Posts By: Jim Sutherland

By on March 10, 2014

magnum2

One of the constants in the world of old iron is the amount of scorn heaped on vehicles from the Me Decade, aka the Seventies. I still retain a boatload of scorn for the music from the back nine of that decade (disco sucked then, now and forever for me), but I liked the 70s vehicles, and that makes me somewhat of an outcast in car circles.
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By on October 6, 2013

oct13-newaimgp2009a-003

Those of us who were kids in the 60s hated fall for traditional reasons like the end of summer and the inevitable return to ten months of incarceration in the education system. We were forced to abandon our “no more pencils, no more books” mantra and accept our grim fate. One of the few redeeming features of autumn was the debut of the new models at the Big Three dealerships because the 60s were also a time of change every year for most North American cars in the 60s.
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By on July 7, 2013

AIMGP1930

Horns have always been a very important part of a car. They were invented to warn drivers of other drivers on the road. Horns were also invented to assist the middle finger in descriptive impromptu editorials that register drivers’ displeasure with other drivers on the road, and to engage in general non-verbal communication with other traffic participants.. History does not appear to have recorded the chicken/egg side of the equation which would sort out which came first in the automobile horn/middle finger debate.

Car horns have saved lives and cost teeth, depending upon the traffic circumstances and emotional control of drivers. An errant car horn can be an instant turbo-boost to uncontrollable road rage under the right conditions, but we still love them. Let’s see how much we do.
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By on February 5, 2012

One of the most famous cars in the world is one of the most despised cars on my very short list of despised cars.

Hell – who am I kidding? I love all old cars more than most people.

But I don’t love the General Lee. (Read More…)

By on November 15, 2009

(courtesy:hogansclassiccars.com)

Passenger pigeons were the most common bird found in North America. So common that flocks numbering 2 billion were up to a mile wide and 300 miles long. In other words, the average North American in the 18th and 19th Century saw a lot of these pigeons. You could easily argue that a passenger pigeon sighting in 1812 was something on the same scale today as seeing mind-numbing crap on TV. Not a particularly noteworthy or unique experience. So what took the passenger pigeon down? It was a combination of things but the biggest factor was that these pigeons tasted pretty good (a lot like chicken) and they were plentiful-hence a cheap source of food.bThey were wiped out at the pace of millions per year, so the last documented passenger pigeon named Martha died on September 1st 1914. In other words, something the average American had seen every day was extinct in a matter of a few decades. Quick extinction of a very common species is not a phenomenon exclusive to Mother Nature because cars can disappear overnight too. Here are a few that will soon be joining that “whatever happened to…” list.
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By on November 10, 2009

47dodge

I have always had a soft spot for the post-war late 40s Detroit automobile look which looked eerily like the pre-war early 40s Detroit look. You can’t send Cadillacs into combat zones and DeSotos made poor amphibious assault vehicles, so Detroit became lead manufacturer for the war effort in 1941. Forget cars, the free world needed Sherman tanks until 1945. People just wanted cars in 1947 and supply fell well behind demand for the North American auto manufacturers. The 1947 market conditions must seem like a long lost beautiful dream for the former Big Three in 2009. But enough with the history lesson, I had a chance to test drive a very well preserved 1947 Dodge Regent with 38,000 original miles on it and I leapt at the opportunity. The car was a time capsule; complete with rear suicide doors, front and back vent windows instead of air conditioning, and human arms instead of signal lights.

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By on October 24, 2009

(courtesy:creativeclass.com)

There is always going to be a generation gap. The term “generation gap” was coined in the 60s when it became evident that Baby Boomers had developed a whole new set of rules for themselves that put a significant chasm between them and their parents in terms of interests and values. Generation gaps will always define new generations and every generation will march to the beat of their own drum. For me, the gap got Grand Canyon wide when I read the LA Times piece by Martin Zimmerman that cited a J D Power study which indicated that Generation Y has less interest in cars. As a lifelong car guy who built an entire social world around cars I would have to ask; “Generation why?”

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By on October 11, 2009

Decisions, decisions... (courtesy:staoth.com)

The 1969 Camaro is an automotive icon. Because of this juggernaut tag there are tens of thousands of these late 60s pony cars restored or under restoration. The late Reverend Jimmy “drink the Kool-Aid” Jones would have been humbled by this kind of blind loyalty-the sole reason the 09 Camaro exists was GM’s critical need for a home run.

But which car is going to be more valuable in 2019? Even after 10 years of service as a daily driver?

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By on October 2, 2009

Or else (courtesy:safetycertified.blogspot.com)

Sometimes” obvious” is a vague concept for people and nowhere is that more obvious than behind the wheel of a car. The basic rules of engagement on the road are subject to interpretation by many drivers whose personal universe exists within a tight gravitational pull of their physical location.

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By on September 12, 2009

James Dean was a moderately talented actor. You could say he made his best career move behind the wheel of a Porsche. After his fatal accident, Dean’s “live fast-die young” legend grew to Giant-size, propelling Byron’s life (and death) to legendary status. As for the car [not shown], many came to believe that the “Lil’ Bastard” was evil, citing both the actor’s death and the death and injury experienced by those who came into contact with the car or bits thereof. Steven King and Snopes will fill in the blanks on that one. But the truth is that celebrities aren’t that different from you and me. The basic causation for their car crashes is the same as it ever was: human error and a light dusting of equipment limitations or failure.

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