(first posted 12/10/2013) Do I love old B&W photos? I just spent an hour or more perusing about a hundred of them taken at the Santa Maria CA Raceway between about 1958 and 1962. If you want to spend a sweet hour yourself, here’s where they all are: oilstick.com. If you want the edited version and trust my taste, I’ll share my favorite dozen or so without commentary, because these pictures tell their story eloquently enough. Read the rest of this entry »
(first posted 12/9/2017) Sometimes, great engines are applauded and commended from day one, like the small block chevy engine. But other times they are equally as good, being produced for decades, without anyone even noticing, like the Buick V6 or Audi’s EA827. Are these the underdogs of the car world? Read the rest of this entry »
Photos submitted by Charlie Kelley.
To be a silent witness of the changing of the seasons is the curious fate of cars junked by the countryside. I was reminded of that when thinking of these two old Chevys found in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada back in the early summer. With autumn turning into winter these days, the old Chevys will remain there, silently in wait as their surrounding changes. Leaves will fall, shrubs will wither, and snow will make its appearance.
It’s interesting to revisit brands now disappeared, and see them at a point when they were full of life and potential. Such is the case of Plymouth. For most of my life, the nameplate was rather moribund; one had to look at the past to see the brand when it meant something. And looking at these owners of yore, that something was rather varied.
Photos from the Cohort, by J.C.
A couple of weeks ago I talked about how a certain kind of old beaters are rarely seen anymore. Old-time CC readers know what I’m talking about; rusty old junkers, with peeling paint, rusted-out panels, worn-out tires, and so on. In short, the Uncle Buck special.
A few commenters pointed out that such clunkers still exist, but they’ve just morphed into a different type. A true statement. And as such they tend to fall below the CC radar, as they’re, how shall I say? Less picturesque and charismatic?
According to most sources, one of the first modern driver education programs was created by Penn State professor Amos Neyhart in 1934 and debuting at a nearby high school. However, the state of New Jersey reportedly developed a driver’s education course in 1933, and in the same year, Bergen County, New Jersey is said to have offered the first classroom driver education instruction, a ten-hour course initially taught in three area schools. One year later, the program added an automobile and driving instructor, making it one of the earliest driver’s ed programs including both classwork and on-the-road training.*
At the same time, the first driver’s ed textbooks were published, mostly with support from auto insurance companies or organizations such as the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Bus Stop Classics – CC Clue: 1947-1952 Bedford OB CAC (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) Coach – Streamliner From Down Under
(first posted 12/10/2017) Several very good guesses but unfortunately no winners from yesterday’s CC Clue – but let’s take a look at this unique vehicle anyway. What we have here is a Bedford OB CAC 31/33 passenger bus – the CAC stands for Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, an Australian aviation company originally from Melbourne. Read the rest of this entry »
Automotive History: The Mysterious Appearance of Floor Shifters for 1961-1964 Chrysler Three-Speed Manual Transmissions
(first posted 12/9/2017) As a rather curious corollary to Chrysler’s very space-age push-button automatic, whose demise was covered here by Jim Cavanaugh, Chrysler saw fit to provide only a retrograde 1930s-style floor shifter for the standard three-speed manual transmission on their cars from 1961 through 1964. And we’re talking Chrysler-brand cars, not the low-end big Plymouths and Dodges (except the Chrysler-based Dodge Custom 880). Chrysler was working hard these years to cultivate their odd-ball image. Read the rest of this entry »
Greetings, fellow curbivores. Today let’s take a trip to Varadero Cuba with Mrs DougD and I. Read the rest of this entry »
Growing up, I was part of a “no-car” family. My parents were older and had both experienced the Great Depression, and as a result, if public transportation was available, then a car was an unnecessary expense. If the bus couldn’t get us to where we needed to go, then we had several relatives we could rely on. My Mother’s favorite partner was her older sister; my Aunt Winnie. Winnie was a divorced, single, working woman, at a time when that wasn’t typical. Perhaps the best description of her, and I say this in no way demeaning and with great affection, was a “tough ‘ole broad.” She was a realtor, and contrary to the stereotype, didn’t drive an older Cadillac or Lincoln to chauffeur her clients. There must have been a company car for that – Winnie drove beaters. Read the rest of this entry »
Father bought a ’63 Lincoln in 1967 when I was in 7th. grade. He kept the car until I graduated from high school in ’73. It was powder blue with a silver-blue leather interior. The front seat was a bench with split, curved seat backs and a pull down armrest. Looking at them from outside the car they looked like bucket seats. The a/c vents were housed in bay window shaped structure in the center of the dash, with three sets of louvers that were controlled by a set of toggles at the bottom of each vent. That a/c could really cool down the car impressively. I got to drive this car quite a bit and it had a huge influence on me.
QOTD: Is The Tesla Cybertruck The Most Radically Different Mass Production Vehicle Design Ever? If Not, What Was?
The easy question would be: Do You Love Or Hate The Cybertruck? But we’re too high-minded to succumb to that; right? So how about we consider the CT in its historical context, as to whether it is the most radically different mass production vehicle design ever? It absolutely shatters the paradigm for pickup trucks; there’s no doubt in my mind regarding that category. I’ve been struggling to come up with production automobiles that had such a radically different shape, proportions and design. I’ve got one or two candidates and a couple of other considerations, but I’m not too confident that they were quite as unique and radically different in their time as the CT.
Vintage Motor Trend Road Test: 1962 Pontiac Tempest Le Mans Four – Half A GTO Engine Is Still Faster Than Many V8s
Given that the 1961-1963 Tempest’s four cylinder was one half of Pontiac’s 389 cubic inch V8 and that John DeLorean’s performance proclivities were well known, it’s not surprising that there was a hot version available. Thanks to a four barrel carb, 10.25:1 compression ratio and an aggressive camshaft it packed 166 hp, one-half of the top-dog 333 hp 389-A four barrel 389 V8, essentially the same engine as would be used in the 1964 GTO . Backed by a four speed manual transmission, in the relatively light (3028 lbs) Tempest the hot four made the Tempest as quick or quicker than quite a few V8s at the time. It could also be a handful thanks to its swing axle rear suspension.
Given its hot four, “rope drive”, four speed transmission and swing axle rear suspension, the Tempest was something utterly unique in America at the time — in more ways than — causing M/T to say it was “a whole bundle of fun to drive” as well as “you can scare yourself real easy.” Sounds like something I would have liked.