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1969 Chevelle SS
A few weeks a go I had the opportunity to watch part of the Barrett Jackson auction. I found myself captivated by the colorful commentary that went along with each sale. Every car had a story and the commentators spent a great deal of time telling us about them. They also discussed the cars’ performance, available options and recited the original production numbers, contrasted by telling us exactly how many of those cars survive today. It turns out that many of the cars I regularly used to see back in the 1970s are extremely rare today. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, however, after all, I had a hand in making them go away. Read More >
Note the date of publication is 1914, not 2013
While following the he said he said back and forth between the New York Time’s James Broder and Tesla’s Elon Musk, over Broder’s unsuccessful drive from New York to Boston in a Tesla Model S, it seemed to me that one important factor affecting consumer acceptance of EVs is being obscured by all the Sturm und Drang of the NYT and Musk both working this story for maximum bad publicity for their respectless enterprises. That factor, ironically, is why Tesla set up the media road trips in the first place, the fact that EVs will need a publicly accessible charging infrastructure if they are going to be seen as anything other than town cars. The Model S press trips from DC to Beantown were supposed to demonstrate Tesla’s expanding network of locations equipped with Tesla’s “Supercharger” quick charging stations.
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Today, I was in Odaiba, the man-made island in Tokyo Bay. The island is known for its futuristic buildings. Today, it was home of the Japan Classic Car Association’s New Year Meeting. It celebrates the imported car. During the next days, I will show you the nicer ones. We start with the Americans, and a Dodge.
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This is the fantastic Shanghai SH761 parade car from the Shanghai Car Museum in Shanghai. It was made in 1970 and was used to show high ranking foreign visitors to the masses. The visiting dignitary would sit rather uncomfortably on a hydraulically lifted rear bench in the back of the vehicle. The ‘royal seat’ was so high that the curious populace could see all, down to the buttocks. The visitor was supposed to wave his hand and smile to the adoring masses… Read More >
I found this perfect Hongqi CA770 state limousine at the Shanghai Car Museum, and it is definitely one of the best looking examples I have seen in China so far. The Hongqi (Red Flag) CA770 was a giant sedan made exclusively for the Chinese government. Only 847 cars were produced in its long life from 1966 until 1981. Here is its story … Read More >
Okay, so at 257.8 feet, the yacht Delphine is a bit longer than your average Dodge Grand Caravan, Monaco or Polara. It’s even bigger than a Ram 3500 with dualies, but it is a Dodge, in a manner of speaking. Horace Dodge even designed the engine.
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When the Mitsubishi Pajero was brought to these shores, as the Mitsubishi Montero and the Dodge Raider, the bosses at Mitsubishi figured they’d just move the steering wheel to the other side and translate the text on all the controls from Japanese to English, end of story. As I learned while working for a localization company a few years back, this job is not always as simple as it looks. Read More >
The Chinese Army was a great admirer of Benzes, so much that they built their own. Bamin State Automobile Works, or Bamin Automobile for short, was based in Minhou in Fujian Province. The company was owned by the Chinese army, it was also called the ‘PLA 7427 Works’. Bamin Automobile started business in the late 1980′s with a local licensed variant of the Beijing 212; the Bamin BM212A/BM213A. Read More >
Since I’m the guy who generally won’t take photographs of ’69 Camaros and ’57 Chevys (well, unless they’re really special ’69 Camaros and ’57 Chevys ) and who will walk past 5 “Eleanor” Mustangs to look at one American Motors Hornet, it should come as no surprise that for the past couple of years I’ve made it a point to attend the annual Orphan Car Show held in Ypsilanti, Michigan’s Riverside Park. This year was the 16th iteration of the OCS, which is affiliated with Ypsi’s Automotive Heritage Museum. With a number of century old (and older) brass era cars at the event, it’s not surprising that some of them had to be started with hand cranks. What is surprising is that not all the crank starting cars dated to before World War One. Actually, a couple of them date to the Vietnam War era and later.
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Another rare treasure from China’s not too distant past, found at the Sanhe Classic Car Museum in Chengdu: A brilliant blue Shanghai SH760 sedan. In China, blue is a working man’s color, so let’s call it a hue of Jade. The SH760 was the predecessor of the Shanghai SH760A that we saw earlier on. The SH760 was made from 1964 to 1974, this particular example was made in 1972. We found the SH760 outside the actual museum hall for maintenance. This oldie still sees the road now and then. Read More >
Ho Chi Minh was a mysterious guy; even after reading the definitive biography of the revolutionary schemer who changed pseudonyms as often most of us change our socks, I still couldn’t tell you much about the man who is now his country’s equivalent of all of America’s Founding Fathers rolled into one. However, I can tell you what Ho Chi Minh drove! Read More >
Let people go to Chengdu to satisfy prurient desires. I went to Chengdu to visit the Sanhe Classic Car Museum. I found a car that was really for the chosen few, a fantastic Hongqi CA773 Parade Car. The parade car was based on the CA773 sedan which was made from 1969 until 1976. This particular parade car was made in 1974. Read More >
Members of the MR2 Jihad generally refer to the creature on the hood emblems of their cars as the “Screaming Eagle,” but I say it’s a stoic, tight-beaked Robot Eagle. I hadn’t paid much attention to this emblem, since it’s quite small and mounted on a car snout that sits quite close to the pavement, but then a 24 Hours of LeMons team composed of Toyota engineers created a gigantic Pontiac Trans Am-style decal version for the hood of their MR2. Robot Eagle! Read More >
Yesterday, I shared a Toyota Corona ad from the February 1969 issue of Playboy. I like the Corona for personal reasons, but if the Time Machine took me back to ’69 and I didn’t have a lot to spend (or even if I did have a lot to spend), the Datsun 510 would be one of my top choices. Wouldn’t you know, there’s an ad for the 510 in the very same issue! Read More >
A generous 24 Hours of LeMons racer gave me a copy of the February 1969 issue of Playboy as a gift last weekend, and it’s even more of a time capsule than most publications of its era. The only cars advertised in the issue are the Ford Mustang (Mach 1 and Shelby), Volkswagen Beetle, Datsun 510 (labeled as the “/2″), and the Toyota Corona. Since my very first car was a ’69 Corona, I felt compelled to share this ad. Read More >