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Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

A hat for every vehicle


We all wear different hats. They tell the role we play in a given situation. Chances are your human resource department likes when you can wear many hats. Perhaps your spouse feels the same way?

These AutoHunter Picks allow me to wear a hat (and, hence, an identity) to get my inner Walter Mitty going. Which vehicle will give you the best adventure?

1974 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
When it’s time to take out the Eldo, I’d put on my pimpalicious hat and pinky ring and cruise down the pike, scarf flapping in the wind, with nary a worry in the world. Yup, I’ve made it in life, and everybody knows it. No one mistakes me for the king of the road — I’m the viceroy of the village where fuel is plentiful because I need plenty of fuel to set the scene.

This Dynasty Red 1974 Eldorado certainly was among the most impressive American automobiles in its time, and this one features just 27,540 miles since new. Of course, it’s powered by the massive 500 V8 and, naturally, it features air conditioning, power options galore, tilt/telescoping steering column, and red leather interior. If you like original-paint cars, this one’s a honey.

1960 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe
Time to put a dab of Brylcreem in my thinning hair and don my greaser hat. Let’s go cruising and maybe make an acceleration run or two between stoplights, though it would be totally boss to meet a young lady at the burger and shake stand, though it’s almost no use because her parents are bound to hate me. Is it my look? My car? How could anyone hate my car?

This Suntan Copper and Ermine White 1960 Impala with matching interior is powered by a 348 big-block topped by a tri-carb setup. The transmission has been upgraded to a TH400 three-speed auto. American Racing Torq-Thrust give this Chevy just the right look for a kid who couldn’t afford a GTO in 1966 but wanted to go fast and look cool at the same time.

2005 Pontiac GTO
I struggle thinking what hat I need to wear for this modern-day Goat. How about a giggle hat from Aus? I’d drive for pleasure, with no particular place to go, if only to hear that great LS2 rumble every time I slowly emerge from every stoplight. Maybe I’ll stop by an Outback Steakhouse and tell the hosts how dumb their commercials are, but I won’t leave till I sample the wings.

This Cyclone Gray 2005 GTO has had only one owner and shows 60,987 miles on the clock. It’s equipped with rear spoiler, fog lamps, leather interior, Blaupunkt stereo, drilled and slotted brake rotors, and the all-important six-speed manual. The jellybean received non-functional hood scoops in 2005, giving Poncho fans something that Pontiac tried to do for 2004 but couldn’t.

1970 Toyota Land Cruiser
The small-block Bow Tie transplant is a welcome addition to this off-roader, so I grab my oilcloth bucket hat and navigate the jungle mysteries of faraway lands where Christian men fear to tread. My mosquito repellant seems to be useless (possibly as much as my imagination) but who cares when I can overtake volcanoes and run over Komodo dragons with this gem of a V8?

Not only does this 1970 FJ40 Land Cruiser have a 350 V8, but it’s connected to a five-speed manual. The huge 35-inch tires envelop polished aluminum 15-inch mags with Warn hubs up front. There’s some heavy-duty stuff going on here besides the obvious, like relocated fuel tank, so wherever you take this Toyota, it will be ready to outlive the roaches.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


  1. Your choices rank as “too cool” by our youngsters. Me, too, at a sprightly 70. The delicate C pillars on the Chevrolet are still beautiful 80 odd years later. I am slowly edumacating all and sundry neighborhood kids to pre-1970 Detroit iron. Thank you for the excellent textbook.


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