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Philip Powell
Based in Sidney, BC, Canada
Automobile journalist specialising in classic cars and transportation.
Interests: Philip Powell has made a career out of not having one. With a resume that looks more like an index in the yellow pages, and having lived in 113 dwellings, worked at 48 jobs, and attended 14 schools, he has definitely lived life on the fast track, in part because of an affinity for things that go fast. He has raced canoes, cars, and skibobs and flown airplanes. He's been a fashion model and broadcaster and helped introduce motorsport to Canadian radio and television. Surprising the skeptics (and even himself) Powell did manage to settle down for a couple of decades in his personal version of Mad Men, toiling as creative director for major advertising agencies in Toronto, New York, and London. Rather than risk being jailed for beating up suits and clients who rejected most of what he wrote, Powell left the ad business and returned to his first almost-a-career, automobile journalism. Following several years of test driving and reviewing new cars for About.com he now writes about automobile history for Marque1.com.
Recent Activity
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The marque1.com domain name is now for sale, along with myclassiccar.ca. See www.marque1.com for information. Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2014 at Marque1
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!00 years ago, on January 1914, Henry Ford did something that revolutionised the auto industry and set the stage for economic development. He announced a minimum wage of $5.00 a day. He also reduced the working day from nine to eight hours and declared, quite rightly, that his workers could now afford to buy the Model T's they were making. Thousands lined up for a job and the world changed forever. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2014 at Marque1
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If you're the owner of a luxurious Bentley, you can now purchase home furnishings with the same exquisite design and impeccable materials, designed by Bentley and made in Italy. Of course the opportunity is not limited to the Bentley crowd. Whatever you drive you'll love these chairs and sofas and beds. Just bring money. Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at Marque1
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Today's blog takes you on a trip down memory lane when I finished first overall driving a Porsche 356B in a sports car race. The track was built for a former WW2 airfield on the Ontario-Quebec border. One driver advised me not to try passing him on turn one. Another drove a very fast Italian coupe. I ignored the first driver's advice and passed the other when his car rolled over. Believe me, first is always best. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2014 at Marque1
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One of the most interesting, though hazardous jobs, is that of a race driving instructor. As well as helping neophytes get started and experienced racers hone their skills, the instructor puts his life on the line every time he or she climbs into the car with a student. Ross Bentley, a long-time teacher and survivor, has written a book aimed at helping race instructors do a better job with less risk. Downloadable, free. We have the link. Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2014 at Marque1
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Turning the clock back to the 50s, the Lister Motor Company will again be producing the famous Lister-Jaguar sports racing car. It is not a replica. The new Lister-Jaguar is a "continuation car," which means it will be licensed by the FIA for historic racing. Examples will also be made for road use. Very, very fast, it is also very beautiful. Check it out on today's blog. Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2014 at Marque1
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If you live anywhere near Vancouver, BC, you're invited to drive your pre-1979 car in the Hagerty Spring Thaw Classic, a 3-day adventure that includes spectacular scenery and fabulous roads. Not to worry... this is a non-competitive event entirely on paved roads in daylight hours. Taking place in April, it starts in Squamish and finishes in Hope and covers about 1200 km. Today's blog links to more info and the official entry form. Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at Marque1
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I've waited more than four decades for BMW to bring us an updated version of the 2002, one of my all-time favorites ever since I bought one back in 1968. They've finally done it with the BMW 228 and an even hotter version, the M235i. Of course the new car is twice as quick and loaded with technology but I'd bet that mine is still more fun to drive. Sadly, I can no longer afford the dream of owning its spiritual replacement. Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Marque1
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I love small cars. Even the so-called micro cars that populated Europe in the years following WW2. So I'm enthralled by this "micro panel van," a really, really small delivery truck. How small? How about a 1-cylinder motorcycle engine? The extremely rare Mochet van, manufactured in France from 1938 to 1936, is being offered at Barrett-Jackson's 2014 Scottsdale auction. If I had the cash I'd buy it in a micro-second. Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2014 at Marque1
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There's a trend to including so-called "survivor cars" in concours d'elegance. These cars are unrestored, complete in every detail, and in running condition. They're a reaction to cars that are restored to perfection at great cost. But what are they worth? We'll find out at Gooding's Scottsdale auction on January 17-18 where two identical Mercedes 300 SL's will be offered. One is a survivor. The other has been restored. Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2014 at Marque1
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Collectors of model cars have a rare opportunity to purchase a Cunningham C-3 Cabriolet Homage Edition. Just 24 serialised, hand-numbered editions are being offered by Automodello. Briggs Cunningham was a wealthy sportsman who, back in the 50s, determined to build an American car driven by an American driver, to win the 24 hours of LeMans. He never did win but the road and race cars were sensational. Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2014 at Marque1
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Living in the great outdoors has always appealed to my romantic side but faced with the prospect of camping out I quickly discovered that mobile homes, trailers, and modified buses were not for me. I did come close, though, when a friend suggested that as a restless soul I should give up my rental apartment and live in such a vehicle, following the sun around the continent. The photos in this blog may explain why I declined. Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at Marque1
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Just in time for the Arizona auction week, the British car magazine Classic Driver has come up with a list of seven cars to watch in 2014 (if you're a collector, that is). Wisely, it has chosen experts in the field to prepare the list. Our blog displays the cars and includes some of the magazine text plus a link to the entire story. Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2014 at Marque1
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Unfortunately we can't all get to the fabulous Arizona auction week in January but RM Auctions offers a treat in the form of its online catalog. Packed full of desireable classic cars the catalog is, of course, aimed at potential buyers, who will find it most useful before making their bids, but for the rest of us it's a fun read. Beautiful photos and full details of each car inside. Today's blog includes the link. Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2014 at Marque1
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One of the greatest race drivers of all time, Michael Schumaker, has been critically injured in a skiing accident. It happened in the French ski resort of Meribel on Sunday, December 29. His doctors say that Schumaker is in critical condition. More details in today's blog but in the meantime the racing community and millions of fans around the world are praying for his recovery. Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2013 at Marque1
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The previous century was one of tremendous change, so full of promise. It was a time, also, when marketers would use the word "century" to promise luxury and speed. As in the "20th Century Limited," a crack New York Central train. And so, in 1936, Buick named its fastest car the Century. In today's blog we honour the 1957 Buick Century, both for its performance and style. Join us and discover the secret behind the Buick Century name. Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2013 at Marque1
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This being December 25th, I decided to take the day off, and instead re-run an article that first appeared last April. Those among you who, like me, love trains, should enjoy it, especially as it features a type of train that's long gone but retains a strong emotional attachment: The Interurban. Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2013 at Marque1
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Is it time to Think Pink again? Perhaps, if you're at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale auction in January. Going on the block will be a pink vintage race car, in which Donna Mae Mims won the Sports Car Club of America's 1963 H-Production Championship, driving a 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk I whose first owner was Dr. Jonas Salk. She was the SCCA's first female national champion. The Sprite is estimated at $70,000 - $90,000. Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2013 at Marque1
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Today's blog is a story about a famous speedboat race that happened more than 50 years ago. It was such a resounding win for Canadians that Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in August 2011 featuring the boat, driver Bob Hayward and owner Jim Thompson. I was there, shooting video for my TV show, and had a view at race's end that ended in a big splash for me and the watching dignitaries. Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2013 at Marque1
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As a kid I loved a car named Terraplane. Not because it was a good car (what did I know?) but because the name fascinated me. In fact the Terraplane, at various times the Essex-Terraplane and Hudson Terraplane, was an excellent car, lightweight and quick and very, very pretty. So when I spotted this restored 1934 Hudson Terraplane for sale on Hemmings.com, I was enchanted all over again. At just $38,500, a bargain, too. Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2013 at Marque1
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You may never have heard of the Gilbern GT but the man who bought this sports car liked it so much he shipped and drove it over three continents to his home in Australia. That was in 1968. After driving it for 4 years he covered it up and stowed it in a garage for 30 years. Our blog links you to a charming story of the present owner, why he loves the Gilbern, and how it came to be in his possession, restored and good as new. Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2013 at Marque1
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Before there was a Mustang as we know it, Ford unveiled two concept cars. The first was a mid-engine, 2-seater sports car. Ford unveiled it to an admiring media at the Watkins Glen road race circuit. That moment, 50 years ago, comes to life again with a group of models from Automodello in both 1:43 and 1:18 scales. The latter can be purchased complete with racer Dan Gurney's signature. It was he who drove the car that day. Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2013 at Marque1
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As the auction houses release photos of cars to be sold in the Arizona Auction Week, I find myself wishing they'd show us some of the interesting and more affordable cars on offer. That said, I couldn't resist these three beauties, including one that starred in the award-winning movie Driving Miss Daisy. A most desirable American Hudson, surrounded by two gorgeous Italians, is featured in today's blog. Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2013 at Marque1
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In an earlier era, the name "Clipper" symbolised speed, luxury, and elegance. It came with the fast clipper ships like the Cutty Sark, delivering tea and spices from the Far East, with PanAm World Airways Clipper flying boats that joined continents by air, and with some famous Packard cars known as Clippers. It's a name that wouldn't resonate with today's car buyers and in the long run didn't save Packard. Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2013 at Marque1
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Christmas is racing up faster than a speeding F1 car so if you haven't chosen gifts for the classic car enthusiasts on your list, we're here to help. Today's blog includes four widely different suggestions and equally varied prices. Frankly, I'd love to have any of them for myself. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2013 at Marque1