Classic Cars

  • Icon Helios - Tesla-powered streamliner

    The Tesla Model S is a great car, but if there's one thing the luxury electric sedan is missing it's a bit of Art Deco style. And maybe a hint of World War II fighter aircraft. And some steampunk cool mixed in for good measure. All those aspects somehow come together in the Icon Helios--a 1930s-style streamliner using the batteries and running gear from Tesla's electric sedan. It doesn't exist just yet, of course. At the moment, its just a series of beautiful-looking sketches (via Topline) on the drawing board of Jonathan Ward, the man behind Los Angeles-based Icon. Day-to-day, Icon turns old...

  • 1906 Mercedes Mixte hybrid vehicle
    Mercedes-Benz Touts Its Hybrid History From Way Back In 1906

    Have you noticed how many automakers seem to have a hybrid or electric vehicle somewhere in their history files? If one were being cynical, you might think the long-forgotten knowledge has been retrieved to prove the manufacturer has always been progressive and innovative. Mercedes-Benz is the...

  • Volkswagen T2 Elektro, historic VW electric car at Tempelhof Airport, Berlin
    Volkswagen Shows Off Its 40-Year History Of Electric Cars

    While its new 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf will be the first-ever plug-in electric VW sold in the U.S., the German carmaker has a surprisingly long history of prototype electric cars. Two weeks ago, during a drive event for its VW e-Golf and e-Up production models, along with prototype Golf GTE plug-in...

  • 1959 Volkswagen Beetle electric conversion on Rods N' Wheels.
    Electric Cars Drive Silently Into Reality TV Shows

    An electric Volkswagen Beetle and a derelict CitiCar join the ranks of automotive reality-show stars.

  • 1914 Ford Model T
    Tesla Model S Electric Car Versus ... Ford Model T? A History Lesson

    Well, give Car and Driver points for high concept: In picking a car to test against a 2013 Tesla Model S luxury electric sedan, the magazine chose...a 1915 Ford Model T. Yep, the most advanced, most talked-about battery-electric vehicle on the planet was pitted against the car that put the world on...

  • Volkswagen Beetle Celebrates Its 65th Year In The U.S.
    VW Beetle Celebrates 65 Years In U.S. (With A Few Missing)

    The first Volkswagen Beetle was imported to the U.S. in January 1949.

  • 1898 'P1' electric car designed by Ferdinand Porsche

    "Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model," or P1, was the first car designed by Ferdinand Porsche.

  • 1970 Chrysler Electric Test Vehicle-1 for sale on eBay (Image: eBay Motors)
    1979 GE-Chrysler Electric Test Vehicle-1 Up For Sale On eBay

    If you're creating a mass-market electric car, it makes a degree of sense to use a mass-market platform. That's why you'll find some Versa sitting under the Leaf and rather a lot of Focus in Ford's Focus Electric. Dig hard enough, and even the Chevy Volt has similarities with other GM...

  • 1980 Ford Fairmont EVA electric conversion.
    Rare 1980 Ford Fairmont EVA Electric Conversion For Sale

    A 1980 Ford Fairmont station wagon converted into an electric car by Electric Vehicle Associates (EVA) is currently for sale.

  • Zelectric Motors' 1963 Volkswagen Beetle electric car
    Zelectric Motors' 1963 Volkswagen Beetle Electric Car Driven

    There is a line of thinking, naturally not shared by many of our readers, that engine noise is an integral part of the experience of driving a car. Lack of it in electric cars is one of myriad reasons the average gearhead is still skeptical of EVs. You may think then that swapping the familiar...

  • 1914 Detroit Electric car, owned by GE scientist Charles Steinmetz, Schenectady, NY, June 2011
    Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation Set Up To Preserve Electric-Car History

    With more than 100,000 electric cars on U.S. roads--and thousands more added each month--advocates and historians are turning their attention to the last time cars with plugs rolled out of U.S. factories, almost 100 years ago. But as far as we know, there's no single museum or entity in the U.S...

  • 1900 New England Electric vintage car
    Electric Cars Are Fast: First-Ever U.S. Speeding Ticket

    Speeding is big business. There's no money to be made from it as an individual of course, unless you subscribe to the theory "time is money". But the U.S. Census Bureau estimates 100,000 Americans are ticketed for speeding every day, at an average cost of $150 per ticket--$5.5 billion a year in...

  • 1947 Nissan Tama EV (Image: Nissan)

    You might think high gasoline prices are a problem now, but at least it's relatively easy to get hold of. The same couldn't be said in Japan after the end of World War II, when the country's gasoline supplies were limited under Allied occupation. Transport was still vital, which led Nissan and Prince Motor, formerly aircraft builders Tachikawa Airplane, to build the Tama EV. The Tama EV stretches Nissan's electric vehicle history way past the first Leaf prototypes and the current 2013 Nissan Leaf--and it's fascinating to see some of the innovations introduced on the car, at a time when...

  • ESB Sundancer experimental electric car, test drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oct 1973 [Frank Lodge]
    Electric Cars Of The Future...As Imagined In The 1970s

    Cars of the future--especially those from the past--always exert a powerful pull on our imaginations. They range from the outlandish (no wheels) to the bizarre (extreme styling exercises) to the jaw-dropping (powered by tiny nuclear powerplants). While the Fifties and Sixties may have been the...

  • 1979 Oldsmobile 98 Diesel, San Diego, offered on Craigslist, Feb 2013
    Diesel History For Sale: 1979 Oldsmobile 98 Coupe, 54K Miles

    Fans of diesel-engined cars really, really love their vehicles, and we have a lot of them on this site. So we're hoping that some Southern California diesel car fanatic will step up to the plate and buy this piece of diesel history. Found through the always entertaining Bring A Trailer site, this...

  • 1958 Goggomobil Dart from the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum [Photo: RM Auctions]
    Bruce Weiner Microcar Exhibits Make Nearly $8M At Auction

    How much would you pay for a car that could fit in the bed of most pickup trucks? If that car is a 1958 FMR Tg500 Tiger, like a Messerschmitt with four wheels, the answer is $280,000. Well, you might not pay that personally, but somebody did, as hundreds of microcars were auctioned at the Bruce...

  • 1981 Alpina BMW 3-Series built for Shell Kilometer Marathon
    Aerodynamics Matter: The 88 MPG, 1981 Alpina BMW

    The Detroit Auto Show last month marked the debut of the a car with the lowest coefficient of drag of any production car--just 0.23. That car was the Mercedes-Benz CLA, a small sport sedan powered by a gasoline engine. Efficiency figures haven't yet been released, but we can imagine it being quite...

  • Classic BMW 3.0 CS
    Classic BMW Coupe Becomes 800-Horsepower Electric Car

    BMW's ActiveE coupe is a great little electric car. Even more so when it's working. It looks pretty good, there's decent performance on offer, and drivers enjoy BMW handling and BMW quality without having to feed a drop of gas into it. An electrified 1-Series coupe will never be quite as cool as...

  • 1959 Mercedes-Benz 190d biodiesel race car [Image: eBay auction]

    Just because a car is old, or because it races, it doesn't mean it can't be green. Mercedes-Benz has been building diesel cars for what seems like an eternity--indeed, they were one of the first to produce a diesel production car. One such example is this 1959 Mercedes-Benz 190d that just sold on eBay (via Bring A Trailer). It might be old and it might race, but running on biodiesel it's environmental impact is much lower than you'd expect. Okay, a 1950s diesel racer may not be the cleanest on tailpipe emissions, but these old Mercedes diesels run a treat on biodiesel--or even neat cooking...

  • 1959 Glas Isard 400 Coupe from the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum [Photo: RM Auctions]
    Classic Microcars To Be Auctioned On February 15

    If you've heard of a 1951 Atlas Babycar, 1954 Cuno Bistram or a 1956 Eshelman Deluxe Adult Sport Car, you've probably visited The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum in Madison, Georgia. Filled with the tiniest, oddest cars you could ever contemplate, the museum was a shrine to the largest collection of...

  • Woods Interurban electric and gasoline vintage car
    Electric Or Gasoline? Vintage Woods Automobile Could Do Either, If Required

    The turn of last century must have been a fascinating period to live in. Within the last quarter century or so, the car itself had been invented by Karl Benz. Virtually every automotive advancement changed the direction of the automobile, and--perhaps more significantly than anything else--nobody...

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
    Tesla Model S Already A Future Classic? Auto Library Thinks So

    Put a group of auto enthusiasts in a room, ply them with suitable amounts of alcohol, and soon conversation will turn to 'future classics'. The term refers to a modern car which gains the kind of respect and appeal of a classic vehicle in its lifetime, guaranteeing it a similar status many years in...

  • 1965 Mercedes-Benz SL electric car conversion [Images: eBay listing]
    Converted Mercedes SL Electric Car On eBay Is A Real Beauty

    Imagine your dream car. It would have to be beautiful. Classy, too, and utterly elegant and tasteful. No superfluous detailing, timeless lines, and a badge that demands respect. Oh, and it would be electric, making it as clean as any other electric vehicle on the road. For some, the 1965...

  • 1951 Crosley Wagon [photo by Chequered Flag International]
    Green Cars Of The Past: 1951 Crosley Wagon

    Being an antique auto historian and appraiser is the greatest job I've ever had. I get to drive all sorts of cars that I've admired from afar, but never actually had a chance to drive before. I've always gotten a kick out of the little, economical Crosley cars built between 1939 and 1952...