Rare Rides: The Beautiful 1969 AC Frua Cabriolet

Today’s Rare Ride was in production for nine years, but never reached triple-digit figures in its sales.

Let’s check out this hand-crafted British beauty.

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QOTD: Can You Take the Heat?

Try as I might, I can’t recall exactly which vehicle delivered air conditioned motoring to my family for the first time. Growing up, our vehicles were of the modest variety, and luxuries like ice-cold A/C didn’t find their way into our household until I has a teenager. Too hot? Jeez, maybe you should roll down a window. Too cold? Listen, this is what clothes are for. Bundle up.

It’s possible the first car I drove after receiving my learner’s permit (called a G1 up here in Canadia) was the vehicle in question, though it’s also possible the feature bit the dust somewhere between the time the ’83 Olds left the factory and when it turned up in our driveway in 1992. Come to think of it, I know it wasn’t operational, as I wouldn’t have cursed those fixed rear panes and little pop-out vent windows had I not been soaking through my shirt at the time.

That slider bar on the dash was just a tease, nothing else.

Anyway, you learn to live with it, but age and the proliferation of creature comforts have a way of turning any man or woman soft. Can you live without A/C in June of 2018?

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Piston Slap: Bullish on Ford's Electronic Automatic Temperature Control?

Ryan writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I have a problem with the air conditioning not functioning properly on my ’89 Ford Taurus LX equipped with Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC).

When I start the car on a warm day the AC can blow icy cold air immediately, but the temperature gradually rises to ambient temperature by the time I reach the freeway, and is bad enough that I turn the EATC off. When I turn on the EATC by pressing AUTO, it often feels like it’s blowing maximum heat. I have noticed that when this happens the AC compressor clutch is not cycling on and off. During the winter, the AC compressor clutch clicks on and off. The problem seems to be intermittent and only occurs during warmer months. Also, during startup, you can hear an audible “whirring” noise in the dash, and that started to sound abnormal about the same time the AC stopped working. By “abnormal” I mean it lasts much longer than it used to. I believe the noise I’m hearing is the temperature blend door being moved so the EATC knows the position of the blend door.

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Rare Rides: A Year Later, Ghia's 1983 Lincoln Quicksilver

Today’s post serves as a couple of milestones at TTAC (for me, anyway); 200 articles written, and a year of Rare Rides. Since I did not plan this in any way or think about it in advance, I thought we might make this post a bit special. Bringing us back to the very first Rare Rides entry of one year ago, we have another concept car Ghia designed for Ford which never saw the production green light.

Presenting the 1983 Lincoln Quicksilver.

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Piston Slap: This Group Must Somehow Form a Family!

Josh writes:

Around fall of last year, my girlfriend and I learned we were going to have a baby. I already have two girls and she has three boys. With the existing brood, we were already traveling places in convoy as her Nissan Maxima and my Honda Accord Coupe V6 could not fit everyone together. We threw our money together to get a third vehicle that could carry the entire family and our future baby.

After much research on my end and exploring all other alternatives, we concluded that we wanted a good ol’ Chevy Suburban. It has plenty of room for all of us, can be had relatively cheap, it’s simple enough to troubleshoot and work on, yet will be pretty handy for future home improvement projects.

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Piston Slap: So Hot, Yet So Cold!

Nick writes:

Hello Sajeev,

(I really wanted to put the “n” in there.)

I have a ’97 Prelude that will sometimes cycle on and off its air conditioning when it’s unbearable hot outside (June-September here in Phoenix). Air will come out nice and cold, then it will get real warm suddenly for about 30 seconds before getting cold again. It only happens when it’s extremely hot outside and I’ve been driving for awhile. It works fine the majority of the time. What do you think?

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Piston Slap: Fresh Air on the Topic of Re-circulated Air?

TTAC Commentator sastexan writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Hope you are doing well. I haven’t seen a lot of activity from you on TTAC lately (but I haven’t been as religious a reader lately either between work and kiddos). I find it interesting what cars default to having their climate control (manual or automatic) on re-circulating versus fresh air. One of the things I like about our Odyssey is that it defaults to fresh air unless the cooling load called for is very heavy (in auto mode, in manual mode it won’t switch).

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Piston Slap: Cooling to the MAXX? (Part II)

CJ writes:

My name’s CJ I have a 04 (Malibu MAXX) with a 3.5 V6 and I have the same problem with the car running hot ( as Part I) but here’s the kicker :when the a/c is on the it runs normal, completely normal under both situations. I’m thinking fan switch, but the radiator sounds plausible. What’s your take and is there something in between all this that I’m forgetting?

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Vox Explains: Don't Use A/C – Roll Up Windows & Wear an Ice Vest to Save Gas

It’s always nice when you come across an answer that addresses a question that you’ve wondered about? When I saw that Vox, a relatively new site that says it has “the smartest thinkers, the toughest questions” to “explain” our confusing world to us, was running a post on which uses less fuel, running the A/C or opening the windows, I figured I could put the question to bed. While I did find out about the windows down vs air conditioning thing, I also found out that the smart thinkers over at Vox may not be as smart as they think they are.

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Happy 50th Birthday, Shelby Cobra

50 years ago, the Shelby Cobra made its debut at the New York Auto Show, spawning a rich legacy of American motorsport success, and rampant kit car clones.

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  • MaintenanceCosts The Jeep 4xes are impressive vehicles, even after accounting for the expected Stellantis/FCA lack of reliability. A Wrangler is not of any use to me but this powertrain in a Grand Cherokee L will be on my test-drive list when it inevitably happens.I just wish the gas engine were something other than a coarse and ugly-sounding four. These cars with either the Pentastar or the six-pot Hurricane would rocket right to the top of the list, although I'm sure they would sacrifice a couple of mpg when running on gas.
  • Mike Beranek The suicide door T-Bird in blue is a stunner. I love the look of that car.
  • Cprescott Interesting car. Even in its current condition it looks better than any Honduh made in the last decade. Honduhs already come with a built in junkyard designed look - mishmash of elements that don't work well together.
  • Arthur Dailey Sigh ............. now we are getting to the 'interesting' part.1st tier PLC: Mark III, IV, V and Eldorado. 2nd tier: Toronado, T-Bird, Riviera, Cougar. 3rd tier: Regal, Gran Torino Elite, Cordoba, Cutlass Supreme, Grand Prix, Monte Carlo.
  • Cprescott If you own one of these, the insurance company should refuse to fix any external damage since that IMPROVES the looks. Bone stock, it is hideous.