made it instantly iconic. Maybe that’s why Rich Plavetich hung onto his grandfather’s Continental after all these years. After an issue with the first Continental that he purchased new, Lincoln traded him into an “executive demo”, loaded with all the bells and whistles of the time. Almost 60 years later, Rich has kept his grandfather’s Continental in tip-top shape, a rolling memorial of the man who first solidified his love of cars.
As far as manufacturer-created museums go, most people tend to gravitate to the museums run by Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and the like. Lately, a few of the Japanese-based museums for Nissan and Toyota have been getting more interest as well. But one of the museums that might be the most interesting and underrated is probably Mazda’s factory museum based in Hiroshima, Japan. Although you have to book a visit in advance, it’s home to some iconic and interesting cars, including a number of race cars and definitely worth a look if you’re in the area. For a look inside the museum for those of us who aren’t booking a flight to Japan anytime soon, check out the feature on Speedhunters.
Alfa Romeos get a bad rap for being unreliable but there’s no doubt that every trip behind the wheel of a vintage Alfa is an adventure. To really hammer that point home is the awesome story of Jethro Bonner, who grew up in South Africa. Throughout high school and college, he was always surrounded by vintage Alfa Romeos and one day the idea struck him to drive through some of the most hostile and desolate terrain on a journey to from Dargle, South Africa to Dargle, Ireland. His car of choice? A 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV that he had spent two years rebuilding from a bare shell. The rest, as they say, is history, covering over 22,000 miles in about 9 months. If you watch one video today (besides all the other ones linked in this post, make it this one.
Everyone wants a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, right? I mean, who wouldn’t? They’re fast, gorgeous, and rare. And it’s those three qualities that also make them worth about $1,000,000, even for a ratty one. So what’s a guy to do if he wants a Gullwing Mercedes but doesn’t also own several houses around the world, a yacht, a private plane, and all the other trappings of wealth and excess? Well, how about building a nearly perfect clone on a much more modern Mercedes platform? What you see here may not have started life as a million-dollar, motorsports-inspired supercar of its time, but you can get started for about $5,000 with a 1st-gen SLK320 and figure out the rest as you go. The 300SL clone seen here is available for $220,000 which is still a lot of money but you get similar performance and nearly identical looks to a 300SL for about 20% of the price.
Most car guys have heard of Jay Leno and his incredible car collection. Although he’s not a flashy guy, he loves sharing his passion for cars with other enthusiasts, either at car shows, in traffic, or through his YouTube channel “Jay Leno’s Garage”. Although I like watching him drive and talk about fascinating cars that guests bring onto his show, my favorite episodes are like the one below where he walks us through his current projects. Whether it’s replacing the fuel tank in his McLaren F1 or performing a frame-up restoration of some weird car I’ve never heard of, most of Jay’s ecclectic car collection gets serviced in house. His team has even turned to modern technology to solve ancient problems, like 3D printing an intake manifold for a very unique V8 engine built in the early 1900s that cost 10x the price of a Ford Model T at the time. To get up to date on what projects Jay has going on in his massive garage, make sure to watch the video below.