Category: Heritage

By on November 18, 2016

1983 Volkswagen Scirocco BiMotor (A1), Image: Volkswagen

Though today’s hybrids have popularized it, the idea of installing more than one engine in a car to supplement power isn’t particularly new or innovative. In fact, it’s almost as old as the automobile itself.

There are plenty of historical examples of multi-engine cars; probably the most notable are absolute land speed record attempts. Just last week, for example, was the 51st anniversary of the American-made Goldenrod’s 409 mph record, set using no less than four 426 Hemi V8s borrowed from Chrysler.

But even further back, Alfa-Romeo had tried to break the stranglehold of the Silver Arrows in Grand Prix racing by utilizing two straight-eights in a P3 Grand Prix chassis. The solution was innovative, if not particularly successful.

But the exploits of sticking multiple motors in a vehicle to boost power and traction were not limited to exotic racers and record setters. In the 1980s, the concept was reintroduced in a few interesting packages. As it became increasingly clear that Audi’s all-wheel drive would revolutionize the world of rally, Volkswagen Motorsport director Klaus-Peter Rosorius felt Volkswagen shouldn’t play second fiddle to the Quattro.

Instead, they’d play with a second engine.

Read More >

By on October 27, 2016

Poling Ford Taurus

Exactly a decade ago today, Ford ended production of the legendary Ford Taurus.

Along with Dodge’s Caravan, the Taurus is absolutely one of the most influential and important cars of the 1980s. It ushered in a new era of automotive design in North America and created a wholly new template for the modern sedan — and Ford turned its back on it.

Read More >

By on October 21, 2016

01 - Chevrolet Chevettes Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin

The former General Motors Wilmington Assembly Plant, which cranked out Saturns, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs before falling victim to economic and corporate forces, is looking for a new owner.

This time, however, it wants a buyer that isn’t a luxury plug-in electric car maker that folds before a single vehicle can leave the factory. Read More >

By on October 18, 2016

2014_Toyota_FJ_Ult_005

The departed Toyota FJ Cruiser was a vehicle of contrasts, depending on who you talked to. Too big, or not big enough. Too refined, or too often used as a grocery getter. Too retro, or not retro enough.

An homage to its long-dead predecessor, the retro SUV defined “niche vehicle,” and it sold like one too. Not in huge numbers, but in consistent ones. When Toyota phased it out of the North American market after 2014, it left a vacuum that went unnoticed by most.

Is Toyota now planning to fill that void? Read More >

By on October 18, 2016

2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The story goes that someone at a recent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dealer meeting acted quickly when the automaker flashed images of future Jeep models across the screen.

While FCA hasn’t given the public so much as a hint of what the upcoming, range-topping Jeep looks like, we now have a better idea, all thanks to that person’s quick-draw camera. Oh, and there’s plenty of 2018 Wrangler details to gleam, too. Read More >

By on October 14, 2016

alpine_moments_la-route_bleue-1200x675 (1)

A modern take on one of the sexiest four-cylinder cars of the 1960s will officially debut before the end of the year, and there’s a chance it will find its way to these shores.

Alpine, a reborn subsidiary of Renault, is putting the final touches on the production version of its Vision concept, a practical sports car that harkens back to the glory days of the nearly forgotten brand. Read More >

By on October 10, 2016

2017 Ram 1500 Lone Star Silver

Apparently, the 2017 Ram 1500 Lone Star Silver Edition was such a hit at the State Fair of Texas, visitors stole the badge off of both trucks.

Located in a lower corner of the truck’s chrome mesh grille, the badge lets everyone know that this isn’t just any other Ram model. Texas-sized amounts of polished metal and chrome are other giveaways.

Unfortunately for Ram representatives at the fair, those badges walked away as milled aluminum bling, possibly bound for a hat, vest or belt. Read More >

By on October 7, 2016

AMC Pacer

There’s some weird stuff out there today, but let’s get to the pop culture stuff first.

One of the world’s ugliest and most unappealing cars is going on the auction block by way of Barrett-Jackson next week — and it could fetch a ridiculous price.

Yes, it’s the Wayne’s World car. Read More >

By on October 7, 2016

Falcon (Five Starr Photos/Flickr)

It’s a sad day in Australia as Ford Motor Company closes the door on 91 years of domestic vehicle production.

Some 600 Ford employees are now out of work after the automaker shut down factories in Melbourne and Geelong. This marks not just the end of Australian Ford production, but the death of a long-running nameplate. Read More >

By on September 23, 2016

1956 Cadillac (Adam Singer/Flickr)

Is your car truly rare or unique? Does it represent a small but significant piece of American history? (We’re not talking about a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL once owned by Gary Busey.)

If so, your ride could one day be immortalized — in a bureaucratic sense. Yesterday, Michigan Senator Gary Peters (D) introduced a bill that, if passed, would create a federal registry for historic vehicles. Read More >

By on September 17, 2016

N2A Camaro 789 SS

It wasn’t for kit cars, the Pontiac Fiero would have never realized its dream of becoming a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and we’d be just fine with that.

That product, born of the heady 1980s, seems tame compared to N2A Motors’ latest offering. The U.S. coachbuilder has taken three classic American designs and melded them, Island of Dr. Moreau-style, into the 789 SS.

It’s a questionable way of hiding a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. Read More >

By on September 9, 2016

blazing magnums

Very few people enjoy Canadian films, and there’s damn good reason for it. Public funding is heavily bureaucratized, giving birth to movies essentially “filmed by committee.” Artsy, yes. Depressing? Very often so. But Scandinavia already has that covered!

This wasn’t the case in the glorious, sleazy 1970s. For a brief era, Canada was a free-wheeling, balls-out orgy of low-grade filmmaking, all thanks to insane tax write-offs. Slasher flicks and soft-core porn, lewd sex comedies and gritty crime dramas, this era had it all — and most of it was awful.

One film crew, who probably saw Bullitt way too many times, knew what audiences — American audiences especially — wanted to see, and set about filming one of the most un-Canadian films ever shot north of the border.

They also produced one of the greatest and least-known car chases ever filmed.

Read More >

By on September 8, 2016

2015 Lancer Evolution Final Edition

The calendar says it’s closer to 2017 than 2015, but last year’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition hasn’t finished bleeding media ink.

The last Evo FE to roll off the assembly line is currently up on eBay, placed there by its parent company. A southern California food bank stands to benefit from the online auction, while a deep-pocketed Evo fanboy will gain untouchable bragging rights. Read More >

By on September 2, 2016

Aston Martin Vanquish. Picture courtesy Aston Martin

The Aston Martin Cygnet was just the beginning.

For those who thought the luxury automaker’s now-defunct rebadged Toyota city car was a weird idea (and that includes just about everyone), just wait. Aston Martin is now eager to sell you anything — your clothes, your baby stroller, and even your house. Read More >

By on August 12, 2016

NASCAR (James Marvin Phelps/Flickr)

R.I.P. victory lap burnouts? It sure looks that way.

NASCAR seems to have reached a tipping point in its tolerance of post-race victory burnouts, some of which damage the vehicle enough to interfere with the post-race inspection process. After an incident last weekend, the organization says it might have to lay down rules, Autoblog reports. Read More >

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