Auto Factoids – Week of 4/20/2014

Here are your Auto Factoids for the week of April 20, 2014;

 

Only 3 major hits this week.

The first is that the American Motor Corporation (AMC) from the merger of Nash and Hudson that happened on 4/22/1954.  It was actually Nash-Kalvinator and Hudson.   Cars were still produced under the Hudson name until 1957.

Hudson Hornet Hollywood.

Hudson Hornet Hollywood.

You know that AMC brought you some pretty out of the ordinary cars (Gremblin, Pacer) as well as some class muscle, (AMX, Javelin, Rebel).

There is great article on a Rebel in the May 2014 Hemmings Muscle Machine on a 1970 AMC Rebel.
Javelin

Rebel

 

Next up Chrysler purchases Lamborghini on 4/23/1987. What?   Yes….funny now Chrysler is owned by an Italian car company (Fiat).  Oh it was a smoking deal, only $25 million dollars.  That lasted until 1994 when Chrysler sold Lamborghini to an Indonesianan company.  In 1998 Volkswagen took over Lamborghini.

 

Finally this week back on 4/25/1970 Mazda’s first cars show up on U.S. shores.

 

RX-2

Mazda’s 1970 RX-2

Thanks for reading.  

Tim    

If you liked to sponsor an Auto Factoid article drop me a note.

 

lamborghini countachamc

 

 

 

 

Mopar ’14 Challenger is Sold Out – Cars & Parts

Gone in a Flash – Cars & Parts.

Andy Bolig – April 03, 2014 10:43 AM

If you blinked, you missed it. The limited-edition Mopar ’14 Challenger, the latest Chrysler Group LLC vehicle to come straight from the factory already upgraded with Mopar products, has sold out in just the first day after being made available to dealers.

 

New Mopar ?14 Challenger model revealed: only 100 serialized coupes will be built, offering ?Mopar-or-no-car? fans the rarest factory-produced Dodge Challenger model to date with unique ?Moparized? equipment New Mopar ’14 Challenger model revealed: only 100 serialized c

The Mopar ’14 Challenger is the most recent limited-edition vehicle offered by the brand, continuing the success of the Mopar ’10 Challenger, Mopar ’11 Charger, Mopar ’12 300 and Mopar ’13 Dart in demonstrating how owners can personalize their rides with Mopar products — even before driving away from the dealership. With only 100 built, the Mopar ’14 Challenger is the rarest limited-production Dodge Challenger offered to date.

 

Did you get a 2014 Challenger?  Let me know.

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

2014 challenger shaker

JDeuceO7

@Dodge 2014 Challenger Shaker!!!!

Fiat Buys All of Chrylser – Discussion

Sometimes an article attracts comments that warrant a separate post.  This is one. Bill’s Comment:

This is a sad day for us MOPAR orphans. I truly wonder what Lee Iacocca thinks about this after so much hard work to save the company years ago.
  • admin
    Well I have to say I agree, it is sad. I’ll spare everyone my “I know what went wrong with U.S. car manufacturing” diatribe, but anytime we lose a US corporation (car manufacturing or not) it’s a blow to your economic and self reliance. More importantly, and this maybe just because I’m older and more nostalgic these days, its a piece of our nations living history dieing off. Having spend some time in Italy this past fall, FIAT is huge and their cars are built to last. They have to be, the driving there in the big cities is tough….much worse then most of our road…YES….even here in Arizona. Interesting enough. I saw a lot of Chevys and Fords in Italy, in the big cities (Rome and Florence) and even out in the rural wine country. Do you know the number of Chryslers I saw there – 2. Maybe that will change for Italians but it’s a loss for us.
Bill
I’d still like to think that if Iacocca hadn’t been so pig headed and left the company to Bob Lutz instead of Bob Eaton Chrysler might have survived. It wasn’t that long ago that LH models, PT Crusiers, and RAM pick ups were bring in lots of cash for pre-Daimler Chrysler. Chris Theodore had the Magnum, Charger, and 300 ready for production, and a third generation NEON was awaiting approval. Chrysler still held the honor as the world’s best selling minivan and convertible, and I believe they had a shot at the future. Daimler came in, took the billion dollars of reserve cash, replcaed the NEON with the POS Caliber, severed the Mitsubshi relationship, and almost lost the RAM truck business. Daimler damaged Chrysler so badly I guess the FIAT deal was all they had left. I’ll continue to be a Blue Oval customer as I do believe that FORD builds the best cars sold in America today. I hope they continue, as I really do not want to change brand loyalty anytime soon, nor start the import car habit.

admin

I loved the Magnum, the Charger – not so much.  But I’m sorry, the Neon wouldn’t be something I’d hold up as major player for Chrysler. Having owned one, I am confident the were a very bad attempt to make a compact/street tuner.  Maybe not an EPIC fail but a fail none the less.  (My son was in a side impact accident where the Neon split wide open. If he’d been any slower the impact would have been at the driver door and I doubt he’d be here today. – No air bags deployed.)  I understand their claim to fame with the Mini Van, but they were not stellar, many issues even when new.  They sold, because they were “inexpensive”.

 

You mentioned the RAM trucks, but again, I’m not sure the quality is there.  Chrysler sold a lot during the Homeland Security boom, in particular to Border Patrol, but they just didn’t hold up well, here in the southwest.  They are slowly replacing them with Chevy. I’m not sure how the Mitsubshi relationship started, but they do have some good engines (case in point the LaBarron) – I seem to recall the Stealth (2000 or 3000) was the first major Mitsubshi contribution.

I think you are correct FORD has been consistent and since the 1950′s has been producing cars worth of being American.  In fact, I am going out on the limb and say we’ll see the 2015 Mustang winning one off the Car of the Year awards.

I’d like to jump to GM they’ve had a fantastic year – Caddy CTS winning car of the year.  Corvette and Silverado winning awards this year as well.

It remains to be seen what becomes of Chrysler, I hope it returns to producing quality cars and stays here in the US.  BTW – I love the Challenger!!!!

Drop me a note.

Thank for reading.

Tim

 

Bill

Thanks for the blog and sounding post!

I have to comment on the Neon and minivan. These were vehicles that were the ‘best for the money’.

The NEON was the first factory produced car that was available ‘race ready’. You could order an ACR NEON that had no AC, no ABS, no Air Bag, and NEON RACING decals in the trunk. My friend that worked at Santa Cruz Dodge ordered an ACR NEON and it was ‘bang for the buck’. He auto crossed this car across the State of California and had a blast. Then the SRT NEON was introduced and again it was ‘bang for the buck’. Having said all this, my original point with the NEON was Daimler replcaed this car with the Caliber, and it was a terrible vehicle that laid an egg in that car segment.

The minivan was another best for the money vehicle. Always about $5,000 less than a competitor Seinna, or Odyseey it would maintain the market lead until Daimler dropped the ball. The forth generation minivans under Daimler were de-contented without a price reduction, and slipped in reliability and saftey ratings.

Finally, about Mitsubshi. Chrysler had 49% ownership of Mitsubshi from the late 1970s. This produced excellent cars such as the Dodge Colt and D50 RAM, but the really great product was the Diamond Star trio of the Laser, Talon, and Eclipse. I owned a Laser Turbo and it was 100% trouble free and would easily cruise at 130MPH (I got a ticket in Oklahoma wih the radar gun showing 124MPH, and was let off for 10 over). These cars were built in Illinois as a joint venture and were always a Car and Driver 10 Best awrad winner. Again, Daimler severed the Mitsubshi relationship and sold the ownership, and both Chrysler and Mitsubshi lost out here. (Today the Daimond Star plant produces the Galant only)

My only GM car ownership experience, a 2001 Impala, has tainted me on the brand. Other than a Corvette, I cannot bring myself to vere consider a GM car. I actually experienced the GM decline personally with my father’s cars. He bought a new Buick LeSabre every 7 years from the 1960s throughout the 1990s. Up until his 1982 purchase, all of these cars were bulletproof to 100K miles, then in 1982 everything changed, and in 1989 it got even worse. His GM loyality still endured, eventhough the cars were spending many days a year in the service bays with issues such as the dashboard falling off the firewall, exploading window regulators, intake manifold failures, transmission logic controller failures, and even a heater blower motor that failed every three months like clockwork, etc, etc. I still believe that Toyota’s best salesperson was named General Motors.

Thanks for letting me rant!

Tim

You can build reliable cars without all the extras. Folks that plopped down hard earned money wanted something to get them around – not something that would leave them stranded or fighting the dealership for honoring warrantee work. Once you gain that poor quality tag it’s tough to shake. And it wasn’t just MOPAR, as we all know it was the U.S. auto industry in total.

Dodge Neon

Dodge Neon

Chrysler is bringing back the “Shaker” hood | Biz Bearing

Chrysler is bringing back the “Shaker” hood | Biz Bearing.

 

That’s one mean looking hood!!!!

I say welcome back!!!!

I say… “Welcome back!!!!”

shaker hood

boilergawd

RT @DanTheWheelMan: The Shaker hood is BACK, and its attached to the 2014 #Dodge #Challenger @dodge_canada @prnmag http://t.co/2D1DvcZWGg
Dodge resurrects ‘shaker’ hood, Scat Pack Club to mark centennial

Dodge resurrects ‘shaker’ hood, Scat Pack Club to mark centennial. The shaker hoods surround working cold-air intakes mounted to the Challenger’s 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. They are engineered to meet noise and safety regulations, Chrysler officials said.

 

 

 

“Christine” 30th anniversary celebration coming to Carlisle | Hemmings Blog

I love book and the movie, and I even started considering collecting one.  When I was a kid (back in the early 70′s) across the road from our house, in a field, sat an old Plymouth Fury – can’t recall cars year but it did have fins.

I remember asking my Dad why we didn’t drive it and he said it needed a carburetor.  It seemed in my young mind’s eye that the carburetor wasn’t much more than a can looking thing with a butterfly looking think in the middle.  So I fashioned one out of a soup can and the metal dividers in an ice cube maker – yes kids it was before ice fell from a frig with a push of a button.

Stephen King said he chose a 1958 Plymouth Fury to play the inhuman title character in his book from the year prior because Furys “were the most mundane Fifties car that I could remember. I didn’t want a car that already had a legend attached to it like the fifties Thunderbird, the Ford Galaxies etc… Nobody ever talked about the Plymouth products.”

Enjoy this article at the link below (and go pick up a Hemmings periodical).  You’ll love them.

Christine_900

Thanks for reading.

Tim

Auto Factoids for Week of March 31st 2013

Let’s start with April 1st:

1961 the Amphicar debuted.

Amphicar - a flip of a lever and two propellers kicked in and made water-crossing a breeze.

Amphicar – a flip of a lever and two propellers kicked in and made water-crossing a breeze.

It was powered by an iron block and iron head  Inline 4 engine with 2 valves per  cylinder. It  displaced 1147 cc and had  2.72 x 2.99 bore and stroke with  8.0:1 compression produced 47 hp and 61 ft lbs of torque.

For years later one of the most important cars (although not this particular version) was introduced – the 1964 Plymouth Barracuda.  Little did Plymouth know at the time 6 to 8 years later the version of the ‘Cuda’ would break collector car value records.

1964 Barracuda - Glassback.

1964 Barracuda – Glassback.

Not the powerhouse that the 70′s versions were but it did have a V8 available that net you 180 hp.  Dubbed the “Glassback” because most of the slanted back was class (not unlike my 07 Corvette).

A few years later in 1970  AMC showed off their oddest car yet – the Gremlin. (Although the Pacer was arguably the worse.)  Ugly or not it was a good seller and it’s standard 6 cylinder was economical and produced 128 hp.  There were  872 2 passenger and 27,688 4 passenger made that year.

1970 Gremlin.  Fastback or 'no back"

1970 Gremlin. Fastback or ‘no back”

 

Also this week Mr. Walter Chrysler was born in 1875 on April 2 and Charles Hall patented Aluminum in 1889 on the same day.

In 1923 on April 5th, Firestone produced the first balloon tire.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Upgrades For An LA318 In A 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger | Street Legal TV

MOPAR fans you are going to love this article.

I use to own a 1970 Dodge Dart with a 318 between the fenders.  I did a lot of body work to the life long New York State car, but nothing to the engine.  There’s one I should have kept, right along with the ’66 Impala, ’70 Chevelle and a couple others!!!

Some great upgrade in this one.

 

Common Upgrades For An LA318 In A 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger | Street Legal TV.

Thanks for reading

Tim

When You Just have to have that Classic/Muscle Car?…Think Small!!!!

This is a repeat – it got lost in the move to the new domain – I had to add it back to the archives so I could refer to it in my up and coming post on Model Cars.

I should throw “collecting” in the title of this blog (but it’s really long enough), because, although it’s about 2.5 months old, I have mentioned collecting a bunch of times.  But really that is part of hobby as well.

Of course if I were to list all the cars I’d love collect, it would be fairly long and in reality (my reality) unaffordable..unless you are Jay Leno… I hate that guy.  Ok..I don’t hate him…not really..the green-eyed monster made me say that.

Since I’m not as funny as Jay and I have to work for a living….what?…..ok..ok….I’m sure Jay works very hard…I guess…it’s tough reading funny newpaper clips….ok…Sorry Jay, I have “substituted” this alternative method of obtaining the cars I’d love to own.

You all figured it out yet?  I’m talking about models, scale diecast replicas.  There is an entire industry out there that produces, imports and markets these items.  Some of them are extremely well done.

Here are some shots of my collection.  I’m concentrating on the Mustangs and Corvettes in the sizes  1/18 or 1/24 scale.

These are a few of Mustangs

The Mustangs

And these are a few of the Corvettes.

The Corvettes
A Few of the Vettes

Most of these are Danbury Mint  and GMP pieces, I do like what they produce, lots of details and they are affordable (around $100.00 each).

Here is a few shots of the 1967 GT 350.

GT350
GMP 1967 GT350 Interior
Ford GT350
GMP Mustang GT350 Engine compartment

The Franklin mint produces cars, Greenleaf, Motormint, just to name a few.

It’s fun and affordable and they do increase in value.  It’s gotten so popular that even the mainstream car magazines like Hemmings (they normally have at least one article in every Motor News edition), Mustang Monthly and Corvette magazine have articles that discuss this portion of the hobby and even rate the quality of individual brands and their offerings.

If you collect already or want to get started drop a comment to this post. Toss in some pic as well.

Thanks for reading.

Tim