My Coolest Car Picks – Updated

At the end of 2015, Business Insider selected their picks for the “50 Coolest Cars Of The Last 100 Years.”

I believe they got many of their selections right, however, here are the Top 20 I would pick.

1 – Jaguar XKE

When these were introduced, I would go into the showroom and drool over them. This is definitely one of the most beautiful cars ever built.

1-the-jaguar-e-type
2 – Aston Martin One-77
2-Aston Martin One-77
3 – Aston Martin DB5
3-Aston Martin DB5
4 – Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
4-Mercedes-Benz 300SL
5 – BMW 850

I owned one of these and it is the best car I ever owned. Unfortunately I wrecked it on a curvy mountain road one drizzly night. I forgot it was a touring car and not a road racer.

5-bmw_850_csi
6 – Morgan Aero 8
6-Morgan Aero 8
7 – Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
7-Ferrari f12 Berlinetta
8 – Shelby Daytona
8-Shelby Daytona
9 – Mercedes Benz 540K
9-Mercedes-Benz 540K
10 – 1963 Corvette Stingray
10-63 Corbette Sting Ray
11 – Porsche 911 Series
11-porsches-911-line
12 – 1963 Maserati Sebring Coupe

I owned one of these for a few years and sold it because it cost a fortune to keep it running. It sure got the looks when I drove it down the road though.

12-Maserati Sebring Coupe
13 – 1957 Cadillac Eldorado
13-Cadillac Eldorado
14 – Ferrari 250 GTO
14-Ferrari 250 GTO
15 – Fisker Karma
15-Fisker Karma
16 – Porsche 356
16-Porsche 356
17 – Shelby Cobra
17-Shelby Cobra
18 – Jaguar C-Type
18-Jaguar C Type
19 – Porsche 550 Spyder
19-Porsche 550 Spyder
20 – Mercedes Benz SLS AMG
20-mercedes-benz-sls-amg

21 – 1963 Buick Skylark

I almost bought one of these back in the 1970s, but didn’t because I was an idiot. Today, they are worth more than $100k.

22 – 2006 Ford GT

I remember visiting a Ford dealership with a friend when one of these had a prominent spot on the showroom floor. As I recall, the sticker price was just under $150,000. What a beauty it was.

23 – Vision 6 Cabriolet

The cars above are in a class of their own but have been outclassed by the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet that was shown at the 2017 Monterey Car Week in California.

The concept car is a glamorous, luxury convertible that runs 100 percent on electricity.

San Francisco Four Days Before the 1906 Earthquake

Nearly all these structures and many of the people in view would be lost to one of the deadliest natural disasters in the history of America, only four days after filming.

Historian David Kiehn was unable to find any historical reports of the filming in archives, so he revisited the footage and noticed some interesting details.

“I couldn’t find a thing, and that got me even more curious,” Kiehn told CBS’s 60 Minutes at the time. “So, I studied the film some more and noticed there were puddles of water on the ground. That indicated to me there must have been some recent rainfall … there was no rainfall in August or September in 1905 at all. Zero rainfall. I thought that was rather interesting. ”

Kiehn then realized that the angle of the shadows combined with the time may also occur in late March/early April. But the construction meant that it couldn’t have been the spring of 1905.

It must have been late March/early April 1906 — a time period more monumental than any other in San Francisco history.

Sure enough, some more digging led Kiehn to an advertisement from production company “The Miles Brothers” for a movie named “A Trip Down Market Street” around that time.

A story in the San Francisco Call on March 29, 1906, reports that the brothers, Harry and Joseph Miles, were seeking permission to shoot Market Street, “one of the greatest streets in the world, and they propose to have the world learn of its magnificence.”

They also sought the use of a cable car to mount their equipment, as the vibratory motion on an automobile, which they previously attempted, is “so severe that the films are blurred and print indistinctly.”

Permission was granted by the city and the film was made on a busy San Francisco day, April 14, 1906, four days before the earthquake and fire would destroy nearly everything seen in the film, (except the iconic Ferry Building which somehow survived the destruction.)

The advertisement for the film published in the New York Clipper on April 28 stated that the footage had been shot “just one week before the complete destruction of every building shown in the picture.”

But how did the film survive the fire that destroyed 80% of San Francisco? The Miles Brothers, the first movie company in San Francisco, also had an office in New York. Harry and Joseph fortuitously boarded a train with the developed negative three days after the shoot on April 17, saving the iconic film from the destruction that leveled their San Francisco studio on Market Street the morning after they left.

In 2020, a film restoration tech company, Neural.Love brought the video to life. Exhaustive methods using machine learning and artificial intelligence to colorize and sharpen old movies transformed the scene into the smooth 60-frames-per-second, vivid cityscape below.

And while the street at first appears to be filled with traffic, as bicycles, horse carts, and motor cars cut each other off, closer inspection reveals some filmmaking trickery by the Miles brothers — one of the motor cars circles the camera 10 times.

“Today we will time travel to San Francisco in April of 1906,” Neural.Love’s Denis Shiryaev, says over the opening of the footage. “Have a nice time travel experience.”

American Graffiti Compilation to Johnnie B. Good

This is from one of my favorite movies. It was about high school kids and the car culture during the year I graduated high school.

It’s the proverbial end of summer 1962 in a small southern California town. It’s the evening before best friends and recent high school graduates, Curt Henderson and Steve Bolander are scheduled to leave town to head to college back east.

Curt, who received a lucrative local scholarship, is seen as the promise that their class holds. But Curt is having second thoughts about leaving what Steve basically sees as their dead-end town. Curt’s beliefs are strengthened when he spots an unknown beautiful blonde in a T-bird who mouths the words “I love you” to him.

As Curt tries to find that blonde while trying to get away from a local gang who have him somewhat hostage, Curt may come to a decision about his immediate future.

Outgoing class president Steve, on the other hand, wants to leave, despite meaning that he will leave his girlfriend, head cheerleader, and Curt’s sister, Laurie Henderson, behind. Steve and Laurie spend the evening “negotiating” the state of their relationship.