Automotive History Central

The Automotive Histories cover a wide range of subjects that are not based on a specific found car (Curbside Classic)



An Illustrated History of Automotive Aerodynamics:  Part1 Part 2 Part 3 Part IV: Drag Area Matters

How The 1960 Corvair Started A Global Design Revolution

Pinifarina’s Revolutionary Florida: The Most Influential Design Since 1955

Hidden Headlights: Part1Part 2

The Short Life Of The Two Door Station Wagon

Trying To Make (Business Coupe) Sense Of The Gremlin

The Rear Door Dilemma

Why The 1959 Studebaker Lark Front End Looked So Much Like The 1960 Valiant’s   Paul N

How The 1939 Lincoln Zephyr Ushered In A Design Revolution Thanks To A Hot Radiator

The Cars Of Claus Luthe  Perry Shoar

Bill Mitchell’s Parting Shot: 1977 Pontiac Phantom  Paul N

The Bucket Seat Era Started Modestly In 1958 And Now Bench Seats Are History   PN



Domestic Car Histories:

The First Wave Of Domestic Compacts: The Pioneers Take The Arrows

Mid-Size Madness: What Would You Have Chosen In ’65?

Ford Ranger: Auld Lang Syne – Ford Says Goodbye To The Ranger

Saturn’s Early Years: Corporate Camelot

Chevrolet Cor-Nova 1985 (NUMMI): Lessons Not Learned

GM’s 1947 Cadet: Radically Advanced And Aborted Small Car

Cadillac Catera: Caddy’s Dead Duck

The GM B-Body: A Love Song In B Major

1958 Jeep FC-150 Minivan Prototype and the Jeep FC-150 and FC-170 Forward Control Trucks

The Birth of the Camaro   Paul N

Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan   Paul N

The Curbside Classic Comprehensive Chronology of the Chrysler K-Car Family Tree – Jason Shafer


Domestic Industry Histories:

GM: How The Giant Lost Its Voice   CraiginNC

The Corporation: The Story of My Father, a GM Executive  by Charles Platt  Part 1   Part 2  Part 3

How GM Nickled And Dimed Americans (And Itself) To Death: Undersized Tires

That “Special Time”: The US Auto Industry During The Korean War

Celebrating V-J Day: When Cars Came Home From The War

Crosley: America’s Homegrown Kei Car

Chrysler’s Bi-Polar History: Crashes 1 – 5 and  Crashes 6 – 9

The Canadian Studebaker Plant: The Last Studebaker Ever Rolled Off The Lines Here

Ford’s Deja Vu Moment: How Donald Petersen Saved Ford In The Eighties

The Longest Left Turn in History  Jason Shafer

Canadian Ford Branding History   David Saunders

“Unsafe At Any Speed” Turns Fifty: The Most Influential Book On The Auto Industry Ever  Paul N.


International Brands Histories:

Hans Ledwinkas’s Revolutionary Tatras

The World’s Greatest Wagons: Peugeot 203, 304, 404, 504, 505

Panhard: Back To The Future

The Volvo Duett: Probably The Most Practical Car In The World

Tempo Three Wheelers: From Motorized Wheelbarrows To Speed Record Holder To Immortality In India

Saab: The Eulogy

The Short Wild Ride Of The Yugo in America

Lloyd: Sorry, No Full Liters

DKW Schnellaster: The Mother Of All Mini-Vans?

Goggomobil (Cohort Capsule)   Paul N

The Hyundai Origin Myth Revealed: There’s A Ford in Your Pony

Alfasud Sprint: The Scirocco’s Suicidal Kissing Cousin

The Wild Cars And Planes From Peronist Argentina

The Holden Sandman: The Aussies Blow The Pinto Cruising Wagon Away

VW Kubelwagen And Schwimmwagen: Germany’s WW2 Jeeps

The VW EA128 Prototype – The Stillborn 911 Sedan   Paul N

1968 Quasar Unipower – The Car To Be Seen In   Paul N

Honda S500/S600/S800 – Small, Brilliant, and Fast   David Saunders

Nissan Cedric: When The Pupil Becomes The Master

The Reason Why European Long Distanse Trucks Are So Tall   Johannes Dutch

The Story of the Mighty Ford Transcontinental – Fords European Long-Distance Truck   Johannes Dutch

Automotive Histories: Mazda’s Amati Division – Is It Better To Have Loved And Lost, Or To Never Have Loved At All?   William Stopford



The Legendary Buick Nailhead V8 And The Source Of Its Unusual Valve Arrangement

The Ford FE Series V8 Engine   Jason Shafer

The Ford 4.6 Liter V8   Jason Shafer

The Curious F-Head Engine

The Chevrolet Fuel-Injected 283 V8

The Chevrolet “W” 348 Engine: First Of A Long Line Of Chevy Big blocks

Chevrolet Turbo-Thrift Sixes: The Quickest and Slowest  Paul N

The OHC V12 That Cadillac Almost Built In The Sixties  Paul N

The Atkinson and Miller Cycle Engines: Not Exactly What The Started Out To Be  PN

Alfa Romeo Twin Cam Four

Three Pot Stew: America’s Brief Fling With The Three-Cylinder Supermini

The Last two New Air-Cooled Engines (Honda 1300/Citroen GS)   A. Lacki

The Little Engines That Could, Part 1 (Ford Truck) – Jason Shafer

The Little Engines That Could, Part 2 (Dodge Truck) – Jason Shafer

The Little Engines That Could, Part 3 (Dodge) – Jason Shafer

The Little Engines That Could, Part 4 (Chevrolet) – Jason Shafer

The Little Engines That Could, Part 5 (Mercury) – Jason Shafer

The World’s Largest IC Engine: A Walk Through The Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C Marine Engine  PN



Powerglide: A GM Greatest Hit Or Deadly Sin?   Paul N

Chevrolet Torque Drive: A Dumber Powerglide   Paul N

Ford’s Torque-Drive Semi-Automatic  (1970 Maverick)   Paul N

The Joys of Overdrive: The Borg-Warner Planetary Overdrive (1934 – 1972)  Paul N

Lincoln Liquamatic Drive: Failure To Upshift  Jim Cavanaugh

The Toyota 5 Speed Transmission Takes Over the World  Dave Skinner


Other Technical Subjects:

An X-Ray Look At GM’s X Frames (1957 – 1970) Paul N

Ford’s “Falcon Platform”  18 Different Variations From 1960 Falcon to Lincoln Versailles   Paul N

Rolls-Royce Mechanical Brake Booster/Servo: Used From 1919 through the Sixties  Paul N

Chrysler’s Failed Turboencabulator Hybrid (April 1)   Mike Butts

Firestone Thermador Car Cooler “The Swamp Cooler” (CC Capsule)   Paul N



Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars   by Jim Cavenaugh

Part 1 (1946-1949)

Part 2 (1950-1954)

Part 3 (1955-1959)

Part 4 (1960-1964)

Part 5 (1965-1969)

Part 6 (1970-1974)


Obscure Rebadges From Around The World

Part 1: Mitsubishi Dignity; Lonsdale; Sao Penza; Lancia Pangea; Nissan Ute

Part 2: Mazda Roadpacer; Alfa Romeo Arna; Isuzu Statesman de Ville; Honda Crossroad; Ssangyong Kallista

Part 3: Alpheon; Bitter Vero; Seat Exeo; Fiat Freemont


Popular Culture And The Car

American Classics of Sweden  Robert Kim

The History Of The Swedish A-Traktor: Regional Car Culture Explained

The Pinto’s Brief Life As An Airplane

The Cars Of A King: Elvis Presley And His Hobby  Jana Lingo

Oldsmobile Rocket 88: The Car That Changed Music  Jana Lingo

The Cars of President Harry S Truman  Jason Shafer

Green Tortoise: “Nothing Like Your Last Bus Ride”   Paul N

CC Cinema: Mrs. James Bond’s 1969 Cougar  Robert Kim

CC Cinema: Cars of the Karate Kid   Robert Kim

CC Television:  Cars of The Beverly Hillbillies  Jason Shafer

CC TV: Cars of Archer  Robert Kim

CC TV: The Chrysler Commercials of Ricardo Montalban  Robert Kim

One Town’s Automotive Coming Of Age  Jason Shafer


Cars in History

No Magic Carpet Rides — The Curbside Classics of Baghdad  Robert Kim

Historic Vehicles of Saigon  Robert Kim

American Cars in Pre-Communist China — The East is Red White & Blue  Robert Kim


Chrysler’s Dream Cars from the Fifties:

Turning Dreams Into Semi-Reality: Dual Ghia and Ghia L 6.4

The Bad Dreams: Turboflyte and Imperial D’Elegance

Dreams For Sale: The Production Chrysler Ghias

1953 Chrysler Ghia D’Elegance

1951 Chrysler K310: The Beginning Of The Exner Era

The Chrysler Parade Phaetons  J. P. Cavanaugh



Los Angeles 1950s-1960s

Victory Is Sweet: Vintage Drag Racing Pictures From Santa Maria (1958-1962)

1968 and ‘69 Chicago Auto Show, Part 2  Kevin Martin

Imagining the Stories Behind Old Photographs of Cars That Weren’t That Old Yet   Jim Grey

Brochure Classics: The Ladies of Broughamville  Tom Klockau

Legendary Automotive Artist Art Fitzpatrick Dead At 96   PN


Automobile Dealerships:

Springfield Buick: The Little Dealership That Time Forgot   Paul N

Dealerships With Dad: The 1985 Chrysler LeBaron GTS  Aaron65



Honda 305 Dream: Soichiro Honda’s Dream Comes True    PN

1969 Honda CB750: The First Modern Superbike

1965 Honda CB450: The Black Bomber

Honda 350 Family: The Most Popular Bikes Ever

1979-1982 Honda 750F   R. Kim

The Kawasaki Two-Stroke Triples 

Suzuki T500: The Best Bike Almost Nobody Remembers

Yamaha 350: The Giant Killer

Yamaha SX650: Originality Is Overrated

Yamaha 250 DT-1 

Harley Davidson Sprint: Spaghetti Hoglet

Norton Manx And The Isle of Wight

Harley 750: King of the Track Part 1   Part 2      The KR750 Riders

Home Made Bikes; Some On Steroids

Cooper and Norton: How the Triton and Norvin Bikes Came To Be

Mike Hailwood: The Natural

Cal Rayborn: The Life And Death Of An Icon

What The Heck Is A Speedway


Other Motorcycle History Articles:

BSA 441 Victor  Paul Niedermeyer

Harley Davidson Hummer  Paul Niedermeyer

Vintage bikes from America’s Miracle Museum  Paul Niedermeyer



Avro Vulcan B2: The Empire’s Last Stand   Big Paws



Diesel-Electric Submarines: Part 1 – World’s Biggest Hybrids    Part 2: Acceleration From Zero To ??