It’s hard to believe it was nearly eight years ago that Andrew and I took a trip to Hilliard, Ohio, to photograph and document BMW of North America’s “Vintage Collection.” With a garage full of cars that will make, quite literally, any BMW fanatic struggle to maintain composure, it was a week of a lifetime. Face to face with many machines we’d only dreamt of seeing in person, we wheeled each beast out one by one and did what we do best.

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In 2020, the Toyota moniker, “Corolla,” is unlikely to spark anything other than outright boredom. “Sporty,” “lightweight,” “rear-wheel-drive,” and “driver-centric?” There’s almost no chance those come to mind. The 2020 Toyota Corolla is, by nearly any measure, a transportation appliance and little more.

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In Tauriq Ajam’s eyes, there’s an inexplicable charm to the W114 and W115 Mercedes Benz chassis. From the iconic Mercedes grille and the stacked glass headlamps that make for an unforgettable front end, to the soft, swept body lines that still reveal a somewhat boxy shape, there’s an exuded air of confidence and old money that comes with such a machine. It’s impossible not to feel a bit like an integral part of organized crime – a mobster – behind the wheel.

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I have especially fond memories of Minis. I grew up buying every Mini magazine I could get my hands on, and was luckily enough to have two of them before I could legally drive. They were father-and-son projects until I was bitten by the BMW bug before I could finish them. I sometimes regret getting rid of them when I come across one as cool as Ryan Smith’s 1992 example.

Finding out we were not too far from each other, Ryan and I managed to get together one afternoon.

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Last week’s Ford Escort feature brought about some memories, which we reflected upon in the article’s intro. A year and a half ago, we took a look at Russell Lord’s progress on an absolutely incredible MKII Ford Escort he’s building by hand… out of gold and silver. Later that year, he finished the project, and has started a new one.

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