Tag: History

By on July 29, 2016

1937 Nash Lafayette

Sure, none of the original players are walking the earth, but we can still celebrate the corporate creation of Charles W. Nash, the man who quit General Motors in its infancy to form his own car company.

Nash Motors wasn’t a Big Three player, but it did make its mark on the automotive landscape. During a wild ride of mergers, acquisitions and changing product direction, the independent automaker spawned a number of innovations that became industry firsts. (Read More…)

By on July 29, 2016

2016 Ford Falcon ute

There’s sad news from Down Under. No, Paul Hogan is still alive, and no, dingoes didn’t get into a local kindergarten.

The last Ford Falcon Ute rolled off the assembly line in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows today, ending 55 years of continuous production, Car Advice reports. The death of the FG X Falcon Ute heralds the looming demise of Australian Ford assembly, and leaves just one (doomed) ute in the marketplace of the country that invented it. (Read More…)

By on July 22, 2016

Detroit (Bryan Debus/Flickr)

The Automotive Hall of Fame thinks it can better tell the history of the automobile if it makes a move to the Motor City.

William Chapin, the museum’s president, wants to expand the facility’s scope and become part of Detroit’s resurgence, so he’s looking for space near downtown, according to the Detroit Free Press. (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2016

Jeep Wrangler 75th anniversary concept

Jeep turns 75 years old today, and its birthday promises to be a lot more upbeat than, say, Plymouth’s.

The storied brand, which started life producing a hastily built battlefield runabout, is now a sales juggernaut for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which could be its reward for suffering through so many ownership changes over the years. To mark the special occasion, FCA built a one-off Wrangler that takes the brand back to its roots.

You can’t buy it, but you can remove the doors and fold down the windshield on your own Wrangler, head to a nearby field, paint some signs in German and pretend it’s two weeks ’till V-E Day. (Read More…)

By on July 8, 2016

Hagerty Gas Station Event - Collector Car Appreciation Day_03

California is typically painted a scorching red on Gasbuddy’s heat map, but some drivers got a break from high pump prices in Beverly Hills this morning.

You needed a classic car to make the cut, and you needed to be at the historic (Union) 76 Gas Station at Little Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Drive, but if you were, you took a trip back in time without having to worry about dodging the draft. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2016

BMW 600

One of these things is really not like the other.

While perusing an archive of historic Texas highway photos the other day (hey, when you’re single…), something popped up that I felt needed to be shared. In a 1962 image of Houston’s Southwest Freeway (US 59 South), standing out like a three-bean salad at a rib cook-off, was a wonderful automotive oddity.

When we pan out, you’ll see what this daring (and economical) driver had to deal with during his daily commute. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2016

1936 Lincoln-Zephyr

After standing outside the party in the cold, hoping someone inside would hear its plaintive knocking, Lincoln Motor Company is now on the sales rebound.

The restyled MKX is a hit, we’re getting a better looking (and faster) MKZ, and the new Continental is on the way, but there’s also buzz about a another historic nameplate potentially making a comeback. That model is Zephyr — a name Ford Motor Company recently applied to trademark, though if it’s for use on a vehicle, it should probably reconsider. (Read More…)

By on June 2, 2016

1974 Volkswagen Beetle

If there was ever a hermetically sealed time capsule of a car, this is it. And we can thank an old, religious Italian man who hated driving for keeping it so fresh.

A beyond pristine 1974 Volkswagen Beetle, once a common sight on roadways everywhere, just sold at Silverstone Auctions in Denmark for a price that would make an original buyer choke on their Tab. Did they get a good deal? It depends on how much value you put on “perfect.” (Read More…)

By on May 17, 2016

Rolls-Royce Zenith Edition

Like a Dreadnought-class battleship, the current generation of the hulking and insanely lavish Rolls-Royce Phantom is being mothballed, but it gets one final hurrah.

The folks behind the Spirit of Ecstasy are busy building — sorry, “crafting” — the ultimate Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé vehicles before those models slip the surly bonds of earth.

Just 50 will be made, and Rolls is naming the bespoke collection after those big 1970s televisions you saw in the back pages of National Geographic. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2016

Dodge LaFemme, Walter P Chrysler Museum, Source: Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

Just two days after Cadillac announced opening up what they hope will be an au courant coffee shop on the ground floor of its trendy lower Manhattan digs, Fiat Chrysler announced it will reopen the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, on the grounds of Chrysler’s campus in slightly less trendy Auburn Hills, on June 4th.

The museum, which first opened in 1999 when Daimler owned Chrysler, has displays that cover the history of the current Chrysler brands along with the company’s former nameplates, starting with a 1902 Rambler from the Jeffrey company (the progenitor to Nash) and American Motors. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2016

2016 Jeep Wrangler, Yokohama Geolandar G015 Launch, Moab, Utah, Image: Lerry Liu/Yokohama

More than 300 jobs are coming to a historic Toledo manufacturing site, and you can thank the car-buying public’s thirst for Jeeps for it.

Dana Holding Corp. is spending $70 million to build a 300,000 square foot axle plant at the former Willys-Overland site, with Jeep being its only named customer, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2016

Fuzzbuster II Radar Detector, Image: dave_7/Flickr

by Richard A. Ratay

In 1974, Congress passed legislation establishing the national highway speed limit of 55 mph. The original goal of the law was to conserve gas during the first OPEC Oil Crisis. Later, proponents of the lower limit argued it reduced highway fatalities. (Remember “55 Saves Lives”?) In time, studies showed the lower limit accomplished neither objective. It did, however, irk just about every driver across America.

Truckers were already equipped with their own means of skirting the new limit. Using their CB radios, long haul truck drivers kept each other informed about the whereabouts of “bear traps” and “Smokeys” lurking along the highways.

But drivers of automobiles sought their own weapon for combatting enforcement of the new lower speed limit. They found it in a device called “The Fuzzbuster.” Released a year before passage of the 55 mph National Maximum Speed Limit, the Fuzzbuster was the creation of Dale Smith, an Ohio driver who had earlier found himself seething at the side of the road after being nabbed in a police speed trap.

(Read More…)

By on April 27, 2016

Chevrolet Cavalier

No matter who you are or what status you hold in society, at some point in the past 34 years you did something in a Chevrolet Cavalier, and it was probably a lackluster experience (barring anything in the backseat, though even then…).

For reasons unknown, the nameplate that once summed up everything that was wrong with domestic compacts will return to the automotive landscape on a China-only Chevrolet model, GMInsideNews reports. (Read More…)

By on April 16, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Beetle Exterior-008

Will there be a Green Mile edition?

The slow-selling Volkswagen Beetle is living on borrowed time, if a tweet by industry insider Autoline can be believed, but aside from nostalgia, why should the world mourn a vehicle that few buyers want?

In the wake of the disruptive and wildly expensive diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen needs sales in a big way, and they’re not getting them from the Beetle. Seven months out from the diesel revelations, Volkswagen’s sales are still dropping, and the Beetle’s popularity with buyers has all the power of, well, an original Beetle engine. (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2016

Trans Am SE Bandit Edition (Image: Trans Am Depot)

Ungodly horsepower and unbridled car lust? Check. Gaudy awesome lettering and badges? Check. (Optional) Disco era moustaches? Check.

If you’re triggered by anything that isn’t subdued, then the Trans Am SE Bandit Edition is definitely not a safe space.

Trans Am Depot, the Tallahassee-based creator of custom-built Trans Ams (using 5th-generation Chevrolet Camaros as a canvas), is out to satisfy 77 lucky buyers who yearn for the heady days of the late 1970s.

(Read More…)

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