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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ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY: The number of feet in a quarter mile, and each one counts when it comes to drag racing. For decades, the quarter mile has been the definitive standard as a measure of speed. 11-second cars are respectable. 10-second cars earn you a place in Dom Toretto’s crew, and breaking into the nines means you’ve got something truly fast on your hands.

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