The Truth About Cars » Colorado http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 01:12:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Colorado http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1979 Subaru BRAT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1979-subaru-brat-2/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/junkyard-find-1979-subaru-brat-2/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=943729 Where I live (Denver), wrecking yards overflow with old Subarus. I walk past junked early-80s Leones (or GLs or whatever Subaru’s confusing naming conventions of the era were) all the time, but I’ll always stop and photograph a BRAT. So far in this series, the BRAT roster includes this ’79, this ’84, this ’82, and […]

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19 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhere I live (Denver), wrecking yards overflow with old Subarus. I walk past junked early-80s Leones (or GLs or whatever Subaru’s confusing naming conventions of the era were) all the time, but I’ll always stop and photograph a BRAT. So far in this series, the BRAT roster includes this ’79, this ’84, this ’82, and this Sawzall-converted ’86. Last week, I spotted another example, and it still had its Chicken Tax-dodgin’ jump seats.
02 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, the personal-injury lawyers loved these seats, but they let Subaru evade the 25% tariff on imported light trucks.
14 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinRemember AOL CD spam? This car still has one!
10 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s somewhat rusty (I know, Midwesterners, you don’t consider this to be true rust), but could have been kept on the road a while longer.
15 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinCorn stopped by.
17 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe condition of the seats and the AOL disc suggest lengthy outdoor storage of a nondriving vehicle.

01 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1979 Subaru BRAT Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Plymouth Champ, with Twin-Stick! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1979-plymouth-champ-twin-stick/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1979-plymouth-champ-twin-stick/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=931106 The tales of the many flavors of rebadged Chrysler Europe and Mitsubishi products sold as Plymouths and Dodges remain perennially fascinating for me, what with all the Chryslerized Simcas and Hillmans and so forth, and one example of this breed that appears to have disappeared from the face of the earth is the Plymouth Champ. […]

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19 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe tales of the many flavors of rebadged Chrysler Europe and Mitsubishi products sold as Plymouths and Dodges remain perennially fascinating for me, what with all the Chryslerized Simcas and Hillmans and so forth, and one example of this breed that appears to have disappeared from the face of the earth is the Plymouth Champ. The Champ was a fourth-generation Mitsubishi Mirage, a gas-sipping front-driver that received Colt nameplates for the Dodge side of the showroom floor, and I found one a few days ago at a Denver-area self-service yard.
20 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Champ name existed for just the 1979 through 1982 model years, after which Chrysler must have decided that marketing confusion could be reduced and money saved on emblem production by selling both Plymouth- and Dodge-badged Colts.
12 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one is a particularly ghastly shade of Malaise Green, which is set off nicely by the tape stripes.
05 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car features the super-cool Twin-Stick aka Super Shift transmission, which had a high-low range selector that multiplied the four forward gears into eight gears. Essentially, it was an overdrive box built into the transaxle. In practice, just about nobody drove the Twin-Stick by going through all eight gear ranges in sequence— mostly, you just left it in one range or the other and drove it like a regular four-speed.
06 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBut still, the Twin-Stick was cool.
13 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis is the “big-block” 1.6 liter 4G32 Saturn engine, which made a mighty 80 horsepower.
07 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI was very tempted to buy this POWER/ECONOMY indicator light for my collection of weird Japanese instrument-panel parts, but did not do so.
24 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt looks to be an original Colorado car.
01 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinCars don’t tend to rust much here in the dry High Plains climate, but Japanese cars of the 1970s could find a way to rust in a vacuum.
04 - 1979 Plymouth Champ Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s worn out, but essentially complete. How many Champs are left in the wild?

Chuck Woolery says the ’79 Champ is the Southern California mileage champ.

Another little mileage car from Japan, right?


Just don’t crash your Champ!

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GM Puts Stop-Delivery Order On Colorado, Canyon Twins http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/gm-puts-stop-delivery-order-colorado-canyon-twins/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/gm-puts-stop-delivery-order-colorado-canyon-twins/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=926401 If you ordered one of General Motors’ new mid-size pickups, your delivery may be a bit late, thanks to an airbag recall. Automotive News reports dealers received a note last week from GM informing them that the automaker had notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of an “upcoming safety and noncompliance recall” involving the […]

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Chevrolet Colorados + Car Carrier

If you ordered one of General Motors’ new mid-size pickups, your delivery may be a bit late, thanks to an airbag recall.

Automotive News reports dealers received a note last week from GM informing them that the automaker had notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of an “upcoming safety and noncompliance recall” involving the driver’s side airbag connection being incorrectly wired while the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins were on the assembly line:

This condition will cause the driver-side airbags to not function as designed and may adversely affect the crash performance of the driver-side airbags.

GM says it will deliver a software update to its dealerships “in the next few days,” allowing service techs to reprogram the affected airbag’s sensing and diagnostic module prior to delivery. That said, most of the affected are either at the Wentzville, Mo. assembly plant, in transit, or unsold on the lot.

Speaking of sales of the twins, the automaker reported 36 Colorados and 11 Canyons heading for the old dirt road to the beer-fueled barnyard disco in September.

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Super Piston Slap: Thrifty Texans Trump Tailgate Theft? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/super-piston-slap-thrifty-texans-trump-tailgate-theft/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/super-piston-slap-thrifty-texans-trump-tailgate-theft/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 12:39:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=907985   Yesterday’s post on Texas Tailgate Theft definitely struck a nerve with this Native Texan, especially the NCIB’s Quote: “Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.” Yeah, not quite… Yup, a hose clamp…well not just a hose […]

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Tailgate-theft-lock-it

(photo courtesy: hardworkingtrucks.com)

Yesterday’s post on Texas Tailgate Theft definitely struck a nerve with this Native Texan, especially the NCIB’s Quote:

“Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.”

Yeah, not quite…

photo 1

Just a little trip to my local Home Depot.

Yup, a hose clamp…well not just a hose clamp, but that’s for later.

Thanks to TTAC commentator, Editor in Chief of another blog and all around nice guy, Mr. Lyndon Johnson (yes, really) for planting this seed in my mind. He posted a photo on Facebook of a rusty hose clamp around the tailgate hinge of his Ranger. It instantly made sense: even if you don’t have a few of these rattling around, why the hell wouldn’t you spend $3 for these?

tailgate

Hose Clamp PROS: Cheap, easy to install, readily available and slows down a would-be thief to the point they’ll look for another tailgate to swipe. And its an extra measure of protection, even if you have a lock in your tailgate release handle. (As they aren’t too hard to punch out with a screwdriver, too.)

(photo courtesy: pickupspecialities.com)

Hose Clamp CONS: The expensive-ish aftermarket alternatives are more theft resistant. And the clamps are kinda ghetto-trashy ugly, if you care about those Vellum Venom type of design hang ups.

Here’s how to narrow the gap between the clamp and the lock: level the playing field with a bit of silicone adhesive.  You know, the stuff you already have in your garage.

photo 2

It’s not rocket science: coat the screw head and clamp’s threads in the stuff. It’s an extra level of complication, and as the night photo shows, a bit more complicated to comprehend. It’ll certainly drive a thief nuts trying to scrape that crap off.

Only to then need to unscrew the clamp. And finally lather-rinse-repeat on the other side. Or just leave my rig alone, find another Texan not wise to the hose clamp + silicone trick.

Now you know what I know: what say you Best and Brightest? Should all truckers spend $3-4 on this anti-theft modification?

 

 

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GM Mid-Size Twins Best Similarly Equipped Full-Size Pickups In Fuel Economy http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/gm-mid-size-twins-best-similarly-equipped-full-size-pickups-fuel-economy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/gm-mid-size-twins-best-similarly-equipped-full-size-pickups-fuel-economy/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906401 As full-size pickups do their best to eke out as much fuel economy as possible, the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are set to deliver a combined 21 mpg once they leave the lot for the road. Autoblog reports the GM twin mid-sizers will net owners 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg […]

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado + GMC Canyon

As full-size pickups do their best to eke out as much fuel economy as possible, the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are set to deliver a combined 21 mpg once they leave the lot for the road.

Autoblog reports the GM twin mid-sizers will net owners 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway in two-wheel drive models equipped with a six-speed auto mated to the 305-horsepower 3.6-liter direct-injection V6. For comparison, a Ram 1500 4×2 with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 sending power to the back through an eight-speed auto offers a rating of 17/20/25; the outgoing Ford F-150 4×2 with its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and six-speed auto delivers 16/18/22 mpg; and the Chevrolet Silverado C15 4×2 brings 18/20/24 mpg through its larger 4.3-liter V6 and six-speed auto.

Those wanting all four wheels to do the climbing up that hill will find the Colorado’s and Canyon’s ratings falling to 17/20/24 mpg, though they still best the Silverado K15 4×4 (17/20/22), Ford F-150 4×4 (15/17/21) and Ram 1500 4×4 (16/19/23).

As for trucks closer in size to the duo, Jalopnik subsidiary Truck Yeah says the two-wheel drive models are more than able to throw down against the Nissan Frontier 4×2 (16/18/22 mpg) and Toyota Tacoma 4×2 (17/19/21 mpg).

GM adds that a 2.8-liter Duramax is in the offing for 2016, with figures ready for perusing closer to launch time.

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Junkyard Find: 1997 Subaru Legacy AWD Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1997-subaru-legacy-awd-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1997-subaru-legacy-awd-sedan/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=899666 Living in Denver, I see tremendous quantities of old Subarus in local wrecking yards. Subarus after about 1985 don’t make it into this series (unless they’re XTs or SVXs or 4WD Justys), but the Legacy 4WD sedan is quite rare even by Denver standards so I made an exception for this car. This one has […]

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07 - 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLiving in Denver, I see tremendous quantities of old Subarus in local wrecking yards. Subarus after about 1985 don’t make it into this series (unless they’re XTs or SVXs or 4WD Justys), but the Legacy 4WD sedan is quite rare even by Denver standards so I made an exception for this car.
13 - 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one has a key, which means it probably came from an insurance company auction rather than a city tow yard.
02 - 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJust barely over 100,000 miles on the clock.
15 - 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBy 1997, all Legacies sold in the United States had all-wheel-drive, but this was still special enough to warrant these “AWD” badges.
12 - 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBy this point, the Outback wagon (still bearing Legacy badging) was so much more popular than the Legacy sedan in the United States that most of us forgot that you could even get this thing in a three-box car shape.
04 - 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese engines remain legendary (get it?) for blowing head gaskets.
14 - 1997 Subaru Legacy Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSold in Denver, crushed in Denver.

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Junkyard Find: 1974 Datsun B210 Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1974-datsun-b210-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/junkyard-find-1974-datsun-b210-hatchback/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=881802 I’ve seen a few B210s during my junkyard travels since we had this ’75 hatchback and this ’78 coupe in this series back in 2012, but most of the time I don’t find them sufficiently interesting to photograph. A bewilderingly labeled 210 or 310 or B310 or whatever it was that Nissan called their American […]

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11 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI’ve seen a few B210s during my junkyard travels since we had this ’75 hatchback and this ’78 coupe in this series back in 2012, but most of the time I don’t find them sufficiently interesting to photograph. A bewilderingly labeled 210 or 310 or B310 or whatever it was that Nissan called their American Sunny for several months in the late 1970s, sure, I’ll shoot that. I overlook these cars, I must admit, because I came of driving age in the early 1980s, when these cars (and early Colts, and Pintos, and Vegas) were the bottom-of-the-barrel misery boxes that young people bought for $150 and loathed driving— let’s call them the Ford Tempos and Chevy Berettas of the Late Malaise Era. This B210 looked so old, sitting in the snow among the Camrys and Volvo 940s at my local Denver yard last winter, that I decided to add it to this series. Enjoy.
18 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhy call this car the B210 and a different car the 210 in the United States, and then give the same car the 120Y name in Europe? Ask the geniuses who decided to spend incredible sums to ditch the Datsun marque in the early 1980s, then bring it back in the 21st century.
05 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNo matter how much the thought of the Malaise Era may make everyone depressed, it’s hard not to love these goofy-looking “Honey Bee” hubcaps.
02 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIf you’re buying a B210, why bother with options? Blockoff plates galore on the dash.
07 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe A13 made all of 75 horses in 1974. That’s 3.5 less than the ’74 MGB got, so a B210-versus-MGB drag race that year would have required a lot of patience for the spectators.
06 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI wonder what sort of cassette collection you could acquire if you grabbed every one you found at a large Yank-Yer-Partz yard. Most of them would be unlabeled tapes that would turn out to have a muffly one-channel-only recording of Dark Side of the Moon, of course.

01 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1974 Datsun B210 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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General Motors Prepares To Enter Diesel Car, Light-Duty Pickup Games http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/general-motors-prepares-enter-diesel-car-light-duty-pickup-games/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/general-motors-prepares-enter-diesel-car-light-duty-pickup-games/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 13:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=883258 General Motors has few diesel-powered wares at the moment, but with the U.S. diesel market expected to hit 10 percent of the overall market by 2020, GM wants as much as it can get. Automotive News reports GM vice president of global powertrain Steve Kiefer announced his employer’s diesel plans before those in attendance at […]

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2014-chevrolet-cruze-diesel-front-three-quarters

General Motors has few diesel-powered wares at the moment, but with the U.S. diesel market expected to hit 10 percent of the overall market by 2020, GM wants as much as it can get.

Automotive News reports GM vice president of global powertrain Steve Kiefer announced his employer’s diesel plans before those in attendance at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., proclaiming the current Chevrolet Cruze “will be the first of many diesel-powered passenger cars General Motors will offer in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the Duramax V8 offered in GM’s heavy-duty pickups will soon be joined by a 2.8-liter four-pot under the bonnets of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups. Beyond this, Kiefer hints that torque will be the driving factor on where more diesels will go. Thus, light-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra may receive diesel engines to compete against the likes of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and the upcoming Ford F-150 SFE.

Kiefer concludes by stating GM will introduce more diesel power into the market “as appropriate and as the market accepts them.”

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Junkyard Find: 1959 DeSoto http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/junkyard-find-1959-desoto/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/junkyard-find-1959-desoto/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=875545 I haven’t been to the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard (where I bought my 1941 Plymouth sedan) for a while, but I’ve still got quite a few photographs of the thousands of old American cars that live there. We’ve seen this ’62 Cadillac, this ’52 Kaiser, this ’49 Kaiser, this ’51 Nash, this ’51 Frazer, this mystery […]

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02 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI haven’t been to the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard (where I bought my 1941 Plymouth sedan) for a while, but I’ve still got quite a few photographs of the thousands of old American cars that live there. We’ve seen this ’62 Cadillac, this ’52 Kaiser, this ’49 Kaiser, this ’51 Nash, this ’51 Frazer, this mystery custom, this ’48 Pontiac hearse, and a few more, and today we’ll admire an example of DeSoto‘s final years.
03 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Swedes who come to the Brain-Melting Junkyard every year and fill shipping containers with old American cars and parts may have grabbed this car by now, since they love big finned American sedans in Scandinavia.
06 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s pretty rusty, but most of the trim and glass look good.
05 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMost of the cars were saved from The Crusher by the yard’s owner, who spent decades hanging around the gates of Denver’s scrappers, offering a few bucks more than the going rate for anything interesting. Better that this one get shipped to Europe than head back to the steel jaws.

01 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1959 DeSoto Sedan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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GM: Colorado, Canyon Aimed At Small Crossover, Pickup Shoppers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/gm-colorado-canyon-aimed-at-small-crossover-pickup-shoppers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/gm-colorado-canyon-aimed-at-small-crossover-pickup-shoppers/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=874897 General Motors’ upcoming midsize truck twins — the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon — look to do more than attract those seeking a smaller pickup by also seeking out small crossover consumers. Autoblog reports GM wants to go after crossover shoppers for their new pickups, going as far as to bring a Ford Escape for […]

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2015-Chevy-Colorado-3

General Motors’ upcoming midsize truck twins — the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon — look to do more than attract those seeking a smaller pickup by also seeking out small crossover consumers.

Autoblog reports GM wants to go after crossover shoppers for their new pickups, going as far as to bring a Ford Escape for a competitive test drive at the automaker’s Milford, Mich. facility during the twins’ media day.

On paper, GM believes the interior quality and exterior styling will be the main draws for those looking at Escapes, CR-Vs and RAV4s. The pickups’ power and utility could also help sway those buyers, along with pricing similar to those on the windows of small crossovers. Mileage, on the other hand, may be less than what said consumers prefer, especially when the aforementioned trio delivers a combined 26 mpg.

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GM Fleet Order Guide Reveals More On 2015 Colorado, Canyon Twins http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/gm-fleet-order-guide-reveals-more-on-2015-colorado-canyon-twins/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/gm-fleet-order-guide-reveals-more-on-2015-colorado-canyon-twins/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=845833 Small pickup fans considering the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon may like what they see once they comb through General Motors’ Fleet Order Guide, including more power and other niceties. Autoblog reports the two midsize models will receive a 2.5-liter, direct-injected I4 good for 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque in extended cab […]

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2015-Chevy-Colorado-3

Small pickup fans considering the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon may like what they see once they comb through General Motors’ Fleet Order Guide, including more power and other niceties.

Autoblog reports the two midsize models will receive a 2.5-liter, direct-injected I4 good for 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque in extended cab models with either a six-speed manual or automatic, and a 3.6-liter V6 delivering 305 horses and 269 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic for those who prefer crew cabs. Towing capacity for the extended cab twins is expected to be 3,500 pounds, 7,000 pounds for the crew cab variants.

Inside and beyond, occupants can avail themselves of the trucks’ infotainment system — in either 4-inch or 8-inch form, depending on trim chosen — rearview camera, as well as options like locking rear differential, hill descent control et al.

Future owners can have a look for themselves into what’s available for either the Canyon or Colorado. Meanwhile, diesel fans pining for information on the 2.8-liter Duramax will have to wait until 2016 to learn more about the powerplant.

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Junkyard Find: 1998 Toyota Corolla LE, New Jersey Skater Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1998-toyota-corolla-le-new-jersey-skater-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1998-toyota-corolla-le-new-jersey-skater-edition/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=830505 After yesterday’s Corolla Junkyard Find, it seemed right to follow up with another, newer, Corolla. You know how you can tell when you’re a car’s final owner? Such was the case with the final owner of this much-abused Corolla, who drove his or her Corolla a couple thousand miles west, no doubt to be where […]

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12 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAfter yesterday’s Corolla Junkyard Find, it seemed right to follow up with another, newer, Corolla. You know how you can tell when you’re a car’s final owner? Such was the case with the final owner of this much-abused Corolla, who drove his or her Corolla a couple thousand miles west, no doubt to be where cannabis is legal.
09 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis sort of paint job attracts a lot of attention from members of the law-enforcement community, especially when the driver looks like this guy or maybe even this guy.
15 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe house-paint-and-rattle-can-graffiti look also tends to enrage neighbors, which increases the chances that the car will get parking tickets and then get towed away by The Man when those tickets aren’t paid.
08 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe drive out from New Jersey probably featured a lot of E.Town Concrete on the stereo.
03 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJudging from all the stickers and tags on the car, the owner must have been a big fan of Creature skateboards.
04 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMany Eastcrust stickers as well.
25 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou see many of these Grenade Gloves stickers on various mud-splattered SUVs and final-owner hoopties in Denver. They’ve become quite commonplace in junkyards, maybe even more so than ICP Hatchetman stickers these days.
13 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOdds are that this car’s first owner was a rental-car company, as is the case with so many Corolla LEs.

Or perhaps the original owner came from this Buick-like demographic.

It’s hard to imagine any car company being willing to torpedo their wholesome image with a song from the notoriously drug-addled Sly and the Family Stone back during the band’s heyday. What’s next, Iggy Pop selling Cadillacs?

OK, now we need some of Sly’s yodeling, from an era when cities were burning, bombs were dropping, and shit was getting crazier every day.

01 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 27 - 1998 Toyota Corolla Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Question: What Is the Stoniest Moter Vehicle of All Time? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/question-what-is-the-stoniest-moter-vehicle-of-all-time/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/question-what-is-the-stoniest-moter-vehicle-of-all-time/#comments Wed, 01 Jan 2014 05:01:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=689090 As of 12:01 AM Mountain Time on Wednesday, the first legal, open-to-the-general public cannabis shops in the United States may start selling their wares. In my Denver neighborhood, the dispensary next door to the first Chipotle restaurant opens for business at 10:00 AM, and I’m trying to guess what kind of car, truck, or other […]

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QOTD-GreenVanAs of 12:01 AM Mountain Time on Wednesday, the first legal, open-to-the-general public cannabis shops in the United States may start selling their wares. In my Denver neighborhood, the dispensary next door to the first Chipotle restaurant opens for business at 10:00 AM, and I’m trying to guess what kind of car, truck, or other vehicle will be the first to screech to a smoky halt at this establishment’s front door. Actually, the loadiest stoners aren’t exactly conscious of, like, the clock, man, so this vehicle will probably show up on Friday at about 11:38 PM, and then the occupants will forget why they were there in the first place and go find a 7-11 to buy some Twin Bings… but for the purposes of discussion we’re going to say 10:00 AM on the dot, stoniest motor vehicle. What is it?
69BlueBeetle_RearThe good old Type 1 Beetle (and its Transporter cousin) scores pretty high on the TCH-O-Meter, though you don’t see many of them these days. Hippies back in the old days liked air-cooled Volkswagens because they’ll run like crap better than any other car, which means that you can space out on maintenance for years and still drive; the air-cooled Volks is the only four-stroke four-cylinder engine I’ve ever seen that will run on one cylinder. There’s no water to boil over, no complicated controls to confuse the driver.
85_Tercel_Emblem_LHThe 1983-86 Toyota Tercel 4WD wagon is a favorite of Denver/Boulder wastoids, and it’s also quite popular in the redwood country of California. Reliable, room for all your loser friends and their snowboards, friendly-looking, capable of chugging through fairly serious snow.
64ImpalaConvert-01The 1961-64 Chevy Impala makes this list, because Cheech drove one in Up In Smoke.
IMG_1270My vote, however, goes to any vintage scooter. One look at a group of scooter freaks and you can tell they’re smoking some stuff that would make even Willie Nelson freak out. What’s your choice for Stoniest Vehicle of All Time?

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Driving While Stoned (Slight Return). Nine Times the Legal Limit, Cop: “It’s Doubtful That I Would Have Pulled Him Over” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/driving-while-stoned-slight-return-nine-times-the-legal-limit-cop-its-doubtful-that-i-would-have-pulled-him-over/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/driving-while-stoned-slight-return-nine-times-the-legal-limit-cop-its-doubtful-that-i-would-have-pulled-him-over/#comments Sun, 20 Oct 2013 15:10:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=628690 Some time ago, TTAC published a guest post on the topic of driving under the influence of cannabis that more or less discounted the dangers of puffing while puttering around, at least for experienced potheads. Needless to say that post provoked some heated discussion. Now that Colorado has legalized marijuana for general use, the legislature […]

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Some time ago, TTAC published a guest post on the topic of driving under the influence of cannabis that more or less discounted the dangers of puffing while puttering around, at least for experienced potheads. Needless to say that post provoked some heated discussion. Now that Colorado has legalized marijuana for general use, the legislature there has decided that it was necessary to officially define “too high to drive”. It’s not clear if the reason was traffic safety or revenue since instead of using a behavioral standard for impairment, the new law creates an arbitrary blood level of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, that would define a driver as illegally impaired, whether or not they were measurably impaired in their driving. Critics of the way impaired driving is enforced already say that the drive to lower legal blood alcohol content limits was intended to catch people who weren’t actually impaired, driving safely but drunk according to the law, a classic case of malum prohibitum rather than malum in se. Setting an arbitrary limit for THC would allow DUID, driving under the influence of drugs, to join DUI as a cash cow for city, county and state governments.

The new law in Colorado allows juries to convict someone of DUID if blood tests show a THC level of at least 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood. That level is the same as enacted in Washington following that state’s marijuana legalization initiative. It’s not entirely clear why the five nanogram limit was chosen. While some novice pot smokers may actually be impaired enough to affect their driving with 5ng/mL of THC in their blood, Reason, the libertarian publication, reports that many drivers are perfectly competent at many times that level of cannabinoids in their system.

One reason for establishing some kind of limit, as opposed to zero tolerance, is that in Washington and Colorado marijuana is no longer illegal for regular use. If a drug is illegal, any use should put you in a jackpot if you’re nabbed driving with it in your system. If it’s legal to use marijuana, however, the state has no compelling interest to prosecute drivers who do have some level of THC in their systems but aren’t actually impaired. KIRO, the CBS television affiliate in Seattle, decided to test both medical marijuana users and recreational pot smokers to see just how much pot they could smoke before being impaired.

Addy Norton is a 27-year-old woman who smokes medical marijuana every day. When she arrived at the KIRO test, she was already legally impaired per Washington state law, 16 ng/mL, more than three times the legal limit. According to the professional driving instructor who rode along (with a foot over the dual control brakes), she completed the baseline test on a driving course satisfactorily, though way over the legal THC limit. Then they proceeded to get Addy really high. After smoking 3/10 of a gram (% THC wasn’t specified but medical marijuana is typically over 20% THC), she tested at 36.7 ng/mL. At over 7 times the legal limit her driving was still not impaired. Smoking another 6/10ths of a gram only put her at “borderline” impairment, according to a drug recognition expert from the Thurston County, Washington Sheriff’s Office. To find out how much 0.9 gm of medical marijuana is, I checked with one of my own experts on marijuana, let’s call him Sativa Bongstein. Bongstein said that while he never measured how many joints he gets out of an eighth of an ounce of medical marijuana, an eighth will keep him continuously high for most of his waking hours over two days. So yeah, smoking about a fourth of that, almost a gram of medical marijuana, in one sitting should get you pretty high, however, according to the tests, it may barely impair your driving. It was only after Norton smoked a total of 1.4 grams and reached a THC titer of 58.8 ng/mL, more than eleven times the legal 5 nanogram limit, that she clearly failed the driving test.

The test results were reproduced by KIRO with people who used marijuana less frequently than Addy but still drove without noticeable impairment at levels far above the 5 nanogram limit. KDVR, a Fox affiliate in Denver, performed similar tests with a medical marijuana user who arrived with a 21 nanogram THC level, though he hadn’t yet smoked anything that day. Not only did he pass his driving test on a simulator as stoned as he likely already was when he walked in the door, raising his level to 47 ng/mL did not impair his simulated driving either. A drug recognition expert from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said his driving was fine. “[He] is doing pretty well,” the police officer said as he watched the driver being tested at the higher THC level, more than 9 times the legal limit. “He’s being a safe driver. It’s doubtful that I would have pulled him over. He hasn’t shown any degree of impairment.”

While some people may indeed be impaired at 5 ng/mL, the tests show that obviously some people are not. There is some habituation and tolerance involved so regular pot smokers might learn to adapt and drive at a THC level that would impair novice users of marijuana.

THC is stored in fatty tissue so it can remain in the blood system of regular users long after the effects of the drug have worn off. Even someone who hasn’t smoked marijuana in years can test above 0.0 ng/mL and daily smokers may never fall below the 5 ng legal limit.

The Colorado General Assembly rejected the current standard five times, aware of the fact that it was an arbitrary standard and not a good indicator of impairment, but it finally passed the same week that the legislature passed a law regulating retail marijuana stores.

Though police still need “reasonable suspicion” to pull you over and request a blood test, that could mean seeing you with a hand rolled cigarette in your hand, not necessarily driving in an impaired manner. Once cited, the chances of being acquitted seem to be slim. While Colorado’s new law does not make people automatically guilty of driving under the influence of drugs if they are measured to be at or above the 5 ng limit, it still creates a presumption of impairment. Defendants can attempt to rebut the presumption, but Denver defense attorney Rob Corry, who specializes in DUID cases, says that in reality, with a “permissible inference” of impairment at 5 ng, of DUID if they test above that level. Instead it creates a presumption that defendants can try to rebut by presenting evidence that they were not in fact impaired. But Denver attorney Rob Corry, who frequently represents DUID defendants, thinks that opportunity will not make much difference in practice. With a “permissible inference” of DUID at five nanograms, he says, “A person coming into court is guilty until proven innocent. If you put a number on it, juries are going to latch onto that five-nanogram number, whether it’s a permissible inference or a per se [standard], and the effect will be that innocent people are convicted.”

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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Junkyard Find: 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1962-cadillac-sedan-deville/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1962-cadillac-sedan-deville/#comments Tue, 16 Jul 2013 13:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=495372 The brain-melting Colorado yard must have a couple thousand pre-1970 cars scattered about its several square miles of land on the Colorado High Plains just east of Pikes Peak. That means I’ll never run out of Junkyard Finds there! While most of my Brain-Melting Junkyard posts have featured non-Big-Three products, there’s some pretty good stuff […]

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03 - 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinThe brain-melting Colorado yard must have a couple thousand pre-1970 cars scattered about its several square miles of land on the Colorado High Plains just east of Pikes Peak. That means I’ll never run out of Junkyard Finds there! While most of my Brain-Melting Junkyard posts have featured non-Big-Three products, there’s some pretty good stuff made by The General among the Kaisers and Willys (Willyses?). Today we’ll look at a sunbleached but solid-looking ’62 Cadillac.
13 - 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car has been sitting for a decade of two. Every winter, it hides beneath the snow. Every summer, the High Plains sun applies jillions-o-joules.
10 - 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinThe four-door hardtop Cadillacs of this era aren’t as desirable as the coupes and convertibles, so it’s likely that this car is worth more in parts than as a restoration candidate.
14 - 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinBut you never know what will happen to the values of cars like this; perhaps its value will be much higher in another decade.

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Down From the Mountain: 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/down-from-the-mountain-2013-pikes-peak-international-hill-climb/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/down-from-the-mountain-2013-pikes-peak-international-hill-climb/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 13:15:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=493986 Since I became a Coloradan a few years back, I’ve joined all the other car freaks in the Mountain Time Zone for the annual pilgrimage to the 30th-tallest mountain in the state for the big race. I shared my photos from the year Monster Tajima broke the 10-minute barrier, and from from the year the […]

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63 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSince I became a Coloradan a few years back, I’ve joined all the other car freaks in the Mountain Time Zone for the annual pilgrimage to the 30th-tallest mountain in the state for the big race. I shared my photos from the year Monster Tajima broke the 10-minute barrier, and from from the year the course became all-asphalt, and now I’ve got some shots from last weekend’s event.
67 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinImagine tens of thousands of rowdy race fans, mostly with better access to beer than to oxygen, scattered along the 12-mile course at elevations ranging from 9,390 feet to 14,110 feet. Most of them will bring the coolest vehicle they can lay hands on, which means you’ll see a lot of ancient German sports car, zero-ground-clearance JDM-ified street racers, camper vans outgassing That Junkyard Car Smell, and classic Italian scooters. These guys, who race a Suzuki Swift GT in the 24 Hours of LeMons, rode their scooters 100 miles from Denver and then up to 12,000 feet on the mountain.
22 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe bikes ran first, which turned out to be a good idea— thunderstorms rolled in later in the day.
66 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinEven with a dry racing surface, bad things can happen. Right off the bat, a couple of bike racers crashed and had to be airlifted out. The increased speeds resulting from the all-asphalt course meant that crashes may be even hairier than before.

Motorcyclists weren’t the only racers to wreck; the electric car of Latvian Janis Horeliks spun out at the end of the long straight at Halfway Picnic Ground, slid into the mountain, and sent up choking clouds of electrical-fire smoke for quite a while.
40 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinEveryone knew that Sebastien Loeb had the best shot at blowing away the record time, so the spectators were quite worked up by the time Loeb’s Peugeot screamed by. So worked up, in fact, that this one leaped right in front of my camera at the crucial moment.
37 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s going to take a few more years before the electric cars beat the gasoline ones to the top— it’s coming, though; EVs don’t need oxygen, and battery capacity isn’t a big deal when the course is only 12 miles long— but the electric motorcycles are already there. The Lightning electron-fueled bike (not the bike in this photo) beat all the fossil-fueled two-wheelers with its just-a-hair-over-10-minutes run.
64 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHonda brought a mean-sounding Odyssey minivan.
49 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis Pontiac Solstice clattered by, trailing a cloud of unhappy-engine smoke.
42 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot many vintage cars entered this race (the organizers have decreed that only race cars that have competed in a previous PPIHC race may enter the Vintage class), but at least we had a couple of yowling Minis as sort of a consolation prize.
62 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Banks Power Freightliner was apocolyptic.
68 - 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhen it was all over, the racers rolled back down the mountain for 12 miles of high-fives from the spectators.

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Ford LTD Country Squire http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/junkyard-find-1977-ford-ltd-country-squire/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/junkyard-find-1977-ford-ltd-country-squire/#comments Thu, 30 May 2013 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=489981 We saw a 1976 Country Squire Junkyard Find yesterday, after going seven months since seeing this ’75 Country Squire, but this Denver yard has given us back-to-back (actually, tailgate-to-tailgate) Malaise Era Country Squires. Today’s find is in far better shape than yesterday’s (which is both cool and saddening), so let’s check it out! 1977 was […]

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02 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWe saw a 1976 Country Squire Junkyard Find yesterday, after going seven months since seeing this ’75 Country Squire, but this Denver yard has given us back-to-back (actually, tailgate-to-tailgate) Malaise Era Country Squires. Today’s find is in far better shape than yesterday’s (which is both cool and saddening), so let’s check it out!
11 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin1977 was the second-to-last year of the extra-huge LTD Country Squire, and the factory shipping weight of this machine was a mighty 4,674 pounds. That’s 554 pounds more than the 2013 ZL1 Camaro, so you know we’re talking about a pretty hefty car here.
10 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 400M V8 in this car didn’t make a lot of power by 21st-century standards (if I look up the horsepower number for the ’77 400, we’ll all get depressed), but the torque was sufficient to haul a family of nine in comfort. Note the high-altitude spec on this sticker.
20 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLooks like this car was sold in Denver, and— 36 years later— it will die in Denver.
06 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s in pretty decent shape overall; no rust, most of the upholstery looks pretty good.
17 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinManual windows, Ford Aeronutronic AM radio, and hideaway headlights. Not exactly luxurious by current standards, but these cars were very comfy on long road trips. Anyway, Blondie sounds best on AM.
13 - 1977 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWith scrap cars going for $240/ton, this car was worth more as parts and steel than as a street-driven vehicle. How many remain?

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Junkyard Find: 1953 Chrysler New Yorker http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/junkyard-find-1953-chrysler-new-yorker/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/junkyard-find-1953-chrysler-new-yorker/#comments Thu, 09 May 2013 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=487882 Nearly a year has passed since we took a tour of the Brain-Melting Colorado Yard, and since that time I’ve shared such diamond-in-the-rough gems as this ’57 Chrysler Windsor, this ’52 Kaiser, this ’48 Pontiac Hearse, this ’51 Nash Airflyte, and— of course— the ’41 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan that is now in the process […]

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03 - 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNearly a year has passed since we took a tour of the Brain-Melting Colorado Yard, and since that time I’ve shared such diamond-in-the-rough gems as this ’57 Chrysler Windsor, this ’52 Kaiser, this ’48 Pontiac Hearse, this ’51 Nash Airflyte, and— of course— the ’41 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan that is now in the process of getting a Lexus SC400 suspension. I need to go back to this yard (which is located in the high desert to the east of Pikes Peak) soon, because the DMV tells me I need a notarized bill of sale to get a title for the ’41, and at that point I’ll photograph some more of the thousands of 1940-70 cars awaiting new owners. For now, let’s admire this ’53 New Yorker I shot last fall.
11 - 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe big “V” emblem on the hood means that this car came from the factory with a great big Firepower Hemi engine installed.
21 - 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinUnfortunately, the 331-cubic-inch, 180-horse Hemi in this car is long gone. Perhaps the engine went into a 1960s drag car.
12 - 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe single-digit humidity in this prickly-pear-covered landscape keeps the rust down, but the the sun is rough on paint and interiors.
20 - 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou can still detect a bit of the original luxury inside.
18 - 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt wouldn’t be an impossible project to get a modern-ish drivetrain in this good-looking two-door, get the bodywork and interior done, and put it back on the road. Any volunteers?

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Junkyard Find: 1951 Frazer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1951-frazer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1951-frazer/#comments Sun, 09 Dec 2012 14:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469259 While I was photographing a burned-up ’61 Caddy hearse and buying a ’41 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan at the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard last week, I stopped to admire some of the many Kaiser-Frazer products scattered around the many acres of old iron. You’ll need to drop everything and read Ate Up With Motor‘s excellent history […]

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While I was photographing a burned-up ’61 Caddy hearse and buying a ’41 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan at the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard last week, I stopped to admire some of the many Kaiser-Frazer products scattered around the many acres of old iron. You’ll need to drop everything and read Ate Up With Motor‘s excellent history of Kaiser-Frazer before continuing with today’s Junkyard Find, so go do that right now.
The 1951 Frazer was just a use-up-the-leftover-Frazer-parts deal, done after Henry J. Kaiser forced Joe Frazer out of company management. A quickie facelift was thrown onto the ’50 Frazer’s snout, but otherwise this car is identical to the 1950 Frazer.
Only about 10,000 ’51 Frazers were sold, making this an extremely rare car today. Valuable? Probably not, but still cool for its historical value.
I seriously considered buying a Frazer instead of the ’41 Plymouth, but these cars are just so heavy that I’d need to use tougher (i.e., more expensive) running gear to get the performance I wanted.
Check out that horn ring!
The Brain-Melting Colorado Yard has so many Frazers (the hood ornament from a late-40s Frazer is pictured here) that it may one day serve as the reservoir for all the competitors in a future Spec Frazer race series. Hey, if we can have Spec Dynasty, why not Spec Frazer?

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Junkyard Find: Old Truck Door Signs of Colorado http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-old-truck-door-signs-of-colorado/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-old-truck-door-signs-of-colorado/#comments Fri, 07 Dec 2012 14:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469226 I found a nice assortment of truck door signs of the 1930s through 1960s at this old-school wrecking yard north of Denver last year, and I just had to shoot a few more at this yard south of Denver last week, while picking up my ’41 Plymouth project. The Colorado sun is hard on paint, […]

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I found a nice assortment of truck door signs of the 1930s through 1960s at this old-school wrecking yard north of Denver last year, and I just had to shoot a few more at this yard south of Denver last week, while picking up my ’41 Plymouth project. The Colorado sun is hard on paint, but I was able to find some legible old signs.
I wonder what the Men In White did. House painting? Moving? Surgery? The seven-digit alphanumeric telephone number suggests that we’re looking at a truck that was retired no later than the mid-1960s.
It appears that this is the door from a Ritz Cab Company taxi, though it’s tough to read the first word. 1947 Chevrolet? 1946 DeSoto?
I can’t find much trace of the Pacific Fruit and Produce Company, though this truck shot in Seattle looks like the same outfit as the one that owned this truck door.
Seeing a reference to an ICC number reminds me of the old Dave Dudley classic.

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Junkyard Find: 1961 Cadillac Hearse http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1961-cadillac-hearse/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1961-cadillac-hearse/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 14:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469126 When I went to the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard to buy a ’41 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan, for the purposes of some unholy engine swap, I did some digging around through stacks of random doors to try to find a handle to fit a friend’s elderly Ford COE truck. While navigating the high desert cacti between […]

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When I went to the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard to buy a ’41 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan, for the purposes of some unholy engine swap, I did some digging around through stacks of random doors to try to find a handle to fit a friend’s elderly Ford COE truck. While navigating the high desert cacti between rich veins of ancient truck doors, I happened to glance up and catch a view of this toasted-but-still-majestic hearse silhouetted against the sunset. What a Junkyard Find!
Brush fires are always a danger on the plains east of Colorado Springs, and such a fire ate a few cars last year. Most of the burn victims have since been sent to The Crusher, but this old hearse remains.
There’s not much usable stuff left on this funeral hauler (unlike the rusty but largely complete ’48 Pontiac hearse parked a few hundred yards away), so perhaps it’s just here as a sort of sculpture.
Yes, that big mountain in the background is Pikes Peak. Mount Evans is a lot closer to where I live and it’s 154 feet taller, but the racing is far superior on this mountain.
The fire seems to have been quite specific about which areas of this car it felt like ravaging. The windshield glass melted, but some of the nearby paint survived.
It’s sad to think that this hearse will never be restored and brought to HearseCon (Colorado, for reasons someone is going to have to explain to me, is the Customized Hearse Epicenter of America), but perhaps some of its parts will live on in other Cadillacs.

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Junkyard Find: 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1941-plymouth-special-deluxe-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1941-plymouth-special-deluxe-sedan/#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2012 14:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=468390 When I first visited the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard earlier this year, I was keeping my eyes open for early postwar Plymouth sedans. I’ve always liked the look of those cars, with their sailing-ship hood ornaments and suicide doors. This yard has endless 1946-1950 Dodges, plus lots of Frazers, Willys, Kaisers, but not much in the […]

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When I first visited the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard earlier this year, I was keeping my eyes open for early postwar Plymouth sedans. I’ve always liked the look of those cars, with their sailing-ship hood ornaments and suicide doors. This yard has endless 1946-1950 Dodges, plus lots of Frazers, Willys, Kaisers, but not much in the way of Plymouths. However, if I expanded my search there to include late prewar Plymouths, this car jumps right out.
This 1947 Plymouth sedan that I shot for the Down On The Street series in my former home of Alameda, California, would rumble around town on a regular basis and I thought it was the best-looking car I’d seen in a long time. Someday I’ll have one of my own, I thought.
This one is a bit rougher, having sat in a field in eastern Colorado for decades prior to showing up at the Brain-Melting Yard a few years back. As is typical for cars exposed to the elements in the high desert east of Pikes Peak, the interior is utterly nuked, but there’s not much serious rust.
It was last registered in Nebraska in 1966. 46 years of sitting, waiting to be rescued… or crushed.
All the emblems and most of the chrome are in good shape.
The Chrysler Flathead Six was built from 1929 through 1972 (in later years it was used for military trucks and then as a power source for pumps and farm equipment), a production run length surpassed by just a handful of engines (e.g., small-block Chevrolet, Ford Flathead V8, Volkswagen air-cooled). This one may be seized solid, but you never know on a car that kept its hood closed in the single-digit Colorado humidity.
I’ve been wanting to buy a postwar Plymouth sedan as a recipient for a modern drivetrain and suspension transplant, but this slightly older (yet nearly identical) car really tempted me.
So, what the hell, I went and bought it yesterday. Mine, all mine!

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Junkyard Find: 1957 Chrysler Windsor http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1957-chrysler-windsor/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1957-chrysler-windsor/#comments Sat, 15 Sep 2012 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=460148 It has been a while since I shared any photographs from the Brain Melting Colorado Yard, so let’s return to the amazing yard near Colorado Springs that gave us the Horizon Blue ’49 Kaiser and the ’41 Nash Airflyte. Here’s a ’57 Chrysler that’s destined to be shipped to Sweden in the near future. The […]

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It has been a while since I shared any photographs from the Brain Melting Colorado Yard, so let’s return to the amazing yard near Colorado Springs that gave us the Horizon Blue ’49 Kaiser and the ’41 Nash Airflyte. Here’s a ’57 Chrysler that’s destined to be shipped to Sweden in the near future.
The Swedes love big American cars with lots of fins and chrome, and so this car and many others near it will be dismantled and shipped to Scandinavia by a couple of Swedish restorers who make a yearly pilgrimage to the Brain Melting Yard.
The proprietor of the yard asked me to refrain from opening the hood on this car, because the hood hinges are rusty and it might be impossible to close the hood without bending the sheet metal. That means I can’t tell you for sure what engine is in this car, though I’m pretty sure it should be a 354 Poly.
Everyone thinks about Cadillacs when they picture dramatic tailfins of the late 1950s, but Chrysler made some of the wildest fins of the period. Check out the thickness of these things!

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Junkyard Find: Horizon Blue 1949 Kaiser Special http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-horizon-blue-1949-kaiser-special/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-horizon-blue-1949-kaiser-special/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=457697 Since I’m now shopping for some sort of postwar American sedan for a foolish road-racer project and the ’51 Nash Airflyte in the Brain-Melting Colorado Yard isn’t for sale, I decided to pay more attention to the large selection of Kaiser-Frazer products parked nearby. How about a car with an optional factory color so impressive […]

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Since I’m now shopping for some sort of postwar American sedan for a foolish road-racer project and the ’51 Nash Airflyte in the Brain-Melting Colorado Yard isn’t for sale, I decided to pay more attention to the large selection of Kaiser-Frazer products parked nearby. How about a car with an optional factory color so impressive that the manufacturer installed badges with that color’s name on the fenders?

The Colorado sun and weather isn’t kind to vintage car paint, so the Horizon Blue color is no longer visible. The gold-tone emblems remain, though.
The Kaiser buffalo was one of the better symbols used on American cars.
Here’s an engine that was used in everything from boats to generators to farm equipment to cars built by dozens of manufacturers: the Continental Red Seal 226-cubic-inch flathead six. While Ford, GM, and Chrysler were developing modern overhead-valve V8s and preparing to crush the competition like annoying insects, Kaiser had to stick with this antiquated-but-reliable power plant.
This car is a bit heavy for what I had in mind, so I passed on it. I was, however, tempted to make an offer on this beautifully weathered 1965 license plate.

08 - 1949 Kaiser Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1949 Kaiser Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1949 Kaiser Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1949 Kaiser Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1949 Kaiser Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1949 Kaiser Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1949 Kaiser Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1949 Kaiser Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1951 Nash Airflyte http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1951-nash-airflyte/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1951-nash-airflyte/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2012 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=456836 Why does a car need wheel openings in the front fenders, anyway? The Nash Airflyte, aka the “Bathtub Nash,” proved that long, low, and wide (and a postwar American car-buying public starved for anything with four wheels and an engine) would move the iron off the showroom floor in the late 1940s and early 1950s. […]

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Why does a car need wheel openings in the front fenders, anyway? The Nash Airflyte, aka the “Bathtub Nash,” proved that long, low, and wide (and a postwar American car-buying public starved for anything with four wheels and an engine) would move the iron off the showroom floor in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I’ve been thinking about building an Airflyte-based project car lately, so I returned to the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard to do some window shopping.
It turned out that the yard’s owner wants to keep this ’51 for himself, so I had to content myself with shooting photos instead of wheeling and dealing for a purchase. Fortunately, I’d brought the DSLR and a 25mm lens instead of my usual battered point-and-shoot, so these shots are a little sharper than what you’ll get in most Junkyard Finds.
The days of the flathead six as the standard powerplant for full-sized American cars were coming to an end by 1951, with just about all the Detroit major players working on (or, in the case of Cadillac and Oldsmobile, delivering) overhead-valve V8s.
Through the dust, you can just make out the gorgeous font used for the speedometer numbers.
AM radios were ungodly expensive options in this era, and you had to wait quite a while for the tubes to warm up before you could listen to Ike Turner singing the first-ever rock-and-roll song.
I’m a little disappointed that this car is unavailable, but I’ve got about a thousand more to choose from in this yard.

19 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1951 Nash Airflyte Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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