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Author Topic: Car Trivia, Post a Feature, First, Statistic, or??? Gear Heads Welcome!! Back to Topics
Hambone61

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Message Posted: Nov 14, 2008 4:47:30 PM

List a bit of trivia, auto related, that you know for sure. It can be about anything automotive regarding sales, styling, firsts, features, performance, mechanical highlights, anything that may be interesting to someone who loves cars.

I'll get it started:
In 1938, Packard had a twelve cylinder engine. The engine was of V design and had an unusual valve layout that put both the intake and exhaust manifolds on the top of the engine. This engine had an innovative cooling overflow tank mounted alongside the engine. The cooling system on this car held a whopping 40 quarts and the engine took 10 quarts of oil!

I guess if you could afford to drive a Packard, you could afford the money for the five gallons of antifreeze required, not to mention the oil and maintenance required.

What do you have?
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2Tall
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Message Posted: Apr 21, 2014 6:59:49 AM

Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper, a patent was issued. Now they are a standard feature on all American cars.

This Alabama belle is often confused with a labor organizer by the name of Mary Anderson. We do know that she took a trip to New York City where she took her sketchpad and made a diagram of her invention, the windshield wipers.

On those rainy days, we always find that the windshield wipers on our car are very useful. We tend to take them for granted. How would we manage without them on those stormy and rainy days?

The inventor of the windshield wipers was Mary Anderson. While Mary found herself to be a passenger on a streetcar on New York, she was aware that the driver had to periodically stop and wipe the windows. On some occasions the driver would open the windows so that he/she could see to drive. When drivers were subject to inclement weather such as snowstorms, they were inclined to stop the vehicle. This was done so that they were able to wipe the snow off of the windshield and windows. With this situation in mind, Mary invented the windshield wipers in 1903 and a patent was issued in 1905. By 1916, the windshield wipers were a standard feature on all American cars.
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Apr 16, 2014 10:42:45 PM

Not too early to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Ford Mustang. Amazing what Lee Iacocca and the Ford design staff could do with the platform of the dull-but-dependable Ford Falcon (the original dashboard cluster was taken straight from the contemporary Falcon, for one).

Will share more Mustang memories as we go along this week, but feel free to add your own!
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cDagasGo
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Message Posted: Apr 8, 2014 8:15:37 PM

John R. Oishei (1886-1968) formed the Tri-Continental Corporation in 1917. This company introduced the first windshield wiper, Rain Rubber, for the slotted, two-piece windshields found on many of the automobiles of the time. Today Trico Products is one of the world's leading manufacturers of windshield wiping systems, windshield wiper blades and refills, with wiper plants on five continents. Bosch has the world's biggest windscreen wiper factory in Tienen, Belgium, which produces 350,000 wiper blades every day.
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Apr 1, 2014 8:25:45 PM

The "pony car" era did not begin April 17, 1964 as is commonly assumed. And, believe it or not, this is not an April Fools joke! Plymouth launched the Valiant-based Barracuda fastback on April 1, 1964. The car was essentially the Valiant Signet with a distinctively-different grille (its round parking lights recalled those on the 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix), and the interior looked something like that of the '66 Dodge Charger, except when it came to the dashboard, which was a virtual clone of the '64 Valiant and Dodge Dart.

The Barracuda was introduced, among other things, to showcase the new 273-cubic-inch V-8 engine that would power many smaller Mopars well into the 1970's. It also launched a fastback design that, up to that point, boasted the largest single piece of curved glass in automotive history. Ironically, that large glass is one of the hardest-to-find parts if you wish to restore a '64-'66 Barracuda. (Unlike the first Ford Mustang, the Barracuda was not a "64 1/2" model, nor an early '65 Barracuda.)

Yet this pioneering pony car was left in the dust by the car that arrived 16 days later...the first Ford Mustang, which debuted April 17th...and phased out a decade later as the Barracuda, Dodge Challenger and AMC Javelin stopped production with the end of 1974 production....

[Edited by: bongobro at 4/1/2014 8:26:30 PM EST]
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2014 12:44:17 PM

Thanks, pilotdlh! Feel free to add your trivia notes, too!
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pilotdlh
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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2014 10:40:27 AM

Thanks to everyone posting here. This is the best thread here!
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2Tall
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2014 7:46:06 AM

The Triumph Spitfire Mark 1 hit the streets in 1962 and continued up until 1964.
The engine was from a Triumph Herald with the addition of twin SU carburetors for extra performance. The running gear was also taken from the Triumph Herald. The steering was Rack-and-pinion with Independent/Coil Springs at the front and Independent/Transverse leaf springs at the rear.
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toms1120
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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2014 1:03:45 PM

World first three colour traffic was installed in Detroit, Michigan 1919. Two years later they experimented with synchronized lights.
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mullingspices
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Message Posted: Mar 14, 2014 1:32:09 PM

In the sister thread "Car Trivia: Answer One, Ask One", I asked a question about blue dot tail lights. Rodders back in the day couldn't just go to the store and purchase such lights, nor were there kits to put the dots into existing lenses. In order to get the dot, one often found a blue reflector from some road and repurposed a part of it. It was considered illegal as the visible light color changed to a purple and taking of road signs was theft.

Car lenses were made of glass, so one had to drill out the lens and put the blue dot in. It was not too hard to find the right spot as, unlike the lenses of modern cars, there already was a 'bull's eye' where the bulb would be centered in. Up close, it was easy to see the red light surrounding the blue, and both colors would be distinct, but at a distance, because of the colors' contrast, the human brain judges this combo to be purple.
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mullingspices
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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2014 1:21:37 PM

The "Little Nash Rambler" of "Beep Beep" fame really was a hero for AMC. Last produced in 1955, the Nash Rambler was largely forgotten until 1957, when AMC was struggling to turn around. Sales of the larger AMC cars picking up, but there was no mid-size vehicle. Metropolitan was their small car. In a stroke of genius, one of the AMC management recalled such a car was already tooled up for...the Nash Rambler! After some updates, it was reintroduced as the Rambler American for 1958, which proved a success and kept AMC afloat for a few more years.
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2014 9:42:12 AM

Did you know that some GM and Ford cars have hemi engines. In the "Fin Man" column found in the St. Louis POST-DISPATCH on January 12th, columnist and car historian Bruce Kunz notes that the Lincoln INTECH V-8 and the Cadillac Northstar V-8 (also used in Oldsmobiles and other GM makes) have hemispherical combustion chambers not far removed from the Chrysler HEMI V-8 design. Kunz also notes correctly that HEMI IN ALL CAPS is a registered trademark of Chrysler, so you'll never hear or see the owner of a Lincoln Mark VIII or Cadillac Allante bragging, "Yeah, dude, it's got a hemi."

Actually, save Plymouth, all Chrysler, Dodge and DeSoto V-8s were based on the Chrysler FirePower 331 Hemi through 1958. Plymouth's V-8 (also used in Dodge trucks) was a polyspherical V-8...must admit saying that your car "has a Poly" sounds a bit weird!

[Edited by: bongobro at 1/15/2014 9:45:11 AM EST]
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2013 11:52:11 PM

Anyone who remembers the Commander, Land Cruiser, President, Champion, or even the Hawk, Daytona, Avanti or Wagonaire should take a couple moments out to remember the Studebaker. Earlier this week, 50 years ago on Dec. 9, 1963, Studebaker announced the end of car production at its long-time home plant in South Bend, Indiana.

While plagued with high overhead and labor costs in its later years, Studebaker has to be credited with many, many firsts in the period from World War II to its final cars produced in Canada in March 1966:

First "hill-holder" device that kept manual-shift cars from rolling backwards on hills when starting in gear. You may remember Subaru made a big deal about a similar device in the 1980s.

"First by far with a postwar car." Kaiser-Frazer may have produced the modern envelope body as we know it with its 1947 models, but they were not readily available across the country until mid-'47. After a very short run of '46 models, all-new 1947 Studebakers were introduced in mid-'46. The wraparound rear window of the Starlight coupe was truly daring for its time.

Studebaker was second only to Chevrolet in offering an automatic transmission in the low-priced field in 1950. Studebaker Automatic Drive was so good, Ford Motor Company wanted to buy it for their cars!

Studebaker was first in the low-price field with an overhead-valve V-8 in its 1951 models. Ford, remember, used flatheads until 1954 in the U. S. and the 1955 model year in Canada.

The 1953 "Loewy" coupes stayed in production for more than a decade and were the forerunners of the 1955 President Speedster and the classic line of Studebaker Hawks from 1956 through 1964 (granted, the '62-'64s were Thunderbird-like in appearance but rode the same basic chassis).

The 1949 Studebaker trucks looked more modern in some respects than their Ford and Chevrolet contemporaries, and still stayed fairly new-looking well into the mid 1950s. Studebaker offered regular-production four-wheel drive models as far back as 1958 (before Ford and Chevy), and even offered diesel engines in medium-duty trucks as far back as 1962.

The 1957-58 Golden Hawks and the curious 1958 Packard Hawk, as well as the "Packardbakers" of 1957-58, were among the few cars in the late 1950s to be built with a supercharger as standard equipment.

Studebaker was the North American distributor for Mercedes-Benz automobiles though the mid 1960s.

The 1959 Lark and its successors were the first serious challenge to American Motors' dominance in the compact car field, while using the basic body shells of sedans and wagons dating back to the 1950s. The Lark-based Champ pickup replaced the 1949-vintage pickups in 1960, and its influence can be seen in the design of Chevrolet's LUV pickups built by Japan's Isuzu Motors in the late 1970s.

The 1963 Studebakers, including the all-new Avanti, were the first American cars to offer power front disc brakes as available equipment on a regular basis. Also in 1963, the Wagonaire offered a sliding roof section over the rear cargo compartment. While not perfect in design or conception, the GMC Envoy XUV would offer the same concept brought up to date in 2003-04.

The Avanti was the first mass-production fiberglass-bodied car to be built since the 1954 Kaiser-Darrin roadster, and it and its successors offered an alternative to the Chevrolet Corvette well into the 1990s. In various forms, the 1963 Avanti set a number of speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats, some that remain unchallenged even today.

Even the last 1966 Studebakers offered a flow-through fresh-air ventilation system ("Refreshaire"), a feature seen only in a handful of Ford and Mercury full-size cars in 1965.

Perhaps the advertising catchphrase that summed up all these advancements was the one that marked the 1963 slogan..."New Cars from the Advanced Thinking of Studebaker."
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 7:03:06 PM

You would think car companies wouldn't brag about what was left out of their cars during World War II, but Ford advertising made it front-page news with its new 1942 models.

Ford bragged that to produce their new cars, "new aluminum has been cut out 100%," with reductions in tin, copper, zinc (cut out "almost 98 percent"), nickel and molybdenum. Ford also noted "we have been developing plastics for years at Ford, and now the results are apparent." Major parts of the instrument panel, including trim, radio speaker mountings and other areas surrounding the instruments, were made of plastic that were "lighter in weight, handsome in appearance and fully as serviceable."

Of course, there was one area where cutting out aluminum backfired. In Illinois, the powers that be decided to replace their aluminum license plates with plates made of compressed soybeans. An original 1943 Illinois license plate is extremely rare...seems cows munched on the soybean plates the way people would potato chips!
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mullingspices
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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2013 2:00:51 AM

A bit of trivia from a friend who has passed on...this being Dec. 7, and he was a WWII vet. After the events of Dec. 7, 1941 unfolded, the US put restrictions on consumer goods in order to focus on the war effort Among the goods restricted was rubber. Unlike today where lots of things are made of plastic, rubber was used in many goods and was in great demand for war uses. Think of the boots, raincoats, tires, and other goods used by the armed forces, all of which used rubber.


Gas was rationed not so much to save gas as to save tires, which had always been in short supply, but were even more dear during the war. Germans were short of tires, too, and had developed what we know as the Bandag system of tire recapping during the war, the system allowing recaps to be made in the sand of the Sahara. But I digress...

Civilians were ordered to turn in all extra tires (each car could only have 5), so even those people with new cars turned in their tires off their cars, replacing them with pre-war new ones in order to have as much useful tire life as possible. I asked my friend how long the tires lasted, and his reply was to the effect that the new set they put on his father's new car (a 1941 Plymouth) lasted the duration, just wearing out as the war came to a close. Back then tires lasted less than 10,000 miles here, and their family had more than normal rations of gas as they were able to obtain extra gas at the end of each month when others had not used up all their rations. So, it seems the government's plan to save tires worked, at least in Hawaii, as most people did not travel very much during WWII

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bongobro
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Message Posted: Nov 28, 2013 9:35:41 PM

While in previous posts I told the sad tale of the 1960 Edsel, we now turn our attention to a 1961 model that lasted only slightly longer. In the sister thread "Car Trivia: Answer One, Ask One," I tell the story of how a group of former DeSoto dealers fought Chrysler until 1976 sbout the loss of their brand.

The DeSoto line was literally the middle child of the Chrysler Corporation family for years. Walter P. Chrysler developed DeSoto to hedge its bets in 1928--the same year he launched the Plymouth--in the case Chrysler couldn't swing the purchase of Dodge Brothers (which he did about the same time!).

So by the start of the 1929 model year, you had Plymouth, DeSoto, Dodge and Chrysler. Sometime in the 1930s--presumably the time the DeSoto and Chrysler Airflows were introduced--Dodge and DeSoto's market positions were reversed, as in the familiar "Forward Look" lineup of "Plymouth...Dodge...DeSoto...Chrysler...Imperial."

While DeSoto was big on taxicabs (and was second only to Packard in introducing "refrigerated air conditioning" in the 1942 models, not to mention their manually operated "Airfoil" headlights ("out of sight except at night), the DeSoto line grew increasingly staid and dowdy through the '40s and early '50s. That changed with the aforementioned "Forward Look" models of 1955-56, and reached its peak with the 1957 models. With their fabulous finny looks, and the development of the Adventure coupe and convertible models, DeSoto could honestly be called "the most exciting car in the world today," as '57 advertising proclaimed.

Then came the 1957-58 recession. Coupled with increasingly gaudy styling on '58 models--and extremely weak quality control on all '57 Mopars--DeSoto sales plummeted in 1958. Even Edsel sold more cars in '58 than DeSoto!

By 1959, DeSoto styling was little more than trim jiggling on the Chrysler body, and, while Chrysler was bragging of the marque's 30th anniversary, talk was circulating that DeSoto could go the way of Nash, Hudson and Packard before long. The 1960 DeSotos were indeed no more than retrimmed Chrysler sedans and hardtops, and only the Adventurer and Fireflite remained. No Firedome, no Firesweep, no convertibles, no wagons.

Then, DeSoto division merged into Plymouth Division, not unlike the M-E-L division (Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln division at Ford). Months later, with the new Valiant added to the mix, then came the Plymouth-DeSoto-Valiant division...and 1961.

There was indeed a 1961 DeSoto planned...and supposedly a new smaller DeSoto based on the Plymouth-Dodge Dart body shell...but Chrysler didn't decide to dump DeSoto until late 1960. Chrysler made enough materials to produce DeSoto cars for a few months into the 1961 model young. All told, 3,034 DeSotos were built: 2,123 four-door hardtops and 911 two-door hardtops. No series name. Just DeSoto.

The ad slogan for the final DeSoto campaign is truly ironic: "Its quality sets it apart; its price keeps it within your reach.' On November 30, 1960, the last DeSotos were built and DeSoto dealers were told that there were no more DeSotos to sell. Some dealers had to fill their DeSoto orders with Chrysler Windsors...and others filed suits claiming Chrysler breached their contracts by discontinuing the DeSoto line, thus keeping sales out of their reach!

While Chrysler offered a modified Dodge Dart 440 and a Dodge Lancer (!) for the South African market (and the Lancer was called the DeSoto Rebel [!!] for 1962, stateside there were neither full-size Dodges nor DeSotos in the mix at the start of the model year. Chrysler slapped a 1961 Polara front end on the Chrysler Newport body and launched it as the 1962 Dodge 880/Custom 880 ("custom built for the man who likes his car BIG!")

DeSoto dealers may have had the last laugh. Dodge barely sold 17,000 Polaras in 1961. The '62 Custom 880--the only car close to either the '61 DeSoto or the '61 Polara--outsold BOTH Polara and DeSoto in its short run in 1962!
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Oct 18, 2013 11:04:24 AM

WOW! Makes me wonder how they ever held any air but for their tubes. You sure couldn't do that today with our modern tubeless radials!

In that "Answer One Ask One" thread today, I discussed the hapless post-1974 AMC Matador. In his book, AMERICAN MOTORS: THE LAST INDEPENDENT, AMC expert Pat Foster noted that company officials wanted to rev up sales of the "bulky but well-made" Matador in the mid-1970s, and dreamed of doing something dramatic as Oldsmobile did when it introduced its 1973 "colonnade" style Cutlass Supreme coupe in the fall of '72. The 1970 Rebel and 1971-73 Matador hardtops had a roofline reminiscent of some 1967-1968 Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth full-size coupes plugged onto the squarish 1967-69 Rebel body shell. Admittedly, the rear end was made rounder on the coupes and sedans in 1970, but Foster described those as looking "lumpy and pregnant", as if two halves of different cars had been welded together. They did not fool with the wagon until later.

The 1974 Matador coupe was aerodynamic-looking from the windshield pillar on back, but had a long, square-looking front end with two round single headlights that resembled those of the 1964 Rambler American placed into a deeply-recessed grille. From the A-pillar back, it looked almost like a modern interpretation of the Marlin, with big doors, triangular rear windows and a sloping fastback roof. At the rear were two sets of taillights and backup lights that looked like they came off a school bus!

CAR AND DRIVER had the new Matador on its front cover, calling it "The Best Styled Car of 1974." (A year earlier, they'd dubbed the Hornet Hatchback as "The Styling Coup of 1973," and I think personally that Richard Teague--AMC's chief designer--tried to inflate the Hornet body into dimensions more fitting to the mid-size Matador.)

The 1974 Matador coupe was distinctive, no doubt about it, and it drew a lot of attention, especially when it raced with NASCAR honors that year. Unfortunately, AMC spent so much money on a car that was available only as a coupe--with no tooling that was shared by the other Matadors or the Ambassadors--the remaining AMC large cars received some weird-looking front-end facelifts; indeed the Ambassador line was dropped at the end of 1974, as was the Javelin.

The '74 Matador coupe was cleanly styled, but by 1975, the "best styled car of 1974" began suffering from an attack of styling cliches. Oleg Cassini, whose fashions for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were the rage during Camelot, designed a copper-and-white trim package that made the coupe look especially elegant in '74 and '75. But also on the options list was a "poor-looking" vinyl top that mucked up the clean roofline of the year before.

1976-78 models offered more of the same, including a thick padded vinyl landau top with opera windows on the coupe. The coupe offered what critics called the "offensively gaudy" Barcelona trim package in 1976, with a strange-looking two-tone metallic paint package PLUS the padded landau top. Sedans got the treatment for 1977; meanwhile, AMC was floundering with the Pacer--another two-door-only body offered first as the fishbowl-like two-door sedan then as a more practical station wagon--and lost even more money that could have been spent to update the AMC larger cars and consolidate them on a shared platform as were the Gremlin/Spirit/Hornet/Concord (and later Eagle).

Now here's the trivia. In October 1977, according to Foster, about 50 brand new Matadors were run through a used-car auction to reduce AMC's inventory of that particular line. Ironically, AMC dealers were still selling Matador station wagons quite well; the car had been almost untouched for a decade (since the '67 Rebel) and was least affected by the styling nonsense of the coupes and sedans.

1978 Matador production ended with just under 9500 units being sold; the Pacer died in the fall of 1979 after a handful of 1980 models were produced.

And we all know the rest of the story of AMC...sad indeed.
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mullingspices
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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2013 1:56:21 PM

A question and subsequent response on sister thread "Answer one, ask one" brought back talks I had with a friend who has since passed on. During WWII his uncle had a tire shop, and tires were so hard to get, not only did they recap them, they actually cut out damaged parts of tires and repaired them with parts of tires which were too damaged to salvage. This often resulted in tires with two or three different tread designs. These tires would thump when going down the street, but at the slow speeds imposed during the war, it didn't damage anything, and allowed more cars to operate.
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eB40
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Message Posted: Aug 25, 2013 12:19:37 PM

In 1963, Enzo Ferrari was approached by the Ford Motor Company about a possible buy over. Ford audited Ferrari's assets but legal negotiations and talks were unilaterally cut off by Ferrari when he realized that the deal offered by Ford would not enable him to stay at the helm of the company racing program. Henry Ford II consequently directed his racing division to negotiate with Lotus, Lola, and Cooper to build a car capable of beating Ferrari on the world endurance circuit, eventually resulting in the production of the Ford GT40 in 1964.
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toms1120
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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2013 9:23:29 AM

Henry Hale Bliss (June 13, 1830 – September 14, 1899) was the first person killed by a motor vehicle accident in the United States, and the first known in the Americas. On September 13, 1899 he was disembarking from a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West in New York City, when an electric-powered taxicab struck him and crushed his head and chest. He died from his injuries the next morning.
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 5:26:50 PM

While Chevrolet is basking in the glory of CONSUMER REPORTS giving the new 2014 Impala its highest rating of all the cars it's tested lately--and CR raving about how the new Impala has features often found only in far more expensive cars--the previous generation Impala is finding new life in Chevrolet's fleet lineup.

The 2013-generation Impala will be offered as the Impala Limited for car rentals and other fleet uses for the foreseeable future, according to GM. This is not unusual. As I described in an earlier post, the 1997-2003 Chevy Malibu was sold for another couple of years as the Chevrolet Classic; the current Chevrolet Captiva Sport is a renamed Saturn Vue from the 2007-09 model years.

Ironically, CR could well say "Limited" is an appropriate word for the Impala Limited, since they gave the 2012-13 version low marks in comfort and performance...and in fact described its appointments as just above "rental car" status...
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2Tall
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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2013 12:42:33 PM

Mitsubishi's automotive origins date back to 1917 and in 1920 manufactured aircraft engines.
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cools1611
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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2013 2:47:17 PM

sensors in car both in front and rear was available since 2003
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2013 2:23:10 PM

On this day in 1945 (July 3), Henry Ford II drove a white Super DeLuxe Tudor sedan off a Ford assembly line--the very first civilian passenger car built in the U. S. since February 1942...the car is presented to President Harry S Truman; however, the 1946 Fords don't go on sale officially until October 26th, 1945!
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Jun 25, 2013 2:49:12 PM

A while back I posted about the large block "FE" series of Ford engines, the largest of which was the 430 Lincoln engine (which was bored out to 462 cubic inches for the 1966 Continentals)...but Ford had some of the largest gasoline engines offered in modern times in its 1958-63 series of heavy duty F-, C- and H-series trucks.

I am not sure if these were unique designs or bore-and-stroke jobs on the FE series blocks, but advertising announcing the "Big V" engines in 1958 leads me to believe they were. The 401-, 477- and 534-cubic inch gasoline engines had a three-stage thermostat system not unlike that used in the 361- and 410-cubic inch E-400 and E-475 engines used in that first '58 Edsel. The displacement sizes are not out of reach given the numerous bore-and-stroke treatments of those '50's and '60's Ford car engines, but there were two things truly unique about the truck engines. First, the truck engines boasted a two-quart oil filter--at a time when a handful of cars still offered a 1-quart oil filter as optional equipment!--and offered a two-year, 100,000-mile engine warranty. A two-year, 24,000-mile powertrain warranty would not be offered until 1961, on, of all things, the Lincoln Continental, by comparison.

Maybe a little more research is in order here, but if this information is correct, these big brutes may have been the largest regular-production gasoline truck engines built since World War II.
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Jun 23, 2013 8:06:14 AM

Pierce-Arrow made some honkin' big cars in their day...not to mention the engines...
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Jun 23, 2013 2:03:06 AM

The biggest displacement engine used in an American car was a six cylinder installed under the hood of a 1913 Pierce-Arrow model 66-A-1. This car had a long wheelbase of 147.5 inches.

The engine had a five inch bore and a seven inch stroke displacing a whopping 824 C.I..

The cars of P.- A. for 1913, had starters using compressed air, in 14 they came out with electric starters.
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forestghost07
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Message Posted: May 22, 2013 12:41:57 AM

in 1970 a moderately priced ($4500-5000) line of cars appeared with features unheard of at that level; all aluminum twin-cam, fuel-injected motor, 8 qt capacity finned oil pan, performance exhaust headers, 5 speed transmission, 4 wheel vented disc brakes, stainless steel exterior trim & bumpers, rubber-isolated driveshaft (like BMW and Mercedes), front/rear controlled-crush zones, leather & wood trim. 4 dr sedan, coupe, 2 seat roadster; groundbreaking cars.

The company was Alfa Romeo. The cars were the 1750 Series.

Within 2 decades the Japanese stole all their technology (variable valve timing included), and turned the Italian carmaker into a producer of "dinosaurs". Sadly, Alfa Romeo lacked the R&D money and discipline to keep up with Asia.

They're returning to USA next year as a sub. of Fiat, but at high prices ... no more "poor man's Ferrari" :-(
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bongobro
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Message Posted: May 19, 2013 11:41:05 AM

Hardtop station wagons were all the rage from 1955 (the first Chevy Nomad and Pontiac Safari) to 1964 (the last Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Custom 880), but there was a hardtop station wagon that made it to clay but not into sheet metal in 1955...from Willys!

In the July 2013 HEMMINGS CLASSIC CAR, Pat Foster (the AMC expert) notes that Kaiser-Willys had several ideas to update their line for the late-'50s. One of them was a two-door hardtop station wagon based on the Aero Willys Bermuda hardtop; its roofline resembled that of the hardtop with a roof extending back to the tailgate, much as the '57-'59 two-door Mercury Commuter and Voyager wagons. I thought it was quite attractive, but Willys officials were afraid it would cannibalize the sales of its "Jeep" station wagon!
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Mar 28, 2013 11:34:57 PM

Once in a great while, a car company revives a previously discontinued model with varying degrees of success.

The best-known example is the 1958-60 Rambler American, which was based on the 1953 rework of the original Nash Rambler of 1950. After George Romney bet the fate of American Motors by dumping the Nash and Hudson marques to concentrate on the Rambler after 1957, he re-launched the old design (with a few tweaks) in mid-'58 and picked up additional sales with very little effort (the tooling was already amortized!).

If you rented a Chevrolet Classic in 2004 or 2005, you would have likely felt a feeling of "Malibu deja vu," and for good reason. Chevy continued the Classic on the 1997-2003 Malibu platform as a fleet-only vehicle for a couple of years...but kept the familiar breaking-wave logo on the grille and deck lid!

And when the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva began appearing in Chevy dealers' used car lots last year, they looked strangely familiar to me. They were--and are. Chevy apparently took the last-generation Saturn Vue (which was discontinued when Saturn was scuttled in 2009) and applied Chevy trim--again as a fleet vehicle--but curiously they kept the turn signal repeater on the front fender!
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2013 7:26:04 PM

Considering the Lincoln V-12 was essentially the Ford flathead V-8 with four extra cylinders, it should come as no surprise there were glitches x 1.5 with the engine!

(As you can guess, the computer gremlins--and not AMC Gremlins either--were what kept me out of here!)

Now back to rackin' my brains for new answers!
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 1:57:30 AM

The Lincoln twelve used in the forties was a perfect example of the subject in the last two posts.

Lincoln designed the engine with inadequate inner engine venting. This resulted in a horrible amount of sludge causing the engine to last only about thirty thousand miles till it need a total rebuild. Of course, sludge is caused by water in the oil caused by condensation and other factors.

Common in the old days was alcohol based anti-freeze. This would require using a low temperature thermostat at around 160 F. With the cooler engine temps water would not dissipate like it would with a high temp. t-stat.

Heat was also a problem in these, I remember sitting near older mechanics hearing stories of how the entire engine block would distort. Others told of how difficult it was to remove the heads, they told of having to put the car on the road with the bolts removed on the heads and running it up to around a hundred to break the head loose.

One of the reasons the engine would heat up is because of the length of the engine and the water circulation being poor.

Not one of Ford's best efforts for sure!

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mullingspices
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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2013 10:01:06 PM

Hambone, I remember those old cars well. That gook would go all over the place, through the oil breather cap, onto the valve cover, through the breather tube, and even onto the side of the engine and under the car. The breather cap would have to be washed out with solvent or replaced. Usually the breather tube clogged and had to be burned out to clear it, as the gook would go right through the breather filter. If you stuck your finger in the hole after taking out the breather tube and filter, you'd probably find more gook!

Thousand mile oil changes were common, but they did not stop the problem. As the quality of lubrication improved, the goop coming out of engines lessened. However, with the introduction of pollution controls, engines again made a mess of motor oils, sometimes gelling them in the sump, and turbocharging made things much worse. Many improvements had to be made in order to get motor oil to the quality we find today.
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Mar 18, 2013 1:41:03 AM

Round about 1950, motor oils were still pretty crude. The soon to come "heavy duty" oils would change things forever with added wear resistance and detergent action.

Sludge would form in engines and clog and literally gum up the works in the engine. By the time the oil was changed, it was black and loaded with engine damaging gook.

Ford addressed this on their 1950 police cars. Installed on the bottom of the pan, was a removable cover that caught most of the contamination, by gravity. Mechanics would remove the cover, usually at one of the oil changes, and clean the gook out of the bottom of the pan. The oil sump would have been cleaned as well. Sludge would get hard and clog the screen in the sump. This could starve the engine of oil and pretty much end the life of the engine.

I worked on a 51 Ford woody and I can tell you the sludge inside the engine was large. I used a can and a paint scraper to scoop and clean the engine in the "valley" under the intake manifold. Man, what a dirty black mess that was! I had a lot of black gook in the can when I got done.

These days, oil continually cleans the inside of the engine and protects better. It's no wonder engines last so long these days. The old Fords would be doing good if they lasted until the clock said 100.000 miles, today an engine will last far beyond that number.

[Edited by: Hambone61 at 3/18/2013 1:43:29 AM EST]
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Feb 25, 2013 1:46:17 AM

Studebaker had power brakes as standard equipment in 1933!
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Jan 30, 2013 7:45:27 PM

Walter P. Chrysler, born in 1875, the one who started Chrysler Corp. was making 10 cents an hour as a janitor on his first job.

His first car was a Locomobile he had to borrow money to pay for. He took it home and immediately tore it completely apart to study it. It was not driven for three months, on his first outing in the car he ran into a neighbor's ditch and garden. That was also the first time he drove a car.

In 1920 he was the General Manager of Buick, he left there because a commitment he had made to a supplier of frames for Buicks, was countermanded and changed, so he quit.
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Jan 18, 2013 11:32:09 PM

If you were looking for a good example of an up-to-date automobile in the year of 1937, you need look no farther than the Graham, or Graham Paige if you will.

Some of the things I will mention featured on this brand were available on others, but what is remarkable is that so many useful innovations were engineered into this make. To realize this, and then remember that today we have no Grahams, is a sad thing. Was it the buying public's fault? Who knows.

I found the following notable inclusions in the Graham.

> Lightweight aluminum steel strut pistons, coated chemically to reduce friction and wear.

> Hydraulic brakes with even pressure distribution on the shoes.

> A strong cross section and boxed frame to add safety, durability, and just good old strength resulting in a tighter body and less stress on every mechanical area of the car.

> A unique radio, made by Philco, that had the speaker above the dash and windshield, the speaker had a tone control on it. The layout of the radio controls was unusual also, with controls on both sides of the center-line of the dash panel.

> Beautiful wood simulations on the dash and window mouldings.

> Safety glass.

> Valves were kept cool from the water surrounding them in the block, this kept valve temperatures down to make the valves last longer.

> Balanced crankshaft with shell type bearings on mains and rods. Easier to replace than poured bearings found on many other engines.

> Superchargers were used on the top model and mid model, the economy model had only regular induction. The difference the S-charger made was an increase from 85 to 116 horsepower on the engine used in the 116 and the 95 series. The top model had a little more displacement and put out 120 hp. This was pretty powerful for 1937.

> The supercharger was a simple device that drove off two belts off the front of the engine. A shaft connected to the pulleys rotated into an up-converting gear box and up to the charger..... it worked!

> Further, the head was made of aluminum allowing the combustion chambers to run cooler, this allowed a higher compression ratio for more power, the aluminum also helped the valves to stay a little cooler.

> Inside the engine, the pistons had four rings, common for the day, but what was a little different was that all four were above the wrist pin. Graham bragged about instant lubrication for the pistons allowing the engine to start easier in cold weather and prevent wear at the same time. How they did it was to put a groove near the bottom of the piston which would align with a hole drilled from the oil galley for the valve tappets through the cylinder wall. When the piston would come down and the hole would align with the groove in the piston, there was instant lubrication on the pistons. Clever this was, they used the tappet as a valve to switch the oil to the piston on and off at just the right time, this way the little holes would not run all the time and deplete the oil pressure too much. Very clever!

> Economy was part of these cars.... there was a long course economy competition of 352 miles with thirty cars entered, Graham came out on top, with 26.66 mpg. Pretty impressive!

> Interiors on all series were done in good taste with attractive accent stitching in the seats and ample padding for comfort.

> Exterior styling was up to date also, and the bodies were all steel.... no suicide doors, they were all hinged at the front. The grille was raked back at a modern angle and added an aerodynamic look to the front of the car. Graham made the car lower for a lower center of gravity and added a sway bar up front for good handling.

> Offered at extra cost was a rear-view mirror with a built in "jump clock". The clock could be read from the surface of the glass, the "jump" part meant that when it would go from one hour to the next, the number would "jump" into place instead of showing part of the digit for much of it's travel. Neat!

If you ever are back in 1937 and are looking for a new car.... stop at the local Graham dealer and take a look.
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Jan 12, 2013 10:27:00 PM

Just learned something new, actually old.

I have gone all these years thinking Chrysler and it's divisions were the first to install alternators instead of the generators used for many years. In a way, I was correct because Chrysler installed them in all production cars starting in 1961 and was phasing them in in 1960.

Seems while doing a little reading and looking at product advertising brochures, I found something that exploded my belief.

In 1955, Ford offered a powerful alternator package for it's police cars. The alternators put out 50, 60, and 95 amps of juice. This was remarkable for 1955 because Chrysler, who claims to be the "pioneer" alternator installer, used as low as a 30 amp unit in their new compacts in 60. In 61, even their optional alternator put out only five amps more for a 40 amp total. Air conditioned cars got the bigger one as standard with the A.C. package. For Ford to offer an alternator at all was a surprising bit of trivia.



[Edited by: Hambone61 at 1/12/2013 10:27:34 PM EST]
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 1:08:06 AM

Advertising has a special place in the category of auto trivia. Advertising of course, would include spreads in magazines, newspapers, and other printed publications. Then there was radio, something new in the early days, but perfect to sell cars. Finally we had television and electronic media including the now popular internet.

What I have in mind today are dealer hand-out brochures and the artists that did the illustrations of the vehicles being offered to the public. It was the responsibility of the artists to make every model look desirable, even the business coupes and wagons. Sometimes this was a really hard job, as some of the old models were, shall we say, "cosmetically challenged"!

During the late thirties, cars needed to look much different in sales lit than they actually looked on the street. The more "swoopy" and low, longer, and sleeker they looked in the sales lit., the better.

You have heard the term "poetic license", I'm sure. Well, the 39 Plymouth artists took this to an automotive extreme!! I will post links to show you what I mean. These illustrations, all done by artists, were some of the best examples of distorting things to look other than they actually were..... plant a seed, a "swoopy seed" in the mind, and see if it will grow enough to prompt the consumer to lay down the cash and drive out the door in a new Plymouth.

First, I would have the reader follow this link and take a look at the following:

* The 'long' hood.
* The 'short' side glass and windshield, by short I mean from top to bottom, this car looks like a hot-rodder chopped the top.
* Notice the windshield wiper on the driver's side, so 'small' it almost disappears!
* Notice the front and rear fenders in relation to the tires and wheels. The tires are almost hidden under the small openings, want to change a tire on this car?
* Take a look at the wide windshield, and how it looks like the glass comes out in a V shape, pointing to the front. Looks like the bow of a ship. Another 'feature' of the windshield was, in the illustrator's eye, the glass has a curvature to it.
* Take notice of how the center of the wheel/hubcap is higher than the line at the bottom of the running board and fenders, the car looks like it has been loaded with concrete or the springs removed...... all to make the "low look"! Surely, this will sell cars!

39 Plymouth Deluxe Two-Door Sedan

With all of that in mind, we will "come back to earth to find the real truth of how the car looked..... the illustrators really goofed here. They goofed because this illustration shows how things really were on the real car! Take a look at this cut-away view..... look again at the list I posted after you look at this.....

39 Plymouth true to life proportions

Did you compare the height of the glass, the "V" angle of the windshield, the position of the rear wheel and where the center of the cap is? This is funny as this illustration also looks like an artist conception.

Now let's look at another vehicle from the Plymouth line, same year....

39 Plymouth With Ladies

Even this illustration, which looks like a photo, has been "doctored" with the wipers almost vanishing, at least the width of the car looks correct along with the windshield..... and it's flat glass! Also brushed almost away is the seam between the front of the hood and the nose with the ornament on it.

In conclusion:

One could ask, why did'nt car companies use the illustrators to help design the car, they sure knew how to make them look good on paper. I wonder how many Plymouths they might have sold if they actually looked as low, long, and swoopy as pictured in the sales lit?

Here's how it really looked....
39 Plymouth Survivor

Wow! Take a look at those wipers!
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 7:32:16 PM

The 51 Studebaker was the first Stude with a V-8 engine option. Remarkable was that Studebaker offered so many options for their cars regardless of model. I will give you a list of the items in their accessory catalog so you can see what I mean. Some of these you would not expect to have been available in 1951...... Here's the list.

]] Three radio options, one with eight tubes and six station buttons, a six tube radio with four buttons, and one with manual tuning only.

]] Two power antennas, one operated with vacuum from the engine.

]] Climatizer heater with defrosters and under-seat heat for rear seat passengers, thermostatically controlled. Defrosters used a separate fan system.

]] Stratoline fender ornaments.

]] Stratoline exhaust deflector.

]] Stratoline Wheel shields. (Fender skirts)

]] Strat-o-vu outside rearview mirror. (Mounted on the door skin)

]] Stainless Wheel Trim Rings.

]] Chromium (Full) Wheel Covers.

]] No-Mar Gasoline Door Guard.

]] Deluxe License Plate Frame.

]] Lumite Plastic or Deluxtex Seat Covers.

]] Stratoline Windshield Visor.

]] Stainless Vent Shades.

]] Venetian Shades. (Shown in the accy. brochure installed on the Starlight Coupe with the wrap-around rear windows.

]] Select-O-Seat Springs. (Would allow the owner to install additional springs in the seat for a firmer cushion)

]] No-Blo Wind Deflector. (Installed in the rear window opening of the doors to reduce wind turbulence.)

]] Robe Cord Equipment. (Cord at top of front seat back for hanging clothing or..... (Standard on Land Cruisers)

]] Deluxtyle Bumper Guards, front & rear, wrap around.

]] Plast-I-Sheen Fabric Top Cover (For convertibles to protect the top.)

]] Spark Plug Weather Proofing Kit.

]] Front Splashguards (mudflaps)

]] Door Scuff Pads.

]] Locking Gas Cap.

]] Aux. Rubber Floor mats.

]] Rubber Rug Floor Mats.

]] Accelerator Cover and Wear Pad.

]] Directional Signal Equipment.

]] Back up Lights, Automatic.

]] Internally Controlled Spotlight

]] Weather Beam Lights. (Fog lights)

]] Parking Brake Warning Light.

]] Underhood Light.

]] Glove Compartment Light.

]] Luggage Compartment Light. (Trunk light)

]] Magnalight Service Light. ( A corded flashlight that plugged into the lighter socket, had a magnet on it so it would stick to the fender while you were changing a tire etc.)

]] Automatic Electric Clocks. One for the Commander series, one for the Champion series.

]] Automatic Cigarette Lighter.

]] Drawmatic Cigarette Lighter. (Put your cig. in and press a ring, when it snaps you pull out your lighted smoke.

]] Glare-Proof Mirror. (Rearview mirror with a day and night setting)

]] Kleenex Dispenser.

]] Hydraulic Jack. (Easier to operate than the standard jack)

]] Rear Door Safety Locks. (Rear doors were "suicide" style)

]] Lighted Vanity Mirror. (Also one without illumination)

]] Universal Outside Mirror. (Clamp on)

]] Fram Oil Filter.

]] Electric Windshield Wipers.

]] Hill-Holder.

]] Ash Receivers. (Ash trays, extra ones)

]] Fine Quality Luggage.

]] Undercoating.

]] A whole bunch of additional options and accessories, including polishes, waxes, cleaners, anti-freeze, a head-bolt heater, a battery charger and tire chains. Sun visor, second horn, arm rests (F&R) hood ornament, courtesy lights for Custom Champion models.I would surmise that if a buyer loaded up his Studebaker with all these accessories and options, he would need the one thing missing from the list...... Overload Shocks!
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 1:15:29 AM

So.... It's 1958 and Buick asks the consumer.... "Do you want chrome???" Then they answer; "We got chrome!!!!"

Take a look.

58 Buick "Chrome to Dazzle the Senses"

I heard that these cars had more chrome than any other car, some 72 or so pounds of bits to adorn these over dressed models.

[Edited by: Hambone61 at 11/12/2012 1:17:39 AM EST]
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mullingspices
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Message Posted: Nov 7, 2012 2:30:30 PM

The most recent question in the sister thread Car Trivia Game, Answer one, Ask One, the 1974 Dodge Challenger came up. A friend of mine had one of these cars, a real beauty in metallic green. We were in the parking lot of Fred Meyer one day when someone backed up without looking and hit us just behind the driver's door. There was a pretty good sized dent, so after a little while we got the local Chrysler dealer to do the body work and paint, and they did a beautiful job. About two weeks after the repair, the dent was back! After asking my friend, I found out he got hit again in the same spot...
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Titanic1985
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Message Posted: Oct 18, 2012 10:05:39 AM

Hello Bluebird333 & bongobro. I agree with you Bluebird333 that bongobro knows a great deal. My Uncle died in 1980 and left his home and car in Scottsdale, AZ to his Sister who died at 95 years of age. Her Son now owns both. The car is a 1968 Ford Galaxy with a 390 engine. My two cousins, both in their 70s go to AZ in January to April each year to get away from the Pittsburgh winters. That Ford has a nickname of "The Miracle Car" as it always starts each January. They did say the price of gasoline this year has made them wonder if they need to use their own Ford Fusion, but the drive is too long. With mid-grade gas, it gets 8 MPG!

After college and before enlisting, I worked in a garage and my Uncle drove from Arizona with that very car. I was nineteen years old and am now 62 and it is still running and in the family all these years! I remember working on it. Great memories :-) .
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Bluebird333
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Message Posted: Oct 18, 2012 5:02:56 AM

bongobro, you really know a lot about the classic Ford cars. Out of those engines the only one I had first hand experience with is the 390. That was one powerful engine it sure made the 351 Windsor I use to have look weak.

[Edited by: Bluebird333 at 10/18/2012 5:04:53 AM EST]
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 9:45:24 PM

Welcome aboard, Bluebird333! The 430 was the largest of the FE-series (Ford-Edsel) series engines introduced in 1958 (a big-block engine that appeared originally as 332 ('58-'60 Ford), 352 ('58-'66 Ford, '59 Edsel, '61-'62 Mercury), 361 (Edsel '58 E-400 engine), 383 ('59-'60 Mercury), 390 (Ford beginning in '61), 406 ('62-'63 Ford Galaxie), 410 ('58 Edsel E-475), and the 430. The 430 was first used in the Lincoln and Continental Mark III in 1958, and was offered as an option on the 1959 and 1960 Ford Thunderbird.

The "boat anchor" nickname came from the fact the 430 was large, heavy, and--especially in the Thunderbird--notably unreliable.
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Bluebird333
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Message Posted: Oct 17, 2012 5:25:06 AM

430 boat anchor, I didn't even know they made a 430 I guess they must have been crap being this is the first time I have heard of it.
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2012 10:53:48 PM

The late '60s were years of confusion at Ford, at least when it came to 400+ CID engines: You had the 427 (top-oiler and side-oiler) used for racing Galaxies and Fairlanes; the 428 used in the Galaxie 500 7-Litre models for 1966 and was optional equipment on full-size Galaxies; the "429 ThunderJet" offered on the '68-'69 models; and finally, the 430 "boat anchor" used up through the 1965 model-year Lincoln Continentals.

Confused now (LOL!)?
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Bluebird333
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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2012 2:01:38 AM

Tattoo666TX, I got the same response when I start talking about the 427. People always say yeah chevys 427 was great and I reply no I was talking about fords 427 engine the same one they used to compete against chryslers 426 hemi.
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Oct 14, 2012 11:34:04 PM

A few posts back we talked about the introduction of the 1958 Edsel. Tomorrow, October 15th, marks the 53rd anniversary of the introduction of the 1960 Edsel--a car that didn't even make it to the end of the following month.

The "new! nifty! thrifty!" 1960 Edsel looked like the equally new 1960 Ford with a 1959 Pontiac grille grafted to the front. The designer was originally able to put a tall "beak" in the center of the grille (ironically, similar to the "beak" that appeared on 1968-69 full-size Pontiacs!) and vertical tail lights and backup lights on the trunk. A rejiggering of spring mountings gave the Edsel a 120-inch wheelbase compared to the 119-inch wheelbase of the Ford.

At the last minute, officials wanted the beak taken off the grille in an effort to make it look like the hottest '59 in the medium-price field...the Pontiac! So the new Edsel looked less like an Edsel and even more like a Ford with an identity crisis.

The Ranger and Villager series were retained, but the deluxe interior in four-door sedans, two-and-four-door hardtops and convertibles were to have been the Corsair series. Thomas E. Bonsall, author of the Edsel book DISASTER IN DEARBORN, claimed there was talk of reviving the Citation series, but that never happened.

The 1960 Edsel offered one body style that no other Ford-based car ever did. The Ranger 4-door hardtop did not use the "box top" roofline of the Ford Galaxie, which was also used on the Canadian Meteor Montcalm. Instead, the four-door sedan roofline of the Fairlane and Fairlane 500 post sedans was adapted to the four-door hardtop, making the '60 Edsel version truly unique.

Mechanically, the Edsel was the '60 Ford through and through, with the same engine and transmission options.

Sales, well...2,846 Edsels rolled off the Louisville, Kentucky assembly line through November 19, the day Ford announced that, due to continued steel shortages because of that year's steel strike and poor sales, "production of the Edsel will be halted and the Edsel discontinued as a product of Ford Motor Company."

The breakdown: 1,188 Ranger 4-door sedans...777 Ranger 2-door sedans...295 Ranger 2-door hardtops...76 Ranger convertibles...216 Villager 4-door six-passenger station wagons...59 Villager 4-door nine-passenger station wagons...and the unusual Ranger 4-door hardtop accounted for the remainder.

One of the last Edsel print ads, in the SATURDAY EVENING POST, contained the following: "In the days and weeks to come, you're going to be seeing more and more Edsels on the road...so don't miss seeing it at your dealer now."

Do you suppose the copywriter knew something we didn't? The ad appeared the week before Ford pulled the plug....
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Hambone61
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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 8:06:54 PM

The 1913 Packard "38" Series had some interesting mechanical features to facilitate proper running and longevity.

Packard surmised the lower engine would need more lubrication during heavy use. How they dealt with this was very unusual, even for 1913.

What Packard did was to connect linkage to the hand throttle on the steering column or the foot throttle near the floor, to the oiling system. The way it worked was to pump more oil at greater throttle positions, and less oiling at easy throttle settings. This system did not operate on engine speed, it did it by throttle setting.

Another unusual thing was that the engine had a governor on it to regulate the speed of the engine. The way they went about it reminded me of how a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engine regulates engine speed. The Briggs uses air from the cooling blower built into the flywheel to blow on a plate which is connected to linkage on the carb. throttle shaft. Packard used the same principle only they incorporated the thing into the water pump, so they used the flow of water, which would change with RPM, to govern engine speed. I guess they figured they might as well make all the use out of the colling liquid as possible cuz it held a whopping six and a half gallons!

Looking at a chart plotting the horsepower of this engine through the RPM range, I can understand why they needed to keep it turning pretty slow. The horsepower on the engine was rated at under 2,000 RPM. Of course this was pre-crankshaft balance days, so the engine probably would have rattled itself to pieces if the R's got too high.

One more unusual thing was the cold starting of this engine. There was a button on the dash which would release acetylene into the intake manifold. This was to be used only when it was really cold. Under regular conditions you would put gasoline in the primer cups located over the pistons. The primers had little cups that would hold about 1/2 teaspoon of gas, you would turn the petcock on the primer to allow the gasoline to drain into the cylinders.

Checking the crankcase oil level was done with petcock, the thing had a long lever handle on it. If you left this open, it would spray oil all over the place, Packard solved this making the lever long enough that if you left it in the open position, you couldn't get the hood to close. Clever!

Like the Pontiacs of much later, these had the transmission in the back. The differential and transmission must have been very heavy!!

And last of many more I'll mention, is the gasoline gauge, it was some kind of magnetic device mounted on the top of the twenty gallon fuel tank. You would have to stop and get out of the car, go to the rear and read it from there. The tank was mounted at the very rear of the chassis..... watch out for tail-gaters!!
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bongobro
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Message Posted: Sep 20, 2012 4:39:05 PM

In hambone61's sister thread "Car Trivia Game--Answer One, Ask One," a question came up about the 1970 1/2 Ford Falcon and its relationship to the Fairlane/Torino and Comet/Montego lines. Actually, the relationship goes back more than four years.

When the Fairlane, Comet and Falcon lines were "reinvented" for the 1966 model year, the Falcon (and inexpensive Comet 202 series) were actually based on a shorter version of the platform used by Fairlane and Comet Capri, Caliente and Cyclone models. In fact, the Falcon, Fairlane and Comet station wagons shared the same wheelbase, as did the Falcon Ranchero (smart observers noted the difference between the Falcon and Ranchero tail light assemblies and those of the Fairlane and Comet).

For 1967, this made it easy for Ford to take off the dowdy-looking Falcon front clip and replace it with the Fairlane front end, instrument cluster and chrome stripes along the lower portion of the fenders, doors, and bed. One of my uncles owned a '67 Rangoon Red Fairlane 500 Ranchero and it looked much nicer than the '66 Falcon Ranchero ever did.

Falcons still sold in decreasing numbers by 1969, but two factors contributed to its demise as a compact car in the middle of the 1970 model run: The introduction of the Maverick, and the costs of installing an anti-theft steering column for future Falcons. Given the Maverick's roaring success (it actually shattered the Mustang's sales record for its first full calendar year), and the fact it was indeed a lighter, simpler machine than the Falcon--and hundreds of dollars cheaper even fully-loaded--it was cheaper to end production of the 1970 Falcon.

By February, 1970, the 1970 1/2 Falcon was on the market, and it was as simple as decontenting the 1970 Fairlane 500. I must admit I am puzzled that the Ford literature describes the new Falcon 2-door as having "SportsRoof Styling," but putting a pillar into the existing SportsRoof hardtop body had to be cheaper than trying to change a steering lock on the previous Falcon (the 1970 Fairlane/Torino models, although claimed to be "shaped by the wind," were totally reskinned versions of the 1968-69 models).

The '70 1/2 Falcon lasted only that one-half year, but gave Falcon lovers options never before available on their cars, including power windows (!) and the option of a 429-cubic-inch Cobra Jet V-8 (talk about your Falcon "flying.")

If I am correct, the Falcon is to be grounded for good in Australia at the end of the 2012 model run in favor of another "world platform," much like the Focus and the new C-Max.
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