"He who seeks beauty will find it."

1956 International Harvester S-120 (Red Hook)

For Labor Day weekend we bring you a classic work vehicle — the International S Series, shown here in a low-maintenance flat gray.

The spartan interior contains contains nice touches on the dashboard such as a chrome ashtray door, and knobs and switches. Everything looks like metal, Bakelite, or glass. The labels fixed beneath the controls are a curious touch too. One would assume a regular user of this truck would know through muscle-memory which does what.

Happy Labor Day!

Posted at 12:00pm and tagged with: truck, Automobilist, International Harvester, gray, vintage, S Series, American, International, Labor Day, work truck, chrome, classic, Americana, car,.

1978 Volvo 242 DL (Red Hook)

What is Lambda Sond? An emission control system Volvo engineers developed in the 1970s for its B21 straight 4-cylinder.

According to the SAE, it "employs three essential new components — an exhaust gas composition sensor, an additional feed-back loop to the continuous fuel injection system, and the catalyst” (see, Engh, G. and Wallman, S., “Development of the Volvo Lambda-Sond System,” SAE Technical Paper 770295, 1977, doi:10.4271/770295).

Posted at 12:00pm and tagged with: Volvo, Automobilist, Swedish, 200 Series, 242 DL, white, car, vintage, classic, lambda sond, 242,.

1967 Chrysler 300 (Carroll Gardens)

This dated-looking living-room-on-wheels is what comes of designing chiefly for the showrooms, the dealers’ lots, and magazine adverts of 1966 America. The styling of this 4,390 lb. behemoth clearly had nothing to do with aerodynamics, or anything else that might aid performance. Where the angled grille on 1966 models at least suggested motion, the perfectly vertical form here suggests stasis.

Just think of what American engineers and stylists might have been able to accomplish had they focused their efforts on efficiency, safety, and functionality.

Posted at 12:00pm and tagged with: Chrysler, American, Mopar, 300, Brooklyn, Automobilist, maroon, land yacht, gas guzzler,.

Model A Fords (Dumbo)

The Model A Ford Club of Long Island arranged a display of more than two dozen cars recently, and the Automobilist was there.

Introduction of the Model A in 1927 was a major event in America. After all, the car it was intended to replace — the Model T — had put the nation on wheels. Special showrooms, or “salons”, were designated in selected U.S. cities where the new Ford would be displayed. Reported the New York World: “The excitement could hardly have been greater had Pah-Pah, the white elephant of Burma, elected to sit for seven days on the flagpole of the Woolworth Building.” (Brinkley, Wheels for the World, Penguin, New York [2003], p. 354)

Posted at 12:00pm and tagged with: Ford, Model A, Automobilist, prewar, vintage, car, classic, Manhattan Bridge, Model A Ford Club of Long Island,.

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300 TD (Prospect Park South)

Here’s one for you and our friends at the Hemmings Motor News Tumblr.

Stay tuned. On deck next week we have some pre-war Fords, a Chrysler land yacht, International S-Series truck and more.

Happy Friday, everybody!

Posted at 12:00pm and tagged with: MercedesBenz, Mercedes, Benz, W123, German, white, Automobilist, station wagon, wagon, Hemmings Motor News,.

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300 D (Prospect Park South)

This thirty year old Mercedes-Benz W123 brings to mind a doctor, lawyer, or university don; in other words, someone educated and urbane who, though well-to-do, knows better than to show off his or her wealth. What other mass-produced vehicle has a symbolic value that remains so static? Rolls-Royces and Bentleys certainly retain their cachet but they are not mass-produced. Jags? Maybe. Cadillacs and Lincolns? They are symbols of a different sort — an ‘84 Caddy is just kitsch. Some pickup trucks might qualify, but the huge numbers in which they are built and sold means that the possible uses to which they are put, and the symbolic values they therefore acquire, are infinite.

Then again a car’s symbolic value, like human beauty, may exist only in the eye of the beholder.

In any case, this the second time the Automobilist has featured a W123 finished in Cypress Green, one of the best — if not the best — colors for this car.

Posted at 11:30am and tagged with: Mercedes Benz, Mercedes, Benz, W123, 300D, German, Automobilist, green, Zypressengrün, Zypressengruen, cypress green, vintage, classic, WASPy,.

1984 BMW 325e (Carroll Gardens)

The Cold War wasn’t all sobriety and existential fear. After all, the West Germans had those wunderbar autobahns to put to use.

In America the E30 3 Series became to yuppies what Swatch watches were to pre-teen girls. The fruits of that are with us today when affluence is the new middle class aspiration. BMW reportedly sold nearly 120,000 of them in 2013. No wonder picking off its buyers is job 1 for Audi, Lexus, and practically everybody else.

The 3 Series remains legendary but we prefer the E30 and the earlier E21

Posted at 11:30am and tagged with: BMW, 3 Series, German, red, Automobilist, E30, Bimmer, vintage, Claus Luthe, 3Series, 325e,.

1988 Volkswagen Jetta (Fort Greene)

By the nineteen-eighties Wolfsburg had all but abandoned the rear-mounted, air-cooled engine layout it had built its reputation on, and become a more sober automaker on its way upmarket.

West Germany prospered in the decades following World War II, as it rebuilt and markets for its exports grew. But the GDR was relegated by Constitution and treaty to second-tier status in geopolitics, and the German nation itself remained divided between a modern, affluent and liberal West, and a stunted, repressed, Moscow-oriented East. It is hardly surprising that the whimsy of the Beetle, and Karmann Ghia would give way under such circumstances to the more mature Golf and Jetta. Or it could just be ein Zufall.

Posted at 11:30am and tagged with: Volkswagen, Jetta, VW, Automobilist, German, white, Wolfsburg, A2, Typ 1G, West German,.

196- Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (Gowanus)

Today’s post is an early to mid-sixties Type 14 sporting special two-tone paint, a new luggage rack, wide, whitewall tires right out of the fabulous fifties, and the VW logo (in suede?) stitched into custom red leather seats. It was parked in the car pool spots at the new Whole Foods store at on 3rd Street in Brooklyn on Sunday where it drew the attention of the Automobilist, some shoppers, and at least one wide-eyed shopping cart wrangler who declared it too nice even to be driven.

Of course it has California tags too. Where else but California would you find something like this? 

Posted at 11:30am and tagged with: VW, Volkswagen, Type 14, Karmann Ghia, German, blue, Automobilist, vintage, Brooklyn, car, classic, Karmann,.

1965 Ford Mustang (Prospect Heights)

I bought you a brand new Mustang
A nineteen sixty-five
Now you come around
Signifyin’ a woman
That don’t wanna let me ride

From “Mustang Sally” by Mack Rice (1965).

Posted at 12:00pm and tagged with: Ford, Mustang, American, Automobilist, green, vintage, car, classic, Stang, pony, Mustang Sally, Mack Rice, 1965 Mustang, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn,.

1991 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL (Tribeca)

If you happen to catch Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man – which is based on John le Carré’s 2008 novel of the same name, and is now in wide release – you will see Philip Seymour Hoffman driving around Hamburg in a W126. The car suits the character the late actor plays. Like him, it is getting old, and could use a bath. The executive car’s size seems not so large when driven by the burly late actor.

Posted at 12:00pm and tagged with: Benz, German, Mercedes, MercedesBenz, Automobilist, silver, car, 560SEL, W126,.

1978 Buick Electra Park Avenue (South Park Slope)

Buick first applied the name Park Avenue to an option package on its Electra 225 Limited sedan for 1975. Later, it became a formal trim level (pictured) with special badges, and eventually, a distinct model (with its own upscale trim level – Park Avenue Ultra). The ‘78 we feature today is shown parked on 5th Avenue, not to be confused with Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue sits parallel to Park Avenue, and has had cars named for it too, and in the same way – first as a trim level, then as a distinct model – but by Chrysler, not GM. The 5th Avenue where we spied this Park Avenue is in Brooklyn, and you could say it is the “Park Avenue of Brooklyn” but that is 4th Avenue. Besides, Brooklyn already has a street named Park Avenue.

In any case this is Luigi’s Park Avenue of Luigi’s Pizza, and it is as clean as Luigi’s Pizza is delicious. The Hair Fair is by Alberto. 

Posted at 12:00pm and tagged with: American, Buick, Park Avenue, General Motors, GM, Electra, car, land yacht, maroon, vinyl top, C Body, Automobilist, Luigi's Pizza, Brooklyn, NYC, Electra Park Avenue, 5th Avenue,.